Friday, October 21, 2016

Social Justice Action Center: HOLDING GROUND 10/4/16

*Update, they made their fundraising goal! Hooray!

FB Event Write up:

"SJAC presents: Holding Ground
or, How community organizations can resist rent spikes, together!

Speakers: Margot Black, Portland Tenants United; Robert Van Pelt, Tututni Siletz & Umatilla (SJAC board); Mic Crenshaw, hiphop artist & organizer (SJAC board), Grant Neal, Casa Wovoka Native NA; Jonny Cool, local musician, and more!

Music: Jonny Cool; Sam & Hector Romero

Rents in Portland are rising, and long-term grassroots institutions are being forced out. But the Social Justice Action Center is bucking that trend!

Join us for a special open house at the Center where we share our model for grassroots organizing in the heart of Portland, especially by and for marginalized communities and organizers of color. 

5:30p doors open, 6:30p program

We'll have a silent auction, friendly music, and timely conversation about how to build long-term places for grassroots groups to share. View silent auction items here:

Learn how you can get involved in this important moment as we raise the $20,000 we need to save our building and purchase it for community movements. Contributions to SJAC are matched dollar for dollar till we make our goal!

It's a commonplace that rents in Portland -- for housing and for organizations -- are through the roof, with landlords and developers making bank on affluent incomers, and the rest of us pushed to the brink.

Many community groups that have played a vital role in creating the Portland that has attracted so many, are now forced to move or close. From radical bookstores to artists' co-ops, from underground publishers to alternative cafes, many of those that don't hew to the Division St. veneer (and have deep pockets) are being pushed out.

This won't last forever. But to keep community organizing strong -- whether among marginalized communities that are increasingly forced to the perimeters of the city, or among creatives and radicals scrapping to keep the spark alive closer in -- we need places in the heart of Portland as permanent homebases.

Our conversation will feature people who've experienced the recent changes firsthand, and will discuss various approaches to keeping community places open and available. We'll especially look at opportunities for our movements to own properties, protecting them from speculation, and how we can best get there -- showcasing SJAC's own current campaign to buy its building."

Keep Portland Housed Rally 9/17/16

A soggy day of housing justice.


"Join us on the one year anniversary of the city's declaration of a housing emergency to demand a REAL response with REAL impact to our housing crisis.

The kids have just started another school year, yet no-cause evictions and enormous rent increases continue to threaten their security and educational success. And the shorter days are a reminder that winter is around the corner .... will we let our lack of tenant protections continue to add our families, our sick, and our elderly to the growing homeless population this winter?

We cannot wait for more supply. We cannot wait for the state to act. How many more of our residents are forced to choose between rent and food, financially destabilized by rent increases and forced displacement, pushed into homelessness, or further and further out of the city (only to add to the growing traffic congestion by driving back in for work) before we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! How many more waves of gentrification do we have to powerlessly watch before we say WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!?

Together we can control the rent. But only if we do it together. WE NEED EVERYONE there to show our city that this is a problem we can ignore no longer. We won't settle for any more excuses -- but that goes for all of us too. YOU need to be there to show that renters aren't just a special interest group -- that we are Portland. And being able to have safe, stable, secure, healthy, affordable housing in the communities we built and mutually depend upon is good for everyone, good for the city, and vastly more important than an entitlement to profit."

RED CRY Film 9/19/16

Powerful film screening hosted by Tryon Life Community grateful for those in attendance. <3

FB Event Details

"Directed by the Lakota Cante Tenze Okolakiciye - Strong Heart Warrior Society in 2012 and 2013, Red Cry chronicles the history of the Lakota Nation's struggle and resistance to colonialism. Traditional Lakota elders and warriors from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation risk their lives to share their stories of resistance and tradition in the face of corruption, abuse, theft, and oppression under genocidal policies and behaviors on the part of the US government, its entities, and white America and her little brothers.

Please join members of the Lakota Solidarity Project at Tryon Life Community Farm in SW Portland this Monday evening for a screening followed by a brief update on the situation that grassroots Lakota people are facing...the pipeline is just one face of the beast! And learn about new directions of resistance in the name of Indigenous independence and opportunites to be in solidarity with Lakota Oyate and the Independent Lakota Nation. "

Full Film below:

Prisoner Strike Rally PDX 9/9/16

I was there in solidarity with many folks, in the streets for justice-much respect all around.

More links covering the action.:

I spent $300 in 2 years.(sans rent)


*Sans rent($150/month) and some EBT(Food Stamp) usage. With rent factored in, I am sitting at about $3,800 over 24 months of living in Portland,

**As I learn more about the framework of intersectionality, I also want to note my privilege as middle-class raised, college-educated, white-cis-male-able-bodied-childless person living in an abundant. radical friendly city(i.e. lots of waste stream products; free boxes, dumpstering etc) in the USA.

Last year's post total $150.

Since 2015 I haven't kept quite as detailed accounts of my spending, but I am rounding it up to another $150 just to keep it could actually be more like $270.

When I moved last September, I bought a used pc monitor($30), a new bottom bracket for my bike ($60), and several MAX tickets(approx $30). The res($30 is miscelaneous(e.g. pitching in TP supply for house)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Paying The Price for Peace" Film Screening 8/2/16

Heroic story and human being. 

FB write up:

Occupy Portland Elder Caucus invites you to a screening of "Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson (and the Peace Movement)"

~ Produced & Directed by Bo Boudart
~ Narrated by Peter Coyote
~ Associate Producer Frank Dorrel

Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson paid the price for peace as he was run over and nearly killed by a military train during a non-violent protest in 1987. Since then, he has not stopped calling attention to the US government's defiance of international law through waging endless illegal wars. PAYING THE PRICE FOR PEACE exposes the truth about the United States' addiction to war and the lies it perpetuates in order to wage ongoing violence. The film features the voices of other high-profile antiwar activists, including many military veterans.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Don't Shoot PDX Community Art Project 8/9/16

Honored to have attended this last Tuesday August 9th. Profound performances all around. Excited to see intersectionality alive and well too, with the inclusion of indegenous peoples, as well as a presentation from Free Palestine. Solidarity!


FB Event Details:

This #BlackAugust we will commemorate our annual Community Art Project with Social Justice Forums and Live Art Exhibitions including LIVE Performances showcasing the work of Social Justice against Hate and Systemic Discrimination!! More details coming soon!!

Weaving Together: Community HeartShare And Speak Out 7/31/16

Back on July 31st, I met with a few dozen other folks concerned about social and racial justice in light of recent events, and we had a chance to share our experience.

I brought up the unifying strength of intersectionality, seeing how all systems of oppression share common roots of othering, violence and so on. I overstepped a bit by making a point to mention my stance as a vegan, and the aspect of speciesism being left out of the usual discussion...I made amends for seemingly derailing too much from the more pointed topic of racial justice...still learning  how to skillfully present this rather loaded subject.

Just as we were all wrapping up and about to head home, an officer from the Portland Police actually wandered over to us, holding up a phone saying "You see the evidence? I took pictures? I'm not chasing around black kids!" Obviously, he was emoting something pretty strong, and he had no idea what we were up to. We offered him compassion and empathy in true NVC fashion, and it was remarkable to see him open up to us and, we had an incredible dialogue for nearly an hour!

FB Event and write up:

At VBC 2016, we embarked on a journey of weaving together, asking questions to explore what it will truly take to confront oppression. There are no easy answers or solutions, but what was clear is that these conversations must continue.

With recent events around the country, the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the Dallas 5, and so many more over the years, we are a nation rocked with grief, in all its many phases and stages, including denial, resistance, and deep mourning. Hearts tender from scars ripped open reveal the weeping wounds of this nation.

“Things are not getting worse, they are getting uncovered. We must hold each other tight & continue to pull back the veil.”

Let us come together and hold each other tight as we hear each other’s voices, songs, poetry, and words. Let us feel each other’s sadness, grief, anger, rage, and unfounded hope. Let us speak, cry, hug, and dance. Together.

We continue to ask the question of what will it take for us to weave together as community across the many ways we have been divided against each other, and within ourselves, to confront the oppression that is intended to keep us separate. This history etched into our bones will not define us, but inform us. This painted skin we wear, the colors of ancestry remembered. These experiences we live must be revealed, witnessed, and respected. We are the keys that will unlock our future. Together we will be as relentless as the ocean waves crashing upon the shores to reshape the landscape of our lives, to advance justice that we may know peace.

Join us in Weaving Together…

Holladay Park
NE Portland
4 – 7 pm

3:30p – Gather Together
4:00p – Opening Circle, Prayer & Honoring
4:30p – Community Heart Share and Speak Out
5:00p – Small Group Rap Sessions
5:30p – Collective Harvest
6:00p – Community Heart Share and Speak Out
6:30p – Closing Circle
7:00p – Clean-up

~*~*~ Flow of the schedule may change ~*~*~
*** Portions of the evening will be Live Streamed ***

You are invited to bring a picnic and share in food together. Please, no alcohol.

We are gathering in peace and love, with honesty and courage. We are weaving together. We are sharing our hearts and challenging our minds. We are naming our experience and being witnessed. We are creating a safe space for the full expression of our humanity.

We are going on a journey of deep listening, of being in connection with each other, of sitting in the fire of discontent and not turning away. We are inviting an exploration to see where this question we have asked will lead us – What Will it Take for Us to Weave Together to Confront Oppression? Let’s release any expectations or attachments to how far we travel, what the terrain will look like, or the specific ground we will cover.

More than anything, people need to be heard, with deep listening, full presence, and an openness to step outside of our beliefs, our boxes, and our comfort zones. The request is that we suspend judgment, allow for difference, and invite vulnerability.

Base assumptions we are working from:
~ Racism, sexism, & classism are real and woven into our human experience in modern times
~ This ism schism is intrinsically connected to a "power over" belief system
~ The effects of colonialism are still playing out today
~ Life as it has been must change
~ People joining together will be powerful in creating meaningful change

…Join us…

Brought to you by City Repair/VBC, Don’t Shoot PDX, and Speaking the Unspeakable®

Sunday, August 7, 2016

South Korean Dog Meat Festival Protest 7/21/16

Photo credits to Amit Zinman.

Additional Info on the more well known Yulin dog meat festival

FB event write up:

The Yulin dog meat festival has just passed, and now Korea is gearing up for Sambok/Boknal which means “three dog meat eating days.” This slaughter is another "tradition" that concocts an excuse to eat dog and cat meat. This 'festival' is touted as a means to 'fight the heat during the summer.' Why are dogs eaten then? Because according to the website Life In Korea, this time period is known throughout the region as the "dog days of summer." Hence, it appears as if many people in South Korea believe that boiling, butchering, torturing and eating dog and cat meat will lower the temperature of their country. The only thing that is guaranteed to 'heat up' are the voices in protest against this abhorrent 'tradition.' The dates for this country's slaughter are based on the lunar calendar and they are on July 13, 23, and August 1 this year.

An estimated 2.5 million dogs and thousands of cats are slaughtered and eaten as “health food” each year in South Korea.

Forced to endure deprivation and unimaginable torment from the moment they are born until the day they are slaughtered, dogs are imprisoned in cramped, rusty, raised cages all their lives with no protection from extreme weather and no water, exercise, companionship or medical care, never feeling the ground beneath feet. Their eardrums are often burst to prevent them from barking.

In broad daylight, often in front of other live dogs, they are electrocuted, hanged, beaten or burnt to death. This is a profit-driven, tax free, unregulated industry that aggressively promotes the myth that eating a dog (especially the dog’s penis) enhances male virility and gives men energy. In addition, consumption peaks during the hottest days of summer!

Koreans genuinely believe that the more a dog suffers, the more the consumer will enjoy both the health benefits and the meat… Many dogs are sadistically made to experience extreme fear and suffering prior to death. Cats are frequently boiled alive to make tonics believed to treat rheumatism. The demand is so high in South Korea that 20% of the dogs eaten there are now imported from China.

South Korea is the only country known to have large, intensive farming systems to supply the demand for dog meat.

We must ACT NOW!!!!!

Leaflets and a few posters will be provided but homemade posters, props and other materials are encouraged! You can also go to Costco and get your own sign printed. :) Thank you!!! :-)

There are also petitions to be signed and sent to the Ambassador of South Korea, should you not be able to attend this rally. Please click below to see what you can do to help on any day of the year.

"How to Let Go Of The World..." Film review 7/17


Back on July 17th the fine folks at PlanetRepair in SE PDX hosted a showing/discussion of "How to Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Can't Change".

A very powerful film that explores the realization we are kind of borked in many respects, and cannot avoid some of these intense feedback loops occurring all around us...yet how do we carry on with beauty and grace? I find it interesting how the discussion has shifted from the day of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" of here are all the ways we can "prevent climate catastrophe", to "it's a runaway train of destruction", whereby the vanguard of environmentalist/transition/new kulture types are tasked with guiding us through all of this.

In one way, this is absolutely terrifying...but it's also an opportunity for more authentic and impassioned way of life...I know I have been laying my own foundation to assist in this effort for a few years now, and feeling all the more capable as time goes on.

Strength through community.
Inspired by love.

Monday, August 1, 2016

2 Year Veganniversary!

I just celebrated my 2 year Veganniversary! I had originally gone vegan for 6 months in 2012, mainly for health reasons(lost 40lbs) but fell off the wagon in 2013. However, I was inspired by Touching Earth Sangha and other folks in the Food Not Bombs community, and re-committed my whole being two summers ago.

Probing further, the ethical and environmental pillars really cemented it for me. Cowspiracy came out in 2014, and also youtube/social media has EXPLODED with videos, information, blog posts etc. I've dived in deep, and am very grateful to act as a skillful ambassador for this beautiful way of life.

Just in the last few months, I've really stepped up my vegan activist game, going to numerous actions, blogging and attacking social media something fierce, and coming alive with the all-inclusive and radical intersectional angle. I am helping to restart the Collectively Free PDX Chapter as well, and hope to offer more talks/presentations to the wider community, incorporating Non-Violent Communication, and respectful dialogues/interactions with all.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Pokemon Freebox: #GottaChangeThemAll

So this is our Freebox outside my house...apparently PokeBalls live here now.

As does radical messages about shifting the paradigm!

Thanks for the inspiration Wokemon!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Unlocking The Cage Movie Premier Portland Screening Review 7/7

Saw "Unlocking the Cage" at the historic Hollywood Theater the other week, a very powerful and timely film for the vegan movement. No doubt the legal precedent set by Steve Wise and his amazing  team, in their fight for animal rights of person-hood, will go down as a landmark effort in this grand struggle. It was also a pleasure to see Steve and the filmmakers after the showing, for some informative and inspiring Q&A.

This subject reminds of an episode of The Big Question, an excellent BBC series that explores all kinds of social mores-especially religious ones-and this one dived headlong into the question of great apes having rights.

More info on Unlocking The Cage:
UNLOCKING THE CAGE follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections.

Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse. UNLOCKING THE CAGE captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rethinking Permaculture Summer Solstice Convergence 6/17

Had another lovely convergence on the 17th of June. Many wonderful people coming together to probe deeper into the philosophical underpinnings of "permaculture", and how to manifest the most beautifully wholesome lives possible.

Last time I presented on "Radically Transcending Money" and "Food Reclamation in our Time of Cultural Transition" (read more here), while this time I held a workshop for "Intersectional Veganism". The latter subject is very much alive for me right now....I find it essential for an all-inclusive, holistic approach to activism and service. All systems of harm and oppression are interconnected...and by truly seeing that, we can unite and build stronger movements.

Joseph Herbert actualy recorded some of the audio from some of the workshops!

here are a few audio recordings from the workshop:
audio recordings from the event!
here is what was captured:
## day 1: ##
* wkshop slot 1: morning AM skillshare - @Brittani, others
* wkshop slot 2: eco-conscious hygiene - Amit Zinman
* wkshop slot 3: intersectional veganism - Tyler Whitney
* wkshop slot 5: (last half-hour recorded, of) Spiritual Heart of Sustainable Culture - Satya Vayu

## unknown slot: ##
* Spiritual Roots Circle - Satya Vayu
# link to download above audio files! #

### P.S. if you have other notes (e.g. written in your notebook/journal?), and you'd like to snap a pic of them and share... please do so!
I also offered Kaleidoscope Yoga as well, which I been helping teach for a few months now. This practice has been a wonderful way to connect with others, while getting some much needed positive touch and stretching.

We also plan on doing these every Solstice/Equinox, so every 3 months we will have a gathering to come together to share insights, successes/failures and grow together as we continue to shift the paradigm.

Write up from our Facebook group:

"Traditional permaculture has great insights into more sustainable ways to grow our own food – we aim to expand the vision of sustainability to include the practical changes we can make to our daily lives, right now, to create less harm to our world, and to foster a more ecologically sensitive, and more joyfully vibrant, human culture.

We will cover techniques to grow more of our own food, but also look at the daily consumer habits and lifestyle patterns that we take for granted, and to explore how they might be transformed to free us from the oppressive and unhealthy aspects of our society.

We will consider what it means to practice “spiritual permaculture” – living in a way that honors all living beings, and all the diversity of life on our planet, as our family. In this light, we will focus on practices that don’t confine or cause suffering to other animals for our own (human) benefit.
  • Veganic farming strategies
  • Reducing dependence on the money system
  • Intersectional Veganism
  • Fostering community sharing
  • Mending/Repairing
  • Meditation, movement, and sound practices to support a sustainable life
  • Spiritual Root of Permaculture"

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vegan: Everyday Stories Film Review(PDX Premier!)

I attended the Portland Premier of Vegan: Everyday Stories last Sunday(June 12th) at Clinton Street Theater, and was really enamored with this film. It has a lot of warmth and character, is beautifully shot, and gives wonderful portrayal of a cross-section of vegans making their mark in the world. The approachable narrative is a welcome  one, as often times we can get bogged down with the typical vegan movies that go hard into the data and arguments, sometimes overwhelming with facts and figures. It also has a lot of local connections, being supported by NW VEG and producer Eric Day, and featuring a few folks from our neck of the woods.

The film will be released for FREE soon on Youtube, Vimeo etc, so be sure to host a viewing party and share with your friends.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Patagonia Vegan Action 5/21/16

Last Saturday, several of us held an action to raise awareness about Patagonia using animal products in their textiles, and their more audacious "Patagonia Provisions" line of "sustainable and humane" salmon and buffalo.

This runs counter to their mission statement of "not causing unnecessary harm." Initially it may seem like it's a bit of stretch going after a company generally regarded as "conscious", but I think it's important to not get bamboozled by the "humane-washing" that many such organizations deploy, trying to appease the consciousness of their customers, with their carefully crafted image of  eco-friendly, and ethically sound consumerism.

FB Event:

For our May Monthly Activist Event, let’s ask Patagonia to live up to their own mission statement of not causing any “unnecessary harm” by going cruelty free. Many of their products that contain or are made from animal ingredients cause a great deal of unnecessary harm to animals.

Let’s bring copies of the petitions and hold signs (we will have enough for those that RSVP as “going/attending” and a few extra) to urge Patagonia to do the right thing by choosing kindness and compassion and becoming a cruelty free business.

Let’s be a voice for the animals and the environment and ask Patagonia to stop selling animal products. Their own mission statement claims that they wish to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” We all know that selling animal products is not helping the environment.

Please Ask Patagonia to go Cruelty Free

Go to the website below and sign the petition. Also email them at