October 17th, 2011 8:00 am | by EMILY GREEN News | Posted In: Activism, Business, City Hall, Politics

Occupier of the Day: Jim Ferguson

Our daily visit with people at Occupy Portland

jim.fergusonJim Ferguson - Photo: Emily Green

Name: Jim Ferguson

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired physician

Tenure at Occupy Portland: Ferguson says he started volunteering at Occupy Portland Oct. 10 because he “got tired of yelling at the TV.”

Otherwise he lives in: Northwest Portland

Favorite political thinker: Che Guevara — his ideas, not his techniques

His contribution to the camp: Ferguson is the only physician working the medical tent in Lownsdale Square’s core group of about 25 volunteers, including EMTs and first responders. Ferguson says he’s primarily been treating sprains, strains, cuts and a lot of foot damage brought on by the cold, wet conditions. “Wounds are nearly impossible to clean here, but we do what we can,” he says.

“As a medic in Vietnam, I worked with primitive conditions like these — no power or running water — so I thought with my experience there I could bring something here.” He says the medic station survives on donated first-aid supplies but is in need of more.

Why he’s Occupying Portland: “I don’t like the way the country is going. Rich people are royalty. Being rich doesn’t give them the vetting to make policy, and sometimes they’re ruthless,” he says, adding that while he is not so much personally affected by the current economic climate, he feels "for what’s happened to the people in Portland and the rest of the country.”

Ferguson retired six years ago; he practiced internal medicine in Portland, specializing in eating disorders, sports medicine and chemical dependency.

“I’m amazed and inspired by the vast majority [of protesters] and the spirit of community and volunteerism, and the search for justice with passion. It’s an event we can all be proud of.”

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