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actions & protests a22: bush protest

Great F*ckin' Day in Portland!

3:40 update on Bush protest
The latest update from the streets at 3:40 PM:

There's actually 2 to 3 thousand people out on the streets! That's a huge difference from the number given out by a different news source. Currently, the bulk of the people are at Taylor and 5th where there's a sort of Reclaim the Streets going on. The loud festive atmosphere came through over the phone line and though I'm not on the street I feel the energy and am glowing in knowing that people are out there expressing themselves.

About 300 people gathered at the waterfront earlier today for the Green Party rally who then joined the rest of the crowd at the North Park Blocks.

Aside from the protestors, there are lots of cops, especially on bicycles. IMC observer noted several people on the roof of the Hilton with at least one rifle barrel showing. The military helicopter (hey, let's just call it Balfus)... so Balfus has been swooping around the crowd.

Only skirmish noted so far was an eager driver trying to inch their way through the crowd. The man got upset when he was stopped by some people from the crowd and started yelling.

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OK, 800 AM is boring. What are all you office people listening to for news at work?

I was there for 4 hours: 1:30-4:30 pm 22.Aug.2002 17:33

synergy

The early part of the day was great. I did not see a SINGLE heckler! The sidewalks were fairly full of watchers, and they seemed very sympathetic. They were not walking -- they were observing, and when I would motion and call for them to join us, saying "Hey, you didn't vote for him, either -- come on in! Join us!" few joined the walk, but many said, "No, I sure DIDN'T vote for him!"

We had a cadre of professional drummers, with anti-Bush slogans on their drums!! Wow!! Maybe five of them, in marching formation! A bass drum, snare drums and some other drums. I was so lucky -- they came and fell in line right behind where I was!! Then they would go different places.

And there was another bunch of great drummers, too. These guys had built some really amazing drums out of cans of different sizes. And painted them different colors,with anti-Bush slogans, too. There were maybe 5-6 young guys playing the mobile drum-unit in great rhythm. I'm sure they were professional drummers, too. Sounded like it. Just could not afford a drum set? What a sound, though. They had their mobile set pulled by a bicycle, and rolling along on a bike trailer. All the cans were lashed together with cords.

Lots and lots of chanting, and calls, and signs. 'The perfect weather, the perfect crowd. I wonder what's happening now. Very sorry to hear the bad news at 4:55.

The police officers seemed to be having a good time. They smiled and were friendly and polite. Most officers were men. One I saw was a woman. I kept laughing in a friendly way, and they would smile. I would call them "Portland's Finest," and call for them to join us -- I said, "Hey, Portland's Finest -- you didn't vote for him either -- come on in! Join us!!" And they would smile!

Once they politely asked the group to step up onto the sidewalk out of the street and we cooperated. I told them they were doing a very good job. Another time, I offered two officers blueberry muffins, but they said they'd already had their lunch, and thanked me.

Once we got to the Hilton area here is what happened, according to a fellow Green Party member. He said that the police divided the crowd in two. They erected a baricade of officers and blockaded the crowd, effectively splitting us.

The crowd then began looking for itself for about maybe 1/2 hour, and was in 3 or 4 different locales. I left due to my own personal exhaustion and arthritis at 4:30.

Here are reports of earlier in the day:

First I went to the Green Party rally at SW Front and Ash. Or Pine? Anyway, it was a wonderful event, scarred only by the big, loud, olive-drab military helicopter flying low around it. That scared me. It was the scariest thing I have seen since tanks drove through the streets in San Francisco during the racial protests in Hunter's Point in the 1960s, when I lived in SF.

Christian Gunther, Candidate who has an excellent chance of WINNING for City Council (believe it and VOTE for him!) gave a powerful speech on what Portland might actually look like if he got in there!

Then a woman named Hope from Eugene (last name, sorry I missed) gave a huge list of the losses of our civil liberties and how the Bill of Rights has been "shredded" -- her words -- by Mr. Bush since his appointment to the White House. And what we have to continually fear for the future if we don't rid ourselves of this menace to the world. And how vital it is that we US Americans stand and resist!

The final speaker was Lloyd Marbet, with his usual eloquence.

Then we marched to the larger crowd, and from there joined the march to the Hilton.

Thanks Portland! 23.Aug.2002 02:39

Veteran for Peace

Thanks to all who turned out at the protest to defend the Constitution and the Homeland's Forests! Hope for the future is not yet lost!