portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article portland metro

actions & protests | human & civil rights | imperialism & war | police / legal

Portland Police Officer Threatens to Confiscate Equipment, Arrest Speakers if PPRC Friday Rally Continues Legal Practice of Megaphone Use

From the open publishing newswire: Peace protestors expressed disgust and surprise at the Portland Police Department's decision to change a long-standing policy of recognizing the PPRC's legal right to use hand-held amplified sound in their Friday peace rallies. "For well over a year now we've been out peacefully and legally rallying against war on Friday evenings on Pioneer Courthouse Square, and each week we have been using a low-powered megaphone so that our speakers can be heard," said Will Seaman, a volunteer with the PPRC. "Three weeks ago, the police started showing up in greater numbers, and last night one of them, Lt. Bill Haunsperger, threatened our people with arrest if they did what they've been doing every week since November 2001."

Seaman said that he explained to Lt. Haunsperger that the law expressly forbids sound amplification only if it exceeds a certain audible range, and that for over a year the Portland Police Department has recognized that the Friday rallies have the legal right to use megaphones. "In spite of this clear precedent, the Portland Police Department, through their representative, Lt. Haunsperger, have once again inexplicably decided to escalate tensions with the peace and justice community through this unnecessary and provocative belligerent behavior," said Seaman.
[ Read More... ]