The New Encampment

The Occupy Portland takeover of Chapman and Lowndesdale parks ended back in November with a major confrontation with police in riot gear and a few dozen arrests. Since then, there have been sporadic attempts at re-encampment and promises of more to come. Nevertheless, the Occupy Portland movement has been essentially quiet, joining forces from time to time with protests of specific interest groups. One Occupy Portland activist took a stab at running for mayor. He now has planted himself in front of City Hall. His latest antic includes a hunger strike.

Cameron Whitten has established a section of sidewalk in front of City Hall as his new home. He is surrounded by a handful of cronies and a plethora of signs, akin to what was seen just across the street at the Occupy Portland encampment last fall. He purports to be advocating an end to homelessness. To this end, he remains around the clock in plain sight. He is on day 21 of a self-imposed hunger strike. He reportedly is living on a liquid diet consisting mostly of fruit juices.

Handouts are available describing the grievances and demands of this 21-year-old who only recently was associated with Occupy Portland but is now trying to make a name for himself and himself alone.

I found Cameron Whitten on this 21st day of his hunger strike at his station. He was friendly and jubilant, and was eager to smile for the camera.


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