The Arrest of a Vietnam Vet now goes to civil court
On March 29th of this year the Lone Vet was arrested along with his oxygen bottle called “little earl” (**Named after Congressman Blumenauer) by the Portland Police because he wanted to continue walking on the sidewalk in front of the Mittleman Jewish Center located on Capital Highway. Joe was on his way home and wanted to cross the driveway to tell his friends he was going home. Thus began the saga of why he was arrested? This was during a protest against fund raising for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC. An order from the Police, security, AIPAC security, the Governor’s security, or the police acting for the center as a private security force was delivered to the protesters in the following manner. “You will not cross the driveway from this time on, all of you must stay behind this line that we have decided on, this is not up for discussion.” You can hear the man in uniform telling the protesters on video that he will not discuss the decision with them, the problem is that the man in a Portland Police uniform was not acting as a representative of the city, he was being paid by the center or AIPAC.
Video of action before, during and after arrest: (Video about 4:26 shows cop saying no discussion.)
The investigation of who, what and why is just beginning but it sure smells funny. This is the first time in our experience with the police that an officer may have been contracted out to a private organization and remained in his uniform looking like a Portland police officer. Very confusing to say the least.
The first time we were made aware of this was during the trial on the 13TH of July for refusing to obey a lawful order by a policeman. The Judge found Joe Walsh not guilty because of selective prosecution, he was arrested for breaking the order to stay out of the driveway but a man later identified as an operative of AIPAC and/or an Israeli government official was allowed to wander in and out of the driveway without any hindrance from the police. He was taking pictures of the demonstrators and at one point blocked traffic on Capital Highway. Begs the question, who was working for whom?
The only way we can find out what the hell was going on here, is to file a civil suit and go through what is called discovery. In a civil action each party can depose, under oath, all of the main players in the arrest. This is a very powerful tool we have and we must use it to discover who was “Calling the Shots,” or making the decisions. This action was very different from others because there was almost no notice that an arrest was going to happen. Usually the police will negotiate with protesters before they arrest someone, there was only the order and anyone who violated that order was going to jail. The only exception to this rule were the members of AIPAC and that is what we want to know about.
We believe the sidewalks are almost “Holy ground,” when it comes to protests. If the police can order you not to protest on the sidewalk or public property then all protests are in jeopardy. “That cannot stand,” as bush #1 would say.
Jason Kafoury and his father have been wonderful, they are working very hard to win this case. It is important because to lose it or just ignore it would allow a police state and that is not going to happen in our time without one hell of a fight.
Joe’s favorite founding father was Thomas Paine. In his wonderful pamphlet, “Common Sense” he writes:
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of Custom.”
Police--any police, deciding where you can protest is wrong, and anytime the authorities take sides we must fight it on every level we can.
A wonderful article by Steve Duin which will appear in the Oregonian tomorrow Tuesday morning, August 11, 2009. You can read the article here:
WE ARE ASKING YOU TO SEND THIS OUT TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW, EVERY LIST YOU HAVE. THIS ACTION BY THE POLICE/SECURITY/OR WHOEVER MADE THE DECISION TO ARREST JOE MUST NOT STAND.
** It is full of gas!
For further contact information e-mail
Patricia E. Walsh