Miguel: “Don’t be afraid to claim what’s yours”

When an employer contacted him to power wash the exterior of some apartments and do some painting, Miguel was glad to do the work. He recruited a friend to help and decided to split the $600 wage he’d been offered for the job.

Miguel and his partner completed the work and had it reviewed by the employer. The employer was happy with the work and promised to pay them the next day. However, the employer did not pay him the next day or the day after. Miguel tried calling the employer, but he made excuses and ultimately stopped answering any calls.

“When someone doesn’t pay you, it’s like they are making fun of you. They can do whatever they want with you and it’s not right.” – Miguel Angel

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Direct Action ‘Spring Trainings’!

The Portland Solidarity Network and We Are Oregon Invite You to Attend A Series of Trainings on the Basics of Community Organizing and Building Grassroots Resistance!

Training #1 – Sunday, March 3rd:  Organizing and Building Relationships

            • Defining Your Issue
            • Making Successful Contacts
            • Creating a Framework for Action

Training #2 – Sunday, March 10th: Taking Action and Escalating

            • Planning an Action or Short Campaign
            • Carrying out What You’ve Planned
            • Developing Goals, Strategy, and Tactics

Training #3 – Sunday, March 17th: Communications

            • Advertising and Promoting Your Campaign
            • Spreading Your Message
            • Developing a Media Strategy

All Trainings Will Be Held at:

  • 1:00 PM at SEIU Local 503
  • 6401 SE Foster Rd. in Portland

Snacks will be available (Vegan Options)
All Trainings Are Child-Friendly!
We will have a space for children with trained attendants.

Please contact the Portland Solidarity Network at (503)-446-6065 (voicemail) or portlandsolidaritynetwork@gmail.com to RSVP or if you have any questions.

Portland Solidarity Network Wins Campaign! Victory Celebration this Friday (9/21)!

       Great news! The Portland Solidarity Network (PDX Sol) has won our most recent campaign! Our friend Beth received a check for her full deposit from Brian Wannamaker, the target of our campaign, and it has been confirmed that the check has cleared, thereby meeting our campaign’s demand! Brian, the owner and landlord of the Falcon Art Community building where Beth briefly lived, initially refused to return Beth’s security deposit after she was forced to move out because of black mold in her apartment. Brian only relented and returned the deposit after PDX Sol spent several weeks engaging in direct action. Our victory proves that a network of community volunteers and supporters committed to solidarity with tenants and workers CAN produce real victories!

Beth initially got in contact with us after seeing our posters, and we took on her campaign with Beth as a member and active participant. We began by delivering a letter to the Falcon Art Community offices that demanded the return of her deposit in full. Thirty-four people came out to support Beth by crowding into the Falcon Art Community’s office and handing over the demand letter. (Watch a video of the event here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj2kqiDDr7o&feature=youtu.be) We continued our fight after the demand delivery by engaging in a campaign of direct action – a strategy that empowers individuals and their communities to directly confront those responsible for their exploitation without relying on lawyers or bureaucratic institutions. In the case of our campaign, PDX Sol and our supporters persisted in confronting Brian until he did the right thing and returned Beth’s deposit. We relied on nothing more than the strength of our unified voice and the power that comes from public pressure.

       Congratulations to Beth – not just for the accomplishment of winning back her deposit, but also for having the courage to confront a greedy landlord. And we wish to thank everyone who volunteered their time and energy by participating in the demand delivery and helping us with further actions. You have demonstrated the true meaning of Solidarity! Our success in this campaign is proof that even seemingly minor acts like attending a demand delivery can meaningfully contribute to a broader struggle for justice.

       Although PDX Sol recognizes the significance of helping Beth win back her deposit, and we hope to build on the momentum from this victory leading into our next campaign, we also realize how important it is to receive support with actions and organizing. We therefore strongly encourage any sympathetic individuals to (continue to) participate in future demand deliveries and in future actions, and we urge anyone at all interested in our organization or in the concept of a solidarity network to contact us and/or attend an organizing meeting.

To celebrate our victory, members of PDX Sol as well as supporters, well-wishers, and friends and family are having an informal gathering this Friday (9/21) at 6:00 PM at the Alberta Street Pub at 1036 Northeast Alberta Street in Portland.  Everyone’s invited – especially the folks that helped Beth get back her deposit! Anyone interested in finding out more about the Portland Solidarity Network, attending future actions, or joining our organization should attend.

Brian Wannamaker, Owner of the Falcon Art Community, Sends Bad Check!

The Portland Solidarity is presently in the midst of a campaign to recover our friend Beth’s deposit from her former landlord, Brian Wannamaker. The campaign got off the ground on Monday, August 6th, when we delivered a demand letter at Brian’s offices (see description and video of the event in our previous posting).  Exactly a week after the demand delivery action, Beth received a check in the mail for her full deposit, along with a letter from Brian that referenced the demand delivery. Beth deposited the check, but just before the check cleared, Brian CANCELED the check. In addition to not receiving the $500 deposit she originally expected, Beth is being further penalized by her bank for drawing on a bad check (her bank initially listed the check as cleared).

Why is Brian – owner of the Falcon Arts Community and several properties, including at least four on N. Mississippi Avenue – sending checks to his former tenants, and then cancelling the checks before they clear? His actions are not those of a property owner and landlord who cares about the individuals to whom he rents.

These recent events will only make the Portland Solidarity Network and our supporters fight that much harder with Beth to recover her deposit!

Stay tuned for more announcements and updates, and please get in touch with us to be placed on our contact list so you can hear about and participate in upcoming actions!

Campaign against Brian Wannamaker and the Falcon Art Community

The Portland Solidarity Network is currently waging a direct action campaign with our friend Beth to recover her deposit from Brian Wannamaker, the owner of the Falcon Art Community and several properties around town, including at least four buildings on N. Mississippi Avenue.

Back in March, Beth moved into an apartment in the Falcon Art Community. She quickly realized the apartment had black mold and was making her extremely sick – so sick that she had no choice but to move out her apartment less than a month after moving in. When Beth initially signed her one-year lease, she was told that if she had to move out before her lease expired due to extreme and/or extenuating circumstances, her deposit would be refunded. Beth figured that the fact that her apartment had black mold and was making her sick would qualify as  an ‘extreme circumstance’. However, when she asked for her deposit back, Brian and his representatives ignored her for a few weeks before eventually denying her request. Beth initially heard about the Portland Solidarity Network from a co-worker, and when she saw one of our posters on a lamp-post, she gave us a call. We set up a meeting with her, and when she told us her story, we decided to take on her campaign.

Together with Beth, we planned and carried out the demand delivery, which took place on Monday, August 6th. Thirty-four friends and supporters joined us as we marched into the offices of the Falcon Art Community and delivered a letter demanding the return of Beth’s deposit. Brian was not present, but we left a copy of the letter and also read it out loud on Brian’s voicemail. We made it clear that the Portland Solidarity Network will engage in direct action until Brian does the right thing and returns Beth’s deposit in full.

Here’s a video of the demand delivery: