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August 22 Portland Bush Protest - Photos and Text - Part 1

August 22 Portland Bush Protest - Photos and Text - Part 1

The day started off early with a surprise tree-sit in the north park blocks



Signs and marchers as everyone left the park blocks, and wound through downtown on the way to the police barriers. Leaving the park blocks, there were less than 1000 people, but as the day went along, more and more people showed up. At the height of the protest, various estimates put the number at around 3000.


There was alot of frustration in people at the absurd and suicidal policies of the Bush regime.




There were many courageous people there, speaking up in an effort to inform people and wake them up to the mad path Bush is taking the world.


After the motorcade went through, everyone started facing the police line.


The mass of people slowly pushed the police line back.


The police sent in the horses to try and push people back, but those at the front locked arms, and held their ground and everyone pressed forward. The horses are quite dangerous. One kick can cripple a person and simply being stepped on can severely break and damage the foot. Using horses in this way is not a wise choice.


The police did not seem to have a clearly defined point at which they would not let people past and the line slowly moved forward.


The horses backed off


and the people filled the area.


The police formed a line of stormtroopers and one commander went along the line and ordered them to hold at that point. The crowd of protestors were loud and boisterous. There was much laughter, and also an undercurrent of determination to get the message across.


The megacops however, were ever so serious, taking aggressive stands, and having no fun at all.


This fellow, name of Davis, did seem to find some sort of pleasure at filming protestors. He often seemed to have a sort of sadistic smile on his face. Since the Mayor and Portland police are now trying to blame all the police violence on Beaverton, maybe he is another of those bad Beaverton Cops they are refering to.


It was interesting to stand right at the line, feeling the palpable tension in the air. Perhaps some officers are scared as they stand on the line. The whole business is really absurd. Why should there need to be an army of trained killers to keep everyone from ever talking to a (s)elected official who is supposedly accountable to the people. Not at all democratic, and quite peculiar when you think about it.


The classic picture of American life, with an elected official, shaking hands with the crowd of people come to see him, is a far cry from what happens today. Bush comes in an armed caravan, hidden from sight. Not a person on the street will even see him, let alone have an opportunity to speak or interact. 3000 people came out to protest Bush, hardly a person showed up to greet him. Not a good ratio for the poor fellows self esteem.


The situation started to lose a bit of energy, when the marching band (does it have an official name?) arrived at the back and worked its way right up to the front line.


While standing at the line, taking photos one woman came up and stood facing one of the riot cops. She stared him in the eye, and did not look away. He stared back, seeming to want to stare her down.


Her presence and intense focus made him uncomfortable. In the end, weapons, fear and death dealing, cannot stand up to the clear eye of truth.


He finally looked away, seemed uncomfortable and somehow touched. Beneath the stormtrooper gear, some of these people must be uneasy, must be in some way aware that they are supporting something wrong, something inhuman and destructive.


There was a palpable tension on the line. It is scary to face lethal weapons in the hands of people trained to use them without mercy if ordered to do so.


The band kept playing, and one of the robocops would push them back using their sticks. Everyone decided, after some discussion to leave that barricade and join another group and head down to another.

Read part 2


o come on - open your eyes 26.Aug.2002 18:43

B Eagle

I have plenty of jobs and I would be right there pushing. I push Bush back. That is the point. It is ok to dethrone a dictator.

Seattle
o come on - open your eyes
o come on - open your eyes

Thank you 26.Aug.2002 18:45

Judi Lewis

I just want to thank all the protestors who stood up for democracy in Portland last week. You finally gave me a reason to feel proud of an event that happened in our country again. I only wish I could have participated. Portland, you rock!!!

Omaha, Nebraska

GOOD JOB PORTLAND!!! 27.Aug.2002 13:21

Jay soapbox_77@hotmail.com

To all involved in the protest last week, I must say thank you and i love you all for your brave attempts. I just read about the protest today and as proud as I was to read about it, it kind of saddened me that it took an independent media website for me to find out about this over here on the East Coast. Is the mainstream media that ignorant that they dont want the people to learn about all aspects and points of view? Or are they just all bought out by the higher-ups? I apologize for the random thoughts here, but that just bothered me.
Keep up the good work Oregon!
DROP BUSH, NOT BOMBS!!!
-Jay

New Jersey

something different? 27.Aug.2002 16:04

Susan Eavenson seavenson@weelempowers.org

Thanks for giving folks the opportunity to respond to your photo article. I think the protesting that went on in Portland is awesome and I wish I could have been there to take part.

I appreciate the photos, but the commentary is sadly mediocre. Police are not "robocops" and they do not "kill without mercy." Police officers are human beings and you are right, some of them probably were a little scared. I am not saying police are blameless or that excessive force is not ever used. What I am saying is that the overwhelming majority of police are good people who do what they can to protect all members of a community in a manner that is safe. The sooner we all realize that these courageous people who risk their lives everyday in ways we have no concept of are human beings with thoughts and emotions the sooner we will find a way to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the progressive movement. It takes all of us, including those working from the inside. Why should police be sympathetic to our causes when we have done nothing but criticize, attack, and overgeneralize who they are and what they do even to the point of seeing them as inhuman? Isn't that what predjudice is all about? Why are we putting forth the same methodologies that got us here in the first place?

I encourage you to try something different than the ordinary, easy way out, anti-cop mentality style of reporting. I encourage you to get to know just one of the officers in your community and to think about what it would be like to get up every morning, get dressed, and walk out your door not knowing if you will ever come home again.

I dont like this photo-mentary 27.Aug.2002 16:36

joojoo

I think it portrays the police as Stormtroopers for Darth Vader. As these cold mindless troopers who are "slaves of the oppressor." That is not true. There were there to insure the safety of the rioters and themselves. If there were 3000 people lined up and a riot insued, I think more people would be injured trampling all over each other than in police confrontation. In large masses, things can get very ugly, very quick. Take tragic concerts for example where fans have been crushed to death. I think the officers want the right thing for everyone. Some might have opperated out of line, and I completely condone that. I think officers who act out of line should be condemned for it. But that is why there are guys with video cameras there. To insure if such an event should occur, that there is evidence. Maybe they are slaves to the oppressor (for all I know with conspiracy theories flying around or cover ups or who really knows), but surely any problems with Bush or what have you, should not be directed towards attacking the police. Anyone who does that needs to take a step back and consider the situation from both perspectives.

reply to susan 27.Aug.2002 18:54

PDX Dragon

<<<I appreciate the photos, but the commentary is sadly mediocre. Police are not "robocops" and they do not "kill without mercy." Police officers are human beings and you are right, some of them probably were a little scared. I am not saying police are blameless or that excessive force is not ever used.>>>

i appreciate the basic idea of remembering that police are human beings. However, they must be held accountable for their actions, and it is also important to remember that they are cogs in a corrupt and increasingly fascist paramilitary machine. Soldiers in any Fascist State have also been human beings, but those regimes have committed atrocities. So has this country and continues to do so, and it has and will continue to violently squash dissent here.

Excessive force is used by police as a matter of course. As is intimidation of individuals who stand up to their oppressive tactics. The police are a corrupt insititution. The prevailing mindset is one of domination, and authority. I have personally seen and witnessed too many and too high a percentage of cops who have behaved sadistically, who have expressed an unrepentent desire to hurt and dominate citizens, who have acted like bullies to the most peaceful and harmless citizens.


<<<What I am saying is that the overwhelming majority of police are good people who do what they can to protect all members of a community in a manner that is safe.>>>

That is just not true. It only appears that way when you meekly obey what they tell you to do, like a good dog, they will treat you fine. That is not freedom, that is not an authority they deserve or are entitled to.

Try exercising your legal rights, and see how quickly you get targeted. Try talking to black or latino people and find out their experiences. Talk to many homeless people. Try watching the police as they are hassling someone, and see how quickly they illegally order you to leave, and if you stay, as is your legal right, see how quickly you will be targeted for illegal arrest and citation.

<<<Why should police be sympathetic to our causes when we have done nothing but criticize, attack, and overgeneralize who they are and what they do even to the point of seeing them as inhuman? Isn't that what predjudice is all about? Why are we putting forth the same methodologies that got us here in the first place?>>>

When they behave inhumanly, i will say so, and when they behave humanly, i will say that as well. Standing on the street, and facing these robocops, and i say that because they are dressed as faceless soldiers, who often do not wear name tags (illegal), are ordered not to speak, and WILL shoot to kill if ordered. This is not the classic image of the cop on the beat, who knows the people in the neighborhood. This is a paramilitary operation that does not talk, does not interact, that is dressed in stormtrooper gear more elaborate than a soldiers. This is the face of a police state.

You do miss the point entirely. This is not about reaching police or desiring them to be sympathetic to 'our' causes. They are flat out wrong to attempt to squash dissent. There is nothing fair or democratic about that. If i have to get their approval to exercise my Constitutional rights, then that is a slavery. They have no authority or moral right to impose their vigilante justice on people. They routinely abuse their power, and not just at protests. They adamantly refuse citizen oversight. Why? Because they are the ones who do not want to be accountable and want to be and act as if they are above the law. Open you eyes and look at what is really going on in the world.

<<<I encourage you to try something different than the ordinary, easy way out, anti-cop mentality style of reporting. I encourage you to get to know just one of the officers in your community and to think about what it would be like to get up every morning, get dressed, and walk out your door not knowing if you will ever come home again.>>>

i encourage you to get out on the street, and see what it is really like. you live in a bubble image based on fanciful ideas, not the reality of things as they are.

Great photo documentarty! 28.Aug.2002 10:03

Christopher Loch

The author/photograpgher of this piese should be commeneded on their great work!

Don't listen to the jerks who blindly support the amerrican war machine and are so intolerant of anyone who doesn't, they're just tools or lazy in their lifestyles that are paid for with the blood, misery and death of millions, really billions worldwide. They're all fundamentalists with blinders on, afraid to see reality, but comforted by the words of their "great" leaders, and leading their lives based entirely on faith in those words which have been calculated to deceive them and coax them to sleep.

Bravo, but a little too pushy, perhaps? 28.Aug.2002 12:47

a Portlander

I think a protest against GW and what he is doing is very important. We need to let him know we don't want him to ruin the forests and try to take over our bodies, however I think your narration was pretty silly...storm troopers? You tried to make the police sound ridiculous and the protestors very brave. The police were there to protect everyone, even the idiots. I am not brave enough to be a policeman, and I'll bet most of the people there aren't, either. I realize there are some cops that are jerks, just like in ANY other profession, but come on...
My husband and I were in a uniform store one day as I was pickng up some work shoes, and we noticed a guy trying on bullet proof vests. He was with his pregnant wife. He was a policeman, and for some reason it really got to us. That's not how we usually think of policemen. I just couldn't imagine what she was feeling. Everyone has a choice, and although not everyone is a good guy we are lucky there are people who care enough about helping to protect us that choose to join the police force.

MY POINT:

Truly,THANKS to all of you who showed up; GW is a creep-- but why push the line and ruin a good peacefull protest? I don't understand that part...bragging about it. Was that woman who stared down the policeman (and the photographer) trying to start something? Did she want him to get angry so she would look like a martyr? That guy works for the City of Portland, he's not the Pres. Stick with Peaceful Protesting and you will gain much more respect, and possibly more results. Just by marching and being there you made your (peaceful) point. The rest ruins it. Thanks, and that's my opinion.
L
R

Huh? 29.Aug.2002 12:21

wtf

" Was that woman who stared down the policeman (and the photographer) trying to start something? "

... yeah, she was trying to start something, just like she was trying to "start something" with her wife-beating husband.

So, riot cops can start a riot, pepper-spraying and shooting rubber bullets at people raising their voices against a criminal regime ... but citizens aren't supposed to "look at them funny" or those armed (... yes: LOOK AT THEM STUPID. THEY'RE ...) STORMTROOPERS will forget they're supposed to act according to law ... or that law governs them at all. Their aggressive actions are forgiveable because, well, those armed, armored minions are, after all, just human ... and those unarmed, unarmored protestors ... aren't?

yep: that chic was JUST ASKING FOR IT.

What If...? 29.Aug.2002 19:11

Celeste

What if...
In the photos no one had any clothes on or had any body or head hair? What would we see? We'd see Self (protestors) protesting Self (dinner attendees) while being attacked by Self (police).

What if...
People realized that the Declaration of Independence truly hit the nail on the head when it states that "...all men are created equal..." Think about this for a moment. Whether black, white, brown, red or yellow; whether rich or poor; gay or straight - ALL human life begins in a biologically equal manner: a sperm must fertilize an egg.

What if...
The pepper spray became silly string? The rubber bullets became popcorn? The batons became nerf bats? The potential in the machine guns became marshmallows? And the police uniforms became clown suits?

What if...
People read the Desiderata:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible,
without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to
the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater
and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own
career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business
affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for
high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be
cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantement, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly
the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in
sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and
loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than
the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your
labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and
broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

What if...
People tried to look at the similarities and learned to appreciate the differences?

No, I'm not on drugs...but I would say I'm a dreamer.

Bi-Polarity 30.Aug.2002 18:11

Listneing

Most all the replies or rebuttals to commentary proposing a lenient view toward the
police are very negative.
I would go so far as to say there is no positive discussion in this forum on any topic
thus far.
Very little discussion at all, just point and counter-point.
If all you wish to do is oppose something, you will always be oppressed.
Change requires listening and learning and communication, and the most profound
change is only possible within yourself first.
Most protests I have seen here in Portland have started out peacefully enough, but
once people who have had something to say have spoken and gone, the protest
continues under it's own steam for many factionalized reasons.
The continued protesting (if it can even be called that) does little to impress any
point in a constructive manner on anyone, especially the police. So people simply
linger, and imminent confrontation is a palpable thing, it is desired even. People
wait, and wait for it, the police, the media, the 'protesters', and the people in their
homes watching it all on tv, tut tutting the 'unwashed, unemployed, trouble makers'.
(We all know that perhaps some of the people participating may not have jobs, or
are students, but be nice, name calling is bad)
Please refrain from simply looking for a confrontation to acclaim that some faction
that is represented has been repressed. Please try to organize in a fashion that
allows your view to be heard and repeated, not shouted and drowned out.
I am the first to admit that the political process in this country is in a state of decay,
and has been for quite some time, but please realize that confrontation with a police
force will accomplish very little in the way of expressing a viewpoint to anyone.
The present administration clearly does not want to listen to any sort of opposing
viewpoint, but there are others who are listening, and they need help to achieve
change here and now.
Instead of wearing bandanas and gas masks, then standing around waiting to be
sprayed or bashed for the cameras, talk to each other, find others who will listen
and learn with you, and with patience, change can be achieved.

re: listening 04.Sep.2002 19:52

raven

you make a false dichotomy where one does not exist

just because people are out protesting, does not mean that at other times they are not doing the other things you suggest

also, you are mistaken to characterize people as standing out there wanting a confrontation.

going out on the street to make your point, and knowing you may be attacked, is not an indication that you desire an attack, but rather an indication that you will not be intimidated into giving up a basic right upon which this country is founded because of oppressive and intimidating tactics by the police.

standing up to a bully is a necessary thing to do, for ones own self esteem, and that is not a macho trip. it is essential human dignity.

divided discontent 08.Sep.2002 22:01

pdxlocal

The rally downtown was one more piece of evidence that Portland is one great city. The fact that thousands of people showed up to publicly share the growing discontent and bewilderment about the severely messed up administration is a credit to stumptown. We should be proud. I am very grateful to indymedia for helping to raise the consciousness of our town. However, I am saddened by indymedias (and the publics) inability to maintain focus on the purpose of their own rally. The Portland Police Department is not a faction of a fascist executive branch. The media attention given to the Police has severely detracted from the media attention that was given to the protestors cause. No one is debating or discussing the policies of G Dub in this forum. The media has successfully diverted the attention away from the reason that everyone gathered to protest in the first place.
It is true that the PPD could use some more training on dealing with protestors. This is not Washington DC and the Police here do not deal with protests on a regular basis. It is also true that the protestors are equally unskilled and untrained at getting their point across. I would expect the mass media to refocus the attention of the protest to sensationalize the police involvement. But for indymedia, KBOO, and the protestors themselves to dramatize the pepper spray and big sticks is evidence that we are infants in the world of political protest. Thousands of people gathered to protest a plethora of issues. The unifying factor between them all was their hatred of Bush. By emphasizing the police involvement in the media and targeting the police force at the rally we have blurred the unification of our own cause.
I thank the sponsors and participators for sharing their political views with the world. I hope that next time, we don't get so confused that we shoot ourselves in the foot.

Great article which can't be printed! Why? 25.Sep.2002 12:24

Peter Maranci peter@maranci.net

This is a great article, with very powerful images which might actually help wake up people who've failed to recognize the emergence of Imperial America.

But why is it impossible to PRINT the damn thing? I would like to print this out to show to non-online friends, as well as download it as evidence just in case Ashcroft's goons take the site down. But when I try to download a PDF I get a file of 0KB length. When I try to print it as is, the frame formatting pushes the rightmost quarter of the text off the page. And when I try to view a "printable" version, I get a few paragraphs of unrendered HTML.

This is happening on two different but very ordinary systems, and I'm reasonably tech-savvy, so I really don't think this is my fault.

I hope that someone will make this explosive material available in formats that work!