“Patagonia 4”: Mosquito Fleet and Portland Rising Tide Activists
In December 2019, “kayaktivists” with Mosquito Fleet and Portland Rising Tide were arrested for blockading part of the Port of Vancouver, WA, to stop a shipment of pipe intended to be used in an expansion of Canada’s Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline — one of the worst climate-polluting pipeline projects on the planet. The climbers locked themselves to the dock where the shipment was slated to be delivered. In July 2021 the climate activists’ cases were dismissed in Clark County Circuit Court in Vancouver, Washington. The activists’ cases, like those of many other criminal defendants across the United States, were significantly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dismissal came less than two weeks before their trial, but shortly after CLDC lawyers filed motions challenging the constitutionality of the charges.
Direct Action Everywhere
Direct Action Everywhere is a global network of activists working to achieve animal liberation within their lifetimes. DXE activists regularly get arrested for exposing the brutality of industrial animal agriculture and engaging in open rescues at some of the largest factory farms in the world. CLDC currently represents DXE activists in cases in northern California and North Carolina.
In April 2021, local houseless activist Eric Jackson filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals to challenge and overturn Lane County’s oppressive closures of the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in downtown Eugene. Jackson was convicted by a jury in 2021 after being arrested for protesting overnight at the Plaza. At the heart of Jackson’s appeal is the County’s complete shutdown of the Plaza from 11pm to 6am — for an entire one-third of the day — seven days a week.
CLDC represented Jackson and argued the curfew was unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment and the Oregon State Constitution, but the trial court rejected the arguments and instead poorly interpreted free speech protections in a narrow and disappointing ruling. However, numerous prior unsuccessful and repressive County efforts to close this important community free speech venue failed because courts ruled the closures to be unconstitutional.
On appeal, Jackson and CLDC are asking the higher court to step in and uphold everyone’s First Amendment rights in public spaces.