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I left the office today at 5:15. It was sunny, but cool. I walked up SW Third Avenue to the Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Building, where a mass act of civil disobedience was taking place. Early this morning, a group of about 20 peace activists entered Senator Ron Wyden's office in the building and refused to leave. They wanted to inform the senator that he needs to show more effective leadership. The action was supported by a small group of allies who maintained a vigil on the street corner outside beginning around 8:00 this morning.
People had been phoning reports in to the Portland Legal Defense Network all day and the PLDN had published the reports on Portland Indymedia. I followed the story line through the day by clicking on the website every hour or so. I was eager to go down there all day.
As a legal observer, I attempted to enter the Federal Building through the front door at 5:20pm. The doors were locked and three Federal Protective Service and Homeland Security officers stared lazily through the glass at me when I knocked on the window and signaled "WTF?" One of them gave me a rather ominous finger-across-the-throat sign to signal they were closed. Finally one of them sauntered over to the glass and mouthed to me that there was no freaking way I was getting in the building. [ read more ]
related articles: [ PLDN - protesters at federal bldg released | go to the federal bldg at 5:30 | PLDN - arrests at the federal building now | URGENT call Wyden now | Right now! about 15 folks occupying Sen. Wyden's downtown office ]
We went first to the Federal Building, where Senator Smith has his office on the third floor. Neither he nor his staff were in residence, and we knew we would not be able to get to the third floor, so we had our sit-in in the downstairs lobby, and a bunch of us, including some spirited high school kids, were arrested.
We then moved on to the building that houses the offices of Senator Wyden and Rep. DeFazio. We found their doors locked, even though there were staff inside each office. There were signs posted saying they were closed for the day, on the advice of some government agency. One of us talked to people in both offices on his cell phone, asking them to come out and talk to us. They refused. [ read more ]
M20 Actions in Eugene
The day started out with a small group of coordinated individuals standing around outside the Federal building. When all of their people finally arrived (many of them high school students) they proceeded into the doorway of the building where they had a town hall meeting stating that when protests (such as the permitted marches we've all seen these past few days) fail then the American people have no choice but to commit themselves to civil disobedience to make their voices heard.
Their good (and reportedly longstanding) relationship with the Eugene police department worked out much to their benefit today; The doors were locked and everyone left inside the doorway was sited and released ( citing law: 41 CFR 102-74.390 by 10:30. [ read more ]
Over 700 people gathered on Saturday here in Olympia to demand an end to the Iraq war. They lined 4th Avenue, from the bridge to Percial Landing, the major route through the city. People waved and honked their horns in support. Origami cranes with peace sayings adorned 4th avenue and the trees surrounding the fountain.
FRANCE: protests in 170 cities - riots - unions call for a GENERAL STRIKE - 1.5 million people demonstrated in more than 170 cities and towns on saturday against the french government and its job market "deregulation" plans CPE. Many of the demonstartions ended in massive clashes with the police. About 70 of the 84 french universities are on strike and/or occupied by students. Also schools are occupied by teachers and pupils. The unions said if the government won't take back CPE till tomorrow they will call for a GENERAL STRIKE in France. [ read more ]
Germany: public service since 6 weeks on strike ! - The public service is on strike since 6 weeks. And this, because the german state wants its employees to work 40 hours a week - and not 38.5 hours a week like now - without paying them more money. In countless cities, towns, villages, nurses, kindergarden employees, states' office workers, street cleaners and so on did not do their job since 6 weeks... The chief of the biggest striking union VerDi, Frank Bsirske, said, if necessary they could strike 1 year long. [ read more ]
General Strike in GREECE - General Strike took place in Greece on march the 15th. 90% of all states' employees and 70% of all companies' employees were on strike. The strike was against Liberalisation and Privatisation of the public sector and the job market. Public Service in greece did not work at all. Public transport Service such as trains, metro, busses and so on... did stop. Schools, hospitals, banks, public institutions were closed - as well as most of the private owned companies. [ read more ]
related articles: [ FRANCE: unionist in coma - "police almost killed him" | French Unions Ask For National Strikes! | Greece: Another Two Police Surveillence Cameras Destroyed | FRANCE: pics of police brutality | French students movement | French Students occupy Universities | Virtual Sit-In in Solidarity with the Striking Students of France! | Italy again | FRANCE: 50 universities occupied/on strike, also schools; unions in solidarity! | ITALY: massive riots in Milano ]
March 19, 2006 was a beautiful sunny day. So sunny I decided to leave for the rally early. When I reached the waterfront a little after one o'clock, I was surprised to see a crowd already around one to two thousand people. I saw some familiar faces and made my rounds. Everyone I spoke to felt the rally was not going to get us out of Iraq any sooner, but everyone seemed to be enjoying the sunshine.
After about an hour, the crowd had doubled. Someone came up and greeted everyone and there was some peace and love music. Because I was at the rally to support the end of the Iraq war and not peace I went to the back of the crowd and watched the anarchist cheerleaders (they were awesome!).
A little while later I found the "bloc" and met some of the people from the Seattle Anti-imperialist group. The bloc had a banner that read "Fuck The Troops!" complete with a yellow ribbon crossed out, a circle A, and a circle E. Personally I thought this banner was great. It did not scape-goat our "leaders"; instead it called upon those holding the weapons to realize what they are doing is wrong. ] read more [
AUDIO FILE: Rally and March, March 19, 2006
What was accomplished? Each of those who attended will have to answer that for themselves. A thousand reasons for resisting oppression, all arising from one love of freedom, one compassion for all Human Beings, one faith in the general resilience of the Human Spirit.
This was an enormous event, both physically and emotionally. While standing at Broadway and Morrison, with the orange clad and black masked "detainees," the march stretched out away out of sight in both directions, north and south, while eastward I could see the vanguard of the March working its way north up 4th Avenue. Easily 30 blocks in length, probably more.
We take so much for granted in this country. It's good to get out into the streets and demonstrate the fact that we appreciate our Civil Liberties, and when Bush comes to shove, we will stand up for them and resist their gradual disappearance. It's necessary to respond as a Community to any assaualt upon the sovereignty of the people, upon their institutions, upon their capacity to trust one another. ] read more [
pictures: [ m19 (3) photo essay | M19 Rally and March Photos, 3 of 3 | M19 Rally and March Photos, 2 of 3 | M19 Rally and March Photos, 1 of 3 | Photogs of M19 March and Rally | M19 Pics and Report | Peace Rally & March Photos, 03/19/06 | Waterfront Park Rally | Spontaneous action in the burbs ]
Eric McDavid has been denied vegan food for over two months. We are asking as many people as possible to call the jail as much as possible on Monday March 20. Eric's health is deteriorating and it is critical that he be provided vegan food as soon as possible. In the past the jail has lied to Eric's supporters about his food, his health and their ability to provide him with vegan food. Regardless of what they say do not be deterred.
Sacramento County Main Jail
Sheriff Lou Blanas
your tax dollars to support a school for bigotry?
An alternative high school sponsored by a Portland church that was one of the primary backers of Ballot Measure 36 has received the approval of the Portland Public School Board to in the fall of 2006 with the support of public funds.
The so-called "Academy of Character and Ethics," or ACE, proposed by Mt. Olivet Baptist Church will open at Jefferson High School in North Portland in 2006 with about 50 students and grow to 200 students, according to the Oregonian .
Mt. Olivet was a major contributor to the Yes on 36 campaign, donating $15,000 to the 2004 measure that banned same-sex marriage.
Update: Daniel is from New York, and has been an active member of the community, working on diverse projects such as demonstrations against the Republican National Convention, Really Really Free Markets, and supporting political prisoners such as Jeff "Free" Luers and others. Daniel was a graduate student earning a Master's degree in acupuncture and was working at WomensLaw.org, a nonprofit group that helps women in domestic abuse situations navigate the legal system, which is where he was arrested by federal marshals on December 7, 2005.
Daniel had originally been indicted separately, but his arrest comes in the context of a well-coordinated, multi-state sweep of numerous activists by the federal government, who has charged the individuals with practically every earth and animal liberation case left unsolved in the Northwest. Many of the charges, including Daniel's, are for cases whose statute of limitations were about to expire.
Daniel has been out on bail since February 8th and is on house arrest. He is in New York City, eagerly working on his legal defense, employed part-time at WomensLaw.org and spending time with family and friends. In order to help Daniel, his family and friends have created a support network (Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan) to assist in raising funds for Daniel's legal representation which is expected to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are asking his friends and supporters to donate what they can to help Daniel's family with the legal bills.
On March 15th, Joyanna Zacher and Nathan Block were re-indicted under the same case number as the original Eco-11. In addition, Chelsea Gerlach has been indicted on new charges stemming from the University of Washington arson. Below is a text version of the entire new superseding indictment. The pdf version can be found on the at CLDC website
We have compared the 1/20 indictment with the superseding indictment. We listed the changes below. As you will note, most of the changes just add Block and Zacher for Romania II and Jefferson Poplar. However, Gerlach's name is added in section III of Counts 1 and 2 for the University of Washington arson.
Peace Rally & March Photos, 03/19/06 A great event! Thousands attended, rallied at Waterfront Park and marched to the tune of many different drums. The Portland Drum Corps, the March Forth Band, much music and spontaneous chants and an enormous outpouring of heart, soul, and physical reisistance to the growing evil being visited upon the people of this land and by the people of this land upon the peoples of the world. [ read more >> ]
M19 Pics and Report I showed up a little bit late, around 2:00 or so. On the way into town on the MAX, I noticed something I never see on my way to protest: other protestors on the move! Comming in from suburbia, there were about 10 other people on the train on their way to the rally. All through town people were converging. When I finally arrived at the waterfront, I couldn't belive my eyes: there were thousands upon thousands of people; more than I had ever seen at a rally anywhere. My initial estimate was about 10,000-15,000 but people kept flooding the park while the speakers spoke so by the time we marched there must have been 20,000-40,000 people. [ read more >> ]
Waterfront Park Rally Here are a few shots from todays gathering. All the speakers and musicians were emotional, urgent and motivating. Because I was at the front of the stage, I had no idea what the estimated crowd was this afternoon. It would be interesting to read what the total turn out was today. Thank-you Oregon and SW Washington for exercising your right to assemble and redress our grievances. Throw the bums out this November. [ read more >> ]
Report from the M19 Rally and March As people spoke of the challenges we face, I felt that the speech was strong, eloquent even. Yet when it turned to what should be done about those challenges we face, it felt weak and stilted. I agree that everyone should vote, yet with the vote fraud that has happened the past two elections, there isn't even a guarantee that ones vote will be counted in the column that the person chose. No, voting is nowhere near enough. And what troubles me about suggesting people to vote, is that voting is far away in time. It is unsure, and far away. We need action that is sure and close. No specific action was called for other than vote, and give money. [ read more >> ]
Spontaneous action in the burbs We knew that our friends and neighbors and fellow activists would be doing us proud in Portland today, so we decided to take our stand to a smaller town in the valley. We chose Canby and took our Peace flag and one that said "Imagine" and stood on the old log bridge overpass next to the Canby shopping center. Highway 99 runs just beneath it. At first it seemed pretty lonely up there. We stood and watched the cars roll by and then suddenly someone honked and flashed the peace sign. That gave us the needed spark to stand there longer. [ read more >> ]
pictures: [ Peace Rally & March Photos, 03/19/06 ]
The Oregonian sank to new depths this weekend marking the third anniversary of the U.S. War in Iraq. As hundreds of thousands marched around the world protesting peacefully against this war, The Oregonian led off its Opinion section with the huge type, "Crossroads or dead end?" Below were imbedded two, supposedly alternative views along the line of that heading, with a third innocuous title of an opinion piece on page B5, "Are we losing an unwinnable, unjustified war?"
Before we take another stop further, let us all be reminded that our "local" newspaper, The Oregonian, is part of a national media conglomerate called Primedia, which is owned by a the heirs of Si Newhouse, a long time Republican backer who's net worth is listed in Forbes at around $7 billion, but has been estimated to be closer to $14 billion.
Vancouver's "Death of Democracy" funeral procession was over thirty cars long, following a truck-caisson carrying a flag-draped casket. Every vehicle had similar signs, each car with different messages on front & rear, but with identical messages on sides, headlites on, black streamers on aerials, hands extending from windows with peace signs. We covered about 25 miles at steady slow pace. Many passing cars signaled support with horns & peace signs. Altogether a positive two-hour visual peace presence thru'out the city, with no hassle from police or anyone. Afterward, a few of us walked to our usual intersection near the Library, & did a quick streetside visibility. Tomorrow, we'll join Portland's action & help their numbers grow. Protests are not sufficient in themselves, obviously, but are certainly part of the synergy of many kinds of actions that change things, eventually.
Saturday March 18th saw the third anniversary of the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq. There were over 250 demonstrations around the world including protests in Iraq itself - in Basra and Baghdad. The UK demonstration was in London where a march was held from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. The police estimate of 15,000 was widely quoted by the media including the early evening Channel 4 news and the BBC Radio 4 news. The march organisers feel this was the figure at the start of the march in Parliament Square but many more people joined afterwards giving a total of 80,000 to 100,000. [ read more ]
Some early risers took to the Everett Street overpass this morning, hoisting anti-war, anti-imperialist banners high above the freeway. Great job! (And me without my camera.)
As I was rushing on my way to another action this morning, I heard a car honk as I approached the crosswalk at the Everett St off ramp. I looked up to see a knot of colorfully dressed folks holding a sign admonishing people to stop war for profit. Looking across the road, I saw another crew, with a banner unfurled for the pleasure of the people on the freeway below. I recognized some of the good samaritans, others I do now know. I have to say, I love actions like this. Quietly organized without a big block of "sponsors," but tactically arranged to reach people with a message that ties this war with the root of all war. [ read more ]
actions friday continued
The detainee procession through downtown over the lunch hour was powerful. 4 orange jumpsuits, prisoners hooded, chains on ankles, and a woman shackled, wearing traditional Muslim clothing. The soldiers barked orders, forced the prisoners to kneel before the flag in Pioneer Sqaure, whil they were told about the great land of liberty. They were led to the justice center, where they were made to kneel again. Many folks out shopping, eating, jaws dropped as this image came into their view.
Later in the day 2 masked figures held a huge banner out in the sqaure for a long time, banner read "Bush Blood Harvest, Record Profits." [ read more ]
Venezuelan union leader Luís Primo will speak Sunday March 19th, 7 PM at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 247 (2215 N. Lombard). Sr Primo is the former president of the Caracas Transportation Workers Union and a leader in the new radical labor federation, the National Workers Union (UNT). He will share information about the Venezuelan Labor movement, Democracy, and novel ways the Bolivarian Revolution is fighting corporate globalization.
Venezuela is undergoing radical changes under the leadership of President Hugo Chavez. While U.S. officials like Donald Rumsfeld compare Chavez to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, people throughout Latin America have increasingly followed Venezuela's lead in pushing back against Washington-backed economic orthodoxy and bringing the long-marginalized poor into the political process. While Chavez and Bush's public sparring grabs most U.S. headlines, a variety of social organizations and movements are responsible for having pushed Chavez into power and fueling what they call their "Bolivarian Revolution." Venezuelan union leader Luís Primo will speak to what is going on behind the headlines, specifically with regard to the labor movement's role in transforming Venezuela.
March 18th, Eugene, OR: A March and Rally was held in Eugene to bring attention to the issue of peace in Iraq and all over. Here's a few things that people reported and photos they took from the open publishing newswire.
The rally was dry and the liberals wanted money, but a democrat called for class war and a young voice inspired me momentarily with a poem. Read More
I tagged along with the group from Alton Baker Park, which numbered about 150-200. Once at the Federal Courthouse two other groups, one from UofO (# unknown) and the Fairgrounds (about 500) joined up. The Alton Baker group was met by Samba Ja, a Eugene-based bateria, beneath the Ferry Street Bridge, and the energy level went through the roof. Read More
Environmental activist Joe Keating won the Pacific Green Party's gubernatorial nomination today, marking the end of a down-to-the-wire race whose outcome hinged on a handful of provisional ballots. The week long wait to determine the winner followed a convention held in Corvallis on March 11. At that time, Ed Winslow, a pioneer in the socially responsible investing field, held a one vote lead over Keating.
Jail Support: 503-234-4518 (Portland Legal Defense Network)
CALL-in from the street: 503-715-0994 [Indymedia live audio stream]
The Portland Legal Defense Network... will be taking calls... If there are arrests we will take collect calls from folks in custody, come and pick you up from the justice center, take you home and then make sure you have good legal representation.
The Indymedia live Audio stream (click to listen) is an important tool. If you are out on the street today please carry the number (503-715-0994) for the live stream in Portland and call in your own reports of what is going on.
Other Actions: Eugene: Eugene Demo M18, The Rally in Eugene, More Eugene Demo photos | March 18th: Round up report of worldwide anti-war demonstrations March 18th 2006
March 15, 2006 - Got Soul Radio? special show featuring local Green Party candidates Chris Iverson and Xander Patterson as we discuss various issues related to running for City and County office, respectively. Chris and Xander are both very nice gentlemen and have their campaign presentation fairly polished. Chris needs lots of $5 bills to qualify for the Voter Owned Elections while Xander wants you to stake your turf with the [X] sign. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to find out what makes them really tick although Chris offers some insight into his past experiences growing up in Portland, and they both mention a bit of disgust with the federal and state level. [Listen to STREAMING AUDIO | MP3 Download]
CODEPINK Portland, other area CODEPINK chapters, and other women's groups are gathering at 12:15pm to bring the women of Portland together in saying NO to the war in Iraq. We will gather while the Radical Cheerleaders and others perform, and Eman Ahmed Khamas, Iraqi journalist and activist, will say a few words. Then we will begin marching through downtown Portland, to join the Rally at Waterfront Park.
Just imagine the beautiful sight of a sea of women coming together in peace and love, pouring into the park and bringing our woman power to the larger rally!
M19 Vets for Peace Feeder March
The Veterans for Peace feeder march will assemble at the site of the future Vets' Peace Park, at the intersection of N Interstate and NE Oregon St. at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 19. The park is at the east end of the Steel Bridge, one block south of Rose Quarter TC.
The march will step off at 11:30, going down the esplanade and crossing the Steel Bridge on the pedestrian walkway, and continuing to the rally site through Waterfront Park.
M19 Labor Feeder March
Sunday, March 19th, from 1 to 2pm, labor activists, members of a recent delegation to Venezuela, students, and others will rally at the Federal Building to denounce US intervention in Iraq and Venezuela. This event will be a "Feeder" March to Sunday's Peace Rally. Luis Primo, a leader in Venezuela's largest labor federationÂ—the National Workers' Union, will be the keynote speaker.
In addition to speaking out against the war in Iraq, speakers will condemn the possibility of US intervention in Venezuela. In recent months, hostilities between the US and Venezuela have dramatically increased, with Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Christian televangelist Pat Robertson making threatening statements against Venezuela's democratically elected President Hugo Chavez. Pat Robertson called for Chavez' assassination, while Condoleeza Rice promoted building a "united front" against Venezuela.
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