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FOREST ACTIVISM / NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION 22.07.2002 15:58
New tree-sit goes up in Rogue River National Forest
Activists from the Mazama Forest Defenders are occupying tree-sits in the Peak timber sale to resist the imminent logging of this ecologically important native forest. The construction of platforms high in the canopy of trees marked for cutting follows a multi-faceted grassroots campaign to end the replacement volume program. Nonviolent direct action has successfully stopped logging operations in regions throughout the world.

Rio, who sits in a platform over 100' high in a douglas fir known as Esperenza said, "This is a nonviolent act of civil disobedience to protest industrial logging and the replacement volume scam. This forest is only a modest example of the threats we all face. We must connect our struggle with the forest defenders of South and Central America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia, and those who continue to resist here in North America."

The Peak timber sale is located in the Rogue River National Forest, on the flanks of Mt. Stella and Wolf Peak, only 10 miles west of Crater Lake National Park. The US Forest Service has promised Roseburg Forest Products/Scott Timber 3.9 million board feet of mature and old growth timber from 660 acres. This sale threatens the integrity of wet meadows, abundant streams and springs that contribute to the Rogue River. Habitat for a diversity of wildlife will be affected by Peak, including a pair of spotted owls known to nest nearby. Other species of concern in the area include the red tree vole, great grey owl, northern goshawk, and the elusive Pacific fisher.

Allyn Ford, the Chairman of Umpqua Bank, is the sole owner of Roseburg Forest Products (RFP) and Scott Timber. Activists across the state have targeted Umpqua Bank for their complicity in native forest destruction."
[ Full story | Photo of tree-sit ]

Anti-Umpqua Bank actions: [ July 8: Earth First! shuts down Umpqua Holdings building for two hours; four arrested | July 8: Earth First! in Eugene Protest Umpqua Bank | June 26: Boycott stUmpqua Bank protest in PDX | April 26: Report: rally against stUMPQUA Bank in Eugene today ]

[ Southern Oregon Info | tree-sit.org ]


FOREST ACTIVISM 22.07.2002 12:51
Citizen action needed to save the endangered Gifford Pinchot National Forest
From the open publishing newswire: "We went to the Gifford Pinchot this Sunday with the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, and visited the Alpha and Beta proposed timber sales. We skirted Beta and enjoyed waterfalls and rivers and flora throughout Alpha. The forest has never been commercially logged, and the forest service estimates that the last logging was done at least 120 years ago. Some snags have pilleated woodpecker nests in them, and we learned that the pileated serve as 'cleaners' for the insects that forage in the forests.

"We were surrounded with dense multilayered canopy of Hemlock, Grand and Doug fir, and other huge and very old trees, estimated by one biologist present to be at least 200-300 years old. Some of the flora covering the forest floor included vine maple, many kinds of lichen, moss and other nitrogen fixing species, along with tons of bear grass, currant, vanilla leaf, huckleberry, princess pine, and varying sizes of oregon grape, rattlesnake plantain, wild ginger, and most interestingly, the pinesap which, lacking chlorophyll, lives on nutrients transmitted from the roots of coniferous trees via mycorrhyzal fungi..

"We were told that there is some hope for Beta, that the sale has not been finalized, and the contract has not been signed, as of Friday. This contract can, however, be signed at any time, authorizing the logging to begin... For the Alpha sale units, around 30 or so total, it seems that there is even a little more hope, although over 300 acres of mature and old growth would be logged if this sale goes through."

"People are encouraged to take part in the GP Taskforce's Grove Guardian Program. A Grove Guardian is a person who commits to caring for a certain area that may be threatened within the forest. Being a grove guardian can involve everything from keeping in contact with the Forest Service on the status of the sale, to doing public outreach to educate and involve others in speaking to the forest service about preserving the integrity of the forest, to leading hikes into the sale regularly to inspire public opposition to further destruction of the remnant biological corridors these sales will cause. Right now the Alpha Sale is in need of Grove Guardians."

"A hike to Beta will be leaving from the Daily Grind at 9ish AM Saturday July 27th. Three public forums will be held this week allowing public comment on FS hearings where they will decide whether road-ripping and decommissioning of some unecessary roads in the Gifford Pinchot Forest is what the public wants." [ Full story, with more details about how to help ]

There are over 40 timber sales being planned on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Thousands of acres of matchless ancient forest are slated for clearcutting in these sales


LABOR / IMMIGRANT RIGHTS 22.07.2002 11:00
'No Justice - No Tacos': Boycott Taco Bell picket in Northeast Portland
Fifteen people gathered outside the Taco Bell at 7415 MLK on Saturday, July 20, for a "Boycott Taco Bell" picket. Their intention was to educate the public about the low wages of Florida farmworkers who supply the tomatoes that Taco Bell buys and to discourage people from patronizing the fast food restaurant until its national corporate management agrees to negotate with the farmworkers about better living and working conditions.

"Boycott the Bell" is a national campaign called by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based worker organization whose members are largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs in Florida. Saturday's picket was organized locally by the Cross Border Labor Organizing Coalition (CBLOC), which had staged actions outside other Taco Bells in Portland over the last few months. This was the first picket at this particular store.

The protesters carried signs that said, "Boycott Taco Bell", "Stop sweatshops in the field", and "HONK for workers' rights" and chanted "No Justice, No Tacos!" They handed out flyers to drivers and pedestrians. According to Krista Hanson, one of the organizers, the response at this particular Taco Bell—which is in a part of Portland populated predominantly by people of color—was the most positive they had received so far. A bus driver and some City of Portland workers were among those who were supportive.

Store management was irritated. "Usually the dining room is full now," said the assistant manager. "Why not picket corporate offices where they can do some good?" She called the police and a PPD officer arrived on the scene. [ Full story, with Photos ]


FOREST ACTIVISM / OPEN PUBLISHING 21.07.2002 12:56
Berry Patch tree-sitter descends from her perch; Activists suspicious of negotiator who arranged deal
According to the Cascadia Forest Defenders of Eugene, on Thursday, July 18, "Basil, the womyn who has spent the past 2 1/2 weeks in a tree at the Berry Patch timber sale, decided to come down from her perch. Basil had all food and water access cut off several days ago and has endured 2 1/2 weeks of ancient trees dying around her. Loggers were felling trees within 20 feet of the treesit, directly endangering her life. Her supporters became very concerend about her safety and an attorney had agreed to help us deal with the freddies [Forest Service employees].

"Late yesterday afternoon [July 18], an individual not associated with this campaign began negotiating with law enforcement for her descent. The deal this man struck with the freddies was that she would not be taken into custody, but will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor and all her personal information must be revealed. Also, her personal items would not be confiscated, but any climbing gear would be. By the time her supporters arrived, Basil had decided to accept this offer. We were very skeptical of this man and expressed our concerns but we let her know we would support any decision she made. We explained her options after speaking to a lawyer and let her go from there. She decided this was the best option at this time for her and began to descend. She was in great spirits (as always, if you know Basil) and after a big cheer from everyone when her feet hit the ground, she offered big hugs to all....even the freddies." [see link, below, for more]

Using portland indymedia's "add your own comments" feature, forest activists from local circles, some of whom were involved in supporting this tree-sit, have been supplementing the story with additional information about the individual who brokered the deal with the Forest Service:

"I might add that this self appointed negotiator interjected himself into the scene by claiming he was going to aid Basil by going to her tree and bringing her food. He claimed he was going to get himself arrested for bringing her food,in order to bring attention to Basil's plight. What he instead did was appoint himself negotiator, commenced fraternizing with FS law enforcement, and talked her into coming down and getting arrested... The freddies really loved having this unauthorized negotiator there and were encouraging him to talk her into accepting their 'deal'."

Another poster adds: "Either this self appointed negotiator viewed himself as a hero, or he might be a fed. Any way about it, he really screwed up here, and he should not have stuck his nose into the situation. I can't substantiate that he is a cop at this point, but obviously he cannot be counted on for good judgement so I'd steer way clear." [see link, below, for more]

22 July update: Negotiator responds to critics
On 22 July, the negotiator whose tactics and character had been receiving criticism on the wire responded: "[T]o question my very integrity instead of my tactics, as a local resident committed day in and day out for the rest of my life to saving old growth here in what's left of our watershed and valley, is an egregious error on your behalf, and you are lucky to be able to make it while hiding under the cloak of your anonymity. There is no worse charge to an activist than being "in cahoots" with law enforcement. To come to this site posing as an insider in order to engage in libel and slander is the lowest of the low. How many people will have read the first few posts on this thread and won't ever return to read the truth? How times will I now run into suspicion solely because of your lies?"

[ Full story, with many supplementary comments and a response from the negotiator: Berry Patch treesitter descends from her perch ]

More on Berry Patch, including VIDEO, at the Cascadia Media Collective's website: The Berry Patch Massacre


U.S IMPERIALISM 20.07.2002 15:36
Committee for a New Colombia educates Portlanders at IWW hall
From Committee for a New Colombia, Ramón Acevedo and Nathalie Alsop spoke at the IWW hall this past Thursday, to educate and inspire folks to work to end the violence in Colombia by recognizing that U.S. funding is what is perpetuating this bloody civil war, more than any other factor.

The messages we are being asked to understand, are manyfold. It was emphasized that we need to fully look at the complexity of issues that face this resource-rich, but dirt-poor country; And that this war on drugs in Colombia is in actuality (as it is here) a war on the people. Studies show that fumigation abroad will not decrease drug use in the US. It was stated that there is now more coca growing in Colombia than ever before, mainly due to fumigation policies designed to destroy subsistence and market crops, forcing people to move to the cities. This cheap and desperate labor base serves to undermine formation and organization of labor unions, because there is an endless resource base of scab labor moving into the cities as life in the country becomes unbearable. There is evidence that corporations in the cities are using paramilitaries to crush unions. A story was relayed about a Coca Cola plant murder of a union organizer, by paramilitaries who were allowed onto the property by that corporation. DynCorp has been asked to leave Ecuador because of the human rights abuses they are responsible for.

The violence in Colombia continues mainly because the paramilitary and government-backed military are all being subsidized by U.S. dollars to perpetuate the violence. 20% of the U.S. money going to Colombia is used for actual aid. The rest is used for arms. This money will be used by the incoming president, who will be inaugurated August 7th, to combine the U.C-trained armed forces, and the National Police to work more closely in the civil war.

The internal conflicts that have put this country in a constant state of war would be more likely to deescalate were the U.S. not training the paramilitary and providing them with arms. Our government's interest is in promoting the interests of multinational investment, at the expense of the cultural and economic integrity of Colombians, and at the expense of their environment. Stopping U.S. involvement in Colombia is the first obvious step toward achieving peace in Colombia.

To listen to the audio of these two speakers, go to: www.philosopherseed.org/audio.htm

For more info on the training of paramilitaries in Colombia and Honduras, go to: www.soawatch.org

To contact Committee for a New Colombia:
email:cnc_sf@yahoo.com.
website: www.nuevacolombia.org.
The touring group, Committee for a New Columbia is based in SF at: 2489 Mission St, SF, CA 94110, (415) 821-6545.

Local sponsors here in Portland were: (PICAG)Peace In Colombia Action Group, (PCASC)Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, (CBLOC) Cross Border Labor Organizing Coalition.


GENDER, VIOLENCE AND THE FUTURE 19.07.2002 12:31
A Statistical Analysis of Violent Male Domination
This is the fifth in a series of essays concerned with male domination.

"Is it fair, accurate and instructive to define human violence as Male Violence? Hold that question in your mind and please take the time to read the following essay.

"I propose that we divide human violence into three basic types: Type 1: Individual Violence, Type 2: The Internal Violence of the State, the Legal System, Type 3: The External Violence of the State, War.

"We must recognize from the beginning that these are humanly created categories with grey borders, tools for understanding the dynamics of human violence. These tools can be refined for more accurate analysis.

"As Noam Chomsky has pointed out again and again, we all have the ability to do accurate political analysis. Indymedia proves this with a vengeance. I'm proposing a model for others to test and refine, according to their own research.

"We must also recognize from the beginning that human violence represents failure: the failure to resolve conflict through communication." [ Read more... ]

Previous essays in the series: [ Part 1: A Modest Proposal Concerning Masculism | Part 2: Ten Thousand Years is Enough | Part 3: The Movement For Male Restraint | Part 4: How To Challenge Violent Male Domination ]


ANIMAL RIGHTS 17.07.2002 20:33
Smoke-out in Seattle evacuates 2 downtown buildings
Last Wednesday, July 10th, smoke grenades went off in two downtown Seattle buildings. One smoke device went off on the 23rd floor of the 28 floor Financial Center at 1215 Fourth Ave. A few minutes earlier, a similar smoke device was set off on the 20th floor of the One Convention Place building at Seventh Avenue and Pike Street. Marsh Inc., an insurance underwriter for HLS (Huntingdon Life Sciences) has offices in both buildings.

One anonymous poster to the newswire stated: Marsh and Guy Carpenter got 'smoked out of their holes'." The poster added "As George W Bush stated, we need to smoke these terrorists out of their holes! Insuring the murder of 500 animals every day is not acceptable."

Quoted from the SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) Website: "As reported by some media outlets, SHAC is not affiliated with the attack. Although we do support direct action, as long as it does not hurt any animal, human or non human, we do not engage in, organize or fund such activities. However we do applaud those brave enough to do so."

SHAC and many animal rights advocates have an ongoing campaign to close down HLS Labs. HLS Labs tortures and kills 180,000 animals a year. That is 500 animals a day! More on HLS.

Related News:
July 8th: HLS drops RICO Lawsuit against SHAC, other animal rights groups and individual activists
July 9th: Activists greet HLS at SF Conference: "Welcome to San Francisco, puppy killers."
July 3rd: BOSTON MARSH RECEIVES 2 AM WAKE UP AND HOME DEMOS

[ Bloody Insurers Get Smoked Out | Huntingdon Life Sciences gets new market maker | SHAC Website | Portland Indymedia Animal Rights Page ]


ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION / SPIRITUAL ALIENATION 16.07.2002 17:12
'Sap leaking out like tears': Old growth cut in Barstool timber sale
The Barstool Timber Sale is a 20+ acre area in the Oak Grove Watershed near Mt. Hood, outside Portland. Thomas Creek Lumber, twice convicted of timber threat in the Willamette National Forest, began cutting old growth trees there late last week. One of the trees was over 450 years old.

From the open publishing newswire: "The Forest SerVice facilitated the destruction of yet another swath of native old growth forest. Over the past few days, the trees living in what is labeled the Barstool Sale, Units 5 and 1 were chopped down, sliced up, and the ground and plant life was crushed and torn into chunks.

"Going out to the land reveals the level of ruination left behind by the life eating machines. Looking at these photos gives a hint of what it is like. However, it is only a hint. 200-400 year-old trees, living sentient beings, torn into pieces, the sap leaking out like tears. Branches litter the ground, needles still green, giving the impression of life."

"With the canopy gone, the sun beats down on the moist ground, baking it to dry hardness, and assaulting the plants which are already browning and wilting. What was once a cool, moist vibrant forest, filled with humming life, has become a sad place." [ Story & Photos ]


CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION OF PRIVATE SPACE 16.07.2002 17:11
Attn. Microsoft Users: Big Brother is Watching You
With news of Microsoft's Palladium coming to light, many people are extremely concerned about the efforts of big corporations to dominate and control the internet. Indeed, Palladium, if fully implemented, will be the end of the free exchange of information on the internet as we have come to know it.

What many people do not realize is that Palladium is only the next step in Microsoft's ongoing efforts to eavesdrop on and control everyone's computers. Right now, as you read this, if you have a Windows machine and you are using Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, Windows is creating secret hidden files on your computer that record this, and every other web address (URL) you have visited and every E-mail you have written or received!

If you think deleting the history gets rid of all the URL's you have visited, you are wrong. If you think deleting mail from the inbox, and then from the trash has permanently deleted the files from the hard drive, think again. All this information, and more is kept in files that Microsoft has purposefully hidden - And No, enabling Windows Explorer to "show all files" does not show the files in mention. No, DOS does not list the files after receiving a proper directory listing from root. And yes, Microsoft intentionally disabled the "Find" utility from searching through one of the folders.

Read the full article for more information on hidden files, and how they can be deleted. For a permanent solution, switch browsers, applications and operating systems as alternatives to Microsoft. You are freeing yourself from the spying eyes of Microsoft, and supporting viable existing alternatives to corporate domination.

[ Comment on this Feature ]

[ Fuck Microsoft.com Website | Free Geek Website | GNU Website ]


PRISON ABOLITION 16.07.2002 09:07
Revolutionary Ex-Political Prisoners at Liberty Hall
Chris Plummer and Rita "Bo" Brown, two ex-political prisoners, spoke at Liberty Hall in Portland on Saturday. The event, "a forum on political prisoners, state repression and the necessity of revolutionary resistance to patriarchy, capitalism and the state," was sponsored by the Northwest Prisoner Support Network. They also spoke in Eugene on Sunday.

Both speakers were very clear about the role of prisons in our society. "Prisons are what the government uses to control populations," Chris said. "They are utilized by the state to control working class people in America." Bo added: "It's a huge industry. It's about racism, it's about economics." Chris argued that prisons should be a primary focus of the anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist movement: "If we really want to attack capitalism and the state, prisons are the best target. The state can do nothing without that fear of imprisonment."

Chris and Bo, who were each incarcerated for about 8 years, left prison committed to supporting those still inside. Chris works with Anarchist Black Cross, which both provides support to prisoners and works to abolish the prison system altogether. Bo founded Out of Control Lesbian Prisoner's Support Group, which provides aid and legal assistance to lesbians behind bars. She also works with the Prison Activist Resource Center.

Chris asked, "What kind of credibility do we have as a movement if we're not there for them? Any movement that doesn't support its prisoners is a sham movement." [ Read More ]


ANIMAL RIGHTS, HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT 15.07.2002 16:28
Mad Deer Disease? Mad Human Response!
The cull of Wisconsin's mad deer has been going full throttle for weeks, with the goal of killing every single deer in the South Western part of the state (estimated 25,000 deer over 350 sq. miles). Mad Deer Disease, essentially the same as Mad Cow disease, but manifesting in deer and elk, is already confirmed in at least 7 states which appears to makes the death and effort of little meaning other than as a political maneuver. New Mexico is talking about a similar genocidal act against wild deer, when it is human behavior which is at the root of the problem and should be looked at.

From the Newswire: "A few years ago I watched a program on Nature (on PBS) which showed the problems faced by ranchers and wild animals, among them the problem of having grazing wild animals stealing cattle feed, for, after all, who can resist a free meal."

"Now, according to the information that I have come across, in the United States it is still common practice to feed ground up dead animals to cattle, which was identified as the source of the outbreak in Europe several years ago."

[ Read More Facets to this Story ]

[ Organic Consumers Mad Deer webpage | Growing Plague Of "Mad Deer" Baffles Scientists | Mule deer found wasting disease in New Mexico; experts say it's southernmost case | Mad deer disease in Colorado ]


LABOR SOLIDARITY 15.07.2002 02:13
Teamsters striking at Smuckers plant in Woodburn; Farmworkers show solidarity
"We were driving back to Legion Park in Woodburn after having visited three different farms on the Walk for Farmworker Justice when we passed the Smucker's plant. Outside the gates were strikers. We pulled over immediately to find out what was going on. Up ahead we saw the Walk buses pulling over, too. 'Oh good,' I thought. 'We definitely must stand in solidarity with these folks.'

"My videographer buddy was out of the truck first and in the blink of an eye was talking to the men holding signs, camera up and tape rolling. (We'll be uploading some clips soon.) We talked to two of the workers about why they were striking.

"The first guy told us they were with the Teamsters Local #670. Why were they striking? Over health and welfare issues. Smuckers management wants the union to accept a contract that drastically raises the amount that workers must pay every month for their health benefits. For example, someone making $6.75/hr at the plant will have to pay $160/month for their benefits, which is prohibitively high. These costs will be going up 5-8% next year under the contract's terms. 'Especially if you have a family, there's no way you can do that.'

"The second guy said that under the new contract, they will basically be taking a pay cut. Though they are receiving a raise under its terms, the increased cost of their health insurance premium eats it away.

"He also mentioned that they have other greviances; namely, forced 12-hour shifts. Workers are "threatened with insubordination" if they don't want to work that long. 'You have no choice -- you have to work.'" [ Full story & Photos ]

[ Walk for Farmworker Justice | Teamsters ]


LABOR, IMMIGRANTS, AGRICULTURE 14.07.2002 11:23
Report from the Walk for Farmworker Justice
On Saturday, July 13th, over 200 people participated in the Walk for Farmworker Justice in Woodburn, Oregon. The event was intended to call attention to the plight of migrant farmworkers in the state, the majority of whom are Latino, mostly Mexican. The day was put together by the Farmworker Justice Coalition, which includes many churches, some labor organizations. The most prominent group was Piñeros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), the Treeplanters and Farmworkers Union of the Northwest, which represents over 4,500 farmworkers in Oregon. This was the second year the Walk was held and organizers are planning for it to be an annual event. Last year's walk was a week-long event focused on "bringing NORPAC to the table" to negotiate with PCUN, a struggle that evolved in favor of the farmworkers.

Participants in Saturday's Walk met at Legion Park in Woodburn and the day started with food, speeches and songs. Eric Nicholson, a long-time PCUN organizer, explained that the day would focus on two issues: amnesty for migrant workers, and the right of those workers to bargain collectively. The morning was spent visiting fields where farmerworkers were picking fruit and vegetables under the hot sun. At each location, a hundred people lined the side of the road with a proliferation of signs and chanted supportive slogans in Spanish.

The early afternoon brought an unscheduled stop at the Smucker's Plant in Woodburn. On Tuesday, July 9th, the workers at the plant--who are members of Teamsters Local #670--went on strike to protest forced 12-hour days and steep hikes in their monthly health care insurance costs. Picketing outside the plant gates, they were joined by Walk participants, who took up the Teamsters' signs among their own and stood with them in a gesture of solidarity. Smuckers buys some of the berries that the farmworkers pick. (The company has also been taking part in predatory business practices buying up organic juice companies and diluting the products by decreasing the juice content and increasing the sugar.)

Many of the Teamsters joined the Walk that afternoon when around 200 people marched through downtown Woodburn and the residential neighborhoods around it. The crowd also grew more diverse for this event, and was roughly 40/60 Latino/Caucasian. Reactions from Woodburn residents ranged from surprise to support, with only a small number of negative responses. The chants here were the loudest of the day, and the spirit was lively.

A first-hand account from the open publishing newswire reads: "Yesterday's March for Farmworker Justice in and around Woodburn will have to go down as a smashing success!!!! The crowds increased as the day went on and as workers came off the fields... The energy was really high and we stood along the side of the road, maybe 100 people including all adult ages, from teenagers to those with heads of white hair and the eyes and experience of many previous Protests.... I heard conversations of folks, for example, who remembered voting for Roosevelt, etc. I am always proud and cognizant of the elderly at these events, and hope that some of you will remind ME in 20 years, when I am in my late 70's, to get up out of my recliner and hit the streets with a voice made more powerful than ever before, by my years and experience!" [ Read more... ]

Accounts from the open publishing newswire: [ Report on National Walk for Farm Worker Justice | Teamsters striking at Smuckers plant in Woodburn; Farmworkers show solidarity | An account of the Walk for Farmworker Justice | Songs for Farmworkers | PHOTOS: 1 | 2 ]

Background from portland indymedia: [ About the 2002 Walk | The Campesinos - Farmworkers in Oregon: History and Politics | Smuckers: from Cider to Corporate Empire | Multimedia coverage of the 2001 Walk ]

[ Farmworker Justice Coalition | Piñeros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) ]


STREET THEATER 14.07.2002 00:57
Homeland Security agents attack anti-war protesters?
According to a report from the open publishing newswire: "The weekly anti-war rally in Portland's Pioneer Square was marred by a violent visit from four 'Homeland Security' agents. Wearing shirts and hats that were clearly labeled, 'Homeland Security', they set upon a solitary protester approaching the rally, and then attempted to break up the rally itself.

"The man who was attacked first was carrying a sign that said, 'War kills children'. He was walking up the sidewalk on the south side of Broadway when he was picked out by a Homeland Security agent on reconnaissance there. Within seconds, three agents emerged from behind a Subway® kiosk, grabbed the man's sign, and forced him to the ground. When asked for an official statement, the recon agent replied, 'Officially, this didn't happen,' turned, and goose-stepped away.

"A few minutes later, an activist was delivering an anti-war oratory before a gathering of about two dozen like-minded citizens when the agents struck again. Without warning they penetrated the crowd from all directions, pushing their way to the front where they attempted to remove the speaker. Being outnumbered, they were forced into defensive positions, and an argument broke out.

"'It's not safe to have gatherings like this on the street,' said one of the agents. 'However, it's not safe to stay home, either. We're here to protect you.'

"Recon man then held up a pad of paper and a pen. 'Now if you'll all please sign this, and print your Social Security number on it, you'll make everything easier for yourselves.'

"Unexpectedly, the Homeland Security agents were forced to back down by a member of the private security firm that polices Pioneer Square. A guard named 'Houston' broke up the conflict by threatening to charge everyone with 'disorderly conduct'." [ Full story & Photos ]


SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER 12.07.2002 23:51
Oregon resident Chani Geigle-Teller sentenced to Federal Prison for protesting SOA
Chani Geigle-Teller Former OregonPeaceWorks Program Assistant Chani Geigle-Teller was sentenced today to 6 months in a federal minimum security prison and fined $1000 for her role in last year's national protest at School of the Americas. She was released on her own recognizance and will need to turn herself in to begin serving her sentence in about one month.

Excerpt from Chani's statement to presiding Judge Faircloth:
"I will never apologize to you or the United States government or to anyone else for protesting these injustices. But I do have one apology to make. I beg the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters and brothers of Chiapas, of El Mozote, of Colombia, of Guatemala and all of Central and South America, to forgive me for my participation in a system that oppresses, tortures and murders them daily. I ask the God of Life and Truth that sustains those people to forgive me. I beg that they hear my cries of repentence as I hear their cries of 'Basta - enough is enough!'. I also know that I cannot even ask for forgiveness if I am not willing to change my greedy lifestyle. Not only change my own lifestyle, slowly, day by day, decision by decision, but I must stand up to that lifestyle of greed and violence if I am truly sorry in my heart for the grief I have helped put in this world. I am determined to spend the rest of my life doing everything in my power to correct my wrongdoings.

"That is why I am here."

[ Read more... ]


SOA 37 UPDATE 12.07.2002 22:16
10 School of Americas protesters receive six-month sentences; 26 found guilty and awaiting sentencing
The SOA 37Thirty-seven human rights activists went on trial in federal court this week for civil disobedience last November at the School of the Americas (SOA), which was recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). They were among 10,000 who gathered in Columbus, Georgia, last November to call for the closure of the notorious school. The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers whose graduates are consistently involved in human rights abuses and atrocities. Human rights activist and champion of the people, Archbishop Oscar Romero, for example, was murdered in a church as he celebrated mass by an individual who was trained by the SOA. 71 people have served a total of over 40 years in prison for engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience as part of a broad-based campaign to close the school.

Atlanta Indymedia has been providing daily coverage of the trial:
[ July 12 story & audio | July 11 | July 10 | July 9 | July 8 - 1 | July 8 - 2 | July 8 - photos ]

previous portland indymedia coverage of SOA 37:
[ 50 gather to Support the SOA 37 in Salem | Salem City Council Sends Letter to SOA Judge | Crossing Lines of Justice - Voices of SOA Activists ]

[ SOA Watch website ]


PRISON ABOLITION 12.07.2002 09:01
Ex-Political Prisoners Visit Portland
The Northwest Political Support Network is hosting a forum on Political Prisoners, State Repression, and the necessity of Revolutionary Resistance to Patriarchy, Capitalism, and The State.

Christopher Plummer, an anarchist political prisoner for 8 1/2 years, and Rita "Bo" Brown, also a political prisoner for 8 years, will both be speaking in Portland at Liberty Hall, 311 N. Ivy, Saturday July 13th at 5 PM. They will be speaking about building prisoner support networks and their experiences behind bars, among other things. Proceeds will benefit prisoner support networks.

About the speakers:
"Racists and prison guards attacked Chris during his imprisonment, but they never managed to break his spirit. Chris served 8 1/2 years in prison for his anti-racist actions. Since his release, he has not stopped fighting. He is dedicated to supporting political prisoners, fighting racism, and building a revolutionary movement to destroy Capitalism and the State."

"Bo served 8 years in prison for her acts of resistance. Upon her release from prison she moved to Oakland and formed the "Out Of Control Lesbian Prisoner's Support Group" - a group designed to provide mutual aid and legal assistance to Lesbians behind bars. She also works with the Prison Activist Resource Center - a very effective popular political-prisoner support organization."[ Read More ]

They will also be speaking in Eugene on BASTILLE DAY Sunday July 14th at 150 Columbia Room at the U of O at 7 PM

[ Anarchist BlackCross website | Trident Ploughshares Prisoners for Peace | Prison Activist Resource Center | U.S. Prisoner Support Groups | Break The Chains ]


CHALLENGING CORPORATE CONTROL 11.07.2002 15:39
Blockades stop Williams Company's drilling for a day
Activists kicked off an eco-defense campaign by locking down to William?s Energy Co.?s pipeline drilling equipment, stopping all work on the project for most of the day.

The natural gas pipeline threatens sensitive endangered species habitat in the Black Lake Wildlife Preserve and in the Capital Forest (outside of Olympia, Washington), and is opposed by a broad coalition of local residents and environmentalists.

Permits were denied by the State and county but were overruled by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

30 to 40 activists arrived early in the morning to an empty worksite and unguarded drilling equipment, which they immediately locked their arms onto and hung banners from. Workers from Michel?s Horizontal Drilling Company based in Brownsville Wisconsin arrived an hour later yelling ?Hey, what the fuck?? (Exact quote) down into the pit. Activists conversed with the workers for a while, who seemed pretty entertained with the whole scene. Some even danced to chants of "Will the pipeline be defeated -by the people by and by- Will Williams join Enron in the sly lord in the sky?" [ Read More... ]

For more information contact fightthepipeline@olynetwork.org also check out this article in The Olympian


FOREST ACTIVISM 11.07.2002 13:29
Activist arrested at Berrypatch tree-sit; Logging continues despite confirmed spotted-owl sightings
According to the Cascadia Forest Defenders of Eugene, protesters have been continuing to challenge the Berrypatch timber sale in the Willamette National Forest. A tree-sit has been maintained in Unit 3 of the sale since July 3, where cutting has been happening since the beginning of July. The trees that have been cut within this sale were huge ancient old-growth, alot of them around 4-6 ft. in diameter. During a cat and mouse session with loggers on Monday, July 8, one activist was nabbed by Law Enforcement, during which racial slurs were directed toward the activist by loggers. He was charged with a felony—Interfering with an Agricultural Operation—and 3rd degree Escape.

In addition to the Berry Patch timber sale at least two other old-growth sales on the Willamette National Forest being logged right now. Like Berry Patch, the "Desperado" sale is an old salvage rider sale from 1996, which exempts it from all environmental laws. Logging has resumed this year to finish up the job. Also, the remaining couple of units of the Rhody sale are being logged now. [ VIDEO footage of these sales ]

On Wednesday, July 9, logging crews were felling trees within 20 feet of the tree-sit. Meanwhile activists videotaped a spotted owl pair and a pair of fledglings in the area of Unit 3 and relayed the information to the US Forest Service. A biologist validated the presence of the owl, and activists are waiting for the acting district ranger to make a decision on whether logging should be halted to protect the owls. All this was documented by a film crew who entered the area with a press pass. Evidently the loggers did not want to let them talk with the woman in the tree-sit, but they insisted. She managed to give an interview and said she was talking with the fellers trying to persuade them not to cut the trees near her, but they claimed they were highly skilled and insisted on cutting the trees, which could endanger her life.

Thursday, July 11: the Forest Service has refused to stop cutting in the area, claiming they issued an incidental take permit for the area back when the sale was drawn up in 1997. Therefore they are not willing to protect the Owl's habitat. Cutting is continuing today, making it clear that the "Forest Disservice" puts profits first, endangered species last.

Updates from the open publishing newswire: [ July 11 | July 10 | July 9 | July 8 | July 7 | July 3: tree-sit announcement | July 2: in-depth info on the sale ]

For more information and updates from the Cascadia Forest Defenders, also see tree-sit.org.


FOREST ACTIVISM 10.07.2002 16:01
Protest against the Grand Jury; Update from a subpoenaed activist
Recently, two forest activists from Portland received subpoenas to appear in front of a grand jury in Portland on Wednesday July 10th. Both Martha Aspy and her daughter Emily Aspy had been very active in the successful Eagle Creek campaign in the Mt. Hood National Forest in past years. Over the years they have been strong advocates for the protection of ancient forests on public land, focusing their activism on nonviolent civil disobedience and public education. [ More info ]

Today, about 30 people gathered at the federal courthouse this afternoon to protest the Grand Jury that has targeting activists. Grand Juries are highly secretive and the proceedings take place behind closed doors so it is often a challenge to know what they are even about. Local people who have been subpoenaed to this one believe the subject is the lumber truck arsons that took place last year at Mt. Hood.

The crowd drummed and interacted with people walking by. Cars honked support for signs held at the curb. It was a great show of support for the local activists who have been called before the Grand Jury. At around 2:30, Martha, one of the people who had been subpoenaed, emerged and answered a few questions.

She described the proceedings as "short and sweet" and said she "invoked the Fifth [Amendment] on all questions". One of the questions was whether she was a "member" of the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA). Two other questions were about "particular people, not activists, who are not affiliated with CFA".

Martha also said that the Grand Jury won't impact her activism and stated, "I plan to continue doing what I do." A member of the crowd yelled, "You rock, Martha!" and a cheer went up.

Emily, another activist who was recently subpoenaed, has had her appearance before the Grand Jury moved back by one month. [ Story | Photos ]


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