Several hundred people marched through northeast Portland today in a national protest of budget policy. Solidarity Against Austerity says governments are balancing budgets on the backs of citizens who can least afford it, and who had little to do with instability in the public and private sector. Portland activist Ahjamu Umi explained what austerity means to him.
“It means that this is a system that places profit over people, and multi-national corporate values issues and concerns over the over the everyday issues of people on the streets.”
The protestors marched around several blocks in the Lloyd district. Police used pepper spray on some demonstrators. A police bureau account says the spray was used on people who were confronting police with wooden shields, but demonstrators claimed they were doing nothing illegal.
The group that organized the march is Portland Action Lab, which sprang from the Occupy movement last year.