Protesters march in county building, demand sheriff cease evictions

Protesters march in county building, demand sheriff cease evictions

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dozens of protesters marched into the Multnomah County Building in Southeast Portland Thursday afternoon to give the sheriff a piece of their collective minds about a couple booted out of their home.

Sheriff Dan Staton did open his door to listen to them but the protesters didn't like what he said.

It's a tactic protesters have been trying in recent months when someone is kicked out their home that's in foreclosure.

On Thursday, dozens filled the foyer chanting, waving signs and walking in circles, calling the sheriff's office a private security force for mortgage broker Fannie Mae.

But the sheriff said his hands are tied.

The demonstrators were rallying around Ron and Debbie Austin. They were recently booted from their Northeast Portland home, which now has a private security guard to keep anyone from returning.

"Last time we were here the sheriff actually locked his door and left the building and wouldn't speak with us," said Kari Koch with We Are Oregon. "And this time he has sent his undersheriff down to offer a meeting with Debbie and some other folks from the Housing Justice Defenders League and so folks are upstairs meeting with him right now. They'll come back down and report what happened with that, but either way our demand remains the same: that we want no more evictions, we want a moratorium on evictions in Multnomah County." 

The sheriff said in a press release he sympathizes with people losing their homes but he is the sheriff and he has to enforce the law.