portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

single file protest

i've just had a vision of a single file protest line that extended quite a distance through portland's heart.
a high percentage of protesters involved would have to have a sign or banner to make it effective, but it would spread the police over a far greater area and you'd cover so much more ground... people would walk entire block lengths along the picket.

as long as it kept moving on the sidewalk it would be left alone.

also, the meeting area announced could cover a significantly larger part of town... instead of being at terry shrunk plaza, or pioneer square, the announced meeting area could cover 10 square blocks. people would converge from all directions making it impossible to pin down.

as with most of our tactical planning, this idea is now known to police and protesters alike. i would love a lower profile forum for strategy or info about regular planning meetings that take place in the 3D.
Right on 26.Mar.2003 03:59


I'm with you on this one. Any thing to help break the cops over time fund. It would take a hell of a lot more cops to monitor say ten blocks then just one or two. maybe it could be done at the same time as another action.

yes 26.Mar.2003 09:13

faye kalius

I've thought of this too.
I have a big stack of similar sign-making material.
Possibly everyone could wear the same color (white maybe)
Also video documentation could be spread out among the blocks.

anybody else? 26.Mar.2003 12:14


our brothers and siters responsible for the die-in's have decided to use a powerful tactic that incurs little or no violent police response and has an impact on the spectator.

i would posit that a "single file" demonstration would be best staged in that fancy schmancy shopping area downtown.

it would be a perfect opportunity to remind shoppers that their habits are consuming the world and that the war in iraq is a symptom of this runaway consumption.

with the same numbers that showed up for the m25 marches, every block of the shopping district could be circled. shoopers should, of course, be let through (i'm all for stopping them, but this is infringement on their freedoms, an act of intimidation that is unnecesary)however, many will choose not to.

when the crosswalk lights are open to pedestrians, sections of the groups occupying one block could switch off with people from groups occupying other blocks, crossing to opposite sides, but only while the lights are green. this will allow for more movement, more coverage, yet keep things from backing up and iliciting a controlling police response.

i think this idea deserves out attention. criticism is welcome too.

a few concerns 26.Mar.2003 13:24


This would be an interesting thing to try. I did want to bring up that it's not a safe assumption that everyone will be safe from arrest and police brutality just because they keep to the sidewalks. The march on Tuesday included numerous examples of police targeting folks randomly for the slightest hint of jaywalking and sometimes targeting people who were fully on the sidewalks. Also, there are foreseeable logistical concerns with maintining connectivity on such a march because of things like having to (ugh!) obey crosswalk signals for fear of police retaliation...With these things said (and other things unsaid considering the forum), such a march could have great visual and physical effect.