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The Mayor of Salem in bold support of farmworkers

"Si se Puede!" were the first words out of the mouth of the Mayor of Salem as he spoke from the back of a pick-up truck today.
IMC Portland [correction: and KBOO] was the only media to join the walkers at their events today.

This afternoon the walkers marched from the Unitarian church in Salem to the Pictsweet factory, which is known for bad working conditions and for firing people who attempted to unionize. The walkers were joined by a surprise guest: the Mayor of Salem.

The Pictsweet factory is surrounded by a very bad smell, like fish. As the group reached the factory, the Mayor stood up in the back of a truck to talk through a bull horn.

"Si se Puede!" were the first words out of his mouth. He continued his speech with the following powerful message that was translated into Spanish as he spoke. [Though these are not his exact words, they are very close--this report was called in by cell from the side of the road where the speech took place. A video of the march will be available on this site soon.]

"For years I have driven by this factory and been offended by the smell. Now I know that the offensive thing about it is the management. I believe, and my [city] council believes, that the workers here deserve respect and a living wage. The workers here are no different than workers any place else it's an embarrassment to have these conditions here it's an abomination it's something we need to do something about.

So I want United Food and Pictsweet to know that their dirty little secret is out... I will continue to say more and more about this situation until the whole state knows what goes on behind these closed doors.

...A disadvantage for one is a disadvantage for all. It would be a blot on our souls if we allowed this to continue to happen. I want to say to the people who work here: I know you're brave people. I know some of you have been fired for speaking up. I hope that doesn't happen here now. No matter what, we've got to keep the faith. We've got to continue the fight. Si se puede!"

The Mayor recieved roars of applause from the pleased crowd. Such support from city government is refreshing in this age of bought-and-paid-for politicians, and might even allow the farmworkers and their allies to hold out hope.

[ Watch the video of this speech ]

Excuse me, but KBOO was there too. 23.Jun.2001 23:01


Excuse me, but KBOO was in Salem. There were also KBOO volunteers on the walk for the entire week. You're doing a great job reporting on this event, just don't forget IMC isn't the only show in town.

Please pardon us 23.Jun.2001 23:54

IMC Portland reporter who was on the walk

We meant to say that no *corporate* media were in attendance. IMC Portland and KBOO worked very closely together this week on the walk; in fact, we shared a reporter who represented both of us. We were in constant communication everyday, and shared information and resources. IMC Portland is well aware that we are not the only show in town, and hopes to work more closely with other non-corporate news sources in the future, considering how well this collaboration with KBOO went. So -- please forgive the omission.

Unfair Journalism 29.Jun.2001 10:47

James Harold

I was dissappointed with your coverage of the PCUN events and protests against NORPAC and Pictsweet. I found it unfairly one sided. A real journalist would take the time to get both sides of the story, you failed to do just that and in your failure to do so, crossed the line from real journalism to blatant propoganda.

Fairness 06.Jul.2001 11:40


Not to harp on this issue, by I do believe the previous contributer has a valid point. Real journalists examine both sides of the issue and present the facts to the readers. The fundamental problem with politics and the media is that everything is so one-sided. IMC is taking a step in the right direction by presenting other sides to very complex issues. However, to be truly fair and accurate in reporting, you must present all sides, regardless if you agree with them or not. Otherwise, you are acting on the same level as the coporate media.

balance/fairness 13.Oct.2001 18:57

The PDX Prop Busta

Indymedia has no responsibility whatsoever to present "balanced" or "fair" journalism. First of all, there is no "Indymedia" in the same way that there is an "Oregonian" or a "Mercury". Those are commercial institutions with paid staff and a very limited format. Indymedia, on the other hand, is something that *anyone* can be if they choose. By posting comments to this site, you all are Indymedia as much as the person who wrote the article above. There's no difference except that the author above chose to go out on the Walk and report back what they saw. I will say, though, that it would've been better if the author had posted his name, rather than saying "IMC Portland". That is a bit misleading, yes. But you know what? There's *nothing* preventing you from posting an article to the site and putting "IMC Portland" in the author box. So if you want to see the "other side", put it up here yourself. We're not used to being that empowered in our society, but at Indymedia we are. Stop complaining and start posting. And welcome to the media rEvolution.

Unfair Journalism??? 06.Jun.2002 14:05

Steve the Green geiger.steve@cnf.com

Unbiased journalism does not exist and never has.
No matter what measures are taken to be objective, it is impossible to totally escape ones own perceptions and/or political perspectives when relaying political information.

That being said, I would think that the majority of people who come to "indymedia", do so because they are seeking an alternative to the status quo corporate owned mainstream media. They do not come here to get supposed credible objective journalistic commentary.

The criticism and dissapointment that was offered about the lack of objective journalism provided about this subject is either hiding a "vested interest" that doesn't approve of the authors "slant" or are the result of naive rantings of someone who doesn't understand the realities of todays electronic communication.

I for one, do not want someone to represent a view that they do not personaly share in an attempt to be objective and evenhanded.
I would much rather evaluate each story as an "opinion" piece and assign the credibility that I think it deserves.