The standoff between police and Occupy Portland protesters yesterday appears to have ended peacefully, with Oregon Live reporting the parks are empty this morning. But the destruction the movement left in its wake looks it was pulled from a scene in “Hoarders.” The parks are unusable – muddy and grassless, strewn with garbage and makeshift shelters. You can see police trying to clear out the debris in some of these photos, but it’s clearly going to take a significant amount of time and money to restore them. Just for the sake of comparison, here’s the beautiful, historical Lownsdale Square – which housed a monument from the Spanish-American war – before Occupy Portland got a hold of it.
With the sexual assault, riots, attacks on police, and other heinous crimes coming out of the protests, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the basic destruction the movement carries out just by existing. There is no safe and hygienic way for dozens of people to live in a park for weeks at a time. The protesters in Portland have been commended for their peacefulness – for not attacking police officers attempting to evict them from their campsite. They shouldn’t be. Even when everything ends without conflict, 99 percent of the city is still left to deal with a mess created by one percent of the residents.