Eugene Protest of Electroshock Was One of Many Internationally

Update May 17, 2015: Local TV news covered the below event briefly and you can read / watch the video here.

News Report May 16, 2015

Reviving the spirit of Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!

Group Photo.

At the end of the Eugene protest of human rights violations caused by electroshock, we posed for a photo.

Today, Saturday, 16 May 2015, a protest was held in Eugene against human rights violations caused by the use of electroshock, a psychiatric procedure involving the running of electricity through the brain. The protest today was one of about two dozen held in about eight countries. The speakers included:

  • Fred Abbe, 68, of Reedsport, OR personally experienced electroshock as a teenager. He said, “I survived 40 years of psychiatric oppression, including 15 bilateral electroshock ‘treatments’ totally forced against my will, every other day within a 30 day period in 1964, before I reached  the age of 18, in Jackson Park Memorial Hospital in Miami Beach, Florida.”

    Fred Abbe photo.

    Electroshock survivor Fred Abbe is on the left, and he spoke first at today’s protest. Also shown is psychiatric survivor David Oaks, and Fred’s friend Sarah.

  • Chuck Areford of Eugene, a long-time mental health worker who once gave electroshock, spoke movingly about how he is full of regret.
  • Adrienne Bovee, a young-adult psychiatric survivor from Eugene and student at the University of Oregon who said, “I feel lucky to have narrowly escaped brutal psychiatric treatment like electroshock.”
  • Chrissy Piersol of Eugene, a young-adult psychiatric survivor who works as a peer mental health counselor, called for more humane alternatives.
  • David Rogers of Eugene, folk singer and songwriter, sung about empowerment and disability. He works as a mental health peer supporter. Find his music via his website www.sasquatchguitar.com
  • David Oaks of Eugene, psychiatric survivor who has worked as an activist for human rights in mental health for 40 years. He said, “The world today can cause a lot of despair, such as through global warming that threatens life as we know it. We can do better than just responding with jolting people’s brains!” Oaks called for a nonviolent revolution, and several of the listeners took up his chant of “Now, Now, Now!”
  • A speakout was then held and we heard from a facilitator of integrative natural healing, Sid, who called for better approaches. We also heard from another psychiatric survivor.
Group photo of protesters thanking Kesey statue.

At the end of today’s protest, several participants marched two blocks to thank Ken Kesey, the late author of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ who lived in Lane County. A statue of Ken is in the middle of Eugene’s downtown, informally known as Kesey Plaza.

At the end of the Eugene protest, activists walked to the statue of Ken Kesey in the middle of downtown to remember his literary resistance to electroshock.

Co-sponsors of the peaceful protest in Eugene included MindFreedom Lane County, International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment, Network Against Psychiatric Assault, Rethinking Psychiatry, and ectjustice.com, which has more about the protests including a list of planned events. More info can be found on the facebook pages of MindFreedom Lane County and Network Against Psychiatric Assault. May is the annual “National Mental Health Month.”

For more information about the day of protest against electroshock, see www.ectjustice.com. For info about the Eugene protest, see www.davidwoaks.com. Find on facebook Network Against Psychiatric Assault and MindFreedom Lane County.

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I Help Organize a Peaceful Protest About Climate Crisis at Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

On December 5, 2013, about 5 groups united together to hold a nonviolent protest about the pivotal role of the Chamber of Commerce blocking progress addressing the climate crisis. For several years, I held an email dialogue with the director of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Dave Hauser. This last summer several of us held a street theater event at the Eugene Saturday Market and together we nominated the local Chamber for a Golden Ostrich Award.

We used humor to point out that our local Chamber should join 56 other local Chambers that have said “No” to the horribly Earth-damaging U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. We gave the award plaque to our local Chamber just before weird lingering snowy weather in Eugene, which scientists predict will be an indicator of the climate crisis.

Below is a brief 5 minute video of our award presentation, in which I become a bit emotional. Below that is more info about our campaign.

Our Golden Ostrich Award to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce because of the climate crisis.

Action you can take from anywhere in the world to help our campaign:

1. Please contact our local Chamber by email or phone (541-484-1314) with your peaceful, civil, but strong message. Your sample message: “Please say ‘No!’ to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is one of the main blockades to addressing the climate crisis.”

2. For extra credit, you may contact the Eugene Chamber Board: http://www.eugenechamber.com/contact/leadership.aspx

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