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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 14, 2011 7:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Digging in the dirt. The next post in this blog is What killed Deer Baby?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Portland cops did themselves proud

A sincere salute this morning to the rank and file of the Portland police bureau, who managed to clear out the parks at Lownsdale and Chapman Squares yesterday and take around 50 people into custody without anyone suffering serious bodily harm. The police showed enormous restraint and professionalism under trying conditions. Honestly, we didn't think they had it in them.

The events of the weekend will also be seen as feathers in the caps of the mayor and his police chief, but as to them we're not as enthusiastic. They precipitated a boisterous and dangerous all-night Saturday party by the timetable they set, and the advance notice they gave brought thousands of extra people to the scene for the circus. The area was chaos for all of Saturday night and most of Sunday afternoon. Many of the police maneuvers during the overnight hours seemed pointless.

And of course, the "occupation" is not over. The protesters will be back in everyone's face quite soon, and downtown merchants worried about holiday sales are not out of the woods, by any means. Democracy is messy and expensive. We support the protesters' rights to assemble, but then again, we don't go downtown much.

Comments (13)

They didn't do too bad a job at all. I'd be curious who's strategy it was. When they started posting cops who let people out of the camp, but not back in, you kinda saw the strategy.

It looks like Occupy is going to be a faint memory in a couple of weeks after all the "calling our attention to . . ." stuff.

Best thing, no interruption of football (at least in the NFL, violence has some purpose.)

I sincerely hope America avoids a catastrophic economic meltdown, but if that is in our future, this Occupy Portland was the pre-game show. It would be so nice if we self-corrected and got back on the path to peace and prosperity and that could happen. I'd never bet against America - that is for sure.

Until then, we all just look at the signs and ponder what is about to take place. I think it is significant that Thanksgiving dinner cost 13% more this year than last, according to that group who hands those numbers out every year.
We also spent 203 billion dollars we don't have in October. Speaking of unsustainable...

My guess is that the powers-that-be are going to pull out all the stops to get us to Election Day 2012 with some semblance of normalcy. Then - if we make it that far - it's go time. Of course, catastrophe has a way of arriving before you expect it too. Best wishes to everyone.

I find it troubling that none of the Occupy Portland elements are involved in self correcting any of the local non-sustainable crony schemes, which are many involving billions.

The current and local versions of Haliburton and Enron are having their way with the public's money and interests with very little resistance, if any, from anything remotely Occupy or Blue.
Bojack blue aside.

In fact in many instances Blue is involved and supporting the pilfering by supporting the policies and programs used to obscure and justify the pilfering and ruin.

That was the opening act that just happened (with much more to come) and we are now to believe there is no head on the snake.

Indeed, kudos. They did a great job and didn't lose their cool once (from what I could tell).

People did suffer serious bodily harm. Some are still in the hospital today.

The whole thing was about as well handled by the police as it could have been. You have to remember that some portion of that crowd wants a physical confrontation with the police. So no one should be surprised when they get it.

The police showed enormous restraint and professionalism under trying conditions. Honestly, we didn't think they had it in them.

Honestly, neither did I. I was down there at the front of the crowd during the tense part of the standoff and conditions there felt perfect for chaos. I soon went back out and observed the situation from a safer distance.

I found it ironic that PPB spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson was interviewed on Channel 2 yesterday and spoke about the courtesy and professionalism of the police. I was reminded of the day George W. Bush came to downtown Portland in the summer of 2002.

On that day, Pete Simpson was one of the officers dressed in full riot gear on the front line of demonstrators. He was also one of the most enthusiastic endorsers of the use of pepper spray and impact weapons, repeatedly screaming, "Spray 'em!!" in the ear of another riot cop until that cop pulled out his red can and unloaded it right in the face of an Associated Press reporter and a dozen others, including the man holding the video camera that captured the whole thing.

The City paid out well over a million dollars in damages and attorney fees for the police response that day (a classic police riot), which is likely a huge reason that the police acted in a much more restrained manner this time.

They would like you to believe that the ones that got hurt, were the ones that were resisting, but they weren't. The police didn't use force not to "protect themselves," they used it to scare and intimidate. Just so happens it worked this time.

Steve, unfortunately for you, the whole scene was photographed and videotaped, from many different angles, and your version of the events is plainly, demonstrably false.

Bingo Bojack!

How is it that some people still make up their own reality even when they know the real reality is on video?

A friend of mine told me that about 30 outreach people (social workers and the like) went and got many of the severely mentally ill out of the parks before midnight and found them places to go and be safe. The time allowed them to do that. These are people that would have acted psychotically if the police came in in numbers. They did a good job too.

Wow! And to think that without a police-dominated wilding incident the PPB, gee shucks, didn't have all that much reason to fear for their personal safety after all. Maybe this'll be a lesson for future opportunities for over-the-top uses of police force, too? Or maybe it was something more like an AFL-CIO-requested de-escalation for a pro-union guy to pad his candidate resume? Let's hope it was more genuine than a prop skit for Sam's newly chosen successor.


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