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tear gassed baby?!

downtown, 2nd and alder, police boxed in a man, his wounded wife, and teargassed child (a baby small enough to fit in his right arm). only after at least ten minutes of protest from that man that he just wanted to seek medical attention for his child (and some protest from him before i even got to the scene), did the cops let the family through, one at a time.
having just reached the corner of second and alder in downtown portland, i was trapped by a couple of police lines blocking the street on all sides. police warned folks not to cross the lines from either side and through traffic to go around the blockade using other streets (and bridges). a girl next to me was screaming, "there's a baby in there! you @#$%$'s teargassed a baby". when i reached the line on the east side of the street, there was a raging tear-soaked man pleading with the police to let him through. in his arms was a baby, and behind him, supported by two people, at least one of whom was a family member, was his wounded wife or daughter.
he yelled at the police for some time while i was standing nearby, and it seemed that he had been yelling at them for quite some time before i got there. finally the cop let the man and his child pass, though he had to push through to get free. the police refused passage to the woman with him, however, for another few minutes. after more stringent protest, from the man and the crowd on both sides, the officers let the woman and her supporters (she was barely standing) pass. the whole family looked like refugees from a war in a distant country, and the baby was very quiet.

phone: phone: 5032510271

Well 22.Aug.2002 19:13

Larry

Uhh...hate to bring this up. But what the hell were the parents thinking bringing a baby into the ruckus? As if they were taking a leisurely walk in the park. They should be prosecuted for their negligence. Protesting is well and good but I wouldn't bring a baby to one, for crying out loud.

Lets look on the bright side 22.Aug.2002 19:28

Trish

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The good side of this story is that the baby will have an increased resistance to pepper-spray. Heck, she might be immune at some point if her parents keep bringing her along? I love it!

To Larry: 22.Aug.2002 19:29

anon

There was no ruckus untill the police sprayed tear gas.
The police created the ruckus.

-- 22.Aug.2002 19:31

--

well, not all people know that we don't have many rights and that the police will sometimes attack/pepper spray you even when you're not "violent"

hmm 22.Aug.2002 19:33

bob

Who's to know whether these weren't just folks caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? Police draw arbitrary lines and don't take "i'm just passing through" for an answer. plus, how do you know whether a peaceful protest will go wrong or not? do you avoid leaving the house with your kids just in case a protest breaks out on the way to school?

Good points 22.Aug.2002 19:42

Larry

Those are all good points but they just highlight the parent's negligence. If police just draw arbitrary lines and use pepper spray there on "non-violent" people, all the more reason to stay clear of the fray. I think we all know they weren't "passing through." C'mon. As a parent (who periodically participates in protests), I would never even take the chance that they did. It's just stupid.

Land of the Free? 22.Aug.2002 19:42

MajestyTwelve

Bush uses chemical weapons on his own citizens, while pushing for war on Iraq (which allegedly is seeking chemical weapons of their own). international treaties prohibit the use of tear gas and other chemical weapons that the U.S. routinely uses on its own citizens.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." -- The Declaration of Independence.

I was there too, but... 22.Aug.2002 19:56

funkypoacher

I was at 2nd and Alder, too, when the police were on 3 sides of us and blocking the Morrison bridge. I am not suggesting that the previous writer is making their story up, but my experience was quite different, and I want to add it to the mix. I saw some protestors yelling at some police on bikes, one of them was videotaping some police up very close. He was extremely angry. I don't know if it was in response to a provocation. It might have been, but I wasn't watching him the whole time. A woman with him was also yelling at the police. At least two cops pepper-spayed them at almost point-blank range. It was shocking to see. I think they were ignoring warnings to back off. The crowd began chanting "SHAME SHAME SHAME" at the cops who had sprayed the 2 protestors. The chant was over in about a minute and the regualr drumming began again. Other people were pepper sprayed too, on the other side of the crowd. The man with the video camera was undaunted and kept videoing, and shouting at the police, despite just being sprayed. I didn't see any injued babies, or anyone pleading for medical attention for a baby. The police line was quite porus, I did not see anyone being trapped by police. I crossed back and forth through the police line several times as I was moving around observing at the crowd. There was a lot of drumming and cheering and chanting, and except for the brief pepper sprey attacks, which happened quite fast and then were over with, the atmosphere was quite carnivalesque: lots of people dancing, clapping, and smiling, waving signs, and so on.

.... 22.Aug.2002 20:05

ursus

sounds like you were on the other side of the crowd. from my end...the alder end, i saw the protesters pass, leaving behind a group of injured folks on the inside of the police barrier with the injured woman, kid, etc. though the screaming woman talked about teargas, it seems that it was pepper spray instead, but these folks, including the baby, were obviously in need of medical attention.

FUCKBUSHEATSHITAND DIEPAINFULLY 22.Aug.2002 20:44

Osama bin Bush

True, in this day and age when what seems to be standard practice by the police (just taking orders of course) to "open fire" one should be more prudent with exposing infants to a risky situation. But.... why in the fuck shouldn't we be guaranteed and also have safety in expressing ourselves. That is a lost right worth fighting for. D--th to Bush and all of the creeps around him

Negligence 22.Aug.2002 22:35

todd

I must say that I think some of you are misled. I just got back. There were hundreds of bystanders at the protest and some of them got caught in the crossfire. I tried to warn a lot of them but this family may have been just watching on the sidelines of the barriers. Even if they weren't, there were hundreds of children out today and they should be able to experience this sort of thing. Most people were just regular old bourgeois families and young people, they just came to protest, they aren't used to police aggression. THey probably were fooled by the constitution's guarentee of right to peacefully assemble. ANyway today was totally amazing and regardless of unprovoked police violence and aggression we will continue fighting on.


Unite and Rise, Todd

I was there... 22.Aug.2002 22:57

willing to help monkgola@union.edu

I was there too, actually I was one of the people who assisted the woman out who was unable to see. I helped to treat the injured children, and I must say that I am extremely enraged. Regardless of it being innappropriate for someone to bring thier child to a protest- pepper spraying a ten-month-old child is NEVER justifiable.

The news reports that no one had to go to the hospital is wrong. I escorted the family to the emergency room. It isn't right that the reactions were so violent. I desired peaceful co-existance in Portland, it is the reason I live there. I may be only 18 years old, but I can understand when an action is fundementally wrong.

A great thank you goes out to all those who helped the assaulted family. People where extremely generous and deaserve a great deal of recognition for thier genuine good will. A young man instantly gave his time to help out the family, without thought of anything else. Another group of people were eager to get anything needed, bringing in napkins and water as were needed. Another generous woman brought bottles of juice for the children to drinkn. This is what the community of Portland is about.

This is why I choose to live here. Because of the sincere effort to improve the quality of everyone's lives-= not just the upperclass elitest.

I am proud to live here, and I was stunned at the turnout tonight. I arrived at 1pm to attend the Green Party speaches, and I had no idea that there were so many thousands of people waiting to march and express themselves. Thank you Portland for your commitment to community.

happy-to-help

I saw it... i was there 22.Aug.2002 23:51

Panda Experimentation64@hotmail.com

I saw it happening, the police started spraying pepper spray into the crowd, and drenched this little baby. It was horrible, it was a dad, with his two little kids. one looked about 3 and the other was an infant. they were all covered in it, the baby was crying and the dad was trying to get his kids into a mcdonalds that was right there to try and help his children, but they locked the doors and wouldnt let him in. It was terrible.
you might say that he shouldnt have had small children there, but, it was a peacful protest, we didnt provok the police, they started it, not us.
They are paid with our tax dollars to stop us in our streets, beat us into submission, and take away our right to free speech. Its NOT ok!

Children are affected differently 23.Aug.2002 02:02

No spin, just the facts

Pepper spray on young children, especially those under 3, can be life-threatening.

Anyone who says that pepper spray causes few medical problems is either just ignorant or spreading misinformation.

A number of medical, nursing and public health journals have documented hundreds of deaths and uncounted cases of permanent respiratory complications after pepper spray attacks. The data is there, anyone can look it up. One young kid, for example, spent 3 months in a Neo-natal intensive care unit after an accidental exposure.

Children are especially vulnerable because their airways are so narrow. The mechanism of pepper spray can cause those airways to swell and close off. So proper treatment of young children who have been pepper sprayed means taking them to a good Emergency Department.

It does not mean harassing their parents by blaming them for police attacks.

The Black Cross and MASHH members who assisted many others in treating these children all recommended they go to a hospital.

For accurate information about pepper spray, not frothing at the mouth like the previous post, please check the Black Cross website.


Ouch 23.Aug.2002 09:20

Green Anarchist thegreenanarcist@yahoo.com

Pepper spray is a chemical weapon, and can be life-threataning when applied in large quantities or (like stated by the previous poster) used in those under 3 years old.

Pepper spray causes instense searing pain of the eyes, swelling of the eyes, and it can close off the ventalation to someone, and cause breathing diffuculties for a short time. Many adults can most likely live through this difficulty breathing, but it is likely to cause serious health problems in young children. After being pepper-sprayed, you can't just walk around or stand there calmy talking to police. That is why it is sold as a self-defense item and "non-leathal" weapon. It causes very intense pain, and it is understandable that the protesters wanted to go to the emergency room.

A good remedy for pepper-spray injuries is Mayloxx and Water (the recipie is probably on the Anarchist Black Cross Website)

we made the NY TIMES 23.Aug.2002 09:34

snicker

Mr. Bush was greeted in Portland tonight by hundreds of protesters outside his hotel protesting his talk of an Iraq invasion and his environmental policies. It was one of the largest groups of demonstrators Mr. Bush has encountered since Sept. 11.

Pepper Spray 23.Aug.2002 09:39

Kari-Ann

I was working at Pizza Hut one night and we were ready to close but there was one party left in the dining room. They were some punk kids fooling around and I was on my way out to let them know we were closing when suddenly my eyes started watering and I started choking and had to stumble out the back door. For several minutes I stood there gasping for breath. Apparently what happened was one of the teenagers had some pepper spray with him and squirted a tiny amount into the air to see what it would do. Everyone else in the store seemed completely fine, but I was incapacitated by it. I can't imagine what would happen to me if I was soaked in the stuff...

A personal note 23.Aug.2002 10:07

Donna

I know the family in question, which has become the focus of your speculation and judgement. These folks called me around 2 o'clock to see if our family was coming down to protest, telling me that it was a very calm and peaceful scene, and that there were tons of families and kids. I said no, because it was coming up on nap time, and made a joke about having to deal with tear gas and a tired whiny child at the same time. These are not folks looking to use their children as human shields or media tools. They are smart, kind, sincere, community-minded people who thought that if they engaged in a peaceful activity they would be treated peacefully.

As many have pointed out, we have the constitutional right to assemble. If families, particularly women and the children they care for, do not peacefully assemble for fear of being targeted and put in physical danger, then their fundamental rights have indeed been erroded.

Black Cross Clarification 23.Aug.2002 10:16

Black Cross Health Collective member

Clarification: The Black Cross medics that were in the streets of Portland yesterday have no affiliation with Anarchist Black Cross (ABC). ABC is a prisoner support group with locals across the continent; Black Cross Health Collective (BCHC) is a Portland affinity group (with allies in and around Portland) that provides first aid at political demonstrations and trains folks to provide that aid.

That said, I'd encourage you to check out the BCHC website. It describes our pepper spray trials and the maalox/water mixture that's been found to be effective at rinsing out pepper-sprayed eyes. It also gives some important safety suggestions around pepper spray, tear gas, and other potential dangers at protests.

Besides Black Cross, lots of other medics were in the streets helping folks out yesterday, including MASHH activists, new-to-Portlanders, and independent caregivers. Thanks to all!


Dumb cops 23.Aug.2002 16:50

Fred Jakobcic fjakobci@chartermi.net

Are these cops dumb?!. Don't they ever learn? The more I see and hear about these kind of police actions and reactions to protests and the right to dissent I can only believe that the police of this nation and all around the world have eaten a dumb pill. These police are supposed to be citizens of this nation, yet they continue to act like goons, when it comes to legitimate and peaceful protests. Remember Seattle and the WTO protests? Talk about dumbnest and brutality on the part of the police. Of course, they had help from the Federal Government, which probably scared the crap out of the Seattle police and others. The elite and corporatations of this nation,and world do not want the people to have their rights, to live a decent life, to earn decent wages and have decent health care,and live in a world free of corporate dominance, a world in which everybody, but the corporate elites and their kind suffer.

I should have titled this piece Dumb cops and Dumb bush, but goes without saying. I like the guy who gave our attorney general his proper name ASSCROTCH.

Take care,


Fred Jakobcic
1025 N. Third ST.
Marquette, MI 49855-3509
(906) 226-3681
 fjakobci@chartermi.net

(906) 226-3681
1025 N. Third St.,Marquette, MI 49855-3509

Portland Police or Facist Pigs? 23.Aug.2002 17:58

S Darr Budgreene@hotmail.com

Its time for all the good people left in this country to take it back from the elite and give it back to the people.
I'm completely embarrassed by the actions of the Portland Police.
Revolution is calling

5034095900

non-violence: physical and verbal 25.Aug.2002 13:56

qwer

there was a lot of talk on kboo about non-violence.

first, i think that alot of those talking non-violence dont see the various other stategies available as real or possible solutions to particular appropriate situations (or they are purposely misrepresenting themselves for mass appeal, hopefully; very sly and i am sure bush's men are not fooled). and they dont see the power of a populace armed. ward churchill wrote a littlebook/pamphelet ( http://eserver.org/bs/reviews/2002-6-9-4.57PM.html) exactly about this type of narrow-minded ideology, its history and its repercussions. non-violent strategies, he claims, appeal to those who enjoy their privileged 'comfort zone' situation. we know who they are. they are us, middle-class, mostly white. or those who have supposedly 'dropped-out', but still get by on our 'good looks' (imagine people of color attempting a squat. bapf! pow!). non-violence sounds nice: why risk yourself? others take the violence of the system everyday, the racism of the system. we can sit back and watch tv, eat well, and make large paychecks. churchill recommends: a year in the ghetto to experience the real oppression and to test the effectiveness of your non-violent strategies of resistence; training with weapons to overcome implict fears and to become familiar with what those in power already more than feel comfortable with and use and are developing and fine-tuning everyday; and some other stuff.

anyway, the reason i orginally started this post is this: i want to mention something i have noticed about the progressive movement. despite its call for non-violence, its members often limit this concept to physical non-violence. they dont have any idea of the implict notions behind their rhetoric. for example, i witnessed some progressive thinkers /intelligensia (well-read, comfortable) hammering a typical liberal woman at the barricades who was trying to express herself, and who i think was interested in relationship with this new thing she could not understand. after all, she didnt just spit and leave. maybe she was just stupidly naive and ignorantly brave. you decide what motivates people to act. anyway, the great thinkers were saying very judgemental, hurtful and insulting things to her. and they were proud of it. i too get joy out of beating the shit out of such ignorant people. but i dont think it is an effective longterm strategy. i dont want to give up one of the pleasures of life either!

also, i have noticed that this type of behavior is used everyday within the movement, in personal and political relationship, especially in power-making situations, in determining implict pecking orders. it is very sicking to me the level of ignorance in power struggles within the movement and the elitism. and i feel it is shameful. i recommend this book: non-violent communication ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1892005026/qid=1030308256/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-7973390-3852915?s=books). just the idea of chatting 'shame, shame, shame' to police is not part of the non-violent communication method.

sure, i am a hypocrit. we all are. i am just saying, let's at least be aware of our mistakes, our injustices, our preferences for doing battle with the other. we can even make light of ourselves. and maybe, during reflective moments, we can, with appropriate methods of interpretation, see where we went astray from what we desire and how we can arm ourselves for the next battle to do what needs to be done the way we feel is the most beautiful way.

forgive me...

Bush 02.Sep.2002 12:21

Tony

my god, America's are taking it up the arse from there own President, Your free to do what we tell you America, YOUR FREE TO DO WHAT WE TELL YOU AMERICA, TO DO WHAT WE TELL YOU!, sorry just been watching at bit of Bill Hicks......suggested viewing.