Judge Proposes ACLU Define Who Is a Journalist at Portland Protests


PREMO Member
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) — In a move that would define government recognition of who a journalist is, a federal judge floated the idea of requiring reporters at Portland protests to be vetted by the American Civil Liberties Union and identified by the organizations’s blue vests in order to avoid assault or arrest by federal agents.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said in a hearing Friday that the move might be a solution to claims from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals that his restraining order is unworkable because — according to the agencies — some protesters are falsely identifying themselves as press.

Last week, Simon ordered federal agents squaring off nightly with protesters around the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse to let people identified as journalists (wearing a press pass or clothing with the word “press”) and legal observers (who wear blue ACLU vests or green National Lawyers Guild hats) do their jobs without subjecting them to the use of force, dispersal orders or arrest.

But the federal agencies claim the order is unworkable, in part because they say protesters are falsely adopting the insignia of the press. The federal agencies also note in court documents that agents’ ability to clearly see and identify journalists is inhibited by their own copious deployment of tear gas.

At Friday’s hearing, Judge Simon pointed to a video submitted by the government that allegedly shows a protester wearing a helmet emblazoned with the word “PRESS” burst through the barrier set up by federal agents and calling out to other protesters to join him.



Well-Known Member
So what happens when all the protesters show up wearing blue vests or green hats and still throwing objects and starting fires.

How do you have observers at a protest .?