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Portland Anarchists Organize Against the Police

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  • dean tuckerman
    This was posted to Indybay, the bay area Indymedia site: Third Time s the Charm; Portland Anarchists Take the Streets Against the Police Once More by anon via
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2010
      This was posted to Indybay, the bay area Indymedia site:

      Third Time's the Charm; Portland Anarchists Take the Streets Against
      the Police Once More
      by anon via anarchist news
      Wednesday Mar 31st, 2010 1:23 PM
      Last week, Jack Dale Collins, a homeless man having a mental health
      crisis was shot and murdered by the Portland Police. Two months ago,
      Aaron Campbell, a suicidal black man grieving over the death of his
      brother the same day, was shot with beanbag guns, killed by a shot in
      the back, and had dogs released on his corpse.



      portland_anti-police.jpg

      Last week, hours after the second killing in two months, Portland
      anarchists gathered and marched through the streets towards the East
      Police Precinct; bank windows were broken, neighbors came out of
      their houses and talked to us, and the police scrambled to respond to
      a spontaneous display of rage.

      The next day, even more people gathered in the park, seizing
      Hawthorne and marching past bars and bike shops, homes and hipster
      dives. Once again, people poured out of their bars and houses,
      watching the march and receiving fliers denouncing the presence of
      police in our community. All were supportive; many joined the march,
      chanting "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" and "Our Passion for Freedom is
      Stronger Than Their Prisons!"

      Distrust and anger towards the police is at an all-time high in
      Portland. The civil trial for the 2006 police murder of James Chasse,
      another unarmed man in a mental health crisis, begins in two months.
      In February, Black community leaders stormed city hall and refused to
      leave, demanding justice for Aaron Campbell. In a recent poll, only
      56% of the population of Portland said that they trust the police.
      Divided demographically, 67% of African Americans and 82% of
      Hispanics do not trust the police. The black weekly, The Skanner, has
      published articles telling people not to call the police if they are
      having a mental health crisis.

      The cracks in the facade of public trust and acceptance of police are
      showing, and widening. Yesterday, we thrust a crowbar into those
      cracks and wrenched them wide open.

      The fliers were ubiquitous: "Enough is Enough; Protect our Community,
      Protect Ourselves!" Tags have sprouted around Portland in prominent
      locations: Fuck the Police; I Hate Police; ACAB (All Cops Are
      Bastards). Yesterday, we gathered again, this time downtown. The
      corporate media, shitting themselves over the potential for violence,
      discovered the words "Black Bloc" posted on Indymedia and showed up
      in force. The pigs arrived before the protesters: Riot police,
      mounted cops, and tactical bike cops.

      Flanked by police and the media, a small trickle of people grew into
      a flood. 50, 60, 70 people in all black, plus another hundred or more
      who saw the fliers and, disgusted by police violence, came out in
      support. Not even the freezing weather and persistent rain can dampen
      our spirits. The police started moving: lines on this street, a team
      on that street, ready to swoop in and keep the people out of the
      streets. Would we ever get out of the park? Were the liberals
      correct, that we would alienate and endanger all of the unprepared
      people who joined the march?

      The bloc tightened in the park, chanting. "No Justice, No Peace! Fuck
      The Police!" "One Chant to Unite Us All: Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" The
      others, those "vulnerable attendees" consistently fetishized by
      liberals, joined in, and chants rang out across the Park Blocks. And
      then, off they went, running down the sidewalk, past the police
      lines, and into the street, in a move that would be repeated over and
      over again during the four hour snake march that followed: The bloc
      in the street, others following on the sidewalk. Two hundred people
      marched on the justice center, and then past it, into the business
      district. Cracks spread across a Bank of America window. The first
      incident of "alienating, irresponsible violence, and yet everyone
      followed; no one was alienated, everyone was focused on their rage.

      Over and over again: The march was forced off the road by horses and
      motorcycles, pushed onto a sidewalk corner, and then took off running
      again, leaving the pigs behind and seizing the street again. To
      Portland State University! a fraction of the march split, ran into
      PSU banging on doors, bring students out of their ivory tower and
      into the real world. Students gathered at their windows, on their
      skywalks, waving and joining the chants: "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" and
      "We Need Solidarity to End Police Brutality"

      We left PSU, larger than when we arrived. Everywhere we went the
      march grew; passersby joined us, cars honked and handed out water
      bottles. Police were visibly angry and afraid; they had lost control
      of the march, and the city. The rage in downtown Portland was
      palpable; while helicopters circled, sirens wailed, and bike cops
      bashed people with their bikes, everyone who wasn't a cop got a
      flier, nodded their head, and shook their fist at the police.

      Away from PSU, through a park, through an alley, onto a street and
      through a parking garage towards the freeway. The pigs didn't like
      that, and managed to hold us off the freeway, but the march continued
      to move like a ballet of rage. It wasn't only the Black Bloc in the
      streets anymore; when we had the streets, everyone was in them. When
      we didn't, we ran down sidewalks, backtracked, and shook off the
      police until we could seize the streets again.

      To the City Center, and Pioneer Square; a young man, a passerby who
      wasn't in the march is arrested. He is given jail support info, and
      his five friends join the march, newly pissed at the pigs. Back to
      the Justice Center; it's dark now, and we can see the lights in
      holding cells far above us. Again, we chant: "Fire to the Prisons!
      Off the Pigs and Free the Prisoners!" The lights in the building
      flicker on and off in solidarity. They can hear us, and we can see them.

      A young woman I've never seen before, who wasn't with us at the
      beginning, is leading the chants now: "Our Passion For Freedom Is
      Stronger Than Their Prisons!" We linger in front of the Justice
      Center, making our arrested comrades aware of our presence. And then
      we're off again, around the block in circles until we have an
      opening, and then back onto the street and into downtown, to the
      bars. People pour out of their bars, stare out the windows of the
      restaurants. Someone holds a flier up to the window; the occupants
      come to the window, read the flier, and smile. Even more people now;
      many of the original faces are gone, but our numbers are the same as
      before. A young woman is on the phone with her friends: "I just got
      hit by a cop! I'm in a riot in downtown Portland--You should come
      protest!"
      These aren't summit-hardened anarchists now, they are passersby who
      hate the pigs. A woman in a wheelchair shouts, over and over again:
      "Fuck the Police! Get off our streets!" Another new face leads a
      chant: "Whose Cops? Not Ours!"

      And so it goes, for four hours. The march starts with one group of
      people, ends with an entirely different population, but the message
      and the tactics are the same. Fuck the police; These are our streets.
      The crowd, tired and wet and cold, slowly dissipates, but not before
      30 or so people block the Steel Bridge and then march across it,
      slowing traffic and bringing their message to the other side of the
      city.

      Today, rest and court solidarity for our arrested comrades. Everyone
      feels like something has changed in Portland. Anarchists, demoralized
      and ostracized since the liberal take-over of the anti-war movement
      in Portland, have come together again. Three spontaneous marches in a
      week, each one larger than the last. Next week we meet again, an
      assembly of anarchists learning once again to trust each other, to
      work together, to fight the police. An upcoming community forum about
      safety and the police, with ex-Black Panthers, radical social
      workers, and copwatchers. Another one in the works, discussing
      concrete alternatives to the police. Murmurs of neighborhood
      assemblies, of building alternatives to keep each other safe and to
      get the pigs off the block.

      These marches were our call to those who can hear: we are organizing
      ourselves, we are done waiting. We have chosen to take sides within
      our context, to exploit cracks and to fight the police wherever we
      are. We constitute a force against control; we seek to widen and
      deepen this crisis, not to manage it.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lawrence Patti
      That must ve been where a good friend of mine from Rochester NY, Joel Dow, got arrested on trumped-up charges.  We re trying to do a benefit concert and
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 1, 2010
        That must've been where a good friend of mine from Rochester NY, Joel Dow, got arrested on trumped-up charges.  We're trying to do a benefit concert and compilation to try to raise bail money for him...

        aX

        --- On Thu, 4/1/10, dean tuckerman <deanosor@...> wrote:

        From: dean tuckerman <deanosor@...>
        Subject: [smygo] Portland Anarchists Organize Against the Police
        To: "dean tuckerman" <deanosor@...>
        Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010, 4:48 AM







         









        This was posted to Indybay, the bay area Indymedia site:



        Third Time's the Charm; Portland Anarchists Take the Streets Against

        the Police Once More

        by anon via anarchist news

        Wednesday Mar 31st, 2010 1:23 PM

        Last week, Jack Dale Collins, a homeless man having a mental health

        crisis was shot and murdered by the Portland Police. Two months ago,

        Aaron Campbell, a suicidal black man grieving over the death of his

        brother the same day, was shot with beanbag guns, killed by a shot in

        the back, and had dogs released on his corpse.







        portland_anti- police.jpg



        Last week, hours after the second killing in two months, Portland

        anarchists gathered and marched through the streets towards the East

        Police Precinct; bank windows were broken, neighbors came out of

        their houses and talked to us, and the police scrambled to respond to

        a spontaneous display of rage.



        The next day, even more people gathered in the park, seizing

        Hawthorne and marching past bars and bike shops, homes and hipster

        dives. Once again, people poured out of their bars and houses,

        watching the march and receiving fliers denouncing the presence of

        police in our community. All were supportive; many joined the march,

        chanting "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" and "Our Passion for Freedom is

        Stronger Than Their Prisons!"



        Distrust and anger towards the police is at an all-time high in

        Portland. The civil trial for the 2006 police murder of James Chasse,

        another unarmed man in a mental health crisis, begins in two months.

        In February, Black community leaders stormed city hall and refused to

        leave, demanding justice for Aaron Campbell. In a recent poll, only

        56% of the population of Portland said that they trust the police.

        Divided demographically, 67% of African Americans and 82% of

        Hispanics do not trust the police. The black weekly, The Skanner, has

        published articles telling people not to call the police if they are

        having a mental health crisis.



        The cracks in the facade of public trust and acceptance of police are

        showing, and widening. Yesterday, we thrust a crowbar into those

        cracks and wrenched them wide open.



        The fliers were ubiquitous: "Enough is Enough; Protect our Community,

        Protect Ourselves!" Tags have sprouted around Portland in prominent

        locations: Fuck the Police; I Hate Police; ACAB (All Cops Are

        Bastards). Yesterday, we gathered again, this time downtown. The

        corporate media, shitting themselves over the potential for violence,

        discovered the words "Black Bloc" posted on Indymedia and showed up

        in force. The pigs arrived before the protesters: Riot police,

        mounted cops, and tactical bike cops.



        Flanked by police and the media, a small trickle of people grew into

        a flood. 50, 60, 70 people in all black, plus another hundred or more

        who saw the fliers and, disgusted by police violence, came out in

        support. Not even the freezing weather and persistent rain can dampen

        our spirits. The police started moving: lines on this street, a team

        on that street, ready to swoop in and keep the people out of the

        streets. Would we ever get out of the park? Were the liberals

        correct, that we would alienate and endanger all of the unprepared

        people who joined the march?



        The bloc tightened in the park, chanting. "No Justice, No Peace! Fuck

        The Police!" "One Chant to Unite Us All: Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" The

        others, those "vulnerable attendees" consistently fetishized by

        liberals, joined in, and chants rang out across the Park Blocks. And

        then, off they went, running down the sidewalk, past the police

        lines, and into the street, in a move that would be repeated over and

        over again during the four hour snake march that followed: The bloc

        in the street, others following on the sidewalk. Two hundred people

        marched on the justice center, and then past it, into the business

        district. Cracks spread across a Bank of America window. The first

        incident of "alienating, irresponsible violence, and yet everyone

        followed; no one was alienated, everyone was focused on their rage.



        Over and over again: The march was forced off the road by horses and

        motorcycles, pushed onto a sidewalk corner, and then took off running

        again, leaving the pigs behind and seizing the street again. To

        Portland State University! a fraction of the march split, ran into

        PSU banging on doors, bring students out of their ivory tower and

        into the real world. Students gathered at their windows, on their

        skywalks, waving and joining the chants: "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" and

        "We Need Solidarity to End Police Brutality"



        We left PSU, larger than when we arrived. Everywhere we went the

        march grew; passersby joined us, cars honked and handed out water

        bottles. Police were visibly angry and afraid; they had lost control

        of the march, and the city. The rage in downtown Portland was

        palpable; while helicopters circled, sirens wailed, and bike cops

        bashed people with their bikes, everyone who wasn't a cop got a

        flier, nodded their head, and shook their fist at the police.



        Away from PSU, through a park, through an alley, onto a street and

        through a parking garage towards the freeway. The pigs didn't like

        that, and managed to hold us off the freeway, but the march continued

        to move like a ballet of rage. It wasn't only the Black Bloc in the

        streets anymore; when we had the streets, everyone was in them. When

        we didn't, we ran down sidewalks, backtracked, and shook off the

        police until we could seize the streets again.



        To the City Center, and Pioneer Square; a young man, a passerby who

        wasn't in the march is arrested. He is given jail support info, and

        his five friends join the march, newly pissed at the pigs. Back to

        the Justice Center; it's dark now, and we can see the lights in

        holding cells far above us. Again, we chant: "Fire to the Prisons!

        Off the Pigs and Free the Prisoners!" The lights in the building

        flicker on and off in solidarity. They can hear us, and we can see them.



        A young woman I've never seen before, who wasn't with us at the

        beginning, is leading the chants now: "Our Passion For Freedom Is

        Stronger Than Their Prisons!" We linger in front of the Justice

        Center, making our arrested comrades aware of our presence. And then

        we're off again, around the block in circles until we have an

        opening, and then back onto the street and into downtown, to the

        bars. People pour out of their bars, stare out the windows of the

        restaurants. Someone holds a flier up to the window; the occupants

        come to the window, read the flier, and smile. Even more people now;

        many of the original faces are gone, but our numbers are the same as

        before. A young woman is on the phone with her friends: "I just got

        hit by a cop! I'm in a riot in downtown Portland--You should come

        protest!"

        These aren't summit-hardened anarchists now, they are passersby who

        hate the pigs. A woman in a wheelchair shouts, over and over again:

        "Fuck the Police! Get off our streets!" Another new face leads a

        chant: "Whose Cops? Not Ours!"



        And so it goes, for four hours. The march starts with one group of

        people, ends with an entirely different population, but the message

        and the tactics are the same. Fuck the police; These are our streets.

        The crowd, tired and wet and cold, slowly dissipates, but not before

        30 or so people block the Steel Bridge and then march across it,

        slowing traffic and bringing their message to the other side of the

        city.



        Today, rest and court solidarity for our arrested comrades. Everyone

        feels like something has changed in Portland. Anarchists, demoralized

        and ostracized since the liberal take-over of the anti-war movement

        in Portland, have come together again. Three spontaneous marches in a

        week, each one larger than the last. Next week we meet again, an

        assembly of anarchists learning once again to trust each other, to

        work together, to fight the police. An upcoming community forum about

        safety and the police, with ex-Black Panthers, radical social

        workers, and copwatchers. Another one in the works, discussing

        concrete alternatives to the police. Murmurs of neighborhood

        assemblies, of building alternatives to keep each other safe and to

        get the pigs off the block.



        These marches were our call to those who can hear: we are organizing

        ourselves, we are done waiting. We have chosen to take sides within

        our context, to exploit cracks and to fight the police wherever we

        are. We constitute a force against control; we seek to widen and

        deepen this crisis, not to manage it.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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