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Report back on organizing meeting for Portland Free Skool

Six of us met to discuss how to go about re-starting the Free Skool in Portland...It was awesome!
We are creating as we go. There are only six now but we have a mutually agreed upon project. What I observed was that we started a learning group that will incorporate everything we want to learn, and everything we want to teach all rolled up into a every changing, wondering, creating, project.

For now, there will be one learning group that anyone can join. There may be more than one learning group as we go along. Our one project may drop seedlets of ideas and some partipants may want to create a new learning group. For now this is what we will be exploring.

Radical Botany, bicycle mechanics, and perceptional drawing. We also hope to explore the concept of Peak Oil and what we might need to know about Plants, bicycles and perception if the economics of the Western World collapses.

It seems like alot...but actually it will be awesome to explore such a variety of ideas that are in many ways related.

The learning group could go in many directions but for right now here some ideas that we will explore.

The class radical botany that explores many aspects of plant life and human life combined. We will learn to look at plants in a cooperative relationship rather than as hunter and huntee. We will use a couple of books: The Lost Language of plants:The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and Mackinnon and The Zen of Seeing by Fredrick Franck.

Each time we meet we will learn from each other about the Botany of the area we live in, bicycles and drawing. We want to explore living a life separate from petroleum oil. We want to learn to understand plants as the central energy of our lives. We want to learn about growing plants from seeds to harvest, to gathering and drying and making potions, healing remedies, and nutritional foods. We want to learn to tread lightly on the earth and live with the plants in a ecologically sustainable way.

We want to explore energy and plants and energy and humans. We want to look at plants the way indigenous people did, as part of our lives and not separate. We want to explore healing with plants in other cultures like Oriental Medicine and Native American medicine. The want to learn about healing essences and pollen healing and whatever we can think of.

We want to learn about dyeing, drying, canning, making plant fiber clothes and using plant fiber in shelter building (such as cob).

The next meeting of this Portland Free Skool learning group will be Monday, June 13th at 7:00 PM at the Red and Black Cafe on Division Street.

All cooperative beings are welcomed to attend.
I wanted to make it! but... 07.Jun.2005 02:06


I wanted to make it but had a lunch date with a friend and we ended up talking till 8:00 about everything from racism to consumerism. By the time we were done it was way too late. I would like to teach some classes and have tons of ideas.

portland.freeskool.org 07.Jun.2005 11:58

freeskool fan

hey, i am glad to hear that there is some positive movement on this front. i love the whole
freeskool philosophy.

i am the person who has set up portland.freeskool.org and had a really simple (ugly?) interface so they could paste in calendar info, way back when.

if there is a desire to put some stuff up here, you can contact me at info @ freeskool.org

searching for adminstrator of portlandfreeskool mail list on riseup.net 07.Jun.2005 17:19


"freeskool fan", are you also the person who created portlandfreeskool on lists.riseup.net? I tried to create a list with that name last night, the system said it already existed. We (the people who met this week) are still casting around for the best means of communicating, for now we've settled on using an email list and posting announcements and updates to Portland Indymedia.

I'll send you an email later, wanted to make sure everyone saw this so that they're updated. I do plan to get a mail list started and send everyone the subscription info!

Great 07.Jun.2005 18:54

Kid Red

Yeah I listened to one of the audio interviews recently with IMC. I'd like to help if possible, I will be moving to Portland in September.
I don't know if you thought about having some kind of reading group or something but I think it would be nice to have a Philisophical reading class. Nothing is more necesary than the search for a new radical subjectivity in which to fight the right wing. Perhaps some readings on deconstructionism and whatnot can strengthen the protest work going on there.


Reading in a group is good 08.Jun.2005 12:59



I think reading in a group would be good. Sometimes I have to read some pretty amazing and heart wrenching stuff to be able to wake up to the terror that is being inflicted on the world. It is hard to obsorb it all. Some of it is useful to planning a strategy for resistance and survival. If I could read it in a group, I would have commraderie to help explain it and understand it. Sometimes we are just all alone in this struggle, stuck in front of computers and with our noses in a book trying to understand the insanity of the now.

We will be reading the books in the botany group as a group...that way we can share the cost of the books and no one will be turned away because they cannot afford the books.

Yeah that works 08.Jun.2005 14:28


Yeah that works, use copy machines and just print out the material from one book.


communication resources 09.Jun.2005 10:03

Cydizen Kane CommunityOrganizer@gmail.com

I have been setting up a hub for communication resources i call SNOWCRASH (Shared Network Of Words: a Canvasser's Resource and Activism Support Hub) It is a somewhat powerful set of tools, and is totally unlimited and free. If you are interested in having this resource provided for your Free Skool, drop me an email at:  CommunityOrganizer@gmail.com

get on the mail list 09.Jun.2005 12:36


We're reviving the email list for discussion of Portland Freeskool. If you are at all interested in either teaching or learning a practical skill, subscribe here:


Why a mail list? Because there's MUCH to discuss, and when using a thread on Indymedia (like this one) it will eventually scroll off the main page as it ages and become harder to find. Also, with a mail list individuals can be sent messages. Another good reason is to avoid having contact info displayed in so public a place as a news site.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

one more thing 09.Jun.2005 13:43


At the "Peak Oil Awareness" group meeting last night at It's a Beautiful Pizza, there was VERY enthusiastic support for and interest in Portland Freeskool. They're talking about much of the same stuff: learning practical skills that meet needs, such as how to grow food and save seeds, make fuel from plants, etc.

Peak Oil Awareness group:

At the end of last night's meeting, there was an impressive frenzy of networking. People sharing info on where to garden, talk of borrowing things and working together on projects... it was very inspiring.

Wish I knew when the next meeting is. The newsgroup should show that info soon.