Who: Those concerned with stopping the CRC
What: Bicycling to the capitol to bear witness and document the Senate vote on the CRC HB2800.
When: Senate convenes at 11, Salem meetup is on the capitol steps at 10:45AM, Portland meetup is at 5:30AM at QFC at 6411 SE Milwaukie Ave
Where: From the streets of Portland to the capitol steps of Salem via Old Highway 99 East.
Why: For starters, because $450 million dollars for a new bridge in the midst of “sequestration” is preposterous
How: One pedal stroke at a time
Bike riders from PDX Bike Swarm are heading to the capitol today to document the Senate vote of HB2800. Contingents of cyclists have twice previously made the trek from Portland to Salem to voice their displeasure with the bill during two hearings scheduled earlier in February. During these jam packed hearings, the people have made it clear that the Columbia River Crossing “project” and the accompanying bill are a massive waste and public fraud. It is with great zeal that the riders today will head towards the capitol. Cameras will be at the ready, filming and livestreaming all they can. The public has voiced their dissent and the time to hold those accountable fast approaches. See you in Salem.
Timeline of Mike Hernandez and his beloved bicycle Darlene:
Nov 3 – Mike was pepper sprayed, shoved, and batoned by Portland Police Bureau.
Nov 9 – Mike was bum rushed by police, arrested, and his bicycle was confiscated.
Nov 13 – Mike appeared for his initial arraignment, a request for Darlene’s release was denied.
Dec 21 – Mike appeared for his actual arraignment with lawyer, a request for Darlene’s release is pending.
To summarize, first he was assaulted by PPB, then he was arrested, then they kept his bike. Action is needed!
Who: The People (Bike Swarmers, Occupiers, Cascadians, etc…)
What: Demand the IMMEDIATE release of Darlene, if PPB will not do their job then the Mayor or Mayor-Elect need to step in to intervene.
When: ASAP, the twitter campaign will be launched at 5PM.
Why: It is a crime to take someone’s primary mode of transportation and
hold it as “evidence.” A member of the community was assaulted
multiple times on Nov 3 and now he is being punished further by being
deprived his bicycle Darlene. This is not justice. Darlene has been
locked up for over six weeks now! One would suspect it’s not really
needed for “evidence” anymore. Tell the Mayor, Mayor-Elect, and PPB
that they cannot hold a bicycle hostage for no apparent reason.
On the afternoon of November 13th around 30 members of the community gathered together in a courtroom at the justice center in downtown Portland. These individuals were not only present to bear witness to the arraignment of Michael (Mike) Hernandez, but to say no to police initimdation. The referenced intimidation came in the form of an assault on many people on November 3rd during the anti-austerity protests led by Portland Action Lab. The intimidation continued with the untimely arrest of Mr. Hernandez six days later on bogus charges while he rode home from work. Much has already been written on this, see here and here. Long story short, several felt that a member of the community was snatched up silently and on bogus charges and then used for PR to hide the real crimes of the police. These crimes being pepper spraying children and assaulting a crowd with batons for starters.
About 15 individuals had ridden over in a swarm from Holladay Park tailed by two motorcycle officers. They gathered outside the courtroom where a slow trickle of supporters began to clog the hall. A few minutes after 2PM everyone was let into the courtroom. The crowding was overwhelming and there seemed to be a bit of nervousness in the court clerks voices. It seemed they feared they were going to be there all day processing cases. The supporters waited patiently for nearly two hours, mostly silent watching the proceedings of the court. One by one the arraignment of several individuals was witnessed. The court had begun to clear out a little, the supporters who were standing had finally been able to take their seat.
Finally, around 4PM Michael Hernandez was called to the bench. At this moment his supporters stood up, about 3/4 of the courtroom at that point. This was a completely spontaneous and unplanned. Perhaps an individual already had plans in their mind to stand in solidarity, but the rest rose to their feet instantly and of their own volition. These people came to let it be known that a member of the community cannot be assaulted and then snatched up by the police. They came to say that you cannot use the community as a punching bag and a scapegoat. The real story is known, it was witnessed and recorded by scores of individuals.
A peaceful and loving member of the community has been targeted for publicity reasons by the Portland Police Bureau and they will not let it scare them into submission. The community will not allow this to happen. They will be there to shine a light on the atrocities. This is only the beginning of this individuals struggle. The community is still rallying to supply funds for legal defense, see the WePay here. One of the defendant’s charges was dropped, but another three remain. Despite the fact that one of the charges was dropped, Mike’s beloved bicycle Darlene (whom he called by name in court) was not returned as it is still being held for evidence. A separate publicity campaign for her has been started here. The people will be back to witness the rest of the proceedings and hopefully see their friend and loved one exonerated. It is suspected they will not stop there as talk of a law suit is ever present. The story is not over, history is still being written.