In this episode of Us As We Are, we attend a massive protest against vaccine mandates which took place outside of the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. As usual, we found a collection of individuals to talk to about their beliefs on the relevant issues, including Biome Michael Erickson (a self-proclaimed National Socialist), two local business owners, a firefighter, and the husband of a nurse. This being an event organized around medical workers, we wanted to speak with some. However, all our attempts to approach protesters wearing scrubs were met with refusal, seemingly as part of a collective decision not to speak to the media. All in all, this was a very interesting event to attend, and we learned a lot about the viewpoints of those who still have not taken the vaccine, regardless of the Rogue Valley having some of the highest COVID infection rates in the country.
In this extended episode of Us As We Are, we pay a visit to a homeless camp along the Greenway near Bear Creek Park in Medford. While there, we talk to a Greenway resident named T Bone, who is the builder of a massive fortress-like dwelling used by the homeless community as a hub of social activity. T Bone is kind enough to invite us into his world and show us all he built, ahead of a police sweep expected the following day. We also speak with a homeless man nicknamed Pockets, camping near T Bone, who articulately expresses the feelings and realities of living without a house in Medford. A little later, we sit down with lawyer Justin Rosas and two of his legal partners, who explain why Medford's enforcement of anti-homeless laws are allegedly unconstitutional, and how his law firm is suing the city to try and put a stop to the sweeps.
The day following this camp tour and conversations, we witness the sweep of nearby encampments by Medford Police. Despite T Bone having received a 72 hour notice of illegal camping which was scheduled to be enforced on the same morning, the police seem to have delayed their action as a result of the large activist and media presence on the scene. Regardless, we manage to capture a lot of what the police and "Clean Sweep" crews from Rogue Retreat do during these incidents.
T Bone, along with a homeless advocacy activist, were arrested a few days after this video was shot. For more up to date information about what happened, definitely check out the coverage by Siskiyou Street News, which can be found at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouStreetNews
There is also a great article covering this story from Jefferson Public Radio: bit.ly/3lyz7Vp
In this episode of Us As We Are, we attend the Gathering of Goodness music festival, which was held on July 3rd, 2021, at Bear Creek Park in Medford. The first major music event to hit the Rogue Valley since the official re-opening of Oregon, the festival made for an extreme fun day of music, art, and close interaction with members of the region's thriving music community. Featured artists included The Roomy Depth, Namid Wolf, Messenjah Selah, Cornflower, among others.
First Major Holiday After Oregon's Re-opening - 4th of July, 2021 | US AS WE ARE
In this episode of Us As We Are, we explore the streets of Ashland on Independence Day 2021, the first major holiday since the re-opening of Oregon in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we go, we'll meet an overall random selection of Ashland's residents going about a wide range of interesting activities, including the Lithia Artisan Market, a lemonade stand, a grocery store late-night employee, and a collective of b-boys. To cap it off, we'll attend the firework display at the Jackson County Expo, which was the only officially organized event to have gone forward in a year where high risk of wildfire is heightened in the public consciousness.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we visit with representatives of the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Oregon Black Pioneers, who collaborated to hold a celebration for the renaming of "Negro Ben Mountain," which has been changed to "Ben Johnson Mountain." We'll learn about the history of Ben Johnson and other black pioneers in Oregon, followed by a hike to the top of the newly renamed geographic feature. Happy Juneteenth!
In this episode of Us As We Are, we visit Klamath Falls, where tensions over water rights are heating up in the wake of the federal government declaring a drought and denying irrigation to the famers of the Klamath Basin. This is a highly complex issue, with calls to protect endangered species on one side, and the desperation of farmers who stand to loose everything if their fields don't see water on the other. In this video we talk to the farmers and Klamath Falls citizens who have gathered in an encampment adjacent to the A Canal Headwaters. We plan to revisit this topic again soon in the future to explore it further as things progress.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we attend the delightful "Chalk It Up for Endangered Species" event in Phoenix, OR. The event was pulled together by Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, an organization which advocates for the protection of endangered pollinating insects and other animals. Residents were invited to the Phoenix Civil Center to draw their favorite endangered species on the surrounding sidewalks. The result: a wide array of genuinely impressive chalk art.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we once again attend a protest in the Ashland Downtown Plaza. This time, citizens gathered together to express their disapproval of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the recently increased violence.
In this episode of UAWA, we attend a worker's solidarity rally held by Housing Now in recognition of international labor day, which is traditionally the 1st of May. While there, we got to talk to an array of interesting and friendly individuals who shared with us their beliefs about socialism, worker's rights, and the housing situation in Southern Oregon.
In this episode, we travel to the Jackson County Expo, where FEMA and the US DOD have constructed a temporary COVID-19 vaccine drive-through clinic. We're given a tour by a group of very forthcoming FEMA and Navy representatives who show us the different stages patients go through to receive vaccines, and then Keegan goes through the process himself.
KEEGAN VAN HOOK
producer, host, editor, manager
producer, first camera, creative assistant, editor
contributing correspondent, researcher, host/personality, chef