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Wednesday, May 26th of 2004 marked a quiet turning point in the history of free speech in this country. While most people were still comfortably asleep and the first rays of sunlight were streaming over the horizon, Federal Agents were preparing to arrest people for crimes of terror. All across the country members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces crept across lawns and approached front doors with guns drawn. Before long they had captured their quarry: seven animal rights activists.
These activists were not accused of making bombs, burning down buildings, killing people, or even lesser crimes such as trespass. In fact, not one of them is accused of a single physical act. Their charges stem from one thing; speech. Read More [ shac7 | Let Live: a SHAC7 Benefit - Jan 20 | Let Live flier (pdf) | Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty-USA (SHAC) | About Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) ]
*Neighborhood* Public Radio is coming to Portland on January 5th as part of red76's Ghost Town project. We are now belatedly, but actively, soliciting your participation in this endeavor. NPR will be operating a radio station from the evening of January 5th until the morning of January 10th. During that time we hope to feature the contributions of a wide variety of Portland residents. Though we will likely be under the umbrella of an "art" context we do not intend to be limited by this notion. If you have something interesting to say about Portland and it's political, cultural, economical situation then we want to hear from you. If you have a killer collection of music that you want to play for people to hear, we want to hear from you. If you know a group of teenage troublemakers who would soil their pants for an opportunity to be on the local Clear Channel Affiliate... send 'em our way. We will be broadcasting from a store front very near the Welcoming Center/ Clothing Exchange [338 NW 6th Avenue] ... so passersby will ideally be interacting with us as we broadcast. It will be far more entertaining than the Today show, we promise.
Excerpt from *Neighborhood* Public Radio site (the other NPR): "At few times in recent history has it been more imperative that communities find ways to make their voices heard. As the FCC attempts to make it easier for radio stations to be co-opted by large corporations, and as the Corporation that runs our one National "Public" radio outlet conspires to exclude all other voices from the left end of the radio dial, individuals in the Bay Area are making it known that they will not be restricted from accessing the airwaves that are rightfully their own ." Read More [ Neighborhood Public Radio | red76 | Ghost Town | Welcoming Center/ Clothing Exchange ]
Prisoner Support may not be something you think about very often, but if you ended up being jailed due to a mistake or unfair sentencing due to politics, Prisoner Support organizations could literally be your only lifeline. Part of the frightening aspect of prison is the isolation and prisoner support groups are often a prisoner's only link to the outside. As human rights activists, the prison situation is pertinent on many levels...
On Thursday afternoon, TWU officials showed up on picket lines throughout the city and instructed workers to return to work, without any explanation of what had been accomplished. This generated considerable anger among many workers who had struck for three days and willingly accepted the loss of thousands of dollars in wages under the antiunion Taylor Law.
The sudden calling off of the strike was followed by a news blackout on ongoing negotiations between the TWU and the transit authority. It is being widely reported that the TWU has offered to impose greater out-of-pocket expenses for health care on their members in exchange for management curtailing or dropping its demand for the rolling back of pension protections.
Byrd and Republican Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio are fighting an effort by the Bush Administration, with the support of the Republican Congressional Leadership, to undermine American manufacturers and allow foreign traders to illegally dump products on U.S. markets.
Remember the Byrd amendment that Senator Byrd first introduced about 5 years ago to reclaim jurisdiction over how trade penalty moneys are distributed WITHIN the United States? If you are really watching trade issues, you might know that the WTO ruled that the Byrd amendment was illegal, even though it isn't ruled out by any of the trade agreements entered into by the U.S. through fast-track legislation. And you might even know that a couple of years ago, in the fever of an election year, Congress enacted a law that codified the Byrd amendment -- the "Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA)".
But did you know - has anyone noticed? - that the recent infamous budget resolution (also known as "Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act of 2005") also repealed the CDSOA?
In an excess of hypocrisy, the Senate had voted its support of the CDSOA just days before -- on December 15. Somehow, within just one week, all but 5 of about 30 Republicans who had been for the CDSOA on December 15 became converted to the WTO position when it came to the vote on December 21. No Democrat was similarly converted, and both Oregon senators - including Gordon Smith - remained firm in rejecting the WTO infringement of the sovereignty of the United States.
After the so-called "eco-terrorist" defendant William C. Rogers, also known as Avalon, killed himself in a "live wild or die" concluding action in an Arizona jail, other co-defendants have been put on suicide watch. But is it for their own protection, or is the FBI using Avalon's death to pressure the others? I don't know what happened to William C. Rogers or if he did kill himself, (I have no reason to believe he didn't) however, I also don't know what kind of extreme psychological or physical duress he had been under since his arrest. What I DO know is what is happening to a co-defendant, Kevin Tubbs.
Kevin is a uniquely gentle, compassionate, non-violent individual, who according to the law should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. He has been on maximum security lockdown in a 5 X 8 foot cell with only one hour out per 24 to choose from showering, trying to keep up on his case in the newspaper, shaving or using the phone to contact his girlfriend he dearly misses and loves.
All four of his requests for vegetarian meals have been denied despite a letter from his doctor saying that after 15 years of a strict vegetarian diet, his health could be seriously compromised. He is not getting enough nutrition and I know for the first week at least, he only ate fruit and water. In his prisoner's handbook it states you can request an additional blanket if you are cold. At home, Kevin could only sleep if he wore a hat, warm socks and extra blankets, he just gets very cold easily. To try and sleep he has been wrapping his sheet around his head, he only has one blanket. All his requests for an additional blanket at night were denied.
For those of us who love Kevin, our hearts are breaking for him. We are very concerned that he is being worn down. Even the strongest of individuals will have their judgement skewed when nutritionally and sleep deprived. He is still able to receive new letters so please don't stop writing.
Avalon, gentle elf
caring spirit caught in the tumult
of these interesting times
hearing wild earth's cries
your eyes sparked
with the magic of her songs...
Caught, they thought they could
entrap you, silence your spirit,
but they knew you not -
Avalon, gentle elf,
we see you still
smiling in the swirling night's starry skies
in the spark of fire
in wild nature's eyes
as she comes up, again,
ever batting last...
Yesterday, I attended hearings for Daniel McGowan and Chelsea Gerlach. Daniel was arraigned on 16 new counts. Two of the counts charge Daniel with attempted Arson at Superior Lumber Company, and the other 14 stem from the fire at Jefferson Poplar farm in Clatskanie. These charges add another mandatory life sentence if convicted. There will be a status hearing on January 9th at 1:30pm in front of Judge Coffin. Trial is set (for now) February 28 at 9am in front of Judge Aiken.
Chelsea's lawyer presented arguments in favor of her release following the motion filed Wednesday. Her lawyer argued that Chelsea should be released and asked that the judge evaluate the motives of the two named informants that appear to be all the Gov has as evidence. He said, "The government has jumped in bed with a man who faces life, who is now loose in the community, who has admitted to setting at least three and maybe a fourth fire." The judge denied Chelsea's release pending trial stating that her defense could argue the questionability of the informant testimony in trial.
According to the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Daniel McGowan went to court in Judge Coffin's courtroom on Dec 22, 2005. He was there for both his initial hearing and also an arraignment. He entered a NOT GUILTY plea. His counsel has 21 days to present a motion now to the court. Both sides have 10 days to exchange discovery materials now. The status conference for Daniel is set for Jan 9, 2006, at 1:30 pm, in the Eugene Federal Courthouse. The presence of the accused is required. You may call the court clerk's office at 541-465-6423 to make sure it is happening at that time close to the date. At the status conference, they will determine if the case is ready to go to trial.
This week [ early December ] approx. 6 people were arrested in connection with alleged arsons and environmental activism (resulting in property damage) in the Pacific NW. I have said we needed to "support" them, and people have written me asking why I am asking people support "terrorists." The people who are charged with these crimes, themselves, do not call themselves, or identify as, "eco-terrorists." I can start my reasons for support there...that media labeling is divisive. | read more >>
Plea Bargains: Torture for Confessions | Can torture produce a legitimate confession? The debate is ancient, worldwide and ongoing. Most respected authorities agree that confessions made under duress have serious problems. Basic American contractual law acknowledges the problems therein, and thus contracts must be made with an "arm's length" bargaining, meaning parties must have a somewhat uncohersed negotiating positionality. Yet such standards are lost on the accused in America's courtrooms... | read more >>
"American Taliban" Vs. "Eco-Terrorist" Sentencing Guidelines | Sentencing in American courts needs some accountability. John Walker Lindh, found hiding with Taliban in fight against US troops in Afghanistan which killed one CIA agent: 20 years. Yaser Hamdi, under similar circumstances: 3 years. Jeff Luers accused of arson on 3 SUVs in Eugene: 20 years. The Green River Murderer confesses to torturing, raping and killing over 40 women: Life in Prison. Threatened sentence on accused environmental activists arrested this week: Life. | read more >>
Spying Techniques 101 | All this talk about the U.S. government spying on Americans, secret CIA prisons, informants, etc., has me thinking people need to know more about spying. Spying is actually a licensed industry. I did private detective work in the late 1990's-2000, and it was an eye opening experience. I learned if you feel you are being followed, SLOW DOWN. It is almost impossible to follow a car going noticeably slow without raising suspicion... | read more >>
Jeff Landry stood in the South Park Blocks of Portland, in the rain, with a group of another dozen or so folks who'd taken new names, briefly, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Musicians played guitars softly while Keith Vann explained why we'd come together, handing us our new names—-printed in large, bold font on regular paper, as he spoke. Then Mayor Tom Potter talked about the shame and the waste of human life, of people who die anonymously on the streets every year.
Jeff Landry can't remember now whether it was Keith Vann or Tom Potter who said that 127 or 125 cities in America have a memorial every December 21st to hold, to speak, and to honor the names of homeless people who die on the streets each year.
Many more than those whose names we held have died this year, but most agencies—-hospitals, shelters, morgues, and such can't give out information about clients who pass away because of confidentiality and the deceased person's right to privacy. Memory and word of mouth had conjured the few we would speak of tonight. An older man, homeless, said Hooper Detox was a good place for names. He'd once helped them carry out box loads of deceased people's records. "They know whenever one of us dies," he said, as though he considered himself one of the dead already.
The culture of the Yurok revolves around the seasonal migrations of the spring, summer, fall and winter runs of salmon. There are specific ceremonies performed before, during and after the migration. Honor and gratitude are shown to the salmon for providing the Yurok with nutrition for survival. Celebrations occur simultaneously with the salmon's return and the salmon who are caught are smoked on alder sticks. Salmon contain every nutritional element and mineral needed by the body for survival. Without the salmon, there would be no Yurok. This also goes for the other tribes along the Klamath, depending on salmon for nutritional sustenance and cultural relevancy.
Since the arrival of European immigrants into California the Klamath River is no longer found in the same condition. At 840 feet at crest, Clear Lake dam was the first salmon blocking dam completed in 1910. The conditions of the slower velocity of the river trapped behind the dam also effect the juvenile salmon's health by raising water temperatures and depleting oxygen content from eutrophication. The process of eutrophication begins with excess nitrogen or other fertilizers entering into slow moving water promoting excess algae growth, the dead algae is decomposed by bacteria that require oxygen. This oxygen is removed from the water by bacteria at the expense of the fish.
President Bush reminds me of a used car salesman, the guy in a funny suit who attempts to get you to come back just one more time. You have been to this car lot many times and have never gotten a good car, they all have some type of problem, but you cannot seem to stay away from this guy. Maybe it is because you want so much for this man to show, just once, that he is honorable, will tell you the truth---he does promise this time will be different.
Here is a good time to tell you a story about denial:
A woman was cleaning her daughter's room and found some birth control pills; she confronted her daughter with the evidence. "Tell me!" said the mother, "These are not your pills." The daughter replied, "Mom, my name is on the pill holder, and they are filled by prescription, they are my pills." "Tell me that these pills do not belong to you," said the mother again. The daughter gave up and said, "OK, they are not mine, mom. The mother put down the pills and said, "Make sure you return the pills to their owner and we will not talk about this again."
In this short true story, the mother got what she needed; a way to deny the evidence and continue on her make believe road. She was happy and safe from the reality that her young daughter was having sex. To understand why 40-50% of Americans still support this criminal administration re-read the story.
Last night's TrashTalk featured a 10 minute phone call with a Brooklyn, NY resident affected by the TWU strike.
TrashTalk is a weekly one hour web radio show on Tuesday nights from 9-10pm pst. The focus of last nights show was work, working and trash. The 10 minute phone call happens around the midway point of the show. We also read articles about the transit strike and talk about getting free stuff at work. Enjoy!
Chelsea Gerlach was arraigned on new charges today following indictments by the Federal Grand Jury in Eugene last week. Numerous charges have been added related to an arson at Childer's Meat Company in Eugene on May 19, 1999 and another at Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie on May 21, 2001. I didn't catch the number of charges related to the Childer's fire, but she has been charged with 14 counts related to the Clatskanie fire.
The US attorney gleefully announced that Chelsea was facing 290 years in federal detention if convicted, when Chelsea's lawyer asked for another detention hearing to have Chelsea released on bail pending trial... Her lawyer asserted that the only evidence the Government has brought forth appears to be the testimony of confidential informants.
Court Report: Kevin Tubbs Arraigned on Romania Checrolet ChargesIn Federal Magistrate Thomas Coffin's courtroom today, Kevin Tubbs was arraigned on 36 new charges related to the March 30th, 2001, arson at Romania Chevrolet in Eugene. He is being charged separately for each of the 35 vehicles destroyed, and faces a mandatory minimum sentence for each vehicle of 5 years, with the maximum penalty being 20 years PER VEHICLE. In addition, he is being charged with an Enhancement for the use of an "incendiary bomb" which carries a mandatory minimum sentence under Oregon's Measure 11 sentencing rules of 30 years.
There will be a detention hearing for Kevin on January 3rd at 1:30 in the Federal Courthouse. Kevin's attorney will argue for his release pending trial.
We have just returned to the house after being in the Hong Kong streets all afternoon and evening in the most intense street battle that we have ever seen. We are taking turns showering the teargas and pepper spray off as we write this up. Farmers, workers, women's organizations, fisher folk, Hong Kong youth, migrants and other movement people from Korea, across Asia and around the world marched on, broke through several police lines to less than a block from the site of the WTO conference center and laid siege to it until we were dispersed with teargas and mass arrests tonight.
We have heard reports that as many as 900 have been arrested or detained and we just got a cell call from an activist still surrounded in the streets who was had been warned that the police will start to use rubber bullets. Riot police have not been seen en masse on the streets of Hong Kong for some 20 years, and this city will never be the same after tonight.
Stop the WTO Negotiations! Save Jobs!After ten years under the WTO, unemployment has increased everywhere in the world. The quality of present employment has often fallen. Dirty, dangerous and degrading works have become more common. Many of these jobs are precarious. More and more persons are actually forced into the informal, unprotected and unregulated economy from the formal economy, the destroyed livelihoods of small farmers and subsistence agriculture. In transnational businesses, many employees increasingly find themselves in precarious relations to the businesses for which they produce and no longer work. Their relation is determined by accident.
Invasive species, other than humanoid, might soon be infesting our beautiful coast. It's a new take on the old theme of 'Californicating Oregon'. Ghost ships from California -- rusting hulks, up to 500 feet long -- might soon be wallowing in Newport's Yaquina Bay.
Bay Bridge Enterprises, based in Virginia, wants to build a ship-breaking facility to cut apart old military ships for recycling. A 59-vessel fleet of them is rusting in Suisun Bay near Benicia, Calif. Bay Bridge wants to tow these vessels up to Oregon for dismantling.
If dioxins, metals or other harmful substances are released into Yaquina Bay, the fear is they would cause outright damage to the bay, or concentrate up the food chain. These ships contain: polychlorinated biphenyls (cancer-causing PCBs), lead/chromate paint, oils, waste fuel, mercury, lead, cadmium, benzene, and asbestos that could affect bay life, including crabs, birds, oysters, commercial and sport fisheries, and HUMANS.
I want to tell you a story or two and share my philosophy on the notion of Santa Claus. Santa Claus the chubby white guy with silver locks and beard to match. Well I'm a chubby white guy with a silver beard and head of long white hair as well. That's right, I look like Santa Claus. This time of year adults come up to me and ask if I ever play Santa. Or kids point and exclaim with great excitement "there's Santa! there's Santa! Can I go and talk to Santa?" This has been going on with me for some twenty five years.
As a result of who I look like, who I am, and the fact I've been mistaken for this jolly old gift-giver for so long I believe I'm entitled to share my philosophy regarding Santa Claus and what that figure really represents in industrialized societies. I think I know more about Santa's philosophy than most. I believe the Santa whose lap you allow your children to sit on hasn't got the faintest idea of what he really represents.
What Mr. Consumer Santa has to peddle is a lie. | read more >>
Poor Kids and Guilt at ChristmasDue to my father's higher class level than mine and my mom's, the guilt was really horrible as a kid. For instance, my dad would not help me get a present for my mom. He did not want me giving anything to my mom, ever. He kept books and shoes and clothing at his house for me, and I literally shed my old self on the weekends for him. But since I always had to be sent home to destitute poverty and hunger at the end of every weekend, I always knew I had to put my "poor" clothes back on to go home, and I felt awkward at the places we went with the kids who lived in those worlds 24/7.
After the weekend with dad, I felt bad, as a child, bringing home leftovers from big food feasts to my mom's empty home and hungry belly. I felt icky bringing home nice presents my mom could never afford to get me as a kid, always coming from my dad. If he had paid his court-ordered child support, my mom, herself, could have bought me food and presents, but instead, all funneled through him, which made my mom very bitter. Christmas has always had huge guilt issues around class for me. | read more >>
I attended the WTO Teach-In Saturday, December 17, 2005, held at the Koinonia House at Portland State University in downtown Portland. Organizers were thrilled with the turn out and the event met or exceeded all expectations.
After a breakfast supplied by the sponsors of the event, attendees were able to choose from a range of three workshops: the Basics of International Trade and Neo Liberalism; Immigrant Rights in a Liberal World; and Labor and the Corporate Agenda. This was the first of three sets of workshops being offered throughout the day, providing our community an opportunity to gather information and participate in discussions on a wide range of topics concerning global and local economics.
Audio Files: Barbara Dudley
Eureka, CA - A lawsuit between Pacific Lumber, former treesitters, and the "Extractors" hired to forcibly remove activists from old-growth redwoods to clear the way for logging will be back in court on Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:30pm in Eureka.
The battle over footage shot by hidden cameras mounted on the helmets of treesit Extractors during the evictions of more than a dozen tree-top activists will take center stage at Monday's hearing. The court ruled in October that Extractor Eric Schatz should turn over copies of the controversial footage to Jen "Remedy" Card, who is one of five former treesitters suing Pacific Lumber and Schatz over the extractions.
The treesitters recently added a claim for Invasion of Privacy based on the secretly-recorded footage.
Schatz was ordered by Judge Quentin L. Kopp to produce the footage to Card by November 18, 2005, but Schatz refuses. Recent documents filed with the court by his attorney, Brian C. Carter, say that Schatz would rather "serve time in jail - for contempt - than turn over the videos as the court has ordered."
The 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO is taking place from December 13th through 18th in Hong Kong. Negotiations have been continuing on key controversial issues such as agriculture, services, and market access for industrial goods and natural resources. The meeting will shape the final agreement of the Doha Development Agenda, which members hope to complete next year.
Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned for the dates between December 11th and 18th. Organizations that are mobilizing to protest the WTO meeting and corporate globalization, and to present alternative proposals, include peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea. Events: A new media and social transformation conference and workshop will take place in early December. Global Exchange will bring a delegation/reality tour to Hong Kong and parts of China in December.
Saturday December 17th:
From UK Indymedia newswire: Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages and WTO | Inspiring photos from the WTO summit in Hong Kong | Fisherfolks Murdered By Drowning, Suspect 6th WTO | pics from the WTO Hong Kong | Insurgent Zombies Occupy Paris Supermarket in WTO Protest | NO-WTO: DEMO SAT 17TH DEC, READING | WTO Protests - You Cannot Speak If You Wear Too Little | WTO - HK05 - Images of Resistance | WTO Protests in Hong Kong - Day One report | Report on the WTO Conference Day One Protect Actions | A list of sites with news on the WTO protests. (with links) | anti wto HK site | Philipinos protest WTO | KONG YEE SAI MAU! - Protest against the WTO! | Peaceful direct action violently oppressed by HK media | Free Trade Endangers Jobs Worldwide
Dispatches from Hong Kong
More links: No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | Indymedia.org article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media | Vatican Releases Guidelines for WTO Summit
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