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The Portland Alliance Portal for Occupy Portland,
Visit our Global Occupation Update Page at
Three years ago, Portlanders of all walks and backgrounds came and joined together in downtown parks and streets for a phenomenal, unprecedented season of community-building and grassroots activism.
We continue to write the history and build upon connections we made when raising awareness. Throughout North America and the rest of the planet, beginning in the Spring of 2011 in Spain...
the Occupy movement became a catalyst for change, convergence, collaboration, community-building, and civic-engagement.
As the memories of Occupy camps fade, we still face important challenges. At this three-year milestone,
the movement continues... We are holding an open town hall meeting with panelists and an overview the past, present and a plan for the future.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
at Multnomah County Central Library - U.S. Bank Room
801 SW 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205
Our distinguished panelists:
* Karen Carr, founder of Portland Free Store
* Sam Smith, of Community Supported Everything
* Cameron Whitten, former Portland mayoral candidate (2012 primary) and candidate for Oregon state treasurer (2012)
* Jack DePue, of OPDX Elder Caucus, and a member of the Friends of Occupy Portland board of directors
* Note: Pursuant to Multnomah County Library District regulations, we are neither requiring nor soliciting your personal information in connection to this event. This Facebook event listing is solely for publicity and for convenience of Facebook users. Any RSVP data entered here will be disregarded by the event organizer.
For other events in the Fourth Year Forward series, see http://bit.ly/opdx4y4
to the bastille
NOTICE- NOTICE- NOTICE- NOTICE
We will protest the intentions of the city council of Portland, Oregon appealing a case of Police Brutality against a young man whose only crime was to ask a question to a cop.
From the Oregonian: (I don’t like this paper)
“Both sides agreed that the police wouldn’t explain why. As officers tried to handcuff Smith, he pulled his arms into his chest. Smith said he was immediately punched in the face. The scuffle that ensued was his attempt to protect himself, he said”
The question that this young man asked the cop was what law forbid him from standing on the sidewalk---sound familiar?
“Officer Patrick Johnson fired his Taser at Smith, but the probes didn’t pierce his skin. Officer Sean McFarland then used his Taser and hit his mark. Police said Smith was defying orders to stay on the ground..”
“Johnson pepper-sprayed Smith twice and police punched him in the back before half a dozen officers piled on top of him. Smith was handcuffed with his feet tied to his wrists and charged with criminal trespass, interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest.”
“Jurors awarded nearly $16,000 in legal fees for his criminal defense, medical bills and counseling. They also awarded $290,000 for his pain and suffering.”
“After the verdict, Juror Patty Smith said police were wrong to rough up and arrest Smith, and most of the verdict was an acknowledgement of his lasting psychological injuries.”
The 5 shi-s want to appeal this case----WTF?
We will speak against this waste of our tax money, they will lose and pay additional penalties with your money, not theirs. Maybe we should demand that if they vote for this they must pay the penalties out of their own pockets, not campaign funds but their money. That would be good.
This was just told to me recently and I apologize for the late notice but what the hell, I will be there and yelling , INJUSTICE TO ONE IS INJUSTICE TO ME!” Will you join this lone vet who is very pissed off at this continuation of brutality. Come with us and yell, loud and tell the council if you continue to go against what is good and noble we will get you out.
We will be there about 0900 Wednesday 4/17/2013---signs about corruption, police brutality, stupid city attorneys, no pitchforks yet, but mochas for me is good. Ha Bullhorns are sooooooo good
Joe Walsh-Lone Vet (my real name!)
For Justice,Peace and *Laughter, Joe Walsh-Lone Vet
Individuals for Justice http:// individualsforjustice.com/
Proud member of Oregon Progressive Party, http://progparty.org/
War is failure, occupation a disgrace!
“Funding these wars is killing our troops”
* Why laughter?? Because without it I would have gone insane years ago.
Sen. ** harry reid must be replaced as Majority Leader, call me when you agree or just go away!
An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
Thoreau may have also brooded over the reaction of Emerson, who criticized the imprisonment as pointless. According to some accounts, Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?”
Molly Ivins, "It's like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong."
"I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth,
and I am a citizen of the world."
Eugene V. Debs
"So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds..." -- Molly Ivins
PORTLAND – An article on Organizing strategy, by Theresa Griffin Kennedy
found at http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/occupyportland
Analyzing Strategies in Nonviolent Protest
In nonviolent protest, success or failure can depend on a variety of strategies that can determine the final outcome: whether or not the protesters are able to declare victory at the end of the day. One way that “victory” can be determined, is by planning when participant departures take place and how long a protest will last. This strategic planning can allow protesters to claim the demonstration or protest as having achieved its positive end. The questions of departure timing and duration of a protest are narrow and infrequently examined dynamics of nonviolent protest that deserve further attention and study. How does this timing enhance or prevent successful nonviolent protest? Why does it matter? Lets take a look at the Occupy protests in Portland Oregon.
A large number of people support the ideas behind the Occupy movement. They understand that the current economic system is not sustainable for this country. When 2% of the population enjoys 90% of the wealth, the system is not workable or fair: poverty and despair are the natural result of social and economic disparity. This is a system out of balance and sinking under the weight of its foundational roots: it is mired in patriarchy and economic infelicity.
Hierarchal systems exist in part because the subordinates submit as a result of
seeing themselves as inferiors. Therefore, two steps to challenge and end the
hierarchal system are first, to get the members of the subordinate group to see
themselves as full human beings who are not inferior to anyone; and, second, to
get them to behave in ways consistent with that enhanced view of themselves.”
(Sharp, pg 425).
The protests and creation of the Occupy movement seem inevitable, given global overpopulation and an unfair distribution of wealth across countries and nations. Taxation and inequity are at the root of the problem. In the USA, unfair tax practices are enforced and promoted for the wealthy to enjoy.
Wealthy corporate America protects and insulates its members by encouraging politicians to institutionalize unfair taxes on lower income groups. Many people, often struggling to survive by working 2 and 3 jobs, must shoulder a disproportionate burden of the costs for our nation. This contributes to a growing sense of frustration and anger at the way things are.
And so the Occupy movement came about. Part of the organizational structure of the Occupy protests are being conducted by young, idealistic students who want to make a difference and draw attention to the reality of poverty and despair in America. Using the power of social media and the blessing and assistance of professional organizers, this movement (with roots in Europe) attracted thousands of people to the riverfront in the fall of 2011. After an energetic rally, huge crowds of people with disparate concerns and agendas, marched through the city. Then, in celebration and with determined purpose, they occupied Lawnsdale and Chapman Squares in downtown Portland.
People of all ages, cultures, and communities wanted to bring home the point that everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To realize these rights, food, shelter, and security are paramount.
What began as a political movement and celebration sprouted numerous multi-faceted wings. Soon, the homeless were gravitating to the camp sites, as well as multiple local progressive groups and organizations. A community kitchen was organized, doctors and nurses volunteered to run
a community health center at the heart of the occupation and dozens of journalists and writers created a library and communicated with local media and media organizations. The occupation became a city in itself, with all of the ramifications of this reality, including a few overly zealous rabble rousers. As the smell of marijuana burning and accumulating litter became onerous, the city and various organizers were faced with a moral dilemma.
Members of the city council of Portland and those who organized and sustained the protest wondered, Do we take care of and support this seemingly helpless, under-represented, and too-often ignored population or should be focus on larger goals of the city or political movements? As it turned out, the organizers decided that the needs of the homeless, the mentally ill, and myriad dispossessed populations were critical.
The medical tent and communications teams at the occupation continued their efforts to care for everyone participating. More campsites were added, the daily food kitchen was expanded, and meals were planned and prepared to sustain the movement. This attracted more homeless, more organizers, and more police. Eventually crime became a problem. Sometimes the crimes were committed by participants and other times crimes were perpetrated by the local police. The corporate press in Oregon, with encouragement by the city administrators, claimed that the damages to trees and shrubs in the part were a “disaster” and that assaults and problems with underage, runaway teens were increasing.
Student activists were sometimes distracted by these complex issues and some minor exhaustion set in, but social activists rallied and brought in their own media and researchers from local colleges, libraries, and social movements. It was determined that the occupy area actually had some of the lowest crimes relative to many areas of the city and that much of the remonstrations from city hall were political in nature. But the damage to the lawns and parks was very real. And it was clear that the occupation could not continue forever.
The movement and its goals were portrayed in the local media as having “become
convoluted and lost focus.” “One's energy may be deflected to minor issues and applied ineffectively.” (Sharp, pg 442). Issues related to the homeless, minors, and pollution, were becoming serous social problems.
Sometimes a serious social or political movement can be compromised because outside forces undermine it. When this occurs, a restatement and reassessment of the goals of the group are needed. This conversation occurred in the Occupy movement, with regular rallies and General meetings where these problems were discussed at length. These collective meetings were where it was determined that other demonstrations were needed.
When there were planned demonstrations in other sections of Portland, these sit-in's and marches were often very successful in calling attention to needed bridge repairs, inefficient public services, and an inequitable distribution of economic resources. Many of these protests targeted local banks. Sometimes a variety of distractions occurred, but organizers all over the city and the nation were energized by this very public drama. An overly aggressive response by the Portland Police Bureau, instigated by city hall, led to some unfortunate confrontations and avoidable arrests. Inevitably, tensions developed between the movement, city hall, and local law enforcement.
Some of the most disturbing elements in this public political drama were orchestrated by the local corporate press, with the encouragement of agents in city hall, who had become impatient with the ongoing protest at their front door. Attention was called to some factions among the protesters who referred to themselves as anarchists. This corporate verbiage was intended to inflame public passions against the movement and often, at the smaller protest sites at local banks, both protesters and battalions of police stayed active, after other Occupy protesters had left.
What were being hailed as victorious demonstrations by Occupy organizers were being called a series of crimes in progress by law enforcement. The corporate press continued to emphasize what city hall perceived as crime while local progressive organizations and the movement itself understood that the stories of “undesirables” causing strife and conflict for law enforcement were overblown and belied the facts on the ground.
During the Occupy movement and occupation of the two squares, calls to Portland law enforcement peace officers rose 91% in the central downtown Portland area. Some of the 'trouble makers' were the mentally ill homeless population acting out at the campsites, begging, drinking and using drugs. Other troublemakers were overaggressive police battalions, buffle that ensued was his attempt to protect himself, he said”attering demonstrators, spraying tear-gas directly into the faces of nonviolent participants, and making unnecessary and arguably illegal arrests for constitutionally-protected actions.
These troubled and stressful events became lingering problems for the movement, creating strain between organizers, law enforcement, city hall, and everyday people. This drama often diluted the ambitions, goals, and perceived success of the movement.
Probably the most damage these machinations did to the movement was to give the corporate press fuel to create the false illusion that the movement and the engaged and politically- committed students were misguided and essentially troublesome in their efforts to create more economic fairness for our country as a whole. In fact, the 99% of struggling, working, low-income Americans represented by this movement and these demonstration were well-served by focus on these events. Conversations began which had not yet been considered previously. For some this seemed like a new dawn.
Gene Sharp, in his book on methods of nonviolent strategies, Waging Nonviolent Struggle, explains the importance of understanding at what point protesters leave a demonstration, sit-in or march, and declare the event a success for their movement, having increased “cause consciousness” for their movement. This is an extremely important aspect of social protest, because the nature of perceptions of the protest can be so potentially precarious, given the presence of law enforcement officers and the risk of violent physical conflict.
When stragglers or hangers-on stay long after the event is 'over' they run the risk of coming to blows with law enforcement officers, and ultimately tarnishing the over-reaching image of the movement and its participants. But with an ongoing public protest such as Occupy, there is no clearly-drawn line in the sand or ending point. Clearly, there should be, as demonstrated in Sharp's serious, well researched and classic text on nonviolent strategies.
When the integrity, reputation and image of the organizers is the most important element to protect, the importance of understanding the dynamics of a scene cannot be undervalued or ignored. The media organizers and professional groups supporting the Occupy movement (churches, radio stations, Jobs with Justice, unions, local colleges, etc.) understood the
importance of creating and maintaining the public image of the integrity of the protesters and organizers through clear, open, stated goals, presented to opponents in an atmosphere of mutual respect. “Openness will facilitate (but not ensure) the opponents understanding of the nonviolent struggle groups motives, aims, intentions and plans.” (Sharp, pg. 370). Too often, with over-sized battalions of police called out in response to ingenuous remonstrations in the corporate press,
the goals and aspirations of the protesters were lost in the shuffle and avoidable violence ensued.
There are many diverse elements to a successful protest, but probably the most strategic and important is knowing when to end the protest. When two sides want vastly divergent things, there are often attempts to smear the opposing group. To maintain an image of moral impeccability, the nonviolent protesters must create and sustain an image of moral awareness and conviction that cannot be easily demolished. And police officials, as representatives of city hall, must be equally meticulous in preserving the peace instead of provoking violence. This creates a delicate balance, but a necessary balance that must be nurtured and sustained.
When protesters know when they must leave and do so as a group, much like the young protesters in Serbia during the 2000 overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, they can leave a solid image of victory. And media outlets can eagerly and happily disseminate the idea that their protest, sit-in, or march was indeed successful. But when protesters stay long after the goal of the protest or march has been achieved, they run the risk of undermining the entire campaign.
And when city hall can restrain police bureaus, they can communicate directly with protest leaders, instead of sending in helmeted provocateurs who are simply following orders. More real conversations can continue when both sides learn more about the power of nonviolent group dynamics.
It is hopeful that Gene Sharp's insightful and time-proven methods for enduring nonviolence are shared with more people. A more public understanding of his methods and these insights might help create significant social change.
As we struggle for justice, critical voices in the cutting edge: creative arts, literature, poetry and other forms of media, can help us protect and embellish clear messages about achieving these goals. The timing and duration of protests must be critical factors in planning and supporting organized political statements. The collective cultural heritage and political harmony of countless nations across the globe may hang in the balance. We must remain vigilant as we move forward.
Works cited: Sharp, Gene. Waging Nonviolent Struggle. (2004). Extending Horizon Books. Boston.
Theresa Griffin Kennedy is a graduate student, tutor, freelance writer, poet, and contributing columnist for Salem-news.com. This social activist works for social change and justice and has been published in multiple print issues of The Portland Alliance.
Please view and share the below widely. Way to go Paige, Cameron and everyone!
Mainstream press report on Sept 17th march in solidarity with ASOTRECOL in Portland, Oregon.
TELL GM, SAVE THESE MEN!
Many selfless people volunteer countless time, energy, and other resources to bring you live video c...
General Assembly is now on Monday at 7pm following Agenda Setting at 6:30
Occupy the Banks is designed to be an on-going weekly action hosted by Occupy Portland in collaboration with organizations, groups, or community members to apply continuous coordinated pressure on the three mega-banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase.
The general plan for Occupy the Banks is that three Fridays per month we host an action at any branch of one of the three target banks, on the fourth Friday we focus on outreaching to small businesses about the value of moving their money, while offering tools to facilitate that transition.
Ultimately, these actions will build towards a national day of action on November 2nd, to organize a significant number of people, organizations, and businesses to “Move Your Money” before the November 6th elections.
On Sunday, June 24th, Occupy Portland General Assembly approved a proposal to move G.A. from Sundays at Director's Park to Mondays at Terry Shrunk Plaza at 7pm and holding Agenda Setting at 6:30 before G.A.. This move will go into effect starting the first week of July and the next General Assembly will be Monday, July 2nd. This move puts G.A. back where we started at the parks and shows solidarity and support for the ongoing vigil at City Hall. Hope to see everyone down there!!
For GA Schedule and Occupy Events... Check here! http://www.portlandgeneralassembly.org/