In protest of an EPA mandate to bury Portland’s historic water reservoirs, activists and organizers together with the neighbors of this city launched Camp Cascadia at the base of Mt. Tabor last Friday. After years of stagnation from City Hall in procuring a waiver to the plan know as ‘LT2’, the people of this community have had enough. After considerable media hype over the so-called ‘Occupy Mt. Tabor’, Camp Cascadia has turned out to be a consummate success.
As covered previously by Rebel Metropolis, the waiver to LT2, similar to a deferment that New York City received, has so far eluded Portland. While LT2 is a federal mandate, city hall has the authority to request the waiver from either the EPA, the Oregon Health Authority, or a congressional delegation. City Hall alleges making such a request years ago, however, current mayor Charlie Hales has yet to engage in any effort to secure the waiver.
Unfortunately, Charlie Hales may also have a serious conflict of interest with LT2, as his former employer HDR stands to profit from the overall plan – one which activists assert is the tip of the iceberg in a much larger plot to privatize the entire regional water supply. Joe Glicker, a former water bureau engineer and current head of CH2M Hill also has a major behind-the-scenes roll that has allowed him to get rich off the LT2 plan.
So it was out of this frustration and breach of bureaucratic trust that Camp Cascadia was born. Initially organized by long-time direct action activists Jessie Sponberg, Micaiah Dutt, and Jess Hadden, the input and direction of the camp was shaped by an ever increasing group of individuals eager to lend their skill and support.