FIGHTING THE POWER
As thousands of peaceful anti-war protestors marched through the city on January 18, a small group, dubbing themselves the "Radical Youth Brigade," struck a military recruiting office on NE Broadway. The activists smashed windows and left the painted slogan, "No war but the class war." They claim recruitment tactics target impoverished populations; a strategy that "amounts to war on the youth of our communities." The group promised further, escalated actions if recruitment methods in the area do not change.
Like the WTO protests and past Critical Masses, the past action has also sparked a polarized debate about tactics in activism. Advocates of peaceful protest, fueled by the Bush administration's quickness to label lefty groups as "terrorists," have called the recruitment office strike "pointless," and "moronic."
But supporters of direct-action have compared the Brigade to colonial rebels before the American Revolution. "This action demonstrates the true American spirit," one activist claimed. Another bristled at the limits of unswerving non-violent resistance: "By today's pacifist/liberal stance, the Boston tea party would have been 'going too far.'" ANNA BOND
DON'T PATRONIZE US!
Last Friday, roughly 100 students from Portland high schools traveled to the state capital. Angered about the state legislature's inability to find long term funding for the school system, the teens gathered within the building's rotunda and took advantage of the acoustics. As they drummed, stomped, and shouted, it was impossible for the legislators to ignore them. This was one of 20 actions in the last two years organized by the Student Activist Alliance.
A few students were also allowed to address the House Education Budget Panel. But even though they were eloquent and well spoken, it looked as if panel members were doing everything they could not to pinch their cheeks. "I've been here before, and they are real condescending," said Nick, a student organizer. When asked how he gets the lawmakers' undivided attention, he replied, "I tell them I'm going to have their job soon." JOSHUA CINELLI