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government | police / legal a21 bush protests

Anti-Bush Demo 8-21-03

A collection of photos and brief commentary on the Fuhrer's visit.
Arriving at Bush Protest
Arriving at Bush Protest
Approaching the Crowd
Approaching the Crowd
Police in Place
Police in Place
Bush Sympathizer Bus
Bush Sympathizer Bus
Police Attack Citizen
Police Attack Citizen
Citizen Detained
Citizen Detained
Police Look for Trouble
Police Look for Trouble
Big Gun, Big Stick
Big Gun, Big Stick
Get in Line
Get in Line
Crowd Forced Into Park
Crowd Forced Into Park
Up Close
Up Close
Officer Threatens Citizen
Officer Threatens Citizen
Another Citizen Detained
Another Citizen Detained
Portland Police Welcome
Portland Police Welcome
Start of Forced March
Start of Forced March
The demonstration against pResident Bush's fundraising visit to Portland, Oregon, on August 21, 2003, turned out thousands of spirited dissenters, with a wide variety of criticisms of Bush's policy failures, as well as several who questioned the legitimacy of his rule.

The atmosphere was festive and overwhelmingly peaceful, with many creative signs and costumes. Drummers and other musicians were on hand as well, providing entertainment for the crowd. I arrived after Bush did, and a substantial number of people were already leaving at that time. A sea of middle fingers greeted Bush, offered by the noisy crowd as he left the scene.

The Portland Police did not launch an unprovoked attack on the entire peaceful demonstration, as they did a year ago. Instead, they waited until the demonstration winded down, and several individuals returned to Columbia Park.

In front of the park, several demonstrators delayed a bus that was thought to contain Bush sympathizers. The police then moved in, and began to violently subdue people who did not appear to be resisting. The police began to provoke the crowd, and selectively target individuals who did not appear to be committing any crime.

The sidewalk bordering the park was then declared closed, and the police forced demonstrators into the park. One officer then began to threaten a man in a wheelchair.

The park was then declared 'closed' by the police, and anyone remaining in the park was threatened with arrest if they did not leave as quickly as the police demanded. The police forced the dispersing crowd into the adjacent church lot, and then began a forced march of the remaining citizens as they attempted to disperse.

During the forced march, one officer began to shove an individual who was attempting to leave the area. At least one other officer was heard making rude and provocative comments.

The police repeatedly rotated bicycle officers around to flank the front of the procession, hemming in the group, and would not allow citizens to leave the scene, instead insisting that citizens remain in the forced march.

While most officers appeared willing to overlook the unprofessionalism and incompetency of the handful of abusive officers that were present, the police abuse was far more isolated and narrowly focused at this event than was seen one year prior.
Crowd control 02.Sep.2003 15:57

adili

Assault rifles are useless as crowd control weapons unless by 'control' you mean 'kill.' Pigs bringing an assault rifle to a demonstration is a premeditated escalation.

Thanks 02.Sep.2003 17:30

eltear

Thanks for the thoughtful article and great pics. You captured the scene, though a pretty picture it was not. Well-written.

Sage launcher 02.Sep.2003 19:08

Varro

The gun in "Big gun, big stick" isn't an assault rifle - it's a Sage SL-6 launcher  http://www.sageinternationalltd.com/si/sl6.html

The Sage launcher is intended to shoot rubber bullets, kinetic baton rounds, shot-filled bean bags, or other "less-than-lethal" weapons at a lower velocity than a regular firearm.  http://www.tetragon.ca/sagecontrol.pdf