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actions & protests | imperialism & war m19 2006

Eugene Demo M18

A photo from Eugene
Code Pink led the way beneath the Ferry Street Bridge
Code Pink led the way beneath the Ferry Street Bridge
I tagged along with the group from Alton Baker Park, which numbered about 150-200. Once at the Federal Courthouse two other groups, one from UofO (# unknown) and the Fairgrounds (about 500) joined up. The Alton Baker group was met by Samba Ja, a Eugene-based bateria, beneath the Ferry Street Bridge, and the energy level went through the roof. An old friend, Dahinda, was walking with the group. After meeting severe health challenges in the past year (a major stroke), Dahinda told me he was happy to be present. "It feels really good to be on the front lines again," Dahinda said. "I'm kinda gimpy, but this feels really good!" Dahinda, a pioneer in fair trade practices within Oregon, was a source of pride and power today. More to follow, if readers wish...
obedient, obedient, obedient 18.Mar.2006 17:46

iris

I must say the Eugene rally really sucked, even the cops were bored and were wishing for the old days of masked anarchists, broken windows and a chance to use some of their toys.

with resistance like this the war should continue for years.

What Is the Path, Iris? 18.Mar.2006 18:29

mambo

The entire march was peaceful, with no testing of the limits of what the authorities would allow. Even the square was hemmed in by crowd control barricades that made the 1,000+ attendees, some of whom were masked, squeeze together in a way that I thought was unsafe. Yet I wonder, if we were to use tactics such as preemptive strikes or guerrilla actions, are we not lowering ourselves to the tactics currently being utilized by our government?
I can dig the frustration. I also can dig the futility of violence.
This points to a central fracture in the movement; are we to follow the Ghandian model, or the Bushian? Dialogue please.

Ideas 18.Mar.2006 19:30

Sol

I was there as well, and one thing that I can definitely say is this: Don't waste 1000 peoples' energy. We marched for some, what, 15-20 minutes, stopped in front of the courthouse, and had speakers for 2 and a half hours. I mean, hell, workshops and speakers are great, but by like 1:30, when I left out of frustation and boredom, most everyone was already gone. The only reason I stayed was cause I was medicing and didn't want to bail early. But by the time I did, it was already pretty much dead. At most, *most*, an 45 minutes of speaking is effective, and even that's pushing it a bit close. We could've done any number of things with that number of people: Storm Wyden's office, block traffic, seized the reserve base near the fairgrounds, surround the newly approved garage location. We could've planted trees, and I would've been happier. Just do *something*. And on that, what the hell's with funnelling people on sidewalks?! We got "escorted" across the intersection by cops for gods' sakes. I know it's was a family event, but even the Union rally last December was in the streets. We got squeezed off and the energy died on the way there.

As for the movement itself, forms of disobedience are perhaps the best way to do it. For the war, it's so unpopular now that protesting it would almost be redundant. What we should be doing there is refusing to pay taxes until the war is finished, or filling up a military base. Obviously, those in power aren't going to listen to us, so it's up to things like that. The rally might still be effective though for protesting the Whole Foods giveaway, the toxic Wilammette, for issues that they *might* listen to us for. Truly though, along with the democratic process, our politicians are done for. The only thing we can rely on our ourselves and our neighbors to achieve anything good.

DeFazio 18.Mar.2006 20:20

Lynn Porter

One of the featured speakers at the rally was U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, who just a few days earlier had voted FOR another $67 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a man who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Local peace leaders know that, and they are backing him anyway. Because, I guess, they're Democrats. The message they're sending to DeFazio, and other politicians, is, "You don't have to take me seriously."

For the vote on the war money, see:
 http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll065.xml

DeFazio 18.Mar.2006 20:42

mambo

The Congressman also did not answer the challenge posed by the speaker who immediately preceded him, a local human rights activist and mother, Sara Rich. Rich's daughter had recently gone AWOL rather than be forced to make a second deployment to Iraq, with a third deployment planned. Rich challenged Congress in general for allowing the White House to sustain their war efforts in Iraq without challenge from Congress. DeFazio did not respond to Rich's allegations of intimidation, rape, and subjugation of female soldiers. He spoke instead of general resistance to the Republican agenda. Another milk toast Democrat, I thought, acceptable only because the other option, a rich white male Republican, is worse. Damn!

NYC 19.Mar.2006 18:00

da rAT

In NYC last week, some demonstrators got the NYPD to release some papers in their court cases. These papers were front page in NY. They detailed how the NYPD was spreading false information among demonstrators at anti-war events. They were posing as protesters and pretending to know where to go and what to do. These are ancient, well tested tricks of Empire. The Romans used to do it 2,000 years ago. Some of these rather nihilistic posts lately could also be a cheap easy way of spreading more confusion and fear. If we don't protest this war, who the hell will?