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Monday, October 10, 2011

Invisible men

We admire people who will take to the streets to make a statement -- we've even done a bit of that ourselves over the years -- but do you know what we don't get? People who demonstrate in a place like Portland with masks over their faces.

Come on, people, what kind of statement is that supposed to make? Is it that you honestly fear some sort of serious reprisal for being out there? Is it just to bait the cops? Or are we supposed to be afraid of what terrible thing you might do?

It's like anonymous posting on the internet. We can see it if you have something unique and valuable to say, and you have a compelling reason not to sign your real name. But to march around as part of a crowd? If you won't show your face, it's almost as if you aren't really there. You'd be a lot more effective with the bandana off your mug. Hiding who you are diminishes and marginalizes what you're doing.

Comments (27)

Fear of losing one's job might be one factor. A lot of employers look for any reason they can to reduce head count.

If you cannot express your opinion without wearing a mask maybe you should not be out there. For me, wearing of a mask implies that you really are not committed to making a statement. You have something to hide and maybe those with Portland United need to let these people know that they need to go home if they have so much to risk by revealing their identity. It also implies that you are their to cause trouble and or violence.

A) Demonstrators with legitimate concerns about being targeted by the police
B) 'Anarchists' with hopes of tearing up some property without being identified
C) Provocateurs sent in to discredit the movement
D) Undercover cops

Mr. Grumpy...

I don't know about where you work, but my employers have always known what "at will" employment means and they never provided a reason to terminate anybody's employment unless they were a member of a protected class.

"If you cannot express your opinion without wearing a mask maybe you should not be out there..."

Last time I checked, the First Amendment didn't include a dress code.

As long as people are occupying whatever it means less competition finding a job :)

tommyspoon...Having put myself out there on numerous occasions; how is covering your face anything other than a statement that you are a thug? I certainly understand the risk of losing a job for taking a stand; however I stand by my comment. The mask says you are compromised and not really taking a stand at all.

I'm a bit puzzled too. Aren't roughly 90% of the people posting here basically anonymously? We might use the same pseudonym, but unless you use your full, real name (first names with a last initial don't count either), I can't definitively identify who you are. I think there's myriad reasons why that could be wise - finding employment is just one - contrary to what they think over at BlueOregon. And boy, hasn't that become (even more of) a lonely little echo chamber since they instituted their FaceBook policy?

I don't like the idea of wearing mask at protest, but I do understand why some people might. I have lost two jobs because of my political believes.


Did you know that Bradley Manning was in isolation 72sqft cell 23 hours a day, and then shackled for the hour he could be outside of it? That he was forced to sleep and be physically inspected naked? That he was made to perform movements on command nude? I'm sure you would call it torture if you had to endure the same in a maximum security Marine Corps Brig.

I bet he wishes now he was anonymous in his revelations. Trust no one, there is little to gain from revealing personal information, anytime, anywhere, and especially when speaking truth to power.

Be thankful you can wear a tangible mask in public in OR:

"Since the start of the Occupy Wall Street protest on Saturday, at least five people have been cited for violating a little-known New York law that bans masks at gatherings of two or more people unless it's 'a masquerade party or like entertainment.'"

In 1968, in Dutchess County -- the hereditary home of the currently local pusillanimous spawn of the family Fish -- people were arrested for painting their faces in a public park by none other than G Gordon Liddy, during his pearl-handled days as sheriff, a few years prior to his performance in the Watergate break-in.

Mr Liddy, of course, has been a character of many masks.

I marched up Broadway as a 99er and was proud to do it , but there were guys near me in masks and I don't blame them.
With cameras and videos shooting us from every angle , you know some of them were cops and spooks. Given that OUR government stated in the sunday NYT that it had the right to issue a secret memo to kill an American Citizen , and murder him in cold blood without a trial , we have to assume that we are Profiled and Marked as a 'criminal' now for marching up our street.

Whose Street , Our Street !

Stay Strong Bradley Manning

"Speaking truth to power" - Is that what we're calling espionage and borderline treason these days? I missed that change to Webster's. And yes, I can tell you from personal experience that a Marine Brig is not a place you want to spend any time. But Pvt. manning betrayed his country, and his oath to defend it. He is where he should be, and if convicted, where he should remain for the rest of his life.

"Pvt. manning betrayed his country, and his oath to defend it."

I guess I missed the trial...

All in due time dman...

Here's another good reason:

With Carnegie Mellon's cloud-centric new mobile app, the process of matching a casual snapshot with a person's online identity takes less than a minute.... researchers at Carnegie Mellon were able to not only match unidentified profile photos from a dating website (where the vast majority of users operate pseudonymously) with positively identified Facebook photos, but also match pedestrians on a North American college campus with their online identities.

There are many forms of masks.

The activity of keeping something secret is also a mask.

Calling something one name while actions are doing something else is a form of a mask.

How about transparency in government, are those who pull strings on decisions made behind closed doors masked?

But then, when it comes to those protesting, and with the many cameras on them, they are the ones now who should be ever so transparent?

When we live in a society where transparency, justice and fairness is across the board,
maybe individuals wouldn’t feel the need to hide.

Fear of losing one's job might be one factor. A lot of employers look for any reason they can to reduce head count.

I really don't think that job security is an issue for the masked protesters in Portland.

They are probably worried about losing their public union jobs.

Heard a women interviewed on the radio yesterday from the Occupy DC demonstration, said with her colleagues they were commited to taking down the New York Stock Exchange from the internet. Since cyber warfare is a good way to earn hard time, can't blame 'em for wanting to be anonymous. is covering your face anything other than a statement that you are a thug? I certainly understand the risk of losing a job for taking a stand...

I think you answered your own question, teresa.

Manning isn't a spy or traitor. He wasn't wasn't in contact with any enemies, he wasn't promised any rewards and received nothing of benefit from the ordeal. He wanted to help stop these Illegal Wars. Gee where did that word go Dems??

I am surprised at Jack's silence on this issue.

I really don't think that job security is an issue for the masked protesters in Portland.

Bingo! Which is one reason why many people - masked or not - are protesting.

Meanwhile, in NY, where a mask in public can result in arrest, the Wall St arm of the Murdoch empire has proffered:

"New York's law dates back to 1845, when lawmakers tried to quell uprisings by tenant farmers who 'used disguises to attack law enforcement officers,' according to a later U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. A dip in the price of wheat left many in debt to landowner Stephen Van Rensselaer IV.

After Mr. Rensselaer moved to evict tenants, disgruntled farmers disguised themselves as 'Indians,' dressed in 'calico gowns and leather masks' and attacked agents of the landlords. The court papers said the tactics adopted by these rebel groups ranged from 'tarring and feathering' to murder, including a sheriff.

The law was amended in 1965 to prevent masked gatherings of two or more people, with a significant exception: 'a masquerade party or like entertainment.' It received substantial attention in 1999 when, on the basis of the law, the city rejected a request from splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a masked protest in Manhattan.

Eugene O'Donnell, a professor of police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said arrests for violating the antimask laws are uncommon.

'It's just another tool that police have if they need to use it,' he said. 'Cops figure that if you're covering your face [at a protest], it's probably not for a good reason.'"

Perhaps if everyone in the Occupy Portland gathering wore UO/Nike football helmets with face shields, there would be no controversy here other than institutional rivalry. Demonstrators would certainly be safer.

BTW, anyone in a tent who has endured last night's rain and the rain of the previous days deserves more respect than has been accorded here.

In Cradle of the Revolution Boston, 129 people were arrested, beginning "at about 1:20 a.m.," allegedly, according to the mayor, because "' can't tie up a city'":

Unless, of course, you are not Occupy Boston demonstrators:

"Interstate 93 is backed up with traffic in both directions downtown this morning as a movie films near the Zakim Bridge, state police said in an advisory."

Gardiner Menefree,
Good Point.
We have a river city, I have brought up the subject of river transportation, ferries to transport people, guess that isn't part of the conversation. Instead we have more and more traffic congestion, thanks to pdx "plans."

Think some "unmasking" has already been done, and perhaps we need to unpeel more as to who has been benefiting from pdx "plans."


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