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This page is dedicated to homeless advocacy work, including Dignity Village, gentrification, squatting, the camping ban, and reclaiming public land.
Fight Against Camping Ban Continues
From the open publishing newswire: We waited and waited and about 0900 the police approached and Jim announced he would not move voluntarily and I just said, "I'm with Jim." I had my USS Independence hat on and a jacket that says, Navy and Peace?Ha! The police did not want to arrest two old guys who were willing to give up some of their liberties so that others have a chance at what we once knew as "Democracy."
So, off we went to the big house, the justice center for processing and booking, my wife did not know I was going to push the issue, so she was not going to be happy. We were allowed to walk with the two police who were friendly and professional and very uncomfortable about arresting us. We were taken inside the entrance and told to wait on a bench and the police would get things started inside and be out in a few minutes. After about an hour we were given some bottled water and told to wait. We waited and were not handcuffed, could walk out anytime we wanted, it was a strange arrest. I was watching my oxygen and it was getting near the red zone and that is not good...
Video: Houseless Protest in front of City Hall -7.22.13 -Human Rights & Equity
This was filmed around 12 noon on Monday the 22nd in Portland Oregon
Video Premier Free Showing 5.1.13: Project Viewfinder - homeless young adults sharing
From the open publishing newswire: (PORTLAND, OR) - THE NORTHWEST FILM CENTER proudly presents the premiere screening of PROJECT VIEWFINDER, the culminating work of a four-month mentorship program for homeless young adults. The film will be screened on Wednesday, May 1 at 6pm in the Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum. Admission is free to the public.
The Northwest Film Center announces:
The Free Premiere Screening of "Project Viewfinder"
May 1, 2013 @ 6PM - In the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum.
May Day Evening - come see these videos after the march -
PROJECT VIEWFINDER began in January 2013 after the Film Center sought out young adults transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency that were interested in learning media production techniques. Working three days per week and led by School of Film lead faculty member Bushra Azzouz and supporting filmmakers, the project empowers participants to tell their stories using the medium of film. PROJECT VIEWFINDER is endeavoring to engage the Film Center's School of Film with underserved members of our community, seeking to enact change on a direct level.
[Watch] 1:00 minute Promo clips: [Attached]
MARCH FOR THE DREAM: BUILDING THE UNSETTLING FORCE
From the open publishing newswire: Martin Luther King, Jr.: "There are millions of people in this country who have very little or even nothing to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life." Unnecessary austerity cuts and the systematic dismantling of the safety net/social contract threaten all that we stand for. Join our community at Sisters of the Road as we march for a better future, one for all people.
Saturday, January 19 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend)
MARCH FOR THE DREAM: BUILDING THE UNSETTLING FORCE
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Sisters of the Road, Voz and R2DToo
Everyone is welcome. Participate as much as you are able and available.
Schedule for the day:
10:00 a.m. -- Gathering and rally at MLK, Jr. Worker Center (N.E. MLK and Everett) for coffee, hot cocoa and pastries.
10:30 a.m. -- Speakers and music at the Worker Center.
11:00 a.m. -- March begins. We'll cross the River over the Burnside Bridge.
11:30 a.m. -- Stop at Right 2 Dream Too.
noon -- We'll arrive at Sisters of the Road and warm up with hot soup, coffee, tea and more.
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. -- Our keynote speaker, Mic Crenshaw (musician and housing activist), hosts music, theatre and more.
Video: Discussing Housless in Portland Oregon
From the open publishing newswire: Live interview with Ibrahim Mubarak and Lisa Fay, organizers with the Right 2 Dream Too (R2DTOO)successfully self functioning Houseless camp located in downtown Portland Oregon. The camp has been operating self sustainably since October of 2011, in spite of severe resistance and persecution by the Mayor and City Commissioners.
Discussing Houselessness in Portland Oregon [video 38 minutes]
On the Pubic Access television program, "A Growing Concern," Ibrahim and Lisa discuss the importance of the Camp, not only to the houseless, but also to the neighborhood in which it is located.
"The first thing houseless people look for is sleep; the second thing they look for is a place to eat. So we figure we can have a place where they can come get 8 - 12 hours of rest and get fed. Then we can help to get them productive.......refer them to social services, what to do if you need Identification, a drivers license, a bus ticket to get out of town, subsidized housing, health care. What happens if you are sleeping on the street and you get a citation, where to go or who to contact."
"Even though there are laws, some of the police and security guards don't practice that law when it comes to people that live without houses. We set that up and it's up to them whether or not they wish to become productive."
Thanks to the vigilance of the encampment, crime in the area is down markedly, including drug dealing which has always been a serious problem in that area of downtown Portland.
Lisa Fay says that, "not only do we look out for 4th and Burnside, but we look out for the entire block. We make routine checks around the whole block.....we do a lot of extra policing during week ends and night time hours, and make sure that you're not going to be selling drugs on this corner."[...]
Ibrahim believes that the City Council is moving against the camp because the local business community considers it an eyesore. "They're trying to get us out of there, it's right on prime property; this is the city that works, and they're seeing people that are out of work, they're being reminded that this city is like every other city. We have our problems, it's not our fault, but it's our fault if we do nothing to address these problems, if we overlook people, sweep it under the carpet."
[Related PIMC POST]
Video: R2D2 serves lawsuit papers to city hall on 12.10.12
Video: Homeless Group Sues City of Portland Over Human Rights Violations
Video: Homeless Group Sues City of Portland Over Human Rights Violations
From the open publishing newswire: On International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012, members of Right 2 Dream Too and supporters held a press conference to announce their intention to sue the City of Portland for Article 25 violations of the International Human Rights Code.
Homeless Group Sues City of Portland Over Human Rights Violations
(Excerpted from Press Announcement.)
"Right 2 Dream Too has maintained a self-sustaining rest area for people who are houseless at NW 4th and Burnside since October 2011. Even though the site provides emergency shelter to dozens of people every night at no cost to the City of Portland, the City's Bureau of Development Services continues to fine the landowners for code violations related to recreational camping ordinance. After months of negotiations, testimony before City Council and public rallies there is still no resolution to the conflict between Right 2 Dream Too and the City."
Introductions are made by Ibrahim Mubarak, co founder of Dignity Village. Speakers include the owner of the property; the lawyer suing the City on behalf of the residents and property owner; a resident of the property; Rev. Kate Lore, First Unitarian Church and many others. Each spoke briefly condemning the City for their actions and inactions against the houseless.
After the press conference and rally, (about 20 minutes in to the video) participants entered City Hall to deliver their paperwork to Mayor Sam Adams, but found that the building was on shut down mode. Doors were slammed in their faces, but undaunted the group outflanked past the attendants. Mayor Adams eventually came out to meet them and accept the paperwork.
Upon arriving back on the streets, people discovered that not only had City Hall been shut down, but several police cars and motorcycles were parked on fourth street, blocking traffic. At the end of the video, and back on the streets, Ibrahim gives a scathing condemnation of the actions of City Hall against it's own people. "POWER TO THE PEOPLE>"
call to action
From the open publishing newswire: Let's make some noise my wonderful colleagues and friends
Flags: Next Wednesday just before our 5 shits meet and call it a City Council will you join me in flying the flags of justice and peace.
I will bring the Vietnam Veterans Flag, will you bring your peace flags to let the City Council know that they our representatives and not the Business Alliance Reps. Cameron has extended his fast past the 30 days and that has me concerned. He has upped the ante and so should we. Will you join me or just stay home and do nothing? Many of you cannot take time off from work but some of you can, join us for one hour of hell raising. Pots and pans, drums, horns and mega phones are the order of the day.
I will go into the Council at 0930 and sit up front with a t-shirt that reads "RESIGN SAM, FISH." ... Time to make some noise, want to take a ride on the Justice side? Meet up at 0830 7/11/2012 in front of City Hall. ~Joe
PS can't come, call the council and tell them to house the people who are on the streets, when they tell you how much they are doing, tell them to do more!!!!
Call to support Cameron
"I'm Hungry . . . for Justice."
From the open publishing newswire: "I went out there and marched in the streets, and then I ran for office. And seeing how still there were so many people that just weren't responding, I decided I needed to make a real serious sacrifice, hoping that people will realize we are in a crisis."
Now that his hunger strike for the homeless and housing reform has reached a month on the exposed sidewalks outside Portland City Hall, 21-year-old Cameron Whitten has endured wind, rain, rats, pols, well-wishers, and verbal scorn.
"How do you feel right now?" I put to him at 11:30pm last night (June 30) in the cold dark rain huddled semi-upright under a tarp surrounded by a collection of water-logged flyers, commandeered news boxes, makeshift equipment, and scattered possessions.
"I feel like a million butterscotch," Whitten, a 3-year Portland resident and current Portland Community College-Cascade student, replied in a clear direct voice. Asked to explain, he offered, "I have no idea," followed by a genuine laugh. "I might be delirious."
Living on a month-long diet of nothing but vitamins and juice, particularly coconut water, can do that to you.
"Probably (the saddest is) seeing so many people with mental illness out here. Not getting any help. And seeing the looks of apathy. And disgruntled people who want to scream, 'Get a job!' or 'You don't look homeless.' Things like that. Just so much conflict when in fact we're all experiencing the same kind of economic oppression." [...]
Related Video Post by Mobile T:
3rd request to City Council
From the open publishing newswire: Keep the pressure on the City Council for human compassion
Third Request For Human Contact Tuesday, June 12, 2012
**"These are the times that try men's souls," a quote from my favorite founding father, Thomas Paine.
This action by Cameron Whitten is becoming echoes of whispers of long ago conversations in a small tavern where dreams were shared and revolution feared. You can almost hear Paine lecturing those who would listen about dignity, equality and hope for the future. If you look close you may see Adams rolling his eyes and thinking, "Does Tom ever stop and think that he may get all of us arrested by talking about over-throwing the British, I wish him to be more careful, less violent."
Cameron is not careful, he speaks the truth to anyone who will listen, he is a fighter, just like Thomas Paine, he does not like smooth politicians like Adams, or Jefferson.
Mr. Whitten has only three demands, and he tells people who pass him that they are simple demands for the beginning of a new era of compassion for the everyday people among us. He does not want to over tax the people in power, he does not want to confuse the political system, so only 3 demands are shouted from the curb, or said softly at night when the rain comes:
1. "For City Commissioner *dan saltzman, withdraw the fines [...]
2. " For City Council to propose a housing levy measure [...]
3. "For Sheriff Daniel Staton to issue a 1 year moratorium [...]
Pitch A Tent II--the Houseless Strike Back
From the open publishing newswire: The Grand Floral Parade will never be the same again, thanks to Right to Survive (R2S) and houseless activists. This is the second year that R2S, an organization led by houseless and previously houseless people, put out a call for "Pitch A Tent II?The Houseless Strike Back." Together with folks from Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo), they invited friends and supporters to pitch tents with the houseless along the parade route downtown to protest against the city's ordinance, which allows people to put up tents for 1 day for the parade, but criminalizes setting up tents for survival for the rest of the year.
Ibrahim Mubarak, co-founder of R2S, R2DToo and Dignity Village, wanted this year's action to put pressure on city officials, who continue to drag their feet on the houseless issue. He made clear that this action shows how the city prosecutes houseless people who try to erect shelters for themselves, but the ultimate goal of R2S is to get folks off the street and into a designated area where they can be safe and take care of one another. He hopes that this action will bring awareness that there is a homeless crisis in Portland and nationwide. He said, "The city needs to "sit down at the table with us and come up with solutions that will put a dent in the houseless situation."
Mubarak talked about Right 2 Dream Too, which provides a safe place for about 90 people to camp every night on NW 4th and Burnside, as one of the solutions. R2DToo wants to expand housing for 300 people per night, as more and more people lose their jobs and homes due to the crippling economy. But instead of cooperating with them, or letting them continue to self-manage this space, the city is fining R2DToo $1,200 a month. He said that Dan Saltzman, who leads the Bureau of Development Services, has described it as "not a humanitarian issue; it's about zoning and codes." Mubarak pointed out that the city spent $3,400 for each "bike shelter" in the city, but won't budget a dime to provide more solutions for the houseless. He said that the houseless and their supporters are trying to build communities and shelters for themselves, where they can be autonomous and make decisions to maintain safety and human rights.
Related Links:[video - Jim L] | [post - Mobile T]
Portland protest against the criminalization of homelessness on 'No Fooling Day'
From the open publishing newswire: Street Roots, Right 2 Survive and Sisters of the Road held a protest in Pioneer Square downtown Portland on a national day of action, 'No Fooling Day' to stand up against the ongoing criminalization of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Portland, OR, 04/01/2011.
Event Announcment: "NO FOOLING DAY" National Day of Action Against Criminalization of Homelessness
"NO FOOLING DAY" National Day of Action Against Criminalization of Homelessness
From the open publishing newswire: Next Sunday, April 1, 2012, Street Roots, Right 2 Survive and Sisters of the Road invite you to join us in a national day of action to stand up against the ongoing criminalization of people experiencing homelessness and poverty! "No Fooling Day" will also serve as the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP's) launch date for a national campaign to protect the basic civil and human rights of people without housing and to ultimately stop the inhumane and wasteful process of criminalization. Over fourteen cities will have simultaneous actions to bring people together to say we must change how we treat those in our communities who have nowhere to go.
WE WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN! Fighting for our Right to Exist! This is also the day that the fines being leveraged against Right 2 Dream Too double. Stand with the Dreamers at Fourth and Burnside who are working to keep people safe and dry!
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. -- Leafletting the Public (Gather at S.W. Sixth and Morrison) 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. -- Rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square
Sponsored by Street Roots, Right 2 Survive and Sisters of the Road
Local contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 0r (503) 222-5694 (x 16)
Video: Sharing Portland Public Sidewalk Advisory Committee Meeting
From the open publishing newswire: This is a video of the semi-monthly public meeting in the Portland Building regarding the use and sharing of the public sidewalks. Open to the public and city departments for discussion on how we all can get along on the sidewalks in Portland. The meeting was about 1:15 minutes long.
Its held in the Portland Building at 3:30 on the 2nd floor.
Open to city departments and the public to get together and talk about the issues of our city sidewalks.
Portland Advisory Committee public sidewalk meeting 2.6.12.
(video 1:15 min)
The next meeting will possibly be in April (TBA) - it was discussed near the end of the meeting. There is a city webpage on "sidewalk data" it is located here: portlandonline.com Data / Sidewalks
Anti-press release: Investigation of Portland Squat Evictions
From the open publishing newswire: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
An offensive division of eviction defense league is investigating the arrest of 5 squatters at vacant homes in Portland, OR on Feb 10th and 13th, 2012.
This counter-investigation has concluded the homes evicted were occupied in an effort to secure safer shelter. In the words of the evicted, the homes were "a better chance of survival." Evidence to the contrary does not support a claim that the homes were occupied to "victimize" the property owner, as stated by the Portland Police Bureau's weak investigation. The police make an injurious leap when referring to occupying as a form "victimizing" of the property owner. The elitist investigation was written to the advantage of capital, and victimizes and criminalizes the squatting. This mis-information would blame all those affected by the accumulation of capital, assisting the interests of property-owners at the expense of the houseless. Shelter is necessary for survival and needs no permission. Yet survival, unpermitted, is called the victimization of the rich. That is the downside-up perspective of Portland Police Bureau.
The counter-investigation has also noted that the motivation to "victimize" a property owner is highly unlikely and poorly constructed. [...]