Evidently, the Portland Department has never heard of the First Amendment — they routinely violate the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly when they insist protesters get “permission” to protest. Asking those you’re protesting for permission to protest them is beyond ludicrous and insulting, and it is a testament to the courage of Occupy that they don’t submit to such arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional demands. Of course, this doesn’t make the 1% (or the cops who serve them) very happy.
Here’s the story:
The march started around 1 p.m. at Holladay Park in Portland’s Lloyd District as a protest against excessive debt, and cuts to education, healthcare and social services.
Protesters told KGW that police sprayed a group of about 24 people during a march in Northeast Portland. The handful of people hit stopped to wash the pepper spray off while around 200 other marchers continued down Northeast Halsey Street. Police confirmed they used pepper spray after they said demonstrators used wooden shields to directly confront them. They have made one arrest.
Occupy Portland continues to be active and promote events like the Anti-austerity Day of Action aimed at combating cuts to crucial social services and education. To raise awareness of the continuing Occupy movement, Occupy Portland is soliciting donations to create an advertising campaign on Portland city buses. Here are some of the poster designs submitted; you can vote for the ones you like best on the comments page.
Time for a look around the country with the Daily Occupation!
- Oakland: KTVU got their hands on some emails that flew around during the initial Occupy Oakland protests, and some of the comments are eyebrow raising, to say the least. Of particular note is the fact that Mayor Quan disregarded a D.C. crisis manager’s suggestion to simply apologize, and that “[w]hen [Police Chief Howard] Jordan received an update that crime was actually down 19 percent in the last week of October, he wrote an email to one of Mayor Jean Quan’s advisers. ‘Not sure how you want to share this good news,’ he wrote. ‘It may be counter to our statement that the Occupy movement is negatively impacting crime in Oakland.’” (KTVU also frames all of this in terms of “how stressful a situation” was put on the government. I’m sure the people who were beaten and gassed in the street would like to tell you a thing or two about stress. —Ed.)
- Wisconsin, By Way of Austin: No, seriously. Raw Story reports that belabored Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin attended the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation’s policy conference to rally support. When he was scheduled to begin his usual regurgitation against collective bargaining, “a group of demonstrators charged into the lobby and ‘mic checked’ Walker, even though he wasn’t within earshot. ‘Recall! Scott Walker!’ they chanted as security ushered them out.” This, in addition to the “100-150 protestors” outside from Texas AFL-CIO and Occupy Austin.
- Arkansas: When a constituent deeply affected by cuts in Pell Grants that you supported demands an explanation from you, you may not want to freak out and start screaming over the top of her questions. Unfortunately, Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) did not appear to get this particular memo. Check out the epic meltdown over here, at Think Progress.
- Florida: ABC News caught a police report which claims John Castle, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Castle Harlan, grabbed a waiter’s hand and broke his finger at Palm Beach’s Club Colette restaurant for bringing the check to his table instead of quietly putting it on his account.
- San Francisco: Can’t occupy parks? That’s alright, Wells Fargo has a nice roof with plenty of space. In addition to the rooftop action, the protesters sent a representative to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf “threatening to shut down every bank in San Francisco” if they do not get a meeting with him.
- Finally, add Portland City to the growing list of places passing amendments against corporate personhood. The City Council, with the support of the Mayor’s staff, passed a resolution to “[e]stablish as a position of the Portland City Council that corporations should not have the constitutional rights that natural persons possess, that money is not speech and that independent campaign expenditures and campaign contributions should be regulated.” (Thanks to Daily Kos for the story.)
If widely adopted, this technique could mean BIG changes for beleaguered Occupations everywhere. Strategy worthy of Hannibal.
The Portland Occupation stumbled upon a tactical innovation regarding occupying public spaces. This evolution in tactics was spontaneous, and went unreported in the media. On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.
The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old- the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.
[...]Protesters function fluidly as either light or heavy infantry. Their mass, because it is lacking in organization, functions as a phalanx, having no flanks or rear. Lack of organization gives that mass the option of moving in whichever direction it feels like, at any given time. If protesters all move to the right, the entire group and supporting officers has to shift to that flank. While the protesters can retreat quickly, the police can only advance as fast as their light infantry, supporting staff can follow and maintain a secure rear (if the mass of protesters were to run to the next block over and quickly loop around to the rear of the riot cops, the organization of the cops would be reduced to chaos). If that police cannot assemble with a front to oppose protesters, they are useless. The integrity of that tactic is compromised, and unable to maintain internal organization, the cops revert to individuals engaging in acts of brutality, which eventually winds up on the evening news and they lose the battle regardless of whether they clear the park or not.
Read more at the Portland Occupier.
This is SO COOL. –ed
(Full disclosure: Nik Vital is an editor and contributor at The Daily Occupation, and we agreed to post this on his behalf. —ed.)
Blogger Nik Vital provides a run-down of events of the December 12 Port Shutdowns, along with some of his favorite moments:
[... A]n inside source tells me that “some schmucks” held a job fair held in Zuccotti Park today, offering positions that “required multiple degrees” and “janitor positions for $10/hr,” which is not a living wage in NYC. Source, a NYC Occupier, says that a group of people threw bird seed laced with laxatives around said job fair. I’ll leave the conclusion up to you, gentle reader.
And finally, the scene I wish most to have a source for: Occupy Oakland’s protestors dancing in celebration at the news that Oakland’s morning shift had gone home, directly in front of riot cops. Amidst the many feeds of posturing cops, disheartened Occupiers, and frustrated bystanders, this scene was my favorite to witness[.]“
Vital also touches upon the mainstream media blackout. All in all, a solid read.