by “Rob” (a contributor who needs to stay anonymous for their job)
I hear people all the time on the news saying that they support the occupy movement, and believe it is a great way for people to express their ideas. My question is: Have the people who believe in the “Occupy movement” ever visited the camp sites, or even stayed there? I’m going to have to say no.
My job puts me in a position where I walk by the camp sites on a regular basis, and what I have been seeing more and more can only be described as a Petri dish of health concerns; on the brink of becoming a hazmat situation.
I’ve seen, on a regular basis, white buckets with the stains of human waste being carried by protesters out of the park. A locked cage on one corner of the park contains red gas canisters, which are placed on the bare ground. Also, in the beginning of the protest, protesters placed hay down on the park grounds to try to control damp conditions. That hay is currently been plagued with black mold. Two “Porta Potties” are overflowing with human waste, and you can see a damp trail of fluid flowing from the bathrooms to the street.
The two parks in Portland, which were recently redone by taxpayer’s money, have lost all their grass. Hiker ropes create spider webs through the trees, breaking limbs. An electric car charger at one corner of the park has been redesigned to supply stolen electricity to the park, with extension cords pouring from it.
The cost estimated by the Parks Bureau is about $20,000 so far to fix the parks. Overtime for police security is over $180,000. Businesses have been damaged with spray paint, multiple police vehicles have been damaged, and I just recently saw on the news that someone threw human feces on the court house that’s located across the street from the protesters. There has been one rape that was reported to the police, and also a registered sex offender who listed his address as “Chapman Square Occupy Portland.” Did I mention that children are staying down there with their parents, and go to an “Occupy Daycare?”
So after I’ve seen and heard all of this, I am appalled that this “protest” is allowed to happen, and now the protesters want to move to another park. What bothers me is the over $200,000 in damages is going to be paid by taxpayers, not the “banks,” or “one percent,” that the protesters always talk about. I would rather see the $200,000 be used to pave roadways, or employ a couple of teachers, or keep a school open. I think there is a balance between the people’s right to assemble, and the impact it has on the community. From what I have seen, this balance has shifted, and the working taxpayer is the one being mistreated.
UPDATE: KGW story on Sanitation concerns at Occupy Portland from Tues, Nov 1, 2011