Update 8/23/12: Report from last week’s action in Portland
By Monica Juarbe. August 23, 2012.
Protestors braved the 100 degree heat on Thursday to demand the release of PFC Manning throughout Portland, Beaverton and Gresham. All five area Army recruiting locations had protestors, some who were able to cause the shutting down of recruiting. At 4pm, protestors from all locations gathered together at the Lloyd Center recruiting office and at 5pm marched together to the Obama Campaign Headquarters. The target location was not revealed ahead of time, yet the protestors bared through the heat, after already spending all day protesting at the recruiting locations in 100 degree weather. The marchers took 1 lane of traffic during the march, and were not bothered by police.
While the protestors were marching to join us, a group of eight of us protestors, including three citizen journalists entered the building demanding an apology by President Obama for his remarks declaring the guilt of PFC Manning and for the immediate release of PFC Manning. Volunteers at the Obama Campaign Headquarters were courteous and offered us chairs, water and food, even making us fresh coffee while we waited. The head staffers were not available, which led to a lot of phone calls before a decision was made to have the police remove us. We were inside the building for about 30 minutes before the marchers arrived outside the location. The doors were already locked by this time.
We were able to communicate with the protestors outside by speaking through the glass doors. When police arrived, they wanted to know our demands. One of the protestors outside served as police liaison and informed them of our demands, to which the police had no power to negotiate. We were then given a final warning to leave by the head staffer, and the three journalists left while the five of us remained, including 75 year old Nan Wigmore, who was recently detained during the NATO protests in Chicago. The police then moved in and zip tied us, escorting us outside while the protestors outside screamed support to us. While loading us in, FREE BRADLEY MANNING was shouted by the supporters and the arrestees.
The Portland Police Bureau was, for the most part, respectful and professional, with the exception of the driver who traveled at unsafe speeds and wouldn’t slow down adequately for turns, necessitating the 3 of us women to escape the zip ties in order to all hold Nan steady while we were being thrashed about. Thankfully it was a short ride. Once we arrived and the wagon was parked, the same driver also turned on the rear heat. When the police opened the back door to remove us, we informed them of the heat being turned on, to which they claimed it was a mistake. The Portland police are infamous amongst the activist community for taking such punitive actions.
We were put in holding cells (except for Nan, who was allowed to sit outside the holding cell) and released from custody within an hour, all with citations for Trepass in the 2nd degree. Court date is 9/13.
I was the first to be released, and when I walked outside, I looked around and saw a few other protestors gathered at the corner, and as they approached the rest of the crowd marched up with banners and signs still chanting FREE PRIVATE MANNING!
Nan was the last to be released. The crowd was shouting FREE RADICAL NAN as she came walking out.
Arrested: Glenn Silbersdorff, Monica Juarbe, Jordan Benning, Nan Wigmore, Laurann Kealiher