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actions & protests | human & civil rights | police / legal a22: bush protest

Friday Rally to Focus on Dissent and Police Suppression

The PPRC's weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, August 23rd, at 5:00 p.m., will focus on the need for vocal and visible dissent from the Bush administration's war plans, and the recent attempts by Portland Police to suppress such dissent.
For Immediate Release
Event: PPRC Friday Rally
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2002
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

PPRC Encouraged by Protests, Disappointed with Police Conduct

The PPRC's weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, August 23rd, at 5:00 p.m., will focus on the need for vocal and visible dissent from the Bush administration's war plans, and the recent attempts by Portland Police to suppress such dissent. "As many, many witnesses have now confirmed, the Portland Police turned to very heavy-handed tactics, using pepper spray and other aggressive means of 'pain compliance', in an effort to discourage the crowds from continuing the peaceful protests last night here in Portland," said Will Seaman of the PPRC. "We were all very proud of the courage and peaceful manner of the community that turned out to protest Bush's push for war and for a police state, and we were disappointed in the willingness of police to put even small infants at risk by their unrestrained and uncontrolled use of pepper spray." It has been reported that legal observers present at the protests will be taking concerns about police misconduct to city officials for review and discussions.

"It was wonderful to see such a large turnout for the protests," said Chris Roehm, the MC for the opening rally in the North Park Blocks. "Yesterday, on the streets surrounding Bush's corporate-interest fundraiser, there were organizations representing environmental, labor, peace and justice, social welfare, and many other issues important to Americans." Roehm said that the numbers suggest growing dissent in the United States against the direction of the Bush Administration. "We are constantly being told that the country is united behind Bush, and that he has overwhelming support for his policies," said Roehm. "It's clear that many Americans recognize that Bush is and has always been doing the bidding of the oil industry and the other corporate interests that have corrupted our political process." Many community organizations and affinity groups were involved in the planning and organization of the street protests. Among the protesters there was a strong feeling of cooperation and solidarity throughout the afternoon and evening.

At his recent concert in Portland, veteran balladeer Bruce Springsteen called on his audience to exercise their rights to dissent and to speak out, and warned against the threats to democracy and freedom here in the United States. It seems that many Portlanders took his advice to heart.

- 30 -
City Hall at 8:45 23.Aug.2002 07:53

Renee

We'll be meeting at City Hall at 8:45 this morning. Alan Graf and some reps from the National Lawyers Guild will be demanding Chief Kroeker's resignation. Meet on the 4th Avenue side of City Hall.

Its funny 23.Aug.2002 08:11

Wally

You leftists scream and whine like little schoolgirls when the police set up barricades to shield themselves from the hail of rocks, bottles, bags of urine, feces, ball-bearings, etc...that you throw at them. Yet when you cowards hide behind little children and disabled people in order to do these things, you are surprised when the police go ahead and spray you anyway. Yo should all be ashamed of yourselves. You are no better than terrorists who use human shields. The fact that you ahd small infants and disabled people in your mob shows a reckless indifference to their safety anyway, because it was your goal to provoke the police into using force to disperse you.

See, this is how the left works. You want to provoke the police to use force on you, because it gives you limited publicity. So what if a few infants get hurt or killed...as long as you get that press coverage!! Sounds a lot like spin you put out about the man you were protesting against! You are no different that he is. You use the same tactics as terrorists, and the same hypocritical media spin techniques as the government. No wonder you will always be a left wing fringe movement, and appalled by the mainstream.

I think you're thinking of your Dick-tator 23.Aug.2002 08:49

Lt. Slothrop

The Bush junta are the only ones I see hiding behind the flag and exploiting tragedy for their own purposes. Those in the streets were American citizens exercising the rights you fascists are trying to take away from us. Sorry, liberty and dissent are rooted too deeply within a lot of us to allow rightwing thugs get away with that without a fight.

Gee Wally!!!!! 23.Aug.2002 09:10

Jay

Wally you probably weren't even their and are getting your information from the corparate media. There was no feces or urine thrown at the police. As far as rocks or bottles, with all that protection they wouldn't even feel it. The only botles that were thrown were plastic. We did not ask people to bring their children or for people to come in wheelchairs, but anybody and everybody can and is welcome to show up.
I suppose you think it okay for Israel to shot people who throw rocks at them. You are no beter then the people who are trying to take are and everyones rights away.

To Wally 23.Aug.2002 09:32

Todd

Wally though there is some truth to what you say, you are missing much of the key facts. Firstly, I was there from 1-7:30 and saw nothing being thrown. It may have occured but I didn't see it anywhere. Second, the number of people who were willing to fight back so to speak was probably like 1 in 100 or less. You should also note not everyone was a leftist here, democrats surely aren't the left and there were some Bush supporters actually in the line of fire merely because they were observing from the sidelines. Thats the point. The police hit everyone, and most were standing around relatively quietly. Again your response is unsubstantiated because most of the people were totally unprepared for the police attacks, if what you say is true, everyone should have been ready and willing. I spent most of my time warning innocent families, the elderly, children, passerbys who chose to participate, etc that they might get hurt, what to do, etc. They were all shocked they had no idea that the police did or could do such a thing. Many had bags from a local shopping excursion. These were not leftist militant brigades, the crowd was a very eclectic mix of people from all walks of life.

Golly, Wally 23.Aug.2002 09:44

grantly

The Wally's of the world don't need the facts of what happened, all they need is corporate media, rush, or bush to tell them what to think and say.

no provocation from the crowd 23.Aug.2002 10:42

random_protester

Hey Wally,

I was there from 2.30 to 9.00 and I didn't see any provocation from the crowd. Well, there was verbal provocation but I didn't see any physical attacks on the barricades or on the police.
The police (state troopers actually) decided twice to attack the crowd without provocation just because they wanted to push the crowd further away from the Hilton ( the crowd was already 2 blocks away from the Hilton).

You seem to take for granted that the police should block a huge area of downtown to anyone just in order to allow a political candidate to make some money for his campaign.
How do you feel about your tax money going to pay overtime for policemen so that Gordon Smith can raise money for his campaign?

The crowd was angry that they couldn't even get close to the Hilton to express their disagreement with Bush's policies.

Go Wally 23.Aug.2002 11:14

Someone who was there

Right on Wally, I agree with you 100%. Although the majority of people were peaceful, the ones that weren't are a bunch of chickenshits. You could read the posts prior to the event. They wanted confrontation. Why else would you discuss bringing kids or wearing protective clothing. Peace was never on their minds. Why would you wear protective clothing just to carry a sign and have your voice heard. I have been to several demonstrations and NOT ONCE been attacked by the police. Everyone who was absolutely deserved what they got, with the exception of the innocent ones who got caught up with the assholes.

Well written WALLY

If you were there.... 23.Aug.2002 11:29

Witness

Someone who was there,

If you were actually there, where were you, what were you wearing, what EXACTLY did any of the protesters do to make the Police bring out the pepper spray?

Give me a break...this was one of the most peaceful positive demonstrations I have ever seen and it was the cops that created the entire situation with their use of batons, pepper spray and police cars all to move several hundred people farther away from the Hilton. There is no excuse and I hope whoever gave the orders is put on trial for violating our civil rights. You claim you were there but from what I've read of your post you have no details and no timeline...You will have to convince me a lot better than your post did that you were actually in the streets.

To "someone who was there", I was there too 23.Aug.2002 12:24

todd

I wore a respirator and goggles, I was peaceful and didn't want confrontation. Let me give you some reasons why everyone should have full protection from chemical weapons

They may be cancer causing
They can make a woman abort
They may cause cronic respiratory problems

....
the list goes on.

Now given that the majority of the people who got hit were not these provocateurs everyone is scapegoating on the behalf of the police, wouldn't it makes sense to defend your health against an enemy that will fire indiscriminately. Unlike you, who probably sat somewhere on the sidelines watching in bourgoeis idleness, I warned people and tried to get them to protect themselves to the best of their ability [most were clueless as to the danger]. Why? Because people shouldn't have their health comprised because of the reckless and arbitrary shows of aggression and repression by a police force that unprovoked and indiscriminately acts against the interests of the community.

Provacatuers infiltrate regularly 24.Aug.2002 09:39

swaneagle harijan frontlinemom@yahoo.com

As a veteran of the WTO demos in Seattle where i experienced first hand such outrageous police brutality and witnessed my friend, a Gandhian scholar and practioner, being beaten, then shot in the eye a day later, i feel deeply these accounts of what happened in Portland. In my reading of posts, i see that several masked people supposedly threw planters and destroyed other minor possessions of downtown businesses. I know that the Delta Forces were present in Seattle dressed as protesters who engaged in property destruction. In many cases, the police ignored them. Such uncercover provacatuering was present in Prague and other anti-globo demos. It is interesting that such behavior is very clandestine and manipulative. It is worrisome due to the fact that it is precisely designed to undermine the intent of the peaceful dissenters.
That we cannot come up with an agreed upon approach shoots holes in many of the mass actions.

Sad to say, it is very dangerous now to show one's children how to exercise freedom of speech. Most Americans do not know what freedom of speech is. As a mother of 4, most of whom were raised on the frontlines of Big Mountain and elsewhere, i now have to plan carefully so my youngest will not be harmed as i fight for our human rights.

We urgently need communities of resistance where trust is built and people learn how police have been militarized all over the country. We must be preparing for what i ahead.

If we do not have trust among us, if we cannot approach the domestic military forces as one, it will increasingly break down our stand. Somehow, the many facets of approach to this fascist police state must work together for the good of all. My experience with several masked ones in Seattle was very disturbing, yet i wore one i crocheted. There is a difference between disguise and magic. Disguise protects one from the repercussions of clandestine actions and magic calls in energies that deflect aggression. May trust and magic grow.....

Wally denounces his man 24.Aug.2002 10:40

Chaplin rwineskin@juno.com

No one replying to Wally's letter commented on that fact that, near the end, he says that by using deplorable (sic) tactics, the nasty protestors are just like his guy in the White House, and that their "hypocritical spin" is just like that of the federal government. His defense is actually condemnation. Thanks, Wally, for giving us the real story!

Hey Wally 24.Aug.2002 12:04

Raise The Fist!

Hey Wally, I think your Nazi Swastika bandana is too tight around you little pasty white pin head! As for your boy in the White House, his days are numbered. And fascist traitors like you can crawl back under the rock you came from and continue to rot away. It's the patriots like the ones in Portland who stand up to oppression, lies, and traitors like you, who will win this war against freedom and democracy!

I salute the protestors in Portland and around the country! Rock on! Also, the fact that most of them were surprised at the actions of the police is great! It's a wake up call! And a call to action! This type of behavior is happening all over the country. Wally, just be glad that these are peaceful protest! Because their are people who are willing to fight for freedom!

Raise The Fist!

Republican Fund Raiser at Public Expense 24.Aug.2002 12:05

Richard C. Baerlocher rbaerloche@aol.com

I revieved the news articles of the protests and the only thing that was thrown at the police was water. One person opened a bottle of water and threw just the contents on a police officer. The police officer then pepper sprayed the protester. That was the incident that started it all.
That was an over reaction by the Portland Police(Gestapo).
As for the comments on the cost the Republicans say that they brought in $5 million in donations for the event. What did it cost the tax payers to provide the extra police security, the lost revenue to the businesses, and the social events that were ruined.
I feel that the Smith campaign should pay it all back as a campaign expense, then see how much the have left.
If you compare the differences between Bill Clinton's visit and George Bush's there is a world of difference. At bill Clinton's there was hardly no security, and none neeeded. At George Bush's they even had Helicopter gun ships flying over Portland. That shows that Bush is afraid of the American People!
Ban Bush From Portland!

503-644-5817

Thank you! 24.Aug.2002 20:34

Kathy

Hey,thanks to all who showed up to let the Great Pretender know that not everywhere in America can he keep all dissent out of sight. I organized in my youth, now I try to help in other ways, but I am so proud that it was Portland that stood up to the Bushies. Keep up the good work!

Peaceful Protest? Get real 25.Aug.2002 04:22

BOB Bob@home.com

Get real, Peaceful protest. Portland and Eugene Mal-contents, who call themeselves anarchists, were endangering police by jumping on their cars. They got what they deserved. When you spray paint graffiti on someones business, you've surpassed your right to peaceful protest and should be pepper sprayed, as well as jailed. The country does stand behind their president. It's only the select few "anarchists" who eventually like the hippies will sell out to corporate america, who don't.

Proud of Portland Protest 25.Aug.2002 09:46

Shirley Smith Greshan60@aol.com

We were transferred to the NorthWest and had the privilege of living in the Portland area for two years. I was so very proud of the people of Portland to stand up against the Bush Bully Regime, unlike your Congressman who had the gall to sit on the stage and listen to the lies told to the gullible audiance. If they think this Regime cares about them, maybe they will have plenty of time to rethink their priorities when they are sitting in the detention camps built by this Regime! If not for the internet, this would not have been given the coverage that it deserved.
We all know when the time comes, we will be up against out own military, but to see the police of this thriving community do such things to their own...I would have been more impressed if they would have walked out on the day of Bush's arrival. But, they chose to pepper spray women and babies. Where did these policemen come from, or did Bush bring his own.

Shirley Smith
Longview, TX

Longview, TX

Make Them Smell Smoke! 25.Aug.2002 17:32

Michael Leo Lively

MAKE THEM SMELL SMOKE
(c) 2002 Michael Leo Lively (INS) Impudent News Service.

Congratulations in Portland on getting close enough to let the Evil Ones hear you and see you.

However, in the future if the Gestapo won't let us get close enough (Like in Canada earlier this summer and in Stockton yesterday) shouldn't we get upwind and make them smell smoke.

Make them walk through smoke, make them drive through smoke, make them arrive in smoke and make them depart in Smoke. Make them hold their Dark Congress with smoke seeping into the air conditioning.

If you're not an Anarchist you can barbecue or burn incense. If you are an anarchist,... well, you know what you do.

Of course I'm only talking about having an all American barbecue upwind. Let the smoke of a thousand barbecue grills remind them you are there! Yeah that's it! "A thousand points of Smoke!"

In Stockton the Imperial Storm troopers blocked the protesters from even being seen by the King George II and the Bushite Court. Make them Smell Smoke! Make them smell Thick, Nasty, Rotten Smoke changing to Sweet Incense Smoke... so they can't get used to the smell!

Acrid Smoke, Flavorful Smoke, Black Smoke, White Smoke, Sickly Smoke, Pungent Smoke...

But Goddamnit, MAKE THEM SMELL SMOKE!

TTR,
Michael Leo Lively