(Photos © J. Maus)
Tomorrow’s ‘N17 – Occupy the Banks‘ actions of civil disobedience throughout downtown Portland can count on an assist from a cadre of people on bikes. A ride dubbed ‘Swarm the Banks‘ will look to play a similar role to the ‘bike swarm’ that made its presence felt at the big standoff at Chapman and Lownsdale Squares this past Sunday.
Here’s a snip from the ride description:
“As busy bees, we can fly through downtown and check up on the various actions of nonviolent civil disobedience, protect the march with our buzzing mobility, serve as a pesky distraction for cops seeking to break up the actions, and possibly even participate in actions if we need to rest our wings for a bit.”
Occupy Portland standoff early
This ride was conceived by Katherine Ball, the same woman who spearheaded the very successful ‘bike swarm’. Ball was recently featured in a column by Steve Duin in The Oregonian. As someone who rode with Ball at Sunday’s standoff, I can attest to her positive approach and infectious enthusiasm for this movement.
To join Thursday’s bike swarm, meet at Salmon Street Fountain at 10:45 am. There will be an open discussion prior to the ride “to determine our exact tactics”. More info on the Shift calendar or on the Facebook event page.
Or…….you could make a more effective statement by not doing business with the bad guy big banks and not pouring money into big corporations.
Cyclists want to be accepted into the mainstream at least in terms of not being yelled at or run off the road, but then we also want to be pests to police and bystanders who are not even involved (and don’t want to be involved) in these protests???
You can’t have everything.
“cyclists” are not a monolithic organization. it would be pretty unnatural for us all to believe the exact same thing. some people who ride bicyclists support protests. other people who ride bicycles protest protests. there are lots of conflicting opinions in the “mainstream,” so there’s plenty of room here.
So why is their “swarm” excluding motorists? Wouldn’t a swarm of cars also be effective?
probably not. have you ever seen someone trying to do a 180 in stop and go traffic on Naito?
Motorists swarming is called ‘traffic’, and is not news worthy.
Us little guys taking our money out of the big banks is a great first step, but let’s not forget that much of the money these banks have is our money that we can’t take out. Debt service on our city infrastructure for instance. Ha.
Talk about screwed up.
And when you close your account or withdraw your money be certain to verbally tell a manager WHY you are doing so – be that hidden/extraneous fees or corporate greed. Otherwise, they will not really get it. Trust me – I have gone in to a big bank intent on closing an account – told them why; the account manager bent over backwards to keep me there and make me happy. It can work.
And please apologize to the bank employee for helping to make them unemployed. Bank employees, 99% of them, are just as challenged to put food on the table for their families as you are. Take away all your deposits, and you take away the need for the bank to have front-line employees.
Well, if the money were moved to credit unions, so would the jobs. No one is keeping the money under their mattress.
No ! Don’t lump cyclists into this Occupy Thing, aka “lets see how much damage and extra money we can cost the city”.
Another good point. And then maybe the police can focus on more important things (sex offenders, drunk drivers, gang violence) than the “busy bee…pesky distractions” who think this is some sort of party.
Who made that quote you included in your comment? I didn’t see it in the ride description or in the story. Just curious.
From what I can tell, no one is advocating to cause damage at all. Let’s not hang on the words of a ride description and speculate what we think might happen… I think it’s great that someone wants to support an extremely important social movement by hopping on a bicycle and riding around town.
As a well known bike advocate/activist, you can, in fact, chose your battles. Not every bike-themed event positively aids the public’s perception of those who ride. This is not just hopping on and riding around the city you’re supporting; there is an agenda, an agenda that has been tarnished at best by the conditions at the parks taken over by Occupy, the subsequent demand for an apology from Adams for handling a complex situation very well (and I’m no Adams supporter, but you have to give him and Reese credit for how things went on Main), and the ongoing, rather small faction of Occupiers who marched by my window on 5th yesterday. Quizzical stares, shoulder shrugs, and a few Max horn blasts, and the “movement” left most onlookers seemingly unimpressed–there were few/no cheers of support, no passing cars honked in favor, no one seemed to say, “Hey, what are they marching for? Me? Wow, I think I’ll join them!” I’m sorry about the cynicism, but I see no evidence of any policy changes, whether regulatory, financial or otherwise, coming out of N17 or Occupy. Youthful passion? All for it? Supportive of Occupy? Sure. I think it’s great to voice concerns. Confronting /contacting our representatives or becoming the next generation of representatives or business owners devoted to fairness and equality? Much, much better. Throwing bikes into the mix will further erode support for bikes.
That the Occupy Portland movement is “tarnished” is your opinion. However, there are thousands of Portlanders who disagree.
What I would not disagree with is that the City and its police force have been overwhelmingly non-violent–and that is not trivial. But, the huge police presence was never justifiable. The crime rate was minuscule and overblown by the city. The Occupiers did an excellent job of protecting the occupants while providing food, medical care, and a variety of services only more or less provided by Portland in the rest of the city.
Your reporting seems no more reliable than that of the city’s exaggerated complaints and pretexts for closing down the parks. For one thing, everyone pretty well knows why the Occupy movement exists and what we are marching about.
You “see no evidence of any policy changes, whether regulatory, financial or otherwise, coming out of N17 or Occupy.” But, the first thing that has happened in this movement is a change in consciousness on a national scale: no more nonsense discussions about the deficit while people need jobs, medical care, food and housing security; a recognition that the large majority of our citizens want the government to stop the bleeding dry of our treasury to spend on the slaughter of people in the Middle East and North Africa while only benefiting huge, multi-national corporations; discussions of the problems infesting our country that are based on consensus not money and the overall uselessness of a political system owned by the wealthy and corporations.
Haven’t you noticed that there are Occupations all over the country and the world? Why should anyone think you are supportive of Occupy when you clearly have no idea what it’s about?
I appreciated all your comments. Until you made the personal attack by saying I have no idea what Occupy is about. Look, I’m a street-level social worker, and I see the devastation of what our economy has done and continues to do to people like the 99%. You and I are in this group, right? So thanks for suggesting that you have the “real” understanding of O. I can be in full support of people’s rights to participate and still have an opinion (even if cynical) about its effectiveness. Does “raising awareness” by blocking the Steel bridge this morning lead to policy changes? I don’t think so. I think it pisses the 99% off who are trying to get to work, drop off their kids, or get to an appointment. But what do I know? I’m just trying to help my poor, disabled, mental health clients who lack sufficient medical care. I probably have nothing to add to the conversation.
“…But, the huge police presence was never justifiable. …” Bill Michtom
That conclusion is certainly debatable. Depends some on what huge police presence you’re thinking of. If it was the day to day presence of police over the course of the 5 weeks OP was in the parks, seems like the number of police for that detail was small. Maybe 10 cops?
The eviction detail was different. It would be interesting to learn more about the factors that led city hall to decide to bring in the great numbers of law enforcement to clear the parks.
Perhaps maus might be able to get an interview with the mayor, someone from his staff, the police chief or someone from his staff, and get some responses to some of these questions for bikeportland readers.
Hear,hear!! Bike, foot , tree, skateboard, scaffold,
mountain top, soapbox. Mute point. Just be grateful we can gather in any fashion whatsoever at this point in time!! Political stances on an individual level do not in any way reflect “cycling” on the whole. Every one is caught up on their individual take on OWS. Pointing fingers, judging, doing little to engage, all the while not understanding that your right to gather is still a right. Seems as though K. Ball has a good idea. More power to her.
Sorry just checking back now: The qoutes were mine, i wasn’t quoting anyone.. I probably should have use apostrophes?
But Fact: Occupy portland is costing money and they damaged the parks. I can’t support that. It’s easy to protest and ruin things, this is a lazy persons approach! Granted it’s no fun, I am sure, getting pepper sprayed or arrested. But it certainly doesn’t take much effort.
“Occupy portland is costing money and they damaged the parks. I can’t support that. It’s easy to protest and ruin things, this is a lazy persons approach!”
If that is all you have to say about the occupy movement here in Portland I dare say you haven’t been paying attention. Or perhaps you are paying attention only to the most superficial gloss of this protest, the one some members of the established order would prefer we focus on? How messy, how inconvenient, how lazy. Right!
That was so annoying when Martin King led all those people in the March on Washington. I mean all the grass at the Mall had to be replaced! And the police overtime… Lazy good for nothings!
“The March on Washington:
Nobody was sure how many people would turn up for the demonstration in Washington, D.C. Some travelling from the South were harrassed and threatened. But on August 28, 1963, an estimated quarter of a million people—about a quarter of whom were white—marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, in what turned out to be both a protest and a communal celebration. The heavy police presence turned out to be unnecessary, as the march was noted for its civility and peacefulness.”
I don’t know how to highlight text here but draw your attention to the last sentence.
This just makes bike riding a political message, maybe thats what some want but I think it would be better to go with “Make Bikes Normal” as in what you see in Europe where its not political or a small group, its just normal for all.
and how did they get there?
By acting normal. Convincing your friends and community that it is efficient and safe to do so. Not that you are a radicalized subsect.
isn’t the point of OWS that radical is the new normal?
Normal…. Bud Light, shoppin, malls, football, Camaro’s, swim suit issues, apple pie, saluting, not thinking…. i could go on for ever.
oooppps, sorry. forever.
that’s not the story even whathisname over on copenhagenize tells
This says that bike riding can be political and presents one way to do that. That it is not your preferred message is neither here nor there.
Isn’t bike riding political because it undercuts the dependence on fossil fuels?
Contrary to what this ride description seems to imply, the police are not the enemy, bent on breaking up lawful actions or repressing free speech.
no, but they are used by the corporate establishment for those purposes
OH, I thought they reported to the Mayor.
And, unfortunately, the Mayor reports to the business community before the rest of us.
If you mean locally owned, small to mid-sized business, like many of those surrounding Jamison Square in The Hurl, I have no problem with that. They are not the ones OPers (should) oppose. They can create much needed jobs. I’m just not convinced that the Mayor takes his orders from the Captains of Wall Street.
Damn, I’ll have to remember that the next time someone breaks into my house and steals something.
Yes, I would prefer the Swarm flyer to change this
“…serve as a pesky distraction for cops seeking to break up the actions…”
to something like:
…serve as a free-spirited distraction to dispel unpeaceful tensions among all parties…
Triple support this change in language Alan 1.0!
Here, here. I plan on being there and I will express and forward this sentiment.
Occupy Portland lost support when criminality started becoming the norm. Bicyclists will lose more respect if swarming interfers with people not doing business with the targetted banks.
I think stopping your business with banks is the preferred form of protest of their practices. If you want to interfere with other bank customers, I’d rather you were not identified as a bicyclist. That’s because I’m a bicyclist and my kids are too. I don’t want a pissed off bank customer-motorist deciding to retaliate for what was done to him.
Go occupy a bank and get arrested if you like, but please leave your bike at home.
The protesters are just normal Portlanders, not any fringe segment of society. They’re not criminals.
Normal: Adhearing, conforming or constituating a typical pattern, standard, level or type.
I have to call B.S.
This is Portland… do we have “normal” ?
I call BS on your BS. The people there adhere and conform to the standard Portlander.
You state that criminality was the norm for Occupy Portland. Present evidence.
“Bicyclists will lose more respect if swarming interferes with people not doing business with the targeted banks.” I think the point of the swarming IS to interfere with people doing business with the targeted banks. Some will be annoyed. Some will be in agreement. Some will have their minds opened to the reality of their actions.
“I don’t want a pissed off bank customer-motorist deciding to retaliate for what was done to him.” Anyone who would indiscriminately attack a bicyclist with a car is a threat to you regardless.
Thinking it is necessary for people to leave their bikes at home is the attitude of a very frightened person. Life isn’t that dangerous.
“Occupy Portland lost support when criminality started becoming the norm. …” J-R
Saying criminality was the norm at OP-Chapman-Lownsdale, is I think, seriously overstating the incidence of crime at or arising from OP in the parks. By far, the bigger part of life in the parks seemed to be geared towards peaceful presence.
OP unwittingly though, allowed itself to become victim of a mix of society’s ills of close at hand which it wasn’t responsible for producing and lacked the means of bringing under control. Criminals were part of that mix.
From another weblog, blueoregon.org, check out todays’s piece on OP:
Bill Michtom (November 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm) down below, also questions your suggestion that criminality was the norm at OP in chapman-lownsdale.
“Dont take yer bikes to town son, leave yer bikes at home Bill… and the crowd all gathered ’round and wondered at his final words…Dont take yer bikes to town son,” What would Johnny Cash do???
The Man would do the righteous thing.
I think he would join the Bike Swarm,don’t you?
I was in the swarm the other night and can say that the riders did not do any damage, can you give me one example.
what i hear in some of these objections could be rephrased roughly as follows:
people who want to support N17, and/or the “we are oregon” rally on steel bridge, and/or occupyPDX, can do what they want, but if you show up on a bike and participate in some kind of support action that involves a bike, then you are putting at risk an incremental mainstreaming of the bicycle as transportation, because of a perception the presence of the bicycle in this kind of action will create among whoever it is that has the ability to allow or disallow that mainstreaming.
[i have worked to cast this in neutral, objective language, because i do not want to deconstruct a strawman.]
in other words, you do something on a bike, other than travel from here to there, bright clothing and lights, signaling your turns and lane changes, stopping at the stops, it will have consequences for me, because some faceless “motorist” will associate your behavior with mine.
i will continue to insist that this is slave mentality, appeasing the overlord. i take responsibility only for my own behavior.
if the objection is jonathan’s coverage of this stuff, i would suggest that very few if any people object to his coverage of costumed rides, cross races, craft fairs, etc., none of which have much to do with my getting from here to there. his subject is people on bikes doing what people do on bikes. this falls squarely within that category.
But the reverse straw man was used by Dan Kaufman in his original call for a swarm last weekend.
“The silence around Occupy Portland from all the people who like to do all sorts bike events of social significance (and do protests like the world naked bike) ride has been deafening. ” Dan Kaufman from http://bikeportland.org/2011/11/11/bicycle-swarm-planned-to-protect-occupy-encampment-from-police-61878#more-61878
Which straw man wins here?
I guess I don’t agree. Can you explain to me precisely how that is a “strawman argument” ie. an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position?
not a strawman. dan says, in effect, i know there are activists out there who ride bikes, and who use the bike as an emblem of their activism. here is an event that urgently needs visible support. bikes are visible. where are you?
That’s not what is said, he’s saying anyone who rides a bike for a good cause should be aligned with OP.
He made an incorrect association between cyclists who do good things by riding should back up OP because it is equal to the same good things they do.
Much like saying I’ll get tarred with the same brush when people think all cyclists are horrible because some will partake in a swarm.
Both use the idea that cyclists as a whole are one homogeneous group when it comes to political affiliation when that just isn’t so.
I see what you are saying, meh. I do think that the kind of the people who ride in the Naked bike ride for political reasons (and not just for the fun of it) would be inclined towards OCP. I don’t think that’s an absurd notion nor do I think it parallels the argument that some would perceive that all bikers are protesters becuase some are.
I agree. These are people on bikes. Jonathan can do whatever he wants on his blog. Absolutely. I, and others, I have noticed over the years, sometimes wince when hoping for objective journalist-like coverage and find, instead, subjective, biased, activist coverage. Jonathan isn’t just detailing the what, when, and where of N17; he’s throwing his support behind it, when more than a few here, his readers, are clearly saying it could backfire on the biking community.
It should be clear that Jonathan wears a journalist hat and advocate/activist hat. Sure it’s fair to point out that you perceive that he’s taking a side and, of course, that you disagree BUT this is not Edward R Murrow’s CBS. It’s a bike blog created by a guy who is a passionate about cycling, cares about livable streets and fairness.
If the movement succeeds, do you think that would be good for bikes or bad? Which mode do you think the 1% would prefer you use. Think about it. That’s all.
Thanks for your opinion. I think my main disagreement with it is that you — like many people — feel that just because I do a story about something means that I am “supporting” it. I do support the movement. Absolutely. But please realize that I wouldn’t do a story about N17 because this is a bike blog. I will however, do a story about anything that’s related to bikes because, well, this is a bike blog.
In my story above, am I telling folks to show up? No. Am I making a huge endorsement of it in any way? No. I am telling folks that it is happening and I am giving them an option to take part if they’d like.
Please don’t jump to conclusions and speculate about my positions and perspectives.
This is a good and needed dialogue. I hope you don’t mind. I’m a supporter of what you do, so this is my attempt to point out that standards could perhaps be raised to enhance your voice as a trusted blogger regarding bike issues, policies, etc.
When you do this
“Who made that quote you included in your comment? I didn’t see it in the ride description or in the story. Just curious.”
You’re asking someone who has made a casual comment to be accurate in quoting someone else. That particular person used ” . . .” to elide some words to emphasis others. And this is actually an accepted process to point out the missing words. You’re asking for accuracy, integrity, precision.
So, I/others are asking the same from you, perhaps unjustifiably. We can’t demand journalistic integrity when you intend to be a blogger (I don’t mean this derisively, just to make a distinction). You might take the demand/request as a compliment. I, for one, think you’re at your best when you report and let readers decide. I think it may be more difficult to report and refrain from comment than subjectivity.
Did you give N17 a “huge endorsement” ? What does “huge” mean? Any endorsement counts, small or large, such as when you say “I think it’s great that someone wants to support an extremely important social movement by hopping on a bicycle and riding around town.” You do? Yes. You said as much. A journalist does not say this. But there I go insisting that you maintain objectivity when that is not your goal. For that, I apologize. Again, what all this might suggest is that you have some influence, and a platform, that others look to for some as yet undefined standard of reporting (for lack of better phrase).
I acknowledge that my style of reporting/advocacy is confusing and that it doesn’t fit into any pre-existing box of what reporters or bloggers should do.
As for my “endorsement” of this event. Please understand that I see a clear distinction between what I write in comments vs. what I write in the main story. In this case, the quote you use of my about calling this an extremely important movement was said in a comment.
I also have a very high regard for my readers’ intelligence and I often rely on them using it to decipher my reporting style. Am I always objective? No. I do sometimes let my personal passions creep into stories… But I think it’s more rare than most readers assume. When I have clear opinions about something the post will be labeled as such or the context of the post will make it obvious that I’m speaking from opinion.
Again, I leave it up to the reader to figure out because I hold my readers in very high regard and I’m confident the majority of you get where I’m coming from.
“Police estimated that they spent $450000 over the weekend on officer overtime”
Damage to the city coffers to the extent that a portion of it could be attributed to the “swarm” to protect / support what actually boiled down to the right to camp in a public park and not conducive to the larger message that the Thursday action actually supports.
It’s the police who decide how to spend the money. They didn’t need to pay police overtime for officers who came all the way from Salem. It was a peaceful protest. The cops just elevated the tensions. It would have been way cheaper if the they’d stayed home. Or better yet, if they’d put on their jeans and sweaters and protested with us.
I agree Mike. Or better yet, if Adams had offered something along the following lines:
“Look folks, we have a budget crisis and we don’t want anyone hurt. Instead of bringing in the goons this weekend, we’re going to find $450,000 for homeless infrastructure/food/etc. Whaddya say?”
I would not say “bringing in the goons,” but otherwise, I agree with you completely.
I realized later that I would have liked to change that word as well.
The issue was not about the “right to camp in a public park.” It was about the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The average salary for a bank teller in Portland is $39k. The average salary for a bank manager in Portland is $59k. A Stumptown coffee manager’s average salary is $73k, a barista makes $47k+.
Could the banks pay a higher wage? They can and they should to keep up with inflation and to preserve the middle class. A cynic would say they should just get a job at Stumptown.
Consider this: The middle-aged bank-teller lady from Gresham who is just trying to get through her day will probably not enjoy a bunch of people yelling or clogging up the bank by sitting or lying down or maybe smashing windows or dancing on the desks (all portrayed in the OP video posted on their site). The “99%”er worker is who will suffer tomorrow, not the bank president. It is quite possible that tomorrow you will have a high-paid barista making the day hell for some rank-and-file bank employee who makes less than them. Does this strike anyone as ironic?
Meanwhile Wells Fargo corporate in a high rise in NY, or wherever they are, in order to pay for more future security and increase profits, may very well just jack up fees, lobby harder and write even better legislation for themselves.
OP is off-target again and the tactics are wrong. The target is Washington and OP is bringing a tricycle to a NASCAR race.
This is one of the most serious points in America’s history and we can’t afford to waste the energy and consciousness that has been raised by employing out-dated tactics. The social and political networks available to us now are unprecedented. These are the modern tactics that haven’t been put to the test. I can’t stress enough the need to channel this energy into getting some effective and aggressive lobbying and representation, and draft some legislation and get it passed. Your enemy the bankers are doing this while you sleep and chuckling into their glasses of scotch! The system will not radically change because a menial percent of Portlanders road their bikes around the block and yelled and carried on in some little bank branch. The system has a better chance at changing through a thousand paper cuts. It takes a lot of work, and is harder than getting arrested (which incidentally just raises costs to you and the city, not the bankers).
swr – where do you get those figures?
he made them up.
That’s “she” if you are wondering, and I didn’t make them up.
yes, you did.
baristas make about 9-11$/hour. that translates to about 27K-32K/year…if they’re lucky.
I think you’re interpreting some of those websites stats incorrectly.
the stats you provided are for “wholesale manager’ at stumptown, not store manager. two VERY different positions requiring very differnet skillsets.
I don’t disagree with the bank employee figures.
Here you go:
For tellers: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-bank+teller/l-portland,+or
bank mangers: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-bank+manager/l-Portland%2C+OR
Stumptown manager here: http://www.careerbliss.com/salary/stumptown-coffee-roasters-salaries-178561/
and here at the 22:00 minute mark (baristas begin at $20/hr = $40k/yr):
I love a lady with sources.
the link for “bank teller” also lists “teller” at 22k, which is more in line with the labor department stats i linked earlier. might be helpful if simplyhired explained the distinction. also, the 47k figure at stumptown was an average for the entire company, not the barista. and a barista paid 20 an hour would make 40k only if she worked 2k hours, i.e., full time, which i would guess is something of a rarity.
Stumptown baristas start at 40k/yr? Thanks for that one-now I’ll stop feeling a brief pang of guilt when I keep all my change.
if the N17 occupation succeeds in denting retail business at banks for one day, the guys in the penthouse suites will feel it a little. the 39k teller could simply take a deep breath and enjoy. a situation is what you make it.
I vote. I write my representatives. I participate in public hearings and community organizations. I have done so for decades. I know that I am not alone in those actions. Longstanding problems (such as described by Occupy) are getting worse, not better. I appreciate that you suggest there are potentially more effective means to solve those problems, but could you please spell them out in small words so that more of us can share your wisdom?
Why do you have to be so condescending?
No condescension intended, it’s a serious question for ‘sw resident.’ The conventional political channels I am aware of have consistently failed for many years, so I’d like her to elaborate on her point:
“I can’t stress enough the need to channel this energy into getting some effective and aggressive lobbying and representation, and draft some legislation and get it passed.” — sw resident November 16, 2011 at 11:28 am
Bankers decide where they want to work, just as employees at Stumptown do. If you don’t support what your employer is doing (i.e., making billions in profit and paying you $39k) then perhaps you should decide to work elsewhere. I am sure that many people who do work in the financial industry, the main target of the OWS movement, agree with the ideals of the OWS movement. It is their personal responsibility to decide if they want to continue to support what their employers are doing by contributing their talents to that organization.
I see this as being the equivalent of a peace activist working for Northrup Gumman.
according to the labor deparment
a teller makes 487 a week median, while the first line supervisor makes 761. a coffee shop counter attendant makes 306 median, while the first line supervisor makes 473. among these numbers, only the bank manager makes close to 39k.
sw’s numbers are local and from the source. Yours are a national average?
i was responding in the absence of sw having said what her source was. if you think tellers in portland are making 39k while tellers across the country are making in the low 20s, you go on thinking that.
Tellers, no. But Stumptown Barista in Portland vs. any place in Ft. Wayne. Yeah, I’ll “go on thinking that” PDX’ers are paid more.
Love the condescending tone by the way. You really showed me!
the lady above quoted figures for a Stumptown ‘wholesale manager’ (regional I would guess) from a website that utilizes employee input to report median/average figures. No one had responded to that particular listing so I’m guessing she was looking at the websites default values.
The reason a barista at Stumptown makes so much is because the owner of the company decided to try a new kind of business model for his cafés. He hired the best and the most talented baristas, trained them above and beyond the skill level that is usually present at espresso shops and provided benefit and compensation packages often reserved for college graduates. He also developed relationships with actual coffee growers and bought beans from them at a per pound price greatly exceeding the usual “fair trade” one.
Why did he do this? Because he had an awesome idea and the freedom to carry it out–this resulted in a win-win situation for his company, his employees and the coffee farmers he deals with. This is the United States of America where great things happen because of our capitalist system and the freedom, innovation and prosperity it inspires.
Maybe if the people spending so much time protesting and wasting our city’s resources put their minds to it, they could come up with similar ideas that would actually help this economy recover. Placing the blame for our economic woes on the nation’s top earners is ridiculous. Making life miserable for people just trying to get to work on time, or depositing their hard-earned money at their bank of choice is equally ridiculous and does nothing to actually solve any of the challenges we are currently facing.
I may be part of the 99% and a bike commuter, but the OP protesters DON’T represent me or anyone I know. They are mistaken if they think the majority supports their movement. I do, however, support their Constitutional right to voice their opinion in a lawful and non-destructive way.
BTW–I don’t have any relationship with Stumptown in any way, shape, or form– just admire someone who is able to make a living and make the world a better place at the same time.
You might check in with a few former Stumptown employees who were laid off or fired during the transition of sale to their new parent company. Those who did not drink the kool aid, or fit the groover mold went bye bye. What is it with Portland’s hero worship of STCR and the likes of them,(i.e. New Seasons)? They are all company’s with growth models and agendas. I personally have not spent money with them in 5 years. Why? Because there are far more unique choices to be had honestly.I am not hating on the employees of these company’s, I choose to seek beyond the hype, that’s all…
The camp was given three days notice to vacate, and the camp chose not to. I haven’t spent a night at the camp, but have spent a few hours there over the last few weeks. It degenerated into something that no longer represented what the majority of people sympathetic to actual structural change in our economy / politics are striving for.
Saturday night taught a generation of Portlanders how to stage a protest, peacefully, in the face of the police.
Peaceful civil disobedience is key to most uprisings for social change. It’s important to know how to do it, do it well, and have fun doing it.
It’s not a revolution until we’re in the streets. And unless it’s a revolution, the government will keep handing trillions of $ to the banks and continue to cripple the economy.
Nice work bicyclists, keep it up!
Wait- I thought we are NOT supposed to lump everyone that rides a bike together as cyclists?
You are giving these protesters way too much credit.Taught a generation, Really? I certainly hope not. Do tactics from the 60’s really help here. All it seems to do is give the protesters a false sense of importance and annoy the hell out of the rest of us. Yes, the majority is really, really annoyed.
I learned that if I go camping and poop in a city park, the 1% will either ignore me or look down on me.
So, really no change other than I helped destroy a public park that was probably only enjoyed by the 99%’ers.
I would just caution the people planning to participate in the swarm (which, by the way, I think is a great idea…) that the police are capable of rolling out tactics to deal with cyclists if they so desire, so don’t be completely naive – be aware and be prepared; just because they didn’t last Saturday, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.
Here is empirical support for my position. This poll was just released and shows a net loss in support of OWS and an increase in support for the Tea Party since Oct 13: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-favor-fading.html
There is no mention of attitudes toward tactics in the poll but their negative effects can’t be discounted. This is because when there was high support for OWS on Oct 13th the focus and “marketing” of the movement was on political and economic issues. After Oct 13th the focus became on the “O” in OWS and less on the myriad issues that fell under the OWS umbrella.
among people with land lines who don’t hang up when a robot calls
And we all know about those type of people…
You know for fact that’s how this survey was conducted? Do you think national polling experts are aware of the fact that it’s not 1993 anymore. And have perhaps altered their methods accordingly?
yes, actually, i do, because i followed the link you provided, and here is what they say at
PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.
not you, sorry, it was sw resident who provided the link. point being, yes, this outfit does its polling through robot calls to land lines of registered voters.
Better yet, swarm the Internet and D.C. phone lines in protest of SOPA hearings happening today. It’s Hollywood attempting to censor and break the Internet.
“Police estimated that they spent $450000 over the weekend on officer overtime”
The US Government spent 12.8 Trillion bailing out the banks in 2008 and 2009. (as of March 31, 2009)
It will take a lot more demonstration than this to reinstate Glass-Steagall and other reforms to re-regulate the banks and prevent them from looting the treasury again.
So maybe it will cost the City of Portland one million dollars to police the demonstrators this year. That’s a great savings for this country if we get any bank reform at all out of the deal.
Even if it costs the governments across the U.S. a trillion dollars to police the demonstrators, the people and government budgets will be *waaaay* ahead of allowing the status quo to continue.
(and a trillion dollars is the Portland expenses times one billion — it’s a high target to hit…)
One thing that troubles me about the bailout discussion is that nobody talks about the profits that the government has made on those loans. Granted, not all of the bailouts have been profitable, but there has been a substantial amount made on many of them.
Where do you think the money to pay for the police overtime comes from?
Are you suggesting that Portlanders can and should spend their tax dollars on this? Why? Because banks are trying to maximize their profits? Seriously!?
If you are upset about the way banks do business, then don’t use one! No one is forcing people to pay atm fees. No one is strong-arming people to choose a bank over a credit union.
If the average American had given this any thought PRIOR to the financial meltdown, there wouldn’t have been a meltdown.
It is much easier to blame the faceless company.
“If the average American had given this any thought PRIOR to the financial meltdown, there wouldn’t have been a meltdown.”
You ascribe to me far greater power than I wield.
no one is forcing you. in fact, at the lower end of the income scale, you are lucky if you are allowed to have a bank account because maybe you bounced a check somewhere and they won’t let you in. so you have to pay a fee somewhere just to cash your paycheck, if you are lucky enough to have a job. or if you do have an account, there are plenty of other fees to pay beyond just debit card fees, unless you are able to maintain rather large minimum balances.
on the police overtime thing, i think it might be interesting to see whether the kinds of crimes to which we are being asked to imagine the police were responding here simply migrated to the encampment. in other words, what were the overall rates downtown before, during, and after. seems to me it is easier to patrol two blocks than the entire downtown area.
“…on the police overtime thing, i think it might be interesting to see whether the kinds of crimes to which we are being asked to imagine the police were responding here simply migrated to the encampment. in other words, what were the overall rates downtown before, during, and after. seems to me it is easier to patrol two blocks than the entire downtown area.” are
As I understand what I’ve read in the O, some of the people that gravitated to OP in the parks were people routinely engaged in criminal activity. Some of the people in the parks were stealing from other people in the parks…somehow, some of the bikes stolen during the bike shop break-ins found their way to the park, and so on.
You compare two examples of police patrol areas: patrolling the entire downtown area with the number of police assigned to that job. And, on a routine day to day basis, patrolling with however many officers were assigned to that job, Chapman-Lownsdale with OP present there in tents packed in cheek to jowl. I’m wondering what the police thought about having to try figure out who in those tents might be involved in criminal activity, and what they thought, or were told they should do about it if they knew or suspected that kind of activity was going on.
The big police overtime expense was for eviction day, said to be #450,000, thought if I’m remembering correctly, it had been reported that in the weeks leading up to the eviction, cost to patrol the parks, OP marches and what not had already run up a $200,000 bill. If the reporting is accurate, that would make $650,000 OP demonstration related police patrol and enforcement expenses, so far.
So i suppose you are independently wealthy then? Thus the lack of need to establish fair credit? Come on, you sound like my mother! And lets face it, the game is rigged.
You don’t need to be independently wealthy to live within your means.
If you are screwing up your credit by spending more than you make, well I guess the solution is rather obvious?
Pay cash for things and credit has much less “power” over your life.
For every bank that has required minimum balances, there is one that doesn’t.
Maybe your Mother was on to something, but if you don’t want to hear it from her, try:
I recommend both of them, but following either of their suggetstions take discipline and accountability. This does make it much more difficult to blame someone else.
Really??? Try establishing a start up for SBA’s in the modern world with out a credit history or deep private funding. You, my Mom and Dave Ramsey can row a little boat out of town with Dr. Laura at the helm!!!! I appreciate you sharing, but I will pass, thanks Mike.
So this is about the 99% that are trying to get their start ups off the ground, but they have somehow screwed up their credit? Wait – let me guess – it was an evil conspiracy by the banks to destroy people’s credit, because banks would make more money from the bankrupt than the profitable business owners and their employees.
Establishing good credit is a very easy thing to do. Unfortunately so is screwing it up.
Is it really the financial industry’s fault that so many people can’t manage their own finances?
How many people do you know that have smart phones, cable t.v., new(er) cars, etc – but have almost nothing in an actual savings account? Did the banks force them to buy these things?
Point being that people make their own choices, for better or worse.
Regardless of any of that -I don’t see why I should row a boat out of town for not agreeing with you.
Then again, I am either with the occupy movement (temper tantrum) or I am with the terrorists. Or some variation there of.
your tone is so sanctimonious it is hard to listen.
But FWIW, I have no credit cards–never have–but were I to want to purchase something for which a (good) credit rating were required I would be out of luck. No credit history is–and I still find this hard to believe, but we know who makes these rules–worse than a bad credit history. I’ve opted out of the whole thing, but that isn’t always so easy. Try renting a car without a credit card.
Interesting that you, of all commenters, say this. I have found many of your posts (ie 75% fewer auto’s in less than 20 years) to be rather unctuous. I can’t wait to read your comments if/when there is a permanent oil shortage. I am sure that your posts will be free of any sanctimony.
I did not say not to use or establish credit. I pay for nearly everything on a credit card (why not – I get cash back). Places that do not take credit, get my cash. I would not get angry at the banks for charging me a late fee on a bill I did not/could not pay.
If you find my suggestions for self discipline, restraint and common sense are sanctamonious, then so be it. I am not wealthy; I probably make less money than the majority of people that read this blog and I owe nearly $200k to various institutions. I made those choices to go further down the rabbit hole, every single one of them. Even if I get completely under on my house, I can’t blame the mortgage company for making me buy.
You over simplify to suit your views. We both can agree to disagree. My point is that you seem to pontificate a moral stance that is grounded in B&W. I wish not to get into a debate with you further over this on the grounds that you view others and their individual hardships and choices with a broad brush. Yes I will concede that lots of people do not live within their means. And BTW… speaking for myself I own none of the previously mentioned trinkets. No car,iphone,cable, etc. nothing! You wanna know why? First, I do not need them in MY life.Second, and I can not speak for others but, my salary has dropped by over 40% in ten years, I am a parent, helped my partner through school,and have done all those things correctly (i.e pay my bills) as you have stated, all the while maintaining a credit record of 710ish (really high) for 18YEARS! Then a few things went amok to invert my finances. Am I crying about it? No. Am I a blanket, unthinking supporter of OWS ? No.But I will say Mike, that it is a bit off putting to have people like YOU pin judgement on others, for what in MY opinion is A RIGGED GAME. I am not asking you to embrace OWS but, It is within my mental capacity to IMAGINE that others could be in worse situations than me due to circumstances beyond their control. Therefore they have the right to protest, To hell with Dave Ramsey! He is a nut job! Media clown IMO. I read your other postings here, you seem like a nice guy . Peace out to you.
I am truly sorry for your hardships. I have nothing but sympathy and support for anyone in that position.
I have found that the majority of everyone I have known to have financial hardships are due to the reasons I listed above. I know this is not always the case; illness, accidents, loss of income, etc. all happen.
I wish nothing but the best for all. Best of luck to you.
As of March http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/30/us-usa-treasury-banks-idUSTRE72S7Q120110330
“The transfers to the Troubled Asset Relief Program will push recoveries from banks to $251 billion in repayments of capital, dividends, interest and other income. It invested $245 billion in banks during the financial crisis to help avert a U.S. financial system collapse.
Treasury officials also have said they expect to at least break even on all of TARP’s investments in banks, automakers and insurer American International Group.”
And as of November http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/01/usa-treasury-aig-idUSN1E7A01NX20111101
“Treasury said it now has received overall repayments and other income totaling $317 billion from investments made under TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program funded by taxpayers that was used to bail out distressed financial firms.
That $317 billion figure represents nearly a 77 percent return out of the total $413 billion disbursed through TARP, Treasury said.”
so they are still not quite a hundred billion short. the cash from AIG came from their sale of alico to metlife, which carried a lot of liabilities onto metlife’s books where presumably they offset otherwise taxable income. are we measuring the loss of revenue to the federal fisc as well? or not really?
The original point was that the money was “spent.” It was actually “lent,” most of which has been paid back. Much of the 99% owns stock in or otherwise has a significant interest in the financial markets not crashing, so I’d argue it was worth it. Whether things could’ve been done differently to prevent it is another issues. Comparing the costs financial bailout to the costs incurred by the City of Portland relating to Occupy Portland, is apples to oranges, even if you think it was worth it.
thanks for this info Steve..
I know this is a banking-hours-specific event, but if the Occupy folks really want to get big numbers in support of their cause, they might consider holding rallies on weekends … when more of us who are still lucky enough to have jobs can join them.
they have had weekend events and no doubt they will have others. drop in at http://occupyportland.org/ and look around.
I believe this call to action by using bicycles is to support the N17 event. The swarm should not be intended to promote bicycle awareness. If you ride your bikes along with the organized N17 event, you may do whatever nonviolent civil disobedient thing you want on your bike.
But if the swarm of bicyclists choose to ride on city streets as vehicles during this event and not be with the actual march/event, please follow traffic laws.
This is a call to occupy banks, not for bikes to occupy the streets.
I’m thinking that those avid cyclists referring to the cycling community must, therefore, be avid communists.
Tongue firmly in cheek.
No side left unskewered.
Ride your bike to protest. Lock up bike. Go protest. Ride bike home. Support bicycle community by biking to protest. Support OWS by protest financial institutions — not people that work for them — (I am skipping the “you’re actually hurting more of the 99% working public that work for banks” arguement here). Support bike commuting community by riding bike home, in the rain and dark, demonstrating that it’s not *that* awful to get a little exercise on the way home.
And just think how much the city of Selma could have saved had Martin Luther King not crossed that bridge.. maybe the city should send his estate the bill for attack dogs and wate hoses?
There is a 99% chance your post will be deleted. Calling Maus a moron is not too cool. I like when he sticks to bike stories. The politics make things ugly sometimes.
I am a commuter and a road biker. I am out in the community riding past the Ghost bikes, dodging potholes, and wiping rain off my face everyday. I work, represent a Union, and participate with community events. I shop local, buy organic, and made in a america first. I am purchasing a house and pay all my taxes. I have expensive and every year more expensive health insurance. A little civil non violent disobedience to show solidarity is all I can really do. To speak my mind and to ride free. There are 2 sides only in this issue and its the 99% or the 1%, im not sure how anyone can be confused to which side they are on by default. You still have the right to disagree, sit on the couch and watch football , drive to the store for 6 pack if you can afford it, and complain about the condition of the world. Or you can simply smile riding your bike in traffic legally and voice your opinion with the rest of the world and be a little disobedient if you want to. I was at OPDX and the local news does lie or exagerate the story. See for yourself then I will listen to your opinions. In the meantime, I will be swarming!
I ride my bikes a lot, and I am interested in making that better in PDX. I think that in presuming that bicyclists support OWS across the board is presumptious. The posts here are all over the map which clearly shows that there is not unanimity among the cycling community. I do not support what OWS has become and I think it does not help cycling issues to be lumped in with the OWS movement. People who want to tie cycling to the OWS movement will rue the day when it all turns to sh!t and cyclist are tarred by the actions of the anarchists and other criminals who have taken over this movement. I am not un-symphathic but they are seperate issues, don’t drag cycling down with OWS when it tanks! It is all eff’ed up now, count me out as a cyclist!!!
My friend, an occupier visiting Portland, wants to ride and needs to borrow a bike. Can somebody help? She’s about 5’8″ and not picky about her steed. Call / text @ 503-333-7558. Thanks for being there Saturday swarmers!
Yeah, let’s terrorize those big evil banks! Better yet, lets vaguely plan a non permitted march mob riot swarm thingy and make threats to disrupt all of the banks in the area. Lets also disregard public safety, laws, tie up all of the police and make a mess wherever we go! Its OK, we’re just protesting. Oh wait a minute, whats that? Those banks are filled with our neighbors, family and fellow Oregonians working family wage jobs? Thousands and thousands of local family wage jobs. No it cant be. I don’t believe it! Occupy Portland is so oblivious they hardly realize that most of the damage they are doing is to all of us and themselves. I am disappointed in this “advocacy” blog for having anything to do with this.
Jonathan, you have let Lilith and the Bike Swarm co-op your good name and the good name of BikePortland.org – polarizing readers and advertisers. I encourage you to repudiate Bike Swarm and its effort to use bicycles to help “shut down the banks”. Focus your talents on constructive reporting of bike issues and building a positive image of bicycling in Portland.
Thanks for sharing your opinion. As long as people on bikes do newsworthy things, I’ll continue to cover them. I also don’t agree w/ you that this story is any more polarizing than a number of issues we report on every week.
I appreciate your feedback… even if I don’t agree with you.
I appreciate the blog and knowing that the event is taking place. I don’t agree with the ride, not in the slightest, but I’d rather be informed than not.
I don’t believe that Jonathan is polarizing anything, as long as he is only posting that the event is happening. The movement/protest is what is polarizing readers and advertisers. I believe Jonathan would be remiss to not mention this bike ride on his blog.
Why there is nothing the Occupy movement can do that remotely approaches the criminality of the people we are fighting:
For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this:
Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.
Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. … Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.
She has paid the money [$4,367] back. [But the federal judge]
gave her three years, saying, “The defendant’s criminal record is simply abominable …. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court.”
Compare this … to the fraud settlements on Wall Street. Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have “been the beneficiary of government generosity.” Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in government guarantees.
All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. …
Anita McLemore, meanwhile, lied to feed her children, gave back every penny of her “fraud” when she got caught, and is now going to do three years in prison. Explain that, Eric Holder!
Read the entire article. http://bit.ly/tFG3Uq
Well done Occupy. Another peaceful organized protest. I really feel that you pounded your message home today. Sad day for this beautiful city. Hanging the flag upside down?!? What disrespect. I hope all of the Police understand that there are many of us that really appreciate and respect the incredibly difficult job that they are doing. If you know or see a police officer, thank them for the job they are doing. I know I will.
Hanging the flag upside down is not disrespect. It is a deliberate sign of distress, in this case national distress.
Daniel, was that their flag to hang up side down on their flag pole? It was disrespect.
Who’s flag,how, and where and what are you talking about? Would some one clarify this ?
Sorebore, The flag was the American flag Displayed in front of BofA downtown I believe. On November 17th It was secured properly on a flag pole. The protesters lowered the flag without permission and re-hung it up side down on the same pole. They also replaced the bank’s flag on a separate pole with a couple of protest banners. I understand that hanging a flag upside down has long been a sign of “distress”. I believe that in this particular situation it was done disrespectfully. Later that day, an American Veteran asked the protesters to refrain from doing this to another flag as he felt the same as I did when I watched it happen live on the news. I was offended by someone that I feel was disrespecting the American Flag. Just my own opinion.
Paycheck2paycheck…yours is a valid point. OP demonstrators should be willing to respect other people’s right to speak for themselves with their own property.
OP demonstrators can hoist upside down on their own property or person, as many of their own U.S. flags as they choose.
property is theft
OP is lost in too many different causes. I THOUGHT OWS and OP was about holding people and corporations responsible for the economic mess they have made. Corporate greed and the like.
Did not support “camping in town” movement as there was never any reason to believe anything good was going to come from it. I was not there, and like many people in the 99%, I get what I can from the media. Yes I know…..but I am able to discern for myself from many different sources.
Before you get too critical, just how do you think that the rest of the 99% get their info regarding these issues? Being there as it was happening gives one great insight….and can cause great bias as folks tend to get caught up in the moment.
Regarding the N17….Wish I could have been there. The impression I have of this is that people were focused on at least some of the business(s) that were responsible for this mess. This is something that my simple mind was able to understand.
I still fail to understand what my HPV has to do with this. Riding a bicycle has nothing to do with politics (imho), nor do I care much for the association. Using very little fossil fuels to transport one’s self to a forum to express one’s political views is “above the norm”. Calling me to action because I ride is not much different than the labor union attempting to influence my support because I make a living at a certain trade. Not a real stretch here. If you are alienating people who ride in the attempt to attract those who ride then perhaps this is an issue to consider. Gathering ALL the support one can rather that being selective might have more value……
Being an activist AND a journalist is a dangerous combination. While this does not make Jonathan wrong (or his motivations suspect), it is precarious ground to stand on. Being a journalist and an influential bicyclist and then using THAT very influence to unify the bicycle community towards supporting your own views tends to get, well, a bit murky.
Yes, I have issues :-)……but I applaud some of the efforts to “right the wrongs” and hold people accountable. Life is not always easy to deal with and no one can please everyone in navigating their course.
We all get our opinion.
Well stated. We all have different opinions on the matter. I respect people for taking a stand based on their convictions.
I bike 23 miles per day to and from work, right through Portland each way. For the BTA Bike Challenge I am in the upper 1% of total miles logged for the month. I do all I can to bike safely, show respect towards others, acknowledge car and bus drivers, in short, survive. I take exception to those who politicize “bicyclists” in Portland. It’s not a joke folks. You want to protest, close banks, interfere with police, “swarm”, go right ahead, but leave bikes out of it. I need to get to work and don’t want some angry motorist to associate me with you.
Jonathan, I am a long time supporter of you and BikePortland. You are respected and influential in the bike community. I appreciate your many excellent articles on social issues and the bike community. Thank you! Maybe you can run for Mayor some day! When you throw in with people like N17 whose stated goal is to interfere with police and close the banks, you are on a very slippery slope. I hope we have all learned some lesssons over the last few weeks. Ride safely.