portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

government | human & civil rights | imperialism & war | police / legal

Portland Peace Encampment speaks to City Council

On Wednesday, May 14, at 9:30 am, members of the Portland Peace Encampment went to speak before City Hall about their mission and infringements of their rights, and by extension the rights of us all. Below is a summary culled from my written notes. Thanx to all the brave souls dedicating their time and hearts to this endeavor. You did a great job at City Hall! Anyone who would like to visit and bear witness or bring coffee, signs or food is welcome. The Portland Peace Encampment plans to continue in their mission to witness and educate.
peace camp drummer
peace camp drummer
saddam gasses we bomb
saddam gasses we bomb
Report on Wednesday, May 14th City Council meeting re: Peace Encampment


9:30a - 15 minutes allotted
PDX Peace Encampment speaks
5 people, 3 minutes each

1. Todd - This is day 56 for the Portland Peace Encampment (PPE). PPE is here to remind people that the war really isn't over. PPE remains to inform people about the motivations and consequences of this invasion. And the death tolls. Portland Peace Encampment plans to make a weekly appearance at the city council meeting to create more of a relationship with the council and the people it represents, trying to present facts and perspectives that are missing or underrepresented in mass media. Having read the PPE mission statement, Todd requested the rest of his three minutes to talk be observed in silence. That request was honored.

2. Glen - The PPE has been across the street from you for 56 days, yet this is the first time we've talked face to face. We would like more interaction, more dialogue. George W. Bush is waging war on the entire world. He says, "If you're not with us, you're against us. You're the enemy." George Bush is for war. We are for peace. That makes us "the enemy."

Portland Peace Encampment needs to maintain a presence to inform on the reality of the war, the aftermath of which is ongoing. We educate where the media fails to. We are not your enemy. Stop by and talk to us.

3. Joseph - The best way to find peace is to live for peace. That's what we are doing across from City Hall. We realize the war is waged by the federal government, but it is also local. We need to reassess where we are now and how we can evolve as individuals.

Police harassment of the Portland Peace Encampment has far surpassed what is lawful, yet there are no ramifications for that. The Portland Police seem not to enjoy what they're having to do, but they're doing it. We need dialogue.

4. Andrew - Good morning and thank you for hearing us this morning. I was an occasional PPE supporter, an artist, a Buddhist and have become the designated camp bureaucrat. We've talked with city officials regarding getting a permit for this first-amendment-supported encampment but were told, "Don't bother to file for a permit. It will be denied." We've tried to work within the law as you've communicated it. At this point, the police are saying nothing can touch the ground across the street.

We have reviewed the sit-lie ordinance and feel we are in compliance. There have been repeated raids on the camp where the police simply confiscate property because it belongs with people who are exercising their first amendment right to free speech and assembly. Andrew Sizer of the PPD has told me our possessions will be kept until the Portland Peace Encampment disperses. This violates our 1st amendment right to free speech and assembly, our 4th amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, our 5th amendment protections against deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and 14th amendment protection against any state making or enforcing any law abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.

5. Russ - First I'd like to apologize to Officer LaPrenz for harsh words said in the heat of the moment. Second, I'd like to commend Officer Jones for offering a property receipt.

The bumper sticker saying "Think Globally, Act Locally" means, to me, "do what you can wherever you are." The Portland Peace Encampment is doing that. We believe our right to do so is not just supported by the laws of this land. It is supported by the UN Statement of Human Rights (1948). Article 17 maintains a reasonable right to one's own property. Article 18 protects free thought and observance. Article 19 supports peoples' right to their opinions and the right to express those opinions. Those rights are being violated by the continued harassment of the Portland Peace Camp by the police.

Thank you for hearing me today.

*************
BILL OF RIGHTS AND AMENDMENTS CITED:

 http://memory.loc.gov/const/bor.html or  http://memory.loc.gov/const/bor.html or  link to www.archives.gov

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Amendment XIV
(1868)
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Thanx for the attempted heads up 15.May.2003 13:29

--

But I don't think he is in violation of the ordinance. The tape is something the Peace Campers applied as a guideline for stationary items. I've read the Sit-Lie ordinance, and, among the requirements for violation, are that a person or object that is *blocking* the path and is either unmoveable or there is refusal to move the person or item (out of the way ... not completely out of the area). The person in the picture fulfills neither of those two requirements.

Links to previous stories about the Portland Peace Encampment 15.May.2003 13:32

--


what was their reaction 15.May.2003 14:40

kurtkabang

how did city hall react? silence? moving on? any comments?

Sorry ... bad reporter 15.May.2003 14:47

--

The City Council, including Mayor Katz were respectful. Vera even actively said things like "go ahead and finish your sentence" as the timer went off. Someone said Francesconi approached one of the PPE'rs and said how impressed he was and thanked them for coming and speaking.

As a cynic, I'm not surprised they're so overjoyed by PPE's appearance before the council. They like to see us well-behaved and believing in "the system." We'll see if it translates into mutual respect in the form of the council and police bureau respecting their own laws, citizenry and US Bill of Rights.

go home 15.May.2003 15:40

ned netherlands

Go home and direct your focuses on peace elsewhere!

shut up ned 15.May.2003 15:44

TS

It's sad that's all you have to say.

There is no sit lie ordinance 15.May.2003 16:24

Not trying to be difficult

Uh, last I checked the sit-lie ordinance didnt pass last year. What "law" are you looking at?

i guess i could be wrong 15.May.2003 17:07

---

but i thought that was the thing that was supposed to have public commentary and a council vote, but that the mayor just slipped in by some executive decree loophole. i think the word was that the sit-lie ordinance was "re-activated." i know it sounds screwy, but that's how i remember it.

shut up TS 15.May.2003 19:59

time 4 a tea party

TS, i think ned said it all...

Thank you!! 15.May.2003 22:27

Alex Zeisberg guitarfreak2910@aol.com

I think this is the first most awsome move. I think this is great that the PPE is talking with city officals. Also I wish someone would write a story abuot tod. He has been out there every day since the first fri of the war. Go talk to this guy. He is one awsome guy and i think he can share some wonderful enformation with everyone. Also thanks to all of the other people. Also big thanks to the one's that started this. If it wasnt for you starters i would have never met such awsome people.

GOOD JOB
Alex Zeisberg

Also does someone know of a good nickname for me?

Thanks!!


ordinances 16.May.2003 08:21

The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE

There isn't a specific "sit-lie" ordinance. There's an ordinance which bans public camping. Anyway, this is irrelevant, because what the camp has been repeatedly hit with is the "obstructions as nuisances" ordinance.

In a sense, the existence of a public camping ordinance and an obstructions/nuisances ordinance creates a sort of "sit-lie" authority for the city, without having to pass a specific "sit-lie" ordinance.

Okay, here’s the deal. 17.May.2003 11:57

I know way too much about this.

Last Spring the City Council was going to pass a series of revisions to Title 14 of the City Code. One of these revisions was going to re-write the Obstructions as Nuisances Ordinance to make it a sit-lie law. Legal and community organizing groups opposed around twenty of the proposed revisions, including the Obstructions as Nuisances Ordinance. The City Attorney's Office pulled most of the objected to revisions from the main body of the Title 14 re-write. So what the City Council passed into Title 14 was basically a bunch of technical revisions. The objected to, substantive revisions, including sit-lie, were supposed to be considered at a later date by the Council after a public process had been conducted. At this time no public process has been conducted and none of these items have been back in front of the Council.

However, last August, Mayor Katz announced that she would not pursue legal changes to the Obstructions as Nuisances Law, and that she would instead change the enforcement guidelines for the law. So this takes us a little passed Civics 101. We all know that the legislature (i.e. the council) has to pass legal changes, and that the executive (the Mayor) is responsible for enforcing those laws. What I believe is unclear to many people is that the Mayor also has direct say in how those laws are enforced. The Mayor's office creates enforcement guidelines that are given to and followed by the police. The language of Obstructions as Nuisances is sufficiently vague that she was able to re-write the enforcement guidelines to make it a de-facto Sit-Lie Law. This went into enforcement last September. Tickets have been issued for sitting on the side walk. The fine on these tickets can be as high as $500.

The council has largely remained silent on this issue. Erik Sten has offered some verbal opposition to the Sit-Lie Law, but he has not done anything substantive to oppose it. Dan Saltzman has been non-committal on the Sit-Lie issue and his support for further public process on the issue. Jim Francesconi has not responded to request for further public process on the issue. And Randy Leonard has claimed that there is nothing he can do about it.

I hope this helps.

By the way I am having trouble deciding whether the drummer in the picture would be considered to be in violation. It depends on whether you consider his crouched position There is also supposed to be an exemption for street musicians.