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Camp Cascadia's Ongoing Fight to Defend Bull Run

On the evening of July 26, 2013, Camp Cascadia - the ongoing Friday night occupation of Mt. Tabor - hosted a public occupation of Mt. Tabor, in the name of fighting EPA Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2). Frequent honks and screams of "Thank yoooooooooouuuuu!!!" from passing cars proved to be a supportive, albeit disruptive, occurrence. Though occasionally drowned out by well-intended but bro-ish hoots and hollers emanating from 60th Avenue, the 35 citizens who attended the occupation discussed a wide array of issues.
One popular topic at this meeting was corporate interests, and how they are a major propellant behind the implementation of LT2 in Portland. It was pointed out that "Camp Cascadia is not here to help Paris Hilton's family get access to more water rights." Camp Cascadia continues to meet each Friday until one simple demand is met: that Mayor Charlie Hales formally ask Senator Merkly and Representative Blumenauer to petition the EPA, on behalf of Portland, for the LT2 Waiver.

One occupation attendee mentioned that in a phone call they'd had with Tim Hall, Community Involvement and Information Manager at the Portland Water Bureau, Hall responded to their questions about the future of Bull Run with a claim that the city of Portland wanted to turn it into a water feature, and that "the people of Mt. Tabor wouldn't understand." Since then, there has been no other talk of instilling water features - only of the water featuring the toxins and carcinogens that LT2 mandates be added to it, a fact which the people of Mt. Tabor seem to understand all too well.

The point was raised more than once that it would seem a worthwhile investment of time and energy to elect decent people, who wouldn't meet with corporations behind closed doors, into political seats. However, questions of the feasibility of achieving such a goal were raised. One attendee who had worked with Portland city government relayed, from their own experience, "When you don't just nod your head and keep quiet, they just don't include you on committees anymore."

Amidst discussion of the somewhat disheartening political state of affairs that Portlanders face with this issue, the notion of rights was brought up in a beautiful, universal sense. Such universal beauty honors the respect that the very element in question here deserves: it was stated that the water itself has the right to be of its own highest quality, which it already is sans the addition of chemical concoctions; meanwhile, the people have the right to political leaders who don't meet in secret with corporations. It would seem that the right to integrity is that which is being promoted in each case. Moreover, such sentiments are reflective of the ongoing Community Rights Movement. More about Portland's own branch of the Community Rights Movement. including upcoming workshops, can be read about here.