Richmond Incident Calls: 8/24 – 8/31

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The intersection at SE 36th & Powell.

There were two injury accidents at SE 36th and Powell this week. No word on whether it was a vehicle on vehicle incident, or if there were pedestrians or cyclists involved. 36th is that intersection where that Starbuck’s Coffee is located. The crosswalk there has no signal, and it’s a section of Powell where drivers can really work up some speed. Scary stuff.

40th & Hawthorne: 8/28 – priority theft

Cesar Chavez & Market: 8/30 – priority assault

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THIS WEEKEND!

FRIDAY

Indie-pop from Lubec at Twilight Cafe. w/  Funeral Gold, Sean Archer. 1420 SE Powell * 9 pm * $5

Cruising down Foster, the Smart Collective storefront has often caught my eye. It’s described as a skateboard shop “plus community-building events.” Maybe tonight’s the night I finally pay a visit. Loser Boyfriend w/ Helens, Dowager, Radler. 6923 SE Foster * 5 pm * $5

SATURDAY

Everything’s good at LaurelThurst Public House. A might predictable, but good. Stubborn Lovers, Cedro Willie. 2958 NE Glisan * 9:30 pm * $5

Free Shakespeare in Laurelhurst Park! Henry IV, Part 1. Haven’t we had enough of sequels? “OPS Fest is dedicated to bringing a new style of Shakespearean performance to Portland and the surrounding area, by reviving the old. Their actors perform using the same performance techniques as they did in Shakespeare’s own time, which means limited rehearsal, an onstage prompter, fast-paced energetic acting, and lots of audience interaction!” 3756 SE Oak * 7 pm – 9 pm * free

Get down with the Yak Attack’s “electronic dance fusion” tonight. Goodfoot Lounge, 2845 SE Stark * 9 pm * $7

Richmond Crime Calls: 8/17 – 8/24

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3700 block of Hawthorne: 8/17 – bomb or chemical investigation.

41st block of Division: 8/20 – priority vandalism

33rd block of Powell: 8/23 – priority theft

28th block of Powell: 8/21 – medical assist

The two traffic incidents on Hawthorne and the 1 on Powell were non-injury accidents.

PP (Proactive Policing) include community policing, pedestrian stops, and vehicle stops. Theres been no clarification as to the difference between PP stops and regular traffic stops. I’ll look into it.

Multiple incidents: 

35th Pl. block of Hawthorne: 8/19 – priority welfare check and person contact

41st and Hawthorne: 8/22 – 2 traffic stops

37th and Hawthorne: 8/20 – area check; 8/22 – 2 traffic stop, person contact, non-injury accident

Cesar Chavez and Hawthorne: 8/22 – 6 traffic stops

Cesar Chavez and Division: 8/20 – injury accident (A pedestrian was involved according to a report on Reddit Portland.)

Cesar Chavez and Powell: 8/19 – traffic stop; 8/22 – traffic stop

For more information visit CrimeReports.com or contact Portland Police Bureau. The Richmond neighborhood is Hawthorne Blvd. to the north; 50th Ave. and 52nd Ave. to the east; Powell Blvd. to the south; and 29th Ave. to the west.

THIS WEEKEND!

FRIDAY

Part of MFNW, Bearcubbin’ is a three-piece instrumental math rock band from Portland. Bunk Bar, SE Water Ave. & Taylor * 9 pm * $8

Image result for centaur guitarFor Centaurpalooza, over 30 bands play over two days at nearby bar. The lineup seems like mostly rock and punk bands. Don and the Quixotes (¨1960’s style surf instrumentals awash in gold sequins!¨) sound fun… It’s also a band called Titty Babies first show. I’m sure you’re fully sold now. Katie O’Brien’s, 2809 NE Sandy: 8 pm, Fri & Sat * Centaur Guitar parking lot, 2833 NE Sandy: noon, Sat * free

The Hollerbodies are bluegrass with a cello… beautiful. w/ Joel Medina. Jade Lounge,  2342 SE Ankeny St. * ?? * free 

SATURDAY

Do you like punk and metal?? I’m not that into it, though slam dancing at PDX Pop Now! was really fun. But if you are, check out Festicide 2 this weekend. They’re taking on MFNW, and the shows are all free or cheap. It looks like the Mercury has the best show schedule.

And now for something completely different… Classical and jazz ensembles at Holocene. w/ Xx Digitus Duo, Sounds Of Late, Douglas Detrick, Michael Gamble, Beth Karp, Mont Chris Hubbard, and Barra Brown. 1001 SE Morrison * 6:30 pm * $10

Having a Safe Space Policy is Easy, Enforcing It is the Hard (and Important) Part

“They who have the watch must keep the lookout…” an old West Indian saying goes. It speaks to the responsibility of those who are chosen, or set themselves up, as protectors of a community.

Several months back, a member of the Food not Bombs PDX community asked for help because they were being harassed by another member. It was a brave and probably difficult choice. We all just want to make tasty food, sit in the park, and eat with friends, but FNB PDX has a safe space policy, and we should have the courage to defend our friends and our values.

Meetings were held with both folks involved, and a small self-selected group of FNB volunteers decided the accused had violated the community’s safe space policy and should be banned from the feed. As far as I know, there wasn’t an announcement about the process, and I wasn’t included in the meetings even though I had helped cook almost every week for about nine months. I did my best to keep track of progress, however, hoping things would be handled well.

I was surprised that this process wasnt more open. Of course the person who is asking for help shouldn’t have share personal details with the entire community, but at some point the situation needs to be shared with everyone— so there can be buy-in for any decision reached, and so community members can guard against a person who has been found to cause harm.

K, the person who was banned, is still allowed to attend FNB. He has not acknowledged the harm he has caused and is still causing harm by verbally attacking members of the community, including myself, for what he thinks was an unjust process. K is a thin, light-skinned male with brown eyes. He is balding, with curly black hair and a full beard. Lately he has been covering his face with a scarf.

In my opinion, the response to the situation from the FNB PDX community has been a failure, and I’m not helping with the meal any more unless things change. Along with not enforcing the ban, the inner circle of volunteers has failed by not have a more open process, and not communicating with the wider FNB PDX about the decision reached. I feel responsible for this situation because I’ve invested time and energy in this community, but those who have have conducted the process bear the bulk of responsibility for what I see as serious failures.

The person who asked for help isn’t satisfied with the current situation either, and is also questioning whether she wants to be associated with a group unwilling to protect its members. She has asked at least one member of the inner-circle of volunteers to help enforce the ban, but the person who asked for help said they refused. I hope that when the wider FNB community finds out what has been happening, they will also demand changes.

I’m sure I will be criticized for making this public, but I’ve talked to many of the folks who organized the process, (there’s no formal leadership structure, so I’m not even sure who was included) and I don’t think the will is there to enforce the ban or open the safe space process. Regardless of what happens, I must speak my truth and my reason for moving on.

I wouldn’t be surprised if those who controlled the process will try to silence the conversation (by deleting a Facebook post), so that’s why I’m posting this on my own site. I hope that this post will spur action, and at the least, allow others to learn from FBN PDX’s missteps.

Soon after the safe space meetings, as we prepared food one Monday, one of the inner-circle organizers said Kay was banned from FNB and should not be served. There was a brief explanation given, enough to make me comfortable with the decision. Even though I wasn’t part of the process and uncomfortable with its exclusivity, I was glad to have a role in enforcing the decision. After a few hours of chopping and cooking, we biked the food to the park. Another newer, non-inner circle volunteer and I were the first of about six servers, sitting in the grass happily serving food.

When K reached the line of serving pans and extended his empty bowl to us, we told him that he was banned for his bad behavior. One of the inner-circle volunteers briefly told him he was holding up the line, but other than that, it was just us two awkwardly and apologetically refusing him. Where were the people who decided on the ban? It would have been nice to have some backup, some community support, but no one else stepped up.

A long-time volunteer, who I believe was part of the meetings, told a friend to take his bowl and let her fill it. The other newer volunteer and I were thankful for an end to the standoff, although it felt wrong. A couple of kids were angry and yelled at me for attempting to refuse service to K. I tried to explain the situation to them, but they weren’t hearing me. We argued for a bit, then they took their food and left.

I’m not sure what happened at the following servings, and then I was out of the country for five weeks. When I returned, K was back around creepily hanging out but not really engaging with anyone. I’d say hello, but mostly I just ignored him. I didn’t think to ask what had happened with the ban.

At FNB two Mondays ago, I was verbally attacked by K. He said I was an asshole and unjust for “just going along with the group” concerning his ban, all while jabbing his finger in my face and shaking with anger. It’s not fun being cussed out while trying to enjoy delicious handmade pasta and puttanesca sauce with fruit salad, but I’m glad it happened. It woke me up to the fact that this situation isn’t settled.

The only advice I got from one of the inner circle volunteers who overheard the interaction was: “I would have kicked his ass.” K’s attack is the second and last time I will be left hanging by this community. I found out later he’s done the same thing to several other community members, and it seems like there has been no community response.

The attack made me investigate what was going on. Since I was gone, I wasn’t sure if there had been some sort of reckoning that I didn’t know about. Nothing had changed, I found out; the ban was just not being enforced.

A few years back a group of bike (bicycle) gangs collectively known as Zoo Bombers organized Monday Funday in Summers Park. They cleaned up trash, stopped fights, intervened with the police, and helped keep event safe and fun.

One Monday back then while I was playing dodge ball, somebody came on to the court and barked a few sentences I didn’t hear. He turned and walked away quickly. About half the players followed. I followed too, just to see what was going on.

About 20 people formed a semi-circle around one person, a youngish man with baggy pants and a flat brimmed hat pulled down over his eyes. He was told several times he wasn’t welcome at the park. They yelled. They jeered. Somebody snuck up behind him and expertly snatched his pants down. The crowd could have easily beaten him up and dragged him out of the park, but they did not. He argued with the crowd, but after a few minutes went silent. The crowd held their ground, continuing their demand that he leave. In about ten minutes before he left, and the crowd cheered before returning to their beers, bikes, and dodge ball.

I was told the person asked to leave had threatened someone with a gun at a party, and the community decided he was no longer welcome at the Zoo Bomber events. I’m glad I was told what was going on— and when I found out what happened, of course I supported the action. The flexing of community power was truly a beautiful thing to watch. At the time I wondered why they didn’t just smash him so we could get back to playing dodge ball, but looking back their commitment to non-violence is laudable.

FNB PDX is an entirely different community, with entirely different values, but I think we could learn from how the Zoo Bombers handled their ban. Here is my suggestion:

Summer Park is public, but if K joins the feed, whether to eat or just sit, I think a group of people should let him know why he is banned and ask him to leave. It doesn’t have to be loud, and shouldn’t be aggressive, but it should be clear— and the message should come from several individuals. The person who asked for help thinks that folks should express individually that they don’t want his company, and get up and move if he joins their circle. We have slightly different ideas on tactics, but we both agree something should be done.

I would be willing to stay involved if more than a few folks are willing to commit to standing with me in asking K to leave, and the inner-circle volunteers commit to a more open safe space enforcement process. Otherwise, I’m done with helping the Monday FNB.

In one sense K was right: I was unjust for “going along with the group.” But not by enforcing the ban— rather by letting the ban slide. I apologized to the person who asked for help for my inaction, and still have some hope the FNB PDX community can come together to find a solution. The entire FNB PDX community owes her an apology as well. I doubt anyone who has witness this safer space process would ask for help… they would probably just stop coming.

Everyone deserves food and everyone needs community, but we must hold fast to standards of conduct. K maintains he has done nothing wrong, and has learned nothing from this process. I feel the ban should be upheld until he admits fault and begins the process of change. By just letting him hang out, we are denying him the accountability that could motivate him to get help and disrespecting the person who bravely asked for help.

I have really enjoyed cooking food and getting to know the volunteers of FNB, and I know I’m probably burning bridges with this post. It’s satisfying to save food from the landfill. It’s fun turning it into a healthy, delicious meal with compassionate, fun folks. It’s wonderful serving that food to activists and the food insecure. Even with all the great experiences I’ve had through FNB PDX and the relationships I’ve made while volunteering, I refuse to help with an event that won’t uphold its decisions and values.

Inner SE Crime: Monday 7/27 – Monday 8/3

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It’s a relatively quiet week for crime in Inner SE… but I bet you’re wondering what’s happening down on Powell.

From west to east, multiple @ 28th: 2 hazardous conditions and 1 non-injury accident; non-injury accident; injury accident; DUI; non-injury accident; non-injury accident; multiple @ 43nd: hazardous conditions and non-injury accident; 2 priority hit and run (likely same incident); DUI; priority hit and run; unknown injury accident; and a priority hit and run.

At 52nd and Division, the mulitple incident was a non-injury accident and a priority hit and run.

I also know there was at least one car theft, my friend’s, that didn’t make the crime map…

A Flag Fit for Cascadia

cascadiaflagTwenty years have passed since Alexander Baretich designed a flag to represent Cascadia. He’s seen it grow from an epiphany had while pining for his homeland overseas, to a ubiquitous meme adopted by activists, a Native tribe, soccer teams, brewers, and residents of the Pacific Northwest.

Baretich is part of a four-person cooperative crowd sourcing money on Indiegogo (campaign page) to bring manufacture the flags to the bioregion of Cascadia.

“It’s time to move away from the Chinese-made flags,” Baretich said. “Once this campaign is finished, and we get this money for the cooperative, we’ll get flags out there that are high-quality at a lower price.”

In 2011, he approved finding the cheapest manufacturing price so the meme would spread— understanding that the flag would eventually be manufactured locally. The crowd sourcing campaign is close to its goal, Baretich said. There was a lot of support at the beginning, but donations have dropped off recently. Baretich said they sought support from about eleven companies who used the image. Two responded, and only one agreed to help. He said he was surprised that the companies profiting from the image weren’t supporting the flag cooperative.

The infrastructure and materials aren’t available to have every element of the flag made locally, but Baretich said plans are in place to have the flags sewn and printed here. Sales of the flag will help support a living wage for the cooperative members, he said. Eventually he wants to use hemp for the flag, but most hemp comes from China and the best is very expensive.

After the flag was designed in 1995, he discovered in 2005 through an Internet search that it had gained maturity as a meme. His child Doug had reached adolescence, and was into sports and beer— a joking reference to its use by the Portland Timbers and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Many flags were given away at the Occupy Portland camp— spreading the image among local activists. Baretich describes his reaction to the flag’s maturity as a meme:

Here’s the video from 2010 of a huge Doug Fir being raised over the Timbers Army.

The need for a symbol of paradigm shift came to Baretich while he was in high school, after a series of losing battles against deforestation and development in the suburbs of Portland. He goes into more detail on the flag’s origin in an article on his website, Free Cascadia. He wrote:

It was at that point I started to search for some means to shift the consciousness of people from anthropocentric (human centered) to one that was biocentric (life centered). I knew whatever that was, that catalysis, it had to be emotion driven and needed to have that “aha” moment or epiphany at the human conscious level. I also knew it was not something one necessarily went out and found, but was something that would reveal itself when it was time. So that began a subconscious search for what I would call a transformative icon.

He had his epiphany in 1995, when he was teaching in Europe. While describing his Cascadian homeland to a companion, the idea for the flag suddenly came to him. The colors of the flag, known as the “Doug Fir,” represent the landscape and sky, and the tree represents resilience and defiance against humanity’s destruction of nature, he said.

Baretich said he’s not surprised or concerned that the flag has expanded beyond its original meaning. When he was first distributing the flags, people told him it represented independence and secession to them, but now most people say that it means permaculture and an awakening of bio-regionalism.

In conversation and on social media, Baretich is quick to defend the idea that the flag represents Cascadia as a bioregion— not a new nation. Secession would just remake the sins of the United States, he believes. Change needs to happen from the ground up, and he has written a list of ten things that must happen before he would support independence for Cascadia.

After publication, Baretich followed up with this quote that many supporting bioregionalism say: “Its not secession, but ecological succession… and not independence, but interdependence that we seek as awakened bioregionalists seeking return to the Living Mother Earth.”

Baretich encourages the public to support the flag cooperative campaign, and help bring its manufacture a back to Cascadia. The Indegogo campaign ends July 14, and they have reached 90 percent of their goal. Indegogo keeps nine percent of the funds if the goal isn’t reached, and four percent if it is.