portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

actions & protests a22: bush protest

news >PORTLAND DEMONSTRATION

news >portland demonstration
 http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=199579&group=webcast

address: address: news >PORTLAND DEMONSTRATION

AP story 22.Aug.2002 21:49

ap

Protestors Skirmish with Police
08/22/2002
By ABE ESTIMADA, TERESA BELL, AMY FRAZIER and JIM PARKER, KGW Staff
Riot police fired pepper spray and hit some protestors with batons after they refused to leave an area near the Hilton Hotel where President Bush was staying.
Three people were arrested. A female police officer was treated at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital for wrist and arm injuries she suffered during a scuffle.
Protesters hammered on the hoods of police cars as pepper spray wafted through the air. Tensions had been rising throughout the afternoon as protestors repeatedly taunted officers and supporters of Bush and Sen. Gordon Smith.
Later in the evening, about 150 demonstrators blocked vehicle access to Morrison Bridge. Cars honked their horns and police moved in, again firing pepper spray.
Bruce Howard, a downtown Portland office worker, was offended by protestors' behavior. He was stuck on a sidewalk between police and screaming activists as he tried to get to his car parked in a downtown garage.
"I mean, really, to see people flip the cops off in their face right in front of them, the disrespect for the police officers I guess is what gets me," he said. "If these people have something to say, I guess this is their way to say it."
More than a thousand protestors coiled through the streets of downtown Portland on Thursday to voice their displeasure with Bush's visit. Most were infuriated by Bush's support of thinning forests to prevent wildfires.
"He wanted to log the forests aggressively before the fires," said Ivan Maluski, a spokesman for Cascadia Forest Alliance. "He wants to log them during the fire. He wants to log them after the fires, so he's using the fire. He's capitalizing on people's fears and the fires to push forward the timber industry agenda he's been pushing all along."
Maluski said Bush's proposals would do little to protect the areas of central, eastern and southern Oregon where most of the wildfires are burning. Instead, Bush's call to thin the forests would take too much lumber from the Willamette Valley.
"You're looking at a huge giveaway to the timber industry and coating it with flowery language about thinning," Maluski said.
A protestor clambers up a tree in the North Park blocks. (kgw.com Photo)
One of the activists -- Jill Howdyshell -- was perched about 25 feet above the crowd in the north park blocks, on a tree platform set up by the Cascadia Forest Alliance.
Some said Bush was an illegitimate president because Al Gore won the popular vote.
"I just think he's got a lot of nerve to come here after he's done so much destructive stuff, not just to the state but to the entire country," said Alex Tinker, a University of Oregon student who drove from Eugene to participate in the protest.
"We voted for Gore for a reason in this state and that's because we know Bush is full of it."
When demonstrators weren't voicing their displeasure with Bush's timber policy, the rally became a clearinghouse of anger, gripes and injustice.
Alex Tinker, foreground, puts the finishing touches on a sign while friend Shayna Snyder helps. (kgw.com Photo)
Activists waved signs protesting a U.S. attack on Iraq.
"I don't think any American boys' lives are worth a barrel of oil," said Rob Moitoza, 57, who carried a sign that said: "Vets Against Bush."
Moitoza said he served two years in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War and fears a much worse conflict if U.S. troops are sent to Iraq.
"If he (Bush) starts a war against Iraq, it will be to get re-elected. All he cares about is wealth and power," Moitoza said.
Others wanted to free Palestine. There were folks were from the Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Still more rallied for fair wages and affordable health care.
Protest Begins After Bush Arrives
The activity stirred up just moments after President Bush touched down at the Portland International Airport at 3 p.m. when protestors began marching from Portland's North Park Blocks to Burnside and then to the Hilton.
The marchers caused some traffic delays, including a brief MAX interruption. But police did not interfere in the beginning, following cautiously from behind or riding alongside them on mountain bikes. An Army helicopter also hovered overhead.
Protestors march along Broadway in Portland. (kgw.com Photo)
They were loud but peaceful -- beating drums, chanting "Beat back Bush's war" as they marched down Broadway. Marching south on Broadway, they implored merchants, shoppers, workers and residents to "Rise up."
None of them responded.
Protestors, Police Skirmish
Late Thursday afternoon, demonstrators at one point began to disperse, but many returned.
Supporters of Bush in formal attire were jostled and taunted by protesters as they arrived for a fund-raiser for the re-election campaign of Sen. Smith. After elbowing their way through the crowd of demonstrators, the VIPs were checked by Secret Service agents before they were allowed inside the hotel.
Protestors face down riot police. (kgw.com Photo)
A melee erupted after police ordered about 500 protesters to move from a barricaded area.
Brian Schmautz, spokesman for Portland Police Bureau, said protesters threw things at the police.
"We've have had a number of items thrown at our officers over the past few hours," he said.
Riot police wearing helmets then walked into the area, pushing activists with their batons. Some activists fell. Police then fired aerosol canisters of pepper spray at the protesters.
Other Protests in Oregon
The Portland demonstrations came on the heels of protests in Central Point, Squires Peak and Medford, where Bush spoke earlier in the day about plans to increase forest logging in the hopes of reducing wildfire threats.
In Central Point, the picketers gathered with signs outside the Jackson County Fairgrounds, the site of a Bush speech on forest policy. The signs attacked Bush on the environment and international policies.
A dozen or more demonstrators dotted Bush's motorcade route up Squires Mountain. Some of the hand-lettered signs they waved at him: "No attack of Iraq. You can't fix Daddy's mistake" and "More forests, less Bush."
They were far outnumbered by local families waiting at the ends of their driveways holding "We love you" and "We support you" signs. There were also scattered demonstrators when Bush arrived and departed from the airport in Medford.

Were These People Actually There? 22.Aug.2002 22:13

EyesAreOpen cmarksbe@yahoo.com

I can't speak for everyone at the protests, but I was there, and I suspect the people who wrote this article, or at least edited it, were not there. As we marched toward the Hilton, most people cheered us. There were people from all walks of life there. There were families in with the skateboarders, and there were union members and young and old. The police were under absolutely no threat. They were not even verbally harassed until they cut our march into with the president's motorcade. We didn't know why they shut down the street for it at first, and we were thinking they just were trying to divide us. We flipped them off and cursed at them some, but no one gave them any real trouble. Many of the police aknowledged this and seemed almost apologetic. When the demonstraters met the barrier set for them on Taylor, we stopped there and chanted, and peacefully protested. It was when the police decided that we were too big of a crowd to have a half block away from the Hilton that things got nasty. They were stupid enough to try to push back a peaceful crowd. Apparently they warned people to back off, but of course only the people at the very front heard that and then they advanced on the crowd using the only means they were trained to do, with toxic sprays and clubs. If the AP spin on this puts it on the protesters or makes it out like we were all crazy teenage skateboarding punks, it is an injustice and shameful journalism. Was an office worker disapointed to get stuck in traffic for a while? Well, that same office worker probably gets stuck in traffic for a variety of reasons from time to time. And if they hadn't rerouted the busses downtown to accomodate the dinner for dollars, he still could've got home in time for his reruns. That is shameful neglegence of the truth of this event. And it uses stupid vanilla emotional woes of some poor soul getting home late to pound home the subliminal thought that these protesters were some rowdy kids. They weren't kids mostly, and they weren't rowdy at all until they were attacked. Give me a break. Somebody write these people and tell them they shame themselves to put their names on this trash.

that seems to be right 22.Aug.2002 23:31

buddy

Eyesareopen's account seems to be right on...I was also in the march and it was a diverse crowd, old young anarchists unionists babys the disabled. Almost everyone seemed to be represented and it was completely peaceful up until the cops were given orders to push back several hundred protesters for some unknown "security" reason. Perhaps good old bushie could hear us in the streets and thought we must be too close and had to push us out of shouting distance..I don't know. Its unnecesary to say things got ugly after that.

Yes, eyes are open 23.Aug.2002 06:27

Hope Marston hmarston@epud.net

Thanks "eyes are open" for your truthful assessment of the situation in Portland yesterday.

I saw the paramilitary troops pepper spray people in the face, after telling us they'd arrest us if we didn't leave. If they were going to arrest us, they should have arrested us -- not pepper sprayed us. And no, people who weren't on the front lines probably never heard the single announcement that police were declaring an "emergency."

This was class warfare. While we, who were using our freedom of speech to declare our opposition to Bush administration policies, stood behind police barricades, the suited wealthy privileged who paid $25,000 were able to shake hands with the unelected president. What's the difference between us and them? Money and access. Those paramilitary troopers (not police -- don't call them police. They were dressed and armed as if we were terrorists, while the real terrorist flew in on Air Force One and promoted Gordon Smith at the Hilton) were protecting the wealthy from the underclass who had a right to peacefully protest.

Why did they declare an "emergency"? Other reports on Indymedia from listening to the police scanners said the troopers felt the crowd was too large. Too large? Who are they to determine how many is an acceptable number to protest the heinous Hitleresque policies of this fascist administration? You know the answer. The orders came from the suits from Washington D.C. They were giving orders to the troops, with cell phones strapped to their little pink ears.

And one more thing -- about the media. I am sick of hearing the media discount the myriad of complaints we have against Herr Bush. As if the mere number of complaints renders all of them unimportant. As if we're all flakes and too scattered to have a coherent focus. The truth is there is so much wrong with the way this country is going, it would take more than a million protesters, each with a different sign, to fully display the range of issues that need to be addressed. We have a lot to say, media people. It doesn't fit in a soundbite. It won't fit in your small-minded news coverage. You're so used to thinking small that the enormity of what's wrong in this country escapes you.

What happened in Portland was shameful. The protesters were not at fault. We were peaceful until attacked. We were not crazed teenagers -- though, what's wrong with being a teenager and having enough awareness of all that's wrong in this country to go out and protest? Don't diss the youth who were there. They can see the emperor has no clothes as well as any of us.

And we need to do more than march. We need to petition our elected representatives to change the fascist policies that have been enacted since Sep 11. Bill of Rights Defense Committees are forming all around the country. There is one in Portland; in Eugene. We are petitioning our city councils to pass resolutions opposing and working for the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act, which stripped us of our Bill of Rights, as police are free to search our homes, medical records, bookstore purchases, financial, educational, and library records -- without first showing evidence of a crime being committed, without a court order. Eight cities nationwide have passed such resolutions and thirty others are working on passage. We can't move Bush out of the White House until 2004. Until then, there are strategies that citizens must take on in order to show that we will not stand for this kind of fascist government. Please join us!

Hope Marston

Hooray for Hope 23.Aug.2002 07:30

Corbin Supak

Hear! Hear! Hope!

although 23.Aug.2002 10:08

thinking, planning

Hope,

You state that "We can't move Bush out of the White House until 2004". However, I think that now that Bush's popularity is starting to decline, in spite of his clear intent to bomb the shit out of Iraq, that the moment that the war starts will be an excellent time to FORCE him out of office. Thousands of people showing up wherever he goes to re-enact yesterday's scene in Portland will set the stage. The American people are finally starting to wake up.

Right, let's focus on the real issues ! 23.Aug.2002 11:38

Hoerst

Hope, great response !

a) Your correction of the AP report (I was also on-site and noticed great support from bystanders and people honking and waving from cars)

b) Looking at the positive aspects of this event, and what people stood up for, the whole spectrum off things that are wrong in this country.
I was a bit concerned about focussing largely on pepper spray and rubber bullets issues, and subsequently loosing track of what people stood up for at the protest -- actually, after reading the Oregonian and the Register-Guard this morning I got the impression that's exactly the direction into which the corporate media would like to shift the discussion - away from the threat of an October War in Iraq, civil liberties taken away... in short, the endless list of Bush crimes you started sharing with us.

I'd like to see a photo gallery of posters/signs from the protest that reflects the broad spectrum of opposition against the Bush administration. Plus a couple more shots that show the large amount of protesters to counter-proof the media lie of a few hundred participants (the rally extended over many blocks of Portland downtown, and often you couldn't see from front to end.

Hoerst

Bush Protest - 8/22 6:30PM 23.Aug.2002 18:52

Bug-e-one

Bush Protest - 8/22 6:30PM
Bush Protest - 8/22 6:30PM

RIGHT ON HOPE!!! 23.Aug.2002 19:11

Nightwind

Such succinct words Hope. You put it all so well!

Portland has done a remarkable job over the last couple of days. People here in Fayetteville, Arkansas are talking about your impressive demonstration. we are inspired by it, and we all need to keep inspiring one another.

The mentality behind the Bush Administration is absolutely hideous. For me, George Bush and Company are the personification of the darkest side of humanity. Uncontrolled greed, thirst for power, and a total disregard for everything that lives are their trademark. They are obsessed with war, death and destruction. To me, these people reflect the most vile aspects of humanity. I cannot find any good will in these people whatsoever.

We all need to keep speaking out. I'm glad it happened in Portland.

HOW TO CONTACT AP 26.Aug.2002 00:20

Truth Squad Trooper

Associated Press (AP)
International Headquarters
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020
212-621-1500

 http://www.ap.org/pages/aptoday/aptoday_contact.html

OREGON (Control Bureau: Portland)

Grants Pass
P.O. Box 1468
Grants Pass OR 97526
(541) 476-1722
474-1573 Fax

Portland
121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1450
Portland OR 97204-2924
(503) 228-2169
223-1038 Commun.
228-5514 Fax
228-9739 Fax/Commun

Salem
Press Room
State Office Building
Salem OR 97310
(503) 363-0010
363-9502 Fax

Bush, prior knowledge 9-11, 2 weeks 26.Aug.2002 08:19

Pastor Michael Treis MichaelTreis@hotmail.com

Where are the protests to Bush having 2 weeks prior knowledge of 9-11?? Donald Rumsfeild and his staff had almost two months prior knowledge as attorney David Shipper tried to warn he and his staff.
Why arn't people tearing down doors with this knowledge? Why arn't the victims families going after those comitting the higest act of treason by the Bush administration?
Want more proof see;
www.inforwars.com
www.americanfreedomnews.com
to name only a couple.
WAKE UP AMERICA smell the fat burning, it yours!
Pastor Mike

Good point, Pastor 26.Aug.2002 11:02

Bushlicker

I did see one individual at the protest offering a venue to address the issues surrounding the failures of the Shrub administration with respect to 9/11. His sign listed a website named 'www.petitiontoimpeach.com'. The site has a well worded and concise summary of some of Dubyuh's worst crimes, and offers an opportunity to 'sign' a petition demanding that the U.S. Congress immediately begin impeachment proceedings against the rat-bastard. Take a look and pass it on.

Get out Bush and stay out 28.Aug.2002 17:21

Ludd Ludd91101@yahoo.com

I ended up right in the middle of the mayhem and I have to say that everyone protesting was behaving in a professional and organized manner. When the storm troopers decided they wanted to take the street everyone did their best to help one another out and stay out of danger. Things only got ugly on our side when we were attacked. (And when some jerk in a minivan decided to drive into the middle of the crowd and started running people over.) The fact that the fascists came at us with pepper spray and firing rubber bullets is insane. There were older people and young kids scattered all through out the crowd. What is it? Do these guys just sit in a dark room before each protest and watch video from Seattle 99? I just moved here from NYC and I love the energy and good nature of everyone in Portland. I saw something in one of the horrible corporate papers that Portland is known to White House officials as "Little Beirut". In that case I love Little Beirut.