the pdx police, local fbi spook and state attorney gave a rote dog-and-pony show in which they once more trotted out the heinous crime commited by some local kids who torched ross island sand and gravel trucks in a good-hearted attempt to discourage the continued destruction of the environment. they also brought up the burning of logging trucks outside estacada. both incidents involved property destruction (which Francesconi strongly believes is "violence" -- he interrupted the citizen testimony of Mike D. to make this point), but both actions were taken to prevent greater destruction and real violence. to draw a parallel: in some cases, people who have committed property destruction against nuclear missiles have been found innocent because, though they broke the law, they were acting in the interest of a greater law; in those cases, international non-proliferation treaties for nuclear weapons. there is, in fact, a legal tradition that allows a crime to be committed if the goal is to prevent a greater crime. and that is the only sensible way to view the "crimes" of those who have targetted logging trucks, SUV carlots, ski resorts in Vail, etc. of course, this concept of a greater morality and justice did not come into play with today's PJTTF hearings. not that i expected it to, but it's important to have a reality check and remember what's really going on here.|
what's really going on here is fascism that has gone from creeping to leaping. a progressive city like portland (and it really is progressive -- i'm from the midwest and can attest to this relative characterization) should stand up and say, "fuck no". i realize that city/business leaders are concerned about profits, etc., but the way portland can set itself apart and attract a vibrant population of people would be to celebrate its progressiveness and run with it. make portland a haven for the Dissenters, and believe you me we'd have no problem having a healthy economy around here, if that's what these folks want. highlight the differences, rather than conform. but vera doesn't get that. it's too bad.
what else is really going on here is a world going to hell really f'n quick. only 20% of the old growth forests are left globally. the u.s. government is pursuing imperialistic misadventures. the people of the u.s. are living indulgent wasteful lifestyles that are resting on the backs of the oppressed people of the world. the climate is changing for the worse. the environment is filling with poision. the weapons of war can destroy everything and everyone. in other words, it's time to get serious and save our collective asses. portland could be a place where the local gov't could recognize this, encourage the positive actions of its activist citizens, and set itself apart. it could say, "hey fbi -- fuck you!" and it would be beautiful.
today was a very depressing day. to see that it didn't matter a fucking fig whether any of us spoke or not was really discouraging. we are not in control of our lives, our neighborhoods, our government, or our police force here in portland. a small group of rich people are. and what we say and do doesn't matter to them. they'll do what they want and they've bought the elected officials to make it official. it really sucks. we can look to argentina and its peoples' assemblies for inspiration, but what's the point? is any of that real, true democracy ever going to happen here? i don't think so. i think what we're looking at is a long slow steady decline into fascism, economic downturn, environmental disaster, and great suffering. today's city council vote in favor of the PJTTF was just one more nail in a coffin that's already shut over our heads. we can still breathe but that's only because the air hasn't run out. but there isn't much left. soon, we'll be gasping.
ignore this city council bullshit. create new structures and lifestyles from the bottom up that will make them irrelevant. turn off your fucking television. boycott the corporate media. only shop at businesses that are cooperatively or collectively owned. stop driving. reject a culture that puts the opinions of experts above your own observations. go to the forest. re-discover faith. live a real life instead of a corporatized mediated existence. after you read this article, turn off your computer and never turn it on again.
instead: breathe. everything else will be clear once we figure out how to do that.