Oh, and you forgot to quote Avel Gordly, exhorting Portlanders to change leadership (ie get rid of Sam Adams).

Only quote a national figure with a postage stamp involved, and just ignore a LOCAL leader who also spoke powerfully and lit up the crowd, but just happens to be on the other side of the fence from the hipster/creatives/critical-thinking deficit audience that you pander to....

Jackson is a ridiculous opportunist and his involvement is ridiculous.
Blabby, you are completely, and utterly, wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Why? because an utterly dysfunctional and haywire organization ONLY responds to embarassment and negative publicity. And to huge payouts from lawsuits.

And the path away from apathy and towards engagement ALWAYS depends on a cause being properly articulated by a leader who commands attention.

I voted for Jackson in 1984 and followed his work over the years. He is a consummate articulator of truths and internationally recognized negotiator of political and military impasses.

You should be grateful to have him here.
@gonetorio: I didn't quote Gordly because I was on deadline for the paper and I didn't see her contribution as as important as Jackson's. But you're right that she showed up, and now that I've filed my copy, let me give a few quotes.

"Reverend Jackson, we thank you for coming the peoples' servant. We are starved for servant leadership that has in integrity and can be trusted. The people in our city, Reverend Jackson, have lost faith in their government and in those who serve in so-called high places. We need voices like yours who are unafraid to speak truth to power."

There were also at least 4 recall petition gatherers outside the church.
i have not lost faith in Sam Adams. Avel Gordly does not speak for me.

and i am far from alone. she can speak for herself but she needs to stop declaring what "the people", what "we" need or want. she does not speak for me. i can speak for myself - and that includes, Shame on Avel Gordly for partnering with Kevin Mannix, a man who has helped ensure that we have such a high percentage of African-Americans in Oregon's prisons.

Avel Gordly does not speak for Portland; she speaks for Avel Gordly.
I think this is exactly what Portland needs, only BIGGER! Portland has a history of racial segregation. The Portland Police have a history of shooting people, mostly African Americans. This needs national media attention. I hope a lot of people show up to the protest, even if this murderer cop isn't allowed back to work. Portland Police have had "horrible training" issues for years.
It goes beyond the lack of training. The PPD is inept from the base up when it comes to being part of the community they are supposed to protect and serve.
Give them hell Portland! Were not going to take it anymore!
Um, I'm a Portlander, and I agree with many points made by Gordly. Our mayor and our Police commissioner have yet to show any meaningful leadership throughout this string of PPB screw ups.

I've got no use for Mannix, and I think a recall is a waste of time, but Sam isn't doing very well.
Oh, boy.

You're welcome to recognize Jesse Jackson for what he is: a grandstander, an opportunist, "Hymietown," and all the rest. He's also negotiated some complex political solutions and drawn attention to causes that would've gone under the rader (the Jena 6, for instance).

But Jackson himself doesn't change the facts in this case a bit; in fact, it makes Portland look worse when Jackson HAS to come here because the police are quite obviously out of control, and all Sam and Rosie can do is mutter about more training and diversity and getting to the bottom of things. (Adams in particular looked like a terrified man-child who is realizing he's got a situation far beyond his skill set here.)

Look: Portland has a police commissioner who actually said the cop who killed this man was being restricted to "livability issues." Livability issues. Does anyone besides Jesse Jackson realize how appallingly cringe-worthy this is? Imagine the reaction among the progressatariat if a cop in reddest Alabama shot a black man in this fashion and the town saw fit not only to remove him until an investigation was complete, but to assign him to "livability issues."

The beanbags, the Tasers, the lack of accountability -- all set against the backdrop of a "progressive" city that was segregated until the 1950s, a town where white supremacy had a resurgence in the 1980s and still bubbles around the surface, a major city that (for whatever reason) is still the whitest major city in America ... I imagine the New York Times will be following Jackson to Portland, and it won't be to write an article about breast-feeding momtrepreneurs in the Pearl.

And she speaks for everyone who would like to see Adams put back on the ballot, now that we all really know who he is. And she speaks for everyone who thinks Adams is a disgrace as a mayor and wholly incapable of leading the city on its most important issues, such as a criminally incompetent police force.

But carry on thinking that Adams will eventually pull out from his miasma and lead our city one of these days.

As for Kevin Mannix, who cares? The Dems have really got you brainwashed if you really believe they are an organization you want representing you. Don't forget, our Goliath of a police union, which is fundamentally responsible for all the atrocities PPB gets away with, overwhelmingly endorses democratic candidates, who in turn, let them get away with their shit.

Power corrupts, democrats and republicans alike. It is time for all of us to recognize issues, not labels.
Um, I'm a Portlander, and I agree with many points made by Gordly. Our mayor and our Police commissioner have yet to show any meaningful leadership throughout this string of PPB screw ups.

I've got no use for Mannix, and I think a recall is a waste of time, but Sam isn't doing very well.
I just wanted to elaborate on a quote you gave. When he said, "If Aaron were alive tonight we would not be here," my memory is he went on to say something along the lines of, Campell's death was a unifying event for all of us there tonight, but if he was alive and suffering somewhere, we wouldn't have heard about it. For me, it was a, "pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living" kind of call to action -- bigger than one (tragic, preventable) death -- connecting to a lot of other issues that lead to deaths like this, and for that, very powerful. Thank you for your coverage.
Adams has very few friends left. The recall effort may fizzle, but do you see ANYONE of prominence in this town offering full-throated support for Adams these days, or trying to associate with him? He's alienated and ineffectual. Even on the council.

Jackson is an opportunist. He flies around the country and drops into places he's not invited to draw attention to himself. He offers nothing new here. We've had marches and protests against the cops in recent months. We figured that one out all by ourselves, Jesse! Thanks for stopping by!
What marches and protests? Listen Blabby, I know you like your keyboard and all, but can you please name me a SINGLE FUCKING INSTANCE where upwards of 500, maybe a 1000, people, showed up in response to any of Portland's police atrocities in recent years? Well, that number showed up tonight. If it takes Jesse Jackson to jumpstart that, you should be thankful for it, you cynical ingrate.

As usual, a vigorous dialogue here, I love Portland.

I was there, it was a great rally. I would also add that I went to at least four GLBTQ Rights events, two in Washington DC and two in Sacramento CA, and Jesse and Cesar were always there to talk about dignity, discrimination, and how injustice to anyone is a threat to justice for everyone.

I'm writing a blog piece for my web site, because at 60, I'm just tired of white cops (and people) beating and killing black men (and women) and getting away with it.

The speeches are always the same, outrage, demonstrations, promises to do better, and not much changes.

I agree about one thing, when something like this happens "back home" in the south, no one tries to pretend that race, or racism, are not front burner factors.

We southerners understand that race and class are ALWAYS factors in ALL human interactions, and we make no apologies about it. We put it on the front burner, we talk about it, and we try to do everything we can to make sure that people are conscious of how race and racism affect human interactions.

Portlanders have yet to accept that reality, and I think that is part of the problem, a big part.

Lastly, Jesse Jackson is from Greenville South Carolina, which is about 40 miles from where my mother was born. She always acknowledges Jesse as a kindred spirit, a fellow Southerner, and deeply respected his intelligence and ambition, both of which were necessary to improve his life and become someone.

I always agree with Jesse, he's no more of an "opportunist" than anyone else is who had dedicated their life to speaking truth, certainly no more than Martin Luther King Jr. was, yet many said he was an opportunist when he was alive. They said the same thing about Gandhi.

Like Rick Nelson said in "Garden Party", "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."

Ed Garren
candidate for City Commission, seat #3
(I guess I'm an "opportunist" too. I want to see a better world before I die. If that's being an opportunist, then sign me up)
Precisely, gonetorio - and that's the point. It would take far less than this to get Portlanders rallying around a biker who was abused by the police, or an LGBT person who received the same treatment. (As it should be.)

But it seems it takes a Jesse Jackson to get the citizenry exercised against the same abuses commited against black people. Jackson may be an opportunist, but that says more about Portland priorities than it does about his character.

If people were only half as proactive as they are opinionated, we would have ourselves one hell of a democracy. Why is there so much whining, gossiping, name calling, finger pointing, and popularity contests going on when the real issue is a matter of life and death? Is this apathetic, lazy, self-righteous shallowness plaguing our society a result of selective ignorance, ego masking fear, rotting intelligence, or simply a rash of narcissistic indifference? Is anyone else tired of being or pretending to be ignorant and superficial? I say it is about time someone take the helm, turn up the heat, and take a stand instead of assuming a posture.
Hey FactsGuy, how bout a rugby game at Jeff?
Hope Jesse had a good time at the Blazers game.

He has zero place in Portland. We don't need his grandstanding, opportunistic ways here (nor do we need Al Sharpton's ridiculousness, either).

I wish that most would be able to see through their ruse, alas...

I am a Downtown Portland resident and Avel Gordly does not speak for me. I still support Sam Adams.
@gonetorio I'm really excited to see Portland showing at least some inclination toward direct action.

For everyone else, that's what Jesse Jackson is doing here. Showing that people need to make their voices heard. With all the injustices over the last 8 years, like bank bail outs while we fight with each other for jobs, it's amazing people aren't more angry.
When we picketed the courthouse and the justice center last week, and when we marched on city hall in our grief, disbelief and outrage, the blinds were drawn. No one paid the slightest bit of attention to us.
Thank you Jesse Jackson, for helping us keep city hall focused. The police cannot critically wound black people and our mentally ill loved ones, and then leave them to die in the street without comfort or medical attention while they fill out their paperwork.
We must not allow it. There can be no reason for it.
Your son or daughter could be next.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." he said.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." they repeated.
"We show up..." he said.
"We show up..." they repeated.
"At high noon..." he said.
"At high noon..." they said.
"And show him out!"
"And show him out!"


Sure sounds like a threat of mob violence and rioting to me.

To the CENSOR: Enjoy your fact-ignoring, reality denying, naive white-guilt liberal life.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." he said.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." they repeated.
"We show up..." he said.
"We show up..." they repeated.
"At high noon..." he said.
"At high noon..." they said.
"And show him out!"
"And show him out!"


Sure sounds like a threat of mob violence and rioting to me.

To the CENSOR: Enjoy your fact-ignoring, reality denying, naive white-guilt liberal life.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." he said.
"If he comes back tomorrow morning..." they repeated.
"We show up..." he said.
"We show up..." they repeated.
"At high noon..." he said.
"At high noon..." they said.
"And show him out!"
"And show him out!"


Sure sounds like a threat of mob violence and rioting to me.

To the CENSOR: Enjoy your fact-ignoring, reality denying, naive white-guilt liberal life.
@deny I have a feeling everything sounds like mob violence to you.
There have been multiple protests, gonetorio. We don't need some self-proclaimed "important person" to come in here and take control of the issue.

If you want to know why this is ridiculous, wait until Al Sharpton shows up. Same thing to a different degree.

And these guys do not help your case with the general population. They just say "oh, this is some Al Sharpton freak show," and turn off their ears.
Re-reading this stuff, I find it not only just generally silly that he's here, but disappointing that he seems to be race baiting.

While we all understand the racial implications here, I don't think the controversy has been explicitly black-vs-white so much as citizens-vs-police. He's sure trying to draw racial lines. No good can come of it...
Good coverage Matt.

When Gordly started speaking about the loss of trust in Portland's elected leaders (a basic premise of the rally), a white woman, evidently an Adams supporter, turned to me and said "She's making this political!"

Jesus H. Christ, people, this is political, and it has been for 400 years. The black community cannot trust the police, and they cannot trust the elected leaders who are supposed to control the police. The po-po are out of control, and our "leaders" don't get it.
@blabby And how far did have these protests got the community? If it takes the notice and time of someone like Jesse Jackson to raise the profile of a very long standing problem with the Portland PD, then so be it. This isn't new. The police have been doing things like this since I was old enough to notice. This incident was from 2000-2001 time:….

His presence here only helps raise the profile of something very important. And it is, absolutely, about civil rights.

And you weren't there last night. He effectively pointed out
The discussions didn't seem to go very far, nor did the protests, so that's why they're here. I wish that Portland didn't need the help from grand-standers, but we do. No one else put the city leadership on the spot with real questions about their apathetic approach to fatalaties at the hands of the PPD.

Portland needs the bad press on this on a national level. True, some will see it all as a "Sharpton" or "Jesse" thing, but I get the feeling that those people can't be reached anyway; we tried it their way before and it didn't do much.

Look at how surprised they are that we need outside help for a barometer of their empathy towards the situation. If you're surprised you haven't been paying attention to the people's fear of the police force here in Portland.

At this point we need results from city leadership and pressure upon the citizenry to eject them from office if we don't see results. Its time for Portland to be judged by the nation on topics more important than bicycles and foodie restaurants. People are dying.
@Blabby: If not Jesse and Al, then who? Someone white? Jimmy Carter maybe?

If Portland doesn't need outsiders then where are the insiders. This has been going on for a long time now. The general populous would be swayed by whom? I too, would rather avoid an Al Sharpton freak show, but I can't think of anyone other than Carter that could draw this much attention to the issue and time is running out; people are on the brink.
Blabby, you're making an ass out of yourself with all this Jesse Jackson hating. The man has spent his entire life working for peace and civil rights. Now, unless you have some proof IE (Jackson approached you and said, "I really don't give a shit about these people... I just want to get on Oprah.) I would just shut the fuck up on this. Hundreds of times in this man's life (from Shreveport to South Africa) he could have met with some white supremacist' bullet. While you've put yourself in danger of what? Carpal tunnel syndrome?
Jason, I don't believe in sacred cows.

I went to the protest today. Not sure how much larger it was than the last ones, but it wasn't overwhelming, so not I'm not sure how much the injection of Jesse Jackson into the melieu increased the turnout.

Good protest though. They tried to squeeze into City Hall at the end. Didn't want to get caught in that.
I find it quite telling that only WHITE MALES seem to be the only ones dead set AGAINST Jesse Jackson taking up this case.
I don't understand why they'd wait four hours after he got to work to show up and protest.
I'm not sure how I feel about Jesse Jackson speaking here. I read through the comments hoping someone would make a salient point and help me make up my mind, but no dice.

I agree that Jesse Jackson - despite whatever motives he has - is a publicity machine and I understand the instinct to want to "take care of this ourselves". But I also see that this has been going on for years and every time I hear a public official talk about "training" or "diversity" I want to claw my fucking eyes out. There clearly needs to be a total overhaul in hiring practices, oversight and public accountability. And maybe the publicity Jackson's machine brings to this issue will make it harder for our officials to mumble their way out of this issue with meaningless word-salad like "Blah, blah, blah diversity training blah training.."

The PPB needs to work harder and use incentives to hire officers of color and GLBTQ officers. They need to work on major community outreach programs. Portlanders are scared of their police force and it's going to take a long time for that to reverse itself.

The mayor and/or Saltzman need to work quickly to create a citizens' panel of oversight for the PPB that has the power to make public and binding decisions in cases where the Grand Jury feels like there are serious problems but no laws that will allow them to prosecute (as in the Campbell case). The citizen's board should be able to review the facts of the case and hand down a decision as to whether the officer returns to work and if so, in what capacity.

There needs to be money made made available for crisis training and a first response team called out for situations involving people in crisis. These are simple steps our officials could begin taking right now. I'm astounded by the impotence of city hall in this situation.

I wish i couldn't attended, but didn't know about [this more recent] protest 'til after the fact. I understand a larger one is still schedueled for Feb. 19th at Pioneer Square.
Celebrate Divershitty!
Thanks to Matt and the Merc peeps for the awesome coverage on this. By far the best in Portland, IMO.

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