It was a gorgeous day in Portland on Tuesday. As good a day as any for some peace, I thought, as I swung by the Portland Peace Encampment on a strong rumor that the police were by and threatening to steal everyone's property again. Campers and supporters, including the Encampment's legal counsel, were enjoying the fine Sun when I arrived, sharing words with each other and with dozens of passing pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. A group of Federal Protection Service officers from the federal building (and their junior G-man sidekick from Wackenhut) stood nearby, trying to hatch a game plan.
It seems that the Encampment is stronger than ever, with a number of beautiful works of art and many protest signs and the Bill of Rights springing up in place of all the signs and the personal property of the entire camp which police took, along with camper Todd Kurylowicz, on Friday. Todd was soon returned to the camp, but the property and signs still rest in the clutches of the 'justice' system.
A portrait of Christ pointing at the viewer with one hand and holding up a Peace sign with the other, as if to say, "I want YOU for Peace" (or perhaps, "I want Peace for YOU!"), sat in its reassembled pieces on the sidewalk. (The original work had recently been stolen and shredded by a group of young, ignorant men passing by the camp in a pickup truck at 3am. The theft, which I personally witnessed, was somewhat in contrast to the later actions of the thieves, who returned to the camp, had a conversation with the people there, and left the pieces of the sign with the campers when they departed.)
Beside the portrait lay an open casket, representing the needless deaths caused by war.
The federal officers, after completing their sidewalk huddle a few minutes after my arrival, broke up and left the scene in their SUVs, presumably headed back to the dragon's lair they occupy across the plaza for further planning. By the time I departed, the Portland police had not shown up to carry out their threats, continuing a pattern of laying low during business hours when more of the public might witness their crimes. It remains to be seen what action the police may take next, or when.
One thing, however, is clear: The officers of the PPB, continuously circling Portland in their vehicles and occupying the 'justice' center one block away from the camp, have only to get the urge before they will return to the camp.