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This shit has got to stop

the debate over violence and non violence has gone for so long that, the two words have been completely obscured. Why is that?
Violence. Non-violence. Violence. Non Violence. What the fuck?
What do these words mean? i attended the Bush demonstration today, and ran into a circus of dissent. Awe inspiring indeed. However, i was struck with, aside from a baton, the same old emotions i recieve at every demonstration that involves an overwhelming majority of privilaged white people. NO VIOLENCE! NO VIOLENCE! This chastised battle cry is ever prevalent at demonstrations that include a people, or majority of people, who have much...MUCH to lose in their cozy lives. I saw individuals, in pure anger and resistance(which is not a bad thing nor is it the end of the world), militantly defend their positions to demonstrate by exercising methods of resistance which just might be different than the same old "lie down and take it" attitude. Makeshift barricades were made, people attempted to dismantle police lines( yes, violently..how else are you going to dismantle police lines?), people attacked the very symbols of oppression that they deal with on a daily basis, such as police cars and uniforms. I know some of these individuals. Some of them have nothing to lose. Some of them have alot to lose. One concept united them: They both knew that in the end, under a fascist regime, they would have nothing....perhaps not even their lives.
NO VIOLENCE! NO VIOLENCE! I am in 100% support of non violent direct action. Non violent, CONFRONTATIONAL DIRECT ACTION. When one yells NO VIOLENCE!, i wonder to myself," well, what are you doing to be nonviolent?" I havent seen one major sit-in here, not one passive police line break attempt, not one lock down! I see a bunch of scared people running away trying to escape the bludgeon of the state coming down on them. And then remaining standing, like lemmings. WHAT KIND OF NON VIOLENCE IS THAT? Maybe now you can see why people, dedicated people in my eyes who wish to TRULY MAKE SOCIAL CHANGES, take it upon themselves to attack before being attacked, or defending themselves when they do EVENTUALLY GET ATTACKED???????????
Whats the matter people? afraid of getting arrested? Afraid of losing your material livelihood? I would wager the latter....
Another thing: EXPECT THE REACTION YOU GOT TODAY AT ANY DEMO, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE FUCKING PREZ IS IN TOWN! People who whine about police repression should get used to it. That is what they are there for. That is what they get paid to do. They are defenders of oil money, of business, of capital. Do you think they care about you?
The throwing of things and the development of barricades: "What does that accomplish?" "No Violence!" "Stop throwing things, you are just as bad as them!"
I just have to comment on that.First, people have no right, absolutely no right, to put measures on other people's forms of resistance, especially when the police just attacked your lines and kicked everyone's ass from here to Australia. Sure, a plastic bottle, a bucket, a rock or even maybe a firebomb might not even hurt a police officer. However, some people are just not so morose as to allow their power to be taken away from them by an enemy who's job it is to disempower people. The throwing of objects, no matter if by one or two people in a peaceful crowd, or a 900 black bloc who showers police with hundreds of cobblestones, it is a reclamation of one's power to hurl an object at one who oppresses for a living. And it is self defense. Legitimate.
People can go even further and get into discussions about the difference between attacking police lines and property damage...sure. im not going to waste my time here. I just wanted to address the lack of real NO VIOLENCE type of action that exists in the Portland Pacifist scene, and even the lack of organization that exists within the realms of those who wish to be more physically confrontational. Portland folks who participate in black bloc activities: TRUST ME, THERE IS ALOT TO BE LEARNED.....example, do not drift apart, do you want to be targeted????????
i want to type some more, but i have to wash the pepper spray off my face and drink some water. i hope i have been clear. For anyone who feels this is an attack, it is. In a major way. You have a choice. You can fight like hell, or you can confront, sit, lock, get arrested, fill the jails, etc. But either way you choose to go, have some fucking respect for each other. And please, no more of this standing waiting to get your head cracked open. Fight or flight? No...fight or annoy. you know how annoying it is to have to arrest 1000 locked together people on broadway ave.?
i have much more to say, but i am now falling asleep and getting spray on my keyboard. Trust me, I will be back
p.s. gandhi was not non violent.....stop using him as a pacifist matyr.....
clarify 22.Aug.2002 21:28

gaylussac

let me clarify, i do not intend to get any message across that would indicate that these "tactics" at demos are the be all and end all of political organizing. they are not. in fact, 90% of organizing should come from the community, the neighborhood, and from the heart. building alliances, challenging white supremacy(organized nazis and the little nazi in each and everyone of us), and developing dual power are just a few examples......
just had to clarify.........

Lets Do Something! 23.Aug.2002 00:33

Dr.Calvin

If no one is going to say anything, I will.

>However, i was struck with, aside from a baton, the same >old emotions i recieve at every demonstration that >involves an overwhelming majority of privilaged white >people. NO VIOLENCE! NO VIOLENCE! This chastised battle >cry is ever prevalent at demonstrations that include a >people, or majority of people, who have much...MUCH to >lose in their cozy lives.

I'm fucking sorry that I'm white, I'm sorry that I don't come from a dirt poor family, but why do you have to break down into something so damn petty? I was there and I didn't see a bunch of whiney lefty suburban white people, I saw people who were standing up against an unjust regime, and were doing so together.

Why is being non-violent a bad thing? God fucking forbid, someone that actually likes to keep their face intact. Why must every action be so extreme? We don't have the resources, nor the people to take on a full scale take over. Right now we have to get people on our side, and how are we going to do that when the media/politicians demonize us for being violent, reckless, assholes who don't see past their own fucking nose? We have to *think* before we act, we can't destroy every thing we see as 'bad' or limiting to our freedoms, the only way to fuck the system is to work within it and either expose it, or change it, one day at a time. I'm sorry that this doesn't give you immediate gratification, but this is the only way to do it, and make it last.

>i wonder to myself," well, what are you doing to be >nonviolent?" I havent seen one major sit-in here, not one >passive police line break attempt, not one lock down!

The resources are here at your disposal, indymedia reaches lots of people in portland, and if that doesn't work there's always sitting at the square or water front handing our flyers. I'll even help you with anything you can concieve of, sit-in at City Hall, human chain in the Nike store, dismantaling mall traffic?

>I see a bunch of scared people running away trying to >escape the bludgeon of the state coming down on them. And >then remaining standing, like lemmings. WHAT KIND OF NON >VIOLENCE IS THAT?

The non-violence that allows you to get to another protest, so you can shout again. What kind of romantic idea do you have about these actions? We go there to have our say and disrupt the 'normal' activities there to get people to notice us. We go home, talk to friends and family about it and tell them they should come to the next rally, or debate with them the reasons why you did it, or explain why you did it. Yes I'm actually saying that you can't do something in order for people to listen to you. You actually have to restrain yourself from becoming violent, deconstruct that flight or fight instinct and include 'speak' and 'listen'.

>EXPECT THE REACTION YOU GOT TODAY AT ANY DEMO, ESPECIALLY >WHEN THE FUCKING PREZ IS IN TOWN! People who whine about >police repression should get used to it. That is what they >are there for. That is what they get paid to do. They are >defenders of oil money, of business, of capital. Do you >think they care about you?

I completley agree with you, when there's three dozen storm troopers down the street coming at you, you better expect some shit to happen. And this is a risk we have to take, the fact that the police will misconstrue our actions into something malevolent and will try to hurt us because of it. Putting yourself in a position where you actually do something malevolent is not acceptable, and show that, yes, 'you are just as bad as them'. (It's the same argument against the death penalty, so don't dismiss it here.)

>First, people have no right, absolutely no right, to put >measures on other people's forms of resistance, especially >when the police just attacked your lines and kicked >everyone's ass from here to Australia.

No, no one has a right to put measures on other people's forms of resistance. But wouldn't it be 'wise' if we all are united in cause AND action, and not just some spastic flailing on the floor, with one arm hitting your stomach, the other knocking your teeth out? And wouldn't it also be 'wise' if we tried to recuit more people to our cause by showing them that we are a 'civilized', and 'rational' people(both of which are *highly* overrated)?

And it doesn't matter if the popo kicked your ass to Timbuckto, that doesn't give you any more reason to do something against them than if you passed one on the street. As you said before, thats what people in riot gear do. They force you back and push you out of the way. Thats their job. Our job is to protest and monitor what they do and how they do it.

>it is a reclamation of one's power to hurl an object at >one who oppresses for a living.

But for how long? What does one moment of reclamation cost these days? The disolution of a movement? The demonizing of an otherwise 'good' idea? $0.99? Wouldn't reclaiming some urbanized land for a garden be more worthwile, and lasting?

>I just wanted to address the lack of real NO VIOLENCE type >of action that exists in the Portland Pacifist scene, and >even the lack of organization that exists within the >realms of those who wish to be more physically >confrontational.

I thought about this too as I saw lots of single white guys wandering around, thinking 'Man this is great. My first demonstration'. (my actual thoughts) We should become more organized, and secularize the organization of people, but still be united. Have a 'detachment' that recruits the nerdy geeky guys, lurking in basements playing D&D, and show them they *can* be heroes on the streets. Have a 'detachment' that recruits members of the gay, lesbian and trans communities. The suburbanites that want to be heard. The soccer moms who are tired of Timmy having a class size of 40, paying exorbanite taxes, and tired of the male dominated political scene. Each 'detachment' gets together for weekly meetings or conferences, and once a month we have larger meetings in public places.

Regardless of how you want to do it, lets do something.

Dr.Calvin
 dr_calvin@hotmail.com
 dr_calvin_ix@yahoo.com

Great thoughts 23.Aug.2002 00:50

tired

keep 'em coming! there has to be a better way to resist than the overly black and white way we've been approaching it.

That said, a word to all those who organized for this protest: you're amazing! i can't believe you pulled all that together within a few weeks.

thanx!

Be careful 23.Aug.2002 06:41

friend

Be careful people.

Personally, I'm starting to wonder if at least some of these posts that seem to appear after every protest aren't s COINTELPRO-type operation.

An old-organizer from the COINTELPRO days once told me that you could always spot the FBI infiltrator at the meetings. They were the ones who were always trying to encourage people to do something illegal.

I suspect that Ashcroft and the FBI types would just love to see us give up peaceful protest for violent actions.

In a violent action, we are going to be out-numbered and out-gunned. No protestor in this country in quite some time has seen the true violence of which this state is capable of. They've learned its bad PR (even if we haven't). But if they needed to do so to defend their state, I have no doubt we'd be met on the streets with tanks, machine guns and helicopters and we be gunned down without mercy. Pay close attention to what is going on in Palestine, and note that the Palestinians at least have the support of their entire people and better weapons than we have.

And if it did come to a violent confrontation and the police machine gunned down a couple of hundred of us, most of this nation would applaud. That's because their media has painted us and will paint us as violent terrorists who want to destroy the good ol' USA.

This is why I thing people like Ashcroft would just LOVE To see us abandon peaceful protest and turn to violent means of attempting to achieve change.

The poster above is right. We need to educate people and get them on our side. That's the point of the peaceful protests. A peaceful protest does several things. For those who just see or hear of the protest, it sends the message that there are people opposing what is happening in the world today. It provides a relatively safe place for people who up till now have been sitting at home watching TV to come out and join a movement trying to change things. And this in turn starts to provide a feeling of empowerment ... they usually go home from their first protest now knowing that they can begin to act to change the world, and this will manifest itself both in coming back to future protests and in the beginning of taking local steps to organize and fight back.

I see the peaceful protests as providing a path for a movement for change in this country to grow and expand and eventually become a powerful force.

I see a violent protest and both providing the police with a reason to kill and imprison us, as well as turning away the people who might eventually be our supporters. If you want to end up dead or in jail, and if you want most of the people thinking their is no alternative to this corporate-state, then violent protest is the way to go.

That's why I'm starting to wonder if these regular post-protest posts against peaceful protest aren't some sort of COINTELPRO operation. I'm sure they all aren't, but I wonder if some of them are. They certainly seem to play right into the hands of Ashcroft and company.

Speaking of which... 23.Aug.2002 11:47

Dr.Calvin

Speaking of misinformation, I saw about a dozen people there at the protest that were activly looking for something to throw at the police. One guy was going around looking for bottles. He saw a guy carry a plastic one and asked if he could have it. They guy thought, innocently enough, that he needed a drink, but as the guy took it out of his hands he made like he was going to throw it to home base from left field. The previous owner of the bottle said, 'Wait. I'm not giving it to you if you're gonna throw it.' and took it back.

And what was with those kids that had nice expensive clothes that were asking for change? They couldn't have been more than 8 or 9, yet they knew an opportunity when they saw it. Talk about the capitalist spirit.

Dr.Calvin