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It would appear now that the Homeland Security alert regarding tularemia is being 'spun.' As the antiwar demonstrators did their thing in DC in late September, biowar sensors at the Capitol registered unusual amounts of tularemia. Now they are suggesting that perhaps the feet of the demonstrators stirred up the bacteria from the soil--but if that were true, why has no other demonstration stirred up a US biowar arsenal bacterium?
Tularemia is perfect for attacking demonstrators. It doesn't spread, so there would be no contagious 'outbreak.' Now that they are dispersed across the nation, their symptoms will (would) appear to be similar to the common cold--muscle aches, mild fever, etc. The symptoms are unlikely to be diagnosed without a larger national awareness, however, and they slowly progress to painful and disfiguring conditions and then death (see my post from last Friday on this subject). Hence the attack could pass completely unnoticed except for the condition of the demonstrators and their grieving families. The only notice might be in a spike of tularemia cases in the following years' CDC reports. [ read more ]
There were nine of us, who came from different parts of Oregon, to participate in the three-day events in DC. We all walked in the massive march on Saturday; on Monday two in our group chose to participate in the civil disobedience action.
About 10AM Monday morning, our group walked over to Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House. By 12:30 marching groups from Camp Casey and another from the Laity and Clergy group converged onto the park with great cheers from the rest of us. By now, we were about 1,000 strong. [ Read More ]
What it was like: an account of Sept. 24th D.C.The demonstration in DC was like a convention. One lady my age touched my arm and asked, "Who would have ever thought we would have to do this again?" Then she vanished into the crowd. We all had to show up at this convention to convince ourselves that there were others in a nation of over 280 million people occupying half a continent who have not gone stark raving mad. We were the others who gathered together at Washington DC on the 24th of September, 2005 and at points all over the USA and all over the world. We move to gather again, to get to know each other. These are not "demonstrations," because it is no longer possible to demonstrate the obvious. This was and will be a gathering of strength, of information, of momentum. It was like seeing hope. It was like seeing the future as it will be; green, whether in local sustainable communities or in recovering forests outside the ruins. [ Read More ]
Two Protests were held in Washington, DC this week around the issue of war in Iraq. An anti-war contingent organized the largest public rally in recent memory agains the policies of the Bush Administration. They expected 100,000 people, and all estimates I've seen of actual attendance ranged from 100,000-200,000. The next day, a counter demonstration was organized by groups that support war and agree with our current President. Organizers said they expected 10,000-20,000 attendees. The actual turnout according to the Associated Press--"as many as 400."
Despite the massive difference in scale between these two demonstrations, the Oregonian gave more space, and better coverage to the pro-war gathering. They ran two stories, a 10 paragraph piece on the anti-war gathering on page A-10, and a 17 paragraph piece on the pro-war gathering on page A-2. So, the anti-war gathering had at least 250 times as many people, but got 40% less ink, and was buried in the middle of the paper, while the pro-war side gets on the back of the front page--one of the most read areas. [ read more ]
Oregonian biased coverage of anti and pro war demos
To the editor, The Oregonian
On Sept. 25, you gave 30 column inches on A10, including a photo, to an AP story ("Thousands rally in Washington to bring troops home from Iraq") on the Washington demo using the lowest estimate for the turnout. That space included a 3" box noting that "about 100" held signs and candles in a silent protest on downtown Portland bridges. You did not cover the other Portland demo, which drew about 150 on Friday nor the largest of the Oregon Saturday events in Albany where almost 500 particiapted or any of the other local events from Waldport to La Grande.
On Sept 26, you devoted more space (32 column inches) on A2 ("Support for U.S. troops guides rally"--in larger type) including a photo and contact information (missing from your anti war coverage) to an AP report on an event 3000 miles away for which only a tiny group of between 200 and 400 supporters of the war turned out (organizers were looking for 20,000) evidently to denounce the overwhelming success of the anti-war events. Its significance event can only lie in its pathetic failure and suggest a lack of popular support for the war. It was not even noted by the New York Times. [ read more ]
more criticism of corporate media "coverage" of s24: [ Corp Media Mentioned DC S24 - But There Was Much More | Please post photos of Bridge Vigil | Corporate Media coverage of the protests? ]
On Saturday, September 24th, a group of about 40 citizens gathered at the Chamber of Commerce office in St. Helens. 40 people in this small town, miles outside of the metropolitan area, cared enough to take a stand. They turned out to protest the war in Iraq and ask that our troops be brought home. Compared to the turnout in larger, more cosmopolitan cities 40 may not seem like a lot. In St. Helens, however, there are few activities that draw such a large crowd, and those are more likely to be high school sporting events than political rallies.
On Tuesday, September 26, 2005 a second demonstration was held in South Columbia County. People of all ages and backgrounds gathered together at the Totem Pole in Scappoose to make a statement. The number changed as demonstrators came and left, devoting time as they could. Some stopped in before hurrying home to fix dinner for their families, some arrived directly after work, all demonstrated their commitment to ending the war in Iraq.
On Sept. 26, representatives of Veterans for Peace Chapter 72, Code Pink Portland, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, WILPF, Oregonians Against the War, and OPW visited the Portland offices of Senators Smith and Wyden, and Representatives Blumenauer and Wu. We delivered messages urging the legislators to take action to bring the war to an immediate end, which included: a formal letter from the members of VFP72 (see attached .pdf file), individual letters and petitions, and more than 1,300 post cards to the two senators, 1,000 of which were signed at the Saturday Bridge Vigil. Letters were delivered to Rep. Darlene Hooley's office on Sept. 27.
The interaction with the legislators' staffs was predictably courteous and bland, with the exception of Earl Blumenauer's staff, who were clearly happy to see us and with whom we carried on the only real lobbying dialog of the day.
You are a rebellious woman. I will talk to your husband but not to you. You are a rebellious woman.
On the way up to Seattle we passed the time filling in madlibs packed by the spirit of creation, a mother with fire and love in her heart. Mothers must terrify the pro-Bush "Christian" death worshippers who called me a rebellious woman as I passed their contingent of two by Westlake Center. Females need one seed, then create on their own... life in all its uncomfortable, uncontrollable glory. To have your own power, your own voice, to seize your life as your own insults the death cultists, threatens their existence, gnaws thru the shabby veil of their reality construct and shows them their uselessness, base cowardice and petty, peevish, shoe-licking opportunism. They must silence all but the 3rd tier death-worshipping zombies from which they draw the small amount of spark it takes them to somnambulate and try to spread their filth. And forget the Christ they say they worship. A man if not a god who died for what he believed and shared a compassion which threatened the already parasitic power structure. [ read more ]
S24 - Seattle Pictures: The Good: cheerleaders gave the small anti-imperialist contingent a much-needed boost in ENERGY. if they hadn't been there, it would've been a little drab. i wish i had pictures. The Bad: the arrest of some guy and the docile liberal reaction to it. "oh lets just all get on the sidewalk" this one old hippy guy was like "i say we all get off the street and go listen to some more speeches!" [ read more ]
What I did to get arrested: "And I wonder what that poor guy we saw getting arrested did to deserve it?" Funny you should ask. According to the police report, the reason I was arrested was "pedestrian interference". I have two ideas why they chose me. First, I asked what law I was breaking by standing in the street (they never answered me by the way). Second, I suspect I was recognized by a few of the cops (at the J20 event for example, I managed to piss a cop off enough he had to leave the front line, pointing at me saying, "he's the first to go!" I think I've gotten the attention of a few of them...). [ September 24th Protest in Seattle ]
The vigil on the bridges last night was awesome, with participants ranging from teens to families with little ones, to olders, and elders. Candles thickly lined all three of the downtown bridges. The Oregonian apparently put the total at 100 folks, organizers estimate pretty conservatively at 900-1000. [ read more ]
Photos of PDX s24 bridge vigils for peace: I had thought that three bridges was over-reaching, but I was wrong. All but the last photo are from the vigil on the south side of the Burnside Bridge. I'm told that there were many more participating in the vigil on the Hawthorne Bridge. However, I got to the Hawthorne bridge very late. Still I like the way the series ends with an edgy photo of one of the last to leave vigil participants to leave the Hawthorne Bridge. [ read more ]
Photos from S24 vigil, Morrison Bridge: Photos from the anti-war vigil on the evening of September 24, 2005, on 3 of portland's bridges. these are all from the Morrison Bridge. I estimate there were about 100-150 on that bridge. The Oregonion reported only 100 total on all 3 bridges, but there were at least that many on just the Morrison, and I heard there were a about 500 on the Burnside and several hundred on the Hawthorne. [ read more ]
Pix from Saturday night vigil on Hawthorne Bridge: Here's some pix of the vigil on the Hawthorne Bridge on Saturday night. Critics say: "You're protesting doesn't do any good." I say: "Well, at the very least, it reminds me that I'm not alone." [ read more ]
From the Bridges tonight: At least a thousand, maybe 2000 on the Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne Bridges tonight. We lined the bridges with candles, flags, signs and our passion that this evil war end now. Passing motorists honking horns lent support - even a stretch limo. The best motor support came at the end while walking down off the Morrison Bridge when a PDX Police wagon honked and waved the peace sign. [ read more ]
Several Sources are reporting that Cindy Sheehan was arrested moments ago after protesting with a group of several hundred in front of the Whitehouse. She allegedly sat down with around a dozen other protestors and was warned by authorities that she must move along or be arrested. She was arrested almost immediately after the warning was given.
Update: Sheehan was released.
Seattle: Here are a few pictures I snapped with a digital camera today. The protest brought together a great group of people as expected. I saw an estimate of around six to seven thousand people on the Seattle Indymedia website. After leaving the protest and heading back to my home on the bus I ran into a young fellow asking me if I was at the rally. I told him that I had been there and told him about the people that were there. "Do you really think that everyone getting together like that is going to end the war?" [ read more ]
Portland Bridges:At least a thousand, maybe 2000 on the Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne Bridges tonight. We lined the bridges with candles, flags, signs and our passion that this evil war end now. The best motor support came at the end while walking down off the Morrison Bridge when a PDX Police wagon honked and waved the peace sign. [ read more ]
Estacada: We attended a small but dedicated gathering for Peace in Estacada this afternoon. There were 70 to 80 people in attendance, which is pretty astonishing for a little town like Estacada. Several speeches were given and a reading of a poem written by Casey Sheehan's sister which was very moving. Lloyd Marbet also spoke. There was music and companionship and a parade through town to be followed by a candlelight vigil this evening. No riot suited police were observed![ read more ]
Eugene:A great day! I'm not any good at estimating crowds, but it was a large and spirited one. Several hundred at least. The largest demonstration I've seen in the two years I've been in Eugene. We marched around downtown, past the Saturday Market, and then had a rally near the courthouse with some heartfelt speeches. It looks like we're coming back together. [ read more ]
We are standing with millitary families accross the country in down town Portland Saturday September 24th. Any thinking person must understand that our government has gone too far for far too long. We need to start standing in the streets as one voice against this oppression. We must end this war. We must remove our leaders from office. We must remove corporations from our government. And we must stand now to help stop it. 12:00 noon Pioneer square. [ read more ]
Protest in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan: CODEPINK PORTLAND will join with peace activists from all over the Northwest for a candlelight vigil on the bridges of Portland. We stand in solidarity with the national mobilization in Washington, DC and all over the country to demand an end to the war in Iraq. We stand in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans For Peace and every single citizen of this country and around the world who is crying for an end to the war and occupation. Please join us on Saturday, September 24th at 7:30 P.M. on the Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne bridges.[ read more | details ]
Lobbying for Immediate End to War, September 26: On Monday, September 26, at 9 am, Veterans for Peace Ch 72, Code Pink, Oregonians Against the War, and various church related peace groups will meet at Pioneer Square then march to Oregon senators' and Portland representatives' offices to lobby for immediate end to the war in Iraq, to bring the troops home now. They will deliver letters with that message (gathered at the candlelight bridge vigil September 24 and other letter-writing campaigns). [ read more ]
other actions: [ Peace rally & march in Eugene Saturday | Global Justice Feeder March /// S24 DC | Estacada Peace Rally, Saturday September 24 | - - - stop war - - - | Eugeneans, Attention! | September 24th 2nd Las Vegas Press Release | Sep. 24, San Francisco: Revolutionary Anti-Capitalist Convergence Against the War |Albany Military Families Rally ]
Monday Sep. 12 7:00pm
St. Philip Neri Church
Paulist Center Building
SE 15th & Division
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There will be a reflective candlelight vigil, Sat., Sept. 24, 7:30 pm until dark (probably sometime between 8:00 and 8:30 pm). Three central bridges in Portland--BURNSIDE, MORRISON, AND HAWTHORNE--are key. We will stay safely and respectfully on sidewalks, allowing room for pedestrians and cyclists to pass. (If you can't make it to one of these bridges and have friends who will join you, any bridge will do.)
The message is "NOW IS THE TIME TO END THE WAR. NOW IS THE TIME TO BRING THEM HOME." The first message is to end this war. Concern is in no way limited to American safety, but to the safety of all who are in danger in this nightmare war. Announcements are scheduled in Alternatives Magazine and Oregon Peaceworker. PLEASE spread the word as far and wide as possible to your congregations, fellowships, peace groups,and other constituents.