Sometimes we have too much fun
Out & About
Today was a kind of fun day one rarely enjoys; most of the time others seem to have all the fun. It started by meeting with Jose, Lightning, and Steve to go over some things and plan out strategy for the future. Yes, believe it not Mr. fish, we do have a strategy to rid ourselves of this city council. Off to the council chambers and there seemed to be more suits than normal, the Ukrainians were waiting to go into the hall of sulfur. It was like being in a foreign country there were so many, maybe 20 people who came to listen and thank our mayor, (or yours, I don't want him) for supporting their cause, but what cause? They even had a magazine with a smiling hale on its cover, when I looked down I said, that's char-lie the hales, and it was the mayor---but the language was strange to me. Are we now openly supporting Ukraine? I did not know this, so we must do some questioning, my friends who were there seemed to be taken aback by this ceremony also. Here is what I now know:
1. In the magazine called "Kahoh" on page 16 there is a disturbing paragraph that talks about an affair that was held on January 10,2015 "... ... A container of humanitarian aid, life-saving medical supplies, clothing and supplies for the military were collected and sent to Ukraine in the past few months." Mercy Corps had representatives there and talked about their work with the occupied territories of Donetsk. So who are we and our elected leaders supporting in Ukraine? As far as we know there are 3 sides to the violence in Ukraine, the breakaway provinces, the country of Ukraine and Russia. So who are we supporting?
2. Why is our mayor in the middle of a civil war, and he brought our chief of police for a free meal no less. Good picture of Chief O'Dea standing with hales and the other Ukrainian dignitaries. Do we have an official position on the civil war that is going on in Ukraine? No, it is covert. This is a good article that spells out what we thought, "Ukraine is a basket case... ."
We can't get the mayor to sit down with citizens who have major problems with police accountability and yet there he is taking sides on an issue that is guaranteed to blow up in our faces. I do not understand why he does the things that he does and I continue to be amazed by the lack of shame of this council. We need to throw all of them out as they come up for re-election. And this my friends was just Communications, it gets worse. Moving to item *333, this looked innocent but then we read the supporting documentation and found out that the city was going to go after a grant of $200,000.00 for the cops to expand the capacity of the Portland Police Bureau Behavioral Health Unit.
Individuals For Justice does not want police anywhere near a person who is suffering from a mental breakdown or is suffering drug addiction or is acting in a way that would indicate he/she needs help. That is what we want, a person to come and help, we do not want cops doing the work of trained mental health personnel or psychiatric professionals; we want the real thing. The council voted for this and is happy with the way the cops are killing our citizens, this will not change, we must change them.
The last item we spoke on was Item 325 and this had to do with how to spend the money that we gave the council to repair our parks. We pointed out that we would be angry if money allocated to parks went for the enforcement of the no smoking ban. I don't smoke but many homeless people do; Commissioner Fritz pointed out that they could not use money for that purpose and state law prohibits mingling of funds in this way---not to worry she told us. We don't trust that and will be jumping up and down on the first citation or exclusion that happens after July. I believe in the concept "Don't trust-- verify." There was another item we were going to comment on but the sulfur was getting to me and off I went to get some fresh air... ... and it was good!
Thursday was supposed to be a day of relaxing, enjoying life to the fullest, I had a time! I went to our County Board meeting and talked about the city giving the Portland Police the ok to apply for a $200,000.00 grant to "Expand the capacity of the Portland Police Bureau Behavioral Health Unit." We opposed this and you can view the video here:
Bottom line we do not want the Portland Police anywhere near a person who is experiencing a mental breakdown, we want the County to respond to a call for help, not the cops. This grant will keep the PPD responding to people who need help and they will send some aggressive ass that will kill you if you don't shape up and act normal. If you call 911 you will get a cop, if you call the County Emergency number you will get a professional medical person to respond. Here is that number 503-988-4888. The public communication is about 2:50 minutes into the video and it is worth listening to all three of us as the first couple refuse to pay taxes because they are protesting, and then Lightning and I give our opinions. You should join us, this is the best day of my week; I like this group of politicians. About 10:00 AM a friend comes into the meeting and shows me a notice that he has a hearing at 10:30 AM over at 1900 4th Ave on the west side, off we went to that hearing. We made it on time and the hearing officer was an employee of Trimet who excluded my friend. I did not like anything about the hearing but the modification that was decided on was generous and allows Charles to ride most of the buses and trains at the times he would need to do so. After that meeting I went home and relaxed with Patty and waited for my friend and co-conspirator to pick me up at 4-4:30 to go to the first public meeting of the COAB.
I was very tired by the time we got there and looked forward to the people telling their stories to the members of this group. I was in for a shock, the people who organized this event advertised it as a public meeting for the citizens to tell their stories about their encounters with the PPD. What we got was a PR session for 60-90 minutes and I blew my top at one point and yelled out that this was a sham and I was pissed. I yelled it was "a con" and let the people speak; pissed a lot of people off. The gathering was made up of about 50% pro police, employees of the city, shills for the cops, and us citizens the other 50%. I did not speak from the mic because others had stories to tell that needed to be heard and on the record; but this was set up badly and whoever was in charge should not be asked to do the next one. The zinger was an announcement that because there were so many people the time for talking would be limited to 2 minutes. I blew my top to the point that two cops came over to me and tried to calm me down, that did not work. Then they sent, or he came on his own, Mr. Tom Hastings who thinks he knows how to act at one of these dog and pony shows. Hastings and I have gotten into it before, he likes to control people at protests and the last time we had an encounter I told him face to face he was a phony and stay away from me. Here he was telling me to behave. My friend and noble person Malcolm tried to tell Hastings that it was not a good idea to tell me to calm down. Finally Hastings moved on and I went back to my table to get some oxygen. The meeting was a set-up from the beginning but the end was good. They brought in dancers that were in full costume and I think the dancers represented Aztec or Mexican native people; it was great. There was lots of food in the form of sandwiches, potato chips and veggies that was good. I got to see 99, and many friends who I don't see every day, even some police came over and shook my hand, so there were good things about the gathering. People did speak up and that was good. I was exhausted by the time we got back into Roberto's van for the trip home. I had no trouble falling into a deep sleep when I finally put my head on my pillow. Today is Friday and I will just relax and enjoy. The main problem in this episode is that we don't know yet how to get along and be honest with each other, that was the biggest question I had, "How do we bridge this huge cavern that stands between us and the police department?" I do know this, you don't do it by telling us how wonderful you are, we know this is not true, so stop trying to fool us and sit down and listen, listen, listen to the cries of us who want justice. That would be good!
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