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actions & protests

Direct Action News from the Northwest

We recently updated the local news section of our website with a variety of actions from across the northwest. Viewed as a whole we think they point to the presence of diverse social antagonisms that exsit in spite of the smothering social peace.

June 28 Bellevue, WA- Two fiberglass statues of bucks decorated by Northwest artists were badly damaged by vandals just a week after they were put on display in Bellevue's downtown streets. Two legs and the antlers were broken off one sculpture, "Protector of Beauty," and it is now beyond repair. Antlers were damaged on the second sculpture, "Buck Stops Here." The statues are part of a fundraising effort called "Bucks for PACE," which is an effort to build a 2,000-seat performance hall and regional cultural center. One can imagine that this "cultural" center will be just as vapid and inane as the statues and downtown Bellevue itself.

June 26 Salem, OR- A backhoe belonging to River City Excavation was burned after being covered with glue by vandals while parked at Commercial Street and Wiltsey Road SE. Damage was estimated at $20,000. Darren Hendren, the owner of River City Excavation, said the vandals might have been upset about a recent development in the area that required trees to be cleared. Some logged trees in the area also were damaged. Is anyone really surprised at this point?

June 25 Ashland, OR- David Fagan's American flag motif Hummer H2 has been constantly pelted with food and drink. Most recently, vandals started tearing off one of the vehicle's rear panels. Sunday night someone put a hole in its windshield.

June 24 Bainbridge Island, WA- A two-story luxury home under construction in the Battle Point area was burned to the ground overnight. The house was 60% complete, and had a price tag of $2.9 million. This is the second major arson attack against luxury homes this year; the first occured in January.

June 20 West Linn, OR- Police are investigating vandalism and an arson attempt at City Hall. Someone threw a rock through a plate glass window outside the city council chambers and then tried to throw a molotov cocktail through the hole, but they failed.

June 20 Walla Walla, WA- A roughly four-hour lapse in Charter Communications' cable and Internet service was the work of a vandal who severed a fiber optic line. Workers discovered the loss in service was due to a severed fiber located about 10 miles from Charter's Kennewick head. It is one of 184 fibers that run between Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities.

June 19 Portland, OR- Dozens of Portland Police officers, some in riot gear, confronted a large group of young people outside a northeast Portland bowling alley Monday night. Police estimate up to 300 people were in the crowd, which they say became unruly when officers asked the crowd to disperse. Officers reported some in the crowd had firearms and other weapons, and nearby cars and businesses suffered broken windows and other damage during the confrontation.

June 14 Sisters, OR-Nicholas Patterson, was found "guilty except for insanity" for setting fire to a McDonald's that was under construction and has been committed to the Oregon State Hospital for up to two decades. The fire erupted during a controversy over fast-food chains in Sisters, with many residents saying such restaurants clash with the character of the city.

Patterson, a guitarist, was scheduled to perform at a benefit that night for Sri Lankan victims of the December 2004 tsunami. Instead, he started the fire that caused more than $860,000 in damages. Patterson, now 24, will stay at the state hospital in Salem until the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board agrees to his release or transfer. The state's psychiatrists and judges have condemned this man to a horrible life inside its psychiatric prisons. Direct action, in this case, was invalidated by treating it as a psychological abberation.

June 11 Eugene, OR- Suzanne Swift, 21, who refused to deploy with her Army unit to Iraq for a second tour has been arrested and will be returned to Fort Lewis. Swift was listed as AWOL late last year, and her unit left for Iraq without her. She did not want to return because of the war and the way she was belittled, called names and frequently propositioned.

June 11 Spokane, WA- Spokane County Sheriff's Department deputies say an inmate was found dead in his cell after he refused to eat and take his medications for days. Gerar C. Leake, 50, of Spokane was serving a 358-day sentence for habitually driving with a suspended license and obstructing a police investigation.

June 10 Littlerock, WA- Cedar Creek Corrections Center, a minimum-security prison, was under lockdown after inmates broke several windows in a dispute over cleaning up fecal matter that had been thrown in a guard's office. Apparently the incident started when someone hadn't received their mail on time and decided to take matters into their own hands. In this case it was fecal matter...

June 7 Fort Lewis, WA- First Lt. Ehren Watada has declared his intentions to no longer participate in the Iraq war. Watada is a member of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the Army's first Stryker Brigade Combat Team. HE could be court-martialed if he refuses to serve as ordered.

June 6 Seattle, WA- Around 2 a.m. sheriff's deputy pulled over a man who was driving erratically. When the man got out of his car he assaulted the officer, then returned to his car whereupon he was somehow shot.

May 30 Olympia, WA- In further protests of the shipment of military supplies to Iraq, a contingent of protesters tore down the front fence of the port, and some rocks and bottles were thrown at police. The majority of the protesters, however, passively resisted.

homepage: homepage: http://www.geocities.com/seainsur

not sure 02.Jul.2006 10:32

this is helping

If we want people to join our revolution, (and we do, don't we?) then shouldn't there be some open and well-organized direct action where the message can garner sympathy and enthusiasm from a wider circle of others?

If an organized group of people, say, tore down a McDonalds sign and stood their ground, until arrests came. Or, toppling part of a weapons manufacturing plant (like some of the corporations with military contracts right here in Oregon and in Portland?) or blockading the doorways at 8am?

The list posted here, is much more difficult to spin as a revolt against the status quo. Burning down a building? Much better to organize your neighborhood and send the McDonalds running. That's been done at least twice here in Portland, so it's not a fantasy.

Don't we want to see our collective efforts be successful and stand as a sign of hope for what organizing can do? I want to see more people in the sttreets, and am willing to do what it takes to get them there. It's a lot more work to get 100 people out, than it is to throw a molotov cocktail.

Are we going to be a lazy, pretend revolution, or the real thing?

Call It Like It Is 02.Jul.2006 11:37

A Firm Believer In TRUE Direct Action

Come on people, most of what is printed here is NOT direct action. The majority of this crap only accomplishes in giving true activists a very bad rap. Please learn to distinguish between "direct action" and "petty crime." Motive counts.

Not sure 02.Jul.2006 11:46

you are helping

Well, is it so bad if it not open? There's nothing wrong with that. Some things are a matter of being secure and not going to jail. Open direct action is important as well, see the riot in the prison and at the bowling alley, or the blockades at the port of olympia.

Second, waiting around for arrests after a symbolic action is completely silly. Why not take out your target and get away? Many do not feel that their actions are predicated upon moral righteouness and proving the rightness of their cause to the media or the "general public."

You seem to be quite content trying to get others to act, organizing them from above. This seems to be typical fare for "anarchists" in most of the US, acting as either the "organizer" or as an "activist." Either way, the specialist in social change who can direct others into the proper channels.

Apparently some people don't give a damn for your channels.

I, however, don't think that this list simply needs to grow. There needs to be a qualitative and as well as quantiative growth in actions. You seem to be interested in the quantity, the numbers in the streets, but still doing the same stupid shit.

I could be wrong but 02.Jul.2006 12:14

90

from what I have understood, I don't think the kids in front of the bowling alley were doing anything but partying, some with guns. I don't think there was any "political" motivation behind it, in fact, it seems to me that a percentage of them have the politics of "not giving a shit." So, this isn't what I think of as political direct action. Correct me if I'm missing something.

Very Misguided 03.Jul.2006 09:15

DR

Destroying public art is somhow twisted into direct action? Are you f'n kidding me. Please children (adult or not) there are so many true worthy causes out there and you think you are gaining suport by destroying art. Art is the national park system of the human spirit. Public art promotes community and lifts spirits.

If you cause includes this kind of bullshit your cause deserves no support from those of us actually trying to improve the world and stop the madness. You are playing into the hands of fools!

DR

MIS- DIRECTED 03.Jul.2006 19:17

a noid

partying and mindless vandalisim does not qualify as " direct action " in my book ! this kind of - entertainment - just exemplifies the disease that exists in amerikkann culture.