“This is the Portland Police Bureau,” echoes the loudspeaker, “Under the authority of Oregon law, Southwest Main Street is being re-opened to vehicular traffic.”
Tiered riot cops are buffed faceless behind masks and shields; batons across chests and tear gas rifles (“less lethal launchers”) made ready. Some officers mount horses and others stand in rows, blocking Main Street at SW 3rd.
Persistent threats from mobile loudspeakers gnaw into the chants and side-chants of Occupy protesters, identifying the PPB’s legal right to use force up to and including the use of chemical agents, should Occupy protesters remain in the street.
If the cops have a voice, this is it. The litigious orchestration of power.
Behind the riot squad, bulldozers and cleanup crews dump tents, food, and occupiers’ personal belongings into behemoth trash receptacles. Amidst are those most dedicated to the movement, those who’ve refused to leave the park. They are being arrested. Some sit quietly with their hands cuffed behind park benches; others are thrown to the ground.