Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Proud To Be An American

Posted: May 6, 2014 in News

Coalitions from all over the city joined together on May 1, 2014.

Coalitions from all over the city joined together on May 1, 2014.

With the faint chants of May Day still hanging in the air, one wonders where the grassroots enthusiasm goes. Is this just a once a year occurrence to show solidarity or does it have a deeper lasting meaning? Do these citizens take the freedom of protest for granted and not realize what this liberty could possible produce? During the fiscal year of 2013, 778,127 individuals were welcomed as naturalized citizens of the United States. Over the last decade there have been as many as 6.6 million new citizens who underwent the task of applying for citizenship. Children of these new citizens also are granted citizenship as long as they are permanent residents of the US.

New citizens taking the Oath of Allegiance

New citizens taking the Oath of Allegiance

During the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the naturalization ceremony has been going on for 22 years. Sponsored by Portland-Guadalajara Sister City Association 51 people from 22 different countries took part in the 2014 ceremony. The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services requires the individual to be 18 years of age, hold a green card, and must take the Oath of Allegiance. These new citizens are allowed to register to vote once taking the Oath as well as apply for citizenship for their children. The smiles from spouses as their partners became part of society was a welcoming site rather then the jeers of anarchist rabble.

What will you do to ensure equality and freedom?

What will you do to ensure equality and freedom?

In America we seem to hide but push forward with this blunt idea of Freedom of Speech. We live in a nation were the protests have never erupted into full occupation but during this month we also remember those lives lost at Kent State. The idea of finding a loved one on the ground or possible on the other side of the border is a cry for justice. We here who are born in the states know little of the freedoms we gain once entering this world of diversity. Many people spend a good portion of their lives to be able to call this land their home. We must realize that no matter where we have come from or what coalition we are striving to build up, this land is ours and one day the citizens will unite and claim it as theirs. The only question is can you put your differences aside and become the body of people this great county was founded by in the beginning.


Discipline a Child

Posted: November 6, 2013 in News

The Guy Fawkes March that took place this week throughout the world called for open platform of issues. These masked protestors were suppose to be addressing the issues that have become to familiar in the society that has arisen. We live in a world that allows exposed flesh to be beauty, sexual desire to be love, and angry ignorance a tool of education. With the understanding that civil disobedience is a neccesary tool in times where a governemnt has overstep its bounds, does it really do a community good to exercise this right loosely? Having been able to be a part of many demonstrations and lucky enough to document NATO, its hard to not stand somewhat critical of the actions that unfold in front of you.

Train Up A Child In The Way They Should Go.

Train Up A Child In The Way They Should Go.

Meeting up at the south waterfront a group of about 100 or so decided to lazily stroll around seeing if comrades would make numbers swell. Scheduled to start at one I waited for a good hour before seeing any type of “organization” take place. I almost left knowing this was probably unpermitted and it showed a lack of focus in the radical community. I overheared several coversations about what was to go on and was disturbed to find out they were just as confused as me. While talking with Officer Day of the central precinct I learned that most police sentiments are mutual toward the demonstrations, but they needed to manage the city. Making our way through downtown we stopped off at Right2Dream2 to drop off the clothing that some had brought as donations. Continuing through Chinatown we crossed the Burnside bridge to an empty lot were more nonsense was chatterd and heckles were directed toward law enforcement.

Going down Grand on the eastside we turned up Stark. Here many “protestors” started to test the police by laying in the street, shouting vulgarity, and showing true disorganization. At the intersection of Stark and Sandy all hell broke loose, unconfirmed reports say eggs were thrown. As you can see from the footage the sidewalk became the holding grounds of the demostration as the police advanced with patrol and mounted units. Quickly cutting the group in half a few arrests were made but the realization of overaction on the side the police caused them to retreat just as quickly. The shakiness in the video is from the officers rushing in and body checking me with several others into a wall. As I tried to film the incident the mounted police shove onto the sidewalk and block my shot. The unsettlement lasted only mintues before we started to proceed up the sidewalk but tempers were quite heated. The day ended with much frustration up by St. Francis park.

Headed Home

Posted: December 6, 2012 in News
"Upholding Justice"

“Upholding Justice”

I was on my way home yesterday on the northbound max when I witnessed the continually harassment that the law enforcement enacts on people of color. As the southbound max arrived at the Albina/Mississippi stop I observed 6 transit police get off. They made a beeline to the two African American men who were on the platform when there were 15+ people to check for fares. No reason except they wanted to see what was up with these guys. They surrounded them and continued to “routinely” ask what their intentions were and why they were there. I pulled my camera out because I knew these officers were not acting in the TRUE interest of the public. Their fares ended up being valid but the officer in the tan pants decided to call the precinct to see what history these men had. One of the patrols saw that I was snapping shots of the incident and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was observing the scene and making sure they did their job. He proceed to get uneasy that I was keeping him accountable and asked to see some of the pictures I took. I told him all he needed to see was my fare because they were not the police but public transit enforcers. The officer told me to write my congressman if I didn’t like the way they conducted their job and I polite told him that I wouldn’t interfere.

Correct way to enforce the law.

Correct way to enforce the law.

As my max arrived I jumped on and got the attention of the car I was in and proceeded to share the experience I just went through. I group of minority high school age kids explained to me they get harrassed on a regular basis. An older gentleman asked me why the cops were so concerned about me with my camera because I was in a public space and it was my right to do so. I got several thank you’s for what I did that night and was congratulated for standing my ground. As the fare man came up the aisle to check tickets he caught an unfortunate soul who was trying to ride for free. He didn’t try to intimidate the rider but wrote him the ticket and calmly explained how to go about paying it. To the six officers on the platform, you should be taking notes from this particular transit enforcer because when do your job correctly there isn’t any reason to feel that someone is watching you.

The Beast Sting

Posted: November 8, 2012 in News

Continuing the fight for freedom and democracy.

The stories from both sides have been circulating like wildfire in the Portland Metro area about the use of pepper spray on demonstrators at N3. The march against austerity began with a rally in Holladay Park by the Lloyd Center and we marched up to NE Halsey were things took a turn for the worse. Taking notes from other marches, we knew that we MUST break the police line if encountering them blocking our path or a kettle. The use of barricades are for protection against excessive police brutality. We use the masks to keep chemical weapons out of our eyes and signs to shield us from riot batons.

First the volley, then hitting ones up close to have them drop the sign.

The use of force by a crowd is to hopefully show the police they have become a barrier and need to allow the crowd to continue on so no TENSE moments arise where police interaction would have to implemented. Continual use of the police tactic of kettling groups has always made “breaking police lines” a good counter to ensure no harm comes to the elderly or minors that accompany the march. Portland Police Bureau has been know for its itchy trigger finger but when high school students take the hit it makes people choose sides. I was hit myself by the volley of toxic moisture but sustained minor irritation on the tops of my hands. The aim of this police accessory is to disperse the crowd to make way for the riot cops to clear up the scene.

Flushing the eyes of the victims who were hit with pepper spray.

Weather you agree with Occupy or its message it will soon be obvious that this new world order has come together under these last several administrations, its time to say enough is enough. I was told this last week vote, vote, vote but did those people who spewed their view forget how they won that freedom? Most take it for granted and feel that they need to gripe or gloat when the election does or doesn’t go in their favor. Foreclosures, gas prices, and trying to stay employed are become true realities for Americans across the board so where will you land? Is neutrality a satisfying bliss to bask in or will this snap back to reality kick you butt into high gear. Our hearts go out to the victims of Sandy, but where is the sympathy for the family down the road who’s sitting in the dark because daddy’s locked up and mom is sick? We need to realize we are one no matter what status the world has placed us in this game of chance. The sooner we understand this the sooner we can fight together to bring about the society we all can truly thrive in.

Casting a vote of no confidence.

Coming to a neighborhood near you

Posted: June 5, 2012 in News

You know how they say all those fancy medications they tell you to guzzle down are good for you? Do you scratch your head when the commercial for sugar sprinkled cereal is claimed to be a “balanced diet”? We can fight these forms of propaganda but what happens when they move them into our streets? Would you be comfortable having the government listening to you as you walked in the street, even if it cuts energy costs? My friends let me introduce you to their eye in your neighborhood.

Intellistreets,will it turn our streets into “smartways”? Coming from the company Illuminating Concepts these new street lamps would possibly cut spending cost by over 60% and the LED light bulb would last up to 50% longer. They come equipped with digital banners that would allow advertisements, event notices and even Amber Alerts to be broadcast. The street signs themselves would be digital and aid in possible detour methods when traffic called for it. A wireless system that can dim itself, adjust to conditions such as light foot traffic, or be an emergency alert system. This all sounds good and plausible but there is a catch.

The cameras, microphones, and sensors inside the lights are written off as devices needed for transmission of the information that runs the lights and messages. They tell us it would help with crowd counting and traffic information. As citizens we just need to realize they will be watching, listening and possibly tracking the very moves of those in its vicinity. We have been sold on the need for “homeland security” and since 9/11 we have seen our freedoms diminishing.

Book Settings Become Realities

Posted: June 1, 2012 in News

Travel is something that most of us want to do for exposure to cultures and historic sites. Many get to go with family and friends making the event one of comfort and enjoyment.Some start out young learning to travel by themselves or never get to travel at all. I was able to strike out on my own and catch a ride with Occupy Portland as we pilled on a bus provided by the National Nurses United bound for Chicago,Illinois. We sent the week conducting direct actions and rallies against the NATO Summit that was being held down on the waterfront at the McCormick Place. From the 18th-21st of May we saw a police state form at the presence of so many concerned citizens flocking into the streets creating awareness of the end result that this path we are on will lead.

“A group of us bound to Chicago for the NATO Summit will remember this trip forever.”

Chicago is a city for me that from a young age I was dying to see. An apocalyptic fiction series set in the city had me wanting to explore Lake Shore Drive, ride the L, and see what Chi-Town could churn up. Imagine my surprise when the opportunity arrived in the form of being able to be apart of the actions happening against NATO. I rode a bus for over 48 from Portland, OR to meet up with the folks at what we called the Convergence Center. We were feed there and already decided to take the streets in honor of the members of Occupy Chi that were currently being held in jail after an illegal raid on their apartment. The days were filled with marches and public demonstrations to show the people of the world and Chicago that the war machine the nations have built via NATO has resulted in ethnic cleansing, civilian deaths, and continually destruction of the beautiful Middle East.

“Not the first time the blood flowed in the streets of Chicago

No chemical weapons were used on us during the protest but police brutality was experienced. Multiply times through the weekend we were surrounded and forced to go no-where.We were pushed, beaten, and arrested if not “complying” with the disperse announcement the CPD was giving. Not matter what time I was out the police filled the city and conversation on Sunday and Monday confirmed that the citizens themselves were getting a little scared rather than feel the sense of security. Media focused on the Sunday march and the “scuffle” that arose as protesters and police went at it but there is footage of the hundreds of demonstrators who were separated from these small group that Chicago Police Department decided to make an example of.

“Chi-Town we will meet again”

Coming back from Portland and having the calm manner of walking downtown at Pioneer was weird. For the first days I remembered the screams of the people as the clubs came down. I can hear our voices chanting “YOU DON’T NEED YOUR BOSS, YOUR BOSS NEEDS YOU!!” echoing off the buildings on Michigan Ave. The people I meet in the city as well as on the bus became the ones I will remember forever. These times we live in are filled with people telling us how and what to be, what are you doing to ensure others are aware of what is to come and happening in the world today?


Posted: January 7, 2012 in News

"They Thank Us For Marching"

As the war in Iraq has come to an end we wonder what really did happen? Did we do any good or was the cost one that could have been spent elsewhere? As the “struggle” to fund the military is one that is debated and continually defended as a necessity to keep America running, seems to involve some shady dealings. The families of those serving deserve our utmost respect for they make a sacrifice that none of us will ever be able understand. The joy and relief of picking a loved one up at the airport chases away the anxiety and fear that has been swelling inside of them these long months. I have seen first hand what a child goes through as their parent or even parents are on active duty. The days wishing for the relationship they see their friends having at home or the nights hoping their parent comes home from “work” alive.

Let us head on over to the war torn country of Iraq and see some of the missions our valiant soldiers carried out. In the town of Haditha civilians bore witness to the brutality of those Marines that target them only because their orders or CO tells these pawns to. The death of these 24 innocent civilians is inexcusable but the military comes to the aid of their puppets to ensure patriotism and duty were carried out to the max. The continuation of the brutality that has rocked the country of Iraq is a need to be brought into the light. The fact that this 2005 event was hopefully going to be forgotten in the flames of a carp dinner is absolutely a call to be outraged. The 400 pages of interrogations and evidence points to blatant abuse of America’s military “power” which needs to be know. We need to thank Michael S. Schmidt for grabbing these up and reporting the horrendous deaths of the children, women and the disable slaughter at the hands of Americans.