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.