Campers given 10 p.m. deadline to vacate Terry Schrunk Plaza
PORTLAND, Ore. - After city police kicked them off the sidewalk in front of City Hall a few weeks ago, campers moved across the street to Terry Schrunk Plaza.
The plaza is on U.S. government property and federal agents say the campers need to leave by 10 tonight for routine maintenance.
The campers moved to Terry Schrunk Plaza after Mayor Charlie Hales got fed up with the mess, fights and crime outside City Hall and ordered them to leave.
During a news conference more than a week ago, Hales said his order wasn't about homelessness, it was about lawlessness. He said the city is just enforcing current laws and people can sleep on the sidewalks but can't live there.
But it's not the mess that led to the Terry Schrunk Plaza eviction notice. The plaza will be fenced off for maintenance, which will include sprucing up the green space.
"Last night, they (campers) called a circle - a drum circle to discuss their plans and what they're going to do," said camper Angela Hammit.
Campers said the authorities are expecting them to fight back. If campers do, they'll face agents from Federal Protective Services. Portland police will also be on hand to make sure the campers don't just cross the street into city parks - Chapman and Lownsdale squares.
Many of the neighbors who live and work nearby are also fed up.
"There's tents, trash, feces, there's stuff everywhere," said Taylor Geyor.
The campers said they made a decision in that "drum circle" to not fight back and will leave at 10 p.m. That may be because the feds said they can come back as long as they follow park rules. The park opens again in a week.