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I was one of the people arrested

Thank you to those who supported us!
I want to give a big "Thank You!" to everyone on Saturday who supported the actions of myself and my friend/total strangers. What we did was completely spontaneous, and rose out of frustration and a need to do something more than march. Yes, I think that marching is effective, especially yesterday's, since it was unpermitted and was still a *great* success. And yes, what we did may have been more effective if more people joined us, but I can totally respect that some people aren't willing/don't have the money/don't want to deal with being arrested. But for those of you who marched, yet put down our action, and refused to stand in solidarity with us, I have this to say:

Look, you're out on the streets at an UNPERMITTED march, so I don't think that you have a reason to complain about us blocking traffic. Isn't that what marches are for, to block traffic and make people sit up and take notice? One person commented in an earlier story ( http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=45014&group=webcast) about this action that, "i am of the opinion that blocking traffic today did more harm than good. it didn't really achieve anything but piss off a few drivers. if any of those drivers were on the fence over the war issue they certainly would not be inclined to support the anti-war effort after today." Well, all I have to say to those drivers is: "Sorry I delayed you for a half hour on a Saturday afternoon, but there are people DYING in the world, dontchaknow? Right now, there are babies being born with birth defects from our depleted uranium shells, and people living in constant fear that they are going to DIE at any moment, so be thankful that the only thing you had to deal with was a half-hour delay." If you are SO CONCERNED about pissing drivers off, then DON'T MARCH AT ALL!!! Invariably, some drivers are going to be pissed about ANY delay, whether it is a half hour or five minutes. So don't take to the streets if you don't want to piss anyone off.

As for people being on the fence over the war issue, one of the hopes I have with this action is that maybe people will see, "Hey, there are people willing to get arrested for their views, maybe I should pay more attention." Unfortunately, however, there are some extremely closed-minded individuals who won't change their mind, no matter how many times we protest. But if more of us are willing to do some civil disobedience and get arrested, someone somewhere will have to take notice. I also hope that our actions today will spur MORE people to be willing to take a stand and perhaps get arrested for their beliefs.

I hope that people will understand why I did this. Perhaps there were other actions that I could have taken that would have made my point better, but this was a very sponaneous action and one that I felt was right at the time. I still do. I wish that people who marched yesterday wouldn't be so closed-minded and think, "Oh, this is just going to piss people off, this isn't effective." Because if more people do this, it will be effective. Jon said it best in the above article: "...how can civil disobedience accomplish something when everyone sits back and says, 'Oh, that won't accomplish anything. I am going to stand back and watch.' With that attitude civil disobedience accomplishes nothing. We need to start realizing that the power is in our hands." And just because you don't think that it accomplished anything, it doesn't mean that it won't. I mean, there are people all around the city that think since our little march doesn't compare to the 30,000 that were out last time, it wasn't effective at all. But you were out there, you were doing it, so you are obviously of a different opinion. My point is, we all have to protest in our own way, and it is very important that we support each other, no matter what. Why can't you say, "I don't know how effective your action was, but I still support you."?

And I think I did get my views out to more than those drivers that were stopped. KATU contacted me today. They wanted to get my side of the story. For better or worse, I agreed to talk to them. This wasn't an easy decision to make, as I don't support corporate media, and I know how they take things out of context. I told Amy, "I won't talk to you if you're going to take what I say out of context," and she told me that she wouldn't. I don't know how I will be portrayed on tonight's news, but perhaps the viewing audience will see me (they also talked to Jon, who got arrested for trying to get his bike back from the cops), and hear what I have to say, and not be so pissed off anymore. Solidarity, anyone?
onwards 17.Feb.2003 02:12

marcher

i just tried replying but it didn't post.

just to state my point again. i thought your actions and (all of ours, who blocked the street) were not necc. effective in getting the our point across. in my opinion (can i have one?) it did more harm because it made only made a minor point to a few angry driver, while if we'd of kept marching we would have continued to spread the word further.
i understand why you did it, i just don't condone it. i support where your coming from and your right to take action as i did on the day but i feel over all it was detremental to the day's proceedings.

if you want to do a 'radical' action then take note from the anarcho kids who smashed the shit out of the recruiting station alone and at night. this was effecrive on several levels:

1) mid.class liberal can put it down to a few extreemists rather than attributing it to the whole anti-war movt.

2) it targetted a concrete cog in the war machine. direct action against an actual piece of the war effort.

3) it only inconvienced the target.

the blockade just angered a few drivers and thats it. yeah, in comparison to iraqi people dying being stuck in traffic is bullshit but don't we want to gain sympathey for the iraqis?

no offense to you personally. you obviously have passion and courage. i just think you got arrested for nothing. good luck with the media.

shame on you for talking to KATU 19.Feb.2003 21:37

fuck the corporate media

you write: "For better or worse, I agreed to talk to them."

it'll be for worse, that's for sure. they suck. they lie. that's their job. the corporate media is the single most important part of the u.s. war machine. without it, the people would not be brainwashed, and wouldn't be putting up with this shit. the last thing in the world that they're going to do is air a view that questions the status quo too sharply, and if you're not questioning the status quo that sharply, then you're not questioning it enough.

that said, i totally supported your action on saturday, applaud you for it, and admit sheepishly that i didn't have the balls to sit next to you that day. so -- you rock! and definitely i'm solidarity with you. but PLEASE don't talk to the corporate media! that's like talking to the cops or the FBI!

It doesn't take balls, just courage 20.Feb.2003 00:42

Not a medic

What silliness about corporate media.

But I suspect that is what to expect from someone who would imply that it takes "balls" to risk arrest.

Look, try using the word "guts" or "courage" or something like that, okay? The guy who pepper-sprayed the protest has balls, the women who did the sit-down don't. I will try to emulate their example, not his.

I applaud their courage, even though I, like the person who dissented, think there are better targets.

Let me name some, for the benefit of the anti-war movement in Portland.

1. Every recruiting station in the Portland area. If you're gonna sit down, try doing it there during the hours that they are open.

2. The air base near Portland International Airport, which is being used for troop and material transport.

3. Senator Smith's office. He voted for invasion.

4. The Federal Building.

5. Any local corporation that has a war contract. Why has so little work been done on this research, which is relatively easy to do?

6. Any appearance by CIA or military recruiters on local campuses.

Now, about talking with the local media. Again, what silliness. The Tribune printed the times and locations of the January 15th march/rally on its front page. Should the organizers of the permitted march and the radical feeder march refuse to tell them when the rally/march was happening? Yeah, sure. The Tribune is owned by a Christian millionaire, yet they were pretty much forced to cover what was the most important event in Portland that day. Why not talk with them?

Talking to the media is not the same as talking to the FBI, any more than writing this here is the same as talking to the FBI, which reads IndyMedia. We must make choices as a movement to speak to the media, what we say, and when we will stop speaking to them. An outright ban is as silly as talking with them about everything all the time.

If the truth is on our sides - and it is - then we have nothing to lose by talking with them. When the mass media are forced not to print or televise or broadcast it, which continually happens, we will win over some of them and many of the listeners who contrast what they see with the lies that are spoken over it. Don't you remember Seattle?

When 'war' starts 20.Feb.2003 07:35

wolf

When 'war' starts, and bombs rain down for shock and awe, the whole point will be to shut down the cities, so no one can use the whining argument - 'but the GAP shoppers won't LIKE our movement if they have to sit in and stop traffic!'

Because by then, whether they like it or not isn't relevant anymore. It's too late to change their minds. People are being murdered en masse (faster than before, anyway) with our tax money and our soldiers.

I watched a clip from whatreallyhappened.com yesterday where a UK reporter goes around and asks Americans basic questions, like who is Tony Blair? And, which state is KFC from? And people don't know.

Yes, a person who has never heard of Tony Blair, who doesn't know what the word 'mosque' means, and who thinks there are ten eiffel towers, may not like it when they can't get to Walmart exactly when they'd like.

Grandstanding? 20.Feb.2003 10:07

Don't Talk To Them

I like the suggestions made by "not a medic."

But I agree with "Fuck the corporate media" on this. We're all free to make our own decisions about this, of course. But frankly, I have some concerns about why this woman would want to talk to the corporate media also. I hate to say this, but the whole act reeked of grandstanding to me. I was there, and while I at first applauded the decision of some to sit down in the streets, I wondered about why they were doing it. Blocking traffic is always a great idea. But there seemed to be less at work here than a desire to shut down the oil flow on Broadway.

My concerns grew when the four arrestees began chanting "THIS IS THE NEWS." What? What does that mean? It appeared to mean, "Look! I'm on the news!" Because frankly, there are many more important things in the world right now that SHOULD be the news. People dying in Iraq, for example. Hundreds of thousands have died and the blood is on US hands. But most people don't even know we're already at war with Iraq and have been for a long time. THAT'S what's wrong with the corporate media. They won't bite the hand that feeds them, even if that hand is maiming and killing all over the world.

Four people in an intersection? The news? One of the people sitting there, the guy, was hollering about how what they were doing SHOULD be the news. No, it shouldn't. But of course it was, and they knew it would be. Why cover important events when you can show a few glory shots of a useless confrontation like this one. These guys knew they would be on the news, and seemed to relish that fact. This seemed to be an act of personal self promotion rather than sacrifice for any cause. The fact that they would talk to the corporate media when everyone else there was fighting to get the corporate media away from them only confirms that fact.

Having said that, I add that I read Ms. Polis' articles often, and I think she does excellent work. This incident doesn't change that. If I'm misinterpreting her motives, then I take this back because other than the corporate media angle, I approved of blocking the intersection. Traffic=cars=oil=profit=war.

Solid 20.Feb.2003 13:06

Jesse

<B>The action that was taken by Jennifer and others was extremely courageous and important.</B>

It is NOT terribly important what others outside of the "anti-war" movement think of the movement. Is that movement a Public Relations campaign? What IS important is what the people inside it are saying in their numbers and their action/energy. Numbers and energy are all that power holders care about ("how squeaky is the wheel"). Numbers without action=Nothing....Action without numbers-->anything. They generally don't care what's wrong or what's right.

By manifesting a courageous action of any kind large or small, especially one with high-risks, like arrest, inspires the people IN the movement. Action/energy shows what's possible and this snowballs. Action is contagious..this is why what Jennifer and others did is important, if for no other reason. This is the root...what it means to be "radi"-cal.

Besides, there is only the individual who is acting and becoming more powerful...ultimately there is no movement without each person "evolving". Personal courage outweighs collective courage.

<i>In solidarity with beautiful people</i>

Jesse


Anyone with Photos or Video of F15 Spraying.. 23.Feb.2003 16:15

Varro avarhola@aracnet.com

Anyone who was attacked by the police on Feb. 15, or who has photos or video of Lt. Rowley using pepper spray, please contact me, and I will inform Alan Graf.

It's likely that Lt. Rowley was the person who ordered the spraying of peaceful protesters at 5th and Taylor during the A22 Bush protests as well.