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alternative media cheney protests

Indymedia PDX derails planned Cheney protest.

A long planned protest is undermined at the last minute bby INDY masters........
An unfortunate precedent was set yesterday. An event planned wel in advance was effectivly shunted aside, the site masters heavy handedly giving the most prominent center collumn post to a handfull of annonomous posters who make an impromto decision to undermine the planned event in favour of their own last minte idea.A request to at least give the original event equal exposure is denied , effectively re routing peple checking Indy to the suddenly changed new venue. This is a dangerous precedent !!! While the handfull of posters probably were'nt cops or republicans, the ease with which they were able to impose their agenda over an existing one ; an event publicly announced long before, is worrysome.The fact that the Indy site master chose to play God and promote the ersatz "new-improved" protest site over the original planned location is moe disturbing. At the very least this should serve as a cautionary lesson as to how vulnerable electronic organizing can be to anyone desiring to'highjack' or sabotage The PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE!!!!! word-up.......
Just to let u know, WTF 14.Jan.2004 09:50

a friend

I understand your frustration at not seeing more people out there with you. But I think you're directing it in the wrong place. No one was "re-routed," just to let you know; Few people showed up downtown either. I don't think it was a matter of electronic sabotage, I think it was more a matter of lack of planning and lack of will. The thing is, few people even knew about the "planned well in advance" protest, and many of those who did simply didn't want to stand in a free speech corral, surrounded by bloodthirsty riot cops, far outside of town where no one would even hear their voices.

I, for one, am tired of being that predictable. I'm tired of these visiting "dignitaries" arrogantly deciding to visit our city without visiting its people, tired of watching them sneak in and out again behind walls of riot police, tired of having no voice out there while I risk life and limb facing down a bunch of padded uniforms without faces. I expend way too much energy dealing with the ignorance of the police who are protecting a system that's killing them and their families as surely as it is us. I would prefer to use my energy more wisely, actually focusing on the issues at hand and not on bureaucrats in riot gear. I'd like to keep them wondering a little more, perhaps by not allowing ourselves to be herded like sheep into an ambush.

Indymedia is not the Sierra Club's sounding board! 14.Jan.2004 09:52

StevetheGreen

While I will admit it was a little confusing trying to decide what "Cheney visit" protest actions were legitmate and which ones were designed by the cops to splinter our effectiveness by dividing people, the truth is that indymedia and it's volunteers don't have to answer to mainstream environmental groups about who they feature on the main wire.
Nor should they.

Furthermore, after braving the cold and the ridiculous "free speech" zone in a muddy field behind temporary chain link fences coupled with the lack of any real organization on the part of the Sierra club, I regretted going out to the hotel and wish I would have participated downtown instead.

In addition your comments seem to indicate an ignorance about what constitutes "open publishing", not to mention an over-reliance on Indymedia to provide an "organizational vehicle" for an event that the Sierra club certainly has the "resources" to inform people of on their own.
I think the indymedia volunteers have a responsibilty to try and determine what information is valid when possible, but that in my opinion is where their responsibility ends.

Bottom line! It was the cold and the "very difficult to get to" venue that was the most responsible for a sparse turnout.

Your anger is misguided and misdirected.

another thing 14.Jan.2004 12:25

blahb

Don't forget that many of us weren't even sure where Cheney was going to be until fairly recently. As long as we fight the Repubs and the Pigs on the playing field of their design, at their designated time, we will not prevail. When we are protesting at the location they pick, they do not tell us until they have spent weeks, if not months, planning security (read, "how to keep protesters from being seen or heard"). And when they pick the time, it is also to their advantage - those attending can afford to take off work and since they are the bosses they are allowed to, when we cannot. Not to mention, we are doomed to ineffectiveness if we only protest ever six months when one of the Fat Cats comes to town.

We must pick our own locations, and our own times. We must not play by thier rules, which are designed to make *them* win. Plan 2 months in advance and tell the cops 2 days in advance (or don't even tell them at all!). This sort of strategy will work best with small groups, but its not like Portland's giant marches of 40,000 last year accomplished anything anyway.

UNITE*RESIST

(My interpretation of that slogan: UNITE in small and numerous groups; RESIST every day!)

you're right, wtf 14.Jan.2004 13:59

.

that was bullshit. while indymedia doesn't owe any particular protest special props, the editorial decisions on this one really, really bit. priveleging the sucka posts at the end was really silly, and is the du jour love affair with "self-organized" actions.

let me see if I understand 14.Jan.2004 14:14

reader

You're pissed off because you feel once announcement feature (the downtown events) took precedence over another announcement feature (the airport) despite that the airport feature was up for 4 days (downtown less than 1), the airport feature was the top feature on both the front page and the cheney protest page most of the day of the protest, and both features were the top 2 on the cheney protest page. Hmmm, my analysis is that some people are anxious to grasp at straws and blame others. But given the wording and tone of this post it's hard to take it very seriously. It's good to see some intelligent responses though; there is certainly room to discuss how indymedia should or should not be used when organizing events.

stupid parking 14.Jan.2004 17:26

dude

to drive to park, to take light rail, to stand in the cold, to be in a free speech zone takes somthing.

Free shuttle via private transpo next time from pre determined points.

6 P's 14.Jan.2004 17:31

dude

Poor Planning Produces Piss Poor Performance

it's a useless debate 14.Jan.2004 22:01

airport protesta

i wouldn't blame imc for a poor turnout at either location. the truth is both downtown and the free speech barbed wire cage were not ideal locations for accomplishing much. i agree it would be so nice to see a turnout equivilent to bush last summer, but for a multitude of reasons (publicity, location, weather, etc) that wasn't going to happen. pro's and con's of both locales have been discussed on various imc post for the last few weeks. it allowed non-affiliated concerned citizens such as myself to make informed choices about what was best for each individual. i debated between the aiport, downtown, and even my living room before deciding to make the trek to the frigidly cold free speech swamp. that was my choice. and separate protests does not necessarily mean a break down in solidarity. i liked the idea of having multiple (regardless of size) protests- it can spread the word more efficiently.

I posted it... 15.Jan.2004 10:46

amazonian down_with_dick@yahoo.com

Why the hell are you whining? The downtown protest was at 12:30, the airport one was at 4:30. THAT'S A FOUR HOUR DIFFERENCE!!! Many of us that were downtown ended up at the airport also, but it was fucking rediculous to be there, so we left soon after. Only a dozen or so people showed up downtown anyways.

And just so you know, there were people from indymedia who knew about our plans well in advance. We wanted to keep the info off indymedia until the very last minute to avoid an overwhelming police presence. It worked. There was not one cop there. This post was not, however, some spur of the moment thing. We had been planning for a while, investing our time and our own money in the event.

And lastly, the protest planned at the airport was still mentioned on the post that I put out. Sorry for saying it was organized by Greenpeace (even though you're somewhat similar). But still, I made a point of mentioning it even though it's not what our group had been putting together.

I appologize that both protests had a horrid turnout, but that is the result of the burnt out, jaded excuses for activists that we have here in Portland, not the group which organized the downtown event, and surely not the indymedia editorial staff.