27 March 2007

Short memory span on Portland by Bill O'Reilly

Yes, I was watching Mr. O'Reilly again with is Radicalism on Display Talking Points Memo last night as I find that I can switch between his dull segments and more interesting fare with things like Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs re-runs on the Discovery Channel, or any of the Modern Marvels re-runs at the History Channel. Having to wade through the latest in Anna Nichole or whatever comely young woman has gone missing is a bit much, at times, so the snoozy limited attention span does help! But this did catch my attention before I nodded off on the sofa, from Mr. O'Reilly's memo du jour:

A few days ago in Portland, Oregon, a so-called peace rally featured masked American haters, who chanted things like "No Gods, No Country, No Masters". They also burned the American flag and effigies of American soldiers, if you can believe it, all the while chanting "fascist wars are nothing new, it's not just Bush the soldiers too:"


CROWD: It's not just Bush it's soldiers too! Fascist war is nothing new! It's not just Bush it's soldiers too! Fascist war is nothing new!


Now this disgusting display was given a happy face by the committed left
Oregonian newspaper, which mentioned the radicalism but said overall the protest was "family friendly." Yes, if you're "The Sopranos."

Now this kind of exposition could not have happened four years ago in America, even in ultra- liberal Portland. Mass hoodlums running around disrespecting USA would have been confronted by the media and perhaps by people on the street.

But Iraq has changed everything in this country. According to a new Wall Street Journal poll, only 43 percent of Americans believe the USA should take military action against Iran if it develops a nuclear weapon. An astounding 47 percent of us say let Iran have the nukes! It's not worth a fight.

Again, four years ago — inconceivable. The chaos in Iraq has had so many unintended consequences, I can't even list them. But there is no question, the USA has turned to the left and the radical left is now emboldened.
Well! I do fear that Mr. O'Reilly has been asleep on the set if he actually *believes* that. No flag burnings and hoodlums doing things? Really? Then how does he account for this bit from an account on a 05 JAN 2002 protest in Portland:

12:43 pm Rumour has it that people have been asked to stay in their houses, and more riot cops are lining up along MLK...Unconfirmed reports of arrests. Crowd has swelled to nearly 1000.[Ed note: it was reported ;ater that in actuality the rally at park swelled from 300 to 500 by noon and there were around 500 people marching to the YO center]
12:45 pm At least one, possibly 3 people have been arrested.
12:48 pm Confirmed that one arrest has been made--{Ed note: evening news reported that 2 arrests were made at the first location and 1 at the second, all charged with interfering with the police] a woman that walked gone around the block, via Cook, 1 block south and the East of MLK, and was arrested at Fargo and MLK. Crowd is on east side of MLK, in southbound lane, and is surrounded on lane side, and the south side by riot police, and the opposite lane is lined with riot police, armed with at least 2 tear gas guns, and one beanbag gun
12:55 pm Infernal Noise Brigade has arrived!!
1:04 pm Infernal Noise Brigade is playing at the front of the crowd, entertaining the riot cops.
1:16 pm A flag is being burned!
1:20 pm An interview with a local resident: the resident got a phone call at 9:30 am saying that if residents left their houses today, there would be no guarantee when they would be able return to their homes.
1:34 pm PPRC {Ed note: it is not clear whether the person with the megaphone was actually speaking on behalf of PPRC] report over the megaphone is that the speaking engagement at YO has been CANCELLED!! The marchers are in vacant lots right now, mobilizing and organizing rides to get to the next meeting place near to Parkrose High School.
1:49 pm Looks like the "reliable source" was misinformed; Corporate media tried to tell megaphone people that the speaking engagement had not been cancelled, but by then most people had left. 30-50 people were remaining near the YO center when the Presidential motorcade pulled into the YO center. Someone walking away with a little girl is yelling "f**king hippies".
Yes, President Bush was there to talk about forest management and logging! Flag burning, blocking streets and riot police get called out over forestry management. And that is in 2002.

A bit later that year on 22 AUG 2002 another demonstration was held when the President was in town to support a State Senator. Here is an excerpt of an account from that demonstration:

The riot squad was all over the place. You can't tell these people are human you know - you can't see their faces what with all the body armor and protective masks, and they act like robots. Maybe that's the point of it all - scare the bejesus out of your every day American citizen so that they won't ask embarrassing questions out loud about the idiocy of attacking Iraq just to win November's election. I thought I'd died and reincarnated in a newly formed Nazi Germany - complete with goosestepping and flag waving. . .

Well here, in Portland, we weren't taking it lying down. No, we were out there, screaming at the man to get another job and leave running the country to those more proficient. . . well, at least more intelligent and experienced. Do you notice how they keep Colin Powell locked up over in the State Department? God help Bush if that guy ever got out.

Don't know if you all saw the protesting on the telly, what with America's media now totally controlled by right wing extremists. But the protesting WAS there - and, much of it got so bad Portland's own brand of Gestapo were called in to quell the disturbance, and disperse the crowd. Which they did... using nightsticks and gas of course. One has to know the wonderfulness of this city to realize just how out of place such scenes are.

No wonder Portland's TV stations showed the clogging of the streets and the mass of protesting humanity. Hell, they even showed people being pepper sprayed, and little women confronting nameless brazen ogres in blue who looked like the maximum security prison's football team linebackers. . . but only of course, AFTER they put the usual FOX network right wing spin on things.

Still, it was a sight that made true patriots weep. So much for our jackass leader - with his 91 IQ and homicidal tendencies.

Don't get me wrong - it wasn't Kent State all over again. Dead students didn't line the streets. It wasn't the WTO and Seattle going berserk Hey, this is Portland, Oregon. We have more parks in this city that any other city in America. And people really DO ride bikes to work in this town, and no, they DON'T understand why other people in other towns don't do the same.

I mean it's just so healthy and all. But we gave a little back to the nation yesterday - in our own way.

The tide is shifting for this president. His desire to place 250,000 American young women and men soldiers in harms way in Iraq - out of a personal vendetta or worse, to win November's election... even against the wishes of his own generals - may have just been the straw that broke the camel's back. . Maybe the good lord IS looking down on America, finally.

So wonderful to have a British ex-pat joining in with gusto to exercise his or her rights here, isn't it? And so many misconceptions about what a 'civil demonstration' is for one's views and the fact that the lovely population of Portland, OR has one of the most continually nice climates on the planet that they can *afford* to ride bikes everyplace just doesn't enter the equation. And remember this is BEFORE going into Iraq.

A bit more on that protest from a copy of an AP story at the Portland Indymedia site:

Protestors Skirmish with Police

Late Thursday afternoon, demonstrators at one point began to disperse, but many returned.

Supporters of Bush in formal attire were jostled and taunted by protesters as they arrived for a fund-raiser for the re-election campaign of Sen. Smith. After elbowing their way through the crowd of demonstrators, the VIPs were checked by Secret Service agents before they were allowed inside the hotel.

Protestors face down riot police. (kgw.com Photo)

A melee erupted after police ordered about 500 protesters to move from a barricaded area.

Brian Schmautz, spokesman for Portland Police Bureau, said protesters threw things at the police.

"We've have had a number of items thrown at our officers over the past few hours," he said.

Riot police wearing helmets then walked into the area, pushing activists with their batons. Some activists fell. Police then fired aerosol canisters of pepper spray at the protesters.

Other Protests in Oregon

The Portland demonstrations came on the heels of protests in Central Point, Squires Peak and Medford, where Bush spoke earlier in the day about plans to increase forest logging in the hopes of reducing wildfire threats.

In Central Point, the picketers gathered with signs outside the Jackson County Fairgrounds, the site of a Bush speech on forest policy. The signs attacked Bush on the environment and international policies.

A dozen or more demonstrators dotted Bush's motorcade route up Squires Mountain. Some of the hand-lettered signs they waved at him: "No attack of Iraq. You can't fix Daddy's mistake" and "More forests, less Bush."

They were far outnumbered by local families waiting at the ends of their driveways holding "We love you" and "We support you" signs. There were also scattered demonstrators when Bush arrived and departed from the airport in Medford.
Yes, such peaceful demonstrators that throw things at police, just makes you wonder if *none* of them have ever been taught civilized manners in their lives. When you are asked and then told to clear the public walkways or streets so that regular Citizens may pass, you do have that obligation. You have the right to Free Speech, but you must also respect the rights of other Citizens to do as they wish and not hinder them. That is called 'civic responsibility'.

Another eyewitness report of that demonstration on 22 AUG 2002 and a comment from the comment thread:

According to one IMC reporter on the street, the crowd had broken up into several huge groups that have started getting back into one large group and heading towards the South Park blocks.

He notes that there has been news that someone did get maced but couldn't confirm it. I didn't get his location or have heard from the other reporters on the field. But according to a radio reporter the cops have started macing the crowds. Cops have just maced a cameraman and it sounded like the reporter was getting shoved and maced. I know that throat clencher.

And this JUST IN:

Police have just declared a State of Emergency at 5th and Taylor. Anyone down there will be arrested. They have shoved the crowd several times and everyone's been peppersprayed. A line is forming and people are coming back. No news on what prompted this.

[From an eyewitness account on 22 AUG 2002 in the comment thread ]

The incident that triggered the biggest surge of riot cops that I saw at this location was a group of maybe 15 protestors that swarmed a police car trying to turn from 4th Ave. onto Taylor. Protestors halted the car, plastic bottles started flying everywhere, and when the riot cops realized the police car couldn't get through, then a bigger amount of gas and some rubber/contact bullets were let loose. I witnessed a wound from the rubber bullet guns, or whatever they were, and plenty of people were gassed, at least 40 were quite teared. The crowd ran quickly away, but immediately the riot cops retreated to their previous line as the crowd came back chanting "peace-ful pro-test, peace-ful pro-test." This was around 4:30 pm, at 4th & Taylor, and I have it all on tape.

Also, every car I saw that needed to leave a parking garage was allowed through with minimal fuss. In fact, I'm surprised how little these drivers suffered, especially the SUVs. There should be no complaints from these people, not one.
Stopping a police vehicle and assaulting it is a good reason to show that you are hostile, intend to use force and will not respect the civil authorities. In fact this was a deliberate provocation on the part of demonstrators to get a police response. This demonstration actually made the National News on CNN on 23 AUG 2002:

PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN) -- As President Bush travels to a series of campaign stops in California on Friday, he leaves behind the aftermath of protest that turned violent on Thursday in Portland, Oregon.

Black-helmeted police in full riot gear fired pepper spray, bean-bag rounds and rubber bullets at hundreds of protesters who filled the streets of Portland on Thursday outside the hotel where Bush attended Republican Sen. Gordon Smith's re-election campaign fund-raiser.

While Bush was inside the Hilton Hotel, the protesters blasted the president on his international policies and the "Healthy Forests Initiative" he announced earlier in the day.


Chanting "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" and carrying signs with messages that included "It's the Economy, Stupid," the crowd of mostly young people occasionally blocked streets and tied up traffic during the afternoon as they made their way from a downtown park to the hotel.

At first policed by officers on horseback and on foot, the protest turned violent with the arrival of police in riot gear.

They arrived when protesters refused to back off a barricade near the hotel. The protesters pounded on police cars and shouted, and police responded with batons, pepper spray and "non-lethal" ammunition.

Portland media reports indicated that a handful of arrests were made during the day, and one police officer reportedly had minor injuries.

The Portland Police Bureau declined to speak directly to CNN regarding the incident.

Former Republican Sen. Mark Hatfield, blocked for a short time from entering the hotel for the Smith fund-raiser, said the protesters have a right to express their viewpoint.

"At the same time, I have a right to freedom of assembly, too," he said.
This would be pretty hard to be missed: assaulting a police vehicle, throwing objects at police, acting in a hostile manner, not clearing public streets and walkways when informed that the Public has the right of way to use them... all things that one really would think Mr. O'Reilly would take notice of.

In point of fact the O'Reilly Report DID take notice of it on 23 AUG 2002:

O'Reilly Factor features brief/interview on A22 protest

Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor this evening ran footage of yesterday's protest in Portland, followed by an interview with protester Ivan Maluski of the American Land Allience.

In essence, the host(not Bill O'Reilly; didn't get a name) played down the event in question, turning the interview into an argument over "thinning out" the forests. Major media drops the ball yet again.
Yes, indeed, Mr. O'Reilly's very own staff could have pulled out transcripts and realized that their show had, indeed, noticed violent goings-on in Portland, OR previously. They (the MSM) 'dropped the ball' because the more radical elements were NOT PLAYED UP. It is hard to be a good and committed Transnational Progressivist staging demonstrations in a miserable minority and find that all that lovely radicalism isn't even reported upon.

And just the following year, yes FOUR years ago, yet *another* protest in Portland, OR took place. This report on 20 MAR 2003:

Portland sends anti-war message to commuters

This afternoon in Portland, Oregon (aka Little Beirut) several thousand anti-war protesters joined forces and made their case against war while temporarily "paralyzing" the downtown area. Although I was unable to attend this evenings rallies, I was listening to local radio station KBOO and regularily checking for the latest news on Portland Indymedia ( http://portland.indymedia.org ). I would like to take a moment to thank each and everyone of you whom took the time out of your busy schedule to take part in such a moving display of empathy, angst and solidarity. Your actions were seen around the country...in Canada, Live on television in the midst of this horrible act against humanity that the Bush Administration has coined, "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Some might conclude that many of you are doing this soley to get your "face on tv"...when many of you cover your faces to not be known. Some call you idiots for blocking traffic, while some applaud a waging attrocity on the other side of the planet as if it were Super Bowl Sunday. Given the history and attention span of the general American Public, their interests will turn towards their daily lives and the Bush Regime will continue to wage war on every thing that stands in their steps to "freedom." Well, Cheney and Co., we have indured enough of your freedom fighting tactics to know better. They are more than just several thousand pissed off anarchists who "just want to break windows" or "piss the police off." They are the "freedom fighters" that you dare call yourselves. If we continue to stand aside and allow our civil liberties, our constitutional rights and our basic human rights to live...we will only become anoter victim of homeland terrorism.

The people have spoken. They have liberated the city streets tonight. They have shown that a small handful of people can effectively shut your system down in tiny increments. We are people, just as yourselves....just as the casualties of war are no different except their skin colour and religious beliefs. Bring our military strength back home and feed those who starve to death each year at home and abroad. We DEMAND a non-violent end to this problem. We DEMAND a peaceful outcome. We will hold the Bush Administration accountable for every innocent life that is lost during this escapade.

I can only hope that the days actions in Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, London and every place on this planet where people have spoken their mind doesn't go unnoticed. The tactics used today were very effective and I hope that with every action, the people continue to find new methods in which to tackle the infrastructure and make their case in the streets. To date, rallies/protests have been the ONLY peaceful method of getting their opinion out to the public in solidarity...and effectively. To those who criticize the methods used today...if the people caused your ride home to be extended...be thankful you don't find your innocent childs' life shortened because a country on the other side of the planet finds your leader to be "harmful" to their freedoms.

When will the United States be held accountable for their war crimes?

The people will not rest until this attrocity and all past and future attrocities have been stopped and justice served to those who have done wrong.

We're going to tear it all down... brick by brick...wall by wall.

Robby Russell
And then this from another report from that day:
Portland taken over by determined Anti-War Movement

Thousands of anti-war citizens taking to the streets put Portland traffic in great distress for the past six hours, closing I-5, I-84, and I-405 and closing major bridges and disrupting city bus services and after-work traffic. This huge city-wide protest resulted in many arrests of protestors who conducted a civil disobedience action by venturing out into highly dangerous Interstate traffic to stop the flow of fast-moving cars. Critical Mass bicyclers also backed up traffic when hundreds took over the downtown streets with their bikes, while a few groups of protestors clashed with police in various areas of Portland. On the Steele Bridge in Portland this afternoon, riot police were called in after a clash between police and protestors that resulted in excessive pepper-spraying of a small group of citizens, and also hitting them with batons. A police motorcycle was knocked over, which caused an injury of one police officer who was treated by emergency medical technicians on the scene.

Though 600 police officers were deployed today to handle the city-wide chaos of traffic, this evening, app. 200 Portland police are now being joined by Beaverton police in riot gear, to prepare for the ever growing rally of protestors now all peacefully convened together at 3rd and Burnside. Even though the rally now is very peaceful, there are tensions flying still because earlier in the day, anti-war protestors on Broadway spray -painted windows at a MacDonalds Restaurant and threw a hammer through one of its windows. A Ford car dealership in the same area reported its American flag was destroyed and its flag pole was bent and ripped out of the ground. A Shell gas station also reported receiving minor vandalism.

Riot police also formed a wall down the middle of one street near Waterfront Park to form a barrier to block tensions between a small group of pro-war and anti-war groups who were exchanging angry views: one group wanting to support the troops by supporting the war effort, and the anti-war groups supporting the troops in their own way, by stating NO WAR and thus urging to end the war immediately and to bring the troops home.
Yes, the ONLY way to communicate is via the mass demonstration, and such things as 'civic outreach', working in communities, talking to friends and neighbors, debating in civic fora and possibly even writing up works to be distributed are just not effective anymore. What is missed, however, is that the old concept of a 'mass rally' being the final culmination of months or years of work in cities, towns, and doing social outreach, as was the MLK march in Washington, has been replaced by the often abused 'mass rally' for the 'million being *this*' or 'protest for *that*' or 'demonstration for/against *the other*' so much that it is now 'Street Theater' in which the protesters are only demonstrating for themselves and have no greater depth in the Nation than their own, vehement attitudes.

And also notice that these nameless, faceless vandals and intimidaters have decided to take up "freedom fighting" that starts to verge on terrorism. They have decided to not only forgo civil outreach and discussion, but now turn to faceless violence for which they cannot be held accountable. That is what you do when you are not a *mass movement* but only represent yourselves: you take to the streets to intimidate Citizens by screaming, vandalism and acting violent. By being a pain in the ass, these individuals and their groups are seeking to enforce their views upon a populace that does not speak through them. They are not "The People", these are the ones who refuse to accept representative democracy in the form of a Republic. They wish to tear that down and put their own views in place of that of the common Citizenry.

That is not civil disobedience, but authoritarianism.

And that is no surprise coming from how much more radicalized the Left is becoming in Portland, OR. This was brought to light by the Seattle Weekly article that talked about a Portland 'organizer' coming to Seattle a story on 09 APR 2003 Violence and Protest which looks at one man's work to radicalize an already radical area:
Violence and Protest
A Portland activist brings his call for destruction to Seattle.
By Philip Dawdy

Does political violence have a legitimate place in the peace movement? Definitely, says Craig Rosebraugh, a Portlander who has emerged as one of Americas leading voices of radicalized dissent. The threat to the life of the planet is so severe that political violence must be understood as a viable option, Rosebraugh said during a Seattle lecture two weeks ago. Its a line of thought the longtime activist has trumpeted throughout the Northwest and across the Internet in recent months.

And when Rosebraugh talks, people listen and actat least they do in Portland. By most measures, Oregons largest city is now the center of protest in the Pacific Northwest, a stark contrast to the anemic scene in Seattle. At times, peace protests in Portland have turned into violent clashes with police, much to the shock of many activists there who prefer the old-school, nonviolent Ghandian approach.

Rosebraugh says its time for a new school.

On March 28, Rosebraugh delivered a three-hour-long address to about 40 people at downtown Seattles Independent Media Center. In it, he said that, by itself, nonviolent protest in America has never worked to change government policy, not during the civil rights movement and not during the Vietnam War. Then he sketched a condensed history of political violence as was used during the Algerian revolution of 19541962[sic]. Political violence works, he said, and its a tactic that should be adopted by the left.
The movement from peaceful demonstration to terrorist demonstration is not coincidental, and the outlook of Mr. Rosebraugh to bring terrorism to the radical Left in America is one that seeks to increase violence and repression in the name of 'social justice'. And as he loves Algeria post-colonialist times for its violence in the name of social justice. The FLN did, indeed, fight the French, get a cease-fire and then seize power in Algeria and outlaw the political opposition, which was mostly Communist at the time. By taking over all of the State mechanisms for the Party, the FLN used their power in a way that is reminiscent of the 1930's in Wiemar Germany. After a few years that turned purely Fascistic in outlook by 1965, which makes the end-date of 1962 a bit of a problem as the troubles didn't *stop* then. Arguing for minoritarian control in a State is not a good idea at all and usually turns repressive and authoritarian quickly, rather than slowly.

Over the next two decades unrest would slowly grow within Algeria and coalesce around Islamic terrorist groups seeking to supplant civil Fascism with the Islamic variety. The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) would be the main organization at this and would gain its own Islamic opposition, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) which would align itself with Iran and al Qaeda. al Qaeda would then create its *own* group from a breakaway part of the GIA known as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), which would then act for furtherance of al Qaeda's goals, sometimes with GIA and other times not. It seems strange that a Leftist would leave out the subsequent history of Algeria and try to give it a definite 'stop date'.

But, when you are trying to gain revolution through violence, it is best not to point to the extremely bloody track record of such happenings throughout history. Because none of them have offered peace and democracy and increased civil rights, but, instead, a mixture of death, repression and destruction of society. Until they, in turn, are overthrown.

Perhaps Mr. O'Reilly can update his outlook a bit.

And report on things with just a bit more depth on the history involved of those wishing to take over the Nation.

No comments: