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Following the wishes of Sen. Jesse Helms and the National Association for Biomedical Research, a congressional committee has moved to exclude birds, rats and mice from the protection of the Animal Welfare Act -- the only U.S. law on the books that requires humane treatment for animals used in research. By attaching a rider to the Farm Bill (HR2646), they have negated any debate on the issue, even though a majority of scientists and many scientific organizations support AWA coverage for birds, rats, and mice.
Rats and mice, along with birds, make up 95% of the animals used in testing, so by excluding them, the Biomedical Research Industry is almost entirely bypassing the Animal Welfare Act.
Animal Rights activists are asking people to call their Senators and demand they say no to animal cruelty. The Senate vote is imminent. (Read More)
The In Other Words bookstore and Solidarity are presenting an event entitled, "Women and the Fight for Global Justice" on Thursday night. The event will include a panel and discussion and will give people the opportunity to hear about women's international struggles against sexism, poverty and corporate globalization. Featured panelists are Edith T. Mirante, activist and author of Burmese Looking Glass: A human rights adventure and a jungle revolution and Portland State University sociologist Veronica Dujon.
In an interview posted to the newswire, Mirante says, "The nice implication of 'globalization' might be, people in Kansas paying attention to what's happening to the Palestinians because they see it on cable news; or people in Oregon listening to music recorded by people of the New Guinea rainforest. Unfortunately, 'globalization' turns out to be just a code-word for the international dominance of concentrated corporate interests... In Burma, multinational companies like Unocal and Total have strengthened the military regime financially, and set up security zones for their gas pipelines -- which are anything but secure for women, as these zones are staffed by the regime's troops which use rape as a strategy to terrorize 'security risk' ethnic groups, and punish suspected rebel sympathizers or family members with torture and executions.
"...[T]he choice is often between genuine slave labor -- being taken out of her village (which is burned down), raped, made to carry or build things for the army -- and fleeing to a neighboring country where the "choice" is prostitution with certain HIV exposure, or some menial work where sexual abuse is prevalent as well. Some women make the choice of underground organizing, and that's possibly the most dangerous of the options."
The forum will be held at the In Other Words bookstore at 3734 SE Hawthorne, at 7:00 p.m.
Merriam Webster's defines "hegemony" as "preponderant influence or authority over others: DOMINATION". The word is often used to describe the position of the U.S. relative to the rest of the world, militarily, economically, and culturally (this last word used loosely). For long the exclusive domain of academic types, the word has now apparently penetrated the mainstream enough to be fashionably abbreviated, as in the case of "CounterHeg.org", the name of a new politically-oriented website.
The creator of CounterHeg, Dan Lesh, explains that the word is "hipster lingo for Counter Hegemony" and is the best descriptor for the type of news he collects at this new site. Steadfastly non-traditional in more ways than merely lexically, Lesh goes on to visualize the project thus: "It is not the whole picture, it does not claim to be an objective picture, but it is a challenging picture. This is not The Truth, but it is not The Lie either. It embraces its subjectivity, its constraints, and uses every tool available to tell a different story."
Lesh hopes that the site will attract a wide readership and expand to include "discussion forums, tip-sheets for the 'everyday struggle' (eco-living, recipricol relationships, informing without arrogance, things like that), original artwork, essays, regional events, car/food/language learning cooperative databases, etc." Lesh has put out the call for interested parties to visit the site and contact him by email.
U.S. Navy Support for the Coup-Attempt?
It is alleged that the US navy aided the abortive coup which took place in Venezuela on April 11 with intelligence from its vessels in the Caribbean. [ Read More ]
Additionally, U.S. military planes may also have been involved. [ Read More ]
U.S. Funded Chavez Oppenents
AFL-CIO Involved in Coup-Attempt?
The Power of Online Journalism Revealed
"As one upper-middle class woman said to me recently, If there were elections held again today, he would win, because the stupid people of the barrios don't know any better... As a Catholic missionary, I lived in a cardboard shack for eight years with those stupid people. They are not stupid. They just performed a miracle in 1998." [ Read More ]
By the light of the moon in the early hours of April 25th, protesters moved into a pink castle on one of the two testing sites for Genetically Modified (GM) crops that besiege Littlemoor near Weymouth, in the United Kingdom.
The pink fortification stands guard over the entrance of the field in which the mutant remains of last years GM maize crop can still be found. The residents hope to stay in the field long enough to prevent Aventis' controversial GM maize from being planted this year.
The protesters intend to defend the field and the castle. There are lock-on's built into structural parts of the two towers and mono-poles have been erected in key positions around the field. The occupation has been going on for over 11 days now and has generated much interest and support.
NW Rage to show video on GM foods
Portland's Black Cross Health Collective will be training people to provide First Aid at demonstrations, rallies, actions and police riots. Unfortunately, as the WTO protests in Seattle, the infamous June 1, 1997 police attacks in Eugene, and too many other events have shown, an increasingly militarized police force is being used more and more frequently by corporate-owned government institutions to squash dissent, even when the method of dissent is legal or non-violent. (Of course, if you are poor or a minority in the U.S., you don't need to attend a protest to become a victim of police brutality.)
It has become standard operating procedure to have medics within the activist ranks at demonstrations whenever possible for dealing with injures. Volunteers are always needed. The Black Cross Health Collective is one group that offers First Aid training for these circumstances, and their next session in Portland will be on Saturday, May 18, at the Liberty Hall (311 North Ivy) from 1:00-6:00 p.m. Participants will learn how to do basic assessments, transport victims and deal with chemical weapons exposure (pepper spray and tear gas), as well as how to work in teams and other necessary skills. Organizers are asking people to bring "an open mind, comfortable clothes and shoes you can run in". Despite the similarity in names, the Black Cross Health Collective is not affiliated with the Anarchist Black Cross. "Some of us are anarchists, some are not. Fight the Power, Do No Harm."
The training is free but donations may be solicited for use of Liberty Hall.
According to a post on the newswire, the U.S. Forest Service came to the Fall Creek tree-sit on April 30 and cleared the roads, obstensibly for "public safety". Activists in the tree-sits are guarding the Clark timber sale, which is in the Willamette National Forest, 45 miles outside Eugene. The Forest Service is expected to return soon to mark the new boundaries of the sale. The sale was originally 96 acres, but was reduced to 29 due to wildlife buffers created for the protection of the Red Tree Vole.
The timber company holding the contract on the sale, Zip-o-logs of Eugene, is expected to look at the remaining acreage and make a decision on a modified contract in the next week or so. Activists will guard the forest until the sale is completely cancelled.
A forest-activist organizer states that, "Now is a good time to support the Fall Creek campaign either by coming to the woods and defending the forest or by making a donation of time, food, gear, or money. Call Cascadia Forest Defenders at 541-684-8977 or donate online at www.tree-sit.org."
The organizer described the Clark timber sale as "too nice to cut down, and it's too valuable as a public recreation area that's easy to access. It's also a rare low elevation old-growth forest that is relativly flat. The watershed is too cut over already."
Other Forest Related News:
Friday, May 10th Major Rally to End Commercial Logging - "Celebrate the saving of Eagle Creek and let our officials know it won't stop there. With over 100 timber sales in the planning process for Mt. Hood and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (nearly half of which could be logged this summer) come out and demand an end to the commercial timber sale program on public lands." 11:30AM at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Cascadia Forest Alliance Events
Perhaps better known for the means, or perhaps failures, in achieving its goals rather than the ends desired, anarchist philosophy nonetheless lies at the heart of numerous activist organizations and causes (left and right) worldwide and has shaped our popular and political culture in countless ways. Today, both in terms of internal structure and external goals, much is indebted to the anarchist imagination. Yet for a broader public, the spectrum of anarchist ideals remains outside the confines of common understanding, ignored as outmoded, equated with failed Marxism/Communism, thought to be the dangerous (terrorist) passion of the underclass or simply the nihilism of the young."
This Saturday, at the Taco Bell at NE Broadway and 8th, there will be a picket in solidarity with the Florida tomato pickers' boycott that is calling for a one-cent per pound raise. After a rest from his defeat on May Day, the infamous "Mr. Taco Hell" and his teethed-tacos will take to the sidewalks again as we march to demand that Taco Bell management to sit down with farmworkers and respect their demands for decent working conditions. The Coalition of Immokalee workers in Florida has called on national and international support in their struggle for a raise from the same piece rate ($50 for picking and carrying two tons of tomatoes) that they've been payed since 1978. In Portland, activists have been picketing outside Taco Bells around the city for the last four months, each first and third Saturday of the month. At the last two pickets - on N. Interstate and on W. Burnside - the consumer support was so strong that the Taco Bells were nearly empty for the whole time people were picketing outside.
Speaking on April 19 to a meeting of the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, FBI Chief Robert Mueller said: "In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper -- either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere -- that mentioned any aspect of the Sept. 11 plot."
Even though the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies have not turned up any concrete evidence of how the 9.11 attacks were planned and carried out, they insist that they have no doubt of who was responsible. After seven months, FBI assertions aside, no one else has provided anything like proof for the U.S. Government's official story either. Meanwhile, a significant amount of evidence is being uncovered that contradicts the official story.
There are no Arab names on the publically released flight lists, no bodies, and the perpetrators reportedly used fake ID's. What is the proof that the FBI even knows who the perpetrators were? Quotes in the Washington Post from the flight instructors who trained the alleged pilots indicate that they were not capable of flying the hijacked planes.
The official story has been created by a corporate media machine with defense industry ties and a presidential administration that stole an election. Why are these entities considered reliable sources? Isn't it time for a serious investigation that does not presuppose that the government/media's explanation, if it can be called that, is the only "real" one?
Various websites have collected a large amount of compelling and credible evidence indicating that the official story of what happened on 9.11 is not accurate. The Chief of the FBI has admitted that there is no paper trail to support the official story. People like activist-author Michael Moore and independent journalist Mike Ruppert have been speaking to overflow crowds around the country as they ask incisive questions about 9.11. A Congresswoman has publically demanded an investigation into 9.11, and has specifically named Bush and Cheney as having possible involvement, which is an inspiring act of courage in these times. Yet the Indymedia network -- with the exception of a few local sites -- has ignored the story.
Truthout has conducted a poll, and presented the results to various Congresspeople. Truthout asked if they would support a full investigation that also included the executive branch. Besides Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), two more Congresspeople, U.S. Representative Major R. Owens (D-NY) and U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) have said they support such an investigation. [ Read More ]
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a poll asking people if they believed the government had no foreknowledge of 9.11 and, unexpectedly, nearly 50% of the respondents said no. The paper quickly published an editorial piece about how the poll was meaningless. If that's true, why did they hold the poll in the first place? Will the paper henceforth cease citing polls in its stories since they are not, in its opinion, accurate?
While such a reaction from the commercial media is not unexpected, what is surprising is the almost total lack of coverage that the call for an independent 9.11 investigation is receiving from the Indymedia network. Why is one of the most important investigative stories of our time being ignored by one of the most vibrant and increasingly essential new sources of our time? Indymedia readers are interested; the first and fifth most popular stories on the San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia website, as measured by number of comments posted are about discrepancies in the official 9.11 narrative and demands for investigation. Are Indymedia activists truly convinced of the veracity of a story that is being fed to them by the corporate media monolith and a government that took power by coup?
Read more, and join the discussion:
More links: [ "Will the Real Paranoids Please Raise Their Hands?" | Truthout Poll | "Paper refutes own poll showing 50% people don't believe the official 911 story" | Top ten stories at sf.indymedia, ranked by number of comments | 9.11 investigation websites | Michael Moore in Eugene (and on the subject of 9.11) | portland indymedia interviews with Mike Ruppert ]
City Council candidate Peter Alexander announced today that his campaign has filed a complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State regarding opponent Dan Saltzman's misuse of public funds for electioneering.
The complaint states that one of Saltzman's city agencies, the Portland Deparatment of Environmental Services (DES), illegally promoted Saltzman's candidacy in a newsletter mailed to approximately 40,000 Portland households just three days before the ballots were to be distributed for the May 21 primary election. Alexander's campaign holds that this type of activity is specifically prohibited by Oregon statue 260.432, which states in part: "No public employee shall... promote or oppose... the nomination or election of a candidate... while on the job during working hours."
Alexander's platform calls for a publically-owned power utility for Portland, fareless transit, stopping low-income displacement, and help for the homeless. His candidacy has been endorsed by the Portland Metro Chapter of the Pacific Green Party, the Eastside Democratic Club, and prominent individuals in Portland's progressive community.
The North American Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network (NAELPSN) has announced the release of the latest issue of its newsletter, "Spirit of Freedom". NAELPSN describes its purpose as providing "support primarily for North American Earth and Animal liberation and indigenous prisoners. We also act as a clearinghouse on grand juries, anti-terrorism legislation and state repression of communities of resistance... We actively interact with other prison support groups and movements including the Anarchist Black Cross Network and the broader prison abolitionist movement."
NAELPSN is not alone in its concern for the state of the "criminal justice system" in the United States, which has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. Human Rights Watch, for example, points out that, in the year 2000, the number of people "behind bars, on parole or on probation reached a record 6.47 million, or one in every thirty-two adults". "Land of the free"? Amnesty International has documented racial discrimination, police brutality, ill-treatment and torture of prisoners, and abuse of women and children in prison in the U.S. NAELPSN offers people who are concerned about these injustices an opportunity to support those who are suffering under this brutal system. The "Spirit of Freedom" newsletter gives more details.
"Spirit of Freedom" is distributed quarterly. It is free to prisoners and $1.50 to everyone else.
May 1st is International Workers' Day, and is officially celebrated in every country but the United States and Canada. In 2000, May Day was marked by police violence in Portland, but the last two years, Vera's boys in blue have behaved themselves better. Around 1500 people gathered in the North Park Blocks in Portland and marched through the city today, making stops at the INS building and Taco Bell, among other places. A major theme of the event was immigrant rights. One arrest has been reported so far.
Summary of the day: [ "portland mayday" ]
PHOTOS: [ "PDX MayDay photos Series 1" | "PDX MayDay photos Series 2" | "PDX MayDay photos Series 3" | "photos from the portland mayday march #1" | "portland mayday photos #2" | "Portland May Day images" ]
Around The Globe
"On Tuesday afternoon, concerned citizens in Portland staged a successful and fun boycot of the local branch of Umpqua Bank. In Roseburg, folks protested outside the bank board of directors meeting, while Ali Fulcher from the Ashland-based Peace House was able to go in the meeting, thanks to a donation of Umpqua Bank stock.
"During the Portland picket, protestors walked into the bank and informed tellers and customers about role Umpqua Bank plays in ancient forest destruction.
"One customer recently had her new home financed by Umpqua Bank, and she immediately pledged to refinance through a credit union and take her business elsewhere.
"Another customer cancelled her account right then and there.
"To date, across Oregon, well over $500,000 has been pulled out of Umpqua Bank by citizens and businesses concerned about the role of Bank board chairman, Allyn Ford, in the destruction of our old growth forests by his company, Roseburg Forest Products."
On April 26, activists in Eugene picketed outside an Umpqua Bank branch, leading to at least one customer account cancellation.
David Barsamian, prominent critic and author of the recent book, 'The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting,' headlines a program sponsored by Friends of Public Boroadcasting to get Oregonians involved in shaping the future of public broadcasting in their communities. The program is being co-sponsored by local action groups in four Oregon cities this month -
Portland on Tuesday, April 30th at the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Main
Eugene on Thursday, May 2nd at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street
Bend on Friday, May 3 at the Pilot Butte Middle School, 1501 NE Neff St.
Doors open at 7:00PM with the main program at 7:30PM. Admission is on a sliding scale from $ 5 -15.
"Public Broadcasting increasingly reflects the mentality of corporate America," says David Barsamian, journalist and producer of the public radio series, Alternative Radio, "Political interference and corporate money have undermined the original mission."
"If the public doesn't act to reclaim this important democratic resource, we will lose it altogether," adds Loren Sears, spokesman for Friends of Public Broadcasting (FOPB), a statewide public advocacy group. Read More
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) are opening their new union hall on Mayday, Wednesday, May 1st. The hall is located at 616 E. Burnside in Portland. There will be an open house/benefit starting at 7 PM. A short music set of IWW songs by local wobbly band the 'Joe Hillbillies' will happen around 8PM.
The IWW is a member run labor union founded in 1905. The IWW has a long history in Portland, organizing Saw mills, Longshore and cannery workers in the past; grocery, restaurant and social workers more recently. In 1916 the IWW hall was described as "The center of Portland culture" by Portland Journalist, John Reed (7 days that shook the world).
Current Portland Chief of Police Mark Kroeker announced his plan to apply for Chief of Police of Los Angeles at a press conference last Monday (4/22). While the announcement may not have surprised many Portlanders or Angelenos -- given Ex-LA Police Chief Bernard Park's recent fall from grace or Kroeker's public exultations stating five years in Portland seems difficult to do -- it comes at a time when Assistant Chief Mark Paresi will also be leaving the department. With the two top positions open in PPB, will city government and the police department take this opportunity to gain the trust of Portland citizens?
As well documented by groups like Portland CopWatch and the Police Accountability Campaign (PAC-2000), Kroeker has a history of making homophobic, misogynistic statements and running away from creating a police force that works with the community and really is about serving and protecting the community. Does Kroeker actually have a real opportunity of replacing Bernard Parks in Los Angeles? Will Portland actually get a police chief responsive to the populace? Probably no to both questions. Gay and Lesbian groups in Los Angeles were able to nix his last bid for chief there and it seems he has a bigger battle this time around. Judging the hostility with which city hall has fought against having a citizen's review board for police crimes, it doesn't appear that currently a move to have a humane police chief is in the cards.
The site of the People's Co-op expansion on 21st and Tibbets SE was abuzz with activity on Sunday afternoon. The sun shone down on a dozen volunteeers working on the cob walls of the new building. Cob is made of clay, sand, and straw and is kneaded like bread dough into a thick consistency that can be shaped while wet, but that dries solid and brick-like.
Cob isn't the only groovy aspect of the expansion and renovation of People's. A resevoir has been buried under the property to collect rainwater, which will be used with the building's toilets. A heat exchange system for warming in the winter and cooling in the summer has been built by putting a pipe with a coil 300 feet into the ground underneath. It is the first of its kind in Oregon. The upstairs of the new structure will have a beautiful community room with high ceilings.
Work on the cob portions of the new People's structure needs to be done by the end of May so that the cob can have enough time to cure by the scheduled grand opening in September. Volunteers are always welcome and can come on any Saturday or Sunday in May, starting as early as 9:00 a.m.
Other opportunities to learn about cob and other environmentally friendly technologies will be available during the Natural Building Convergence (NBC) in May. The five completed projects in SE Portland will showcase the aesthetic, environmental, and economic benefits of building with natural and reused materials. All ages are welcome but NBC requests pre-registration.
From the Cascadia Media Collective in Eugene: "War Time News #7, our biggest and best issue yet is now ready to be downloaded in either pdf or Word doc format! This issue covers Israel's incursion into Palestine, the war in Colombia, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's call for an investigation into the White House's foreknowledge of 9-11, the Verichip microchip implant given FDA approval for human use earlier this month, the US Senate Bill to privatize our water supplies and a whole lot more! The back page is all good news from protests around the world. We've distributed several hundred around Eugene and through the mail, but we're sure you'll want to print one out, make a few copies yourself and get them to people hungry for real news about what's going on. WTN is guaranteed to make people both angry at those in power and hopeful about rising up from below.
"Also up today in the POSTERS section is our pamphlet about the Verichip implant, "Are You Ready To Get Chipped?" The pamphlet covers background, context and implications of this creepy new product for social control from Florida based Applied Digital Solutions. Great for passing out to right-wing folks you'd like to make friends with and lefties who think that state power is good! Just go to POSTERS from the front page.
"All our print materials glean info from corporate news sources (so you can trust them?!?)...we just look in the dark corners and put it all together."
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