For going on 6 years now, PPRC has met, drummed and marched from the NE corner of Pioneer Square every Friday like clockwork, BUT
Last Friday's rally was told in no uncertain terms: if you continue to do
what you've been doing for the past six years, you will be issued a
citation. What was it that we were doing? Using a megaphone or playing
drums. PPRC has been doing both at Pioneer Courthouse Square for over
half of this current decade, and with no problems. We've never received a
complaint from the city of Portland. We've never received a complaint
from any of the downtown businesses. Indeed, the city of Portland's noise
control office hadn't received complaints until recent weeks when Pioneer
Courthouse Square, Inc. (a corporation created to manage PCS, which is a
city park) decided to flex a little muscle.
PCS, Inc., said that they had to enforce a ban on the use of any sound
amplification (which included our little megaphone and our drums). They
said that they felt compelled to enforce this ban on the Friday rally
because they were concerned that others might complain of selective
enforcement if they didn't enforce it against the Friday rally. When
asked if anybody or any group had based such a complaint on our 6-year
traditions at Pioneer Courthouse Square, they quickly changed the
subject. After repeating the question a few times, however, their
spokesperson confessed that nobody had ever yet made such an argument;
they wanted to pre-empt any such attempt.
PPRC is now exploring whether and how to challenge this effort to muzzle
the Friday rally. We will continue to drum and to use the megaphone on
the streets, but while we're on Pioneer Courthouse Square, we will have
only our voices.
Will you join us this Friday to add your voice to our chorus for peace
and justice in the coming new year? With each voice, our message becomes
stronger, stronger than any battery-powered megaphone or drum, stronger
than any city ordinance, stronger than the plans of a private corporation
to reduce our downtown public park to a commercial zone for
advertisements, a space merely bridging one department store to another.
Help us to keep the message of peace and justice loud and clear in
Portland's living room. Please join us this Friday, or any other Friday,
at 5PM, for the weekly rally for peace and justice.
For peace, for justice, for solidarity,
PPRC General Meeting