Image by Joost J. Bakker.

(update below)

Previously on #M1GS Portlanders assisted Gulf War Vet Alicia Jackson (some photos here) in moving back into her home. While she was gone, the water bill for the empty NE Portland property accrued to $400 which is being fund-raised. Portlanders would like to know why the Portland Water Bureau (SW 5th & Madison) will not restore Alicia’s water service?

Join us on the live streams (you can follow me @mz_chief for help finding a broadcast channel)!

3:17 PM PST: A live stream up now at http://www.livestream.com/opdxlive.

3:23 PM PST: A conversation with Portland city commissioner, Randy Leonard, continues on http://www.livestream.com/opdxlive. A photo.

3:28 PM PST: The head of the Portland Water Bureau, Donald Shaft, has denied water service restoration to Alicia Jackson. Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard says his hands are tied.

3:31 PM PST: You can Tweet @PortlandWater and call 503-823-7404 for the restoration of water service to Alicia Jackson’s home.

3:35 PM PST: Alicia is present asking for her water to please be turned on.

3:45 PM PST: Apparently there is an impasse around the individual of record. Seems conflicting information about how the water got turned on while the house was vacant.

3:46 PM PST: Event over.

Update from “Winning water in Portland” (SocialistWorker.Org, by Jamie Partridge, May 14, 2012):

The title to Alicia Jackson’s home now shows Fox Capital Corp. as the owner. Jackson has been unable to contact Fox Capital by phone. Fly-by-night operations like Fox Capital are the bottom feeders in America’s foreclosure epidemic.

The Portland Water Bureau refused to acknowledge Jackson as the rightful owner and occupant of her home, despite the fact that she lived there and paid her water bills for years.

{ snip }

Offering the example of the San Francisco, where an audit found 85 percent of foreclosures had some kind of violations and the Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on foreclosures, protesters challenged Leonard to introduce such a motion in the Portland City Council. Leonard agreed, and protesters said they would hold him to the promise.

Disappointed but determined to find a way to get Jackson’s water turned on, Occupy demonstrators left the Water Bureau to rethink their options. Within days, she had access to water again.

It’s Day 12 and Alicia Jackson is in her home with all her utilities turned on and a band of Occupiers standing guard, defending Portland’s first home re-occupation. The Black Working Group vows that there will be many more.

For the record, an archive of the footage of the flash mob to restore Alicia Jackson’s water service that took place May 10, 2012 at the Portland Water Bureau in Portland, OR is filed under “5.10.12 Water Bureau Protest.” It’s worth a look if you didn’t have a chance to watch the event as it was happening.