Citizen Confrontation at City Council Meeting

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by Dustin Ross

alley-to city council 2The heat is turning up on Lane County. Attempts to prevent local activist Alley Valkyrie from attending County Commission meetings backfired on the 29th when Alley not only showed up, she spoke to their conduct directly and without restraint.

The attempts to prevent Valkyrie from attending the meeting were linked to her arrest last year and comments she had made as part of that arrest. Valkyrie was arrested on December 13th at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at 8th & Oak in Eugene for violating a direct order from county administrator Liane Richardson to vacate. At the time of her arrest, Valkyrie stated her belief that Richardson had falsely cited sanitation concerns as the reason for ordering the closure of the plaza.

Here is the captioned video from the City Council Meeting

Here the transcript of the confrontation.

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”I’m here for an old fashioned reason. I’m here to instruct my representatives and petition my government for a redress of grievances. Actions which are specifically protected by Article 1 Section 26[1] of the Oregon constitution. Federal constitution also protects my right to be up here as does federal case law. The fact that this meeting was open to public comment designates this meeting as a public forum under federal law. I’m going to quote the supreme court, “The government can exclude a speaker from a traditional public forum only when the exclusion is necessary to serve a compelling state interest.”[2] On December 13th I was arrested on the free speech plaza[3] for violating a direct order from county administrator Liane Richardson to vacate. I violated that order because I believed as still do that she intentionally lied about sanitary reason in order to close the plaza. I made that clear on the 13th of December, I’ve made it clear to many media outlets over the past six weeks, and I repeat that here now. I have a First Amendment right to my opinion. My opinion is protected by federal law. Never in a million years did I imagine that in retaliation for my disobedience and my subsequent public comments Mrs Richardson and Mr Dingle would intentionally and deliberately violate my constitutional rights by excluding me from this building and threatening me with arrest if I chose to speak at a public meeting as I am right now. They are going to have me arrested for speaking to you right now. You cannot keep me out of this meeting without compelling state interest; you have none. I’m not a danger to the public. I’ve been using this building for five years without incident. I’ve committed an act of civil disobedience, I’m speaking out against that and these two are violating my constitutional rights. Liane and Steve don’t own this building the people own this building. The two of you work for the people. The people are disgusted by these actions. My only offense is essentially saying ‘F you’ to Mrs Richardson in a very public and dramatic manner. I’m sorry you don’t like what I have to say. I have a right to say it. This meeting is also protected under the Oregon Public Meetings Act. ORS 192.630[4] states that all meetings of the governing body of a pubic body shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend. There is no provision anywhere that allows a public official acting on behalf of a municipality to deny a citizen access as a condition of arrest for civil disobedience. Wow Liane, after you spend thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars Sorenson and Handy for violating the public meeting law, look who’s doing it now. Liane and Steve. So go ahead. Have me arrested. Violate my rights under the color of state law. The two of you are unfit for public office. This county’s corruption is disgusting and I am ashamed to be a citizen of this county. Have a great day.”

[author][author_image]http://25.media.tumblr.com/avatar_68b2bdbb662f_64.png[/author_image] [author_info]Photographer, Journalist. I work in Eugene, OR on issues of homelessness and civil rights. Please feel free to contact me any time regarding said topics or with creative ideas.  – Dustin Ross  [email protected] [/author_info] [/author]

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