Portland protest - Red House


Video shows protesters forcing police to retreat from home where Black family was evicted

Protesters gathered outside the Kinney family's home to 'reclaim' their property.


Nahila Bonfiglio


Posted on Dec 9, 2020   Updated on Dec 9, 2020, 8:34 am CST

A viral video shows protesters in Portland, Oregon, forcing police on Tuesday to retreat from the home where a Black and Indigenous family was evicted in September.

Protesters were enraged over the Kinney family’s eviction and the continued gentrification of their community. The Kinneys had owned the home on North Mississippi Avenue—nicknamed “The Red House on Mississippi”—since the 1950s and had previously paid off the property. In 2002, the family took out a second mortgage in an effort to aid a family member who was facing legal struggles. The home ultimately entered foreclosure and was sold to a property development group in 2018. 

The eviction effort was stalled repeatedly, and in March, Oregon declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. The state issued an eviction moratorium on April 1, and a federal eviction moratorium followed on Sept. 1. Although Oregon’s eviction moratorium lasts through the end of December, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says it does not apply to the Kinneys’ house because the moratoriums “do not apply to evictions based on post-nonjudicial foreclosures,” according to KOIN.

In response, protesters have begun camping outside the house to protest the family’s eviction. They say their presence is intended to “reclaim” the property for the Kinneys, the Hill reports.

The new owner reportedly contacted police about people trespassing on the property. Police arrived at the scene early Tuesday morning, arresting seven protesters. By around 10:30am, police had blocked off the nearby streets and sidewalks and erected a fence around the property.

The fence didn’t last long. Protesters soon dismantled it, adding its pieces to their barricade. A video of the process shows protesters hauling the fence down and chanting, “What did you see? Didn’t see shit.”

Soon after, violence broke out. Police attempted to make further arrests, based on multiple complaints about the property, according to a police report. Police say they have received more than 80 calls regarding the property, ranging from complaints of vandalism, burglary, and trespassing to noise complaints regarding gunshots and fights.

A viral video, which has collected more than 60,000 upvotes on r/PublicFreakout, shows the tension between police and protesters reach its boiling point. A police car backs away from the property, sirens blaring, as protesters follow the vehicle on foot. One protester wields a rock, but most are unarmed, instead launching kicks and punches at the retreating vehicle.

The masked protesters form a line, blocking police from approaching the home. Most of their shouted demands are unintelligible in the video, but they can be heard telling police to “get out,” “fuck off,” and “go” near the clip’s end.

Following the violence between police and protesters, police arrested a man on the property who was in possession of a firearm. Later reports claim that more firearms were found in the area.

The Kinney family says their eviction is illegal and has launched a GoFundMe to save their home. It has raised nearly $90,000 of its $250,000 goal so far.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Red House on Mississippi, the protest group’s website, for comment.

H/T the Hill

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*First Published: Dec 9, 2020, 8:25 am CST