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 massage therapist, 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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Free Your Mind! These Online Documentaries About Festivals Give Me Hope

In the Oregon Country Fair, you will find a number of us who work for social change in the Community Village. (Photo by mylerdude via Flickr.)

In the Oregon Country Fair, you will find a number of us who work for social change in the Community Village. (Photo by mylerdude via Flickr.)

For decades, I have been volunteering at the huge Oregon Country Fair. Started in 1969, OCF now brings together about 40,000 people over three days in July on about 300 acres that several thousand of us volunteer to run. We all own the land, and the Fair has about 50 food booths and 700 artisans, along with a bunch of stages and wandering ambient performers. Over the decades, many of these counter-culture leaders have utilized the Fair as a kind of reunion for an extended family and what is often called “hippy” culture. The land, which OCF found out has been used for thousands of years for indigenous people to gather each summer, is about 15 miles west of Eugene, near the small town of Veneta.

I have personally found a great deal of inspiration and support by attending and participating in the Oregon Country Fair. My work as an activist to change the mental health system has been very much helped by being in this community. When some of us dream about a society that values all of our human feelings, ideals, and emotions, very often we end up talking about celebration and festivals like this. For too long we have considered mental well-being to be about the five, ten, fifteen, or twenty percent of us that gets a psychiatric label each year. But really, if you look around at out world for a moment, you can easily see that to be alive, to be human, to exist, one must have support and healing. Festivals like this one give a glimpse of what the world can be like and I recommend this experience for envisioning a future mental health system or any futuristic vision of change.

But what about now?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I and many others in the Fair Family have often wondered why we cannot bring this creative energy to the wider world. After many fairs, I have asked, “Why can’t this be more than three days, why can’t we be outside of Veneta?” Well, quietly such psychospiritual rejuvenation has been growing internationally.

A few  years ago, a small documentary team visited a couple dozen of what they call “transformational festivals” in several countries and they have made a series of videos that you can watch online for free, though like me, you may be inspired to make a donation after you see the first three (I understand they are working on creating a fourth).

Check out a free preview / overview that in less than 10 minutes sums up this series, here: http://thebloomseries.com/

Once you see this preview video, you can view all three of the full documentaries that are available in this Bloom series here: http://thebloom.tv/public/

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Jobs: Ways to Do Good Work With Our PsychoQuad Team

DWO-Portrait_300pxWThanks for your support for me in my independent living after my fall in 2012. Many people have helped in so many ways! Here is info about helping in a paid and unpaid ways that may be a good fit for some people:

Homecare Workers – Paid

You will find a blog entry by me about how people can apply to work for me as a homecare worker. I currently have a team of about six or seven great folks who provide about 85 hours per week to help me get out of bed, take care of hygiene, eat, get back to bed and various other things that allow me to live in our community with my amazing wife, Debra. We live in the southwest Eugene Churchill neighborhood on our one-forth acre which we aspire to have as an ecological homestead.

I am the employer, and the wages are paid by the State of Oregon. To work for me the homecare worker must have an Oregon provider number which I can help a person to get. In fact, the only way to get such a provider number is now though a disabled person, who must approve and interview a candidate first for Senior and Disabled services (S&DS) to give them a free orientation, criminal background check then provider number. Once a person has such a provider number, he or she may qualify to be on a directory online which can lead to more clients in our area, as well as paid training for a wide variety of topics that can enhance your career by S&DS.

While we are full right now, we use subs almost every other week or so as fill-ins when there is a vacation or other schedule change. Subbing might be a gateway to a position with more hours for me or another disabled person.

To get started, please see my blog entry about Homecare positions here.

I also have a blog entry about why someone might want to join my amazing crew, which I have made into a top ten list here. 

Computer Guru – Paid

I have a need for someone to provide me with some computer expertise. I am not talking about programming, because I could not afford that! I am talking about a few hours to help me here with my PC computer, Mac computer and WordPress blog. After working in my home a few hours, such a guru could do most of the on going work from their home, probably just a few hours per month.

For more info about this computer guru job, which is totally separate from the home care worker position, please email me with your skills / experience and why you want to work for me: davidwoaks@gmail.com

Intern Volunteers – Unpaid

I currently have a wonderful volunteer for a few hour each week. She is an activist who feels working for me provides her with experience and info for social transformation, human rights and activism. Because I have very disabled voice and arms she helps me with the computer. Perhaps you too would also like to help me in a similar way. If your interested please just email me at: davidwoaks@gmail.com

Gardening – Unpaid

We have had some amazing help in our garden which is on a 1/4 of an acre and we envision this space more of a ecovillage. People have helped either as an individual or in a fun work party. Before my fall I did a lot of work back there. If you would like to help in any way, either one time or ongoing please email me at: davidwoaks@gmail.com

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Eugene Protest of Electroshock Will Be One of Many Internationally

Update 13 May 2015: *Our Eugene event will be rain or shine. * The Free Speech Plaza is kind of big, so please find us in the Northeast corner up the stairs by the entrance doors to the county, which is also away from the drumming, though it will be noisy so keep your remarks loud and brief!

By David Oaks

On May 16, 2015 there will be several dozen grass roots protest against electroshock, mainly in the US but also in about eight other countries. Below is info about our local protest here in Eugene, Oregon, USA:

You may download a PDF of this news release here: Shockprotestnewsrelease

Jack gets electroshockNews — Immediate Release 1 May 2015 — Contact may16shockdemo@gmail.com

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

 

When: Saturday, 16 May 2015, 2 pm.

Where: Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at the northeast corner of 8th and Oak St., across from the Saturday Market.

Speakers in Eugene that day include:

  • 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.”
  • Chuck Areford of Eugene, a long-time mental health worker who once gave electroshock.
  • Adrienne Bovee, a psychiatric survivor from Eugene and student at the University of Oregon who says, “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.
  • David Rogers of Eugene, folk singer and songwriter, will sing about empowerment and disability. He works as a mental health peer supporter.
  • 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!”

At the end of the Eugene protest, activists will walk to the statue of Ken Kesey at Broadway and Willamette St. to remember his literary resistance to electroshock.

Co-sponsors of the peaceful protest in Eugene include 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.

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PsychoQuad & Friends Visit Eugene Area Chamber of Silence About Climate Crisis

My friend, activist David Zupan, wrote the below about our protest inside the Eugene area Chamber of Commerce, or the “Chamber of Silence” as our banner calls them. For several years we have asked our local chamber to say that the US Chamber does not speak for any of us about the denial of climate crisis. Unfortunately, Eugene’s Chamber has refused to say anything about global warming.

So, a few of us showed up inside the office for the Eugene Chamber when they held one of their regular luncheon meetings to try to get new members. We asked pointed questions and a couple of videographers, including David Zupan, captured our action. The national, well-respected climate crisis activist group 350 has called for us all in the USA to ask our local chambers to speak out. My impression is that the response from local chambers has been so frosty that activists have moved on to other, more-winnable campaigns, but we are tenacious, we psychiatric survivors, plus it is a good practice in loving our opponents when we surface opponents in reality, not just theoretically.

Okay, let us turn over the rest of this blog entry to David Zupan, his news and the video that he and Jana Thrift took, thanks David and Jana!

Challenging the Chamber of Silence

By David Zupan

In this four-minute video, local residents peacefully protest at a March 5, 2015 Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. They question the US Chamber of Commerce policy of denying global warming and demand that the local chapter state that the national does not speak for them on this urgent issue.

So far 56 Chamber of Commerce chapters have taken such action. Jana Thrift and I were both told to stop filming the event. I was grabbed and pulled toward the exit at one point which activist David Oaks stopped by saying “Don’t touch, don’t touch, we’re leaving.” Outside David Oaks and others talked with a Chamber rep who suggested a proposal could be submitted for review by the chamber at a later date:

Here is a 44-minute rough cut video of the same event:

For more info about our campaign for years to encourage the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce to speak out about the climate crisis, their refusal and what you can do see our landing page about the worst case scenario for global warming:

http://www.normalgeddon.org

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Remembering My Mom: Violet Oaks 3/29/1917 – 3/19/2015

momatlakeThis past Thursday, we got some very sad news, that my Mother died at the age of 97. Eleven years ago, I helped move my Mom from her Chicago home to here in Eugene, where she lived in an active retirement center. I helped take care of her, but after my bad fall, my brother and my wife have done so much to help take care of my wonderful Mom, who has always been so loving, ethical, upbeat, helpful.

Below is an obituary prepared by my family:

Violet Oaks Obituary:

Beloved sister, wife, mother, grandmother and aunt Violet Elizabeth Oaks (née Stonis) passed away on March 19, 2015, at 97 years of age.

Born in Rockford, Illinois on March 29, 1917, Violet is preceded in death by parents Anton and Mary (Armin) Stonis; and by brothers Vito, Algert, and Albert. She is survived by sister Nancy Corcoran of Des Plaines, Illinois.

Violet was a resident of Chicago, Illinois for nearly eight decades before relocating to Eugene, Oregon in 2009. It was there on Chicago’s South Side that she married her late husband, Anthony T. Oaks and raised her two surviving sons Anthony Oaks of Houston, Texas and David Oaks of Eugene, Oregon. Violet was also a cherished mother-in-law to Charlene Paulus Oaks and Debra Nuñez as well as grandmother to Sarah, Anthony, John, and Eleanor Oaks.

Violet will be remembered for her brilliance and meticulousness, as well as her lifelong appreciation of her Lithuanian heritage, angel and bluebird tchotchkes, crossword puzzles, pinochle, travel, good food and drink, and, true to her name, flowers.

A celebration of life will take place at the 2nd floor lounge of the Eugene Hotel (222 E. Broadway, Eugene, OR, 97401) at 2 p.m. on March 28, 2015. A memorial and burial will follow in Chicago at the Lithuanian National Cemetery with details to be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made towards the care of son, David. Checks can be sent directly to: David W. Oaks Irrevocable Trust, c/o Chase Bank, 1100 Willamette St., Eugene, OR, 97401.

You may give online here.

Please visit and post your memory at this online memorial site created by our family:

http://www.forevermissed.com/violet-elizabeth-oaks

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