The Portland Police arrested approximately six protesters in front of City Hall at approximately 8:45 PM this evening for violation of Portland's Obstructions as Nuisances Ordinance. The protesters were arrested under new enforcement guidelines that went into effect last Tuesday. The new guidelines altered certain exemptions in the previous set of guidelines. These exemption prevented enforcement of the ordinance against participant in a public event or anyone not sitting in the "through pedestrian zone of the sidewalk." Under the new guidelines the exemption for participation in an event is limited to event not lasting more than eight hours. Enforcement this evening and at a sit-in event held at noon earlier today suggests that the police are interpreting the new enforcement guidelines to mean that sitting on any portion of the sidewalk in the downtown area is now illegal. At no point during the noon time protest or this evening did protesters obstruct pedestrians attempting to pass on the sidewalk in front of City Hall. |
Participants in the Portland Peace Camp report that the police cited the new enforcement guidelines when they raided and broke up the camp last Wednesday morning.
The new enforcement guidelines can be found at:http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/08/269838.shtml
The old enforcement guidelines and overage from enactment of the old guidelines last summer can be found at:http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/08/16507.shtml