Watch the Fur Fly
By all accounts, last Saturday's (December 10) anti-World Trade Organization/pro-Workers' Rights Day march was a peaceful affair. About 1,000 people (maybe more, maybe less—depending on who's counting) wound through downtown, stopping periodically to listen to labor rights leaders give stump speeches.
The riot cops mostly stayed out of sight, having learned from numerous past experiences that hauling out the SWAT gear heightens tension and often leads to violent confrontations.
The real action began after the protest, with a few dozen protestors convening on Schumacher Furs, the site of semi-regular anti-fur protests by animal rights activists. The police, of course, followed.
The ensuing flare-up resulted in several arrests (for infractions like "harassment" and "interfering with a police officer"). The Portland Legal Defense Network/NW Constitutional Law Center is collecting video footage from the event to determine if the police overstepped their bounds. Similar cases handled by the Law Center have resulted in massive settlements from the city. SCOTT MOORE-MOORE
On Saturday morning, December 10, neighbors from Lents—a neighborhood that straddles I-205, in outer Southeast Portland—hopped on a charter bus with city officials and cops for a "Reality Tour" of the area's hotspots. "As we moved methodically through the streets of Lents, neighbors took their turns at the mic to discuss various concerns relating to crime and other issues," neighbor Jeff Rose wrote to the neighborhood email list.
"We have members who can't get in touch with their neighborhood police officer, police not taking reports in the neighborhood, alleys that are unlit, nefarious activities going on, and different places where people have broken in and police didn't respond," says Corrine Ball, an organizer with grassroots group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which set up the tour. Residents hoped the tour will jumpstart dialogue with the city about the neighborhood's concerns. AMY JENNIGES-JENNIGES