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Enough with Occupy Portland

On Thursday Nov. 10, the mayor of Portland held a news conference to inform the public that beginning Sunday, Nov. 13, at 12:01 a.m., Lawnsdale and Chapman Parks would be closed for restoration, and when they reopen, ordinances will be in effect to prevent camping, such as the case with Occupy Portland.

The mayor said the reasons for closing the parks were two serious drug overdoses, a Molotov cocktail thrown at a government building, an increase in crime affecting the community, and health and sanitation issues. He also said he would not apologize to the general public for his stand about letting Occupy Portland use the parks even though there is an ordinance preventing this use because of what he terms a 'free speech issue.'

In the meantime, more information is coming forth about who is supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement. An old friend has reappeared in the news just when we thought it was gone. I am referring to ACORN - remember them during the last election? Well, they are back operating under a new name, New York Communities for Change. The name may be new, but the tricks are the same.

In a recent column by Jana Winter ('ACORN Officials Scramble, Firing Workers and Shredding Documents, After Exposed as Players Behind Occupy Wall Street Protests,' Nov. 3, 2011, FoxNews.com), Winter brings our attention to a recent revelation that 'Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York - operating as New York Communities for Change - have fired staff and shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a FoxNews.com report recently on the group's involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources.'

Winter also points out in the article that NYCC is currently installing surveillance cameras and recording devices at the Brooklyn offices while removing or packing away all supplies bearing the name ACORN and making sure their staff get photos of Fox News staff accompanied with a stern warning not to talk to the media, the sources said.

The report by Winter identified NYCC 'as a key organizing force behind the Occupy Wall Street protests' while we are hearing in the media that this movement is a grassroots movement of average middle-class Americans with no leaders or spokespersons.

Also FoxNews.com brought out in the same article that ACORN officials were 'hiring people to carry signs and join the protests.' While they claim to represent the 99 percent, in reality, in my opinion, they represent less than 1 percent, which puts a different spin on the movement. Winter further said that photo copies of Senior Fox News Correspondent Eric Shawn and several others including Winter were being handed out to NYCC staff while reminding them that they could be 'fired, sued, arrested for talking to the press.' Staff behavior is being monitored by NYCC and all documents including scraps are being shredded every night.

There is a lot more to this story, but it makes you wonder who else is behind the Occupy Wall Street protest and what their real agenda is. ACORN is no Main Street or conservative operation, and with them and left-wing financier George Soros ('$3.6 million from Soros backs 'Occupy Wall Street,' media ignore or downplay connection' by Iris Somberg), it makes me wonder who else is financing and directing this movement?

Then locally, you have big labor (Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon AFSCME and others) marching in solidarity with Occupy Portland, which makes you also wonder what is the connection here.

When is enough enough? Here in Portland, who is going to pay the cost of restoring the parks and police overtime? Unfortunately, it will be you and me even when laws are broken, and what is frustrating with a movement like this is these people don't want a hand up, but a handout for nothing.

Louis H. Bowerman lives in Southeast Portland.