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Obstruction as Nuisance, sit-lie law before council next Wednesday!!!

Come out and testify against sit-lie, bring signs, voice your displeasure!
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.
Time 11.Dec.2004 14:00


What time at City Hall?

please make this a feature story 11.Dec.2004 15:15


DearIndymedia workerbees: This is important. Please make it a feature.

I'm not sure when this meeting is but city council meetings are usually 9am-12pm on wednesdays.

City Council Meeting 11.Dec.2004 15:18

Andy Seaton, KBOO

The City Council Meeting starts at 9:30am, but the "Sidewalk Ordinance" is on the regular agenda (not a "time certain" item) and probably won't be reached until 11am or so. Get there early. I will be covering it for KBOO.

how 11.Dec.2004 16:39


it be legal for them to get this on their agenda anyway? DON'T THEY HAVE TO PROVE THAT THEY HAVE DUE AUTHORITY (AUTHORITY FROM THE PEOPLE) TO EVEN PUT THIS ON THEIR AGENDA? We all know they will ignore us at the meeting if they want, so in either case---WHERE, OH WHERE, IS THEIR AUTHORITY TO IGNORE THE PEOPLE???????? Don't we have rights under the 10th Amendment to deal with such breakdown? As in TELLING them/NOT ASKING them that it doesn't appear that they have any right to not represent the people, and THAT we, the people, are putting them ON HOLD until they can prove to us that they don't have to represent us.


copy of judge litzenberger's opinion 11.Dec.2004 18:05

sit-lie defendant

here is a pdf of judge litzenberger's opinion from the summer, where she found the sit-lie law unconstitutional. attorney adam arms destroyed the city's bogus 'law' and made a fool of DA shanon gray, who lamely argued for the city.

the people of portland will be resisting this effort by the city to reinstate the ordinance. we need to pack the city council chambers to show that we will not tolerate the erosion of our rights to occupy the streets and sidewalks of portland. the lawyers of the northwest constitutional rights center,  http://www.nwcrc.org , will hopefully be there agsin to challenge this 'law', if it should be passed by the city council.

one final note: i think it is shameless for the city council to try to sneak this change through during the end of year holidays, when many people may be unable to make time to personally voice their opposition due to other obligations.

see you at city hall!!

A cop's perspective 12.Dec.2004 03:49

a cop. Really.

To be honest, most of my co-workers that I have talked to don't even want this law. But we all know officers and deputies that do.

There are other means 12.Dec.2004 04:05


There are other means to make corporate business unprofitable.

They will keep bringing measures like these back until they know for sure that the consequences of having them are less profitable than not having them.

Key will be seeing citizens united.

Sporadic crisis protests don't make it.

Well, let's boycott 12.Dec.2004 16:31


Well, let's boycott the businesses involved in pusing this

and 13.Dec.2004 00:17


get your friends and neighbours to boycott them too

It passed 16.Dec.2004 13:07

Kathleen Mitchell mitchellkat@yahoo.com

It passed. This Saturday and Sunday (Dec 18th & 19th) at peak Xmas shopping hours we need to go protest.