Please visit earthjam.com for more information about this event! |
Thursday, June 28th
Special to Portland IMC
by Joshua Dallman
ACTION ITEM: CALL DEPUTY FIRE MARSHAL DAVE RASMUSSEN AT (503) 823-5829 TO VOICE YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE "CEREMONIAL FIRE" PERMIT BEING REVOKED.
PORTLAND,OR -- The organizers of the July 14th celebration/protest scheduled for Ankeny Stage have decided to split the event into two parts as a result of difficulties with the noise and fire bureaus of the city of Portland.
The event was originally billed as a music and art festival with a bon fire for burning "consumer culture draft cards", aka "credit card offers, junk mail, celebrity magazines, make-up advertisements, etc.". The celebration and protest aspects were intended to intermingle in an all-day carnival that would defy common labels.
The event will now constitute two parts -- the celebration part, with music, art, contests, food, and movies, as originally intended, and the draft card burning later in the night.
The noise department, while reasonable and polite, insisted on a 9pm cutoff time on the grounds that "you don't yet have rapport with the noise bureau", adding that "maybe in a few years you can go until later [in the night]". It was also emphasized that "we need to be sensitive to the unfair impact [of the event] on the neighbors" (aka money-and-tourist-machine Saturday Market).
The noise department sympathetically added that this event is in no way being singled out and is being treated just as any other event would be treated (with the exception, of course, of those events possessing "rapport").
The fire department is different story.
A "special use permit" (aka "a pinkie") was originally obtained and approved in the beginning of June for "a small ceremonial fire no larger than 4' by 4'". The parks department also acknowledged and approved of this fire.
However, the permit to have the ceremonial fire was revoked today due to new information coming in about the nature of the event from the police department ("from the Internet"), which Dave Rasmussen (Deputy Fire Marshal of the PFD) had not even seen himself and broadly stated inaccuracies concerning the Internet material (most likely the event's official site, http://www.earthjam.com).
The main reason for the revocation was that the burning of paper, he insisted, is against DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) laws and is subject to up to a $10,000 fine.
After event organizers conceded not to burn paper but insisted on the "ceremonial fire", he rebutted, saying there absolutely will be no fire as the police are afraid of people burning paper on their own thereby committing (the magic word) "civil disobedience".
When asked if the event could have a grill, for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows, which was legal if permitted, he said he would not sign off on a permit for it for fear of it being used as a substitute for a fire to burn paper.
When asked if it was acceptable for people to light matches -- he said yes, as long as they don't burn paper. When asked "What about cigarettes? Don't they have paper in them?" he replied that he can't stop people from smoking. When further asked if 100 people lighting their cigarettes at the same time would be legal, he replied that would be grounds for shutting the event down and police intervention.
Further, Deputy Rasmussen offered this pearl: "They're [the Portland Police] doing their darndest to get this thing [the event] squelched".
When demanding an explanation as to why the permit was granted for a ceremonial fire in the first place, and by Deputy Rasmussen's superior no less, the reply was that "a mistake was made, mistakes happen all the time, and that's how life goes."
When further queried if there had ever been a fire permitted in a park before, he said a number of years back some Native-Americans cooked salmon in Holladay park as part of a ceremony. When asked if Native Americans could cook salmon in a fire at this event, he said absolutely not.
The point was made over and over: if so much as one person lights one piece of paper on fire the police are prepared to shut the entire event down.
Thus, the "daytime" events will be legal, permitted, and "family-friendly" -- the organizers urge people NOT to do anything that would endanger the event attendees and performers. The original intent of the event will show through here as a celebration of art, music, and life -- and not one of intimidation and repression.
Later, at 9:05pm -- after the 9:00pm noise "curfew" -- an announcement will be made to allow those who do not or cannot afford to commit civil disobedience to leave the area, and matches and cigarettes will be passed out to those of-age in the crowd to all light our cigarettes simultaneously in solidarity (one need not smoke the cigarette -- in fact, smoking it is discouraged).
A "flag" sewn out of junk mail, celebrity magazines, etc. (and a picture of GW Bush just for good measure) will be burned in a controlled manner along with an American flag, which is a form of free speech supposedly protected by the Supreme Court.
The organizers have decided how they will react to the fascist city government -- the question now is, how will the city react to them?
This event is in no way related to or endorsed by Portland IMC. This article and the information contained therein may be reproduced only if Portland IMC and portland.indymedia.com are cited as the source unless permission is granted otherwise by the author, Joshua Dallman (503) 274-9614. Mainstream corporate media will not be welcome at the event and will be disrupted in any legal way possible.
Please visit earthjam.com for more information about this event!