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actions & protests | government | imperialism & war selection 2004

Eugene and Nader try something different

Yesterday (Wednesday) post asked what time will protests in Eugene start and will protesters meet at Fed Building? Today (Thrusday) Justice Not War Coalition posts "Eugene antiwar action Saturday" where the word "protest" has been replaced by the term "practicing democracy" --- apparently following the Nader organization's Crawford, Texas "NO REPUBLI-CRAT WAR RALLY" with "entertainment, music, food and fun for the whole family" --- but adding neighborhood action to the Crawford concept.
"LET A THOUSAND FLOWERS BLOSSOM" Chairman Mao (paraphrased)

"Z" posted on Wednesday about M20 to ask what time will the protest start in Eugene? -- and will protesters meet at the Fed Building? Today (Thursday) Dianne Lobes (Justice Not War Coalition) posted "Eugene antiwar action Saturday" where the word "protest" (or any variant of "protest") is replaced by the term "practicing democracy." This approach apparently follows the Nader organization's Crawford, Texas "NO REPUBLI-CRAT WAR RALLY" billed as with "entertainment, music, food and fun for the whole family" --- but adding neighborhood action to the Crawford concept.

Today, aware of questions from "Z" and others about what exactly is the plan for Eugene M20, I went to the Eugene Peace Works office. Peace Works wasn't in, but Justice Not War was there. (Justice Not War shares the office with EPW, occupying a different desk and apparently a different organization than EPW). Announcements were available on the table outside the office ("Eugene STILL says Yes to Peace") and outlining M20 events as follows:

1 pm kick-off (Cosmic Pizza)
1-5pm neighborhood events --- literature drops, networking, voter registration, education
5-8pm finish-up (Cosmic Pizza) --- socialize, music, fun

I said (to Justice Not War) that there had been a post on portland.indymedia asking about was anything planned and would there be something starting at the Fed Building, and what time? (I had not yet read the Justice Not War Coalition post on Indymedia, which had been posted about noon, while I had been out and about taking care of business.) I asked specifically about any rally at the Fed Building and was informed that, after discussing the various strategies, it had been decided to try this other approach. So (not knowing that anything had been posted to answer "Z") I said that I would post something on portland.media.

Thinking this over, it occurs to me now that it may develop that some of those at the kick-off meeting at Cosmic Pizza may decide to check out the traditional protest locations downtown and so something at the Fed Building may develop out of the Justice Not War planning. Myself, I plan to rejoin my old ("First" Gulf War) affinity group in Corvallis for the events to take place there. My impression of the Corvallis thing is that it will meet in the usual place by the River and will include music and some speakers --- but also a march. It starts at 1 pm.

COMPARING NYC, CRAWFORD, CORVALLIS, EUGENE, PORTLAND. Posting today (Thursday) about the Crawford event, Dire Wolf bills it as "THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PEACE RALLY OF THE YEAR" --- which sounds like hype, considering that the greatest potential for conflict surely has to be the NYC location. Dennis Kucinich is speaking at the NYC event and Kucitizens are bussing in from Cleveland. That is good news, because it may serve to reduce the potential for police-state violence at NYC, a dicey location under the best of circumstances. Also, the NYC M20 has been billed, with NYPD approval, as a test for how NYC will handle the street protests projected for the September 11 Republican National Convention. I suggest that NYC is intrinsically of the greatest interest, with the eyes of the world and of protesters across the country, on that event. Of course, the fabled "eyes of Texas" will be upon Crawford. (To be catty about it, Dennis has decided to walk into the fire, while Ralph has decided to attend a bar-b-que.)

Corvallis probably will not draw a whole lot of media attention --- but Corvallis will be one of the larger of the many small-town protest events that will, hopefully, be occuring around the country. I hope that the Eugene neighborhood action does not reduce to a campaign for Nader, and I don't think that Mr. Nader himself would want that, because the issues are obviously much larger than any individual. So, if the Eugene neighborhood action works out it has potential for exploring methods that have been discussed here at portland.indymedia as preferable or supplemental to the usual "walk-about". The Justice Not War Coalition strategy for Eugene, however, is hardly something that could be effective in all locations. Just for one, if that kind of thing would be ALL that happens across the U.S.A. on March 20, that in itself would sound the death-bell of American freedom as far as the rest of the world is concerned. "Hello?" they would ask "Do you people live on the same planet as those of us out here dying on our streets everyday as a result of the corporate world that your govenment enforces in our home-lands?" So, different locations, different tactics. What was it Chairman Mao said? "Let a thousand flowers bloom," --- or something like that.

What about Portland? Those who know will tell you, "Never count Portland out." From the usual bickering chaos, solidarity will once again emerge. It will be different than any other place on Earth, but it won't seem like that at the time and you will never be able to explain it to anyone who wasn't there. Probably, it will attract more thousands than the media will ever admit to. Hopefully, the police presence will be peaceful. Anything can happen. Something's got to give.

FROM RECENT POST ABOUT PORTLAND M20 (by General Defense Committee of the IWW):

>> March 20 Jail Support Number

>> This is about being prepared for the unexpected, not about expecting the
worst. Jail Support will be officially activated at noon, Saturday M20 and run
until 8 pm or it will be extended if necessary.

>> M20 is about ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and bringing the
troops home. We are promoting a peaceful, if vocal protest, and conflict
with law enforcement is not our aim. We may encounter provocation from
police, but it is up to us to decide how to deal with it. We don't have
to take the bait. However this is a time of tension and the police may
behave erratically.

>> If you witness arrests or are arrested, get to a pay phone or borrow a
cell phone and call this number:

>> jail support (503) 234-4518
>> call collect if necessary
>> Belmont Law Center (503) 234-2694
>> no collect calls

>> If you witness arrests, please call with specific information of time,
location, names (or nicknames) of arrestees, names of cops, etc... Not
wanting to tie up the Jail Support line we are using a separate line for
reports from the street. The number for non-arrestees is 503-231-5488.

>> Write these numbers on your body in permanent (indelible) ink and share
with others.

>> If you are arrested you will likely have limited access to a telephone.
If you call the jail support number, we can pass messages on to your
family, housemates, employer, and/or lawyer informing them of your
situation. We are not lawyers ourselves, but we work with members of the
National Lawyers Guild to provide for defense and civil litigation when
needed. We also have volunteer drivers to provide rides home from jail at
4:00 am. You are not alone.

>> Remember that any calls made from custody may be monitored by the police.

FROM THE EUGENE IMC POST (excepts from the Register Guard article by Dianne Lobes of the Justice Not War Coalition in Eugene):

>> Guest Viewpoint: After year of war, a time to practice democracy

>> By Dianne Lobes

>> Friday is the first anniversary of the second U.S. invasion of Iraq. How can we patriotically mark this solemn occasion?

>> Eugeneans, along with the rest of the country, have a unique opportunity Saturday to mark this anniversary by practicing democracy, rather than being relegated to the sidelines or, as in the 2000 election, being kept out of the process altogether. Saturday is a global day of action, called Democracy Rising - Voter Empowerment Day.

>> Saturday is a day for registering, educating and activating voters, talking with your neighbors, canvassing, sharing literature and celebrating our rights in the United States. In other words, it's a day for practicing democracy at its deepest roots, for actively participating in what created this country.

>> We the people, the "other superpower," will launch our campaign in the midst of political candidates launching theirs. Discussion and active listening allow the truth to arise, which supports us in informed and rational voting. As we all know, the truth sets us free.

FROM THE CRAWFORD IMC POST (by "Dire Wolf" reposting from inforwars.com):

>> Crawford, TX - Marking the one-year anniversary of the illegitimate war in Iraq, syndicated radio host Alex Jones will be the keynote speaker at a rally in Crawford, TX on Saturday, March 20 that will begin at 5pm in Tonkawa Falls Park. Jones will speak after Ralph Nader and other distinguished guests. His speech will take place around 7:00 PM that evening.

>> The NO REPUBLI-CRAT WAR RALLY sponsored by The Intelligence Community will begin with Ralph Nader at 4:30pm followed by Alex Jones at 7:00pm. There will be entertainment, music, food and fun for the whole family. Tonkawa Falls Park is easy to find. From Austin head north on I-35, take HWY 6 WEST towards Meridian. Take a left on HWY 185 to Crawford. After 8 miles turn right on East 4th St. and park. From Dallas head south on I-35 and follow the same directions. For more information about the rally go to www.theintelligencecommunity.com

ABOUT THE NYC EVENT: FROM www.kucinich.us/march20.php (March 18, 2004):

>> Meet up with Kucitizens in New York & San Francisco
In New York City, Kucinich groups will be meeting at 11 AM across from the community Church of NY, 40 E 35th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues.

>> National Council of Churches Urges Peace Vigils Nationwide March 19-21
"The first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq will be a time for people across the United States - indeed, around the globe - to take stock, to mourn the dead, to pray for all affected by the war and by the decades of dictatorship and sanctions that preceded the war, and to direct their energies toward a more peaceful future. The National Council of Churches USA is encouraging houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - to commemorate the March 20 anniversary by holding peace vigils sometime during the weekend of March 19-21."

>> Bus to New York from Cleveland
Depart Fri. 3/19 at 10:30 pm, return Sun. 3/21 at around 6 am. Call or email Leatrice Tolls at 1.866.413.3664 or 216.337.7215 for info and reservations. Please include your name, address, and phone. The cost is considered a contribution to the Kucinich for President Campaign. Please call ASAP to ensure our ability to reserve enough buses.

>> Logistics:
Depart from E. 22nd & Euclid Ave in Cleveland, Friday March 19th at 10:30 pm - please arrive by 10:00. The bus will be parked next to the parking area under the Cleveland State University Student Center. Secure, locked parking will be $3.00 a car. The area is easily accessible to public transportation.

>> The Kucinich for President campaign has endorsed the national action on March 20th in New York. We urge all supporters to rise up, be seen and be heard at this large event and at other events being held around the world on March 20th.

>> On Saturday, March 20, people all around the globe will take to the streets to say YES to peace and NO to pre-emptive war and occupation. A number of leading peace groups and coalitions have recognized this day as a Global Day of Action to protest against the invasion, occupation and corporate control of Iraq. Dennis Kucinich has been invited to speak at one of the largest of these rallies, in New York City.
Eugene 18.Mar.2004 21:57

Lynn Porter oregonactivist@mail.com

Thanks for the info. I plan to be at Cosmic Pizza Saturday and see what happens. I trust we'll be out and about somewhere. Could you talk to people you know about regularly posting Eugene events to Portland IndyMedia? Techs: Could we have a separate category for Eugene? I would like to see those of us in Eugene do something to publicize Portland IndyMedia in Eugene. Or start one of our own, but I hear that's been tried. I understand there is a Eugene progressive events email list, guess I should subscribe.