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Initial report from Aug. 25th, 7:11 pm Portland Rocks Critical Mass: Just a quick report: Took my lunch break to see our fair Portland Bike Community ride off into the streets of downtown to remind us all that our actions are murdering our planet and our vulnerable communities. It was a hopeful scene with close to 100 bikes! Saw some folks with cameras so maybe there will be some pics later. BIG THANKS to everyone who participated.
Report from Aug. 25th, 9:46 pm Critical Mass Is Dead, Long Live the Mass!: If you were there tonight, or anytime recently, you know it's true. Critical Mass has been thoroughly domesticated - we are subjects, in Foucault's sense of being subjugated. It was a guided law enforcement tour, complete with every pointless rule in the book being shouted by 'lead cop.' Time for a New Mass, another time, another place, with hundreds of us. Mass is no longer were it's at for the biking community. We need something new, and soon ...
past critical mass stories: CM....can we do it the way it should be done? (5/16/06) | Mass attack: outside PDX (5/6/06) | Critical Mass and the Community (5/2/06) | Critical Mass Vancouver Announcement & Commentary on Critical Mass Portland (4/30/06) | Cyclists Arrested During Cricical Mass (4/29/06) | spokane wa critical mass (12/1/05) | Montana Senator, No Fan of Cyclists, Stands Up for Critical Mass Riders Civil Rights (11/11/05) | September Critical Mass (10/3/05) | August Critical Mass Report (8/27/05) | rose city critical mass
I was shocked when a friend took me by an archeological dig site and we found a steam shovel and dump truck hauling off loads of stone houses, whale bone and ivory artifacts and countless other cultural treasures to a gravel pit- junk yard- land fill.
The ancient site is featured in the local museum for its incredible artifacts discovered during past archeological digs. Really incredible carvings, tools and personal effects from societies that have thrived at the edge of the world between Aleutian Volcanoes and the Bering Sea for centuries.
I called in a complaint to the historical preservation office at the state of Alaska who approved the state bridge project which is being funded with federal money and built on the local native corporations land.
For those who do not know St Helens, it's a beautiful, old-fashioned village out here along the rolling Columbia river. It's a working class community with a sense of the funky, where rural folks come together and create a vibrant, living culture of their own. Full of artists, anarchists, and working people who live together in harmony, it seems like the perfect place. That is, until the Water Wars began. Now, it's getting harder to make ends meet here. And nobody seems to care.
"No, I don't think it was a mistake." - Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State on January 19th, 2006 re-emphasizing her unyielding commitment to war on Iraq.
"The incumbent says she has "no regrets" for any of her numerous pro war votes. The majority of us in Washington regret very much the Iraq war, which is bankrupting us financially and morally. I am running to bring the troops and the military equipment home now and to use the billions of dollars in the war chest to rebuild America. It's time for progressive people to build a political machine against this feeling of powerlessness that the Democrats offer." - Aaron Dixon, former head of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party, on why he is seeking the Green Party nomination for U.S. senate in Washington Sate.
Could Washington's Democratic primary be a replay of Connecticut's? Hong Tran is running against Cantwell in the WA Democratic primary for U.S. Senate---although you wouldn't know it if you walked passed the Demo HQ in Olympia. Like CT's Lamont, she opposes the war and advocates an immediate withdrawal. Hong Tran is challenging Cantwell.
She offers a progressive agenda, including: the quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, renegotiation or withdrawal from NAFTA and CAFTA, repealing the Patriot Act, and supporting social and economic justice for all! The Democratic Primary is September 19th. It will be a mail-in ballot.
My preferred way of being in the world is optimistic but I have really been struggling these past few weeks. It becomes too easy to see the glass half empty and its contents pain and suffering. The world events easily challenge my basic sense of human decency. But yesterday was such an extraordinary day in Olympia that I am once again seeing the glass filled with light and hope. I headed downtown. As I crossed over the 5th avenue bridge, the salmon were running and the seals were there too.
I attended the weekly peace vigil at Sylvester Park at noon. Normally, there is a just a handful of people. Yesterday, the Japanese Peace Delegation joined, bringing their truth about the horrors of war to Olympia. Buddhists who traveled down from Seattle, whose drumming and chanting called for peace in the world, joined us.
Early that evening, the Citizen's Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney held an informational meeting on How to Impeach a President. About twenty people came to the library to learn more. People are angry at what is happening to this country and the abuses of the President and Vice President.
Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli Al Naqab Prison are on hunger strike this week in protest of routinely being stripped naked. The naked body searches are described as humiliating and sometime Israeli prison authorities conduct them against political prisoners' parents and other family members during visits. This latest act of nonviolent resistance began with 20 Palestinians and quickly became 2,400. The first meal skipped was lunch Tuesday.
Thousands of protesters calling for Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz's resignation have occupied the southern city's center, taking over buses, setting up barricades and taking over radio and television stations to broadcast revolutionary messages. A group of masked men Monday fired on a government television station that the protesters have occupied since Aug. 1, injuring one man. Protesters responded by taking over 12 private stations and blocking the city's four main entrances with buses.
A delegation of 24 members of the Japanese Peace Delegation came to last night's Olympia City Council meeting to thank them for taking a stand against weapons of mass annihilation. They were met by a crowd of Olympians who shared their dream of a world free of nuclear arms. Cranes with peace messages surrounded city hall.
The delegation shared their experience, and that of others, with the lasting horrors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They looked forward to continuing to work with people in the United States to eliminate nuclear weapons to ensure they are never used again. Members of Beyond Hiroshima gave the Delegation strings of peace cranes to thanks the Delagation for their commitment to a nuclear-free world. Individuals from Olympia spoke as well, expressing their gratitude to the Delegation for reminding us how important it is to rid the world of nuclear arms. The former mayor spoke passionately about the risks of nuclear war, saying that the dangers are far greater than those posed by global warming.
On 19/August/2006, the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders returned to the Crystal Lake Recreation area to finish the trail work needed to complete the Lost Ridge Trail, a fairly easy hike where one end of the trail is at Deer Flats and the other meets Lake Road.
Hiking trails are established in these recreation areas in an attempt to concentrate foot traffic (and thus erosion and pollution) along official routes through the mountains while providing some measure of safety for hikers and campers. While the Crystal Lake Recreation area is currently closed and has been since 2002, the area is being worked on by professional, commercial companies and by volunteers such as the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders.
related: August 5 Lost Ridge Hiking Trail work report | Cleanup at Tototngna Nature Trail and Visitor Center | July 4'st Week End in the San Gabriel Mountains | National Trails Day of June 3rd, 2006: A Report | Trail work and deer chats and stuff. | Avoiding the Chainsaw Massacre | Trail Building in the San Gabriel Mountains | Cat rescue in the San Gabrial Mountains | Abandoned cats, need help | Environmental Clean up in San Gabriel Mountains | Trail Work in San Gabriel Mountains
With congressional races heating up in Oregon and around the country, there is a lot of pressure for candidates to "look more religious," or to "talk more about faith." Meanwhile religious leaders want to help get out the vote, but need help navigating the fine line
How can the often divisive use of religion in politics be harnessed instead to promote diversity and strengthen our democracy? The Interfaith Alliance is dedicated to providing the very answers to that question.
The Interfaith Alliance is kicking off it's One Nation, Many Faiths, Vote 2006 program in Portland on August 23, 2006 at The Benson Hotel located at 309 SW Broadway. There will be issue trainings and skills building workshops as well as an evening town hall meeting to teach activists, religious leaders and candidates the skills they need to challenge religious political extremism, encourage civic participation, and promote religious liberty.
It was round one of the Shame Campaign at 12:30 PM of 8/16/06 on 9th Avenue in Portland. Right in front of the Democrat Party of Oregon Headquarters. It was a self-proclaimed "Democratic Unity Event", and the Democrats were united, all right...against anyone who dares to question their immoral foreign policy decisions regarding Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Israel.
I am a 60-year-old 5-ft-4-inch man with a voice. Apparently this is enough to get you assaulted by Democrat goons.
While Earl Blumenauer was speechifying about how wonderful the Democrat Party is and how different they are from Republicans, I began to shout: "Shame on you for Lebanon. Shame on you for Gaza. You're complicit in war crimes." At About this moment, several thugs grabbed me by my arms and demanded that I leave. When I refused to leave, a no-neck skinhead wearing a union shirt threw me to the ground.
related: Blumenauer Global Warming speech lackluster fluff (8/11/06) | Earl Blumenauer's Betrayal (8/2/06) | Call Earl Blumenauer. Ask why he can't support a cease-fire in Israel/Lebanon. (8/2/06) | Blumenauer Calls for United States Diplomacy in the Middle East (7/31/06)
August 25th marks the 1-year anniversary of Katrina reaching hurricane strength. In the days that followed the storm would strengthen rapidly over an unnaturally warm Gulf of Mexico, ultimately striking the coast and leaving thousands dead and homeless, victims of an uncaring
government, centuries of racism, and an ever more chaotic global climate.
A strong scientific consensus agrees that the 2005 hurricane season was fueled by global warming -- and the crimes of the oil industry in the Gulf go beyond global warming. Ride Critical Mass Against Climate Change - demand Climate Justice - for Hurricane Katrina's survivors! Portland will be joining 26 other cities - see the complete list.
The goal of this ride is to take to the streets with a reminder that the racist tragedy in the Gulf continues, a demand that it never be repeated, and to raise awareness about the role of the oil industry and global warming in environmental injustice. We'll also be fundraising at rides around the continent for advocacy and relief groups in New Orleans.
related links: Beehive Collective creates new artwork for August 25th Katrina Anniversary Critical Mass | Post-ride movie showing | Rising Tide North America | portland indymedia katrina aftermath page | katrina.indymedia.us
On Thursday, August 17th 2006, The Swift Action Network began "Camp Suzanne" outside Fort Lewis in Washington State, in honor of and in solidarity with active duty soldier Spc. Suzanne Swift. Suzanne is the victim of sexual assault and "command rape" in the military. She currently suffers from PTSD.
The participants of Camp Suzanne and Swift Action Network have three demands:
1. Spc. Suzanne Swift be granted full honorable discharge.
2. Swift be given medical benefits for life.
3. The perpetrators who sexual assaulted and harassed and command-raped Swift be brought to justice.
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This is a heads up for anyone who is making the Farmer's Market rounds during this time of year. If you have a dog, do not go to the Oregon City Farmers' Market. Dogs are not allowed. We live out in the foothills, and were in Oregon City last Saturday, so thought we would go see what produce might be offered in the market. We have a small dog, weighing only 22 pounds. He is well behaved, was on a leash of course, and we carried a plastic bag in plain view so anyone could see that we were ready to take responsibility for anything that might happen. It was a very hot day, so there was no question about leaving the dog in the car. Happily looking at the lovely flowers and fresh vegetables, we were having a good time when an 'official person' with a shirt on which "OCSM" was stenciled, told us that we would have to get out. It is an open air market in a public parking lot near the County Administration Offices (of Fouad Kaady demonstration fame). I think it is totally unreasonable to bar leashed and mannerly dogs from an open air market.
Portland is a different city than it was 10 years ago. Today, one out of every eight residents in the greater Portland Tri-County area is foreign-born, and in some East Portland neighborhoods, immigrants represent one out of every three residents. So, what kind of city will Portland be in the future? How can Portland ensure that all residents have a voice, regardless of their country of origin or immigration status? How can Portland create an environment in which immigrants and refugees are recognized and supported as valued residents of our city?
On Saturday, August 19, immigrants and refugees from diverse communities across Portland gathered in City Hall to begin answering these questions. Individuals from the African, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Slavic and Arab communities showed up to testify about their respective issues and to share their dreams. The forum represented the culmination of a three-month-long grassroots organizing effort facilitated by the Center for Intercultural Organizing and led by Bridgetown Voices, a cross-cultural immigrant and refugee collaboration.
With the aid of hundreds volunteers from Cascadia and around the world, the Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) test-launched its radio signal on 96.3 FM today. PCUN is Oregon's largest Latino organization and a national leader in the battle to protect and expand the rights of immigrant workers in the United States.
The launch concluded a weekend-long "gran conferencia," co-hosted by the Philadelphia-based Prometheus Radio Project. PCUN plans to start full programming in November, and engage in a series of community sessions between now and then to name the station and hone its programming vision.
witness writes: Thanks to hurculean effort by volunteers the KPCN sign-on took place around 6:30pm today. Several shortcuts were necessary to make the broadcast possible which will need to be remedied in the coming days. Everyone present was very excited to hear ourselves cheering and clapping, chanting "si se puede" after the 3 second broadcast delay.
Links: Sign-on Audio | Portland Indymedia Podcast: KPCN-LPFM barnraising Friday Plenary, en espanol | Flickr Photos | Prometheus Photos | Video Press Release | Salem Statesman-Journal Article by Thelma Guerrero | Salem Socialists Article | Article by Julie, the littlest blog
This was our first time going to the Oak Grove "guerilla" protests ...and how cool it was ! There were maybe a dozen or so of us , and what blew us away was the OVERWHELMING positive responses ! There was hardly five seconds that went by without horns honking and thumbs up , and people THANKING us for being there ! We got a few one-finger salutes and one guy called us "Commie Bastards" but we would say 98% of the responses were supportive ! This is where it's at, folks ...we need to bring this home , to the streets , to the malls...we need to act , and act now. We may be days away from a nuclear strike on Iran and the end of the world as we know it. Am we "tripping" ? We hope so...We hope we are totally wrong about the intentions of this government , but right now , action is what is needed. Rock on !
Den Mark adds: Same response in Vancouver from the public. Mostly positive, with a few loud negatives, loud because those few feel increasingly isolated. We who demand justice & peace are NOT going away!
Lew adds: I saw folks here from far flung, small town America. These are the folks the war mongers fear most, because they cannot be counted as a group, and a very small number can affect the outcome in remote precincts that are harder for them to manipulate. A very powerful "in your face, chimp!" from wee little Scott's Mills, and from Colton, and from Bumfuq, and beyond. Thank you all for being there.
more pictures and reports: Strip Mall Peace Vigil August 19
Takoma, Maryland's City Hall was the scene for a lively discussion on Middle East issues, on Aug. 17, 2006. Kevin Zeese, the "Unity candidate" for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, and one of the panelists, said Israel's attack on Lebanon was premeditated and that an attack on Iran might lead to WWIII. Noura Erakat said Lebanon had been devastated 'on a humanitarian level" by Israel's War Machine. She also denounced Israel as an "Apartheid state."
Kevin Zeese got right to it in his opening remarks at a Forum, entitled, "Independent Solutions for the Middle East Crisis." It was held in the town's City Hall on Thursday evening, Aug. 17, 2006, in the Council Chambers. Zeese said: "The dividing line between peace candidates and pro war candidates is no longer opposition to the Iraq War. It is whether they oppose the premeditated destruction of Lebanon and a military attack on Iran."
Thank you all so much for the letters and books you have sent me in recent days. I know right now there's a bit of confusion about why I'm in the hole. I'd been hoping to know more myself before writing about it. However, that hasn't happened. So here is what has happened and what I know:
The whole thing started in mid-June when my neighbors got caught in their cell with a joint. The next day they took the wrong neighbors to the hole! Realizing their mistake a few days later they let the innocent party out of the hole and UA'd my tier.
One week later on June 30 I was called down to give a UA based on a phone conversation I'd had. I complied thinking it was just more of the same goings on as the week before.
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