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ALTERNATIVE MEDIA 29.03.2004 23:41
indymedia readers investigate PDX Police officer Jason Sery, killer of James Jahar Perez
When we look around at all the problems in the world -- imperialism, racism, environmental destruction, etc., -- we can feel hopeless. These issues are huge, and are the methods and results of a tiny class of wealthy people who dominate the vast majority of the rest of us. How can we fight back? One of the best ways is by taking on the corporate media, which is nothing less than the propaganda arm of the ruling elite. Factually, the corporate media lies and leaves out the important parts; Psychically, they define the world within a narrow framework of disempowerment -- in which everyday people are helpless to change anything (but can choose among dozens of colors of cellphone faceplates) -- and in so doing, cause the feelings of hopelessness we have about the state of the world. Corporate media incarcerates us inside our own skulls; fortunately, we can break out at any time if we so will it.

indymedia readers showed how open publishing can be used to challenge the corporate media model and create a more effective community resource, when they researched Jason Sery, the PDX Police officer who killed James Jahar Perez, and posted their findings to this site.

previous features: [ Portland Police Murder Unarmed Black Man (28 Mar. 04) | 15 Hours Later, Po-Po Still Mute (29 Mar. 04) ]


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FARMWORKER RIGHTS 29.03.2004 20:49
PCUN and MEChA march in Corvallis a success!
Despite the rain and cold weather, a march for farmworkers' rights, held in Corvallis on Friday, March 26th, drew close to 700 participants. The march, organized jointly by PCUN, Oregon's farmworker union, and MEChA, the Mexican-American student organization, was held in conjunction with the MEChA National Conference, taking place at Oregon State University.

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SUSTAINABILITY 29.03.2004 20:40
Nettles, Nettles, Everywhere: Harvest wild, free herbs
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) grow like weeds in the woods where I live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, USA). Spring is the time to collect the top 6-8 inches of stinging nettles before they flower. You can dry them for later use, or make fresh oil or vinegar infusions, tinctures, hair tonics, herbal drinks, etc. Nettles have been used for centuries in medicines, cosmetics, dyes, teas, and also as an edible, calcium-rich green, like spinach.

Nettles sting with the little hairs under their jagged, heart-shaped leaves, and on their stems. They don't sting once they are boiled. They usually do not sting once dried, but be careful, as I have been stung by dried nettles. What stings is the formic acid and histamine on the hairs. Harvest the tops of nettles with scissors, gloves, and caution. You can put string up between two corners of your home and hang the nettles up to dry.


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LABOR 29.03.2004 20:39
Minimum Wage: Does It Buy Work or Workers?
Minimum wage work offers the most oppressive work environments, with the highest level of paternalistic behavior, of all jobs in America. As a person who has wage slaved in minimum wage jobs this lifetime, so that someone else can take the profits from my labor, not me (which is the beauty of capitalism), I have come to realize that bosses seem to think they are renting ME for minimum wages, not my WORK. I do not see it that way.

I always thought that the employment I signed onto was for work product, not personhood, but when you look at the way most minimum wage bosses behave, apparently they think they are buying personhood, not product, in the contractual agreement. I think this seriously needs to be addressed. If the workers think they are contracting out their LABOR, but the bosses think the workers are contracting out the workers' THEMSELVES, there is a problem with interpretation of the employment contract and clarification is needed. [ Read more... ]

[ Other stories by Kirsten Anderberg ]


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YOUR TAX $$ AT WORK. 29.03.2004 11:56
15 Hours Later, Po-Po Still Mute
Fifteen hours have passed since the black man was killed by a Portland cop, & nearly nothing is known about what happened & why. Fifteen hours is a long time to determine, for example, if the man had a weapon. The man was dead inside his car, & the po-po is still investigating whether he had a weapon? Must be. Or maybe it's that the Division of Creative Spin does not have a night shift. Hey, Derrick. Hey, Vera. Was the man armed? Your silence is not helpful. Perhaps you are beginning to understand that there are a few psychopaths wearing PPB blue. That would indeed be hard to explain. I don't live in Portland, but the demand for Justice recognizes no boundaries, certainly not political ones.

We're waiting, ..... for the truth! [ READ MORE... ]

from comments: "Clearly this is yet another vicious police killing of fellow citizen for minor infraction of road rules. The police are dragging this out so their union Preez can help the killer cop and his partner get their "story" straight. PEOPLE, are you going to let them get away with it?" --by COVER-UP!

PREVIOUS FEATURE: [ Portland Police Murder Unarmed Black Man ]


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KUCINICH IN OREGON 29.03.2004 11:49
Dennis Kucinich speaks to, and with, SRO crowd at Lane Community College
Dennis Kucinich, still running for presidential nominee of the Democratic Party spoke to, and with, an audience of hundreds (easily more than 500) in Eugene from 1:30 to about 3:15 today (Sunday, March 28, 2204). Answering questions more than 20 members of the crowd, Dennis addressed such issues as corporate globalization and corporate control of the media and of the vote-counting apparatus, problems of the Democratic Party, Ralph Nader's candidacy as an Independent, the 9-11 investigation, supporting U.S. troops in Iraq and abuse of the word/concept of "patriotism".

Any people who have yet to hear Dennis speak in a venue small enough that you can see and connect with the man owe it to themselves to get out and hear him. It's like going back before television, maybe to the days of Abe Lincoln, when public speaking was the way that candidates made themselves known and that issues got discussed. Dennis is a great speaker. Maybe not as great as Martin Luther King, Jr., but he's more than just good. He's sincere, eloquent, impassioned and humorous. I had never heard him before and I expected a performance about like what we get from out Fourth District Congressman, Peter DeFazio, who shares with Dennis membership in the leadership of the House Progressive Caucus and takes most of the same positions on issues as Dennis does. Pete has the sincerity and is able to respond on any issue more than adequately, and I have no complaints whatsoever about how he represents the Fourth District and Oregon, but Pete just doesn't compare with Dennis as a public speaker. I say this with all due respect to our own Peter DeFazio, whose integrity and indefatigable commitment to progressive democracy cannot be over-stated. Pete is one of us. Solidarity.

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HOW LONG WILL WE TOLERATE MURDER AS LAW? 28.03.2004 21:11
Portland Police Murder Unarmed Black Man
Late breaking news has just been submitted that just an hour ago, the Portland Police murdered an unarmed Black man in North Portland. The Black man was pulled over in one of the Portland Police's excessive use of "traffic stops" that are used to harrass and intimidate the working class in the city, especially African Americans and Latinos, in the NE/N.Portland area of the city. 7240 N. Fessenden was the scene of the state crime.

The victim asked for the Probable Cause of the police officer pulling him over, and so the police officer then told the Black man to get out of the car. When the above mentioned driver undid his selt belt, the officer fired his gun into the victim, murdering him.When a family member of the victim received information of the murder, a police officer then arrested the grieving relative.

This represents another police state murder victim, almost all of them: people of color. The police officer that murdered Kendra James, a victim who was also unarmed, was simply transfered to the Southeast. The corporate news will certainly whitewash this latest police state murder. But the world needs to be informed of this daily occurrence in the United States concerning these types of legalized murder; a direct line from the days of the Lynch mob, the "White" race riot with police protection, the Slave Patrols, and the US military's use in putting down Slave rebellions. Justice has been too long denied. Will this dangerous murderer not receive the Death Penatly? How long will we sit by and watch another person murdered openly - on such a beautiful spring day? [ READ MORE... ]

OTHER PORTLAND POLICE MURDERS: [ Kendra James | Jose Mejia Poot ]


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HAZMAT IN YOUR BACKYARD 28.03.2004 14:30
Hazardous Fire in Portland Takes an Interesting Twist
On March 15, 2004 there was a major fire in Southeast Portland at the Termo Fluids facility. Thermo Fluids was a waste oil and fluids processor in a facility that was under watch for code violations by the city of Portland. Many fluids ran into adjacent Johnson Creek and killed an array of fish. Toxic fumes and burned asbestos were scattered for miles around. On the TV news the following day, hazmat suited workers were shown collecting asbestos from a local park and neighborhood. Residents were told to call the city for asbestos clean-up crews to come and remove the asbestos from their yards. The city said that they would be adding crews to help with the clean up.

And so they did. They hired Rose City Contractors to get workers out on the calls for clean up duty. My sister-in-law who lives near Thermo Fluids called for a cleanup crew. They arrived, but they were not who she expected. Three Latino men showed up in a private car with leather work gloves, plastic bags and one respirator between them. Hardly the hazmat suited figures shown on the news. The respirator was still in the box because the one man who spoke English didn't know how it worked. Asbestos collected in the bags was not sealed, but twist-tied and placed both inside the private vehicle and in its trunk.

My sister-in-law had the opportunity to speak on the phone with a representative of Rose City Contractors. The Rep said that each worker had received forty hours of training. One might ask what that training consisted of, and whether the language used was anything in addition to English.

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SEXUALITY | RELIGION | YOUTH 28.03.2004 09:44
Sexual Education 101
WARNING : Because we live in a Post-Christian (or soon to be) society, with many centuries of prudery and sexual neurosis embedded in our collective unconscious, I thought I would do what people usually do in such a neurotic culture, and post one of those SEX WARNINGS at the top of this piece. If you are one of those people who are going to be severely angered by reading a piece in which S-E-X is discussed with unusual frankness then please do both yourself and everyone else a favor and do not read this piece, but find a piece about politics perhaps, and read that instead...Now with this WARNING posted I assume that I can now move on to my subject which is...

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27.03.2004 14:24
Marching to Nowhere?
Nowhere On March 20th, 2003, as bombs fell on Iraq, I joined with the thousands who took to the streets of Portland, Oregon, to express our rage against the war and to disrupt business as usual. One year on, I decided to travel to the Bay Area to check out the anti-war/anti-occupation demonstration there. What follows is not an attempt at a comprehensive report-back; I will merely describe my own experience, and draw a few general lessons from what I saw.

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WHAT IS THE TRUTH? 27.03.2004 12:55
The 911 International Inquiry in SF
The presentations range the full spectrum, from people with vast historical knowledge talking about the Kennedy assassination, to people talking about the details of the demolitions of the towers, to people who have been lifetime activists and are sharing their knowledge, to icons like Mike Ruppert who get a lot of applause.

Mike presented last night - he focused on a very well done and focused version of Paul Thompson's 911 timeline just for the segment of the standdown, and identified the person who is initially responsible. He presented it grounds for a legal case, and referred to Phil Berg who was in the audience.

Webster Tarpley (unauthorized biogrphy of Bush I), Bruce Gagnon (Coordinator of Global Network Against Nuclear Weapons), Mark Taylor(false flag ops and Kennedy researcher), Joseph Calhoun (Bombing of WTC in '93), Grey Brechin ('Imperial SF' power and ruin), Barrie Zwickwer (The Great Deception), Nicholas Levis (Berlin 9/11 Conference) and Carol Brouillet (International Inquiry organizer) also presented yesterday. [ READ MORE... ]

International Inquiry Program | pdx imc 9-11 topic page


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NEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES OF INCARCERATION 27.03.2004 12:54
Peaceful Protest at Snake River Correctional Institution
The following report was mailed to me by the prisoners in Complex 2 at Snake River Correctional Facility, SRCI. On March 12th, 13th and 14th, approximately 700 inmates held a peaceful protest by refusing to eat in the prison's chow hall. The prisoners who sent this report asked to remain anonymous. I did receive several independent reports about this event, so feel this is a fairly accurate account.

The weekend of March 12 - 14, prisoners at SRCI refused to eat in the prison's chow hall. This cost the state several thousand dollars in wasted food, but inmates felt it was important to bring attention to the increasing mistreatment of the prison population on the following issues. The quality of medical care, the food, institutional operations and the overall conduct of the prison's staff in regards to the day to day treatment of the inmates. These are by no means trivial issues. Staff conduct alone has resulted on one of the hioghest rates of staff assaults in recent Oregon history.


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IMPERIALISM 27.03.2004 12:50
The Gloves come off, U.S. Intervention in Latin America
Posted by Speakers from N.W. Haitian Association and Bolivarian Circle
From the Wednesday, March 24, 2004 PCASC/CBLOC Forum: "The Gloves come off, U.S. Intervention in Latin America." This is an audio file (MP3 format) of the first of three speakers Gunnar & Xiomara Gunderson of The Bolivarian Circle of Oregon speaking about Venezuela. The moderator(first voice you hear) was Alder from CBLOC.

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STANDING UP FOR ONESELF 27.03.2004 12:45
I Pledge Allegiance…Until I Am No Longer Forced To
I have not said the Pledge of Allegiance since approximately 1976, when I was 16 years old. I remember putting one hand over my heart, and reciting the words in elementary school, oblivious to what I was saying, along with the other kids, like robots. The pledge was rote recitation that students were collectively forced to repeat every morning together, and nothing more. We did not discuss the Pledge together, on our own time, on the playground, as young kids. I do not remember ever swelling with American pride during the Pledge. I do not remember even thinking about what the Pledge of Allegiance meant, until I was old enough to not want to recite it.

By junior high, I was not excited about the Pledge of Allegiance for many reasons, and I do not remember being forced to recite it in public junior high. I remember my reasons for not wanting to recite it were the problems with blind allegiance to a flag or country, as the Pledge states. I felt since my country had just come out of the Civil Rights, Feminist, and anti-Vietnam War movements, not to mention Nixon's resignation and pardon, that scrutiny of government and public policy was warranted and blind allegiance was not appropriate. I felt a DUTY as a participating citizen in this representative republic (that we fondly call a democracy), to investigate what my government was doing in my name, and to stand up in protest when I thought the government was acting inappropriately.

[ Other stories by Kirsten Anderberg ]


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ACTIVATING THE AIRWAVES 26.03.2004 12:30
Left Radio: revolution NOW
Never heard KBOO? It's on 90.7 FM in the Portland metro area; that's between the classical music station and the corporations-are-OK station. Two to the left of the Led Zeppelin station.

KBOO broadcasts in this (Portland) area at an incredible 25,000 watts. The main transmitter can be heard in Salem, in St. Helens, North of Vancouver, East of Sandy--and it is worldwide on the Web, and there are translator towers as well. When I get on the air for a 30-minute program, I feel an obligation to do the best job I can.

I've been broadcasting on several topics; I keep coming back to imperial war--the last program was on the Iraqi Holocaust. However, I've also covered corporate global warming, pointing out that it's hitting harder and faster than we're being told (ever heard of megacryometeors? --thermohaline circulation?)...I predicted months before the fact that the anthrax came from Ft. Detrick...I frequently address the intersection of gender politics and capitalist oppression (who does the dishes where you live?)...and that's just one program on KBOO. [ READ MORE... ]

[ KBOO SCHEDULE | portland imc web radio ]


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SELECTION 2004 26.03.2004 01:31
I don't get it- The Mainstream $$ Media is pumping skull and boners Bush-Kerry 24/7, yet the indymedia network doesn't offer much alternative coverage of the Presidential Election. Why?
There is a Presidential Primary coming up in a few months, and I think this IMC should be pumping Kucinich just as much as the $$ media pumps the boners. Kucinich is the true alternative for peace, Kerry will continue all of the same bogus policies for profit.

Oregon can have a major impact on the Democratic Convention, why not be the alternative media we need. Sure we can post stories, but they just get pushed down so fast, we need front and center presidential primary candidate info by and for pdx imcers. A continuing feature from now til May...

Why isn't PDX imc, or any imc for that matter featuring the incredible similarities of Bush/Kerry. They are both working for the corporations and both will continue to sell out regular Americans while the rich get richer.


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PALESTINE 25.03.2004 23:59
Death and Birth in the Occupied Territories, by Starhawk
First, a correction. Sheikh Yassin, assassinated on Monday by the Israeli military, was only 67 years old, not 92. That's the last time I take the word of an eleven year old informant!

Regardless of how old he was, regardless of his responsibility for deaths or his culpability in suicide bombings, regardless of whether you loved or abhorred him, assassinating him was morally, politically and strategically indefensible. If you make assassination a tactic in your political program, you become something vile, something that will taint every good you claim to stand for. However dangerous you might perceive Yassin's ideas to be, you can't destroy his ideas by killing him, you can only strengthen their appeal. You can't kill hate: you can only create more of it by killing. Had Sharon and company hired a PR firm to tell them how to create the ultimate Hamas martyr, they couldn't have done a better job: an old man, in a wheelchair, murdered coming out of a mosque after praying.

In fact, assassinating Yassin was not a program of security, it was a program of deliberate provocation, aimed not at gaining peace and safety for Israel, but at undermining any serious attempts at peace, negotiation, or concessions to the Palestinians. That is his pattern: any time another step toward peace is made, he stages another assassination or a provocation, and that takes care of the threat that he might actually have to give something up or make some meaningful concession.


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NEWS OF OUR BROTHER 25.03.2004 17:42
Indy reporter Travels to BC To Check on Tre Arrow
VICTORIA, BC -- The Victoria Island Regional Corrections Center does not allow it's prisoners to hug their visitors, a hugr sign in the visiting area reads "ABSOLUTELY TO PHYSICAL CONTACT OF ANY KIND" and a tall plexiglas screen dividing the table where we sit enforces the ludicrous rule. We press our hands against the glass, as if to breach the barrier and clasp, and we talk for two hours.

Tre was so grateful for outpouring of support and love, in both Canada and the US, since his arrest, and hopes to focus the attention on the rampant environmental destruction occurring in both countries, and the persecution of those who voice decent

Tre remains committed to his fast, in protest of this incarceration and solidarity for all those targeted as voices of decent. His good health, nourished by years of eating only organic vegan foods, is carrying him through during this fast. Meanwhile, supporters are mounting a letter witting campaign to lobby the jail to allow Tre vegan food options.

Tre emphasized the importance of refraining from speculation about the case. The fact there are those willing to slander Tre for a reduced sentence (read Jake Sherman) is irrelevant. The corporate media is sure to buy into these lies and print rumors and here say. As his supporters we must remain calm in the eye of this storm, maintain our unified support for Tre, and be cautions of what we say, lest it be twisted and used against him. [ Read more... ]

related: [ New Tre Arrow Contact Information and Update | Additional information for anyone wanting to visit Tre Arrow ]

previous Tre stories: [ Friend of Tre conveys his thanks to all for their support (19 Mar) | Portland lawyer shares more from Tre Arrow (18 Mar) | Seeds of Justice Plant Sale - A fundraiser for Tre's legal defense (18 Mar) | Portland lawyer: My Conversation with Tre Arrow (16 Mar) | Tre Arrow Arrested by FBI (15 Mar) ]


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FOREST DEFENSE 25.03.2004 16:59
Oregonians for a Balanced Tillamook collecting signatures to place Tillamook 50/50 plan on ballot
[T]he Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) upped the cut in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests from 179 million board feet to 252 million board feet as a result of a legislative budget note. POLITICAL PRESSURE WON OVER SCIENCE AND PUBLIC DEBATE!

Now, the State is asking the legislature for permission to up the cut again by 50 million board feet to help pay for the last increase in harvest levels. Is there no end in sight? The original Forest Management Plan adopted in 2001 was scheduled to cut on average 179 million board feet from the Tillamook. Now in 2004 the State is upping the cut to 305 million board feet. This is almost double from what ODF considered reasonable almost 2 years ago. Increased logging at the expense of clean water, healthy fish and recreation use is being driven by politics and the need for fast cash. At this increase rate in harvest, the State Forests will be logged over in the next 20 years. Polling shows Oregonians don't want their State Forests managed as a tree farm and are opposed to clear cutting. The Tillamook 50/50 Plan offers voters another option.

The Supreme Court recently returned a victory for "Oregonians for a Balanced Tillamook" and certified our ballot title so that we could begin collecting signatures from registered Oregon voters.

As of March 1, we are on the streets collecting signatures for initiative petition #120 in support of the Tillamook 50/50 plan. We have until July 2 to turn in over 75,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State so that we can qualify for the November 2004 election. Our goal is to turn in 100,000 signatures. We need your help!

[ Tillamook Rainforest Coalition ]


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CIVIL RIGHTS 24.03.2004 23:43
Legacy Health System Denies Benefits to Same Sex Married Couples
I am a gay man, and I recently got married to my partner of five years (surprise). Still in newlywed bliss, I applied for health benefits for my spouse with my company (Legacy Health System). Today in the mail I rec'd notice that Legacy had denied my request to add my husband to my policy.

I have been with my company for 17 years. Legacy is one of Oregon's largest employers with over 7,000 employees and is based right here in good old Multnomah county. I might also add that several other prominent Oregon health care systems (Kaiser & OHSU) have offered domestic partner benefits for many years.

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