Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchists, anti-police, broken windows, portland, riot, vandalism
Although I think a lot of the language can’t escape being Portland in its problematic anti-corporatist and reformist critique, the anti-police riots are surprising and inspiring both in that they happened at all and that they continue.
From Portland IMC:
“We took to the streets yet again last night (4/26). 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.
We also hit two Wells Fargo bank branches. Wells Fargo is the largest financial backer of G.E.O. group, which owns a majority of the privatized prisons in North America. G.E.O. group owns the northwest immigrant detention center in Tacoma, which every year kills immigrants through deplorable living conditions and denial of medical services.
A Bank of America branch was smashed as well. Their recklessness alongside other banks has caused a crisis of foreclosure and unemployment that is endemic of capitalism.”
From Portland police:
“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.”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchist, anarchy, computers, police station, portland, riot, vandalismz, windows
“PORTLAND, Ore. — Someone vandalized the Portland Police union headquarters doing thousands of dollars in damage early Tuesday.
Spokesman Scott Westerman said just before 1 a.m., bricks and rocks were thrown through their windows, doing about $20,000 worth of damage to the outside of the building.
Eight people were arrested and three officers were injured Monday night when protesters clashed with police in downtown Portland in a rally against two recent officer-involved shootings.
Westerman said computers and other items were damaged inside the office.
No suspects have been named in the case.”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchists, anarchy, breaking things, murder, pigs, police, portland, rioting, vengeance
From Anarchist News:
“We don’t give a fuck, the time is now.”
When word spread that the Portland police had just shot a man to death at the Hoyt Arboretum, we knew we had to make a choice: to allow ourselves to be human, or to participate in our own murders, to hide away in sleep and the unfolding of a routine that ends, for all of us, in death. It’s a choice that has been made for us so many times before: by the media, by community leaders, professional activists, bosses, teachers, parents, friends who do not push us to confront this fear with them. We are killing ourselves with so much swallowed rage.
Tonight, we would not go to sleep with this sour feeling in our stomachs. Tonight, we gave a name to what we feel: rage. This is how it started.
Within hours of word getting out, local anarchists met in a park, and decided we had to march on the police station. Not the central precinct: that neighborhood would be dead at this hour. We wanted to shout at the police, but also to find our neighbors, to talk to the other folks in our community, to let them know what happened and call them down into the streets with us. To not let them find out about this murder in the sanitized commentary of the glowing screen but to meet them and cry out to them, the rage and sadness plain in our faces: we cannot live with what has happened. We cannot allow this to go on.
The march left the park and headed through a residential neighborhood, interrupting the dead Monday night silence of consumer-workers recovering from another day ripped from their grasp. Chanting at the top of our lungs, we encountered our own anger, our own sense of power. “And now one slogan to unite us all: cops, pigs, murderers.”
Many expected this march to be only symbolic. Few were prepared for anything more. But we encountered a collective force that amplifies the individual rather than smothering each one of us in the mass. The two who took the initiative to drag a dumpster into the street changed the history of this city. This small sign of sabotage spread. We all made it our own.
When the first little garbage containers were brought into the road, a couple people put them back on the sidewalk, trying to clean up the march, to make it respectable. They were confronted, shouted at. “This doesn’t send a message,” they said. “You can do that if you want, but go somewhere else,” they said. But we have nowhere to go, except for the spaces we violently reclaim. And our message is unmistakable: we are angry, and we are getting out of hand. People continued to be uncontrollable, and soon those who had appointed themselves the censors of our struggle saw that it was they who were in the wrong place. No one attempted to control their participation. They were not allowed to control ours.
Once we got on Burnside Avenue, dumpsters were being turned over every hundred feet, blocking both directions. Folks had scavenged rocks and bottles and sticks and drums. One person had had the foresight to bring a can of spraypaint, also changing the history of our moment. We were no longer a protest. We were vengeance.
When the crowd passed the first bank, a few individuals erupted into action, while others watched their backs. The ATM got smashed. A window got smashed. Rocks and bottles were thrown. Sirens began ringing out behind us. A Starbucks appeared one block ahead. A race: could we get there before the pigs arrived? We won. More windows broke.
When the police tried to get us on to the sidewalk, they were shocked by the intensity of rage they faced. “Fuck the police!” “Murderers!” Their lights and sirens had no effect. Someone shoved a dumpster into the lead cop car. They were temporarily speechless.
Only when the cops outnumbered the people did they try again, with some pepper spray and brute force finally succeeding to push us onto the sidewalk. But we were smart. We knew we couldn’t win a fight just then, and every chance we got we took the street again. We didn’t surrender: they had to work for it. And never did we surrender our power over the mood of the night. Louder than their sirens were our ceaseless screams, our chants, focusing our range and wiping the arrogant smiles off the pigs’ faces. They were visibly upset by the level of hatred they encountered.
We got to the police station and yelled at the line of police waiting there for us, yelled at the media parasites standing by with their cameras, calling out their complicity in police violence and racism. Most of us didn’t worry about sending the proper message or appearing respectable. We expressed our rage and the power of our analysis, our ability and willingness to take initiative and change this world.
The first TV news clips, ironically, were the best we could have hoped for, but we do not put our hope in the media. We will communicate our critique of the police to the rest of the city with our protests, our fliers, our bodies, our communiqués. With graffiti and smashed windows.
It should also be noted that the police have not yet released the race of the person killed. We don’t know yet which community is “most affected” by this murder. We respond because police violence affects all of us, because we want to show solidarity every time the State executes someone. We know that racism is a critical feature of control in this society, and we also believe we must find ways to act responsibly as allies to communities that are not our own. But solidarity must be critical, and it can only be practiced by those who are struggling for their own freedom. It is clear from tonight’s actions that we fight against police violence because we feel rage and sadness whenever they kill someone.
We fight in solidarity with everyone else who fights back. And by fighting, we are remembering what it is like to be human.
In these moments when we surprise ourselves, we catch little glimpses of the world we fight for. Running down the streets, stooping to pick up a rock, we realize that in our hand we have nothing less than a building block of the future commune.
Our commune is the rage that spreads across the city, setting little fires of vengeance in the night. Our commune is the determination that comes back to the public eye the next day, meeting in the open, not letting the rest of society forget this murder, not letting our neighbors numb themselves with routine. Our commune rattles the bars of our cages, and this noise is our warcry: “out into the streets.”