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On May 17, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case of internationally renowned black death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. The court will consider four different issues that it has already certified for appeal. It will then decide to either grant a new trial, affirm the life sentence, or re-instate the death sentence.
Mumia was the victim of a political frame-up. An award-winning journalist, he was the leading critic of the Philadelphia Police Department, many of whose officers had been indicted and convicted on numerous charges of corruption, intimidation of witnesses and planting evidence. Mumia deserves another trial, a fair trial, one unlike the one that has caused him to sit on death row for 25 years.
Background: How The Philly Cops Framed Mumia Abu-Jamal | http://prisonradio.org/ | insubordination.blogspot.com | The crucial hearing of May 17th | Democracy Now! coverage | Indybay roundup | Audio Interview: Linn Washington, Jr. on Mumia, MOVE, and the Philly Media | Prison Radio PSAs | 1985 bombing of MOVE & upcoming parole hearings of MOVE members
In the new federal courthouse in Eugene, arguments were heard on issues regarding the government's attempt to apply terrorism enhancements to the District of Oregon eco-sabotage defendants. Whatever is decided on the basis of this hearing, individual defendants may still make their own arguments on the issue at their own upcoming sentencing hearing. No court rulings were made at the conclusion of this hearing.
Seattle, WA: Solidarity Banner Drops
From an anonymous post to the newswire:
Key leaders of the peasant struggle in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico state, have been sentenced to 67 years 6 months in prison. Atenco was stormed in May 2006 by thousands of Federal police, who killed two, raped dozens and injured many more. The conflict goes back to 2002 when the peasants of Atenco prevented the theft of their land to build a new Mexico City airport.
In a vicious act of class reprisal Ignacio del Valle Medina, Felipe Alvarez Hernández y Héctor Galindo Gochicua, leaders of the Peoples Front for the Defense of the Land in Atenco, were sentenced on Saturday 5 May to 67 years 6 months jail each for the events in Atenco in early May 2006. In a timing which is undoubtedly cynical and symbolic, the court chose the first anniversary of a mass meeting in Atenco at which subcommandante Marcos denounced the brutalisation of Atenco's citizens.
On Saturday May 12, four members of Kansas Mutual Aid, a Lawrence based class struggle anarchist collective traveled to the small South Central Kansas town of Greensburg. Our intention was to go as a fact-finding delegation, to report back to the social justice movement in Lawrence on what exactly was happening in the city.
On Friday May 4, 2007 Greensburg was almost completely destroyed by a F5 tornado. 97% of the buildings in the town of 1500 were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Nearly every single resident was left homeless, jobless, and devastated. Shortly after the tornado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took control of the recovery efforts in Greensburg. The United Way became the coordinating organization for relief volunteers but, after orders came from FEMA, halted the flow of volunteers into Greensburg. FEMA demanded that Greensburg needed to be "secured" before the area could be opened to real recovery efforts. So, as hundreds of recovery volunteers were told to not come to Greensburg by the United Way, hundreds of police from dozens of Kansas jurisdictions were mobilized to enter the city and establish "control." No agency in the city besides Americorps was offering to help with the removal of this debris, or the recovery of people's homes. FEMA's mission was to safeguard the property of businesses in the area and offer "low interest" loans to property owners affected.
Kansas Mutual Aid is in the midst of organizing a more permanent and structured relief effort, to offer relief in the form of solidarity and mutual aid, and not as charity. Please join us if you can. Please, if you have anything you can offer, or want to help in the relief, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There were about 75 people standing in silent vigil on the sidewalk in front of the Rhododendron Garden this afternoon. It was a powerful presence, especially after we went into silence. A variety of reactions from the passersby, none overtly negative, many very positive, many sad, many trying not to look. We were unavoidable.
Most of us were wearing photos of soldiers or Iraqi children and mothers, fathers. During the silence we didn't interact with the crowd at all. There was an aura of grief and deep respect for that half hour.
Horrible title to have to read today of all days, I know. I've debated long and hard about whether to share this, believe me...
Today is Mother' Day. It is also 15 years to the day of my mother's suicide. I do not offer this bit of information to prompt sympathy or to wrap a cloak of sadness over anyone's day. I do offer this because I have learned first hand how important it is to cherish and embrace the precious gift of time. I also offer this as evidence that it is possible to overcome the most unexpected tragedies and go on to live a life of balance and intent. And maybe I also offer this because there are a couple of people in my life who I love dearly who are struggling to understand why horrible shit has embraced them in the darkest of clouds...
Oak savanna is one of the most severely threatened ecosystems in the United States, and Corvallis, Oregon, is planning a development project that would obliterate 40 acres of it. The project would, at the same time, contribute to urban sprawl that results in long-distance commuting adds to global warming. On April 29th, the Corvallis Planning Commission voted 4-2 to approve Palisch Homes' proposal to turn 40 acres of threatened oak savannah into 221 houses worth of sprawling suburbs. On May 21st, the Corvallis City Council will decide whether or not to overrule the decision - here's what you can do to make sure the city does the right thing.
A group of ten members of Code Pink Portland and several supporters were stopped by two policemen on motorcycles at the end of the annual St. Johns Parade at about 1:45 PM today, at the intersection of N. Lombard St. and N. New York Ave. The group had walked in the street at the tail end of the parade, carrying pink umbrellas that spelled out the word "I-M-P-E-A-C-H" and carrying signs exhorting U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who had ridden a bicycle in the parade, to "Remember your oath, get some guts, impeach them both". As they finished their march, the group was greeted by waves of cheering supporters, a surprising response in normally staid St. Johns.
Iris M. Peach, self-identified organizer of a "Pink Umbrella Brigade" action to call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, and one other woman, were given $97.00 citations for "Improper Position On Highway", although they had followed the orders of the police to return to the sidewalk. Several other members of the group received a lecture on always following police orders, and they were allowed to leave without being cited. Ms. Peach said that she and her companion had left the lecture in order to rest after several hours of marching and protesting.
On Wednesday, May 9, raids took place against approximately 40 apartments, offices and social spaces associated with leftist or radical projects in Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen and other locations. Approximately 900 police were involved in this wave of raids. This repression arrives in the run-up to the summit of the G8 nations, set to take place in Heiligendamm from June 6-8.
The German federal police seemed especially concerned about shutting down the so36.net server, which hosts many alternative and activist mailing lists and internet sites. The raids, targeting a hodge-podge of those who have voiced opposition to the G8, are seen as an attempt to discourage active opposition to the summit. Some of the searches were justified by section 129a of the German criminal code, which involves "forming a terrorist association." This has given the authorities wide-ranging powers of data gathering and intimidation against their targets, although conviction under this section is rare.UPDATE: Bicyclists targeted by German Police (Infoshop.org)
Background: Portland Indymedia articles from May 9 and May 11.
Infoshop.org post on wave of repression here.
Join members of The Surge Protection Brigade and Code Pink for a silent vigil for Peace on Mother's Day from 1-2 PM in front of the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, SE 28th and Woodstock. Bring photos (but no signs) of victims injured or killed in the occupation of Iraq. Wear pink &/or black, pink for compassion and black for mourning the violence spanning the globe this Mother's Day. All who wish to express their hopes for peace are invited to stand silently in front of the Rhododendron Garden.
The first Mother's Day was proclaimed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe who said: Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace... Inspired by the book, The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering, by Sharon Mehdi, the event is one of many ""Stand In the Park for Peace" events planned for Mother's Day around the world, and one of several in Portland.
A Plea to Moms on Mother's DayA mother's care is a special gift that is taken for granted most of the time. And, sadly, that is the way man is concerning Mother Earth. We have been taking and taking from her with barely any regard... very few people are even concerned because they haven't been affected by any climate change. And what's worse is that we have all been duped by the giant energy companies who have been reaping astronomical profits and giving millions to junk science in an effort to keep people skeptical of the problem.
It would be wonderful if the moms of the world would all take an interest in the future of the planet and put pressure on government and industry to slow the global warming. It is another chore that they would take on because it is their children who will be the most affected by the droughts and famine that is now guaranteed because of the greenhouse gases... if every mother would send a letter to these companies and their congress people, and fill their offices with pleas for our Mother Earth, things would change much faster than they will if you don't.mothersdayforpeace.com
Civil liberties groups argue provision does not apply to nonviolent actions:
Eugene, OR -- On May 15 defense attorneys representing environmental activists accused of arson and property destruction will argue to U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken that the "terrorism enhancement" provision of the federal sentencing guidelines - which would add an extra 20 years of prison time to each defendant's sentence - should not be applied to their clients.
MEDIA ADVISORY: A press conference will be held outside the courthouse at noon. Speakers will include defense attorneys for Daniel McGowan, along with representatives from the Civil Liberties Defense Center and the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center. The two organizations have opposed the prosecutors' attempt to label the actions by the defendants as acts of "terrorism," because their acts did not cause, nor were intended to cause, any harm to human or animal life. "When everyone is a terrorist, no one is."
WHAT: Federal Terrorism Enhancement Hearings for all Oregon Green Scare defendants
Copies of a press packet with current related articles, background information, historical examples of sabotage in the U.S., and a history of F.B.I. repression of political activism will be available at the event.
Everybody has rallied around Ehren Watada, but have neglected some of the others, three of which are right here in Portland.
Talk about the "unknown Soldiers"! Here's the info I found on three more AWOL resisters who were/are sitting right here under everybody's noses! That means that 75% of the war resisters have gone completely unnoticed, while the only one that I've heard about lately, Ehren Watada has gotten all the support.
I'm ashamed of myself for not finding this info earlier.
It would appear that Tom Potter is attempting to do the right thing in regard to the cop that killed a guy for parking in front of his sister's home last year. While he could not control the DA or the "grand" jury, he nonetheless is asking for the termination of Lt. Jeffrey Kaer, for "using poor judgement," in the shooting.
Lt. Jeffrey Kaer used "poor judgment and decision-making" and violated bureau policies and training when he fatally shot 28-year-old Dennis Young on Jan. 4, 2006, according to the Mayor's memo.
Assistant Chief Lynnae Berg presented the mayor's proposed termination letter to Kaer on Wednesday and placed him on paid administrative leave.
Portland City Council put their Stamp of Approval on SIT -LIE Ordinance.
The SIT - LIE LAW IS NOW A DONE DEAL. IT WILL TAKE EFFECT EXACTLY 30 days from Yesterday.
It clearly states that other than sitting on a city owned park bench, or on a chair at those sidewalk cafe's, tickets will be issued. Ordinance is Posted on the city's website.
It states that you'd better be having a medical emergency, passed out, for a reason to be laying down or sitting, between the hours of 7am to 9 pm.
Every year, there have been fewer, now there are just a handful.
Succumbing to years of nest-scraping and destruction of wooden eaved buildings, the barn swallow has become a rare sight in Astoria. The few large populations of the past years are reduced to just a handful. very unsettling the dead quiet evenings here, very few birds. A flush of goldfinches were hanging out at the feeders last week, yesterday, I nearly tripped on a lone male feeding on the ground. He flew away for a minute, then hopped back down to the sunflower seeds`scattered below the feeder, and stayed a long while, didn't look well. No one else around.
How are the birds doing in Portland?
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA. Two members of the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) were arrested today (May 9, 2007) by Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement. One BFC volunteer was taken to the hospital due to injuries caused during arrest. The volunteers were arrested for exercising their civil rights attempting to document today's Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) and Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) bison hazing operations.
The first volunteer arrested had witnessed the DOL and other agents hazing wild bison across U.S. Highway 191. Highway patrols failed to warn motorists or shut down traffic. Chased by agents on horseback and a helicopter, another group of bison were close to crossing the road the BFC volunteer urged a Montana Highway Patrolman to shut down the highway and warn traffic. The MHP responded to the volunteer's request by arresting him in the heated exchange. The second BFC volunteer was arrested after attempting to document the first volunteer's arrest. hThe MHP attempted to take the camera away and forcibly placed the volunteer into handcuffs, slammed him to the ground, injuring his face. U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer assisted the MHP officer with the arrests. The two arresting officers confiscated two Buffalo Field Campaign video cameras.
1,912 bison have been killed since 2000 under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Last winter Federal and State agencies killed or authorized the killing of more than 1,010 bison. So far this winter two bison were captured and sent to slaughter by Montana Department of Livestock agents and hunters have killed 58.
The firefighter who beat Terry DeGeorge in the Fairfield Hotel lobby will not be charged.
This is no surprise, unfortunately. You will remember the video of Lt. Robert Bedgood beating Terry DeGeorge in a downtown hotel during a 'routine' call in January. Mr DeGeorge was 'having words' with the authorities, and they took him to the ground and kicked and beat him. It was all caught on the surveillance video. I was pretty sure that this time, at last, such abusive behavior would be cause for indictment. Not so. The Multnomah County District Attorney has decided not to bring charges against Lt. Bedgood. This concludes the Portland Fire Bureau "investigation". A civil suit is still pending. I wonder why we pay the District Attorney so much to do a job that he is apparently incapable or unwilling to perform?
For the past year I have been going to the Broadway military recruitment center every Tuesday. Each week somewhere between a half to a dozen people show up. Today there were seven people at the vigil, holding signs, a banner, and handing out literature. Today an officer named Walker decided he wanted to bully people. Here is what I saw:
People had been there for about half an hour out of the usual 1 hour vigil from 5-6pm. So it was about 5:30. Officer Walker (or Thug Walker as I will refer to him since that is how he behaved) came walking up.
Portland police lay down the law at counter-recruitment vigil
This evening, a handful of protesters had taken their usual stations in front of the recruiting center (1317 NE Broadway), holding signs saying things such as, "Don't Die for Lies," "Killing is Wrong," and "War is Not the Answer." Most stood in a no parking spot. An unmarked police car parked across the street, an officer emerged and began observing and taking photos of the protesters.
Soon, a squad car pulled up and two police rushed up and told everyone to get out of the street [parking lane] or they would be arrested. A fairly burly cop earned extra credit in his "intimidation" practicum as he stood with barely an inch between himself and one of the protesters - the smallest of the bunch, a woman several inches shorter than the cop. He talked down at her; she stood her ground holding her sign without a hint of fear. Eventually, she complied got out of the parking lane.
According to the latest read out from You Tube, "28 Seconds: The Killing of Fouad Kaady" has now been downloaded and viewed at least 587 times. If you have not yet done so, now is the time to view it for yourself.
Cat has done a much more thorough job of telling how this young man was murdered by the police than I could ever hope to do. It should be required viewing for anyone who ever hopes to make this world a better place. Of course, if you were fortunate, as I and so many others were, and able to view the film in it's entirety, on a large screen, with a lot of other company, so much the better.
I know that the film will be re screened many times in this area, and you really NEED to see it.
28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady Now On Youtube
In the early afternoon of September 8, 2005, police encountered Fouad Kaady shortly after he was in an accident that left him in shock and bleeding, burned over much of his body. Rather than calling for medical help, the police commanded him to lie on the pavement, even though they could see the burned flesh hanging from his body, and even though they said he appeared to be "in a catatonic state." When he did not comply with their orders, but instead continued to sit on the ground in a daze, they tasered him repeatedly. And then, they shot him to death.
In a report that was typical of the corporate media's response to this killing, Channel 8's ever-mealy-mouthed Kyle Iboshi held up a wad of papers left over from the "investigation" into the death, saying, "you can see how extensive this investigation was." He then commenced to highlight (literally, with a yellow highlighter pen) what he claimed to be the relevant details of the case. Not surprisingly, Iboshi was very selective in what he chose to focus on. He accepted, without question, everything that the PIO had told him to say. He never asked a single question about why two officers might have shot an obviously unarmed man to death. And, he concluded his report by implying that Kaady must have been "on drugs" at the time of the killing, as if that might excuse the officers' behavior.
Schumacher Furs owners Gregg and Linda Schumacher filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon District Court last week. The case names the City of Portland, In Defense of Animals, the Animal Liberation Front, Poeple for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Matt Rossell and several other named and unnamed individuals.
The complaint and several associated pleadings were not available on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) until today.
Attached is a copy of the Complaint. I will post the rest of the pleadings as comments to this article.
The Fall of Schumacher Furs
The people of Portland, Oregon have spoken: Furrier company Schumacher FursÂ® is no longer wanted in town. The companies that sell animal furs and skins for humans to wear are obsolete and, in most American citizen's opinions, extremely disgusting if not outright immoral for dealing in what is essentially an unnecessary, inexcusable industry.
Most Americans eat meat and most Americans are willing to accept the wearing of animal skins if such animals are slaughtered for food. The "byproducts" from the meat-animal food industry that would otherwise be wasted by being discarded are generally recognized as being legitimate to use for clothing, shoes, and accessories.
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