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imperialism & war

A20 protest in Portland

Report on the Portland march.
Protesters gathered at the Pioneer Square in Portland today to demonstrate in
solidarity with the many rallies throughout the country.

The protest, estimated at a few thousand, started in Holladay Park at around 2.00 pm and people gathered for
speeches, after which musicians
led the march down Broadway. Someone standing around not involved in the protest
screamed that a marcher had a gun. The police jumped on this individual and forced him
to the ground. The crowd yelled "We are watching, let him go!" It was unknown whether
or not the person was arrested.

The protestors were kept to one side of Broadway but on the bridge everyone spread out and
and walked in the bridge. The procession then moved to Pioneer Square for more speeches
from pro-Palestinian and anti-war activists. The make-up of the march was very diverse
composed of families, working class youth, musicians, high school students, union workers, bicyclists,
pensioners, military veterans for peace, arab-americans, amd peace and justice activists for Palestien
and for Colombia. The rally ended around 4.00 pm.
legal 20.Apr.2002 18:53

tricky dick

I had a good time today and the energy was high. But damn it we get to the fucking bridge and walkie talkie lady sez. OH NO WE DON'T HAVE A PERMIT AND GO TO THE SIDES PLEASE, IT'S NOT LEGAL....Sisters and brothers I had heard enough. The streets our OURS and if all these motherfuckers out there are serious about how we need to take action, then it is vital that we take what is ours, and let them know those laws mean nothing to us. Let's look at history once again. Saco and venzeti-leagal julius and ethel rosenberg-legal-fred hampton-legal, slavery quite legal, genocide of the native americans-also legal this fucking war over globalization- very leagal SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO it is obvious that we caring sharing fighters for social justice are ILLEGAL AND PROUD OF IT.....All of their laws keep them up and us down. ACTION MEANS ACTION TAKE TO THE FUCKING STREETS THEY BELONG TO US, AND WE NEED TO TAKE MORE THAN THEM GOOD PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! CHEERS

I spoke to the man who was tackled by cops 20.Apr.2002 18:56

Red Emma redemma13@yahoo.com

I saw the man who was wrestled to the ground by cops. I didn't see it happen--by the time I got there he was already on the ground, face down, with a cop's knee in his back and his arms twisted up behind him. Somebody yelled something about a gun. We all chanted "Let him go, let him go," and the cops eventually did let him go. Damn, it worked! Well, maybe....

I ran up as he was walking away and handed him a Portland Copwatch card. Somebody else handed him a card, saying he had gotten video of the whole thing. What the man said to me is that the police thought he had a gun, but it really was a lighter. (!!!???) I guess if a wallet can be a gun in NY, a lighter can be a gun here. I did NOT get the impression that this man was part of the march, and it seemed to me that he was walking off and not joining the march. But hey, whether he was "one of us" or not, group solidarity seems to have made a difference in this case.

If the man is reading this, e-mail me if you want me to be a witness.

Red Emma

Coolness... 20.Apr.2002 19:13

Z iqpelican@springmail.com

I had a great time...things went very well. The chants were fun, and Michael Moore showed up at the end! Whoo! That felt great. Hope I can do it again sometime.

Bridge Permit 20.Apr.2002 19:27

Seamus

The reason why security asked people to take to the sidewalks was for reasons of permitting. I don't think the reason was in order to constrict or infringe upon anyone's rights. We were given the rights for the entire street the whole way, why would the government pick a fight with the bridge? I understand your frustration, and believe me, when I first read the permit, question marks started popping up above my head. If a fight was to be picked, the police would have stepped in and attempted to force the marchers to go to the sidewalks. They didn't. They had a copy of the permit, they knew what we were "permitted" to do (funny how that word pops up). The steel grating in the bridge is for automobile tires, not feet. There are steel knobs, it is not uniform, and people could easily fall and injure themselves. There were people marching barefoot and people in wheelchairs. It may sound rediculous to some of us, but regardless, I believe it was more and issue of liability for the County than the attempt to infringe on one's rights. The County was protecting themselves from potential lawsuits for granting pedestrians a permit to walk across a structure which was not engineered or designed for pedestrian traffic. As I stated above, if they really wanted to wanted to pick a fight or impose their power, it would have been done (or at least attempted).

In Solidarity,
Seamus

Please learn to count 20.Apr.2002 20:31

Just a bystander

There were not a few thousand people.
It is not that difficult to count accurately. Just stand on the sidelines for a few minutes and count across. Then multiply by the rows that come by.
Hyping the numbers is as dishonest as cutting them in half, as the police commonly do. We don't need to lie or distort. The truth is revolutionary enough.
There were fewer than a thousand people there. But that doesn't mean that it was not a successful effort. Just don't make it more than it was.

oh seamus 20.Apr.2002 22:42

silly

It was the fact that you got a permit, like we need permission from the man to take whats ours!!!!!

Which rules to honor, which to fight? 21.Apr.2002 19:52

Susipsych

It did my spirit a lot of good to be a part of Portland's march, and I appreciate the individuals who made it possible for us to take to streets and make our collective voice heard. When on the bridge I heard that only the sidewalks were included in the permit and heard others calling out "Whose streets? OUR streets!", I realized it was in that moment I had a deliberate choice to make. Thanks Seamus for your observations, and I'd like to reaffirm them. It is not necessary to agitate against all rules or perceived restrictions, and I decided that for me, I would honor the spirit of the permit. I could not have enunciated the rationale for its specifics, but I suspected that some thoughtful human being had done so and perhaps with good reason. If being able to walk on the bridge itself were still important to me (or if we'd stopped for the few moments it would have required to understand the prohibition yesterday), I would choose another time & place to fight that particular battle. Yes, dammit, they're my streets, and yours and everyone else's. What agreements do we need in place in order to safely and reliably make use of those streets for our divergent ends?

I don't ask that anyone else agree with me, with Seamus. I ask only that each of us deliberately and consistently decide what 'rules' we shall honor and which we shall refuse to honor in the name of peace and freedom.

Thanks Organizers! 22.Apr.2002 11:26

jane

The rallies and march was very well done. The grates on the bridge were a bit of a challenge for the woman on crutches(!!), and my dog was sort of wary, and the police were nothing but respectful from the perspective of the 4 of us who attended these events from out of town. Marching down Broadway was very wonderful, lots fo support from onlookers, people hanging out of window, smiling. So thank you for your hard work and let's keep up the momentum!!

nixon billboard 22.Apr.2002 18:52

Jon B

i had a good time, though i didnt see crap in the New York Times the next day about the DC protest. we passed a giant billboard on the side of a building of Nixon playing a (cello?) and thought that was hilarious and very ironic. ha ha. i got a picture of it with protesters signs at the bottom.