The KONY 2012 nonsense is coming to Portland this Friday and it's got the Portland Police Bureau freaking out a little bit. The Pioneer Courthouse Square event, one of a bunch scheduled nationally, calls for a massive, all-night poster dump:
Start making Kony famous today, but all of these efforts will culminate on one day; April 20th, when we cover the night. This is the day when we will meet at sundown and blanket every street in every city 'til the sun comes up. We will be smart, and we will be thorough. The rest of the world will go to bed Friday night and wake up to hundreds of thousands of posters, demanding justice on every corner.
But cops are worried it'll turn into something else: an orgy of vandalism. And they'll be keeping tabs on the thing, ready to make a buttload of arrests.
The Portland Police Bureau supports increased awareness about wanted fugitives but does not support law breaking activity to spread that awareness.
Possible activity could include using spray paint or markers to tag locations, "slap tagging" or placing stickers on a variety of surfaces, or posting flyers to billboards and/or telephone poles. Examples of criminal conduct would include spray painting "KONY 2012" on a building without the owner's permission or placing "KONY 2012" stickers on businesses or vehicle windows without the owner's permission. Depending on the method, some of the described activities could constitute a violation of state law or city code.
Criminal Mischief is a crime in Oregon and depending on the type of damage can be anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class C felony. It is also illegal to place fliers on public utility poles and any mass transit vehicles or buildings.
Apparently, as the cops point out, some 24,000-plus people have been invited, and 4,000 or so say they're going. But because it's a Facebook event and a Friday night—and also because there a thousand better things someone can be doing with their time and passion for activism—it's probably safe go ahead and take a couple of zeros off those numbers. Yawn.