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Police murder in Portland, anarchists respond with vengeance

"We don't give a fuck, the time is now."
When word spread that the Portland police had just shot a man to death at the Hoyt Arboretum, we knew we had to make a choice: to allow ourselves to be human, or to participate in our own murders, to hide away in sleep and the unfolding of a routine that ends, for all of us, in death. It's a choice that has been made for us so many times before: by the media, by community leaders, professional activists, bosses, teachers, parents, friends who do not push us to confront this fear with them. We are killing ourselves with so much swallowed rage.

Tonight, we would not go to sleep with this sour feeling in our stomachs. Tonight, we gave a name to what we feel: rage. This is how it started.
[This is what it means to be human. Refreshing change.]

Within hours of word getting out, local anarchists met in a park, and decided we had to march on the police station. Not the central precinct: that neighborhood would be dead at this hour. We wanted to shout at the police, but also to find our neighbors, to talk to the other folks in our community, to let them know what happened and call them down into the streets with us. To not let them find out about this murder in the sanitized commentary of the glowing screen but to meet them and cry out to them, the rage and sadness plain in our faces: we cannot live with what has happened. We cannot allow this to go on.

The march left the park and headed through a residential neighborhood, interrupting the dead Monday night silence of consumer-workers recovering from another day ripped from their grasp. Chanting at the top of our lungs, we encountered our own anger, our own sense of power. "And now one slogan to unite us all: cops, pigs, murderers."

Many expected this march to be only symbolic. Few were prepared for anything more. But we encountered a collective force that amplifies the individual rather than smothering each one of us in the mass. The two who took the initiative to drag a dumpster into the street changed the history of this city. This small sign of sabotage spread. We all made it our own.

When the first little garbage containers were brought into the road, a couple people put them back on the sidewalk, trying to clean up the march, to make it respectable. They were confronted, shouted at. "This doesn't send a message," they said. "You can do that if you want, but go somewhere else," they said. But we have nowhere to go, except for the spaces we violently reclaim. And our message is unmistakable: we are angry, and we are getting out of hand. People continued to be uncontrollable, and soon those who had appointed themselves the censors of our struggle saw that it was they who were in the wrong place. No one attempted to control their participation. They were not allowed to control ours.

Once we got on Burnside Avenue, dumpsters were being turned over every hundred feet, blocking both directions. Folks had scavenged rocks and bottles and sticks and drums. One person had had the foresight to bring a can of spraypaint, also changing the history of our moment. We were no longer a protest. We were vengeance.

When the crowd passed the first bank, a few individuals erupted into action, while others watched their backs. The ATM got smashed. A window got smashed. Rocks and bottles were thrown. Sirens began ringing out behind us. A Starbucks appeared one block ahead. A race: could we get there before the pigs arrived? We won. More windows broke.

When the police tried to get us on to the sidewalk, they were shocked by the intensity of rage they faced. "Fuck the police!" "Murderers!" Their lights and sirens had no effect. Someone shoved a dumpster into the lead cop car. They were temporarily speechless.

Only when the cops outnumbered the people did they try again, with some pepper spray and brute force finally succeeding to push us onto the sidewalk. But we were smart. We knew we couldn't win a fight just then, and every chance we got we took the street again. We didn't surrender: they had to work for it. And never did we surrender our power over the mood of the night. Louder than their sirens were our ceaseless screams, our chants, focusing our range and wiping the arrogant smiles off the pigs' faces. They were visibly upset by the level of hatred they encountered.

We got to the police station and yelled at the line of police waiting there for us, yelled at the media parasites standing by with their cameras, calling out their complicity in police violence and racism. Most of us didn't worry about sending the proper message or appearing respectable. We expressed our rage and the power of our analysis, our ability and willingness to take initiative and change this world.

The first TV news clips, ironically, were the best we could have hoped for, but we do not put our hope in the media. We will communicate our critique of the police to the rest of the city with our protests, our fliers, our bodies, our communiqués. With graffiti and smashed windows.

It should also be noted that the police have not yet released the race of the person killed. We don't know yet which community is "most affected" by this murder. We respond because police violence affects all of us, because we want to show solidarity every time the State executes someone. We know that racism is a critical feature of control in this society, and we also believe we must find ways to act responsibly as allies to communities that are not our own. But solidarity must be critical, and it can only be practiced by those who are struggling for their own freedom. It is clear from tonight's actions that we fight against police violence because we feel rage and sadness whenever they kill someone.

We fight in solidarity with everyone else who fights back. And by fighting, we are remembering what it is like to be human.

In these moments when we surprise ourselves, we catch little glimpses of the world we fight for. Running down the streets, stooping to pick up a rock, we realize that in our hand we have nothing less than a building block of the future commune.

Our commune is the rage that spreads across the city, setting little fires of vengeance in the night. Our commune is the determination that comes back to the public eye the next day, meeting in the open, not letting the rest of society forget this murder, not letting our neighbors numb themselves with routine. Our commune rattles the bars of our cages, and this noise is our warcry: "out into the streets."

 http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/10921

too bad 23.Mar.2010 22:43

aristocratickanarhcist

to bad the portland anarchist are willing to get violent withthe drug pushers and pimps... they cause more problems than any peple other than big business foresaking local communities... more cops are needed becuz locals have sympathy for drug pushers... most look the other way some simply buy drugs from them

Death & Destruction of Communities 24.Mar.2010 02:25

C. G. Reeper

People are pissed-off and they ought to be! Police killing civilians is part of it. And so are drug pushers and the ones who by drugs! All destroy community.

Some of the police are scared children on steroids who will shoot at any provocation. Others are just plain bullies. We have seen police pull the hair of teen age girls just for walking across the street in the crosswalk. The police community always protects its own, but the ones they are protecting should be fired. There are a few police with ethics, but having to put up with shit from scumbags and punks everyday, on the streets and in their own department, makes one numb to the point where human life is nothing. If the mayor, police commissioner, chief of police, and city council did their job and got rid of the killers and bullies in the police department, the rest of the police department would be better off. Maybe there would be decent "serve and protect the citizens" leadership from inside the police department, but those who are there have to deal with their own scum bags around them. Leadership takes guts, but who wants to get setup for a shot in the back by a partner or fellow cop, so no one will move forward. They mayor, police commissioner and city council should all be recalled for not cleaning their filthy house of torture and death.

Drug dealers are the same as big pharmaceutical corporations. Drug dealers are scum, backed by CIA and the military. The drug dealers steal money from the people in their community and destroy it, so the real estate can be bough for pennies on the dollar and gentrified for profit. As if trillions of dollars of tax money wasn't enough, more tax revenue is created and the drug money gets laundered. The CIA wants laundered money so they can do what they please with it. A little extraordinary rendition, military coop, and assassination here and there, at home and abroad to keep their corporate masters rich. The CIA, government, and police are all on the global corporate take. The corporations steal a little bit from everybody, but now they want more, faster, as if the police and military muscle weren't enough, so they undermine our communities with drugs and drug dealing. If you know a person who is addicted get them into rehab or therapy. Clean the drug dealers out of your neighborhoods by getting together and point them out to all the authorities and news media. If you're addicted to drugs you're not cool - you need help - get it.

Here is how to kill the Corporate Grim Reaper and rebuild our communities:

1. Buy nothing! Especially from corporations.
2. Trade and barter with local businesses. Trade for goods and services.
3. Walk or ride a bicycle. No money for corporate petroleum.
4. Plant a garden and raise your own food, if not, trade for food at local farmers markets or
work for food on the farm.
5. If you have extra money, then bank it locally, in a local community bank or credit union.
6. If corporations want the same or better rights than persons,
then make them subject to all the laws and taxes of a person first locally, statewide, and then nationally.

Do not let the adored and self proclaimed corporate gods divide and conquer us!
Wake-up sheeple! Obahmmaaa is leading you to the alter for slaughter as an offering to the corporate gods!
Anarchists do your thing! At least you are awake and alive!

TitleO'Comment 24.Mar.2010 11:11

DrugLovingAnarchist

I love drugs.

They take the edge off and keep me from taking myself (or my 'scene') too seriously.
The cops...and the PDX Anarchists should try a joint and an 1/8th of mushrooms 6 months...it'd work wonders trust me.

Knee jerk reactions, without a foundation of fact, just feed the hate and continue the Us vs Them cycle.

Blah blah...I have the feeling these words won't change your mind though...maybe that's for the best.
I don't pretend to know all the answers.

Yes! 24.Mar.2010 15:40

!

Whomever wrote this article, I applaud you. Thank you for stating what really went down. Maybe you can write the article for last night since I wasn't able to make it.