Portland, Oregon, saw the largest demonstrations outside of New York in opposition to Wall Street with up to 10,000 people marching on October 6.
Since then, the Occupy Portland movement has continued with a tent city and assembly area at Lownsdale and Chapman squares in downtown Portland, now into its fifth day. This movement has spread to other cities in Oregon, including the capital city of Salem and Eugene, home to the University of Oregon with over 23,000 students, as well as Winston and Roseburg.
On Sunday, several hundred people marched from two locations. After joining, the march proceeded down Naito Parkway and then back to Chapman Square, yelling out, “We got sold out, banks got bailed out,” “This is what democracy looks like” and “People over profit.” Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality distributed statements and discussed political issues confronting the movement.
“I have a master’s degree in education and I can’t afford to raise my children,” Amy told the World Socialist Web Site. “I have been here for five days. We have been lied to for too long. Obama is a puppet just like all the other politicians.”
Jeff explained, “I am appalled at the apparent orchestration of the transfer of wealth into the hands of the banks. Glass-Steagall was repealed. There is only one party, really; it is an oligarchy with two heads. Voting Democrat vs. Republican has only a 1 or 2 percent difference in the outcome.”
We spoke to Theon Weber by the media tent, who described his view of the Occupy movement. “We want to be as inclusive as possible. We want as big a tent as possible. So that people in this country have a platform to protest on.”
Axcelle Bell added, “This can be a forum for a more radical agenda. We have been complying with the idea of peace that has been conditioned in this society. We are open to other layers to participate. This needs to be a democratic process, to come up with as many points of view as possible. This way they see the movement developing and that it is more sustainable.”
Stephen Hsu said, “It is common knowledge how the deck is stacked for the rich to get richer and everyone else to be worker bees. So much money is going to the military instead of for jobs or homes.”
Jon Weaver said, “I am here because I am tired of this massive shift of wealth to the very wealthy. There is just this huge sucking sound as our money is taken up by the top.”
Jocelyn Luciano added, “It’s the money in our political system that corrupts politics. Another pivotal moment was corporate personhood.” Commenting on the cuts to public education, Jon said, “Last thing they want is an educated workforce when workers will only have Wal-Mart jobs.”