Protesters Erect New Autonomous Zone in Portland to Prevent Black Family's Eviction

Protesters Erect New Autonomous Zone in Portland to Prevent
Black Family's Eviction 1

Portland protesters repurposed fences and barricades to erect a new autonomous zone in an effort to resist the eviction of a Black family.

Protesters have been camping out for months to prevent the eviction of the Kinney family but on Tuesday morning, tensions escalated and protesters used fences and barricades set up by law enforcement officials to surround the home, which has been named the “Red House on Mississippi” due to it’s location on Mississippi Ave. in North Portland.

Zane Sparling of the Portland Tribune shared photos and videos on Twitter of the autonomous zone set up around the home.

“Portland has a new autonomous zone here on Mississippi Avenue,” Sparling wrote, featuring a video showing fences and other items used as barricades to stop law enforcement officials from entering the area.

“The barricades at Portland’s newest autonomous zone are being reinforced with power tools… no sign of police since they were forced back. Observers tell me the clash reminded them of recent scenes in Paris,” Sparling wrote in another tweet, showing several pictures of signs around the autonomous zone that read, “Red House Sovereignty” and “No Jurisdiction.”

The newly erected autonomous zone comes after months of months of battles between the Kinney family, protesters and law enforcement officials.

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According to a website for the red house, the home was foreclosed on in 2018, but the Kinney family, who have lived in the home for 65 years, challenged the foreclosure. Despite the challenge and a long legal battle, a Multnomah County Judge sanctioned the eviction in February, commanding the county’s sheriff’s office to remove the family.

“The judgment was issued prior to state and federal emergency moratoriums. The eviction moratoriums do not apply to evictions based on post-nonjudicial foreclosures, such as this case,” the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a press release.

Oregon State Troopers block a street as they confront protesters in Portland, Oregon on November 4, 2020, during a demonstration called by the “Black Lives Matter” movement, a day after the US Presidential Election. Kathryn Elsesser/Getty

Following the judge’s orders, protesters have gathered outside the house to prevent the family’s eviction.

Newsweek reached out to the Kinney’s family spokesperson for comment but did not receive a reply before publication,.

According to a release from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 5 a.m. local time on Tuesday, officers “with the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau, revisited a property in the 4400 block of Mississippi Ave. in North Portland to re-secure a home in which the occupants were previously ordered removed by court order.”

A press release from the Portland Police Department echoed similar statements but noted that “over the past three months, people have been illegally trespassing on properties on Mississippi Avenue, including in a house and on privately owned lots. Today, police encountered people trespassing at these locations.”

According to the press release from the Portland Police Department, over the past three months call-log data shows at least 81 calls being placed “for issues related to these properties and the immediate area.”

“Calls for service included, but were not limited to: fights, disturbances, shots fired, burglary, thefts, vandalism, noise violations, trespassing, threats (including by armed individuals), and for illegally blocking traffic, sidewalks and access to homes,” the release states.

Amid the escalating tensions between protesters and law enforcement officials on Tuesday, at least seven individuals were arrested, according to the Portland Police Department. All were charged with trespassing.

Newsweek reached out to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Portland Police Department for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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