That was one of my first thoughts today when I left my office building in downtown Portland to run a couple of errands on my lunch break. Several helicopters were hovering overhead, police sirens were wailing, car horns were honking... and I was thinking, what the hell is going on??
Today Occupy Portland took to the street to "occupy" banks and bridges. They started out this morning by protesting on the Steel Bridge and messing with several people's morning commutes when the bridge was shut down. Thankfully I just barely made it over the bridge before they started moving in... I could them all from the MAX window.
Headed downtown, they then proceeded to "Occupy" several banks and apparently shut down one downtown Wells Fargo branch for about an hour with several people being arrested, and the police hauling out the pepper spray.
There was also a big protest on 5th and Alder... about 6 blocks from my office. Which explains all of the chaos and over stimulation that I experienced on my lunch break. We watched some of the live feed coverage as it was going on... lots of people, lots of police in riot gear... lots of emotionally charge scariness. But, I had a hard time taking my eyes off of the coverage.
Last weekend as the police were moving people out of the Occupy camps downtown and putting up fences around the park, I watched for HOURS. I couldn't help but feel a strong need to observe as I knew that I was watching history in the making. I've never experienced anything like this in my life before. Sociologically speaking, it's all very interesting... as long as they don't make me late for work. ;)