Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Images: Portland George Bush Protest Turns Nasty

The following images and press statement come from the Portland Indymedia website which is carrying extensive coverage of the Bush Protest and its aftermath. See… http://portland.indymedia.org/



Protest Images – Portland Indymedia

PRESS STATEMENT
Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

August 23, 2002

Mayor Vera Katz
City Hall
Portland, Oregon

Dear Mayor Katz:

I write to you today as the Chair of the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and as a citizen of this city.

Yesterday I witnessed actions by the Portland Police against the citizens of this city that rose to the level of what I would term “atrocities against humanity.” Many people, including women, children and gentle folks were seriously injured by the aggressive and irresponsible actions of the Portland Police. I will explain further.

On August 22, 2002, around 5 P.M., near the intersection of SW Taylor and SW Fifth, the Portland Police set up a road block in the middle of the block for the purpose of preventing any pedestrian traffic other than invited guests from entering the area around the Portland Hilton. The crowd behind the barricades was loud and vocal, but at no time did I observe anyone in the crowd threaten the police or take any action against the police department that could be perceived as threatening, provocative or dangerous.

I have videos to support this assertion, as do most of the regular media that were there. See, in particular, Channel 12's video of this incident.

The police at one point donned tear gas masks and then announced that they had declared a state of emergency and that everyone had to move. Their announcement was barely audible and was only heard by a few of us at the front of the barricades. About twenty seconds after their announcement the police proceeded to move around the barricades to the other side where the protestors were stationed and started to push and beat people with their night sticks while spraying pepper spray in the faces of the crowd. Although the police ordered the crowd to move back, the people at the front of the crowd could not move without knocking over people behind them and trampling them. The pepper spray was sprayed indiscriminately at all the people who were in the area.

It was clear to me that the police could see that there were young children in strollers within the crowd, yet the police ignored that fact and continued to spray pepper spray indiscriminately so that the spray hit the children and their mothers. Members of the press were also indiscriminately sprayed.

I personally was sprayed by the police and had a hard time breathing. I also watched as people were carried out of the area including Lloyd Marbet, a man of peace, who was unable to see and who was suffering noticeably.

Besides pepper spray, the police used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protestors reminiscent of the police department’s widely criticized actions around a previous May Day.
Again, the crowd at this intersection was loud, noisy, exercising their First Amendment freedoms---but never threatening. This incident and action by the police was totally unprovoked and totally unnecessary. In fact, the cop actions only resulted in revving up the crowd and blocking the bus mall of SW 5th Avenue.


Protest Images – Indymedia Portland

I have to tell you that this “gestapo like conduct” is not the kind of conduct we in Portland want to see from our police department. During this incident, the police were obviously acting on orders which I must assume were issued by Chief Kroeker.

Whoever issued the orders yesterday is clearly out of touch with Portland, the fundamental principles of democracy, and their own humanity.

I observed many officers act individually with impunity and complete disregard for the health and safety of the citizens of Portland. In fact, it appeared to me that many officers wanted to inflict harm on the protestors. I can only assume that this conduct is a direct result of a failed system for police accountability here in Portland. The police have learned that they will not be held accountable for aggressive and harmful actions against the citizens of Portland. It is also interesting that many of the officers involved in
these actions did not wear name tags or I.D. numbers.

Mayor Katz. We assume and hope you are still in charge of the police department. We ask now that you make some tough decisions.


Press Conference Held By National Lawyers Guild

We demand that you fire Chief Mark Kroeker immediately as he did not show the type of responsibility and humanity that we Portlanders expect from our Police Chief. He doesn’t even want to be in this city. Let us grant him his wish and send him packing and hire someone who understands that the police are civil servants who work for the citizens of Portland, not against the populace.

We demand that you establish a real system of police accountability in place by utilizing the recommendations of your own Mayor’s Task Force and install a system that reflects the Majority Report and a real citizen based system of accountability instead of the failed system that is now in place.

Thank you for the opportunity to present this demand to your office. We
sincerely hope you respond as soon as possible and take our demands seriously.


Most Sincerely,

Alan Graf
Chair Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
cc: The Press

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Uri Avnery: Israel Ignoring “Tectonic Change” In Public Opinion

If the British parliament had adopted a resolution in favour of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the reaction of our media would have been like this: More>>

ALSO:

| UK MPs blow a “raspberry” at Netanyahu and his serfs

Byron Clark: Fiji Election: Crooks In Suits

On September 17 Fiji held its first election since Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup. With his Fiji First party receiving 59.2% of the vote, Bainimarama will remain in power. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: ‘Islamic State’ Sectarianism Is Not Coincidental

Consider this comical scene described by Peter Van Buren, a former US diplomat, who was deployed to Iraq on a 12-month assignment in 2009-10: Van Buren led two Department of State teams assigned with the abstract mission of the ‘reconstruction’ of ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Case For Using Air Power Against The Islamic State

There is an Alice Through the Looking Glass quality to the current response to the Islamic State. Everything about it seems inside out. Many people who would normally oppose US air strikes in other countries have reluctantly endorsed the bombing of IS positions in Iraq and Syria – not because they think air power alone will defeat IS (clearly it won’t) but because it will slow it down, and impede its ability to function. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Troubled Aftermath Of Scotland’s Independence Vote

A week can be a very long time in Scotland’s 300 year struggle for independence. The “No” vote last week that seemed to end the cause of Scottish independence for a generation, has turned out to have had an enormous fish hook attached, especially for the British Labour Party… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Existential Crisis About What To Do With Putin, And The Islamic State

Say one thing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least he’s given NATO a purpose in life. Right now, that consists of being something that Barack Obama and David Cameron can hide behind, point at Putin, and say : “Go get him, tiger.” Just what NATO is supposed to do about Putin’s armed advance into eastern Ukraine is less than clear. But there is a lot of “steely determination” around in high places. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news