Longtime community utilities activist Scott Fernandez hosted a coalition meeting at the Presbyterian [the Presbyterians, perhaps following up their historic leadership of the Emancipation movement in the United States some 170 years ago, have during the last 20 years distinguished themselves in support of social justice] Church closest to Mount Tabor last night. I attended. I never did meet with, consciously at least, the Jenny Weidinger who signed the email appeal.
I asked the gentleman I met just inside the door the way to the restroom: when he showed me, the way (it was unexpected), I went back to my bike for my notebook and went to the meeting room, which was in the opposite direction from the men’s room verbum sapientem sat, where I found I was really really uninterested in signing up to give someone my correct email address.
The gentleman at the sign-in sheet, the very same who had so kindly indicated where to pee, was a fount of helpful advice: he said [my suspected Presbyterian] that the athletic-looking fellow at a table behind me was the guy to see.
He was. He said his name was Dennis (at least, that’s how I wrote it down within minutes; but he was later introduced as Jesse: — but then again, I am bad with names) and he welcomed my volunteering. This time was different, “we have learned the lessons of the Occupy Portland [episode].” We are to be under a single leader, a one-time sergeant and Iraq War vet.
And so Rosa Luxembourg meets the leader of the FreiKorps.
At 6:40 pm the room was full, between 40 and 60 people in attendance. As I waited, I heard two speakers two chairs away: the Black precincts of North Portland went over 2-to-1 against fluoridation.
The theme of Mr Fernandez’s comprehensive, if succinct, history of resistance to bureaucratic seizure of our city’s water supply was, and I quote, ” . . We have to speak as one voice.” Two middle-class-in-aspect speakers followed Scott, speaking of abuses by the munipical water bureau worthy of racketeering charges being brought; other examples of shocking corruption follow.
At 7:50 the question of Occupy Mt. Tabor came up, and the rather charismatic Jesse took the floor. He did not call for the ones in the room to do anything to help the Occupy forces, which are to be “militarized [ I believe he used that word, at least I am morally certain of it, when speaking to me in person; whether or not he used that formulation when speaking to the meeting as a whole I cannot say].” An occupation, which he distinctly defined as
a strategic takeover of a public space for the protection and good of the people
is to be performed by parties or parties unknown — we had already been advised at the beginning of the meeting to turn off all recording devices; but no one disturbed my note-taking — and it is to be directed by the ex-sergeant. Jesse or whatever his name was got a burst of applause when he finished.
So the Irish Republican Army, Provisional Wing, was formed