portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

human & civil rights | police / legal

City Council Changed the Law to Get Rid of the Peace Encampment

There is a sit in at the Peace Encampment (across from city hall) at noon on Friday.
City council changed the enforcement guidelines of the sit/lie ordinance on August 11. The changed guidelines went into effect on August 12 at midnight. 8 hours later, as soon as legally possible, the police raided the camp, arrested people and confiscated property.

The newly penned enforcement guidelines would cover the restriction of pickets/demonstrations/gatherings of people for festivals (anything without a permit from the city that lasts for more than eight hours). This change was done secretly - there was no comment period and no notice given to the public. Believe it or not this is within their legal rulemaking power.

Changing laws to get rid of specific kinds of protest is unconstitutional and must be vigorously opposed. City Council and the mayor are fascists - beware. How many other laws have they changed without notice, comment or public knowledge? Standing up to defend the Peace Encampment is crucial to protecting the right to assemble and dissent in Portland. They may knock on your door next. I don't think it's an exaggeration to state that if we don't stand up now we may not be able to later.

Call the mayor and city council to express your disgust for this fascist assault on the civil rights of the citizens of Portland. (503) 823-4000

Michael - (503) 823-4125 can get you a copy of the new enforcement guidelines.

There is a sit in at the Peace Encampment at noon on Friday.
Correction 14.Aug.2003 09:47


According to the auditors office and the change in the enforcement guidelines was not made by city council. Changes to enforcement guidelines are made by the head of the bureau that controls the ordinance - in this case the Mayor because she is the police commissioner

So - the change was made by - the mayor, the police bureau and the city attorneys.

Feature? 14.Aug.2003 10:33

Her Pinkness web@codepinkportland.org

Indymedia, could you make this a feature.

This was discussed in some depth on KBOO this morning.
The call is out for a BIG SIT-IN tomorrow - Friday 8/15 - at noon at City Hall. The idea is:

"VERA: how many people do you want to arrest for breaking your idiotic and ILLEGAL law?"

We will need videographers. I understand indymedia will be there - someone from Indymedia called in this morning.

We may need:
- legal observers
- medical people (Black Cross?)

One caller suggested people wear business dress and sit down on the sidewalk. Possibly the thinking here is to try to demonstrate that the new rules* are being enforced selectively against people who Vera and cops don't like the looks of.

It was also mentioned on KBOO this morning that these new rules* specifically target _downtown portland_.

* I say rules because not sure what to call this - not really a new ordinance? something like an "interpretation" or "enforcment guideline"? Maybe someone else can shed some light on this ...

See you mañana at City Hall!

Clarification of what is going on 14.Aug.2003 10:54

more info

Here is the Portland police bureau powerpoint presentation on the enforcement of Obstruction as Nuisance:


Here is the Portland City Code
14A.50.030 Obstructions as Nuisances.

A. Unless specifically authorized by ordinance, it is unlawful for any person to obstruct any street or sidewalk, or any part thereof, or to place or cause to be placed, or permit to remain thereon, anything that obstructs or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or that is in violation of parking lane, zone or meter regulations for motor vehicles. Such an obstruction hereby is declared to be a public nuisance. The City Engineer, the City Traffic Engineer, or the Chief of Police may summarily abate any such obstruction or the obstruction may be abated as set forth in Chapter 29.20.

B. The provisions of this Section do not apply to merchandise in course of receipt or delivery, unless that merchandise is permitted to remain upon a street or sidewalk for a period longer than 2 hours. The vehicle in which merchandise is delivered is subject to all parking regulations as described in Title 16.

The enforcement guidelines may be obtained in electronic form by calling Michael Mock at (503) 823-4125 or by taking your body into city hall marching up the steps to the mayor's office and demanding a paper copy by saying "I would like a copy of the enforcement guidelines for the City of Portland's Obstructions as Nuisances ordinance." You will then be asked if you mean "sidewalk obstruction guidelines" that is not what it is legally called - they are trying to pretend that it is a reasonable law by couching it in more legitimate terms. Do not be fooled and do not play into their hands by validating the use of innocuous language for a very evil law. Ask them for "the enforcement guidelines for the City of Portland's Obstructions as Nuisances ordinance"

What about star wars? 14.Aug.2003 13:06


I suppose this means I won't be able to camp out over night for star wars episode 3 tickets either.

Sit-in by suits with cell phones 14.Aug.2003 13:44


It may be effective if folks show up for this sit-in wearing Sunday bests, business suits, or Nordie-go-a-shopping outfits. Katz can dismiss in her own twisted logic those that are less than desirable in her view, but what of those that look like 'her kind of people' ?

Worth considering.

Also, once organized, this phalanx of 'respectable people' could be the front line greeters for when her Führer, W, comes to town.

Resist as if your life depends on it, because it does.

Yo 14.Aug.2003 15:08


Somebody actually did there homework. There's a great article in the new street roots about the enforcement guidelines. Scary stuff!!!!!

where are the peace organizers in Portland? 15.Aug.2003 08:13


Good People:

I will be at City Hall today at high noon, and I'm prepared to stay there until 1) I am forcefully removed by agents of the Katz regime, or 2) This ridiculous law is rescinded. More likely the former, I'm afraid.

What I would like to know, however, is where the movers and shakers in Portland's anti-war "movement" will be. I've heard a lot of outrage on KBOO. I've seen a lot of outrage here. But I ain't heard nuthin' from the peace march planners, and that's too bad. I mean, isn't this what we're fighting for? Isn't freedom of assembly and movement a key aspect of a peaceful society? Doesn't standing up against facism figure into the Perpetual Peace Rally Coalition's plan? I find it really odd that there hasn't been a peep from the PPRC and others in the PDX "movement." it's not surprising, though, given the absolute lack of support the movementarians demonstrated for the peace encampment all along.

Heed the call, march makers! Write a big self-serving press release about it! Heck, you might even get on the news or something.


Israel Bayer wrote street roots article 15.Aug.2003 09:47


Street roots has been getting better and better over the last year and a half. They are also involved in a number of community activities. The "Right to Sleep campaign", "The grass roots ten year plan to end the institution of homelessness" and the outreach alliance "The Homelees Working Group". It is hard for a person reseaching and reporting not to get involved with the issues. Sometimes the lines get blurred between making news and reporting news. Thank god for columns and editorials.