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Peace protestor assaulted – Portland police disperse heckling assailants

At 3:35 pm today, police were called to the corner of SE 37th and Hawthorne in response to a physical attack on Glen Owen. Owen was standing on sidewalk hoisting the foil-wrapped peace symbol that appeared on the front page of the ~Portland Tribune~ of July 2nd 2004.
Sally Slater says PEACE
Sally Slater says PEACE
A heckler, a middle aged woman, shouted, “Bush is your President!” Owen shouted back “ ‘Fuck off or go fuck yourself’ and your vice-president too!”
At that point a middle-aged man walking behind the heckler struck Owen in the face shouting, “You don’t speak to my wife like that.”
Then Owen, who is homosexual, shouted “That’s a hate crime; call the police!” The middle-aged man continued shouting various kinds of neo-con invective while shielding himself behind the bodies of his wife and daughter. Owen made no attempt to respond with physical violence, merely repeating “That’s a hate crime; call the police!” while police were called, apparently by the proprietress of the nearby Café Bagdad.
Officer Klinger (male) DPSST # 21705, responded to the call and delivered exemplary performance as representative of the Portland Police Department.
He talked with the assault victim first, noted witnesses including Mr Michael Ferris, and then counseled the heckler group to disperse. Police did not ask names or ID of assailant, heckler group, or assault victim.
Officer Klinger noted on the record that had Owen been wearing a T-shirt saying “I am queer”, this incident would indeed have been a Hate Crime subject to specified prison time under Oregon law.
After departure of police, Café Bagdad proprietress threatened assault victim with loitering, ‘stand-sit-lie’ [now ruled unconstitutional] and sidewalk obstruction charges should he or his peace provoking friends return to that spot on the public sidewalk in future.
NET RESULT: From now on, today's assault victim will always wear clear identification of his particular minority status and hope for opportunity to send violent detractors to prison under applicable Oregon law.
.
******As a matter of documentation, all of those involved in incident above are white.

phone: phone: 503 287 3473

not a hate crime 18.Jul.2004 14:29

neighbor

Thats not a hate crime - geez. Perhaps the slapper slapped the slappee because of his unintelligent retort to a more intelligent heckle.
I dont agree with the heckler's message, but if you're going to provoke a debate, for gawd's sake have some firmer ground to stand on than "go fuck yourself" - please!

Hate crime legislation is bullshit 18.Jul.2004 15:21

Civil Lib

I am always pissed off to see people supporting "hate" crime legislation, and this incident is just one more example of why it has to be stopped. A man hit a woman in the face because he was offended at her telling his wife to "Fuck off." The man is clearly in the wrong and used excessive force, but has no way of knowing that the woman in question is gay, and made no mention of that fact during his assualt. The woman who was assaulted, however, feels that the man should receive extra sentencing because she is different than the person who assaulted her.

I think that motivation should not be a factor in sentencing because it makes thought a crime. So what if he hates her? So what if he is anti gay? Maybe he is a staunchly liberal civil libertarian feminist who feels that unpopular speech should be protected and that women should be treated no different than men in melee situations even with the power dynamic difference. Who cares? The fact that he assualted her should be all that is taken into consideration because people should not be punished for their opinions, no matter how harmful. When those opinions lead to actions, we already have laws to prosecute those actions!

Right now we see legislation being drafted to make "Animal Enterprises" protesting an act of terrorism, ecological sabotage a different type of crime than vandalism, etc. All of these laws are based on hate crime legislation. This woman is full of shit if she thinks she is opposing violence by supporting hate crime laws, since those very laws are founded on the violence of an ever intrusive police state.

The fact that she was holding a peace sign and shouting for people to call for armed officers is another matter that should be looked at. Why is the left always looking for someone else to commit their violence for them? Proclaiming that you are non-violent on the one hand and trying to send someone into the arms of the most brutal government on this planet on the other seems pretty hypocritical to me.

Josh

don't let them provoke you! 18.Jul.2004 15:21

me

Obviously the thug shouldn't have assaulted you. But you also let yourself be provoked by that woman! All too human. It happens to us all. But surely, with hindsight, you will admit that it was foolish on your part. You can't claim a hate crime here, because the guy didn't assault you for being gay. He assaulted you because he's an ignorant lout who disagreed with your political views, and was further aggravated by your insulting his wife.

I think the lesson is: Breeeeaaaathe! ;-)

This is part of the problem nowadays with this country. We have allowed the extreme right to poison the well, to foul our own nest, to sow so much rancor that it has undermined the basic democratic process, part of which involves some kind of reasoned dialogue between people of opposing political views. For extremists on the right, this is probably no loss. In fact, they seem to indulge it with glee. For people who care about democracy, which is the majority of us, however we may identify politically, this is a serious crisis.

"slapped?" 18.Jul.2004 15:39

clamydia

The article says that the guy "struck" him. For a patriarchal macho man attacking another man who has just insulted his wife to only "slap" someone seems unlikely to me. It's more likely that he punched him, although I can't necessarily infer that from the text of the article. Nor, however, can you infer that it was "only" a slap, so stop making shit up.

That having been said, even if it was "only" a slap, it doesn't matter; it's still assault. The police officer should have arrested the man for assault. As far as the incident being a hate crime goes, though: I doubt it. It's less likely that the man attacked the protester because of the latter's sexual orientation and more likely that the attack was motivated by the man's conservative, patriarchal, and lawless sense of husbandly duty. It's funny how the conservatives love to pick apart the actions of us anarchists, but then blatantly ignore the law when they get pissed off. I mean, if I get politically pissed off and throw a brick through a window without hurting anyone, then I get labelled as a "terrorist", but if a conservative guy gets pissed off and puts a guy in a headlock and then pulls a knife on and cuts another PPRC marcher in Pioneer Square who tries to pull his friend to safety, then it's ignored and shrugged off. And, the police won't do ANYTHING to the offenders in cases such as the latter other than tell them to disperse, even with plenty of witnesses around who would be more than willing to testify in court to what they saw. Yet at a protest, the police will indiscriminately pepper spray and arrest random people in a crowd, oftentimes assaulting passersby who didn't even have anything to do with the incident at hand. I think that this is why I feel that I am an anarchist. I refuse to have any faith in the law because the people against me who break the law are told to disperse and go home, and the smallest infraction on my part is treated like a capital offense. This obvious prejudice on the part of the people who are supposed to indiscriminately uphold the law is what shows me that the system is not only unjust, but tailored to allow those in control to stay in control. And, to quote Michael Parenti (I think it was him who said this, but he was talking about something else, more generalized): If you know that and you don't know anything else,then you know more than if you know everything else and you don't know that.


Assault victim was a guy, not a womyn. 18.Jul.2004 16:41

clamydia

The picture is of a different person holding the same peace symbol. The victim, Glen Owen, is a male.

Not a hate crime... 18.Jul.2004 22:10

DA

He did not punch/slap him because he was gay, he punched/slapped him because he had a potty mouth toward his wife.

Possibly an assault 4, more probably a harrassment (look them up), definitely not a hate crime. There is an arguement for disorderly conduct against the "victim" since his choice of words could be considered "fighting words", but it would be weak. Looks like the PoPo decided "no harm, no foul" and a low level charge like harrassment is almost impossible to convict when your victim is just as guilty in the name calling pre-fight.

The fact that he'd start yelling that it was a hate crime as quickly as he did shows the typical cry for special treatment that he didn't deserve.

speculation 18.Jul.2004 22:23

not a lawyer

For anyone to say that this was or was not a hate crime is pure speculation. Mr Owen was wearing a shirt which identified his as being homosexual. Perhaps the perpetrator would have hit him anyways, but perhaps not. If he was hit because he was gay than that would be a hate crime under Oregon law.

hate crime nonsense 18.Jul.2004 22:28

pro-slavery

I agree with civil lib, we don't need to consider motivation in a crime. Look, why do we even bother making manslaughter, negligent homicide, and murder (among many others) all different. Look, someone is dead in any case so let's just sentence all of them to death. If someone makes a mistake and accidentally kills a person surely they should not get any less of a sentence then someone who planned and executed a murder. Why should our legal system be burdened with trying to figure out why a person committed a crime, that's not what I want my taxes going for. I want people executed regardless of whether they fell asleep at the wheel and killed someone with their car, or slowly poisoned someone for 10 years. That'll teach people to make mistakes.

another point that hasn't been made... 18.Jul.2004 22:32

justme

Did the "victim" press assault charges? It doesn't look like he did so that explains why the man took a walk and wasn't arrested. If there were witnesses around who saw it happen which it sounds like it was the "victim" could of easily pressed assault charges against the heckler. At the same time the heckler's wife could of pressed verbal assault charges so it sounds rather than have the court system tied up with a BS case such as thing where both parties clearly were in the wrong (telling someone to go fuck themselves isn't right even if they're a bushlover)

Mixed message 18.Jul.2004 22:55

ctrl-z

Peace Sign + Fuck Off = Fuck Off
Peace Sign + Smile = Peace

If you're going to repesent peace be peaceful.

No such thing as "Verbal Assault Charges" 18.Jul.2004 23:49

PPBCopwatcher

As the DA clearly pointed out, based upon the above "narrative" of the incident, this clearly was not a hate crime. And as for "fighting words", the case is weak, again as the DA pointed out.

Telling someone to fuck off is not against the law. There is no such crime as "verbal assault". Feel free to look for it in the ORS, but you won't find it!

If you get assaulted, you HAVE to tell the police that you want to press charges, or they won't do anything but talk to the those involved and leave (at most it will get documented in their notebook). There are lazy cops out there who do everything they can to "willy" off a call rather than write a report. "willy" stands for the "W" clearance code that PPB uses. But, fortunately not all cops do that.

Pressing charges requires a police report, and possibly a citation to the suspect.

The thug's behavior was _matriarchical_ 19.Jul.2004 08:37

Pat

"more likely that the attack was motivated by the man's conservative, *patriarchal*, and lawless sense of husbandly duty."

Actually, the thug's behavior was _matriarchical_. His cowardly wife attacked the peace-sign person, knowing she had an "enforcer" in her husband. He was being chivalrous (chivalry is a terrible thing). In matriarchical societies, men are expected to behave like eunuchs, protecting women. If he were actually patriarchical, he'd leave his wife to fight her own battle that she started, not bail her out. A real man would dump her for being such a terrible person. She's a chicken hawk, supporting the war while being exempt from combat (while millions of innocent American MEN who opposed the war were drafted in Vietnam and/or Korea, she stayed home, exempt from the draft, and took pleasure in the mass slaughter of good Asian civilians and American soldiers).

IMC conversations are often infected with feminist rhetoric that twists everything into blaming men and "patriarchies" for everything, even if it's 180 degrees from the truth.

It appears the peace sign person is a disgrace to peace activists: making false accusations of "hate crimes" (a huge insult to victims of actual hate crimes). If the three people had fought and killed each other, this world would be a better place.

RE: to "Pro-Slavery" 19.Jul.2004 11:05

Logic

There is a broad difference between sentencing on the basis of negligence vs. pre-meditation and sentencing on the basis of hate crime legislation. In one instance, a person is being judged on the basis of whether or not they planned to kill someone or if they accidentally caused the loss of life. In the other instance, a persons opinions are used to enhance sentencing. Remember when Jeff Luers was sentenced to 23 years for arson, an act that usually would get about 5 - 7 years? He was sentenced to that amount of time for his political views, and we all decried it because no one should have their sentence enhanced for "thought crime." Hate crime legislation is the same thing.

Doesn't Look Good 20.Jul.2004 11:37

Patriarchal

From the storyline provided I'd have popped him too. Granted, my gal wouldn't have said anything about his views. I wouldn't have said anything. But, several women I've been with over the year's sure would have. Patriarcal? Don't know if my reaction would fit that definition, but as Billy Clinton once said, "Word's have consequences." Using obscenities to my sweetheart such as this fellow did, I wouldn't even think before I struck him. Thug? Patriarchal? Maybe, but people who speak like that are pretty much dead to the value and meaning of language (evidently). Consequently, direct discouragement is often more effective.

I grew up here and in North Idaho. Folks, used to be mindful of what they said, especailly in mixed company or public, not just because of the on-the- street consequences but because they weren't casually coarse and brutal in speech. Perhaps this guy will use compassionate reasoning and cogent but pithy expression in the future. My money, he'll have to get popped a couple more times before he curbs his hate speech.

re: patriarchal 21.Jul.2004 14:42

clamydia

"I'd have popped him too"
Then you would have been just as guilty of breaking the law. Our constitution gives us the right to state our opinions as we see fit without being physically assaulted by our peers as a result. If I mouth off to "your gal", it's my right. It's not your right to "pop" me one in response. You have three choices according to the law: ignore me, argue with me, or agree with me. Of course, I don't really have any expectation that law enforcement officers will uphold people's right to freedom of speech, based on what I've personally witnessed throughout my life. That's why I wouldn't bother calling the cops when some jerk like you decides to try to use his fists to win an argument (proving he has no intelligence and no self-discipline), although I wouldn't be adverse to fighting back. The bottom line is that people who physically attack others because they are pissed off at something they say are a step down on the evolutionary ladder. You are a bunch of troglodytes, and sooner or later you will kill each other off and the world will be better for it.
"Perhaps this guy will use compassionate reasoning and cogent but pithy expression in the future."
"Go fuck yourself" seems pretty cogent and pithy to me, and so therefore that is what I shall say to you: Go fuck yourself, "Patriarchal".

Patriarchal 22.Jul.2004 12:07

re:chlamydia

Law or no I'd have still popped the fellow. Had to take the consequences, too. As happens often at this site people invoke the law when it suits their need and deride it when it proves inconvient.
Granted, some people prefer to see name calling and obscene language as a better way to cast a message, especially when reason, honesty, and consideration are too heavy a burden.

The "Go...yourself" is a dangerous observation or way to express yourself. Sooner or later you might catch a response from a trogloydyte - then it's perhaps a lifetime of dental bills etc. No, probably better to
think before you speak so that you'll evoke that response in others. Might help others to understand your point-of-view and so help them avoid legal expenses. Really, it's better to achieve your purpose than to be foul mouthed and crying in print and public.

Oh well, I'm just some fuckin' guy.

the follies of being patriarchal 22.Jul.2004 13:26

John

I would hate to be so easily manipulated that I had to get into a fight everytime my girlfriend decided to shout at someone. Well, as long as you're willing to pay the price for your actions. Remember, just because someone wants to end the war does not mean they don't believe in self-defense. I'd be careful if you don't want to end up bleeding to death on the street because someone decided to not keep quiet while your girlfriend shouted at them. But hey, it's your life to live as you choose. But hey, what am I doing arguing with someone who thinks obscene language is a bad way to get a message across but violence is an acceptable and effective. Well, someday you'll learn better.

re: troglodyte 22.Jul.2004 22:28

clamydia

You sure use a bunch of pretty words to dress up an ugly idea: The idea that you have the right to physically assault someone for saying what they think. The fact still remains, no matter how apathetically you try to shrug it off, that violence is for A: Assholes and B: People definding themselves from assholes. If you want to be an asshole, fine, but you'll have to accept the consequences. To reiterate a previously mentioned point: one of these days you are going to run into someone smaller than you who says something you don't like. You're going to try to "pop him/her one" and end up seriously injured because they weren't such an easy target as you thought. Maybe they'll pull a knife and lacerate you, or maybe they'll just go all Kung Fu on your ass and break some of your bones, or maybe they'll pull out a gun and blow a few holes in you. Just remember as you lament your terrible, beastheaded choice through a cloud of tears and pain: If you had listened to those people on Indymedia you might not be in this mess...

what did he expect? 26.Aug.2004 16:35

reality check

we all live in this world. what did owen expect going out on the street with a big aluminum foil peace sign? if you are going to make yourself vulnerable, you need to be prepared for unfavorable reactions from dissenters. nonviolence training is great for activists, whether or not you are fundamentally nonviolent. it teaches you methods for engaging constructively with people like the heckler, rather than allowing yourself to be provoked. owen could potentially have turned the situation into an opportunity for constructive dialogue with the woman. why else would you go around with a big aluminum foil peace sign anyway?

crying "hate crime" in this instance really makes me ill. like a previous commenter, i feel that it is an insult to actual victims of hate crimes and undermines their ability to seek justice.

also, i agree that calling for thugs with guns to come settle your disputes for you is unbecoming behavior for a peace activist, unless his life was in danger. it does not seem that it was.

next time owen wants to go out on the street with a big aluminum foil peace sign, i hope he takes this reality check with him.

"Hate Crime" what a f-d bunch of semantical bullshit 03.Oct.2004 15:55

"Hate Crime" what a f-d bunch of semantical bullshit

What gets me to this day is that we live in a civilization where we ever had to distinguished any crime from every having any other motive other than hate.