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,