portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

Day of Bombing Reflection

A day of bombing summary of sorts
So why did people take the steel bridge?

The point of the march was to shut down the city as much as possible. Period. They were doing it in solidarity with all the other cities/towns that were trying to shut there city/town down. They were trying to send a point, with all the rest of the cities that they werent going to take this laying down or for that matter standing and holding a sign, they were going to try to make a large enough impact on that days economy that bush would have to listen to us.
Did this work? Not much. It also helps that war doesnt stimulate our economy, it merely makes it flacid, which bush has been told time and time again and he doesnt care. But they tried. So onto the main point. Why did they try and take steel bridge?
In trying to shut city down like portland which is dependant on bridges, they made the obivous connection. So burnside was stopped. They stoped morrison for us. They started to go up to the Hawthorne but are march turned and went back down to third. They decided that they didnt want to march on,around and on top of the folks sitting down on burnside so we decided to take the steel. Then the marchers decided that they wanted to shut the bridge down anyway neccacary. You can rationalize this anyway you want to. But im just documenting at this point.
One line of 3 motorcycle cops came forward and decided that they wanted to stop the march of people. The march of people decided to go through those policemen. the police men regrouped along with 2 more motorcycle cops and tryed again. Same affect. The 5 police regrouped and went to form a line at the start of the bridge. Then to more bike cops showed up. 4 More regular uniformed cops showed. And a car drove behind them to back them up. Marchers decided to try there luck at shutting it down anyway they could and charged the police lines. The police fought back oviously, mostly hitting protestors with batons and the 2 bike cops at the side both took two pepper spray canisters out and drained them on the crowd. This is where the policeman was injured. A protestor swung a metal bat over the banners and struck a cop on the head. The cops retaliated and struck a protestor in the head. Both went to the hospital both got stiches. Then the police formed up a line of horses and riot cops and the protestors sat down. Yada yada yada. Police won, protestors walked to burnside.
That was the steel bridge. Romantize it. Hate it. Whatever but that was basically it. They needed to take the bridge. They tryed one way. They lost. They went to another place. One thing that you cant argue with is that they were trying to be affective. If every person against the war was trying to be affective against it, trying to fight to win than this anti war movement wouldnt be so weak. And this doesnt mean fighting the police but as simple as sending a 1000 letters to vera katz asking for a resolution. But anything other then just signwaving and feeling comfortable with it. Fucking pisses me off.
Add to a stratagy debate.. 11.Apr.2003 13:40

CountZero countzero@ziplip.com

First off right on.
That is a fairly accurate description of what happened and a nice reasoned anaylsis.
What I would like to personally see is similar articles like this being grouped together so that we can form a good debate on stratagy and where we should go from here(iMc editors?)...

Soliderity
UNITE*RESIST

more reflections 11.Apr.2003 13:46

observer

The protests on the 20th were effective because we believed in what we were doing, we were enraged enough to pull it off, and we did the most effective thing possible: we went forth, when one way was blocked we melted away and regrouped elsewhere and tried again. This is an important tactic because although they have all the expensive weapons (that we bought for them to use against us), there are more of us than there are of them.

So the corporate media can spin this any way they want -- and they had a field day of lies afterward -- but the truth is, we gave notice to the powers that be here in pdx and all over the world that day that we are NOT gonna take it, we are MORE powerful than they know, and we ARE rising up.

The US government does not represent us, the corporate media does not represent us, the cops do not represent us, the PBA does not represent us. We are The People. And after all, the founders tell us that america is by The People, for The People, of The People.

The police have behaved shamefully of late. Absolutely shamefully. Like McCarthyism, the world is gonna wake up soon, and vomit over what has been done in our name. The pigs will suffer the slings and arrows of the spotlight and the court system, for whatever that's worth. But we all know we did what we believed was right.

We ARE the people of Portland. So we did not destrouy the city, as was clearly in our power to do. espite the ravings of the demented corporate media, we had no such intention. We did not try to shut it down day after day after day. It wasn't necessary and it wasn't our intention. We simply made a symbolic point that we are here, we are powerful, and we do NOT suppport this war. The police would have done well to stay back and leave people alone. But they did not. They showed their hand well before they needed to, well before it was strategically good for them to. They are fascist pigs, and now the world can see it. Now we all know they work for the machine that keeps us down. No one can be so deluded anymore to think we live in a free country. It's time to take it back.

Good summary, but to what end? 11.Apr.2003 22:47

Oz

Now with the events of that day comfortably almost a month in the past perhaps you can expand your analysis of the results. Lets run down the accomplishments...

1. You managed to piss off a bunch of cops and most of the law abiding citizens of the city
2. You managed to turn even more negative attention your way since the whole thing was televised live from a news helicopter.
3. You assaulted and injured two police officers
4. You made a few people late to dinner or appointments downtown
5. You now have a great radical story to tell your grandkids when they come visit you in prison when you finally end up killing someone or get convicted of a felony
6. You made yourselves feel very important for a fleeting moment

Can you enlighten me on one thing that actually changed, one official who changed a policy (except to crack down more on this type of activity), one person who suddenly changed political parties or their core beliefs - what were the results?

I'm sorry if something changed, I must have missed it.

Oz 12.Apr.2003 00:14

Wizard

I think it's an accomplishment when the Enforcement Personnel are caught on tape committing crimes. Crimes they feel justified in committing because someone else broke a law. Everybody join in now!
The Enforcement Personnel think that if they flex they can scare off any comfortable fencesitters who don't want to be hurt. Fears of the population of Portland becoming too familiar and comfortable with a constant militarized police presence have also been raised before. In both cases I think that the opposite is true. The more people are exposed to police brutality, on a screen or live, the more likely they are going to feel moved to do what they can to put an end to it. They will also get sick and tired of seeing police everywhere, all the time, "protecting their freedoms".
Dare we hope that people might also wake up to their country's appalling incarceration rate? This Culture of Enforcement that relies on and exploits our fear is making us prisoners in our own homes.
I have to say it's also an accomplishment to have the words, "Fuck Corporate Media" broadcast on many thousands of TV screens by news stations that are covering and spinning the story live. First the viewers are shocked (perhaps mildly) to see the F-word on their screens. This is followed by anger or amusement. Inevitably the question comes up, "What else is there besides Corporate Media?"
Good question.
Respect to the sign maker.

Ammended Accomplishments for Wizard 12.Apr.2003 11:14

Oz

OK Wizard, I'll ammend the list of accomplishments....

Now with the events of that day comfortably almost a month in the past perhaps you can expand your analysis of the results. Lets run down the accomplishments...

1. You managed to piss off a bunch of cops and most of the law abiding citizens of the city
2. You managed to turn even more negative attention your way since the whole thing was televised live from a news helicopter.
3. You assaulted and injured two police officers
4. You made a few people late to dinner or appointments downtown
5. You now have a great radical story to tell your grandkids when they come visit you in prison when you finally end up killing someone or get convicted of a felony
6. You made yourselves feel very important for a fleeting moment
*7. A couple of cops may be reprimanded or lose their jobs (the acadamey will be graduating in a few months with their replacements)
*8. Apparently the one everyone is very proud of: Got to use the word "Fuck" on television - every thirteen year old's dream come true.

Can you enlighten me on one thing that actually changed, one official who changed a policy (except to crack down more on this type of activity), one person who suddenly changed political parties or their core beliefs - what were the results?

I'm sorry if something changed, I must have missed it.

I'm still waiting for a result that actually made any difference...