Militants Take the Streets
Hundreds of mostly young anti-imperialist militants took to the streets of Portland, Or Sunday afternoon in defiance of "America's New War." The unpermitted march was very spirited, fun and confrontational. The march followed a rally at Portland State University which featured speakers including Romona Africa of the MOVE organization and Craig Rosebraugh, former spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front. The march was billed as a March Against US Imperialism.
At the beginning of the march 30 or more up-side-down American flags were handed out, mixing in with a good number of anarchist black and red and black flags. This crowd was fired up and fed up with all the nationalism and jingoism we have had to put up with. Chants against the war, against John Ashcroft, and against the State were all enthusiastically picked up. At its height the march had close to 300 people.
The march went from PSU campus through downtown to the US Federal Building, twice. The march also went around Pioneer Square (Shop, Shop, Shop, While the Bombs Drop). On the way to the Square Anarchist Circle As were spray painted on the windows at Starbucks and on the wall at Niketown.
During the second pass by Pioneer Square most of the American Flags were set on fire in the middle of the street. The March then invaded a Shopping Mall just east of Pioneer Square. It was at this point that the riot cops finally appeared. Cops had generally just followed behind the march for the first hour or more, but now the fully geared riot squad was on hand when the march emerged from disrupting holiday shopping. The marchers retook the streets and started marching back to Pioneer Square. Riot cops ran up both sides of the march and cut off the route past the square forcing folks to take a left and head South. By now the numbers had dwindled and the marchers headed back to PSU.
Overall this action was a huge success. It was unpermitted, loud and militant. It showed not everyone is for this war. The march got away with a lot: spray painting slogans, burning large numbers of flags, generally doing what we wanted to do. We should all be very proud.