Portland--"Didn't we"

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Fri Mar 21 08:05:16 MST 2003

Jim Page's song "Didn't we" (on his album "Human Interesting") recounts the
"Battle of Seattle" and the shutting down of Seattle--"Didn't we". Well Jim
will have much more material for his next songs--from all over the world.

The first-round in Portland just ended a few hours ago. Starting with well
over 15,000 in downtown Portland, at about 4 pm yesterday, with hardly much
formal organizing at all, and after some speeches etc, the march took to the
streets all peaceful and an impressive display of numbers and passions. Some
of the activists positioned themselves near the reporters so that their
signs would show as background while the barbie-and-ken-doll reporters were
doing their "live" from the scene thing. One guy, positioned himself right
behind the right-wing Fox reporter with a sign that said on one side:
"Kroeker (Chief of Police) and Katz (Mayor) are crapping their pants" and on
the other side read "Nuremberg Trials for Bush and Powell". The guy kept
rotating the sign as background for the pissed reporter who couldn't move.

There were split-offs from the main body with different estimates of 1-2,000
in each split-off. All four of the major freeways into and out of Portland
were at some time shut down (I-5, 84, 405 and Sunset) by people laying in
the middle of them (not done in Seattle) and three major bridges were shut
down at various times (Hawthorn, Morrison and Burnside). Until about 11 pm
last night cops were in the "containment mode"; then they went into
"dispersal mode" with impact grenades, pepper spray, assault walls etc; then
into "arrest mode" with over 130 arrests and one slightly injured cop.

The group was a mix of obvious veterans and some new ones. Several of the
young ones were cornered by the press trying to give a portrait of "youthful
exuberance" with some saying: "This is my first demonstration and I'm
planning to get arrested." Burnside was shut down most of the night with
sit-ins in old town up to about 5th and Burnside. Some windows at a
McDonald's were broken but all in all there was very little vandalism.

All in all it was an impressive turnout with more promised every day. Some
really creative signs and a lot of very determined people. The pro-war
cretins only managed to turn out about a hundred at waterfront park. One of
them said to the reporter "We have many more on our side but they are afraid
to come down here to confront these freaks."

Jim Craven

James M. Craven
Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyii
Professor/Consultant,Economics;Business Division Chair
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. USA 98663
Tel: (360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
Employer has no association with private/protected opinion
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present
controls the past." (George Orwell)
"...every anticipation of results which are first to be proved seems
disturbing to me...(Karl Marx, "Grundrisse")

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