Portland police, demonstrators clash over eviction order

Demonstrators threw rocks at officers and damaged police vehicles after 7 people were arrested Tuesday for trespassing at a home that's been the site of protests


By Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters outraged with the arrests of seven people at a home where a family was evicted in September hurled rocks at officers, sprayed a fire extinguisher at them and damaged police vehicles on Tuesday.

The violence happened in broad daylight. Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. But most happened at night.

Protesters who have camped for months to prevent a Black and Indigenous family from being forced to leave a home took the property back Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, after morning clashes with police, who said they were working to
Protesters who have camped for months to prevent a Black and Indigenous family from being forced to leave a home took the property back Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, after morning clashes with police, who said they were working to "re-secure" the foreclosed home. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

A group of activists for months have camped at the home dubbed “Red House on Mississippi” because it is on North Mississippi Avenue — to express their outrage against gentrification and the eviction of the Black and Indigenous family in September.

The property's owner complained that people were trespassing and officers showed up before dawn and made the arrests. TV images showed the clashes Tuesday morning.

The Oregonian reported that the house had belonged to the Kinney family since the 1950s, according to the website for the Red House on Mississippi group protesting the eviction.

The activists have said they camped at the property to “to reclaim” it for family.

Following the arrests and the clashes, protesters Tuesday afternoon used power tools to set up a barricade with wire fencing, debris and wood pallets to block off street access to the house. The demonstrators also hung signs saying “Stop the Foreclosures” and “No Jurisdiction.”

The Kinneys paid off their house but took out a new mortgage to pay defense lawyers after a family member was arrested in 2002, the Red House on the Mississippi group has said.

The house went into foreclosure and was sold to a developer at a 2018 auction, according to the group.

Police before making the arrests blocked streets and sidewalks around the property to help sheriff's deputies get the people off of the property, a police statement said.

One of the people at the property had a gun and was taken into custody and officers also found more guns on the property, the statement said.

Officers stood guard while the house was boarded up and the fence was erected only to be dismantled by the protesters to help create their barricade.

Police in their statement said authorities between September and November receive dat least 81 calls about the property — including reports of fights, shots fired, burglary, thefts, vandalism, noise violations, trespassing, threats and illegally blocking traffic, sidewalks and access to homes.

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