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actions & protests a21 bush protests

PORTLAND TAKES ON THE DICTATOR

Early this morning I biked to N. Portland to join over 2500 in protesting the dictator who acts as pResident. Here's a summary of the day's events.

I made it out of the Bush protest today without having to take my bandana off of my head to mask up. Did we fail?

The pepper spray didn't come out until after the main crowd dispersed. Only a few young anarchists in training dared to block the road when the chemical weapons threat was made, and an officer convinced them to save their arrest for a later action. It was hours after we first gathered, and we had to rush to write the jail support on the folks tryin' to take on the mini all-terrain vehicles.

At first, I was disheartened by our lack of aggression. We booed and showed our collective middle finger, but catapults or a rush on the barricade to the motorcade seemed appropriate. With maybe less than 10 arrests, it didn't seem we'd made enough of a stink. But after it seemed that action quelled, I happened upon a swath of Darth Vaders in a park. Apparently a bus with the rich fucks was stopped by people in the street when there were no cops around! Those who paid $2000 a plate to see the dictator didn't get out of there without significant insult.

Over coffee and a chapter of Emma Goldman at the Red and Black, I wondered if the rigor in the streets wasn't a temporary flame. Happy about the traffic corks and a number of red and black flags and eyes that shined out of masked black hoodies, I still was disappointed that I wasn't able to personally stop Bush in his tracks and say, what the fuck!? The disparity between rich and poor, and more so, the lack of significant intelligent communication between those in power of the oppressed masses, is harsh. Over and over again I see the blank stares or snide smirks from officers who stand a distance from protestors whose message is never communicated to the average schmuck on their sofa via the corporate fucking media.

Will we slide into books and thoughts and northwestern depression as the summer fades and damp grey skies return and invade? Do we care enough for ourselves and for each other to continue to work against repression and to diligently work to build a sustainable day-to-day?

It was nice to have had stepped on the remains of a burnt flag, but still I wanted to go back to the woods and hide out with an old growth tree. Thanks to a friend I was able to wrench my gut of despair, drop my apathy and continue to work. There was magic in those streets as we ran amok, and whether we met new people when we marched with them, blocked traffic with them, or peed with them in an alleyway while lookin' over each others' backs for the Feds, we all went away feeling more a part of something greater than ourselves. At the root of anarchy is love, and we did love.

We were there today, and it made a difference. Not necessarily because Bush likely saw a few Sieg Heil salutes and bunch of middle fingers. And I doubt that we made a dent into the brainless pockets of patriotic sheep who clustered at a few intersections and front yards. Those of us who gathered made a difference with our solidarity, with our efforts to build a new community. The medics with water and Malox, the legal observers with their watchful eyes, the independent journalists with their cameras, and the anarchists who blocked the busses of rich fucks -- together we wove a web that over time will not be broken.

Next Wednesday, Mars -- the planet of war -- will be the closest to earth it's been in 5000 years. Can we continue to rev up and use that fire to boost our cause? Can we conserve our energy and keep the embers going and not burn out? Let's keep the fire under Bush's ass, block some traffic, tear up some streets, and plant some seeds in solidarity.


Mars 22.Aug.2003 01:27

douglas

Correction: Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been for 60,000 years (or 73,000 according to european press) not 5000!

Thanks for the correction 22.Aug.2003 02:01

Anna

Sounds like a good time to head to the woods and hide under a tree then! Who knows what shit will go down. Thanks again.

Congratulations ! ! 22.Aug.2003 07:02

Dr. Evil

Your total effect on the people who really matter . . . .Z E R O.

However, it's always entertaining to watch a bunch of bozos making asses of themselves . . . . . .

Beautiful reflection! 22.Aug.2003 07:43

Fred

Being down in CA and only able to look on through the media, this is important to read, and you're an excellent writer.

Our 'Protest Bush' demo down here was also a dissapointment in certain ways, but Bush never comes into SF proper, so a lot of protestors won't bother to get on a train for aways, or drive to go protest.

Still, the headline that Bush was met with protest is everywhere, and crucially important. And the phrase that was captured and reported by corporate media - "This Tree is Anti-Bush" - sticks in my head as last year's phrase - "More Trees Less Bush" did.

When I did the G8 Protest in Ottawa, it was a big dissapointment because there were only a few thousand. But I quickly realized that that had to do with the recent demonstrations, at that time, in Quebec (which were similar to last year's in Portland in which police go crazy spraying everyone and everything in sight, kids, Amnesty International people, etc) - people get taumatized and it's hard to get them out again. But at the same time, others get radicalized to take action. In the end, the numbers decrease for awhile afterwards.

I think being in proximity to the black car racing through the streets and knowing that it makes it through without the obstructions that we all hope will happen is always a dissapointment. For me, it's like going to a city council meeting - the proximity to the power, the knowledge that it is bought out of the people's hands and into the developer's hands, and the simultaneous powerlessness is a very ugly feeling. And picture if it did happen - "Bush Motorcade Blockaded by Demonstrators" - what a day it would be! The thing about any sort of action like that, something that finally broke through, is that it would energize the whole world to take that one more step against him, whatever it is, a vote in the UN, a phone call, another blockade. Unfortunately, in our current climate, people would probably face terrorism charges (a 20 years to life sentence at the whim of a judge) of they did have so much courage. Why waste a life on a moron?

Thanks for the contribution.

I Love You Anna 22.Aug.2003 12:15

CatWoman

Yes, we continue to make a difference. We build community and we keep up the fight even when we get sick of it. We watch each other's backs, and we're learning to live in a new way. Solidarity, mutual aid and community: These are our strength. Those who would rule us know nothing of these things. We hereby turn our backs on them. We will defeat them through their own irrelevance.

Ah yes 22.Aug.2003 14:56

Another angry citizen

Ah yes, the pandering Vera
and her pandering dog Kroeker
Sent little miss Sizer
to comit crimes which would be
subject to prosecution in international coart
International law is more just than in Oregon.
Maybe I will move away
To canada perhaps
Or India
I think things have to be more just there.
After all, Pakistan and India are not on the best of terms.
Hindu India has more justification to attack Pakistan
than the U.S had to attack Iraq.
But India doesn't attack.
The people and leadership of India must be
much wiser
than good Christian emperor George
and his hypocritical followers


And yes Doctor Evil and friends
you are excessive
Therefore you are evil

I have a question 22.Aug.2003 18:44

raffon

Why the cowardly masks? Whenever I see the pigs videotaping an event, I walk right up to them wave "Hi mom" and speak my name clearly. I am not afraid, why should you be?

secret code for the paranoids to crack 22.Aug.2003 19:46

waka

shouting ''what the fuck!" in the presidents face would never accomplish anything, other than getting the temporary satisfaction you would feel believing yourself to be quite the hardcore badass, and then its back to your daily miseries. do you normally walk up to people you've never met and shout obscenities in their face? i'm all for free speech and all that happy stuff, but just because he's the president doesnt mean you can freely approach him any way you want, (although you can technically), anyways what i'm saying is all the president and his cronies are thinking whenever they see protesters and hear about dissent is "fucking liberals" -or- they write the patriot act complete with a sequel in the works.with all the mis and dis information being spun all nice and tight to marketed and sold to the masses, designer wool to be pulled over your eyes if you will. what's my point? i dont have one. all i'm sayin is trying to change the world is futile. why try? no one gets out alive. same goes for power hungry power junkies and the age old smoke and mirrors of Politic$ and OrganizedReligion . impeaching bush is like replacing one picture (or a few) on the wall with new ones. the problems still remain the same, but still noone gets out alive. so why not live your own life and let the world live out its life. life could be so much simpler...

With Solidarity from a Stateside Sister City 22.Aug.2003 19:59

M. Foucault

Nicely written, Anna...and from the heart, from this readers reading. Raffon: "Do not ask who I am or that I remain the same. Leave it to the police and beurocrats to see that our papers are in order."

Since Republi-fascists won't come within 100 miles of Eugene...not since their man Reagan was chased from town with his tail between his legs, after babling on about "....how gracious the Shah of Iran was to Nancy and me..." The Shah of course being another Saddam character who tyrranized Iran for many decades.

Anyway, since Bush handlers have "red-lined" the Eugene terrritory, I had to travel to Portland to greet him. I was energized by the large and creative turnout. I enjoyed the black bloc, the pink cheerleaders, and the grey of peoples hair besides myself. Not that we can't do better. Of course it would have been nice if we could have made a citizen's arrest of this Nazi War Criminal...could have charged him with killing hundreds of Taliban prisoners in sealed shipping containers (although the International Red Cross investigated this charge already...and fully documented it to be true)...or for his bombing of civilian villages in Afganistan and Iraq.

But Bush is not out of the criminal woods yet. His house of cards and his whole corrupt government, including the Halliburton, Enron man Cheney, could collapse long before his term is out. If the tribunal in The Hague can get hands on him, I recommend that he be cell mates with Slobadan Milosovic...and hopefully Sharon...and that they play the Star Spangled Banner while he walks to the scaffold.

Sheeple 22.Aug.2003 23:48

Big Daddy

I saw a lot of loud mouths, heard a lot of poppycock, but when push came to shove, protesters showed a lack of heart. Retreating and cowaring was the theme of the day,

To raffon 23.Aug.2003 19:23

CatWoman

Why the masks? First, why assume it has to do with cowardice? Second, why not ask the cops? Didn't you notice their black masks? Third, if you are not afraid, then you are not paying attention. Yeh, it's all fun and games...till they show up at your door. Read the patriot act and wise up.

And to Justin: My, what a completely useless comment.