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No Pepper Spray At Ashcroft?

Ashcroft in town, a peaceful protest in Portland, and no pepper spray wafting through the air? I actually saw babies who got past the riot cops without being blasted with a little CS. What gives?
I couldn't understand it at first. Lately, no police riot seems complete without watery eyes, gasping breath, and a little burning skin. And yet, here they had every opportunity to spray not only babies, but senior citizens and women without shirts on. Think of the burns! Imagine how impressed Mr. Ashcroft would have been if he could have seen The People kept at bay by chemical weapons and assault rifles. But it didn't happen, at least not before I left. (And I left right after Ashcroft went fleeing off in an SUV being driven at breakneck speed.)

Not that they didn't have plenty of gas and bullets at their disposal, either. Pellet guns, pepper spray cannisters, and other sci-fi weapons of choice were as omnipresent as they always are these days when The People speak out. Several real assault rifles were also noted among the arsenal -- not just those nasty torture devices they call "less lethal," but the real lethal deal. And yet, at least when I left, no one was screaming for water, no one was gasping for air, no one was clutching wounds left by rubber bullets.

I was pondering the mystery of the missing chemical burns as I walked away from the Hatfield Bldg, when it suddenly occurred to me that Officer Rowley had been conspicuously absent during the entire affair. Is there a connection?

I don't mean to imply that the American police state needs any help from Marty Rowley (badge #8969) to dole out pain and punishment against anyone who dares to dissent. But it is odd, isn't it, that the rest of the force was somehow able to contain their weapons (even in the presence of BABIES no less!) on the one day that Officer Rowley failed to appear. Hmmm. Gives one pause to think.
weeding 18.Jul.2003 17:18

grannymarcher

Catwoman makes a good point. Maybe the garden has been weeded a little, allowing some room for growth??

Speaking of Weed 18.Jul.2003 18:26

Bush for Prison

Latest Chimpy Job Rating Poll:

Zogby International America Poll and Reuters/Zogby Poll

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New World Order
New World Order

RRT Watch 18.Jul.2003 19:11

Varro

Maybe the police knew that they were being watched very closely, and there would be another expensive lawsuit if the RRT goons attacked the crowd. For example: one of the RRT cops didn't have his name tag on - the crowd immediately raised a fuss, and he withdrew from the line, and reappeared a few minutes later *with* his name tag (Officer Jacquot, FWIW).

I will say that calling out the RRT, particularly at the time they did, was idiotic. There was no indication at all of violence in the crowd throughout the protest. Calling out the RRT was just dick-waving on the part of the Incident Commander, and had the effect of angering the crowd, not intimidating it.

(BTW, for copwatchers out there, the Bravo Squad of RRT was out there, including some pepper-sprayers at the August 22 protests, but not the one who sprayed the baby, and members of the Foxtrot Squad who walled off police brutality from a crowd on the sidewalk on March 25, where a man arrested on flimsy pretext was beaten and pepper-sprayed at close range by the police.)

Explanation for the riot cops 18.Jul.2003 22:28

Otter's friend

Oh yeh, I understand Pretty Officer Meyer was asked why the riot cops had been brought out. Not that they ever need a riot to trot them out, but it did seem really weird since the babies were all tucked securely in their strollers and all. According to "my source," Meyer said it was to relieve the regular cops, "because they have to go to the bathroom."

Odd. Usually one doesn't need riot gear for that sort of thing. What are they serving at Krispy Kreme these days?

One other thing, Officer Meyer reportedly told a friend, "I love indymedia. I read it eeeevery daaaay." What a surprise.

(Hello Officer Meyer. You're looking lovely as ever.)

Dear officer Meyers 19.Jul.2003 10:47

Firetruck

Your officers were facing the wrong way. They should have been protecting the peaceful people from the violent religonist.

What gives CatWoman? 19.Jul.2003 13:07

Resident Assistant

CatWoman-
Be THANKFUL that no CS gas was used and that no one was beat up and that Rowely was not there. That shows that things are changing-
Don't be a DORK and write that it was like a wierd that the police are being civilized.

You comments make me feel frustrated.

This attitude of keeping the left in crisis mode pisses me off!

We have to celebrate when there make progress!

Ummm...I think CatWoman was being sarcastic...and stuff 19.Jul.2003 13:24

alex

Ummm...I think CatWoman was being sarcastic...and stuff.

P.S. Hey Meyers, I don't care what the ladies think, your hair looks totally gay.

To Resident Assistant 19.Jul.2003 21:15

Lasso

What gives, RA?

First, OBVIOUSLY CatWoman was being sarcastic. It was funny. And true. It IS unusual for the PDX cops to come out to play without some cheap shots at innocent bystanders and babies.

Second, what on EARTH makes you think things are changing? Were you there? Did you at least read between the lines of that article? Whether they pepper sprayed people or not, they brought riot cops out, fully armed and in full regalia, to face down a tiny, peaceful crowd of unarmed citizens.

I know you'd like it if things were changing for the better. Wouldn't we all. But just hiding from it and calling it democracy every time they don't actually shoot someone isn't going to make it any better. No, the Left isn't creating a crisis mode, it's just the world is spiraling toward something really scary right now. It takes strength, courage, intellegence, and yes, even a sense of humor to get through this struggle in one piece. Humor, as in CatWoman's article. As in, you missed the point(s), RA.

Sorry to jump in and mess up your article but... 19.Jul.2003 21:19

Blank

officer Rowley (badge #8969) was there at the Ashcroft protest. He was dressed in plain PPB uniform clothes walking around the Hatfield Building, even directing traffic on the southeast side of the building late into the protest. He kept a low profile if you ask me given his history, but I did see him.

Progress? (Guffaw!) 19.Jul.2003 21:22

To Resident Assistant

Um, like Alex said. I think that was sarcasm.

But Resident Assistant, I fear we have little to celebrate at this point. Armed police commandos hit the streets ready to shoot and gas anyone who so much as stepped into the street. The funny thing was, no one was in any mood to cross any lines. Not from fear of the police, but because we didn't have to. Did you see that crowd? It was grandmas and grandpas and people with little children. Yes, just like the Bush protest. And yes, they all got gassed then.

But the point being, no one was out of line during the Bush protest, and no one was out of line this time either. The police couldn't possibly have justified yet another attack on unarmed, peaceful people as they have been so quick to do all year in this city. In the wake of the Kendra James killing, and so many others, there was no way they could just start blasting people the way they usually do unless someone at least jaywalked or something. But no one did.

They looked ridiculous, skulking out there in their riot gear, faces covered, and that one dolt with no name tag. Please. What a joke. No, we didn't need to do anything more than we did in this case, which was just to call it like we saw it.

Resident Assistant, you need to calm down a little bit. Your being pissed at an honest and humorous portrayal of yet another confrontation between the state and the people seems cheap, not to mention a waste of your energy. I know, the heat is getting to all of us. But try to conserve that energy for when you will actually need it.

To Blank 20.Jul.2003 09:29

CatWoman

How dare you mess up my article!

Ha! Seriously, though, so Rowley was there? Wow. I didn't even smell him. And I never saw him in the Cabal with Rosie and Meyer either. I guess he's really fallen out of favor now that Rosie has the lovely Officer Meyer to keep her company.(Is it Meyer or Meyers? I can never look away from his shining face long enough to read the whole name tag.) Remember when Rowley was her favorite? Can't say I blame her....

But that just opens up that whole question again. Why wasn't anyone pepper sprayed? I mean, if Rowley was there, my theory is nullified. And I certainly saw Lee there, so what was different? Let's see. There were old people, and children, and no one was armed or dangerous in any way...basically it was the same mix as ever, and yet no one was assaulted by the police. At least not that I saw. Well, maybe someone finally gave Rowley that hug.

[Translation for Resident Assistant: That was sarcasm. And by the way, the WORLD is in crisis, and this event was no sign of progress. Celebrate when people can come out to express their thoughts without armed commandos coming out to stop them.]

Meyer or Meyers? 20.Jul.2003 15:00

alex

I don't know the answwer. Most people I know call him Agent Cooper because he's always speaking into his microcasette recorder. The beautiful scene etched into my memory is of him telling his dictaphone "now they're chanting 'support the police - send them home'" during one of the anti-war demos.

MY hair is not gay 21.Jul.2003 08:21

Officer Meyer(s)

Dear portland radical community folk,

How fabulous of you to think of me. However, I must correct some erroneous remarks I saw above. First, my hair is all the rage on the beaches of Europe. Eat your hearts out, boys.

Second, I'm not really reading this site every day. I know rumor has it that I am, but I'm not. I never ever read this site, so you can go ahead and put anything that might compromise you here without worrying, because I won't read it.

Finally, my name is neither Meyer nor Meyers, it's Mr. Fabulous. But you can call me by my street name if you like: Maxwell Smart.