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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saturday night's all right for fighting

Everybody's wondering why the City of Portland's waiting until midnight Saturday night to oust Occupy Portland from the downtown parks. When they cleared Occupy out of Jamison Park in the Pearl District on a recent Saturday night, the situation seemed to have been intensified by a bunch of rowdy drunks who poured out of the bars at closing time. The actual arresting didn't start until after 1 a.m. and it took until 3:30 a.m. for the riot-equipped cops to leave the scene.

One thing that that particular timing did was minimize live coverage of the events on TV. As much as they claim a 24/7 presence, most mainstream media take the weekends off, just like everybody else. By midnight on Saturday night, the Sunday paper's long since gone to bed, and the broadcast crews are down to thin, second-string lineups.

Maybe that's the city strategy. But whatever's going through Mayor Creepy's mind and that of his eager successor wannabe police chief, they've given every nut for many miles around plenty of time to plan his or her role in the festivities. Go by streetcar!

Comments (31)

I agree that this *could* be their logic, but with the ubiquity of YouTube these days, you hardly need a live feed on a local TV station to get the impact of what happens. If some cop goes ballistic and cracks some idiot 19 year old's skull, there will be so many cell phones recording it that it'll be up on the internet in 10 minutes.

My guess it has to do with the weather--this weekend is going to be a soggy, ugly mess, and a trained force like the cops will have a much easier time when the street kids fighting them are wet and cold and uncomfortable.

Here's to hoping it's not too much of a battle out there, and that the whole thing is anti-climactic.

Set your DVRs the Mayor wants the OWS Portland crowd to clean up their room and they called their mommys to do it for them! @familymoms

And you didn't believe me...

Re: "time to plan his or her role in the festivities"

Will Tri-Met offer fare-free transport Sat night/Sun morn for those who want to move somewhere else and for those who, recognizing the sparsity of MSM coverage, insist upon seeing with their own eyes what comes to pass?

Also, Occupy now has space in Harvard Yard:

"Dozens of Harvard University students set up tents Wednesday near the statue of school benefactor John Harvard to protest what they say is a growing wealth gap in the country and the university's perceived role in creating that inequality."
Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job" interviews with Harvard economists suggest that the Occupy Harvard students' critique is well-founded.

Perhaps it is time for an Occupy PSU?

Nothing in the playbook requires enforcement at 1201am sharp. The smart play might be to simply wait till they get good and tired of waiting for the showdown, and let their guard down a bit. An anti-climax will be much safer for all.

Timing doesn't have anything to do with media coverage. It's all about giving the COPP a free pass to beat the living s*** out of anyone moving anywhere in downtown Portland. It's makeup time for the restraint over past five weeks.

It's going to be ugly. The crowd down there is a long, long way from the Wall Street crowd of several weeks ago. The people camping there now appear to have nowhere to go but up. A shame too, because the CEOs/Wall St./.1% vs. everyone else is a problem that doesn't seem to be on anyone's 2012 campaign radar. There is a very important message in there, and I don't think it will be heard over the mayhem. The longer the issues are ignored, the worse things will probably get for most.

I saw a good sign down there--it said something like "right wing, left wing--same bird." Seriously, both parties are the same at representing 99.9% of Americans. The neo-Robber Baron infatuation of our elected leaders is only good for about 13,000 families in the U.S., and few others--per David Cay Johsnton, if you've had a chance to read him. That's got to change. I'm afraid it's not going to happen this weekend, though.

Is there a good place around there to observe the mayhem without getting involved?

Live action always beats TV.

Maybe ESPN will carry the action live?

I was attached to a PPB unit when the anti-war demonstrations of 2001 occurred, and those were ugly enough. I can imagine the preparations that are now taking place. Portland is calling in some help from other agencies; I wouldn't be surprised if 300+ officers are deployed on this.

If the protesters leave without violence it will be a non-event. However, if the statements of some of them on the news tonight are representitive, several plan on a violent confrontation. That would be a mistake.

The police will happy deal with non-violent, civil disobdience using minimal force. (That would also keep Risk Management happy...)

If the proesters resort to violence against police or start vandalizing property, CS gas, stingerball grenades, and Tazers will be the order of the day. I think PPB has, in past times, shown the ability to "Go Roman"... I sincerely hope that it does not come to that with Occupy Portland.

In a corner of my office hangs a (somewhat dusty) set of BDU's, a kevlar helmet w/ballistic sheild, a gas mask, and a battered nightstick. I am damned glad not to be fitting out my gear tonight, and am sitting this one out. It doesn't look good from the cheap seats...

There was a significant show of force around Occupy Portland late this afternoon, with dozens of boys in black.

Anthony, you ask for a good place to watch live action. I recommend the men's room at City Hall. It is still open for the homeless and others.

Sam wants national/international attention and he's getting it. National news all day. He's going media global, besides all the trips he takes. He might get a UN Ambassadorship.

Do the cops get double-time for overtime on a holiday weekend? That might explain why this weekend is D-Day.

Ironic that the City's ultimatum hokey-pokey is for Veterans Day weekend:

A handful of unemployed veterans in Portland, Oregon, founded the Bonus army in early 1932. Many of them lived in shantytowns called “Hoovervilles,” as described elsewhere. (2) They decided to walk to Washington, D.C., in May 1932, to personally lobby for passage of congressional legislation that would pay cash for the “adjusted service certificates” in their possession since 1925....The leader of the Bonus army was unemployed World War I veteran Walter W. Waters, who told his version of the story of the Bonus army to William C. White, who wrote it down and published it in 1933.

Who Was Walter Waters?

The Bonus army coalesced under the leadership of 34-year-old veteran Walter W. Waters. (4) In his account of the history of the Bonus Expeditionary Force, Waters said he was born in 1898 in Oregon “of old American stock,” and grew up in Idaho.


In 1916, restless, with no further “West” to conquer, I joined the [Idaho] National Guard and went to the Mexican border as a private. The regiment was later divided and one section of it was assigned to the 146th Field Artillery and sent overseas in the winter of 1917. We entered active service at the front in July, 1918. Armistice Day found us still on the firing line. After that we were ordered into Germany as a part of the Army of Occupation. We returned to the United States in June, 1919, and I was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

Shortly after my return to civil life my health failed. I spent several months in a hospital under the care of various physicians, for which, by the way, the Government was not asked to pay. Then, like millions more, I attempted to take up the threads of my life where I had dropped them some three years before. Like many others of my age, I had no occupation or profession to resume. Everything had to be commenced for the first time, and it was a discouraging problem. In the next few years I made numerous serious attempts to get going in some profitable business or position, as a garage mechanic, an automobile salesman, a farmhand, a bakery helper. Each new venture was begun with the same high enthusiasm. Each one ended as an equally dismal failure.

My inability to take root in fertile soil may have been due to the unsettling effects of the War on me. I blamed my failure on environment and felt myself daily getting more and more out of tune with my surroundings. In 1925 I made a decision which now, in retrospect seems foolish. Eager to being completely anew, I broke all family and personal ties and left Idaho for some chance-found place, to make a completely new start. Telling no one of my intentions I hitchhiked into the State of Washington and there got a job in the harvest fields. I even used my new name, “Bill Kincaid,” the first name to flash into my mind when asked, as if to break the more decisively with the past. Under that name I met and married the girl who is now my wife [Wilma Anderson].

During this time I made no particular effort to avoid meeting former acquaintances although I likewise made no effort to seek them out or to notify them of my whereabouts. I had dropped out of sight, in so far as family, home and former friends were concerned. I found a job in a cannery near Portland, Oregon, worked up to be assistant superintendent and for once I seemed to have escaped from the failure that had followed me in the past.

I lost that job in December, 1930, due to the depression, and went to Portland in search of employment. There I resumed my real name and later went home, for the first time in five years. But there was no work to be found at home and, a few months later, I came back to Portland. My wife and I had a thousand dollars saved and I felt that we would get along somehow until work was obtained. Our savings vanished and the hope of work with them during the winter of 1931-1932. In the meantime our personal belongings, one by one, found their way to the pawn shops and by March, 1932, we were not only penniless but had nothing left except a very scanty wardrobe. There were many days that winter when we experienced actual hunger while earnestly trying to find any job that would provide just the necessities of life. (5)

While looking for work, Waters said he met other ex-servicemen in similar situations.

I found that a large percentage of these men in Portland were, like myself, ex-service men…Among these men there was profound discontent with conditions. There was a ravaging desire to change them but a complete and leaden ignorance of the way to do it...These men did think and talk a great deal about the so-called Bonus. The name “Bonus” is unfortunate. It is not a gift, as that word implies. It is a payment of money to compensate those men who served in the Army for the difference in pay between that of service men and non-service men in 1918. The bill, asking payment in full of the adjusted compensation for wartime service, was introduced by Representative Patman of Texas and, during the early winter of 1931, was pending in Congress. The majority of veterans were hoping that it would pass.

In March 1932 a small gathering of the National Veterans Association in Portland, Oregon, had listened patiently to a speech Waters had written. Lisio wrote,

Walter W. Waters’s physique was not extraordinary—slight statute, wavy blond hair, steel-blue eyes, a haggard yet still youthful appearance—but his intent expression was that of an evangelist. The ex-sergeant challenged the men he would one day command to acknowledge the miserable failure of their letters and petitions to a Congress that obviously had no intention of approving the full bonus. When big business wanted action on vital legislation, he declared, it did not content itself with merely sending letters; it sent people. Congress understood and feared determined lobbyists. Business succeeded because its lobbyists insisted that its interests be recognized. Rather than sending three hundred petitions, a band of men organized into a strictly disciplined army should march on Washington, growing along the way until, a thousand strong, it entered the national capital in a dramatic and forceful confrontation. This was Walter W. Water’s fist public speech. He had written and rewritten it with great care…His audience was clearly uninterested. Dejected, the former sergeant steeped down from the rostrum and returned to his accustomed routine, looking for a job. (6)

Eventually, however, Waters’s message resonated with some 300 Portland veterans who set out across the U.S. under Waters’s leadership for the eighteen-day journey. Waters explained his reason for seeking immediate payment of the bonus, as follows:

In Portland at this time there were more than eighteen hundred veterans unemployed who were the heads of families. There was an additional large number of veterans without dependents in the daily breadlines. There were thousands of unemployed people, not veterans. But the city’s charities had to care for all of them and their facilities were overtaxed…The hungry and unemployed veterans were not the only ones eager for the payment of the Bonus. Doctors, shopkeepers, druggists and landlords felt that the payment of the Bonus would relieve in part the drain on public charity and would help them to collect long overdue bills. (5)

Full article at

Any Tactical Plan will enclude "prepping the feild" by denial of access of protestor reinforcements well before the deadline has passed.(They will monitor Indymedia, Occupy PDX's website, and other social media to ensure containment will be well before large numbers arrive. And, they will have the resources necessary to deal with any threat.

The Mayor/Police will declare any perimeter established by the police to be the scene of a "Public Safety Emergency" giving them pretty broad powers to order anyone from the area, and deny entry to any they choose. Anyone that fails to comply with a police officer's order (to not enter, or depart) is then subject to arrest.

And - Happy Birthday Jarheads!

..if you want to watch the goings on.

The AP roundup includes the local development:

"Portland's mayor on Thursday ordered Occupy Portland to take down its tent city on two adjacent downtown parks by midnight Saturday, saying conditions at the camp have become dangerous, unhealthy and a refuge for criminals."
"[R]efuge for criminals" seems hyberbolic; there is no mention of events in Eugene.

Meanwhile, in TN, Night Court judicial magistrate Nelson has been completely vindicated in not enforcing a new curfew around the state Capitol:

"Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will ask prosecutors to drop charges against dozens of Occupy Nashville protesters arrested last month for trespassing. Haslam spokesman David Smith said the decision to dismiss the charges against 55 protesters was made in light of a federal judge's ruling that the state couldn't enforce the new curfew on the grounds around the state Capitol."

I think the reasoning behind the midnight timing chosen is quite simple: it's much more difficult to get clear video at night - which we noted with the live feed on Oct. 29 from Jamison Square. And the police will probably employ similar tactics - close the park, back all onlookers away, then go in and make arrests, well out of easy camera range. And unlike Jamison, nearby high-rises will not be accessable to the public, so no cameras can be looking down on the action.

I would recommend the City of Portland and Portland Police Bureau wait until 4am on Saturday November 12, 2011 to bring the hammer down. Sure, night time makes cell phone camera and video less clear, yet 4 am as opposed to 12 am is huge.

Consider the crowd, by 12 am you will still have would be revolutionaries up and drinking around the camp fire plotting their next move.

By 4 am, you would have them half asleep trying to avoid a hangover.

Bring in the shields, riot gear, tear gas, and bill clubs at 4 am. Completely off guard. More "don't taze me bro!!" As opposed to "Now you see how this Aryan, capitalistic system keeps us oppressed" bullcrap monologues into a smartphone's camera eye.

"The Plaza Blocks were lively places where orators held forth and citizens assembled"

I will listen to reasoned oratory, that’s why I listen to OPB/NPR, my wife, my kids, my friends and others, but at the same time, I will ignore those people who are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or narcissistic thugs and misguided republicans!

Occupiers have planned a "potluck dinner" for 6 pm Sat night. Considering the cleanliness of their meal prep and eating areas, maybe they will be too ill to fight back at 12:01 am. no, wait, that would be too much to hope for. Sigh. Instead now they've been provided enough notice to attract even greater numbers.

Of course there will be live tv coverage. That's WHY they announced it. Believe me, every news station in town will have a reporter and cameraman stationed down there. But my money is on the cops, I think they will go in friday night rather than Saturday.

My police scanner will be on all night for this!

"But whatever's going on inside Mayor Creepy's mind"...he has a mind? Who knew?

Too bad Sam Adams has shown his incompetence for far too long. If he had a brain and a spine, he should have had these campers gone on a weekday night with little or no warning. That would have avoided what will likely be a media circus with all sorts of drunks and hangers on adding to the crowd.

"Perhaps it is time for an Occupy PSU?"

Oh please don't put ideas in anyone's head. I live next to PSU and since Occupy Portland has been by City Hall, we've noticed a big drop in psychopaths in our area. It's been a relief.

I'm wondering (and worried) about any children in the camp. The dolts who call themselves parents might try to use them as human shields. Wouldn't put it past some of them, after seeing couple of them interviewed.

The dolts who call themselves parents might try to use them as human shields.

Oh please. I think most people agree that things are out of hand down there and that something needs to be done. But this type of over-the-top rhetoric is too much. The blood lust displayed in some of the comments here and elsewhere is just sad.

Would it have been better to stop the illegal camping before it started? Going on the assumption that there was going to be a confrontation either way, logic seems to dictate that the conflict, park damages and arrests would be minimized earlier rather than later. I guess we will never know.

A much smarter approach would be to set up a police barricade around the two blocks at 4 AM Saturday morning. Anyone who wants to leave can. But no one, and no food or water gets back in. It's so simple, and much less confrontational.

It's so simple, and much less confrontational.

And anything but legal. Streets and sidewalks are public thoroughfares. The city has a say about activities within the park, but outside, it's a different story.


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