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imperialism & war

Homeland Security agents attack anti-war protesters

Weekly PPRC (Portland Peaceful Response Coalition) peace rally marred by an unexpected visit from Homeland Security
The weekly anti-war rally in Portland's Pioneer Square was marred by a violent visit from four Homeland Security agents. Wearing shirts and hats that were clearly labeled, "Homeland Security", they set upon a solitary protester approaching the rally, and then attempted to break up the rally itself.

The man who was attacked first was carrying a sign that said, "War kills children". He was walking up the sidewalk on the south side of Broadway when he was picked out by a Homeland Security agent on reconnaissance there.

Within seconds, three agents emerged from behind a Subway? kiosk, and grabbed the man's sign.

They forced him to the ground and put him into a hold.

When asked for an official statement, the recon agent replied, "Officially, this didn't happen," turned, and goose-stepped away.

A few minutes later, an activist was delivering an anti-war oratory before a gathering of about two dozen like-minded citizens when the agents struck again. Without warning they penetrated the crowd from all directions, pushing their way to the front where they attempted to remove the speaker. Being outnumbered, they were forced into defensive positions, and an argument broke out.

"It's not safe to have gatherings like this on the street," said one of the agents. "However, it's not safe to stay home, either. We're here to protect you."

Recon man then held up a pad of paper and a pen. "Now if you'll all please sign this, and print your Social Security number on it, you'll make everything easier for yourselves."

Unexpectedly, the Homeland Security agents were forced to back down by a member of the private security firm that polices Pioneer Square. A guard named "Houston" broke up the conflict by threatening to charge everyone with "disorderly conduct".

When asked what actions are grounds for that offense, he told this reporter that any behavior that "alarms three or more other people" is legal grounds for that charge. That a rent-a-cop would outrank four Homeland Security agents seems odd; the White House must still be working the kinks out of this new gig.

This reporter was not able to identify the at-least three people who were alarmed by the drama and required Houston's intervention to return the Square to to its usually safe, tidy, and commercial state. However, one of them might have been a woman seen speaking to Houston immediately before he approached the group who seemed to believe that the Homeland Security agents were actually anti-war protesters themselves who were using creativity to criticize the increasingly oppressive policies of the Bush Administration that have been assaulting Constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties.

After the incident, activists wondered out loud about what other types of behavior might be "alarming to three or more people" and should hence be stopped. The huge American? flag on the Nordstrom's? building above the Square that seems so reminiscent of Germany in the 1930's? The presence of a Subway? kiosk there? Wars that kill children?

This reporter's suggestion: Come to Pioneer Square next Friday at 5:00. Who knows what kind of "alarming" event could happen then, but you won't want to miss it!

HUH???????? 14.Jul.2002 08:34

Confused

Is this some sort of mockery or a joke?From viewing the pictures that accompany this story these "Homeland Security Cops" look to be recent high school graduates.Surely the big and powerful OZ would not put these young-still yet behind the ears punks out on the street to defend this country,let alone this nation.Are the pictures and the story intended to point out the absurdity of this country?I am quite sincere when I say I don't know how to take this story and the pictures.Fact or fiction?Will someone please enlighten me.

weird 14.Jul.2002 09:25

rev

Christ on a pogo stick. One would think that the Orifice of Homeland Security would have some semblance of a budget. Where's the stormtrooper outfits & head busting batons? Have they lost their shock value already? The stencils and spraypaint don't really strike me with that paralyzing abject fear that I'm used to from the guvment. Maybe Tom Ridge is wrong, it can't be me. No way. Keep that HOMELAND secure, guys & gals.

Street Theatre to Make A Point 14.Jul.2002 10:40

miles

need I say more?

need say little else 14.Jul.2002 12:11

Abomb

i thought it was obvious that it was street theatre, but perhaps that's because I recognized one of the agents in the picture from past pprc rallies. And though i usually find myself frustrated with the half assed, tame, complacent, sidewalk march strategies of the PPRC, intolerant of militant tactics and more concerned with public image than creating a threat, I must say that this bit of street theatre is creative and well done.

Clarification Appreciated 14.Jul.2002 12:54

Confused

Thank god that it was just street theater and not the real thing - at least this time.Thank you for the clarification.Must say I feel a bit foolish.

to Abomb 14.Jul.2002 14:00

Enji

Abomb, I think your reaction to the past and present tactics of pprc says more about you than about pprc. they have shown their ability to change and grow, can you?

Too frightening! 14.Jul.2002 22:38

Anna

How now brown cow?

What terror lurks among us when the great powers of our Government are loosed upon innocent activists holding signs? These Homeland Security thugs must be reckoned with. I would fear them even more if they added black boots and little earpieces, CIA style, to their wardrobes. Perhaps this is next--who knows how our tax dollars will be spent to intimidate us?

Homeland Security agents: where will they turn up next? In fear and trembling,

--an activista

tehe 15.Jul.2002 00:34

Robin Canaday robincanaday@hotmail.com

LOL! nice. I recognized the "homeland security" guys as protest security appointed by the protest planners. Nice hats.

Odd? 06.Nov.2003 11:02

Jimbo

Does anyone else find it odd that the homeland security agents tried to get their point across by activating in violence, quite securing, eh?