Oh boy. Is this about to get ugly?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Photo from the Oregonian's Randy Rasmussen. Yes, that's pepper spray.

So far, I've been proud of our city - protesters acting reasonably, police acting reasonably. I'm really hoping that we're not about to see a turn for the worse, on the part of officers losing their cool.

From the Mercury's Denis Theriault:

During a choreographed effort to pull a few dozen protesters out of the Chase bank branch outside Pioneer Square, part of today's hundreds-strong N17 day of action, Portland police officers resorted to a decidedly more muscular show of force in a clash watched by TV cameras and rush-hour commuters earlier this evening. Suddenly all the fun—the dance parties, the union songs, the peaceful arrests earlier on the Steel Bridge and at Wells Fargo—was for naught.

Tromping in with mounted officers, they pushed marchers who had gathered on the sidewalks along SW Yamhill into the street—forcing them to block MAX trains, something no one was doing until the heavily armored riot squad showed up—and then poked and, for the first time, pepper-sprayed the marchers. Significantly, some of the spraying came after protesters had clearly retreated to the opposite sidewalk. (In another odd shift, there also was no federal-court-required verbal PA warning that chemical munitions would be deployed—a hallmark of every other mass police action to date.) ...

I asked a cop on my way up to the scene how many days he'd been on, and he replied wearily, "a lot." How much longer can the chief and mayor keep reacting to protests by throwing hundreds of cops at them? Sure the OT bill is concerning, but based on what I saw today, the fraying nerves of a group of professionals trained to be cool and collected is far more troubling.

For what it's worth, I strongly recommend staying on top of Theriault's coverage of Occupy Portland. He's doing the sort of day-by-day coverage that we wish we could do hear at BlueOregon.

Comments

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    Define the term ugly. The coverage by local TV stations was intense; it was almost as if it had snowed in Portland. Somehow, in their dutiful corporate reporting they did not show the secret police unit from Homeland Security. An earlier thread commented on how a seven year old civil war buff had been deprived of his walk past reminders of this conflict. I wonder if his Mom informed him of possee comitatus restrictions which make it unlawful for Federal law enforcement officers to conspire with local law enforcement. But we also learned only from Occupy members that when restrooms were closed and unions provided portapotties that the police had the manpower to remove them. And bring some of the street malcontents to the parks to further discredit those admirable folks who simply want their country back from the criminal gangs who operate from the very highest level of government, the administration.

    Ugly is what will come as the Tea Baggers push for a Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget. Austerity is all about destroying government and even in this Republic it is We the People, the ninety-nine percent. Not the one tenth of one percent who control a fabulous forty-six trillion dollars in assets. Why maintain the bridges if you hope that they collapse on the homeless? We are over populated and God has chosen the very few to take care of the problem.

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      "Ugly is what will come as the Tea Baggers push for a Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget. Austerity is all about destroying government..."

      The great progressive hero, Peter DeFazio joined the GOP teabaggers today in voting for the Balanced Budget Amendment. The next time someone here wants to worship at his progressive shrine, let's all give a big raspberry!

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    That girl getting the face full of pepper spray can handle it. You see, she's not an 84 year old woman.

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    The show of force was excessive from the get go. After three blocks of marching, with maybe 1,000 people, and no indication of violence, the riot cops came roaring in on large black SUVs and scared the crap out of everyone.

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    I hope she is OK. I hope she didn't have contacts in. Between this and the old guy getting arrested makes me concerned for my teenage daughter. She crosses downtown twice a day for school. It is very unsettling to fear for my daughters safety as much from the police as from criminal elements.

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    I don't see how confrontations with police help this movement at all. Over-reaction from police is always a possibility but it is a distraction, and simply builds antagonism for the real cause.

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      Nailed it Tim! By and large, the PDX cops have been a hella lot better than say the cops in Oakland, NYC, and Seattle, but as Huey Lewis pointed out years ago: "Sometimes bad is bad".....

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      Yeah....what Tim said. (I wish I'd have said it first. This is awesome)

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    This is intended to be a reply to Bill Ryan; the system does not allow me to respond. Mr. Ryan you must report that the Amendment did not pass. It would have been great if it did. Why? Because it exposes the Tea Baggers and their idiotic approach. By the way, do you supposrt secret police in a conspiracy with local police? You are so amusing.

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    Koin has an online poll right now where 68% of responders (don't know # of votes) say they "condone" the use of pepper spray to "subdue" protestors. KGW asks "Did police act appropriately during Occupy Portland bank protests Thursday?" and 87% of the 1300+ responders say yes.

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      Whenever progressive people make the issue all about "police brutality", they lose. As your online polls show in this snapshot. When the issue is the survival of the middle class, then progressive forces win the argument. What are we talking about here?? How are these tactics of confrontation with police and the righteous claims of victimization shaping the issue?? The polling for OWS is going down the toilet rapidly.

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    The place where I work nights is two blocks from Chapman. I'd regularly walk through the part in the middle of the night. And despite the constant media drumbeat of all the drugs and violence going on there, I never once saw a thing that made me uncomfortable or threatened. It was an inspiring, amusing, and often amazing place. Dirty? It's a park in Portland in the fall. Of course it is muddy. Trash? Ever see Waterfront Park after Rose Fest? Crime increase? Sure. When you increase the population of two parks from a dozen to hundreds, you are going to see an increase in all of society's ills.

    I was talking with the guy who does the livestream for the Occupation. He pointed out (rightly) that they asked for help from City Hall and the Police on numerous times (both are literally right across the street). And did not get it. The camps were policed by volunteer activists. The police on overtime stood on the street corner and chatted the night away. In a city as progressive as Portland, I can only imagine what it must be like in cities that are actively hostile to the Occupy movements.

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    When the Occupy movement is mentioned in 50 years, that picture will be shown on news articles and in history books. It's stunningly good.

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    This movement is not going away and will continue to target those most responsible for the ongoing corporate coup that is destroying our nation. At some point police will need to decide whether to stand with the people or stand with the owners.

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