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People, we need to consider these protests are having a negative impact, they are being used to establish a regular police presence in the neighborhood. Does anyone feel it's time to look at the larger picture and decide what the actual impact is of the protests is?
People, we need to consider the impact 01.Apr.2003 12:15

Lorn

of not acting up more and simply accepting the gestapo invasion as an unstoppable by-product of using our first amendment rights at a time illustrating precisely their necessity.

Nice Try 01.Apr.2003 12:22

pointer

Apperantly it is also increasing the police presence on this website, officer. :)

some hippie idiot you are? 01.Apr.2003 12:36

hhf

If you bang your head against the brick wall enough its bound to come tumbling down...

just keep banging away. and whatever you do, don't stand back and see what the effect is. just keep banging..

it has to be working because it feels sooooooooo good..

Vomit ins, Die ins..

How about a Shit in.. where everybody drops there pants and shits. that should really get our point across huh?

To officer bob 01.Apr.2003 12:38

chickenLittle

Despite the drone of the corporate media ("they broke a macdonald's window! they broke a macdonald's window!" and "protesters are disruptive, we all think so"), people are actually thinking for themselves. Most people are either on the streets, want to be on the streets, or support the people on the streets.

People want to do something to stop the war machine. The best thing to do is always to start where you are. Start with yourself -- buy less, drive less, think more, use fewer resources, live right. When you can do this consistently, then start where you live -- that means rising up against the links in the war chain where you are. In PDX, there are many links, and the protesters are working to break them. (Take the blood on your hands walking tour on friday to find out more about the connections between PDX businesses and the war machine.)

These things DO make a difference, and that's why the corp media and the thugs in the streets are trying so hard to stop us.

two different views 01.Apr.2003 12:47

Sadder But Wiser

There are at least two different ways of looking at this. The first view is that we shouldn't give the government any further excuses to take away more of our civil liberties. The more we piss off the downtown business owners and commuters, the greater the police presence will be. Eventually, the establishment will enact more and more laws to make sure that civil disobedience is dealt with more harshly.

The other view is that we shouldn't sit back and allow the comfortable middle class to pretend that this war isn't happening. An "in your face" presence makes sure that the middle class is inconvenienced enough that eventually they will get tired of it and just want this whole war thing to end.

Both sides have merit.

The side that does NOT have merit is the faction that says that the people who are protesting are traitors who are aiding the enemy. Protest is patriotic; whether or not it is counter-productive is the only thing that is debatable.

Protest is patriotic? 01.Apr.2003 12:54

df

how about the anti civil rights protests of the 50s and 60s in the south was that patriotic? you know, the ones that wanted to keep the Jim Crow laws in place.

how about the Pro War Protests? Is that patriot?

Just wondering if you want to retract a blanket statement or not?

go ahead officer smalldick 01.Apr.2003 13:13

...

you have a surprise waiting for you.

Bring it on 01.Apr.2003 13:37

Victor Vet

"you have a surprise waiting for you."

Good. Bring it on, asshole.

to Bob-Vet 01.Apr.2003 14:12

NotBob

"We"? I'm not sure who either Bob or Vet are talking about. Officer bob says "we" need to think about tactics because "we" are not having a good impact. I don't think officer bob is out there protesting, so I don't know why he uses the term "we."

Vet uses "we" as a representative of the middle classes, who are getting "tired of your juvenile antics." Putting aside, for the moment, my belief that bob and vet are the same troll man, I would like to say that Vet is wrong. I am a middle class person. I worked hard to get here, and I am as able to speak for myself as Vet appears to be to speak for whomever it is he is speaking for, thank you.

I am NOT tired of protesters, I'm tired of war and police brutality. I'm tired of business interests running the world. I'm tired of the illegitimate "president" who started a nasty war that he doesn't have to fight in, and who daily erodes our civil rights. I'm tired enough of these things to find myself on the streets on occasion, protesting about them.

I have a job and a family and bills to pay, so I'm not out there every day, and I haven't broken any windows or written any graffiti. But I support the people who have, because I know what this desperation feels like. I don't know what to do. My country has been taken over by a weird, nasty little man and his behind-the-scenes manipulators. My country is dropping bombs on innocent people a half a world away, for no apparent reason. And they're doing it on my dime. Billions of dollars that my labor helped to raise are funding this terrible war, and that silly little man in the whitehouse doesn't care what I and all the millions of people like me have to say about it. He thinks he rules the world.

I'm not sure what to do about this. But I know I will not be silent, and I will certainly not condemn other people for doing whatever they think will help to stop this. Who knows, they may be right.

As for whether or not we're pissing people off, or giving the government some sort of excuse to crack down on us, let me put this in simple language. The government doesn't need any excuse. They have been cracking down on us to protect business interests, and to consolidate power. If we do nothing, then they will take and take until there's nothing left for us to give.

A comment above mentions a "backlash" and the magnanimity of "our public safety employees." Unless Vet is quite wealthy and powerful, these are not "his" "public safety employees." They are, for the most part, mindless cogs in a machine that will turn on Vet and others like him as surely as they will turn on anyone.

Again I reiterate, I am a member of "the middle class." As long as I just got up every morning and went to work all day, and came home and watched tv and went to bed and got up and did it all again, quietly, I never had to face what has happened to this country. I never had to face extreme police brutality, or an erosion of my civil rights, or the fact that we are, in fact, living in the fascist age. That was something only "other" people had to worry about.

Then one day I woke up and realized I live in a country, I am a citizen of a country, that is doing immoral things. I can't be silent about this. Silly me, I thought I had rights, as an American citizen, to go out and peaceably assemble and exercise free speech, and petition the government for a redress of my grievances.

The moment I stepped out of the sheep role, I learned just how close the police state really is. As soon as I tried to claim my rights to free speech, as soon as I said anything not sanctioned by the government, I was met with brutality and oppression. As I said, I haven't broken any windows or destroyed any property, or certainly not hurt anyone. But I have been roughed up, shot at with rubber bullets, and been near enough to smell the pepper spray as it blinded the people around me.

There's an invisible line out there, that you don't even know is there, until you cross it. Then you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. And that line is a lot closer than you think.

What will people think... 01.Apr.2003 15:38

ant

What will people think if there are no protests? Will they think there is broad public support for these actions?

What will people think if the protests become more militant/aggressive? Will they think the protesters are just hooligans or are hypocrites (break stuff for peace!)?

I believe that we must continue to make ourselves heard, that our protests must continue to be non-violent (as they have been) that we need to become even more creative and humorous. Protests let the general public know that there is (widespread) opposition to this war.

We can't just protest, though. We need to talking to our friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers. Case in point: My brother-in-law was in the army, a bunch of his friends are in Iraq now. He's a conservative, but as this thing has progressed even he has begun to doubt the efficacy of the war and even more so after we discussed what's going on there.

Protests just annoy him (he's from Vancouver, WA and only sees what's on TV) Not because he cares about what they are saying, but because he's too comfortable. Talking with him made a difference though.

We must protest to let the general public know we're still here. We must discuss to educate and inform. A multifaceted approach is the only way to change hearts and minds

ant

interesting 01.Apr.2003 16:18

officer bob

huh. Actually, I'm not a cop, and if I weren't sure the cops are combing these entries, I'd tell you who I am, some of you would likely know actually.

My concern isn't whether or not the protests are effective, only the fact there are reports of cops arresting people in the neighborhoods. I believe slowly people will get used to it, and we'll wake up with a full-on visual and present, enforcing mechanism of the police state, which is where things are heading anyway.

My point is, which is more likely, that police will be justified in doing anything they want, wherever they want [and I emphasize Justified, in a public sense], using terrorism as a justification to start picking people up on the streets? Or, that protests will have any real effect on the invasion.

Basically, having the people get used to riot cops in their neighborhoods is something which would make katz and her buzzard very happy. And I personally feel this is the reason why these things are being planned out so carefully. The actual beatings and macings are only a fringe benefit of working toward complete control.

also, if I were a cop, I'd likely just tell everyone to just keep doing what they are already, being even on a level of overtime, it would be to my advantage these protests continue.

To NotBob 01.Apr.2003 16:20

Victor Vet

To NotBob:
1. No, I am not Bob. Vet is the only name I have used on this site.
2. I see that my previous comment, from which you quoted, has been deleted. Could there be -gasp- censorship on this hate-america-thon?
3. "My country is dropping bombs on innocent people a half a world away, for no apparent reason." WRONG. Coalition forces are making every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We are dropping bombs on Sadam's evil machine, on his instruments of torture and death. There have probably been more civlian deaths perpetrated by Sadam since the war began, than have regretably been caused by coalition forces. His enforcers, the "Fedayeen" and others, are threatening to murder the families of men who refuse to fight for Sadam, or shooting them in the back outright. They shoot refugees who try to flee from the cities. Sadam is an evil, evil man. Are you so blinded by your hate of America that you can ignore that?

Good point, df 01.Apr.2003 16:49

Sadder But Wiser

Good point, df. I don't want to retract my statement, but your comments do make a person think. It's like the free speech issue; The ACLU fought for the right of the KKK to march in Skokie, IL back in the seventies. They hated what the KKK had to say, but defended their right to say it. Abhorrent speech is just as important to protect as is speech which "we" approve of.

And as much as I hate to admit it, some pro-war protests are also patriotic, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as, "inspired by love for your country." I would personally call their love misguided, but that's just me.

Thanks for making me think about what I say; we all need that reality check from time to time to make sure that we aren't just mouthing meaningless drivel.

Thank you 01.Apr.2003 16:56

Salmon Girl

I really enjoy knowing that my posts and comments have so much power over you that you would feel a need to post using my name. Lets me know I'm doing something right.

not not bob 01.Apr.2003 16:58

bob minus one

you are not bob, I am bob. There is only one of me I know of, and I know I'm not you, because I'm me. Stop saying you are bob when by elimination, the elimination of me, bob, there is no bob. Stop saying you are bob when I am bob.

simple test:

Q.Are you dressed like bob?
A. No, you are not because I am bob and I am dressed like myself

Q. Do you live in Bob's house?
A. No, Bob lives in Bob's house. How do I know this? Because I am bob.

Q. Do you work in bob's job?
A. No, because i work in bob's job, and if you also were bob, working in bob's job then I would have less work to do, which I dodn't.

Q. Do you watch bob's tv?
A. No. Bob doesn't even watch bob's tv.

Q. Do you pay bob's bills?
A. No, bob doesn't pay bob's bills. Which may be why bob doesn't watch bob's tv.

See, you are not bob. I am bob.

Signed bob. Which is me; bob. Not you.

not not bob 01.Apr.2003 16:58

bob minus one

you are not bob, I am bob. There is only one of me I know of, and I know I'm not you, because I'm me. Stop saying you are bob when by elimination, the elimination of me, bob, there is no bob. Stop saying you are bob when I am bob.

simple test:

Q.Are you dressed like bob?
A. No, you are not because I am bob and I am dressed like myself

Q. Do you live in Bob's house?
A. No, Bob lives in Bob's house. How do I know this? Because I am bob.

Q. Do you work in bob's job?
A. No, because i work in bob's job, and if you also were bob, working in bob's job then I would have less work to do, which I dodn't.

Q. Do you watch bob's tv?
A. No. Bob doesn't even watch bob's tv.

Q. Do you pay bob's bills?
A. No, bob doesn't pay bob's bills. Which may be why bob doesn't watch bob's tv.

See, you are not bob. I am bob.

Signed bob. Which is me; bob. Not you.

To "Victor Vet" 01.Apr.2003 18:56

Facts not Bobs

"Coalition forces are making EVERY EFFORT [my emphasis] to avoid civilian casualties."

Not only irrelevent to the question (did US bombs fall on innocents or not?), but also untrue. e.g.
*US is using cluster bombs, mines, and depleted uranium
munitions. All shunned by civilized nations because of
their impact on civilians.
*US is targeting urban installations with with weapons whose
blast radius guarantees civilian casualties
*Scared kids at checkpoints are shooting first, asking
questions later. I have yet to hear about improvised
speedbumps or obstacle courses set up to ensure civilians
approach checkpoints at a reasonable speed, even if they
don't know there are checkpoints. Commanders are telling
troops to assume the worst about approaching civilians.
*US STARTED A WAR for fucks sake!

"There have probably been more civlian deaths perpetrated by Sadam" Again, irrelevent. Even if "Saddam" kills 2 million people, it still won't change the question: have US bombs killed innocent civilians?

"Sadam is an evil, evil man." There are many evil, dangerous men in positions of power in the US. Would you argue that Bush should bomb America?

"Are you so blinded by your hate of America.."

What the fuck is that? You saying your audience hates grass and rocks and trees? Themselves? Their family and friends?...or just YOUR IDEAS? When republicans criticized Clinton's foreign policy, were they "America-haters"? Lott even voted against a "support-the-troops" resolution during some Clinton Balkans adventure, did that make him an "America-hater?" Nah. You're just whining 'cause someone disagrees with you and you're to insecure to cope with being questioned.

to Facts Not Bobs 01.Apr.2003 19:56

NotBob

Wow. Thanks. I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm way too tired right now to respond to vet's pathetic drivel -- tho bob seems to have redeemed himself some. He's still wrong, but at least he's thinking and not just blathering.

Anyway, I saw the ridiculous post from vet and thought holy shit! Why, that's ridiculous drivel. But like I said, I was too tired to state exactly why. Thanks for doing it for me.

Hating america indeed. Like, ooooo, don't like Bush? then u hate america. yeh. gotta like a rich little toady who bought his way thru school, had daddy buy the whitehouse for him, then committed treason after treason while posing as "president." he's been dismantling all that the founders of this country fought for all those years ago. and this yahoo sits in front o the ol telly, swilling budweiser and spouting corporate media crap as if it were gospel, telling me that cuz i don't agree i hate america.

and i'm not EVEN gonna get into the absolute stank in his comments regarding iraq. total roob boy propaganda. watta clueless plebe this guy must be.

...see? way too tired. to tired to capitalize or even make sense. but u did it for me. thanks facts not bob.

comunication versus expression 01.Apr.2003 20:34

talkzaboutit

what we have here seems to begin as a discussion of whether "we" are accomplishing what "we" want to accomplish. i wonder if there is any one thing that "we" want to do?

if i could boil common purpose down to one basic goal, i would say that people protest to COMMUNICATE. the entire legal grey ground of protesting springs from the fact that we have (or at least are supposed to have) Freedom of EXPRESSION, but not of COMMUNICATION, which means that anyone can talk all they want to, just not where it bothers anyone else. people can't accept this: they need to be heard, so they protest, in all their various ways.
does that seem like an accurate summation?

the first poster seems to feel curious about finding out if there is a communication breakdown, between him/her and his/her intended audience. to know that, we'd have to know more about the intended audience, and about what the desired communication was. what was it?

what do each of you want to accomplish? what do you want out of protest, or out of protesting protestors, bob?

by the way, bob, saddam hussein has killed and i wouldn't trust him as far as i could throw him if i were a parapalegic and drunk. he has threatened people with brute force....and that's his crime. bush, the us government, has, from my perspective, gotten wonderfully good at using sophisticated, indirect force on the white populace, more brutal force on the minorities and the "riffraff whites", indirectly atrocious and democracy-toppling assistance and training to people who equal the fedayeen, and occasionally, they rip off a really great burst of hands-on savagery, overseas, where no one here can see it. the gallons of blood on the us's hands come from nations across the world, a reach broader than saddam's or iraq's ever was. i would venture to say there is more of it, as well, according to the numbers i know. you may know differently. please share!

question: what makes a dissenter different than a fed?

so many of "us" that i know weep, in our hearts, at every forced death, US troop or Iraqui or no.

signing off....a person among the thousands made deliriously ill for a week by gas during the first WTO protests. 105 degree fever. (fortunately, not one of the ones that miscarried). i was volunteering for a media site. never left the building, except to buy coffee and food. the cops barricaded the door and fishbowled us with teargas. nausea. a month-long, ragged cough. bleeding three weeks early, though i was on the pill. i now feel like a distant cousin to the kurds, which would make the seattle police chief, or mayor, or clinton, cousin to....oh dear, yes. saddam.

We don't understand Iraqis 02.Apr.2003 00:00

US officer

Two weeks into the war in Iraq, some senior military commanders are beginning to admit that American understanding of the Arab world is limited and that they still have to convince the Iraqis that they are liberators, not occupiers.

In one of the most low-key assessments of the war so far, a high-ranking American officer said it would be "unrealistic" to expect Baghdad to fall within days.

"There is a big cultural difference between the US and the Arab world. That makes it hard," said the highly experienced officer, who has been closely involved in the planning of the war.
----------------

We don't understand Iraqis, admits US officer

Regime not about to collapse, war planner concedes

Rory McCarthy in Camp as-Sayliya, Qatar
Wednesday April 2, 2003
The Guardian
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927774,00.html

Two weeks into the war in Iraq, some senior military commanders are beginning to admit that American understanding of the Arab world is limited and that they still have to convince the Iraqis that they are liberators, not occupiers.

In one of the most low-key assessments of the war so far, a high-ranking American officer said it would be "unrealistic" to expect Baghdad to fall within days.

"There is a big cultural difference between the US and the Arab world. That makes it hard," said the highly experienced officer, who has been closely involved in the planning of the war.

"We Americans are not very good at judging what a totalitarian regime is like, looks like and acts like. There is an information psychology front that we are trying to push but we are probably not as sophisticated about it as we would want to be."

The officer described the Iraqi regime as "resilient" but said it relied on immense pressure to maintain loyalty. Iraqis would turn against their government "sooner or later", he said.

In a rare departure from the intense campaign run by the Pentagon and Central Command in Qatar to present the motives for war in the best light, he accepted that many Iraqis were still not convinced that the US and British forces on the ground were coming as liberators.

"Are we getting the message across to the educated people? We are. But to the people that want to be moved by emotion and believe that there are no good motives and think that the US are here for oil and only for oil we have got to get the message across better," he said.

He compared the Iraqis living under Saddam Hussein's regime to the Germans in the 1930s living under Adolf Hitler and said that in both countries the extent of repression and a sense of nationalism both severely limited resistance. "The system of control, the system of oppression, the system of nationalistic symbolism prevents them from taking out the leadership," he said.

Intercepts of communications between Republican Guard units have indicated they are being weakened by the intensive ground and air assault. But the regime was not about to collapse, the officer said. "You immediately come to the conclusion that you have immediately got to push on this house of cards and it will immediately come down. That is simply not true.

"If you have an unrealistic expectation that Baghdad is going to fall in three days I might describe it as wrong."

Many analysts expected the Shias in the south of Iraq in particular to welcome the arrival of British and American forces because of the persecution they have suffered at the hands of the regime. But the south has provided some of the stiffest resistance of the war so far.

The officer admitted one reason was the British and American military's failure to back the uprising after the 1991 Gulf War. "We let them down in 1991," the officer said. "When you let someone down once you don't want to let them down twice."

He said that the Iraqis operated a "very powerful enforcement and repression system" that discouraged the Shias from rising up and that many had fresh memories of the brutality with which the 1991 uprising was crushed. "The average Iraqi only knows Saddam and Saddam has won the lottery every time. Until we prove that he is not going to be a survivor some people are not going to believe it," he said.

The officer also appeared to distance himself from the increasingly critical vocabulary used by generals giving the daily briefings at Central Command, who have begun to label Iraqi paramilitaries as "terrorist death squads".

"We have to watch about falling into the trap of a certain type of language that describes things," he said.

He said the decision to rush armoured forces north towards Baghdad in the first hours of the ground invasion was an example of commanders taking one of the "windows of opportunity" sometimes presented during a war. "You will have to let historians judge how all that worked out. It was an attempt to take advantage of a very interesting window of opportunity that opened up. I salute the man that took it."