it's almost nostalgic, thinking of the days when PPI and Clean and Safe patrol and harassment were limited to Portland's Corporate Livingroom: Pioneer Courthouse Square and Pioneer Place. Then the Portland Business Alliance took advantage of unconstitutional, racist and fascist 'laws' like the Sit-Lie and Anti-Camping ordinances and Drug Free Zones in order to expand their control over most of downtown. In cooperation with the Sheriff, the Portland Police, Tri-met Security, Portland Patrol Services, Blackwater and others, they have even set up a fusion center (go see it yourself: the logos cover the windows) at the Old Town/Chinatown MAX stop, right next to the TopOff3 dirty bomb target: the Steel Bridge.
Now they're on the Central Eastside Industrial and Commercial area. With spreading gentrification, real-estate grabs and looming MLK/Grand Streetcar plans (where Blumenauer's business buddies are padding his PAC coffers and re-election plans), it appears that the PBA and their rent-a-cop thugs are reaching their tentacles into our dear neighbourhood. We stopped the big box development plans on the Burnside Bridge, but that wasn't a big enough hint. The other day they were seen rounding up ruffkins and later came into our shop to tell us we had nothing to be afraid of: we were safe now. What I want to know is which businesses asked them to come over here and "save us" in the first place? We're doing fine on our own, thank you very much. If there are any problems, it's the drunk Pearl District prowlers, getting their kicks at the Doug Fir and Union Jacks, vomiting and knocking over our plant boxes. That's no reason to call over private mercenaries and harass the homeless, now, is it?
This is a call to action. Let's let them know, in no uncertain terms, that Capitalist pigs are not welcome here. If they want to be responsible and sustainable local small businesses, grass-roots collectives, and community-run organisations like the rest of us, they are welcome, but as soon as they bring their violent tactics of suppression and monopoly into our neighbourhood, we say NO.
Let's bring up Community policing and Copwatching into all our Neighbourhood Association meetings. Let's educate businesses on the ills of the PBA. Then, let's send them back to the Westside. As Black Hawk helicopters fly over, Homeland Security trucks drive through, SWAT teams drop on buildings and Secret Service fill our beloved inner Eastside, we need to seriously consider the implications of PPI's little visit the other day.
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