New video from B Media Collective about the housing justice movement in Portland, Oregon.
Every day, more than 100 people are involved in this fight for housing justice in Portland. The economic crisis, combined with aggressive “urban renewal” and police pressure on working communities, and especially the Black community, has dislocated many working families. On May 1st, 2012, people around Portland came together to reclaim a foreclosed home and begin a movement fighting to 1.) End evictions 2.) Take back empty homes for those who need them.
Support Housing Justice Activists, Pack the Courtroom!
What: Pack the courtroom for Genevieve, Itztli, and Dustin!
When: Tuesday, April 23 — Arrive by 8:45, hearing begins at 9am
Where: Multnomah County Courthouse Plaza Blocks (Occupy Park)
Banks and developers see our homes as a vehicle for profit, but we know that housing is a human right. We all need stable shelter in order to survive. The Portland housing justice movement stands for building community by winning housing for all people, regardless of ability to pay. We have been publicly fighting back against the banks, developers, and their state protectors for more than a year—successfully keeping families in their homes.
We have been victorious because we work together against injustice. Now, the Portland Police and Multnomah County Sheriff are pressing charges against members of our movement. We need your support more than ever.
Join us on Tuesday, April 23rd, to show support for Genevieve Goffman, Dustin Hawks, and Itztli Nexcoyotl, as they face charges for their part in the housing justice movement.
From the article:
“The POC umbrella is not an excuse to disavow the ways we benefit from various racial structures and sit idly by as our communities reap advantages from racism towards other people of color.
Black-Asian solidarity in the US, for instance, is hard to find and it will continue to be difficult to build if we continue to use the uncritical ‘POC’ label. Rather, we can use ‘POC’ as a way of reflecting on our different racial histories and building coalitions in our struggles and their difference. POC is a term for building solidarity between movements, not a movement in itself. That distinction is important.”
From a recent article by the Fire Next Time revolutionary network, “Ten Theses on the U.S. Racial Order”:
“The category “people of color” will fail to cohere a revolutionary bloc, as it encapsulates too broad a range of racial groups, with widely varying experiences of racialization, lived material conditions, and relations with proletarian blacks” - http://firenexttimenetwork.org/2012/11/21/ten-theses-on-the-racial-order/
White supremacy in this society is built off of anti-blackness, and the racial power structure in this country was constructed off of the “settler-savage-slave” triangle. The economic structure of white supremacy is built on anti-blackness. Generations of non-white immigrants (Jews, Italians, Irish…) have assimilated into whiteness by mobilizing anti-blackness. I fear that Latin@s will also choose to assimilate into whiteness, unless they make a radical commitment to centering their indigenous and African roots, and a militant decolonization struggle.
Pathology of Patriarchy: A Search for Clues at the Scene of the Crime
by Sanyika Shakur (aka “Monster”- The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member)
“The great divide between humans and animals provided a standard by which to judge other people, both at home and elsewhere. If the essence of humanity was defined as consisting of a specific quality or set of qualities, such as reason, intelligible language, religion, culture, or manners, it followed that anyone who did not fully possess those qualities was “subhuman”. Those judged less than human were seen either as useful beasts to be curbed, domesticated, and kept docile, or as predators or vermin to be eliminated” (1)
What We are going to do here is direct your attention to the pathology of oppression, but not simply as you are used to reading about it. The obvious points of contention will inevitably be touched on as they relate, to attendant ills, to the subject at hand, however, We will try to keep our focus - and your attention – trained on the issue in play! Please bear with us as We move along to connect the dots. We want to talk about homophobia – the fear and oppression of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. And We want to discuss this because as revolutionaries it is our duty to deal with all socio-economic and political phenomena that engages our reality (past, present and future). The obligation of the revolutionary is to make the revolution. That is to change oneself, encourage the people to change and then change the current system that oppresses. Of course, it would be ideal if, in 2012, We didn’t have to even deal with this matter. We wish that these issues had been resolved during the last hightide of consciousness. But sadly, that was not the case - and so here We are. No matter, the sooner begun, the sooner done, no? Right on!
Comrade Kevin Rashid Johnson needs our help!
The following undated letter comes from Rashid, a revolutionary communist political prisoner. It includes confirmation past reports from another prisoner that Rashid was in fact drugged by the police, beaten, and intentionally denied access to healthcare. -eric r
“Keep this will need it to recollect everything. Also use it as factual basis for protest and help. I’ve begun writing this at 10:00pm on Feb. 9th 2013. At this moment I am severely dehydrated, tongue coated with white film. Staff refuse any monitoring of vital signs or care. Urine looks like rust water. kidney (left) hurts.
The following is a chronology of events leading to my present state. All are significant jointly and severally in revealing gross abuse and corruption here.
Jan. 28 (on or about) while exercising inside my cell I cut my groin area on loose nylon stitching from my pants and began bleeding heavily. On noticing the stinging sensation then, upon inspection, blood. I notified the unit guard N. Claudio who contacted medical staff. After a bit of back and forth wrangling I was taken to the SHU nursing station where a nurse (name unknown) inspected the laceration gave me a wad of gauze and ordered me given a shower. She also instructed me to keep the area clean and dry.
A couple nights later I caught the same nurse while she was passing out evening medication and got a small packet of antibacterial ointment from her.
The area would not heal although I washed up several times daily and kept it dry. It kept bleeding and I complained daily to guards and nursing staff.
Feb. 1 received bacitracin (antibacterial) ointment from nurse Flores at noon. Officer Saxton got her to give it to me for the laceration. She also instructed to keep area clean and dry.
Feb. 2 spoke to nurse at a.m. medication rounds asked to be placed on sick call about cut and to receive order for bacitracin. She told me I had to wait till next day because sick call sign-ups not done on Saturdays.
That evening around 2:30 pm after working out I washed up and applied bacitracin. Officer Claudio came to my cell and stated the guard in the control center Earlicker said I was nude in the cell and needed to keep clothing on. I explained I’d just been washing up and applying bacitracin, and that Claudio knew about my laceration and medical staff’s instructions that I wash up routinely and keep the area clean, which I could not do in the cell with clothing on. We only receive showers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Just as Claudio left the cell I heard Earlicker call sergeant Kile on the walkie talkie and tell him to call her in the control center.
I should inject here that on or about Wed. and Thurs. Jan. 30th and 31st I stopped receiving my incoming mail (up till that pont I received from 5-10 letters daily, everyday. From then till this Feb. 9th date I’ve received only one letter none of my periodicals or books). Also on or about Jan. 31st a drug or narcotic was put into my food, which I believe was similar to an epilectic drug (Tegretol) I was prescribed back in the early 1990s by the VA DOC as an admitted experimental behavior modification drug. This drug literally makes me psychotic with episodes lasting up to a week or more. It causes an almost total loss of impulse control, hyper aggression, and a sense of clouded judgement and invincibility. I can distinctly tell when it is introduced into my system. I noticed the effects on the afternoon of Jan. 31st.
Back to Feb. 2nd: Shortly after the call to Sergeant Kile over the radio, he had me brought out of the cell and locked inside a holding cell in the SHU intake area. I had the guards call him to the area to find out what was going on. When he came to the area he responded I was going to receive a disciplinary report (DR) for being naked inside the cell which violated SHU rules, which require a minimum of underwear be worn at all times. I explained my situation and the impossibility of washing up as medically instructed with underwear on. Also that I was suffering chronic bleeding. He replied he didn’t care, that technically I broke a rule and would be “held to account.”
I struggled to control my reaction and first jammed the latch on the holding cell door so guards couldn’t close it to get them to call the nurse (Flores) to the cell to verify that medical staff instructed me to wash up. Flores came to the area verified this and stated she was adding me to the sick call list to be seen for the cut because it kept bleeding and would not heal.
A lieutenant Neff then came to the area to find out what was going on, which I explained. My main concern was that the DR would result in my loss of IMU level 3 and being placed on level 1, which meant loss of most all my property and all my books, and my entire IMU period of 7 months starting all over again. Neff said he’d look into the matter and return to tell me his findings.
Just after he left several guards came to the area to move me to another unit. I told them Neff said to leave me there until he returned and talked to me. He also had a nurse Adams check me again Adams gave me a wad of gauze and bacitracin and acknowledged my condition to the guards. Neff returned sometime later and stating the DR was already written. I was being demoted to level 1 and all but my legal property was being taken.
I was then confronted by a mob of guards in riot armor and gas masks with a large canister of gas and told to submit to handcuffs which I did. I was brought out of the holding cell and chained by my waist to a wall, where an argument ensued and the guards attacked me literally ripped off all my clothes, put me in a pair of underwear, strapped me into a restraint chair and wheeled me to the IMU disruptive unit (unit A), where I was dumped enraged into cell 07.
Upon being released from the restraints I promptly swallowed about 40 pills (my perscription pain medications). I was not in my rational frame of mind. I’d covered up the cell window at that point so another altercation ensued with the riot team who again chained me to a wall and ripped off my clothes, also punching me repeatedly in the head.
Following this I was put into the holding cell again and seen again by nurse Adams who asked what pills I took and how many. I was sent to the hospital St. Aldophus Ontario, Oregon, where the medical staff literally tried to let me die. Their actions and attitudes made clear to me and the attending guards that they didn’t want me there because of my race. Not only did they do nothing to have the drugs disgorged from my stomach, they had me sit for two hours in a secluded room with no care, extracted only a small syringe of blood ahtough admittedly needing 3 large vials to conduct appropriate blood tests, then sent me back to the prison claiming there were no traces of pills in my system. The entire incident of me swallowing handsfull of pills was audio-video taped and confirmed by the riot armored guards who immediately removed me from the cell, including segeant Morthorst.
On return to the prison I was placed in the medical department for close observation suicide watch, where a guard sat watching me constantly and another sat watching a white prisoner next door to me on the same status named Steve Brown. Brown had swallowed around 100 aspirin on Jan. 31st and was treated at St. Alphonsus where as soon as he got there he was given a thick liquid to drink to induce vomiting and kept in the ICU for 2 days.
On that Feb. 3rd date guards watching Brown and me began discussing bogus claims that I was a sexual offender in presence of Brown and other prisoners housed in the medical department. An argument ensued between the guards on me and while I was using the commode they turned off the water in the cell so I’d remain with fermented body waste in the cell. I then dumped the commode’s contents out of the cell under the door into the area where they were. The guard D. Davis who’d cut off the water then walked in the comode’s contents then lied saying I assaulted him by throwing it on his boot and splashing it onto his pant leg. This occuring around 11:25 p.m.
Feb. 4 A sergeant Lande in the morning colluded with mental health counselor D. Jennings to have me moved from medical to a camera cell in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit CDSUS, saying without any evaluation, that my actions were merely bad behavior. On that date I stopped eating and told them I needed help, that I was not in my rational mindset.
As soon as I was put into DSU I swallowed 3 pieces of raor blade — on audio-video camera and confrimed by sergeant Benitez. I was again taken to St. Alphonsus and treated the same way. X-rays were taken which I was not allowed to see nd I was immediatey returned to the prison with reports that no razonrs were seen inside me. This was an outright lie. And the razors are still there. I defecated just before swallowing them and not eating haven’t defecated since. Any perforation (cut or punture) of my intestinal wall can cause immediate death. I’ve not eaten to date.
Feb. 5th: Stopped drinking all liquids beginning in early morning. Have drunk nothing to date and don’t intend to; at least until something is done about these razors that I’ve felt repeatedly digging/cutting into my insides.
Feb. 8th: Nurse R. Wagner took blood, urine and vital signs. She told me on hunger strikes these checks are done ony once per week, (in Virginia they’re done daily). She said no exceptions made for prisoners not drinking. All know and have documented I’m not drinking or eating. I told Wagner repeatedly on this and following dates that razors are inside me. She blew it off based on hospital reports which I’ve emphasized are not true.
Feb. 9. Asked Wagner to put on sick call for razors and dehydration. She refused. Told me a person can live for 14 days without water. She walked away. She said nurses supposed to check me every 4 hours. This hasn’t happened at all (on suicide watch).
They’re doing nothing to monitor or treat my deterioration from this food/liquid strike not to address these razors inside me. I need all the pressure and help you all can muster. Also there’s a guy Allen Carpinelli who works with Oregon Jericho, Ed Mead knows him. He has connections with some Oregon lawyer who helps pps. Get him to get that lawyer on this shit with the hospital. See if he can get those x-rays. Something major is going on. The ODOC doesn’t have my VA medical files, which is where the records of the entire Tegretol experiments are, yet someone knows the effects this drug has on me. I sued the VDOC over the experiment in the Richmond City Circuit Court back in 1995, Kevin Johnson v. Commonwealth of Virginia. At trial I lost because I had no medical expert to confirm the psychotic effects of the drug on me. The entire experiment was proposed by a VDOC psychiatrist Dr. Pierson, which I discovered years after being on the drug while never having epilepsy. Also just at this time my mail has been stopped. Likely involved officials include SRCI lieutenant L. Schultz. Also I have copy of Pierson’s report and recommendation that I be placed and “studied” on Tegretol or valproic acid as a behavior modification experiment, because these substances empirically prove to alter ones inhibitory and control mechanisms. Someone here in the ODOC or working with them intended to see me “lose control”, which has resulted in my overdosing and ingesting razors. Out of room/paper.
Need everybody you all can get on this and continuously/consistently. Not just a couple of calls. I’m liable to die here or suffer irreparable damage. SOS!”
Blazing Arrow member Ahjamu Umi breaks down what he sees happening to communities of color and low-income neighborhoods in NE Portland.
Video by Adele Pham
Kevin Rashid Johnson is a political prisoner and leader of a prison organization called the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. He is an outspoken communist revolutionary whose life is in danger.
CALL IMMEDIATELY: 541-881-5000 and then press “0”
Kevin Johnson #19370490
777 Stanton Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914
I have not heard from Rashid for about two weeks, which is surprising, because he normally sends me 2 or 3 letters a week, sometimes for other prisoners. I just received a letter written Feb. 11, at Rashid’s request, by another Snake River prisoner, xxxxx. xxxxx’s letter begins as follows (edited for spelling etc):
(The Kasama Project received the following from “zzzzz”)
“This is about Rashid. We need a lot of help. They are trying to kill him. On Jan. 31 they put something in his food that made him crazy. On Feb. 2 he took 30 pills. They did not do anything to get the pills out of him…. On Jan. 4 [sic; I assume he means Feb. 4] he ate 3 razor blades. This is all on videotape. They lied and said the X-ray showed nothing. The [blades] are still in him right now. He has not eaten since Feb. 3. He has not drunk anything since Feb. 5…. He is passing out and they won’t do anything to help him…. Said he is the one that won’t eat or drink so they are not helping him at all. He is peeing blood and has bad kidney pains…. Med staff will not give him IV fluids…. [As of Feb. 10 he had] lost over 16 pounds. His blood pressure is 191/100 and his urine is the color of coffee….”
I phoned Snake River immediately. If you want to speak with anyone, you have to dial 541-881-5000 and then press “0”. I left messages with his counselor, Alice Tomlinson and also with a staff member named José Delgado. So far I have not heard back from either of them. I then called again, saying that it’s an emergency and I needed to speak to someone who would pick up (I mentioned the warden’s office). They connected me with a Sergeant Di Andrea. He looked up Rashid on his computer and said he was “all right”; I said I wanted to know more specifically, so he put me back onto the counselor’s answering machine. Obviously he is not “all right”; on the other hand, I think that if he had died, they would have had to tell me. I will keep trying. We should make many calls, reaching as high up as possible.
There are obviously a lot of questions here. How could it have been on videotape? How could he have obtained all those pills? etc etc. The idea that he would try to destroy himself is totally out of character; on the other hand, I suppose that with certain kinds of drug, many strange things are possible. Let’s all stay in touch if we get any news.
I am sending this both to the listserv and to the individual addresses I have, just to make sure everyone gets it.
Ironically, just 2 days ago I mailed Rashid the proofs for the article of his that we will be publishing in the July issue of Socialism and Democracy.
Let’s all write to him (address below). Even if the letters aren’t delivered, the officials will know that a lot of people are ready to protest whatever abuses they inflict.