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Community groups protest new ordinance with pop up picnics

Community groups have filed a lawsuit to try to block an ordinance that would require a permit to serve meals in parks.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Volunteers spent the afternoon serving free meals in Portland parks.

The so called pop up picnics were designed as a protest of a new city ordinance.

The ordinance requires a permit to serve meals in parks and it can only be done once a week.

Community groups have filed a lawsuit to try to block the ordinance. Benji Vuong helped organize the pop up picnics he said, “This is to take a stance and make a point that you can’t infringe on our right to assemble.”

Volunteers have been serving meals at Director’s Park in Southwest Portland five nights a week since 2013.

Daniel Dodge is one of those who got a meal at a pop up picnic he said, “A lot of people depend on it. Even if it’s just a little bit of food or coffee or soup. It helps.”

The city says the intent of the new ordinance is to establish coordination and keep a process in place to support these services and events.

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