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Hundreds of people turned out for the Obama fundraiser luncheon in Portland, about two thirds of them hardcore Obama supporters and Portlands elite paying thousands per plate in some cases, the other being true Portland progressive liberals. Many signs were held and dozens of supporters of Measure 80 (Legislature offering special federal laws to protect marijuana users/dispensaries) were speaking out publicly about cracks in federal law which make it harder for medicinal marijuana users to get their medicine. Security was high, and this year a complete four block shutdown of the Convertion Center property was enforced and the President’s route (undisclosed, but weirdly started at the “Gateway Breakfeast House”, my neighborhood restaurant) was heavily secured with Portland Police lining the the road all the way down the path (even blocking off freeway entrances). Many organizations including members of Occupy Portland and activist citizens made their presence known with signs and even one person wearing a papier-mache bobble mask of Obama. Portlanders showed out in numbers to stress their concerns, and the Portland Police Bureau was prepared with horse-back cops and riot police which were concealed behind the building. When it comes to remembering the nationwide journey, the President may find it hard to forget Portland.

Video Link:

Portland Shows Obama What Change Looks Like

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Around 400 supporters came out in solidarity with hunger striker Cameron Whitten of Occupy Portland on friday. Cameron has been striking for over 50 days now and without water since July 1st. Two other Portland Mayoral candidates came out to speak onstage with one of them, Jefferson Smith, causing a angered response by the audience by cursing at one point and shaming the strike. He managed to get somewhat of an applause by the end of his speech. Charlie Hales seemed more timid and compassionate, but there is concern over his stance on progressive issues.

Portlanders stated that candidates and votes are no longer bringing true change. They marched from Terry Schrunk Park to City Hall to Occupy in solidarity with the homeless camped there and made their presence known by surrounding the building and holding hands in a vigil. Cameron Whitten spoke and said that he will be aiming for the 70-day mark now until he gets a progressive response from the city. Many supporters slept overnight at the City Hall vigil.

Video Link:

EPIC Rally For Housing Justice on Cameron Whittens’ 50th Day Of Hunger Strike (short)

 

 

Activist, Occupy Portland pioneer, and Portland mayoral candidate Cameron Whitten is on a hunger strike that has lasted over 30 days, and now is deciding to even give up water. He shares with us his personal journey, which has taken him from the beginning of Occupy Portland to his run for Mayor of this city.

Video Link:

Interview With Cameron Whitten: 27-Day Hunger Strike In Portland Oregon 6.28.12

In review of an Oregonian article about squatters occupying a womans home in north portland since september yesterday (which was all over the news), I have come to the conclusion that something went wrong in Casey Parks’ head when she wrote the story. Of course she may just be perpetuating corporate medias lie. I saw the footage and I do not recognize these people…some were bandana wearing, but I don’t know them. The fact is there was a similar story a few months ago about squatters that were purported to be with Occupy…and were more believable in the sense, yet more anarchists than anything (at least this is what corporate media insinuated).

As an independent journalist, I am apalled of the number of times Occupy and Occupy Portland were used in the news and mainly in this artice. As you will read there, the people that were in the house had moved in last September, and Occupy didn’t start until October 6th. The woman who owned the house claimed to have gotten a fake notice of eviction, but the bank (which we later find out IS owned by a Bank of America affiliate) does later serve a real one. This is what the corporate media used to shame the occupants, pretty much accusing them of sending the letter in hopes of removing an elderly woman from her home to use it for their benefit. Who knows who sent the letter- it may have been sent from a con artist, or was official and actually sent from an entity within the conglomerate of Bank of America but publicly denied as a good PR move.

This editorial quoted other cases and classified the people that were squatting as Occupy Portland members, referencing anarchist materials found in homes. This material could be found in ANYBODYS home! When will mainstream media as well as the general public, realize that the term “Occupy” has now become an icon of a civil movement in its pioneering days. People who are fed up with the system occupy and protest and are subject to individual character, demographics, and common goals. This means variety. I seen an in-depth report four years ago showcasing american familys that have become displaced because of the economy, entering and occupying vacant homes. This is nothing new and whether needy people are gaining shelter, or methodically trying to send a message to the source of their suffering, you can’t blame them for neither.

I call for truth in reporting, and believe that Occupy organisations are repeatedly being targeted by the media as being culprits for every kind of demoralizing act, and when the encampment was present all crime within a ten block radius was conveniently blamed on Occupy. Mainsteam media as well as columnists such as the contributor of this article are working on a broader spectrum with corporations and government influence to shut down the mass demonstrations as they had to in the 60’s. Civil uprisings are devastating to the views of the US through the eyes of the world. That being said, this movement is worldwide and believe me, the power of social networking and mass communication is more powerful than manipulated media. No matter how you look at it, the people will prevail.

Here is the link to the story:

Oregonian article by Casey Parks

 

Yesterday Occupy Portland held an event in global solidarity with “The Symbiosis Project”, a message of world reform collaborated on by the peoples movement. This message was transcribed onto paper for everyone to read before the flash mob and dance party. A local radio station broadcasted the reading live with music to follow, and everyone was dancing in unison in Pioneer Square on the very first day of summer in Portland!

A representative who was organizing agreed to a media interview and told us that the event was part of a bigger mission to bring people in the movement together. He pointed out that this event is making a “statement of interdependence” to the world, and giving people an opportunity to create ways of working in soldarity across the world. There was also a suggestion of future Occupy events to take place not just on celebrative dates but on special (if not cosmic) occurances such as days like summer/winter solstice. Over 100 people showed out for this event with great energy. Nothing like the people coming together with common goals for a better life.

Video Link:

Occupy Portland Global Collaboration Flash Mob

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What an inspiring action presented by Occupy Portland in Portlands’ living room, Pioneer Square. Around 250 people showed up for the Facebook event created to bring solidarity with the students in Canada who are protesting in the thousands for education reform, as tuition rate increases are three times ours and interest rates are insane. This local rally showed the world and Canada that we are in support of the universal mission to lower the cost of higher education and increase the worth of degrees to actually make the academic investment worth it.

Great speeches were given by students and former students who were heavily affected by the debt they incurred while attending school. A contest was held to see who had the highest student debt, and a woman with 111,0000 dollars of debt took the crown. The frustration was seen in the faces of the many that decided to get up, grab the bull horn and tell their story. A visiting student from Montreal Canada just happened to be in Portland and spoke of how appreciative he is of all the solidarity that Portland is bringing to this issue. Another point I would like to make is that the private education industry is thriving off of students with tuition that’s twice as high as community or state colleges, and their marketing strategies such as TV ads that show low income or seemingly incompetent former and current students with success stories are leading people to believe the investment is worth it, when more than not, it’s not.

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Right To Survive hosts its second annual “Pitch A Tent II” action in solidarity with R2DToo and other homeless. The idea is for people to come down and camp along side the homeless to show solidarity for those who only ask for basic human needs. The property on NW 4th Ave is possibly being sold now and is facing future fines in addition to the current city fines in the thousands. At 10am this morning many marched in solidarity from the camp down 4th Avenue to set up tents and Occupy. Food tents were set up with suggested donations for R2S of any amount. I seen many people being fed and drinks, coffee, and condiments were offered.

Some usual Rose Parade camping patrons were fussy about some spaces being taken that they “usually camp” in, but property is not “owned” as we all know so you can’t designate your spot from last year. In fact pulling out chalk and duct tape isn’t going to help either, so accept the fact that the homeless are Occupying as they always have been…and that they do this 365 days a year. All of us deserve the right to basic human needs such as sleep, shelter, food, water, and hygiene. Right To Survive is planning to Occupy more spaces with tents over the next day and hopes to bring this issue to city leaders’ attention as well as the public. We also hope that they drop the fines and quit issuing more. In speaking with Ibrahim from R2DToo, I was told that everything went well and many people were showing up to camp. Casual police monitoring but no interference by them as nightfall came.

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 On May 24th, Occupy Portland along with postal union reps and union leaders met in Terry Schrunk Plaza and spoke of the cuts that are affecting community and rural Post Offices and their employees.  They then marched to the University Place Postal Office and proceeded to peacefully enter the establishment with paid-postage post cards to mail, asking the Post Master General to stop the cuts and closures to Post Offices across America.  Their statement is part of a bigger message to the government; stop the cuts to public services we so desperately need and rely on.  It was pointed out that there are many rural and elderly people who are not in the technological loop and in need of using mail to communicate for business, family, and well being.  The corporate media sloop on this is that technology is to blame for the crisis for no one seems to use “mail” anymore and “email” is dominating the industry.  They try to spin this in an interview with Jamie Partridge, lead organizing activist and former Postal employee.  Ten activists were arrested after closing of the building as a symbol of Occupying the Post Office to keep it open, here is a video link to the days action-

Video Link:  http://youtu.be/rYUkfJFeicE

Early morning on Saturday 5/26, the Reynolds School District accepted the contract set out by the Reynolds Teacher Association.  Teachers will vote on their agreement on Wednesday (5/30).  This shows what the education system means to people and how unified solidarity in the community can bring change.  Thanks to all those who came out in support.

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     At twelve noon on 5/23/12, a meeting was held by the Reynolds School District at the New Beginnings Christian Center regarding a teacher contract. Around 200 showed up with signs, banners, and PA equipment to facilitate the strike and rally. Even the Teamsters Union came through with a tractor trailer in solidarity. Many prominent Portland action groups were there and organizers gave thanks for their participation. Local organizations such as Portland Jobs With Justice, Portland Rising, Local 483, SEIU Local 49, and many others.

The Reynolds district closed their meeting at 2pm and told liasons that they had agreed to monetary portions of the contract, but not other teacher agreements. The teachers stand firm that they will take nothing less than a full agreement of the contract including such things as breaks for teachers, more class prep time, less furloughs, and smaller class sizes. The teachers had the support of the community and great speeches were given as well as an archival performance of a local Reynolds teacher which gave a “beat box” rap to inspire the people. Thanks to all who attended this event in solidarity.

 

Video Link:
Reynolds School District Negotiations Meeting Rally