From Portland activists:
Despite the growing cold weather in Portland, activists showed up outside of the KOIN Center in downtown Portland today to Protest the corporate offices of Skanska USA. Skanska, private security, and the Portland police have repeatedly attempted to intimidate activists with the campaign through surveillance and threats of arrests and citations. It is typical for building security, city security, and police to film and take pictures while protesters chant, hold signs, and chalk.
Now ScanlanKemperBard, the real estate firm that owns the KOIN Center and leases office space to Skanska USA, has decided to join in interfering with protests.
The protest today started with chanting and chalking on sidewalks all around the building. Protesters walked around to protest at both entrances of the building to ensure that the message to Skanska was loud and clear. What started as a rather uneventful afternoon quickly escalated into a rather unpleasant interaction with the building management company, ScanlanKemperBard (SKB), who appear to be working with police and Skanska to silence protests at their esteemed tower, the KOIN Center.
A woman who claimed to be the building owner immediately got into the faces of protesters, threatening to call police, taking pictures of their faces, and filming video on her phone. When questioned as to her identity and position (her attitude towards protesters matched that of Skanska management), she refused to answer. Instead, she continued to monitor protests and get into activists’ faces. This wouldn’t be the first time that SKB management behaved so indignantly. They have a history of trying to stifle this campaign and being apologists for animal suffering.
Luckily, due diligence is what we do best. SKB’s manager of the KOIN Center, the tower that houses and leases to Skanska, is Traci Wall, Senior Vice President of Asset Management. Now the next time she decides to come out to bother protesters, we can great her by name.
None of these attempts managed to actually disrupt the protest, which continued unabated. We were as loud as ever, covered the sidewalks in chalk shaming Skanska, and reminded David Schmidt and other Portland executives that we would see them very soon.