Portland Hilton to be a Free Speech Zone again

In 2002, police aggressively confronted environmental, anti-war and other protestors in downtown Portland, Oregon — where President Bush was speaking at a fundraiser for the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower.

In the late afternoon, police declared a state of emergency, and threatened to arrest anyone who did not disperse. Very few people heard these announcements and police did not give the crowd time to comply. The police then turned violent, shooting people with rubber bullets and pepper-spraying many others. Children were among the victims of chemical attacks, including a 10 month old baby.

In 2006, the Libertarian Party will hold its national convention at the same hotel. Unlike the barbed wire and riot police surrounded “Free Speech Zones” which encompass the president, no tear gas or rubber bullets will be required this time. Unlike New York, protest permits won’t even be an issue.

Perhaps Republicans could learn something from this contrast. The Libertarian Party opposes the preemptive war in Iraq and supports free speech rights. The Republican Party supports preemptive war and denies freedom of speech and assembly. Millions of people have taken to the streets to protest Republican policies over the last few years. There has never been a riot precipitated by Libertarian storm troopers.

In addition to their official policy, typical grassroots Republican sentiment is displayed here:

al you fucks are faggots. how the hell can this bull-shit be compared to the holocaust. those protesters didn’t know shit. you don’t like the government, then get the fuck out of this country.

Below is new footage of the 2002 Portland atrocities. Most of the footage was taken from police video, so you’ll get to see it from their visual perspective. This video is something every true patriot should watch. H/T to Carl H.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. A protest should be staged at the LP convention. It could cause some publicity. Probably not in the media, but amongst the local public anyway. It would be worth trying.

  2. Yes, this is what happens when you exercise your constitutional rights in AmeriKa. If you have something to say that your government masters don’t like you’d better watch out. Generally our government masters can get their way with just using the threat of violence but you’d better believe that whey wouldn’t think twice about putting a bullet between your eyes if they thought they could get away with it.

  3. Funny how that “typical grassroots Republican”‘s website says,

    “About me:
    about me. hmm, well,for most people i’m easy to get along with. everyone thinks i’m funny, or so it seems. i’m soooo funny, i’m like the funniest there is. i’m a skater, gamer, and i love to play the guitar. i hate school, my grades are like the shitiest that there is. my favorite movie is orgazmo, it’s fuckin funny. the only reason my hair is long is because girls love to play with it, and because i look gay with short hiar. i hate punk rock exept for the offspring. but my favorite band is CKy. I also love pie. welp thats about tit; i mean clit; i mean it.see thare i go again. me and my crazy antics. DIET COKE? cheeeetooos!”

    Reminds me of George Bush.

  4. Wes,

    I wasn’t saying the writer is a typical Repuglican, but that the sentiment is pretty typical.

  5. Despises people but thinks they love him, bad grades, malapropisms, what’s missing?

  6. Give him a following of similar haters, and he could be Hitler.

    Chilling clip, by the way.

  7. Jeez, we were just talking about the media trying to stereotype libertarians based on one nut, now we’re doing the same thing with republicans.

    I know hundreds of republicans and I’ve only met one that remotely resembles the quote given.

  8. *sighs* Showed this to the woman I love and have lived with for four years, now…

    She and I got into an immediate argument over the issue; I was stating that this was criminal violation of the 1st amendment… her position was, “People like this need to see the police’s side of things; after all, a bottle was thrown — where does it go from there?”

    I couldn’t quite get her to understand that this is nothing short of criminal sentiment.

  9. Oh! The Myspace videos match an Adblock rule! Maybe not such a good idea to reference Myspace videos.

  10. This is the first time I’ve used a myspace video. I’m testing to see how it works.

  11. Scott — I’d say the Republican POTUS has pretty much the same attitude.

  12. “her position was, “People like this need to see the police’s side of things; after all, a bottle was thrown ”” where does it go from there?”

    I couldn’t quite get her to understand that this is nothing short of criminal sentiment.”

    IanC, did your significant other see the whole video? They prepared to “spray and push” without ANYTHING being thrown. There was no bottle thrown.

  13. Exactly, they “sprayed and pushed” because the crowd was too noisy for the important people inside and so the order was given. Then, when called out for it the police and complicit media insisted that a bottle was thrown. IanC, you need a new SO.

  14. I was living in Portland at the time this happened, and I worked downtown about four blocks from the hotel. I can tell you the only violence I observed was perpetrated by the police. I can also tell you local TV news reports at the time could barely contain their outrage at having their own people — not to mention small children — pepper sprayed by firehoses.

    The police claim a bottle was thrown. I saw no bottle. And even if there was a bottle thrown, the police response was far out of proportion.

    But the Portland Police Bureau is corrupt to the very core, as virtually anyone living there can tell you.

  15. If so many people know about it, then why aren’t they doing anything about it? The answer of course, is that not many people know about it and if they do, nor are they willing to do anything about it.

  16. Rob D, DD — yes, she watched the entirety of the document with me; after much argument and, frankly, irrational behavior all-around, it finally came to light that her problem was with the bias of the document and not what was shown.

    Which, frankly, is an honest problem. Of course, that doesn’t obviate the sequence of events which showed the people standing by calmly and doing nothing more than chanting at slightly-above voice-level… and the police talking about dispersing them with riot-control techniques… followed almost immediately by the footage of the crowd *STILL* standing peacefully, then being pepper-sprayed by firehoses, and *FIRED UPON.*

    She finally conceded the point. There were other things going on, of course — but aren’t there always? :)

    Either way — video’s gettin’ shared ’round my workplace. >:)

  17. Thought I would share my correspondance with the guy who made that comment:

    “i was saying that the protesters have the freedom speech, but if you say i’m gonna kick your ass, fuck you to a cop. they have the right to do something about it.”

    -True, but nobody was doing that. It was a peaceful protest until the cops decided to be violent.

    “and what the hell else would the soldiers be doing in iraq besides protecting thier freedom/country? what were we supposed to do about 9/11? just sit there on our ass and take it. who gives a shit if there pissed cause i don’t. what are they gonna do against one of the strongest armies in the world. (one of). then there was people saying “no blood for oil” were they fuckin blind or what. did they not see the twin towers get hit.”

    -They are invading a country for no reason whatsoever. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11. That was Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, not Iraq. We should have attacked Bin Laden, and only Bin Laden. (cont)

  18. Now our priority is Iraq and we have not even found Bin Laden. An act of terrorism against us is not reason to terrorize another nation who had no links to it. Just because we have a strong army does not mean we should be imperialists. The world now hates us, we are less safe, the war has cost $286,223,350,500 and we each share $28,000.97 of the $8,368,144,669,141.24 debt (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/) (http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182).

    “it’s like, hey they hit the towers. lets go take thier oil.NOT”
    -They DID NOT hit the towers. How much has Bush and the Republicans clever talk misleaded you?

    “anyway back to the topic. thats what america is about (rights) why in the hell would they want to take that away. thats another reason i hate protesters is that they seem way to paranoid about the government.”
    -Look back at history to see that pretty much every government ever have had corrupt governments that take away the rights of the people. cont

  19. The founders wanted us to keep a close eye on government for this reason, but we are giving them free reign. We must protest their abuses.
    Our rights are being eroded every day. The only part of the Bill of Rights that is still in tact is the 3rd Amendment. Every other one has been abused by our government over time. We must protest these abuses, and anything else would be unpatriotic.

    Yes protesters do have the right to fight back, but in this instance, they were attacked by the police for no reason. They were exercising their right to free speech.

    Actually we are a republic, not a democracy. A democracy is a terrible form of government that the founding fathers loathed and called tyranny of the majority.

    The soldiers in Iraq is are not fighting to protect our freedom. That is government propaganda. Iraq was no threat to us and we have invaded their country on false pretenses. The war there is unconstitutional, and it is puting us in great danger. (cont)

  20. The terrorists and the rest of the world are now more angry than us than ever because of the war, yet Washington continues to tell us that we are safer because of it.

    Our rights are being stripped away one by one. That is what these people are protesting. If we do not do something, we will soon have no rights left and be living under tyranny. A defeatist attitude is not going to help this country. We must try to encourage change, like these protesters are doing.

    sure protesters can be protected under the first amendment-freedom of speech. but if you threaten them, they have the right to fight back.

    hell dude, i’d die for this country.

    sure sometimes the government can be full of bullshit.
    but it’s still a democracy.

    And you know what pisses me off is that there are soldiers over in iraq dieing to protect the freedom of those goddamn protesters, who are bitching for nothing. if it’s the way something is leave it alone. you’re more than likely not going to change anything.