Protest Organizer on Donahue
Thank you, Ms. Chris, for taking an instrumental role in organizing the protests against George W. Bush. You did a fine job on Donahue! Here's the transcript for those that missed it, it aired August 23.
DONAHUE: Riot police used pepper spray and struck some demonstrators with batons after ordering hundreds of people to leave a protest near a hotel where President Bush attended a fundraiser. Protesting Bush's foreign policy, they chanted "Drop bombs"-"Drop Bush, not bombs."
Joining us now from Portland is Chris Preucil, one of the protesters and founder of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment. You are Well, Ms. Preucil, you are here to say, among other things, that you think that the police really didn't have to be this aggressive. Do I understand your position?
CHRIS PREUCIL, PROTESTING THE PRESIDENT: Oh, not at all. And the police in Portland, Oregon, have had years of history of completely overreacting to peaceful protests.
DONAHUE: You were there, and you're saying that nobody intended any violence at all, that you wanted to convey your displeasure to the president near his hotel. And then do I understand you to say that the police-the police had you isolated, did they not?
PREUCIL: The president of the United States is not doing very well, as far as being accountable to the people, so there was essentially "no protest" zone, so Bush couldn't actually see the people who were protesting his administration. And the police insisted on pushing that "no protest" zone back, making it bigger and bigger, without really warning the crowd. And instead of announcing to the crowd to move back in a way that was audible, just unleashing pepper spray onto, you know, 12 people or more at a time. It was very inappropriate.
But President Bush's motorcade, we do believe, did get to see some of the protesters, but the message did not get through as clearly as it should because he isolated himself from the people.
DONAHUE: You make the point that you think that the elite, wealthy among us are being protected from people who disagree with them by the cops.
PREUCIL: Well, by the people that are oppressed by a system that allows an elite class to live in luxury while the poor, the working poor and the working class all stress about things like the recession and the amount of debt they're in and how they're going to feed their children and put them through school. And this is nothing new. You know, the elite class has tried to shield themselves from the lower classes and the working classes for thousands of years now.
DONAHUE: Right. We did see people pounding on the police car. That is the people's police car, and it looked like they were trying to damage it. Doesn't mean you go to-you don't go to jail for life for this, but it's not a redeeming feature of the-of the-in terms of the behavior of the protesters.
PREUCIL: Well, it's very unfortunate that the corporate press chose to focus on the very, very few isolated incidences of a very few individuals taking that kind of action, considering there were someone between 2,500 and 3,000 people in the streets protesting very peacefully. So unfortunately, what's being shown on TV is not the whole picture and not really what the focus and the overall mood of the protest was.
DONAHUE: Does this mean my president's going to have a difficult time, like other-some other presidents, leaving the White House and going out and about?
PREUCIL: Your president was protested by thousands of people in Germany and protested by thousands of other people in different places he goes all over the world. His violent, anti-choice, pro-bombing mentality of the Bush administration is very unpopular with people, even elected officials, all over the world.
DONAHUE: Well, I thank you, Chris. You were there. Pleased to know you weren't hurt.
PREUCIL: And I want everyone to know at www.indymedia.org, you can learn about the alternative-the alternative press. You can learn about things that are happening all over the world that you'll never get out of corporate television or out of corporate newspapers.
DONAHUE: And if you missed that, you can get us at msnbc.com. Click the Donahue part. Thanks, Chris.
PREUCIL: Thank you, Phil.
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article
discussion from this article