I went down to Pioneer courthouse square on Saturday and was a little dissapointed when I first arrived because there were only a handful of anti-war protestors and there were about a dozen or so people participating in the "die-in" in the center of the square.
I took my video camera and walked slowly around the square waiting for some friends to arrive and noticed a couple of police standing and talking to the "support your troops" supporters. The cops were very friendly to these people and joked and laughed as they conversed for about 15 minutes.
Shortly afterwards, I noticed one of the motorcycle cops drive by with a "support your troops" sign on his bike with a couple of American flags on it.
I remember thinking that it wasn't proper for a public payed employee to use public property to advocate a political position, but I didn't give it much thought after that, until later.
A friend of mine arrived with his signs that spoke to the current pending Senate bill 752 and state senator John Minnis who introduced the bill.
His sign said that "fascism was alive and well in the Oregon state senate".
My sign said "Consume Consume, Bomb, Bomb, Consume Consume".
We walked a short way down Broadway to distance ourselves from the "support your troops" people and stood in the small inlet that is used to pull off of the street in front of a parked car.
We were standing there for about 45 minutes with 2 cops about 10 feet from us the entire time. Not once did these policemen or any others tell us that we could not stand where we were standing.
We were not blocking traffic in any way and were standing directly behind a parked car.
Shortly after that, two policemen came up to and very agressively told us to get up on the curb. We immediatly complied with their request and told them we thought it was ok to stand where we were standing and he said, "did I stutter?"
I started to explain to him that we had been there for 45 minutes and we thought we were in a spot that was ok since no other officer told us that we should move despite the fact that there were two officers just a few feet away from us the entire time.
He told me to be quiet and give him my id.
I asked him what law required me to show him my id and he told me that if I didn't give him my id in three seconds, I would be arrested. I told him that I was more than willing to provide him my id if he could tell me what law said that I had to provide id. He arrested me and my friend who also did everything the officer asked except provide id.
The support your troops people were not asked for their id and were not hasseled at all.
I am asking anyone who was at Pioneer courthouse square at approx. 01:20 pm and saw the events that led to our arrest to contact jailsupport and inform them of your contact information.
If we don't stand together in solidarity, the cops will continue to take these sort of unwarrented actions in an effort to quell dissent.
This is wrong people.