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Report from Protest at Recruiting Center

On Saturday, March 1, the Radical Anti-War Committee (RAWC) held an anti-militarization protest at Holladay Park in NE Portland. About 35 people came, and we split off into 2 groups - one headed down to the Armed Forces Recruiting Center on NE 14th and Broadway, and a smaller group headed to the mall to pass out anti-recruitment information to shoppers. (article 1)
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
Report from Protest at Recruiting Center
I was part of the group that marched to the recruiting center. Around 25 of us marched up Multnomah, across 15th, and down to the center. When we arrived, we found that sidewalk out front had already been roped off with yellow "Police Line Do Not Cross" tape. At least 8 officers we stationed in front of the center, with 6 or 7 cop cars lined up outside the entire time. It was pretty ridiculous, the time and the effort they took to protect the building from us protesters. (After the march, we met back in the park, and one of the folks who had participated said that cops cost $2,000 an hour each to have on duty - your tax dollars at work.)

We were not deterred however - we stood outside on the sidewalk next to the center, spilling out into the road with our signs and chanted: "You ain't from the working class, U.S. Army kiss our ass," among other things. Many cars that passed honked their horns in approval, but of course we also got a few obligatory "Fuck You"s.

The cops mostly just stood around and watched, and didn't bother anyone. After 45 minutes or so we marched back to the park to meet up with the other group, with a cop car tailing us slowly the whole time. There was also a police presence at the park itself, with 6 or so cop cars parked around the perimeter.

The other group of eight or so people that went to the mall succeeded in passing out flyers to shoppers, although 3 people did get kicked out by security. They passed out a pamphlet that read, "The Military's Not Just a Job ... It's Eight Years of Your Life!" It contained information about "The easy money for college myth," homophobia in the military, and the woman's experience, among other things, and included resources about where to get more information about militarism, conscientious objection, and non-military job opportunities. They also passed out another packet of information on "Alternatives to joining the military."

Although it wasn't a huge group of people, this action was a success because we did indeed shut down the recruiting center. It was open earlier in the day, but was closed because they knew we were coming. Perhaps its closure stopped at least on person from joining that day. We also got to take our anti-war and anti-military message out of the downtown area and into a part of town that doesn't usually get to hear the message.
great report! 02.Mar.2003 21:41

indy reader

i couldn't make it to this action so it's awesome to see a report up here on indymedia. good pictures, great story. you rock, Jennifer!

any way to contact rawc? 03.Mar.2003 02:30

jane doe

Lately, the only time I come in contact with any radical activities is at protests...Afterwards, many ideas begin to brew in my head about other actions we could take, but every comrade disapeers till the next protest. We need to gather together and infiltrate consumer havens with the truth.

Contact me at
 iheartabortion@yahoo.com


Police Shut Down Military Recruiting Station! 03.Mar.2003 02:50

Wow!

It is so heartening to see the cops working so closely with the protestors for a change!

Yards of police tape and a dozen cops helped a like number of brave protestors shut down the military recruiters on NE Broadway for a day!

That rocks!

If only we could get the cops from the west side of the river to help us shut down the federal building and other terrorist centers next time there is a protest there.

That would be cool.

Thanks boys, and ladies?, in blue!

Getting facts in ballpark would help effort 03.Mar.2003 10:10

David Ball DaftRascal@yahoo.com

If you don't want to look like a joke to the rest
of the world you could at least think for a few
seconds about what you are saying. For example:
$2000 and hour for a cop? Let's see, that's
$4 million a year per cop, or $13 billion a year
for a typical city police dept. I don't think so...
For Baltimore City the total cost per officer
hour is about $35. That took about 30 seconds
to figure out by just dividing the total budget
by the number of officer hours in a year.
"Some guy said..."? Can't you think for yourself?
Isn't that the message you're trying to get out?
Yes it's a minor point but it's the whole point:
people don't have even a basic understanding of
their goverment, including you.

Great Protest? But how did the cops know? 03.Mar.2003 11:08

who

This is a great story about spontaneous protest. But how did the cops know to be there before you arrived? Either an infiltrator, bugs in your meeting place, or announcing the intentions publicly. I'm curious what you think tipped them off before you arrived.

What tipped them off 03.Mar.2003 11:42

a protester from that day.

I don't exactly know what tipped them off. But I do know that the cops were there before there was what you would consider a visible "gathering" of people. I arrived there around 12:50, and there were about 5 police cars already positioned strategicly around the park, and since I parked close to the recruiting center, I also knew by their presence there that they knew that we were going to march there. So my best guess is that they read a posting for the march on the internet. (probably right here). Makes you kind of wonder how much we are being monitored, doesn't it?
Anyway, I would like to know how they knew. But that is all that I know.

Peace! (Shut down the war! Not the sidewalks!) ;)

what tipped them off? 03.Mar.2003 13:42

common sense

You have to assume that when you post a call to action on Indymedia that it becomes public knowledge. If you don't want the police to find out about your actions, don't post the logistics on the web for all to see.

Why not tell the world? 03.Mar.2003 17:14

Not a medic rawc@ziplip.com

I participated in the protest. I am not a member of the Radical Anti-War Committee, whose email is posted here. One of the reasons that I participated is that it was announced on Indy Media Portland. If there is no publicity about events then the anti-war movement will consist of five or six people. The original post stated that it was an "anti-recruitment protest."

The police and FBI are not stupid. Assuming that they are stupid will, of course, lead to people doing longer jail and prison sentences. People get caught when they assume that the state doesn't have people who can make logical connections. Unfortunately, in both Portland and Eugene and elsewhere, good people have made that mistake. I am not saying that the state cannot be beaten, both in the short-term and long-term, but anyone could connect the dots between Holladay Park and the recruiting station on Broadway. It did not demand a great intellectual leap, especially since that particular station has been visited in the past.

Discussing the role of infiltrators is necessary, but in this case it is just a diversion.

Now, even with the police knowing what the plan was, we still shut it down. If it was not cordoned off by the police, we would have picketed in front of it and talked with people going inside. The leaflets that were prepared listed numerous options for young people who are facing the economic draft.

Note that less than one hundred people legally shut down the recruiting station. Next time there are ten thousand or twenty thousand people determined to protest the war, ask yourself whether walking in circles is the best use of our energy. Or sitting in the middle of the street blocking folks who haven't the faintest idea of why the traffic has stalled.

Not every direct action is illegal. Not every illegal action is effective. We need to figure out what needs to be done to stop the coming war against the Iraqi people and the continuing wars that the U.S. is fighting around the world. The Saturday action at the recruiting station was not a big deal, but it was a small step forward.

$2000 an hour could be a typo 03.Mar.2003 21:54

observer

To the above comment about the anti-war protestors losing credibility on the facts:

Cops costing "$2000 an hour" could easily have been a typo. $200 an hour is much more realistic of course. (Not that the cop gets paid this much of course. More like $15 an hour.)

Taunting and ridiculing a person's heartfelt action and journalism is such a waste of everyone's time.

Even if "some guy said $2000 an hour", who cares?

It is not incumbent upon Portland activists to vet every single fact before doing their work. I could pick off "fact" errors in the corporate media all fucking day long, man!

The message is this:

Stop the war. Stop the military recruiters/liars. Stop the cops.

Here's a fact for you:

The Portland Police Bureau cost the taxpayers of the city $252,000 for ONE DAY of "dignitary protection" when our illegitimate, unelected pResident came to town on August 22, 2002.

This comes at a time when there is not a penny to be found for the public schools, the Oregon Health Plan, or senior citizens who are threatened with being (and ARE) rolled out onto the street.

It also comes at a time when Mayor Katz is only too happy to spend $350 million, at least, to bring major league baseball to Portland.

You can cut through the hypocrisy in this town with a fricking knife!!!!