Today, I found out that I am not really cut out to be a beat reporter. I spent about 90 minutes at the Occupy Portland camp site just to check it out. I was interested in what people thought they were trying to accomplish; however, it was quite tough for me to approach strangers and just start asking questions. It was also difficult for me to build rapport and banter back and forth. I lacked a tape recorder and had a hard time keeping up with the conversation while taking notes with a pen… I really need to build up my communication skills and join Toastmasters soon.
The Occupy Portland protesters rallied and marched on October 6th and since then, have camped out on two city park blocks. I have seen a few clips on the news, but hadn’t had a chance to drop by until today. It was quite a sight, the two parks were full of tents and look a lot different than normal. The campers were mostly younger activists/protesters and as the day went on, I saw more non campers showing up for support and marches. The campers were a bit scruffy and the non campers looked more like middle class America who could go home, clean up, then return to the protest site.
From what I saw, the camp is quite organized with a communal kitchen, 2 first aid tents, info tent, and a media tent. I heard there was a couple of port-a-potties and luckily, there was also a park restroom right there. It was quite impressive really. They seem to have grassroots and local business support with food donations and even the port-a-potties were donated. Many people were volunteering at various tents and things were generally peaceful and orderly. I talked with 4-5 people and will write a longer post on their opinions tomorrow.