portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

imperialism & war

11,500 gather in Portland to demand No War

this was a BEAUTIFUL day in Portland!
11,500 Portlanders gathered downtown today as part of the nationwide NOT IN OUR NAME campaign to demand No War in Iraq. Cloudy grey skies were offset by a multitude of colorful signs and banners, loud drums and chants, and an energetic spirit. The crowd assembled in the South Park blocks for speeches and music and then marched through downtown to Terry Schrunk Plaza, in front of the Federal Building, for more of the same.

A comrade and I ran out ahead of the march and picked a corner to count from. We were there for over forty minutes while people passed by in a seemingly endless stream. This is where we came up with the number 11,500. Word on the street is that AP was saying 4,400 and Jim Redden from the Portland Tribune was saying 5,000 or 6,000 (after activists talked him up from 4,500). Did either of these lazy corporate reporters stake out an intersection and patiently watch the whole time? I doubt it.

At this particular intersection the drivers in front (all female) were excited about the march and we gave them "Attack Iraq? NO!" stickers. They waved them and cheered to everyone as they went by. When it became clear that the march was going to take awhile, one of them got out of her car and sat on the hood. At one point, an angry driver (male) tried to turn out into the street where people were marching. I got in front of his truck and boy, was he ornery about it. "We've got a permit," I told him. "You've gotta wait." After about 15 minutes two bike cops came up. The lady cop told me I couldn't do what I was doing and I told her I was stopping this guy from doing something that would be unsafe to the people in the streets. She agreed but said it wasn't up to me to do that. She said she would handle it from there. What ended up happening was that he had to back up around the corner where he came from, and then the cops made all the cars on that sidestreet back up and go another way. The two female driver supporters both stayed though, and kept cheering. It was great. I'm not really in favor of permits -- it is just our right to be in the streets, but it was useful in this situation, I admit. Otherwise I suppose I would've had to have gotten a ticket for obstructing traffic.

There's so much to say and show about this beautiful day in Portland and I am hoping some other reports will pop up on the newswire soon because I want to see what else happened. One more quick story, though:

When the rally in the Plaza was winding down, a brave young man (16, according to someone who knew him) climbed up on the peak above the door of City Hall with a "NO WAR" sign. A crowd gathered to cheer him on and threw a pair of goggles up there in case the police decided to pepper-spray him out. After about 15 minutes he came down into the welcoming arms of the throng, which then surrounded him to keep him from being arrested or cited. This same crowd turned into about 50 and we took the streets. We marched down Fourth, up another street (Stark?) to Broadway, and back to the Park Blocks and back into downtown. 50 isn't many people but it's enough to take a street. There was no police harrassment of this action, though several to many drivers were upset. One of them nudged into me with his car when a couple of us were blocking an intersection, and then nudged me again harder. Three or four other marchers came over immediately and the situation de-escalated. I snapped a photo of his license plate, which I will post later. I didn't see the end of this march, so hopefully someone else will post how it ended. I hope no one got arrested or cited.

All in all, it was a beautiful day in Portland. Seeing so many people hit the streets to say NO to WAR was inspiring. I had tears in my eyes for a big chunk of time, I was so pleasantly overwhelmed by the number of faces. Hopefully, this turn-out in Portland today can help inspire NOT IN OUR NAME actions coming up in other cities in the next couple days!

Earth to Portland, Come in Portland 05.Oct.2002 16:43

Bush Admirer

Did you happen to notice the arrests of those Al Queda supporters from Oregon?

Did you notice that Portland has an extremist Mosque which recruits these slimeballs?

If you want to protest something, that Mosque would be a good place to start.

Bush Admirer

ps - Wonder if any of those protesters have ever been able to hold a job?

Get a Life, Bush Admirer 05.Oct.2002 16:58

Varro

I have a very nice job, as do all the people I talked to at the protest. Kenny Boy Lay or Andrew Fastow or Jeffrey Skilling (Bush's Enron buddies) will have new jobs soon: making license plates. :)

Peace not anger 05.Oct.2002 16:58

Barry

I was at the rally and was happy to see such a great cross-section of the Portland populace,Veterns for Peace, senior citizens, families(despite the baby-spraying icident on A22), students, even Republican's for Peace,labor worker unions, etc.
The cops were non-violent, so there was no violence at all. there were a few citizens flipping th bird,one guy walked through the crowd,all agro-like yelling drop the bomb, nuke 'em. Imagine that, the people who want peace, were peaceful.

" Be the change you want to see"

-Gandi

Ah, yes, the rightwingers have to chime in 05.Oct.2002 17:01

Lydia Leftcoast

They have to say, "Why don't you protest at Bla-bla-bla instead?" and then they think they're being so clever and original. Same tired line I've been hearing since 1968. "Why don't you protest in Hanoi? Why don't you protest in Moscow? Why don't you protest in Havana?"

And my answer is always the same. "If we can't protest and exercise our Constitutional rights, we might as well live in a dictatorship."

By the way, sir, the 11,500 people who marched mostly have jobs (which is why the march was on Saturday after all), except for the little kids and the retired folks.

Now my question to all you gung ho right-wing war advocates is when you're going to enlist OR force the young person dearest to you to enlist?

Perhaps we should ignore Bush Admirer 05.Oct.2002 17:16

Bush Inquirer

The only reason a guy with the Neandrathal political beliefs of "Bush Admirer" would be hanging around the message boards here is to get an adrenaline rush from people's angry reactions to his nonsense. If we ignore his post, we deny him that pleasure. Go for it if you want to, but bear in mind that verbal abuse is what he is masochistically here for.

Stupid People 05.Oct.2002 17:17

eye witness

Obviously, everyone could not make it to participate in the rally. However, this doesn't seem to stop some of them from making ignorant generalizations about the crowd. The fact is that this was an incredibly main stream event. I saw countless retired people, middle aged parents, concerned high schoolers and everyone in between. Despite the enormous traffic congestion, even the motorists were enthusiastic enough to honk in support and wave anti-war stickers.

This wasn't a marginalized anarchist gathering. This was the silent majority making itself heard.

Perhaps we should ignore Bush Admirer 05.Oct.2002 17:17

Bush Inquirer

The only reason a guy with the Neandrathal political beliefs of "Bush Admirer" would be hanging around the message boards here is to get an adrenaline rush from people's angry reactions to his nonsense. If we ignore his post, we deny him that pleasure. Go for it if you want to, but bear in mind that verbal abuse is what he is masochistically here for.

Stupid People 05.Oct.2002 17:18

eye witness

Obviously, everyone could not make it to participate in the rally. However, this doesn't seem to stop some of them from making ignorant generalizations about the crowd. The fact is that this was an incredibly main stream event. I saw countless retired people, middle aged parents, concerned high schoolers and everyone in between. Despite the enormous traffic congestion, even the motorists were enthusiastic enough to honk in support and wave anti-war stickers.

This wasn't a marginalized anarchist gathering. This was the silent majority making itself heard.

The conquering child 05.Oct.2002 17:23

maxomai maxomai@computer.org

That kid who scaled City Hall had guts, and you have to admire guts. I was a part of the throng that took him in and carried him away to a safe place. We gave him a hat to keep the rain off his face and then scurried him away to a car. I left around 6th street .. he had like 20 people with him, and there was a lot of solidarity and comraderie in that group, so I think he's okay. It's too bad he was only sixteen. I wanted to buy him a beer, just to say "way to go."

Frankly I think 11,500 is an over-estimate, but even the low-ball estimate of 4400 is damned impressive.

Quite note to Bush fan: I come from an artificial intelligence and databases background. Granted, right now I'm scraping by as a mainframe programmer. Still, not only do I hold a real job, I probably earn twice as much as you do. So, you can go right to Hell. Thanks.

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS 05.Oct.2002 17:31

maxomai maxomai@aracnet.com

There was an announcement made that we should call Sen. Byrd to support a fillibuster of the resolution to declare war on Iraq.

Unfortunately, Sen. Byrd's voice mail is full right now. However, you can still voice your opposition to a war with Iraq (and your support for a fillibuster) by calling Senator Ron Wyden at 1-800-839-5276.

You should also call Senator Gordon Smith, but his main voice mail box is full right now .. so you'll have to call one of his branch offices:

(503)326-3386 (Portland -- full, but try on Monday morning)
(541)465-6750 (Eugene)
(541)278-1129 (Pendleton)
(541)608-9102 (Medford)
(541)318-1298 (Bend)

Remember: a full voice mail box is a happy voice mail box!

I would also recommend emailing them using their forms:
 http://gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm
 http://wyden.senate.gov/mail.htm

Faxes are also a huge attention-grabber:
Gordon Smith: (202)228-3997 or (503)326-2900
Wyden: 202 228 2717

Be sure to include your NAME AND ADDRESS and the words NO WAR WITH IRAQ.

PLEASE pass this on! Thanks!

numbers 05.Oct.2002 17:45

counter

I stood on a corner where the march turned south on 3rd, and counted/estimated 7400. I later checke w/ another person who counted and his count was 7300. Pretty dern close! This did NOT count the people who walked by on the sidewalk behind me or who stood along the parade route and cheered us on.

Great rally, great march, great day. Solidarity!

not feeling marginalized 05.Oct.2002 17:54

android

hey eye witness,
next time there's a 'marginalized anarchist gathering', why don't you come out of the woodwork and meet a few of us?

Socialism is such a losing proposition 05.Oct.2002 18:08

Bush Admirer

What an incredible bunch of losers posting here (and marching in Portland)!

You don't seem to understand the fact that Socialism doesn't work, never has, never will.

GW Bush is a GREAT President. Perhaps the greatest since Reagan and his dad.

Clinton was the worst President ever. I don't think he'll ever be considered other than the worst by historians. Throughout history hel'll be looking up at Nixon on the rung above.

Well, I Never... 05.Oct.2002 19:07

Monica Lewinski

I am very flattered that so much 'conservative' (wink, wink)attention has been given to this site. These guys must really be feeling threatened.

But B.A., don't you ever say anything mean about my hero Bill Clinton again. Him and Algor are like gods to me. Mean people like you make me just want to cry, and join the winning team. And if you say one mean thing about Jane Fonda....

Socialism works just fine 05.Oct.2002 19:16

Gringo Stars

Socialism works just fine. Guess who occupies most of the top slots in Highest Standard Of Living? You guessed it: Socialist countries like Sweden, denmark etc.

The USA is down at #19.

I bet you think that the USSR was "communist" too?

Whotta sucker! WRONG - they were what is called "state capitalists," about as bad as we are, just more open about the business-government link than us.

I suggest you educate yourself. I recommend not watching TV - the corporate media has its blinders on you. You seem to think that there is some kind of difference between Clinton and Bush - both slaughter civilians around the world, making it safe for consumerism and capitalism. They both hate real democracy. They are both paid puppets of heartless money-making pimps.

And, as they would say in prison;

you are their punk,"Bush Admirer"

Corporate welfare = socialism of sorts 05.Oct.2002 19:46

yeah....

Funny thing, but one never hears the people complaining about statist economic systems (socialism, etc.) condemning corporate welfare (over $500 billion per year in subsidies of one form or another in the US).

Oh, I forgot, when the government helps big business in a plutocracy, that's not socialism.

God help us if we go all the way to fascism. We get closer by the year.

it was ANTI-WAR 05.Oct.2002 20:08

Talus

Without meaning to degrade socialism in the least, who said anything about this being a socialist rally in the first place? This was an ANTI-WAR rally. Anyone can be against the atrocities(sp?) of war, no matter their political beliefs (even republicans). Lets not confuse issues and keep focus on the topic of preventing even greater pain, suffering, and death to the iraqui people!

Socialism ain't so bad, kids 05.Oct.2002 20:23

Gringo Stars

Funny, but every single socialist I know complains bitterly about corporate welfare - I suggest you find out more about socialism, ...YEAH. There are many misconceptions about socialism like that. It just ain't so, though.

And TALUS, NO ONE said ANYTHING about today being a socialist rally - if you remember, I was responding to BUSH ADMIRER's comments on Socialism. He needs some Politics 101 is all. I was at the rally today, as were many socialists. Don't be threatened. I didn't consider it a socialist event at all. Hell, there were REPUBLICANS FOR PEACE there at the march, fer chrissakes! Bless their souls, at least they have THAT much right.

My only problem is even trying to catch someone up like BUSH ADMIRER when he is clearly a masochist, soundbite-spouting, TV-believing troll. You are quite right: my mistake.

For Gringo Stars & Talus 05.Oct.2002 21:53

yeah...

I know Gringo Stars ... I was just taking journalistic license with the terminology, and that's why I said "socialism of sorts." I really meant "form of statist economic program."

In any event, Talus, take heart. This is yet another message that has dialog, not "Bush Admirer" agent provocateur ranting. It's not a change of subject, just a side conversation. Chill out :-)

I hope "Bush Admirer" at least gets paid for his posts ;-) It would be a pity if he only posted for the "joy" of attempting to disrupt meaningful dialog.

Angry Male Driver 05.Oct.2002 22:01

Just Another Marcher

sp-A-rk:Regarding the "angry male driver" .... I happened to catch just the beginning of that situation.
I did not see the entire incident unfold but what I did see was a white delivery van with he name "CRYSTAL LILIES" on the side.A handful of marcher,maybe four,approached the van and its drivers to inform him that he had just driven through a "permitted march." He replied "I had a green light."As though that alone gave him the right to be an ass.When I got home I called Crystal Lilies,I spoke to the owner,told him what I had seen of the incident and explained to him what a dangerous and stupid thing his driver had done.He claimed that "the protesters hit,kicked and dented the van."He said the driver's remark about having a green light was made only because he was upset over having the van damaged.Not true,I saw no damage to the van at that point,although I honestly cannot say what occurred later.Maybe more people who saw what happened should call this business and voice their concers over this rude and dangerous employee.The phone number to Crystal Lilies is 503 221-7701.

license plate of car 05.Oct.2002 22:45

sp-A-rk

First of all, big props to Just Another Marcher for your account, and for following up with Crystal Lilies. You rock! No, nobody did anything to that obnoxious driver's vehicle. I ran into the lady cop again later in the march and she stopped to talk to me, and surely she would've brought it up if anything happened like that. Nope, as soon as the police showed up, we all walked away. So I guess he's obnoxious AND a liar.

Anyway, here's a photo of the license plate of the car that nudged me aggressively twice up on Broadway. What a jerk. That's assault with a deadly weapon, I wager. All for standing in the street and flashing the peace sign in a group of people taking a stand against tyranny. Not a surprise at all, but still disturbing. The reckless selfishness that overtakes so many people when they're behind the wheel is an obvious symptom of a sick society. The kind of society that let's its "leaders" wage war for oil.
license plate of car
license plate of car

community service! 06.Oct.2002 00:02

Free Stuff

See ya real soon in a jail or serving community service!

I love you anti-community types.

You ant-goverment / anarchy types make great civil servants once you have been arrested and sentanced to serve community service cleaning our city.

Clean Streets 06.Oct.2002 00:12

Norman T Butts

We need more jails to lock up these free loading hoodlums that have cluttered our once nice town. It is time perhaps for the government to step in and clean this up if the mayor cannot do it.

I and several of my co-workers are sick and tired of wading through these leaches of society that have clustered here. It is time to clean up portland.

Press Charges 06.Oct.2002 00:20

Law Student

All men should be locked up! Especially WHITE MALES the true evil of society. I DO NOT just mean any old white male.

I want all self righteous corporate clean cut types locked up or at least to have a record with the police. The time is now to make this happen.

You should file charges against this creep who nudged you. You have a license plate and witnesses.

Brawling motorists 06.Oct.2002 02:37

Barry Sheen

Speaking of being nudged by cars. One driver charged a group of people who were moving out of his way. When he was challenged by a cyclist about his crappy drving, he got out of his car and hit the cyclist while his car rolled down the road.

Hey Bush Admirer... 06.Oct.2002 12:35

...

Hey Bush Admirer:

PORTLAND: Love it or LEAVE IT!

heheh

Never judge a book by its cover 06.Oct.2002 16:40

NOTGWBush

#@$* you to the one that said that all clean cut white men should be arrested. You are the type that bitches about the rights of non whites but the very solution you purpose makes you a hypocrite. Not all clean cut white men are pro bush or for the NWO. I like to dress that way thank you just like you like the style you wear. So if you say all white men are the problem then is it ok to assume that all black men are the issue or how about the asians or is it the indians. I am sick of you types that bitch about racism when you have the same racist beliefs with in you. LOSER. I for one DO NOT SUPPORT THE WAR and DO NOT BELIEVE in mainstream media and its propaganda.

Sincerly

JUST ANOTHER CLEAN CUT WHITE MAN

The Price of Freedom 06.Oct.2002 19:32

Perpetual Radical

Dear Folks,
Three cheers for the stalwart souls who had the guts to do something. I am proud of all of you for having the courage to stand against the great evil that the Resident of the Whitehouse is attempting to force upon our nation and the world.

"A true patriot hates injustice in his own land more than in any other." - Clarence Darrow

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke


What makes a Socialist Fascist State preferable to a Plutocratic Fascist State?
I have a novel idea - let's try freedom for a change. Both Socialism and Plutocracy share a common means of bringing about their ends FORCE. Raw naked force. Socialism relies upon taking from those who do to give to those who don't.
Plutocracy relies upon using the power of the central government to take from those who do to give to those who don't (but have enough money to buy the politicians).
Socialism creates a great sea of slaves beholden to bureaucrats to provide their daily bread.
Plutocracy creates a great sea of slaves beholden to private interests for their daily bread.
Does the slave really care about the difference?
Pray tell what is the fundamental difference?

At the turn of the last century we had a better social safety net - but it was in private hands and was thus accountable to the people who supported it. Perform in bad faith and the money dries up.
With government programs perform in bad faith - raise taxes to cover the difference.
At the time of the American Revolution this country enjoyed a literacy rate of about 98 percent. (The Federalist Papers were written for a general audience.)
At present, with compulsory government education, the literacy rate is at about 60 percent and on a rapid downward spiral. Too many adults could not even read this post.
Most of the literacy programs to help illiterate adults are privatly run and supported. Go figure. Better yet go volunteer - that is the essence of freedom - to be able to support what you believe in not what you are FORCED to support.
The return of the Draft which some on the Right support is nothing more than a Socialist Military. The need for a Draft is also indicative of a widespread lack of support for Military "Adventures".
So, stand up for what you believe in, but don't exchange one set of chains for another. They are still chains.

Corvallis, OR sees 1000 rally against war. 06.Oct.2002 19:50

affiliated press

By Bean,L. -Staff Writer

Corvallis, Ore. (A.P.) - Like a leisurely day in the park almost 1000 people gathered at the Benton County courthouse today to protest George Bush's recent push for a renewed war with Iraq. The rally-goers and protestors filled the square footage of the entire city block on which the small-town courthouse sat. Banners and signs, with varied wording, all suggested an end to current violent foreign policy, and more emphatically, a denial of support for current Bush war policies. Signs abounded declaring "Hail to the thief", "Bush is a lying warmonger!", and "Sacrifice our Sons for Corporate Oil? - NO!" Bush's close ties with the petroleum industry, the CIA establishment, and corporate defense industries were widely cited by protestors as possible reasons for his recent escalation of tactics. A pledge to resist violent foreign policy and war was recited and signed by the nearly 1000 attendees. Immigrant Iranian families spoke out about how Bush's foreign policies in the early 1990's and again more recently have directly transfused US weaponry and taxpayer money to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and indirectly to the deaths of thousands of Iranians, Turks, and Shi'ite Muslims. Shortly after, historians and political scientists spoke out about how the development of US foreign policy under both President Bush's has resulted in the medical and nutritional deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi's. Several times throughout the rally, people danced to the music of local folk musicians who sang about opposition to war. The rally, heavily attended by local families, showed a broad spectrum of citizens. As young as 5 months, and as old as 90, men and women, couples, students, and families rallied to oppose US war in Iraq. Waving and holding banners at passing cars, local residents were often affronted by a quiet although heavy police presence. Local police and county sheriff's tactical response units were seen on site, and patrols of the single city block exceeded 12 local officers at any given moment. Additionally, several plainclothes officers were seen taking pictures of the crowd. When pressed, the plainclothes identified themselves as "law enforcement" but would not identify as police, sheriff, state police, or FBI. Several other officers in black hooded clothes and sunglasses searched the crowd with binoculars and telephoto cameras from atop the courthouse. It was later confirmed that only law enforcement could access the courthouse before or during the rally. Rally sponsors began the rally by thanking the local police for their verbal agreement to restraint and asking attendees not to trample the flowers on site. A survey after the rallyers dispersed showed no trampled vegetation or damage to the site. Still, the nearly 1000 people from this small town of 50,000 voiced their opposition, and danced to the music as their children played, and speakers educated attendees about US foreign policy.

Shame on you! 11.Oct.2002 12:44

Just Me

Might I remind all of you with the angry, single minded posts that what this country stands for is Freedom. I have the freedom to disagree with you, and you with me. Might I also remind you that this is not Romper Room. Anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is not necessary. Ignorance begat anger. It is one thing to believe in a cause passionately. It is another thing entirely to allow your passionate feelings to run your mind and mistreat your fellow human being with childish name calling and profanity ... save that for the King of Ignorance ... Baby Bush ;)


Peace and tolerance be with you all.

my question.... 12.Oct.2002 18:00

malakite malakite@zipmail.com

ok, first off, i want to say that the various right-wingers do have every right to post their views here. i don't dispute that. i also don't dispute that they don't need to be abused for it.

what i don't understand is, why would they want to post here? what occasion would they have had to visit this site in the first place? it seems like this is the last place that a 'bush admirer' would want to visit.