Almost $49,000 still needed to reach fundraising goal

The Portland Parks Foundation Fund has now raised around $37,000 of the $85,850 needed to repair Chapman and Lownsdale squares after the Occupy Portland camp there.

The latest large contribution was a pledge of $4,000 from the Portland Marathon, which uses the squares to help stage its annual fundraising run. Umpqua Bank previously pledged $25,000, and the rest of the money has come from individuals giving between $10 and $100.

Hundreds of protesters began camping in the squares near City Hall after an Oct. 6 march though downtown to protest Wall Street. Mayor Sam Adams allowed them to stay for more than five weeks, saying their free speech right trumped city policies against camping on public property. He ordered police to evict them on Nov. 13, however, amid growing crime and public health concerns.

Police have subsequently prevented protesters from camping in a portion of the South Park Blocks. Lawyers working with protesters have not yet asked the courts to allow them to camp on any public property, apparently because the legal issues are complex and victory is not assured.

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