Report from Individuals For Justice
"And The Beat goes on...."
Weekly report of our actions and activities of Individuals For Justice during the week Nov. 17-23.
Once again let me work backwards and report on what we did starting with our weekly protest on the Hawthorne Bridge. Roberto arrived at my home and announced that it was windy and cold. We went anyway and he was very correct, our signs were blowing all over the place, even the ones on a rope were blowing straight up in a horizontal position so that none could read them. We had a special sign telling all that we supported our teachers; we wanted to add to the bigger protest that was taking place on the Burnside Bridge.
I always laugh when it rains or is cold, "We will get the sympathy vote." We lasted about an hour and Charlie Johnson joined us in the wind storm, it was funny. Many people looked at us as if we were crazy people and sometimes I think we are a little nuts to try to change this society to be a little more human, but what the hell, we do have fun from time to time. Thursday is always a good part of my week. I get to attend the County Board and spend some time with Lightning and others who come to join us as we monitor the five women who lead Multnomah County. This Thursday Lightning spoke on police overtime, homelessness, and corruption and I spoke about Mr. Dixon's replacement. I urged the board to look within the county and not do what Mayor Hales announced he would do and that is a very expensive exercise in looking for a candidate nationwide. We have not done well with this concept and we have spent way too much money doing these types of things. So we shall see.
link to www.oregonlive.com
We did send an e-mail to the city urging them to consider replacing top level officials with people here in Portland. Wednesday was funny.
Wednesday is my day of sorrow, my penance for all my past sins demands I attend the City Council Meetings and listen to the 4 s---s +1 tell us how wonderful they are, and how they will do wonderful things for the homeless/houseless. November 21, 2013 was a better meeting than most; I left after Communications because I wanted to support Michael Meo who was on trial in the County Courthouse a block away. I got to the courthouse about 1030 after going through security went to room 544 and was stunned to see no one else there for support, I hate it when we ask people to stand tall and then let them stand alone. I stayed until we broke for lunch and did not try to go back for the afternoon session, due to being tired. I listen to my body and when it says enough, I obey. I thought the case would be carried over until the following day, I was wrong. Michael Meo reported he was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order from a park ranger and fined $260, he paid the fine. I am sad that another person suffered at the hands of our would-be-judicial system. I am also sad that the people who called for the demonstration did not show up at his trial, or any Green Party members, or his friends. What the hell is the matter with us that we don't support those who get arrested? Tuesday was better for me.
Tuesday night we attended a meeting of a group that is now called J4KO, Justice for Keaton Otis, and that was wonderful. Not sure how much info I am comfortable putting out, so let me say it was a good and noble gathering of people who will keep the vigil going and prepare for the upcoming testimony during the public testimony in front of the judge who is supervising the final settlement between the city and DOJ. There is much work to be done and all present pledge to do what we can to finally get some level of accountability from the Portland Police Force. There was one other event Roberto and I attended and that again was a delight. The event was called, "Racism and Settler-Colonialism at Home and Abroad" put on by *PSU students, KBOO, and SUPER.
The reasons I enjoyed this gathering was because there were about 150 people present, mostly students but lots of older people. The students were way ahead of us when we were in our 20s and 30s, they had a better understanding of how the power structure works here in the good old US of A. The other reason I thought this was a productive meeting was the diversity of ideas that were allowed to flow. I know we were on a University campus but even given that, it was refreshing. I was also glad to hear so many students who are aware and will try to do better than we did. I left the gathering tired but smiling. We, as people who are activists, must work to ensure these and other students are not burdened with debt that they cannot risk continuing their quest for justice.
Speaking of justice, there is a guy who has decided to live on the streets for one year. He is a minister; he is a good and noble person, my friend. He is Jose Serrica, and his videos are under Joefreedom and you can watch his latest video or livestream called "Update from Camp." If you want to know how things are going on the streets, we will try to bring you leaders from the streets and their stories. Individuals For Justice supports this noble man and ask all who we know to do the same. http://www.ustream.tv/channel
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I am sure I forgot something of importance, forgive me if I did, I am getting old---ha!
* A conversation towards building global solidarity featuring speakers from SUPER, Las Mujeres, United Indian Students in Higher Education (UISHE), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). We are honored to have Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Director of the Indigenous Nations Studies Program (formerly Native American Studies), guiding the planning of the panel.
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