We put time and energy into Occupy Portland (opdx). We meet in a General Assembly and a Spokes Council, open to everyone. We can't and have no desire to control what individuals do autonomously - but without endorsement, one doesn't speak for the group. Even when endorsed, we have such a variety of styles and ideologies that no person agrees with every action by Occupy Portland. For instance, I have witnessed and documented brutality and terrible abuses of authority by police. Since the Eighties I'd hoped the people of LA/Oakland would do something to stop their police force from perpetuating record violence. Still, when Oakland called out for the "F' the Police" marches I was disappointed to see Opdx join them. It is so negative and people aren't looking at the pain of victims of brutality when judging this. I won't try to persuade others not to do this. They have to decide for themselves that it has reduced our public support and even if the therapeutic value exists for many, it ultimately hurts the movement. The way to shape the direction is to participate in respectful group discussion at general assemblies, not to try to assert my will over others as much as I am disappointed. I can blog about it though! I might also ask people to come to the General Assemblies and Spokes Councils to participate in the discussion and voting- not as ringers but stakeholders. At the same time that an FTP march is going on, there will be a Food not Bombs feeding using donations and food grown on 20 opdx gardens, a Sexual Assault Survivors Advocates meeting, and the action I dedicate myself to, a vigil for people without shelter- a humanitarian protest which has become a haven in the city. I'm hoping to influence the movement by showing what happens when the public sees positive actions because I believe in leading by example and service. Yes, it's a political mess. But Occupy Portland has a simple cause. We fight for justice to regain rights for the People that have been stolen from us by our government which has blatantly traded allegience to the People to Corporations. How can we jail a penniless man ten days for stealing a bus ride to get to some obligatory appointment when our city provides no free transportation to these necessities and at the same time, do nothing to a company that poisons an entire watershed with gas by fracking *forever* including stopping them from continuing? We are absolutely being slaughtered. I tried very hard to stop the House Committee on Agriculture from pushing GMOs through the USDA into the wild with actual intention of removing natural life to pad their wallets. It is at least metaphorically Satan/Armageddon we . Literal destruction of the Earth at the hands of Evil for which we are all called to battle. My battle just happens to be fought by serving coffee and staying up all night watching over people who come to us for rest and protection- making City Hall their asylum despite itself. All my hope is invested in Occupy Portland to straighten up and fly true and my husband is working full-time and more to enable me to do that for the both of us. Today I'm proud to call it successful. The beautiful thing is, not only is our "vigil family" full of people doing exactly what I am describing for myself, but there are many other groups of determined people fighting to cause change directly while saving a movement corporations fear. If our government is as enslaved as we are, then a revolution would require many good leaders to join. The fight is not with them- it is with greed-borne injustice. Wfighte are calling on people of conscience to rise up in their positions in government, media, universities and all corrupt or degraded institutions to either bring them up or strike them down if their is no good to salvage. In another audience this would be too dramatic to present. For those who follow the GMO deregulation story, however, and the suffering of Gaia, if you will, we are in nothing short of the fight for our lives. Yet we are defeated on a daily basis by the dismissal of a public who blindly accept the word of corporations through mainly television. We have actually saved many lives at both the camp and the vigil- and had people crippled by police batons to the spine for not leaving a lawful assembly. How can we give up a chance to stop something like fracking and Nestle's stealing of water and GMO-caused extinctions which could in a few decades destroy all we love? If you believe we are a band of misfits picking fights with police and wasting taxpayer money who should do this and should do that, then you need to come to a GA and Spokes council because you're not going to have some other People's uprising against greed and corruption in your lifetime. NDAA and other dictatorial regime law and structure is getting set to literally conquer the once free people of the USA. We can send soldiers off to die for the profit of dynasties but few of us at home raise a finger to keep everything we have that is free. I miss the work in GMOs but I have ten friends who are in opdx who are
doing this very effectively themselves now and they need us to give them
more strength.Ernie and I feel charged with fighting GMOs. We need Occupy Portland, at its very best, to succeed. We need it to help other Occupancies nationally and globally by doing well. So went 6 months of our lives and counting- myself alone 100 hours a week. You'll see us part of a stronger coalition returning to direct action in this battle for food, water and nature very soon because it's all working.
You can learn about the effort in two places. The video and writeup on the fundraising page, and the interviews of homeless (a.k.a. houseless) and other activists as well as passers by on "Vigil-TV." Now we're really grateful to David Love/Occucat Productions for the mini movie (which you can download for free!) about the sleep action, vigil, and hunger strikers. We're trying to keep up on their health status. I'm hoping it can end but the reality is, this is such a situation of deadly injustice that hunger strikes in Portland are going to become a regular sight unless our elected officials truly respond. Our Portland. Please write to Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Commissioner Nick Fish and Mayor Sam Adams. Tell them to shift their thinking to a long tedious problem to a state of emergency that we expect priority attention to. Occupy Portlander & 2012 Mayoral Candidate (5th place of 23 candidates) Cameron Whitten is calling for a real skakeholder's panel (stakeholder in solving, not perpetuating this problem!) What we currently have is not adequate or we'd hear talk of emergency relief. What we have is huge amounts of money being spent on a small number of housing units while the once ample affordable housing continues to be systematically destroyed. Meanwhile, banks are getting away with shaking people out of homes with crooked greedy tricks. We have an estimated 2,500 people who are physically living in the streets of Portland without shelter of any kind. It is an epidemic.