The crowd made its way to the 5th and taylor barricade. There were not many police there at first. People filled the street and the intersection and from building to building right up to the barricade. The crowd was loud, determined, but was not provoking the police, climbing over the barricade, screaming 'charge' or giving any other indication that it was going to rush past the barricade. It was a mixed crowd, elder and younger, all types of dress. It was an intense, but peaceful crowd, in any sense of the word.
For no reason, and without warning, these officers started indescriminately pepper spraying the crowd. These cops must have little empathy for the people that they are spraying and the pain they are causing for no reason. Nobody besides the police were taking any aggressive action.
Look at the people in these pictures. Look at their faces. This is not the look of an angry mob ready to charge a line, or something of that sort. Everyone stayed on the outside of the police barricade. The only people who crossed the line set up by police as the place where one could protest, were the police themselves, who crossed over to attack people.
Standing there, ready to shoot people, when there was no cause at all. Not one person tried to cross the police line. Seeing this sort of thing, it is easy to conclude that the police do want to shut up dissent. Even when the crowd abided by the boundaries set up by the police themselves, they were still aggressively attacked. This is not a free country.
Again, look at the people behind the barricade. Nobody is in any sort of aggressive stance. Nobody is trying to cross the barrier. Yet the police start spraying again, indescriminately attacking people with dangerous chemical weapons.
Violent cops again leaning in to spray people for no apparent reason. The crowd should get kudos from the mayor, and media for showing restraint in the face of such aggressive and unwarranted attack. Are people supposed to let themselves be attacked and do nothing? If it were anyone but the police acting in this manner, they would be subject to arrest, however, it does appear that at this point, the police are above the law. When police attack people for no reason, at some point, those people will get angry, and retaliate. That is human nature. It did not happen that day, but if the police continue to act in this manner, it will.
It personally disgusts me to see the corporate media blaming the protestors for the police violence and harming of people. They have no integrity or honor.
At that point the stormtroopers were sent in. The crowd booed, and more people filled the intersection. There were so many people it was hard to move about. In the face of police violence, people held their ground, and demanded their right to protest.
Once again, you can see that nobody is trying to cross the barricades. Nobody trying to incite the crowd to charge. Nothing like that. People were holding up signs, chanting and yelling. Many people were talking to police and asking why they had been attacked. There was no dialog by police. They seem to think they are a law unto themselves. There was no effort by police to express concern regarding the behavior of protestors, though from my close vantage point I could see no reason for concern. None at all.
A sea of people. All engaged in legal protest. Everyone was chanting "Peaceful Protest!"
More and more stormtroopers were sent in. The atmosphere became charged as people felt an attack by the police coming. One commander announced on a weak megaphone that a state of emergency was declared and that anyone was subject to arrest. From right at the barricade, it was hard to hear and I could not catch every word. I doubt people more than a few yards from the barricade could hear what was said, or even that something was said at all. They repeated the message 3 times.
Nobody backed away. It was wrong and a lie for the state of emergency to be declared. There was no reason, other than to take away peoples Constitutional right to protest, and their right to voice dissent regarding the policies of elected leaders.
In the photo people were blowing bubbles, an elderly man in a suit was standing right at the barricade. See the postures. Expecting an attack, prepared to stand for their right to protest, but not one person is taking any sort of aggressive action. It is the police, and not just Beaverton police who are preparing to violently attack people.
The stormtroopers, with respirators, and full attire cross the barricade, and start pushing and hitting people. Some people were knocked to the ground.
Stormtroopers unleash the pepper spray on people doing nothing but exercising their Constitutional rights. Are all these stormtroopers Beaverton cops as well? The mayor and police chief Kroeker don't even have the courage to take responsibility for what happened, and are trying to blame it on Beaverton.
Everyone was getting pepper sprayed.
And of course videotaped
At this point one of my eyes could not see at all from getting sprayed in the face. The stuff is blinding. The police spray someone in the eyes, so that they cannot see. And when I say cannot see, that is no exaggeration. The eyes just stop working. Luckily I had one good eye still, but what about the people sprayed in both eyes. The stormtroopers spray them, and then start yelling move, move, move. How can they move in such a chaotic situation when they are temporarily blind? Then when they do not move, they get hit with sticks.
I was helping a friend who was soaked and had been sprayed right in both eyes so I had the camera down for a moment.
As the people were being pushed back, and the situation was chaotic, a police car drove into the back of the crowd. This can only be construed as an attempt to cause trouble. Now that moment is being used by the lying corporate media as a justification for police brutality. People started hitting the car to protect themselves. Someone yelled that there were people sitting on the ground in front of the police car. That cop driving the car should be arrested for endangering peoples lives. He could easily have run someone over. The stormtroopers started firing rubber bullets. They were insane.
Look at the posture of these lunatics. These are peaceful human beings they are facing, who have done nothing but refuse to disperse because they were exercising their right to protest. This attitude is completely uncalled for.
If this is how peaceful people get treated, then people will start to turn violent. This is the behavior of a police state, and not a free and democratic nation. It must be opposed with strength and vigor. I believe non-violent opposition is the way. However, if that does not work, then there are many people who will fight. that is what oppression breeds.
After the mayhem caused by the cops, they moved the barricade the half block to the intersection. All that pain and violent action to move a barricade? The police never once spoke to the crowd, or announced that their intention was to move a barricade. . .a barricade they selected the location for in the first place.
Many people started gathering at the barricade once again.
While people attacked by the police were attanded to by street medics. Many people, not at the barricades or in some way on the front line, were attacked and pepper sprayed or hit with rubber bullets. The police show no concern for those people, and it is up to street medics to help. The medics help everyone, protestor and bystander alike, because they are human, because they care. It is very clear which side of the barricades are the people who uphold the ideals that this country supposedly stand for.
One reporter being treated for pepper spray right in the eyes.
On one side of the barricade is Emperor Bush and his army of stormtroopers and on the other side are courageous people, standing up for freedom and the future of the world. It is that clear a distinction.