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Individuals For Justice Blog
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Zapatista Solidarity Rally
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Rally at the Mexican Consulate in Portland June 19 2014
Topic: Justice





This Solidarity rally was held in front of the Mexican Consulate in downtown Portland Oregon.


[11 min video]  

Recent attacks in Chiapas that left an unarmed teacher dead and many other unarmed Zapatistas wounded need an immediate response to stop possible future attacks by paramilitaries with ties to the state government.
Solidarity events are being held across the nation.

"This RALLY WILL CONTINUE same place and same time on JUNE 27th"

The Mexican Consulate in Portland Email contact is: portland@sre.gob.mx
The Mexican Consulate in Portland phone number is; 503-274-1442

More information on this tragic attack can be found here:

Posted by individuals4justice at 5:53 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2014 6:09 PM PDT
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The lust of power and wealth is a disease
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Vote For Who?
Topic: WARS

Vote For Who?




Can you be a modern day democrat and call yourself a progressive? The answer is no, you belong to a political party that is corrupt. Can you be a modern day republican and call yourself a human being? The answer again is no, you belong to a political party that is corrupt and dying. We have a two party system in these United States, no we don’t.

I could list all the stupid things republicans have said over the years but most democrats know what they have said and republicans, along with fox news, just don’t care. The main difference between Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Ted Cruz is in degrees, not policy. Sen. Boxer, Sen. Merkley, are people who have been around in our political system and vote time after time to keep this crap going, Sen. Teddy does the same but more often. That is why I say it is a matter of degrees and not policy. I want to say Sen. Boxer, or for that matter Sen. Feinstein are good and noble human beings but they are not. Sen. Feinstein is one of the richest members of the Senate; should that be held against her, yes. Sen. Merkley seems to be a man who has principles, he is not. We have a mess on our hands because people seem to think these politicians can help, yes they can but will they---no!

The system survives on the principle that each member of congress and the white house must take their turn in keeping the status quo going. Democrats can vote against issues of war and peace only if the power structure has enough votes to ensure their position, thus the duties of the two whips. The whip is the 3rd most powerful person in their parties, they ensure the status quo is in place and there is no exception to being told how to vote. That is why our congressman will vote for things like the continuation of the wars, yet was allowed to vote against the war itself.

On the surface it looks like a big inconsistency, but the reality is that it was not an issue during the original vote but the funding is always an issue. The parties fight over stupid issues and agree on the one basic issue, the mob does not count; the American people do not figure into the equation, anywhere. The lust of power and wealth is a disease that will consume this republic very soon.

To belong to the *republican or the *democratic party is to live a life of illusion; this coming from a 40+ year democrat who said, “enough” and left over 5 years ago.

You do have choices, maybe not good ones, but better than the two major criminal enterprises; you can vote third party. During any election there is always a representative of the Green Party or a local group that is taking on the establishment, vote for them. There is one simple rule if you cannot find the time to figure out our political system; do not vote for incumbents. Incumbents are people who hold the office and are asking to be reelected, do not vote for them.

There was a major move to put term limits on politicians but the *supreme court said no, you have to do it yourself. Do not vote for any politicians who have held the office more than-----, (You fill in the space). Some of my friends like certain politicians and will vote for them again. I can see one term more, to get something done they are involved in, but to keep people in office for 10-20-30-40 years; that is nuts.

I believe you must get out of the democratic and republican parties and become a citizen representative. You do not have to hold office, but go to the meetings, offer your views, write, and protest, let the politicians know you are watching what they do. I believe that a nervous politician is a good politician! After two terms maximum, look for another. Can you be a democrat and be a progressive, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.” Can you be a republican and be a human being, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.” Can a good priest be a member of the mafia?

*refuse to cap.

Posted by individuals4justice at 10:56 AM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2014 12:19 PM PDT
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Sunday, 1 June 2014
Individual Rights to Free Speech - Sad Report
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Individuals For Justice attended two government hearings, saddened by both:
Topic: Politics


For immediate release: 6/1/2014
Individuals For Justice attended two government hearings and was saddened by both:
By Joe Walsh-Lone Vet-503-946-8428
Individuals For Justice, Founding Member
Vietnam Veterans Against The War



When I go to the county building on Hawthorne, it is somewhat of a journey by the #4 bus, but I liked going.

On May 29, I entered the building in a good mood and that lasted all about 5 minutes as a friend and disabled man told me that he wanted to play a video during communications and the head clerk refused his request. He wanted to play it last week and was told he would be allowed to play on the 29th of May. The clerk was close enough to hear our conversation and jumped in that he was not told that and you are not allowed to support your 3 minute public testimony with visual aids. That seemed weird to me so I asked the clerk to explain her reasoning and all hell broke loose.

The clerk looked at me and said they had a full calendar and would not allow our disabled friend to use the video equipment that all crony presenters are allowed access. I asked again for clarification and was told, “Joe, sit down or I will call security.” This was not the way I am normally spoken to at County and I said, “What?” I might have let it go, but the Chairperson of the Board, Marissa Madrigal made the announcement that our public communications would be down to two minutes because of the crowded calendar, now this made me decide to change my address to the whole question of the public ability to address government.

It was not a happy presentation and included the two incidents above. There was a third incident concerning where Lightning was sitting and he was told to move when others sat in those seats without any problems. People should feel welcome to offer public testimony but it would seem Marissa may have hung around the 5 sh--s over at city hall too long and some of the sh-t has gotten on her shoes.

The most important part of the meetings at both the city and county is the public testimony, we are given 3 minutes, 90 seconds to tell our story when cronies who these politicians call up, go on forever with their compliments of the politicians. It makes me want to vomit at times, good to have a “Barf Bag” with one during these displays. The rest of the meetings are formulated as the staff has already spent many hours working on an issue before we even get 90 seconds to give our opinion. This is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they created the thing called, THE CONSTITUTION. (Bill of Rights)

Individual rights
“The first Amendment defines American political community, based on individual integrity and voluntary association. Congress cannot interfere with an individual’s religion or speech. It cannot restrict a citizen’s communication with others to form community by worship, publishing, gathering together or petitioning the government.”
I could go on and on, but why bother; all politicians are sh--s, some more than others, but sh--s never the less. Back at city hall we have lots of fun poking at char-lie the hales and the other guy named* steve novick, also known as Brutus.

On Thursday there was a five hour presentation concerning the tax----oops sorry, the fee that our challenged mayor and his new buddy Brutus are going to force on the citizens of Portland. They are going to raise about 700 million over ten years, by passing a requirement that we all pay for the repair of the streets and roads. You will not get a vote on this because THEY will vote on it this coming Wednesday, it will be a second reading so no discussion on it and it will go into effect by a 1 vote margin, something like 3-2; a majority.

Not sure if Fish and Saltzman will even be there for the vote or they may want to be on record voting no. The game is rigged and Amanda will once again sell us out unless she has an Ebenezer Scrooge moment. This exercise is the perfect visual for what I have been talking about, the presentations were good and some excellent, fritz says she received hundreds of e-mails about this issue. She will vote yes not because it is a good thing to do, or her constituents want her to vote yes, but because she cut a deal about her parks; she needs money. This is a major reason I have given up trying to convince them of anything, it is a waste of time. Amanda is the best of the 5 but that is not saying very much, she also will sell you out in a “New York Minute.”

One of the more comical conversations that took place was after I had limped out of the sulfur filled chamber. It was between Nero, AKA cha-lie and the fish; fish won. Nero said, vote now and we can make changes later.

Even Nick Fish looked stunned by this announcement. This, friend, is the most corrupt group of gangsters I have ever had the bad luck to come up against. Not sure I will be there for the vote; I just can’t stand it anymore.

Julius Caesar was murdered by Brutus and thus set off events in Rome that was the beginning of the end of their republic. This is a sad event in our history. “Et Tu Brute!”

PS I do send copies of this to all the County Elected Officials and invite any of them to respond to the question of visual aids?-----City Hall we need more holy water!
*Will not cap due to disrespect/disgust


-Lone Vet 6/1/14 18:54:12

Posted by individuals4justice at 6:49 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 June 2014 7:06 PM PDT
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
This is what I will say tomorrow to the City Council 5.14.14
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: �uro;�#8220;Let�uro;�8222;�s make a buck off the backs of the Disabled.�uro;
Topic: City Hall


Copied from FaceBook

This is what I will say tomorrow to the City Council, 5/14/2014

For the record, my name is Joe Walsh and I represent, Individuals for Justice. I come before you today to speak of corruption, not the normal kind but a more sinister kind of dishonesty and that being the lack of transparency by this body. Last week, we had a very short discussion concerning an ordinance that you will vote on today called the “Revised Disabled Person Parking Code” or as we call it, “Let’s make a buck off the backs of the Disabled.” This ordinance has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with resolving a problem, and it has everything to do with greed. Greed is never a good thing, it makes your eyes squint, your teeth rot and your soul wander for eternity. To make money off people who are walking with difficulty, people using walkers to get around, the blind, those like me on oxygen must be the lowest one can descend; it is a shame. We come not to plead before you as we know that is a waste of our time, we come today to offer you alternatives to your limited ability to do good.

After only ten minutes during one of our meetings we came up with a number of alternatives to this money producing action.
1. From Mr. Lightning, Grandfather in all disabled permits and tighten up rules for parking on new people requesting disabled permits.
2. From another member, enforce existing laws, if a person is misusing their disabled permit, take legal action against that person.
3. Use all of the new money generated to repair sidewalks and other city repairs that directly relate to the disabled.
4. Use warnings notices for a period of one year.

There are more but my time is very limited, these are just some of the alternatives that you could have come up with, but this is about money and none of our alternatives give you more money.

We take great umbrage when we hear representatives use words like abuse, “They are abusing their right to park free,” how, where, when?
The Oregonian showed us a video of car after car with disabled permits on them. That proves what? It only proves there are cars with disabled permits parked. I can show you the street outside that has no permits in their windows, what does that show? It shows that there are cars parked without disability permits on them. In other words your proof is non-existent and only for show. I resent you demonizing people who have disabilities and remind you that the American with Disabilities Act is not a privilege and I am fully prepared to file with the Department of Justice a complaint against you for violation of the Act. Reasonable Accommodation does not mean taking rights away, it means helping the disabled to live the best they can, paying for parking downtown for the disabled is not reasonable; it was a gift to our community and should not be now stolen.



“You came with violence to remove Occupy,
You came and stole from the homeless,
Now you come for the disabled’s money,
Have you no shame, have you no shame.”


Posted by individuals4justice at 4:17 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 4:31 PM PDT
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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Well, Roberto and I went to see the DOJ judge
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: We LEft Disappointed
Topic: Justice

Well, Roberto and I went to see the judge. We were expecting a decision on the settlement between the city and DOJ. What we got was another two week delay in the process but enough information not to be happy. The judge, it would seem, is going to put the case in abeyance and watch how things go and keep some type of pressure on the parties. It is not what we hoped for, but it is not what the cops or city wanted either. We left disappointed but knowing that the judge’s o...ptions were limited and to expect him to help us may be a little naive. We were there and that is important, we were present and got to smile and mingle with the principles and that is also of some import. The judge, DOJ, cops, and the city know we are watching and will show up, that has value, but we did not see Judge Michael Simon rise to the heights of a Judge John Serrica, maybe he is just another cog in the wheel of “NO JUSTICE HERE.” The trip home was quiet; our thoughts were private, for me sad. There is one thought that did stick with me today, the deal does not matter that much, it is the people who will implement it and the people who will come in later; for this issue is not over. We, as a people, must vote in new and brave people to office, we must clean up our own mess. Today I found out Portland is on the top of the list of racist cities, another gift from our leaders. We have much work to do and no time to sit and weep over injustice, get off your asses and do something each day that makes your parents proud. I WILL!

“Watson, the game is afoot.”

Posted by individuals4justice at 8:23 PM PDT
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Thursday, 20 March 2014
Sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy the things in life
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Paul is a man who comes to the County Board meetings
Topic: SMILE

Sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy the things in life that make us or should make us smile. These are good- news stories, things that people do that contribute to the good and not just complain about life.

We have our first story.
Paul is a man who comes to the County Board meetings and will offer his opinion during what is called public communication. He is disabled and near blind, and lost his walker. The staff bought him a used walker but that also did not last; so we asked and sure enough a wonderful woman by the name of Laurie Benort volunteered to not just donate a walker with a basket and seat but would deliver it if we told her where. Now I had to get in touch with Paul and because the sheet you have to fill out to speak at a board meeting has a space for your home phone number and Paul filled that in, I was able to get his phone number from staff. I called about 15 times but no answer. Paul did come to the meeting on the 13th of March and we agreed the best place for delivery would be the County Building on the 20th at about 11:00AM. Laurie agreed and sure enough the walker was delivered. I had a smile from ear to ear. It was the first day of spring, Paul had his walker, Laurie looked like she felt good, the county staff all had smiles because they too were part of a very human connection. We did “Good” and should enjoy the good news. I will always have things to challenge as an activist, but it is good to smile and what tomorrow brings tomorrow brings---but today many people opened their hearts and smiled---I like it!!

Thank you Laurie Benort for your generosity, thank you staff, (I like staff) and thank you Individuals For Justice for sending me to monitor the County Board Meetings---I have fun.

Have a cool story? Send it to me and I will share:

Posted by individuals4justice at 6:44 PM PDT
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Monday, 10 February 2014
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: Raining on the Homeless - Stop the F -ing Sweeps
Topic: Houseless






It will be raining for the next ten days, the temperatures will hover just over freezing but flooding may occur if you are on low ground. We need a plan that makes sure all are warm and safe. We estimate there are 2000-3000 people left on the streets after the shelters are full. Emergency actions do not get everyone off the streets and that is criminal.

We must come up with a plan that accounts for all people, react as if a major earthquake has hit and set up ten times the number of warming spaces as we do now.

Stop these fucking sweeps, what is the matter with you Reese, Hales, and the rest of our city’s noble shits who do photo ops and leave people to die. 2012- We had 56 who died in the cold, not sure about 2013 but must be around the same number. The papers who print just negative stuff about the houseless should be boycotted by all who call themselves activists. I stopped watching local news because I just can’t stand the BS.

Today is call in Monday to stop the fucking sweeps.

Just call and get an update on what the hell these asses are doing if anything and keep calling on Mondays and Tuesdays until they stop. Where the hell are our noble lawyers who can bring suits against these would be business alliance councilmembers, who love fluoride but will let humans freeze because they will not declare an emergency and do something real.

We must get up every day and work to get real people into office, we must keep their feet to the fire, a good activist is not popular but he/she is feared.

We must bring hundreds to the council meetings and tell them they are out of time and if they don’t start doing something real they will see outrage every week and the VIPs who come to the Council will see what jerks we have running things.

Time is now!

The Keaton Otis memorial gathering in coming up on the 12th of this month; please come we are losing people too fast.

There is more, but I am tired and need to rest.
PS Patty said I sound mad---I am!

Posted by individuals4justice at 10:09 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 10 February 2014 10:20 AM PST
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Saturday, 11 January 2014
Gutless Council
Mood:  sad
Now Playing: right of the people peaceable to assemble
Topic: City Hall

Gutless Council Jan 10 2014




One of most important founding fathers was Thomas Paine, he once said:
"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."

I have attended almost a years' worth of city council meetings trying to "... ... administer to the dead... ." and I just can't do it anymore. They have beaten me down so low that I gave my last performance by physically throwing a small hand held copy of the Constitution at them during a hearing. I thought I would have a stroke over it and was so weak when I left the council chambers that on the way home I decided this was the last time I would attend this charade called a council meeting or hearing. Margaret Thatcher, (AKA fritz) destroyed any hope I had for the gang of rubber stampers. Corruption breeds corruption and the city attorney is just as bad as Brutus, (AKA novick) and Nero, (AKA hales) he will say anything to justify what the politicians want to do. The rule of law does not exist; only leadership by dictum. What happened in the hearing to overturn a decision by Parks and Recreation was astounding, caused me to throw a copy of the United States Constitution at the three little piggies in the hope one would read the damn thing instead of playing make believe democracy. fritz announced her decision to deny the appeal before one person from the public spoke and when pressed by me proudly announced, yes! she would support her people and affirm the decision to ban The Hempstalk Festival. I started to point out to her how immoral this position was, we the citizens came to be heard and she was telling us her mind was made up. This was a set up and it was so obvious that one had to be naïve not to see it. fish and his buddy saltzman were missing from the meeting so we only had three shits to decide on an issue that would deprive 80,000 visitors (est. from last year) the right to assemble. That is why I made the extra trip to attend; the right to assemble was being questioned by someone whose job it was to pick up dog poop. The department of parks and recreation decided that 80,000 people would not be able to gather on the waterfront because they left a mess last year and people were smoking grass at the event. Again this was a setup and I went ballistic, I don't attend the Hempfest, but I will fight to see they have a right to gather. I told the shits, (3 council members) in all my forty years of protesting from presidents to war mongers I have never asked the state for a permit to gather because Thomas Paine and the other founding fathers gave me the ok in the first amendment to our Constitution.

"Congress shall make no law respecting, an establishment of religion, or prohibition the free exercise thereof; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances. Can the state make reasonable rules governing how you conduct your gathering, yes, The key word here is "Reasonable." Margaret Thatcher, Brutus and Nero were not reasonable and violated not just the Federal Constitution but Oregon's own law and Constitution. Law and Order did not exist in that hearing on 1/9/2014. It was a farce from the start.

The representatives of the Hempfest requested a postponement because their lawyer only received pertinent documents 72 hours before the hearing. That did not bother one of two lawyers on the council, he mentioned it but said in this case it mattered not; because the shits had made up their minds when they walked or crawled into the meeting, these poor folks had no chance of winning this appeal. So, after tossing and turning for most of the night I have made a decision to ban myself from entering the council chambers and work to defeat every one of these critters who have the arrogance to call themself representatives. Margaret Thatcher, (AKA fritz) will not be running again, (she says) so we will rid ourselves of this cocktail liberal, fish and saltzman are up for re-election this year and I will now turn my attention to send them on their way. The people should be outraged about this, because an old government trick is to go after a group that is not the most popular and work its way down to you. Hempfest this year, religious gathering next year. We have seen this before in history, and that is why I threw the Constitution at the 3 shits in the council chambers yesterday and would do it again.

I will no longer try to give CPR to the dead; I will be outside yelling at them but never partake in their make believe drama called a council meeting.

Posted by individuals4justice at 9:16 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 11 January 2014 9:23 AM PST
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Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Holiday Report 2013
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Holiday Report From IFJ
Topic: Justice

Holiday Report

Individuals For Justice

Week ending 12/29/2012

- The Lone Vet

I had to go to the Mall. This is a place I usually avoid with great happiness; I don't like any Mall. Patty my companion on this crazy journey called living wanted dark chocolate candies from See's and the Mall is the place to go. The sales staff were nice to me and they gave me a piece of what looked and tasted like dark chocolate, as I paid the price for a pound of wonderful looking sweet things that would have sent my diabetes reading off the charts. I was glad to get back on the Max and out of the den of capitalism. I did find this wonderful woman who was selling ear warmers from Nepal, and I bought one for Patty to keep her ears warm. The woman looked happy and that made the trip worthwhile. Wednesday was coming and I had gifts to wrap, decorations to put up as the kids, and grandkids would be over on Christmas Eve to open their gifts. I like having young people around to open gifts; their eyes are always wide, even when they are teenagers. Wednesday was going to be fun, instead of hanging around City Hall, I would be laughing and being jolly at home. Christmas is a day of giving for the Walshs and that always makes me smile. I did get a new and fancy backpack with supports around the waist. I had requested one because my old one was causing some shoulder pain. I got lots of art stuff to make posters and T-shirts; the 4+1 S---s are not going to be happy. Christmas Eve and Christmas was full of love for family and that always makes this world a better place. Friday was our Chapman Park hour and this time I had a Thermos, another gift from Patty, to hold about 15-20 cups of hot chocolate or coffee. My grandson had offered to go and that made me have a big smile. Off we went, Roberto was good enough to pick us up. With Kathy and Brendon, I felt like Santa going with gifts and hot chocolate for all who needed them. It was once again great fun as Jose, Donna, and others were at the Park. We had a time, laughing, playing and I tried to sing but people moved away from me as I tried. We had much fun but it was cold. My wish for the New Year is that politicians will start to listen to the people on the streets when it comes to how to solve this terrible problem of people living very precarious lives. We shall continue to pressure City Hall, the County and now the governor to get off their asses and think outside the box.

There was no meeting of the County Board, they were with their families and enjoying themselves, and that is good. We also attended a meeting called by Denis Rivers and it was wonderful.

I read about it on line and it peaked my interest because I do want to be more relaxed when confronting politicians and this concept just might be the ticket to harmony for me. There were only a few of us who came together but we did leave with great hope and joy in our hearts, at least I did. Thanks you Barbara Baker and all who shared and explained their struggles in life. I have much work to do, it would be so good not to feel spiritually and emotionally exhausted after a City Council meeting. I do try to laugh when I am in their den of corruption but it does wear me down to see such blatant hypocrisy in one place. I like the idea of sharing my journey with a special person who is willing to walk along side of me. There is much to learn and I should begin.

Thursday, January 2 the City Council will gather again, and we have two noble souls who will be allowed to address the "Rubber Stamp Gang" for 90 seconds. Jose Serrica and Michael Withey are willing to sit in the hot seat, at least we must support them, come before 0930 and let them know you care about what is happening to our citizens who find themselves on the streets with no place to go. A six month waiting list to get help is not good enough, something new has to happen. These are two people who know what they are talking about; they have been on the streets and are not just using fancy language to let you know they have a degree or PHD. Listen carefully Commission Saltzman, because after you waste 1.7 million dollars people will want to know why?

We will return to Chapman Park this Friday, but we are thinking of moving around town to other camp sites, Jose is working on some concepts and we shall see. There are many things you can do to help:
1. From your home, call the City Council each Monday and ask what they are doing new to get people off our streets, here is what our neighbor to the north is trying:  http://www.theolympian.com/2013/12/24/2901222/a-christmas-eve-to-remember-as.html
2. Come to the City Hall meeting and sit with us who monitor what they are doing week in week out, the more who take the time to be present the better.
3. Jose, Mark, Mike and others are trying to help the houseless, give what you can in money or clothes until we get through the cold weather. The emergency shelters are full and people are cold.
4. If you are religious, say a prayer that we don't lose too many souls to the cold weather this year and that the cops and ODOT will stop their punishing ways.
5. Call the Business Alliance and ask them to help us and not just yell at city hall to do something about the people living on our streets. We share our limited resources, why can't they?

"That's all Folks" Don't give up, this could be a wonderful place to live for all of us, we just need to try harder and stop patting ourselves on the back, as long as one person is cold and/or hungry we have failed.

homepage: homepage: http://IndividualsForJustice.com

Posted by individuals4justice at 11:14 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 1 January 2014 11:24 AM PST
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Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: The Lon Vet Updates
Topic: City Hall


original post -->http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2013/12/426141.shtml


Another busy week, seems like we would slow down for the holidays, nope! My week started out by going to a meeting of the willing, as RH calls us, we gather to prepare for the upcoming presentation by the public to a federal judge to rethink the process of the now settled agreement between the city and Dept. of Justice. We are still discussing what and how we will try to get you and as many people to the hearing as possible, we just learned that the hearing will be at 0900 on the 18th of February so time is of the essence; more on this later. .  http://albinaministerialcoalition.org/Analysis.html
Wednesday was a long day at the city's den of treachery.

The 4+1 s---s were in the mood to do things and that they did; not good things but things that go bump in the night. I felt like Scrooge waiting for Christmas future to arrive and show me what will happen. They had split up two very important issues, and that is not an accident, it is by design. The first issue was scheduled at 0930 and many of the people who did take the time to testify about the police union contract and the future of the IPR could not stay all day, so they had to choose which of the two they would offer some public input. Being a stubborn Irishman, I tried to stay for both only to almost pass out first at the table in the Council Chambers about 3:00 PM and then near the elevators on our way out of the den. If Kathy had not helped me out I would have been in big trouble. I had spent too many hours in the den and it just got me, the place was spinning.

The issues in the morning were items 1190 &1191 which were both to ratify and agree to what the city, police and even the feds decided was fair and good for us. We said no, they said go to hell and passed them anyway. You can go to the link below and find the video of what happened. It was once again a sham.  http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=26997&

The afternoon session was comical, the main reason for us pushing to stay was item 1209. The IPR, Independent Police Review Board, wanted to question the cops on their own, they want more independence. This is a very complicated issue, much more than the council ever considered and I think the city attorneys are not too swift, they seems to recommend things that are illegal. The big problem here is when you question a cop he/she may say something that will enter into the criminal realm. I am not a big defender of the cops, but you cannot force someone to impeach themselves unless you grant them full immunity. Once you grant full immunity you cannot prosecute them later. This was "put over" again and maybe we will get a vote in January on this issue. There will have to be some changes to make this happen. Our opinion is that we should scrap the IPR and have a totally independent body investigate all complaints. This body should have its own budget, investigators, and staff; be located away from the politicians and the police management. Maybe the senior members should be elected by the people of Portland. The original three member board could be appointed by the County Board for the County of Multnomah. I trust this board and have watched them work for almost 6 months and would feel comfortable letting them decide who would be on the original 3 member board to investigate complaints against the police. We will have to see what happens next year. Thursday was once again the highlight of my week; well except for Saturday, more on that coming up.

Thursday started off with attending the County Board and explaining to them the troubles in Portland. We have a new concept in Community Policing; a cop will now get out of his car for short periods of time and talk to the people of the neighborhood. This must have started out a good idea, but you know the cops, if they can screw something good up, they will. The cops will talk to the people in the neighborhood, but then they will ask them permission to pat them down. Can you just see this in action, "Hey Joe, how you doing, can I search your person to make sure you are one of the good guys?" Sometimes I think there is something in the water at city hall, how do they come up with this stuff. Lightning gave a presentation about the homeless and his ideas on how to finance his concepts; better than most I listened to. At 1230, we were off to see the judge at the federal courthouse.

Waiting for the Judge, it was very quiet in the courtroom, not a person did move, except the "OJ Team" from City of Portland, Oregon, they were making some kind of noise, maybe there were too many, four in all. Why were there four of them, did they think that would impress the judge? We asked their leader, the (acting?) City Attorney him-self, "Why are there four of you here?" Mr. Harry Auerback looked a bit startled, but did reply, that it took all four to make sure they understood the judge's decisions, each had to handle only 25% of the judge's words, and the CA decides how many lawyers are needed. The Albina Ministers only had one lawyer, the cop's only one; the feds maybe three but I think only two. We laughed and suggested the next time maybe the city could just invest in a recorder and they could come down to one lawyer. The meeting was interesting, not so much in the details, this was just a procedural hearing, but in the way the federal judge addressed the lawyers and the public who took the time to attend this meeting. I was sitting next to my friend and brother Roberto, and in back of us were two police union reps that were there without their guns, (I hoped.) The Oregonian was there and there was an article but I think she missed most of what was happening, she was clued into the judge. The AMA was there and Dan from Cop Watch, they have been battling this accountability question for a long time and have earned our respect and gratitude. JoAnn and RH were also there and that was cool.

The big moment for me came when Judge Michael Simon asked the people who took the time to attend to "weigh in" and comment on the procedure so far. He was instructing the lawyers to acknowledge what he had decided, but did involve the rest of us and that my friend is something I have never heard a judge do--for anything. This seems to be a man of honor, a man who will do the right thing, it has been a long time since I met a federal judge I admired, and this judge could be the one. This judge could be the person to set things right, this judge could be the man who changes the police force in Portland, Oregon and that brought tears to my eyes; just like the kids who played such wonderful music during the County Board's last meeting of the year 2013.

Friday was raining and cold but we went to Chapman Park to try to find friends for gloves, hats, scarfs, sweaters, hand warmers etc. etc. We got to see Cheeto and her friend Jose, Donna was there and others, we do have a time. Kathy and I lasted about 40 minutes and headed for a hot cup of Jo---I had a mocha. This usually ends my week but there was one other thing I wanted to do and that was happening on Saturday afternoon. "Joy to the World, a flash festival of gifting." This was a great idea and I had so much fun, thank you Sam for putting this together. We went to the Saturday Market and exchanged gifts with strangers; it was in the spirit of what Christmas should be about. Think of the story of the Wise-men who showed up at the stable where lots of people believe the Son of God was born. If you believe this story, why was Jesus born in a place where animals were kept to get out of the cold and rain during winter? Well, again this report is long and we did want to say "Merry Christmas" and we hope someday we do have peace on earth. Enjoy!

May 2014 be a year of love, sharing and understanding "The Other."



Posted by individuals4justice at 10:47 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 24 December 2013 10:56 AM PST
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