Saturday, November 12, 2011

Occupy Portland: Violence

Last night when I got home from taking my 11.11.11 pictures and videos, we were talking about the Occupation. My twelve year old told me that the news was saying that the camps were "building weapons," that he saw it on the news. I poo-pooed him. This morning, I apologized after seeing some of the news clips from yesterday.

I am sensing a disconnect between the news coverage and the reality of the situation in the camps. But I haven't been there, so I do not know for sure.
Survival stores busy ahead of Occupy Portland eviction
Protesters tell FOX 12 that some demonstrators are gearing up for a fight.
Police remove plywood, concrete from Occupy Portland:
A skirmish erupted this afternoon when officers went into the Occupy Portland camp to remove plywood and concrete, police say.

I suppose anyone planning violence is still a part of the 99%. But they are not a part of the occupation movement.

One thing that I have been concerned about with this movement since day one is it being used by other groups or individuals as an excuse or an opportunity for violence.  So far, these occurances accross the country seem to be limited, though, and relatively contained.

However, any time something does happen, as in Oakland (Occupy Oakland: Tear Gas, Spray Paint, &  Fireworks), the mainstream media has a very hard time telling the difference between the occupation movement itself and the outside extremists.  Another critical issue is that the actions of the few extremists can often be the catalyst for disproportionate police action, which can trigger a very nasty cycle of violence.

Both of these things happened in Seattle during the WTO/N30 protests, and I fear seeing this happen with the occupation movement.
Timeline of police confrontations involving Occupy Portland
For the most part, police and Occupy Portland protesters have co-existed without incident, but there have been several confrontations.



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