Stephen Amy and I tabled the Move To Amend [yay, emteeaay] regional conference at Portland Community College last Saturday. Even before we’d succeeded in taping the Pacific Green Party banner to the front sides of the table, we were approached by a figure whom Anton Chekhov described in his most famous short story, “Dama s sobachkoi” (The Lady with the Dog), only our local excuse for the sandy beach at Yalta was a flat expanse of concrete in front of the Moriarity Arts Building, and the diffident young woman approaching was brown-skinned and wearing a traditional peasant costume, complete with long dark dress and bright red turban, containing two pom-poms.
She excused herself and asked what we were up to. A few steps behind the young woman was an older woman, but dressed in identical ethic outfit as (the young woman I presumed to be) her daughter. We, Steve and I, explained how the first step to resisting the power of corporations over our lives might be by means of re-writing the Fundamental Law.
It was pretty interesting how the little dog, so attached to Maria Elena Antil, went back to the older woman, who spoke only to Maria Elena and only in Native Guatemalan dialect; sometimes Maria Elena spoke to her in Spanish, and sometimes in dialect. After a round of explanations of Move To Amend and the Pacific Green Party, Maria Elena asked me to explain the reason Steve and I were there at the table to her mother, in Spanish. I didn’t get very far.
Around an hour later, the entire cohort of Move To Amend attendees came out onto the concrete slab at the front door of the Moriarity Arts Building and performed a rousing bit of street theater, where the corporation goes to the head of the class. David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party of the United States Presidential Nominee, personally stepped over to our table and thanked us for tabling the conference. He met Maria Elena. A short while after everybody of the Move To Amend crowd went back inside, Maria Elena joined them.
I signed up one Max Greenwood, from Sherwood, to be a member of the Pacific Greens: with his permission, his contact information is on its way to Scott Green, who is now organizing a Washington County chapter. His wife took a look at the Theodor Fontane book I was reading, after I said I spoke German.