FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Stumptown Blockaded

Portland Oregon.

Several thousand protesters descended upon downtown Portland Thursday afternoon in protest of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Starting out as a peaceful demonstration, protesters blocked incoming and outgoing rush hour traffic, occupying over 7 blocks and two commuter bridges in the Portland area.

The Portland Police Department was clearly not prepared for the number of dissenters that took to the streets. Even though Saturday may have been Portland’s largest protest ever (over 40,000) recorded, Thursday’s proved to be the most creative.

At several key intersections in the downtown area, protesters camped out, chanting anti-war slogans while waving American flags. Only several blocks away a small pro-war rally sponsored by the corporate radio prodcaster, ClearChannel, praised the US attack. But their numbers where dismle compared to the nearby anti-war rally.

After stopping traffic over the Burnside Bridge at 5:30, protesters quickly dispersed, glogging vehicles on another bridge before taking their grievances over the Willamette River into Southeast Portland.

In an Oregon protest first, thousands of anti-war activists, after splitting up, blocked 3 major intersections and stopped traffic along two major interstates. Following several hours of this, the protesters gatherd back in the downtown area for an evening candle light vigil.

As always it seems, a few activists took their frustration out on local property, spray painting a federal building, and smashing a few windows, one being a local McDonalds. But no major damages have yet to be found.

At 11pm the protesters are still occupying the entrance to the Burnside Bridge from downtown. Police in riot gear are monitering the situation. Several local news stations are reporting the crowd is growing slowly. Over thrity people have been arrested, with several activists taken to the hospital for pepper spray and billy club injuries.

No doubt this display of civil disobidiance will catch on in future anti-war events; where unpermited protests cause mass chaos by spreading their capibities to several parts of the city simutaneously.

As one protester told me, “voting may not be enough, writing our elected officials may not be enough…. coming out into the streets, and reclaiming our democracy may be our last resort. The inconvienance these commuters are having is nothing compared to the inconvienance our bombs are having to Iraqis. I hope more activists find creative ways to disrupt typical behavior, and make Americans think!”

She may be right. It’s got Portland thinking. We’ll see if more activists follow their lead.

JOSH FRANK is a 24-year-old writer and activist living in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: frank_joshua@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail