bloody triumph of the republic

"in a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to theadministration of a single government;" - james madison, federalist no. 51

occupy wall street

in the history of the united states, there is a precedent for warning against a single body of government holding all of the power in the nation.

after the civil war, however, the power of the states was largely absorbed into the federal government. when the united states declared and carried out a war on the confederate states, it effectively demonstrated that individual states had no right to leave the union, and thus ultimately had no rights at all.

similarly, the rights of the individual to express dissent in these united states has been largely lacking for decades. despite pervasive rhetoric citing "freedom of speech," people who attempt creative free speech that is opposed to government policy are often violently attacked by government agencies.

occupy wall street

but this is nothing new. the women's suffrage movement, the civil rights movement and the vietnam war protests all faced violent opposition from the state.

since the industrial revolution, almost any protest large enough to cause a scene has been violently suppressed and covertly combatted by the u.s. government.
occupy wall street protests. photo: @samglewis

true, we no longer have soldiers shooting live rounds at non-violent protesters in broad daylight...

we do, however, have conclusive evidence of a nationally organized police assaults on the occupations from oakland to denver to new york.*

you can also read my eyewitness account of the eviction of occupy portland and see video of the police beating of the non-violent protesters there, one of whom was put in a wheelchair.

these efforts resulted in a wave of city-mandated tax-payer violence across the united states in recent weeks. police have repeatedly beaten non-violent protesters into comas, while shooting others with rubber bullets and tear-gassing hundreds.

video after video depicts police officers dragging unarmed women by the hair (for instance, here and here and here).

there is also some evidence that the federal government is engaged in an ongoing violent campaign shut down the occupy protests nationwide.**

most troubling of all, many images and stories of police abuse may never reach the public. the policy of the nypd at times is to keep reporters as far away from the action as possible, even when that includes violence against reporters.

through taxes and student fees, u.s. workers, journalists, students and educators now pay for the privilege of being beaten and pepper-sprayed, both on campus and in the streets. peaceable assembly is now limited to football games and shopping malls. free speech has an asterisk indicating it no longer includes parks, streets and sidewalks.
occupy davis students sit peaceably while police assault on nov. 18th.

there is a remarkable failure of the republic to serve the needs and interests of human beings, for "representatives" to represent their constituents. worse, there is a profound failure of a government that claims to be by the people and for them to show any signs of being human at all.

*in an open letter to the portland's mayor sam adams, former occupy portland police liaison alaina melville criticizes the mayor for lying to msnbc about support he received from other cities in preparation for the beating and jailing of the occupy protesters on november 13. at least one other mayor has come out and admitted that a group of representatives from cities across the u.s. strategized against the occupations on a national level. also: the ap reports the collaberation as fact here.

**the extent to which the federal government is directly involved in what has been called a remarkably similar outbreak of attacks against the occupations remains in question. both the fbi and the department of homeland security assured media organizations that they were not involved, huffington post reports. additionally, portland mayor sam adams seems to have alluded to contact with the department of homeland security in a tweet earlier this week.

analyses of these united states

photo: mars2o84
'free speech' is a joke we tell at american parties.

and it is widely held that there are only two - the war-mongering republicans and the war-mongering democrats. american democracy is an anti-humanitarian process. here's why:

'the republic' was the formal term for the form of government in the us when it was founded. "republicanism" is a process which facilitates the consolidation of power into the hands of a few representatives.

founding father james madison hails the republic as a form of government which becomes stronger as its size increases in the federalist papers.

we now live in what many people call a "democratic republic." it's a republic, with the word "democratic" added to the beginning of it. we do not have a democracy, and never have. as madison points out:
"the two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended."  - james madison, the federalist no. 10
the "democratic" republic of the states is also at times called a representative democracy. this is because the bulk of the decision-making in the republic is conducted by elected and (subsequently) appointed officials.

the intentions of the founding members of the nation, if they can be guessed, are to form a strictly elitist republic. it was their aim that someday every affluent male caucasian would be free to participate in electing a representative to make the country's decisions on his behalf.

the current structure of the federal government is contingent on the notion each person is best served by representatives, "whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country" (madison, federalist no. 10).

the problem for the u.s. propaganda machine then becomes convincing the poor and working-class public of how an elitist rich person with a law degree and military training best represents their interests.

this has been a relatively simple endeavor. the task was simply to create a diversion, the dramatic scuffle presented to the public by democrats and republicans jockeying for political positions and grumbling endlessly about the other party.

this distraction effectively diverts the attention of many u.s.-ians into concentrating on shooting down the ridiculous ideas of one of the parties. the rest are so bored that they become absolutely convinced that they will never want to participate in or learn about the manner by which they are governed.

all elected politicians have this in common - that they don't believe in democracy. if they did, they would either quickly resign, or use their communication skills to help the u.s. transition from the oppression of an elitist republic to the liberty of a democracy.

p.s. in case you're wondering, there is a direct democracy functioning on the streets of nearly every major city in the world. these movements don't need the tyranny of taxation or the oppression of "representative" governance to function, but serve as a government by the people and for them.

- see how one group has made direct democracy work for them.


laws of the city

destruction of property:


convening without a permit:
new york, thursday

berkeley, nov. 9

portland, thursday.


#occupy protests violently dispersed in portland

protestors push police back on
3rd street saturday night. image: cbs news.

thousands of protestors lined the streets, cutting off almost every line of escape. dozens of police held formation, brandishing batons and flipping down the face shields on their riot helmets. some looked menacingly into the crowd. with one voice, the mob exclaimed their admonition to the officers:

"you're sexy! you're cute! take off your riot suit!"

 this was the scene in and around lownsdale and chapman squares last night as hundreds of police came to serve up mayor sam adams' 12:01 a.m. eviction notice to the stragglers who still inhabited the park blocks between salmon and madison downtown. literally thousands gathered in the middle of the night to stand in the way of the police attempts to take the parks.

some gathered inside the encampments, where many people stood on benches to observe the happenings in the area. free champagne was passed out at at the occupy cafe, which for the last month has been serving coffee free of charge to anyone who wants it. on the corner of main and fourth, about 75 people were gathered around a drum circle, dancing away.

the encampment at occupy portland, which has held the park blocks in the financial district downtown since october 6th, had dwindled slightly as of late. the surge in late-night participation for these winter-weary camps was in response to an ultimatum lately served by mayor adams, who announced that the city would temporarily close the park blocks "to put an end to safety, health and crime problems, and to repair the park land."

"we must balance people’s rights to free speech, with keeping the city safe and moving," adams said in an open letter to the city.

a standoff ensued. the police donned riot gear; the protestors broke out drums and megaphones. cops brought out tear gas, and protestors broke out the gas masks.

"don't shove," said a lady in her thirties to the teenagers standing around her. "when they push forward, we stand our ground."

chants proliferated, mostly aimed at the portland police officers who advanced on the crowd. "peace-ful pro-test!" was oft repeated, as protesters held up peace signs to the street. repetitions of  "who do you protect? who do you serve?" also rippled through the crowd.

others shared defensive tactics. "if they throw tear gas, pick it up, throw it back!" a man shouted to those standing around him.

another man made the rounds handing out rags soaked in apple cider vinegar. "when they tear-gas you, wipe you face with it!" he shouted above the din.

but the police did not tear-gas the crowd. they advanced several items on the mob, before being turned back by a surge of steadily advancing protesters. signs were waved and a peace signs were held as the occupiers advanced unarmed at the riot police. at least one beach ball bounced above the ecstatic crowd.

the first to retreat were the mounted police, followed by the riot police, who held formation as they slowly gave ground; they were pushed by the crowd all the way down third until they reached madison street.

"i support a lot of what the encampment stands for..."  mayor adams said on cnn. "(but) it shouldn't be focused on port-a-potties and tents and encampments attracting criminal elements. i think this movement needs to evolve."

meanwhile, many felt betrayed by a city that spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars enforcing last night's curfew.

despite the city's efforts, the camps still remained sunday morning.

"bag checks are going on. people are still mad about that. it's ok," a protester commented on the occupy portland livestream. the crowd had thinned. occupiers calmly ate brunch while police began to systematically taking their belongings. a man went to do dishes, only to have his water-fetching bucket pulled directly out of his hands by an officer in riot gear.

but a few hours later, the easy-going atmosphere was completely gone. a group of police had surrounded the remaining protestors, beating them with clubs while they chanted "peaceful!" and "shame on you!" (watch the video) 

more than 50 people were arrested, according to the associated press.

by nightfall sunday, a temporary fence surrounded both the parks. mayor adams' evition notice had been served.

a chain-link fence now borders lownsdale and chapman squares,which
until last night were the site of occupy portland. image: @occupyportland

you can reach sam adams at mayorsam@portlandoregon.gov. his twitter username is @mayorsamadams.

you can reach portland police chief mike reese at 503-823-0000. the twitter username for the portland police bureau is @portlandpolice.



what is the nature of our inquiry?

maybe it's disparate and varied like ourselves, and maybe it is ourselves. are we only concerned for our own self interests?

it's hard to say.

there's a scenario that's been set up in my mind and so many others: either we acknowledge that there are natural moral laws communicated to humans directly from a transcendent god, or every person will do, to paraphrase the judges record, what's right in their own eyes.

it's believed to be inherit that the natural state of man is to be, to quote the genesis record, "only evil all the time."

is this true?

maybe our own well-being is buried in the practice of engaging openly and vulnerably with community. can we be individuals? .... were we ever individuals?

these are just a coupe of my todaythoughts. write them off with your very own stern-minded replies, won't you?


i'm just sayin'

portlandic street singers of balkan gypsy jazz.
don't let this photo fool you,
these guys were twice as blurry in person.
economies of street can be disparate and diverse. if you've got to live on it, the sidewalk can seem formidable. but if you're just out for a stroll between shops, it can seem lovely and refreshing.

'i'm so glad they keep the air out here on autumn evenings,' many-a-tourist has been known to probosculate. 'i'm not entirely shure about these street folk, though.' and then they get mugged, and then everything continues as usual.

and this is the game we engage with, everyone misunderstanding each other in the comical mass-mis-communications of massive greed and misanthropic displacement.

nakedness, for instance, is not allowed on the sidewalk, which is, strictly probosculating, a clothes-only zone. and horses from far and wide, are shivering, because all their blankets got gaave out to no-good and hella-stoned anti-(trojan)war hobos.

now, we might probosculate, if it tickles our chins and shivers our elbows, that each of these disparate street creatures are simply being human beings...

horses, however, would like to interrupt here, and readily assert that they, for one, are not;
and neither are the drinking fountains, which congregate in large numbers on the sidewalks to serve humanity in a categorically racist fashion. but they are so unlike like the spange-heavy fountains which bore them, and, if memory serves, raised them from a knee-high grass-hopper, or so they tell them. often.

be that as it may or may not be, i think it's high time for people who are street singers to start working on exclusively and explicitly barter terms. there is opportunity here, people!

what do people say when you refuse their money?! they are seriously puzzled like all birds, and like all chipmunks think that you are nuts, and too good to be true.

i'm just sayin'.

p.s. i (really) love this post.


no prose november!

the challenge

good question, cardboard.
hey guys! we are doing something fun to commemorate the shave-less month of mustache - a poetry dare ("how rare!" - laurel). our aim is to throw down some stoopid phat rhymes every day of the month: poems with class and rush and candor; poems that never under any circumstances incorporate the phrase "stoopid phat."

and now you can join us: write some sick poems, and share alike with a community of amateur artists. just drop somebody a line, and we'll add you to the facebook page.

unsure about this whole thing? follow along with megan, jordan and me, for starters!

poem, day #1

make believe
i want to hear about the first adam and
the first
they were naked in the garden
did they ever want to leave

 i want to know
when the cold comes in
the virus hides the sun
and my nose tries to run
(down my cheek)

in the wake of early morning,
in the dusk the that settles slow
there's this story that you told me
it's the only one i know
can it be?

in other news, this group is no-shaving for yes-charities (and so much more!)