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Flying Focus Video Collective

February 2024 Newsletter

a project of Peace and Justice Works

PMB 248     •     3439 NE Sandy Blvd     •     Portland, OR 97232

(503) 239-7456     •     (503) 321- 5051 (call/text)     •    ffvc@flyingfocus.org

NOTE: You can also see/download this newsletter in PDF format!


Actions to Address the Climate Emergency

Portlanders are losing patience with City Council's lack of action on the climate crisis. On September 6, groups like Bike Loud and Extinction Rebellion PDX rallied at City Hall exhorting the Council to make streets safe for bicycles and pedestrians and to rescind the Land Use Compatibility Statement for Zenith Energy that was approved without input from the community which is affected by it. On September 15, older activists from Third Act joined Portland Youth Climate Strike and a coalition of many other groups calling for climate action NOW!
[Climate protestor against oil trains]

The half-hour show "Climate Emergency!" (VB #129.2) includes an interview with an Extinction Rebel about the Zenith situation, photos of train cars and the dangerous sparks they generate, two people's testimony at City Council about unsafe conditions, and some passionate youth at the Climate Strike.

See a --Video--short clip from this show.


Indigenous Day of Mourning (aka Thanksgiving)

Recorded at a special Black Lives Matter/Arbor Lodge protest on November 24, 2022, the show "You Can't Pour Gravy on Genocide" (VB #129.4) brings forward the many lies told about the holiday called "Thanksgiving" and its roots in the eradication of indigenous people. The gathering was billed as a "day of mourning" and featured music, speakers and many creative protest signs. Those who spoke at the microphone or were interviewed by Flying Focus Field Coordinator PC Peri talked about the differences between how native people are perceived for fighting for their land vs. settlers who did the same, the need to cause "good trouble" by resisting oppressive laws, and calling for "land back." There are also discussions of the economic system and police violence.

The show was produced by Dan Handelman (with some editing preparation by Barb Greene). Viewers will learn that sitting down to eat turkey with their relatives does not generate goodwill among indigenous people, and that you can't pour gravy on genocide.

See a --Video--short clip from this show.

History of Indigenous People of the Willamette Valley

At many gatherings of non-indigenous people these days, participants begin with a land acknowledgment to recognize that white settlers came and took traditionally native lands, destroying centuries of traditions and caretaking. On April 27, Oregon State University Associate Professor David Lewis gave a talk at the Skyline Grange Hall. The resulting show, "Indigenous History of the Portland, OR Area" (VB #128.4&5, captures much of Lewis' presentation, mostly covering the tribes as they struggled with devastating pandemics and the influx of Europeans who sought to capitalize on fur and other items found in abundance in the region.

He discusses the tension between the locals' attraction to fancy items being offered by the newcomers and the ultimate devastation, accomplished mostly by treaty, where tribes were pushed onto undesirable lands as "reservations." Though he begins in the 1800s, the talk connects the past tribal migrations and colonial injustices to ongoing disputes today about rights to build casinos and engage in traditional fishing activities. Viewers will also learn more about land stewardship, including crops valued by local indigenous people (one being wapato, also known as "Indian potatoes"), controlled burning, and seasonal rotations. Lewis also points to issues around the government's use of violence against native people, the role of women, and the way people deliberately changed the landscape.

See a --Video--short clip from this show.

The full show can be seen streaming at

Serving Lunch to Create Community

Estimates show that thousands of unhoused people are living outside in Portland. Beacon Village is a non-profit that provides compassionate outreach and transitional, supportive shelter for those who are ready to transform their lives.

The Beacon Village Lunch Program creates trust and community with unhoused people by offering food, connection and respect via daily lunches delivered where they are most needed. This trust accelerates the likelihood of moving recipients into transitional housing at places like Beacon Village. Once in a transitional community, people may get the support they need to find jobs and places to live.

Operating five days a week, the lunch program provides over 3,000 hot meals annually, and offers an additional 6,250 cold lunches each year. The two-part program "Creating Community through Lunch!" (VB #128.8&9) covers three lunches served by the Beacon Village Lunch Bunch in October 2022, and March/June 2023. As one participant puts it, "There's no barrier at the door, absolutely anyone is welcome to come"The dedication of the volunteer servers (housed and unhoused) and the bonds formed between all involved are apparent and inspiring.

See a --Video--short clip from this show.

Enduring Effects of US Carpet Bombs in Laos and Cambodia

In November 2021, Rough Guides, the 41-year-old British travel guidebook, asked its followers to give their opinions on the friendliest countries. Cambodia came out at number one, and Laos at number three. This is truly stunning when you consider that they are two of the most heavily bombed countries in the world, with tons of unexploded ordnance from America's secret war still on the ground after 50 years. [Dr. Lin at the forum]

Dr. Erin Lin speaking in Portland, 2023


"The Horrific Legacy of America's Secret War" (VB #129.11&12) features Viet Nam veterans and Asian Americans speaking at the 50th Year Forget Me Not Tour in Portland in early 2023. They talk about the history of American bombing in these countries. The keynote speaker is Dr. Erin Lin, author of Scarred Land: Cambodian Life after American Bombing.

Too many Americans are unaware of this disturbing legacy which is still causing injury and death today. We hope that folks will watch this program and learn how to take responsibility for the horrors perpetrated by our government. The secret war has come back into focus with the recent death of one of the war's main architects, Henry Kissinger.

Norman Solomon Talks Media Complicity with War

Norman Solomon is an author and activist whose latest book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, was published in June, 2023. That month, he spoke on a livestream hosted by Portland area peace groups, focusing on the invasion of Iraq, the history of de-humanizing those who are on the other end of US bombs, the importance of community organizing, and the media's complicit role in making war possible. While Solomon's talks are always engaging and informative, "Norman Solomon: War, Activism and the Media" (VB #128.12&13) has a special spin for Portland area folks, speaking of his time here working to shut down the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant and other local references. Solomon also responded to questions provided by the local audience.

The original event, "The Hidden Human Toll of Iraq and Other US Wars," was hosted by Lisa Loving, longtime radio personality on KBOO 90.7 FM. It was organized by the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group. The video was gathered by FFVC members Moss Drake and Dan Handelman, with this two-part show produced by Handelman for the Video Bus.

The full show can be seen streaming at

See a --Video--short clip from this show.

32nd Anniversary Show: See Short Clips from Our 2022-23 "Season"

Every year, Flying Focus takes a retrospective look at the programs produced in the previous 12 months. Sharing short clips to give people a sense of what happened in 2022-2023, the "Thirty-Second Busiversary" (VB #129.7&8) is informative and wide-ranging.

In part one, a show reflecting on the life of FFVC producer Yvonne Simmons includes music, photos, and speakers at her September 2022 memorial. One show features another fierce woman organizing for peace, Judy Gumbo, in a Portland talk. Three shows highlighting indigenous people include a local history lesson from Associate Professor David Lewis, a protest on Indigenous Day of Mourning (aka "Thanksgiving"), and ways to get involved in the struggle for BIPOC and other rights. Rounding out part 1 is a free lunch program that helps houseless people with basic needs and building community.

Part two begins with two shows about the environment: Black Environmentalists telling of Portland's historical efforts, and clips from actions focusing on the climate emergency. Another features a panel talking about the privatization of the VA. In another program, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin calls for peace in Ukraine. On that theme, author/activist Norman Solomon, who spoke to Portlanders about his book War Made Invisible, is featured next. Then there's an update on the Portland Police Bureau's Training Advisory Council, showing community members' efforts to have the cops explain why so many Black people are subjected to force in mostly-white Portland. Finally, a protest outside a local Post Office calls for workers' rights and to preserve the institution.

The shows are introduced by producers Barb Greene and Dan Handelman, and hosted by PC Peri, who recorded many of the shows. This Busiversary is now streaming at tinyurl.com/32ndBusiv.

Making It Easier to Support Flying Focus Shows Online

Each year, Flying Focus holds a retreat to look at long- and short-term concerns. Over 15 years, we transitioned from providing our shows on VHS tape to DVD, and now on USB Flash Drives. In 2007, we began making our shows available online via three YouTube sites: one for clips (FlyingFocus), one for full programs (FlyingFocusShows) and one for our "Busiversaries" (@FlyingFocusRetrospectives). To encourage more individuals to order recordings, we asked for $75 to put the shows online. At this point 80 full shows (and 53 short clips) are streaming. Media is consumed mostly through streaming nowadays and we have decided that starting in 2024, you can ask for "streaming rights" for any of our shows for $35 (individuals/small nonprofits) / $50 (for larger institutions). If you don't see a show you're interested in watching, contact us to get your requested show posted. [FFVC Streaming Flyer]

Meanwhile, we have updated our streaming flyer for 2024 to reflect some of the newer entries while carrying forward popular and recent titles. Download a copy at tinyurl.com/FFVCstream.

If you want to make a donation to generally support our work, please do so! You can send a check or money order, or donate online through Network For Good's Peace and Justice Works page. Be sure to put Flying Focus in the Designation field. Thank you!



posted 1/27/24, last updated 2/17/24

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