[pjw] ACTION: Mayor's proposal to curb protests at Council Thurs 2:15 PM

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Nov 3 16:15:24 EDT 2018

We sent the below action alert out to the Portland Copwatch list a few 
minutes ago. I would add here that in addition to PCW's role observing 
police at many protests, PJW organizes many protests. The idea that a 
group could post on social media that they plan to counter-demonstrate 
leading to an automatic imposition of these rules (which allow the Mayor 
to strictly regulate the protests) is disturbing to say the least.
--dan handelman
peace and justice works/portland copwatch

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2018 13:06:31
From: Portland Copwatch <copwatch at portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: ACTION: Mayor's proposal to curb protests at Council Thurs 2:15 PM

Portland Copwatch and Peace and Justice Works supporters:

Mayor Ted Wheeler is trying to push through an ordinance this coming
Thursday, November 8 at 2:15 PM which would curb protesting in Portland.
While the stated goal is to stop people from engaging in street brawls,
the gist of the proposal is that the Mayor gets to decide who protests
and where, and if you don't do what he says, you can be fined $500
and/or spend 6 months in jail.


We will be putting together our comments on this ordinance in the coming
days. In the meantime, here is what the ACLU of Oregon posted on October
15 in response to the first draft of the law:

  The proposed ordinance raises many constitutional concerns. The mayor.s
  proposal grants broad authority to the mayor's office to regulate
  constitutionally-protected speech and assembly with no meaningful
  oversight for abuse. Perhaps worse than the legal issues it raises, is
  that this ordinance is being sprung on the public with little notice as
  an emergency measure that will take effect immediately. This action by
  the mayor demonstrates a lack of trust in the public and is an end-run
  around our usual democratic processes. We suspect that this rushed
  proposal will be met with public outcry and demonstrations. And,
  inevitably, this ordinance will get challenged in court. To be clear,
  we already have laws against street fighting and violence.

This is very well said-- if people are engaged in unlawful violence,
they can be arrested for that. If people are engaged in First Amendment
protected speech (or free expression, under Article 1 section 8 of the
Oregon Constitution), they should not be subjected to arrest. In all
cases, it is not right for the state to engage in violence to show
people that they should not engage in violence.

On that note, the ordinance quotes a Ninth Circuit opinion that says
"Adding large numbers of police on the street might be the solution in
some cases, but in other cases could lead to more intense violence."

There's always the possibility that if there is enough backlash ahead of
time (and/or the Mayor finds he does not have enough votes to pass the
ordinance), the item can be pulled from the agenda. This is being put
forward as an emergency ordinance which means at least four members of
Council have to be present and there has to be a unanimous vote.

Here are the contact emails for Council and the Council Clerk:

           Commissioner Amanda Fritz <amanda at portlandoregon.gov>
           Commissioner Chloe Eudaly <chloe at portlandoregon.gov>
           Commissioner Dan Saltzman <dan at portlandoregon.gov>
           Commissioner Nick Fish <Nick at portlandoregon.gov>
           Mayor Ted Wheeler <MayorWheeler at portlandoregon.gov>
           Council testimony <cctestimony at portlandoregon.gov>

We will try to keep you posted of updates; otherwise we hope to hear
your feedback and/or see you on Thursday.
dan handelman
portland copwatch

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