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Willamette Week's Nick Budnick should be charged with reckless endangerment

The Willamette Week set a new low for itself this week, with its cover story, "All Bets Are Off".
Oh yes, I know what you're going to say -- the Willamette Week is the perennial "not-so-bad" print news source in town, and we shouldn't get on their case. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard an activist start an apologist sentence with the phrase "Compared to the Oregonian..." or "Compared to KATU...", I could've started my own print publication by now, or better yet, donated it to the Alliance so they could print weekly. But it's the truth, folks -- the Willamette Week is no better than the Oregonian, and might in fact be worse for clothing itself in such hip threads as it lies to us. Oh sure, Nick Budnick can cop an attitude that sounds like he's on "our side" even when he's being scolding but all he's doing is copping; that is, being a cop of another kind, whose actions result in a worse place for all of us to live, no matter how well-intentioned he might be. If Budnick thinks he's helping the movement for peace and justice and against war and tyranny, he's sadly deluded.

(Of course, anyone who supports the Willamette Week or Mercury, including the lowliest interns and their regular readers, is supporting one of the root causes we are fighting to liberate ourselves from: Patriarchy. Both publications [and the Eugene Weekly too] would go out of business if they didn't carry all the sexist, objectifying, misogynistic advertising that comprises so many of their back pages. Anyone who is serious about respecting women and shutting down the male power structure should be boycotting both publications and the businesses that advertise in them.)

Budnick's article is full of lies and mischaracterizations throughout. Such writing is not merely inaccurate; it is dangerous. By perpetuating falsehoods about activist violence when none occured -- and under-reporting or justifying the police violence that did occur -- Budnick is helping to create a public perception in which it is okay for the police to beat, pepperspray and falsely arrest people. With his disinformation, Budnick is threatening the health, safety, and liberty of dissenters of all stripes in the area, regardless of the tactics they use. When I and other people refuse to talk to him or other corporate media people, or stand nonviolently in front of their cameras (which is a completely legal act, as proven on the 25th) it is because we see the connection between their pen and the police's baton, their ink and Rowley's pepperspray, their snideness and the city's aggression. Without the empowerment of the corporate media, governments would not be able to commit the heinous acts they do, from the bombing of babies in Baghdad to the beating of teenagers on Burnside. Budnick is complicit in these deaths and injuries for his past hack-journalism, and can be blamed in part for future violence that occurs. The "stream of whitish goo" vomit that Budnick describes as issuing from the mouth of a peppersprayed man last Thursday on the Steel Bridge came from the bile typed by Budnick in his regular WW stories.

Budnick's account of what happened on the Steel Bridge differs from every other one I've heard. I was present on the ramp, though not close enough to see the action, but I spoke with participants shortly after, including a woman old enough to be my mother who was still squinting and shaking from pepperspray in the face. Budnick specifically claims that a portland indymedia post about the events there is false, but does so in an article that itself contains fallacies. I'm sure Budnick believes what he wrote, but that is the nature of corporate media work; one comes to believe one's own lies after awhile. When those lies are tied to a paycheck, it's necessary. Don't forget -- Budnick and all the other corporate reporters will not write anything that threatens their monetary mainlining. When the truth is a casualty, so be it.

Budnick's defense of KPTV's Beth English is pathetic. The fact that she was peppersprayed during the A22 Bush Protests does not give her a free ride for life. How has KPTV's coverage of protests or politics been since then? Have they ceased being a propaganda arm of the government? Has English seen the error of her ways and started reporting the truth? The fact that she still has a job at KPTV means that she has not. English deserves no special dispensation from activists because she got peppersprayed if she didn't learn anything from the experience. As it is, she is still working for the enemy, and if those working for peace and justice feel her dirty work needs to be nonviolently blocked, more power to them.

Budnick then goes on to quote another corporate media hack, writing:

"I think any observer would have to say that there's more antagonism toward the media than there has been in past years," said Rod Gramer, KGW's news director. "We hired the guards to keep our crews safe, to make sure that they could do their job without being physically attacked."
Budnick does not explore at all why there might be more antagonism toward the media, though the answer is obvious: in the past few years, the topic of corporate media ownwership and bias has been recieving more attention, from books by McChesney and Chomsky, to rants on indymedia based on personal experiences. The truth that Budnick would apparently not like to share here is that more people are catching on to the fact that corporate media is not objective. The commercial interests of General Electric-owned NBC and its affiliates, for example, are transparent to more people now. The veil, in other words, has been getting tattered, and more are seeing through it. That's what's causing "more antagonism": more awareness.

Budnick then sheds any pretense of "journalistic standards" when he passes along a police version of a recent event, with no other point of view provided:

On Nov. 17, police had to intervene to rescue KOIN reporter David Okarski, who, according to police reports, was attacked by a hostile mob of "peace" protesters in front of the Justice Center.
This is a favorite technique of corporate media people. The phrase "according to police reports" is tucked in there, to show that maybe it's not the only "side" of the story, but the clause disappears into the disinformation cloud that the rest of the sentence produces, with the result that no other version seems likely. His snide doublequoting of "peace" and irresponsible use of "hostile mob" tips his hand, too, revealing his bias against the crowd of people outside the justice center that day, who included people of all ages and wardrobes who were at the peace rally that day, and who were rightly concerned about the safety of a 16 year old boy who had been grabbed and manhandled by the Portland Police. (The pain compliance holds used on the protester are clearly visible in videos of the event that were shown around town afterwards, at pdx indy video collective showings.)

The key verb, "attacked" is the hub around which Budnick's fabrication revolves, and his choice is very irresponsible here, too. Eye witnesses to the the situation report that the corporate media reporter, who had waltzed into the middle of the crowd like royalty and was looking for a passionate quote or energetic face to feed his lies that night, was not attacked. Rather, he was upset at not being given instant deference, did not know how to deal with people who were calling attention to the fact that he's a liar, and wasn't smart enough to get out of a place where he clearly wasn't welcome. According to the reports I've heard, any pushing or shoving that might have occured was mutual, and was between him and one other individual. That individual ended up down on the ground, and the reporter walked away, with police assistance. If anyone was attacked here, it was the person in the crowd, and if anything was attacked, it was -- once more -- the truth.

I don't know if Budnick needs to have his eyes checked, or if his immersion in corporate media has damaged his perception to the point of blindness, but the lies he tells about Deva, a portland indymedia contributor, are beyond the pale. Budnick writes that Deva "aggressively bumped [a KGW cameraman] to block his path". I know that this is not true. I know this because I know Deva and I know how he works. It's simply not his style to aggressively bump. If any contact took place (and considering how inaccurate Budnick is on other accounts, I have no reason to believe that it did) it was the result of being jostled in a crowd of moving, excited people.

I did however, witness and experience many instances in which the hired "security" of corporate media reporters aggressively bumped, grabbed, pushed, and otherwise assaulted activists at the protest that night. In some instances, it was people trying to nonviolently block their cameras. In other instances, it was when they were trying to get a "good shot". Budnick leaves these accounts out of his story. If he didn't notice any of these incidents, then he wasn't paying attention, and we know we can't trust his eyes; if he did see them and didn't report them, then his bias is even worse than this article reveals. In either case, readers of future Budnick articles should keep their brains on high alert and be aware that he has a specific agenda and is in no way objective.

(As a side note, Budnick's in-print correlation between the name I currently go by, "spArk" [which he misspells, though that's always the way it is written anywhere he would have seen it, if he had bothered to fact check], and my legal name, is another act of endangerment. There is a rich history of government suppression of dissidents and independent journalists, and using different names is one form of self-protection. By blowing that cover, Budnick has placed me under a brighter light than I was already under, against my will. Budnick is not making the choices I am making to speak out in the way I do, and either does not understand the potential personal costs [harrassment, imprisonment, etc.] or does not care. In any case, this choice, too, was irresponsible and he has at least theoretically put me one step closer to bodily harm or loss of liberty. Thanks, you fucking asshole.)

"Professional journalists" know that a lot hangs on the last word. How you end an article goes a long way towards the total impression you are making. Budnick chooses to print a highly misleading quotation from a corporate reporter:

"I have a problem if they physically assault our people or go after our equipment" says KATU news director Mike Rausch. "I just think that's fundamentally wrong."
The impression unmistakably meant to stick with the reader after this quotation is that protesters in Portland have a history of violence towards corporate reporters. (That sound you hear in the wind right now is my exasperated sigh.) I've been to a lot of protests in Portland and I have never seen anyone "physically assault" a corporate reporter or "go after" their equipment. Has Budnick? And I mean with his own eyes; police reports don't count. If so, why doesn't he list those incidents here? Budnick does not have the facts to back up Rausch's inflamatory statement, but includes it anyway, and in the key last-sentence position. With this choice, he casts aside all pretense not only of objectivity but of factualness.

Budnick is a two-bit propagandist, and a petty servant to the executioner, whether he sees himself that way or not. Work such as his "All Bets Are Off" article serves to create false impressions in the public mind, excuse police excesses, and further marginalize activists. His actions go beyond irresponsibility to reckless endangerment. If at some point in the near future, you get chemicals in your eyes, a club on your head, or are sitting in a cell, know that one of the people you have to thank for this treatment is Nick Budnick.

piece of shit "All Bets Are Off" article


DON'T TALK TO THEM 26.Mar.2003 18:15

Witness to the lies

I read the WW article, and I will NEVER talk to a WW reporter. Not ever. This was a pack of bias and lies. I fell into the group of people who once believed that WW was "not so bad." I saw them as outside the mainstream. Now I see the truth.

I was there the day that Deva supposedly "aggressively bumped" the KGW guy. If it was that older, kinda chubby guy with hardly any hair, then I can categorically say that the WW article is a LIE. It was the KGW man who was aggressive toward Deva. Deva was merely non-violently blocking the camera, and the guy shoved Deva. Deva had no contact with him at all except to be shoved by him.

I was also there last Thursday, where I saw police violence all over the city. I agree with spArk, that the WW article is dangerous to us all, because it implies that what the police did was justifiable, and that the people of Portland "had it coming."

The "author" of this piece of filth marvels that some protesters are now appearing with helmets and padding, but doesn't marvel at all at the increased militarization of the Portland police force. They have been appearing with padding, helmets, and face sheilds for some time now, "with predictable results." To wit, they have become increasingly violent toward other people, due to their increased sense of invulnerability.

Perhaps the people of Portland are finally fed up with taking beating after beating, spraying after spraying, at the hands of bloodthirsty police.

The WW piece was authored by a liar, and is apparently meant to incite. We will know what to do next time a seemingly innocent WW "reporter" approaches us: DON'T TALK TO THEM.

what happened on the Burnside bridge? 26.Mar.2003 19:17

?

I really appreciate your deconstruction of the WW article.
His bias certainly shows.
A question- I wasn't there- is it true that protesters "rammed" into the police line on the Burnside (?) bridge, and over an officer and motorcycle and that someone stuck and officer with a club? While that seems really cathartic, I don't think we should be suprised when they let loose the pepperspray on everyone there. I want to engage in protest and civil disobedience, but not bodily combat. I think those who want to use aggression should warn the other protesters in advance, and give people the choice to escape to safely.

What I wrote to WW 26.Mar.2003 19:30

Weasel

I wrote this to WW in the heat of an angry moment-

Ok, you guys at WW have been trying to pass yourselves off as "indy" or "alternative" for a long time now. Most of us activists understand that you are just another corporate tool in disguise. But now you've done us a great service; through your biased, right-wing, cops and mass-media reporters good, activists violent anarchists, journalism you have exposed a great number of readers to what you really are. A snifling, whinning bunch of just out of college kids who may pose as liberal now but will be voting republican and living in a nice big cozy house in lake oswego in ten years. Thanks for the third-hand, unsupported information that completely clashed with my own first hand experiences on the day of bombing. Thanks for insulting two of the most loved, trusted and reliable activists and writers in our community. We know Spark and Deva- you don't. Obviously. So in closing, i'd just like to tell you to keep up the shitty reporting- Maybe we will finally do away with mass media. Thanks for taking the time to read this on your lap top in Starbucks.

Something 26.Mar.2003 19:33

Somebody

"A question- I wasn't there- is it true that protesters "rammed" into the police line on the Burnside (?) bridge, and over an officer and motorcycle and that someone stuck and officer with a club?"

Yes, it is true. There were a couple of news copters overhead, and a big chunk of the city (including me) watched it from a gods-eye-view, happening live. I'm sure you can find the video for yourself, if you want to.

Showing Its Age 26.Mar.2003 20:49

RememberWhen

Lets be clear the Willamette Week is the local tobacco rag. Every city has one, the local "arts" paper that people read to find out about entertainment and where music is playing and who get the bulk of their advertising from cigarette companies and clubs. There was a time when they were an alternative paper. Now they are no more alternative than the typical suburban shopper.

The Willamette Week is your father's hip magazine. As someone who is middle-aged himself, I find it kind of embarassing to watch their efforts at being young and hip. Occasionally, like someones father who is really trying to relate to "the younger generation", they end up giving patronizing lectures. Just ignore them.

WW sucks shit 26.Mar.2003 21:23

CatWoman

Good to know Nick Budnick reads indymedia, which he quotes in his ridiculous article. Perhaps he will read this comment as well.

Nick is a clueless, spineless crap pusher who will twist your words and use whatever you say against you. It's your choice of course, but I urge you NOT to talk to him. I'm sure Dan Handleman, Alan Graf, and certainly Deva are sorry they ever spoke to this slimy little man. I know their thoughts are not represented by this article.

Mr. Budnick (Can that really be his name?) states, in part, "... a rumor circulating among Portland lefties has it that a small group of extremists has been recruiting impressionable teenagers to fight the police." Aside from the obvious fact that Mr. Budnick has no access to anyone who would actually share such things with him if they WERE true, and they're not, this could have been written by Joe McCarthy. Scary men in black taking control of the minds of impressionable young people, forcing a dark agenda upon them which will upset the American way of life if left unchecked! What shall we do, Mr. Budnick? "Duck and cover?"

I'm not surprised that Mr. Budnick brought WW's dirty secret agenda out in the open like this. After all, a quick look through their pages reveals, among the singles ads and trendy pics of half naked posers, a firm connection with the Portland Business Alliance. Their sponsors are very nervous about the actions of Portland's activist community, since their own sweatshops are an obvious link in the war machine.

One thing that I did find enlightening in this article, if true -- and I doubt it -- was the statement that KATU actually used armed guards to "guard their trucks from vandalism." Are you saying, Mr. Budnick, that those poor, innocent corporate media hounds would actually use lethal force against "impressionable teenagers" to protect their fucking VANS?? From fucking VANDALISM??? Is vandalism a capital crime in Portland now? Don't "impressionable teenagers" get a fair trial first? Or is the corporate media an adequate judge and jury there too?

'is it true' 26.Mar.2003 22:27

person who likes to find out for themselves

there are parts of the statement that they 'rammed the police line' that are true.
but the overall slant that they aggressively attacked the cops seems maliciously incorrect -
it is often a black bloc tactic to break through police lines in a way that allows others to follow through. usually this is done by forming a wedge with banners and pushing through the line of cops.
NOT by attacking the cops
but by pushing past them.
there is some debate from all corners [cops and people on the banners are all uncertain] as to who was physically attacking first. it does seem true that someone was hitting over the banner with a stick, and there are a lot of people, myself included who don't condone this tactic. but what the article does not say, indeed i haven't found information about at all, is that a high school student had his head bloodied by a cop.
its not like some ruthless thugs just up and attacked the cops.
thanks corp. media for allowing everyone else to blame the victims.

Portland police are not commendable 27.Mar.2003 08:49

for their "restraint"

As a former law enforcement officer, I would like to say that the WW article and all the media prattle about how "restrained" the police were last week is complete bunk.

This is a tactic of the establishment to quell dissent before it gets out of hand. This is an old trick. Sell the story on the evening news that the police were good good good, and the baddies attacked them, so it's no WONDER they were "later" forced to use such extreme measures.

In fact, the police acted very badly. I saw it, not just from my living room on tv, but from street level. I was there. I'm not some fanatical crazy out to destroy the state. I was there because I was against the illegal war and I do not feel anyone is listening to all the people who do not believe this is right.

I saw many others just like me. I also saw the people in black and masks, and contrary to media-induced perceptions, they were not scary people. They were as considerate as anyone, and as deserving of their constitutional rights. I was not on the steel bridge, so I can't speak to that. Whatever happened there was, however, an isolated incident that has been taken WAY out of context by hucksters like Nick LittleDick or whatever his name is.

Frankly, I was appalled at the reaction of police officers to people sitting on Burnside. The protesters were peaceful, unarmed, and not all that obstructive of traffic. The traffic had long before been routed around them, so they were posing no significant problems. In fact,t he crowd was dwindling, and would have dispersed on their own if the police had not moved in with lethal and "less lethal" weapons at the ready.

Portland police should be ashamed of themselves. And so should the news media who has spun this tale into something it wasn't. Finally, so should all the people who sit at home and obediently believe everything they're told by the media without actually bothering to find out for themselves.

Perspective 27.Mar.2003 09:33

Anti-Fa

I never say anyone "ram" police on the Burnside bridge, though a group did make an attempt on the Steel using those oh-so-dangerous PVC pine and canvas banners!

However, I saw the police "ram" through protestors on the Burnside bridge multiple times, using speeding police cars, billy clubs and pepper spray.

JoAnn Bowman: CorpMediaStooge!!! 27.Mar.2003 10:06

Nick Budnick

It's true: I and my CorpMedia/Tobacco Industry masters finally ante'd up enough dollars to make JoAnn Bowman say whatever We tell her!
Those of you tuning in the Graf/Bowman radio show this morning on KBOO heard JoAnn Bowman, in her opening message, express concern about how, on three different TV stations, she saw the lead group on the Steel Bridge try and knock over policemen. She, to me, used the word "attacked." A leftie eyewitness, in the presence of Graf, used the word "charged." It's amazing how many people my CM/TI masters can afford to buy!
Back to reality: Those of you who go out of your way to menace and bump reporters, or print hyperbolic crap that puts reporters' safety in danger, it's *you* who put yourselves in the public eye by acting in that manner, not me. Even many people in your movement call yours a "fascist" and hypocritical attitude. As for those of you who attack the police -- it's *you* who endanger peaceful protesters, not me for reporting what happened.
As for this comment: "Budnick writes that Deva "aggressively bumped [a KGW cameraman] to block his path". I know that this is not true. I know this because I know Deva and I know how he works."
I saw what I saw. Get a grip.
For Bowman, M20 is an opportunity for you in "the Movement" to discuss appropriate tactics. She sees people turning against you because of the events on the Steel Bridge. For you who have posted in this string, however, it evidently is an opportunity to deny and whitewash the truth. Apparently it's only appropriate to hold others accountable, not yourselves. I welcome thoughtful criticism and open debate. On this site lately, I'm not seeing much of it.

fascist 27.Mar.2003 10:51

li'l Nicky's smarter sibling

Hey Nick -

Do you know what fascist means, or do you just enjoy the sound of it? You sound more and more ignorant every time you open your mouth or uncap your pen.

Budnick is a Hack 27.Mar.2003 11:04

jornalero

"I am personally acquainted with hundreds of journalists, and the opinion of the majority of them would not be worth tuppence in private, but when they speak in print it is the newspaper that is talking (the pygmy scribe is not visible) and then their utterances shake the community like the thunders of prophecy."

-- Mark Twain, speech, 2/1873

Social Change Thru Censorship? Bullshit. 27.Mar.2003 11:31

Nicole DiMarco

I like Indy media a lot; it's a great way for people to get their voices heard and share information. I think deconstructing other media is important and needed. But really, if you read the Budnick piece, his points about the hypocritical nature of supposed free speech advocates trying to suppress other media should be a point well taken here. I've visted former repressed police states and the first thing to go is a free press. Pravda could never be described as "corporate" media, but it was a tool. People who don't use their real names, in my book, have something to hide. Any person who's had a pronounced effect on social change used their name and were tough enough to take the risks associated with it. Be defensive all you want, but there was clearly some element of truth in Budnick's article that struck a nerve.

Peace,
Nicole

Real Alternative Journalism 27.Mar.2003 11:33

Anti-Fa

The truly puzzling thing about the WW response was that Byron Beck did a decent profile of the shitty TV reportage, and then Budnick went out of his way to defend the unsubstantiated accusations of the corporate media assholes.

If you want to see what anti-war coverage in a real alternative newspaper looks like, check out the San Francisco Bay Guardian coverage of the M20 - M22 protest events.

 http://www.sfbg.com

Uh... can you say extremist? 27.Mar.2003 11:49

Rob Vaughn RobWVaughn@netscape.net

Okay folks, let's get some perspective on this. Cops should not harm, harass, or block passive, peaceful protestors. And same-said protestors should live up to their ideals. I don't think either side has a lot of ground to stand on when it comes to these issues, because neither has behaved well this time out. In this case, there's more than enough examples of protestors crossing the line and "fuckin' shit up, man."

If protestors want to maintain the high moral ground, y'all are going to have to start looking at the cops as your friends, or at least as a neutral party caught between a rock and a hard place - they didn't start the war, and they're stuck trying not to get hurt while controlling crowds. I've seen plenty of photos and TV news coverage, and while there's lots of evidence of cops mistreating people, there's lots too of protestors crossing the line.
Live TV is making the movement look bad, but only because there *are* protestors breaking laws & windows, throwing rocks, etc.

Budnick's article was brave for daring to stand out against the fringe element - yes, that dirty word, the extremists, who are giving the peace movement a bad name. There are many of us who would be a lot more active in the protests if we didn't feel that the very fringe that Budnick calls out on their own hypocracy - namely calling for peace in an angry, violent or dangerous way - were kept from "expressing" themselves in a way that's detrimental to the whole ideal.

I mean, give me a break - someone replying to this thread is dissing JoAnn Bowman? Cripes! She was my state house rep. for a number of years and I've met few people with the kind of integrity and committment to liberal causes that she has. And if she's saying that some of y'all are getting out of hand, then maybe it's time to... gasp...
stop and think about it. Did you ever think that at least some of the people involved in the protests are giving it a bad name? That maybe some aren't living up the ideals? And that it's up the movement to "police its own", so to speak?

I assure you - there are a lot more people opposed to this war who would be involved if we could be sure there wouldn't be rocks thrown at cops or through store windows
(watched both live on TV, don't say it didn't happen.) These protests have served only to move many independent, middle-of-the-road thinkers to move to the right. Even I'm feeling pushed that way. Protest, yes. Block the MAX? Huh? Ever think that the people riding the MAX aren't the rich folks supporting the Bush gov't, but instead the poor folks using public transportation because they can't afford a car?

Budnick was giving y'all a big whap upside the head - instead of whining about it and going off about "corporate media", why not spend a little time contemplating that maybe, just maybe, he's got a point? Nah - that would require objectivity and self-criticism - something that everyone here is complaining the media lacks. The emperor is butt nekkid.

Peace, Rob V. (my real name, which you may spell rob, or RoB, or rOB...)

P.S. SPaRK - reporters have deadlines to make and better things to do than worry about some weird capitalization of your name. Calling out your real name is what reporters do, regardless of the topic. The owner of SuicideGirls.com got his real name published, as do right-wingers. That's one of the things the press does. And a huge advantage the Right has - they'll stand up behind their real name. Most people respect that. At least Bill Sizemore is upfront about who he is, and is risking jail time for all the illegal shit he's pulled.

Aliases and masks alienate the public. You'll have to accept that. Your reps in Congress and the Senate will ignore your letters and petitions unless you'll stick a real name behind them. That's the reality of it. Sorry.

You may now commence flaming my ass off. :)

to Prick Little Dick 27.Mar.2003 13:03

(tried to post this, now i will try again.)

Nice try, Nick. But this isn't about JoAnn, this is about YOU. YOU SUCK, Nick. You SUCK. JoAnn good, Nick bad. JoAnn has thoughts, opinions, ideas that she shares out of a genuine concern for getting out the truth. You, Nick, on the other hand, have no concern for anything but your pathetic WW paycheck, and the agenda of your sick corporate masters.

You should be ashamed of yourself, trying to diss JoAnn to take the heat off yourself.

Also, ONCE AGAIN, Nick, as has been pointed out many times already to those who can pay attention to truth, those not blinded by their need to distort reality, it was the CORPORATE MEDIA PIGS LIKE YOU who were pusing and shoving and spitting last week. It was NOT the activists you mis-portrayed in your pack of stupid lies.

By the way, Nick. What do you mean, "Lefties"? You keep using that word, and it's beginning to grate. What are you even fucking talking about? Do you even know? Are you actually trying to be snotty, or is it just coming out by accident?

Finally, as regards this comment that you made:
"She sees people turning against you because of the events on the Steel Bridge. For you who have posted in this string, however, it evidently is an opportunity to deny and whitewash the truth. Apparently it's only appropriate to hold others accountable, not yourselves. "

Do you need it spelled out in big bright letters here? It's YOU and your corporate cronies who are being "turned against." Can't you see that? We don't trust you, we don't listen to you, we don't want you here. How can you tell? Well, Nick, MOST people don't NEED to employ armed guards to follow their pathetic little asses around in Portland. You seem to. All the corporate media spinners do. WHY? Because we have turned against YOU. We understand what you are. Stop denying and whitewashing the truth, Nick, and get a grip. See you on the streets. And I'll see you long before you ever see me.

you people are pathetic 27.Mar.2003 16:28

someone in the know

so why is it indymedia took down the post declaring all of you to be wingnuts? is imc doing censorship now? the left is filled with more hypocrites each day; you kids must be real proud of yourselves. oh you are so righteous. let's threaten a reporter! dumshits.
and for the guy who couldn't figure out that the bowman stuff was a joke, get a fucking life--and yes i mean YOU. this is about YOU.

hipster biases 27.Mar.2003 17:11

lucidity

thank you all for noticing and writing about WW's ridiculous coverage. I was fucking furious and laughing out loud when I read them. It's really bad journalism, covering just one side and actually just a few people's comments. where were the Black bloc's comments on the steel bridge? and the coverage on media/protester squabbles. this is all fine and dandy, but aren't they neglecting to write articles about actual news. there were so many other facets of all the protests and they chose just to cover the steel bridge incident. additionally their writing is awful , very opinionated and clearly biased. I feel like sending them a thousand copies of the Village Voice, which does a much better job of putting it's neck on the line reporting and educating itself with facts and history before writing. The paper is like this in all its componets including its arts and theatre coverage. They should be covering the police fucking brutality not interviewing the corporate media!!!!!I suggest some of us try to write for it and take it over. indie shmindy. Write on !

I don't understand! 28.Mar.2003 05:16

Jed Duncan

I point out that one of the pro-peace (or anti-Budnick, take your pick) posters threatens Mr. Budnick and *my* post gets removed? Meanwhile, the threatening post remains here for all to read?

Holy Crap, talk about Pot -> Kettle -> Black.

What am I missing? You've got a dozen people here posting under pseudonyms, you've got one person threatening a reporter, and, as I pointed out before...no sense of irony.

Keeeeeripes.

posturing 28.Mar.2003 07:35

noticing

the biggest issue that jumps out at me when i read this article is NOT how (possibly) innacurate the WW article was (wasn't there, don't know), but how tragic it is for Spark that his name was not correctly written, and also that it was linked with his other known name.

this sort of egomaniacal posturing while iraqi's are getting blown to bits?

Jed Duncan's previous post 28.Mar.2003 10:08

Rob Vaughn RobWVaughn@netscape.net

There was a post yesterday by a Jed Duncan, which was removed?! I read it, and even had it still sitting cached in my Web browser, so I know I'm not imagining things. He's since posted again.

His response was calling someone on their veiled threats towards Budnick, and someone censors him? All that does is make the violent/angry fringe in the peace movement stand out all the more.

Couple of suggestions:

Don't like the writers at WW? Start writing yourself. Don't like the WW? Start an alternative weekly, like PDXS used to be. Jim Redden works at the Portland Tribune now, and he can tell you just how "easy" it is to start and run a weekly. Fortunately he's still writing, and I think the Tribune has been doing an excellent job in its local coverage, esp. since that's their focus. In their Tuesday edition they talk to downtown business owners, hard-working blue collar folks, and how the protests and vandalism have hurt their business and wallets. Gonna scream at them for showing the underbelly of the mob mentality that's gripped Portland in the last week?

Anger begets anger. I've looked at the photos in all the papers, and you can claim bias, but I've seen a lot more of people, often on bicycles (being a bicyclist myself, that makes me cringe) yelling and screaming at stern-looking but otherwise tight-lipped cops. Face up to it - a lot of people in these protests have issues with the police and/or authority figures, and are fixated on those, *not* the war. If I was still 16 I'd be doing the same thing, but I've grown up, fortunately.

Point is that yelling at and threatening the police and reporters like Budnick is not only hurting the movement in the public's eye, it's completely misdirected.

Only peace begets peace. There are thousands of Iraqis that have been killed, and 50 or so US and Brit soldiers too, and hundreds of thousands Iraqis being faced w/disease and starvation. Focus your energies on that, and on the people who can do something about it - your Congressperson, your Senators, and Bush and his own "Republican Army".

I'd pray for the Iraqis and the US and Brit soldiers as well, but I'd rather save my prayers for the local "peace" movement, if I was a prayin' man, which I ain't.

Rob V.
Northeast Portland

If It's A Tactic Then Its Ok??? 28.Mar.2003 16:24

^^

I'm reposting this comment because it was removed earlier by the free-speech defenders here on this site. Unfortunately I can't repost it word for word but the sentiments remain the same.

So what were the line of protestors pushing at? Air? A line? No, sorry people. When you push against a group of police officers, you are pushing against people, human bodies, people whose sworn duty it is to protect the rest of us from small gangs of bullies like you. The cops had every right to use whatever means necessary to keep you off of their bodies.

And don't try denying or claiming "corporate media" distortion. All of Portland, including myself, got to see in real time the "non-violent" protestors pushing their "non-violent" banners into the cops. Why do you think 90 percent of the calls to Vera's office was in favor of more pepper spray and more head cracking?

By the way, if you guys are so nonviolent then why did you print things "All Bets Are Off" on the very banner you rammed into the police? Not very bright.

I still don't understand... 29.Mar.2003 09:38

Jed Duncan

...what I wrote that caused my message to get removed. More importantly, I still don't understand why it's OK for someone here to have threatened a reporter and not have THAT message removed.

Heal thyselves, you fascists.

A little response 30.Mar.2003 16:07

Weasel

I'll keep this short, as i've posted before-

To Rob V.: you must be hiding, Robert. Bob isn't your real name. Robert is. and V.? what's that stand for? and capitalized! you must be a creative coward! i go by weasel because i like the sound of it. it's a lot less complicated to spell and write out than my real name, Elizabeth. and i know you didn't mention it, but for the last time, for God's sake, i wear a bandana over my mouth because Pepper-spray sucks when you breathe it in! plus, it keeps the media from showing me on TV, which you always think i want to be on.
And to If it's a tactic: I for one never said i was peaceful. I'm anti-war, anti-imperialism, anti-NWO, Anti-neo colonialism. Big Difference. Guess the media didn't tell you that....
Guess this wasn't so short. Sorry.

Reading Comprehension 30.Mar.2003 16:23

Dave Valle

Weasel:

I don't know exactly what your meandering point is, but it would appear to those of us who read that Rob Vaughn left both his real name and email address.

Meanwhile, I don't understand the bravado with which you discuss the fact that you, personally, aren't above being violent yourself. Besides the dubious intelligence of that stance, all you've done is CONFIRM WHAT NICK BUDNICK HAD TO SAY.

I wonder what the "anti-violence" crowd (and I quote it, because their threats remain on this board while others are censored) thinks of your message.

So, which is it guys? Is Elizabeth for real and Nick is right...or not? Is she a plant?

More importantly - I wonder how long THIS message will last before being taken down. Cowards.

Dear God. 30.Mar.2003 23:35

Weasel again.

Touche (incorrect spelling, of course. spelling has never been my strong point), Dave. I must say i am very embarassed to have had such a public diss. Truly. As for my point (i didn't quite feel that it was meandering... it is dificult to write cohesively when adressing multiple parties), it was basically this, to quote a well-known figure "judge not, lest ye be judged." I follow this mentality to the best of my abilites, like not thinking you are a red-neck hillbilly, like most of your pro-war crowd. You see, i'm well aware that Rob (sorry for putting Bob, i was tired and not quite up to par) had put his real name. but he's going by "rob" which is a nickname (no pun intended). Much like spArk's. Of course, Rob does not have as much at stake as some do. Rob's only threat is a stern e-mail reprimanding him for disrupting the peace here at indymedia. spArk, on the other hand, could likely become a target of the corparate media and the police, wasting viewers time and people's tax dollars. Not to mention incriminating him unjustly.
In response to your accusation that I prove what Nick said, i must disagree. I don't concider violence to be the opposite of peace. I would say unrest is. Nick misrepresented the entire protest. Some chose direct action, which i fully support("violence" against a fucking McDonalds is not the same as a dead iraqi), some chose non-violent civil disobedience, and some chose to simply march. In Budnick's article, he characterizes all protesters as violent kids hell-bent on hurting the police. I am certainly not one of these. I have family in the Blue Force, and I respect them, though i don't support their actions. I was arrested at a candle lit sit-in, not hurting a McDonalds or clashing with the police. In fact, my arresting officer told me he agreed with my action. I
As for the accusations of me being a "plant", i wasn't aware that they use 17 year old girls in the 'burbs for such purposes.
If the "anti-violence" crowd doesn't approve of what i said, that's fine. Indymedia is an open forum, with many different view points, and most here respect that.
I hope this has cleared things up with us, dave. Sorry this is just as meandering as my previous post.
Love,
Elizabeth/weasel
P.S. i threw in the bit about the bandana because the subject of people "hiding" their identities seemed to be relevant. I am just plain tired of people accusing me of hiding behind my mask.

Ass-You-Me 31.Mar.2003 14:39

Dave Valle

Weasel:

When did I ever state that I'm "pro-war?" I completely *against* the actions of the US in Iraq. But that doesn't mean I have to support a) threatening somebody or b) censoring someone who simply POINTS OUT that someone else is threatening someone. That's absurd. Just because I find the methods of some of my compadres offensive doesn't make me one of "them."

Meanwhile, I have a completely different read on Budnick's article. We may disagree, but exactly WHERE does he "characterizes all protesters as violent kids hell-bent on hurting the police?"

The comment re: you might be a plant is a reflection of something (I think) Jed Duncan said - if the "anti-war" crowd really WANTS to stop police harassment, then threatening reporters who report on the violent behavior of some of those people PLAYS DIRECTLY INTO THE HANDS OF "THE MAN." Don't people get it?

"How can you dare accuse me of being violent, you prick! I'm going to kill you!"

Geeze, how much faster can you attract the very same attention to claim to not want? Sure, "spark" your identity is going to be real private when you get plastered in Day In Court.

I'd love to see CatWoman and the other nameless boneheads tell me how their behavior, taken to the extreme, is ANY different from that of James Kopp, the Anti-Abortion-Murderer. "Oops, I didn't mean to kill that doctor."

Hat's off to Dave 31.Mar.2003 18:27

Weasel/Elizabeth iambreakingnews@riseup.net

Damn, Dave, you must have been born to debate. I find that quality very admirable. I also admire you for "sticking to your guns", no pun intended. It's also refreshing to hear that you're against the war. I was wrong to jump to the conclusion that you were pro-war, just because you disagreed with me. I sincerely apologize for that. As this debate apears to be taking up a fare ammount of space here on indymedia, i challenge you to a duel, figuratively, of course (i can't speak for the other people here, but the idea of physically hurting another person greatly bothers me). I left my e-mail address above. I'd like to have a little on-line diologue with you. I don't know if you have IM, but mine is:  iambreakingnews@aol.com. Looking forward to rigorous debate.
-Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth: my name, my stance 01.Apr.2003 11:14

Rob Vaughn RobWVaughn@netscape.net

Dear Elizabeth,

Yes, my name is Rob. They put the formal "Robert" on my birth certificate but I've since had that legally corrected. My social security card, my credit cards, my mailing address, my mortgage, my drivers license and my passport all say "Rob Vaughn" which is my real name. The email address I use is valid and I live in Northeast Portland. You could find me with little trouble.

I don't fear retribution for what I've said. The pro-war types needs to be stood up against, which I will do in a pacifist manner, because that's who I am. The pro-peace faction - well, if someone wants to get into my face, feel free. I'll stand up just the same, and it'll only prove my point. And if there's violence, I'll have someone arrested, because unlike a lot of protestors, I don't feel the police are my enemy.

Am I just falling for a troll? Were you just making a joke I wasn't getting? Irony is lost in this medium.

Just in case, let me spell it out. I am opposed to the current war on Iraq. I believe that weapons inspections should have continued under U.N. mandate and if war was needed, it would come from a U.N. decision made based on those inspections.

But I am also opposed to the fringe elements on the Left who do nothing but hurt the cause they claim to support. Being violent towards cops or breaking windows or vandalising does nothing but give ammunition to the Right. I feel the whole movement in Portland has done nothing but push moderate, independent people towards the pro-war side, and that the movement has to start policing themselves to keep from giving cops free reign to break heads.

If I was in a protest and someone was breaking windows, I would mace them myself. Traditional civil disobedience is peaceful and pacifist. Ghandi said great change can come from civil disobedience, but not if it involves violence and anonymity. You stand up to your convictions with your real name and reputation, in a passive manner.

Re: masks - yeah, I can sympathize not wanting to get gassed, but aside from some incidences, you can wear a mask around your neck and pull it up when the gas starts to fly. Won't help much anyway - at least not a bandana. As for those incidences, like the pic of the helplesss woman being sprayed - those cops need to be disciplined if not removed
from the force immediately. Hopefully she has contacted a lawyer and has started the process.

Cheers, Rob V.

looking back 13.Jan.2004 15:40

jemma

It has now been a significant amount of time since these events occured; but despite the time, the issues remain exactly the same. Pacifists who deny the legitimacy of a diversity of tactics claim that "fringe elements" are hurting the causes of progressives.

In the aftermath of the DAy of Bombing Protests, there were investigations launched into "violent" events of the day, crimestoppers spots were put in the newpapers with cash rewards for information leading to the arrests of whole groups of people. Organizers were harrassed at home with death threats scrawled on their homes with spraypaint, vans and police cars tracked their every move for going on two weeks (that could be visually confirmed). Yet, the liberal pacifist line remained that any attempt at what the "fringe" calls "security, is in actuallity evasive and shady; destructive of "the movement".

There was also a case of serious burnout which occured after that week, in which the "fringe" which had organized the events of the day, stayed up night and day to provide EVERYONE with legal support- proper respect to the pro bono lawyers of the NLG. There was no coherent "second shift" of organizers willing to put their energy into the resistance, which affirmed in many "fringe" people's minds that posters such as Rob, above, were interested only in tearing down the efforts of others, and had no viable alternative for action of any type.

What remains is exactly what has always existed: The sierra club working with the FBI to arrest ELF operatives, some pacifists beating anarchists over the head with their bullhorns because the anarchists are "saying violent things" or "inciting the police" (what kind of encouragement do they need, anyway?), the constant passive-ist assertion that confronting the fascist state is wrong.

What we need is solidarity. However, to a certain extant, it has become clear that many protesters are not involved in a common struggle. Instead, solidarity breaks own in favor of the maintenence of the status quo. If we want to change anything, we need to be able to get beyond this point. That means working more securely with only the people we are accountable to and are accountalbe to us, and/or breaking down the barriers that pacifism, age, elitism, class, race, and experience put in place. This is occurring, slowly but surely. It is not yet really visible in the public domain, but here in the threshold of 2004, we can hope and work towards a collective vision and popular movement for not only the end of the war, (oficial or unnoficial) but the end of US imperialism, and essentially the end of the US state as we know it.