My friends and family launched a Crowd Source Campaign to get me an wheelchair accessible van.
The campaign was launched around my 58th Birthday (September 16th). Here is how you can help and/or spread the word. I will use this vehicle for activism including on the climate crisis, so please excuse the irony, but it looks like I will use this well. (more…)
I want to encourage thinking, so “way to go” USA for pausing to consider the pros and cons of replying to Syria’s civil war and apparent poison attack. I will watch that debate, but it brings up two other poison attacks.
First, what should be our response to our so-called normal society’s chemical warfare against citizens who are considered crazy? I am referring to psychotropic drugging of people diagnosed with mental health problems. If you find these drugs helpful, then I am not talking about you. (more…)
Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Here are my top 5 ways that the disability movement intersects with the civil rights movement and the environmental movement, especially the climate crisis.
1. The Movement
When I began my activist career in the 1970’s we called ourselves The Movement, meaning we were all in one movement. I visited the civil rights museum in Atlanta near the Martin Luther King memorial. There is a clear connection in that museum from the civil rights movement to the the launch of the modern disability movement. I was glad to hear that today’s March on Washington commemoration included many other issues including voting rights, l/g/b/t marriage equality, and even climate crisis. Of course. MLK summed up his work as a creating the Beloved Community, which now means all people and the environment. (more…)
My whole adult life I have been an activist for people in the mental health system, part of the larger cross-disability general social change movement. Since my accident about 8 months ago, I have been working on my own independent living. One of the most challenging parts of my recovery has been getting back on the Internet frequently and independently. (more…)
Below is an important forwarded message from Ron Unger, local coordinator of MindFreedom Lane County, full time mental heath worker, and a Prankster Extraordinaire.
We will have fun, and poke fun of climate crisis denial, and the roll of the mental health system in suppressing creative maladjustment. All are invited, just be peaceful, we will try Youtube it, please spread the word.
Please join me and Ron to try out the below simple street theater. We will be at the Lane County Free Speech Plaza across from the Saturday Market north-east corner of 8th and Oak, this Saturday, 17th August 2013, at 12 noon.
Your Creative Maladjustment is welcome. Personally I nominate Eugene Chamber of Commerce as a champion of climate crisis denial deserving a Golden Ostrich Award.
Here is an idea for Creative Maladjustment. Now, first let me give credit where it is due. For more than a decade Martin Luther King used that CM concept in more than a dozen speeches and essays. In fact, MLK repeatedly said the world may be in dire need of an IAACM–that is International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment.
For several years we have helped make MLK’s dream of an IAACM real. So what about next year July 7 to 14 2014?
Author and Psychiatrist Carl Hammerschlag gave some positive feedback after leading an IAACM event at the Oregon Country Fair this year. Carl said let us nominate people who deserve recognition and then we can give them awards next year. What do you think? How can this process be open? How can we use crowd sourcing and social media? I have major disabilities so I can not do this all on my own, nor should I.
So I suggest that we use something like Tumblr. Anyone can nominate anyone else, though I suggest we especially recognize younger people. For a deadline I suggest MLK’s birthday for nominations. Patch Adams and Carl will be at the 2014 Oregon Country Fair and can be asked to present the awards to those who are there. Though you can tell there are many ways to do this. Let us hear from you. For instance IAACM, has a Facebook page.
IAACM is a wonderful gift for MLK for social change, including disability, mental health, anti-racisim, climate crisis, and so much more. Did you know you are a leader in the IAACM if you want it?
Please scroll down for David’s latest blog!
But first…David needs your help now! There are 2 ways to make a contribution to help David and his wife Debra meet the extraordinary expenses of renovating their home to accommodate David’s special needs when he returns home:
Send a check! Please make your check payable to: David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust
Please send your check directly to: David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust c/o Chase Bank 1100 Willamette St. Eugene OR 97401
The bank tells us it would help them if you referenced account number 3008433244 in the memo line of your check. Be sure to put your return address on your envelope. Every week, Debra picks up the deposits from the bank along with the envelopes and David’s mom tries to write a personal thank you note to each and every contributor.
Note: your contribution to the David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust, while a gift, is not tax deductible and, of course, it is not refundable.
David’s blog for March 24, 2013
David W. Oaks here, with a top five list of things I learned after breaking my neck completely on December 2, 2012, in Eugene, Oregon.
1. Crisis preparation.
We all will probably experience disaster, and hopefully, have a nice day. I used 40 years of mad movement wisdom and empowerment for my catastrophe: A small fall from a ladder to get my cat with wet shoes – I
was the one in the wet shoes. (more…)
(scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the Feb. 17th video) Read the latest updates about David in his current location: Craig Hospital in Englewood Colorado. Cards and letters are welcome! Send them to: David W. Oaks, c/o Craig Hospital / 3425 S. Clarkson St., Englewood, CO / 80113
A new message created by David W. Oaks from his hospital bed in Springfield, Oregon… David W. Oaks Personal Message to the World; “Cracking the nut of normality” Christmas Day 2012 (davidwoaks.com)
Dear Friends, family, colleagues, and supporters,
After 4 decades as a psychiatric survivor human rights activist and 3 decades with spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis), that fused my spine into peanut brittle, I knew I needed a break. The break that I got about 3 weeks ago was not the one I expected. I slipped off a wet ladder in my writer’s studio, and it resulted in a complete break of my neck.
The silver lining in this event has been witnessing the love between us all. I’m overwhelmed by the cards and offers of support for me, for my wife, my fabulous darling Debra, for my family, for MindFreedom, for USICD, OCSC, Opal network and for our movement for nonviolent global revolution.
I love you all so much from the core of my heart. I hope that every single one of you can feel that heat!
With my whole heart and soul, I give thanks for Earth’s free bounty shared w/ all my relations. The word origin for “thanks,” is simply “to think,” and a Native American sign language for thinking is to point to one’s own chest. Truly my heart is thinking of you all. Thank you!
I’m laying here in a special rotating hospital bed with my good friend, Rev. Phil Schulman, using a special trache tube to talk for a few minutes. To finish this letter we are using a word board based on cryptography designed for me by my computer genius brother Tony. Here at Sacred Heart Hospital River Bend I’ve been cared for by an amazing medical team of skilled and compassionate healers. They seem like they are from NASA and as friendly as a next door neighbor.
A few days after hearing that crack of my neck, I laid in a hospital bed here, and I knew that I must find a creative maladjustment. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. many times called for an International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment. I’m requesting your leadership in launching the first annual Creative Maladjustment Week, July 7-14, 2013 with Patch Adams MD. It may be a way to recover from a broken planetary ecosystem, as well as neck, heart and anything else. Let us finally hear the crack of the nut of normality.
During long nights in this hospital, I have been emboldened by the spirit of Justin Dart Jr., considered to be the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act. His heart radiates into mine. I hear the words he so often echoed: “I love you, Lead On!” He knew that absolutely each one of us who join in this movement for human rights and dignity is a leader.
I cherish being connected to him, and to all of you. It has been my great fortune to have 38 beautiful years in this movement so far without direct funding from the government or mental health industry. Many of us speak out freely and organize for human rights in mental health. Some of us work to change the system from within. Together inside and outside, we are an emergent force of nature, a creative maladjustment to oppression. We are leading humanity into a sustainable way to live on this planet that includes caring and listening to marginalized people.
Many of you have expressed concern for Debra and me, that we will continue to have the financial resources for quality of life and access to full medical care. Below you will find a short note from my brother Tony providing a means for contributions. Thank you, all of you for personal support as well as participation in this movement.
Gratefully in support,
David W. Oaks
Information from David’s brother Tony Oaks about how you can help David:
Through Debra’s job at the Eugene Public Library, Dave has access to health insurance. Given the catastrophic nature of his injury, we expect that eventually his coverage will be maxed out and Dave will switch to medicaid. In order to ensure Dave gets access to the things which may be necessary and yet not covered by insurance or medicaid, my mom, Violet, worked with a local attorney (Mark Williams) to establish a Irrevocable Special Needs Trust for David.
If you would like to contribute to that fund please make your checks payable to: “David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust” and mail your checks to this address:
David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust c/o Chase 1100 Williamette St. Eugene OR 97401 USA
Note: your contribution to this fund, while a gift, is not tax deductible and, of course, it is not refundable.