portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

anti-racism

A report from the Arissa march today

I cut out early of the march to go to work, so this is an incomplete report. I just read in the "breaking news" section that the cops arrested a couple of people, including Mike D. That sucks! I had already left before that.

Anyway, I was there with a video camera to do copwatching, so I didn't hear much of the speeches. Instead, I hung out behind the crowd, keeping an eey on the unofrms.
The cops didn't get into any trouble that I saw at the square. There were a couple hundred or more people gathered there (of course the corporate media undercounted; don't they always?) and they seemed to be getting pretty excited by the speeches. I watched the Saturday crowds, too, as people looked up to see what the noise was about, and occasionally approached the edge of the rally. A few people made derisive comments, but mostly I heard stuff like, "What's this about?" It was disappointing not to see rally organizers out around the edges passing out informational flyers so that bystanders would know what was going on. (And don't tell me *I* should've done it. I had a job there already, with the video camera.)

So folks eventually started marching, and the cops kept everyone on the sidewalk. A feeling of depression that had been creeping over me in the square started to grow. What was the point of this event? No one around knew what was going on, the cops were in complete control, and what difference was another march going to make? By the time we got to PGE Park, I was in a funk. Fortunately, it was time to leave for work (which starts in a couple minutes here for me, so I'll stop here).

I'm sorry to hear about the arrests. Especially Mike D. Like he needs that again.

Looking forward to reading here on this site about what else happened....
ya!??! 24.Apr.2004 14:51

good luck

what did you think another one of these "peacfull" marches was going to do?

well.... 24.Apr.2004 15:53

questioner

is arrissa the vanguard? did we make a decisive blow against "the man" today? what was the point of the rally? just asking some questions....

VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO 24.Apr.2004 16:31

Varro

Does anyone have video of the Mike D arrest, and was he on the sidewalk as others have said?

Even if he was in the street, <i>State v. Ausmus</i> may apply, and as the Thing would say, "It's clobberin' them with a LAWSUIT time......"

Puh-Leeze! 24.Apr.2004 17:29

Disgusted

Nothing like doing what you can to be a productive member of society, eh? Here's a thought...protest the criminals that actually do shoot at the cops in the same area of town. The dummy would still be here if he wouldn't have been so high and just did what the police told him to. Any chance you get to play the race card...

How original and utterly thoughtless....you're all a bunch of stupid sheep.

'Disgusted' - SPEAKING OF SHEEP 24.Apr.2004 17:57

repulsed

hey, 'Disgusted' -

where are those Iraqi WMDs, anyway?

where was James Perez' weapon, that caused PPD officers to shoot him multiple times with firearms and tazer within 24 seconds of pulling him over for failure to signal?

why have the officers who shot him been completely exonerated?

and what "productive member" of society are you -

specifically, what do you produce?

taking the streets 24.Apr.2004 18:06

is our right

If this is supposed to be the radical wing of the political movement why wasn't there a resistance to being told to stay on the sidewalk? A very serious issue could have been presented if people would have simply gone into the streets and let the police arrest them. It would have been really interesting to see the cops try and pack up a couple hundred people attempting to have a political demonstration, and as long as there weren't any acts of logical violence the city would be in quite a jam for restricting the people's rights. Obeying the orders of the state is not radical at all. If you want to start deconstructing the structure of government we live under and would like to live with radical anarchist principles then it is important to challenge this oppression. Our lives are being ripped away and I can't see how obeying this government is going to help things at all.

Varro 24.Apr.2004 19:51

Disgusted with Cowardly Cops

I saw Mike D on the evening news (channel 8, I think). Several officers were carrying him face down and apparently restrained. The footage showed him being thrown face first into the back of a van, like a sack of potatos.

I realize that this is not exactly what you were looking for, but the footage does demonstrate some brutal treatment of a man that did not appear to be threatening or resisting in any way. I understand that news video such as this can be purchased from the broadcaster for a reasonable fee.

Mike D 24.Apr.2004 20:45

Den Mark, Vancouver

I was exactly next to Mike, on the other side of 23rd from the majority of sidewalk marchers. (I refuse to stay within cop parameters.) Mike started to cross the street, on a corner, to rejoin the main line, was told to go back, & he immediately did. The black (oreo) sergeant (Elmore?) then simply pointed at Mike, who was on the sidewalk, & barked that he be arrested, & of course the brain-dead cops did that. Mike completely cooperated, but the fuckers took him down (why!) to plastic-tie him, as their brain-dead pals surrounded the "action" to keep "us" back. The cops were TOTALLY out-of-line, & i WILL offer myself as witness. It was classic police mindlessness.

And the asinine cop union's attorney tried to argue with me that cops are brighter than ever. Yeh, "bright" like an incandescent bulb, which is 90% heat, with very little light!

radical 24.Apr.2004 22:05

r

So you think we should have taken (or tried to take) the streets, in exchange for the possibility of getting to the mayor's house? I'm glad the march made it to Katz' house, and I'm glad she was upset. We wouldn't have been able to set this new precedent if we had focused on direct confrontation with the police, I think. Also, I recognize that this march definitely is not the end all be all of what needs to happen. But it was a good first step in both recruiting people who just witnessed the ridiculous police presence, into the march, and also holding the major players in this problem of police murder accountable on a political and a personal level. Radical- well at least was a step. If you want to take direct action against the police, the march (and most any march) was not the place to do it. If you have any sense as a radical- and want to stay out of jail- the context of your actions should matter. get free, stay free!

what is "radical" about getting in the street anyways? 24.Apr.2004 22:07

juan

it's good that people are talking about tactics, but people here are missing the point. boring marches even in the street are not going to bring down the capitalist death machine. no one ever said they could. But these boring marches are a way to spread ideas. like someone pointed out, maybe people could have done a better job expressing those ideas. That's something to think about next time.

Governments don't fall by themselves. Continueing political activity in this direction, by any means necessary, includes many boring marches in the future. why do we do the state's bidding by slamming eachother when events fail to make revolution today?

ps. calling a black person an "oreo" is very fucking insulting.

. 24.Apr.2004 22:28

.

I saw many flyers being handed out, and quite a bit of conversation and outreach.

The speakers were excellent.

Was it a PPB™ Gang Killing? 25.Apr.2004 02:36

Hawkeye

It becomes more apparent that the reason for "getting" James Jahan Perez--for getting him pulled over and to get at him--was to kill him.

I submit that there it is plausible that Jason Sery had a reason for wanting to "eliminate" Perez, and was following him, waiting for an excuse to confront him--failure to make a turn signal, which is so frequently and continuously done throughout the city that it can only be seen as a point of triviality, providing an excuse for Sery to perform some other "task" which was on his mind.

Do we hear anything about Perez's failure to signal having caused an accident or near accident? Do we hear anything about a pedestrian nearly run down because of that failure to signal? No. It appears that this was an excuse to confront Perez on another matter.

That Perez was executed less than a half minute after Sery and Macomber stopped--a "decent" interval, in effect--doesn't support the contention that he was being confronted on a matter of failing to signal a turn. That he wasn't armed and didn't display a wallet, or something, that was "mistaken for a weapon", as was the case in the unfortunate 1999 firing squad execution of Amadou Diallo by a NY police gang out for a night of "wilding", makes it hard to avoid the appearance that Perez's killing was done by Sery wilfully and for some purpose.

Phony excuse for stopping. No turn signal made, but no apparent immediate safety consequence by failing to do so. Multiple shots fired at a seated, seat belted victim at close range less than a half minute after the stop. No weapon in possession or display of something that looked like a weapon by the victim. No witness that the victim was "berserk" or "coming at" the mercs.

Why did Jason Sery want to kill James Jahan Perez. Did Perez know something about Sery? Had Perez "insulted" Sery at some time past?

This is begining to look like another gang killing.

take the streets 25.Apr.2004 13:24

if you want them

Standing up to the state is crucial in stopping the oppression. And if you want to have a political demonstration in the streets then do it and if the copls want to stop you let them try. If you think that this would have diverted attention from the issue at hand...first the issue of police violence and oppression IS the what the march was actually about, second if 150 people were locked up for trying to have a political event people it would have gotten far more attention and people would have been asking what the march was about.

Why Would PPB™ Gang Want To Eliminate James Jahar Perez? 25.Apr.2004 20:30

Hawkeye

My analysis doesn't go to certainty.

The point by point unfolding of the events, the timing, don't add up to even a "routine traffic stop." I'll give that it appears to be that, but the zeal and speed with which James Jahar Perez was executed (there is no plausible claim for self-defense, feeling of "threat" or "thought I saw a weapon" even forthcoming, from heaven-sent witness accounts) adds up to the appearance of premeditation.

The thing that got accomplished, with certainty, was that Perez wasn't going to be alive when it was over: multiple shots at close range with no threat presented that might call for self defense. What does that sound like?

I think the multiple witnessing was something that Sery's on-the-fly story couldn't compete with. If there hadn't been the volume and diversity of witnessing, and Sery was able to just run the usual free pass--"I thought I saw a weapon and felt threatened"--the grand jury would likely have delivered a more confident finding for probable cause that resulted in Perez's superjudicial execution. (The PPB's™ PR campaign fed to the corporate whore media went to great lengths to castigate the victim, attempting to spread after-the-fact-justification that Perez deserved execution, since his blood chemistry was "illegal." This looks like an attempt to do damage control on a piece of PPB™ gang business that went awry.)

The "routine traffic stop" for failure to signal a turn-so flimsly as a matter of urgency in the overall pattern of vehicular activity in the city-becomes an excuse to get Perez cornered with plausible justification: "routine traffic stop." From there, the case for the use of deadly force isn't so well made, as if the first step--getting an excuse to get Perez cornered--was an opportunity seized, in order to take care of some specially ordered "unfinished" business and in his zeal to take advantage of the chance, Jason Sery didn't look beyond that key piece of his plan, figuring that he could finesse something--just say that he "felt threatened" (we know how that has been the free pass for virtually every faulty use of police deadly force) that would get him off.

Even in this preposterous instance where the victim Perez was seated, seat-belted, brandishing neither a weapon nor anything that might be "mistaken" for one, wasn't "menacing" Sery (by valuable witness accounts), seem to correspond with the emerging personality/fitness profile for Sery--he's not the brightest bulb on the marquee. Possibly the initial ploy was to get Perez cornered under some reasonable excuse--"routine traffic stop" and Sery lept at the chance, not thinking too far ahead, except he knew what "needed to be done" with Perez. Without a more developed reason for stopping Perez--that he nearly caused an accident by not signalling, for instance--the failure to signal looks like it could have presented an opportunity to take care of some other, more deadly, task.

Then Macomber, Sery's sidekick, proceeds to taze the corpse! Is that supposed to go toward some reordering of events in time--make it look like non-lethal means were tried before taking lethal measures? Did Macomber get the signals crossed? Was he supposed to taze Perez early on, but was too slow, and Sery--uncool head that he appears to be, fearing that the opportunity might escape, or just plain consumed by the need to "deal" with Perez--fires multiple shots *first*, rather than waiting for the, perhaps, conflicted Macomber to perform according to the "field plan" they might have cooked up a few moments earlier. Was Macomber a less than fully willing accomplice? Then Macomber leaves the taze control on for--what was it?-- three minutes, as if to get it impressed that non-lethal control of the "threatening subject" was tried first? The three minute tazer burst into a cadaver corresponds to the behavior of someone who is overwhelmingly trying to reverse an earlier mistake by overcompensating--literally "overkill".

All of this suggests, to me, that there was perhaps some baggage between Perez and Sery or maybe between Perez and a subgroup within the PPB™ mercenary gang, for whom Sery was doing service, in this case.

to hawkeye 26.Apr.2004 11:35

i agree

i too have wondered if this was premeditation.

i admit i don't know enough to be sure about that, but i would like to know more:

1. what happened during that 'brief struggle' before Perez was shot? could it have been the stuffing of planted drugs into his pockets and mouth?

2. what effect does extended tasering have on a dead or dying body? would it send drugs in the mouth or touching wounds into the bloodstream? in other words, why the tasering for 3 MINUTES? the most obvious thought bandied about is tasering to try to make it look like it went down differently. i wonder if forensics has anything to say about this.

3. that recording of the tasering: why did he sound so CALM when he said Perez seemed to be dead already? (of course in times of high stress there is no telling how one might react, and it could be with such misleading calm, so i give less weight to that observation.) still, it sounded like any job they might do. like 'oh, i think i need to take the garbage out.' 'oh, i think he's dead already.'

4. of course the da (would he ever, of a cop?) never seemed to treat this at all like premeditation, so no search for evidence of motive was done, i imagine.

one more thing 26.Apr.2004 11:45

i agree

5. it seemed rather odd to me that Sery's partner 'briefly struggled' and then pulled away, clear from the car, while Perez was still strapped in his seat belt. could it be he was getting out of line of fire? as agreed upon before they pulled Perez over?