Category: Essays & Letters

Clutter, Cobweb, Love, and Oranges

Every conversation in a perfect end Would finish with the touch of two lips Time is perfect, and it never slips away Underneath Big Blue Sky   Story and photos by Pete Shaw Seven April 18s ago I was in Seattle when, after a cascade of phone messages left on a cell phone that I barely…

Wheeler Announces Plans to Abolish Police; Leads Rally to Burn ICE

Story and photos by John G. Mellor In a shocking turn of events late yesterday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that he would be taking steps to abolish the Portland Police Bureau and called upon Portland’s citizens of conscience to burn down the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prison on Southwest Macadam Avenue. Speaking before…

A Shining Light Rolls On

“Days up and down they come Like rain on a conga drum Forget most, remember some But don’t turn none away”                                –Townes Van Zandt   Story by Pete Shaw At the end of this month Portland will be losing organizer…

How to Shine During Bleak Times

  Story by Pete Shaw These are bleak times in the United States, although an honest reckoning shows that for many people, particularly those who are not heterosexual Christian men bearing white skin, these are perhaps more accurately times ranging between the usual and bleaker. After Monday’s electoral college balloting officially paved the way for…

Giving Thanks

Story and photos by Pete Shaw So here we are, not long after an election that saw the man who will become President of the United States spending over a year hurling invective against just about everyone not a white, straight, Christian male, that has now clearly encouraged blatant and aggressive bigoted actions. Clearly, we…

An Important Lesson

Story by Pete Shaw After last week’s election, the Portland Occupier published a column I wrote about how regardless of who won the election, the same work of organizing for a more just world faced us. Had Hillary Clinton won, she at most would likely have made slightly tepid changes, but I doubt those changes…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Story by Pete Shaw Judging from Facebook on the morning after the recent elections, it seems there are two very important things that need taking. One is that the proposed wisdom that we were watching the destruction of the Republican Party turned out to be false. Instead, it is the Democrats who have imploded, or…

A Memory of Justin Buri

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Thursday, November 3, late Justin Buri, the former executive director of the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT), an organization that fights for renters and their rights, died on Tuesday, November 1. He was 36. I will not pretend that I knew him, but I did have the pleasure of…

City Council Ignores Voices of People of Color; Rewards Police Violence with New Contract

  Story by Pete Shaw Let’s skip the formalities and conventions and get right to the point: Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Nick Fish, and Commissioner Amanda Fritz are racists. They are dangerous racists whose recent support for the new police contract shows a complete disregard for the lives of people of color–particularly Black people–and an equally…

A Letter From France

Article and photos by Pete Shaw September 24, 2016 Dear Mom, Early morning at a very large table in a quite nice house in a really neat artists’ commune in the quaint Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, far enough from the madding crowd of Sacre Couer.  The tourists run wild there, which is hardly a bad…