all action pages >>
November 3rd, 2004: The Day After the Fraud
For weeks before the Nov. 2 sElection, activists in Portland made calls for action for the day after, no matter what the results turned out to be. With the choice of Kerry or Bush offering no real choice, free-thinking Cascadians wanted to use Nov. 3 as an excuse re-focus on the real problems facing the world: capitalism, imperialism, the unsustainability of the aMErican lifestyle, etc. And that they did, on Nov. 3, turning out on the streets in the hundreds. Do these actions represent a mere flare-up of anger following the theft of the pResidency, or will they become the start of a new wave of creative resistance? Only time will tell...
My experience passing out copies of "The WORD on the Street" in Portland today
From the open publishing newswire: Yesterday there was a post on this site called, "PDF about sElection fraud from portland indymedia stories to PRINT & DISTRIBUTE", at http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/11/302663.shtml. It contained an upload of a newsheet called "The WORD on the STreet" for people to print, copy and pass around. Taking stories from indymedia, it exposes the fraud of the stolen election.
Today I printed one up, took it downtown where a friend of mine let me use the copier in his office, and made over 400 copies. Then I walked around Pioneer Square passing them out. About half the people I approached took one, and of those, about half were really excited. It was easy to offer it to people. "Hey, you want 'The Word on the Street'?" I'd say. That was fun to say.
Anyway, I left a stack of 100 or so at the Red and Black Cafe (22nd & Division) for other people to go get some if they want, to pass out themselves. They're on the white lit table by the computers. Come and get 'em!
N6 Update on Arrestees
From the open publishing newswire: We've been here since 11:30am, providing jail support for todays' noontime rally. There were three arrests today, two at the start of the rally at Pioneer Sq and one under the Burnside Bridge near Saturday market. It is now 8:30pm and all three arrestees have been released. We sent a team of people to the Justice Center downtown in order to meet, greet and drive people home if they need a ride. We are concerned about the health and wellness of one of the arrestees in particular and we've made arrangements for the arrestee to be looked at by a nurse. If anyone has video or photographs of today's event, please send copies to either Alan Graf with the NW Constitutional Rights Center and/or the GDC of the IWW. Anyone that witnessed the arrests from today, we really need eye witness accounts emailed to us at
Our phone number is 503-234-4518. Please feel free to call or email us with questions or with any assistance you can offer. We can't do it without your help.
Pepper Spray Photos And Video Needed
From the open publishing newswire: Alan Graf, head of The National Lawyers Guild chapter here in Portland Oregon, and The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center is sending a call out for video and photos documenting police using pepper spray to disperse protesters on November 3rd.
"If you have photographs and or videos of police using pepper spray to disperse protestors, Please contact me. I want to see them. We can use these photos and videotapes against the police in litigation. Good videos along with witness names and phone numbers WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE."
"I am also interested in talking with witnesses and people who were sprayed and/or injured by pepper spraying or police brutality from yesterday's protest."
To contact Alan Graf, information is below:
1020 SW Taylor St., Ste. 230
Portland, Oregon 97205
Cascadia Resistance Movement
From the open publishing newswire: In the coming months we will use this website to organize resistance to the bush corporate war machine. Do not Despair, Organize.
In the coming months we will post actions to help people stop collaborating with the corporate takeover of the world.
Here are just a few of the events that we are discussing and organizing now.
A brainstorm on protest & action strategyMany people have written expressing their frustration with the Nov. 3 (and other recent) protests, namely the extreme control the police have over the crowd. They wield this control with ease, despite our often vastly superior numbers and (hopefully!) superior intellect.
This is an attempt to start a dialogue to address this problem.
If the police have a plan and we don't we're clearly fucked, unless we're all in a remarkably good and clear head space. Unless we are content being corralled on the sidewalk, split into 6 groups, and eventually semi-dispersing due to mass confusion we must come more prepared to deal with the police behavior. It's so sad to here the chants, "this is what democracy looks like" and "whose streets? our streets" when the reality is so clearly the opposite!
Being prepared for the police involves several components, which I detail below:
Local corporate media downplays the march
From the open publishing newswire: I bounced back and forth between local channels just out of curiosity at 5 am to see how they would slant what took place tonight. I was quickly reminded of why I never watch TV, much less trust its so called news programming. We all know there were 700 to 1000 of us last night, and Channel 8 had it at 100 or 200. Channel 6 used the headline "peaceful?"; implying that we were somehow not. Channel 12 called us a "mob". Every channel painted the police as "just trying to protect the public, keep the streets safe and traffic moving". Every channel portrayed the presidency as validly won...
Sad March, Happy Mass
From the open publishing newswire: If you were underwhelmed by the march, you should have seen our Critical Mass.
Our arrival at CM was greeted with little fanfare. Many folks in the Park Blocks had spent the last couple hours, like us, dredging down the sidewalk murmuring chants of dissent. Food Not Bombs was there to provide much needed nutrition. Chewing my kale like cud in order to wash down the bean and noodle concoction (LOL, FNB), I surveyed the park. More people were arriving, but no one knew what was going on. I joined my cyclivist friends on the grass. We all concurred that this demonstration was just as mopey as the last one. So, we mused, what the hell are we going to do about it? Strategize.
In the interests of CM's continuing success, I will not disclose all the details of our strategy. Suffice to say, we avoided the initial police escort that traditionally harasses CM. We proceeded to overtake most major roads on the east side, growing from 50 to 70 bikes strong, picking up curious cyclists all the way. We were even joined by a couple of skateboarders. We cruised by a pack of motorcycle cops that were inside a Wendy's choking down post-protester-pounding bacon double cheeseburgers (Biggie Sized, I'm sure.) Had my view been better, I'm certain there would be cola visibly spewing from all their snouts as they saw us pedal by, chanting with enthusiasm and ringing our bike bells. Finally, after nearly 2 hours of harassment free riding, the fuzz caught up with us.
Update on Portland arrestees; Witnesses of pepperspray and other police strong-arm tactics requested
From the open publishing newswire: It is 5:30am and four of the arrestees from yesterday's post election action has been released. We do not expect all to be released tonight/this morning, at least one is being held til their scheduled court date, today in the afternoon, Nov4. Volunteers are still going strong at the jail support office and down at the justice center. We will continue to staff the office until all arrestees have been released and/or court dates have been scheduled.
If you were arrested and did not see one of our volunteers, please contact us. If you witnessed an arrest at the event, please call us.
UPDATE (3:02 pm): The three people still in custodty from last night should be out between 7and 12m tonight. Portland GDC greaters will be waiting for them. Friends and supporters welcome. We will be inside the justice center until 10pm and then waiting out front from 10 till midnight.
call for witnesses: [ Pepper-Spraying Non-Protestors ]
General Defense Committee/Jail Support: (503) 234-4518
In Portland: "This is What American Democracy Looks Like, And It Sucks!"
From the open publishing newswire: "Bakunin" writes: I was out in the streets tonight. About 1,000 people showed up to protest Bush, the war in Iraq, and the election results. The spirit was good, and so was the turnout.
Unfortunately the police had us almost completely in control. They blocked streets at every red light, effectively dividing the march into sections. The section of the march I was in - towards the back - never took the streets, or even tried to. On several occasions the cops completely divided the march, not allowing those of us in the back to join our comrades on the other side of the street. There have been reports of a few arrests (six at this point) and the use of pepper spray. By 6:30 a couple hundred people made their way back to the Square, while another several hundred gathered at the intersection of 5th and Morrison. It was around this point (around 6:50) that I used my transfer to come home.
"christ" writes: Just got home from the Portland protests and am feeling a little... disheartened. Things started out well- nice to see the feminists, queers, radicals, progressives, anarchists, etc. all in one place and pissed off. We began marching ON THE SIDEWALKS, which sorta defeated the whole point of the march. At first, not many cops around... I think we could have taken the streets and dunno why we didn't.
It immediately became obvious that folks marching had many different ideas about what we were doing. The chants were random and short lived, some wanted to shout FUCK BUSH while others wanted to sing THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE. But, I wondered, is this what democracy looks like? Marching ont he sidewalks? Waiting for the lights to change before we cross the street?
"lkae" writes: I'm a middle school teacher who could not stay at home with my depression and gloom and needed to be out with other angry folks. I have been saying for months that if he steals the election again we need to have riots in the streets. I have a five year old and a teaching job, so I don't feel like i can be a leader in this and serve jail time but we need to have the message sent that we are pissed. On one hand I am pleased with the way people abided the law and took the "high road" when confronted by the police. On the other I am wondering where the fuck is the rage?
Video of speakers at Pioneer SquareAt the Square, various people took the mike, giving their viewpoints about the Bush Administration, the Election, and what the people must do in order to correct the radical swerve to the right our country is taking. Angry, yet thoughtful; raw, yet respectful of each other; boistrous, yet non violent, this first part of the evening, at the Square and afterwards for about an hour, saw much outrage, much condmenation of Bush policies and equally as much creative insight on how to achieve the change everyone was in the streets to generate.
This video gives a window into the mood of the crowd, some words of the speakers, most of whom seemed to be speaking spontaneously and eloquently from the heart of their outrage and disillusion. Mostly young people, but not only young people comprised the majority of the gathering.
Report from Eugene: "My Protest Today"
From the open publishing newswire: Today, I had planned on attending the vigil here in Eugene, mostly for photos and perhaps a story since I feel that it is important to document the dissent that is happening so that people know that we are not all conceding. I was not happy that Bush was going to continue in his charade as the president, but I didn't vote for Kerry either, so I would not be up in arms about Kerry's defeat like I knew a lot of those at the rally would be. To me, it seemed more than likely that Bush would be president for another four years given the great pains that he and his administration went to in putting their agenda into place, so the election results came as no surprise. My vote went to truth, to Nader.
With a little time to spare before the rally, I went to a park close to where I work, with camera in hand. Being in nature always righteously aligns me, especially this time of year with the glorious bounty of autumn color. To my surprise one of my favorite creatures was there in the small bubbling brook running parallel to the McKenzie River. Gracefully poised in the late afternoon sun was a magnificent Blue Heron. I was standing so close to it, much closer than I had ever gotten to one before. As I approached her to take photographs, she started moving as if readying to fly and after a few moments, sure enough, off she went. The sight of a Blue Heron in flight is about one of the most majestic there is. And the sound of those wings...
Corvallis Vigil swells to over 50 people
From the open publishing newswire: I've been there, but not often. Tonight, I attended what I believe to be the longest standing vigil group in Oregon. I went to the Benton County Courthouse shortly after 5:PM. Hugs, extra signs and music were available. This was the support I was seeking and kept me committed until 6:pm in spite of the chilly north wind.
Across the street from the vigil group were about twenty Bush supporters. (minus the man with an American flag and the word, "victory" pasted atop who boldly joined us "nowar" demonstrators).
I'm not familiar yet with this year's election numbers but Bush won in Benton County four years ago in this conservative college town. Tonight's commuter response showed strong support for the Bush/Cheney group.
Karmic Blowback and the Democrats
From the open publishing newswire: I don't for a moment believe that Kerry actually lost the popular vote. Of all the votes lost -- with partisan scrub lists, at-the-polls shenanigans over IDs, etc., and Diebold hackings, or just plain thrown out -- a majority would undoubtedly have voted for Kerry and put him over the top. What happened was simple: last time, the Republicans stole it by the seat of their pants, so this time they ratcheted up their efforts and stole it big. They got away with it this time because the Democrats never called them on it last time. Instead, the Democratic leadership and their national support groups spent four years building the myth that the blame was with Nader. Considering who was disenfranchised, this lack of action was nothing less than Racist with a capital "R".
...Given a choice between fighting or ignoring a serious injustice, the Democratic Party leadership chose to look the other way (belated mentions near the end of this year's campaign notwithstanding). The Party got what was coming to it on Tuesday when the number of disenfranchised and unrepresented voters grew in number, in just the right states.
Time to stop crying for ourselves and start DREAMING BEAUTIFULLYI suggest we all devote our energies to reinforcing the political fortress (portland) we are lucky enough to occupy. Become highly involved in local politics. Support our new mayor and goad him to significant action. I call on all artists and creative people to ABANDON RE-STATING again and again THE PROBLEMS we all know so well exist, and instead begin to CRAFT A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL colllective alternative vision, and then to take every action possible to realize that AMBITIOUS DREAM. We have a responsibility to the rest of the nation to do so. The summer of love all over again, PORTLAND STYLE.
Protest as LifestyleWhat will we accomplish by getting in the streets today? The Democrats have not cried "Fraud!" If we stand in Pioneer Square today and shout "Fraud!" we will appear fanatical, insane, ridiculous; all of the things that we ascribe to the evangelists, the fundamentalists, and Zionists that have an approval rate of about 51%.
This is the time to center. Ground. Focus. Whatever you want to call it... and put your energy into your individual protests. Fight CAFTA. Fight the Forest Service. Fight those who exploit animals. Fight sweatshops. Fight corporate globalization. Fight privatization.
November 3rd Nationwide Day of Action
From the open publishing newswire: Over 30 cities across the nation are mobilizing for a time of popular outrage and widespread non-cooperation if Bush is elected, if the elections are canceled, or if there is overt election fraud again. No matter who wins, we will be uniting to open up a new political space to define democracy as grassroots and participatory.
What if on the day after the presidential election people from all walks of life across America mobilized in their communities to go beyond voting and demonstrate our visions for a truy democratic society? Because the crisis of our democracy did not start with Bush and won't end with Kerry, the Beyond Voting campaign is calling for our election year debate to expand beyond Democrats versus Republicas to the larger issue of whether the U.S. will be a Democracy or an Empire. No matter who wins, we will be uniting to open up a new political space to define democracy as grassroots and participatory. [ Read More ]
It Has Only Just Begun
From the open publishing newswire: The votes are in, the selection is over. It never mattered. Liberals are turning radical, radicals are going revolutionary...and the conservative are second guessing themselves. I have been listening to portland imc web radio all day and I am now very excited, EXCITED, not despondent about tomorrow...and the next day...and the next.
Now, we can start our future the future that we have been begging for. Momentum is on our side. Had John Kerry won, we wouldve woken up late tomorrow and missed being out in the street. Now, they will make it a point, they may come out eary, they may take back the streets, maybe the city, and perhaps, just perhaps, they may begin to take back their lives.