This is a copy of the letter that I sent to Oregonian today hopeing for publication. As one of the witnesses to the "pre-emptive action" by the Police in the attempt to discourage ZooBomb, I am contacting legal assistance, information to be posted in future follow-up post. Preliminary fact-finding has been met with resistance and lack of communication due to the fact that the action happened late on a Friday night and all offices involved can make the escuse of "it's the weekend, leave a message and we'll get back to you next week". Here is the phone # for owners of the bikes that were stolen to call and complain.
TriMet Police, ask to speak to "Marilyn": 503-962-7560
LETTER TO EDITOR OF OREGONIAN ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friday evening a Portland Police Officer and a Beaverton Police Officer, assigned to the Tri Met Police team, confiscated approx 30 bicycles that had been locked together on a city-provided bike rack on the SE corner of 10th and SW Oak in downtown Portland. The official reason given in what little dialogue existed prior to the police warning observers with tazers and threat of arrest was that they were obstructing the sidewalk. The pictures taken to gather evidence by the friends of owners of the bikes clearly show that both police and pedestrians were not restricted normal passage on the sidewalk except by the police. The bikes belong to members of a local bicycle organization called ZooBomb who on Sunday evenings for the last year ride the Max from downtown to the Zoo stop, go to the top of the hill and then ride down really fast in the dark when there is no traffic on the winding road back to Burnside. The real reason that the bikes were taken was a retaliatory, pre-emptive action against ZooBomb due to the embarrassment to the police approx. 1 1/2 months ago when they "cracked down" on zoobombers at the library Max stop, issuing citations and exclusions for reasons that were clear misuse and misinterpretations of TriMet rules. Trimet had the police drop all charges and clear all exclusions. Sunday, Sept. 3rd, the first anniversary of ZooBomb crew over 100 bicyclists and the police wanted to discourage and if possible stop the kids from having a good time. The actions by the city and its various enforcement and regulatory departments to discourage anything that does not fit into its idea of conformity and vision of proper activity has been creating a climate of fear and nazi-like repression that we can no longer tolerate. I urge all concerned citizens to write to the Mayor, Chief of Police and Tri-met to voice opposition to this theft of bicycles, for theft is what it was.