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on april 12, 2002, horehound (beth o'brian) hiked through the snow to a treesit in eagle creek. it had been announced that the sale she was protesting was to be cancelled, but since we can't trust those f'ing bastards to tell the truth, the treesit would stand until the ink had dried on the paperwork.
shortly after ascending, horehound slipped and fell 150 feet. she survived the fall, and died in transit after being airlifted out.
five years in, i still miss her every day... i'm still agonized over the friendship we never got to nurture... i'm still furious that the world is currently constructed in such a way that it's necessary to put lives on the line like this.
It is with sadness I eulogize Kurt Vonnegut, jr. today. He was an impressive sitting up mud! I used to cut classes in high school, to go sit under a tree and become engrossed in Vonnegut's wonderful novel, "Cat's Cradle." I have used lines from "Cat's Cradle" and "Breakfast of Champions" as life references since the 1970's. Terms such as "karass," "sitting up mud," "bad chemicals," and "Bokononism" have become commonplace in my life, due to my exposure to Vonnegut at an early age. My father gave me "Cat's Cradle" to read, and I handed it to my teenaged son to read as well. I normally do not enjoy fiction, but Vonnegut was an exception for me. I delighted in his plots and twists, all heavily laden with sarcasm and political angst. "Cat's Cradle" is a fictional story about what scientists and their families did the day America dropped the A-Bomb on Japan. I love the dark humor throughout "Cat's Cradle." And the child's game "cat's cradle" has never seemed the same after reading that book! In the book, the father who rarely speaks to his children, walks up to his son and leans into the kid, in a frightening manner, and holding a cat's cradle made of strings in his fingers, says, "See the cat? See the cradle?!" Yes, that in a nutshell, is the madness and beauty of Vonnegut's writing style.
Over the weekend, I received an email from a colleague that advertised of a rally at Senator Gordon Smith's offices in several cities around Oregon on Tuesday. The topic was the War in Iraq. Interested in the topic and needing to get my political photography fill for the week, I decided to attend the one in Portland.
Upon arriving I saw a calm crowd of about twenty or so people. Many were older than I -- mostly in their 40's, 50's, and 60's -- maybe older. According to one gentleman, the majority of the faces I was seeing were those of parents and grandparents of soldiers fighting in Iraq.
6 Peacemakers Arrested - Videos from the Protest
Smiths Office On Private Property has 6 arrested for requesting "NO WAR FUNDING". 6 Brave Peacemakers are joined by 60 people outside Smith Office. After a few speeches they are peacefully arrested for trying to access Smiths Office on the 11th floor of the WTO building. They were walked un-cuffed to the Justice CXenter and booked.
Some people remember the story of Carlos Rubio. A young man from a close family, he disappeared one night in June of 2005. It happened only days after a Sandy police officer threatened him and his father, Juan Rubio. The Rubio family had endured months of harassment by the Sandy police, culminating in Carlos' arrest. They had been called racist names, had been threatened and intimidated, and had come to fear the police. One night, police began following Carlos, and attempted to pull his car over. Carlos called 911 and reported that the police were behind him, and that he was afraid of them. He told the operator that he would not stop, because he feared what might happen to him. Instead, he would drive to a lighted area, where there were witnesses. There is a recording of this call, for anyone who might care to listen. It's a matter of public record.
He carefully drove to his family's home. There is a video tape, taken from the dashboard of the police cruiser that followed him. The tape clearly shows that Carlos did not speed, stopped at every traffic light, and obeyed all traffic laws. When he arrived at his home, he got out of his car, and was promptly pummeled and assaulted by jeering officers who pointed tasers at his face, laughed at him, and called him "homie." He was charged with "eluding an officer," and was violently arrested.
City budgets and the like are generally just a little too "wonky" for me. I don't have great math aptitude, and I'll admit, following all the revenue streams and expenditures tends to go over my head. But you don't have to be a math whiz or political wonk to understand parts of the City of Sandy's proposed budget for 2007-09. Read on to see the sheer audacity of my hometown's administrators... not to mention their utter denial of the legal problems - and their resulting fiscal effects - our "fair" city is now facing thanks to our abusive cops.
Reading between the lines has always been a valuable skill when perusing the Sandy Post. Those timid stenographers occasionally show a little spine by covering controversial issues like the six (count 'em - SIX!) lawsuits currently being leveled against city police. But alas, they invariably let me down by resorting to platitudes and by parroting the one-sided reporting so typical of the O and the other "players" in the MSM they wish to emulate.
About 6 brave people were arrested at Gordon Smith's office today. My son called me from the Persian Gulf yesterday. He urged me to keep the pressure on our elected officials to stop the occupation of Iraq now! Despite what the right-wing pundits say, we are the majority. Call, write or fax your represenative and bring all the armed forces home now. Here is a brief speech by one of the people arrested.
Fourteen protestors have been arrested at a demonstration in support of Wiradjuri Traditional Owners who want the Lake Cowal Gold Mine stopped.
Around 100 Aboriginal and environmental supporters demonstrated at the Lake Cowal Gold mine, 47 kms from West Wyalong over Easter to protest against the desecration of traditional Wiradjuri lands and environmental damage caused by gold mining.
Some of the demonstrators locked themselves onto pieces of machinery, shutting down mine operations, while others occupied the mine's offices.
Wear a button! Carry around a sign! (Note: a great way to get feedback when you are at a vigil is to have someone stand on the most visible street corner with a sign that says "Honk for peace." This allows otherwise passive passers-by to actually participate in what you're doing. And that's what this is all about. Get more people aware and involved in what you are doing! I'm always amazed at how, when I go to certain peace rallies, many people just stand around in a closed circle, preaching to the choir. Get your message out to the uninitiated ... reach as many people as possible! Get visible!
Today, Good Friday, April 5, 2007, for the tenth time since the New Year, the Surge Protector Brigade held a vigil at the military recruiters office on NE Broadway in Portland Oregon.
This time six of their number were arrested.
Earlier in the day artificial blood was spilled on the sidewalk and bloody hand prints pressed up against the front windows and building.
This is a 1 1/2 minute video of the spilling of blood, with a brief interview with Bonnie Tinker of the Brigade.
Tomorrow is Easter, a day to celebrate the turning of the wheel, from decay to resurrection, from winter to spring, from death to life. And in a fitting salute to this ancient Pagan (yes! Pagan!) holiday, the runs are here: The salmon are pulsing through the river again. Life comes surging into the world again with the spring. And with it come the sea lions, gliding through the water with the salmon, as they have for thousands of years.
I can hear them from my window here, barking and trumpeting from the waters as they lounge along the shore, as they gleefully swirl through the water, as they break the grey-green, splashing surface with their whiskered, dog-like faces. I counted four of them this morning, as I walked along the shore. This is good. This is how the spring goddess comes dancing back into the world: She comes with bright blossoms and soft petals and perfumed air. She comes with singing birds and unfurling fronds and awakening earth. And, here in Cascadia, she comes with the salmon and the sea lion.
I imagine that by now many of you will have heard about my recent misfortune. I figure that's as good of an excuse as any for not writing a proper update for the last few months and for subjecting you all to another round of my prison diary "Factoids."
This Housing unit isn't very special. An alert soldier in the war on terror recently intercepted an interview I had participated in for a small skate / dumpstering / vegan 'zine. I was promptly grabbed from my unit and placed on 24 hour lock down in the "the hole". Now the FBI is investigating and I expect to be in here for a while. It's horrible but at least I get the joy of imagining Mr. Maturity ( A.K.A Jake Conroy) chucking while he exclaims, "heh heh. ' the hole'." Good times.
Millions of 9 year olds can't be wrong. Those of you who have written me lately to mock my new found love of the Harry Potter Novels should know that I feel no shame about it... with one exception. The glee I felt when Harry had his first kiss with Cho was probably a little embarrassing. But in book 4 Hermione talks about moving past advocacy and towards "direct action" in her fight for house elf rights! See, I'm actually doing same deep political reading.
In a pronounced display of solidarity, unions and allied organizations protested at the offices of Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith on Wednesday, demanding that the politicians own up to their role in the the recent lay off of 750 employees of Freightliner Portland Truck Plant. On March 30, the company announced plans to relocate the jobs to Mexico.
Members of perhaps a dozen local unions gathered in solidarity with the laid off employees of Portland Truck Plant, which has provided family-wage jobs to area residents since 1947. On March 30, the company announced that it was relocating its plant to Mexico and laying off 750 union employees in the process.
The demonstrators blamed the layoffs on bad trade policies like NAFTA and CAFTA, and directed a challenge to Senators Ron Wyden and Gorden Smith to take stock of their responsibility for these layoffs.
Most of the details may be learned by merely Googling Fouad Kaady, or better still, by using the "search" function here, on PDX Indy. I will simply restate the low points here:
On September 8, 2005, a warm day here in the Northwest, Fouad Kaady, then just twenty eight years old, had some kind of car trouble. His pickup ran out of gas, or some other problem occurred, causing him to have to leave it parked on a Gresham street, while he went in search of a cure. He went to his parents' home, picked up a gas can, and borrowed his parents car. No one is really sure what happened at this point, but Fouad is next reported as being involved in several "hit and run" accidents on a rural Clackamas County road. From most witness accounts, he may have been experiencing a fire within the cab of his vehicle, and rather than hit and run, may more likely have been simply out of control and on fire. Finally, he ran off the roadway, and baled out of the burning car, with his shorts on fire. Naturally, he abandoned his burning clothes, and may have been out of his mind with pain from this time on. He ran into the woods, and emerged about a half mile from his entry point.
Portland Indy Video Collective Announces: Fouad Kaady Video Finally Complete
You've heard the lies. Now come and learn the truth.
For 18 months, the police and the corporate media have claimed that the killing of Fouad Kaady was justified. They said he was on drugs. They said they feared for their lives. They said he threatened to kill them. They said officers "never violated policies or procedures."
We beg to differ.
Believe it or not, this story is told in the officers' own words. And you won't even believe what you hear.
The video will be showing on Saturday, April 21st, at 7pm, at the Watershed. Stay tuned to this site for further details.
The Surge Protection Brigade held a vigil in front of the Army Recruitment center at NE Broadway in Portland for the tenth week on Good Friday, April 6 2007. They brought flowers and artificial blood to memorialize the lives lost in the Iraq war. "Good Friday is a solemn day, and we are expressing our grief and mourning the death of our US military: young men and women who were sent on a mission based on deceit and greed. We also mourn the Iraqis, the hundreds of thousands of lives shattered by this ill-conceived occupation," said Terri Grayum, a spokesperson for the group who was charged for blocking doors at the recruitment center on March 21.
Officers passed by throughout the morning. At about 11:00 they came back to the vigil to discover the sidewalk covered with splatters of "blood" and handprints on the windows. Six people were arrested. They were first taken to NE Precinct in squad cars, but rather than releasing them they were then transported by police van to the Justice Center for new fingerprints and mug shots. They were held for a total of about six hours.
"It took 226 days, but it was worth every second to get what I wanted from day one, which is that I will not have to testify before the grand jury about the events at the protest or the identities of participants. The demand for my testimony before the grand jury was the true assault on my code of ethics and, as I have stated previously, there will be, and has been no compromise to this resolute principle.
"Today, I posted the video footage to my web site www.joshwolf.net/ so that the public will have the opportunity to see that there is nothing of value in this unpublished footage. As there is no sensitive material on the tape, there was no reason to remain in prison, given the fact that I got what I wanted from day one - the right to protect journalists from having to testify before a grand jury.
"Until now, I had no assurances that publishing the video would lead to my release and furthermore had every indication that it would have the opposite result and indicate to the judge that the so-called coercive effect was working. That has changed.
"I do feel that my unpublished materials should be protected by a Federal Shield and moving forward, that is where I will focus my efforts. Journalist should have the right to be protected from testifying before a grand jury and I will not stop fighting until there is a law that protects us."
Ever wanted to show your friends after an event what really happened? Maybe you like to interview people and want to learn what kind of questions to ask. How about always wanting to do something with your video after and action? Even better, you want to start learning how to take and make video. Well here is your chance! On Thursday, 4/5/07 at 4:30 P.M. at PSU in Smith Memorial Union room 296 there will be an Indymedia street video training for those of you who are interested in this tactic. Everything from what kind of camera's are best for you, to how to shoot, to labeling tapes (a fine art a few of us are still trying to master to this day!) to what you can do with your footage after everything is said and done. Bring you questions, friends, and idea's to a workshop you don't want to miss! All part of a month of workshops going on all over Portland here in April.
Then on Friday 4/6/07 there will be a basic video editing workshop at Reed Rollege Student Activist Office (SAO) in the Gray Campus Room #034 at 4:30 P.M for those of you who would like to take what you have got of the street and show it to the world. The workshop will cover things such as how to import video onto your computer from a camera to exporting you video into a file you can stick onto the internet to show anyone who wants to see it!
There is so much happening in April, let me get right to it: Two recent court rulings have found Bush's anti-forest rules illegal. Amazing artists have donated their work to Bark's first ever First Thursday art opening. Bark will celebrate Earth Day with a much-anticipated sequel to the famous Papa Yeti puppet show at City Repair's annual event. Mt. Hood will be a focus of discussion regarding global warming at the Melting Mountains Conference hosted by the Mazamas. And if you are itching to go camping we have just the thing for you...the Clackamas Campout! Find out about these April happenings and more at our website, http://www.bark-out.org.
Wednesday Food Not Bombs is MOVING!
Wednesday Food Not Bombs is still providing free vegetarian food at 5:30 pm but, we are not doing it in Overlook Park anymore. Starting today (4/4/07) we will be feeding in Dawson Park. Dawson park is at the corner of Williams Ave. and N. Stanton St. across from Legacy Emmanuel Hospital.
The 13 1/2 minute video features an interview with Col. Ann Wright (ret.) as well as footage of the five arrests and a confrontation between the grannies refusing entry to an 18 year old seeking to enlist in the army as an infantryman.
A Portland police officer, Officer Schaffer argued with the Brigade, calling them Communists for preventing the young man from entering the building, and manhandled one of the grandmothers on two occasions, as he was going in and out of the building.
After informing an officer that they would refuse to move their rocking chairs, other officers were called and the arrests were made, handcuffing the three grandmothers and two grandfathers, leading them off to the squad cars.
A group of about 30 people from several different peace & progressive groups protested the Iraq occupation and sent a delegation of about 15 women into Congressman Greg Walden's Medford office to request a meeting with the congressman. The women came out about 30 minutes later and reported that Walden's staff had not yet been able to arrange a conference call with Walden for the group, but invited them to return at 11 am next Thursday, April 5, at which time they expect to be able to schedule a conference call with the congressman.
Walden's staff said Walden was in Lakeview on Friday, but claimed that they have no idea where he will be next Thursday or anytime next week. Walden is one of the few members of Congress who does not have a calendar on his website. It is very difficult for the public to know when and where he will appear.
The action was planned to call attention to the arrest in Bend on March 20th of six women, most of them grandmothers, who went to Walden's Bend office hoping to get a conference call from him. When none was arranged, they elected to stay in the building after it closed and were arrested by Bend Police. We don't believe that Walden has dropped the charges against them.
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