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Nov-15-2008 00:47printcomments

Peaceful Protestor to be Arrested at Oregon Capitol

A former Salem Mayor and attorney says the First-Amendment rights of Michele Darr, who has been on a food strike for 14 days, are being violated.

Night shot of the Oregon State Capitol where Michele Darr has been protesting.  Photo by Tim King Salem-News.com
Night shot of the Oregon State Capitol where Michele Darr has been protesting. Photo by Tim King Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Following the delivery of a letter to Governor Kulongoski earlier today, Michele Darr was set to be arrested at 11:30 PM Friday. Darr has been vigiling and fasting in protest the deployment of the Oregon National Guard on the capitol building's steps since November 1st.

Despite the capitol building steps being public property, Darr has been issued a citation for criminal trespass. Darr and fellow citizens spoke to the police who they say were apologetic about the situation, but explained that it was "a reaffirmed administrative order".

Thursday, two-time Salem Mayor and civil rights attorney Mike Swaim advised Darr that this is a violation of her first amendment rights. In 1983, US vs. Grace upheld a protestor's right to public forums, including state buildings.

"We are being told that our soldiers overseas are fighting for our freedoms," Darr explained, "and this is my freedom, handcuffed behind my back."

Once Darr is arrested, Came Homebound will clean up for the night. However, they say this arrest will not deter them from their protest and they will set up once again Saturday morning.

For more information on Corvallis CODEPINK, Came Homebound, and the Keep the Oregon National Guard Home campaign, see corvalliscodepink.org




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Joe Anybody February 11, 2009 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

Anonymous said [If you get deployed, you have to go} well if your a citizen you can protest "them" having to go. (like Michel is) Also if your a citizen you can point out the lies (WMD) (etc) about "Why" we are even there! If your a citizen you can petition your Governor to not send the troops and you can even "legally protest" your president and his (lies)Which Michele and others are doing! Why get upset when you see democracy in action? Why get upset when you see people wage for "peace"? Why get upset when people like Michele make a stand for saving lives of Oregon Men and Women?. Why do people like {Zesty_Mick} resort to calling her names? Why do people want the killing to go "on and on"? Why do people like the post from {what???} who infers that we (USA) need to attack others and that "we need drafts so we can have family members ripped from our arms"? Michele wants the killing and the madness to STOP. This is a Free country. I personally went there and "Thanked her." Lets stop fighting. My cousin committed suicide in Iraq, he was a Col. And he told Peterus that he didn't join the service or go to Iraq (He was a Prof. @ West Point) to kill for "greed and corruption, and death before dishonor" ?? (good point four years latter too!) When he shot him self in 2005 in Baghdad I heard his scream for some "sanity" and for some "help"...and Michel heard it too. She (like me aand others) do care and we "Want it to stop" .. But believe me I do know and see that many of you wish Michel and people like me would shut up and go away. That way when like my cousin Col. Ted Westhusing and thousands of others are all committing suicide we wont be here to remind you of how sick all this blood, death and killing really is. We remind you of what you hate as well (or you (sic)love it?) She is now close to a 20 day hunger strike ...doing so to bring attention that people are dying and what are we going to do about it? Well some are encouraged and some come here and chastise her. Shame on the ones you promote war and more killing...Shame on you!


Anonymous November 17, 2008 8:56 pm (Pacific time)

Concerned, you are so full of it. If you signed up for the National Guard they never tell you that you stay in Oregon. You are a soldier, part time but a soldier. If you get deployed, you have to go. Don't forget, we have a volunteer Army, no one is pressured to join up. There is no draft or mandatory time here in the US. So, get your facts straight and maybe thank the soldier for what they're doing instead of running your mouth about something you have no idea about.


Henry Ruark November 17, 2008 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

what !!: Easy answer to yours is" "No more wars !" --especially preemptive ones designed to build U.S. hegemony around a reluctant globe, in the false garb of serving true national interests. Informed and rational dissent is one of the most powerful weapons; check any history you trust.


Henry Ruark November 17, 2008 4:18 pm (Pacific time)

Ariel et al: Thank you. A., for that rational, reasonable honest and ethical statement. Seems it is badly needed here for some, who claim patriotism while defying and denying the Constitutional rights of others who choose dissent. Please note that dissent was one of the major reasons the Founders engaged in dialog via the Federalist Papers, for a long time, prior to their very historical summarization AND prescient actions.


Ariel November 16, 2008 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

Come on people! Seriously! Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and to fight for what they believe in. If you disagree with someone elses views or beliefs, it does not give you grounds to attack them on a personal level.


what??? November 16, 2008 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

you all are very misinformed about mrs. darr's agenda for the past 13 years. besides, the other option to guard deployment is a draft! would she rather non volunteers be ripped from thier families and sent to war?


Henry Ruark November 16, 2008 8:14 am (Pacific time)

Dissent is essential in democracy, which is why we have Constitutional protection for free speech via First Amendment. It was NO ACCIDENT that was the first action by the Founders, demonstrated in depth and detail by their own Federalist Papers dialog. Zesty needs to read both, with close attention to the rights involved, since he demands his own via Comment here. IF so, why should Darr be deprived ? When did Z. ever bike nation with 3 kids to make point ?? Re crowds on capital steps, depends on necessity: We may soon come to precisely that given huge consequences of general apathy for 40 years allowing cabalization as in Bush I and Bush II, following Reagan generalized attack on Founders principles re real role of democratic republic.


Zesty_Mick November 15, 2008 7:06 pm (Pacific time)

Darr is an American Hero??? Hold on, I think I just threw up in my mouth. She is a wanna-be who runs around protesting things instead of getting a job. Here's what I think an American hero is, one that gets a job, supports her kids and stops taking my tax dollars by collecting welfare.

Editor: Michele Darr is a political activist and she travels the nation in conjunction with her volunteer work.  She has lived in far off locations like Kuwait in recent years.  Last year, she bicycled across the nation for charity with her three children.  It is one thing to state your opinion Mick, but statements about character that are fictitious will be deleted in the future.


Zesty_Mick November 15, 2008 7:00 pm (Pacific time)

Nothing wrong with a peaceful protest. Gather your friends that share your opinion and have a rally on the capitol steps. But if everyone camped out on the capital steps when they didn't agree with something we would have a campground there. Hey, I don't like paying taxes, maybe I should grab a sleeping bag and go camp out on the capital steps. See my point. The capital steps would be very crowded indeed.


Glenda November 15, 2008 3:16 pm (Pacific time)

What happend to the right to a peaceful protest? Isn't that what the troops are protecting in Iraq? Our freedom!!!!!


Zesty_Mick November 15, 2008 11:50 am (Pacific time)

That is a load of bull. NO Oregon Guardsmen were ever told that they would only serve in Oregon. That is a down right lie. And hopefully Michele Darr will get off the capitol steps and worring about getting her arse off welfare and taking care of her children. She is beyond pathetic.


Concerned November 15, 2008 1:34 am (Pacific time)

Darr is an American hero. I am so happy that she is out there. So many of my friends are Guardsmen who do not feel they have the voice to speak out against how they are being used and abused. They are beyond grateful that Michele is out making news in order to get this resolution passed! Oregon Guardsmen were told they would serve in Oregon, which was a blatant lie. OUR TROOPS DESERVE HONESTY!

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