By Amanda Eckerson, Contributing Writer
On the corner of Third and Main Street, a village is being constructed. The organizers and allies of Occupy Portland have begun laying down hay to cover mud, hanging tarps to keep out the rain, and developing internal infrastructure to support their movement. Seven blocks away, members of the Right 2 Dream Too (R2D2), have taken over the lease of an empty lot by the Chinatown gate, and begun constructing a rest area for houseless members of their community. There are very real differences between these two instances, which have recently occurred in Portland: one is an occupation of public land, the other has a lease on private land. The occupation has been given tentative permission by the city, while R2D2’s occupancy is being disputed as illegal.
People are virtually abandoning their homes to join the Occupy Portland movement, while members of R2D2 are reacting to the fact they have no place to sleep. Despite these elements, there is a deeper strand of solidarity that exists between these two movements. Both groups are responding to the larger inequality of our social system, the lack of access to political power, and the rights of all of us to dream. Continue reading