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economic justice | human & civil rights may day

march for nicolas david alvares

there was a march downtown today in honor of a teenage arnarchist killed by police in columbia.
today a group of anarchist protestors marched through downtown portland carrying a mock casket in honor of nicolas david neira alvares, a 15-year old anarchist beaten to death by police in bogota, columbia on may day. the turn-out was small, but focused, and began at pioneer square and made its way through downtown--blocking the bus here and the streets here and there--and to the saturday marketplace, and then down 1st avenue to the world trade center, where the casket was left at the door under the guard of a security officer who raised his fist in solidarity with the marchers when they arrived. as vibrant south american music played through a loudspeaker and various speakers keeping the marchers hungry, passers-by joined the march for a time and people watching voiced their support. there was very little by way of confrontation in the march itself until afterwards, when the marchers reconvened at pioneer square and began speaking. one elderly transient began speaking loudly, and a police safety officer asked him to turn it off, which sparked mocks from the marchers and other people in the square. one bystander began harrassing the elderly man as he got onto the MAX, and several of the marchers interceded on his behalf which caused a confrontation in front of the starbucksat pioneer square. the bystander became more and more perturbed, and eventually came to blows with one of the march organizers, which caused the arrival of the police. the violence was caused by the bystander's attempts to bully the elderly man, and then proceeding to pick a fight with the marchers in any way he could. at one point, he even called the organizer he fought "black boy." the police came, and the organizer chose not to press charges, and both men left. it was the malevolence of one individual completely unaffiliated with the march that caused the entire incident, and unfortunate blemish on what was before that a successful, spirited, if small, event that certainly made an impact on the people who witnessed it.

anyone interested in supporting a lawsuit on behalf of alvares by the survivor of may day are encouraged to write or call the colombian embassy to declare their support:

Embajada de Colombia
2118 LeRoy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
phone 202-387-8338
fax 202-232-8643
 emwas@colombiaemb.org
Wow 14.May.2005 17:40

Ben

Didn't hear word of this. I'm glad that people went and yet sad that I was not there. It is kind of ironic that violence towards the protestors occured. Thanks for the report.

Text of Flier passed to bystanders, and content of speech at event 14.May.2005 18:30

.

After suffering for 7 days in critical condition from severe head trauma and contusions in his body, Nicolas David Neira Alvares died at age 15. He was brutally beaten by 8 policemen in Bogota, Columbia, and left to die. Like many others around the world, Nicolas had participated in a May Day march to commemorate the struggle for workers rights and the 8 hour work day, and the Haymarket martyrs of Chicago. According to accounts there was music and dancing in Bogota on May Day. As the march reached the downtown area, cops suddenly opened fire with tear gas and rubber bullets. Exploiting the chaos that ensued, the cops charged into the crowd brutally beating people.They singled out Nicolas, a 15 yr. old male anarchist and beat him into unconsciousness. Many bravely attempted to interfere to rescue him. Nicolas Alvares was taken to the Salud Coop Hospital but the trauma was so extensive that they were unable to operate to save him. Many other marchers were severely injured. The survivors are planning to come together to sue. Through the efforts of independent media sources the story has gotten out and the Colombian media has been forced to give it mention. But more international support is needed to help these cases to be taken seriously. Those of us within the United States must speak up against this murdering of dissent. The United States government, military contractors, CIA, and corporate interests support the extreme right wing in Columbia, arming the paramilitaries and massacring resistance to environmental and labor exploitation. It is time for the PEOPLE within the US to stand against it, and to ally ourselves with those who work and dream of a better world for all people. Write or call the Colombian Embassy!

Embajada de Colombia, 2118 Leroy Place, NW, Washington
DC 20008; Phone: (202) 387 8338 Fax: (202) 232 8643
 emwas@colombiaemb.org

To support the family and comrades of Alvares,
email  floresmagon_cna@yahoo.com

. 14.May.2005 18:43

schtick

it IS time for the American People to stand up...especially the young. unfortuantley, many of them (like my sister and her friends in the next room) are too busy gossiping about things that just don't matter and having a blast of a time not thinking about anything important. dfh

YES 14.May.2005 18:46

Afeni

We did OUR thing and the army of the rich (police) did nothing while we took ALL the streets with our coffin. They also did nothing when they were told there was a man attacking the homeless.
Fuck the CLEAN and SAFE-nicer cleaner puff piece police. I was assaulted while trying to defend and keep others SAFE, then I got a ticket for speaking out against police MURDER. I felt very dirty in the suqare today and I was obviously NOT SAFE.
I wont let that swine (I hesitate to call him that but his clean and safe gun toten ass was just that, really) bring down the good feeling I got from the people power we showed today, there were only 30 of us but it was enough people power to move a fucking mountain.

OUCH 14.May.2005 18:59

yummy

dirty and dangerous
and armed
DIRTY AND DANGEROUS
DIRTY AND DANGEROUS

Gracias 15.May.2005 01:06

Victory!

Thanks to everyone who came and helped! Every single one of the fliers were handed out informing hundreds of people of Nicolas' death, the giant heavy casket was carried all the way to the World Trade Center, we took the streets for 2 hours with 30 or so people(I can't remember the last time that happened without getting beat, gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and arrested!), and got in a few strikes on a racist man that was randomly attacking people! Wow, what an unusual day. Thanks for everyone's work to make this day as successful as possible on such short notice and during a time when so many of us are feeling so overwhelmed and jaded.
Despite the obstacles(Bush's oppressive regime, the United States government, global fascism, violent racist citizens, etc.), the struggle must continue. Take courage, take heart, and chin up. We can win. We just need to keep fighting. So start somewhere and go til your last breath.

Thank You 15.May.2005 13:50

Den Mark, Vancouver

As the senior-est (by many years) participant of the action yesterday, let me express gratitude that Nicolas' sacrifice was not forgotten, but carried thru-out the commercial heart of Portland, by almost thirty determined & intelligent teens & twenties. Your courage & idealism are such that you would have defended Nicolas, as his comrades did in Bogota. Stay with each other, & with your sense of Justice. I left feeling that The Movement has a future, largely because of you, bearers of the Red&Black. Thank you.

Den Mark, Vancouver (Green Flag Guy)

thank you 15.May.2005 16:05

dom

vancouver man,
it was good to have the perspective of a teacher.
Thanx for yer warm comments sir,
yours in struggle
US!

yeah 15.May.2005 19:00

nicole

I was really impressed by the march yesterday, though it was small, i felt the intesity of everyone dressed in black and the coffin really got across to people. Lateley i have not felt a lot of motivation to attend protests because i am so sick of holding up a fucking sign when i feel that other tactics would be more effective. this, however i feel was really necessary to honor nicolas and to show solidarity to those who fight for freedom in bogata and all over the world. I think it is important that we did not let this atrocity go unnoticed. Though I left the march early and was sad to hear it ended the way it did i feel there was a very powerful message sent out yesterday to those who witnessed the funeral march and i hope that it will make some people wake up and take action! It is unfortunate that some may misconstrue the ending events as anarchists causing trouble in the streets but regardless i think it was a success and I am very thankful to those who took the initiative to make it happen.

the crazy attack guy 15.May.2005 21:07

V!

Yes it was very unfortunate that crazy random attack guy showed up. However, I think it was pretty clear to the folks sitting around at the square that he was the one causing the trouble. It was loudly declared several times that the man had randomly attacked a homeless man and the anarchists were trying to protect the homeless person. The crowd was pretty supportive of our efforts and at times they intervened to help subdue attack guy. A couple of us took some blows but are fine and the homeless man got away safely.
On a side note and not one bit surprisingly, the cops made complete asses of themselves. When they finally arrived on the scene(after we had the situation under control and for the most part it was over), they were much more concerned with issuing an exclusion to one of the anarchists(for publicly embarrassing a Clean & Safe Patrol officer over the microphone with cheers and applause from the unaffiliated by-standers in the square). They took no action whatsoever, not even a temporary exclusion or trip to the drunk tank, against the man who was randomly attacking people. In fact the man was still wandering around looking for another fight when we drove by on the way home. The Clean & Safe patrol(like most police) is clearly more concerned with their appearance of infalible authority than actual safety.
Despite that very strange incident I still feel very positive about the event.

why block buses? 18.May.2005 12:01

a.co

why block buses?
public transit, although controlled by the state, is still an active form of resistance to capitalist car culture
we shouldn't be blocking buses unless it is too out of our way to specifically let them through

rock'n out with my book out 18.May.2005 13:43

chaka fucking khan

It was a means to an end oh lets state the obvious dude. The street was clear then a bus came it honked we moved thats it.
Buses are fine but the do show little concern for cyclists sometimes, bastards.