PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Don’t Shoot PDX protesters demanding Mayor Charlie Hales’ resignation camped in front of his Southeast Portland home Saturday and told KOIN 6 News they will stay at least a few more days.
However, around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, KOIN 6 News didn’t see any protesters around. Another check shortly before 8 p.m. confirmed the protesters had left the neighborhood.
The group made its way to Hales’ house after meeting at a separate location on Friday afternoon before marching down McLaughlin Blvd. Protesters chanted “Charlie resign now” as they settled in on the sidewalk in front of his home. They want Hales to resign over what they call an abuse of power.
Hales term as mayor of Portland continues until January, when current Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler will be sworn in. Wheeler won the election with more than 50% of the vote in the May primary.
Organizers told KOIN 6 News about 75 people camped out Friday night, though KOIN 6 News could not verify that number.
Gregory McKelvey, the organizer of this Don’t Shoot PDX protest, told KOIN 6 News they plan “to be here until he resigns.”
He later added the protesters would be there “indefinitely,” and then pressed for a better time frame he said, “Definitely for at least a few days.”
At least 2 Portland Police officers were in the area when the protesters arrived around 5 p.m. Friday, but things were peaceful as the group unpacked tents and distributed water.
As it got dark and the rain started coming down, campers stood their ground and appeared to be ready to stay a while.
Gregory McKelvey shared an open letter to the mayor on October 13 detailing the group’s frustrations with the city and handling of the recently approved Portland Police Association contract. In the 5-page letter, McKelvey called for the mayor’s resignation and said they would protest until he steps down.
However, some of the protesters who camped at Hales’ house and spoke with KOIN 6 News were confused about the issues over why they were protesting.
Previous protests on October 12 and 13 got heated and 10 people were arrested Wednesday at City Hall. Activists camped out at City Hall in an attempt to protest the approval of the contract, but City Council members did approve it in a 3-1 vote.
KOIN 6 News reporter Eileen Park contributed to this report.