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Corvallis protest a disappointment!

Corvallis ought to take a lesson from the Portland demonstrators. The impact of our protest was greatly lessened by all the fuss over permits!
Corvallis-area peace protesters could stand to learn a lesson from the success of Portland's "non-permitted" rally this weekend. I arrived at Oregon State's MU building on Saturday to find a crowd 1,000 people strong. My enthusiasm was quickly dampened when march organizers announced the "rules" for our event. First, we had no permit to march in the streets and were required to walk on the sidewalks. We were told that this would "increase our visibility" by allowing people to drive past and see us. Unfortunately, what it served to do was break up the march by holding up groups at every stop light along Monroe Avenue. Not only did this result in our "march" morphing into a number of small clumps of demonstrators, it also slowed us down considerably. I was looking forward to hearing Peter Defazio speak, but by the time I arrived at the courthouse, he was gone. Towards the end of the march, people gave up and walked on both sides of the street to save time, further dispersing the crowd. Once we arrived at the courthouse, we were instructed to remain on paved areas only. We were told that we did not have a permit to be on the grass! With 1000 people, that was difficult to manage, though people did attempt it. This resulted in the group being spread so far around the building that we could not hear what was being said by the individual speakers. I do not wish to dismiss the importance of the demonstration; it was encouraging to see such a large group of people turn up for the event. I also understand that a large number of demonstrators were there with small children(myself included). Of course I was not prepared to take on the police or get arrested with my children there. However, I do feel that we could have done with a little more radicalism! The severe restrictions we adhered to greatly diminished the impact of the event. Perhaps next time we can make a greater showing of force by taking to the STREETS!