The Official Liveblog

This is the official liveblog of Occupy CD2!
Follow the rallies across Oregon's 2nd Congressional District all day Monday, December 5th!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Firedoglake: Occupy CD2: Eastern Oregonians Ask “Where’s Walden?”

Check out the amazing photos of Bend from the Firedoglake coverage!

OPB: Police Arrest Protesters at Walden's Office

OPB News: Police Arrest Protesters at Walden's Office

Police Arrest Protesters at Walden's Office: Mail Tribune (Medford)

Medford police Officer Ericka Doran escorts Peace House member Herbert Rothschild out of Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s office in Medford on Monday. Rothschild and five other protesters occupied Walden’s office for about seven hours until police escorted them to City Hall, where they were cited and released.

Six protesters were arrested Monday evening when the Occupy Wall Street movement moved into Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Walden's Medford office for a sit-in to protest what they see as Walden's selling out of his votes to big business.

Eight protesters arrived at Walden's downtown office at about 11 a.m. and took over the office's conference room while demanding Walden hold a round of public town hall meetings to hear from constituents about how economic policies and his votes have hurt constituents in his 2nd Congressional District.

Six of the protesters insisted they would not leave until arrested, and Medford police accommodated them shortly after the building's 6 p.m. closure by escorting them out individually and free of handcuffs.

Many waved to supporters standing in the cold Middleford Alley as they were placed in a waiting van and driven to the Medford Police Department, where they were cited on a misdemeanor trespass charge, given court appearance dates and released.

"They were very civil, very polite," Medford police Lt. Greg Lemhouse said.

A simultaneous protest at Walden's Bend office led to a handful of arrests shortly after 6 p.m. as well, Walden spokesman Andrew Whelan said from Washington, D.C., where Walden was on Monday.

Whelan said they called police because the protesters could not be left alone in the office and their disruption of constituent service needed to end.

"It was pretty clear what they were aiming for," Whelan said. "At a certain point you have to wrap it up."
The so-called "Occupy Walden" effort was to showcase protesters' demand that Walden hold five well-publicized and open town-hall meetings in the next five months "so he gets real feedback from real people, not just his buddies who give him money," said Allen Hallmark, one of the arrested protesters and a former chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Party.

Rob Patridge, Walden's district director, met with the protesters and told them Walden has held a dozen town-hall meetings so far this year throughout his vast district, which includes Medford and all of Eastern Oregon.

In fact, Patridge said, Walden already has town-hall meetings set for Dec. 28 in Fossil and Rufus. Walden has visited Medford about once a month since his election 13 years ago and has planned more town-hall meetings here, Patridge said.

While Walden may have a record of town-hall meetings, protesters said their demands were a symbol of how those most affected by changing economic policies have no voice in the current Congress.

"The meetings are a symptom of the problem, but not the problem," said Herbert Rothschild, a Phoenix resident and Ashland Peace House member who was one of those arrested. "People with wealth have much better access than people who don't.

"The real issue here is not Mr. Walden's schedule," Rothschild said. "The real issue is Mr. Walden's votes. His votes are for Wall Street, not our street."

Monday, December 5, 2011

14 Arrested in Occupy CD2 Requesting People's Town Halls with Walden

Six constituents in Medford and eight constituents in Bend were arrested minutes ago for refusing to leave Rep. Walden's offices until he agreed to simply hold public town halls.

Acting in solidarity, 15 people met the Bend arrestees as they were escorted out of the office with signs and the chants, "we are the 99%" and, "where oh where is Walden?"

The Medford Six were brought to the courthouse, cited, and released. Bend constituents were cited and released outside of Walden's office.

They were cited with Criminal Trespass 2 and banned from going to Rep. Walden's offices for one year unless invited.

Update: 6:50PM

Medford was arrested ten minutes ago by five police officers. Walden has made no commitment nor comment.

17 Bend police officers are now at Walden's office for six Occupiers. Will update once more is known.

Bend Police on their way!

KTVZ notified Occupy CD2 that the police were on their way and the announcement went out over the police scanner.

Bend Update: 5:20PM

OPB has joined the Occupation and is interviewing people! The two police officers have left the building. The office doesn't officially close until 6:30PM.

Bend & Medford Update: 4:30PM

Bend: Two police officers have been called. Aides are visibly annoyed that Occupy CD2 will not leave until Walden agrees to holding accessible People's Town Halls. Pizzas were ordered and delivered to the Occupiers!

Medford: Plainclothes detectives came to the Medford office to check out the Occupy CD2 folks. They were all smiles and left unannounced. Pizza was delivered to the Occupiers!

Bend Update: 2:45PM

Where's Walden?!

Occupy CD2 stuffed Walden's Bend office with people. Walden's aides insisted that they had a meeting with homeless veterans that Occupiers were keeping them from.

Occupy CD2 tried to find out where the meeting was, but got no answers. They sent a group of veterans out to the meeting to invite the homeless veterans up to Walden's office to meet with Walden's aides. They couldn't find the meeting!

The Occupy CD2 veterans went to the Office of Veteran's Services where they were told no meeting was taking place.

They then went to the Veteran's Outreach Office. The staff had no idea about the meeting.

Veteran's Outreach called Cody, a staffer at Walden's Bend office, to inquire about this meeting. Cody himself said there was no meeting today.


La Grande: Update 1:45PM

12 people went into Walden's La Grande office to demand a People's Town Hall. They were told that ANY public event Walden attends is considered a Town Hall.

Furthermore, the aide said that people can ask questions at ANY public event Walden attends, citing his joint appearance with Gov. Kitzhaber upon the return of the National Guard veterans. Occupy CD2 in La Grande broke into laughter. We are expected to find Walden at a public event supporting our troops TO ASK HIM A QUESTION?

Not good enough, Walden!

Medford Update: 1:40PM

Occupy CD2 has been told to leave Walden's Medford office. They have refused until Walden holds a public and accessible People's Town Hall!

Walden Town Hall Photo Booth in Hood River

Occupy CD2: Hood River

Bend Update: 1:30 p.m.

There are now 10 people peaceably sitting in Walden's office in Bend. Aides have told them they need to leave, but they are not ready to go as our demands have not been met. We are beginning a "moving occupation" of the intersection outside Walden's office with out 2 large banners.

Not Good Enough

"Not Good Enough!" was Occupy CD2's response when told that Walden is having a Town Hall on December 28 in Rufus. The major tenet of our demand is that Walden be ACCESSIBLE. A private, unannounced meeting in Rufus is NOT accessible, Walden!


Hood River

Walden's response in Bend

Congressman Walden's office in Bend says they already have a town hall scheduled on December 28 in Rufus. We in Bend do not find that to be accessible to enough of us. Six people still wait in his office for a commitment.

Occupy Bend in front of Bank of America

Over 100 in the freezing cold in Bend!

Statewide Update: 11:55AM

Medford: 9 constituents met with Walden's aides to issue the demand for People's Town Halls with Walden HIMSELF. They were informed that Congressman Walden has two town halls planned for the Gorge on December 28, but have no further information. They have called Walden's DC office for more information. Note that these "town halls" are not publicly advertised or posted on Walden's website! We will update as soon as we have more information!

Bend: 12 constituents are inside Walden's office waiting for Walden's staff to meet with them.

Klamath Falls, Hood River, La Grande: People are congregating to rally!

Photos of Bend Waiting for Walden Aides

Occupy Bend's Creative Action

It's 12 Now! Update 2

12 people are in Walden's office in Bend now to present our demand for public town hall meetings. The bend 12 are now meeting with Waldan's staff. Bend 12 are trying to get a commitment but staff seems to think it can't make a commitment. Only 3 walden town halls currently scheduled for 2012! None in Bend. More soon!

Occupy CD2: Medford and Bend are in Walden's Offices!

Over twenty people from Medford and Bend are inside of Congressman Walden's offices to issue the demand for People's Town Halls!

Stay posted to hear what happens next!

Central Oregon Action Thread Here updates constantly!

Getting excited and doing last minute prep for occupy district 2 in Central Oregon. Should be an exciting and fun call for actual democracy.

10 people have entered cong. Walden's office in Bend to present our demand!

Today is the Day!

Today is the day that Oregon's 2nd Congressional District will Occupy to send a message: that what should matter most in a democracy is what people want and need.

In two hours, people will begin rallying in Medford, Bend, La Grande, Hood River, and Klamath Falls to make this message loud and clear!

Stay tuned for liveblogging from around CD2!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Looking forward to Monday

Hey y'all: I'll be one of the people live blogging Occupy Disrict 2 from Bend on Monday. Can't wait. Will be from my I-phone, so forgive the typos and auto-correct goofs. Works from the iPhone too!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Official Liveblog of Occupy CD2

This is the official liveblog of Occupy CD2! Follow this all day Monday, December 5th for updates on how Occupy CD2 rallies are making their voices heard across Oregon's 2nd Congressional District in Hood River, La Grande, Bend, and Medford!

Oregonians across the state “Occupy” Congressional District 2 to demand People’s Town Halls with Rep. Walden

Powell Butte, OR – In the largest, unified public demonstration to address a specific member of Congress in recent history, the Occupy movement will convene throughout Congressional District 2 in eastern Oregon Monday, December 5, to demand Rep. Walden hold accessible town halls. In Bend, La Grande, Medford and Hood River, church groups, educators, and labor unions will join the “99%” in simultaneous mid-day rallies and marches calling for a more representative democracy.

The demand of Occupy Congressional District 2 (CD2) is for Walden to announce to the media a town hall to be held during the Congressional recess this December, and Walden’s commitment to appear at five public town halls across the 2nd Congressional District by April. Organizers stipulated that he should give the public at least three weeks’ notice of the date, time and location for the town halls, citing the Congressman’s track-record of holding “electronic town halls” under short notice that do not allow for the public to ask questions and only appearing at closed meetings or events. 

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is comprised of 20 counties covering more than two-thirds of the state in area, mostly east of the Cascades. Both of Oregon's Senators hold town halls in each county in the state every year. Banners will ask, “Where’s Walden?” in Monday’s demonstrations.

“He might as well be a thousand miles away,” said Allen Hallmark of Grants Pass. “We can’t see him. He comes to Jackson County to hold fundraisers with rich donors at the country club, then flees. Getting a meeting with our Representative shouldn’t be this hard.”

Organizers of Occupy CD2 site multiple examples of trying to meet with Rep. Walden and being repeatedly denied.  “During the federal debt ceiling negotiations this summer, we invited Rep. Walden to a Town Hall to talk about jobs and the economy and he never showed up.  We had to hold the Town Hall without him. When we mailed his office our questions, we never got a response,” shares Kathy Paterno of Powell Butte. 

“This August, when Members of Congress were supposed to be home meeting with their constituents, we called Walden’s office to ask about public events where we could meet with our Representative. We were told he only does private meetings and ribbon cuttings.  When asked how to get a meeting, we were told to submit a request online. We never heard back.  Our country is in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and we can’t even meet with our Representative in Congress?” shared Hallmark.

Occupy CD2 aligns with the Occupy Wall Street movement, sharing deep concern that the economy is largely run by and for a small percentage of very wealthy people, which provides them more of a voice than the 99 percent of Americans who are not being represented in Washington. 

"Walden is a symbol of all that is wrong in Washington D.C.  Our representatives no longer 'represent' us," said Corie Lahr of Hood River.  "All too often, Democrats and Republicans ally with Wall Street, not our street. If Representatives were doing the jobs they were elected to do, they would want to know what we think."

Occupy CD2 planners think Walden's voting record shows that Walden does not represent the majority of Oregonians.  For example, Walden voted to preserve $700 billion in tax cuts for the richest Americans while voting to end the Medicare program that protects senior citizens from medical bankruptcy.

“Why, in 2010, did he vote to defund the enforcement arm of the Security and Exchange commission whose purpose is to regulate the untrammeled greed and recklessness of Wall Street firms?” asked Glen Scheele of La Grande. “That’s actually a rhetorical question -- his campaign donor list will supply the answer.”

Occupy CD2 planners are concerned that Walden’s 2010 campaign contributions include many companies among the Fortune 500, including Koch Industries, communications giants Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, the American Bankers Association and equity investments firms.

"We may not have the money to pay for fancy campaign ads or lobbyists to influence votes, but we are the 99 percent and we demand our stories and our frustrations be taken seriously," said Paterno.

This is not the first time District 2 constituents have been vocal with Walden.  Last May, rural Oregonians "Foreclosed on Walden" at his Bend office, supplying a symbolic Notice of Default and Foreclosure on the grounds that Walden failed to “execute his duty to look after the financial and social health of his constituents in, and the residents of, the State of Oregon."  The Notice delivery and subsequent rally highlighted Walden's voting record that preserved military and oil industry tax breaks while cutting funding for emergency home heating assistance for low-income households and for the Women, Infants, and Children food program.

Participants in Occupy CD2 state the nonpartisan movement seeks to reclaim democracy and return political power to voters and taxpayers.  Protesters pledged to remain non-violent, respecting persons as well as property during Monday's demonstrations.