As someone who used support Occupy Portland I have been very disappointed into what Occupy Portland has evolved into and my personal opinion is that is evolved from an intelligent gathering of people to discuss common grievances with our government, big banks, political system and much more and has mutated into this very annoying broken-record protest that is almost like a tantrum versus a solution.
I wanted to take a look at how Occupy Portland is actually negatively impacting the residents of Portland and Small Business:
Private, Public and Business Property Damage
Occupy Portland has tried to separate itself from property damage that has occurred during events that it directly supported and listed on its website or officially endorsed. The property damage includes damage to vehicles, parks, small businesses and banks all of which costs money and impacts consumers.
Result = Costs Consumers, Local Government and Businesses to do repairs which often may in the case of government be passed along to tax payers and in the case of business may result in higher prices for consumers.
Traffic & Congestion
There is no doubt that nearly every time a Occupy Portland event occurs that the result is disruption of traffic often during heavy commuting and this inconveniences people who are trying to get to and from work.
Result = Major Inconvenience to residents and added gas costs
Legal, Law Enforcement and Justice System costs
Nearly every time Occupy Portland has had an event there have been response by law enforcement and when there is a response the Portland Police has to deny breaks and keeps officers on-duty after their shift ends causing an exploding use of overtime that will result in larger budget shortfalls and reductions in services to the community in the future. Additionally every time a protester is arrested the cost of booking them in the jail and then processing them through the justice system is also very expensive and can cost many thousands of dollars per arrest.
Result = According to the City of Portland during one weekend alone the City will have paid over $2 million in overtime and there has been no further comment yet as to how much the cost has increased overtime and how this will change future budgets and impact services to residents.
In the end what positive change will Occupy Portland have brought the 99% if any? What change have the brought so far? There is no doubt that the movement is dwindling in support and that there has been a trend of Portland residents using social media to share their frustrations with the protest.
How long can local governments be lenient towards protesters who disobey local ordinances and laws and interrupt traffic and damage property? Who should be responsible for these extra costs? Should Mayor Sam Adams do a better job of balancing the rights of residents and protesters?
When I think of how Occupy Portland works today versus the past the following image comes into my mind…..