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I have to disagree

I must discent
I marched with todays rally, but I must say I saw much that I found objectionable. I heard one of the organizers request, over a bullhorn, that the marchers stay on the sidewalk. This was ignored. I heard her ask a second time later on, it was ignored again. I saw people push their way into the Pioneer Square doorways. I saw people kicking cars at intersections. This kind of thing does not lead to the creation of a broad base of support.
The peace circle gathering, on the other hand, drew a much larger gathering of people, nad no one was arrested.
Decide for yourself what works best.
those darn kids 27.Oct.2002 08:54

Lamet W Vali

It appears that some folks are so disenfranchised and distant from any feeling of power that they are unable to suppress their (understandable) feelings of rage. While I have no problem with marching in the street, kicking cars is not going to make them go away and simply irritates others thereby preventing them from even wanting to see your point. I think we all should work on building a larger movement which is capable of changing the current fucked up system.

Make friends first, then rally a much larger group. It is better to get some concessions, than to shoot your wad in Quixotic melodrama.

reply to kateshvara 27.Oct.2002 10:21

was also there

this event was billed ahead of time as "DIRECT ACTION". for a person with a bullhorn to come along and try to limit it to not include direct action was showing exactly the sort of disrespect that peace cops always accuse "anarchists" of. who was taking this event over? the peace cops. they say "don't make trouble at our events" but in this case they came to an event that was NOT theirs and tried to do the same thing. the inconsistency was glaringly obvious to me, but not surprising. yesterday was a great event because no one took it over.

i saw no kicking of cars. did you see ONE person kick a car? two? i mean, really -- how many? you are making a statement that is casting aspersions over the entire event now. be careful! as someone who was there from beginning to end, all over the crowd, from front to back, i did not see one car kicked. fess up, kateshvara -- how many and how often was it really? and was it a major enough event to characterize the whole day with? you post some really great, thoughtful stuff to this site quite often; don't lower your standard now.

The bullhorn thing 27.Oct.2002 17:46

Kateshvara

I did see a couple of things that I found disagreeable, but those things will happen at this type of event. It becomes a matter of individuals or subgroups within the larger group acting on their own iniative. I think it tends to alienate people.
I could be wrong about this, it's difficult to say.
In any case, it's better to speak up than remain silent
Thanks for the compliment by the way.

tactics considered 28.Oct.2002 10:46

hmmmm.

Yes, it's better to speak up than to be silent. Often this debate over tactics shows up on this site, and it's good to air this. Although we may disagree on the way we get there, most of us agree on where we want to go -- at the very least, we agree we want to be somewhere other than perched on the edge of world war w.

So let's think about this. Can we come to any respectful understanding? As I see it, here are the two sides. First, there are the folks who want nice, respectful, legal actions. Rallys and that. This is good for PR, broadening support with middle america, etc. These folks want us to dress nice, and to impress the multitudes so that they join us.

Then there are the more radical activists -- the black bloc-ers, etc. Those who support direct action that may not be legal, may not be nice, may not be appealing to those who drive SUVs and suck diet pepsi out of huge paper cups. These are the folks who climb atop starbucks signs with sledge hammers, smash windows, often bring tear gas down atop themselves and the more peaceful demonstrators that might be near by.

Of course, then there are those somewhere in the middle of these extremes. For example, those who piss motorists off by stopping traffic, those who might not smash things but who won't stay on the sidewalk either.

What are we all trying to accomplish? Positive changes? Change, at least. The "peace cops" referred to above dislike anyone stepping off the sidewalk, let alone breaking windows, for a couple of reasons. First, they want good PR, which they think will be denied them if someone is pissing people off by walking down the street in front of cars, or by breaking things. Second, they don't want to be gassed by the cops, which they (not unreasonably) fear will occur when some folks are doing things the police frown on. (Remember, though, the police frown on people exercising their first amendment rights...ala A22. No one was breaking anything that day.)

The more radical activists, on the other hand, point out that this impending war is, after all, an OIL war, and that those people complacently traveling along the streets in their SUVs are contributing to the disease and need to be shaken out of their stupor. By the same token, the GAP, Nike, Starbucks, etc etc etc are part of the corporate disease that is slowly destroying all of us. We need to fight back any way we can. Breaking windows does make the news, and then people may actually begin to wonder WHY these places were targeted. It might help to make exploitation and avarice risky business. Fuck PR, and fuck being "nice."

So is there any common ground? I think there is. Although one side believes "peace" means quiet, respectful actions, and the other side believes war is a symptom of a larger issue that must be dealt with, both sides agree that they will not trade their blood for corporate profits. Both want progressive change.

Perhaps the solution is to respect the tactics of each side. If you don't want to break windows of stop traffic, don't. But try to understand why others might want to do that, and stop bad mouthing them. If you do want to break windows and stop traffic, then do. But try not to hide behind crowds of more "peaceful" protesters when the gas starts flying, and try not to judge too harshly those who will not join you on top of Niketown.

The truth is, the movement needs all of us, a diversity of tactics. Without those willing to smash a few things, we go no where. Without those willing to take on the burden of trying to appeal to the unenlightened masses, we go nowhere. Together, we rock.

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! 28.Oct.2002 16:33

CountZero CountZEro@ziplip.com

If you really want a vast/large/kickass movement (I am pretty sure that i want this just as bad as you do) then you must be prepared to drop the more contraversial details of your agenda so everyone can have nice happy soliderity together-we dident burn anything so dont give us shit for kicking cars!

yes.......
....I am an Anarchist

Didn't burn anything? 05.Nov.2002 08:55

Kateshvara

I think I have a right to post anything I want on this site as long as it passes muster with the editors.
As far as being a "Peace Policeman":
-I have a right to express my annoyance at behavior I do not agree with. I will do so.
- I have a right to tell a fellow protester that what I think they are doing is out of line. (I don't do this. I wouldn't expect to be listened to if I did.)