Approximately 200 people showed up to express greif, anger, and determination in the aftermath of severe police repression against anti-G8 protestors in Italy. After several speeches the group marched silently up Broadway in downtown Portland to the slow beat of a drum. The police were going to give the protestors one lane of traffic but did not intervene as we took the whole street. Perhaps the silence and dedication of the protestors affected them. It was a strange site as cops on bikes, numbering around 15, turned down their radios and whispered to each other, struggling to go as slow as we were.
At the Oregonian building a five minute die-in was held, after which people got up to the shout, The People Rise Up! From the Oregonian the march, with most dressed in black and about half masked up, took on the spirit of a New Orleans style funeral procession with black clad anarchists singing civil rights songs and old spirituals. The procession next went to the Italian Consulate where a lot of noise was made. A black coffin, which led the procession, was left outside the doors. (It was reported on a police radio that the "Consulate was closed today.")
Another die-in was held at the Consulate, which is also appropriately the World Trade Center. From there the march headed back to Pioneer Square, where it started. Throughout police stayed out of the way. At one point they were ordered to get in front of the procession, but the bike cops never did, choosing to ride, or walk their bikes, along the side.
This is the second action in solidarity wtih the worldwide movement against capitalist globalization since the killing and severe beating happened in Genoa, Italy. A third "surprise" action is planned for this Saturday, August 11th. In the portland area call 503-287-7498 and eave your phone number. You will get a call with more details just prior to the action in order to maintain security and some element of surprise.
The struggle continues!