Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An interfaith mandala-icon

The Celestial Compass (2013) by Sarah-Andrea Morrigan

This object is dedicated as the centerpiece of the communal altar we maintain at the new Occupy Portland headquarters (the Fremont Room).

The art was inspired by many symbolic elements common in a wide variety of spiritual and faith traditions around the world, and depicts the cosmos and its various levels of manifestations.  As a salute to the Occupy movement's history, there are two tabernacles/tents, one red (symbolizing the south) and one north (symbolizing the north).  The west and east are symbolized by a willow and an oak respectively.

Friday, April 19, 2013

4/26: A community dialogue on violence

This week has been challenging for America.

We are dedicating the scheduled first Fremont Room meet-and-greet on Friday, April 26  Saturday, April 20 to conversations on how we as a community, especially as people of spirituality and faith, counter the culture of violence and life-denial so pervasive in American society, from mass shooting incidents to indiscriminate IED bombing to knee-jerk reactions by politicians and public officials that inevitably follow such events.

America is morally bankrupt -- but not in a way self-styled conservatives and value-voters think it is.  It is morally bankrupt because the national psyche glorifies violence at all levels, from "getting tough on petty criminals" to our preemptive "war on terror," while our elected officials divert more taxpayer dollars to military and prisons while denying children food and healthcare.  Both America's foreign policy and domestic ethos are strongly attached to violence and death, even as some of our politicians continue to make abortions a hot-button issue to win more votes.

All things are connected, and all things are manifestations of our collective thoughts and choices we make.  Violent video games and grotesque Hollywood movies desensitize us from the evil of intentionally inflicting sufferings on others, while a collective sadism and thirst for bloody vengeance becomes our social obsession.  "Life" gets subverted and turns into tyranny, "justice" became mob rules of our legislature, bully pulpits of our politicians, and a court-sanctioned lynching of our courts.  "Love" became a euphemism for abuse, objectification and control, while "peace, order, and safety" became a call for an astronomical military expenditure abroad and destruction of liberties and human rights at home.

We need a fundamental cultural shift, now.

This is our time to reignite our passion and to resume our work that was started on that October day of 2011 in a humble downtown Portland park.

You are invited to this time of dialogue.


4-5:45 p.m., Friday, April 26, 2013
10 - 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 20, 2013
Fremont Room (Occupy Portland Information Center)
1131 SE Oak Street Suite 12
Portland, Oregon  97214

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Friday, April 26: Fremont Room meet and greet

Interfaith Solidarity Cascadia invites you to a little meet and greet at the new home of its communal altar.  The altar is essentially a miniature of the giant sukkah Occupy Portland had at its original encampment (Lownsdale Square/Beta Camp), incorporating pieces from there and established when Occupy Portland moved into its previous home, the Che Room.

The new (the "third incarnation of the Sacred Space!") altar is slightly smaller and shares a multipurpose footprint.  A design for a more permanent one is under way, to be unveiled at a new OPDX headquarters which may open within the next two months.

Learn what is happening now with ISC, and what plans we have for spring and summer.

At this event we will also be dedicating a new "universal interfaith icon" of a sort, as the altar conspicuously lacked a focal sacred object.  Its creation is commissioned to a certain local artist whose work is also now on display at a gallery within the walking distance, so you are also invited to a tour of that show after this event is over.

When: Friday, April 26, 4-5:45 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.
Where: Fremont Room, 1131 SE Oak St, Portland, Oregon 97214-1344
(Use the Oak Street doors - unlocked at 3:30 p.m. 9:30 a.m.; if locked call 971-256-1006)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Moving days!

As you may know already, the Friends of Occupy Portland information office is moving this weekend from the Che Room (Room 5) to the smaller Fremont Room (Room 12).  Our community altar is slightly downsized to fit the smaller footprint.