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Queer Revolution and the Dyke March crashed the corporate-sponsored Gay Pride Parade day this morning. Carrying pink and black flags, anti-authoritarian signs, and shouting chants, the spirited folks made quite a splash with their alternative message. Many bystanders along the route recognized their complaints and non-commercial pride, and cheered them on. "2-4-6-8! We will not assimilate!", "We're not 'everyday people'", and "No borders, no states! We just want to masturbate" were among the calls raised up.
June 18, 2005 marks the sixth year that political prisoner Robert Thaxton is in prison. Rob was arrested at the June 18, 1999 Reclaim the Streets party in Eugene, Oregon for throwing a rock at a cop charging him in riot gear. He recieved an, at the time, unprecedented 7 year sentence for this [5 years for assault, 2 years for riot].
The self described 'one hit wonder anarchist rock star' Rob 'Los Ricos' Thaxton wasn't always a rebellious 'rock star', or an anarcho-activist, or a "punk" political prisoner. There was a time, not that long ago, when he was just another chavo chicano growing up in some forgotten field town called Pampa, Texas... By the righteous (r)age of twelve, Rob began to work with various revolutionary organizations, and eventually left Pampa for the streets of Dallas, Texas, where he joined CISPES (the Committee in solidarity with the People of El Salvador), worked with ACT UP, and KNON-FM, a peoples (Pirate) radio station, where he served as program director.
message from Jeff Luers: "Solidarity for Rob Los Ricos and Brian McCarvill [April 2005] Rob has given his life to this struggle for 33 years. Even after 5 years of prison enduring racial discrimination and harassment by the cops he has continued to agitate for a better world. Brian is a man of honor. He is not selfish. His actions are not inherently politically motivated. He believes in freedom and when he sees something wrong he does his best to fix it. He lives by a code many of us profess to fight for and from prison he has struggled along side anarchists and suffered because of it. These men deserve your support. Write them, work with them, honor their sacrifices as you have honored mine. "
Rural Walkers for Truth met up with Portland supporters in Westmoreland Park on Friday for a boistrous march through SE Portland and downtown to Senator Gordon Smith's office at the World Trade Center. There the marchers met hundreds of supporters for the final rally of the Walk for Truth, Justice, and Community (the crowd estimate was over 400 people).
At the rally, the ROP's Cara Shufelt delivered hundreds of signed postcards to Senator Smith's representative Rian Windsheimer, urging the Senator to back a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, an end to prisoner torture, and re-direction of funds for human needs, not global war. Cara led the cheering crowd in reading the cards' message out loud to a game Windsheimer, who politely thanked people for walking so far to deliver the message.
previous: [ Walk for Truth Takes a 'Leap of Faith' Before Final Rally on Friday (17 June) | Walk for Truth in Woodburn: 'Viva la Unidad del Todos Pueblos!' (15 June) ]
Visiting Portland next week -- according to flyers handed out at the recent rally in front of Senator Gordon Smith's offices held as part of the Rural Organizing Projects "March for Truth and Justice" from Salem to Portland -- will be two unnamed "Iraqi labor union leaders," as part of an AFL-CIO sponsored "Iraqi Labor Tour 2005." A calendar item for the event is visible here
Recently, radical labor activists have raised alarms about AFL-CIO's intentions and alliances in connection with Iraq. The AFL has a very sordid history internationally during the Cold War of directly assisting the goals of US imperialism, supporting rightwing regimes, remaining silent at the plight of workers under them, and sabotaging radical labor organizing at home and abroad.
The following reply was sent from OHSU in response to a letter from a citizen concerned about experimentation conducted at their primate center... This letter is a great example of the response you will get from OHSU (or most animal research institutions) if you challenge their use of non-human animals in medical research. The same old unsubstantiated claims and an attempt to make it seem like only animal rights "extremists" oppose animal research. OHSU will buy ads and have their PR person send you a letter and maybe some pamphlets but they certainly wont engage in real debate.
Animal research is a multi-billion dollar industry. To keep the money coming in, they frame the issue as animal rights "extremists" vs. scientific reason. Yet it is OHSU who does not back up their claims with clear evidence, who refuses to debate and who, when confronted with solid arguments, falls back on manipulative emotionalism. Do not be satisfied with clever PR campaigns and slick pamphlets. Demand answers and real accountability.
OHSU's specious science and corporate greed exposed: [ White Coat Welfare ]
It looks like the organizer of the SATURDAY Dyke March is a board member of Pride Northwest, the organization that brings us the HUGE Pride Parade (sponsored by hewlett packard, budweiser, and lots of other fun people!) Here she (Stef-Anie, otherwise known as "The New Lesbian Avengers") is quoted on the Just Out website and makes some errors (ie. the Sunday Dyke March is not organized by Queer Revolution, it is organized by former Lesbian Avengers)... also she refers to organizers as "anti-gay pride" (BAH! unless gay pride = mega corporate $$$ event!) and as creating "infighting" (I guess that queers who don't like rampant consumerism should just shut up and stay home. We're just as bad as the right-wing? give us a break!)
related: [ Sunday Dyke March - Info & Rumor Control ]
My wife and I rent an apartment on Bull Mountain Road in Tigard. Since the beginning of the war in Iraq in 2003, we have posted several signs expressing our opposition to the war, in the window of our bedroom, facing our parking area. Today we were told, by a representative of the management corporation that owns the complex, that we "must" remove the signs. We refused, on the grounds that it would infringe upon our moral and constitutional right to free speech. The management representative responded by strongly implying that we would be evicted if we did not comply.
Walking on Hawthorne Thursday I was offered cake by a group with a huge pig on a stick. They were handing out fliers asking people to call Sen. Wyden about the upcoming(?) vote in the Senate on CAFTA. They explined the situation with CAFTA, how it is similar to NAFTA and serves the interests of the same crowd, and they talked about how the vote hasn't come up because Bush doesn't have the support yet to guarantee its passing.
They had cell phones with them, and the Senators phone number, and were helping people make the call.
On their last night before arriving in Portland, the Walkers for Truth, Justice, and Community spent the evening at the Episcopal Church in Oregon City, experiencing a Leap of Faith. Leap of Faith is an interactive play created by Act for Change as a way for people to explore the issues embedded into the battle for 'gay marriage'.
Based on the drama school known as Theater of the Oppressed, Leap of Faith tells a simple story of the damage to close personal relationships that occurs when a lesbian couple decide to get a Multnomah County marriage license, after a close encounter with a medical emergency . They are motivated by their love, and also by lack of health coverage for both partners and the simple ability to be there for each other in a medical situation. The play begins with the couple receiving support from a church friend at the hospital. It ends with this relationship rupturing over religious dogma around marriage.
Rally and March for Justice - Friday, 4pm, (March is at 5pm)
The animal rights activists are not giving up. A couple nights ago, my neighbor Eliot Spindel (OHSU Animal Researcher) was re-visited by a group of people with a bullhorn. One activist rang Eliot's door bell and I overheard him say, "Hi Eliot, we're here to protest and we're asking that you quit your job." Then the chanting started, which went something like this:
previous: [ Cursed Animal Rights Activists Ruin My Evening ]
Walmart has signed a secret deal with developer Howard Dietrich to build a 150,000 sq ft supercenter, along with 600 enclosed parking spots, at SE Tacoma street and 99E. The lease can only be broken if a city agency decides to buy the property.
Is this an attempt to increase his property value and blackmail the city for somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 million dollars? Or does he really intend to build a Walmart on a site that cannot handle the proposed traffic load? What of the businesses in Milwaukie that will be affected by the opening of a big box right in their neigborhood? What about the neighbors who already suffer through frequent traffic on SE Tacoma street? How will this giant store affect emergency services? None of these questions have been addressed, as the plan was hatched in secret and only leaked out this week.
Well, it's a secret no more. Several hundred people showed up at a Sellwood-Moreland (SMILE) neighborhood meeting last night, and opposition to this development was unanimous. Also attending were members of the Portland City Council.
High energy shown for jobs with decent pay and benefits at Portland's annual Global Justice Day.
About 400 people participated in a high energy rally at Terry Shrunk Plaza for Justice for Janitors. The one hour event featured numerous speakers and signs, after which we went on a snappy 15-minute march. We poured out into the street led by police escort, then the SEIU purple banner, followed by the thunderous No War Drum Corps. There were EIGHT drummers which was more than usual and it really added to the sound.
The Global Justice Day was taking place in other cities, Houston, Seattle, Boston and New York. It is a stand against poverty wages and for community values like living wages and access to health care. From a flyer, a worker in downtown Portland said the company he works for, Servicemaster Swan Island, pays him less than $30 a day with no health benefits. Call his boss, Barbara Neyland at Servicemaster: 503-285-5221 and demand decency. This person has a family on these wages!
It's less than three weeks till the beginning of the Earth First! National Rendezvous just outside Portland on Mt. Hood National Forest. This being the 25th anniversary of the Rendezvous, local Earth First!ers are feeling a little reflective, and will be organizing two great events in Portland examining Earth First! history, and getting everyone ready for the Rendezvous.
If you're not familiar with Earth First! or are but have never felt a part of the movement, we'd like to extend an extra special invitation to these events and of course the Rendezvous itself! If you already consider yourself an Earth First!er, we'd love it if you could help out with Rendezvous preparations! Look for our contact information below.
The first event, taking place on Monday June 27th, will examine the past 20 years of EcoDefense history in Portland. The second, on Friday July 1st, will look at the life and organizing work of Judi Bari, a member of both the Industrial Workers of the World and Earth First!, who endeavored to bridge the gaps between environmentalists and timber workers. Bari survived an assassination attempt and severe FBI COINTELPRO repression for her efforts.
The 150 Walkers for Truth, Justice, and Community linked up with over 100 members of Oregon's farmworker union PCUN for a colorful, solidarity march through Woodburn Tuesday evening. The walkers were put up for the night and hosted at PCUN' s labor hall in another astonishing example that another world of unity is possible.
After a excellent meal and great dancing from the PCUN children's dance team, two workers from the Three Mile Canyon dairy in Boardman spoke about their three year struggle for union recognition, led by the UFW, PCUN's sister organization. One key organizer told of being isolated, forbidden to speak to anyone on the job, sent out to work alone in isolated fields at the height of Eastern Oregon's summer, without water, food, or facilities. Finally he was fired from the dairy, the third largest dairy in the US, where the concentration of ammonium and methane gas reaches toxic levels. This worker, Alessandro, continues to go door to door in Boardman, organizing for the union. "Slavery exists at Three Mile Dairy," he said in Spanish."If Bush wants to promote democracy in Iraq, he should start right here. And he should know this: We're not going anywhere!"
Medford, OR - The Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest sold a logging sale today that would cut forests in the Wild & Scenic Illinois River canyon as part of the massive Biscuit logging project.
Located entirely in an Old-Growth Reserve that was supposed to be shielded from cutting as a safety net for sensitive species, the McGuire logging project would also slice into the 3,529 acre Six Mile Creek roadless area - an uninventoried roadless forest near the giant Kalmiopsis wildlands.
Though controversial Biscuit logging has been ongoing since March 7th of this year, the McGuire logging sale would be the first to log directly along the Wild & Scenic Illinois River, and may engender even greater public outrage.
more indymedia stories: [ Battle of the Biscuit ]
Early on Wednesday, June 2, a dog known as "Mr. Bear" died in Southeast Portland. Mr. Bear was a much-loved resident of the neighborhood, where he was seen on a daily basis with his devoted companion, a human named "Bill". Many were the times when customers of local businesses such as People's Food Co-op or the Red & Black Cafe would have to step around Mr. Bear, as he sat in the doorway, awaiting Bill, who was inside. Mr. Bear was arguably the canine mascot of the neighborhood and news of his death -- at 13 years, from a blood clot -- stirred sadness in many residents. Tonight, the Red & Black Cafe was packed to standing room only for a wake for Mr. Bear, and his life and passing were marked with music, photography, video, testimony, and sacred drumming.
Code Pink Portland first brought out the "Portland Peace Fleet" in June of 2003, as a symbolic protest to the warships' part in Rose Festival. This year we "sailed" again. Wearing pink cardboard "boats," Code Pinkers marched the parade route one hour before the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday morning. Most of the crowd waiting for the parade seemed pleased to have some entertainment; many applauded and cheered us. There were a few hecklers, of course, but the cheers and applause far out-numbered the naysayers. Occasionally an onlooker would call out, "Support our troops." Our spontaneous response, without missing a beat: "BRING THEM HOME!" developed into a lively call-and-response chant.
2003 report: [ Pink splashes disrupt parade-goers' placid gaze ]
Representative Dennis Kucinich was in Portland June 5, 2005, as Keynote speaker for a gathering at the First Unitarian Church entitled, A Calling For Peace And Unity.
The Program, featuring presentations from Oregon Civic, Government and Spiritual Community and Peace Activists, as well as Rep. Kucinich, was moderated by Peter Bergel, Executive Director of Oregon Peace Works
We got down to the Rose Festival yesterday at 1pm. There were lots of people around, since the weather was still ok. Right next to the Salmon Street Fountain, the Marines had booth set up with a big inflatable Marine (I'm not kidding--see the photos). They were cheering on kids as they competed in their pull-up competition. I asked one of the Marine recruiters how it was going, if they were signing lots of people up. He said "No, not really. The weather's keeping people away." I told him that I was glad, and that I hoped he didn't sign anyone up. Then he said "If that's how you feel, then we're signing lots of people up." Recruiters lying? I was shocked.
There were two groups of Veterans for Peace with big banners hanging out by the Marines, so we decided to see who else was recruiting, and if they needed company. The next booth we ran into was the National Guard, with their big climbing wall, but someone was already there, getting folks to sign postcards to the Governor to bring the Guard home. We moved on.
I just got back from the Naked Bike Ride part of the Pedalpalooza festivities. It was so cold but sooo much fun! There was about 200 people of many ages from babies to middle aged riding tonight! It all started at FreeGeek with a dance party(which I missed). Then we all took off for downtown. We took the bridge and then we rode on 2nd and 3rd between Main & a little past Burnside. There were lots of people everywhere as you could imagine on a saturday night. Some laughing, some cheering, some taking pictures, some offended, some honking, some giving high fives, and some even saluting. It was really funny seeing all the different responses. The Kell's crowd seemed particularly happy to see us, as the sparce cheering turned into the roar of a crowd as we passed by there.
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