Kendall is here

By kendallishere

Voltairine de Cleyre

Do not fool yourself by saying you would like to help usher in a free society, but you cannot sacrifice an armchair for it.—Voltairine de Cleyre (1910).

I learned about Voltairine de Cleyre from a Blip journal published years ago by a friend who calls himself “Guinea Pig Zero,” so today when I saw her name being celebrated by creative anarchists in my city, I grinned. I will say it again: I love living in Portland. Here’s another reason. 

I’ve been missing on Blip because preparing for the release of the movie made from Donna Hayes’s play has taken hours and hours of my time, and I’m still needed for that, so I may be scarce for a while yet. I have also been devoting hours to deleting most of my photographs from social media so that law enforcement cannot use my photographs as surveillance tools with which to oppress people working for the better world we believe is possible.

On Saturday, a photojournalist friend in his 70s with PRESS written in 12-inch letters on his vest was making photos during a protest when two policemen rushed him, hit him with truncheons, and knocked him down. He writes, "The cops need to understand that an action like this – shoving a guy down on the cement with no warning – can fracture a hip or an arm or a skull, and can be a life-ending or career/mobility-ending move.... Remember that guy in Buffalo? If I hadn’t been armored and helmeted, that could have been me."

Portland police are still attacking not only protesters but the press who are documenting the protests. That hasn't changed. Voltairine de Cleyre wrote about injustice, police brutality, and the ineffectiveness of incarceration. I'm pleased to see she hasn't been forgotten. I'll turn comments back on so you can talk about her, if you wish, but I won't be able to comment much myself.

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