The City of Portland is bringing the Obstruction as Nuisance ordinance back before the council next Wednesday at City Hall. Street roots has been reporting that the law was going to be brought back. According to the latest paper, the new law will ban sitting on the bus mall all together. Street roots thinks the law will target panhandlers on the bus mall. The law was declared unconstitutional last August after members of the Peace camp challenged the law.
Homeless activists say the law is used to target panhandlers, and move people experiencing homelessness from one place to another. The new law would essentially ban many other activities in the community... if it was like the last one. If you are standing in a group of 3 or more people on a sidewalk you are breaking the law. Activities that would include groups or lines of people in front of churches and bars may also be illegal if you sit or block some of the sidewalk.
Please spread the word, and come out and voice your displeasure about how the city is yet again punishing people experiencing homelessness, and others you dare to be different on Portland's sidewalks.
It's no secret that the Portland Business Alliance and the tourist industry have wanted this law back on the books for a long time. They believe that there profit margins go down because of people panhandling and homeless people downtown. Let's let them know that's not the case and if it is that we will boycott businesses who support sweeping people away.
The ordinance is an emergency ordinance which means it will go into effect immediately. So much for X-mas spirit, huh. Be at City Hall next Wednesday to testify and to protest.