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What the media didn't tell you about the Oct.5th protests,

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Eye See You Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:22 PM
Original message
What the media didn't tell you about the Oct.5th protests,
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 06:23 PM by Eye See You /

I have been to many protests, witnessed countless acts of police brutality, but none compare to what I saw today. Bean bag guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and billy clubs; all of them used to attack peaceful protestors. Friends of mine were trampled by horses, beaten by billy clubs, and peppersprayed severely. All in an disgusting display of extreme police brutality. My hands are still shaking and my eye still hurts from pepper spray so I will try to write this as best as I can...
The rally began at 12:00, in Park and Main. Around 18 students in my school (located on 12th and Main) walked out of school to participate in the protest. Prior to the protest some students and I were deeply dissatisfied with World Can't Waits comments about discouraging direct action, and had absolutely no idea what the protest would be like. We arrived at the park blocks seeing a crowd of maybe 500 people listening to speeches. The majority of the population was middle aged liberals, but there were also a good number of students there as well. After a couple speeches, an incredibly inspiring woman gave a speech about the importance of direct action. She questioned world can't wait about their ridiculous statements discouraging direct action. Some world can't wait organizers booed her, which was incredibly disrespectful and rude.

After what seemed like eternity, the march finally began. Almost half the crowd left during the speeches, but more and more people started joining the protest as we were marching. I would guess, but I'm not sure, that there were about 550 people there. As we walked about 6 blocks from the park, people started asking why we were following the police in what looked like a parade. Every single speaker talked about taking action to create change, but yet we were still following oppressive police barriers for our permitted marches. People began becoming confused on where to go, and we walked in a loop all the way down from the park and then back up it. As we took the next turn, it was visible that we were walking down a street that wasn't permitted. The police tried to cut in front of us, but eventually got orders to let us through, this happened two times. The crowd was ecstatic; we had successfully taken the streets, for a short time anyway. The police had lined up on bikes against a street and we stood there for awhile wondering if they would still let us through. I strongly believe they would have, if the liberal peace police didn't try to get all the protestors back on the permitted streets. One man with a megaphone talked about how the government had now given access to schools to strip search students. He also talked about how we should protect the students. Ironically, he said all of this while abandoning students who were at risk of being attacked by police. I screamed for people to protect us, the students, and that change begins now. Many liberals argued with me that civil disobedience is wrong and what the crowd was doing was stupid. I informed them about how MLK had been arrested upwards 20 times for acts of civil disobedience, they didn't really argue past that.

Eventually, the crowd had to give up because the rest of the protest had kept marching on. I was very angry about the lack of solidarity some of those protesters showed. We moved on to the Oregonian building and chanted "FREE THE PRESS". Drummers formed a drum circle on the sidewalk outside the Oregonian building, and the energy of the crowd was immense. One protestor asked the Oregonian staff to please actually write about this protest and other protests in a truthful matter; he didn't really get a response. Security guards were standing right outside the doorway, watching our every move.

Once again, the crowd moved on, and more and more riot police started lining the streets. A police helicopter flew overhead of us consistently throughout the rest of the protest. As we were walking back to Park and Main, protestors started sprinting up Jefferson. The majority of the protest followed, some went back to the park. I sprinted as fast as I could to the front of the protest to see what was going on. Police tried to stop many of us, and I think someone was arrested, when we were running up Jefferson. Bike police had already lined up on 12th and Jefferson, stopping the protest. Police on horses zoomed passed me, bumping into many people. All of a sudden, I started hearing screaming, and saw batons fly up in the air. People were being pepper sprayed at the head of the protest, and police started attacking protestors, doing "snatch and grabs". I saw a friend get tackled by the police twenty feet away from the police lineup. Three police started attacking him and stepping on him while he was on the ground. Shots fired, people were screaming all around me. A friend told me a woman was sitting on the sidewalk while all of this was happening and was intentionally kicked by the police. Police shot rubber bullets at the woman sitting on the ground, but I don't believe they hit her. People were getting trampled by the horses, and more shots fired. Protesters were hyperventilating around me, and I could see three guys in serious pain 30 feet away. I ran to them and found they had been severely pepper sprayed, they were yelling in extreme pain. I mixed one part water one part Maalox and poured it in their eyes and all around their body. Two of them had their entire upper body covered in pepper spray. Pepper spray, from the guy I was giving medical attention to, had gotten on my arm, and some around my eye. We ran out of water, and I sprinted to my school, not 10 feet away. I asked for water and a basic solution safe for the eyes. My principle came out informing me that the school had gone in lockdown. The desk attendant at my school wouldn't even give me water to help the people dosed in pepper spray. That made me incredibly angry. I found out that some of the students that go to my school had been very badly pepper sprayed. Three women, who were doing absolutely nothing, got trampled by the police. As five minutes went by, riot police had filled Jefferson. "This is the Portland police, this is an illegal assembly, if you do not move you will be subject to chemical weapons... blah blah", the Portland pigs announced. Everyone went on the sidewalks, as the police began laughing and pointing their rubber bullet and bean bag guns at us. Cops barricaded the sidewalks with their bikes, giving smirks to all the protestors. Elmore, a cop who has personally told me he was going to beat the shit out of me in a past protest, waved his gun around, laughing while doing so. The corporate media flogged the sidewalks, we yelled at them to tell the fucking truth, I doubt they will.

Everyone seemed to disperse, as the protest came to a close. I was informed that ten people had been arrested. I could hardly walk back to the bus stop I was so shocked and exhausted. After many calls to the NWCRC (Northwest constitutional rights center) I went home, in pain and confused.

If you had a camera and filmed the police brutality that occurred today, PLEASE CONTACT NWCRC and Portland Indymedia, your footage is extremely important to bringing down these fucking pigs. Also, if you were attacked by the police, please call the NWCRC (also jail support) at 503 233 3194.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. What is the purpose of your protest march?
Is it to gain the attention of the public? The press is not watching and not reporting, and the only people who will know about it are the people who can' get where they want to go because you are blocking traffic.

Is it just to snub your nose at authority? That is simply immature. What was so awful about obeying the police restrictions? You were being allowed to protest and to meet.

Personally, I think you would be spending your time more wisely tabling or walking precincts -- talking to voters. That is the kind of "direct action" that changes things -- talking to voters one on one about their problems and the realistic solutions that Democrats and progressives have to offer.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. "snub your nose at authority? That is simply immature"
Ok so I think you have just won the award for "Most Condescending Post of the Day".

I wonder, do you think that the folks in the Ukraine who peacefully snubbed the nose of authority until a government fell were also simply immature?

I am also amazed at the many posters here who have fallen for the perverse theory that because the Bullshit Media System will not cover protests, there is no point in having protests.

Hypothetical question for you: suppose Nov 8 the elections are over and it appears that major shenanigans have occurred and the cabal has jiggered enough votes to remain in control of both houses. Evidence mounts that fraud is a major factor in the outcome. What would you suggest is the right thing to do?

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. There simply are more effective ways to change society.
Rallies and protests are fine, and sometimes you have to violate certain laws about where you can go as in Cindy Sheehan's case. But, it is counterproductive to alienate the police when they really aren't doing anything wrong. I wasn't there. You have to judge for yourself how you use your time.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Being priestly isn't enough.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:02 PM by happydreams
Protest is a vital part of the process of civil dissent. It makes a statement: "We are mad as hell!"
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Eye See You Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. One word for you....
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think you need to read up a bit more on nonviolent resistance.
Dr. King and Gandhi did not advocate any sort of physical confrontation. The battle is not physical, as was the one you attempted to wage with the police. The first and last battlefield is always the individual mind; one cannot change the mind of others by threatening them. Your actions were both confrontational and threatening. Oregonians who might have been inclined to listen to what truly peaceful protesters had to say will more than likely condemn all of them as troublemakers, based on the actions of a few kids het up with hormones and determined to rebel.

You might want to pay a little more attention to all those middle aged and elderly folks at these protests. They've all been there before. You could probably benefit from their wisdom. We don't win by running rampant and having tantrums. We win by living our beliefs calmly and with dignity, in such a way that others cannot help but see the wisdom in our actions and in doing so, choose to join us.

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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. In politics, all but power is illusion.
Pacifism is a dangerous illusion. That said, make sure to only fight fights that can be won.
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. The assumption that power... synonymous with physical force is a common misconception.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yeah sure like this
"In Peshawar the satyagraha was led by a Muslim Pashto disciple of Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan. Ghaffar Khan had trained an army of non-violent activists, called Khudai Khitmatgar. On April 23, 1930, Ghaffar Khan was arrested. A crowd of Khudai Khitmatgar gathered in Peshawar's Kissa Khani Bazaar. The British opened fire on the unarmed crowd and shot hundreds of Khudai Khitmatgar and other demonstrators. One British Indian Army regiment refused to fire at the crowds. According to some accounts, the crowd acted in accord with their training in non-violence. As people in the front fell, those behind came forward to expose themselves to the firing. The shooting continued from 11 AM until 5 PM."


"Dharasana Satyagraha was the next stage in Salt Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi. After making salt at Dandi, Gandhi decided to take over The Dharsana Salt Works at Dharsana in Gujrat, this was convyed to the British Viceroy on May 4, 1930. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested immediately. However the Indian National Congress decided to continue with the proposed plan of action. Many of the Congress leaders were arrested before the planned day, including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. However, the peaceful agitaion continued under the leadership of Sarojini Naidu and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Hundreds of Congress volunteers started marching towards the site of The Dharsana Salt Works and after being warned, they were beaten up brutally by the local police. At the end the Congress workers were not able to take over the factory. However the event created an international uproar.

American Journalist's report who was an eye-witness

Suddenly at a word of command scores of native policemen rushed upon the marchers and rained blows on their heads with their lathis (heavy wooden sticks with iron bands on them). Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like ninepins. I heard the sickening whack of clubs on unprotected skulls. There was no fight, no struggle, the marchers simply walked forward until struck down."

Nonviolent resistence frequently results in a violent reaction from the authorities. Nonviolent resistence does not mean avoiding confrontation and the battle most certainly is physical. Nonviolent resistence means exactly the plain meaning of those words: resistence to authority using nonviolent tactis.
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. To compare teenage rioters with the martyrs at the Dharsana Salt Works... pretty disingenuous. As you say yourself, those who subscribed to Gandhi's idea of satyagraha did not "even raise an arm to fend off the blows...There was no fight, no struggle, the marchers simply walked forward until struck down." Compare that to the behavior of the young people at the Portland rally on Thursday who spoke out against following the planned route, who sprinted away from the majority of the marchers and headed toward the 405 freeway. I can tell you, there was plenty of struggle, arms raised, profanities spat, etc.

I can only assume that you do not live in Portland, were not present on Thursday, and have not been present at countless other demonstrations that these malcontents disrupt with their adolescent, exhibitionistic behavior.

The "anarchy kids," as we in Portland call them, show up to most of the big protests here in the Northwest and behave in the most inflammatory way possible. I might have a bit of sympathy for them if I thought their behavior was the result of sincere interest in the issues, but for the most part, they display all the maturity and true dedication of my eighth grade students trying to stage a sit-in in order to get out of doing homework.

The martyrs of Dharsana were making a statement. The pugnacious, petulant kids in Portland were making a spectacle, with only themselvesand not the causein the spotlight.

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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Thanks for posting this Warren
It is to the point I was trying to make to the OP.
Gandhi and MLK did not practice civil disobedience just for the sake of it but with a specific evil in mind, a goal, a plan and a cause. As well as disciplined group of followers.
Defining the evil of this war is easy, but finding a target to stop it is much harder and requires strong leadership and willing protesters.
I think we have the latter but we need the leadership to pull it off.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you for sharing your experience
And i think there is a lesson to be learned here.
And that is that you are out gunned by the police because they have the weapons to enforce there orders and you have nothing.
Now the stupidest thing you could do is try to arm yourself and fight back...that is a lousing proposition.
But one of the above posters asked an important question what was the purpose of your protest?
It was much easier in the 50s and 60 where black people could not ride in the front of the buss or eat at a lunch counter. Civil disobedience was well defined they simply sat at the front of the buss or at the lunch counter until arrested and they were right because they did not cooperate with an unjust law or custom.
So i ask you this question. Where is the evil that you do not want to cooperate with?
And the second question is how can you use civil disobedience to point it out to the country?
Let's face it the powers that be have gotten a lot smarter about all of this and that is why they have free speech zones so that you can be marginalized and ignored. And all the evil they do is on private property behind closed doors that you cannot get too.
I don;t know what the best way to do it, but I do think that something different must be tried or the efforts of a lot of people will be in vain.
I am not saying this to discourage you, but to help you find an effective way to make your point.
Good luck.
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DocSavage Donating Member (594 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. When did this happen
Here is a link to all the marches on the 5th and I did not find anything about rubber bullets or such. Any ideas?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. local news video links here...
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