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where were they

why the divide?
i was disgusted and broken hearted today.
i just can't understand why the people who go around wheatpasting posters (or applaud them) about how this is our chance to talk to eachother and at the very least express our anger and mutual distrust for the cops can't show up to a rally that isn't put together by anarchists. yes i cringe at the fact that amongst all the things i heard today a lot of it had to do with who i should or shouldn't vote for and how all cops are not bad cops.but that is no excuse to choose not to take time out of our days and show some support. some of you may have heard about the flyer that was being passed around today denouncing the arissa planned rally tommorrow and that flyer was read on stage.now if craig had closed down his animal friendly yuppie cafe for the early dinner rush and came to explain that chances are no cops are going to die tommorrow and that bottom line the goals of both rallies are identical.TO END THE MURDER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE AT THE HANDS OF POLICE.why the fuck didn't this happen? niko.
????? 24.Apr.2004 11:41

Iyanna & Da Sistas of The Revolution

If you felt that was so important Why didn't you do it?

Free peach movement 24.Apr.2004 12:21

guffman

I doubt whether niko could have spoken to Craig's/Arissa's intent for today's event.

Heard some folks hooting at the minister who read the flyer dissin' Arissa. Couldn't make out what they were saying, if anything. Certainly they didn't choose to stand up & express themselves except from the sidelines.

Too bad. The stage appeared open; some young man got to state his intent to "defend his community by any means necessary" from the stage, & someone calling himself Brian X got every courtesy when he started bellowing from the crowd. A statement from Arissa might have made for useful dialogue, at just the right time.

A name and address .... 24.Apr.2004 13:16

Petros Evdokas petros@cyprus-org.net

Since I was the only person with a name and address - other than Arissa activists - who made a public endorsement of their call for this Protest, I feel a responsibility to share with you all the dilemmas involved here.
Protests against police brutality must be supported, but more important than that, is building Unity within our community - how are we to do that in light of these facts?:

1. No other organization or individual beside Arissa has endorsed the protest so far. The only signed public endorsement was from the person undersigned, and it was scorned by the organization.

2. Leaflets were distributed by members and supporters of the families of those who were murdered in recent racist police brutality actions, with the following text:

"We the families listed on the announcement
issued by the Arissa Organization for their
Aril 24th rally and march to be held at
Pioneer Square would like for the public to
know that WE ARE NOT a part of and
WILL NOT be participating in this event.

The organizer, without the permission of
the families, sed the names in violation of
an existing agreement to further his
personal agenda.

WE ARE ASKING THAT YOU DO NOT
ATTEND this event due to the message tha
will be presented. We are not supporters of
groups that promote violence. We do not
want our loved ones name to be used in vain.

Thanks for your support;
The Perez, James, and Keller Family"

{use of capitals for emphasis, is reproduced from the original text}


3. Someone reported in the pages of IndyMedia, that the above announcement was also read out loud from the podium at a protest against racism and police brutality yesterday downtown:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/04/286591.shtml
and
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/04/286591.shtml#116418


In light of all these (I believe well- intentioned) blunders, we need to see things as they are: the actions and statements building toward this Protest, instead of building up the cause of anti-racism and empowering our community to challenge the ideological influence of the kkk within the police, have instead lead to a poisoning of relationships among anti- racist forces.

These were preventable blunders. An honest dialogue among colleagues could have helped re-direct everything. It was not allowed (and Arissa was not the only barrier to that dialogue). I still believe many of the activists working for this event are excellent people, but at this particular moment they seem to be going in the wrong direction politically.

I am for Unity, whenever its possible to build it. I will not be at this Protest, and I remove my endorsement from it, hoping to see better politics guiding the next actions.

Petros Evdokas
from within the Belly of the Beast
 http://petros-evdokas.cyprus-org.net/
------------------------


why i didn't speak up 24.Apr.2004 14:31

niko

i have kicked myself over and over for this... i don't live in portland at the moment and feel like i am not the right person to endorse or represent any action, rally or group because of the vacuum that energy can create.yes i could have gotten up and just shared my feelings on the seperation but to be honest i thought someone else was going to do it that had more invested currently in portland.when i realized that very little of the radical community was present i just got pissed and that made me feel even less willing to address the crowd.so i felt like the most i could do is show support by being another body in the crowd and to just talk people at the event. if any of you know me please feel free to talk with me about this. niko.

Niko -- 24.Apr.2004 14:56

guffman

-- "why the fuck didn't this happen?"

I'm new here, but sometimes fresh eyes can see things clearly. Here's my "why":

- Violence, or rather the different attitudes toward its potential. The like-minded Many become the separated Few over this. There are the Ready-Nows, the Maybe-Laters, & the Never-Evers. Most of those who spoke yesterday were Never-Evers. Brian X clearly was a Ready-Now. (I listened after the rally as he offered suicide bombers to blow up police precincts & suburban neighborhoods if the oppression by police continued.) The Arissas are led by a man who wrote a book advocating the possibilities of political violence; they will not clarify, however, whether they are Ready-Nows or Maybe-Laters.

- Contempt, long-standing & often-expressed, between the schisms. The revolutionaries call the gentle activists "baby buggy bourgeoisie," "liberals," "peace police." The gentle ones still can get angry enough to do a vicious number on their more zealous comrades.

How do we get beyond this and work together? Maybe we don't. If we do, it seems to me that it will require the Ready-Nows to cool their jets a while. I see no indication that Arissa is ready to renounce violent intent for any period of time. (Although I have to give them credit: Their march/rally/action is almost three hours old, & their are no reports of broken heads or shots fired. I may lose my bet, here.)

Additions/corrections to this short analysis of "why" are welcome. I am convinced that coalition is the only course; we must work together, even if only for a while.

sadly, it will take more murders of unarmed people of color... 24.Apr.2004 17:56

GRINGO STARS

The peace people are earnest in believing that by obediently marching on sidewlaks they can bring about real change. I disagree wholeheartedly with them. There will become more and more people who will come to see the value of justice, but this will only happen at a cost of lives.

There can be no peace without justice, it is often said. And justice doesn't come from the police, as the peace people may someday learn. Begging for justice from a powerless position is certainly peaceful but ineffective and a waste of time.

It's too bad that more unarmed people of color will have to die before the peace people come around to realizing that only they can create the justice that they want.

So I guess those who don't want to go within the corrupt channels will have to "cool their jets" as guffman suggests. Take it easy? Settle down? Take the load off?

Well that's one way to create concensus. Tell the justice types to quit what they're doing and join the peace types. OR you could do it the other way around: tell the peace folks that it's time to be open and honest about what this is all about: self-defense. And that if they want social justice from hiking every other month or so, they should go home because it doesn't work like that.

There will be cops as long as there are different social classes. There will be "bad cops" as long as there are cops. As long as there are "bad cops" there will be innocent people getting murdered. Paying for police permits and walking around on sidewalks with "please be nice, police" signs is utterly useless.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation... want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
-- Frederick Douglass, 1857

Gringo makes my point for me -- 24.Apr.2004 18:54

guffman

-- better than I could. I think you'd call him a Ready-Now in my Progressive Violence Continuum.

There's your "why," Niko. The difference between Gringo & me on the issue of violence ("self-defense" is a euphemism, although we so rarely get any good self-defense tips that are useful against armed, amped-up weightlifters), & the resulting contempt (that "peace police" trope, the mischaracterization of peaceful protest as begging). He ain't budging, & I won't, not yet. I'm a Maybe-Later.

How do we bridge that divide?

True colour 24.Apr.2004 19:06

Dio

For as long as you continue to misrepresent the differences of opinions among the various violent and non-violent activists, you will never be able to reconcile them.

I'm "Ready-Later" in your grossly oversimplified jargon, guffman 24.Apr.2004 19:12

GRINGO STARS

Now isn't the right time, what with all of the peace people. (I never once said peace police, even though that is a catchy and accurate pejorative). It'll happen, but only after (sadly and unfortunately) more innocent people die. I'm glad you realize that you're not budging, guffman, since many peace people don't admit that.

Actually, marching on the sidewalk after paying for a police permit is scarily similar to begging. begging is counting on the conscious of whoever you are begging, just like the rallies I describe. Begging is not confrontational at all. You are asking someone else to do something, in a position of no power = begging.

Really simple 24.Apr.2004 19:31

Dio

If you misrepresent your own position, people will make some attempts to figure out what it is, then make the best guesses that they can. Genereally, they assume the worst.

Peace people... people... 24.Apr.2004 21:26

guffman

Did not intend to misrepresent simple English text, there, Gringo. That's just sloppy reading habits on my part. "Peace people..." yeah.

I'm not unbudgeable. Under the right circumstances I'd be "Ready-Now." Those conditions don't exist at present. If peace people are to blame for that, I'll cop to it. Because the further slaughter of unarmed people of ANY color is more than I want to watch, or know about. I fail to hear much clear guidance on "self-defense," thus conclude that it's a euphemism for violent confrontation.

PROPS TO MIKE D. FOR HIS CLASSIC NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE IN HIS ARREST TODAY, as described in other strings. I wait eagerly to see the tape.

I think we can do this peacefully, together. Gringo Stars doesn't, it seems. That's a simple, clear, oversimplified but as far as I can tell accurate place to start. Am I missing something, Dio? Keep me honest, now.

I just don't know what to do to help bring us together. It seems an impasse.

Apologies, Guffman 25.Apr.2004 00:01

Dio

Both of my comments were for Gringo. I didn't see you sneak in there.

I think I should say nothing about Gringo. You should watch him and decide for yourself. I had to erase "watch he and I argue" : however, we are going into the bush for the summer, next weekend, to learn what we can there.


The V / non-V squabbles used to puzzle me. It seemed pretty clear : The non-Vs weren't going to knowingly attend V events. Nor would they welcome Vs to their own. Despite classical Marxist theory, misrepresented, nobody is going to rise up against the oppressor when they see repression provoked by folks quoting slogans. Appeals to Che will save nobody who taunts the pigs then runs to hide behind a baby-buggy.

Certainly, some of both V and non-V are agents. However, once one has been around for six months, it is not hard to pick those out -- or at least those who act like agents. If they sabotage, it doesn't matter whether they are paid or not.

Most everybody else are just folks trying to do their best. Everybody has their own history and reasons, somewhat unreasonable to the rest of us. Some say what they think; some quote Leviticus or Lenin. Everybody has their own history and perceptions, invisible to the rest of us. Those people CatWoman interviewed were not being dishonest; their perceptions are just really, really different.

It helps, when reading nonsense, to ask, what must this person be seeing that they would say this. Of course, you must be aware of projecting your own nonsense into it; but usually it stops being nonsense.

It would help, too, to understand John Taylor Gatto, Alice Miller, Theodor Adorno, Howard Zinn, Dee Brown, Homer, the Gospels, ... ... USians have collective history, reasons, and perceptions. That they can quote Marx or Mao does not mean they think differently from Ashcroft or Bush.

And there are people, who are not agents, who are not blinded by theory, who don't want us to come together. And some who talk of violent confrontation are just stuffing their codpieces.


It is interesting that you and Petros show up at the same time. "timeo danaos", even if they are not "dona ferentes". They think differently, perhaps Petros in particular -- I recommend his web-site. Avoiding misunderstanding will be itself enlightening.


You'll have to keep yourself honest. Or see what I said about Mrs. Guffman.

I would say and mean that even if I would be around. You are old enough to hide behind your own skirts.

Oopsie! 25.Apr.2004 00:25

Dio

The "we" going into the bush is my partner and I. Not Gringo. Both of us do fervently pray so!

.
.
.

See, Gringo, there is a God! Protecting you from me.

A variety of tactics is necessary 25.Apr.2004 01:53

GRINGO STARS

A simple study of history will bear out the awful truth: that violent activists lend power to the nonviolent reformists. MLK was credible because of the dozens and dozens of violent riots in inner cities in the US in the 60s. Gandhi was listened to because British officials would rather deal with him than his bloodthristy counterparts in the Indian independance movement who regularly utilized violence. There is a Malcolm X for every MLK. And I do not consider that a bad thing at all.

The bizarre thing is that although Dio and I have read the same US history from Howard Zinn, for example, we came to different conclusions about how power works. There's the rub.

I don't think the gap is bridgeable between peace types and justice type activists. And I don't think that is a bad thing, either. As long as they don't fuck up each other's events. As long as there is enough solidarity for peace people not to snitch, and justice people not to mutate peace rallies into riots, all should be well.

I think that as things get progressively worse and worse, and the government more overt in its oppression, more and more people will turn towards justice and get less squeemish about using political violence.

Both sides can agree on boycotts and strikes, I would imagine. Common ground is good.

There will always be a divide between those who feel that capitalism is just fine and wouldn't it be nice if wars weren't waged constantly - AND those who feel that capitalism leads inevitably to constant imperialist war. You can tell what I believe obviously.

Some people feel that lifestylism will somehow save the world against armed gangsters. Sadly, there is a painful lesson for them to learn in the future, I believe.

Self-defense is precisely what it sounds like. Nothing more or less. Blabbing online about it is absurd. The only problem is the COINTELPRO infiltration that helped destroy the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement and other similar organizations. Government officials feel much more threatened by such organizations than any peace movement, and feel the need to place provocateurs within the ranks of any possibly revolutionary group. That's why some people are so paranoid here about people who don't hold peace above justice.

The CIA/Ford Foundation/etc funds "alternative" media that is leftist yet anti-socialist/anarchist/violence because it seeks to push activism in the direction of passivity and peace capiatlism and reformism and words that can easily be drowned out by the trillion-dollar megaphone that is corporate media.
 http://www.leftgatekeepers.com/chart.htm

Things don't look good, so everyone should stick together.

Mike D is a good guy and has done a lot, so I don't think he is most useful as a martyr (in the getting arrested sense). Time, money and effort spent on freeing him could be spent elsewhere, and loses his time as well. I personally don't believe getting arrested does much.

And yet... 25.Apr.2004 07:43

guffman

Dio, you don't know how old I am, or how much I need somebody to keep me honest -- intellectually at least. I'll do my best.

"Most everybody else are just folks trying to do their best" -- or, as Mrs. Guffman said last night in a discussion of this same topic, "Everybody wants the same things." It doesn't sound profound, but it's true, amongst us & amongst humanity overall. And yet, and yet. Bummer.

Gringo, we agree on history (symbiosis of V and non-V activism) & immediate prognosis for future (getting worse). Certainly talking details of self-defense on public forum haunted by Troopers Who Can Read (or their children -- I suspect they have their kids read this stuff to them) is, like, stoopid. But we can talk broad categories. Surveillance/Watchfulness? I'm down with that. Networked Copwatch with Neighbors? Check. Deck of Cards Featuring Scary Cops? Yeah! I have looked down a gun barrel, however, & the notion of "self-defense" fades when facing immediate threat by overwhelming force... & that's where I worry about my younger, more hot-headed comrades, the ones who think they're invincible.

We disagree on *hope,* specifically for peaceful change.

"Common ground is good": YEAH! Dig: 350 people in streets, revolutionaries & peaceniks, Craig Rosebraugh arm in arm with AMA Ad Hoc dignified spiritual men & women, would have sent PPB a serious message. I think we scattered our energy this weekend. Bummer. I will continue to hope, & to work hopefully.

No, Gringo 25.Apr.2004 20:07

Dio

Bizarre would be coming to identical conclusions from reading Zinn. We are not mindless choirboys.

It would be bizarre even to come to the conclusions you project onto me.

Yeah, Guffman 25.Apr.2004 20:15

Dio

It is literally true that I don't know how old you are. It is also irrelevant. Mrs. Guffman isn't your mother.

Even if she were you have to accept responsibility for your actions.

Dio, dear -- 25.Apr.2004 21:27

guffman

-- the line between reasoned argument & flaming for flaming's sake can be slim. I trust your discernment on the difference from your correction elsewhere.

Charged with "oversimplifying," I sought your opinion, because I knew you were on the thread. And then I was charged with hiding behind someone's skirts. "...responsibility for your own actions" (duh) just takes us nowhere.

The line between civil criticism & condescension also is slim. Perhaps you can practice when you're in "the bush," wherever that is, where I'm sure your lectures will continue nonstop. (Going to Jersey?)

Your observations elsewhere about the futility of seeking thoughtful discussion here are well taken. You can have the last word here if you want it, and I'm sure you do. I'm taking a break. Knock yourself out.

I love you, Dio!