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Portland Autonomous Zone Ends After Mayor Negotiates With and Apologizes to Illegal Occupiers

Portland Autonomous Zone Ends After Mayor Negotiates With and Apologizes to Illegal Occupiers

by Leah AnayaDecember 13, 2020

Portland OR – If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk to go with it.

If you give a nationally recognized terrorist organization a city block in a free America…where will their demands end?

LENN has been reporting on the “autonomous zone” in Portland at what’s called the Red House on Mississippi. The home, formerly owned by The Kinney family, was foreclosed for nonpayment and purchased by a developer, Urban Housing Development LLC, in 2018. The family was illegally occupying the residence, including following an eviction noticed served in September. Activists claiming to be a part of Black Lives Matter and Antifa occupied the home with the family, fighting off police when they came to again serve the eviction notice.

After police fled, the groups blocked off about three blocks surrounding the home with booby traps, weapons, and armed guards, dubbing it the Red House Autonomous Zone, a nod to the similar zone set up on Capitol Hill in Seattle, named the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).

As the occupation began to take hold, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made a statement saying he authorized police to shut down the zone by “all lawful means.” Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell also made comments, to include, “Those at the barricade should put down their weapons, leave it behind and allow the neighborhood to return to peace and order. Portland police will enforce the law and use force if necessary to restore order.”

Not long after making those statements, both men retracted their comments. They also began negotiating with the illegal occupiers and the activists staying with them.

Authorities agreed to not evict the illegal occupants while the family was still in legal proceedings over the house if the occupiers shut down the autonomous zone by Monday evening and allowed the rest of the residents in the area to have their neighborhood back. The neighborhood had been vandalized by damage and graffiti at even higher levels since the occupation began.

Additionally, both the Mayor and the Chief wrote a letter of apology to the Kinney family, who then shared it with the press. They said that the Kinney family was subjected to “threats” after the comments were made, and a detective has been assigned to investigate said threats.

In part, the letter said, “We apologize and understand that following our tweets earlier this week that your family received threats. We did not intend to attract attention that results in threats of harm and violence to your family or that escalated tensions in our community. Nobody should be subjected to this kind of stress and harm, and we apologize for the role our tweets played in this.”

Activist Mac Smiff said the agreement was a “negotiation and a win.” He said, “This is a whole new level of progress and the impacts are going to reverberate around the nation. This isn’t like what we’ve seen before. It’s a negotiation and a win, and that’s something we’re just not used to.”

The Kinney family, who didn’t disclose owning a second home just two miles from the Red House, started a GoFundMe in order to raise the money to buy the home back from the developer. At the time of this writing, the fund had raised over $308,000.

The owner of Urban Housing Development LLC, Roman Ozeruga, said he’s considering selling the house back to the family due to safety concerns for himself and his family. Ozeruga came to this country as a child from the Ukraine and worked his way up into owning his own business.

Seattle-based reporter Jason Rantz reported that Wheeler’s officer reached out to Ozeruga “to explore some sort of compromise” between him and the Kinneys.

Rantz reported, “In other words, we do negotiate with terrorists? Using violent force and ideology to take over land makes you a domestic terrorist. That Antifa and other agitators think they’re just in their cause doesn’t mean they are. Cliven Bundy and his supporters also thought they were just. In this case, it worked.”

The outrage over the eviction began due to the fact that half of the couple owning the home is Native American, and the other half is black. The oldest son, William Kinney III, said the family are sovereign citizens and the laws do not apply to him or his family.

The family had originally failed to pay the second mortgage taken out on the home to pay for a family member’s criminal defense. The family has housed Antifa and BLM rioters for several months in between riots, providing shelter, rest, and food for their endeavors.

The activists said that the “racist” laws were trying to put “another black and indigenous” family out on the streets during a pandemic. These statements didn’t change after discovering the family has a second house near the same neighborhood.

And so, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has given terroristic activists the ability to illegally occupy a privately owned home in his city. What will they demand of him next?


About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at
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