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This Saturday in Portland, the recently formed Palestine Action Group will present the third in a series of forums on Palestine. The forum will take place at 6:00 PM at Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th (at Thurman).
The forum features two speakers: Bishara Costandi, originally from Jaffa and founder of Arabs Building Community, and William Seaman, a member of Jews for Global Justice and Oregon Friends of the Middle East.
Costandi will discuss what can be learned from the creation of Israel, and the parallels between 1948 and now: "We are still living in a colonial time and it's as if history is repeating itself. There is a repetition of how Israel took Palestine. The true measure of how Israel and Zionism think is coming out in this." READ MORE
The title of Seaman's talk is "Why the US Supports Israel: The Impact of Competing Views for Organizing Against the Occupation." He will discuss two theories: "The first; is that there is a powerful pro-Israel lobby that has had tremendous success in persuading both the public and the government of the U.S. to support Israel. The second; holds that the reason for U.S. support for Israel lies in the role that Israel plays in U.S. planning and strategy directed towards controlling the resources of the Middle East: oil and the capital generated by that oil." READ MORE
Also this Saturday, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, Women In Black will present People's Aid to Palestine, featuring speakers from Palestine and North Americans who have just returned from the region, as well as live music. Attendees are encouraged to bring everyday items to donate to Palestinians. READ MORE
Statement of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) on Terrorist Warnings: "Several weeks ago, I called for a congressional investigation into what warnings the Bush Administration received before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was derided by the White House, right wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist. Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to suggest that Congress should conduct a full and complete investigation into the most disastrous intelligence failure in American history. Georgia Senator Zell Miller even went so far as to characterize my call for hearings as 'dangerous, loony and irresponsible.'
"Today's revelations that the administration, and President Bush, were given months of notice that a terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out the critical need for a full and complete congressional investigation.
"It now becomes clear why the Bush Administration has been vigorously opposing congressional hearings. The Bush Administration has been engaged in a conspiracy of silence. If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclosure today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House.
"Because I love my country, because I am a patriot, and because the American people deserve the truth, I believe it would be dangerous, loony and irresponsible not to hold full congressional hearings on any warnings the Bush Administration had before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"Ever since I came to Congress in 1992, there are those who have been trying to silence my voice. I've been told to "sit down and shut up" over and over again. Well, I won't sit down and I won't shut up until the full and unvarnished truth is placed before the American people."
[ Statement of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on Terrorist Warnings on the portland indymedia newswire & McKinney's website | 'Sept. 11/Bu$h inquiries go mainstream' | April 13th 2002 Feature Congresswoman McKinney Courageously Demands 9/11 Investigation: What Did the Bush Administration Know? ]
Cynthia Mckinney is also the sponsor of The National Forest Protection and Restoration Act (HR 1396) which is a bill to end all logging in the national forests, and which many NorthWest Forest Defenders are supporting.
Analysis and commentary from the open publishing newswire: "[Portland Mayor] Vera Katz has put together a powerful team of local business elites to make a push for more big-business and population expansion in Portland, supposedly supporting 'sustainable' business, although neither protecting the carrying capacity of the region's resources nor social equity will be part of the effort.
"Is anyone as disgusted by this as me? This is not for the people, but for those who are already wealthy, who want to keep the spicket open wide and gushing their way. John Russell is a developer who is funding David Bragdon's campaign. The rest of the 'blue ribbon committee' is filled entirely by rich power elites who also have their fingers in the growth pie as usual, and their toadies.
"Not a single environmental or community leader in the bunch, as if environment and community exist in utterly separate dimensions from economy. Be sure that this committee will not stress community-based commerce, local production for local trade, environmental justice, growth-free prosperity, or primarily helping residents to start their own green businesses or to find living-wage jobs at locally-owned and operated green businesses, near or at home. And no matter how 'green' this bunch might want to paint big business and worker recruitment, what this push for more people and consumption can only promise to bring is less nature, less equity among the majority, and more destruction." [ Read more ]
Oregon U.S. Senator Gordon Smith is among the top Senate recipients of political action committee campaign contributions from the nuclear power industry, a report from Public Citizen shows.
Since 1997, including thus far in the 2002 cycle, the Oregon Republican has received $70,500 from PACs of corporations belonging to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's powerful Washington lobby. Smith's substantial nuclear PAC money ranks him 15th among current U.S. senators over the last five years. Smith has received $35,500 so far in his 2002 campaign, the tenth largest amount among senators and candidates for Senate this year. Smith's Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, has received no nuclear PAC money through Feb. 28 of this year.
The Public Citizen report, "Hot Waste, Cold Cash: Nuclear Industry PAC Contributions and the Senators Who Love Them," is released as the Senate gears up for a landmark vote on whether to establish a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. If nuclear waste is shipped to Yucca Mountain, more than 3,300 shipments of lethal cargo could travel over Oregon's highways, much of it traveling through the state's largest population center in the Portland area and then winding through the Columbia River Gorge.
"Yucca Mountain presents a wonderful opportunity for Senators Smith and Wyden to reject the industry's cynical assertion that policy is for sale," said Michael Carrigan, Oregon PeaceWorks program director. "The Senate can put the public health and safety of Oregonians ahead of special-interest influence by voting against the Yucca Mountain project." [ Full story ]
On Wednesday, May 15th, 7pm Pacific time, "What's the Verdict?" with Wendell Harper and Amanda Elliott will feature Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, the former U.S. Navy Lieutenant who tried to warn American and Canadian officials of an impending attack. One of his attorneys, Rocco Gallati, renowned refugee status and human rights lawyer, will also be present to discuss court records in Vreeland's case.
Vreeland now has temporary refugee status in Canada, after all the charges there were dropped and is fighting extradition to the U.S, where he believes he will be assassinated.
Media critic Norman Solomon, who has branded Vreeland's warning note "an ambiguous mish-mash" will be given an opportunity to confront Vreeland who will be on the phone from Canada. Solomon has also criticized Mike Ruppert, and engaged in an effort to discredit efforts to uncover the truth. While there are various speculations on what really occurred on Sept. 11th and who might have known beforehand, there is no doubt that the official story is full of falsehood and contradiction. Regardless of how much Vreeland knew or not, the unwillingness of supposed progressives, like Solomon, to turn their critical eye on the official story as well, raise questions as to their motives and dedication to the truth.
[ Vreeland in Safe House, All Canadian Charges Dropped, Temporary Refugee Status Granted | U.S. And Canadian Government's Position Crumbling In The Case Of A U.S. Intelligence Officer With Foreknowledge Of 9/11 Attacks | The Case for Bush Administration Advance Knowledge of 9-11 Attacks | Questions, Questions Website ]
Previous Portland Indymedia 9.11 Investigation Features
Last week, the Portland Police Bureau informed the City Council that they will seek reauthorization of the Drug Free Zones. Portland and Multnomah County lawyers have also proposed several major changes to how the Drug Free Zones are enforced.
In response to recent weakening of the Drug Free Zones due to a court case, Portland City lawyers and the Multnomah County District Attorney's office have proposed several major changes to how the Drug Free Zones are enforced. The court case, State v. Collins, was decided this February by the Oregon Court of Appeals, requiring that police officers must warn you to leave the Drug Free Zone before they arrest you. This has taken the 'teeth' out of the Drug Free Zones, which has the police and some neighborhood groups worried, including the Old Town Public Safety Committee. (Read More)
The proposal for changing the Drug Free Zones include:
For the second time in a very short period, the Israeli police have begun an investigation against the Indymedia Israel organization. The first investigation was instigated after the Israeli Ministry of Communication filed an official police complaint in regard to a political cartoon published onto the Indymedia Israel website by the well-known Brazilian political cartoonist Latuff (for more information on the complaint and investigation, see: http://indymedia.org.il/article/18543). The present investigation, the topic of which was only known to Indymedia Israel after meeting with the police on the 9th of May, is in reference to an article published on March 29, which had been deleted from the website newswire on the same day, by one of the Indymedia Israel editors. The complaints being made to the police against Indymedia Israel must be seen as part of a wider campaign being carried out by certain right-wing private and governmental interests, against both the democratic right to free speech and the right to privacy, with the broader intent to quash any form critical dialogue.
Title 14 is the section of city code that governs the use public space. Over the past several years, the City Attorney's office began a process of rewriting this section of the city code. This revision was intended only to clarify the language in this code and to bring it into compliance with state law. In January of this year, attorneys from the Oregon Law Center, the ACLU of Oregon, and the Metropolitan Public Defenders objected to 13 of the proposed revisions in Title 14, which they said would "enact numerous new criminal offenses and... vastly expand the offenses that already exist."
The most famous of these new criminal offenses is the proposed "Sit/Lie" ordinance. As written, the "Sit/Lie" ordinance made it illegal for a person to stand, sit or lie on a public right of way if that conduct "'would cause' a pedestrian or other user of 'any part' of the right of way reasonably to take action to move around or avoid" that person. "Because at any time a person stand, sits, or lies on the sidewalk she 'would cause' another using that particular area of the side walk to take action to move around her, the ordinance can be read to permit law enforcement officers to treat, any sitting, lying or standing on public right of way as criminal conduct." [emphasis added]
Due to these legal objections and concerns raised by the community, the City Attorney's Office has removed ten of the objected to measures, including the "sit/lie" ordinance, from the newly proposed draft of Title 14. These ten measures will be given separate consideration by the City Council beginning after July 1st. The Mayor's Office will take public commentary on the current draft of the proposed revisions, with the ten controversial revisions removed, until the 15th of May. The City Council will hold a public hearing on the current draft on May 29th.
Homeless advocates are asking citizens to contact the Mayor's office by May 15th demanding that the City Attorney's office remove additional revisions to Title 14 before the May 29th hearing.
"Alan Stein, local Buddhists, and 'peaceful BE-ings', organized an Om-In for Peace, an attempt to bring local Eugenians together to help bring about inner and world peace. One reason for this event was to put out a call to the community for a statewide referendum that would make May an officially recognized month of Peace, every year. If successful, Oregon would be the first state in the Union with this status. If we were successful, we could then offer this Peace Month idea to every other state!
"A good friend of mine Solala Towler, local Taoist and editor of the magazine 'The Empty Vessel' opened the event by delighting us with an exquisite piece of flute music. Towler then led the audience in a mediation done in concert with his collection of singing bowls that he magickally brings to life by amplifying them through speakers.
"And then a collective OM (a sacred seed syllable from which all things originate) by the approximately 200 participants in attendance. My second OM chant with a group, the energy that it raises is power-full and exhilarating. The darkened, candle glowing room, still resonating with the song of Solola's bowls, held a primordial energy which spiraled and grew as our collective mantra intensified. The guttural sound emanating from my heart took me by surprise, so deep and primal. Or wait, was that coming from me? No matter, we're all one people, one voice, a beseeching voice that sounded like wailing souls from the bowels of Eugene."
[ Full story ]
"Julia Ward Howe is perhaps best known for the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic', a piece that she wrote to help free people from slavery, which she later adapted for the Woman Suffrage Association, a movement that she organized after the Civil War.
"What is generally not known about Howe is that she is one of the founders of Mother's Day. Sickened over the ravages of the war that she had directly witnessed, Howe called for a 'Mother's Day for Peace' in 1872. Howe felt that peace and equality were the two most important issues in the world, calling for all women to rise up against war, asking that they join together to try and find peaceful solutions to conflict."
"By 1912 most states had adopted it as a holiday and in 1914, Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday. Wilson, however, stressed a woman's role as familial rather than social, as compared to Howe's original meaning of the day, an appeal for women everywhere to rise up against injustice!" (Newswire Article)
Friday May 10th at 11:30am there was a large rally at Pioneer Square, with speakers and music. Oregon organizations: Cascadia Forest Alliance, BARK, Oregon Sierra Club, NW Rage, Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing, Rainforest Action Network, Cascadia Forest Defenders and others gathered in a celebration of the cancellation of the Eagle Creek timber sale and a call for an end to commercial logging on public lands. After music and speakers from the environmental, labor, and religious communities, everyone marched to the Forest Service building to demonstrate the powerful community support behind the end commercial logging campaign."
A post to the newswire reads, "here's a poem I wrote the other night and read at the PPRC rally yesterday [Friday, May 10] - the working title is Fuck You George Bush."
An excerpt from the poem:
"Welcome to 1984 - George Orwell missed the mark by 20 years
"Welcome to 1984 - I recognize this infinite war
"Fuck you and your permanent war
There is an anti-war rally every Friday at 5:00 p.m. in Pioneer Square, in downtown Portland.
Protesters blocked traffic in front of the federal building in Seattle on Friday to demonstrate against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the arrest of 20 peace demonstrators in Israel, including Trevor Baumgartner from Seattle. A march proceeded from Westlake around 4PM with people holding signs which had various messages, including "Stop US Aid To Israel!" The marchers chanted "We Will Not Be Silenced!" and "Free Trevor!" Baumgartner has been on an 8 day hunger strike in Israel to protest Israeli military operations and a broken agreement between demonstrators and the Israeli government. He is one of 4 people who are still being held by Israeli authorities.
The marchers handed out leaflets condemning Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and US support for these tactics. As the group marched past Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, an expensively dressed woman shouted support to the protesters: "Yes, the US and Israel have become the Nazis!"
As the marchers approached the Federal Building at 2nd and Madison, a group of demonstrators sat down in the street with a huge banner. At least six or seven metro buses were stopped by the protest. Dozens of supporters stood on the sidewalks and held protest signs. An angry passenger in a white sedan got out of the vehicle and began violently pushing protesters off the street. Of course, he was not arrested. He calmly got back into the car and the driver left the scene of the confrontation quickly. Another vehicle, a large pick-up truck tried to drive right through the banner, endangering the lives of the protesters. A supporter jumped on the car to stop the driver from injuring people. Later, on their 6:30 PM news broadcast, KIRO TV spun the story as a confrontation between protesters and motorists. After 10 minutes police squad cars began to arrive and a KIRO television news helicopter hovered overhead. Eventually 11 people were arrested.
What's Portland or Eugene got on Corvallis? Nuthin'! Check out all the activity in "the community that values diversity":
EVERYDAY: Alternatives to War sponsors a daily peace vigil at the Benton County Courthouse from 5-6pm. Candles and signs are displayed, and all are welcome. This event is the longest-running continuous anti-war action of its kind in the state, having started last fall.
WEDNESDAYS: Every Wednesday, Women in Black holds a silent vigil against global violence against women in front of the MU main lounge at OSU from 11am-1pm. All women are welcome to participate. For more information about Women in Black, visit womeninblack.net.
MONDAYS: Wrench meets on Mondays from 5-6:30pm in the Memorial Union Council Room at OSU. If you've never been to a meeting before, come at 4:45pm for an introduction. Wrench is an OSU student organization seeking to promote equality, freedom, community, democracy, and an end to all forms of exploitation and oppression. "We support nonviolent, creative, and democratic paths toward the realization of these goals. We hope to join with others to find socially just alternatives to capitalism and an end to corporate domination, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the exploitation of labor, environmental degradation, gender and racial oppression, and others forms of social violence. Staff, faculty, and community members are also welcome to participate. Please join us."
Week of May 12: Queer Pride Week at OSU. Activities throughout the week will include public forums, music, discussions of religious and political issues, and "rainbow jello wrestling". The week will conclude with a Queer Pride Celebration March and a free Drag Show and Dance on Friday, the 17th.
These are only a few of the events happening in Corvallis regularly, and in the month of May. [ More events: Corvallis area radical and progressive events and actions ]
The Red and Black Cafe is currently showcasing the work of Matty Darcy, a life-long Portland resident. Darcy describes the show this way: "This exhibit is created in tribute to the many influential Anarchists who have graced the Earth's soil. Still obscure in mainstream politics and education, the people depicted here have, in the artist's opinion, been bright lights in the struggle for equality along all lines of exploitation and division. Issues such as the class struggle, promoting feminism, combating racism, and the deconstruction of illegitimate forms of coercion and authority have been their life's work; and in the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, their life's downfall.
"While not everyone included might be labeled Anarchist (Angela Davis and Randolph Bourne in particular), their belief in peace and egalitarianism compelled me to include them. As well, this is obviously an incomplete exhibit when one takes into account the many other prominent Anarchists and freedom fighters not included. Also, the millions of people who have struggled--and continue to--whose names we will never know are visually missing, but not emotionally forgotten. These are but a few of the people who have contributed to making a better world for every human being. The Anarchist spirit is un-resting, ever evolving, and truly dedicated to equality for everyone in all aspects of life. Based on the concepts of free-association, economic and social egalitarianism, and self-determination, Anarchism is the idea of true, total freedom."
If you have ever wanted to participate in radical, ecologically sound, and inexpensive building projects, now is your chance. Join in FREE daily workshops taught by natural building experts from around the continent. Get hands-on experience using cob (a hand-formed mixture of earth, sand, straw, and water) and other environmentally friendly technologies while building sculptural, community-designed public places in the Sunnyside and Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhoods. The five completed projects will showcase the aesthetic, environmental, and economic benefits of building with natural and reused materials. All ages welcome! Please register to reserve your space.
Or, register to work along with natural builders coming to Portland to build larger cob, strawbale, and traditional pole structures at private locations. A registration fee is required, and includes access to these worksites, daytime presentations, lunch, dinner, and housing if needed.
In addition to the daytime workshops, nightly presentations will take place at several locations in inner Portland. Visionary guests will share their knowledge of natural and green building, public art, permaculture, sustainable urban living, alternative transportation, and other topics. All evening events with the exception of May 20 will be free of charge to participants in the daytime workshops. Sliding scale donation requested from all others.
[ For Information, Schedule and Registration | Add Info or Comments | People's Co-op expansion going strong | Environmental Building News | Development Center For Appropriate Technology | Straw bale and natural finishes ]
According to the Peace in Colombia Action Group (PICAG), a Portland-based group that works for a peaceful solution to the war in Colombia, "Three Colombian stowaways were discovered April 26th near the Port of Vancouver. The two surviving Colombians remain at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The INS has posted security at the hospital until these men can be released by a doctor, into federal custody. One of the two men is in staying in the trauma unit, and the other in the intensive care unit."
PICAG has announced a campaign to support these men: "INS is NOT allowing us to visit the men or have any direct contact. According to Ed Sale, PR spokesman for the Portland INS office, this is standard procedure, but Sale could not offer any other reason for this restriction. He did, however, assure us that it is OK to bring them things, the same as you would for any other person in the hospital. PICAG is encouraging all Latin America solidarity activists to send cards and letters of support to these men, letting them know that they are not alone and that we care about their well-being."
Kathleen Juergens, PICAG member who is heading up this solidarity campaign, would like to "encourage people to pass around cards, in your workplace, church group, wherever you can. I think even if we write messages in English, the intent will be understood. Maybe this seems like a token gesture, but I remember being in jail myself (under much less traumatic circumstances than our Colombian brothers) and what a HUGE difference it made to get messages of hope and encouragement from the outside."
PICAG also says that the Colombians need basic items such as socks, underwear and other clothing. "Spanish-language books, magazines, videos, etc., might help take their minds off being injured and in pain. And flowers and candy are always a nice gesture! Portland-based supporters should stop by Emanuel Hospital to drop items off. Out-of-town supporters can mail packages to the men, or contact PICAG to coordinate donations."
PICAG hopes to have a better idea of how to support the men politically after speaking more with their lawyer.
Friday May 10th at 11:30am there will be a huge rally at Pioneer Square, with speakers and music. Join Cascadia Forest Alliance, BARK, Oregon Sierra Club, NW Rage, Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing, Rainforest Action Network, Cascadia Forest Defenders and others in a celebration of the cancellation of the Eagle Creek timber sale and a call for an end to commercial logging on public lands. After music and speakers from the environmental, labor, and religious communities, everyone will march to the Forest Service building to demonstrate the powerful community support behind the end commercial logging campaign." (Read More)
Friday Morning on KBOO
To help educate people on forest issues and bring people out for the Rally, KBOO radio will have Cascadia Forest Alliance Folks on air from 7:45-9:45AM to talk about ending commercial logging on public lands, about the 100 timber sales in Mt. Hood and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Victory at Eagle Creek, and a special guest with updates from the historic justice for Judi Bari case: Earth First! vs. the FBI (Read More)
Mt Hood Action Camp May 11-12th
Continue the weekend with veteran forest activists out on Mt. Hood for an action camp to learn about current campaigns and practice forest protection skills. There will be Tree Climbing Training, Blockading Workshop, Commercial Timber Sale Program, Groundtruthing Timber Sales Hike, Endangered Species Identification/Survey and Manage Program Overview: Lichen, Moss, Red Tree Vole, & Fungus Field ID Trainings, Wilderness 1st Aid Training, Orienteering/Map and Compass Workshop, Native Plants and Trees Identification Hike, and much more. (Read More)
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