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Portland's JTTF City Council Hearing Said To Be Canceled, Or Is It?

A recent PDF posted to  http://www.portlandonline.com in the city councils agenda for wednesday the 22nd at 10:30 a.m. says that this weeks city council hearing on the PJTTF is CANCELED!
Today, curious to find out anything new about the recent PJTTF hearing happening on the 22nd (this Wednesday!) I decided to go check out the city councils website at  http://www.portlandonline and look at their agenda. As it turns out in a PDF file (  http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=39258 agenda item 1483) the hearing has been CANCELED!

Here is what is posted on their site: "1483 TIME CERTAIN: 10:30 AM - CANCELED. THIS ITEM WILL BE RESCHEDULED, DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED. Authorize Memorandum of Understanding and Reimbursement Agreement with the Portland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to participate in the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Katz")

I called Sue Parsons the Asst. Council Clerk at City Hall (e-mail:  sparsons@ci.portland.or.us phone: 503 823-4085) to make sure the agenda had in fact been changed and was correct. As it turns out Sue says that the hearing was just canceled today (the 20th of December) and will most likely be put off until sometime in late January, but couldn't give me a date or time.

Something is going on here and I would like to know what. My gut feeling is telling me something is up and that it's not good. I'm willing to bet that the council will have some kind of extension for the PJTTF, just not officially. Nonetheless people should attend this council meeting to make sure that the agenda item really is canceled. This has been the second time in this many months that the PJTTF if true, will have canceled its annual "Understanding and Reimbursement Agreement" in an effort to keep people from speaking out against it. That's the latest as of this afternoon, so if anyone can find anything else out let everyone here know what's up.
postponed, yes 20.Dec.2004 21:31

The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE

Details here.


wild goose...? 20.Dec.2004 22:54

minicat

i've been tracking the many postponements of this elusive hearing and this will be the fourth date it has been moved to. or, uh, the fifth...? heaven only knows at this point. however, this time it could work in our favor because by the time it happens, all holiday crap will cease and desist and travelling folks will be back in town. previously scheduled pjttf dates were the day before thanksgiving, and this one, december 22nd. i know what that looks like to me...

so, if this thing ever really does come to fruition, we owe it to the city to show up and assure them that we are smarter than the average wild goose chase, and even more infuriated than we were last year. you or i could be the next Brandon Mayfield.

details from one true b!X 21.Dec.2004 02:32

cut-n-pasted

[ed. note: this writer is awesome. i'm glad he's doing this work. indymedia=solidarity w/folx like this.]

-----

(Updated) Breaking: Joint Terrorism Task Force Vote Postponed

Action Delayed Until New Council In January
Published On December 20, 2004 |

Note: This post has been updated. Any and all updates appear at the end of the original post.

Just in within the past few minutes from the Mayor's office is an announcement that Wednesday's consideration by City Council of the City's participation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force has been postponed until after the beginning of the new year.

According to the announcement, "it had become clear that there were not four votes to approve the [Memorandum of Understanding] as an emergency measure on Wednesday".

Without those four votes, the matter would have had to pass to a second reading as a non-emergency ordinance. Because there are no Council sessions after Wednesday until January -- when a new Council takes over -- the decision was made to postpone this week's scheduled public hearing until the new year.

"I would like to have had this issue resolved before I left office," said Katz in the announcement, "but I
have no doubt the next Council will address this issue thoughtfully, consider the ramifications of both approving or not approving the MoU, and resolve it in the best interests of the community."

Readers here should recall that Commissioners Leonard and Sten have expressed reservations and concerns about the City's participation in the JTTF, given both low- and high-profile examples of abuses of law enforcement power. In other parts of the country, JTTFs have been caught spying on local activists, while here in Portland the FBI was involved in the wrongful targeting of local attorney Brandon Mayfield.

As of this posting, it is not known for certain that it is the votes of Leonard and Sten which prompted the Mayor's decision to postpone consideration of the Memorandum of Understanding. Leonard recently solicited public input via the BlueOregon weblog.

In addition, the ACLU of Oregon recently submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in order to determine whether or not the local JTTF has engaged in any monitoring of local activist groups.

More on this as we piece together for certain which Council members would have prevented the requisite four votes in order to satisfy the "emergency" designation.

Updated On December 20, 2004 | One of the other concerns Council members expressed last time around on JTTF renewal -- and that likely will be raised again -- was that of proper City oversight of the involvement of local police officers, especially given certain provisions of Oregon law which prohibit law enforcement from engaging in certian activity.

Specifically at issue are provisions of ORS Chapter 181 -- 181.575 designates specific information not to be collected or maintained by law enforcement agencies, while 181.850 places restrictions on state and local law enforcement from enforcing Federal immigration laws.

The ordinance that had been scheduled to come before Council on Wednesday attempted to address those concerns by reporting that the Mayor had reached agreement with the Federal government on such oversight, and that Chief Foxworth and Assistant Chief Ferraris had provided her with signed certification that the activities of local officers assigned to the JTTF are in compliance with these provisions of Oregon law.

At the same time, the ordinance reports that while the Mayor did not receive similar signed certification from the FBI, she is "satisfied" from briefings by FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Jordan that local officers are not violating Oregon law.

Updated On December 20, 2004 | Some further clarification, since the release out of the Mayor's office is not as clear as it should have been. An emergency ordinance requires not only at least four votes but a unanimous vote. So, only one potential "no" vote can scuttle passage of an emergency ordinance, and therefore the Mayor's office needed an indication only of one "no" vote to realize that the ordinance could not be passed this Wednesday.

Therefore, as a regular ordinance, it would have to have two readings, and since the second reading would have been before the new Council next year anyway, it made more sense simply to postpone the entire process until next year.

As for where the two commissioners who have expressed concerns stand, we have this from Commissioner Sten: "I'm still officially on the fence and planning to listen to the arguments from both sides before making a final decision."

Updated On December 20, 2004 | Meanwhile, we also have something as to the ACLU of Oregon element of all of this. "We do not know when the FBI will respond to our FOIA request," Andrea Meyer, the group's Legislative Director, told us. "We will update our web site when something moves on this."

gonna let these jokers fool you again? 21.Dec.2004 06:30

get a clue

how bad do things need to get before people figure out that these politicians are complete frauds and don't give a shit about civil liberties or human rights? we ARE in the united states...the most dangerous evil empire on the face of the planet and people still believe these politicains to be for some reason redeamable? guess what, we are heading toward martial law, we are going to see the complete economic collapse. the blood will be flowing on this side of the atlantic so long as people keep having faith in this political system...and it is evident that they are. so keep paying taxes, keep going to work, keep voting for your scapegoat.

also note today's papers 21.Dec.2004 09:56

The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE

Oh sure, steal my site traffic. ;)

Anyway, the update for today is in today's papers. Commissioner-Elect Adams is reportedly leaning against renewal unless the Feds give him security clearance to review the TF's activities himself. Since the FBI only grants such clearance to chiefs and commissioner of police (in our case, Foxworth and Katz, and eventually Potter), that's not likely to happen.

Which means, presuming no one is taking a potentially anti-JTTTF stance only so long as there's no real possibility of withdrawal, we may in theory see Adams, Leonard, and Sten voting no. And that's three out of five.

Just when I was looking forward to testifying in a Santa hat 21.Dec.2004 10:09

Red Emma redemma13@yahoo.com

I was going to sing my testimony to Mayor Katz one last time...sigh. Well, anyway, just for fun, here are the lyrics to some of the anti-FBI "carols" we have used in previous years. (This is definitely not the first time they've voted on this right around the holidays.) Impress your friends, frighten your neighbors.

* * *

FBI JINGLE BELLS
New lyrics by Red Emma

Walking down the street
Carrying a sign
This is a free country
So you're gonna be just fine--RIGHT?!
From the armored line
Someone points you out
Suddenly you're dragged off
And you didn't even shout--HEY!

(Chorus)
FBI, FBI, watching what we do
Oh what fun, to live your life
When you know they're watching you--HEY!
FBI, FBI, leave my friends alone!
We're not gonna back down,
So you might as well go home!

Sitting in your house
Suddenly a knock
You've got Fifth Amendment rights
So you don't have to talk--RIGHT?!
It's an envelope
An order to appear
In front of a grand jury
Or get locked up for a year--HEY!
(Chorus)

They're listening to your phone
Reading your e-mail
Paying off your buddies
Putting agents on your tail
Going through your file
Making their report
Fabricating evidence for when you go to court--HEY!
(Chorus)

* * *

UP ON THE HOUSETOPS
New lyrics by Red Emma

Up on the housetops, what do I spy?
Oh my god, it's the FBI!
Peeking down the chimney, watching me
They even wiretapped the Christmas tree

(Chorus)
Ho, ho, ho, we say NO!
Ho, ho, ho, we say no-o-o
Repeal the Task Force, quick quick quick!
The FBI is making me sick!

They've infiltrated Santa's sled
'Cause the government thinks he's Red
Donder and Blitzen are spies for sure
Rudolf is a provocateur
(Chorus)

On the agenda's an or-di-nance
Citizen input gets no chance
Disrespect from bu-reau-crats
That's our present from Mayor Katz!
(Chorus)


What do u wanna bet 21.Dec.2004 13:16

Info

I called the clerk's office to find out why it has been postponed yet again. She was very nice, and told me it's because it makes more sense to have it after the new administration comes in, since there is going to be a change so soon and etc. Well, of course this makes much more sense. Still, it would have made even more sense if they had figured this out sooner...before scheduling and canceling it three times now.

Here's my thought. They don't want us there. I mean, that's a given, right? (Scheduling it when they have, canceling it with no notice...we take time off from work for these things, and they know it.) But what do you wanna bet they reschedule it for late January to coincide with the sham of an "inaguration" that's scheduled to nauseate us all about that time? Possibly in the hopes that the most radical of us will be out of town, or at least otherwise occupied?

Sigh. My hope is that hundreds of thousands of Americans take the example of the Ukraineans and head to Washington DC and really get some business done. That way, the JTTF will be a moot point.

Saw a Zine devoted to the Brandon Mayfield issue already at Powell's 22.Dec.2004 15:45

bookworm

It's call "How & Why Brandon Mayfield Was Framed", and it was loaded with info. Kinda hard to find, in the Small Press collection of the Hawthorne store.