Are Occupy Portland groups splintering?

Are Occupy Portland groups splintering?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Occupy Portland demonstrators joined environmental groups and marched through downtown Portland, protesting a proposed oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The group backs Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauser's calls for an investigation into a possible state department corruption tied to the project. This comes as there may be a split in the group nearly a month into the protest.

At Terry Schrunk Plaza, there are no signs yet that federal authorities plan to remove those occupiers who moved in overnight even though some of them were arrested and removed once already this past week. But there does seem to be a split developing among some of the protesters who have turned to vandalism. That's drawn criticism from demonstrators pushing peaceful protests for Occupy Portland.

Some Occupy Portland protesters, chained to a barrel filled with concrete and locked to each other with bike locks, moved back into Schrunk Plaza and say they're there to risk an arrest based on constitutional grounds.

"We're tired of Constitutional rights being taken away in any place, at any time," said Bosh Paro, a man who was chained in Schrunk Plaza. "I think it's ridiculous that I'm now allowed to sit here at 12:02 a.m. and express my First Amendment right."

Ben Morrow was also chained in Schrunk Plaza.

"This is not violence," he said. "This is not vandalism, other than our Constitutional rights."

On Saturday, an anonymous email to Portland Police claimed to represent 'The Real Occupy Portland.' The email claimed responsibility for vandalism at two Northeast Portland banks. But even that claim is now in question. In a separate email to police, organizers of 'The Real Occupy Portland' group said, "The purpose of our organization is to support the non-violent Occupy Movement across the country. 'The Real Occupy Portland' is not connected with these acts of violence and does not condone any vandalism or violence."

Even Chase Bank customers who understand the Occupy movement's right to protest don't understand anyone damaging property.

"Obviously, no one's going to take the movement seriously if they're vandalizing stuff," said Jeff Lee, a Chase Bank customer. "That's really not the way to make a point, I don't think."

A woman named Judy, who didn't want to reveal her last name, came to the protest the protesters. She said whether or not the occupation is peaceful, it's simply gone on too long.

"Tax money is being spent to police it and I just think it's gotten out of hand," she said.

Back at the bike locks and barrel, demonstrators condemn property damage.

"I don't need to put occupy anything on the side of a bank," Paro said. "I don't know. It's childish."

KATU News attempted to interview those behind 'The Real Occupy Portland' group Sunday, but those attempts were unsuccessful. There's also new resistance from the larger group. This past week, they shared a route for a march with police. Occupy Portland's general assembly decided not to do that anymore, even though police said it helps them keep marchers safer on the streets.