budget cuts have changed the face of protest and direct action here in portland, but we haven't quite figured that out yet as a movement. remember how all those people were released from jails back in january 'cos there's just not the money to keep them in there? have you heard about how only violent crimes are being prosecuted right now in many cases? or how even people caught red-handed for crimes like burglarly are not being held? this city is quite simply incapable of mass arrests right now. i think that's why they only took one person on saturday on the morrison bridge. they had enough cops and a good enough position to arrest 40+ people on the I-5 ramp, but they didn't. why not? because they simply can't afford to. nowhere to put us and no money to prosecute.
this is not to say that direct action won't result in any arrests at all. just that it's clear the resources don't exist to do mass arrests, and that this fact can work for us, big-time.
of course, this doesn't apply on federal property. that's another pot of money, and they're not in as bad of trouble (yet).
and, there's always pepper-spray that can be used for clearing people away. as we saw on saturday, officer marty rowley, badge #8969, for one, is very anxious to use it, too. he was seen breathlessly asking lt. commander rosie sizemore if he could start spraying. that two-faced bitch let him do it, too.
but the cops move slowly. their military maneuvers take planning and time to execute. we, on the other hand, can be more flexible. once they're all lined up carefully, blocking a bridge (for example), we can quickly move on to another target. we can move faster than they can.
here's a scenario: the bombing starts. folks gather at terry shrunk plaza. at 5::00 the call for a march and direct action goes out. 3-4 thousand people strike off to do this. the crowd makes stops at several targets, including bridges, malls, big intersections, and -- of course -- I-5. (Maybe 405, downtown, where the ramps are shorter and it doesn't take as long to get down to the traffic.) At each stop, a few hundred people sit or stand in the middle until cops arrive and get into their positions. then, the majority of people move on. after 5-6 places, the cops'll be spread very very thin and won't be able to do as much at any given place. in this way we could shut down downtown's major traffic arteries, and hence the city itself. it's not difficult, it's non-violent, and it's effective. and, it probably won't result in many arrests.
so those are some thoughts i've had about the day the war starts. any others?