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a22: bush protest

My report from the Portland protest

Link to a website containing photos and personal narrative which clearly identify the officer who fired rubber bullets on the crowd. A direct front-line report from the worst epicenters of violence during the day.

homepage: homepage: http://www.well.com/user/streak/protest0802/protest1.html

inaccuracies 27.Aug.2002 13:45

Todd

Let me note a few things

The people were not actually arrested at the morrison bridge, they escaped. Secondly they didn't shove through the line, the walked down the street [as far as I know] and also pointing the finger at groups you don't like, understand, or have information about doesn't help anyone. Some black block people may have been trouble makers, others may have merely been interested in preserving anonymity from the prying eyes of police survellance. Neither you nor I can speak for them, nor ought we to judge them unfoundedly.

Zip up! Your ignorance is showing! 27.Aug.2002 14:18

PDX anarchist

Anarchists, black-clad and otherwise, served as organizers, medics, and reporters at this protest. Other anarchists simply showed up as individuals and you'd never know they were anarchists without talking to them.

You have fallen into the stupid syllogism anarchy=violence. This is so not true, and I hope that as you develop personal relationships in the community, you don't let your unexplored biases disrupt potentially fruitful relationships.

YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT 27.Aug.2002 14:59

666

You say that the anarchists are the ones who start fights with the police? Where have you been? Remember the WTO protests of '99? You are way off from fact.

Secondly, you should really try and have some solidarity with your brothers and sisters in struggle. Don't fall into the framework that the corporate media has fed you. This will only weaken our movement.

SOLIDARITY!

more innacuracies 27.Aug.2002 15:04

*

Your tendancy to equate anarchists with adolescent males fits the historical model of disenfranchisement through the protrayal of the other as young, stupid, uncultured, etc. You go so far with this stupidity that you explicitly labeled a someone as male that was in fact not. Get off your high horse and try to see things from a different perspective. Maybe you'll start to understand the urgency and militancy some people exhibited on a22 when you consider that some people don't have the luxury of retreating from police abuse when they are tired and bruised. You're entitled to your opinion, but so are other people, so please don't endanger people by posting incriminating pictures, etc. Don't marginalize people just because you don't understand where they're coming from. You're in a town in which anarchists are NOT marginal to community and organizational causes.

no stereotyping 27.Aug.2002 16:26

peacepeacepeace

so many accounts on indy - it is great. i was at the protest but was not at the location where the violence broke out. i did witness some asanine behavior by some protestors, but nothing that warranted cops becoming violent.

the photo of the pepperspray coming towards your camera was an excellent one.

speaking of doing things to make a difference, a good place to start is to drop the "anarchist" stereotype thing. it is not a uselful one. as long as we continue to divide and separate, we are not a part of the solution but a part of the problem.

embarrassed for you 27.Aug.2002 16:39

anon

what a disgusting display of male privilege and sectarianism.
your repeated comments about militant protesters and "getting laid" reveal much more about yourself than anyone else.
perhaps your own testosterone level has caused you to become envious of the recent upsurge in interest in anarchist praxis? your comments about anarchists (many of whom are engaged in such unrealistic activities as defending native forests, growing herb gardens, and raising children) are a hoot, and certainly will do nothing to inspire anyone re: your own agenda, which, as you write, is focussed squarely on electoral politics. your approach in general only furthers my impression of many party-politics folks as chimerical and neurotic, and lessens my occasional desire to transcend such unproductive generalizations.

BY OUR ACTS OF PROVOCATION, WE FORCE AUTHORITY TO TEAR OFF ITS MASK.

ps i'm over 30.

Great Photos, Scary Commentary 27.Aug.2002 17:19

Labor Activist

Great photos, but holy shit--your commentary/opinion about troublemakers is out of control. Assuming to know people's age, ideology, sexual preference, and much more based on what they wear to a protest doesn't make too much sense. Do you want people to make assumptions based on your red white and blue outfit?

I don't know if you are with the Green Party, but you are not helping me undo my impression/stereotype of that crowd.

Just curious, which candidates do you support? Blumenauer? Bradbury? Kulongowski? If you think these Democrats are worth supporting, then we probably don't have much to talk about. Bieng better than the Republican scumbag doesn't make for a very compelling campaign. You suggest "supporting candidates who can win even if they're not 100% ideologically perfect", but what does that mean? What percentage works for you? Do they just have to be better than Kevin Mannix, or do they need to actually be progressive? (I would argue that NONE of the current candidates for most of these offices are progressive, and NONE of them are getting my vote)

Oops--one more thing 27.Aug.2002 17:30

Labor Activist

This is kinda contradictory:

"You'll have to sound reasonable, you'll have to acknowledge other people's points of view, you'll have to tone down the rhetoric a notch."

I don't hear you being too open to other people's points of view. You have your model of protest and social change, and dismiss all others.

All this stuff is tactics. Sometimes one tactic is effective, other times a different tactic is more appropriate. Some people are more inclined to certain tactics. But I would argue that anyone who only believes their tactic is effective is an idiot. It seems to me that a range of tactics, from writing letters and getting people elected, to direct action, have been employed for most successful movements.

I was also wondering, since you got shot by rubber bullets, whacked by billy clubs, and lightly pepper sprayed (according to your story), if that meant you got laid? Cuz that's what it's all about, right?

great commentary 27.Aug.2002 17:52

bob

i don't necessarily agree with even most of what you said, but it was hilarious! i was at the protest, you're right there were a lot of morons spitting on cops, etc. HOWEVER! don't discount the "fucking pig!" mentality. read or re-read On Civil Disobedience. Henry David discusses, in much more civilized words but with the same point of view, how working for the state is selling out to the man. the punk anarachists that you degrade are only sloppy versions of what learned people discuss as beautiful.

Thanks & yes there are assholes on both sides 27.Aug.2002 18:27

Kevin

I agree with sme but not all of what you said. While I must admit to bing one of the insensed young (sort of) men you described yelling at the cops I also attempted to be civil and respectgul at other times. I let my anger get the best of me.

I do not think that going to a demonstration should be a scary thing. It should be empowering.

Occasionally I lost sight of why I was there and treated the cops like they were the enemies. Mistake! Assholes, yeah many of the cops were assholes but not the enemy.

This whole we need to show solidarity even though some of the protesters were assholes is silly. To the idiots that went around a spraying painting "our streets" and "bush sucks" and other stupid crap read a damn book or the newspaper.

some of the protesters need to know what the hell they are talking about before they make a fool out of themselves.

"Our street", great for Seattle but for godsakes leave it. We share the streets with everyone in the city. Do not be moranic. "Bush Sucks" now there is a chant that makes you look foolish.

how about "fund our schools not the war". Just think before you chant.

Great job, Noah 27.Aug.2002 19:07

JustTom2

I've copied the link to your report over to a polical forum that I visit frequently.

I think you did a great job, with terrific presence of mind to continue snapping photos as you did through all the police mayhem.

I'd be proud to march with you anytime. (But lose the need to read sex into the intent of everyone out there whose method of protest may not meet with your approval. The fact that they were out there DOING SOMETHING says a lot.)

Here Comes the SUV... 28.Aug.2002 23:50

Varro

...only it looks more like a short bus to me. Short bus arriving for the Mad Republican, ready to take him to the Ann Coulter camp for bad wittle boyz!

an education for ya 29.Aug.2002 09:14

anarchist

<<<Maybe I'm a prejudiced old crab, but I don't like or trust these guys. They don't seem as interested in trying to make a difference as they do in trying to make trouble.>>>

Yes, you are a prejudiced old crab

and ill informed as well

if it were not for the contributions of anarchists, and anarchist minded people, there would not have been such good medic help given to people, there would likely not be an indymedia to post this link to, there might not have been a legal team standing by to help those arrested.

The people you are singling out, are hard working, intelligent, dedicated people who do a helluva lot for the activist community in Portland, and around the country.


<<<Sometimes it's really embarrassing to be associated with schmucks like that.>>>

Sometimes it's really embarrassing to be associated with liberal intellectuals like you as well.



<<<Also, I was seriously concerned that if I had to listen to one more sophomoric cry of "Fuckin' fascist pigs!" I was going to slap somebody upside the head.>>>


Oh yes, go after a protestor for speaking, but not express the same feeling for the cops who actually endangered lives, and systematically repressed dissent across the nation. Place your anger where it belongs dude.


<<<...I felt that the police and the protestors were, behaviorally, mirrors of each other. The police officers were mostly acting within decent bounds, and the protestors were mostly peacefully making their views known. However, just as the police had a few unprofessional punks who felt compelled to spray and shoot at protestors, so did our side have its share of adolescent morons who thought it was a good idea to spit at the cops, throw things at them, try and force their way past them, and generally try to provoke violence. As some of the asinine "kill a cop" "they are subhuman" sentiments one hears clearly show, our side cannot claim to be free of infantile, violent cretins, much as we might like to believe it.>>>

This is also missing a key point. 'We' are not an institution. Anyone can walk up and call themselves a protestor, or yell at the cops or behave in a manner of their choosing.

The police are a systematic institution, that wields tremendous power, therefore they must be more accountable, and yet they are not. They often act with impunity, and outside the law and rarely get held accountable. One person may stand on 'our' side, and make an ass of themselves, throw something etc, but they are essentially harmless. Not so with the police.

The balance of power is so skewed, that your point is actually a misrepresentation of the real situation. It is a typical liberal white attitude to equalize things, which is itself a form of tyranny.

The police have no real right to act in the imperial manner that they do, and can do so, only because they have massive weaponry, and because of a mostly cowed citizenry.

You remind me of the old aristocracy of the British and French. When they would war with each other, form and manners was paramount, and it was a sort of game. Easy approach for them because it was not the aristocracy getting killed. If one side captured the other, they let them go, only to war again at another time. Poor people, peasants the ones that were killed.

You want to absolve the cops as an institution and only criticize a few individuals, and that is because you have your head in the sand. Because you are white. Because you have no real understanding of how black and latino people are treated, how homeless people are treated. You live in your white priveledge and look down on the rabble, just like the old aristocracy.

It is the rabble that is going to save this world, not white liberals like you. Wake up man, and stop standing above people and learn to stand with them.

perspectives and open minds 30.Aug.2002 17:48

Konza Kid

To Noah - thankyou for your honest and candid report. It has helped me gain a fuller understanding of what went down throughout the day.

I've been following the reports on this closer than most! people, - even those relatively politically aware and anti-Bush and have posted to other forums on the event - and argued for the indymedia version(s) truth vs the right-wing/corporate media portrayal of violent irresponsible brats who left police no option but to respond when their officers and cars were attacked etc.

While I do agree that using the anarchist label for angry young male troublemakers is unfortunate, I do know the point you are making. When SOME people choose to use those tactics (eg angry, disrespectful shouting, spitting, throwing things) on police, it gives the police and the media the AMMO to discredit and marginalize the whole bunch of PEACEFUL protesters. It's not easy to repair the reputation.

To "anarchist" and others upset with Noah's portrayal - I do believe you blame Noah for much more than he is actually guilty of saying and being - you cannot educate people while you are simultaneously denigrating them and making assumptions about them. He obviously is coming from a different place, and gave his own honest opinion of what he saw - I'm a lot more inclined to believe his account than from one who screams "Fuck the Fascist Pigs" over and over, etc., and I luckily knew the difference between an "anarchist" and the provaceteurs who later brag about what tuff shit they were, while ignoring the consequences of the impressions they left on outside observers.

Y'all need to bone up on lessons learned from the Civil Rights movement...When such "tactics" are not compatible with the GOAL of the protest, you should choose another time and place to do your thing - and unfortunately, then, the media will be right when they report that you got what you deserved...despite the righteousness of the cause.

If it's about alienating people who otherwise would be sympathetic and supportive of your positions, go right ahead and flame me.

riot video 12.Dec.2006 03:39

holy crap

i just watched a video from

 link to groups.myspace.com
(myspace video)

and holy crap