Stop the Eviction of Occupy Portland
This petition had 457 supporters
Whereas the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as Article I, Section 1 and Section 26 of the Oregon State Constitution;
Whereas the grievances which are being expressed through this protest reflect upon political structures which are so entrenched as to be impenetrable barriers to this speech;
Whereas the model employed by Occupy Portland allows any human being to participate fully and alter the direction that the protest action takes;
Whereas the establishment of a central and visible space to voice these grievances is crucial to their redress and to the involvement of the public in articulating the issues which are being examined;
Whereas the City of Portland enforced an eviction of the Occupy Portland protest from a public space on November 13th, 2011;
Whereas we believe that the camping and park closure ordinances being enforced constitute a prior restraint on our First Amendment rights in light of the impenetrable political structures which exercise undue influence upon our elected government, and these ordinances are being employed in violation of Article I Section 26 of the Oregon State Constitution to halt assembly of the people;
Whereas the main concerns cited by the City were those of public safety and sanitation, yet inspections by the Multnomah County Department of Health could not substantiate such concerns and the Portland Police were notified of the public safety issues but refused to take effective action to solve them;
Whereas the Portland Police, in justifying their refusal to enforce public safety laws within the encampment, cited the various temporary structures as residences and thus expressed Fourth Amendment concerns about proceeding in the absence of a warrant;
Whereas treating these spaces as residences, as the City and the Portland Police did for the purposes of addressing safety concerns, suggests a longer period of notice than was given for the previously described eviction;
Whereas the City of Portland announced their eviction through media outlets instead of delivering it to the people in question;
Whereas the notice for eviction was given at 10AM on the day before Veteran’s Day weekend, ensuring that Occupy Portland had no chance to address the issue in court prior to the execution of said eviction;
Whereas the City stated before evicting that they would be providing services and help to those that were being displaced by the eviction of Occupy Portland, yet many of these individuals were instead pursued by the Portland Police and targeted for their participation in said protest by repeatedly being kept from sleeping in public spaces;
Whereas the manner in which the previously described pursuit and targeting of homeless individuals who took part in this protest contradicted the Oregon Court of Appeals ruling in 2005 on the "Sit-Lie" law and the 2009 ruling by the Multnomah County Circuit Court following the law’s modification;
Whereas Occupy Portland intends to again occupy a public space in protest on December 3rd, 2011 within the city of Portland and has made earnest efforts to address many of the concerns which were raised by the City and the Portland Police;
It is established that the City of Portland and the Portland Police cease from carrying out a dispersal of the encampment and removal of temporary structures in this space so as to facilitate open dialogue and preservation of speech.
Occupy Portland has expressed a willingness over its entire duration to address concerns and work with officials to ensure a safe space for all and feels that no such process will occur unless the City engages in discussion that preserves our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights.
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