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anti-police killing demonstration this sunday

anti-police killing demonstration this sunday
The Coalition of Black Men is planning a demonstration and a series of
long term strategies to get the City Council and Portland Police Force
to
clean up their act. This is in reaction to the latest shooting/killing
of a
young Black Man, and the long string of abuses and violence against
folks of
color.

This Saturday, April 3rd at 10 AM in the Unity Room of Irvington
Covenant
Church, the "Coalition" will present a series of strategies, to
address
the
above issues and finalize plans for a demonstration and vigil the next
day,
Sunday, April 4th.

The demonstration will be held in the park directly across from the
Justice
Center in downtown Portland, start at 5 PM and end at 7 PM. We are
talking
to the parents, and lining up speakers, especially youth, who wish to
make a
statement and vent about this latest atrocity.

We are inviting the men in the DADS to join us in the planning and the
demonstration. We would like the presence of more adult men there, to
deal
with crowd control and to show insure that no personal agendas are
promoted.

Youth and adult attending are being told that no gang dress, colors, or
signing will be accepted, no cussing or taunting of the police, and no
weapons and no throwing of rocks or other objects. All the men
attending
the demonstration/vigil are expected to wear suits and ties.

Men who can attend and help at the Sunday demonstration can contact me
at
503 249-8702.

There will be an additional planning session, to outline a long term
strategy and specific actions that folks can take, to put pressure on
city
hall and the police to change. That session will be at 10 AM on
Saturday,
April 10th at a location TBA.
This sounds scary and exclusive 01.Apr.2004 09:15

Put off

I commend the fact the SOMEONE is publicly addressing the issue of this horrific killing. But what about Black WOMEN? Are they invited? And what the fuck is up with this:

"We would like the presence of more adult men there, to
deal
with crowd control and to show insure that no personal agendas are
promoted. "

I'm trying to understand here, but this just sounds like the same intimidating bullying that leads to the power obsessive behavior the police demonstrated earlier in the week. I won't be joining you for this, but will wait for a more inclusive, productive event. As I am a woman, I guess I'm not invited anyway.

X 01.Apr.2004 11:05

goatlove

Reminds me of Malcolm X/NoI-style protest, all men, wearing suits and ties. Except these folks aren't going to be carrying shotguns.

Suits and ties?? 01.Apr.2004 11:09

white guy

This is some crazy shit. "Black. Men. Suits and ties. No personal agenda."

What the fuck if i am white, don't own a suit or tie and have a personal problem with cops killing people?

Is there anything planned without discrimination?

Maybe someone needs to protest the protest...

I agree with put off 01.Apr.2004 11:18

radical woman

This sounds exclusive and unproductive. First, the venue is questionable. Why downtown? Why not closer to the scene of the crime? And why on earth have "peace cops" there to shut people up and intidimate them? Why "adult males"?

I, too, will not be there for this. I object to the sexist tone of this announcement. However, I truly want to stand in solidarity with my community against police violence. Someone tell me, will there be another protest, say, another rockin event in N portland? Perhaps one where I will feel welcome to participate, even though I may have ideas of my own, and even though I have no penis?

something 01.Apr.2004 12:54

talus

I agree with most of whats been said. Namely, its good someone is organizing to do something about this, and also, what about the rest of us? Am I as a white male who does not own a suit and tie invited? If there are reasonings behind the aparant exclusion (i'm assuming there are) it would be nice for the community's sake to have them posted.

be positive!!!!! 01.Apr.2004 14:14

...

Go there and protest!!!!!!! A protest is a good thing, don't knock it. We need to stand up for all our brothers and sisters--just come as you are, and I bet you won't be denied.
As for the sexist tone--what the?!?!?! What about all the stuff that was said about Kendra, and the fact that she was a woman. That was a very large part of the outrage. That is a legitimate part of the outrage. However, don't deny men their special identity and issues that they face that we will never know.........support them, look past externals, and recognize a brother when you see one, damn it!!!!!

wanna know why blacks don't come to activist rallies? 01.Apr.2004 15:05

todai

we as activists have developed our own elitist ways of doing things--those who are "in" know about consensus decision making, gender neutral planning, direct democracy, and come-as-you-are openness. those who are "out" do things more hierarchically.

this is not a PDX IMC type of event. us "enlightened" activists are not planning this event, but the black community IS. have some respect for what the community is doing, even if you disagree with the specific way it is doing it.

your reaction to this event is the same as the black community's reaction when a bunch of anarchist hoodie/longhair whities show up to their events.

show up, shut up, and do it their way for a change. yes, you can show up if you're white. yes, you can show up if your a woman. fucking duh.

fucking divisiveness. this forum is always talking about "solidarity," as long as that means solidarity with the way *you* want to do things.

Everyone should just go 01.Apr.2004 15:41

gerry

It says that the men attending the protest are expected to wear suits and ties. So I take this to mean that they're expecting women to attend also(why else single out men?). As for me, I'll be there with my wife and kids, but sans the jacket and tie. In fact, I just got back from a funeral at a Catholic church, which for me ranks somewhere below a dentist's chair as a preferred seat. But I went to support a friend whose brother just died. I wasn't going to bug out just because I felt a little uncomfortable.

I hope lots of people just show up: men, women, well-dressed, tie-died...whatever. Because the long and short of it is that a black guy was murdered by the police.

Silencing legitimate concerns 01.Apr.2004 18:51

does not solve racism

It's not enough to demand that we "show up and shut up," todai. And it's certainly not enough to just imply that people who are put off by this are just not culturally aware enough. Please. That attitude is actually very damaging to people of color in general, because it assumes that this anti-social ramble is merely "their way." This action doesn't stand for all people of color any more than the OCA stands for all white people.

People have actually raised some legitimate concerns here, and it's up to those putting on the event to either answer those concerns, engage in dialogue, or realize that a lot of people just aren't going to show.

It IS legitimate to question the commands expressed in the original post. It IS legitimate to wonder whether women are invited at all. And it IS legitimate to express those concerns aloud, even if it opens one to the criticism that you have leveled. Yes, cultural understandings can influence the things that people consider to be "appropriate." And cultural misunderstandings can cause unnecessary conflicts.

But that doesn't mean we have to just put aside any real concerns we have and just assume "they" have "their ways." Rather, in order to get past misunderstandings, people need to be free to express what they feel and engage in discussion. We need to relate to other people as human beings, and not have a special set of rules for them if they have a different skin color. To do otherwise is as racist as assuming all black people eat watermelon. This is cultural shorthand. It's a way of turning others into The Other. Being overly PC about it and accusing people of insensitivity any time they raise a legitimate question across the racial divide is no way to solve racial issues.

For my part, I do not intend to participate in this event, because I feel excluded. I have nothing against those putting it on, but frankly, it doesn't appear that they even want me there. So I will not go unless I hear otherwise. This is one group, calling one small action, and I'm happy that they're doing something. But again, that doesn't mean I agree with their comands, or that the questions raised above are not legitimate. There will be other protests. I'm waiting for the Albina Ministerial Alliance, or someone, to call for an action in North Portland, which would make much more sense. And I will be there.

Jumping to Conclusions 01.Apr.2004 19:34

Enji

However well-intentioned, "friend" was rude to post this here unedited. This was an organizing letter sent out seeking help with crowd monitors and representatives from organizations. This was not a publicity letter, thus not designed to give the tenor or intention of the event. Simple etiquette asks that you not publicize such an email without asking the original sender.

Because this was not intended to convey the intention of the event for the wider public, several here have jumped to false conclusions or assumed attitudes from the wording that just weren't there.

Even without feedback from the Coalition of Black Men, I could easily assume the wish to present a unified and dignified non-violent protest.

From the organizers, I have learned it is not required of men to dress in suit and tie, but certainly would be appreciated. This 'dress code' was for those willing to help with logistics, coordination, and crowd monitoring, partly to set an example for youth and young adults. Likewise, the call for men was for volunteers, again, a need for positive masculine role models, not at all an intention to exclude women.

They especially hope families will come. I really do hope ideological bickering will not keep you from uniting against racist cops, and protesting nonviolently against police brutality.

And I hope 01.Apr.2004 19:50

Dio

I hope ideological bickering
won't lead some to provide justification
that cops are correct to draw their guns
when approaching people of colour.

And you might 01.Apr.2004 19:57

Dio

You might also wonder whether 'a friend'
and some of those unfamiliar nyms
really are friends.

Koin news version 01.Apr.2004 21:02

disappointed

To read Koin news version on thier webpage this thurs eve, it sounds pretty one sided. You look and judge for yourself. Also they have the event starting at 4pm. Its sad to think that Portland allows the murder of young black men walking the streets in thier own city and on the other hand is in the black community trying to recruit these same young men to go and fight for oil for the wealthy in the system who are having them shot down. It disgusts me.

I see 02.Apr.2004 07:08

Radical Woman

While I usually completely disagree with Enji's (usually) strident posts, in this case I see what she's saying. Yes, I think I see that this would have been worded differently if it had been a public announcement. I am reconsidering my original impression...I think I'll be there after all.

Perhaps, but 02.Apr.2004 10:08

Still Concerned

I would like to know whether the family of Mr. Perez was involved in the planning of this event? I have heard that they were not. I would prefer to take part in an action that they have called. Also, while I am considering the comments above that discuss the importance of solidarity with the organizers of this event, I am also still concerned about the legitimate issues raised above.

I'm not sure what is right, but I'm open to thinking about this. My first thought is that it's important for me, for all of us, to take a stand against the unconscionable police killing of yet another person of color in our community. And I agree with some of the posters above, that it's important to respect cultural differences in terms of how things are organized. I'm trying to examine my own reaction to the original post, trying to expunge my immediate gut reaction of distaste for the authoritarian and sexist tone. (And yes, "...", there is a very definite sexist tone to it. Personally, I do not allow "adult men" to push me around and tell me what to do under any circumstances, even if they are people of color.)

Enji is right, this should probably not have been made public without the consent of organizers, and if it had been, it would likely have had a different tone. However, as it has been made public, it does raise some questions. Sometimes, the things people say "behind closed doors" are a lot more honest than those they craft for the public. I'm disturbed by the thought of "adult men" being recruited to strongarm me. I realize there are cultural issues at work here, and I am trying to respect that fact. But cultural relativism has never been enough for me to justify male privilege or masculine ideas of superiority. My concerns remain. I think I will likely wait for an action called by the family of Jahar Perez, and will then respect their wishes regarding that action.

Perhaps, but 03.Apr.2004 04:09

Dio

It is not reaising questions; you are.

And they are not cultural issues; they are your personal issues.

Yes, it is true that people sometimes say things more honestly in private. However, it is you have chosen to to imply CBM might be dishonest; and to ignore other possibilities, such as people are sometimes more honest in public, or people are just speak carelessly among friends.

Instead of concerning yourself about them strong-arming you, it might be more useful to ask yourself whether you might need to be strong-armed.