I stood there on the sidewalk looking at the University Occupy protesters coming my way
They were marching and chanting ‘We are the 99%!”
There were at least 300 of them, youth from PSU downtown Portland
Youth, active, rosy cheeked idealist—innocent marchers of this movement
The same innocent procession of all youth who march
They were there too, the police
Many, many police dressed in black with helmets, guns, tasers, many tools of violence hanging from their belts and legs and boots
Young all
Cops on horses with helmets
Cops on bikes
Cops in cars
Cops everywhere, going nowhere except towards innocence
Youth with mouths that expressed concern for their future, their only weapon
Then it happened
One rouge cop aiming the orange spray into the face of a young woman, her mouth wide open
As if to say in a Joan of Arc way, you may spray the mouth but you can’t stop my words ever and forever
This event frozen in forever time by  a photographer
All over the web now
Along with all those other sprayees
The 85 year old woman
The pregnant teen
The young man, his head bashed in, blood in his eyes for all to see
I stood there frozen by the violence
MAPS was born that day
Mothers join your children
Mothers gather, Grandmothers too
Form a line in front of your children
And as you face some other mothers child in a cop suit
Ask,  “Did your mother give you permission to spray that?”

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Grace E. Reed

I have a MA in Conflict Resolution, a BA in Drama Therapy am a mediator, published writer (Negotiating Shadows and Needs) a broadcaster for radio on disability awareness. I work with street youth, the homeless, addicted people, and have been a social activist for over 35 years. Occupy WS Portland, Oregon is a passion. Eagles World Studio is up and running. My heart responds to poetry and my head hears it in everything I do. My motto is 'stay curious, be kind and keep moving'. My new book 'Negotiating Shadows: Journey to the Sun' published by George Ronald Publisher, Oxford England and available through my website.

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