Sunday, November 13, 2011
The Problem With Rallies
As of 6:30am today, the Portland police had backed off their plan to re-take the downtown parks where Occupy Portland had been encamped for weeks. The video above shows some of what was going on early in the morning. It was a huge rally -- they say there were ten thousand or more in attendance to keep the police at bay -- and they pushed the police back. They kept and held their ground.
The cops backed off, the Occupiers and their supporters were elated and celebrations ensued. Then everyone -- well, mostly -- went home to get some sleep. As soon as the size of the crowds at the Occupy Portland camps diminished, the police moved in and dismantled the camps without much resistance from the remaining Occupiers -- many of whom were said to be in shock.
By 11am, the camps were gone.
It's now a little after 2:00pm, and a very large crowd has returned to the site of the Former Occupation, but it is too late to do anything about the now demolished camps. The police have formed a cordon around the parks, fencing is supposed to go up, and access by the public is to be denied.
Earlier -- between the time the police backed off and the dismantlement of the camps -- the Mayor of Portland held a news conference at which he assured all and sundry that there would be no "surprise raid" on the camps. Sure enough, within about an hour or so, there was just that. Surprise raid, and very effectively too. Many people at the Oregonian were congratulating the Mayor for his strategic victory over the Terrorist Occupiers.
The standoff is reengaged.
But now there is no camp.
How will Occupy Portland use this crisis as an opportunity? I don't know. I don't think they know -- the standoff is still underway.
All I can say is that I'm sure they will use this situation to advantage. The problem with rallies, though, is that people go home.
The psy-ops warriors know this; they took full advantage of the People's need for sleep.
The newer chant I've been hearing at confrontations with RoboCops: "You're sexy, you're cute, take off the riot suit!" Heard it first at Berkeley. Then there is this one I just heard in Portland: "I don't see a riot here, why not take off the riot gear!"