Mayor Sam Adams

Occupying Portland History. Occupying Our Future.

Echoes of angry Occupy Portland protesters filled the streets and caromed off downtown towers last week. There were echoes, too, of passionate and angry voices of a different time. 

Last week was not the first time protesters in Portland seized city park blocks and obstructed traffic. Nor was it the first time police in riot gear forcefully cleared protesters from city park blocks. And the scene of angry protesters shouting down the mayor in front of city hall and then marching to the Portland State University campus was not new.

But it hasn’t happened since May 1970, when students closed down the Portland State University campus for seven days, occupying the South Park Blocks and barricading streets. Those were the days of rage against the war in Southeast Asia, racism and distrust of an unpopular president.