This Week in the Mercury


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mayor Tries to Ease Tensions Before Today's F29 Protests

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM

After warning that they'd "take all appropriate action" to keep a lid on today's Occupy Portland-sparked Shut Down the Corporations protests—aka F29—the cops this morning sent out a pair of news releases that came close to sounding like a justification an even more aggressive crackdown.

According to cops, groups of self-proclaimed "anticapitalists" smashed windows at the US Bank branch at SE Hawthorne and Cesar Chavez, did the same at a Key Bank over at Cesar Chavez and NE Broadway and also busted up a nearby Starbucks. (The cops included a pair of emails from the groups, which I've pasted in below the jump; they're funny.)

Meanwhile, later this morning Mayor Sam Adams issued a statement that tried to settle things down. Adams put some distance between the broken windows and F29's organizers.

My office has had several constructive conversations with the organizers. In all of our communications to date, event organizers have reiterated their intent to facilitate a non-violent event. Though people claiming to be affiliated with F29 committed multiple acts of vandalism this morning, it is our hope that today’s rally and march will be a non-violent event.

And as he made one last plea for a march route, he also promised a "peaceful, effective, and orderly event where everyone is safe"—including, presumably, protesters who've increasingly been treated to rougher arrests at recent events. But Adams also telegraphed that he realizes his route request is likely futile and said he'd made an additional request of organizers: Don't crowd the cops when they're arresting people.

Provide clear, non threatening, and spacious access for officers to peacefully arrest those committing acts of peaceful civil disobedience. We understand some people may want to be arrested to underscore their free speech message; Police are better able to facilitate peaceful civil disobedience arrests if the surrounding crowd allows for clear access. This is a matter of officer safety.

How will things go? The F29 rally starts at 11:30, and the march starts at 1. Already, the bike swarm is out on the streets, and a banner has gone up across I-5. Hit Blogtown for updates, and let us know if you see something.

Here's one email:

"Communique for Night of 2/28"
"Author: Some Of Those Responsible"

"About an hour and a half ago (around ten pm, Tuesday night) a group of anticapitalists rolled up on the US Bank at SE 39th and Main and smashed out its windows and ATMs.

"This was done in preparation for February 29th's Shut Down The Corporations Day. We chose a bank because banks have upheld the sanctity of capitalism, making it possible for a few people to accrue copious amounts of wealth. This was also for the role the banks have played in the current financial crisis and the level of environmental destruction they have supported. These banks are responsible for throwing poor and oppressed people the world over under the bus of extreme poverty and destitution. They did this all to keep the pockets of a few rich CEOs lined with extravagant bonuses, and it's time we started taking from those pockets.

"We also did this to remind #Occupy to keep its horizons open. Rather than resort to the gory analogy about cats, we prefer to say they're more than one way to shut down a corporation. Parades through the city may be able to accomplish this task on occasion, but at the end of the day there's really no replacement for a few dozen folks in masks with rocks. We don't know whether this will be taken as solidarity or antagonism by the core of Occupy, but frankly that isn't worth dwelling on for us. You said you wanted to help shut down corporations, and we helped to do that in our own way. Take it or leave it, we're going to keep doing it.

"Good night, Occupy, and good luck tomorrow."

Here's the other:

"F29 Eve Round Deux"
"author: w-w-w-window breaker"

"Sounds like our comrades had a joyous little romp around the US bank on 39th. At about 1:30 this morning, inspired by their shenanigans we high-tailed it over to 38th and Broadway where a Key Bank was just sitting there, all windows intact, just waiting to be fucked up."

"So we destroyed the windows and doors and ATM. Then we had some rocks left over so we fucked up the Starbucks across the street for old times' sake."

"Wherever capital chooses for its bunker, we will be there to attack it in the night."

"For freedom, for equality, for anarchy"

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