Flying Focus Video Collective
August 2017 Newsletter
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Amy Goodman on Grassroots Movements and Media
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, appeared in Beaverton on May 13, 2017 with Denis Moynihan. The award- winning journalists spoke about how activists are working for civil rights, peace, the environment and migrant rights. They also talked about the history of and stressed the importance of independent media.
The two spoke at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell's Bookstore as part of Democracy Now!'s national tour on Goodman's book Covering the Movements Changing America. As they put it in the description for the event: "The unprecedented resistance to President Donald Trump's rise to power did not materialize overnight. Grassroots movements have been challenging the establishment for years, and are what Democracy Now! reports on every day in its global news hour, and in this book." See and hear the talk on "Amy Goodman on the Movements Changing America" (VB #104.2&3).
City Council Hears First Misconduct Case in 14 YearsOn February 22, 2017, Portland City Council held a hearing to determine whether a police officer followed policy when he used a Taser as many as six times on a man with mental health issues. On the two-part show "Tased and Confused: Civilian Oversight in Portland 2017" (VB #103.3&4), excerpts from the Council hearing feature the complainant (Matt Klug), Chief Michael Marshman, and Kristin Malone, Chair of the Citizen Review Committee (CRC), which forwarded the case to Council. Klug had appeared before CRC five times to argue his case. The show features video of Klug being subjected to a violent take-down to the sidewalk by the Portland Police in 2014, and clips from each of the five hearings (2015-2016). Questions include whether officers were justified in using the 50,000 volt electroshock weapon each time. Additionally, there is some back and forth between the Chief and others at the hearing whether being hit with a Taser is a "big deal" or not.
The CRC system has been in place since 2001, but this is only the second case ever to make it all the way to City Council. FFVC producer and Portland Copwatch member Dan Handelman narrates the two-part show.
Thanks to Portland Copwatch, this show is streaming at http://www.flyingfocus.org/CRC2017streamingpage.html.
Asian Americans Fight for Racial JusticeFor years communities of color have been placed at odds with each others' interests. Over that time, groups of knowledgable activists have found the need to foster interaction among communities and co-learning. Brought to a point of unavoidable recognition, the actions of police have caused activists to evaluate their positions with each other and come to agreement on what to do next. The two-part Flying Focus show "Asian Pacific Islanders in the Fight for Racial Justice" (VB #102.2&3) explores the Asian community's priorities, featuring a discussion hosted by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) titled "Layered History, Linked Liberation: Solidarity and the Role of APIs (Asian-Pacific Islanders) in the Fight for Racial Justice." The shows feature moderator Scot Nakagawa of ChangeLab, Jennifer Phung, who leads the Youth Environmental Justice Alliance at Organizing People/Activating Leaders, Helen Ying, an expulsion hearings officer for the Parkrose and Reynolds school districts, and Kyle Weismann- Yee, a Portland-area activist. This program was taped and produced by PC Peri with editing help from Dan Handelman.
Internment of Japanese Americans in Context 2017On February 21, 2017 Portland Community College hosted a forum to mark the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which they described as "an act, born of hatred and fear, that sent more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II... including a camp here in Portland." The panel talked about the history and content of EO 9066 and drew parallels to what's happening in the world in 2017. Opening the forum were Mari Watanabe of Partners in Diversity, whose family was interned, and Mark Mitsui, President of PCC. The panelists appearing on part 1 of "EO 9066: Japanese-American Internment, 75 Years Later" (VB #103.11&12) are: Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Dr. John Shaw, a PCC History instructor, and Peggy Nagae, a Portland lawyer who successfully argued for reparations to families affected by EO 9066. In part 2, the presentations wrap up with Wajdi Said of the Muslim Educational Trust and Harry Anastasiou, Portland State University Conflict Resolution Chair, followed by Q&A. Ending the show, local business leader Sho Dozono leads the crowd in chanting "Never again!"
Reclaiming Democracy for the PeopleOn June 29, 2016, a panel spoke at St. Andrews Church in Beaverton about how corporate money influences legislation in Oregon. Daniel Lewkow of Common Cause Oregon led off with a slide show titled "Dirty Energy, Dirty Money" that followed the Clean Fuel Bill through the Oregon legislature. The presentation was developed with environmental advocates as an example of how big money, in this case the oil industry and its allies, try to influence legislators and laws.
Afterwards the panel, which also included David Delk of Alliance for Democracy, Angela Crowley-Koch of the Oregon Environmental Council, and Nick Abraham formerly with Oil Check NW, continued the discussion. The panel was facilitated by Amira Streeter, Chair of the Columbia Network of the Sierra Club. Among other things, the panel discussed ways to keep cash from being the deciding factor in politics.
"Taking Back Our Democracy" (VB #103.7&8) shows how our democracy works-- for those with a lot of money-- and how things need to change in order for there to be democracy for all people, not just the 1%, in Oregon.
There's Hope for Us!On August 16, 2016, Charles Eisenstein spoke at the First Unitarian Church in Portland. Eisenstein, author of "Sacred Economics" and "The Ascent of Humanity," is an inspiring speaker. His talk explains how our culture is changing from a story of separation to a story of inter-being and gives hope to those who are feeling blindsided and horrified by the actions of our elected officials. He speaks about climate change activism starting at the local level, using Portland's City Repair Project as an example. This show, "Change the Story, Change the World" (VB #102.10&11) was taped by FFVC field coordinator PC Peri and produced/edited by Barb Greene with assistance from Dan Handelman.
Educator Talks "Demystifying Ideologies"Kevin Kumashiro, founding director of the Center for Anti- Oppressive Education, was the keynote speaker at the 9th annual NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference, held October 29, 2016 at Madison High School in Portland, OR. His talk focused on broadening the focus of social change from smaller problems to larger issues. His talk was in three parts: moving from simple stories to complex pictures, moving from fixing individuals to fixing systems, and moving from debating policies to demystifying ideologies. The talk was captured by PC Peri, who produced and edited this episode, with assistance from Dan Handelman.
"Fixing Systems, Demystifying Ideologies" (VB #103.1) is streaming on line thanks to NW Teaching for Social Justice, at http://www.flyingfocus.org/Kumashiro_streamingpage.html.
Hiroshima Memorial 2016 Envisions a Nuclear-Free Future
Flying Focus captured video at Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility's 2016 Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorial event. The event was hosted by Lynn Longfellow of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Unit Souzu (taiko drums) plays one song on part 1 and two in part 2 of Flying Focus' 2-part show "Hiroshima / Nagasaki 2016: Toward a Nuclear-Free Future" (VB #102.6&7). Also on part 1, Dr. LeRoy Haynes of the Albina Ministerial Alliance gives an invocation and Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider-- a hibakusha (survivor of the 1945 blasts)-- tells of her childhood in Hiroshima. On part 2, Toru Watanabe of Unit Souzu explains the song they wrote about Fukushima, performance artist Chisao Hata leads the crowd in her interactive poem "Not Alone," and PSR Executive Director Kelly Campbell gives updates on US nuclear policy and what people can do. This show was produced by Dan Handelman, and thanks to Oregon PSR, is streaming at http://www.flyingfocus.org /hirosh2016streamingpage.html.
Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider
Support Independent Media with a Track Record of 25+ Years!In our new program, Amy Goodman talks about how the media is supposed to be "the Fourth Estate, not for the state." That's why it's so important for groups like Flying Focus to continue educating the public about issues that aren't in corporate news outlets. We're awaiting word on whether a new production grant from Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission will be approved, which will help us get a multi-hard-drive array system set up to back up our files. In the meantime, our ongoing efforts require support from you, the community, and we're hoping you will donate funds via check or money order or online at http://www.flyingfocus.org/donateonline.html. Another option is to order a DVD of one of our programs (old or new), and/or donate or pool your funds with others to donate for streaming rights, which will support putting one of our shows on the internet for all the world to see.* Thanks to FFVC volunteer Chris Reis, two-minute clips from nearly every FFVC program produced from 1991-2006 in the First through Fifteenth "Busiversaries" are now streaming. Head to http://flyingfocus.org/retrospectivestreaming.html to check them out. Thank you for your support!
*-We ask $75 to stream one title.
"I think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth. Instead, all too often, it's wielded as a weapon of war, which is why we have to take the media back."-- "Amy Goodman on the Movements Changing America" (VB #104.2&3).