Lownsdale and Chapman Squares
A site of dissidence for more than a century
These two squares have been used for protests going back to the late 19th Century. In 1866, Portlanders kidnapped Chinese workers, marched them here, and demanded their jobs. Protests against the Spanish-American war filled the parks in 1898, and the Wobblies and the Socialists arrived in the following decades. Now surrounded by Government buildings, the area remained relatively quiet until the Occupy Portland movement of 2011. Also mentioned: Chapman Square was once reserved for women.
As Told By...
Retired Political Scientist
Michael Munk was born in Prague in 1934 and escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia to Portland in 1939. His political activity began in the 1950s, when he became a local opponent of nuclear testing as well as a promoter of a Portland concert from Paul Robeson. He received his PhD in Politics from New York University, taught political science for more than twenty-five years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Roosevelt University in Chicago and Rutgers University before retiring in Portland. He is author of The Portland Red Guide (Ooligan Press, 2007), as well as articles in Oregon Historical Quarterly, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Portland Alliance and more.