VIDEO: Occupy Portland March Draws 5000 Protestors

My favorite sign? “The Beginning is Near”

As Fox News and CNN try to downplay the grassrootsiness of the Occupy movement, it’s pretty clear that the movement is spreading like wildfire:

My parents were hippies and met at a demonstration for something or other in the 60s (when it just wasn’t cool for a white Jewish girl to be cavorting with a black man).  I was dragged to demonstrations as a kid.  My grandma worked with Women’s Strike for Peace in Philadelphia for many years, and was protesting and demonstrating well into her 70s.

My grandpa was fired from his job as a school teacher in the mid-1950s for being a communist sympathizer (his case went up to the Supreme Court — ultimately, he and the others whose cases were consolidated, lost; my grandma never mentioned the name “Joe McCarthy” without prefacing it with “that bastard”).  My great-uncle fought in World War II and Korea, and later was involved with Veterans for Peace well into his 80s.

All of this is to say, the fight for social justice is in my family’s blood, and that despite the fringe elements and the involvement of some folks who I’d like to slap upside the head with a wet noodle, I like where this movement is going. Groups of people protesting for and talking about social justice and the rights of workers?

Yeah — I can dig it.

[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]

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79 replies
  1. 1
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Can you imagine what would happen if the Occupy Wall St protesters started showing up with guns and saying things like the “tree of liberty needs a little watering” like the teabaggers did?

  2. 2
    r€nato says:

    I’ll be there as soon as I get my check from George Soros.

  3. 3

    It’s not a real grass roots movement unless Fox “News” and/or the Koch brothers are behind it.
    — conservative media

  4. 4
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Trying to shout down peaceful townhall meetings = Freedom

    Exercising your 1st ammendment rights to peaceful assembly = Slavery

    Orwell seems more like truth every fucking day.

  5. 5
    r€nato says:

    It’s not a real grass roots movement unless the signs have atrocious spelling.

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    on the other hand, it’s portland. did anybody notice the difference? it would be like having a hipster parade in williamsburg.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Sac’s is in day 2. Rather smaller than Portland’s, but that’s not unexpected. Fox and Pajamas Media are nowhere to be seen, unlike the grassrootsy teabag thingies we’ve had. I wonder why?

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/.....acram.html

  8. 8
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    Groups of people protesting for and talking about social justice and the rights of workers?

    These groups will surely find encouragement and enheartenment in President Obama’s statement yesterday that the Wall Street Gangbankstas were mostly acting out of high-spirited immorality, not illegality, so there is no need to bring in the Department of Justice.
    .
    .

  9. 9
    wrb says:

    @chopper: Yep. Portland now has something like 1000 food carts. Lunch brings tens of thousands of dangerous hippy types to the streets.
    Must make counting hard.

  10. 10
    harlana says:

    ahhh, your DFH ancestry-slip is showing! ;)

  11. 11
    staci says:

    The OccupyChicago group has grown by hundreds this week. They are expecting support from the unions beginning this afternoon and holding throughout the weekend. Guess I’ll be back downtown tomorrow.

  12. 12
    harlana says:

    can’t watch the clip right now, i’m at work, but 5000? WOW! and YAY!

  13. 13

    (when it just wasn’t cool for a white Jewish girl to be cavorting with a black man)

    What? I am shocked that a half-Jewish girl would pose as an actual fully black person. How dare you? You are some shade of grey at best and a denier of your Jewish side. You should not be ABL, instead, you should be: AHBHJL.

    (and just to be clear: /snark)

  14. 14
    Culture of Truth says:

    Vice President Biden said yesterday, “What are the people up there on the other end of the political spectrum saying?” Biden said. “The same thing: ‘Look guys, the bargain is not on the level anymore.’ In the minds of the vast majority of the American — the middle class is being screwed.”

    Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told an audience in Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday, that he was “somewhat sympathetic” to the protests. “We have too many people out of work,” Fisher said. “We have very uneven distribution of income.”

  15. 15
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I think it would be an interesting experiment, especially if they dress up in tri-corner hats and Revolutionary War-era garb to make sure the clueless MSM talking heads don’t miss the reference.

  16. 16
    ABL says:

    @chopper: true. many of my college peeps live or have lived in portland at one point. oberlin college: where drum circle maestros are made.

  17. 17
    JWL says:

    “The beginning is near”. I like that, too. It echoes what Churchill said after North Africa was cleared of Axis troops (I paraphrase): “This may not be the beginning of the end, but it is certainly the end of the beginning”.

  18. 18
    ABL says:

    @harlana: also true! :)

  19. 19

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Did the banksters actually break the law in 2008? The laws were pretty weak, so I am not so sure.

  20. 20
    ABL says:

    @The Other Bob: i’m adopted. i’m full-on black and culturally, a hot mess!

    (snark noted and chuckled at.)

  21. 21
    Culture of Truth says:

    Herman Cain told reporters in Houston yesterday that the Wall Street protesters are “trying to disrupt the whole country.”

    Eric Cantor discussed the marches today at a “Value Voters Summit” in Washington organized by the Family Research Council’s advocacy arm. “I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country,” Cantor said. “Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

  22. 22
    Armed Liberal says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    It would be fucking awesome.

    I’m an armed liberal and I’m proud.

  23. 23

    @ABL:

    i’m full-on black

    Fine. This cracker gives you permission to call yourself black.

    i’m adopted.

    My kids were adopted and are also black. I am sure you could teach me a lot!

  24. 24
    JD Rhoades says:

    Eric Cantor: “Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

    And that’s OUR job!

  25. 25
    Culture of Truth says:

    @ABL: We need to hear from Laura Ingraham first.

  26. 26
    Calouste says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    The lack of self-awareness of Can’tor would be shocking if we hadn’t seen it before. Gays, for example, aren’t Americans in his context, as no one in the GOP would pit religious Americans against gay Americans, would they?

  27. 27
    bago says:

    Given that the original tea party was about “no taxation without representation” shouldn’t the #OWS movement be “No taxation, no representation!” to highlight the fact that bp and he paid no taxes?

  28. 28
    r€nato says:

    @JD Rhoades: lol you win

  29. 29
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @chopper:

    on the other hand, it’s portland. did anybody notice the difference? it would be like having a hipster parade in williamsburg.

    That was my first thought. Portland?? What the hell is there to protest in Portland? To “occupy” Portland you’d need people from Wall Street.

    And I just spent months there so I know of what I speak. Portland, not Wall Street I mean.

    I kid, I kid. Great city. Glad to see this.

  30. 30
    j low says:

    5000 is the official police number. I’ve been hearing more like 10000.

  31. 31
    MarkJ says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: if any of the protesters in NY had a gun I think the NYPD would start mowing people down. It’s a double standard – conservative protesters can come locked and loaded, but unarmed liberals pose a threat and must be arrested.

    The police should be joining the protests – they’re mostly union and are being laid off thanks to Wall Street championed austerity therapy. Their pension funds will be raided so some rich guy can have a little more coin, just like everyone else’s. They should be on our side, and if we could get them to turn, boy would it make those banksters start to sweat.

  32. 32
    Joel says:

    I’m not trying to be flip. I’m really not. But I can’t help but cite:

    So what I can surmise from what your positing, is that Portland is like an alternative universe, it’s like Gore won! The Bush administration never happened!

  33. 33
    MBunge says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: “These groups will surely find encouragement and enheartenment in President Obama’s statement yesterday that the Wall Street Gangbankstas were mostly acting out of high-spirited immorality, not illegality, so there is no need to bring in the Department of Justice.”

    One of the best things about OWS is that it appears to be remarkably free of firebagger “Obama sucks too” nonsense. They’re not exactly holding “Obama rulz” pep rallies, but they seem to know who their friends and enemies are.

    Mike

  34. 34
    Dee Loralei says:

    @MarkJ: I agree with you. I think that’s what really turned the Egypt thing on end. When the military announced it would not harm the protesters. That’s when Mubarak’s time was winding down in days.

    From what I can tell most of the protesters have been very respectful of the beat cops. That’s what helped in Wisconsin too, the cops mostly sided with the protesters.

    Occupy Memphis is still mostly in the talky phase. Though they did protest downtown yesterday. But as far as I can tell, they don’t have another action planned yet.

  35. 35
    Seanly says:

    Glad to see a left leaning movement gathering steam. Heard a soundbite where Biden gets it – don’t know if Obama does.
    Headline News was towing the CNN line but at least they’re starting to pay attention.
    I’m not sure what will come of this. Would like to think that we could get progressives excited to hold WH and Senate and take back House.

  36. 36
    bago says:

    Isn’t capitalism supposed to be pitting Americans against Americans? Ford vs gm, apple vs Microsoft, Intel vs and. Why is Cantor some kind of communist?

  37. 37
    Dee Loralei says:

    Oh, and ABL, my great Grandfather sued Congress and it went to the Supreme Court and he won! Or the Dept of War. Not sure which, but it was for health benefits for WWI vets.

  38. 38
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @The Other Bob:

    Did the banksters actually break the law in 2008? The laws were pretty weak, so I am not so sure.

    Backgrounder – Why Occupy Wall Street Doesn’t Support Obama: His “Nothing to See Here” Stance on Bank Looting.
    .
    .

  39. 39
    John Weiss says:

    @r€nato: How can I say what I have to say to you politely?

    I can’t. Fuck you. And the horse your rode in on.

  40. 40
    Sad_Dem says:

    MarkJ: The police should be joining the protests – they’re mostly union and are being laid off thanks to Wall Street championed austerity therapy. Their pension funds will be raided so some rich guy can have a little more coin, just like everyone else’s. They should be on our side, and if we could get them to turn, boy would it make those banksters start to sweat.

    http://www.jpmorganchase.com/c...../ny-13.htm

  41. 41
    Downpuppy says:

    @The Other Bob: Many, many, clear legal violations. From mortgage fraud to securitization fraud to tax fraud to weird stuff like cheating customers on foreign exchange trades.

    There are a ton of regulations & laws that bind smaller firms. The big banks just wipe their butts with them.

    JAHWEH, I’m sick of people pretending that there’s still doubt about massive illegalities.

  42. 42
    4jkb4ia says:

    I suspected that ABL was Jewish in the Madeleine Albright/Ralph Branca sense, although there are certainly Jews who are full-on black, too. I am not referring to the Black Hebrews or the people who go to Michelle Obama’s cousin’s synagogue.

  43. 43
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @MBunge:

    One of the best things about OWS is that it appears to be remarkably free of firebagger “Obama sucks too” nonsense.

    You are wrong, Mike, in both your observation and its hateful presentation. See my link at 38.
    .
    .

  44. 44
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MBunge: Anything that avoids the Firebagger v. Obot topic is a dream come true, gotta be the most inane waste of energy I’ve ever seen.

    Just going by what I see when I read GOS every once in a while, which is after all a pretty large sampling, I’d bet that OWS would be evenly divided on that score, thus gluing everyone together in common cause and straddling that divide is one of the best aspects of this whole thing.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @bago:
    No, you don’t want to go to “no taxation, no representation”. That will just get the wingnuts talking about how 47% of the population pays no taxes* but still have the right to vote. You’re better off framing it as them buying off politicians to get tax loopholes and leaving taxation vs. representation out of the mix.

    *Yes, I know that there are taxes other than the federal income tax, but details like that don’t make good talking points.

  46. 46
    John Weiss says:

    @bago: Cantor is a garden variety idiot. You know, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Check this out.

    Ah, I see others have beaten me to the link. No matter. There’s a serious problem in the White House on this one.

  48. 48
    noabsolutes says:

    indeed. if i were on the people’s mic, i would devote at least 5 minutes to chants of “oops upside your head” before returning to “we are the 99%” as planned.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Happen to be in Eric Cantor’s district as I type. Have some free time next week. Anybody hear of any protests slated for Cantor’s office? Will let you know anything I hear

  50. 50
    4jkb4ia says:

    I thought the chant in the middle was “We’ve not sold out”, and that was very cool, and like the 1960s.

    This whole thing reminds me of a very young Greil Marcus writing about “Street Fighting Man”. He said that it was better than a protest song because it takes the situation where you lose faith in your “democratically elected representatives” “and stand in the street to represent oneself”, and asks “What does that mean?”

  51. 51
    Culture of Truth says:

    Agree represenation should not correlate with taxation.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @John Weiss:

    You need to visit the shop and get your snark meter checked, because it appears to be, at a minimum, not calibrated.

  53. 53
    fordpowers says:

    @j low
    There were tons of people. They just kept coming up broadway – I would venture to guess that there were indeed more than 5k.
    Turnout was impressive. Even for hippies in portland.

  54. 54
    4jkb4ia says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    I guess if you are part of the 80% or the 70% it would be difficult to sell out and would involve being able to make the payments on your house without difficulty. But it is all relative.

  55. 55
    Rafer Janders says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    You can’t openly carry firearms in New York City. However, in other, less progressive cities, that might be possible.

  56. 56
    Rafer Janders says:

    @MarkJ:

    The police have generally always sided with the bosses. It’s part of their job to act as armed enforcers for the ruling classes, and they know it.

  57. 57
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Herman Cain needs to get to the back of the bus like his Dad told him to.

    /snark (in case it’s necessary!)

    Are the Republicans going from McCain in 2008 to M.C. Cain in 2012? ;)

  58. 58
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Rafer Janders: A friend of mine who’s a pretty well known criminologist and fairly pro-law and order in addition to being sort of an old lefty, tells me that this is the main purpose of police forces almost everywhere; they’re essentially hired by well-off people to protect them. It’s not right, he admits, but it’s the case.

  59. 59
    Steve says:

    @Sad_Dem: I doubt the police oppose the protests. Do you have any idea how much overtime they are making?

  60. 60
    ABL says:

    @Dee Loralei: that’s so cool! i really wish i’d paid more attention when my grandma would go on and rant about “that bastard joe mccarthy.” i have her copy of the book about the cases “The Case Against the School Board.”

    when you’re a teenage twerp, you just don’t pay attention to those sorts to things, and now i wish i had.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The police have generally always sided with the bosses. It’s part of their job to act as armed enforcers for the ruling classes, and they know it.

    Yup, until the ruling classes think they’re invulnerable and decide to screw over the police along with everyone else. When the ruling class finally loses the police, they’re in deep, deep trouble.

  62. 62
    wrb says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Of course has been their purpose. Once you accumulate property you need it protected.

    This is also why drunk driving and drug laws (at least those affecting the drugs preferred by the wealthy) have seriously messed up the base of support for police.

    Around here law enforcement levies no longer pass because too many think the risk of a DUI or bust outweighs the risk of a robbery.

  63. 63
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @wrb: Well but it’s not something anyone in power admits, and certainly not the way it’s supposed to be, at least not to the degree it is.

    Where I live it’s at least talked up a lot in theory that police are absolutely hired by citizens of all stripes to protect the rights of all of them, and somewhat more true in practice as well, though of course not entirely.

  64. 64
    Grace51 says:

    Having participated in this march in Portland I can attest to the fact there was a wide range of ages, backgrounds and organizations represented; not just hippies (whatever that is supposed to mean). The gathering started 2.5 hours before the march and people shared their stories and concerns. We certainly were not a mob as Cantor etal suggest, but very concerned citizens feeling and seeing the effects of the Wall St. mentality on the lives of individuals and our community.

  65. 65
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Well, that’s true. And that’s a big part of police culture: from very early on, cops are indoctrinated into an “us against them” mentality, with “us” being cops and “them” being everyone else (as also occurs with the military). There’s no real sense of solidarity with the rest of society.

  66. 66
    celtidragonchick says:

    I am on the logistics committee for Occupy Greensboro. We are meeting tonight to see about food, sanitation, permits etc.

    We march on October 15th to occupy Festival Park in downtown Greensboro.

    About time.

  67. 67
    boss bitch says:

    @Seanly:

    Glad to see a left leaning movement gathering steam. Heard a soundbite where Biden gets it – don’t know if Obama does.

    Obama:

    “I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.” He went on, “So yes, I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”

    Jay Carney:

    “I sense a little hypocrisy unbound here–what we’re seeing on the streets of New York is a an expression of democracy,” Carney said. “I think I remember how Mr. cantor described protests of the tea party–I can’t understand how one man’s mob is another man’s democracy.”

  68. 68
    celtidragonchick says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    Can you imagine what would happen if the Occupy Wall St protesters started showing up with guns and saying things like the “tree of liberty needs a little watering” like the teabaggers did?

    I like it…but I think it would be tempting fate. I have been of half a mind to show up in my Rev War gear with my (functional!) Brown Bess musket and bayonet (just to tweak the tea baggers…and my stuff is 100% period accurate!), but I will leave it all at home.

  69. 69
    Silver Owl says:

    ABL, can you tweet the video to #ows? A lot of cities across the world are checking in with pics and video.

  70. 70
    efgoldman says:

    @ ABL
    Here’s some ABL (and TNC) bait right here, courtesy Benen.
    I swear, these people have some kind of negative brainpower. Certainly seems like a zero-sum game, at least.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....32684.php#

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @ ABL
    Here’s some ABL (and TNC) bait right here, courtesy Benen.
    I swear, these people have some kind of negative brainpower. Certainly seems like a zero-sum game, at least.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....32684.php#

  72. 72

    @boss bitch:

    Of course Obama doesn’t get it, former Harvard Law Review president, that got his self elected president while being black, in THIS country.

    I’ve been reading today, where our manic progs are latching onto Obama’s statement that a lot of what went on, and especially the derivatives nightmare that was the primary driver of the econ collapse, was perfectly legal at the time. But of course the left wingnuts aren’t going to hear that, they hear Obama the sellout corporatist.

    And “don’t know if Obama gets it” would only be said by an entitled white prog, that is mostly dumber than spit.

    Jeebus, the stooopid, it burns.

  73. 73
    Cat Lady says:

    @General Stuck:

    I had a conversation recently with a rightie – not a nutjob, but still thinks Obama is “way too left” – who I told that as liberal as I am, there are a lot of liberals who think Obama’s a corporatist sell out tool who’s no better than Bush. That was a real eye opener to that person who I’m sure spends no time reading anything political and who half listens to Fox, so the goofy left may serve a purpose other than to point at and laugh.

  74. 74
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Did you read our rikyrah’s amazing rant on Laura Ingraham? About halfway through the Benen comment thread. Fantastic!

  75. 75
    R-Jud says:

    @Cat Lady: Had almost an identical conversation with a Fundie aunt who was raving about Obama being a socia1ist. I told her that the actual European socia1ists I know don’t consider Obama a socia1ist at all: to them, he’s a “wet Tory”.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cat Lady:

    My only response to wingtards who claim Obama’s a soshulist is to say “I wish he actually was.”

  77. 77
    Cain says:

    @Grace51:

    Having participated in this march in Portland I can attest to the fact there was a wide range of ages, backgrounds and organizations represented; not just hippies (whatever that is supposed to mean). The gathering started 2.5 hours before the march and people shared their stories and concerns. We certainly were not a mob as Cantor etal suggest, but very concerned citizens feeling and seeing the effects of the Wall St. mentality on the lives of individuals and our community.

    That’s mah town, baby! The local news have been covering this pretty good. Portland especially is very sensitive about police violence and we’ve gone through a couple of police chiefs because of shootings gone wrong. That said, the protests were a model of restraint.

    Our mayor is one awesome dude, he opened up the park for camping; waiving the no-camp ordinance until this weekend when the Portland Marathon starts. The guy understands. I’m going to be very sorry to see him go, as I thought he was a visionary. I’m going to have to find him at the Green Dragon Pub and buy him a beer. :-)

  78. 78
    Older says:

    @The Other Bob: What I was wondering is, can a person be a “Lady” if her parents are hippies? But I guess it’s possible if she was adopted. “What a cute baby! What’s her background?” Proud parents: “She’s a Lady!!”

    Couple of my kids are old enough to remember carrying signs reading “Itty Bitty Kiddies’ Committee to End the War”. Not the black ones; they’re younger.

  79. 79
    Grace51 says:

    @Cain: Yep I thought the Mayor’s response was very smart. Loved seeing the sign, “cops are part of the 99%;” how true. I’m grateful to live in Portland because of the depth and breadth of the people’s awareness, concern, and willingness to act; it’s been a port in a very bad storm for me as a progressive/liberal. I know I can walk out the door and generally feel I’m among kindred spirits (really, from all walks of life), vs. having to be careful about what I say to whom and how I act.

    On the march some guy up on a fire escape was yelling “get a job.” To me this represented, encapsulated the oppositions total lack of understanding about what’s happening in the world around them. Wouldn’t people get a job if they could? Dense.

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