More media bias... I was there, and I want the truth to be known.
"More than 1,000 people turned out to scream anti-Bush slogans, tag buildings with graffiti and challenge police at barricades around the hotel where the president held a fundraiser for Sen. Gordon Smith."
Yeah, that's it, we were all there without a purpose. Just a bunch of stupid kids... in the next paragraph, it tells half of the truth, but the article has already been spun to paint us as irrational and violent. Let me tell you, there were many protestors in their 40's and 50's--senior citizens even turned out.
"The group blocked buildings, and Republican donors trying to get to the hotel were taunted and jostled. Many had to be escorted in by police, who later used pepper spray and rubber bullets on the crowd. Six people were arrested."
Uh, yeah, we deliberately blocked buildings. Like we had some agenda to disrupt the businesses in the area. Well, you get over one thousand folks together and squeeze them into a block and you will have a hard time walking down the sidewalk and not jostling folks. It's not our fault that some extremely sheltered folks felt so threatened that they wanted escorts--I didn't see anybody get pushed. And yes, they were taunted. Let's see, they chose a picture with the President for 25K where the money goes to a conservative shmuck, when they could have given the same money to the school system where hundreds of kids would get a better education. I think they shouldn't have been surprised at being taunted. At any rate, the implication is that the protestors were asking for abuse. For over 98% of the people there, not so, and arguably not so for any more than a handful of the protestors.
Also, I might add that the protestors wouldn't have obstructed local businesses so much if the barricades had been halfway down the block instead of near the corner. The overflow wasn't so bad until the police pushed the barricades back--presumably because the folks at the big-money dinner could see the protestors while they ate and it was unpleasant for them.
"There were clues the demonstration could get nasty on the Web sites of groups involved.
Preparations for the protest were posted on the Internet as early as Aug. 7 and continued constantly under such headings as 'Tear gas canisters cause severe thermal burns,' 'Bush to visit beautiful Portland in August, you should too,' and 'What happens if you're arrested for civil disobedience?'"
Yeah, because Portland protestors are regularly assaulted by the police when there are more than a couple dozen or so gathered, it's really a sign that we're ready to cause trouble when we talk about our personal safety. And civil disobedience--that's REALLY nasty. We must NOT do that--blocking traffic because we can't fit near the President is horrid. Of course, if we hadn't been pushed out into the street by the relocation of the barricades, the area would have been less disrupted. And if we had all stayed on the sidewalks, we'd have blocked storefronts for a couple more blocks... Never mind that the short notice afforded us of Bush's visit prevented any possibility of getting permits. It's always like this, and I am of the opinion that the civil disobedience that went on, such as incidental blockage of traffic, was well justified. Beyond that traffic thing, I can't think of much civil disobedience that occurred on the part of the protestors.
"Oregon, and especially Portland and Eugene, have a long tradition of demonstrations, and many of them turn unruly."
And the police are just doing their job when they attack us. From what I could see, the vast majority of the unruly behavior occurred AFTER the police fired on the crowd.
When will the mass media report about the group of protestors that was corralled into the intersection of the Morrison Bridge, surrounded on all four sides, and then sprayed when orders to disperse were not followed? Of course the justification for the assault was that they were blocking traffic and wouldn't disperse even though they were FORCED to block traffic by the actions of the police. When will the mass media report about the chants for world peace that happened just minutes after the police assaulted us? When will the mass media report on the handful of extremely vocal Bush supporters who were not pushed around although they were in the midst of a strongly anti-Bush protest?
Over and out.