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Proposal for an Anti-War March/Direct Action in Portland on Oct 26

I've been talking to lots of people about this. So far, everyone is into it. For those of us not going to San Francisco or D.C. on Oct 26, a modest proposal.
What do you think?
No War on Iraq!
No to US Imperialism!
No Business as Usual!
Saturday, October 26th, Noon, Pioneer Square

It's time to act to stop this war!

We have spoken out. We have called Congress. We have peacefully marched in the streets by the thousands. But our "representatives" failed to put the brakes on BUsh's recless drive to war—so now it's time to turn up the heat.

On October 26th, the first Anniversary of the Patriot Act, thousands of people will take to the streets in D.C. and San Francisco to say "STOP THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ BEFORE IT STARTS!" Here in Portland, let's do the same. But let's not just march. Let's use a diversity of tactics to stop this war. Let's speak with many voices to show the world that George Bush does not speak for us. Let's join up for an un-permitted, un-prescribed, un-apologetic, un-yielding march through Portland's streets.
Filler up! 15.Oct.2002 06:48

...

So, when you guys travel to say, SanFrancisco, do you use those oil guzzling machines that you are so firmly opposed to?

Im just trying to understand the double standard. Ya know, its ok when you use cars, busses, etc. to travel, but you'll block people in cars in the street and claim its for a higher purpose. ?

Please explain.

I support staying in the hometown 15.Oct.2002 07:58

bov

And I also support coming down here to SF.

Small autonomous actions at home that are creative are extremely important - like that billboard one, which now, the entire country can have to courage to try .. .

And huge huge numbers in one or two places around the country on a single day are also important, to make the peace events more acceptable as far as the mainstream thing to do, to draw more people in who are slow to react to the fascism thing.

Good luck to you all.

Slow Down, I Want To Get Off 15.Oct.2002 13:06

Worm in a Can

Dear Filler Up,

I don't claim to speak for anyone else, but I think your question is a valid one, and I hope others will take time to consider it. The question that you raise is vast in proportion, and I'm not smart enough, nor do I have the capability to address it in a concise format. So I will attempt to summarize my take on it.

Your question could be more broadly posed as 'does the ends justify the means?'. This is a fundemental question, without any easy answers, that I can see. The best answer that I can offer is that one has to work with the tools at hand. The U.S. is huge compared to European countries, so it is a far greater project to mobilize visible opposition (or support) for any one issue. The media is dominated by entities that seem to be dead set against offering fair representation for people who care enough to voice reasonable concerns. Most prominently, by dicounting the popularity of a particular movement (consistently underreporting participants), and by overt efforts to marginalize groups by selecting the most extreme participants to be the representatives, resulting in average thoughtful non-participants to think that they have nothing in common with folks who decide to act.

That is only one example of the formadable resistance currently in place to keep things going on the current path. I am very interested in working on issues such as more ecological forms of transportation, reasonable use of resources, and addressing environmental nightmares that are right in my backyard, such as the generous stockpile of deadly chemical weapons scheduled for incineration by the Army, whos abilities are extremely doubtful and suspect, judging from my personal experience while enlisted, as well as the current, and ongoing catastrophe at Hanford, where at least one million gallons of wicked bad waste has already poured into the ground water (only a tiny piece of the problems out there). The thing is, unless the current issues of U.S. world domination and drive towards lawlessness are reconciled, and until we can recognise, as a nation, the devistation that has been the result of many of our foreign policies, I don't see much hope for dealing with some of these other giant issues.

I don't know if the ends always justifies the means. I only know that one cannot expect to take on a whole pack of alligators at once. The only hope for success is to take them one at a time. I don't know if blocking traffic is an effective tactic, but I wholeheartedly embrace anyone who is struggling to regain a government 'of the people', and I will be slow to criticize the tactics of anyone who is genuinely trying.

The U.S. is cearly a 'rogue state' at this point in history, and our representatives are failing to represent our interests. There is plenty for those on the left and the right side of the debate to be furious about right now, and the reasons are often not mutually exclusive. The bulk of Americans are hesitant to act, in my opinion, due to a common, yet incorrect belief, that their decisions are based on accurate information, and because folks are afraid to risk their comfort. At this point, I don't care if folks drive their SUV down to a rally, powered by baby harp seals. I think the stakes are such, that inaction may well result in an unstoppable, ongoing disaster.

I'll stop myself here. I hope your question was a genuine one, and not just an empty jab. I invite your response to my comments, and I hope others will take a stab at responding to your provocative question. It's tougher than it looks.

Piece.

instead of marching 15.Oct.2002 21:40

sacred chao

Marching is good. Direct action is good. No complaints there. But how about trying something that doesn't happen nearly often enough?

I'd like to spend that day talking to people. All it takes is a streetcorner, a sign or two, and some lit to hand out. Two or three people can do it without much organization.

Most of the visible dissent to this war seems like events where its hard to engage people in conversation. Even at a rally, people who aren't involved don't get much chance to talk to the people who are.

Talking to people one-on-one can help sway those who are undecided, and it can help get those who already oppose the war to take some action. But there's another part to it- it allows mainstream folks to see protestors and relate to them as people. By humanizing ourselves, we become more accessible and less frightening. Even people who disagree may be less likely to write us off.

It would be good to do this at Pioneer Square or Saturday Market or on the sidewalk over on Hawthorne, of course, but how about going to places where people never see us? How about the train station is Hillsboro, or in Gresham? What about Beaverton or Milwaukie?

I know it's not always as viscerally satisfying as taking the streets, or as radical-seeming as occupying a congressman's office. But it is its own kind of fun, and in the long run, we're not going to win this one without taking it to the people.

mu