[pjw] INFO/ACTION: Please schedule public commment for Joint Terrorism Task Force Report
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Tue Jan 7 18:21:38 EST 2020
One of the side effects of Trump's horrifying and ilegal assassination
drone last week is there's a crackdown happening in the Iranian / middle
eastern / Muslim communities based on the "if you see something say
something" garbage that led to internment camps in the 1940s.
Portland Copwatch sent out this action alert on Friday and I meant to
forward it to you all Saturday, but the antiwar part of my brain wasn't
connecting to the civil liberties side.
This month, the Police Bureau is required to present a report to City
Council about their cooperation in 2019 on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task
Force. PJW and Portland Copwatch (our project group) are still working on
this issue with other organizations. Our first step is trying to make sure
the public gets to speak at the hearing where the report is presented. If
you want to use our letter (below) or write your own, please do so. The
more the Mayor hears about public interest the more we have a chance
(however remote) to get him to change his mind about never taking public
input on reports. If you do contact Council, let us know.
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2020 14:50:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Peace and Justice Works <pjw at pjw.info>
To: Mayor Ted Wheeler <MayorWheeler at portlandoregon.gov>, Chief Jami Resch
<Jami.Resch at portlandoregon.gov>
cc: Portland City Council -- Commissioner Amanda Fritz
<amanda at portlandoregon.gov>, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly
<chloe at portlandoregon.gov>, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty
<joann at portlandoregon.gov>
Subject: Please schedule public comment for Joint Terrorism Task Force Report
To Mayor Ted Wheeler and Chief Jami Resch
cc: Commissioners Chloe Eudaly, Amanda Fritz, and Jo Ann Hardesty
re: Please schedule public comment for Joint Terrorism Task Force report
Mayor Wheeler and Chief Resch
This month, the Portland Police Bureau is required to present its first
annual report on their work with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force
(JTTF).*-1 We are writing to urge you to schedule public comment as part
of the report to Council. This issue is of great importance to the 50
signators to the letter demanding the PPB withdrawal from the Task
Force, the handful of organizations who supported ongoing participation,*-2
and to the nation as a whole.*-3
We strongly disagree with Mayor Wheeler's blanket policy for not taking public
testimony on Reports. This policy has been defended as a way to avoid having
to "pick and choose" which Reports get testimony and which do not. Certainly
one criterion for following the City Code that allows testimony on Reports*-4
would be to gauge the public interest in the matter at hand.
Furthermore, with the sad passing of Commissioner Fish it is now not possible
for four members of Council to vote to allow comment, overriding the Mayor's
decision as President of the Council.
Those who urged Portland to stay in the secretive Task Force suggested that we
should trust that this is making us safer and that the officers involved were
following the law and City policy. A public discussion of the first year of
"case-by-case" cooperation would benefit all parties.
Please let us know as soon as possible both the date of the Report's
expected release (it is not listed on the Upcoming Agenda Items tab as
of December 31*-5) and that members of the public will be able to
provide contemporaneous, public, oral feedback on the report to Council
on the day it is presented.
peace and justice works/ portland copwatch
*1- per Resolution 37424 passed on May 8, 2019:
*3- particularly with heightened tensions due to US military strikes
against Iranians in Iran and Syria, the JTTF may be used to
crack down on Muslim and Middle Eastern communities in the US.
*4- City Code 3.02.040 (G)(5)
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