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Friday, September 5, 2008

Rent-A-Cops Ask Obama Campaigner To Leave Pioneer Square

Posted by Matt Davis on Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM

In July, we found out that you can't "steal" Pioneer Square's electricity. Now, it turns out that you can't hand out Obama badges and leaflets there, either. So much for it being Portland's "living room," I guess.


Officer Byrd, who looks like a cop, and could work for Portland Patrol, Inc, or Pacific Patrol Inc, or Portland Patrol Services Inc (they all look so similar to me, it's impossible to tell the difference) asked Obama campaigner Darin Richey to move his table of Obama badges off the Max platform on the North Side of the square at 10:15 this morning. Richey decided to set up across the street instead.

"He asked me to move," said Richey. "I was a little disheartened, to be honest. It was a high traffic spot and I thought I'd be able to talk to a lot of people over there."

"I'm 43 years old," Richey continued. "I'm only out here because this is the first time I've ever been interested in politics. Obama and Biden, they seem like good hearted people, and that's why I'm out here working."

Richey was spotted being moved by Dale Hardway of the Civic Action Group from Sisters of the Road. "He wasn't blocking the sidewalk," says Hardway. "People had plenty of room to get past, and I notice that there's an SUV parked on the square advertising 94/7, and a bunch of other stuff blocking people's way."

Richey asked, "isn't this public property?"

No. Sadly not.

Officer Byrd denied retaliating against Richey because of the content of his speech.

"As far as I know, it's fine, it's just the legs on the table that he can't have on the square," he said.

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