Tensions over eviction of Black-Indigenous family in Portland reach boiling point as protesters clash with police

A small red house on North Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregón, has become a focal point in the city’s struggle with the issues of raza, predatory lending and gentrification.

los “Red House,” as it is known, has been owned by the Kinneys, a Black and Indigenous family, por el último 65 años. The family is now facing eviction, claiming to be victims of systemic racism and redlining.
Protesters have shown up in support, occupying the home and area around it to the discomfort of neighbors, two different law enforcement departments and city officials.
And their presence has led to violent clashes with the police, with the mayor commanding officers touse all lawful meansto end the protests.
    What is happening on North Mississippi Avenue didn’t just pop up overnightit is the result of systemic problems and of a series of events that go back years.

    Kinney family takes out a loan in 2002

    William and Pauline Kinney moved to Portland from Little Rock, Arkansas, to escape segregation and the horrors that plagued the South at the time.
    Little did they know they would be facing a different type of segregation out Westthey were denied a loan for the house because of redliningthe practice of color-coding federal government maps of every community. African American neighborhoods were colored red, a warning to lenders that it was too risky to insure mortgages in those areas.
    Como resultado, the Kinneys bought the red houseoutright with cash” en 1955, de acuerdo a the Red House website.
    William Kinney Jr., the couple’s eldest son, said the house at one point served as a rental for Black families. En 1983, he moved in with his wife, Julie, who is an Indigenous Native American of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington, according to the website. The couple raised their three children there.
    Protesters build defensive structures around the Red House on Mississippi on December 9, 2020 in Portland, Oregón.

    The Kinneys problems started in 2002, when they took out a loan against their home to pay for their 17-year-old son’s legal fees, the Red House website says. And after years of disputes with their mortgage lender, their home ended up being sold at auction as a nonjudicial foreclosure in October 2018.
    The tactics we are facing, of sneaky and illegal foreclosure tactics, predatory banking and loans, elected judges who take campaign contributions from the real estate industry, coupled with violence from law enforcement and no real due process, have been used across this historically Black neighborhood to displace Black and poor people,” Julie Metcalf Kinney, the family matriarch, dijo en un comunicado. “If Black and Indigenous lives matter in Portland, this must stop.

    Protesters gather to fight eviction

    The Multnomah County Circuit Court issued a writ of execution for an eviction at the Red House in February, de acuerdo a the county sheriff’s office. This was before Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a state of emergency in March in response to Covid-19.
    The sheriff’s office noted that the eviction notice was issued before either the state or federal emergency moratoriums on evictions went into effect.
    We understand evictions are challenging proceedings even in the best of circumstances,” Sheriff Mike Reese said. “I believe everyone should have access to appropriate housing.
    Activists and the Kinney family speak to the press about the citys attempted eviction of residents from the Red House on Mississippi Avenue on December 9, 2020 in Portland, Oregón.

    The state of emergency halted the eviction for six months, de acuerdo a a news release from the Red House website. But on September 9, Multnomah County deputies served the court order to the family, la oficina del alguacil dijo.
    After the eviction order, protesters began converging on the house in support, “trespassing on the home’s front and backyards, and camping on adjacent privately owned and city-owned properties,” the sheriff’s statement added.
    They joined the family and have not left the property since September, resulting in multiple clashes with law enforcement. A sheriff’s office news release says 81 calls for service were made between September 1 y noviembre 30, because of fights, disparos, burglary, thefts, vandalism, noise violations and threats by armed individuals.
    El martes por la mañana, officers showed up at the Red House to force the family out.
    Protesters push police out of the area around the Red House on Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregón, en diciembre 8, 2020, after a failed attempt at evicting residents from the property.

    Coya Crespin, with the Community Alliance of Tenants, told CNN affiliate KPTV the encampment at the Red House was not only for the Kinneys, but also in part to protest gentrification.
    This is systemic oppression. This is gentrification at real time,” Crespin said.
    Neighbors spoke to CNN affiliate KATU-TV, with some saying they worried for their safety.
    If there are some sort of demands or specific requests that the people are protesting for, they can verbalize those to a party that could hear them, and then maybe they can come to a mutual agreement or conclusion that people could get behind,” Christopher Ammerman told KATU.
    Other neighbors saw both sides of the argument, like RJ Florestan. He said it’s not the easiest time for people to be displaced.
    “Asi que, you sympathize with people, but you also sympathize with the homeowners. You sympathize with the people in the neighborhood who have children and have to pass by that debacle every day, and it gets straining. You don’t know who’s out there, you don’t know who’s sitting up there on that hill,” Florestan said.

    Portland steps up effort to control property

    The Portland Police Bureau helped contractors enter the Red House andfence the propertyTuesday morning, la policía dijo.
    During the fencing, “people attempted to get inside the perimeter at various locations, despite the presence of uniformed police personnel, police vehicles and police tape,” la policía dijo.
    Officers made some arrests and reported using pepper spray in at least one instance,” the bureau said. “As police stood on the perimeter, some were subjected to thrown objects such as rocks and paint-filled balloons.
    Later that morning, police removed the perimeter around the home and left the scene at which pointpeople removed a portion of the fence and entered the private property,” la policía dijo.
    Layers of chainlink fence and wood block the North entry to the Red House on Mississippi Avenue on December 9, 2020 in Portland, Oregón.

    Portland Police returned and attempted to disperse people from the property, sin embargo, people began throwing objects at police vehicles and officers, broke police vehicle windows and flattened tires on two police vehicles,” la policía dijo.
    As a result of the chaos that morning, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted él era “authorizing the Portland Police to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation on North Mississippi Avenue and to hold those violating our community’s laws accountable.
    There will be no autonomous zone in Portland,” Wheeler tweeted. “It’s time for the encampment and occupation to end. There are many ways to protest and work toward needed reform. Illegally occupying private property, openly carrying weapons, threatening and intimidating people are not among them.
    Protesters push police out of the area around the Red House on Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregón, en diciembre 8, 2020.

    Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell says the bureau wants a peaceful and safe resolution to the conflict on North Mississippi Avenue.
    Our goal is for this to resolve peacefully to increase safety for all involved. I encourage those involved to reach out to our demonstration liaisons so we can discuss a peaceful outcome,” él dijo.
    William Nietzche, the lawyer for the Kinney family, told CNN that they have filed federal and local cases fighting the eviction.
      After losing one federal lawsuit in the District Court of Oregon last year, the family appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court, which denied their petition, los registros muestran.
      El mes pasado, Neitzche explained, the family appealed to the US Supreme Court and are waiting to hear if the court will take up their case.

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