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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blue revolution turns left

Sten announces plans for 'collective property'
Progressive Portland aims to lead Oregon march toward socialism

Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten announced that his Blue Revolution's sweeping reforms towards statewide socialism will include the creation of "collective property."

Vowing to undermine capitalism's continued influence in Oregon, Sten said on Sunday that his bureaus were "advancing quickly" with a concept of "social, or collective, property" to be included in forthcoming legal reforms.

"It's property that belongs to everyone and it's going to benefit everyone," said Sten, speaking during his television and radio program "Hello Erik". Sten did not elaborate, but he stressed that collective property must benefit workers equally.

"It cannot be production to generate profits for one person or a small group of people that become rich exploiting peons who end up becoming slaves, living in poverty and misery their entire lives," he said.

City planners preparing a blueprint for pending city charter and state constitutional reforms have floated proposals that would roughly define collective property as publicly-owned assets such as neighborhood community farms that are managed by workers who share profits.

Oregon's state government already helps organize and finance thousands of cooperatives, but due to its rush to embrace subsidized developers' condo projects, Portland does not have full legal ownership of the real estate or infrastructure used by most co-ops.

Sten, who hosted Sunday's program from a ranch in Multnomah County's sun-baked plains, said his government would move to seize control of large ranches and farms spanning more than 740,000 acres and redistribute lands deemed "idle" to the poor under a statewide agrarian reform.

Associated Press, Mar. 27

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