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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.


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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

14B.60.010 Definitions.

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]

In your dreams 10.Jun.2003 07:48

me

"Even a cursory reading of the Offensive Littering statutes, included below, shows they in no way apply to the Portland Peace Encampment."

They do apply -- especially item (1)(a).

Admittedly, enforcement is a matter of interpretation, but claiming the statutes don't apply is living in Fantasyland. That doesn't help your cause. If you expect to be effective, you must be realistic.

signs on the sidewalk? 10.Jun.2003 08:44

ned netherlands

If the artwork and signs were on the sidewalk, I'm glad the PPD told you guys to move them. No one got cited, so obviously all they wanted was your crap off the sidewalk...what's the big deal. The sidewalk is for walking.

rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse 10.Jun.2003 10:51

alex spiderbaby1@mindspring.com

The law states "rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse", while many popo trolls may attempt to classify the peace camp's art (or occupants) in this manner, the law was clearly not intended to specifically address public art exhibits. Personally, I think the peace encampment is hilarious and hope they keep it up.

As for Ned's remark that the sidewalk is for walking, tell that to your east county whitetrash friends camped out on the sidewalk for the grand floral parade. I noticed the popo didn't seem to regard them as a threat.


re: in your dreams 10.Jun.2003 10:56

not me

">>Even a cursory reading of the Offensive Littering statutes, included below, shows they in no way apply to the Portland Peace Encampment."

">They do apply -- especially item (1)(a)."

Lets read item (1)(a):
(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...


I would have to agree with Andy that (1)(a) (or the rest of it) doesn't seem to apply. In order for it to apply, the signs and artwork would have to be "rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse". Clearly a sign does not fit that description (not until it has been discarded and the owner does not care for it anymore, but in this case the owner is sitting right next to it). Maybe your bias is that all anti-war signs are trash. (luckilly courts cannot legally have that bias).

Nothing better to do, police force? 10.Jun.2003 11:16

pink

Well Ned, the "big deal," is that the cops seem to have nothing better to do, than to harass peaceful democratic participants with petty complaints. ]
The "big deal," is Portlanders live under a police force that spends their time acting like children quarreling in a sandbox, instead of making the community a better place to live.
The "big deal," is as Americans we are allowed to voice our opinions, and the Portland Police are looking for every possible way to stifle that voice with their usual tactics, silly nitpicking and occasional violent oppression.

Yes, the sidewalk is for walking, but the police are for protecting and serving, not spying and harassing.

Think about it. Lets just say, Ned, that you were violently, anally raped at the time the cops were moving signs, and pestering protesters. Don't you think you'de be a little upset that the police were too busy to help you?

thanks 10.Jun.2003 12:42

dude

use of pepper spray violates this code.

you thoughts

But the code is some worthwhile reading... 10.Jun.2003 14:47

ImmyJ

Whether or not the Peace Camp actually violated any of the statues is completely arbitrary and will probably (if pursued) be decided in court. But the list of statues, my god, is an impressive piece of reading. From improperly transporting carcasses to possession of burglary tools, this document covers a lot of ground.

to: not me 10.Jun.2003 22:40

me

" In order for it to apply, the signs and artwork would have to be "rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse"."

You'll note that I said it was a matter of interpretation ... the point being that the authorities are doing the interpreting. Do you really think they'll interpret the stuff at peace camp as anything but junk?

Remember, I'm not asking for your interpretation or my interpretation or peace camp's interpretation.

I'm saying the "powers that be" will interpret the stuff as "rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse".

To assume otherwise is fantasy and not a sound strategy for accomplishing anything.

you're missing the point 11.Jun.2003 06:45

analog kid analogkid @nukevet.com

Did no one else notice the words 'raid' and 'Homeland Security" in the same sentence?

Just how did they 'help raid' the encampment? Sounds as if they didn't get involved until later. Is someone trying to make themselves more important here? Is someone possibly looking for victim status?

And how was this a 'raid' in the first place? It sounds as if PPD did their daily walk through to make sure no one had OD'd over night.

nothing 11.Jun.2003 14:14

east county white trash

All you guys do is complain. What is your point?

My point 12.Jun.2003 10:33

Aimea

Bush is quoted "There ought to be limits to freedom" in response to a website a kid put up to parody the president. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-11/29/002r-112999-idx.html)

Mr. Prez has laid a lawsuit on this kid which was thrown out by a judge yet the very next MONTH the prez was at it again with the SAME lawsuit!

Another Bush quote: "A dictatorship would be a heck of alot easier. There's no question about it."

I believe that what these people are trying to point out is that our country is in serious danger, locally and internationally. This is troubling, yet many feel powerless. They are recognizing that our rights are slipping away a little bit here and a little bit there. Read the news. Not CNN or any other corporate owned (and stained) news station, but the real news. International credible news like the BBC or other Euro news. They give a more honest, less Bush instilled "fear of God" bias of what is really going on. His own administration is turning against him. One more thing: Bush has several wicked right-wing extremists that are determined to discontinue birth control pills, condoms, and most of all abortions.
( http://www.plannedparenthood.org/library/facts/030114_waronwomen.pdf)

More power to the people!

"LITTERBUG" 27.Jul.2004 08:56

Tre cool

I would take it personally if the Pigs threatened me with an arrest if I didnt remove my work of art. Bastards. ANyways, YESTERDAY as CHENEY was in town, the police took that oppurtunity to "cleanse" the Portland Transient systems. As I got off at the Gateway MAX stop, I was alarmed at all of the 25+ PPD officers writting citations,arresting people,and checking each Traincar for people who didnt pay there fares. As I wait for the correct MAXTRAIN to take me to Gresham, I smoke a tasty Camel light to cool my nerves around all the unfortunate people getting arrested and manhandled by the police.One mentally retarded man was detained and threatened to be "TAZED" becuz he didnt pay his MAX fare! As my MAX pulls into the station, I throw my ciggarette down among the other hundreads of ciggarettes beneath the tracks and step into the MAX. BOOM!!! Two cops take me down and Im in shock. They cuff me and throw me in back of there car telling me I am being arrested for "OFFENSIVE LITTERING" Oh my god. Oh my god. As one of the two cops detaining me squeezes as hard as he can on his stronghold, I shout at the top of my lounges at the confused transients of the MAX and let them know that all this attention is due to littering. The cop squeezes harder as I educate more and more people. Hey, I would be embarassed too if I were that cop. Anyways, After 6 hours downtown I am released but not without ruining my previously clean record with the law. I am in disbelief and am still trying to swallow all of what just happened. I shouldnt of littered, I really should not have...although was it neccassary for the cop to take me to jail for it???Was the degree of the violation deserving of the physical force issued? Thanks Cheney. You gave the cops the upperhand that day to do things against portlands' tax payers that normally wouldnt fly. Obviously hes not getting my vote this november.