Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Oregon Police Fire On Bystanders: Watching Presidential Motorcade

(courtesy of Spontaneous Arising)

An excerpt of an eyewitness report published by the Lone Star ICONOCLAST

The main street was lined with people gathered to witness the event. Many supported the president. Many did not. Some came because they were simply curious. There were men, women, young and old. The mood was somewhat festive. Supporters of John Kerry sported signs, as did supporters of George Bush. Individuals, exercising their rights of free speech began chanting. On one side of the street, shouts of “four more years” echoed in the night air. On the other side of the street, chants of “three more weeks” responded. The chants were loud and apparently could be heard by President Bush. An order was issued that the anti-Bush rhetoric be quieted. The local SWAT team leapt to action.

It happened fast. Clad in full riot gear, at least 50 officers moved in. Shouting indecipherable commands from a bullhorn, they formed a chain and bore down upon the people, only working to clear the side of the street appearing to be occupied by Kerry supporters. People tried to get out of their way. It was very crowded. There was nowhere to move. People were being crushed. They started flowing into the streets. Pleas to the officers, asking, “where to go” fell upon deaf ears. Instead, riot police fired pellets of cayenne pepper spray into the crowd. An old man fell and couldn’t get up. When a young man stopped to help, he was shot in the back with hard pepper spray balls. Children were hit with pepper spray. Deemed “Protesters” people were shoved and herded down the street by the menacing line of armed riot police, until out of the President’s ear-shot.

Read Entire Report


Michael Hawkins said...

Thivai: I pride myself on staying mellow 99% of the time -- life is just to precious to spend it in an angry, anxious state -- but this story triggered a lifetime's worth of resistance to Authority. Weren't we taught to trust the cops? Aren't they portrayed as kind, brave souls who put their lives on the line every day to keep our neighborhoods safe from hoodlums? They shot an old man pointblank with cayenne pellets! For watching a parade! What the FUCK is going on?

G.D. Frogsdong compared it to his memory of Kent State, which basically solidified antiwar sentiment in this country, scribbling the writing on the wall once and for all. Well, our collective memory is obviously too short to retain the lesson of that horrible moment, so here we are again. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Michael said...


Having been beaten by cops while handcuffed, seen them beat other people, and growing-up in an inner-city environment in which the police acted as if they were Denzel in his oscar winning role (what was that movie?)... well I was disillusioned at a young age--I understand the anger.

I sympathize with the honest and committed law officers who join to make a difference. I support them in their efforts and hope that more officers like them will fight to bring honor to their profession. Unfortunately the overall history of police and law-enforcement is brutal, bloody and corrupt.