portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

anti-racism | human & civil rights | imperialism & war

RALLY AGAINST OPPRESSION!

Vancouver citizens are outraged over racist hostilities, and the lack of accountablility in thier local governemt. Now is the time for fundamental, change. Join us in solidarity, and protest.
Crisis in Vancouver
National Action Network

Vancouver residents have charged their local government, and institutions with permitting, and in some cases participating in racist acts against the public.

-When Mae Williams' son Lavel Lindsey was murdered by Jason Ferguson in a night club stabbing Vancouver's "Columbian" newspaper interviewed her. Mae whose family has faced numerous accounts of police harassment, soon found to her dismay, that her home address had been printed on the front page of their paper. When questioned by a citizen regarding the murder, the killer Jason Ferguson stated clearly "Yeah, I killed that nigger!"
Clark county Sheriff Sgt. Dave Trimble denies that the murder had any racially or gang related motive. He claims that the murder revolved around a disagreement between them and some friends that dated back to their middle school years. Yet Sgt. Trimble doesn't doesn't know what schools the men attended or what the disagreement was about.
Ferguson's bail was initially set at $150,000. However due to public outcry and a protests from both inside and outside the bail hearing, his bail was raised to $300,000. Even this number pales in comparison to the bail recently set for Joseph Vallejo for the charge of robbing two white drug dealers. His bail was set at $1,000,000. This discrepancy clearly demonstrates a racial bias against people of color in the Vancouver court system.

-Sky View High School (360-313-4200) White girls have threatened Mae's daughter with a gun and called her a nigger. Mae's son was not allowed to graduate from Sky View because a white kid that shared his name didn't turn in his school books. Mr. Benkowski a P.E. teacher at Sky View failed Mae's daughter rather than allow her the time to mourn the murder of her brother. An African American honors graduate of Sky View applied for scholarships and received none, while her white classmates did.

-Three young black men, Louis Gray, Jermel Jervonta Anderson, his friend Nelson Norman were attacked by fourteen white males, kicked, stomped, and ran over by a car in their Heritage High School (360) 604-3400) parking lot last June. The police report to have made ten arrests concerning this case. Yet as of late the remaining suspects have not been apprehended. In letters to Sheriff Lucas and Sergeant Eastman, (the officers handling their case) the families of the young men who survived this hate crime expressed their frustration at the time it's taking to track down and prosecute the men who perpetrated this crime. They can not help but express their frustration that if this had been a crime committed against whites by blacks, arrests would have been immediate. As it is, months after the crime all of the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. One of more disturbing revelations about this case is that Vancouver NAACP contacted the "Columbian" (800-743-3391) newspaper with news of this hate crime and to date they have deemed this story unworthy to print.

-Reports have been made that Marshall Elementary (360-313-2400) puts children without learning disabilities, from low income families, into programs for the developmentally disabled in order to receive special funding.

Vancouver citizens have experienced numerous incidents of being racially profiled while driving.

Kristy Duell had an officer of the Vancouver police department watch her through her window as she nursed her infant son. Complaints were filed with Vancouver city manager, Pat Mc Donnell. Vancouver Police Department refuses to report findings of complaints filed by citizens.

Collen Bell worked for Freightliner for seven years and never received a bad review. Rather Mr. Bell received a racially motivated attack against his life in the form of loosened lug nuts on his vehicle. When questioning fellow employees and management about this incident Mr. Bell was attacked, and hit in the face by his supervisor. Collen soon filed a workplace grievance, only to be fired for insubordination. Three weeks later Freightliner called to tell him that his job had been filled by three other workers. Mr. Bell has filed a grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and may file civil charges.

Earnest Edsel is a hispanic American activist and Lawyer with National Civil Liberties of Washington (a public interest law firm.) Earnest filed a class action lawsuit against a group of Clark county judges for making collective efforts to bar him from practicing law. The basis of their attacks on his profession is that Earnest (a veteran radical lawyer) does too much activist work. The majority of clients that depend on earnest are too poor to afford other quality representation.

Call to protest!

National Action Network
&
The Citizens of Vancouver and Clark County
Washington are having a Citizen's rally at Clark County Public Service Center.
Come out and participate in your community rally. We are working together
for a better community in Clark County.
Issues:
Police Accountability
Malicious Prosecution
Hate Crimes
Education
Affordable Health Care
Music, Speakers and Much More!!!!
Location: Public Service Center
1300 Franklin Street
Date: September 25, 2004
Day & Time: Saturday, 2:00 thru. 5:00pm

P.O. Box 9005
Tacoma, WA. 98409
Phone: (253) 255-2619
Abdullah Mustafa, President
Alton McDonald, Vice President
Rae Vallejo- Outreach Coordinator (360) 721-3106

Here's a map 25.Sep.2004 06:11

!heck!

It seems really important to me to come out and show the citizens of Vancouver that they're not gonna be alone in thier struggle against entrinched racism.

Well, I Went ... 25.Sep.2004 18:39

Den Mark, Vancouver

Well, i went to this event & felt like a stranger in my own town, even tho i am one of Vancouver's major activists. The event was posted as a Clark County event, yet nobody i talked to in Vancouver's activist community knew anything about it. I also phoned local NAACP for info, & they apparently had none. I stopped at NAACP's table at Clark College, & neither person at the table knew about this event. Did anyone coordinate with NAACP or with the local AME Church?

Clark County event? Most of the maybe 20 people present were from Portland & Seattle/Tacoma. A banner was hung, with names of people killed by police, apparently from the Seattle area. Another banner was hung, promoting a national day of action regarding police accountability. Clark County event?

I left after 45 minutes, as nothing whatever was happening, & my time as an activist is stretched thin. I can't be standing around doing nothing. Maybe speeches later made sense of the event, but i didn't detect anything coherent while i was there, even after asking questions.

Vancouver has problems. So does Portland. So does Seattle/Tacoma. So does the nation. So does the planet. So what is it with people coming to Vancouver to fix things when they can't even fix things in their own venues. Here's a handy list of what to do better next time, o holy ones from north & south.

1) Set records for reform in Portland & Seattle/Tacoma, so we in Vancouver can see your inspiring examples.

2) Assume there are activists in Vancouver, because there are, & try contacting us out of respect for the work we do, because you obviously need our help.

3) Spend more effort promoting an event than simply posting a vague message on Indy, which few in Vancouver read.

4) Ask us where to hold an event, & how, because you were invisible today, but we who are here know this community & have experience being visible.

5) Help us most effectively by supporting OUR events, as we support YOURS in proportionally significant numbers.

6) Understand that anti-racism & police accountability are two among dozens of issues, all of which are inter-connected, & get involved with ALL issues.

I prob sound as if i am angry, & i am. I come from the if-you-do-something-do-it-right school. So did our local daily cover this event? Were they bowled over by its "power"? What about next time. Will they come, just to cover 20 people milling around. Will they respond to us local activists next time we need coverage.

Here, in Clark County, among other groups, we have Vancouver For Peace, one of the most dynamic progressive groups in the entire metro region. We've had three peace walks, three candlelight vigils, maintained table at farmers' market every week for two summers, held many teach-ins, at colleges, library, & churches, passed dozens of petitions, testified before government, lobbied our congressional delegation. We're about to start our second year of monthly film nites, & recently held our first annual Peace & Justice Fair. All this & more, in a little more than a year & a half.

We work on an anarchist/organic/synergistic model, in the true sense of the words. We reach out regularly to all ethnic & religious groups, even tho they don't always reach back. We are working & giving with all we've got, to follow the path of Justice & Peace.

Want to change this community, sisters & brothers of Clark County & Vancouver? Change for the better, for all people, of every description? THEN JOIN US & HELP US, BECAUSE WE NEED YOU & YOU NEED US, NOT JUST ONE DAY PER YEAR, BUT EVERY EVERY EVERY DAY!

Then maybe it will be Portland & Seattle/Tacoma that will see OUR example, & we can go & help THEM!

 http://www.vancouverforpeace.org

Den Mark, Vancouver USA

Freightliner Is In Portland 25.Sep.2004 21:09

Den Mark

While i'm venting: Freightliner is located in Portland, not Vancouver. Sloppy reportage in the op! It's always a Good Idea to write with precision, so as to not reduce the veracity of the main message. When presenting a, b, & c, & the reader knows that b is wrong or irrelevant, then that reflects badly on a & c. Simple. Good night.

to Den Mark 26.Sep.2004 11:37

mb

We posted nine hundred fliers, went out six differnt days over the last two weeks, did a chain email, handed out quarter sheets in front of mill plain Fred Meyer, and Winco, and put fliers on doors in projects, specificly a project that our outreach co-ordinator Rae Vallejo used to live at, and we posted to the local indy. All the folks that were doing this work full time. I start work at seven and work till 4pm, it represents a significant commitment of our time to then go fliering till 12 or one am. But real change requires real sacrafice you know?
If you had stayed for the speakers you would have heard Rae speak powerfully about how her son was profiled by the Vancouver PD over a number of years, and how the malicious way they fucked with him pushed her son from an honor roll student to a kid in the jail across from where she spoke. You would have heard Mae Williams speak about the injustice served to her son. How the system had let her down, and ask for help from god, and us to change it. You would have seen Tammy with her 4 kids up there calling for REVOLUTION, telling folks we shouldn't be scared to say that word cause it means REAL CHANGE. You would have heard Bro. Altan speaking from his position as a veteran about the lack of justice in this system, about how the social system SHOULD be somthing we can support, but rather is ingrained with racism from here to Kentucky (where he was struggling earlier this week.) You would have heard Rae's friend speak about the injustice served to Jose Majia Poot (please ignore the bad spelling), You would have heard the powerfull drumming of FELIX aka Bruho and heard him speak about the colonization of Peurto Rico and how this system is holding us all down.
You would have heard me calling for revolution, and real change, saying we need to do whatever it takes to get justice for Mae's son, justice for our friends with rotting teeth while PHARMA spend tens of millions fighting socialized health care. Juctice from the trailer parks to the inner city projects.
Then you would have seen Altans lady friend from seattle lead us in some old struggle spirituals with some mad drumming visa ve FELIX. You would have heard Altan vowing to keep on struggling in vancouver till justice is served.
As for the NAACP in vancouver it is my understanding that they in fact held talks, or were planning to hold talks on what to do about this situation. We know this cause Altan is also a member of the Tacoma NAACP that was sending delegates to those talks.
People that were effected by the oppression in Vancouver contacted Altan with the National Action Network. Thats why we were there my allies were there to support Altan and these citizens of vancouver cause Altan supported us at the August 24th march here.
As for linking social justice movements, bro you don't know us. It's kinda sad to me when I spend years taking heat for pushing the "linking social justice movenents to end all oppression" politic only to catch heat from somebody that has it. You know?

If you're interested in helping us contact Rae Vallejo at:
(360) 721-3106

High Points and Big Low Points 26.Sep.2004 14:43

Disappointed

Loved the singing, the general thoughts on treating people right, but very disgusted with the ending. Why after all the well thought out speeches did this thing end with Rae Vallejo putting the rap music over the PA so we could all hear the F word and other disgusting lyrics being blasted over the square. There were several children (4 or 5 years old) standing right next to her as she did this. She even took the microphone and said F... Me over the speaker. And why did the lady who recited her poems blast and insult Jews by calling them Zionist Annilihators? I thought this was a peace/justice rally...not a hate rally promoting anti-semitism and exposing little kids to Rae yelling the F word over the speaker. The organizers of this group, including Rae, has no credibility based on what I saw....they're simply a group of biggots hiding under the mask of community activism....we don't need anti semites here in Vancouver. I wish Den Mark had stuck around also so he could have heard the disgusting hate in this groups message.

WTF? 26.Sep.2004 17:59

Michael b

Liar!
Nobody said shit about jews as a people. Maybee in your twisted mind theres no difference between the terrible acts of the Isreali government and Judeaism, but there is. My grandfather is a jew. I would have confronted them. The woman that read poetry might have said somthing about the Isreali government/US government conection but to construe that as hate speach twards jews as a people is bizarre in the extreme. It smacks of oppurtunism plain and simple.
As for Rae singing along with her son's music on his BIRTHDAY!, have you no respect for the anguish the lady's going through? Her son faces thirty years in jail for trumped up charges. If my son had been harassed, profiled, and locked in jail to face thirty years I'd be angry enough to cuss too. The families expressed thier gratitude that we were there.

You sound like a fucking fed. Bigots?!!! Don't come to the next protest. And in the future, if you're gonna talk trash and make up lies at least have the decency to take responsability for your behavior and identify yourself.

I was there too 26.Sep.2004 18:18

jemma

"here in Vancouver"

I was there yesterday, part of this admittedly small group. The only people from Vancouver who were there were the friends and family of Mae Williams and Rea Vallejo, a couple random passerbys who did not hear about it over indymedia, and the brief appearance of Den Mark. Oh yes- and the cops.

"being blasted over the square."

You cops were surrounding the square- we were in the middle of it. If you were hearing it being blasted "over" the sqare, I know where you were standing, and it was not with us.

"I wish Den Mark had stuck around also so he could have heard the disgusting hate in this groups message."

This is an obvious attempt at using the lies you just wrote to precipitate a divide between Den Mark and his "vancouver activists" and the families and grassroots activists that put together this event. I hope Den Mark and folks like him don't fall for it- and that they will witness for themselves.

As for your concern for the children-
Yes there were a bunch of kids at this rally. As it should, be it was a community effort. However, their mothers had no problem with the music, speakers or message put out, so what are you really saying?
Did you know, or were you there, when cops busted into Rae's home and held a gun to her ten-year old son's head? What about the message? And you are saying that Rae's cursing is the problem here?

Racist (stormfront) cops fuck off! I know you are trying to destroy Joseph Vallejo and his mother's lives, and let white power grow and blossom in Vancouver, but we're not about to let that happen, and you'll see more people in that square next time.

Michael B Validates My Posting 26.Sep.2004 18:28

Disappointed

Michael B just validated my posting. He also heard the poet's words and his reducing it to a Israeli gov't/US gov't thing is like masking the civil war as a state's rights issue.....it was about slavery just like her words were anti semetic. He also doesn't dispute Rae's use of the microphone and the F word but validates it based on it being her son's birthday...great lesson for the toddlers...lets all sing happy birthday and cuss. Finally I don't get the reference to feds....I guess my expectation of a citizens rally were set a bit too high. I think readers of this article would be better served following Den Mark's lead and not Rae and her group.

By the way.... 26.Sep.2004 18:38

Disappointed

You didn't hear me attack the message of any of the other speakers including Alton in my original posting....so you might just want to sit back and take a little constructive criticism without becoming unglued.

Connections 26.Sep.2004 19:44

Den Mark, Vancouver

I want more people in that square, too. I want dozens there, hundreds there, thousands there. But it won't happen without networking, & hooking up with people who are already at work, right here. Do NOT get your "leadership" from Seattle, Tacoma, or Portland, because they cannot fix what is disgusting in their own backyards. When Vancouver For Peace or any other homegrown progressive group has an event, SUPPORT IT, damn it, because there are far more issues than just your own. Look for the connections.

I spent time over the last five days protesting in Portland at the vile circus, where noble animals are tortured every day. I see the connections. Yet there were only about 15 of us there. Where was everybody else! When Kendra James was murdered in Portland, i was at the overpass & in the park & with the march & at the courthouse, over & over. I see the connections. Yet at the courthouse, i was often there alone or with, like, three others. Where was everybody else! VFP had a Peace & Justice Fair in Vancouver two weeks ago. We had 30-some groups who see the connections & a few hundred visitors. Where was everybody else! And so on, & on & on.

I happen to be a healthy literate blond (now greyed!) blue-eyed male. I could've kicked back, i suppose. I "had it made", but ..... i canNOT tolerate injustice. So i've spent 45 years as an activist, starting with the Civil Rights Movement, & continuing with anti-war, pro-environment, anti-corporate, pro-labor, & other movements. I see the connections. I've been part of hundreds & hundreds of protests. I marched with Dr King. I've been gassed & jailed & peppered & shoved around. I was at wto/Seattle. I've marched & sat-in & written & spoken & organized. I see the connections.

However, i am discouraged by good progressive people constantly re-inventing wheels. No wonder that right-wing fascist corporate sociopathic "religious" wackos are taking over the world. They have one wheel, very large & heavy, & it is rolling over & crushing everybody who gets in the way. Meanwhile, progressives & radicals are all splintered & wondering what to do next.

Look for the connections, among all issues, among all progressive people, in all places. Identify, with Bolivians & Palestinians & Afghanis & the people of Darfur. Identify, with elephants & whales & old growth forests. Look for the connections. They are there. Look for the connections, & CONNECT!!!

Den Mark, Vancouver

I agree with Den Mark 26.Sep.2004 20:28

Disappointed

Den Mark says it well....I felt out of place in Vancouver. I was not familiar with the specific issues being addressed but could connect with the general theme. My turn off was with the ending which made the whole thing seem like it was organized to champion only a couple individual cases...not the "community" rally I was expecting. And now when I post an opinion I'm pegged for a "fed" or some other wacko....kind of hard to make connections when your immediately placed outside the group. Can we agree that police need to be accountable, that jail conditions need to be humane, that people need to respect each other as people without dividing between stereotypes? Can we see that these are issues not unique to Vancouver, Seattle, Portland or any other community?

I was there... 26.Sep.2004 20:49

Crixus

Well I was there, and I am from Vancouver, and did find out about the event from this site, though admittedly I may have been the only one. While there may have been only a few attendies from Vancouver, still I think that the rally was a success in the sense that the police had to stand there and listen to the speakers railing at their nefarious acts. Hopefully the future will see the numbers of participants from Vancouver rise.

Good thing! 26.Sep.2004 22:34

gk

Good thing I went back to check out this posting. I hope others will continue to do so. I forwarded the msg. for this Saturday action to at least 3 of my personal groups (consisting of about 20 each) and to some individuals. In forwarding the msg. I asked if whomever attends, to please let me know what happened. And I told them why I could not attend. I certainly wanted to, but I had a prior commitment.

From reading the above posts now I'm unsure of what really happened. The police presence i soo typical today. They have to show their power which is really overbearing. "Connections" are important, but some people can participate in limited quantities, and today EVERYTHING in every segment needs watching, checking, and protesting. People power is diminished by the controls and directions above.

I certainly hope we can work together for a just and peaceful community, nation and world. We must do it together. In solidarity and respect...

PS 26.Sep.2004 22:45

gk

Despite the request, nobody sent me info that they attended. This jibes with the accounts from above texts on attendance. It's too bad. I cannot guess why none of those I sent notices to did not attend. I would have, certainly.

Clarification 26.Sep.2004 22:51

Workin' Womyn

Interesting that a couple people are attempting to make it sound like this was an invasion of the outsiders. Having met, organised with, and talked in depth with just about everyone there I can say that the majority were from Vancouver. I was actually super pissed that no one showed up from Portland except for the handful of us that helped the families put this together. The same amount of people came all the way from Seattle and Tacoma representing the National Action Network to support these families. Most of the people there were friends or family of the survivors. It's a shame that Den Mark didn't care enough to stick around to hear the survivors. He REALLY missed out. As for the obvious cop trying to bait Den Mark, how stupid do you think we are? Everyone who was there for the event(not to patrol it from the other end of the square) would have heard Rae anounce that this music was political rap composed by her son(which could be likened to Dead Prez w/ lyrics about local issues such as Kendra James' murder). Rae is very proud of her son's music and why shouldn't she be?! Honestly the cruel criticism coming from folks here makes me sick. These families are pleading for help and literally risking their lives and the safety of their family and community. These families are new to activism and taking a stand against the system. Instead offering help, people like Den Mark are condemning them for being inexperienced not activist saavy. Gee I wondered why white anti-racists are so ineffective...
I thought the rally went very well for being in Vancouver. It was refreshing and inspiring to see so many strong womyn, mothers, and people of color. I feel very priviledged to have met Rae especially. She's a huge inspiration. She has endured so much fighting to speak out. The Vancouver PD has sprained her wrist, attacked her son, falsely charged her son with robbing a drug dealer who is also a police informant, put her mexican son in the "Shark Tank" (all skinhead cell block), and the list goes on & on. Her and her family has been punished over & over again because she has, as a result of her personal experiences with oppression, been working to expose all sorts of racism in Vancouver. For example, Vancouver Public Schools has been putting students of color in special ed classes to get more funding. This is just to skim the surface. Maybe next time you'll come to hear the rest and help them let the VPD know that there is a community to support/protect the survivors.
Everyone WAKE-UP! Break out of your do-nothing-dogmatic-elitist-activist-cliques and fucking help the actual people who are suffering in your own backyards!

Reideration 26.Sep.2004 23:00

V!

I would just like to reiderate to Den Mark that Alton McDonald is vice president of the National Action Network, active in the NAACP, and Al Sharpton is the CEO of the National Action Network. Alton anounced at the end that the situation in Vancouver would be taken to Al Sharpton and he would be personally briefed on it. If you have better connections please by all means bring them next time. Also Rae Vallejo's number is on this post. Please by all means hook her up, don't tear her down. The pigz are doing enough of that.

too broad of a statement 26.Sep.2004 23:15

jemma

Sorry Crixus- I oversimplified. I'm glad you came just from hearing about it on indymedia. My point was just that it seems like the vast majority of people who came from Vancouver were the friends and families, none of whom presented the opinion in that piece above that criticised Rae and her son's music, and attempted to portray us all as anti-semitic. I hope you come to the next one, and bring your friends.

Connect, don't condemn 27.Sep.2004 00:41

gk

From reading the above texts, I STILL don't fully understand the situation. I realize for sure it was poorly attended, and the police dept. has made it worse; plus, their presence is a show of power. Regardless, your group needs to connect, as Den said, and not condemn protesters. He suggested Vancouver 4 Peace and that is an excellent group. Present the problems to them, and see for yourself. For example, recently one of our members in the Peace and Justice team of the Social Concerns Comm. of Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship asked V4P to purchace some surplus "Democracy is NOT a Spectator Sport" t-shirts at below cost. They did. They will buy 30. Try it. We need to work together.

I do not understand Den Marks Anger. 27.Sep.2004 06:25

mb

He clearly approached the NAACP and didn't get info on this. The Families contacted Alton and Rae's group, not his. If he wasn't contacted it wasn't because of some fundamental flaw in our organizing strategy, it was because none of the people we were working with were aware of your group, and none of the many people we contacted were aware of your group. If you were aware of the event and desired to have a greater organizing role what harm would it have been to contact Rae and hook up? As for feelings that we should follow your political leadership regardless of our political inclinations, that's messed up on so many levels it hardly merits disgussion. No one owns an issue. No ones analasis intitles them to lead organizational efforts, these relationships are build on trust. I'd like to build trust with you regardless of our clear political differences, because we do as you say have common cause. But that will take time, and common work, and blanket condemnations don't help, you know?

As for "dissapointed", all I can say is piss off.

Justice 27.Sep.2004 07:21

gk

Common ground and understanding are a 2-way street. We all want justice. To make it happen takes work. Principles, not personalities, are also important. Move on.

Yet again reideration 27.Sep.2004 10:35

V!

The groups and families working on this issue have never heard of your organisation. I hardly think that warrants claiming that we were intentionally excluding you or others. Quite to the contrary, we would have loved to have heard from you. This is why there were phone numbers posted on all 900 of the fliers. Our outreach efforts were mainly focused on low income neighborhoods. Maybe none of you happen to be low income. But obviously you heard about the rally somehow. How come you did not bring anybody else out or call and offer contacts for organisations that are in your circle of friends? It seems to me the reasonable action would be to see a need and help out, not put down. If we can't at least do that for eachother, change is doomed. No one is exempt from responsibility for making an event like this successful. If you did not help with contacts or bring your friends then you are just as responsible for what you see as failure. Everyone who knows it's happening should at the very least call to find out what it's all about and make helpful suggestions(which should turn into offers of help). Remember help don't hurt.

Repeat 27.Sep.2004 18:10

Den Mark, Vancouver

I ditto here every single word i wrote, way above in this thread, even tho a couple responders obviously did not read carefully. I did not ask anyone to follow my "political leadership", whatever that might be. Opposite. I went quietly & deferentially to the event as a supporter & was totally ignored, by organizers from elsewhere. Not a single person came to me to greet me as a brother. Not one. Not one. Am i not your brother? You all looked right thru me. You start there, dear souls. You start there, or should, at the person level. You must be what you want others to be. For my part, i want people to come out, support each other, be passionate, be intelligent, be progressive, work hard. So i do those things. I went to your event to do those things, but you looked right thru me. And i went away, & stood up for circus elephants, as it happens. But i cared enuf to tell you some things. You can do what you want with my feedback, including reject it. I wish you well. If you hold another event, i will support you, but i will hold you to the highest of standards. The cause demands it.

Share Don't Tear 28.Sep.2004 10:53

V!

Den Mark, you say you will hold these families to the highest standard because The Cause demands it. But will you not help them acheive that higher standard? You say that you will show up next time(which is great), but why the criticism without any offers of help. If you know other people in Vancouver who would be interested in supporting these families then please get these people connected.
As part of a group that primarily organizes in Portland and the Seattle group primarily doing Seattle and national organizing, it was a challenge to find any of you. It is true there is a limit to what we can do for these families. But we cannot just shrug our shoulders and say, "I'm sorry, our help would not be up to the highest standard because we don't live there. Do it yourself." When the families are calling out for help. No, we cannot do that. So we did/do what we could/can, considering the situation. Do you see my point?
Your analysis of the situation is too intellectual and not grounded enough in the reality of the situation. This is an outreach opportunity. These families are fairly new to this. They didn't know where to find you, so they found us first maybe because we're more visible. But this doesn't mean that they can't find you via your help. Please stop tearing them down. They already face an extremely uphill battle and feel alienated enough without getting it from activists too. Please share your resources with them. Rae Vallejo's number is on this post. Call her, ask her what she needs.

Prolonged 28.Sep.2004 13:50

gk

In prolonging this topic, all I am hearing is to connect with other groups and extend a "handshake" to others. I see those new to social action going it alone because they didn't know otherwise. In the category of innocent prisoners, I have been very distressed in my limited power.

I miss him 24.Mar.2006 07:05

a friend

I miss him so much till this day but I know its late but the people that organized the group protest...why would you have it on saturday in downtown vancouver, when there is nobody there....you have during the week when its busy...were there are lawyers and judges police officers and what not there going to work....the protest was a joke....only a few people showed up it was embarssing..and unorganized....i loved val very much...he did not deserve to die...i am black woman lived here since I was 8...I havent experienced any thing bad so far... i pray that I dont i have been excepted by everyone because I have excepted everyone...I have never separated my self because of race...all the people that complain about racism...i feel for you that you had to go thru it but sometimes i wonder is it people separating them selves...and using being black as an excuse not to get ahead..pulling the race card whenever you can...i have a child..I hope he doesn't have to experience it...racsim, hate is all bad in Gods eyes...learn to except who you are.. val i will always love you it i think about you everyday....everyone stop the hate and the blame....and live your life.