Not Guilty in Portland, Or.
On the #4 bus, *little earl and I had a friend along for the ride, a cane to help me stand for long periods. We were off to see the judge, at 2:00 PM sharp, the notice and phone call indicated we were going to trial. I was hoping that it would happen because some of you were going to make the trip, and my fear was we would all be told to come back another day--but not so!
Arriving about 1:30 PM little earl, (with his bow tie on) was sent through the X-Ray machine with no fanfare, just picked up by a marshal and shoved through---I worried that he would explode, I was happy that there was no bang.
Some of the Individuals for Justice were standing outside Rm124 before I got there, hate it when that happens. I like being the first to arrive but took it in stride; actually, I was glad to see friendly faces.
The lawyers came about 2:00 PM, went into the court, and came out to tell us we might be the last case to be heard. After about 1 hr I decided to play the little earl card. Little earl is only good for four hrs and I must be home by then or run out of oxygen. I went over to the lawyers and asked it they could tell the court clerk that they would have a medical emergency on their hands if they did not get us in soon. Everything moved!
The judge took us in and started to hear our case; we were going to finish in one day if we were lucky. The ADA was kind of a nerd, called many cops to establish we were arrested in front of 729 NE Oregon St. I could have told him that.
One charge was dropped before we started, our wonderful, great, compassionate, good looking, smart, and resourceful lawyers presented enough argument that the judge threw out the more serious charge of interfering with the orderly flow of pedestrian traffic in and out of the building. The remaining charge was refusing a lawful order by a police officer, policewoman, mailperson and/or probation officer or his wife or her husband. The Battle was going to be bloody. We were ready to testify that we were just trying to get our representative’s attention. After the ADA, (AKA-nerd guy) finished with his police buddies he rested his case and now we were going to testify. Give the world our great and noble statements of great political significant actions. Bad news---“We want you to be quiet,” so said those lawyers who were so nice just a few minutes ago, not a word. I objected---but what about the lie that one salmon police officer told, it must be corrected, I cried to our lawyers. I looked to the others for support for my moment in the light, nothing. It was sad! Joe Walsh was told to be quiet.
It was in our lawyer’s hands. They stood tall, and each taking their turn, the founding fathers, coming from England to find freedom of speech, was talked about in some length. Our quest to see and meet with our representative was offered to the judge. Our peaceful way of being arrested was brought into the light. Our lawyers made me want to meet these noble people who gave much and asked for little in return---that their rep just do his job! It was much fun.
The judge, a woman of great understanding in the ways of the law, gave us her decision from the bench. The first part was good for us; the middle was good for the nerd guy. The last part of her decision was great for us and not so good for the state, NOT GUILTY WERE THE WORDS.
I was surprised when they did not grant us a jury of our peers, I thought the fix was in and we were going to be found guilty of something. Thanks to an honorable judge and three damn good attorneys, we won!
For those who came, thank you for being with us, for those who wished us well and were there in spirit, we felt your presence.
To the lawyers------you were right, sometime I should shut up.
Our next adventure will be discussed this coming Thursday, at high noon, at my place--“Moving on up!”
For Justice and Peace
*little earl is my oxygen bottle I must have, named after our representative Congressman Earl Blumenauer.