Category: Essays & Letters

A Warm Farewell

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Story and photos by Pete Shaw “I’ll never stop believing in your smile Even though you didn’t stay, it was all worthwhile.” –Donnie Fritts This month Portland is losing two very fine activists in Alyssa Pagan and Walidah Imarisha. They will be deeply missed, but this city is all the better for the time we…

Moving Life, Still

My brother.  He coulda been a contender.

Story and photos by Pete Shaw A few weeks ago I was in New Jersey. I go there twice a year, and I should tell you now that this is not the lead-in to a joke, although I am sure you have already come up with numerous punchlines. My brother and my father live there,…

As American as Cherry Pie

Photo by Kathryn Kendall

  “Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive.”                                …

A Meditation on Malheur and Meaningful Organizing

photo by Paul

Story by Pete Shaw When the healthcare law debate was raging a few years back, there was a rally at which people were urging Senator Ron Wyden to support the “public option,” something that perhaps would have more rapidly led to single payer health insurance system. If memory serves, the precise point of the rally…

Giving Thanks

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Story and photos by Pete Shaw The late, great Townes Van Zandt once said, “Aloneness is a state of being whereas loneliness is a feeling. It’s like being broke and being poor.” Thanksgiving is a day that begins a six or so week stretch that reminds many of their aloneness more painfully than usual. So…

New York Fight for $15 Now! Delivering Big Results

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Story and photos by Pete Shaw New York is big. New York is loud. It is bombastic, boasting, and even overwhelming. New York is not Portland. Last week I was in The City, part of a trip to visit my family. A few days before departing, I realized I would be missing the rally in Portland…

Portland Police Campaign Takes Shot at Black Lives Matter Movements

Photo by Pete Shaw

Story by Pete Shaw The Black Lives Matter movement, which sprang up in the wake of the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman, exploded into a major ongoing human rights struggle a little over a year ago with Michael Brown’s murder by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. The revolt has been instrumental in…