Cops Pepper Spray, Arrest Anti-War Demonstrators


JOSEPH B. FRAZIER
Associated Press
March 20, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Police used pepper spray on demonstrators protesting the Iraq war in downtown Portland on its fifth anniversary. The demonstrators later hopped a train and headed for a military recruitment center across town.

Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said Shawn Biggers, 23, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer after he allegedly kicked a policeman in the knee.

Schmautz said police used “a little pepper spray.”

A group of about 100 demonstrators headed away from the confrontation toward a plaza for a rally, accompanied by police on bicycles, horseback and motorcycles. They then piled onto a MAX light rail train to a shopping center located near a recruiting station. A string of police motorcycles and a van of police in riot gear followed the train.

“Sorry, no room for bikes,” one of the riders told an officer who looked ready to board.

They marched from the Lloyd Center to the recruiting center, where a diminished group blew horns, beat drums and chanted, “tear it down” and “end the silence, stop the violence.” Passing cars honked and waved, some impolitely.

Some protesters wore bandanna masks, carried black flags and identified themselves as anarchists, an established counterculture movement in Oregon, or as members of Students for a Democratic Society, a strident anti-war group that flourished mostly in the 1960s and 1970s on many college campuses.

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