Who Belongs in Jail?

TV Coverage of Our Protest Against Police Spy Cams

KOIN TV Coverage of Our Protest Against Police Spy Cams

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Oregonian Article on Our Protest v. Police Spy Cams

Protesters gather to oppose Portland police plan for video surveillance cameras

May 09, 2012
Maxine Bernstein

The Oregon Progressive Party is protesting the Portland Police Bureau's proposal to place video surveillance cameras on private property in Old Town to help monitor drug deals.

Roberto Lovato"Instead of spying on our citizens and creating a police surveillance state in the vein of Orwell's 'Big Brother,' the PPB should be using their limited resources in prevention and treatment, not adding another weapon to the failed War on Drugs," said Phillip Kauffman, Oregon Progressive Party state council member.

About 20 people came to protest outside City Hall on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, the mayor pulled the item from the morning's council agenda, and referred it back to his office. Last week, Commissioner Dan Saltzman said he wouldn't support the program unless Chief Mike Reese adopted protocol restricting the camera's use and stating the consequences of any misuse.

The chief has said the cameras, which can "pan, tilt and zoom," would focus on public spaces and the images could be monitored by officers' smartphones, mobile computers in their cars or laptops. He said the surveillance could be helpful in aiding police in drug and gang enforcement.

Roberto Lovato, among the protesters, said he had hoped the demonstration would put pressure on the mayor to halt the plan. "If they get the OK to put them up in Old Town and Chinatown, they'll put them everywhere," Lovato said.

The chief's proposal to hold private property owners harmless from any liability that might arise from the installation of the police cameras on their buildings had been placed on the council's consent agenda two weeks ago as an emergency ordinance.

Portland Copwatch objected, and it was pulled off the consent agenda last week and placed on the regular agenda last week allowing for council discussion. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon also has opposed the police plan, saying the surveillance is ineffective and a waste of resources.

The Citizens Crime Commission supports the proposal, saying it will increase security for area businesses and help police enforcement of street-level drug dealing in Old Town Chinatown.

Opposition to SB 1534 Goes Viral

The Oregon Legislature's consideration of SB 1534 has triggered a massive outpouring of opposition, not just in Oregon but nationwide. Here are two of the articles in national publications about it:

Mother Jones     Forbes

Here are videos of the testimony about the bill at the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee:

SB 1534 Testimony 1     SB 1534 Testimony 2

Oregonian Says Bill to Criminalize Protest is Dead

Attempt to criminalize tweets that solicit law-breaking fizzles at Oregon Legislature

occupy crowd.JPG
Flash mobs that engage in criminal activity are the target of a bill that would make it illegal to electronically summon two or more people to a designated place to do something that is against the law. Critics say the bill, which appears dead, is aimed at preventing demonstrations such as Occupy Portland.

SALEM -- It was dubbed the "flash mob" bill when it got a hearing Monday at the Oregon Legislature -- a proposal to make it a felony to summon people by Twitter or email to commit a crime at a designated place.

Now it's more like flash-in-the-pan.

"It's dead," said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, the Eugene Democrat who, because he holds the gavel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, gets to decide such things.

Yet 11 Republicans and one Democrat signed onto Senate Bill 1534, which would have created the crime of "aggravated solicitation." And we're not talking street corners here.

Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, said he asked for the bill because he heard from retailers about being victims of flash mobs that steal stuff. It wasn't meant to stifle free speech, he said, but to bring law enforcement up to date with the modern era of social media and instant communication.

"If someone wants to bring a whole bunch of people to the Capitol to demonstrate, no problem," he said. "But if they're solicited to come to the Capitol at 9 p.m. to firebomb the place, that's a problem."

Critics say it's an unusual -- and dangerous -- incursion into the freedom to protest, not to mention tweet.

"I would expect a law like this is Myanmar, Turkmenistan, North Korea or Zimbabwe," said Dan Meek, a Portland attorney who testified Monday. Not, he said, at the Oregon Legislature.

Progressive Party Testifies Against Oregon Bill to Criminalize Protest

FOR RELEASE:  February 6, 2012

Dan Meek

Daniel Meek, an attorney representing the Oregon Progressive Party, today testified at the Oregon Legislature against a bill to criminalize using any form of "electronic communication" to organize or join in any protest constituting civil disobedience.

"This is the kind of law you might find in Myanmar or Turkmenistan or North Korea or Zimbabwe, but not in Oregon," said Meek.  Several persons associated with the Occupy movement also testified against the bill.

SB 1534, with 12 Senators co-sponsoring (only 16 votes are needed to pass the Senate), would make it a Class C felony for anyone to send an email (or a tweet or text or blog post) "with the intent of causing two or more other persons to engage in specific conduct constituting a crime" that itself is only a misdemeanor.  A Class C felony is punishable by a fine of up to $125,000 and a prison term of 5 years.  A misdemeanor, such as disorderly conduct or failing to disperse when ordered or making an unreasonable noise, is punishable by $2,500 fine and 6 months in jail.  So SB 1534 makes sending the email a far more serious crime than the misdemeanor being suggested in the message.   Read more ...

Oct 19: Protest Condi Rice's Richly Paid Speech in Portland (your PSU Foundation dollars at work)

Condi wants to waterboardOregon Convention Center (outside)
NE Holladay St & MLK Blvd
Wednedsday October 19th, 5:00 pm
(that's the time of the protest)

Condoleezza Rice comes to our city, PSU and the Convention Center, as the honored (and hugely paid) keynote speaker for PSU's Simon Benson Awards.  Individuals for Justice, members of Code Pink, and members of Veterans For Peace will be there outside the Convention Center to greet this proponent of unjust war and torture.

As Willamette Week wrote (Sept 18):

$5,000. That’s the minimum donation necessary to get a personal photo op with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She’s scheduled to deliver the keynote speech Oct. 19 at the Simon Benson Awards dinner, which benefits Portland State University. Rice, as you may recall, argued for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and (according to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee) approved the waterboarding of prisoners in U.S. custody. In a letter to faculty, PSU President Wim Wiewel defended the choice of Rice “largely because of her personal story” and rise from humble beginnings. The private PSU Foundation is organizing the event, and even though public entities are sponsoring it—including PSU Athletics, the Port of Portland and Oregon Health & Science University—Wiewel says Rice’s speaking fee is classified.

Classified!  Does he think PSU is now part of the CIA?  Miami University recently paid Condi $150,000 for a similar speech.  PSU should not be sponsoring a pay-off to this advocate of torture and "preemptive war."  She is featured in War Criminals Watch;

Occupy Portland Rally on Oct 6 at Noon

Occupy Portland is a nonviolent movement for accountability in the United States government.  The assembly is at 12 noon on October 6th, 2011, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 Southwest Naito Parkway in Portland (SW Morrison St. & SW Naito Pkwy)
For more information:
Twitter: @OccupyOregon

March 10 Rally: Portland Says No to JTTF!


Say No to Portland Joining the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
Say Yes to Civil Rights!

If your group wants to co-sponsor this event please contact

DATE:  Thursday March 10
RALLY:  12:30 pm    
SPEAKERS:  1:00 pm
CITY COUNCIL VOTE:  2:00 pm (public testimony will be taken)
LOCATION:  Outside City Hall Council Chambers 1221 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97204

On March 10 the Portland City Council will be voting on whether the City of Portland should re-enter the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

We strongly oppose Portland joining the JTTF, because we value our civil rights.  We don't want roving wiretaps, secret access and domestic spying on non-violent activists & community groups.

Further, Portland police officers cannot comply with Oregon law (ORS 181.575) and at the same time operate as deputized FBI JTTF agents. The most recent FBI 2008 Guidelines--as well as documented abuses uncovered by the ACLU across the country--show that FBI monitoring of individuals and organizations engaged in lawful First Amendment activity has only increased since 2005, when the City of Portland left the JTTF.

The City of Portland has a shameful history of spying on civic organizations, activists, and concerned citizens.  As written by Ben Jacklet in the Portland Tribune (Sept 12, 2002; updated Oct 30, 2009), the Portland Police engaged in political spying for 3 decades (that we know about): 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

The Secret Watchers:  How the police bureau spied for decades on the people of Portland

[The Portland] police kept watch over a broad range of harmless political and civic organizations. Intelligence officers built files on the People’s Food Store co-op, the Northwest Oregon Voter Registration Project and the Women’s Rights Coalition -- even the Bicycle Repair Collective, a city program offering a $24 course on how to fix flat tires and adjust brakes.

The files obtained by the Tribune focus on organizations, not individual Portlanders. But in the files appear the names of at least 3,000 people from 576 organizations. The names are presented in formal intelligence reports, appear on lists of participants in meetings and groups, are highlighted on posters that advertise events and are underlined in newspaper clippings.

Along with militants and activists are hundreds of regular citizens who were included simply for practicing everyday democracy -- writing letters, signing petitions, joining organizations and attending lectures or school board meetings.

Let's not revert to the Portland Police as political spies.  We said NO in 2005 and we say NO now!

CO-SPONSORS:  Oregon Progressive Party, Oregon Jericho, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, NW Student Coalition, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, the Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, International Socialist Organization and you...

For more information visit:
Oregon ACLU:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression:
Oregon Progressive Party:

contact: or


They are elected officials.  If they vote for the JTTF, then we won't vote for them!
Sam Adams
Mayor, Commissioner of Finance and Administration
(503) 823-4120
Amanda Fritz
Commissioner of Public Utilities, Position Number 1
(503) 823-3008  
Nick Fish
Commissioner of Public Works, Position Number 2
(503) 823-3589
Dan Saltzman
Commissioner of Public Affairs, Position Number 3
(503) 823-4151   
Randy Leonard
Commissioner of Public Safety, Position Number 4
(503) 823-4682
LaVonne Griffin-Valade
City Auditor
(503) 823-4078

Progressive Party helps scare Condi Rice

Anti-War groups stop Condoleeza Rice from coming to Portland
by Joe Walsh - Lone Vet

Members from Individuals For Justice, Veterans For Peace, PPRC, Code Pink, the Oregon Progressive Party and others gathered at the Downtown Hilton on November 13 to celebrate Condi Rice's decision not to show up in order to avoid a peaceful protest of her policies during the Bush Administration.

We received word that she had canceled her appearance at the Inaugural Portland Authors Luncheon. Security at the Hilton confirmed that the ex-Secretary of State decided not to confront protesters here in Portland.

We stopped a war criminal from coming to our city. A small band of dedicated activists spent an hour in front of the Hilton just to make the point that it is not a good PR move for a charity or foundation to use the notoriety of war criminals to raise money, because many of us will raise hell. We are happy that Condi did not come to Portland to sell her book. We are happy that one war criminal was told to stay away and was so afraid of a peaceful, non-violent group that she did. We should smile! This is a victory for non-violence and ending the occupations.

Thanks to you who showed up, got up early and stood for peace. I know I was going to have coffee with many of you but my body said go home. I was wet, tired and do listen to my body when it tells me, enough!

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