Portland City Officials are right, Peace Camp is a moral nuisance to them. Yet, in most ways, City Hall has little to do with the War in Iraq. The proximate cause of Peace Camp setting up at City Hall was the City's refusal to pass an anti-war resolution before the war. Yet complaining to Vera Katz about the War is complaining to someone who can't make a difference. So we are moving to the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse to direct our main demonstration to the Federal Government.
In our struggles with the City, they have attempted to use the ordinances against us that they everyday against the homeless. These ordinances have been found unconstitutional in various specific cases, yet they are still being enforced by the city. We will continue to demonstrate in front of City Hall on these and other issues of vital local interest.
The move will also take us out of Homeland Security's back yard. Terry Strunk Plaza is actually Federal land because of the underground parking structure connected to the Edith Green Federal Building. The reasons and procedures used by Homeland security to initially revoke our permit and then to close the park entirely did not follow the Codes of Federal Regulations that they've posted. When we asked the property manager's office in Edith Green for a copy of the rules for use of the park, they didn't even have any! We may still pursue legal action on this.
The Hatfield Building is fronted by Lownsdale Square, which is city owned and operated by Parks and Rec. We will be applying for permits to use Lownsdale Square, allowing us to use the sidewalk as a "nice, orderly demonstration."
We are also going to be increasing our supporting infrastructure. We will be putting up a website this week and setting up a Donations Account and a Legal Defense Fund. We have been strangely lacking in legal support (the ACLU Portland Office hasn't returned our phone calls!). The legal research done so far has been done on our own. We request support from legal community in defending ourselves and in the permitting process. Accounting help in setting up the Donations Account and Legal Defense Fund is also requested. Please call Andy Seaton at 503-358-1454 or stop by Lownsdale Square.
Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Hunter Seaton. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/). Distribution of substantively modified versions of this document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.