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On Thursday, 16 August, about 50 people gathered for a visibility action to demand that Representative Earl Blumenauer vote "no" on Fast Track and FTAA legislation. A Fast Track vote was scheduled in Congress last month, but was put off because of citizen pressure. The organizers delivered anti-Fast Track post cards to Blumenauer's office before the action, and discussed the issue with his staff. Blumenauer has been a sworn "free-trader" in his voting record until recently, when he abstained from a Fast Track vote.
After delivering the postcards, citizens took to the intersection of Grand and Morrison during rush hour with signs, banners, and noise, to expose the Fast Track and FTAA issues to commuters. Organizers declared the event a success.
PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste), the Oregon Farmworker Union, declared a partial victory today outside the offices of a Monumental Life Insurance subsidiary on SE Stark Street. The union, which battles for basic labor rights for agricultural workers in the state, has been pressuring Pictsweet Mushrooms to recognize its workers' desire to unionize. PCUN recently widened the scope of its campaign to include Pictsweet's financial partners, including Monumental Life Insurance and its AEGON subsidiaries, which have $21 million invested in Pictsweet. Organizers had planned actions in different cities across North America on Thursday, the 16th, but late on Wednesday the company agreed to meet with PCUN representatives at its home office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The planned protest in Portland became a declaration of partial victory.
On Thursday, August 16th, the Community Cycling Center (CCC) visited two migrant camps to distribute bicycles to families living there. With volunteer support, the Community Cycling Center, whose mission involves recycling bikes, reaching kids and restoring communities, fixed up donated bikes to bring out to the migrant camps. They taught recipients how to fix a flat tire, properly fit a helmet and how to perform a basic safety check.
Landowners typically charge a transportation fee to workers. Because they earn so little for all the work they do, being able to possibly cut out transportation costs will give the migrant workers a greater sense of sustainability. Even though they only distributed 13 bikes this year, CCC Latino Outreach Coordinator Sarah Bentley says it's about more than just donating bikes. She hopes that this effort, which gained the attention of several media outlets, will raise awareness for the need to donate food and clothing to migrant workers as well. Next year they will work with as many organizations as possible to try to provide bikes on a regular basis.
Local activists held a picket line outside of Terminal 6 of the Port of Portland today for almost 12 hours in order to prevent an Italian ship from being unloaded. They undertook this action to protest the violent and inhumane tactics employed by Italian police during the recent anti-G8 protests in Genoa, Italy. The workers at Terminal 6 are organized under the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and so would not cross the picket. This interruption in scheduling affected train and truck traffic in and out of the Port as well, causing thousands of dollars in lost profits. The picketers stood down for the second shift to respect the wishes of the ILWU workers who would not be paid if they couldn't work, and who were not as a whole prepared to take a stand against Italian fascism with the picketers that day. From here, the Italian ship goes to the Port of San Francisco, where more protests might be awaiting it.
UPDATE: The Italian ship was picketed at its following stop, in Oakland, early on the morning of Friday, 17 August. [ Call to action | Video | Update from late Friday night | Follow the story at Bay Area IMC ]
TRAMPLING ON CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT
Earlier this year, in response to citizen outrage over logging in Acey Line Timber Sale in the God's Valley area of the Tillamook National Forest, the ODF created a citizen group to review timber sales involving older stands of trees. The last meeting was July 26 and no one was told that logging would begin in Acey before the final review of the citizen group discussions. On August 1st, the road to Area 3 was blocked by several county sheriffs and state police. Armed law enforcement officers were seen patrolling Area 3. Citizens who attempted to go in to see what was happening were threatened with arrest. The logging was finished a few days later and on August 7, the ODF brought a carefully-selected group of media to visit the site. Greeting the media was a local woman locked to a cable across God's Valley Road holding a sign stating "God is Dead!" The media entourage had to use another road. While the ODF was showing the media the logging, a banner saying "Save God's Valley" popped up in the woods.
Citizens have snuck in to document the logging, risking arrest. They found 40 inch diameter trees cut; the contract specifies no trees greater than 32 inches diameter were to be cut. Trees with branches greater than 5 inches diameter were to be left for marbled murrelet nesting trees, but citizens found some of these cut too. These concerns were ignored by the ODF. Yarding of the trees should begin in about a week. This will cause damage to leave trees, the understory and the soil.
For more information, and how you can help with this and other timber sales that need citizen oversight, visit the BARK website, or call (503) 331-0374; email: Bark@Spiritone.com
Organizations present included PCUN, The Service Employees Union, Allied Printing & Trades Union, the Teamsters, Canadian Labor Congress, The Ontario Federation of Labor and The B.C. Government Employees Union pledged their support and expressed solidarity in the farmworker's ongoing struggle. full story | KBOO Evening News story
Farmworkers and Supporters Urged To Give Testimony:
On August 8th, US & Mexican Officials will be hearing testimony from farmworkers and supporters about workplace conditions and other issues important to trabajadores. The forum will take place at Yakima Community College starting at 9AM. For more information call the UFW at (509) 839-4903.
A Walk For Farmworker's Justice was held June 18-25 this summer. Throughout this march first hand accounts and photos were gathered on the conditions fieldworkers must work and live under. In July, Fred Meyer and Safeway implemented a boycott on Pictsweet mushrooms, responding to the labor practises found within the Pictsweet plant at Salem.
[PCUN | AFL-CIO | Canadian Labor Congress]
Approximately 200 people showed up in Pioneer Courthouse Square to express grief, anger, and determination in the aftermath of severe police repression against anti-G8 protestors in Italy. After several speeches the group marched silently up Broadway in downtown Portland to the slow beat of a drum. The police were going to give the protestors one lane of traffic but did not intervene as they took the whole street. The group carried a black coffin at its head, and held a die-in at the Oregonian and another at the Italian Consulate.
TEXT: [ Genoa Funeral Procession Report | Funeral for Carlo Giuliani in Portland | Eulogy for the Portland funeral march for Carlo and others | Analysis: "Genoa protesters seek an end to exploitation" ]
In a collective show of support for progressive political causes, some 7,500 people gathered at the Portland Rose Garden Complex August 4th to take part in a day and evening of activism-orientated workshops and speeches organized by Democracy Rising's People Have The Power Tour and the Pacific Green Party. [ Account of one of the workshops ] After the rally many signed up for local and global organizations, compaigns, and initiatives. The tables within the Rose Garden lobby were attended by many participants and flyers touching on range of issues were handed out. In contrast to the pre-rally reporting by the mass media as regards the antithapy of the public towards activism and electoral politics on a non-election year, voter registration sheets and yellow volunteer pledge forms were being filled. more | pics
Action Centers Were Unannounced / Contact Information For Local Organizations:
The post-rally Action Centers were not announced at the end of the Rose Garden Arena rally. As the speeches ended thousands of potential volunteers left without the knowledge of the informational booths hidden beneath the Rose Garden which espoused the very ideals that speaker Ralph Nader had earlier extolled the audience to become involved in. Some of the issues covered by the Action Centers were Instant Runoff Voting, Police Accountability 2002, FTAA and Fast Track, Campaign Finance Reform and many others.
A protest was organized by those who felt Nader cost Gore the election. pics | protest announcement with comments
Xander Patterson, Lisa Melyan, Danny Glover, Jello Biafra, Medea Benjamin, Mark and Jason Kafoury, and Ralph Nader.
Education Centers participants and speakers
The next destination for this tour: contact www.democracyrising.org for further news.
Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, Portland Jobs With Justice, and Portland Alliance for Democracy call for a series of actions in protest against the FTAA and Fast Track this month. Both these issues may be debated before the US senate soon, so citizens are asked to express their opinions while they still have time to do so.
Thursday, August 16th 4:30 to 6:00 - Visibility Action
Participants will be asked to surround the block around Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Portland office at Morrison, Grand, and Belmont with people and signs about stopping Fast Track, stopping the FTAA, and globalization banners. The organizers intend to send a strong message to Earl about doing the right thing on Fast Track, and to take advantage of the heavy car traffic in that area to bring awareness to the issue. Call Portland Jobs With Justice for more information 503-236-5573
Sat, August 25th 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. -"Cookies for Calls' Mobile Call-In Center against Fast Track
On the corner 37th and Hawthorne (at the Bagdad) passers-by will be asked to call their Congress people to vote no against Fast Track. Cell-phones, people, and cookies will be needed. Call Patrick Leet (503-620-7749) to donate a phone for the day, to participate with tabling, leafleting, and helping people make calls.
Saturday, September 15th 10:00 a.m. - Public Forum 'Free Trade's Dirty Little Secrets'
Sponsored by Portland Alliance for Democracy and Economic Justice Committee of First Unitarian Church Call 503-636-5049 for more info.
Local To Global list serve: get involved in organizing around corporate globalization in the Portland metro area. To join send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on FTAA and Fast Track:
[www.tradewatch.org | www.fasttrackinfo.com | www.localtoglobal.org | www.oraflcio.unions-america.com]
[Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, 503-736-9777 | Portland Jobs With Justice, 503-236-5573 | Portland Alliance for Democracy, 503-636-5049]
Thanks to a pair of bizarre, after-the-fact stories filed by writers for the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, Copwatch revealed that for a brief moment the citizens of Oregon were free of some narcs, only to have them reinstated before most people knew they were gone.
[ Read More ]
Farmworkers have traditionally been excluded from laws that protect nearly all other working people who wish to organize a union. Although farmworkers in Washington State cannot be legally discriminated against for joining a union, there is no legal mechanism to oversee union elections and collective bargaining. A rally has been scheduled in Yakima, Washington, on Sunday, August 5th, to call attention to Washington State's discriminatory practices against Agricultural Farmworkers. The Washington State March for Amnesty & Justice For Agricultural Workers will start at 10 AM. For more info see the United Farmworkers Website There is however, a policy that exists under the NAFTA regulations that provides for protection of workers, called NAALC, Under this NAFTA labor accord, individuals may lodge complaints, called "public communications," with the National Administration Office (NAO) of a country not involved in the complaint. A complaint was filed with Mexico's labor department in 1998. The workers' complaint cited violations of freedom of association, health and safety, and non-discrimination principles under NAALC. In August of 1999, the Mexican NAO completed its review of the complaint, and requested ministerial consultations. A May 2000 accord between the two countries' secretaries of labor authorized the August 8 public forum at Yakima Community College. This will be the first time that a broad, industry-wide complaint under the NAALC has come to public forum in the United States. It will be the workers' opportunity to share their concerns about lack of protection for their international labor rights and lack of enforcement of minimum labor and health and safety standards. For more information, contact the United Farmworkers of America at (509) 839 4903.
On Monday, August 6 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, activists will express grief and anger over the vengeful behavior of Italian security forces during last week's G8 conference, and fear of worsening repression in this country. Coffins, dirges, and mourning attire will symbolize horror at the renewal of state terrorism. Members of the Portland community will link the escalating police violence in Quebec, Sweden, and Italy to growing police aggression in Portland, including the FTAA demonstration on 7/31, July Critical Mass, and ongoing terrorism against "black-clad" activists. Speakers will highlight personal fear and grief, and community response. Press conference, 11:30 AM; Funeral, Noon
[ Read more | Global IMC G8 coverage | 7/31 FTAA Demonstration | July Critical Mass ]
On August 4th in the Portland Rose Garden Complex Democracy Rising will kick off the People Have The Power Tour. The tour is an effort to reclaim the high ground not just in politics but in all matters within the local communities that the rallies will be held. Ralph Nader and other prominent figures will be speaking and performing. Pre-rally there will be free Education Centers, held from 11:00 am to 6 pm in the Memorial Coliseum, that have been organized to offer action-enabling information on a huge range of progressive issues. Post-rally events will include free Action Centers, to be held from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Rose Garden, where interested citizens can become directly involved with ongoing campaigns and organizations.
Protest the Rally Organized by people who feel Nader voters gave votes to Bush in the last election, a protest will be held outside the Coliseum at 5 pm.
Ride Together to the Coliseum In conjunction will be a permitted bike rally, which will gather under the west side of the Burnside Bridge at Noon. The rally will circle downtown and end at the Memorial Coliseum. Noise makers and crazy costumes are encouraged.
4 August 2001
Don't hate the media -- become the media!
On Friday, 27 July, police harrassed a special Critical Mass being held in memorium for a cyclist's death. Two arrested and at least six citations were issued. It was described by one participant as "May Day of 1999 all over again". What was supposed to be an 'In Memorium' Critical Mass ride for the death of a fellow cyclist turned into confusion, oppression and of course, arrests made by Portland's finest. The route was simple. From downtown, over the Burnside Bridge, up Sandy Boulevard to 37th, back around onto 39th and into Laurelhurst Park for a party. The ride never made it en mass to the memorial site of 37th and Sandy.
Approximately four Portland Police cars screeched to a halt when the ride came to the bottom of the Burnside Bridge at Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard. PP blocked the ride, and two-and a half lanes of traffic eastbound from the bridge. Tickets were given to a few cyclists for 'impeding traffic'. The ride attempted to continue on across MLK, but was stopped between MLK and Grand, with more tickets given. The ride gave a last ditch effort to continue uninterrupted. At approximately 7th and Burnside, cyclists were told to get off the street, two were arrested, more tickets were issued--the madness had officially began.
This rally will be calling on Congressman Blumenauer to vote no on Fast Track legislation in a stand of support for the environment, workers and the poor here in Oregon and around the world. Fast Track legislation allows the Bush administration to negotiate trade deals, such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas and WTO expansion, which cannot later be amended by Congress, but instead must be voted up or down as submitted. This would strip Congress of the ability to adequately scrutinize trade agreements submitted by President Bush.
Giant puppets, colorful signs and lots of energetic people will be in attendance.
Contact: Kate Lore and Joe Schneider Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church Oregon Fair Trade Coalition t: 503-228-6389 ext. 44 , t:503-823-5129 | handbills and posters for the rally
Eugene Rally for Workers Rights, the Environment, and Democracy on high noon Friday, August 3 at Ron Wyden's office, 151 W 7th, Eugene (between Olive and Charnelton on 7th).
Join Eugene labor, environmental, political, and religious leaders in a rally to demand that Senator Wyden stand up for labor rights, the environment, Oregon communities, and the future of our hemisphere. Let him know that we don't support fast track, and he shouldn't either.
Congress is currently debating the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a trade agreement modeled after NAFTA (which has alone cost Oregon nearly 11,000 jobs since 1994). The AFL-CIO and many other organizations have made it a priority to defeat fast track.
Call Senators Wyden and Smith and tell them that you oppose the FTAA and the fast track authority that would deny Congress the right to amend the FTAA. Please act soon! Senator Ron Wyden: (202) 224-5244, (541) 421-0229 Sen. Gordon Smith (202) 224-3753, (541) 465-6750
Rally organized by the Eugene Fair Trade Coalition. Co-sponsored by CISCAP, ESSN, and the Lane County Labor Council. For more information call 687-2916.
Update: Thu 9:30am: The protests have not been cancelled. Several posts have been made to the IMC newswire claiming that the protests have been called off. This is false; the buses are still running and will leave downtown Vancouver, British Columbia from Burrard Sky Train Station & Library Square at 9:00am on Saturday. See this post. PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) is a Regional Trade Alliance who's policies and activities reflect WTO, FTAA and NAFTA rulings and regulations. On July 26-28, PNWER will be having their annual meetings in the posh ski resort town of "Whistler" located on unceded St'at'imc Territory in "bc." For more information on the events, visit Resist PNWER. Specifically, see the Schedule of Resistance. There will be a demonstration on Saturday, July 28th, beginning at noon in parking lot #3, Whistler, BC.
23 July 2001--300 people converged in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon today to protest against the G8 Summit, and to voice their opposition to the brutal and violent behavior of Italian law enforcement during the last few days, especially the death of Carlo Giuliani, a 23 year old activist, at police hands.
Delivering a letter to the Italian Consulate
Scuffle between protester and AP photographer
Taking the streets
Italian police have killed two protesters during the anti-G8 demonstrations in Genoa, Italy. The first was Carlo Guliani, 23, a Genoan man who was shot in the head with a revolver and run over twice by a jeep. An autopsy has confirmed that Guliani died of a gunshot wound [ Story ]. New reports tell of other deaths and injuries in what has quickly become a violent and repressive police state [ Other deaths ].
A Russian computer programmer was arrested by the FBI on Monday after giving a presentation at an annual computer security conference in Las Vegas. He is being taken to the district of northern California for arraignment. Mr. Sklyarov's lecture at the DefCon-9 conference was entitled "E-Book Security: Theory and Practice". He was arrested at the behest of Adobe Systems, a San Jose-based software company responsible for PhotoShop, Illustrator and Premiere (all popular graphics packages for Microsoft Windows and MacOS).
There is a protest outside Adobe Systems' headquarters in San Jose, California on Monday, 23 July, 2001 at eleven o'clock in the morning. There are several solidarity protests at both Adobe offices and federal buildings throughout the country, including Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Moscow. Local activists might arrange one here in Portland, too. See full story for details.
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