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Schrunk Plaza Reopens, Occupiers Talk Of Return

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon celebrated the reopening of Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland Thursday.  Some occupiers also announced plans to return.

The ACLU points out that December 15th is the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Spokeswoman Jan Carson says Americans have the rights to peacefully assemble; to freely associate and to speak freely, but they need somewhere like the plaza to do it.

The plaza is federally owned, and had been closed since November 22nd.

Vietnam veteran Wade Varner says he and other Occupy protesters are already applying for a permit for a demonstration.

“It’s only a matter of a few more weeks and we’ll be back here holding our general assemblies, we’ll be back with a 24-hour vigil. And that’s what matters most. Because if the people don’t have a place to gather and talk about their grievances, then what the hell did I fight for,” Varner said.

According to Varner the plan is not to camp in the park, but have a presence 24/7.

Terry Schrunk plaza was not damaged during the occupy protest. But the two nearby city parks that were damaged remain closed.