A Statement from the General Assembly of Occupy Portland

November 24, 2011
By

In Tahrir Square, citizens calling for a civilian government are being
maimed and murdered by those same forces which helped them in their
struggle for freedom. Many of the weapons used by these forces are
imported from an American company, Combined Tactical Systems. We call
on this company, which openly deals with tyrants, to cease this trade,
and for the people of Jamestown, PA, home of CTS, to call for the
same.

In Davis, CA, Lieutenant John Pike used pepper spray at close range on
peaceful, seated students. We stand with those students and faculty
who call for a system-wide strike on the UC campus, and who call for
the resignation and punishment of Lieutenant Pike and the chancellor
of UC, Linda Katehi.

In New York City, the NYPD has destroyed the free-speech encampment of
Liberty Plaza, detained and arrested journalists unlawfully, and
acted, generally, like brutes. We condemn these actions and remind the
NYPD and mayor Bloomberg that the people will not abide peacefully so
long as they are not free.

In Seattle, one week after the City Council voted unanimously in favor
of a “resolution recognizing and supporting the peaceful and lawful
exercise of the First Amendment,” the Seattle police used pepper-spray
on lawful demonstrators, including two senior citizens, a priest, and
a pregnant woman. This woman has since miscarried, citing a kick in
the stomach and a blow from a bicycle by Seattle police as a probable
cause. We condemn this atrocious behavior and ask that anyone,
regardless of their stance on the sentiment of these demonstrators,
join with us insofar as we hold that violent suppression of lawful
protest is categorically unconstitutional and will not be tolerated.

In Portland, in part because of a negative public response to the
paramilitary actions of Multnomah County police forces, Police Chief
Mike Reese has announced that he will no longer be running for mayor.
We ask that all funds collected by his fundraising committee, “Friends
of Mike Reese” be reallocated to more useful organizations: those that
help the houseless and otherwise economically underserved. We also ask
that any officers who have benefited from the glut of overtime pay as
a result of Chief Reese’s unnecessary deployment of police forces
create a fund for the benefit of these same organizations.

We remind the people of Portland and the people of the world that we
have come together to address the deepest problems of our economic and
political system, and that these problems have no easy solutions—
especially when those openly seeking the solutions are painted as
filthy, ignorant, violent hooligans by those with a vested interest
in maintaining the current broken system. We remind them who we are:
mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, the unemployed and
underemployed, students, teachers, government employees, laborers, and
pensioners. We remind them, two months after this movement began, and
on the eve of the most lucrative commercial day of the year, to not
lose sight of the original animation of this movement.

We remind them that unregulated greed is not a solid foundation for an
economy; that self-interest does not constitute a system of ethics;
that gambling with the livelihoods of Americans should not be rewarded
with bailouts and bonuses; that we should not turn for solutions to
the same bankers and executives who created our problems; that our
representatives are to serve not the private interests of their
financiers but the public interests of those who elected them; that
those interests are not served by a politics which refuses even to
discuss its own corruption, but instead scapegoats anyone at hand:
liberals, conservatives, immigrants, minorities, and the American
citizens whose homes and savings were used as pieces in a private
game. We remind them that all of our actions are manifestations of our
indignation at this corrupted system. We remind them that we cannot
change it without their help.

These things which we have called for, these manifestations of our
indignation—the resignation of Lieutenant Pike and Chancellor Katehi,
the reappropriation of Portland Police funds, the condemnation of all
who suppress and aid in the suppression of lawful demonstration—these
are not the limits of our fight.

We fight against a political culture that has placed the needs of the
American people beneath the appetites of thieves whose gambling for
short-term profit has devastated the economy and the lives of millions
around the world. In solidarity with all who have suffered from the
recklessness of unregulated business and the corruption of government
by commerce, we demand an end to a politics controlled by wealth and
perverted to serve corporations legally bound to care only for profit.

We will not stop until this corruption ceases.

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