Tension Erupts Between City Council and Police Bureau Over City Report
We just received this press release from the Portland police, warning that in the weeks days up to May 1st, we may be seeing some more of the Starbucks-harassing, trash can-rolling protests like those that occurred after the death of Jack Collins.
I couldn't find any discussion of the protest over at Indymedia and I wasn't there, so all I have to go off right now is the police account. If you saw the protest (especially people taking off their clothes as police arrived! w00t!) or participated, definitely add your perspective to the comments.
Update: Thanks to commenter qool for finding the protest on Indymedia. The blurb there says, "This was an anarchist police abolition march, which meant no reformist chants and no holding back. We went to the military recruitment center on 14th and Broadway, smashed every available window, and pelted the computers. This target is relevant because soldiers are the cops of the world. Just as the Portland Police commit racist hate crimes and enforce and oppressive social order, so to do soldiers abroad."
And from the cops:
Last night at approximately 9:45 p.m., Portland Police Officers from North Precinct responded to the Northeast Broadway area on reports of approximately 50 people marching in the street and vandalizing businesses. Witnesses reported that the large group was dressed in black clothing and were throwing rocks. The Starbucks located at 1510 NE Broadway was targeted and sustained damage to two windows that had rocks thrown at them. The US Military Recruiting Center at 1317 NE Broadway was also targeted and their front glass door was shattered. Suspects entered the building and spread garbage around the office. A large bench was also destroyed and numerous large rolling trash bins were rolled out onto the street in an attempt to stop traffic.
Witnesses reported seeing the protesters discarding their clothing once police started arriving.
The Portland Police Bureau has taken other reports over the last several weeks of vandalism to businesses in other Portland neighborhoods. On April 12, 2010, Portland Police Officers from Central Precinct responded to a call of breaking glass and sounds of explosions near the 400 Block of SE 10th Avenue around 1:30 a.m. When officers arrived, they found graffiti and shattered windows on the side of the Multnomah County Department of Corrections Building located at 421 SE 10th Avenue. Officers found evidence that some type of burning or explosive device had also been used in the area. Witnesses reported to police that they saw subjects dressed in all black running from the area just prior to the police response.
Police believe these actions are the responsibility of anarchists in the area that also protested and vandalized businesses several weeks ago in downtown Portland. The Portland Police Bureau is preparing for similar acts throughout the week leading up to May 1.
Update 2:20 pm I asked police spokeswoman Mary Wheat what sort of training the police would be doing in preparation and how many officers they expected to have on the streets this May Day, but she would not specify. "We want to make sure that those people who have a real message to get out about May Day are not drowned out by the anarchists," said Wheat. Portland immigration and workers-rights groups are planning a big rally in the Park Blocks on May 1.
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