I Want to March

I’m very frustrated right now. Today in downtown Portland, there will be a huge peace march, and I want to go very badly, as does Bill. It’s even on a Saturday, making it easy for me to participate without missing work. Sadly, Portland police have a habit of doing ugly things to protesters, most significantly arresting them. So I have to be goddamned a grownup about it and weigh the consequences.

First, I have to consider that the most important thing is that I be able to continue to do my part, in whatever way I can, in the future. This includes spreading the word, donating money, etc. With that in mind, I consider the consequences of arrest: I would lose my job, and Bill’s visa application would be denied. If Bill got arrested, his job would probably be safe–but it wouldn’t matter because, again, no visa. This means Bill goes back to Australia, and I can’t go live there because, hey, I have a record!

The end result is this: two people who care about what happens to this place are essentially put out of commission. That’s the cost for the cause. The personal cost is obviously much greater.

So Bill and I can’t march, and we’re not happy about it. In fact, we’re pissed. But taking that risk would be monumentally stupid. So do me a favor: go march for us. For each person who marches for Bill and me, we’ll donate $25 to Not In Our Name. To let me know you’re marching, send me an email. As long as I don’t get mailbombed, I’ll take folks at their word.

4:05pm: Ah, screw it. We went anyway. The police were very relaxed, and the protest was peaceful–as it should be! More than 20,000 people marched today. More people than I’ve ever seen at such an event. Pretty amazing stuff.

7 Responses to I Want to March

  1. Brigitte says:

    I wish I could!! But unfortunately Portland is not exactly within striking distance…
    Hope the streets were packed with people!

  2. Cat says:

    They were! It was amazing. I’m glad we went after all.

  3. Illusionaire says:

    Wish I had been able to make it, but glad you guys were able to make it. One of the California bloggers went to the one in San Fran and his pictures can be found at http://www.wkenshow.com/4peace/phpslideshow.php. Did anyone get pictures of the one in Portland?

  4. Cat says:

    Thanks for the SF pics!

    There are lots of Portland pics–check the side bar at Portland IndyMedia.

  5. Paul says:

    Glad it worked out. Solidarity works hey!?

  6. Evelyn says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit, but I missed the one here the other week and it took place about 2 blocks from where I live and I was at home!!! I wondered what the noise was all about, but never put the two together until I saw it on the evening news and then thought to myself “Damn!!!” Does attending in spirit count?

  7. phoo says:

    If an event is sponsored by many organizations and permitted, it is unlikely that you will be arrested or that there will be violence. Contrast Jan18th with the march on Aug22 (which was unpermitted) where there were violence on the police’s part and arrests. I believe that it is appropriate at times to assert our rights to protest without obtaining a permit (freedom to gather, as long as it is approved and controlled by the state?), however there are times when having large crowds come out is equally important.