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Fouad Kaady Anti-Police Violence Demonstration

When: Saturday, February 11th, noon
Where: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office -- Kaen Rd in Oregon City (near the Clackamas County Jail).
Bus Route: #33 trimet route -- for those coming from pdx who do not drive
As you may recall, Fouad Kaady was tortured and killed by officers from the Sandy police department and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office (CCSO). Mr. Kaady was badly injured and in shock when he was approached by police last September. They demanded that he lay face down on the ground. Because he was so badly hurt, he was unable to immediately comply. Officers then proceeded to tase him in what can only be described as torture. When he finally responded by jumping up in a daze and leaping onto a police car, they shot him to death. Both officers later admitted that they knew, at the time, that he was unarmed. (Please see  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/332345.shtml for further details.)

In a scenerio that has become all too common, Deputy Dave Willard was just "cleared" by CCSO for his part in the killing, on the grounds that he "followed procedures." Apparently, CCSO policies and procedures allow sheriff's deputies to kill helpless, unarmed citizens, without consequence. We would like to change that.

The Kaady family has been repeatedly given the impression, by the police and the corporate media, that no one cares about what happened to Fouad. We would like to change that too. This protest is being organized by an ad hoc group of citizens and activists who have come together to work with the Kaady family, to bring this story out into the light of day. Please join us on February 11th to take a stand against this kind of unrelenting police violence.

What injustices the system doesn't punish, we must regard as an intent of the system.



We will be meeting Saturday, February 11th, @ noon in front of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. This is on Kaen Rd in Oregon City, right near the Clackamas County Jail. The CCSO is located at 2223 KAen Rd, and we will be meeting between 2223 and 2051 Kaen Rd. For those coming from pdx who do not drive, this is right along the #33 Trimet route ( http://trimet.org/).

Come out in support 30.Jan.2006 19:20

RT

Even though Fouad was killed in Clackamas County, this issue touches folks in other counties as well. Here is a flyer that you can put up and pass around. It gives all of the necessary information. Sorry for the windows word processor, but that is all we have.

Y'all come 30.Jan.2006 19:49

Juan Segin

So far, there are folks coming from as diverse communities as Sandy, Colton, Estacada, Scotts Mills, and of course, PDX.
Let us know where you are coming from, let us make it a real extended community response to the epidemic of police violence.

Very Important ! 31.Jan.2006 07:03

Vic

This is an important rally....the less we speak out now , the harder it will be to try to later. The CCSD would love to see a small turnout...lets be sure and show up for this! I have a sign business and will be bringing signs. I am open for sign ideas! Also if anyone has ideas for stickers to hand out , we will make and bring some of those too. And lets not forget Carlos Rubio , quite possibly a victim of the Sandy Police Dept.

signs 31.Jan.2006 15:03

RedTree

Vic, great about the signs! We just made up 2 banners, one "Solidarity" and one "Fouad Kaady".
You are so right about this being important. Though this happened in Clackamas County, it affects all of us. We hope for a good turn-out. Keep the action going.

Juan Rubio 31.Jan.2006 15:37

Juan Segin

Hey, Vic, or anybody else, if you have a contact for Mr. Rubio, we would love to see him there. Would love even more to have him speak there. I only found out after the fact, about his latest run in with the killer squad from Sandy. Please, anybody who knows him, keep us informed as to his plight, and if he is to go to court again, let us know in advance, so we can be there to support him.

Madam Hatter, you are pretty familiar with Sandy goins on, please keep us updated.

I also agree that this issue, and the issue of renegade cops without borders has got to be dealt with, now, and always.

Handouts/posters 31.Jan.2006 15:40

Lew Nassa

We have made up a poster, which we will print out for passing out at the event, but would be happy to pass them along to anyone interested. Unfortunately, they are in a windows format, (don't have adobe) and I cannot seem to upload them here. Contact me at a friend's email:  kubby@riseup.net and I will be happy to email a copy to you.
Again, let us talk it up, post it up, and be there. WE ALL ARE FOUAD'S FAMILY!

Sign suggestions 31.Jan.2006 16:56

villager

I liked the sign Juan Rubio carried during an early protest in Sandy. It said, "Don't shoot, I'm dressed."

How about "We called for HELP, not a COMMANDO."

"Willard and Bergin are Killers"

"Fouad was a Victim of Systemic Injustice"

"Cops Kill"

"Officer Friendly is a Myth"

SURPRISE! 31.Jan.2006 17:28

HIS BEST FRIEND

SURPRISE! the CCSO killed a lot time but they did not kill Fouad's memory and
his story. People still remember. Injustice is hard to forget. Fouad's story
is hard to forget. He was injured, burned, unarmed and naked and he was not
mentally ill or on drugs so this a perfect story of injustice it could not
be better. let us stand united and show our solidarity in a non violent way.
NO MORE POLICE VIOLENCE! NO MORE LIES! SHAME ON YOU BOTH CLACKAMAS AND SANDY
WHEN YOU LIE SO MUCH YOU START BELEIVING YOURS LIES AS TRUTH.You can fool people for so long but in Fouad's case it's becoming harder to cover the truth
because the people have made a decision to not forget and accomodate you. I
WILL BE THERE ON THE 11th and hope for a good turnout to dissapoint the liers.

Bring many video recorders and witnesses 31.Jan.2006 18:57

me

Clackamas County will not know how to deal with anything like this, that is the scary thing. Soon the wholes United Sates of America will know where Clackamas County is. There goes their little neighborhood of terrified subjects.

REMEMBER, IT'S NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE! WE MAYBE PEACEFULL, BUT THEY MURDER WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY! IF THEY START TELLING THE CORPO0RATE MEDIA TO LEAVE, THEN LEAVE ALSO! PLEASE!

JUAN Rubio 31.Jan.2006 19:11

Friend

 hardwayswife@yahoo.com12345678900987543212233445567 (no #'s, they are in place against the auto spam).
A beautiful and most brave man. His story needs an audience, and some action also, allow not Caros's Murder to have been in vain. Post on this thread if that e mail does not work.

How about? 31.Jan.2006 19:56

mh

How about:

"Never Forget Fouad, Always Remember Rubio"

I'd recommend putting their pictures out there, too. They are very powerful.

whao! 31.Jan.2006 21:28

no one

I can not believe the clackams county sherrif is going to have a protest, I do not think something like this has EVER happened there, EVER! This is what happens when you push and murder the people you are supposed to be protecting. Look out clack PD! Shits going down, and there is nothing you can do but tell the truth, this will NEVER go away, just wait and see, just wait until the one year anniv., or the 2 year, or the 10 year. Fouads blood will always taint you and bring evil to you and ALL your family and your friends, forever will you be branded a "murderer", and that is worst than anything.
The only way to save yourself and family is by REPENTING, telling the truth, and excepting the judgement of society, else you and all whom you love are doomed, and I speak the truth. Live not lies, for will you suffer much, speak only the truth, and you will be taken care of.

"An eye for an eye... 31.Jan.2006 23:41

makes the whole world blind." -Gandhi

I am happy to hear that Fouad is being remembered and that people still care and wish to support his family. I would be happy to participate in the Anti-Police Violence Demonstration on February 11th. I have a few concerns/suggestions:

First is, even though many people feel hurt and angry about Fouad's death, to keep positive and remain peaceful during the demonstration. Harboring animosity towards the officers or the police department will not bring forth a willingness from them to come to the table and make changes in how they operate. In fact, it may create serious tension and make for another unwanted confrontation with the PD. We want to keep everyone SAFE!

To do this we need to maintain personal integrity and self-respect. If people drive by and scream obscenties, we must turn the other cheek. Smile, wave, flash them a peace sign- BUT, by all means, do not sink to their level and let them get you upset and defeat the cause. At the demonstration if you see a fellow demostrator antagonizing passersby when provoked remind them to remember Fouad and keep focused on the cause: justice.

Second, in light of keeping positive, make signs that honor Fouad and show respect for the community (even the officers!!) Revenge is not the answer- justice is. And while it is very important that the police officers be held accountable, it is important that we come from a space of respect. As difficult as it may be, imagine how the police force feels to have to be humiliated by the horrible poor judgement of their fellow officers. Maybe, just maybe, there are officers that would like to see that justice is served too. Not all police officers are bad people, but some may have bad judgement. But making signs that antagonize the entire police force making hasty generalizations (i.e. cop killers) are plain immature. Remember, we don't want to contribuite to the problem- we want to be a part of the solution!!!!

See you on the 11th!!!

Anybody from EUGENE 31.Jan.2006 23:46

that needs a ride to the demonstration??

Two of us are planning to drive up. We have a small car but could have room for a few more people if you want to go. So, are there any folks in Eugene interested in going???

i have too 01.Feb.2006 00:37

Zaki

I, for one, have to make this succed, I am owed alot up at those holes of hell

to the person who posted "an eye for an eye" 01.Feb.2006 06:34

Another perspective

Are you a member of Fouad's family? Because, if you are, then I will respect what you ask. But if you are not, then I cannot. What you are saying seems, at first, to make sense. After all, it's something we are repeatedly told: Even if THEY are not peaceful, let US be peaceful. Not every situation calls for "peaceful" behavior, though, Ghandi. It takes a diversity of tactics. This is not to say that anyone is going to be "violent" at this demonstration (I can't see that happening, to be honest). But it is to say that people are owed their own passion, and I do not think it's helpful to be telling them how to behave, or how to express their passions. I think it's TIME to shout a few obscenities (and by the way, shouting obscenities is not violence).

I respect your desire to remain true to your beliefs. But please do not turn that into a template for other people, and please do not disrespect those who are more passionate about this (at least in their outward expressions, I'm sure you are very passionate about it inside).

Again, if you are a member of Fouad's family, and the Kaady family wants people to "behave," then I will abide by their desires on this. However, please remember that power concedes nothing without demand. It's all very well to point out famous pacifists in history, but what people always forget is that those pacifists were part of a social upheaval that ALWAYS included more militant souls. We ALWAYS need both. One without the other is not effective. Militancy without the pacifist bandaid to appeal to the masses generally meets an overwhelming crackdown, whereas pacifism without militancy is ALWAYS relegated to irrelevance. It is when we work together, pacifist and militant, and when we refuse to demonize each other, that we scare the pants off our oppressors and actually make a difference. Ghandi understood this very well. May we, as well.

It seems sadly misguided to be asking for "polite" behavior in a situation where the police repeatedly and systemically abuse, harass, and kill innocent people. And it IS a systemic problem. If it were not systemic, then the system would have punished the perpetrators. It did not.

This is not time for "politeness." This is a time for passion. Please, though, do not equate passionate words and even a few obscenities, with "violence."

An Eye for an Eye??? 01.Feb.2006 07:13

sigh

No one anticipates anyone asking for "an eye for an eye." If that were the case, then we would be calling for the officers who shot Fouad to be chased up onto their cars and shot to death. No one is asking for that.

We do not need to go so far the other way, though, that we roll over on our backs for them. We do not owe the police any "respect." We owe each other respect. The police are part of a system that murdered an innocent, unarmed, injured human being. Part of a system that CONTINUES to do so. If we really care about "keeping safe," then we need to let them know that we are NOT pushovers, and we are NOT taking this any more. "Harboring animosity"? Oh, I harbor animosity, all right. That's a very legitimate reaction to a situation like this, and it's not useful to lecture that I shouldn't feel this way.

It doesn't matter whether "all police are not bad people." What matters is that what they are doing for a living is serving a system that is intentionally oppressing us. Please do not ask people to ignore this. And please, please, please do not play into their hands by pretending that screaming our objections at them equates, in any imaginable way, to doing the kind of violence to them that they have done to us. "And eye for an eye"? They killed someone without mercy. Are you saying that being impolite to them can compare to that???

The people who are coming to this protest are good people. Trust them. Do not ask them to be polite to the police state. We are all coming from different places. Let us allow each other to express ourselves, and let us not try to silence each other. Don't pretend that being polite enough will make us safe. We are already, most certainly, NOT safe. In a society where two fully armed police officers can gun down an innocent, unarmed man and get away with it, a society where "policies and procedures" allow them to do it, no amount of politeness will make us safe.

I know you are a good person too, "eye for an eye." And I trust you to do what you feel is best. I will be honored to have you standing next to me at the demonstration. But I feel like your (very understandable) fear of police retribution is blinding you to the danger in your words. Often, the police state uses rhetoric like this to divide us from each other. They pretend that the people who are the most passionate are "violent," or are legitimate targets for their aggression. The corporate media helps them in this. That's why they will talk about "rabble rousers" and things like that. This actually worked for them in Portland, after they shot Jahar Perez. There were two protests within days of that. I went to both of them. Neither was even remotely violent, but the passive, fearful people who organized the first one, who really should have known better, went around telling people not to attend the second one because it would be "violent." Why? Because the people organizing the second one were not willing to be "polite." Instead, they wanted to tell the truth. And they did, in some very firey, beautiful speeches and chants. And they went right to the mayor's doorstep (she was the police commissioner), and demanded that changes be made. People were not violent at either protest, but the people who went to the second one were put at risk by the people who had organized the first one. Because once they said what they said, it gave the police carte blanc to do what they wanted, and they could just blame it all on "violent radicals."

The lesson? We must stick together, and we must allow each other to act according to conscience. No one is going to be "violent" at this protest. Please recognize the difference between a radical expression of feeling, and shooting someone down in the streets. The police ARE violent, they are the ones with the guns. No one is planning to "sink to their level." Trust me, "eye," the police are NEVER going to be "willing to come to the table and make changes" no matter how polite we are. We've all been trying that for way, way too long. Be polite, and you get studies, and commissions, and proposals, and reports, and NO changes. Study a bit of history and see for yourself.

I will see you there, and please let us stand together as allies. Do not be afraid to speak out. We will watch each others' backs, and that will make us much safer than "politeness."

I'' be there 01.Feb.2006 07:21

but I want to respond to this...

"At the demonstration if you see a fellow demostrator antagonizing passersby when provoked remind them to remember Fouad and keep focused on the cause: justice."

Oh PLEASE don't do this.

It makes me CRAZY when people start trying to tell each other what to do at a demonstration. It's very disrespectful. Remember that some of those "fellow demonstrators" have been doing this for a much longer time than you have, and have already seen the ineffectiveness of "flashing peace signs and smiling" in the face of something like this.

I'll be there, but please do not come over and tell me what to say there. And do not ask me to tell anyone else how they should behave. I'm there to tell the police to stop shooting people, not to lecture fellow demonstrators about ettiquet.

Thanks to the person from eugene 01.Feb.2006 09:20

offering a ride

Great to hear people will be coming up from Eugene! Would you be willing to put up flyers at the university, and around town, to see if there are others willing to make the trip? I know people in Eugene understand police violence and oppression as well as people from Clackamas County. Let's stand together and put an end to this violence.

Also, regarding the comments about "an eye for an eye." I would like to echo some of the thoughts here, and I trust that the person who posted the original comment will take this, not as criticism, but as food for thought. I understand the sentiment, because I used to hold similar thoughts about trying to make changes by being polite. And sometimes, yes, there is a place for civility and politeness. But I would hope that you would understand that it is very much not polite to tell fellow activists how to act or how to express themselves. It's disrespectful to presume that you know better than they do how they should feel, think, or express themselves. Please, let us stand together on the 11th. Please do not alienate your (our) allies by talking down to them like that. Remember that police violence is an issue that effects all of us, and that all of us have a stake in this. Also, we have the right to speak out, in whatever way we can. This is a situation that calls for passion, as has been noted above.

I will allow you to express your thoughts and feelings the way you will, and I would hope that you would afford me the same courtesy. Remember that we are there because the police kill people and do not pay any consequences for it. We are not there to make them our friends.

re "eye for an eye" 01.Feb.2006 18:14

"The state calls its own violence law..." Max Stirner

It's a pretty, but dangerous, illusion to imagine that if we all just smile and act politely, the system will come around. It will not. As the saying goes, "Power concedes nothing without demand."

We need to stand together on February 11th, and let it be known that this issue is one felt deeply. The police will never willingly give up the power to do as they will. And the system will never willingly give up the power to oppress, control, and terrorize us through their minions, the police. We must DEMAND change, not ask self-effacingly for it and wait for them to "come to the table and make changes in how they operate." This wish, while completely understandable, is touchingly naive. Those of us who have been fighting this struggle for some time have come to understand that the police terrorize us, not out of ignorance, but out of systemic intent. Fouad Kaady was "collateral damage," a "soft target" to them. Their mission and their intent is force and violence. Their role in society is to keep the people quiet, passive, and out of the way of those who pull their strings.

If you're afraid that this event will not be "family friendly," please do not fear. Everyone is welcome and I know many people who are planning to be there. These are not "violent" people, but rather some are, as noted above, passionate people. They will stand by you, and will protect you from harm at the hands of the violent police. Let them be passionate people. Please do not tell them to hold their tongues and flash peace signs. Let them be who they are. Being angry is not a sin, not a crime, not "violent," and not inappropriate in a situation like this. I echo the above concern that, if the person who posted that is a family member of Fouad, then it will hold more weight for me. But in any case, I would hope that the person who wrote it will think about it, and will not tell people how to behave, and will not ask me to do so either.

There is no One answer 01.Feb.2006 19:12

Lew

Our stated purpose is to oppose police violence, and to support the family of Fouad Kaady, who was cruelly murdered. Just how we should respond to this heinous act is a very personal thing, and cannot be dictated by others. That said, I fail to understand how getting into needless agression can counter violence. It would seem that the opposite would be true.

On the other hand, the points here stated are well taken; Much of the violence that I have seen in recent years at demonstrations has been started by elements of the fascist state. We have seen evidence of this in the videos, and in the statements of victims, as well as in the courageous acts of a few judges, such as the one who released Juan Rubio and castigated the Sandy police chief. I personally feel that for myself, the best course of action is to refuse to engage in the same kind of violence that is being perpetrated by the cops. Your actions should be your own, your responsibility also. It is hoped that whatever our actions, that the intended results will be obtained.

Please, follow your own conscience, and allow others to do the same.

i'll be there! 01.Feb.2006 19:41

just someone

It sickened me to hear about the killing of Fouad Kaady, as it did to hear about so many other police atrocities. I just can't believe they keep getting off with the excuse that they "followed procedures." The point is, the procedures, the policies, the police state: are wrong. It's time we stood up and said so. I will be there.

One more voice 02.Feb.2006 07:44

CatWoman

How many more killings do we need before we've had enough? How much more proof do we need that this is no way to run a society? I will be there to raise my voice against this outrage.

Regarding this:

"But making signs that antagonize the entire police force making hasty generalizations (i.e. cop killers) are plain immature."

Actually, immaturity is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Sometimes, "maturity" is about respecting other people to use their own voices, rather than assuming that we know better and trying to control what others say. The truth is, it's very naive to believe that this is about one isolated example, one bad apple. It is not. This is about a pervasive culture of violence, sown and nurtured in the very core of what it means to be a part of the police state. This is not about what kind of person every officer is when he or she goes home at night. This is about the role each officer plays in society, the privileges and perogatives each has over the rest of us, and the "procedures" that allow him or her to kill members of our community in cold blood and get away with it. This is about the way they were allowed to play this out. It's not only that they shot and killed yet another unarmed man. It's also about the way they used the corporate media (their PR unit) to make this man out to be some kind of monster, which he was not. It's about the way they were allowed to get their stories straight, and were then questioned by sympathetic ears who were never going to find them guilty of any wrongdoing no matter what the facts were. It's about the way they used taxpayer's money and resources to "investigate" this by "investigating" only Fouad Kaady and not the people who killed him. It's about inconsistencies in their stories that were never explained, and never asked about. More than that, it's about the way they do this every, single, time.

This is not the first time this has happened, to be sure. Again and again, the police have attacked and killed unarmed, innocent people in our community, and again and again they have gotten away with it. Every time, they follow this pattern: They blame the victim, they insinuate that the person they killed was someone we should not care about, they play the corporate media for the mindless lapdogs that they are, they ape a charade of "justice" by going through the motions of stacked grand jury and issuing reports about "lessons learned." And every, single time, they get away with it. No cop is ever punished for what they do. (If they're from the PPB, they actually get medals for it.)

People have tried to be polite, on many, many occasions. It doesn't matter how polite we are, or how self effacing we are. This is not about our behavior, it is about theirs. If they do not listen, it is because they never listen, and not because people were not "polite" enough. No one is planning to break things, burn things, or throw rocks at this demonstration. (Not because it would be outrageous to do so, but because it would not, in this case, be effective.) And certainly no one is planning on treating the police the way they treated Fouad Kaady. Beyond that, I would hope that we would all respect our fellow demonstrators enough to avoid telling them how to behave, and avoid making negative judgements about the ways in which they plan to express themselves. Most especially, I would hope that we do not accuse each other of things like "defeating the cause" or "creating serious tension" with the police. It is the police who have created serious tension in our society. It is not the people who come to stand with us in opposition to their violence.

God, she's good! 02.Feb.2006 08:50

JS

Cat, once again, you cut immediately to the chase! Can we post this at the top, above the logo? I mean, this should be our mantra!

reason for standing 02.Feb.2006 08:53

one body

What Catwoman has said strikes at the heart of this gathering. The officers involved have been 'vindicated' by the 'investigations' and I intend to simply stand as a woman who denies that vindication.

Wish I had written that 02.Feb.2006 09:02

Lew

Skip over my blathering, and just read CatWoman's post above. It says it all, much better than could I.

more than outrage 02.Feb.2006 12:34

st

It's great that people are willing to raise their voices against conduct from police they find intolerable. Raising a furious clamour draws attention to serious issues, but this alone isn't enough. Looking back over recent years, it's quite easy to see that.

Local officials and police, told that police shootings conducted in accordance with existing policy and procedure are wrong, for the most part, simply and easily deny it, with no superior alternatives to existing policy and procedures before them.

The rate and type of virtually denfenseless shootings that have been occurring over recent years cannot be expected to change until elected officials and police are presented with new and humanely superior policies and procedures, with the obligation to put them into practice.

Fairly ordinary people are capable of doing this. A coherent, workable proposal to current policy and procedure, including the numbers; ie $$$ that would as a consequence be required to implement and support the changes, would be included in the proposal, to be distributed in as wide a manner possible.

I remember the thousands of cars going by during the Sandy protest for Fouad Kaady. Many of the people inside the cars accepted flyers.

Ain't she though? 02.Feb.2006 17:44

Madam Hatter

Yeah, ain't she good though? Right on, Cat! You have a gift for cutting through the chase and for putting it oh, so well. And I, for one, agree wholeheartedly with you. Thanks for the great post.

mh

poster 02.Feb.2006 20:02

try again

I hope that this .pdf version of the poster will upload here. If not, I am out of ideas:

It worked! 02.Feb.2006 22:07

Madam Hatter

I was able to download and open and print the poster. Thanks!

"I may be a dreamer.... 03.Feb.2006 00:03

but I'm not the only one..."

I am "an eye."

And to address the question and comment:

"Are you a member of Fouad's family? Because, if you are, then I will respect what you ask. But if you are not, then I cannot."

All I can say is that I am not related to the Kaady family but I did have the privilege of knowing the Kaady family before Fouad's death. So please do not mistake my beliefs as a lack of passsion or think that I am not disturbed with his murder. I know the Kaady family is an extraordinary family worthy of all of our passion and support. So don't flame me for putting forth SUGGESTIONS of what I think would be a means to facilitate positive change out there for people to read and consider. If you take the time to re-read my post instead of the many flames that followed you would see that I said I had some "suggestions and concerns" NOT a "protocol" or "template" for others to follow. It was NOT my intent to come across as I was telling people what to do. As is with suggestions, people can take all, part or none of it. ***But, I too, have a right to express my opinion and I hope that you would respect me for that.***

I have no aplogy for *suggesting* ignoring people that antagonize you and turning the other cheek or to not harbor anger towards the police, because that's what I meant. Because to me, cussing at people that don't agree with your cause or creating an "us" against "them" mentality by harboring anger and making nasty signs insulting all police officers BURN MORE BRIDGES THAN THEY BUILD because it takes your power away.

I agree that no one should be silenced. I didn't ask for that. Or politeness. Or to roll over and half a dozen other speculations as to what I *must have meant* when I used the expression "peaceful." I believe self-expression is an essential part of a demonstration. And to me, there is such a thing as having a rally in which people fully express themselves and their passion and respect others. Suppressing one's emotions is very unhealthy and I would not encourage anyone to try it. But there is a big difference between CHANNELING YOUR PASSION (anger, grief, etc.) into making a difference and simply GIVING VOICE FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING VOICE. It is my belief that there needs to be a balance between giving voice and facilitating change.

In posting anything on indymedia, I was just hoping to shake up some healthy conversation about creating positive change, but all I got was being flamed. And now I just feel like I have to submit this back into cyberspace to defend myself. Yuck. It doesn't feel good to me to be attacked by those who consider themselves my "allies" and offered to stand next to me at the rally in the honor of Fouad.

to "an eye for an eye" again 03.Feb.2006 07:30

i posted as "sigh"

Thank you for your thoughts. I apologize if I have made you feel "flamed," or like you must apologize for your suggestions. I actually really would like for you to be there with me on the 11th. And yes, I most certainly will respect your right to carry a sign that does not "insult all police officers." (As I would hope that you would respect my anger toward the very institution of policing. But more on that in a moment.) Further, I absolutely never meant to imply that you "lack passion," or that you are "not disturbed by the murder." Sometimes communication via written words over the internet is difficult, because we cannot check how the people we are talking to are receiving our words.

I want to make it clear that I harbor no animosity toward you, and I respect your desire to maintain civility as you see fit. The exaperation you read in my previous post is not meant to hurt you. Sometimes, I get very, very frustrated when I see people making what I see as the same mistakes again and again. It's usually someone who has not been out there before, and often I see them go around lecturing people who have been in the struggle long enough to know what works and what does not. It just frustrates me, and I apologize if, in expressing that frustration, I made you feel put on the spot.

Let me try to explain. It creates a lot of division to show up at a demonstration and go around telling other people what to say, what not to say, and (my personal favorite), "The police are not our enemy." I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone yelling that at other demonstrators in the most unbelievably inappropriate moment. For example, on a22 (august 22, 2002), the police had just unleashed poisonous gas, batons, and projectile rifles into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators for no reason at all. This had been a peaceful, law abiding crowd only moments before. They had been polite! There were little old ladies, and mothers with babies, and people blowing bubbles. But they were being heard by the rich fucks inside the Hilton who had come to hear Bush speak.

The police received a command from their masters to move the peaceful, lawful crowd somewhere where they would not be heard, and so they did. They reacted according to their training, according to "proceddures," and according to their most base and sadistic impulses. They had actually pepper sprayed a BABY, on purpose. Point blank. It was the most outrageous assault I had ever seen. And as the stunned crowd reeled in their wake, blinded by the pepper spray, three patrol cars drove right into the crowd from the other direction -- the very direction the riot cops had just screamed at everyone to go. It was dangerous and terrifying.

The streets were wet with pepper spray and littered with plastic bullets (wait, "they're not bullets, they're pellets" according to the former mayor). People were covered with welts from the "pellets," bruises from the batons, and were gasping for air and unable to open their eyes from the stinging spray. In the middle of it all, a man straightened back up and shouted, "Fuck the police!" It's hard to imagine a more appropriate statement, under the circumstances. And, unbelievably, another man answered back, "Aw, c'mon people, the police are not our enemy!"

Unbelieveable. I guess I just get frustrated with this, because I feel like people who say that are not seeing the big picture. Often I see well-meaning people helping to demonize, for example, the black bloc-ers, just because they can't figure out why "those people" would be wearing masks over their faces. Argh. When the pepper spray starts flying, or when Big Brother starts showing up at the doorstep of everyone who was scanned and photographed at the last demonstration, then they will understand what those masks were about. Until then, they cannot help passing judgement on people they do not even know. Sigh. And I especially do not like it when people take the side of the police against their fellow demonstrators. I've seen this repeatedly as well, usually from someone who has never been to a demonstration before, and does not understand that the police are not gonna be nice to demonstrators no matter how polite demonstrators are to them.

Another story. Again, from a22. As the police cars rammed through the crowd of blinded protesters, putting everyone there in danger, I saw a brave and angry woman turn and smack the police car as it moved past her. She wasn't hurting anyone, she wasn't "attacking" the police, hell, she didn't even dent the car. And yet, some assinine fool standing next to her shouts, "Don't hit the car!" And shoves the woman, right into the damn car, so that the rear view mirror slams into her side and reels her to the ground. Hey, thanks, dude. Thanks for saving the police car, at the expense of your fellow protestor. Thanks for protecting police property, at the expense of the health and safety of a human being.

Do you see my frustration? This is not to say that your suggestions are stupid, or meaningless. It's only to illuminate my perspective on this. Police violence is a long, long ordeal that our society has been suffering under for a long time. Those of us who have been out there fighting it for awhile know the drill. We've tried politeness, we've tried waiting for change, we've tried listening to their reports, we've tried "building bridges" with them. But it doesn't work. The problem is too deeply entrenched in the very institution of policing. And the power imbalance between you, me, and the police force tends to make them cocky. The truth is, they think they have all the power -- they have guns they can use without suffering consequences, for example. They have tasers and pepper spray and laws that protect them no matter what they do. What they need to understand is, there are more of us than there are of them, and we are not going to allow them to bully us anymore.

I guess I just really want you to understand that people are rightfully angry at what the police have done. This incident, and so many, many others. I want you to understand that we need to be focused on the behavior of the police, and not the behavior of our fellow activists. I want us not to blame each other for not being "polite" enough, when the police fail to listen. They will not listen because they do not listen. We must MAKE them listen.

We will be going to CCSO on the 11th to demand accountability. We are not there to "build bridges" with the police. But we may be there to build bridges with each other, and so again, I apologize for seeming to be so dismissive before. There's nothing wrong with your suggestion about being "peaceful." On the contrary, I believe this demonstration will be peaceful. But we must be cautious about how we define "peace" and "violence." Because cussing at the police, for example, is not violent. And being too timid or meek to stop the police from killing again is not "peaceful." We also need to be careful about not telling other people how they should be expressing themselves. I hope I have not done that to you: I completely respect your right not to cuss, not to engage with passersby, not to hold a sign condemning the police for what they have done. I also respect your right to say what you said here. My response is meant to share my, very different, perspective with you, and maybe to help you see my point. It is not meant to silence you, or to make you feel "yucky."

I really do want to be your ally. And I want you to be mine.

Excellent 03.Feb.2006 07:50

allie

I cannot tell you how very glad I am to see this discussion between 'eye ro eye' and 'sigh'. It has brought the focus for this demonstration to a clear light and has validated this gathering as nothing else could. There will be many of us there with many different ways of expressing our concerns.....no....more than concerns, our great passions regarding police conduct in recent years. The fact that we can all come together and express ourselves like this is very empowering. I will be proud to stand in Solidarity with all of you.....ALL of you.

Thanks, Sigh! 03.Feb.2006 13:59

: )

This is "an eye" again and I wanted to thank you "sigh" for your thoughtful response. I do understand and appreciate people's frustrations too and I hope I didn't belittle anyones feelings. Demonstrators DO need to stand in solidarity. I have no intention of "directing" demonstrators on Saturday the 11th. (and had no intention of creating a division in my original post, but it is really hard to reach an understanding being limited to the written words here as you said earlier...)

I'd like to mention that generally speaking, I agree that it is not worthwhile to step in to suggest someone change their behavior at a demonstration. And I have one story to tell:

I have been to many demonstrations and only once did I actually speak out to another demonstrator. It was a political type of demonstration and everyone was listening to a speaker who was fielding questions to the crowd. A really conservative man joined the group and was trying to start a fight with the speaker. Everyone was able to remain calm but one of the guys from the demonstration, who had a small child in a stroller, got in the conservative guys face. They started yelling and it was really hard to hear the speakers message over their voices (it was as if the conservative man was sent there to divert attention and he was doing a good job right by the stage) People tried to ignore the two but tempers were escalating. And for a while we all ignored it. And then, perhaps moments before a fist was going to fly, I stepped in between them. I hope I did not insult the fellow demonstrator but I told them it wasn't helping the cause to fight (verbally which was damn near physical). The conservative guy immediately left the demonstration- no more words exchanged (perhaps because I am a woman breaking them up?). The fellow demonstrator took a few deep breaths and calmed down. The demonstration moved on. This is one example of a time I felt it appropriate to step in... and I have a hunch that due to the nature of the confrontation you may have done the same.

Anyway, thanks again. I feel that my opinion has been validated and I look forward to seeing you on the 11th. Like "Allie" said... we are using this discussion in a really productive way and I am really looking forward to standing with our diverse group.

This is a very good discussion to be having 03.Feb.2006 15:21

CatWoman

Yes, this is an excellent discussion to be having here, and I thank "eye" for starting it. It's very refreshing to me to see this topic being chewed over so thoughtfully. From what I understand, there will be people from the Kaady family's church coming to this protest, as well as some of the most awesome radical anarchists I know, and everyone in between. I know at least a few children who will be there, and more than a few older folks. I envision that there will be people there wearing strands of pearls and people wearing black masks and hoodies and people, and I will be grateful for them all. Because it's going to take all of us together to stand up to the rising police state.

In a previous post, I mentioned "maturity." I think maturity is what I'm seeing here: the ability to come together with different perspectives and to engage in dialogue. The ability to re-evaluate first impressions, and to allow each other our own voices. I think the demo will be stronger because we have talked this out here first. Thanks again, "eye"!

MORE STICKERS 06.Feb.2006 12:53

FRIEND

I have seen a Stickers offer on the Indymedia before by if I recall VIC that have the sign business. It says "NEVER FORGET FOUAD" If you are attending the demonstration can you please bring some of your stickers. It will be nice and convenient.