“We Are Not The Enemy!” – The Battle of Portland

2002-09-06

Richard Moore

The face of fascism grows more plain each day.
The specific parallels with the Third Reich exceed coincidence.
We must remember that folks like Allen Dulles were Nazi collaborators
...and were also architects of postwar US foreign policy. 

We've now had our 'Reichstag Fire' (on 9/11) and our 'Sudentland 
annexation' (Afghanistan) and now we're ready for a 'defensive' 
'invasion of Poland' (Iraq).

We've got our 'Jews' (those of non-Jewish Middle-Eastern extraction) 
who can be rounded up and imprisoned with impunity. We've got our 
first(?) concentration camp (Guantanamo), and below we hear about 
our storm troopers in the streets...

rkm

============================================================================
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 11:12:25 -0400
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Aaron Koleszar <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Family Pepper Sprayed at Anti-Bush Demo

http://www.gulufuture.com/portland/

Followed by "Statement by Pepper Sprayed Family"

"We Are Not The Enemy!" - The Battle of Portland
by William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Report

Saturday, 24 August, 2002

The image is chilling. A middle-aged woman, plainly
dressed, with a puff of auburn hair, is clutched in a
hammer-lock by a Portland police officer dressed in
full riot gear. His riot baton is jammed high under her
chin. Around her, three more armor-clad police officers
swarm in, face-masks down. The woman's face is
contorted in terror. In her hand is a sign protesting
George W. Bush.

This was the scene on the streets of Portland, OR, on
the evening of August 22nd as captured by a
photographer for the Associated Press. Thousands of
peaceful protesters had descended upon the Hilton Hotel
where Mr. Bush was attending a political fundraiser for
Senator Gordon Smith. They held signs reading, "Drop
Bush, not Bombs," and other similar slogans. Among the
protesters were pregnant women, parents with infants
and small children, elderly citizens, and citizens in
wheelchairs

According to a report by CBS News, the protest became
unruly when some of the fundraiser attendees were
"jostled" as they moved through the crowd towards the
entrance to the hotel. At that point, the riot police
swarmed in, swinging clubs and dousing the crowd with
pepper spray. Rubber bullets were also fired into the
crowd, and snipers were seen on the roofs surrounding
the scene. The protesters responded by hammering on the
hoods of police cars and screaming, "We are not the
enemy!"

A man named Randy, who attended the protest, reports
the sequence of events as follows:

"I was between 5th and 6th on the sidewalk. Maybe the
ones in front were warned to move, but I didn't hear
any warning. It had been a peaceful protest. Suddenly
the police came forward spraying pepper spray. A man
nearby with an infant in a backpack got hit real good.
The baby's face was so red I thought it had quit
breathing. From the other direction came cop cars
through the crowd and rubber bullets were fired at
those closest to the cars. I kept retreating but the
cops kept spraying. Lots of people were sprayed,
including the cameraman from Channel 2 KATU."

Other eyewitness accounts from the streets of Portland
similarly describe what appears to have been a
terrifyingly violent response from the police to a
peaceful protest by assembled American citizens.

This is a profoundly disturbing turn of events. Mr.
Bush is protested wherever he goes these days, and the
crowds which attend them are growing. These are not
black-clad anarchists kicking in windows, however. The
woman who was attacked by the police looked as ordinary
as any small-town librarian, and anarchists are smart
enough to leave their children at home if there is a
riot in the offing. The streets of Portland were filled
on August 22nd by average American citizens seeking to
inform the President of their disfavor regarding the
manner in which he is governing their country. They
were rewarded with the business end of a billy club, a
face-full of pepper spray, and the jarring impact of a
rubber bullet.

If America needed one more example of the cancer that
has been chewing through the guts of our most basic
freedoms since Mr. Bush assumed office, they can look
to Portland. The right to freely assemble and petition
the government for a redress of grievances has been
rescinded at the point of a gun.

The imperative is clear. Such violence by the
authorities cannot go unchallenged. The next time Mr.
Bush appears in public, there must be even more
concerned Americans to greet him. They must face the
baton and the pepper spray, they must stare into the
shielded faces of the police, and they must stand in
non-violent disobedience of the idea that they are not
allowed to be there. The men and women who faced the
brunt of police fury in Portland are to be lauded as
American patriots, and their actions must be duplicated
by us all. The groups which organized this protest, and
the ones to come, deserve our praise.

The media, which spent much of the evening reporting
that only a few hundred protesters were in attendance,
must be browbeaten into reporting the facts from both
sides - from the police, who reportedly detained people
like the woman in the picture "for their own safety,"
and from the protesters who took a savage beating for
daring to stand against Mr. Bush. If the battle of
Portland is allowed to cast even more fear into the
hearts and minds of Americans, we have lost yet another
swath of freedoms. Stand and be counted if you can.

The whole world is watching.

-------

William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, MA. His
new book, 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence,' will be
published soon by Pluto Press.

  © : t r u t h o u t 2002

 ====================================

Statement by Pepper Sprayed Family

From the father of the
pepper-sprayed children
by Don Joughin
8:51pm Sat Aug 24 '02
(Modified on 10:13pm Sat Aug 24 '02)

This is an open letter describing our experience and an
urgent call to action. First and foremost I want to
thank from the bottom of my heart the kind human beings
who helped my children, my wife and me after we were
pepper sprayed by the Portland Police.

We were aided immediately by fellow demonstrators, the
black cross and passers-by caught in the crossfire.
These people shielded us with their bodies and soothed
us with their treatments and words, and argued with
police, putting themselves in danger, to secure our
safe passage through the cordon. Their actions stand in
beautiful contrast to the savage inhumanity of the
police.

We brought our children to a peaceful protest, we
stayed in the back and we were walking on the sidewalk.
The march stopped at the intersection of 2nd and Alder
we could not see why from our position on the SW corner
of the intersection. Police quickly moved up behind us
and a moment or two later sprayed pepper spray into the
crowd from the NE corner of the intersection. the crowd
ran toward us to escape the spray.

We asked the officer closest to us how we should exit
the intersection. He pointed and said to exit to the
NE, into the spraying police opposite him. as the crowd
pressed toward us I yelled to him to let us through
(south on 2nd) because we had three small children.

He looked at me, and drew out his can from his hip and
sprayed directly at me. I was at an angle to him and
the spray hit my right eye and our three year-old who I
was holding in my right arm. In the same motion he
turned the can on my wife who was holding our 10 month
old baby and doused both of their heads entirely from a
distance of less than 3 feet. My six year old daughter
was holding my left hand and was not hit directly.

We ended up on the sidewalk a few feet down alder with
fellow protesters holding my screaming children and and
pouring water on our eyes. Someone yelled that the
police had said that we could pass through the cordon
on alder with the children. I picked up the baby and
other protesters brought my wife and other children to
the police line.

We attempted to pass through but they leaned in
shoulders to block us. I yelled at them to let us pass
for about two minutes and finally some officer up the
line nodded me and the baby through. they were not
going to let my wife and other children out but after a
few minutes of pleading from the crowd and another
signal from up the line they let them out.

As we passed the officers were laughing and said
something to the effect of "that's why you shouldn't
bring kids to protests". I immediately called 911 as we
moved up to the corner of 3rd and alder. I explained
that a baby had been directly pepper sprayed and that I
needed an ambulance. They informed me that they would
not send one and that all protesters were to report to
a first aid tent on the other side of the police lines.
Fellow protestors aided us until Black Cross arrived.

Business people brought water from the nearby offices
and someone bought some juice for the children. Two
KBOO staffers drove up in their Volvo and took us to
Emmanuel ER. One of the protestors who had helped us
from the beginning accompanied us to the hospital and
waited with us until the kids were admitted (special
thanks!).

The children were examined for respiratory problems and
chemical burns. Luckily all were only suffering
"normal" pepper spray reactions that have no treatment
but to wait. The Pediatrician kept us a little longer
so that she could call poison control to check for
other recommended procedures as she had never in her
career seen an infant pepper spray victim. On the way
to the E.R. my three year old said that those guys back
there were trying to get us and said we should call the
police. That is the story.

============================================================================
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 21:52:11 -0500
From: Jeff Moebus <•••@••.•••>

  ("No one will believe you."
  "That is exactly as it is meant to be."
  Salavi laughed.
  "But tell them anyway.  Tell them once.
  Then tell them they have been told and leave."
  
  -  The Vision of Salavi
         Chichimeca story from ancient Mexico
         as related by Captain Paul Watson,
         Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

The Coup of September 11, 2001
is a success.

All near-term tactical and strategic objectives
have been achieved.

The search for the truth
about The Event that day ---

     what actually happened...
     how it happened...
     who made it happen...
     who let it happen...

was diverted within hours
of the collapse of the North Tower,
quietly aborted, and
ultimately abandoned.

The People have been rendered
"comfortably numb"
as they embrace, resource, and surrender
to the architects, engineers,
craftsmen, and cheerleaders
of this so-called War
Against so-called Terrorism
     abroad and at home.

There is no protest
in a war zone.
There never is; there cannot be.
There, there is only resistance,
     insurgency,
     sabotage,
     and revolution.

Here, there is only acquiescence,
     compliance,
     perpetuation,
     and participatory complicity.

The Terrorists have won.

All that remains is for a simple, single, second Event,
and The People will demand
a seizure of total, unconditional, unchallengeable
authority, power, domination, and control.

A "dirty" nuclear device
detonated in a major metropolitan area
in the days just before
the 2002 Congressional Elections
     (transparently traceable to Saddam)
will do just fine.

And it will be the end
of the beginning
of the beginning
of the end
of The Terror.

8.28.02

-- 

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