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People of Distinction demand Kroeker's resignation

photos and some brief commentary from yesterday's very inspiring action in which a diverse group of people demanded Chief Kroeker's resignation.

People of Distinction demand Kroeker's resignation

On Monday, November 26, about 200 people gathered in Pioneer Square for a protest demanding the resignation of Police Chief Kroeker. Kroeker had recently given honorary medals to the police officers who murdered Jos? Mej?a Poot in 2001.

Kate Lore, of the Unitarian Church. People from a diverse array of groups came out to support Poot's family and protest against police policies and procedures that allow such a killing to take place.

Dave Mazza, editor of the Portland Alliance newspaper.

Martin Gonzalez of the Latino Network MC'd the event.

Folks gathered around to hear the story of Poot's murder and the call for Kroeker's resignation.

After a brief introduction, the crowd marched to City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Vera Katz, who has shown little interest in community concerns about police brutality or other issues of social justice. Katz is a member of the Democratic Party, though what distinguishes her from a Republican has never been clear.

This might have been the most diverse crowd I've seen at a demo in Portland. I saw Latinos, African Americans, Asians, whites (and mixes of all of the above) and people across the political board, from anarchist to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Martha Ortiz de Rosas, Mexican consulate general for Oregon: issued Consulate press release asking for an apology from the city and revocation of the awards."

A woman from the Hispanic Advisory Committee to the Portland Police Dept.: asked for a formal apology from the Mayor and the resignation of Chief Kroeker. "?Ya Basta!"

Avel Gordly, State Senator for District 23: Kroeker awarding the officers who murdered Poot was "an act of disrespect to the grieving families and a community already distrustful of the police, especially the young people."

Pastor Roy Tate: The Portland Police procedure seems to be "shoot now, receive an award later."

Clara Padilla Andrews, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: "The Latino Business community supports public safety but... wants to know what the plan is to restore respect for the police in the community."

Serena Cruz, Multnomah County Commissioner: "supports call for resignation of Chief Kroeker".

Citizens meet with Elise Marshall, police liaison for the Mayor.

Next, everyone gathered outside the police station downtown to give the Silver Dimes Award to Chief Kroeker.

Cops were blocking the doors. It was not uncommon to see a smirk ontheir faces. The systemic disrespect for people of color was out on full display in many subtle ways like that. It disgusted me. Yeah, yeah - cops are people too. In this case, some nasty people.

Poot was put in a psych ward by police after he was twenty cents short to get on the bus. It was in the hospital -- after no one spoke to him in Spanish and he began to suffer from his epilepsy -- that he was murdered by two police officers. Hence the "Silver Dimes Award" for Chief Kroeker. For want of two dimes, Poot's life was taken from him. This is not an aberation. This is how the U.S. works.

Kroeker was not there, or refused to come out and face the community he is sworn to protect and serve. Deputy Chief Clark came down instead.

Clark accepted the reward and delivered an "I-feel-your-pain-we-can-work-it-out" speech such as you're taught in certain classes. He said nothing of substance but made it sound compassionate. Hot air all of it.

These horse cops were across from the police station. You don't see them out for specific actions very often. I guess people of color and radicals are the only ones dangerous enough to require this show of force.

thanks for the pics 28.Nov.2002 02:26


Beautifully done.

here's one more picture of the po-lice 28.Nov.2002 05:21


Remember: Assistant Chief Clark was the man who 'personally approved' each and every episode of police violence on August 22.
here's one more picture of the po-lice
here's one more picture of the po-lice

Sam Adams sneaks out of City Hall for Vera 28.Nov.2002 10:42


Great pictures, I must say! I might add that as we gathered at City Hall about 11:40 to present the Mayor with the demand for Kroeker's firing, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sam Adams (Vera's chief of staff) cutting a wide berth around the group and hightailed it up the street. The expression on his face was --I originally thought, "good luck Vera, you're on your own".

Shortly after statements to the media, Martin Gonzalez and other group organizers entered City Hall to present their letter to Vera, only to find she was "on vacation" that day.

Sam Adams, who I understand has aspirations of riding into 'mayordom' on Vera's garrish coattails, must have actually been thinking something along the lines of, "jeezus, what a close call...but good practice for when I'm officially blowing off these little people".

Excellent Article, Prop Busta... 28.Nov.2002 13:39


A great piece of photojournalism. One of the things we have to concentrate on is teamwork in demonstrations....I would like to see the peace activist community try to get as diverse group of people to future peace rallies as turned out for this one.

That includes elected officials of all races. Representative Bill Coyne addressed the Oct. 5 rally in Pittsburgh - why can't Earl Blumenauer or David Wu or Ron Wyden show some backbone and address a future peace rally?

(And will there be a rally in December - PPRC?)

PPRC activities 01.Dec.2002 16:14


The next Peace Rally/March is Saturday January 18; for more info: Peace & Justice Works 503-236-3065 or PPRC 503-471-1535

But there are lots of other activities during December as well. (the following is for Portland only, but there are things going on throughout Oregon; get on the PPRC mailing list)



Peace Elves on the Bridges, 8-9 am, \"burma shave\"-style peace messages on
Portland bridges for the morning commute. Bridge changes weekly. More info:

5pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square,
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition rally. 503-471-1535

Noon. Women in Black vigil, 503-288-8958

Noon-1pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square, NW corner.
Peace Vigil, signs and leafletting during lunch rush
WILPF, (503) 224-5190

Mon. Dec. 2nd-First Mondays,
Monthly War Tax Resistance Seminars. Your taxes buy war -Boycott the War!
Refuse, Resist, Redirect, Rebel.
7 pm, Laughing Horse Books, 3652 SE Division.
Sponsored by War Resisters League. For more
info. call: 503-238-0605. FREE

Saturday, December 7, 2002, 1 PM-5 PM
"War in Iraq: Why Now and at What Cost?"
Teach-in planned at Portland State University

The forum will be in Shattuck Hall, Room 212 at SW Broadway and College St.

Sunday December 8th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Potluck at 5:30 pm and

FCNL Representative Bridget Moix will be speaking on "Peacemaking in a Time of
War" at the Multnomah Friends Meeting, 4312 SE Stark. Ms.Moix works on
international and foreign policy issues, with a focus on peaceful prevention of
deadly conflict. She will discuss the latest events with
relation to U.S. plans for war against Iraq and what can be done to ensure that
U.N. weapons inspections and peaceful diplomacy are given a chance to succeed.

Immediately prior to this, from 3-5, there will be a discussion and sharing of
what our communities are doing / planning individually now and if the war
escalates. This is intended to be a sharing of ideas to develop a
resource guide for the community on what is available throughout our community /

Contact: Theresa Deibele, Co-Clerk of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee,
Multnomah Monthly Meeting,  t_deibele@hotmail.com.

Saturday, December 14
In cooperation with the Oregon Peace Institute, we are organizing a Peace &
Human Rights Fair at PSU Campus Ministry, 633 SW Montgomery (at Broadway), from
2-4 p.m., on Saturday, December 14. As a part of this fair, we will have a panel
on "Minority Rights and War on Terrorism." The
object is to highlight the repercussions of September 11 and US War on
Terrorism for minorities in USA, especially in view of a possible war on Iraq.