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

human & civil rights

Salem Alliance Church Akha Picket

We picket Salem Alliance church over its connection to Lauri Crouch in Thailand, a missionary who helps to destroy Akha culture. Business manager Tim tries to scare us off the sidewalk with a golf cart, we receive threats. Salem police patrol the scene of our silent peaceful demonstration for more than an hour and a half.
This Salem police car passed my corner more than seven times in two hours
This Salem police car passed my corner more than seven times in two hours
Tim the Business Manager at Salem Alliance, Mr. Fidget I call him.
Tim the Business Manager at Salem Alliance, Mr. Fidget I call him.
The cart Tim drove at and past me on the sidewalk
The cart Tim drove at and past me on the sidewalk
Salem Alliance Whitey Gospel Just Doesn't Get It
I picketed Salem Alliance Church again this morning, Oct. 7, 2007 from 10Am till 12:51pm. Shortly after my arrival at 10am, Tim France, (<a href="mailto: tfrance@salemalliance.org"> tfrance@salemalliance.org</a>) the business manager came out, exactly 12 minutes later. From last time around he was so concerned about what this picket was going to communicate to the congregation that he fidgeted non stop, and when people asked what this was about he would tell them they "didn't want to know". This Sunday he made motions to people that I was crazy, continued to fidget and pace back and forth and try to run church business from his phone. Efforts were made to ridicule why I was there, as clear proof that in fact Tim, and for the most part, the entire church approves of the racist actions of Lauri Crouch and Paul Vernon and their mission. Claims that they don't approve, are seen at this point as just so much white wash. During this time, Salem's finest showed up, shortly after 10am, and continued to patrol around the area for more than an hour and a half with one car, passing my location no less than seven times. A great use of city funds, defending churches from criticism.

I noted other city patrol cars. I maintained my same position on the corner sidewalk. Another man walked up, hooting, GI Joe for Jesus. "I'm going to make your life hell" he said and walked over and into the church. Minutes later he came out with Tim, the Business Manager, and climbed into a cart used for picking up parking signs, like a golf cart. They drove from the church to my position at the edge of the sidewalk and raced the vehicle directly in front of me on the sidewalk causing me to have to lean back in order not to be hit by the cart, there not being room for a golf cart and myself on the same sidewalk. To this they laughed, Tim was driving, and the young man with the red had kept his head down at the whole affair. Tim said, "This man is from this neighborhood and he doesn't like people like you in his neighborhood." Apparently another messenger from God for Salem Alliance. After a while, one of the parking attendants for the church lots came up and wanted to talk, I directed him to the website.

The church is predominantly white. There is an obvious connection between the church, the Crouch family, including Lori Crouch. The link to Salem Alliance on the Vernon Journal website remains. John Stumbo apparently wasn't around. Salem Alliance apparently believes that their racism, and the racism of the Crouch family towards the Akha people, including the destruction of Akha culture, the exploitation of Akha traditional dress for photos (christians eliminate traditional dress in "converted" villages). The villagers were told they could live on the land where Lori has located in the past, if they converted. Akha land rights are not protected. Lori Crouch's website does not mention anything about land rights. She is busy being a cute missionary.

It is quite clear that the people at Salem Alliance don't know what is going on, and further more, snug in their white lives, they don't much care. Of the one or two people who asked to know what was the reason for the picket right across from the church, it was clear that they had no idea what it was about. But what was more striking, was in that a few people came forward to ask, the majority of the people didn't care at all, nothing about the right of the Akha to THEIR religious belief. One man came and talked to me as if it was the legal right of missionaries to impose their views on others.

We will continue to build our campaign regarding Salem Alliance Church. Whitey Gospel.

homepage: homepage: http://www.akha.org
phone: phone: 971-388-7185