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Republicans attack peace activists at Senator Gordon Smith's victory party

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition earned some street cred tonight when the No War Drum Corps and a group of peace activists crashed Senator Gordon Smith's victory party downtown. The Republicans responded with violence, dragging the activists out of the hall where they pushed them around and threw several to the ground.
Republicans attack peace activists at Senator Gordon Smith's victory party
Republicans attack peace activists at Senator Gordon Smith's victory party
Under the cover of darkness, the activists had gathered outside a restaurant kitty-corner from the hotel and divided into four groups of 4-5 people each. The drum corps was its own group and marched to the front of the hotel where it struck up a beat to act as a distraction. The other activists then slipped in the other door group by group and made their way to the victory party, where they ate hors d'oevres and watched the election results come in on the TVs. Some donned "Go Gordon!" stickers to fit in. After about 10 minutes, everyone had arrived and most of them had made their way to the middle of the room and were standing behind the corporate media talking heads who were making reports. Gordon Smith was about to get up and speak when one of the PPRC organizers began the chant: "No party on this floor if you're planning to make war!"

The Republican security goons moved in quick and started dragging the activists out. For some reason, they ignored me. Because I had a camera? I have no idea, but if it's that easy for me to sneak into something like this and not be noticed, then I oughtta be doing more of it. Anyway, the goons and some guests quickly got the activists out of the main party room. Corporate media people were filming, but didn't get everything. Outside, the activists lined up and stood their ground, still chanting gleefully. The Republicans charged again and this time, three activists were pushed forcefully to the floor.

I saw this man (face circled in red) push an activist down very hard. He was steamin' mad and blustering about how we should go fight a war and then we'd understand. Understand what? Incinerating thousands like in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII? Torching huts with babies in them like in Vietnam? Killing old men like in Panama? Mowing down retreating soldiers like in the Gulf War? Starving children like in Iraq for the last twelve years? No sir, we understand. And that's why were there with direct action to say NO to War.
Close-up of 'Ray' 06.Nov.2002 01:00

p.p.b.

2-3 younger men held back the guy after he pushed the activist down. Was it because activists started yelling, "Assault"? Who knows. Anyway, he kept trying to get at folks and he kept having to be held back. He was mighty pissed.

They said his name more than once: I'm pretty sure they were saying, "Ray". (Bad security culture, guys, to use somebody's name after they've committed an illegal act!) Is "Ray" a well-known Republican or businessman or something in town? Can we smear him with this bad behavior? If anybody knows who he is, please post it here.
Close-up of 'Ray'
Close-up of 'Ray'

outside the hotel 06.Nov.2002 01:03

p.p.b.

The activists eventually rejoined the drummers in front of the hotel. Chanting and dancing commenced and continued for several minutes. This was definitely a fun part. People felt great after the direct action downstairs. Sure, the Republicans were violent, but nobody got hurt (I don't think) and everyone responded with completely active nonviolent resistance -- no one pushed back, but they gave ground slowly.
outside the hotel
outside the hotel

drummers 06.Nov.2002 01:06

p.p.b.

The No War Drum Corps totally rocks. Tonight it was two women on bass drums and three men on snares. The space created by their noise is powerful. Two passers-by joined up with us briefly while the Republicans got out of their cars and slunk inside. I think it was good for them to feel a little intimidated. As supporters of a murderous power structure they oughtta be openly questioned and opposed on their own turf like this more often.
drummers
drummers

chalk! 06.Nov.2002 01:11

p.p.b.

Somebody chalked the parking lot in front of the hotel right where the dignitaries were walking to get in.

After a few minutes, we went across the street. A couple of cops -- one older and one young -- came up to us and we told them we wouldn't be going back in. They were friendly cops. The older one asked why we didn't have bagpipes and suggested that we bring them next time. They were both smirking the whole time. It seemed apparent that they were amused by the action. It was a good human moment showing that not all of them are fascist jerks. I didn't recognize either from actions around town but hopefully they'll share their good cheer with their coworkers.
chalk!
chalk!

Crashing--well, attending--Bradbury's party 06.Nov.2002 01:38

p.p.b.

The reception at Democrat Bill Bradbury's party -- which was not a victory party, since he lost to Smith -- was much different. People loved the No War Drum Corps, which marched throughout the party area to happy hoots and hollers. It was great to see so many people in agreement with an anti-war statement. Hopefully, they are (or soon will be) doing something besides supporting Democratic candidates as a way of opposing war, since that's one of the least effective ways to do it. Without Democratic votes, Bush's war resolution would not have passed. Even St. Wellstone was not spotless in this regard, as he supported Clinton's bombing of Iraq in 1998.

(Can we please halt the deification of Wellstone, btw -- he was *not* some stellar saver-of-the-world. He was another sold out politician who voted for lots of things that were offensive. Just because he's dead doesn't mean he wasn't wishy washy and just because he wasn't "as bad as the rest" doesn't mean that he was good. He wasn't. Face it, folks, the Democrats are *not* going to save us. To the contrary, their compromises push us closer to oblivion everyday, and they do so while making people feel okay about the fact that they're destroying the world. The only difference between the Repubs and the Dems is that the Dems sweet-talk us before they fuck us. We still get fucked. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Quit crying and start working, and stop putting people up on pedastals. The solutions are with us -- each of us and all of us together -- not with "leaders", who will *always* let us down.)

The Democrats seemed honestly happy to see us, that's for sure. The reason that's good is because we came into their somber, sterile space and showed them the immense power of positivity and love passionately expressed. We were having fun, in other words, and that's an attractive thing. Hopefully we found some recruits for the big upcoming peace event on Nov. 17. (see  http://www.portland.indymedia.org/stopwar for details.)

This is the way to make positive change in the world -- not through elections or intellectual discourse or finagling, but by example. Do the right thing, and do it with joy, and you will present a world that people will flock to. Of course that means letting go, and that's tough in our uptight culture, but once you get the hang of it, it's not only easy, it's the only way to go. Love really is all you need.

See you on the 17th, and every Friday at 5:00 in Pioneer Square before that. The No War Drum Corps will be there and who knows what other kinds of fun direct action might happen....
Crashing--well, attending--Bradbury's party
Crashing--well, attending--Bradbury's party

Post-script: Find 'Andrew Over' 06.Nov.2002 01:40

p.p.b.

one last thing -- a woman activist was pushed around by one of the Republicans at the Smith party. During his attack, his nametag sticker got stuck on her! His name is "Andrew Over". Anyone know him?

more about Andrew Over 06.Nov.2002 01:58

p.p.b.

i popped "Andrew Over" +Oregon into google, and found this on the Lewis & Clark alumni page:

"Andrew Over '01, works in the Portland office of Senator Gordon Smith (R, Oregon), in which capacity he frequently works with the senator and has traveled with him on in-state appointments."
(  http://www.lclark.edu/~history/alumni.htm )


Looks like this is probably the same Andrew Over. Perhaps some people would like to contact the Senator and his office and make a statement. Maybe Andrew would like to talk about what happened.


Address/Phone, etc. for the Portland office of Sen. Smith:

One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: (503)326-3386
Fax: (503)326-2900


Online contact form:

 http://gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm

cut the self-righteous bullshit BUSTA 06.Nov.2002 02:21

busta BUSTA

How dare you take a smack at Wellstone and try to talk about bringing people together to stop the war?

Do you want me to start in with the tired, but true phrase, "THANKS, RALPH. THANKS FOR THE WAR, RALPH."??

Do you want me to say how dare anybody on this board say that the Democrats are more to blame for the war, than the Greens without whom Bush would not have gotten the race close enough to steal?

inspirational! 06.Nov.2002 03:35

harpo

excellent!
well done!
you folks in Portland continue to inspire us!
keep up the creative direct action!

Yep keep it up 06.Nov.2002 04:22

posix

Made me smile (except for the thing with the thugs playing dirty on protesters), keep drumming! The humor and Bon Esprit remind me of the "millionaires for bush" actions ("you bought breakfast, but we BOUGHT congress!!") a few weeks ago :-)

Assault Charges? 06.Nov.2002 06:12

don't like the prosecution, but.....

Not that I want anyone to do jail time, but in times like these I'd consider getting a Republican party hack charged with assault to be legitimate. PRESS CHARGES!!!!!!

Television's response 06.Nov.2002 08:12

Roberto

I was stuck at work but tuned in to the channel 8 just in time for hear its reporter talking about the "group of about 20 protestors" who crashed Gordon's party. She mentioned what they were chanting and they showed footage of the drum corps. When they went back to the studio the talking heads were laughing and they said something to the effect of "You have to give them credit, they sure have good rythm." The other one said something like, 'It wouldn't be an Oregon election without protestors."

Television coverage 06.Nov.2002 08:27

Roberto

I wish I were there but I did see the report on Channel 8. The reporter mentioned a group of "20 loud protesters" and they cut to some photage of the group chanting and the thugs escorting (pushing?) them out. When they went back to the talking heads in the studio they were laughing and commented that the drum corps had a nice rythm. They they said something like "It wouldn't be an Oregon election without a protest."

great! 06.Nov.2002 09:09

kurtkabang

great!

but why didn't you wait until smith started speaking before the chant?

Ray 06.Nov.2002 10:33

Harlem Nights

That 'Ray' guy has one wierded out paranoid face. Poor fellow is mighty sick

Nader did not lose the elections for Gore 06.Nov.2002 10:49

.

It was vote fraud. 90,000 people were illegally stricken from the rolls in Florida, and in fact they still have not been put back.

blaming nader for the war 06.Nov.2002 11:15

...

as if gore wouldn't be doing the same thing. he supported the PATRIOT act, the attack on afghanistan, and if you'll notice, he's got no problem with attacking Iraq; we should just sign up all our little friends first to confer some kind of legitimacy. (a la Yugoslavia)

Are you actually going to propose that if we'd all voted for Gore, we wouldn't be starting wars all over the world? Clinton attacked more countries during his impeachment than most presidents get around to in their entire terms.

Here's the story from KOIN 06.Nov.2002 12:21

The Soft-Handed Idol

Here is the link to KOIN-TV's website story on the party crashing:

 link to www.koin.com

Since it may not last on the 'net, here is the text of the story as well. Wow, they almost got it right.


#############################

PORTLAND -- Uninvited guests crashed Sen. Gordon Smith's party Tuesday night.

Smith supporters were gathered at the Portland Marriott, celebrating their apparent win, when a group of demonstrators barged in.

The group shouted and played drums in protest of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy.

Supporters threw them out and restored order before Portland police officers arrived.

Smith was not in the room at the time.

##############################

Why we didn't wait for Smith 06.Nov.2002 13:44

Someone who was there

Just before the chanting started, a few of us were being challenged on our right to be there. The Republicans started asking us why we didn't have nametags and if we had checked in at the front entrance (we didn't - but some of us did have invitations to the party!)

pprc doing DA? 06.Nov.2002 14:48

...

I wouldn't have thought they had it in them. Good work, guys.

More Actions Like This!! 06.Nov.2002 17:11

made up name

I was so pleased to see you folks on the TeeVee last night! I hope there are more actions like this, and soon. Marches and rallies are important, but so is direct action. Look at the very popular and powerful action in England, where thousands shut down streets and occupied campuses. Maybe there can be something in addition to the permitted march and rally on the 17th. If the PPRC is not into it, maybe there could be something seperate afterwards.

Amazing 06.Nov.2002 18:24

CvountZero countZero@ziplip.com

NICE........for PPRC
this is freaking amazing
very nice
more direct action less marches=us actually getting somewhere

Informing the People 06.Nov.2002 19:35

Christy

I love that people are demonstrating their opposition to such critical issues- a voice needs to be heard. However,everyone talks about how we need to progress towards direct action, and no one provides solutions- we need to inform those who don't have access to information about whats going on. We need to let people know why we are against the war and why we feel the need for such demonstrations, instead of just yelling that we are. Crashing the republican election parties doesn't make them listen to us, it makes them that much more annoyed and that much more determined to put us down. We simply need to get the word out to the people who, through choice or whatever, remain ignorant, because nothing will happen unless we push our objections away from negative actions and into positive ones, that inform the common man, not the politicians who have already chosen their stance on these issues. Nothing will get done until the people of this country, and everywhere,are informed enough to make the right choices when taking part in the elections. Right on for making our presence known, but why don't we try to educate rather than stand around at parties with signs. Hold information rallies, not just marches or demonstrations, places where people can gather to learn about the situation, where both sides are presented objectively, that way the people will be more receptive to exactly why people are against it, and we will earn more credit for having taken the positive approach.

Ray is cool 06.Nov.2002 23:08

Putin Admirer #2

Ray should have executed the scumbag protestors on the spot

THE FACE OF HATE 07.Nov.2002 05:45

George W. Bush

Take a close look at Ray. Study his face closely. Analyze it and its contorted mask of rage and paranoia. Burn that look into memory. This is the Face of America for years to come....

Yay, Portland!! 07.Nov.2002 09:51

Peaceful lady

It does make me very proud to live in Portland, when I hear about this kind of action- bold, spirited, creative . . . and FUN!!! But, how come I didn't hear about it, I woulda been there!!!! AND, I woulda brought a bunch of friends, too!!!!!
I also agree with other comments that there should be more (non-violent) direct action, more public education and out reach(through every avenue available to us) and fewer vigils and marches (booooorrrrinnnngggg!!)
Also, let's find a way to include more working people, some of us can't come to events that take place downtown at noon, or during the hours of 9-5, and some of us are at work on the weekends, too! The movement could really swell it's ranks, if more events took place at varied times and days (and locations).

I'm a peaceful lady too 07.Nov.2002 14:19

Nancy

And I like that these folks went and did this direct action - but I also like that they continually do vigils and marches. They seem to be the only group that does something on a weekly basis.

And if they didn't...who would?
Hardly any of the people posting here, that's for sure.

Mainly I'm impressed that they are doing anything at all.

my favorite quote 07.Nov.2002 19:19

Arkansas Nightmare rick476@trustkill.net

this is one of the bese things i've read in indymedia in a long time. Portland continues to inspire us here in Arkansas, I wish more people would come to our demo's here.

"let those who profit from war, go to war."

Hope 19.Sep.2005 08:13

Molly Solomon frisky2you@yahoo.com

Wow, sometimes I feel so hopeless but finding sites such as these and reading articles like this one makes me thank God that I really am not crazy like everyone tells me I am. These things are really happening. The land of the free is not free land. Keep up the good work. Give others hope too.