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Justice for Kendra James? Community Forum on July 1st in North Portland

A community forum to discuss the killing of Kendra James - mother, daughter, worker, member of the African-American community of Portland - by a Portland police officer will occur from 5-10 PM, July 1st at the Olivet Baptist Church Community Hall, 8725 N.Chautauqua Blvd. (#4 Fessenden bus).
Police, community representatives and the public will speak during the 5 hour forum.
The event, which was organized under the auspices of the Albina Ministerial Alliance, will be the first opportunity for the general public to hear the 'official' explanation for why Kendra James was shot and killed by Portland police officer Scott McCollister. Police chief Kroeker will also have an opportunity to explain why McCollister is facing a suspension and will not be fired.

As a number of people have pointed out, this will also be an attempt by chief Kroeker and mayor Katz to moderate community outrage over the shooting,which occurred on May 5th on the North Skidmore Street overpass.

Kroeker announced the suspension of officer McCollister, though not his fellow officers, last week in a political balancing act seeking to avoid more calls for Kroeker's resignation from the Portland community, yet maintain the allegiance of the Portland police union, which has vowed to fight any sanctions against McCollister.

The convenors of the event, the Albina Ministerial Alliance, have already rejected Kroeker's compromise and reiterated their call for the firing of McCollister. One grand juror who heard and witnessed the evidence in the case, despite dismissing charges, stated "McCollister should not be allowed to carry a police badge."

A Challenge to white activists in Portland

One writer recently asked what white activists could do to support what has been a largely African-American-led struggle,both to fire McCollister and to call for community control of the police.

Here are some simple suggestions. Carrying them out may be difficult, but they are simple to consider:

1. Show up. If every white anti-war activist and Critical Mass rider who has been arrested, pepper-sprayed or attacked by Portland police showed up, there would not be room for us all. That would be a sign of solidarity.

2. Show up with your friends. Make it clear that you are there to support Kendra James' family and every victim of police brutality. While large signs won't make it into the church center, there will be ways to show where you stand.

3. Stop referring to people of color as "non-white". We don't call me a "non-female first aid provider". We would not call Theresa Mitchell of KBOO a "non-male radio activist". No person of color refers to themselves as "non-white", so why should you?

4. If you don't get it, try reading and listening to what people of color have to say and write. Post to IndyMedia Portland and ask, 'Where can I get trainings on fighting racism?' You will have to look beyond the pages of Indy Media Portland, but hey, expand your worldview. Try reading the interview with Ernesto Aguilar of Anarchist People of Color in the current front page of Infoshop.com

****
As always, I can be reached through Black Cross Health Collective. They are not responsible for my views.

homepage: homepage: http://Infoshop.org

A challenge to black activists 30.Jun.2003 23:42

Ted

A challenge to black activists: The next time a black gang member is shot and killed by another black gang member, I would like to see 1/10 the outrage and activism as you have exerted on the Kendra James case. Maybe if you give the cops enough heat they will soon decide they dont want to stop anybody in your community. They will figure "why bother when my career is at stake?"

Nice Analogy Ted 01.Jul.2003 00:21

2/10

Except, gang members aren't sworn to 'serve and protect' silly. The police are supposed to uphold the law, not harass and murder people.

Subjective 01.Jul.2003 00:36

Ted

The degree that the officer wants to "protect and serve" is ultimately up to him. Again, if all he foresaw in stopping someone in that community was trouble for either his life or career he is going to think twice. If you want poor police protection move to south-central LA or southside Chicago! Perhaps if you should taught your youth more about self-responsibility rather than protest as a way to get ahead this whole situation wouldnt have happened.

Why Would I Move... 01.Jul.2003 00:59

2/10

...When I've got poor police protection right here. Thanks for the lecture about "teaching my youth", but I am not a parent. Any officer who thinks they have an option as to the degree that they want to 'serve and protect' is about as usefull as your average gang member, and probably a lot more dangerous. They should find another line of work before they join the ranks of the criminally inept, like officer fuckstick Rowley.

Sorry 01.Jul.2003 01:17

Ted

Sorry to burst your bubble but cops are human just like you and me. Yeah, they can be macho idots sometimes but hey thats the appeal of the job to them. But if you are going to relentlessy harass them and ruin their carreer for anything they will start to look the other way when anything goes wrong. By the way, some people are actually calling for the Army to come to southside Chicago and LA cuz the police are araid to do anything there.

...cops are human just like you and me... 01.Jul.2003 01:34

2/10

I suspect they are probably more like you than me, but true enough, they are human beings. The problem is, many don't act with any kind of humanity. I do not "relentlessy harass them and ruin their carreer for anything", I hold them to account for upholding the law and not abusing their positions by breaking it. If the people entrusted to uphold the law do not have better than average judgement, then they are a worthless drain on public resources, and should be eliminated. Better to have no police at all, than have officers that are criminally inept.

I'm not too surprised about the Army proposal, if true. Some folks are proposing that the US military take over the world, don't cha know. Many of these folks are war criminals and traitors, but still they persist.

Ted 01.Jul.2003 10:30

black woman

Actually it was a BLACK WOMAN Chicago columnist that was begging that some of the returning US Army be deployed in south Chicago. as there were something like 8 murders during the easter weekend alone there.

sorry to interrupt 01.Jul.2003 11:39

none

Sorry to interrupt the ridiculous bantering but does anyone know a good way to get to the meeting by bike? Thanks

Bike route, and support the Vera Katz Recall to oppose police violence 01.Jul.2003 15:06

Marvin recallverakatz@yahoo.com

Thanks for interrupting the ridiculous dysfunctional bantering.
One way to oppose the escalating police violence and to lobby for fundamental reform in the paramilitaristic structure that breeds violence in Katz's police bureau is to support the Recall Vera Katz Committee. See a nearby indy posting or visit www.recallvera.org for ways to help. Volunteer petitioners are needed! Every signature is a vote against police violence.

BIKE ROUTE:

From downtown or Northwest, take the Broadway Bridge north sidewalk. Meander across the concrete island and turn left on Larabee, which turns right onto Interstate. After the equivalent of about four blocks or so, turn right on Mississippi and continue up Mississippi hill. There's a light at the top of the hill, and the second light after that is Skidmore Street. Turn left and cross over I-5 by the Kendra James memorial. (From the east side, get yourself to Skidmore.) Cross over Interstate and the light-rail tracks. Go two more blocks to Concord, turn right, and cross a pedestrian-bicycle bridge over Going Street. Continue on Concord until you're one block from Killingsworth Street (I forget the name, sorry, but look for the traffic ahead). Turn left, cross Greeley after a few blocks, and then veer right onto the Willamette Blvd. extension. After a few blocks there's an intersection where you turn left onto Willamette Street. proper. There's a nice bike lane along the bluff. After ten or twelve blocks, turn right on Chautauqua. (If you get to Columbia Park on your right, you've gone a few blocks too far.) Cross Lombard. This is as far as I've been, but we should be able to continue until we see the church center at 8725 N. Chautauqua Blvd. See you there.