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.