Oregon knows how to throw a police state eviction of Occupy Portland. Last night, as the bell struck the magic midnight hour, this is what Portland's Occupy Movement Protestors did, cheered and popped champagne!
We saw group dancing and bicyclists, creating a friendly circle around the protestors. Drumming sessions sprung up. Candles were lit in silent vigil. What a great reaction to a sea of police lining up in riot gear!
Local news ran live video throughout the night, clearly hoping to capture violence and mayhem in real time. Instead, reporters ended up bringing the Occupy Wall Street message to local and national main stream media. We saw signs to end corporate personhood, more signs demanding good jobs, other signs talking about corporate greed and finally, why the occupiers are even there. Guess what, going to elected officials does nothing. They only listen to their corporate puppet masters. Occupiers want something done, from jobs to income inequality to corrupt large corporations running the nation. They want economic justice and fairness.
Instead of violence, mayhem, the great Portland eviction story gave the protestors a national television platform for over 8 hours. The reaction to this great, dreaded moment, the strike of midnight when police would move in, was a pleasantly surprising, out of the box strategy. Partying like it's New Years Eve immediately dispelled the corporate media message claiming OWS is a bunch of drug-addled violent scum who needed to be swept away with fire hoses into the gutter with the rest of the trash.
The mass media coverage gave another surprise. Interviews with various people finally gave an explanation why OWS is leaderless. This is a bottom up movement. With modern technology, yes, a group can come to consensus and coalesce to an overall message. This movement is utilizing these technologies and strategies which enable a bottom up protest organizational structure. Amazing, a technology revolution has created a social revolution. Like cell phone video anyone?
On the other hand, other areas of the country are not so lucky. Below is a video of U.C. Berkeley students being assaulted with police batons during their protest:
Other cities are using outdated city ordinances to remove protestors.
For the third night in a row, protesters with “Occupy Fresno” were arrested for gathering in a public park, apparently in violation of a county ordinance that labeled them trespassers.
In some cities police are taking belongings, personal property of the protestors:
A New Jersey judge says police must return items confiscated from Wall Street protesters at a memorial across the street from the Statehouse in Trenton.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson also has rejected some rules the state tried to impose on the protesters.
Jacobson on Monday granted a temporary restraining order against the state, saying troopers couldn't confiscate signs or personal property.
In some areas of the country, the agenda to repress the movement is so clear, even posessing a tarp is enough to justify arrests.
Police in Houston on Tuesday night swarmed a small group of “Occupy” protesters and arrested them for possessing a tarp in a public park, according to area media.
In all, a total of 27 police officers responded to the scene in 19 squad cars, according to the protesters. Police had confronted the group around 11 p.m. about a tarp they were using to protect their equipment from the elements. It was not being used as a makeshift structure.
Who knew camping gear could be such a threat? When it's used to bring attention to economic injustice, clearly camping becomes a revolutionary act.
Make no mistake, these evictions are all about power. While Portland was reasonably successful with minimal violence, it could have been much worse. City officials want Occupy Portland gone, not for the excuse of public safety and health. The real reason for the eviction is local businesses want people to go shoppin'. Banks, businesses feel the OWS movement is a deterrent to entice rich, scared 1%ers to drive down to the city center and whip out their MasterCard and Visa. I kid you not.