Miles traveled: 350
Number of sleeping bags strewn randomly around the bus: 14
Number of bagel and hummus sandwiches made: 37 9
am– We rolled out of the Unitarian church with a goodbye to our kind host Dan, the guy who lives in the basement, and the prospect of Yellowstone before us. 2 pm –Pit stop at the Pitt, the Berkely Pitt in Butte, MO, one of the largest superfund sites in the country, where years of mining exploitation have left poisonous chemicals a few years away from seeping into the aquafiers and poisoning the entire watersupply in the area. It’s a tourist attraction now—pay two dollars to hear about the destruction, and a nice ladies voice talk about how mining there financed the industrial revolution. Yippee.
4 pm– Detour to the Buffalo Field Campaign, a few log cabins on the outskirts of Yellowstone housing incredible activists working to oppose the massacres of buffalo in Yellowstone that happens every year to maintain the population within the park. The group began doing direct actions and media coverage of the atrocities in the late 80’s, and discussed the multiple levels of injustice that are apparent in the situation with the buffalo –from historic racism against the most important connection to the land and heritage that Native Americans have, to the conflict of interest between private farmers wanting to use public lands, to the bureaucratic state agencies stonewalling change for their own vested interests. Check out more at www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
6 pm—Yellowstone! America’s first national park! 25 bucks to get in, and pure glory all the way through. Except for the construction. It was like a cross between a safari and an amusement park –real live animals, but seen from the comfort of your car barrelling down the road. The vistas were stunning, dropping in out and of hillsides with the Rocky Mountains in the distance and rushing streams and green trees on every side. Most of Montana forces you to remember that America is truly amazing and gigantic.
10 pm –Decision to camp in an RV park…which promptly turned the sprinklers on us. Not so happy campers.
11 pm –New campsite with rushing water and expansive stars lulling us to sleep. No sprinkers.
June 14th, 2010.
An eclectic mix of 25 rebels from around Cascadia is making their way across the country to participate in the Allied Media Conference and the United States Social Forum in Detroit. Representing Portland, Eugene, Olympia, and Seattle, the 25 activists are heading to what could be the largest convergence of social movements in recent US history. The Cascadia Freedom Caravan is composed of community organizers, hip-hop artists, students, mechanics, carpenters, and one baby still in the womb.
The Cascadia Freedom Caravan is currently rolling out from Missoula, Montana after spending the night at the local Unitarian Church. Between music, discussions, debates, and soccer breaks, members of the caravan are exploring the different issues and desires that are driving us to spend another three days trekking across mountains and plains towards Detroit.
“We’re in an era of economic, environmental, and social crisis” says Anjali Cadambi. “It’s become evident that we can’t rely on government and ‘experts’ to solve the problems we face. I believe the connections everyday people make with each other are powerful in envisioning new possibilities in how we can move forward. I believe there is a lot of hope and I’m excited to meet people from all over to work out real solutions.”
The Cascadia Freedom Caravan should arrive in Detroit by the 17th. Stay tuned for more updates and action dispatches.
As our time approaches to hit the road and make a splash in Detroit, we have been collecting some soundbites and tidbits from people in the Pacific North West who are travelling East. Here are the first few, expect more in the coming days:
Join members of the Cascadia Freedom Caravan at their last fund raising party before they head out. Fun and games for the whole family including raffles, rummage sales, refreshing bevRages, right out of the oven baked goods and really good music. See you there!
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Tagged AMC, B Media Collective, Cascadia Freedom Caravan, Cheetah Finesse, Chris Riser, community, cross country, Dapper Cadavers, Detroit, fundraiser, Jana Losey, Mic Crenshaw, party, portland, rummage, USSF
Greetings fellow travellers, generous donors and curious onlookers,
The Cascadia Freedom Caravan is happy to announce that we are indeed on schedule to leave for Detroit on the 13th of June. We have raised over $2,000 (you can view the lovely thermometer barometer here) and are still hoping for more to roll in so that we can cover the cost of housing in Detroit.
Most of our funds have come from rolling up our sleeves and participating in fundraisers like this week’s “Last Thursday” event, where we made over $374 from bake sales!
The Cascadia Freedom Caravan is being organized by a coalition of community members from Portland and Olympia to bring local activists to the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum in Detroit, MI, between June 18-26, with the buses leaving June 13th and returning the 30th. The format of the caravan is being encourage by the USSF as a way for local activists to link up with each other and make it to the forum together.
Our goal is to foment discussion and interaction amongst local community leaders and organizations interested in the values of the Forum, and to facilitate interaction amongst ourselves before, during and after the trip, to maximize the value of the experience. We plan on having a series of meet and greets before we go, to stop at strategic points between here and Detroit to share our work in Portland with people along the way, and to collectively document the experience.