Portland, Ore.– Last Friday, City Officials confirmed the announcement of a scheduled pressure wash that will force sleeping protesters to be removed from the sidewalk outside of City Hall at 6am Monday morning. In response, Occupy Portland has organized a preemptive wash of their own on the day before, in order to deter the local Police from disrupting what has become a rebirth of the Movements initial tactic of occupying public spaces.
The demonstration outside of City Hall has maintained its presence since December 1st, in the form of a 24/7 Vigil that protests a camping ban which prohibits any unsheltered person from using tents or protective gear to legally sleep within city limits. The Vigil and its supporters recently garnered more attention from local officials with the appearance of a hunger strike for housing justice, launched by former Mayoral Candidate and Occupy Activist Cameron Whitten, who has endured 44 days without food and has lost over 30 pounds.
The City has announced no formal plans to obstruct any form of constitutionally protected speech after the cleaning is completed. However, the Occupiers express a lack of trust over City protocol after a rocky relationship that ended a 39 day Occupation at Chapman and Lownsdale Squares. They plan to bring soap, scrub brushes, buckets, and their own pressure washers as early at 8am in the morning and clean the entire block, free of charge.