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In Occupy Portland - there is a determined minority that ONLY seeks violence

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RiverStone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 04:38 PM
Original message
In Occupy Portland - there is a determined minority that ONLY seeks violence
Tonight police will be moving in to dismantle the camp of 5 weeks.

More here: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/11/police_remove_truckload_of_bro.html

I visited the camp in person just a couple of days ago. A majority of Occupy Portland residents seemed dedicated to non-violent resistance, or planned on leaving by midnight tonight (shifting to a different form of activism or set up camp elsewhere).

What I did not like seeing were a handful of very determined OWS folks that clearly were seeking violent confrontation. I challenged them on both the method and reason, and most could not come close to articulating what they were fighting for or even what OWS stood for. It was very obvious, a few were mixing intoxication with their intentions.

The sad thing thing is, a violent response will totally fuck with the credibility of the mission as a whole. I saw many examples of creative and thoughtful activism, detailed meet-ups and message boards, and many peace advocates - yet the minority crowd that were preaching nothing more then how fun it would be to start a riot, did not give a shit for the movement.

Obviously, how the police handle things is a critical wildcard, and they know they are also being watched for over-reacting - no excuse there either.

But it was sad to see (mostly angry young men) who are stoked to rage at the machine and nothing more. It's not a video game, but they think it is...

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I went to visit Occupy Portland with another person who works a lot
with people including addicts in downtown Portland.

The people we spoke with were very intelligent, helpful, peaceful -- just great.

The person who came with me asked about religious services at the site and we were told that there was a sacred space.

But when we went to the sacred space, no one was there.

Now they could have had one person meditating there at all times or something like that. It would be a good idea.

Ghandi and MLK did not become examples of nonviolent behavior because that is what they willed themselves to be. They each had some practice of medication, or prayer, something to invoke the greater force or forces around them, something to remind them of their smallness, but uniqueness in the universe.

Somehow those who wish to remain true to nonviolence have to call on something higher than or beyond, whichever you prefer, themselves to accomplish that.

You don't have to call that something "God," or rigidly define it or associate with this book rather than that. It's all up to the person as long as there is really an authentic sense of peace and strength -- the core of nonviolence supporting your relationship with it.

Prayer, meditation, surrender, call it what you will. That is the secret.
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RiverStone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks JD - yes, the majority are dedicated to non-violence
...but they are not who concern me at the moment.

If you met and heard and witnessed the rage in those angry young men I referred to in the OP, they were not in a listening mood. If somehow you could reach them, then maybe we can have a peaceful resolution to Occupy Portland.

Yet remember, they are seeking the opposite of non-violence. My impression was, they were excited to be part of an event akin to watching Extreme Fighting on TV - all bit actors, looking to draw blood.
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Any who go down there tonight to "bear witness"
will also be there to hold peace within themselves. Miracles move the world.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. I would suggest that the folks in Portland put it to a vote that
they will only support those in court who are non-violent.

Let those who are intent on violence know that they will not have any help from the OP group once they are in court.

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. There are plenty of 12 step meetings for people who think the problem is not enuf 'spirituality'
I was under the impression that the occupy movement was more interested in issues like economic disparity, crony capitalism, gaming of the system by big banks and derivatives-pushers, etc.

While I realize there are some who see everything through the lens of "folks just aren't in touch with a higher power enough", that's really not what it's about for lots of us, and actually not all that helpful, thanks.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. contact the First Unitarian church downtown and tell them this
Better yet, go there Sunday and ask to speak to Rev. Tom Disrud or Kate Lore. Kate is the chair of their social justice committee (a very active group) and Tom is the assistant pastor. This church is historically committed to activism in downtown Portland, and well connected to activism within the faith community.

I know that they would like to hear your comments.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. the former minister of the Unitarian church had a letter in newspaper..
...supporting OWS. Dr. Marilyn Sewell. She's now retired, but she might stand with protesters if someone wanted to contact her.
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Mojeoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. There may be one or two paid agent provocateurs among them.
There were agents like that at peace events in the 60's and 70's.:shrug: :shrug:
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Lizzie Poppet Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sadly, I have to agree.
I've participated in quite a few of the protests, but haven't camped. That's partly because I've been fighting a case of bronchitis for a few weeks now (which makes camping out in P-Town in the Fall a really bad idea), but also because the camps in the parks so quickly degenerated into dangerous places...and I elected not to go against the clear wishes of the organizers and carry a weapon.

At this point - and for at least three weeks now - the camp has been at least 50% homeless folks...the usual combination of the perennially homeless and Portland's burgeoning gutterpunk population. I can't blame those folks for rushing to the site for shelter and donated food, particularly among the former group, many of whom are people sorely in need of professional mental healthcare.* Any port in a storm... But this situation has created a difficult situation for a mayor and council who have largely been supportive of the occupiers.

But as you say, it's the tiny minority of violent yobs and wannabe anarchists that have caused tonight's eviction to happen. A City Hall willing to suspend the camping ordinances and look the other way for minor infractions would be derelict in their duty to all citizens if they ignored violent crimes, arson, etc. These self-absorbed idiots - few of whom could articulate what they want any better than babbling "hurr durr anarchy!" - are screwing up what was a surprisingly peaceful, responsible situation. They also seem to be forming the core of the group who intend to resist the eviction tonight, an action that will probably end in violence...violence that will unfairly tarnish the reputation of all of #OccupyPortland.

*That so many people who clearly are suffering from various forms of mental illness serious enough to make fending for themselves a virtual impossibility are left on the street with no assistance is a national shame...but that's a matter for another discussion.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. Folks from Occupy Tacoma have gone down to be with them
I am worried for them all.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. The violent will not prevail in this worldwide movement
Even if Occupy Portland ends, the movement is still quite alive.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. Passive resistance or violence?
Passive resistance can often be misinterpreted and often presented as 'violent' by the media.

If it is the latter, I 100% condemn the idea of violently engaging law enforcement...
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madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. Please share this with them...
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. nonviolence is getting the Occupiers precisely nothing.
Except the mockery of the 1% and easily delivered blows to the head from cops.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. so what should they do then?
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