In the time-honored American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, I am proud to be one of eight Central Oregon citizens arrested on December 5 in Congressman Greg Walden's Bend office.
At our January 26 trial we plan to present a compelling defense.
This act of dissent follows years of futile attempts to encourage the Congressman to hold open, unscripted town meetings accessible to a majority of his constituents.The Congressman has grown so suspicious of impromptu encounters with ordinary citizens that on Saturday he required a Bend Police Department intervention that enabled him to enter the Water Project meeting at the Chamber of Commerce through the back door. (Greg, we are nonviolent people who believe that democracy thrives on open dialogue and transparency; there is no reason to avoid us.)
I am convinced that he has veered off into a career of servitude to the corporate and financial interests that contribute to his campaigns. And that he does so at the expense of addressing the needs of families in his district, where 24 percent of children now live below the poverty line, which is defined as an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four.
A recent example is last month's showdown over a Congressional bill intended to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance payments. Designed to assist families in their struggle to survive the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, passage of this bill soon became doubtful as majority members of the House began piling on a corporate wish list of amendments.
Among these amendments were two pet projects of Congressman Walden: Repealing Internet neutrality and auctioning off broadband spectrum to the telecommunications giants. Why? Just take one look at his list of top ten contributors.
To defray our court costs and to raise funds for organizations in our community that help our less fortunate neighbors, advocate economic fairness, and promote unfettered democracy, please attend our Occupy the Music concert Feb. 11, 7 p.m., at the Tower Theater.- Foster Fell, Bend