Trump owes us $542,000 (and counting) for illegal courthouse wall

It’s still there.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A concrete wall and fence that’s been blocking travel lanes in downtown Portland for about two weeks is still up, and the City of Portland is tallying fines it intends to collect from the federal government for putting it there.

The Trump administration erected the fence to protect the U.S. Courthouse, but they never received a permit from the Portland Bureau of Transportation to do so. The fence partially blocks a lane of traffic on SW 3rd Avenue and fully blocks a traffic lane on SW Main. Both blockages create safety hazards for road users.

BikePortland was first to report on the fence on July 22nd, before the Portland Bureau of Transportation had weighed in on the matter. A day after we questioned why PBOT wasn’t defending their traffic lanes and sidewalks outside the U.S. Courthouse on SW 3rd and Main, they issued a statement calling for the fence to be removed and sent a cease and desist letter to the regional director of the U.S. General Services Administration signed by the City Attorney.

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While I was away last week, PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly shared an update. “Typically, we would send a maintenance crew or contractor to remove such an obstruction, but I will not send workers into harm’s way,” she wrote on July 28th. “As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting. We intend to collect.”

The fence hasn’t gone anywhere and the current fine stands at $542,000 as of 3:00 pm today (Tuesday, August 4th). According to Eudaly’s office the fine will continue to accrue until the fence is removed. “The federal government is aware of the fine, and the City Attorney’s Office has been in contact with DHS regarding the fence,” Eudaly’s communications director Margaux Weeke shared with us today. “However, the City has not received any formal response to our Cease and Desist demand sent on July 23rd.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

Performance art, nothing more.

Shawn
Shawn
1 year ago

For the up to the minute total -> https://fencefine.com/public/

Bicycling Al
Bicycling Al
1 year ago

I thought federal “law enforcement” agencies are gone and Portland Police is now in charge of security for the building. If that’s the case, then why can’t PBOT roll up and dismantle the wall?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Bicycling Al

Because Portland cannot prevent its protestors from damaging federal properties.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

They have the means, chiefly by recognizing their faults and errors. However, they have not accepted that solution. I think the destruction (minor or major) that has occurred is pointless. However, I realize that a stalemate will remain until the PPB comes to the conclusion that the conduct of the police is inhumane.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

Well, but did Mexico pay for it?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

How much does ANTIFA owe for their vandalism over the last few years?

drs
drs
1 year ago

How many streets are being blocked by antifa 24/7?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  drs

That’s not what I asked. If we are to be truly non-discriminatory, we will fine all people who break the law.

CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
1 year ago

Trumps broke the entire rule book on fraud, waste, and abuse. I want our money back with interest.

Richard Hughes
1 year ago
Reply to  CaptainKarma

Yes he did not follow the rules, However we the taxpayers, be it local or nationally are still on the hook for the bill.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

There would be very few people left, if any, who did not receive a fine. And I mean that literally. You, your dog, your dog’s flees and the post man. Everyone, probably even your gram gram would revoice a fine based on that criteria. I will now begin to laugh at the absurdaty of this short sighted statement. Ha.

Concordia Cyclist
Concordia Cyclist
1 year ago

Probably much less than the cost of policing the crowds for the Proud Boys/Patriot Prayer spectacles.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

ANTIFA isn’t an organization. It’s an ideology.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

Then we can fine individuals. Correct?

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago

Then we can fine individuals. Correct?

Yes, and I’m sure that those that are caught vandalizing are indeed fined. Just a lot of them aren’t caught.

You’re trying really hard with this fallacious argument. If ANTIFA was an organization, and it was proven that it was their members who did the vandilizing, then you’d at least have a leg to stand on. In the case of the wall/fence blocking the road there’s no question of who put it up, and therefore who’s responsible for the fines incurred.

Of course, it’s still a lot of political grandstanding.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan

Oddly enough, they act in an organized manner. Didn’t they have organized meetings at Cider Riot?

qqq
qqq
1 year ago

If it were possible to prosecute and fine “antifa”,don’t you think that would be happening? Wouldn’t Trump, Wolf, etc. love to see that?

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago

Still beating this drum…

It doesn’t matter that some of them meet together or try to act in an organized manner, they’re not an official organization that you can go after legally. They’re a group of people with a label at this point.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

It’s dead, make the glue already. Your argument stinks of dead horse.

qqq
qqq
1 year ago

Several have been arrested already. The process of prosecuting, convicting and fining or otherwise punishing is already underway.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
1 year ago

Not even close to the amount the government owes for the hundreds of years of oppression.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

Are you owed money?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 year ago

I’m sure the Feds will keep this bill in mind when the city next asks for millions in reimbursement from its multiple federal grants for sewers, water, and transportation.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

You misspelled “Trump”.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 year ago

Did I? I thought it was spelled b-i-d-e-n. My mistake.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Sounds like tyranny to me.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

Nothing says white privilege like these “protests” do
Embarrassing…. When the local NAACP asks you to stop and you persist because you are too dumb
to even recognize what BLM even stands for anymore, just go away. You embarrass the Civil rights movement.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Progressives know what is best for minority groups – even more than the minority groups do.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

This is a hasty generalization. Your critic is baseless because the progressives you are speaking of are not “all progressives”. Sure, some progressive people think they know what’s best for minorities when clearly they don’t. However, the same can be said about conservatives. Is it true of all conservatives? No. Is it true of some conservatives? Yes.

So, it is no more correct to say “conservatives know what is best for minority groups – even more than the minority groups do” than it is to say, “progressives know what is best for minority groups – even more than the minority groups do.”

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

I mean, if you’re going to make a generalization, might as well make it hastily! 😉

My generalization of the conservative stance on this, would be that conservatives think they know what’s best for minority groups in that they think minority groups shouldn’t be in our country. Then they justify that stance by trying to treat minorities in such a way that they might actually not want to be in our country anymore. Not to mention that many conservatives closely identify with those that brought some of the minority groups to this country against their will to begin with.

JBone
JBone
1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan

The reality to all the arguments and polarizatio isn’t really about the personality of our leaders or allegiance to party (at least I hope not). It’s about ideas and beliefs of what is true, good, and beautiful. Individualism vs collectivism, multiculturalism vs. assimilation, opportunity vs. outcomes, past vs. future, justice vs. grace, spiritual vs. material, etc. The white privilege and anti-racism ides that Di Angelo, Kendi, Coates, etc are promoting are ideas worthy of authentic contemplation, but they are not the best way forward. Shaming and guilting will work on a percentage of people for a time, but reason, scarcity, and human nature will kick in and the social pendulum will swing back. The left has really swung it hard left, God helps us when it swings the other way.
As far as this fence thing goes, it’s all really childish. The feds tried to talk with city/county/state before and when they came in and got rebuffed. What choice did they have at that point. I could go on, but I’ll just leave it there and encourage people looking for sanity and reason to check out thinkers like Bret Weinstein (dark horse podcast) and Coleman Hughes (conversation with Coleman podcast).

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  JBone

Don’t disagree with you. While my “generalization” could accurately describe a small group, I was trying to show the silliness of asserting generalizations like that. Obviously it doesn’t descibe the majority of conservatives, just maybe some of the more vocal ones 😉

I agree that shaming is of limited benefit. It can be good to get people’s attention initially, but people don’t want to feel bad about themselves. Unfortunately, our society has a short attention span, which is why although I don’t like the violence or destruction/vandalization that has become a byproduct of the protests, I’m a proponent of keeping the protests going. It’s way too easy to get upset for a few days and then go back to business as usual. The status quo is comfortable for a lot of people, and many don’t realize that’s part of their privilege.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

This is not about progressives… the people throwing rocks and starting fires at 1 am are not progressives. If you don’t know better , don’t comment.
That was not my point.
Progressives want change, there were 2 BLM activists that won primaries for congress last night.
That is activism. The white privilege crowd here at 1 am knows nothing about MLK or John Lewis who just passed.. they organized with thought, with real action and commitment in broad daylight.
Dont gaslight this with your fake MOTR views.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Keep track of the fine here: https://fence.netninja.com/

Timothy Moss
Timothy Moss
1 year ago

This thread got hijacked John

PS
PS
1 year ago

“Who cares, it’s just money” – Jonathan Maus

mran1984
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

Money that will NEVER be collected. Anyone want to place a wager on this? BTW, don’t forget about the election.

D'Andre Muhammed
D'Andre Muhammed
1 year ago

Yeah says the dude who hasn’t lost anything. Tell me man other than crying on this blog what have you sacrificed for people of color?

pruss2ny
pruss2ny
1 year ago

this right here is the world I WANNA LIVE IN…where a matter as small as a conversation or as large as a human’s life work can be derailed by a demand for receipts… to be judged by an anonymous person/mob against impossibly unknown criteria.

dan
dan
1 year ago

I ask this in good faith: what should be sacrificed for people of color? What does a non-POC need to do before they are justified in stating an opinion?

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago

You presume too much.

JRB
JRB
1 year ago

The fines are a gesture, nothing more. The federal government enjoys sovereign immunity and is cannot be compelled to pay the fines.

Kittens
Kittens
1 year ago

Why do those in City Hall continue to delude themselves?

The fine doesn’t make one ounce of difference to the Trump Admin (who, let’s be honest is behind this) The whole point IS the fine.

Another “own the libs” move designed explicitly to demonstrate powerlessness and ineffectiveness of our democratic institutions and guardrails. Chloe can grandstand all she wants, but every day this garbage remains blocking the public way, is another win for the nihilists and those who seek to debase democracy.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

The “protestors” if you want to call them that, burned down picnic tables and fencing in the Kenton
neighborhood last night that were put out by local struggling business owners, of course for BLM???
Since this website encouraged protesting 3 weeks ago after it mattered because you thought you had a voice that mattered,
How about addressing the current “protests”, how this ties into Bikeportland and the current scene?

Kittens
Kittens
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

There will always be bad actors. Who knows from which allegiance they hail. We need to look past the diversions to maintain focus and solidarity. Attempting to turn people against one another is not productive and will only benefit the status quo. Maybe that is your goal?

Find and shun those committing wanton acts of vandalism but don’t let that crash the whole cause.

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

Anyone not living in Portland must think this city is an absolute joke. Weeks of protests that have turned meaningless and now the city is attempting to fine the U.S. government for blocking its bike lanes? Sounds like an episode of Portlandia. What a joke.

X
X
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

Why a joke? Our government has responsibilities and limits. Nothing in the Constitution or derived legislation gives the US government the right to obstruct bike lanes. I get to have a gun, and the city of Portland gets to delineate bike lanes. Powers not expressly given to the federal government remain right here.

SwedeTrap
SwedeTrap
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

I spend every working hour talking to people outside Portland and few if any have ever referred to our fair city as an “absolute joke.” Many are jealous that they don’t live in a place where people stand up for their beliefs and wonder what it’s like to live here. I get a lot of questions, some of them borderline absurd, but no one has ever once speculated that Portland is a joke.

Alehandro
Alehandro
1 year ago

No worries, put a lien on the federal building(s) as needed. Satisfaction guaranteed!