And so it ends.
The Stumptown public antiwar demonstrations have pretty much run their course with the completion of the M20 events. I don't see many more opportunities for sizeable antiwar demos until probably the invasion's 2nd anniversary in 2005. Thankfully we have the PPRC Friday protests. Otherwise, that's all she wrote for now.
True, the N. Park Blocks rally & march was the least attended antiwar demo there in the recent history of PDX protests. At most we had a dozen or so good folks, vastly outnumbered by at least 50 bicycle cops and maybe a dozen horse-mounted pigs.
The contrast in cop-to-blocks protestors was jaw-dropping outrageous. We brought out and briefly tied-up more uniforms per protestor than probably anything ever seen in Little Beirut.
On that measure alone, the unpermitted North Park Blocks rally was a success.
When about 6 to 10 of us took to the streets, it was right into traffic on Burnside, down to Broadway, and on into downtown. We screamed, we chanted, we blocked cars, we got shit from some jogger. A car ran right up the heels of one brave comrade, almost making him a casualty for the cause right then and there.
After we had turned onto Broadway, the horse-mounted pigs came at us through the sidestreet near Mary's famous dance emporium. We tried to keep ranks, but they forced us to the sidewalk after a couple tough comrades closely shadowed the steeds.
We tried carrying on, marching on the sidewalk - pretty humbling stuff - but our unpermitted rally and march had ended.
With only a few more like-minded comrades, we no doubt could have taken Broadway the entire length to Pioneer Square. It would not have needed many more people. It's amazing what you can do with a few good souls and a lot of passion.
Special Props go out to the folks associated with Iraqi Resistance Solidarity Network. Without them, none of the N. Park Blocks M20 action was possible.
I only hope that more people who hate the war and our government's continuing bloody imperialism will have the courage to really stand up and be counted the next time a North Park Blocks demo and march are called.
Don't let fear of cops paralyze you.
Don't let shrill, pathetic anti-N. Park Block IndyMedia posts scare you.
Don't let fear of "Free Speech" cages stop you. None in sight on M20.
Don't forget the proud UNPERMITTED antiwar N. Park Blocks history.
Yes, Portland will need to assemble at and march from Park & Burnside in the future. We won't need a permit, and we will be ready.