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About 48 Vancouverites turned out today for the solidarity actions in DC. We held numerous hand-made signs, banners and flags under bright sunshine and cold, brisk winds. There tons of hornhonks. One reported several flip-offs to which he holds up TWO fingers! One guy came, arguing briefly, but didn't stick around.
I saw many familiar, beautiful friends, and lots of new ones. Mike T. took digital pictures and agreed to post them here.
Three of us were away. Marion Ward and Cindi Fisher are in DC for the march and lobbying, and Angie Lindquist is on a safari, after finishing up at the World Social Forum in Nairobe, Kenya.
Bring the troops home NOW. No more $ for the troop surge!
In solidarity with the peace marchers in D.C., we stood with our Peace flags on the foot bridge over Hwy 99 in Oregon City. We have brought our flags there several times, but it felt like a good place to start our day. There were many positive responses from drivers. Boy was it cold though! The wind was whipping up through that tunnel and nearly ripped the flags from our hands. A young couple stopped by as they walked over to the viewpoint for the Willamette Falls. The young woman, who works for the city of Oregon City, gave me her warm mittens and thanked us for what we were doing. I was very grateful, because without those gloves, I would have had to head for warmth a lot sooner.
From Oregon City, we went to the Oak Grove Vigil on McLoughlin and were very pleased to see that there were around 35 people standing along both sides of the roads with signs and flags. As most of you know, these folks come out every Saturday from noon to 1 o'clock. We were pleased by the many positive responses we received from those driving past. One elderly man in a rather large truck gave us the thumbs down, but now I know at least one of the 28%ers. Looked a lot like Karl Rove.
For the second Friday in a row, the Military Career Recruiting Center at NE 13th & Broadway locks down rather than face "angry Grannies".
The Surge Protection Brigade, a coalition of long time peace activists, many of them mothers and grandmothers, went to the recruiting center today and were greeted with locked doors, despite the sign saying, "OPEN. WALK IN"
People were prepared to be arrested to stop recruiting, but are happy that recruiting was blocked without an arrest.
Troy and I arrived about 1300, (1 PM) and met with a staff member who listened to us and accepted our letter.
Apparently he did not read the letter because when 1700 (5PM) came around he told us we had to leave without answering our request in writing --- we refused to leave. There was some confusion as what to do next. The staff wanted to go home and we wanted to stay to get an answer to our letter. Security was called and asked us to leave, we said no because we did not get an answer to our question. Security called the PD and we all waited. When the police arrived, they seemed upset that we had taken them away from arresting the bad guys --- to deal with this sit in. We told the police that we would be willing to accept a written statement from a representative of Sen. Smith saying that he would not vote for any future funding of the war or occupation of Iraq. Stand off.
On Thursday, January 25, Veterans For Peace began Operation Support and Defend the Constitution:
To demand congress follow the will of the people, de-fund the war, and use the money to Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home Now!
To restate our oath of service as veterans to support and defend the Constitution.
To remind Congress that they took a similar oath, thus they have a responsibility to hold in check the powers of the Executive. Tell Congress they are a branch of our government, not an arm of the President.
To work to force the President to stop illegal acts such as unwarranted surveillance and torture, and to repeal laws that are in violation of the Constitution, such as the Military Commissions Act.
To invite veterans across the nation to unite with us in our effort to defend and support the Constitution by advocating for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney.
Stand with us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., January 26-28, at Terry Schrunck Plaza, SW 3rd Ave., Portland (across from the Fedral building).
Well it was fun and inspiring for me in putting together this video collection of miscellaneous pictures/photos many from Portland Oregon Protests. I want to thank those whose pictures I am using in this montage music clip I made, titled "Protesting Bush." When putting this together I felt the energy come from these photos, of all the people who were out in these streets making a stand. As I worked with these images and music, I could really feel for the dynamics of what is involved of the anti war/bush protesting movement. With the multitude of diversity, tactics, creativity, spirit, costumes, un-ending ENERGY and down right old fashion taking it to the streets... ... you protester "rock"!
People out in the streets pushing for change, to make this world better, and a safer place with less death & torture. People who are, united in peace, and who are standing up to... .. "be counted." People who go on the record before "all society" that we want change from this Insane Bush direction.
On the UC Berkeley campus, there is a grove of old oak trees which is now in jeopardy. The UCB regents are planning to cut the trees to expand the university's sport stadium. They will have a difficult time, though, as a tree sit is in progress. Within the last few days, three women "of a certain age" have joined in the protest. Former mayor Shirley Dean is 71 years old. She is joined by 86 year old Betty Olds and 90 year old Sylvia McLaughlin. The women have a long history of working in the city government and on environmental issues. They are not about to quit now.
There is a law against cutting mature Coast Live Oaks in California, but that law was waived so that the $125 million addition to the sports complex could be built. Tree sitter activist "Redwood Mary" said that she would enforce the law against cutting the trees with her body if necessary. A temporary restraining order against cutting was issued on January 12th, but the battle is not over. For more information, you may go to http://www.saveoaks.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 60 people assembled tonight to demonstrate against Chimpy's lame SOTU speech. Hat's off to senator Webb for his rebuttal.
Jim Webb of Virginia was selected to give the Democratic response to Bush's SoTU, and boy, did they make the right choice. Webb hit all the right notes, his points impressive and unassailable. Rather than even dignify the fearmongering and drawing of parallels of 9/11 to aggression in the Middle East, Webb just pointed out that the Democrats are representing the will of the people in their desire to see an end to the quagmire and that if Bush didn't want to listen to the people that put him in office, the Democrats would lead him to the will of the people.
Petition delivered to Gordon Smith's office this morning in downtown Portland
Over 10,000 signatures were delivered to Senator Smith's assistant urging our Senator to vote for the resolution opposing escalation in Iraq.
Here are a few photos from the event. Koin and KGW sent camera crews and reporters to the event.
Baird will be in Vancouber WA this week. I hope folks will join me in asking him some tough questions about the war and impeachment.
Congressman Brian Baird will host two town hall meetings on Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26. The town halls will focus particularly on the Iraq war, the federal budget and deficit. This is also an opportunity for residents to share their thoughts on issues and legislation, and for Congressman Baird can hear ideas on how government can serve constituents better.
The December and January issue of "Oregonizm," a magazine with lots of glossy advertisements but very little content, features a letter entitled, "OHSU Student Lashes Out," attributed to "Mars Hall" (page 26). The letter, if authentic, shows a disturbing degree of ignorance on the part of this OHSU student. Equally disturbing is the student's hatefulness. Would you want an ignorant hate-monger as your health practitioner?
Right off the bat, Mars Hall (alleged OHSU student) asserts that the protestors are not informed about the use of animals in lab testing and refers to them as "idiots." I wonder if Mars Hall also considers Dr. Jane Goodall, the world's most renowned primatologist, an "idiot" for being critical of OHSU's animal abuse? See her webpage at: http://www.janegoodall.org
Would Mars Hall also consider C. Ray Greek, MD, and Niall Shanks, PhD; president and vice-president of Americans For Medical Advancement, "idiots?" For their critique of non-human animal-modeled research see their website at: http://www.curedisease.com
While the Liar-in-Chief, George W. Bush, was giving his so-called, "State of the Union," message inside the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, 2007, demonstrators were outside robustly exercising their First Amendment Rights, on the west side of the building, near its reflecting pool. Close by is a monument to one of my heroes--Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. The protesters listened to voices which were truly representative of the electoral results of Nov. 7, 2006, on the real condition of this country. The speakers demanded the Iraqi War be immediately stopped and that impeachment proceedings be launched against both Bush and V.P. Dick Cheney for lying the country into that conflict, spying on our citizens, condoning torture, and for other violations of the U.S. Constitution.
related: [ Bush Speech Terror Claim Debunked A Year Ago | State of the Union Translation | Cheney, Rice Sponsor Diarrhea Medicine for Big Pharma at State of Union Address | Minnesota Senate Candidate State Of The Nation Statement ]
January 23, 2007, New York Authorities in San Francisco today announced the arrests and indictments of former Black Panthers in the 1971 killing of police officer Sgt. John V. Young despite the use of torture to obtain confessions. Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) compared the documented torture by law enforcement of Black Panthers arrested in New Orleans in 1973 to the documented torture the U.S. government has practiced recently at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.
CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said, "The case against these men was built on torture and serves to remind us that the U.S. government, which recently has engaged in such horrific forms of torture and abuse at places like Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, has a history of torture and abuse in this country as well, particularly against African Americans."
An infoshop is now available in the basement of Liberty hall 311 N. Ivy St. The infoshop offers tons of radical zines and pamphlets for reading. Community computer access with internet is also available.
Now people can read zines and pamphlets as well as books available in the radical library also in Liberty Hall's basement. Help keep this effort going by bringing by copies of your zines.
Liberty Hall's basement is not yet wheelchair accessible. Plans to make it accessible may or may not be underway. Contact Liberty Hall at 503-249-8888 or just stop by for more information.
On Monday, February 5 join fellow Portlanders as we travel to Ft. Lewis Washington to support First Lieutenant Watada during his military court martial. As the first Army officer to publicly speak out against the war and refuse deployment to Iraq, Lt. Watada faces a maximum six years in prison. Watata supporters are coming from around the country to this historic day of action to support his courageous stand against an illegal war.
American Friends Service Committee, Recruiter Watch PDX and Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 invite you to join us on a chartered bus from Portland to Ft. Lewis to stand with Lt. Watata. Our friends at Code Pink are also organizing a car caravan. Either way, we hope you can make it to stand with Lt. Watata and say no to the war in Iraq.
I worked for schumacher fur for a short time...
Funny story: A woman brought in a (i shit you not) leopard skin coat-which was over 50 years old, so not TECHNICALLY illegal. The fur was simply beautiful, and I told the woman who owned it that it was "Beautiful, but really kind of sad to see," to which she replied "why would you say that?" and I said "because it's from such a beautiful animal that's now dead." (do I know what to say to fur owners or what?)
The Will family is pleased to have the renowned Mexican human rights lawyer, Miguel Angel de Los Santos Cruz, join the cause for justice in the case of Bradley Roland Will's death.
Brad, a New York based photojournalist and activist, was shot and killed in Oaxaca, Mexico last October 27th while videotaping the turmoil in the Mexican State. Although two government-affiliated suspects were initially held for the murder, they were released by Oaxacan state authorities in late November on claims of insufficient evidence. A number of human rights groups have questioned the legitimacy of the state investigation and are calling for the case to be moved to the federal level.
Today (day 2) began with a 2.5-hour drive (including a rest coffee stop) to the campus building in my friend, Marion Ward's hybrid. Marion is very active in Vets for Peace and other peace groups. Initially we saw 3 videos featuring Francis Boyle, Marjorie Cohn and Eman Khammas. Khammas is an Iraqi journalist and human rights advocate who told about the horrors the Iraqi's endure daily and how her daughter could not take living in fear anymore, and left the country. Khammas feared for her life also, and is sought asylum in Spain where she lives today.
Two Iraq war veterans, Darrell Anderson and Chanan Suarez-Diaz gave front-line accounts. Anderson was in Portland recently and while I read his account on Indymedia, it is NOT the same as hearing him live. I had tears in my eyes during his talk. He was ordered to shoot even civilians if a shot came in their area, however, he never shot his rifle even once the entire time! Diaz shot his rifle 5 times, but never at a civilian. Some who resisted have returned to the US from Canada as a result of Watada's and others speaking out.
Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be holding two hearings to receive public input regarding how it should evaluate the impacts of multiple large industrial projects along the Lower Columbia. Tuesday, Jan. 23 in Knappa, OR. Tuesday, Jan. 31 in Clatskanie.
This is your chance to tell DEQ that you want them to stand up for the Columbia Estuary and take a strong stance against LNG and Coal projects that threaten the water, land, air and people of the Estuary.
On February 1, the "Poor" Peoples Union of Olympia, WA will set up a "homeless" tent encampment in response to a new city ordinance which goes into effect on February 1, making it virtually illegal to be on the street ("homeless") in Olympia. The exact location will not be revealed until the last minute, however it will be a highly visible protest. The eventual goals are to find a permanant location where the people can have a long term, autonomously run encampment and locations where people can be housed in autonomous, democraticly run communities.
The Poor People's Union, since its inception, has sought to overturn the ordinances targeted at the "homeless". Our intitial idea was to have a referendum on the ordinance and gather enough signatures for it. Over the past weeks, however, it has become clear that the PPU will not be able to expediently stop the ordinances from going into effect and has decided to put a referendum off for the time being.
On January 21'st, the San Gabriel Mountain Trailbuilders teamed up once again with the Buddhist Youth Group that we had worked with previously on 20/Nov/2005.
The trail restoration, maintenance, and building effort is part of an on-going program in the San Gabriel River Ranger District of the Angeles National Forest to provide reasonably safe recreation to the region's six or seven million "local" residents.
The region is unique. As a "pocket forest" surrounded by heavily and densely populated cities, on any given week end during the Summer the San Gabriel River Ranger District can boast of having 10,000 visitors and that number of people bring with them a number of problems, some of which (such as erosion, pollution of drinkable water, the building of wading pools along the river using rock dams, and medical mishaps caused by falling) can be mitigated by the efforts of volunteer organizations such as the SGMTBs.
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