Portland Peace Encampment Raided: Signs and Art declared "Offensive Littering"
The Portland Police and Homeland Security raided the Portland Peace Encampment Monday evening, June 9th. The Portland Police threatened to cite the demonstrators with yet another ordinance, this time "Offensive Littering" for having signs and artwork on the sidewalk. The demonstrators moved their signs, art, etc. into Terry Schrunk Plaza, which is federal property. Homeland Security declined to cite the demonstrators or confiscate anything as long as the demonstrators agreed that they would "voluntarily" move their material if requested.
Portland Police then threatened to arrest a handicapped demonstrator if he sat in a chair on the sidewalk. However, when the handicapped demonstrator did sit in a chair on the sidewalk, the Portland Police did not arrest him, but instead got into their vehicles and left!
After all of this, no one at the Portland Peace Encampment was cited or arrested for any violation by either the Portland Police or by Homeland Security.
The Peace Encampment has since reconsolidated with artwork, signs and some personal possessions on the sidewalk and the remaining possessions on federal property.
Even a cursory reading of the Offensive Littering statutes, included below, shows they in no way apply to the Portland Peace Encampment.
The text of the City of Portland on "Offensive Littering" is as follows (from http://municipalcodes.lexisnexis.com/codes/portland/ ):
Code of the City of Portland, OR
Title 14 PUBLIC ORDER AND POLICE
Title 14B - Regulatory Schemes and Businesses
Chapter 14B.60 CHRONIC NUISANCE PROPERTY
D. Nuisance Activities. Any of the following activities, behaviors or conduct:
9. Offensive littering as defined in ORS 164.805.
The text of the Oregon Revised Statue 164.805 is as follows (from http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/164.html ):
ORS 164.805 Offensive littering. (1) A person commits the crime of offensive littering if the person creates an objectionable stench or degrades the beauty or appearance of property or detracts from the natural cleanliness or safety of property by intentionally:
(a) Discarding or depositing any rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse upon the land of another without permission of the owner, or upon any public way or in or upon any public transportation facility; or
(b) Draining, or causing or permitting to be drained, sewage or the drainage from a cesspool, septic tank, recreational or camping vehicle waste holding tank or other contaminated source, upon the land of another without permission of the owner, or upon any public way; or
(c) Permitting any rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse to be thrown from a vehicle which the person is operating; except that this subsection shall not apply to a person operating a vehicle transporting passengers for hire subject to regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission or the Department of Transportation or a person operating a school bus described under ORS 801.460.
(2) As used in this section, "public way" includes, but is not limited to, roads, streets, alleys, lanes, trails, beaches, parks and all recreational facilities operated by the state, a county or a local municipality for use by the general public.
(3) As used in this section, "public transportation facility" has the meaning provided for in ORS 164.365.
(4) Offensive littering is a Class C misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §283; 1975 c.344 §2; 1983 c.338 §897; 1985 c.420 §20]
contribute to this article
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion