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actions & protests | community building post-selection actions

Time to stop crying for ourselves and start DREAMING BEAUTIFULLY.

We must stop focusing on what is being done to us, and start focusing on what we are doing. We can never realize the future we would like to see manifest by continully focusing on what is wrong.
I suggest we all devote our energies to reinforcing the political fortress (portland) we are lucky enough to occupy. Become highly involved in local politics. Support our new mayor and goad him to significant action. I call on all artists and creative people to ABANDON RE-STATING again and again THE PROBLEMS we all know so well exist, and instead begin to CRAFT A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL colllective alternative vision, and then to take every action possible to realize that AMBITIOUS DREAM. We have a responsibility to the rest of the nation to do so. The summer of love all over again, PORTLAND STYLE. Let's make our city vibrant and beautiful and live sanely in spite of national trends. There is no point in our continuing to ineffectually criticize and focus on what is wrong with our situation. Let's instead pour our energies into conceiving of and demonstrating a different way. Vague talk in the face of the daily grind I know, but we will never fill our own hearts and minds with the kind of positive energy needed to acheive anything substantial if we continue to focus on what THEY are doing TO us. Go ahead and march and bang on drums, but instead of making signs that decry the injustice and rage of what is happening, make signs that adress themelves to the beautiful future of equality and envirnomental vibrancy that we would all like to see realized. We must shine a light so blinding and intoxicating that fear scurries back into it's hateful little hole. Nobody is going to make this dream happen for us!

hopeful 03.Nov.2004 13:19

wearing black

You have some good ideas there. It is very hard to be positive on this dark day, but what choice do we have? We are creative and enduring and can surely busy ourselves by making changes within our own scope. What are suggestions? Buy less, share more. I saw somewhere else a posting from a pro-choice person who wanted to find ways to make women safe. How do we do that? How do we feed hungry folks? How to we fortify this area against what 'they' are doing. You are right, we live in a very active and creative place. Let's get busy and find places for our energies.

very optimistic 03.Nov.2004 15:12

notquick

hell yes, we have every reason to b hopeful

focus on the yesses, not the nos. we are not required to cheerlead and divert all our energies into electoral olitics, its not an option anymore. we need to farm the cities, we need to develop Community Supported Healthcare, we need to get IMC off the web and onto the streets as paper, as conversation, and as AV with random strangers, with eyone and everyone. color it all with the beautiful possibilities we envision for ourselves and those around us.

Banners of positivity, not victimization. the crying victim hasnt worked, lets run with the smiling, fighting, builder of a new world, or at first, a new Portland. Just dont forget about the rest of the valley, some interesting things are abrewing . . .

peace hope and do something real!
both your posts are so smart, so good, so to the real points we need to address. im inspired and hopeful beyond my commitment to optimism.

Respect from australia 03.Nov.2004 15:20

an aussie.

Hey beautiful people,

In australia, we've been mourning too. They showed the election live allday on TV here (yes, the american election affects the whole world) , and it was sad to see even the commercial TV reporters looking increasingly disillusioned with the whole fiasco.

I wish I could come over there and hug every one of you. These bad old days WILL pass.

We recently had our federal elections here in australia, and our prime minister John Howard got back in, much to the devestation of alot of the political left here.

So what can you do?

First thing *STOP BLAMING YOURSELVES*!!!! *YOU* didnt vote bush in!

Secondly *MOBILISE*!!! Theres only one people that can stop bush. Its not the iraqis and its not us aussies either, its YOU People (With solidarity from us people).

Thirdly Smile. be the joyful revolutionary! Give it up with the boring stalinist-stick-insect prayer meet commitees, and reclaim your streets and reclaim your brains. Get out there and fun the fuck out of your suburbs.

and forthly remember we are all with you. Being a revolutionary can be a lonely business sometimes, but take a big picture. There are millions like you , and they all stand behind ya.

With love,
An Aussie.

my bit. 03.Nov.2004 16:45

this thing here

on november 1, the world was such as was.

on november 3, the world stayed the same as it was.

and how WAS the world?

WE don't have to change. WE are not the problem. WE are not wrong.

the man in the weakest, most untenable position now remains seated in the white house.

the point being, given the state of this world, what if this man does NOT change?

because how IS the world?

that's right, the world was and is pretty fucked up in a big way, the day before the election, the day of the election and the day after the election. so what if that ear piece wearing psychopath who can barely wear the costume of a leader doesn't change one bit? who THEN is the REAL problem? who THEN is the one fucking it up even more, refusing to acknowledge reality, refusing to make the tough decisions, refusing to make the drastic changes, and making what was already bad worse and worse and worse and worse...

is sure as hell AIN'T US!

thank you, aussie! 03.Nov.2004 19:22

in shock in Oregon

Thank you, Aussie, and everyone else in the world for your support. We are in shock. I haven't felt this way since 9/11. We need your support now even more than ever. If you have any influence on your media, please let them know that many millions of Americans are outraged. We do not support the national government or its policies. How can we keep going around and trying to impose democracy on other nations when we do not even have it here?! Record numbers of voters turned out for this election, and the exact same thing happened as last time. It's demoralizing and infuriating! Why vote if they're not even going to count the votes? We tried to change things through the appropriate channels, but it didn't work, so now it's time to try something else. There is a protest on Sat. Nov. 6 at high noon starting at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. Wish we could beam you across the Pacific to join us...we need all the help we can get. Best wishes with your own government! P.S. If revolution doesn't work, I am proposing the idea of the West Coast (Washingon, Oregon, and California)seceding. Is anyone with me?

absolutely 03.Nov.2004 19:31

a

perhaps tomarrow we can all walk on the street in the road and breathe without auto fumes, breathe just the air, and not ask our bodies to process over and over this fine layer of oil.
To build something beautiful to let something beautiful be, this is undeniably life afirming. It is also a step around, it is the next step from the fear-anger-fear-anger-consume-be stagnent pattern which we are all exsposed to, trained in. So lets let our hearts burn brightly, to speak our truth, to be open to one another... beauty is potentially a guiding principle to walk with beauty to talk with beauty and perhaps most importantly take in beauty,, all of us I mean every one of us in this crazy crazy world is starved for that which is beautiful. breathe it in and breathe it out.

be well

restating context 04.Nov.2004 06:13

mb

When you define problems and search for tactics to solve them it is critical to restate the problem, and context of the problem so that the next person that hears of the issue VIA portlands grape vine has a greater chance of understanding the issue within context. I do this to the point of fucking annoyance, but I've found that most of the organizers I know that do this have a more critical focus on the context of thier work. All most as importantly, the people they surround themselves with have a deeper understanding of the context thier common work. Look at any effective political organization, the context of thier issues are presented in a common framework of ideas and presented almost like a steady drumbeat. That beat reacts to the enemy, that beat pro-acts twards the opposition to ellicit a desired response. Groups that don't do this are isolationist and act outside of a public or common context, aka easy to destroy.

self affirming self definition 04.Nov.2004 10:30

rooftoporchards

I agree that it is critical for us to know with precision what it is we are trying to accomplish. I do feel however it is a mistake for us to define our efforts primarily by what we are against. Just as an example, if we characterize ourselves as being "anti-bush" and spend our energy resisting all things "bush", we are not really doing anything except increasing the stature of bush. Creating an it / not-it relationship only reinforces the it. Of course we should express our dissatisfaction and resistence to policies we disagree with, but we should spend an equal portion of our limited energy erecting and reinforcing viable alternatives that can fill the vaccum eventually left when our opposition collapses. This isn't a one sided affair. We're going to need full time anti-bush warriors and full time visionary dreamers alike to accomplish a better future. I just feel there are too many people who seem to think the solution begins and ends at defeating our enemy, and replacing him / it with a diffferent version who will take away our problems. We must embody the change we would like to see in the world, or else there really isn't any alternative to the unfortunate status quo.

word 04.Nov.2004 17:03

mb

word comrad.

I couldn't agree more. It's like idol smashing. People like to smash TV's but you got to go out and get a tv to smash. I feel some measure of people that get trapped in the chauvinism of resistance, The crowd that goes around with the "Fuck bush, or lick it." stickers and like to post about how bush's appointees are "house negros." This chauvinism is incouraged by the media with thier two dimensional, one sided portrayals of social justice struggle.
I was frustrated last year to read a Marge Pearcy book "Dance the Eagle to Sleep." The name should have been a tip off, but on advice from an older comrad our Anti Imperialist group read it. The portrayal of power struggle between the free loving dancer of a leader and the anti social strategic militant leader was fucking sad. The one thing I did appreciate was Marge Pearcys insites into how anti autoritarian actavists gloss over the leadership dynamics in thier groups, and how the "man" capitalizes on these real and un addressed divisions.

Supporting the overthrow of the government doesn't mean that I am a shiftless malcontent, without values, place, or meaning in society.

In love in war,
mb

CASCADIA NOW MOVEMENT!! 05.Nov.2004 09:43

Dance Salmon

If any of you remember the movie named "Merlin" with Sam Neal as the magician, remember the final battle scene with Mab: before the battle, Merlin goes to the Lady of the Lake for advice as to how to counter Mab. In the battle, Merlin is losing, and he knows it and remembers the advice of the Lady of the Lake, that Mab feeds on the attention paid to her by her opponents; at that point Merlin simply stops attacking and turns away from her, refusing to acknowledge her presence. The whole village turns in unison away from Mab, and she disappears, dead, defeated. The Bushies feed on our opposition. They want our protest, to justify their heinous actions, make us pay attention to the dastardly programs they drum up, to rile us up. We, like Merlin know better. How long can we afford to keep fighting the system, when we know systemically how deeply corrupted it is. We cannot fix it by protest alone. Direct action is now needed. It is time to turn away from Bush and expend our energies creating a new reality of our own here at home. Let's stop feeding him. The game is over, and we refuse to play anymore. We won't fight the system by countering it, but by refusing to join. With Peak Oil hitting us right now, Global Warming happening, and catastrophic climate change on its way, we need to build life boats for community survival and mutual support. The west coast is a fortress worth supporting and creating New Hope for. If we don't do that, who will? A few friends of mine and I are working together to create blueprints for this kind of Life Boat, called Sustainable Ballard www.sustainableballard.org . Beware the privatization of all that we take for granted and free; this is what the agenda is, and we need to deal with it. Meet people you never talk to. Share your visions for new community. What will you do when the oil runs out and you have to pay for everything? What will you do when there is no food in the stores, or when you have to have prepaid card for health care and herbs? Sometimes Leaving the system is the best thing we can do. The dream is yours to create, and have fun doing it.


focus on the local 06.Nov.2004 11:25

wanderlust

Our attention is constantly being directed toward the national and international issues by mass media, even local media. Diverting our attention away from the issues that directly affect our lives is the deliberate agenda of big business. While we are all looking in the other direction, big business and national political organizations sneak in and organize in our communities to influence local policies and governments. If every community in the nation turned their focus toward the local issues and started to create change at that level, there would be no way that the federal government could retain their power. They can not possibly control the people by force.

The hardest part of focusing on the local is not getting sucked back into the national and international issues. The national issues create a lot of passion in people, but we can not change any of it. Stay vigilant, but use your resources, time, and energy where you can make the biggest change, right here in Portland.

A lot of great things came out of this election for Oregon. The state Senate now has a Democratic majority. The House has less of a Republican majority. Portland has a new mayor and the city council has changed.

The Oregon legislature still feels wounded and humiliated that the people effectively vetoed their last budget. That was a huge victory for democracy because it established that the people are "at the table" when it comes to writing local policies. We should not leave the table to go and watch the made-for-TV war. We need to stay at the table and work with our legislature. Oregon is close to a breaking point, beyond which the people will be calling the shots. Oregonians should be very excited about the results of this election.

Get to know your state senator and representative and let them know you want to work with them. Ask if they hold town hall style meetings. Get on their mailing lists. Become familiar with the legislative session and process. Attend city council meetings. Draw your friends', families', and neighbors' attention toward the local. We must not lose this great momentum!!!

Does anyone know if there are any news sources that deal only with local issues, especially legislative and policy-making issues?

Keep On Fighting Back 12.Nov.2004 15:04

bill c

Yes, it was a sad day when we were forced to endure another four bad years of Bush. The only thing I can say is to keep up the resistance. There is a lot of work to do to change the consciousness of this country as we see that Fear and Selfishness have won. Why did so many people resonate with that message? The reason is that in their state of mind/being Bush's machine got to them - in the end, they were predisposed to believe. The propaganda would have had no effect if they were not predisposed to believe! This just shows how much more work is required to turn the country around and bring higher levels of awareness to everyone. So, speak out more, do more, dont just lay down and let them have their way. Speak to your friends and people you dont know as well, and if they are one of the Bush crowd make them feel uncomfortable about their selfishness. Think of little things that will weigh up to be large in number. The world will be what we all agree it will be in the end. Consciousness brings reality, dont give up!