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imperialism & war

Is Portland Peace Movement Fizzling Out?

Has the Portland Peace movement lost its focus?
In January and March, before the war began, Portland turned out nearly 40,000 demonstrators. Thursday saw a few thousand (BRAVO!!!) and Friday's turnout was a few hundred (YAY!). The next demonstration is rumored to be 2 PM at the Waterfront and 4 at the Square. Contrast Portland with what's happening in cities in the US and other countries. See the Yahoo News slideshow of Anti-War Protests. Everyday, I've been viewing hundreds of captioned photos of protests happening everywhere, and it's updated daily. There is no other good source that I can find, and forget about mainstream media which has marginalized and dismissed the protest movement even though protests in many other countries are growing bigger and more violent every day, and threaten to destabilize several governments. Athens (200,000), Cairo, Switzerland, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Glasgow, Dublin, France, Germany, Lebanon, Russia, and on and on. Look at what others are doing, especially in NYC and SF!! Learn from them, organize ourselves, get creative and let's get effective.
I don't think I want to participate in another aimless demonstration in Portland, playing cat and mouse with the cops. Venting is one thing, effective organization is another. Where are the tens of thousands who marched in previous demonstrations? They want to march again, but something's holding them back. The Peace Movement must be All-inclusive or Bush will win and war will prevail and only escalate (Iran, Korea, ....) Nuclear war and WW3 are very real possibilities, folks. Let's get real!!
Let's stop this war and bring home the troops now. Let's give the cops a reason to put down their weapons and stop their violence against us. Nobody wants to be pepper sprayed or hit by a baton. They are our brothers and sisters and they must be won over to our side. Civil disobedience can still be part of the equation, just chain yourselves en masse the next time with bike locks. Stage Die-Ins. Spread slaughterhouse pig and cow guts all over Pioneer Square and other places to symbolise the slaughter of ordinary people in Baghdad in our name. Beyond that, call our political representatives (city, county, state, and federal) and give them HELL! Their Silence equals Consent. If they have no backbone, then kick them out of office. Get unions involved. The president of the AFL-CIO just came out in support of the war. I'm union and I resent that. Unfortunately, the Peace Movement is allowing itself to be destroyed by the argument that we don't support our troops. That is Bullshit. We are the true supporters of the troops. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers and we want them home alive. They are suffering the consequences of Bush's wrong decisions. WE are America's true patriots. We love our country, but we don't have to love our government, a government that has violated international law by needlessly starting a war.
i concur! 22.Mar.2003 15:09

mrLady

i agree entirely. where are our organizers?!?!?! we need you! please rally the masses and get us out there!! we need to get out en masse to be heard. let's put portland back on the map!!!

organize yourself 22.Mar.2003 17:08

alex

Do you think "organizers" have been tapped by god to rally thousands in the streets? They simply got sick of waiting for someone else to act. We're ALL organizers. Anti war sheep are just as bad as the rest of the hypnotized public. Everyone should develop the self confidence to plan. If not you, who?

FYI the January demo was organized by the CP, they are effective because they have no soul. Do not look to them as examples.

organizing for Weekdays, 7 a.m. 22.Mar.2003 17:31

direct action

In addition to regular large-scale permitted peace marches, we must send an organised message,

every weekday morning,

that it will NOT be business as usual in Portland while mass murder occurs in our name.

Alienation of supporters 22.Mar.2003 18:40

mellow

I am afraid that many of our friends that attended former rallies have been turned off by some of our tactics. While I feel that more "active" demonstrations are necessary, many of our friends (many of whom are middle-aged, elderly and families with young children) really don't want to be sprayed with chemicals or risk bringing their young children into what might become a riot. I realize that we need to organize, act up, and keep attention focused on our cause, but at the same time, we need to achieve some sort of balance, as our cause cannot afford to lose the support of our more "conservative" brothers and sisters.

I think that part of the problem is that the media is brainwashing people into believing that civil disobedience entails wreaking havoc with the intent to "shut it down", when there is actually a continuum of CD tactics. I think we should work with church groups, progressive businesses, and the schools and focus on organizing more mellow protests where people can make a statement yet feel safe. There are many creative ways to protest. We need to network with those we might have alienated and inspire them to protest in ways that might be more comfortable for them. For instance, we can have our large-scale protests/marches some weekend at 3pm, but encourage more conservative groups to hold family-friendly, "Up with Peace" rallies beginning at 1pm or so. I think organizing this way might attact those who would otherwise stay home due to fear of anarchy.

Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas?