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PEACE RALLY: SIZE WAS IMPRESSIVE

What happened, and what is happening in America is not.
By my count there were 8,000 to 10,000 people that took 18 minutes to pass while on the march. What was not so impresive, was the fact that there still is very little cohesion in Portland's or the United States peace groups. What we seemed to have been, with the exception of a few small groups of organizers, student activist groups, families, clubs, etc, were still just individuals with vague discontent with what the U.S. government is doing with their permission. NO SOLIDARITY OF PURPOSE! When, in front of the World Trade Center, the same young man that climbed on the East Portico of City Hall during the Oct 6th Rally at Terry Schrunk Plaza did something that offended PPB Officers Humphreys and Higginbotham (hearsay from Commander Sizer is jumping on police car E214528 and spitting at one of her officers) they forcibly detained him in painful wrist locks, even though he was not resisting and then dragged him the 3 blocks to the justice center. This happened at the front of the March, and several of the organizers of the march kept the march going, leaving only 20 or so concerned people like myself who were demanding the release of the young boy. At the first sign of "trouble" the organizers abandoned one of their own, who, I found out is a very passionate teenager (minor, approx. 16 yr. old) who is very active in the Portland Public Schools Peace Activist organization. He refused to identify himself but it was his school's club sponsor who contacted his parents to whom the PPB released him to latter this afternoon.
It is sad that so many people claim to be impassioned and committed to peace, but at the first hint of direct action, they run away. What does this tell the world? MOST PEOPLE DO NOT WALK THEIR TALK! When one of us, at the end of the march, when about 60% of the marchers were back in the Square, the rest having "done their duty" having gone back home to see if they could see themselves on TV, made the announcement to the crowd of what had happened and let the crowd know that the right thing would be to come with us to the Justice center to demand the release of the boy that they had allowed to be arrested in the first place (if they hadn't wussed out as it was going down the PPB would not have even considered arresting him, but they knew the wussies that they were dealing with) So it came down to the 85-100 "usual suspects" committed to peace, justice and freedom who went down and occupied the steps and entrance to the Justice Center from about 3:30 until 3:45, chanting and raising a ruckus until we were informed that we had the choice to either leave peaceably or the Rapid Response Team was going to be brought into action. We left and returned to the Square, where their were about 200 people still left dancing and partying to the drumming going on.
While the size of the rallies in S.F. D.C., and even Long Beach, Ca. are even more impressive, it seems the only real solidarity is in the trees of our national forests and outside the gates to Ft. Benning. Why are the people of the U.S. depending on the passion and solidarity expressed by the citizens of other countries demanding that their leaders not support OUR WAR. ARE we really that afraid and comfortable to stand up and say NO? Believe me, when all we do is whisper, "please, no war" from the comfort of our SUV's, or write a 50-word letter to the editor of the Oregonian, Bush and his good ole boys just laugh.
While I still harbor the belief that the sometimes quoted 60-something percent of the population who don't agree with the road the government is deciding we are going to take will have the guts to really say "NO MORE!" and demand that the government is renegade and not representing the people's will actually "walk the talk", it is just that, a wish. The masses seem to still need a leader to unite them, someone who can rise to the occasion and unite this country, someone that the government has not yet killed or imprisoned with the passion, charisma and guts to lead the majority to stand against the 1% who make our decisions and shape our future.
Sadly, there is no one to do that, so we need to see the future that is possible if we ALL WALK OUR TALK AND STAND TOGETHER IN SOLIDARITY.
IMAGINE.
85-100??? 17.Nov.2002 18:57

!Heck!-ler

I followed, it wasnt 85-100 that went to the justice center. It was more like 40.

Piece.

Whats his name? 17.Nov.2002 19:26

Bus 19

That "cute" kid is conducting criminal mischief. More than just today. His parents should know he's breaking the law in downtown and its becoming more frequent.

We'll be seeing a lot more of him.......

YES, 85-100 17.Nov.2002 19:30

neurotic asswipe

As a friend to the kid involved with the police incident, I can say that it was a heartwrenching experiance. Seeing my activist family torn apart and beaten was the worst feeling imaginable. We do need more solidarity...stand up and unite, we need to be one family to make anything work.

Our friend was release with a few injuries and we hope to see him back at the rallies in the future.

PS The police were obnoxiously violent during his arrest and as they dragged him through the street. I was hit three or four times with bikes and pushed and shoved quite a lot...thanks Portland police...I'm glad to see those sticks are still up your asses.

we are not the enemy 17.Nov.2002 23:03

peace marcher

so, what does "solidarity" mean? When you think about
the huge effort made to make this a "peaceful" event and it is advertised as exactly that, is it acting in solidarity
with this effort to have someone engage in needlessly
provocative behavior? That, in itself, seems to be "anti"
the particular effort made on this particular day. Also,
many of us (probably most) had no idea what was going on
at this side event. Having had experience with real "provocateurs," it's easy to assume this might be sabbotage
of the effort. Sounds like it was merely stupid.

Which is not to say that the police over-reacted. Yes,
and that's horrible, and needs to be confronted, and they need to be called on it. However, it's predictable.

standing together 17.Nov.2002 23:32

tom

I was buoyed by the size of the crowd and enthusiasm of the marchers. I agree that the administration in Washington DC is trying to force a police state, but we aren't there yet, and we don't need any violence in these demonstrations. I believe the kid was out of line for his behavior; the crowd was right to avoid a confrontation-- which might be just what the police wanted. On the other hand, the organizers could have had a few more marshalls to defuse incidents like that..

Altogether a positive day

I was there 18.Nov.2002 00:08

A protester

I was there when they were holding they guy down. I was like 5 feet away. When people were shouting "his fingers are turning blue" I heard some cop say "He painted his hands blue"

WTF? painted his hands blue. Man that's just stupid. I Was with the crowd that followed to the police station. Protesters threw down some corporate reporter. My friend was like right there when the cops were holding him down. He got the whole thing on tape.

The kid 18.Nov.2002 00:12

Protester Nobody@nobody.com

I was there when the kid was on the ground. I was like 5 feet away. They cops said "He painted his hands blue" when people shouted about his lack of blood circulation in his hands. That was dumb. We followed to the police station. Protestors triped some corporate reporter. Or at least it looked like it. My friend got the thing with the kid on tape.

Peace cops: not our enemies? 18.Nov.2002 01:03

think again

If you're not our enemies, you're definitely not our allies.

A word of caution to interested civilians. Not only does the mainstream peacemarch pep-rally squad not plan to stand up for you if you "do something stupid" and deviate from the corral they set up, they'll try to make sure no one else stands up for you either.

It's great you folks like the social masturbation of peaceful protest so much you go to such great lengths to arrange it, but you serve as a distraction not much better than mainstream media.

Overheard at the rally afterward was a man congratulating himself and his friend on "another successful march." Successful? If you meant another successful ineffectual pep rally, I agree. Congratulations on living the illusion.

Portland Peace Movement, you unmade a lot of friends today. You should be deeply ashamed.

peace not violence 18.Nov.2002 06:11

wizardballoon Wizardbaloon52@aol.com

I must comment on this article, first of all there was closer to 20,000 people not 8 to 10,000. second, wasn't this advertised as a peaceful march.
As a child of the 60's i grew up with what violence has accomplished in demonstrations. NOTHING.
This young man was out of line & i feel there was so much soladarity that that is what kept everyone moving. They didn't want 1 out of control youth to punish the rest of us.
Come on spitting on a police car? Give me a break! I think the march served it's purpose. And if you weren't there to see the many different walks of life supporting that peace march, then your the one with blinders on.

Peaceful protest 18.Nov.2002 08:08

Sean Henderson lohan1@msn.com

That little kid got what he deserved - what did he expect? ... stunts like that detract from a peaceful protest. We should be setting an example and showing solidarity to peaceful conduct not disrespectful, reckless abandon. I agree that we need more turnout and coordinated political action - the key seems to be in taking back the media from total corporate control.

Some people use the protest as a way to let loose rather than to show support for a cause.

Beaverton, OR

BLUE CHALK 18.Nov.2002 08:19

the truth

His hands were blue from BLUE CHALK! Duh, anyone whos been seeing this kid at PDX demos knows he carries blue chalk, they just dont want to admit it so they can whine about the cops handcuffing him. The bottom line is, he broke the law and got arrested. One person out of several thousand. Hmmm, you think maybe he actually did fuck up? And you wonder why nobody cared? One out of thousands = minority. HE fucked up. (and finally got caught).

PROTECT, BE AWARE, GET BADGE NUMBERS 18.Nov.2002 08:59

MFOUCAULT

At Bush visit cops had been ordered by Secret Service to attack and shoot tear gas...to dispurse because politically Bush didn't want press of large demo before election. They

Yesterday election was over, and cops didn't want to show their Nazi core so openly. I jaywalked, for example, and saw others do many minor things that at other demos a protester would have been attacked with a club or mace for, or arrested for.

Its good to challenge the Portland cops, to let them know we remember their fascist side too (like gasing the baby at Bush demo). But Cops grabbed the teenager because they felt they could get away with it. Yes, he should have been able to protect his own body, maybe hop down and outrun them, escape and avoid them, and yes, an affinity group should have been able to protect him. But for anyone roughed up and arrested, we need to get badge numbers and photos of cops in action. And be witnesses for the legal phase. They should see that any police attacks cost them resources.

Pining for solidarity 18.Nov.2002 09:18

nova

Who doesn't want solidarity?

I applaud "direct action" - but I think it's funny that no one ever really does it on any other day than when their "mummies and daddies" are having a big rally downtown.
And even then, it's lame shit like walking through a mall or jumping on a police car - and always while your "parents" are watching.

Grow up 18.Nov.2002 10:41

anne frank

Great rally. Thank you organizers! The only way ther revolution will happen is when the police are persuaded to be on our side. This occured in the Phillipines, in Poland, in South Africa. The police are working people.Their needs are not met by the cartel. There are certainly a few mean cops,but most of them are not. make eye contact, smile, keep your eyes on the prize, and be smart. And remember; there is no way to peace; peace IS the way--

More thoughts on solidarity 18.Nov.2002 10:44

catwoman

I agree with much of what Think Again said. I watched a lot of the peace police folks drive up to the rally in suvs, get out, march around, then go to starbucks afterward for a congratulatory mug of sweatshop coffee.

Not that i don't appreciate their being at the rally. I do. All of us need to stand together on this. But frankly, they just don't get it. Is driving an SUV peaceful? Is shopping at the GAP peaceful? Is supporting starbucks peaceful? I don't think it is. (If you don't understand why, please educate yourself.) And yet many of these folks were standing (obediently) on the curb yelling at others to get out of the street, because that's not "peaceful" behavior.

Similarly, some comments up here today suggest that "this isn't a police state yet" and that "That kid had it coming." In other words, he fucked up our PEACE rally, so he deserved what he got. By the way, he got a dislocated shoulder.

If you disagree with his tactics, that's one thing. But to suggest that he, or anyone else, deserves to be beaten and manhandled by the police -- in this NON police state -- is simply wrong.

As for solidarity, I think there may be more of it than we think, if we can just get past this weird pseudo-fascist urge to dictate the tactics of others. Physicians, heal thyselves. Stop dictating that others follow your suit by mindlessly obeying unjust laws just because you think they ought to. If direct action isn't "peaceful" enough to you, perhaps you could take the time to learn about the connections between the gas guzzling car you drive, the consumer lifestyle you live, and the starbucks coffee you drink -- the connections between these things and war and suffering in the rest of the world. At least do this before you start pointing fingers at others. THen, if you still think paying for a permit for "free" speech and following police orders (so you don't have to see that you are, in fact, already in the police state) is the right thing to do, then by all means, have at it. Just get off my back if I don't agree.

something to add 18.Nov.2002 11:30

peacecopsfuckyourselves

so you advocate for peace right? peace is THE WAY. do you eat meat? do you wear leather?

yes? oh, and sexing up the blue collar fascists is the only way to peace huh? spitting on a police car too disruptive for your peace-lovin'-meat eatin'-leather wearin'-suv drivin' armchair activist comfort? you commit more violence in a day of living than that kid probably accomplishes in a year.

what the fuck?

oh, i see what you're doing... you'll be the GUARDS of the gulag ... assuring us we're just getting a nice refreshing shower. sure, make yourselves nice and comfortable.

fuck you and your self-congratulation. if this fourth reich is stopped, KNOW you had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

Liberals are part of the problem 18.Nov.2002 11:53

Liberals are a sham

The Peaceniks are pathological. They are calling what the kid did violent, meanwhile they get in their cars and go drive merrily away. Driving a car is far more violent than what that kid did. (oh my god, he sat on a cop car!)

The middle class white liberals do not know what solidarity is. They are clueless. They will let one of their own be dragged away for the most minor of transgressions, tears rolling down his face as the cops twist his arms behind his back, and they will march blindly on.

Any real change in this country will happen despite the liberals, not because of them. Any real change will come from minority communities, from people of color and minority views who have been repressed. The white middle class liberals are part of a racist dominating system and are not willing to let go of their power and position and so they are part of the problem. White liberal intellectuals and their publications such as "The Nation" are racist and elitist.

In the 2000 election, 94,000 voters (almost all people of color) were defrauded in the florida elections. Even though this is known, those same voters were not re-instated for the just past 2002 election!

The call for peace is a pathological state of fear and self-interest unless it also acts to demand justice.

Calling yesterdays rally successful is self-delusion. Bush is marching merrily along today, and most of those people at the demo are in their jobs supporting this racist system. Paying taxes and obeying the laws when 94,000 people were defrauded from voting not just once, but twice is participation in the racist system.

Walking past as a young man is dragged away, epitomizes the cowardice and hypocracy of the peace movement. Oh yes, be peaceful, obey the laws, no matter how capricious or immoral, but also be sure that such an approach will NEVER bring real and lasting change.

wizardballoon is full of putrid air 18.Nov.2002 12:17

pin

{{{{{I must comment on this article, first of all there was closer to 20,000 people not 8 to 10,000. second, wasn't this advertised as a peaceful march.
As a child of the 60's i grew up with what violence has accomplished in demonstrations. NOTHING.
This young man was out of line & i feel there was so much soladarity that that is what kept everyone moving. They didn't want 1 out of control youth to punish the rest of us.
Come on spitting on a police car? Give me a break! I think the march served it's purpose. And if you weren't there to see the many different walks of life supporting that peace march, then your the one with blinders on. }}}}}

First, there was nowhere close to 20,000 people. The Oct 5th march was bigger than this one and it was 10,000 or so. This one was more like 6000-7000 possibly the claimed 8000 but certainly no bigger.

Second, the kid did not spit on the car, he stood on the bumper. Either way, you are fucked in the head to call that violence. For God's sake he is 16 years old! Your intolerance is part of the growing fascism in this country.

You are no ally of justice and positive change and you know jack shit about solidarity. You peace fascists would probably let your own children be dragged away by the portland gestapo for the slightest infraction, the slightest expression of dissent.

If this is an example of the peace you propose, I want nothing to do with it. You disgust me.

Give it up 18.Nov.2002 12:21

af

No, I don't eat meat. Yes, I have two pairs of leather shoes. I walk a lot and haven't found anything else that works. I have never shopped at the Gap. I and a few others took the bus from Astoria to go to the rally. I have never patronized Starbacks, and have been helping Samantha Buck of Astoria fight the intellectual property lawsuit launched against her last year by Starbuck's. I drive very rarely, walk to work. I am a midwife, and have been up against it fighting for the rights of women to have normal births for 15 years. Please, we are on the same side. Unfocused rage and hatred will not further the cause of peace and justice. Alienating working people will not further the cause of peace and justice. Only by finding common ground will we triumph. This is not easy, but it is possible.

Peace and Justice 18.Nov.2002 12:29

tom

Someone is missing the point.

A peace rally is about peace.

Not everyone agrees that non-violent resistance is the way to gain and preserve freedom, but in my own mind (now almost 60 years old) that is the only way that has a chance.

Violence favors the police-- the government always outguns and outmaneuvers the citizenry in a head-on clash, and if we resort to guerilla tactics, then the place just looks like Columbia or Nicauragua, and you can hardly call that freedom.

Peaceful, non-violent resistance is not about lying down and taking whatever the regime dishes out. Read your Gandhi. For that matter, read the New Testament-- strip out some of the theological overlay, and it is a statement about confronting a powerful, authoritarian government-- in that case, Rome.

Tactics aren't Strategy 18.Nov.2002 12:30

solidarity

I agree we should support anyone at our events who gets arrested for whatever reason; I thought the jail solidarity march and occupation was awesome--folks were brave and working together, and there was a real feeling of solidarity among everyone there. Also, I was really happy that the group made a calm and democratic decision to leave the justice center, as a group, when the request was put out there by the family of the arrestee.

And I think cops are liars and violent and not our allies. And I think "peace cops" are divisive and detrimental to our movement.

All that said, and as much as I sympathize with the impulse, I also think that jumping on a police car in the middle of a mainstream peace march--while certainly not a violent act, and nothing I would ever try to censor or "mediate"--is not a particularly effective tactic, and doesn't seem to be serving much of a larger strategy.

We should support direct action, yes. We need to be having the conversation, though, about what "direct action" actually means. How does a particular tactic actually, tangibly interfere with the operation of the war machine? Because militant tactics do not always equal radical politics, and tactics that do not serve a larger strategy of social change don't do much for the movement except get us arrested and beaten up but the violent police state.

No disrespect intended to anyone, and power to the brother who was arrested. Stay strong.

disorganiztion parade 18.Nov.2002 13:06

samrod wetrat samrod7@yahoo.com

although a fine gathering of diverse elements in opposition to the Bush Reich, what was lacking may be a Consistent Front; One Language, One Song. in other words, a roar, a cacophony, a scream against the madness. or better yet, how fine would it have been to see these same thousands in silence, dressed as clowns perhaps. levity, not gravity. if the purpose of the event was to garner a soundbyte in effort to educate the complacent watching the "game" at home, it is not likely to have happened. five minute attention span max. what Image would suffice. what archetype would confound or coalesce (?) the wandering neurons waiting for someone or something to show them the way?
i saw the goths?, whatever young group of prototypic anarchists liken themselves to, verge from formation to go and jump a police cruiser. i categorically refuse to participate or help those making this ill-thought decision.
so, the march and gathering were fun and decorative and festive, but i am somewhat more akin to the notion of 500,000 homeless (or not) veterans marching down pennsylvania ave in full camoflague and bivouacing on the grounds of the Washington Monument. or the suggested We The People Million Gun March. now there is a statement!
until then, these little dances of protestations feed directly into the cams of the myth makers and reality distorters, well bobbed and smiling. the most important point is...feed information to others, watch them grow or throw up.
there's is no doubt whatsoever that a revolution is needed, but do we have the motivation and willingness to sacrifice? if everybody there stayed overnight in the cold and wet, would that have said something grander than a chant?

Message lost on non-attendants 18.Nov.2002 13:28

Old Sarge

I was working in Salem and unable to attend the rally/march but when I tried to catch up on the days events last night...The leading story on FOX (news? corp) was the march and due to "technical difficulties" was quickly cut to be replaced by more consumer drivel.

I'm not raising this to shock anyone--yes, yes corporate media bad--but to tie into the post from 'solidarity' that the if the message falls short of the intended audience it's nearly useless.

If y'all want to argue the relative merits of hopping on a hunk of state property and bicker over the fine points of battlling a imperialist power then King Bush II has already wagged your dog. The message on the merits of war or no-war is His turf. Arguing this won't grow a movement, and if you aren't out there to both grow and move a message then the Movement stops dead.

If you militants want to provoke the police state, I'm not knocking kicking a car or specifically speaking of this N17 incident, be prepared for the blood shed. The "peace police" are trying to keep the martyr count low. The whole movement needs committed leaders like yourselves, all y'all posting here, and you'll do little good on a coroners table.

Semper Sindicato

* 18.Nov.2002 13:39

joseph

Firstly,

Rebecca Solnit wrote, (roughly) 'marching in the streets together is one of the few ways left that people can be the same.' Call it a march, a protest, or a pep rally, but all those thousands of people came downtown first to be together, and second to exclaim to everyone who wasn't there that there are many many people who do not believe in the Bush administrations' call to arms.

I find it ridiculous that so many people who obviously could produce something more thoughtful would spend their energy decrying and villifying others on the peace march who did not act according to the authors' ideals.
It's disappointing to see our people playing a game of "who's more righteous than me?" and thereby acting exclusively.

So some people drove an SUV, some drove a car, some rode their bikes, some walked; some people ate meat and some people ate food that they grew; some people wore nylon and maybe some wore clothes whose cloth they wove from fibers they spun . . . the important thing is that 6-10,000 of them came out together. There are at least 740,000 more people living within the Portland city limits whoe weren't there, and another three-quarter million in the suburbs. How might they be inspired to commit themselves to change?

Secondly,

Why couldn't the dozens of people witnessing the event un-arrest him? Where was this boy's affinity group? Why did he not choose to commit his energy to a more productive act than standing on part of a police car (wasn't that covered in Resistance 101?) Why were people witnessing him on the car not warning him that he was making himself incredibly vulnerable to police assault?

for samrod wetrat 18.Nov.2002 13:43

tom

If you don't like it, stay home.

We aren't likely to get 500,000 out for a rally in Portland, so if that is the only thing that you think is effective, you are in for a lifetime of disappointment.

Speaking together with "one voice"-- etc. Well, that's the problem, isn't it. The Bushies have one voice, that of Karl Rove, and they all hang together. Same with Stalin and Hitler.

One voice is fascism. Democracy is messy, and if you can't tolerate diversity, then best join the Rove Parade.

Solidarity 18.Nov.2002 13:43

=Eric

Solidarity implies respect.

When 10,000 people gather for an anti-war event advertised as family-friendly and street legal, and one person in that group decides to provoke the police, his enemey is not the police it's the the other 10,000 people. Who was it who lacked respect? Who was it who didn't show solidarity?

While his supporters were screaming at the cops and urging everyone to stop the march and change its entire purpose, the organizers were making sure that the police commanders kept their cops from over-reacting, that full arrest information was gathered and family informed, and that the kid was released as soon as possible. Were people shoved? Was pain compliance used? Yes, and that's unfortunate but predictable. The organizers did their best to ensure that the other 9,999 people were not also hurt and did not also have a violent encounter -- as advertised. The organizers kept their promise, and even extended solidarity to help ensure the best possible police handling of that situation. The screaming 50 did nothing to help their friend.

When 10,000 people gather for an anti-war event advertised as family-friendly and street legal, and 50 people (1/2 of one percent) do not leave the street at the end of the march, those 50 are making a statement of disrespect and anti-solidarity with the other 99.5%.

The organizers arranged a way for the 200-300 mixed in with those 50, who were simply at the end of the march had no intention of confronting the police, to march _through_ the police line and enter the Square from side where there was room to get them off the street. The remaining 50, now denied the supporting numbers of several hundred unwilling participants (nobody _made_ them leave), were slowly and peacefully moved to the sidewalk by cops.

Who is showing respect? Who is showing solidarity? And who is obviously trying to hijack an action that was not theirs to begin with? Who are the real anarchists here?

A true anarchist does the work that needs to be done. Sometimes that work involves protecting others from harm.

It should be easy for an aware activist to distinguish between honorable anarchist behavior and the petulant whinings of a few nihilist hedonists who were denied some excitement at the expense of others. It should be easy for Indymedia to make that distinction, too. At least 9,950 other participants didn't have any problem.

=Eric

disappointed 18.Nov.2002 14:05

dis-not

Hey People, we're in this together! How absolutely ignorant of us to be backstabbing people that we walked in the peace march with! Geez! No body in that peace march (or in support of peace/no war) is better than the other. You're being too judgemental, too religious, if I may, that's why higher gov't developed religions...to make all us of turn on each other. Can't we support peace & no war WITHOUT turning on each other?! Support & encourage, don't make a positive a negative. Tis all about spreading the positive energies (through our thoughts & actions) NOT tearing up people who protest with you. Peace, Aint that the point! Good Job Anti-War Protesters....TOGETHER We CAN!

Wasted Efforts 18.Nov.2002 14:06

Aleck Russ aleck_russ@yahoo.com

Protests should be peaceful and non-confrontational.

Thankfully, for the most part, Sunday's was. This gets your message to the public that they can participate in a protest, that they can express their opinion, without getting in the middle of a bunch of people who feel they need to create a disturbance in order to be heard.

I didn't join on Sunday, because there always seems to be some activity from protestors which makes the event unsafe. Protestors such as these are squelching my right to public assembly and my freedom of speech.

Sunday's protest wasn't without problems, as a KOIN 6 TV reporter was accosted by protestors who didn't want anyone speaking to the media, apparently. KOIN 6 presented a fair news story on the protest, but how much better would it have been if they had not been accosted by protestors?

There is no reason to: Deviate from the proscribed route, invade a public mall where families are going about their own business, or be jumping on police cars & not following the orders of the police when protestors are asked to move so that leaders of our Nation can pass into an Hotel. This is just not acceptable, but worse, takes away from the message, which is an extremely important one!

Adding insult to injury, some protestors felt the need to deface public property with "The Pepper Sprayed Our Babies." What message are you really attempting to make here? Anarchy?

Parents first, shouldn't have small children at a protest in which they have no idea how other protestors are going to act, or how police may respond. This is tantamount to holding up your child for your own protection.

But further, there is never a reason to deface public property to get across your message. If everyone did it, we'd have anarchy, and a society that would be disaffected from making any kind of contribution for the good and just.

AR

Done. 18.Nov.2002 14:33

Done.

Done.

Have your suv parades, eat your burgers and talk about how solidarity means leaving people behind. And how you're not the judgmental one, just "enlightened."

Spare me your baby-boomer bull crap.

You're disgusting, and you should know it.

Not so fast! 18.Nov.2002 14:40

T. W. Wood moseris@yahoo.com

I think that much of what you say is correct but I do not agree with how and who you are "blaming." It was amazing that there were so many people who came out to support an an anti-war rally period. The person who announced that a young man was arrested was extremely vague and also used tactics that were next to lying to get people to join them to the justice center. I did in fact go because i agree with you that we need to take direct action however, we had no information about what happened and i cannot believe that if this young man had indeed been beaten up and dragged "on his face" as people were chanting that people would have continued marching. People are not such "wussies" as you so eloquently and persuasively mention. I think that a lot of things were misconstrued - on both parts - and we do need someone to lead a movement like this so we don't go getting arrested or making a stand on behalf of something we didn't have enough information on. This makes people look unprepared and irrational. Another point i think is important to mention is that there was a lot of diversity represented in those 8-10,000 people which means that we all have different tactics of civil demonstration and it does no good at all to alienate these people by calling them names and presuming that they all went home to watch themselves on tv because they didn't follow the pied piper like we did. Thanks! twwood

Why? 18.Nov.2002 15:10

Iam

Why can you not believe that the young man was "beaten up and dragged 'on his face'" as described? The cops gather around to obscure what they're doing. Get too close (within 10 feet) and they're apt to arrest and charge you for "interfering." There were also a number of activists gathered round. The people marching could no more see what was happening to verify "the facts" than I could. The difference between them and me is that I tried. There were people trying to inform the crowd what was happening. Many seemed so devoid of curiosity and concern as to seem like smiling, parade-marching zombies. It's obvious you're trying to be fair. But sometimes the truth is harsh. The people who decided they (squeak!) just didn't have enough facts (squeak!) were fine with "not having enough facts" and passed right on by. Organizers made concerted efforts to convince people not to come over and observe what was going on. They deserve every bit of bile they're getting.

re-responding 18.Nov.2002 17:10

samrod wetrat samrod7@yahoo.com

actually, the 500,000 in the street was an allusion to a fantasy or illusion i have. more action. i was greatly impressed with the behavior and solidarity of the folks that did attend yesterday's gathering, but hell, i'm a trained consumer, i want more!
the last time i spent in one of these go rounds was in Kent State to prevent the building of a gymnasium on the ground where the students were shot. in the public arena since then i have been inactive. so, it was a great thrill, and at some points during the day there was a chill up my spine of anticpation and hope for this country, this world. this does not happen often anymore. usually i am besieged with the airwaves and cultural propaganda and person-on-the-street-attitude of "what can one man do?". but i believe in revolutionary mathematics. one plus one equals.
there will always be squabbling in a group this large. i expect we should have a rather narrow vision of what the aim is. if it is peace, then we should be that.i suggest doing it every week. in fact, i will be in the square on Friday evening with my sign. will make the time. let us not misunderstand each other; we are already at war.

Portland and solidarity 18.Nov.2002 19:13

Me

There is something that routinely discourages me about Portland activism, and this article, along with comments made about this article, sum it up perfectly. This is, simply put, that Portland activists seem so eager to draw lines between "peaceful" action and "direct" action. I don't feel as though I need to put forth any examples of this, but it has been demonstrated again and again as a rally disentegrates around some issue like whether or not to block the street or whether it's appropriate to climb a building. If Portland is to truly lead a cohesive movement twoards anything, it needs to first realize that whatever tactics a person chooses, they are part of the same struggle. I was not at the rally on Sunday, because rallies in Portland depress me. They have become incredibly routine, uncreative, and simply heighten the obvious divide in the activist community here. I feel there are better ways of applying my time and energy, and instead transport myself by bike, write my representatives, engage in discussions at work and school and with peers about issues, and write and preform spoken word concerning the forces that are dividing this world. The forces that be enjoy watching us divide ourselves along invisible lines and use the same pointless tactics over and over again, it lets them plan how to better control us the next time someone leads a ralley, whether it is legal or not. We've become like dogs that try again and again to dig a hole under the fence, even though our owners long ago lined the fence with stones. And now we're fighting over whether sitting at the gate and whining to be let out is a better tactic than digging until our paws are bloody.

Let's join together and come up with some creative, successful ways to show those in power that we will not stand for their lies and manipulation.

A few thoughts... 18.Nov.2002 23:05

ittybitty

First, before we attack "the kid" who jumped on the police car, why don't we figure out his motivations? Why don't we ask him about his worldview, about his family life, about his school, about his friends? That's called feminist theory; getting the naratives of people in order to work towards understanding. Which, is what I think, the "peace movement," as a whole, should be doing.

Second, I do not know the kid who was arrested, but chances are I would recognize him. Also, I know that had I been in his position, he would have yelled for me to be set free as well. That's what it comes down to. That is solidarity. So thank you to all the people who stopped for him, for I know now that you are the ones who understand that change comes from confronting the injustices that you see everyday, not just when it's convienent.

Third, to the people who tried to stop me from joining the crowd that was trying to help the kid, the ones who made rude comments about my choice of attire and my cape while making sure I heard them, and the ones who tried to get me out of the street at the end of the march (by yelling and calling me egotistical and selfish) before the police had issued any sort of request, I can see now why you are frusterating to so many. You do not put your so-called ideals into practice. I'm glad I could help contribute to shaking your reality up a little.

Peace and anarchy to all and to all a goodnight.

Time to Train the Activists 18.Nov.2002 23:09

Aleck Russ aleck_russ@yahoo.com

One young man was arrested by police at Sunday's protest, after spitting on police when they attempted to remove him from a police car he had climbed up onto.

From the Oregonian:

"A television reporter tried to interview witnesses at the arrest scene, but the crowd eded up yanking him around, sayin witnesses shouldn't talk to "the corporate media." Police pulled the reporter free."

If police officers had taken such an action against protesters, it would not have been tolerated. Why then do we tolerate protesters who get in the way of free speech and the press by accosting an innocent bystander?

It's time for activists to protest responsibly. As they have rightly called for Police in this city to be better trained in handling themselves, so they should take leadership in training those who protest, and responsibility for their own actions.

I'm outraged that these activists pushed around a member of the press; that they have acted in this manner against another human being. AR


Peace Fascists 19.Nov.2002 00:16

.

GET IT FUCKING STRAIGHT - THE KID STOOD ON A BUMPER FOR 2 SECONDS NO MORE - OTHERWISE HE WAS DANCING AND LAUGHING AND ENJOYING HIMSELF

IT WAS NOT A DIRECT ACTION - IT WAS NOT VIOLENT - IT WAS NOT VANDALISM - IT WAS NOT A TACTIC

IT WAS JUST ONE LITTLE TINY FUCKING IRREVERANT MOMENT BY A 16 YEAR OLD KID.

The people harshly criticizing him are fanatic fascist freaks who are scared of their own shadow.

Aleck Russ 19.Nov.2002 00:25

...

It is good to hear you did not come to the march. Next time don't come to the march either. The world will be better off with you staying home.

Candid 19.Nov.2002 00:27

Candid

"Protests should be peaceful and non-confrontational."

Bullshit

To Aleck Russ 19.Nov.2002 00:31

Nightmare

"But further, there is never a reason to deface public property to get across your message. If everyone did it, we'd have anarchy, and a society that would be disaffected from making any kind of contribution for the good and just.

AR"

You are ignorant and an asshole too. There was no defacing of property at the march. The only thing people did at all is use sidewalk chalk.

And yes, property should be defaced, it should be broken, people should be disobedient, refuse to pay taxes, corporate offices should be trashed, business as usual should be hindered and murderers should be stopped from murdering people.

You are a pathetic coward and know nothing of what it means to defend life.

Portland Cops 04.Nov.2003 11:49

Bruce Ellis woodbutcher@gbronline.com

Watch out and be very careful. The Portland Cops are bad news , Bears and Beavers. I am a fourth generation Oregonian and remember that these men and women on the police force of Portland are armed, dangerous, and have license to kill. Further, not one PPB Cop has ever been found guilty for shooting and killing citizens of Portland by the Grand Jury. Of course the Grand Jury is a rigged Kangaroo Court, but unfortunately the only game in town. As a precaution, have little to do with these killers and do not provoke them. We need a review board with teeth in it track these killer cops: (1) an independent District Attorney and get rid of that woosey rubber stamp Schrunk(He is worse than his infamous mayor dad, Terry Schrunk0 Therefore we are stuck with a wimp for a D.A., Schrunk and he must be taken out of office. (3) Cops need to be catorized on a computer program regarding mistreatment of Portland Citizens, three stikes and your out !(4) all cops must be subject to random urine checks, (5) Only a police officer with a minimum of eight years experience can carry a firearm (6) psychological examinations need to be taken at least once a year for mental stability accordinly and the results to be given to the elected new review committee for action to terminate the officer by popular vote, if the officer is found to have committed cruel and unusual punishment according to Article VII, Amendment Eight, U.S. Constitution. (7) The new review board will have a cross section of the Portland Community, Blacks, Hispaniks, Homeless, Homeless Veterans, Attorneys, Teachers, Doctors, Businessmen, and all other minority immigrant and American Citizens collectively. (8) Full power will be vested in the review group, including termination of an officer of the PPD, or reinstatement, what ever the proper remedy for each and every review. This program must be implemented by the initiative and referendum and I would anticipate opposition from the PPD Union and segments of the entrenched establishment in this fair city. However this new review committee can and will be established but only through doing the study correctly, with tenacity and perseverance. Sincerely, to the violated citizens of Portland, BRUCE