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Occupy Portland Takes A New Twist

The Occupy movement took a new twist this week.

Several Portland homeowners, who are going through the foreclosure process, say they will not leave voluntarily when the sheriff comes to evict them.

House "occupied" in Portland.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

Debbie Austin lives with her husband and two adult children in a modest home in Northeast Portland. Over the last few years, her husband lost his second job; he was diagnosed with cancer; and they’ve declared bankruptcy. Now, they’ve been given an eviction order for March 2nd. But Austin says she’s not going to leave.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB
Supporters gather at a house "occupied" in Northeast Portland.

“I’m not planning on packing up. I told my husband and my children. I said I don’t expect you to be arrested and I wouldn’t want you to. But I will stand. And if I have to be arrested, so be it,” she said.

A coalition of local groups is asking the Multnomah County Sheriff to stop enforcing eviction notices, as has happened in some other counties. A spokesman says the sheriff will continue to uphold the law in accordance with local statues.

Meanwhile, several large mortgage lenders have said they won’t foreclose on struggling homeowners for a 15 day period over the holidays. It’s a move some homeowners have dismissed as meaningless.

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