From Amy Ruiz at the Portland Mercury, May 13, 2008

Representatives of the homeless protest just headed into Mayor Tom Potter’s office. Several of the de facto leaders of the protest, meanwhile, stayed outside, where protesters fear the cops will sweep during the meeting.

Though the meeting wasn’t open to the public, we sent our tape recorders in with two of the protesters to get the conversation on the record—after agreeing to release the entire tape for the public to use freely. Apparently, according to protester Katie Nilson—who just walked out of the meeting, angry—Potter’s staff said they couldn’t record the conversation.

“It’s ridiculous,” says Nilson.

I spoke with Potter’s spokesperson John Doussard just before the meeting started, to try to get some clarity on what happens when the campsite becomes illegal today.

Apparently, all of the city’s ordinances will be fully enforced. What’s unclear is how they overlap. For example, the sit-lie ordinance allows for an 8-hour protest during the sit-lie hours of 7 am to 9 pm; After that, people can sit or lie on the sidewalk. But then they can’t camp, per the illegal campsite notice. But maybe they can sit? It’s all unclear—Doussard says deputy city attorney David Woboril will explain it all at the Mayor’s 3:30 pm press conference.

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