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imperialism & war

My take on the March 18th Protest In Portland

My 2 cents on what I saw in Portland On Sunday
I arrived to the protest around noon, decent crowd, however from the moment I arrived there I was puzzled why the seperation of all the groups into different stages. You had the main stage, the youth stage, a couple other makeshift stages with people on bullhorns or PA's addressing their message. Last year's march at the waterfront had one main stage, with some decent speakers and the whole scene had a sense of being united under one cause. Yesterday however, it seemed like the entire movement in portland was splintered, divided, with each group attending to the focus of getting their own message across. Also, where was the outrage? Were was the anger? I didnt hear a single speaker or group during the pre-march time really get the crowd going. While I think it's nice to have a mellow sunday, considering we're going on 5 years of protesting the war in Iraq I would think we would be slightly pissed off about it.

Maybe things were so spread out because of last year I remember after the march returned to waterfront park instead of people going back to the stage to hear some more boring speakers an impromptu drum circle was started. I remember several people with the main organizer groups standing around in disgust that things spiltered off and weren't going according to their plans. They couldn't simply be happy you had thousands of people show up and making a highly visable event happen!

This was the first large protest in portland since the reformation of SDS. It's good to see the student movement to become mobilized however, I was expecting to see the local SDS chapters play a bigger role in yesterdays events. It seems the local protest leadership (if you can call multiple peace organizations working against each other leadership) is still composed of weekend warrior baby boomers. It's the 18-25 age group that is going to get hit the most from this war, and with the draft being an inevitable fact on the horizon those of you involved in SDS and other radicle student organizations should step up and share in the organization of these events, and if the boomer groups don't want you there, you simply do what a revolutionary group would do, you take over! If your going to wear the symbol of the revolutionary fist on your shirts, then please, by all means, act as revolutionaries and don't take a back seat in the anti-war movement here in PDX.

Also, all over the news was about the "splinter" group that broke off from the rest of the march and was arrested. Yet, there was only a few hundred people who showed up down at Police HQ? That doesn't suprised me from the visible display of a major lack of solidarity I witnessed pre-march.

I want to further say that if we are truly going to create revolution, and change, we have to organize in ways that are above and beyond the pigs and government that were are speaking out against. We are out-organized, plain and simple. We have to dig deeper, below the surface, we can no longer rely on the same tools that activists relied on 30 years ago. The lopp holes that the yippies and other groups of that time period uncovered have long since been closed up. We have to wake up to what's really going on here, and what we can really do about it.

Love is the only truth, everything else is illusion and simply does not matter.

I agree with yippie and want to add... 19.Mar.2007 12:54

free human being

I agree with the above comment and also want to add my view and accounts on what I witnessed in yesterday's demo.

First of all this separation by the mainstream organizers will destroy any chance of building an effective movement. Allianating your fellow citizens because they are dressed in black or because they believe in a different ideology than yours (i.e. anarchy) is not only stupid but harms the movement. If you cannot be a true citizen and try to embrase the different views and perspectives of the movement then you are the wrong person to be involved with building the movement.

Yesterday I overheard many of the organizers talking with the cops and telling them that the black block was going to create problems before the march even started. I was shocked that the organizers of the march were turning into snitches for the police.

Later on, after the march was over, there were two guys, one with a video camera and a two-way radio under his shirt (he was a big round guy, if I can put it that way, with a white shirt) who followed the black block to the park blocks where they got together to burn the american flag. As I was right next to him I heard him talking on his two-way radio. Someone wanted him to find one of the black block people who had a back pack and his pants was hanging down and video tape him. I don't know if he was a cop, but that was my first thought, although he would have had an ear piece and would have done a better job of consiling his two-way radio. One of my friends actually went and asked him if he was a cop. He became angry and started scrimming at her that she was paranoid. Now that I think about it more, he was probably someone who was involved with organizing the march. If that is true, I am sickened that security from the march would go ahead and video tape people. For what reason? To turn the video over to the cops????

I don't know about you but yesterday's march was disheartening to me. I sow no solidarity except from the black block. There was no soul in the march. Very little chanting, just a dead march. What is the point? To bring our dead souls out and march around the block and then go back to sleep?

Anyway, it was a very sad day for me yesterday. I sow everyone allianate the most lively group of all, the black block, that refuses to die as many of us have. I have followed many protests in the past 5-6 years. The black block has respected every march ever organized by the various groups. And they are always the target group to suppress by the organizers. Why? Because they speak the truth? I am worried that playing politics with the movement will just destroy it completely.

Some people were upset with the "Fuck the troops" banner. Why? They are killing and raping Iraqis on daily basis. Not all of them but many of them. And the ones that don't they support a military operation that has killed millions and displaced millions. What is there to support from that?

I support the troops who refuse to go to war. I support the troops to come back. I don't support the troops in a blanket statement to prove to the fascists running the country that I am a patriot. Fuck that... You want to apologize for your antiwar views, go ahead, but you are hearting the movement by creating the feeling that we have something to apologize for. We don't. The fascist government has sent its military to go kill. We are not talking about all the Iraqis who have died and are dying because we are focusing on our own egocentric perspective of "our troops".

They are not my troops and this is not my war. The Iraqis are innocent people who are dying every day. When is the peace movement going to focus on the millions of Iraqis that are dying? Is that less important than 3200 Americans who chose to go kill or be killed for a paycheck or for what ever other stupid reason, including their blared view of patriotism?

Sorry, but I don't think so. I'd rather be with the black block, even though I am not even a part of it. I feel more alive. At least they are pissed off about what is going on and they say it. They are not affraid that Bush will tell them they are not patriotic.

Be true to yourself.
Free human being...
Now

What We Need 19.Mar.2007 16:35

--

You know, we have CD going on in this city with few supporters and huge mainstream marches with little effect.

I understand that the organizers of the mainstream march didn't want families pepper sprayed.

What we NEED is multiple CD actions (going on simultaneously) and LARGE NUMBERS of mainstream marchers with or without their families giving support.

This division between family-friendly and rowdy is breaking us apart and sabatoging our efforts.

We NEED both the courageous few and the power of the more law abiding numbers.
But divided, we are nothing but a parade and a circus.

estonia,belarus,poland,and beyond 19.Mar.2007 21:22

we the people

We turned up in DROVES!!!!! and what did the local media have to say? Like always,NOTHING. Keep the overworked and underpaid in fear about domestic things but NOT THE PROTEST AGAINST THIS WAR. Why are they afraid of us? Turn the sound off on your T.V. next time and you'll see what i mean. Organizers did what they could,but apparently its going to be heard in an even BIGGER WAY if we stay as a single mass throughout the demonstration. The northwest and beyond isn't tolerating a fascist state any longer. We hate this. And anyways,are those "police" or off duty military men? Do we have the right to ask them this? In every protest ive seen,the "police" have never needed half of what they lug around,and still they are ready for blood. This country is in trouble when the unarmed scare the hell out of the heavily armed. Are people dying in protests in this country? Why the armageddon suits?

Just bring your camera and simply voice your opinion. counterract anything that lies ahead. Continue mobilising. Peace is the way of the human race, not war. The wheel is spinning faster then you think. We may be witnessing the early stages of becoming a tearaway state when the media ignores the people,the majority,the voice of logic and reason. Who owns the media? You figure it out. Thank god for indymedia.

Worn Out frm Outrage and Anger: Can We Be Freinds? 19.Mar.2007 21:59

Middle Aged She

I guess the march did have a low key atmosphere. Personally, I am all worn out from expressing anger and outrage for four and a half years straight. Also my doctor says I now have high blood pressure from all this activity. But I will keep on. Please don't think because I look like a middle age house wife that I don't admire people who take direct action.

I have been to over a hundred demonstrations, lobbied in Washington D.C. and in Portland,
been to a zillion meetings, conferences and social forums. Made a zillion phone calls to congress, wrote checks to Peace organizations, given away anti war buttons and etc. Can I just be quiet for awhile? So don't judge me wanting peaceful demo. Not expressing outrage and anger could be that someone is just taking care of their health.

When the Iraq War started I drove by some Reed kids who were sitting on the freeway to shut it down. They were lined up handcuffed and cops were taking them to jail. I said to my husband:
"Those kids are real heros!" So let's be friends. We are really not so different. Let's respect each other.

Don't Give Up 20.Mar.2007 13:06

Boomer

We're near a tipping point. I saw hundreds of liberals radicalized in Washington, D.C., when protestors were gassed en masse in 1971. The more they react with their fascist tactics, the more we gain. Keep the pressure on. We, Black Block or not, are the soul of America. We will not be defeated.

Bravo, free human being 20.Mar.2007 20:15

old hippie mom of bb activist

Well said. I followed the passion and was just behind the Black Block all day. I finally went home at about 8:30. The "permitted" march was just that... permitted. It held no passion, it reminded me of back in the 60's and all the people who played at being hippies, flower children, whatever. They are mostly now, well, bluntly said - part of the problem, not part of the solution.

This was, believe it or not, my first protest. I am proud of myself and the risks I took, although I did nothing wrong. I was fully aware of the game afoot and what the authorities might do.

Luckily I came through unscathed, unlike many of my fellow human beings that day.

March 18th, 2007 Portland, Oregon 20.Mar.2007 20:31

old hippie mom

A few more pictures. Two near Park and Morrison. The other later in the Park across from the justice Center, at the solidarity gathering for the arrested ones. If you were there, you know that the horsemen kept inching up on the people, until several people stood in front of the horses.
Foot Soldiers
Foot Soldiers
Passenger side... weapon ready, you can almost hear him drooling...
Passenger side... weapon ready, you can almost hear him drooling...
Horses should not be used as weapons
Horses should not be used as weapons

oops... horse shot 20.Mar.2007 21:07

old hippie mom

horse shot

question 23.Mar.2007 08:16

... wasteofpaint002@yahoo.com

i heard something about a march to salem sometime soon. does anyone know when that is suposed to happen?