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imperialism & war

The protests are not about YOU!!

Anti War protests are about WAR, not PROTESTERS.
After several rallies downtown that were mostly peaceful, i am heartened by the resolve of the anti-war community to stand up to President Bush and his illegal actions in Iraq. However, i must plead with some fringe elements to keep their thoughts on the War, not on themselves. A quick read of this site shows many stories that are focused on alleged 'brutality' committed by cops against protesters, and many stories that trumpet actions by people that show no purpose except to brag about social rebellion. It seems as if there is a crowd of people who are intent on fighting a battle that they can wear as a badge of honor, regardless of whether or not it is productive to an anti-war agenda. There have been stories that completely ignore the atrocities that are being committed upon the Iraqi people by the US forces, and the stories completely ignore that Bush has sent fellow Americans to their deaths in Iraq for a war we don't need. It seems that some people here are more concerned with attention being on themselves and their percieved ill-treatment at the hands of police, ignoring the larger issue at hand. Please remember these things when you post stories:

1. Iraqi civilians are the real victims of war, not protesters who get harrassed or arrested.

2. American youth are being sentenced to fight an unjust war. These people are our relatives, friends, classmates, and neighbors. Ignoring them, or unfairly labeling them as 'murderers' cheapens their sacrifice and bad luck.

3. Even if you are arrested unjustly and roughed up by police, you have a constitutional right to a fair and open trial, where you will be heard. If you are hurt, you can take proper recourse to legally contest the actions of the police. Iraqis have no such rights, and you should consider yourself lucky that you do.

4. By focusing attention upon yourself and complaining that you were 'brutalized' , you distract attention from real problems and you irritate those who know what true oppression is like.


those of you who actually think that being arrested is a more severe violation of rights than those of Iraqis who are tortured by their government and killed by ours have a very selfish worldview. Think of your fellow humans before you childishly attempt to claim that you are being oppressed.

phone: phone: 911

is it that simple? 26.Mar.2003 03:31

anon

garbage.

letting police brutality go unchallenged is possibly the most assenine idea posted here in a while.

thank you for reminding us why we're in the streets every day. thanks for reminding us that some pepperspray in the grill and a boot on the back of your neck is not as bad as the bombs of broad coalitions falling on your little sister's head. or not knowing when you're going to get caught in a fragging in your barracks in kuwait. i hadn't forgotten, but thanks for the reminder.

your idea encourages brutality. provides an atmosphere for it to flourish. fundamentalism is narrowmindedness. even your fundamentalist guilt complex.

just as we call out aghast at the brutality focused on iraq by the bush regime, we call out against the brutality in our streets. they are one and the same.

Response 26.Mar.2003 03:36

?

I agree with you that some people probably do use this site as a means of self-glorification, but that really does not bother me. I want to hear about people successes against the elites of this nation. I also feel that if we are able to create heroes and figureheads people will have some thing to gain in joining any sort of progressive movement. They too can achieve honor and fame. Look at people like Abby Hoffman. He dedicated chapter after chapter in his books to self-glorification.
I hate to admit this but we live in an individualistic society; that means that most people are not working for the betterment of any one except them selves. I don't think that takes any thing away from the suffering of the Iraqi people, but there really is not much we can do about that right now. One thing we can do is create organizations based off of myths like these peoples stories. If these myths are based in oppression which is very much alive and well in this country; the organizations we create will fight the system, so atrocities like this war don't happen again.

Killing 26.Mar.2003 05:55

K.C. Roberts

Sorry chaps,Killing IS murder...no matter
who is doing it.Abortions,wars,etc...are all
murders.C'mon people,we're SUPPOSED to be the most
technologically advanced nation on earth,but as far as
our love and compassion for our fellow beings goes,
we have yet to get past the monkey stage.

Metta,
K.C.

reply 26.Mar.2003 07:32

deva

Most of the people out on the streets are very young. You are so ready to judge them harshly and yet the real criticism should go to all the adults who dont even bother to meaningfully stand up at all. All the adults who have long since admitted defeat and who are deeply scared of anything that will anger the master they have bowed down to.

Sure people out on the street have flaws. Sure there is some ego sometimes. However the overriding thing to be seen is that they have not given up, have not admitted defeat, are still seeing and envisioning a better world and trying to make it real.

aaaaaaaaannnnnd 26.Mar.2003 07:32

FIX THE PLUNGER

"meat is still murder. Dairy is still rape. And I'm still as stupid as anyone, but I know my misteaks. I have recognized one form of oppression, now I recognize the rest. And life's too short to make another's shorter- (animal liberation now!)."

ow ow nothin like a lil propagandhi in the morning!!!!!

get out in the street! 26.Mar.2003 07:51

Shade

You are doing people a disservice. Everyone knows that what is happening to Iraqi's is worse than what is happening here.

However what is happening here is vitally important because with a rising police state, we are swiftly losing the ability to speak up in a meaningful way about Iraq.

We must defend our ability to speak about Iraq and that means challenging the U.S. police state.

don't judge too harshy 26.Mar.2003 08:43

ranger

deva is coorect is that many of the protestors are young; have never experienced this before. There is a level of enthusiasm that may fringe on unacceptable behavior or bravado, by some. It is merely high spiritedness that should never be lost. That's just the way it is, and should not diffuse the purpose for which they are there in the first place.

distinctions 26.Mar.2003 09:13

The One True b!X

While one shouldn't draw this line around too many people, or more people than deserve it, if anyone in Portland actually believes that there are NO people here who are out in the streets more for ego gratification than anything else, then someone isn't paying much attention. They aren't actually that difficult to spot, and they suffer from the same disorder from which rogue cops suffer: For these few, it's about themselves and not about the cause.

They may be few, but they exist. To pretend otherwise is just deception.

At the same time, there's not much to do about them except make sure that they remain a few, and that more attention is paid to those who don't suffer from the particular ego-over-cause problem.

In Utter Disagreement 26.Mar.2003 09:22

and Utter Disbelief

I'm almost certain that only a coptroll would have posted such a thing. What on earth can you be thinking? I was never so shocked in my life as I was last Thursday, to realize the war isn't just "over there," that it's also here in my own streets.

I'm horrified. Horrified that the police could be allowed to do such a thing as I saw them do, and even more horrified that anyone who pretends to speak for peace would suggest that it was acceptable, that violence by the police against dissenters in America is not intimately connected with violence against children in Iraq.

I watched armored police, who were in no personal danger, attack and brutalize helpless, unarmed, unprotected civilians sitting in the street. Why? Because they were in the way of the war machine.

If you think it's acceptable for the police to go after protesters, then perhaps you need to be reminded of a famous treatise on the subject. To paraphrase, "First, they came for the Radicals. And I did nothing, because I was not a radical...."

Unless you really are the coptroll you appear to be, it's only a matter of time till they come for you. Will anyone be left to speak for you? That depends on you.

You would have said the same thing 26.Mar.2003 10:31

,

about those fighting against the british in the american revolutionary war you punk ass tory bitch. anti-democracy? looking in the mirror?

dont take the posters message so literal 26.Mar.2003 10:47

fix the plunger

Just look at how the mainstream media and indy media for that matter are over focusing on the police and protester violence when that is really at a minimum we need to keep concentrated on our goal of ENDINNG THE WAR and TRYING TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS WAR IS UNJUST IN ALL FORMS

its really that simple.

just look at all the coverage from mainstream news it covers some idiot breaking a few windows a few people go after cops and the cops basically doing their job. also focusing on uhg 'hometown hero' troops overseas but you dont see them saying our much about OUR MESSAGES and they absolutely ended showing alternative means to this war and you know what so have we.

I would like to see the 'liberal minded media' and people push for UN resolutions to make our government stop this war..... it is overly appearent iraqi people do not know whats going on... they dont know who to trust they dont want our troops to 'liberate' them.

we need to focus on the message that 'liberating' iraq through means of force and oppresion is not going to work

bush is trying to get $75 billion of our money to go to the military to 'liberate' them through their means and that's wrong

so basically we have to suck it up and focus on police brutality a little bit less and we know it sucks.... pepper spray hurts... it would be nice to make the cops end shooting people with 'bean bags' that shit hurtss for a long time... never been shot with one though

let me know if you guys think what im trying to say is logical or not.

About Ego 26.Mar.2003 10:54

CatWoman

Always there are people for whom the cause is more important than the solution. Always there are egotists strutting for attention. In the last few days in Portland, I have seen many of these -- mostly in police uniforms.

When did it become acceptable to beat people up for sitting in the streets? When did blocking streets become "violent"? I saw lots of violence in the past few days, and all perpetrated by the police. How sick ARE we if we sit around in our little armchairs blaming the people who were beaten and not the perpetrators?

I believe that the person who posted the original comment here was, in fact, a troll. If not, then s/he was CERTAINLY not present during the past few days of protesting. S/he was, instead, slouching on the couch watching it all on tv, sucking up the corporate lies like candy.

If you think people LIKE to be assaulted by police, then you should try it. Come downtown with a sign, and see how long it takes them to bash you, gas you, or arrest you.

For the record, I believe very strongly that the one and only incident of actual violence against the police -- that of the officer who was hit "by a baseball bat" on the steel bridge was, in fact, a case of overzealous pigs beating themselves. The only people up there who had anything like a "baseball bat" were the cops, who had nightsticks that they were freely swinging. If a protester actually hit a cop, don't you think they would have gotten him/her? Funny how the cop injury was suspiciously similar to the injury suffered by one of the protesters after being hit by a cop.

In any event, I personally witnessed at least a hundred incidents of police being violent against the people of portland. In every one of these incidents, the police either hit, pepper sprayed, or pushed to the ground a person who was unarmed and not fighting against them in any way. You think that's acceptable? Then you're either a fool or a troll.

Just doing their jobs??? 26.Mar.2003 11:09

Citizen of PDX

I just read a comment here stating that the police were "just basically doing their jobs." I think I may be sick.

The police have been brutally, aggressively beating people up in this city and other cities across the US in an effort to prop up an illegitimate government as it illegally goes to war.

I am not some "juvenile punk." I am a 34 year old mother, who is witnessing the downfall of american civilization. Someone once said, "Violence is the ultimate foundation of any political order." (Is that written on the walls of the "justice" center?) I now believe this to be a fact. The police all seem so friendly when no one is making any waves. But try to point out in any meaningful way that what the American government is doing is wrong, and see how the facade crumbles.

The corporations that live off our labor, that profit from war and bloodshed, will not tolerate any real dissent. They send in their paid bufoons to prevent any interruption of their all-important commerce.

What are we to do? I support the actions of the people on the streets, as I have been one of them and I have seen first-hand that the reports of protesters being violent and police being lenient are false. I would suggest that the original commenter here wean him/herself from the television and get a good look at the face of fascism in America. It's out there, not far from your door.

I also suggest that we make a real difference, one not so easily dismissed or repressed. NO MORE SUPPORT FOR THE WAR MACHINE. Boycott all american products. Stop buying things! And on the home front, BOYCOTT THE PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE. Spend NO money in downtown portland.

what? 26.Mar.2003 12:56

required

This post really shocks me. I don't know why I should be shocked, but I still keep thinking I will wake up and find Kansas again...the place where people make sense, the cops are friendly, we all have the right to free speech, and middle america is not populated by clueless couch potatoes. (Did I imagine all that before? I must have.)

I am shocked to read that someone thinks the violence in the past few days is acceptable, that it's the fault of the people who are being beaten by police, that they somehow had it coming. I'm shocked to read that people shouldn't mind this "little" oppression in the streets of their own city, when you know, it's so much worse "over there."

I'm shocked to read that this person thinks people shouldn't complain about police brutality, because it will just "irritate" other people. And finally, I'm shocked that someone thinks this is somehow a distraction from the "real" issue.

Violent oppression of the people is what the war in Iraq is all about. And it's what the war in the streets of Portland is all about. If the police weren't out rioting and putting the people down in every city in this country, the people would never have allowed this war to start in the first place, much less continue. If you can't see that connection, then you are either blind, or, as suggested above, you are probably a troll.

The people are upset, sick and angry. They have a right to be. Their country was stolen from them by a powerful group of thugs bent on controlling the world for their own profit. Their sweat and blood is being used here and in the streets of Baghdad to buttress a "new world order" in which the peoples of the world are no more than peasants and serfs on the giant bushco plantation.

I have no pity for those lazy couch potatoes who sit at home and apologize for the violence of the police, the violence of the state, and then try to explain how the people are to blame for the crackdown. Get up off your ass, get out to the streets, and fucking DO something if you really are opposed to this war. Stop whining about what other people aren't doing right, and get out there and see for yourself just how free we are.

Cop being hit with baseball bat 26.Mar.2003 15:40

Shortstop

"For the record, I believe very strongly that the one and only incident of actual violence against the police -- that of the officer who was hit "by a baseball bat" on the steel bridge was, in fact, a case of overzealous pigs beating themselves. The only people up there who had anything like a "baseball bat" were the cops, who had nightsticks that they were freely swinging. If a protester actually hit a cop, don't you think they would have gotten him/her? Funny how the cop injury was suspiciously similar to the injury suffered by one of the protesters after being hit by a cop. "

This did happen, a kid was swinging a painted black baseball bat at the cops over the "All Bets Are Off Sign." He did strike one of them in the head, and this was the event that immediately preceded the pepper spray. The cop's injury is eerily similar to the protestor's because they both got clocked in the head with similar things. I knocked the bat out of the kid's hands and kicked it away, but it was too late. I'm not a troll, I was in fact arrested later, pepper sprayed, batoned, all that fun stuff. But part of being honest is, well... being honest, and the protestor with a bat thing did go down. Not all cops are evil baby macers, and not all protestors are kind little balls of love.