Thursday, September 24, 2015

Took part in a little thing we like to call democracy. Also we joined the Polar Bloc today

Olive sez "Hey Mr.D there is a Polar bear protest today at 3 wanna go?" and I say "Heck yeah darlin, I'm so sick of those polar bears coming into our country and taking all our ice." She tells me that isn't what it's about but we need to get to city council chambers quick because it starts at 3.

 City Council was voting to divest in Fossil Fuels. The Polar Bloc reserved the entire balcony for the event. It was great for me because last time I was in that room was in 2000 after the Mayday civil strife. This time it was a respectfully quietish party. We got to dance in the chamber WOOHOO! This would never happen in a town with great TV reception. TV is such a stupefying drug, I'm always glad to roll with folks who know more about what is going on than they do about fictional characters, sports or AM talk radio. Polar Bloc Rocks!

photo by Malcom Chaddockplanet 

Say what you want about the colorfully dressed people dancing around; but ya gotta give us that we are well researched and motivated. Nothing radical about learning as much as we can and acting accordingly. Anywhere else it wouldn't look like a city meeting. Ya got yer pirates, gypsies, white bears, Black Bloc bears and clowns but we also had every city council member, the county rep, several civic organisations and the who's who of Oregon leadership agreeing the Oregon should no longer by stocks in the top 200 carbon exploiting companies. I was stoked to see the suits sounding like us Ewoks.

The testimony informed me on how "Da Man" has suddenly become "Da green Man". Last year Oregon almost burned to the ground. The city is already dealing with climate change issues and they are very expensive. I learned that some of the council members have been working on environmental issues a long time. I also found out this whole thing was kicked off by our Mayor who was inspired by (of all people) the Pope fer chrissakes! LOL. Not a fan of the Pope.. but if that got our ball rolling then I'll take it. Thanks Mr.Mayor! Olive shook his hand and thanked him. She was surprised he knew who she was.

In our world, this is a drop in the bucket. Another council can over turn divestment in a few years and divestment won't even take place for 2 years. There is a long way to go and a short time to get there. Now in the world of the suits, this is huge.
They are part of a small group of cities who go against the grain. Our people are working hard but the mayor reminded us that congress are still mostly ape minded. They are a majority vote for the fossil fuel industry. Hearing that was heavy. They (our council) see the writing on the wall and maybe someday we can put divestment in big oil into the city charter. For now, I'm happy we got the chance to dance in the chamber with our friends and participate in good old democracy.

Olive~ "Seriously tho. It was great to hear so many speakers from Multnomah county and Pdx that not only support the proposal but urge(d) the council to improve and continue to work efficiently on the CAP and within our city government to end fossil fuel investment! With Climate change there are so many related topics that came up and so many people affected who spoke and represented their own community. It's encouraging to hear the responsibility taken and encouragement of others to invest in renewables. The important thing is that the council did vote in favor to divest in the fossil fuel giants and have a committee working on candidates for clean energy contracts. A little step but it's one of those things where you say "I'll take it!" Thank you Polar Bloc Pdx for getting us out there. Let's keep taking positive steps. Ready when you are. Been ready for like tens of minutes...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Neighborhood tree sit for the life of giant Sequoias

I went to the tree sit (to do my civic and Earthly duty) I found almost nobody there.
 It took a bit for my old noggin to work out that 2 tree sits are happening today. I was at 41st and Clinton. The other one is near Reed collage. It was very hard to find because you gotta go down an alley. Ultimately I used an old Lil Beruit tactic and just followed a squad car. The people were really nice and when I got there , they had just made the cutting crew back down. When I asked what they needed they said "Get us more people Dingo". Both sites need more folks backing them up. Here is your chance. They need more folks holding this down. It would also be great to bring them food and drink. It's safe to say I'm an old school Northwest radical but protecting the trees is one of my first memories. My Dad was a tree surgeon. He used to tell me "No amount of money is worth destroying a live specimen.