Jul 21, 2013

Best Night Ever in Portland, Oregon

Last night, May 12, 08, at the protest in Portland, was the greatest night I have ever experienced. Their was live music, story telling, and people freely sharing kindness. It was a blast to see so many people who care. These people live in homes and without homes wanting to celebrate the dignity of all human beings.

This protest could decide the Mayors race. The police are going to sweep us tonight, but we will be back with more signs and people.

We still rise, we will not apologize for anything!

Not a Good Queer on Blog Spot!


Dan Newth said...

Hi Lee

I read your comment on the Mercury's blog. I spent over three years straight on the streets of Portland. Through Street Roots and Sister's of the Road I became a homeless advocate, published writer and have helped strategically plan 4 campaigns.

Like you I believe one of the root causes of homelessness in this wealthy country is one of prejudice and perception.

The current Portland city hall homeless protest is the most powerful since Dignity Village. It had the spontaneity and organic grassroots support that cannot be manufactured in planning meetings at Street Roots or Civic Action Group of Sisters of the Road.

The catalyst is combining a basic physical need (sleep) while meeting a spiritual need (having a voice). Most homeless people are so focused on meeting basic need they do not have the consistent energy to commit to a project like this. Please have some empathy for those on the street who are not willing to sacrifice basic daily needs for idealistic goals.

However without some strategic planning the group will likely splinter as realities sink in, people’s pet ideas get sidelined and egos get bruised. There is much more pressure on city hall to enforce the sit lie than to let things slide. This pressure comes from perception and prejudice of the homeless. Your view of behavior of some of the protest participants is correct. Their behavior reinforces stereotypes and works against the message of the protest.

This experience is why Street Roots or Sisters of the Road have up to six months of planning and training before they have an event. Again the process of planning and training sidelines ideas, bruises egos and fears of perception tends to give the events the flavor of milk toast.

I applaud the work the HLF or PCAP is doing, I not sure what they are calling themselves today, but they have raised issues of poverty and homelessness at a time when politician may listen.

Not a Good Queer said...

Thanks Dan Newth,

Things are not as they appear in this movement to end the criminalization of people without homes. The people are born to the planet earth and therefore will never be homeless.

We are organizing, we will not stop!

Not a Good Queer