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Attacked by group of young kids at 82nd Max Stop

After having dinner at a fellow activists house, I left feeling great. Waiting for the Max at 82nd, I was singled out for harrassment by a group of about 12 kids. I was hit 3 times, threatened with lethal weapons, and they tried to steal my bike. What can be done about this, in a non-violent way? I have no interest is fighting a bunch of teenagers, know I'm a bigger man than that.
Some of you might know me as a tireless activist for everything from police accountability to anti-globalization\anti-imperilist to my guerilla gardening. Tonight was the first time in awhile that I really felt alone and afraid for my life, after having a group of 8 to 12 kids ages(14-19)attack me for no reason other than to start a fight. Lucky I can hold my own and after they realized I wasn't some easy victim, they backed off abit. Yet continued trying to get me into a fight for the 15 minutes I waited for the MAX. They had no idea what I was about, and had no reason for the violence they brought to me. Of course, realizing that I really didn't want to fight these kids because what would have that accomplished. Don't get me wrong I did protect myself, but with alot of restraint. Guessing my study of Tai Chi for the last few months gave me more Chi than I realized, which is a goodthing for those kids. I got hit in the face once and twice in the stomach, none of which really hurt at all. My mom hit harder than that...laughs.

Anyway, I did more talking and defense than trying to fight. Tried to educate them to wake up and realize that this situation is not accomplishing anything positive. I asked, What is starting fights at the Max stop at 82nd Ave in Portland, OR doing to make your life better? Finding myself thinking of Rashid Johnson and wishing I had a copy of Art Attack to give to them. There's was so much misdirected frustration in there eyes, they just wanted to vent anger which is understanble in some ways. Thinking about all the prisons they are building and these kids without any peer guidance are going to possibly end up in them. Which the cops are all to happy to do, as we can all see by the over 2 million people in prison today. I feel like without helping these kids learn about the system that gives them little hope or self-respect is the same system we fight against. Right now, I'm really looking for some support in this situation, and ways to address it as a group.

We need to build some type of support structure and action for situations like this. Between this event, CAFTA passing the senate, the increasing police state, and un-endng War. How much can activists like me and others take before burnout sets in, I know I've been feeling it.

For the past two months, I've been wondering where all the liberation groups in Portland have gone. I've been trying to understand all the internal fighting over idealogy, direction, frustration with tactics, and general burnout. Tonight I could have been stabbed, shot, or beaten to death by a bunch of punk kids for nothing. Just two weeks ago there was another activist beaten up bad at a party for stepping in and telling two guys to stop pushing around a girl. Nobody at the party stopped the fight as these two guys beat him. Is this the type of community we have in Portland? I really want to say that we take an effort to confront these issues now instead of letting them get worse.

Do we seriously have any security or recourse to violence in our community other than the police?

What I was thinking at this point is taking action in an informative way. I'm willing to spend time and money going out to the MAX stop at 82nd and get commmunity support to stand up to this type of senseless violence. I want to talk with these kids in a non-violent setting and give them an alternative. I have no real experience in this area and hoping others are willing to help.

Right now, I just need to take a deep breath and relax. Events like this really take the energy out of me.

Peace and Solidarity,
BrianS
Frustrating 02.Jul.2005 05:31

B

I don't know what can be done, but something happened to me on a smaller scale last summer at the bus stop near Alberta and Albina. I've also heard of this happening to one other friend while he was out postering one night.

It's all pretty sad. While I was physically fine after the assault, it left me frustrated and disheartened.

Standing alone 02.Jul.2005 09:37

gk

I have worried while standing alone at bus stops. I'm returning from political events, and always hope the bus will come soon. The area around N. Lombard is really heavy with dozens of black teens. Yesterday evening they were so loud and slow (getting on) that it delayed the bus time. The driver told us, after they got off and it was quiet again, she wants to change bus runs because of it. A black "monitor" told the kids they had to stop "hanging out." I don't know what good it'll do, but it was good that he was there and tried to dispel the teens extreme energy.

"standing alone" is scary 02.Jul.2005 10:18

kevin

It's always those darn black kids right? If only we could get them to stop "hanging out".

Skin tone & the facts 02.Jul.2005 12:22

Octopus Dancer

To the person that wrote mockingly about the black kids and their hanging out--I don't think it's necessarily racist to comment on what's happening somewhere. Whether the attackers/harassers/wanna be thugs are darker or lighter in skin tone makes little difference to the one who is being threatened or hurt. True, socio-economic conditions are often worse for black youth, thus there is more of a context for certain strong emotions, etc. But to refrain from mentioning all the facts about certain things could be a form of racist oriented fear to tell the truth because one doesn't want to come across as racist, etc....things to think about in a difficult situation that don't get any less difficult...

Octopus D.

I agree with Kevin 02.Jul.2005 12:27

BrianS

This isn't a race issue, and I never once even said the race of the kids that attacked me. It was actually mixed. It has more to do with education and society in general, that allows this type of behavior to happen. These kids obviously have little to no positive influences in there lives right now. I was 16 once too, living in Miami, FL which is far worse than Portland but lucky I found positive role models like this might sounds silly but Dead Kennedys, Public Enemy, Minor Threat, and the Goats made see a different oppressor.

Now that we have similar stories, what can be done about it? Should I make mix CD's....laughing

no black no white just trouble 02.Jul.2005 12:46

anon

There was absolutely no reason to even mention that the teens and monitor were black (unless you just want to get a reaction). Delaying a bus is part of a problem set (though not as bad as assault by any means).

The long and short of it is that most of those teens probably had shitty role models. They probably won't be getting good role models. Sure, their parent/s probably tried their best, but let's not be PC. Their parents failed. At this point, they need some serious help and it's sad that they probably won't get it.

For you to want to undo a lifetime of their development is admirable. But I really don't see how, realistically. Violence should always be the last resort, but if it comes down to it, sometimes it's either that or to roll over.

For the future, those guys will mellow by the time they're 40 or so, and their kids will become the problem unless you are successful. Some ideas that come to mind are: work towards getting kids a good education through good schools, get kids a stable home life, make the benefits of compassion towards others tangible. I guess that comes down to time and money. Keep spending your time on activism. Keep spending your money locally. Work to see that the local government (the one over which we have some small degree of influence) does the same.

When we all buy local (where possible or suitable), our economy will be more vibrant. When our economy is more vibrant, our school districts will be better funded, and the kids in those districts will not wonder if they're going to get evicted for missed rent, etc, and then the real change begins when those kids get to see the products of their involvement.

Outreach 02.Jul.2005 14:06

Pete guiltyexpat@yahoo.com

while race should be irrelevant to this discussion, it is not. why are african american youth disproptionately likely to comitt crime? probably b/c they are disproportionate members of the poor/working class. they are also disproportionately singled out by the police which could go a long way towards them playing the role they are assigned by society.

so let's not pretend race is irrelevant here.

anyway, the question here is how to do outreach to ALL disenfranchised youth to provide them with ways that they can use that anger, frustration and energy constructively. that is a huge task and one in which the activist community does not seem to be that involved with. i'd love to hear from anyone who is involved with this type of thing.

i know it is a small thing but i'm tying to get together some people to set up used skateboards and hand them out to 'at risk' youth that need/want them. would love to do the same with bikes or whatever else.

don't count on society to protect you 02.Jul.2005 14:38

stop living in fear

Carry pepper spray, for crying out loud, if you can't defend yourself with martial arts or another means. To depend on police is to depend on the system, and we can do much better.

About the cowardice of society in general in responding to help others (girl at party being pushed around and others not doing anything), I'm less certain what to do about that. I do what I can, I serve as an example by stepping in and being of assistance when I notice anyone in trouble, and I chastise others for being cowardly. I think the TV media, etc., has conditioned people to only worry about themselves and be self-centered.

Soon enough, the flow of oil is going to come to a near-halt as supplies run out, the economy on which it is built will begin crumbling, and people will no longer have their police, their grocery store stocked with convenient stuff to eat, and their motor-powered mobility. Then, we'll have to learn in a hurry how to rely on one another and trust one another, or descend into a Road Warrior (the movie) kind of dog-eat-dog existence.

ironic 02.Jul.2005 14:59

wam

This is kind of ironic. These kids are the sort of people who are "on our side." It's not like they're a group of young Republicans. They're probably the sort of people we'd see at a protest march but here they are attacking us.

How do we show them that we aren't the enemy and that we should work together?

So what if you *can't* defend yourself? 02.Jul.2005 16:24

Scotty B.

This article is kinda scary for me because I'm disabled and wouldn't really be able to fight back against a group of 8 or 9 other teenagers. And I use public transportation all the time to get around. There's always this question in my mind about whether being on crutches - visibily disabled - makes me more or less likely to be randomly attacked. I don't really worry about it all that much, but things like this bring it up. But the question for me is: what *could* I do in a situation like this? I can't really run away or defend myself pyschically, and I'm under the impression that the Portland police are much more dangerous than many people in the city...I guess it's something where you just have to trust in people and try to place yourself in too dangerous a situations.

Pepper Spray? 02.Jul.2005 16:43

gk

It's really sad when one has to have pepper spray to protect themselves. I oppose it on principle. As for the bus scene with many, many black over-energized teens, I report as it is. It's too bad they don't have fulfilling jobs and put their energy working, so they'd be too exhausted to run around. We do all need to watch out for eachother.

suggestion 02.Jul.2005 17:57

this is all very interesting

it seems to me, that maybe that activities of the "activist community" you seem so proud of just aren't doing a whole lot for those kids? i dunno, maybe they don't care about radical botnay when their schools are closing rapidly all over the city. or, it could be that none of them give a shit about the anarchist post office. not that those are bad projects, but don't be surprised when you feel all self glorified for anti-globilization work and the kids that are living in low income portland don't notice and/or care.

my suggestion would be to work with the unions on outreach efforts, join up with grassroots organizations working on neighborhood change, figure out what the good programs like Youth Builders are doing and where you can plug in.

there are plenty of groups working on these issues, the people involved just aren't going to the same parties.

I guess my point at kind of missed 03.Jul.2005 00:39

BrianS

As for defending myself, that's not a problem. Pepper Spray would have just made the whole thing crazy, when dealing with a bunch of punk ass teenagers. The thing I was more afraid of was guns, which pepper spray would do little against.

What I was asking was, is there any of the people making the above comments willing to do some informational outreach? This is totally not my area of experience which is mainly labor and social justice, so I do feel like I don't know exactly what to do. But after talking with a few people today that do outreach to kids, I'm going to volunteer some time at the Victory School on MLK jr. Help kids that are looking for a better life.

My problem is when I need help/support all I get is sorry that happened to you, guess you better work harder, and oh yeah remember to buy some pepper spray. That's the type of stuff I'm talking about DO WE HAVE ANY SECURITY or RECOURSE besides reactionary tactics to violence, when someone in the community is attacked like this? Anyway, I'm just going to take a step back, realize this is indymedia and I shouldn't expect much.

I like skateboards, do you? 03.Jul.2005 08:29

gr@ce

The race thing sucks, huh? I grew up a poor white kid though & if it weren't for some awesome older folks that I met, I don't wanna think about where I would be. Anyway, I think what attracted me to them, aside from their liberty spikes & cool sidewalk chalk, is that they had some experience & shared it, also that they were interested in things that interested me. Which led to me being interested in other things that THEY had interests in. Sometimes it's simply good enough to just BE there. I suggest trying to hang out with some of your neighbor kids (I don't know what neighborhood you live in...) or volunteering some of your time at an afterschool program. Hell, create your own (Freeskool, anyone?).
I work at a warehouse that has a free bike shop in it & it's great to see how much it's grown. Parents will take their kids to work on stuff, or the kids will come themselves*. Yeah, they can be so obnoxious sometimes & not just rude to my friends, but to eachother as well! But we try anyway. Some of them are really interested in working on frames & ask my friends questions about their lifestyles, or other projects going on in the warehouse (biodiesel, capoiera & we have a ton of zines & a crappy guitar!).

*I'd like to make a point that some of these parents show up BECAUSE their kids are so interested & the parents want to know what is going on & some of them try to learn more & help even though their babies cry & they have to work all the time at a minimum wage job. Way cool.

To "anon", yeah, buying more things will solve this problem, NOT. Okay, buying local is better than other ways of being a consumer, but it is definately not the answer. By me saying that, I'm not trying to say that have the answer(s). We have more compassion & power than the power to SHOP.

Malcolm X? MLK Jr? 03.Jul.2005 08:34

where are they now?

Black or white or whatever, young people today are missing intelligent leadership which might guide them towards the good fights. Instead they have movies, television, music, and rap that teaches violence and hate. Imagine what could be accomplished if youth were to take up the Earth First! or Greenpeace agendas?

Brian, you're right! 03.Jul.2005 11:23

Sephiroth

I too agree that the DKs/Minor Threat/Public Enemy can only do good. Too bad their genre was targeted for persecution and "harmfulness." That being said there is today plenty of violence in the "punk" and "rap" music cultures that needs to be fought from within. I think Jello, Chuck and Ian would agree with me there!

It always strikes me as ironic that the same basic cultures that produce movements for social change also have reactionary, violent elements in them. Old labor unions could be either racist or socialist (occasionally both!), punk rock had its fair share of hard drugs and Nazi opportunists, but also produced great positive and revolutionary elements. While gangsta rappers scream about police brutality and big money, there's also a lot of misogynistic sexism.

What can we do to separate the reactionary from the revolutionary, and encourage youths to pursue the latter?

to gr@ce 03.Jul.2005 11:49

anon

Actually, gr@ce, I'm not sure where you're coming from. There is a strong socio-economic tie to belonging to gangs, etc. When you buy locally, you support the local economy significantly more, which results in more people not being financially screwed to the max. When that happens, you have more parents with stable jobs and a stable housing situation (as when the parents are working 40 making $10 dollars and hour versus two part-time jobs making 7.50). That makes for a better world for the kids for a number of reasons, which then reduces the amount of bullshit things like that BrianS illustrated. Are you going to disagree with that assertion? Why? And why be negative and only point out what you disagree with rather than, say, also agree with the need for a better education and better role models?

screwed to the max times twelve n a half 03.Jul.2005 12:47

gr@ce

"Actually, gr@ce, I'm not sure where you're coming from."
*I'm coming from what I know.
"There is a strong socio-economic tie to belonging to gangs, etc."
*Yes, it seems like poorer people are involved in said groups.
"When you buy locally, you support the local economy significantly more, which results in more people not being financially screwed to the max."
*Whoa, hold on a second. BUYING things, yes, the economy, significantly more, gotcha. I think?
"When that happens, you have more parents with stable jobs and a stable housing situation (as when the parents are working 40 making $10 dollars and hour versus two part-time jobs making 7.50)."
*M'kay, it's nice to jump from the last statement to this one, but I think it depends on what kind of economy there is (service economy?) & what the hours are (still 40 hour weeks?).
"That makes for a better world for the kids for a number of reasons,"
*Which are...?
"which then reduces the amount of bullshit things like that BrianS illustrated."
*Guns, pepperspray & disenfranchised youth?
"Are you going to disagree with that assertion?"
*The assertion that you believe in buying locally, which seems to be the main point of your post in response to me picking on it's presence in relation to the article?
"Why?"
*I just didn't think that it was the greatest thing to talk about when considering it's scale of relevancy to Brian S.' article. Yes, I could go out & BUY some LOCAL strawberries with the hope that my purchase will SAVE this nation's youth, or I could take a group of kids to go strawberry picking! Yay!
"And why be negative and only point out what you disagree with"
*Whoa, you have not seen negative.
"rather than, say, also agree with the need for a better education and better role models?"
*Umm, I didn't know that I was expected to comment on better education & better role models. But, if it makes you happy, I would kindly oblige you. And by the way, I believe I made some mention of positive role models in my own life & a reference to better education.

Well if anybody is interested 03.Jul.2005 14:08

BrianS newenergy@undef.net

I'd really like to go hand out literature and mix cd's to the young along the MAX line. If might not make a big effect but maybe we could reach a few. Seriously I think about all the big issues that a lot of us are fighting for, but will probably never see them in our lifetime. If I can change the life of a few youths direction to something positive, I would be happy with myself.

So who's up for it? Ideas on zines or mix cds? Some of the new Books to Prisoner's mix cds are going to be donated which I can't wait to hear myself. Would really like to give out some good zines dealing with some of the issues of everyday life for these kids. I plan on talking to Portland Community Liberation Front, and Portland Community Independence Project in the next few days once I get ahold of them.

As for a more long term goal, I planning on volunteering at the Victory School teaching math and physics which should be fun.

I definately hear everybody on the lack of positive role models for kids in general today. It's hard of enough for me to get ahold of certain books and music, I can't imagine the chance of some of that stuff just falling into their hands. So I plan on giving it to them.

avoiding the g word? 03.Jul.2005 15:21

a.i.a.

race and class are also important to this discussion as they relate to gentrification. a lot of the people living in the neighborhoods where us activists get harassed have been forced in to those parts of town and now a bunch of us well meaning white radicals and liberals move there for cheap rent, the changing community, and the warm fuzzy we get from living in a diverse neighborhood. but do you think some of the other folks in the neighborhood might not be too happy about the take over the neighborhood and increasing rent? do you really think you need to come in and educate these people so that they accomidate you and your ideals? i think we're the ones who need to be educated.

gr@ce II 03.Jul.2005 15:43

anon

*Whoa, hold on a second. BUYING things, yes, the economy, significantly more, gotcha. I think?
--I'm not so sure you do, but you may. To expand. Money is what employers and employees in this society use to signify the value of labor. When everybody has enough money (or whatever it is a given person needs to obtain the necessities of life such as food, shelter, and health care), that's a good economy, and folks aren't screwed to the degree they are today. One key step in getting to such an economy, which I maintain is desireable, is to stop sending money into the pockets of a few rich individuals halfway across the nation.

*M'kay, it's nice to jump from the last statement to this one, but I think it depends on what kind of economy there is (service economy?) & what the hours are (still 40 hour weeks?).
--You make a fair point and it's one that I considered when jumping between statements. My definition of a thriving local economy does not ask what types of jobs there are. It does mandate that people in the service economy are paid a better salary. As far as how many hours per week, my hope would be that people would make more money by working the same or fewer hours per week. In a strong economy (NOT to be defined by the rich assholes in charge today), workers can demand better wages as demand for workers increases.

"That makes for a better world for the kids for a number of reasons,"
*Which are...?
--Reason 1: You are likely familiar with Maslow's heirarchy of needs? Give a kid the security of knowing that shelter, health, and food needs are met, and that reduces anxiety and enables the kid to focus more at school, etc. And meeting these needs also results in a healthier kid which additionally feeds into the kid's successful branching out from the basic needs. Reason 2: For a person to hold a stable job (ie be on time, and in general function within a societally responsible play book) presents a good role model to the child. That's reason enough for me to endorse buying locally, but I could spend a few more minutes ruminating to come up with further ideas if you'd like. Thanks for calling me on that.

*Guns, pepperspray & disenfranchised youth?
--Yes. Absolutely.

*The assertion that you believe in buying locally, which seems to be the main point of your post in response to me picking on it's presence in relation to the article?
--Well, I find it to be something that people can integrate into their lives to some degree without too much effort, and I hope that I have demonstrated to most readers why buying locally is relevant to what Brian wants to accomplish. I felt compelled to respond to your criticism because (apart from not appreciating having my ideas ridiculed) I imagine that many readers may have felt exactly as you do (or hopefully no longer do), which suggests that I should have explained myself better.

*I just didn't think that it was the greatest thing to talk about when considering it's scale of relevancy to Brian S.' article. Yes, I could go out & BUY some LOCAL strawberries with the hope that my purchase will SAVE this nation's youth, or I could take a group of kids to go strawberry picking!
--As mentioned above, I do think it's relevant. And taking kids strawberry picking, depending on their age, is a great idea. As they say, people never know how much you care until you show how much you care. Being there, even if it's strawberry picking, can be a wonderful a display of caring.

*Whoa, you have not seen negative.
--Au contraire. You seem unable to recognize it.

*Umm, I didn't know that I was expected to comment on better education & better role models. But, if it makes you happy, I would kindly oblige you. And by the way, I believe I made some mention of positive role models in my own life & a reference to better education.
--Thank you. I did read your post and I apologize for suggesting that you did not mention role models and education. The reason it would have been nice for you to mention my recognition of education & role models directly before slamming my suggestion to buy local is simple. Many people will not engage in constuctive dialogue if you just take one of their ideas and slam it. Since you seem dedicated to making the world a better place, I would think you could appreciate how much more receptive your average person would be if you said something like "I think some of your ideas have merit, but that idea about shopping seems a bit fucked up to me. Could you explain yourself?" And if I were unable to explain myself, well, hey, I'd be a lot more receptive to change my view on it in the scenario where you led off your critique by showing me that you respected me & what I thought. So yeah, negative. Negative parents are more likely to generate negative kids who are more likely to assault strangers at the bus stop.

Raise the minimum wage and create jobs 03.Jul.2005 16:00

George Bender

As long as a third of American workers (Ralph Nader's estimate) are poor, forced to work for less than a living wage, always worrying about how they're going to survive and get next month's rent together, they are going to feel like being violent. I do. People don't like being thrown away.

If you really want to make a change, organize politically to force employers to pay a living wage. It's time for another initiative to raise Oregon's minimum wage from it's present $7.25 an hour (indexed to inflation). Nader suggested immediately boosting the minimum wage to $8 an hour, then $10 in two years. If someone would organize this I would be willing to be one of the people on the street gathering signatures.

And I believe it would pass. Oregon has twice raised the minimum wage in the last decade. Most people know it's too low. Low wages cost the whole community in taxes for government safety net programs, reduced business from the multiplier effect, crime and social destruction.

We also need to create jobs for people, like those kids, who probably can't get a job at any wage. Government needs to be the "employer of last resort."

The American left has to understand that economics matters. It's not enough to do good deeds, pass out CDs, if people can't make a living.


Symptoms of greater problems 03.Jul.2005 16:22

Laocoon

Last year I had four guys try to mug me. I had just got off the bus some minutes before when they tried to encircle me in a dark field I was crossing (no lit path on my way home). Luckily my physical size and barbaric look with the fact two near by dogs (I have never seen before) started barking before these four potential criminals could translated their verbal curiousty about what was in my backpack into action.

Here is the thing. This is all symptomatic of a society spinning out of "control". It is the fact that the social networks and basic infrastructure of the region is collapsing or at the brink of a collapse. It will get worse. I suspect crime will go up as people start realizing that their basic needs are not just ignored, but intentionally undermined to destroy the society so as to replace it with a "police state" (corporate media generated demand for the elite consmuption). As the economy gets worse, as school bugdets exclude teachers and students (notice 200 teachers laid off and how many administrators got cut?) and the social service become more Draconian (hence less caring and more Police State). We will see this become even worse.

Our only real solution is to address the roots of the problem and to create and provide the social network that is inclusive of all. If this is to be done then it should NOT be done from state or federal funding which would only go to some office for people who have healthcare. We MUST create a new alternative system of support. One that will bring in all ages, all "races", all genders, all classes, all ethnicities, all political opinions and anything else that divides us. We need to make our own social programs and create a network so help eachother. No government (no matter how great an elected officeal is) will help us now, because even the most caring representive is under the jackboot of this government or the constant threat of cutting favorite programs. We are alone in this boys and girls... Start looking at what we have and what we can use.

What are we waiting for? The cheap heroin from Afghanistan? The Aryan nation recruiters? The Hispanic, Asian and Black gang recruiters? Military conscription of all the "trouble youths"? The final collapse of the educational system with no promises of jobs for youths out there? The return of petroleum war veterans with post traumatic stress, mortal injuries and deep psychological injuries and frustration at being used for corporate profit?

interesting - i.a.i 03.Jul.2005 20:23

vomitron

right fucking on.

no one wants to admit that they are a part of the damn problem. let's start there, eh?

Victory School is good 04.Jul.2005 01:31

.

Keep the patronizing zines and cds to yourself, though.

Sure, the goodies are not per se patronizing and perhaps your motives aren't patronizing (maybe you can think about that); but you distributing alms to the disadvantaged will certainly be seen as patronizing.

Do the school thing. Treat your students like human beings, not like empty skulls waiting to be filled with your ineffable wisdom. If you be a real person, then those who wish to relate with real persons will test you repeatedly until you fail or one becomes desperate enough to risk you.

Dont' sweat it 04.Jul.2005 04:50

gr@ce

To "anon" -No hard feelings?

suttle and not so suttle classism abounds in this thread 04.Jul.2005 11:46

Working Class

There's a lot of contentious ruminizing going on here. I believe what BrianS asked for was people to give ideas for action not a bunch of hot air from ignorant bourgeousie theorizing from within their bubble fortress about how we all live and how to best get us under control.

BrianS has experienced a small glimpse into my world. I think Anon put out some decent ideas(although I must admit I did not read this entire thread). But the best advice I've got is for BrianS to do basically what he did. Don't act afraid(even with a gun, most people will not shoot you. I have lived by this and never been shot once) and defend when struck. Don't act offended or indignant. Act like you've been dealing with punks like them all your life, you're pissed with their childish game and ego, and don't want to hurt them. But don't posture so much that you peak their curiosity about your strength. For them it's all about posturing and showing off. That happens a lot on 82nd and has for a long time. When they see that you don't take shit, they back off and might even respect you and sometimes might be friendly after that(if you're from the neighborhood).

It's an inconvenience and it can get you pretty riled up. But not that big of a deal. The only people who get hurt by this are people who are acting stupid. So if you want to go through poor neighborhoods, you need to learn how to deal with that. We(poor folks) are not the problem. No one is any better than us and no one deserves to be treated better than us. Lose the entitlement complex and learn to live with it as we have.

Don't get me wrong, the kids need to have more resources to be doing positive extra curricular activities instead of posturing for dominance in the hood. There are a lot of beautiful diamonds in those roughs. They need stable people to work with them. But they don't need someone who is going to view them as a rescue project of the week, only to be discarded the moment it becomes hard or someone who is going to be condescending. It's hard work offering a hand to these kids and sadly no one wants the job and the parents are off being fucked by some corporation/franchise probably owned by one of you's parents.

Thanks "Working Poor" 04.Jul.2005 15:20

BrianS newenergy@undef.net

I am with you on the endless theories, backed by people that really don't want to actually take the time to do anything about it and that they are better than everybody else.

I grew up in Miami, FL which is far far worse than Portland. I've been jumped a bunch of times, gotten in more fights than people care to know, knew kids just like the kids that tried to attack me. I know that I don't have enough time and resources to seriously help these kids, but I'm will to atleast try. Somebodies got to chip away at that wall!!! Maybe I got a difference sense of race issues going to a school that being white was in the minority, then my parents moving to a suburban hell where it was exactly opposite. Which was worse, I couldn't really tell you. I do remember two girls I knew also moved around the same time I did, and they happened to be black, smart, beautiful, and good friends. One day one of them came into class crying, and told me that two skinheads on the side of the building yelled a bunch of racist stuff and threw stuff at her. So me being the stand up guy I was, left class and went to go teach these guys some manners. I'll let you thinking about what I did and it wasn't pretty. Personally I realize I had alot of anger back then but I directed in anti-racist/anti-establishment ways thanks to influences I listed above. If you really care to know more about where I'm coming from then contact me and we can talk. But I'm still learning, seriously I've never really had a good understand of of sexist issues until I moved to Portland. Just a few weeks ago, my friend caught me using the "P" word to describe some peoples lack of backbone to take action and corrected me on it. Anyway nobodies perfect and I don't expect anybody to be. I did recognize my use of language and corrected myself.

Racism can go both ways it's not confined to me being white, it's just my skin color. Which I understand has privilege, but I'm not trying to extent that privilege anywhere. But I guess there's still people that believe that we could possibly be anything besides one people after thousands of years. I know that I'm spanish, irish, indian, english, norweign, and probably a thousand other races. Traditions and association with any ethnic background are great, just not when you act like that ethnic background gives you privilege. Don't talk down to me suggesting I'm some privileged white kid, when you know nothing about me it really pisses me off. You know how I got out of my situation, hard work. You know how my Dad got me away from the bad crowd I was running around with, tough love(meaning beaten my ass or taking me to work at the Port of Miami digging ditches all day). That stuff makes you think twice about going around looking for trouble. My dad always told me to never look for a fight, always defend yourself, if anybody touchs your sisters then beat there ass, and again don't go looking for trouble.

I understand these kids probably don't have the awesome working class Dad like mine, and that's a shame. I don't have the time, by myself to address this issue fully, and that's why I was hoping more people would be willing to help or atleast give resources. But really I can understand how taxed the radical scene is and this is just one symptom in a pile with hundreds of others.

I have to say that I don't plan on giving up or in to this system anytime soon. We should bust our butts to bridge these gaps so when the shit goes down we are organized. This the same reason I argue against burning a US flag(not that I really care if you burn some symbol), what does it accomplish other than dividing people over something that has so many different meanings to people in this country. We need to find common ground to bring more people in!!! Learn the difference between love of country and love of government.

Anyway, it's independence day so it time to see stuff explode and eat a bunch of food. Everybody thanks for the comments and posts. Hope you are all doing something positive to help change things. Don't let shit get you down, believe that no matter how small your actions are they can change the world. Peace and all that good stuff. Brian

Please contact me if you would like to help, or discuss this issue further.

How to protect yourself 04.Jul.2005 15:51

NRA info@nra.org

Well, if you are threatened by lethal weapons as you say, you are legally justified to pull your own weapon and fight back. If innocent victims like you pose more of a threat to the petty criminals, they will think twice before harrasing and threatening.

Get a gun, and only use it responsibly when you are in danger! Save yourself, save society!

They are on our side! 04.Jul.2005 15:58

J.U.K.

Ha, those people are the same ones you'd see at an anarchist march! And here they are attacking us....

Come to think of it, I've never been attacked by a Young Republican group, but I have myself been abused or attacked by the young liberals. Why is this? Why do we see our people engage in more criminal activity than the other side?

What a twisted world...

sweating switch off 04.Jul.2005 22:16

anon

Thanks gr@ce. No hard feelings. :)

re J.U.K. 05.Jul.2005 10:04

zek gulag

... regarding 'young repuglicans', they don't need to be personally violent, they have the hired goons of the u.s. military and cops to do it for them, not that 'liberals' don't avail themselves of the same means, a pox on both the dimocans/repuglicans.

good responses... 05.Jul.2005 11:08

ranger

...especially from you "working class". Forget about the armchair theories. Treat them realisitcally. They have shitty role models. They have a lack of respect. You need to show leadership and not take their crap. They will respect you if you have the ability to disarm them by being straightforward. They want you to act stupid. They are offering the bait. Don't take it, just be a teacher.

Hey J.U.K.! 05.Jul.2005 12:11

Inform yourself

Thuggery exists in all strata of socioeconomic society, those higher up on the food chain are less likely to commit street crime because they have greater access to wealth, but that does not mean they are necessarily any less capable of acts of sadism. I have a friend who was beaten senseless on a beach by a group of upper crust punks who committed the act for fun not any kind of economic need. Zek Gulag is right on the money in pointing out that cops and military perform the dirty work for the rich.

Either ZUK is a very ignorant liberal or a knuckleheaded rightwinger (cop?) posing as a lefty.

If you are unconfortable with Max... 05.Jul.2005 18:52

Pravda or Consequences

move to Lake Oswego. :)

You Wuss 06.Jul.2005 03:42

Dog

Should have just kicked their crackhead asses.....or die trying......

Gosh, how can you be so wrong? 12.Jul.2005 12:28

J.U.K.

Um, in regards to the comments about the military, that is plain crazy. Don't get me wrong, the military has bloody hands, but has ANY of us EVER been walking down the street, and then soldiers in military uniforms jumped out of the shadows and beat us up? Has any of us been mugged by a soldier in an alley? Has any of us survived a drive-by shooting by a bunch of soldiers in a HUMVEE?

What, no hands raised? Ok, so I guess that the military does NOT beat people up on their own streets for the benefit of the rich who otherwise would like to but don't want to get their caviar-encrusted hands dirty. I know what you are going to say: what about Iraq? BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT YOUR HOME STREET AND NEIGHBORHOOD! Let's stay on subject.

Gosh, its comments like that which really make the other side think we are a bunch of conspiricy theory nutcases.

non-racial response to violence 16.Jul.2005 12:20

Annie Sauter

My daughter who is handicapped mentally was recently raped by members of a rap group playing at a college two blocks from our home. Everyone was afraid of being accused of being racist so they got away with it. We have to wait a year for a clear AIDS test now. I hold the college responsible for inviting a violent known gangster group to a rural area and not warning us niave hicks. I have always been a big supporter of civil rights and have had my ass kicked more than once for the benefit of helping othe races--I think its racist that almost has come to our help even though a teen member of our community was brutaly raped, sodomized and humiliated. Racism --clear and alive--no one wants to be the one to say the gangster rappers did it and deserve to go to jail. I was looking for a place to move and was looking at the Pacific northwest as maybe a more progressive place, but it looks like there is just shit everywhere.
broken hearted mom and family