The Time to Attack is Now: 2 more reportbacks from Portland

  • Posted on: 12 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href=" COAST ANARCHIST NEWS</a>

<strong>“The Story, Last Night, Wasn’t the Broken Windows”</strong>

Yesterday afternoon, via Facebook, I heard about a solidarity march, being organized by an autonomous group. The reason: Leah from the Red & Black Cafe was being imprisoned for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury. I didn’t personally know Leah, but philosophically I supported the stand she was taking against the Federal government’s witch-hunt, targeting activists.

So, I hit “share,” passing the invitation along.

I observed the march as it approached SE Hawthorne Blvd, via 35th Ave. Since I did not recognize the people in the march (it’s hard to recognize a black bloc, especially at night, without my glasses) — and since I myself wear very bright colors — I decided to watch while maintaining a distance. Technical difficulties prevented me from livestreaming, but I still wanted to be able to report the real story.</td><td><img title="Smash that up!" src=""></td></tr></...

As the marchers took the east-bound lanes of Hawthorne, I watched a growing crowd of curious people, in regular attire, following the march along the sidewalk, and inquiring about this unexpected sight.

Then, I heard, rather than saw, the sound of glass shattering. Immediately, the disastrous anti-police brutality march of last February 6th came to mind, when Occupy Portland and an autonomous group mixed like oil & water. I expected to see marchers, locals, and lookie-loos arguing and fighting with one another over tactics, and the definition of “violence.”

But that’s not what I saw. I saw the windows of Umpqua Bank — a bank that tries to present a local image, but really isn’t — smashed. And to my astonishment, I saw regular people, watching from sidewalks & bars, cheering. I found myself no longer observing the march, so much as I was observing the people observing the march.

Smash. Wells Fargo. Smash. Chase Bank. Smash. US Bank. Cheers, each time, from regular people, watching. As I passed the tables outside of the Hawthorne Theater, across the street from the Chase Bank at SE Caesar Chavez & Hawthorne, I heard people laughing and talking about how much they hated that bank. One man stood up and yelled, “Yeah! Smash that up!”

The Walgreens, at Caesar Chavez Blvd. & Belmont, appeared to be the last target, before I lost sight of the march. I heard sirens in the distance, but as far as I could tell, the march had already dispersed, almost as quickly as it had begun.

Contrasted with the march from last February 6th, there was a noticeable lack of contention about the targets of this black bloc. The only contention that appeared to exist was in regard to some marchers dragging items like recycling bins & newspaper dispensers into the streets — ostensibly, to block traffic and slow a police response. Other people, not necessarily marchers themselves, quickly removed the items from the streets. The point ultimately was moot; police vehicles came from multiple directions, and were remarkably slow to arrive.

Local corporate media and Portland Police later reported that the marchers were also attacking passers-by with glass bottles. This is, in fact, not true.

To me, the story really wasn’t about the smashed windows. I headed back to Hawthorne, to put my ear to the ground.

People were still buzzing about what had just happened. Absent, was a sense of anger regarding the vandalism. It is curious, how astonishing the absence of something can be. Inner SE Portland is, after all, a sleepy urban community.

I stopped in at Nick’s Coney Island for a drink. Police arrived, and questioned the bartender. I asked her what that was all about, to which she replied, “Some protesters took one of our chairs and threw it through the Wells Fargo window.”

Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “That’s awesome.”

She leaned in, smiling, and replied, “I know! Fuck Wells Fargo.”

<code>***** *****</code>

<strong>"Another Reportback from Grand Jury Resister Solidarity March" from <a href="">PSA</a> via <a href=" COAST ANARCHIST NEWS</a></strong>

If the Portland Police thought they could stop people from breaking shit by making an example of Pax, they were WRONG!

Last night, with only 12 hours notice, a crowd of about 50 people assembled for a march in solidarity with Leah and the other grand jury resisters. We gathered in a park between Belmont and Hawthorne around 8:30pm. Someone unfurled a banner that read “BURN PRISONS – HUG CATS – YOLO (A) ACAB,” then someone else shouted “Leah, Matt, and KteeO are in prison. That’s fucked! Let’s show the state what happens when they put our friends in prison!”

With that, we were off. We took a left onto Hawthorne and as soon as we rounded the corner, BANG. Rocks through windows of Umpqua Bank. We easily held the two eastbound lanes and continued marching. Newspaper boxes, trash cans, and sandwich boards alike were thrown in the street. Someone repurposed a metal chair sitting outside a cafe, and sent it flying through a large window of Wells Fargo Bank. It was truly a glorious sight to behold. With every broken window came applause and cheering.

At Cesar Chavez Boulevard, rocks went through Chase Bank windows and we took a left, now holding the two northbound lanes. Two more rocks went through the street-side windows of US Bank, making this the third time since February that this location has been attacked.

We took a right onto Belmont and the motion-activated sliding front door of Walgreens was smashed. The opening and closing broken door was pretty funny.

A few blocks from there, we heard police sirens in the distance and decided to disperse on our own terms to claim a small victory, rather than wait for the pigs to bust us up. When the cops finally reached the area everyone had scattered. They detained a few people they managed to find, but had no reason to arrest anyone.

Solidarity with all of the grand jury resisters; comrades arrested in San Francisco this past weekend; and Amazon and Cat, two trans women imprisoned in California on hunger strike for an end to single-celling of trans women, and ultimately the destruction of all of civilization. We’ll see you at the barricades!

In times of repression we find joy in revolt! Portland has been slumbering for far too long; the time to attack is now!

<code>***** *****</code>

<strong>TL;DR THE TIME TO ATTACK IS NOW</strong>


now is when?

This is called Populism. You are fascists.

On what grounds? You're trolling, and not very well.

There's going to be anger against the banks, etc. We cede the ground to fascists if we--anarchists--aren't the ones opening a way to express it. There's nothing inherently fascist about attacking our oppressors thus. Your attempt to spread uncertainty and suspicion, accusing comrades of fascism for striking out against these symbols of oppression, is reactionary and loathsome.

Bingo! ;-) Correct on every point!!! Fuck reactionary trolls!!! I'm glad to hear that the general population seems to be ready to to get off their knees.

you will never get off your knees because you dont even have legs!!!

I love how whenever anything happens in portland there are always 4 reportbacks minimum. very thorough, comrades.

The time to attack is now? What gives us the right to decide what to and what not to destroy? Doesn't this just give anarchists a worse image? I don't understand why people think smashing windows and being destructive will yield any sort of change...

^wait for the right moment then

Ohe no! Forgot the fucking image thing. Damn it, someone call our local friendly leftist friends to help guide these hapless rebels back to a more PC posture.

"What gives us the right...."

The same fucking thing that gives "us" any "right" which is nothing and no one at all. Rights are fiction fool, forget about that moralistic bulshit!

And really now, aren't ya being just a little bit too dramatic calling this shit "destructive" rather than simply vandalism or property damage?

Fuck the Feds witch hunt and let people com out to show resistance by imposing whatever costs and economic damage or disruptions they can bring about. You cannot blame people and for finding ways to fight back and for defending themselves. Not unless you want to be some kind of moralistic ass.

"Local corporate media and Portland Police later reported that the marchers were also attacking passers-by with glass bottles. This is, in fact, not true."

The local PD did that kind of badmouthing too, recently. About people throwing rocks from above a highway. Seems like it's one of the tactics they discussed during those international meetings of police chiefs.

um... didn't a random passerby get hit in the face with a brick a few years ago in DC? don't random wingnuts go to protests a lot? just saying, i don't think i can agree that this is a priori impossible. one of the reports at least supposedly came from an eyewitness. it's not like anarchists and other activists don't try to spin things for the media too (like the whole 'we're not activists' thing...)

WTF whenm i tyhrow a fiuckin brivck it hitsd its intendo targety.,.,8ball

No one is saying that it's impossible to throw bricks at pedestrians, they're saying that it didn't happen. Kapeesh?

It's totally not impossible that the police is making shit up. I agree.

"In a lot of crucial ways, it's easier to find common cause than it was 10 or 20 years ago. You talk to strangers in bars or on the street, and you realise that we're all up to our eyeballs in it, right? So that right now, there's more of us than ever. It's a true fact. Every day it gets a little harder to pretend that everything's OK. The rich keep getting more and we keep getting less. Post-9/11, post-7/7, there's a police state that tightens more every day, and in our day-to-days, we're all witnesses to the demeaning outcomes of debauched governance – random traffic stops, collapsing infrastructure, corrupt bureaucrats and milk-fed police with their petty intrusions. Our cities are broke, they lay patches on top of patches of concrete, our forests cut down and sold to make newspapers just to tell us about traffic that we get stuck in. You get a parking ticket and you waste a day in line. Cop shoots kid, kid shoots kid, homeless man dies waiting to see a doctor, old men lay in hospital beds while a broken bureaucracy steals away what's left of their dignity. Folks flee to our shores, running from the messes we've made in their countries, and we treat them like thieves. Mostly it feels like whatever you love is just going to get torn away. Turn on the radio, and it's a fucking horror show, the things our governments do in our name, just to fatten themselves on our steady decline. Meanwhile, most of us are hammering away at a terrible self-alienation, mistreated, lied to and blamed. Burning fields and a sky filled with drones. The fruit rots on the vine while millions starve."

Godspeed You, Black Emperor (Guardian interview)

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.