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imperialism & war | media criticism

'While you're shopping, bombs are dropping': Friday rally account

'While you're shopping, bombs are dropping': Friday rally participants march through downtown shopping mall
60+ folks came out for the friday anti-war rally tonight, a few more than usual.

the drum corps fueled a spirited march through downtown.

the brightly colored NO WAR signs stood out strongly in the greying of twilight.

chanting "while you're shopping, bombs are dropping," a contingent of folks broke off from the main group and marched through the pioneer place shopping mall. the security guard was quite flustered and was on his walkie talkie right away. the protesters, however, went straight through and out the other side without pausing. considering how long it usually takes for building management to get a police response to an action like this (as if police are needed to respond to an action like this), it's a tactic that could be used all over downtown to great effect. now that the holiday shopping season is almost upon us, the "while you're shopping, bombs are dropping" chant will be extra relevant. war thrives on monopoly capitalism (the economic system we're currently living under, which is not the small-scale community capitalism that adam smith envisioned), and monopoly capitalism lives off consumerism, so the consumerist addiction must be broken. until that happens, no meaningful rEvolution can occur, so shopping malls are quite appropriate places to protest. that such speech is illegal in most speaks to the dependency of the powers-that-be on all the regular folks sticking to their materialistic habits. they can't hold us down under empire unless we keep shopping. let's stop.

speaking of anti-capitalism, these young people brought a new (and welcome, imho) message to the rally today. NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR. indeed. hopefully this was the start of more ideologically diverse friday rallies. they can be a big tent.

newspaper boxes are one of the most appropriate places to put anti-war messages. corporate media outlets are, after all, pro-war, not only in their overt messages but in their article/fact selection. corporate media is another scam that needs to be busted for rEvolution. fortunately, there are alternatives.

the friday rallies occur at 5:00 every week, starting at the southwestern corner of pioneer square. though officially sponsored by the portland peaceful response coalition, the tenor and shape of the event depends on who attends. as tonight's shopping mall excursion and anti-capitalist contingent showed, they can be whatever the community makes of them.

see you next friday!

LOSERS 19.Oct.2002 08:15

Clem Media

So your against capitalism, huh? Where in the fuck do you all shop? I see backpacks, shoes, hats, shirts, pants, jackets. You had to buy pens to make your half-assed signs, paint for your banner. Even if you got that shit second hand someone still had to buy it at some point. I bet a lot of you own bikes, cars, TV's, computers, cameras, I notice some of you wearing eye glasses all of which you had to BUY. One of you losers was wearing a black LEATHER jacket, why didnt you guys gang rape him? And Im sure our boy with the leather jacket buys hairspray. What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. Ya'll drink Starbucks? I bet some of you do.


punks 19.Oct.2002 08:30


Yeah, its a class war alright, those who have class and those who dont.

Keep On Marching 19.Oct.2002 10:00


It's OK to steal backpacks, bikes, everything, from corporate monopolies - it's our duty as citizens to make hateful systems unprofitable.

Haha! When the fascists are threatened they say "hypocrite!" which means the marchers are doing their job. I'll be there next time. Bravo!

fight consumerism 19.Oct.2002 10:12


Clem Media: you completely miss the point. The fact is that people need shit to live. In a capitalist economy, this means that what you use has to be paid for at some point by someone. Ideally, people can get things used or steal. However, a certain level of consumerism is unavoidable. People on the left may not be perfect, but so what? We're trying to do what we think is right. Just like Christians can transgress and do things they're not necessarily proud of, anti-consumerists at times buy stuff that is silly, ostentatious or unnecessary.

Every Friday 19.Oct.2002 10:20

slim shady

I wasn't aware of this going on every friday, but you can see me there from now on!
"Show me a capitalist and I'll show you a bloodsucker." Malcolm X
Or, as I like to put it...
"Capitalism is the art of taking it in the ass while giving it in the ass to someone else...all with a smile:-)!"

Now, Now... 19.Oct.2002 23:07

former mega-consumer

Don't be getting capitalism mixed up with consumerism. I think the idea that the demonstrators are trying to get across is that there are major problems in our world that need to be addressed RIGHT NOW, and that people need to devote the limited time they have on the planet to something more useful than shopping. I was raised to consider shopping an exciting activity, and it was the highight of my life for a long time. It was really the only thing my mother and I did successfully together. It was our bonding activity. A lot of other people are or have been similarly brainwashed into this belief system.

Shopping is different than buying things you need. Shopping is not capitalism. Shopping is about the experience of buying, the brands, the variety, the shiny stores, the smell of the stuff, the music, the colors, the thrill of taking your stuff home and trying it on and HAVING it. Shopping makes you feel fabulous, and potentially famous. Shopping is promoted to us through our life spans,through all the media, through the schools, through our government.

The sources and costs of the things we buy are concealed. Who makes the product? Who profits? What's in the product? Are humans and other animals and plants exploited in order to produce the product? How are they exploited? How is the commons impacted by the production and distribution of this product? Is the level of consumerism now being promoted as the planetary norm consistent with the survival of our own and other species? How many plastic bags can the earth tolerate before being choked by them? There are massive heaps of plastic water bottles in Katmandu and everwhere else now. How many piles of bottles can the planet endure? There is no snow on Mt.Hood this year, and the birds are falling out of the trees, dead,in India because of the heat. There are noticebly fewer spiders around this fall. There are no fish left. Is it worth it?

How can humans possibly believe they can survive after they strip the forests bare, kill all the other animals, foul the water? Do people really WANT to drive around in metal boxes on dead freeways, get fat and sick eating phony, poisoned food, and buy cheap clothing made by people who live in cardboard boxes and make a dollar a day? Are we creating the kind of world we WANT? How can we stop? Who is profiting from this? I think that's what the demonstrators are asking. What do you think?

define your ism 20.Oct.2002 22:49


Clem Media,
Are you sure you know what capitalism means? Private ownership for the purpose of private profit, that's what. In general, the consequences of the pursuit of profit are the exploitation of both workers and consumers, and the negligent or willful disregard of the long-term sustainablility of the system of production. In a non-capitalist system, we can still buy and sell the goods we make and need, but we are set free from the chains of profit.