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The time has come the Walrus said to talk of many things, of ceiling wax and sailing ships and cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

Confessions of a Rageboy Addict
Tuesday, September 10, 2002  
Something I recieved the other day

Dear Ms. Mason:

Thank you for taking the time to convey your thoughts about the police interaction with protestors during President Bush's August 22, 2002 visit to Portland.

Our city has a long history of peaceful protest, and I encourage this type of public expression and involvement. I have learned from experience that peaceful protests require that both demonstrators and police act responsibly.

I know that most of Thursday's demonstrators participated in the event with the goal of peacefully expressing their views. I also believe that the police acted with the best intentions in a very difficult situation.

Following normal Bureau protocol, an internal review of all actions related to the event is underway to determine what went right, and what went wrong, during Thursday's protest and what can be improved.

I have asked the Bureau to closely analyze the adequacy of the perimeter that was established around the Hilton Hotel and the decision to move police vehicles through an area where the crowd had already assembled.

I have also asked the Bureau to analyze the difficulties they encountered as a result of the refusal of event organizers to obtain a permit or communicate their plans with the police both prior to and during the demonstration. As you may already know, last year, the City Council removed the fees for permits that are required for events in the public right of way such as occurred last Thursday. This City Council policy is intended to encourage event representatives to coordinate police traffic management prior to these kinds of events. Despite these steps making it easier to obtain a street and sidewalk use permit, Thursday's protest organizers did not apply for one. City Council policy authorizes Police Incident Commanders to use their own best judgment in dealing with such unpermitted events.

One thing is sure. Our First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. These guarantees apply to all, whether attending a presidential reception or protesting his presence.

Again, thank you for taking the time to email me your concerns.

With warm regards,
Vera Katz

My very own reply. I hope we are still watching Portland to see what happens.

9/10/2002 11:39:00 PM

An egg off the ol' ovary

My daughter asked me yesterday about the new commercials on TV that depict a world where books, newspapers, and religious gatherings are banned or severly restricted. She asked me what they were about. I told her that I beleived that these were ads from groups protesting the so called Patriot Act that would abridge the guarenteed rights and privileges of the Bill of Rights in the name of fighting terrorism. She was very upset about what I told her. I sent her to several web sites to do some reading before I went off to work. When I came home, this is what she had written.

"I am Amelia Margaret Mason and I am 16 years old. I wrote this because I am worried about what the government is doing. I am too young to change things myself, but I hope that you who are reading this can do something about it. I am greatly concerned because I feel that from now on there is the possibility that the world that I will soon be entering will cease to be a free one.

What are the first things that came to mind when you ask someone my age why someone from another country would come here. They would probably say freedom of speech and freedom of religion. There are also many other things that make America special and different from other countries. I think that the terrorists do not like the freedom we have in our country or are some how jealous that they can’t have the same freedom. I think they do things like the atrocity of 9/11 because they think it could take our freedom away by scaring us.

That didn’t work on the citizens of the United States. But they scared the government. Now the government is scared enough to try to pass a bill called The Patriot Act. This act gives the president a lot of power to decide things without a vote. This may help some time, but I think it could lead to some very bad problems. From what I have hear and read the president is not really competent enough to make these kind of decisions properly by himself. From what I can tell he is more concerned with politics than the welfare and rights of the majority of the citizens of America. Also, this act takes away some of the most basic rights that we have: the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. Without these basic rights America would be like any other country that we fight against. In effect the government is carrying out the terrorists work for them.

I hope that the adults that read this can vote and try to stop this so that when my friends and I grow up we will have a country we can be proud of and happy in."

I was truely amazed. So much so that I felt it was important to let her share her opinion. I think I would have sworn yesterday morning that the only things on her mind were clothes, makeup, Pink, and the boy next door. I really enjoy being that wrong. What a kid.

9/10/2002 01:26:00 PM

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