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This August 8-14 hundreds of social justice and environmental activists from around the west coast of North America will be convening near the mouth of the Columbia River for 6 days of low impact living and high impact action against the fossil fuel industry - the West Coast Convergence for Climate Action.
Come enjoy food and films, and find out how your participation can make this event one that will create lasting change locally to continue doing our part in the ongoing global struggle to promote sustainable lifestyles for a healthier planet
July 9, 2007, a coalition of peace groups, PDX Peace, organized a Rally at Holladay Park in Portland Oregon and marched to the military recruiters office on NE Broadway. The event featured Conscientious Objector Agustin Aguayo, recently released from an 8 month prison term for desertion. After serving a one year deployment to Iraq, Aguayo applied for Conscientious Objector status, which was denied and his unit was subsequently redeployed back to Iraq. Agustin refused to leave with his unit and went absent without leave (AWOL). Since serving his prison term, Aguayo has been actively working with at-risk youth, dedicating his life to informing high risk youth of the other side recruits don't see in military recruitment ads.
Various groups, including Portland Recruiter Watch, were involved in the event: Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, chapter 72, Portland American Friends Service Committee
I was fortunate to get a quick interview with Aguayo after the event, and this is a 5 minute audio file of that interview.
Washington County is prosecuting a disabled, functionally blind (albino), mentally ill, low income man for Assault II, just for defending himself against an attacker in the Winco parking lot on Cedar Hills in Beaverton. Brandon Whitten, who is an albino, is functionally blind and sensitive to any amount of sunlight, on disability and dealing with mental illnesses such as severe anxiety and bi-polar disorder. He has no past history of violence, nor any prior criminal record.
Independence, California is on fire. It is an ancestral legacy to me. I am pissed. I am sad for the large number of fire fighters who have been hurt! SAVE OUR OLD GROWTH FOREST! A large old growth tree can be hit many times by lightening and never catch flame! We will burn if we cut it down! Save independence!
The new film, "Boom, Bust and the BLM" premieres this month with local screenings in Ashland, Roseburg, Portland and other venues across the Pacific Northwest. Two Eugene screenings are being held Monday, July 16 @ 6pm at the Eugene Public Library and Thursday, July 19 @ 7pm at Cozmic Pizza (8th/Charnelton). Film is free and open to the public.
Boom, Bust and the BLM is a locally produced film that sheds light on the BLM's Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) and the dubious political wrangling behind it. The result of a sweetheart settlement with industry, the WOPR seeks to remove already weak Northwest Forest Plan protections for old-growth forests and the rivers and streams that flow through them on over 2.5 million acres of public land. The BLM's move has stirred immense controversy among rural landowners, scientists and conservation groups.
The timber industry filed a weak lawsuit against the Clinton administration, which the BLM staunchly defended until the Bush administration reversed the position and caved to industry demands. The administration agreed to consider removing the limited protections afforded by the NW Forest Plan by the end of Bush's term.
As we had already predicted, Hamas defeated Fatah in the recent civil war in Gaza. Fatah supporters could but beg Israel for assistance as they were driven out of city after city, village after village in the Gaza Strip, until their eventual defeat. The traditionally dominant and organised presence of Fatah in the Gaza strip has been wiped out. Fatah's leading clique in Gaza around Mohamed Dahlan had lost most of its popular support over the last few years but it was clinging on through control of the Security forces.
This victory of Hamas would not have been possible without a massive turn of the Palestinian masses both in Gaza and in the West Bank against Fatah and the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) after more than a decade of extreme corruption and collaboration with imperialism and the Israeli government against their own people.
I went to the courthouse on Tuesday to sit in on the first stage of their trial for the Seriously Pissed Off Grannies, Blood n Roses Protest. That was the one where they spilled fake blood on the sidewalk in front of the Recruiting Office on NE Broadway on April 5 2007. Three Of Six Grannies were in the Courthouse last Tuesday
Starting the court process for their Black Friday Vigil
Known as "Blood and Roses"
There were three Grannies there and three others who were out of town and had their lawyers there for them. They petitioned the court to have a consolidated trial at a latter date. In fact that date will be 9-28-07 or if that becomes impossible then it will be 10-8-07.
The Charges are "Criminal Mischief III" and "unlawfully applying graffiti."
Here is my YouTube video of that event in the first stage of the protest: link to www.youtube.com
I hope the courtroom is full on September 9th... .
July 10, 2007 (TurtleIsland). Corbin Harney Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone Nation crossed over at 11:00 a.m. this morning in a house on a sacred mountain near Santa Rosa, CA (Turtle Island). He had dedicated his life to fighting the nuclear testing and dumping. That battle claimed his life through cancer.
Before he passed, he said to remember:
"We are one people. We cannot separate ourselves now. There are many good things to be done for our people and for the world. It is important to let things be good. And it is important to teach the younger generation so that things are not lost."
Join us at 7pm tonight, Wednesday, July 11th, for an extended forum with Agustín Aguayo and other Iraq Veterans Against the War at the Multicultural Center (Room 228) located in the Smith Memorial Student Center on the Portland State University campus. You will have a chance to hear first hand Aguayo's story: his experiences in Iraq, in prison, and his participation in the GI resistance movement.
Bio: Agustin Aguayo went AWOL (absent without leave) last summer after being ordered to return to Iraq for a second deployment. He had previously spent a year there, where he refused to load his gun no matter how dangerous the situation. He had applied for Conscientious Objector status but was denied. He was subsequently sentenced by the military to 8 months in military prison, and was finally released in April 2007.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A participant in an organized marathon this summer will run its full 26 miles and 385 yards in order to raise funds and show support for eco-defense prisoner Daniel McGowan. All proceeds from this run will go directly to Daniel McGowan's educational fund. This fund will assist with payment for Daniel's master's degree, which he will complete while serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison.
Daniel McGowan is an environmental and social justice activist from New York City. He was arrested in a multi-state raid against the environmental community that revealed itself to be part of a much larger wave of repression known as the "Green Scare." On June 4, 2007 McGowan was sentenced to seven years in prison for charges of conspiracy and arson. During his sentencing, Daniel was given a "terrorism" enhancement to his sentence, based on his involvement in acts of property destruction which hurt no living being.
Some of you may know the runner, Esther of Portland, Oregon's Eberhardt Press, not only from her publishing efforts, but also from her consistent work around the "Operation Backfire" eco-sabotage cases. In a recent blog entry, Esther states her reasons for training for and participating in the marathon, writing: "I want to communicate to Daniel and his family that we who support him are down for the long haul. Today, tomorrow, after 26 miles or seven years we will continue to struggle for the health of our planet and the freedom of all humans, including our comrades behind bars."
For more details about the "Bookin' for Daniel!" run, or to make a pledge to Daniel McGowan's educational fund as sponsorship for this event, please visit: http://bookinfordaniel.eberhardtpress.org/ Every little bit counts!
Warm Greetings, This is the first update from the Supporters of Nathan and Joyanna for some time. We have been waiting to send further updates until they could speak for themselves. Firstly, Nathan and Joyanna have elected to now return to the names that they chose for themselves years ago, Exile and Sadie.
After having been sentenced on June 1st to 92 months each, they are both faring well as they transition into the bizarre labyrinth of Federal Prison. They have elegantly endured this first month since their absurdly punitive sentencing. Finally out of Lane County, they find themselves in different circumstances on the move to their final prison assignments.
Both have asked that folks hold off on sending books but always welcome mail. We strongly encourage you to send images at this time, particularly pictures and drawings of the natural world as well as spiritual imagery and depictions of spiritual practice. Words may not be the most useful tools for assuaging the alienation they must both be feeling at this time.
First Epistle: Phoenix From the Flames, By Sadie and Exile: "Now that we have been sentenced we have the opportunity to ease our reticence concerning our situation and would like to candidly address a few points... "
Well July 4th I walked along with 911 Truth Activists and filmed them as they handed out information and bull-horned messages of "911 was an Inside job" and "police state information" and giving a heads up of the Portland Terror Drills coming to us here in metro pdx this October.
We were met on the streets, with lots of 911 interested people, and of course some angry people, and leave it to the big city ... ..some with messages of their own.
We were stopped by the Police twice, once for not leaving a clear walk way for pedestrians ... . The second time for being louder than over 100 feet ... we were told that distance was about a 1/3 of a city block (note to self!)
On July 4th I walked with my sister through the park by the Willamette river to Eugene's Valley River Center mall to see Michael Moore's new film "Sicko." Arriving at Regal Cinemas early, we were subjected to two right-wing propaganda ads against marijuana and for the National Guard. Both made me angry. I wondered if the theater owner had decided to stick it to us lefties.
Reviews of "Sicko" have not done justice to its huge emotional impact. This is a four handkerchief movie, and unfortunately I only took two. I was either crying or laughing through most of it. Moore is a master at making you feel what he wants you to feel, and deftly inserting leftist ideas into the American mind. You come out of the theater smiling. It's only later that the outrage at his intended target sets in.
One fortunate man from Gladstone, Bradley Phillip Heinecke, can count his lucky stars that the Deputy (Willard) and the cop (Bergin) who murdered Fouad on September 8, 2005, were not on duty Yesterday:
Readers will recall that Fouad Kaady, a young Gresham man, was apparently involved in a couple of rear end crashes near Sandy on that fateful day. It appears, from all that is known (search his name on this site, if you are not familiar), that Fouad was carrying a can of gasoline in his fathers car, intending to fuel his own pickup, which had run out of gas in a no parking zone. Somehow during this trip, the gasoline, and Fouad, caught fire. The ensuing events are tragic and unbelievable, but ultimately, the above two cops found Fouad, naked, badly burned, in shock, and sitting "catatonic" alongside a rural road. Rather than touch his bleeding body, they first tasered him, then shot and killed him. After the fact, for weeks, they tried to intimate that Fouad was under the influence of some intoxicant, and acting irrationally. He was not, and apparently, for the circumstances, was the most rational human being at the scene.
Now Mr. Heinecke, on the other hand...
I was just a little too old to watch Mister Rogers, but I remember my little sister watching him. It's true, he insisted that each child was special. It's a statement that is a little hard to argue with on its face, but it was intended to help children build the self-esteem they need to socialize in a healthy manner. Once you accept yourself, you can accept others; if you can feel for yourself, you can feel for others.
The recent attacks on "today's youth," as exhibiting narcissism, are not motivated by concern for the individual, nor for the society. The attacks come from reactionaries featured on Fox "news," for a start -- hardly the friend of the working class. It is easy to dismiss this latest fad as another right-wing crank phenomenon, but I'm sure it has a more insidious purpose.
Sabin elementary school in NE has literally thousands of books sitting in little mountains right in the gymnasium. The signs say "recycle books here". From what it looks like, many other schools have dropped their books off at Sabin as well. There are lots of great older educational materials. These books are not being recycled, they are going to be burned.
The school is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5pm because of summer camp. Come get some books. The side door by the dumpsters will be open and it might be good to talk to someone in the summer camp staff to give them a heads up that you're there to grab books.
NE 18th and Failing. Sabin Elementary.
Day 8 of Pedalpalooza brought a nice selection of events oriented towards the past, present, and future.
There was the "Little Beirut" tour of famous Portland "riot" scenes, inspired by George HW Bush's comment once-upon-a-time after his motorcade was egged, "Gee, that was a little like Beirut back there!" There was the Platinum Bike Master Plan hearings, to talk about the future of cycling accommodations in Portland. And there was the one I chose to go on, Road Witch.
What's that? It's an idea that originated in England, and exists at the intersection between public, temporary urban art installation, traditional street fairs, and more overtly political events such as Reclaim the Streets!
We got downtown at 9, then hung out and waited for everyone to show up (maybe 15 in total), then went and dropped our banner from the Morrison Bridge. There were people standing over the waterfront, so we had to drop it over Naito Parkway. It had a native american on it pointing out and said "What the fuck are you celebrating?" There was almost no reaction to that, so we were able to press on. There were cops coming up the walkway of the bridge so we took another way down. We went down by the bridge and stood for a minute collecting our thoughts. There were more people this year than last year, it was much more densely packed.
In the July 5th edition of the Oregonian, Mr. Jim Rassman bemoans the fact that that publication has, yet again, fallen for the ruse that Senator Gordon Smith is a "moderate" republican, this time due to his comments regarding the Iraq war. Mr. Rassman is correct in pointing out the contradiction between Senator Smith's words and his senatorial votes, but, alas, the contradiction is but the latest in Senator Smith's long history of attempting to appear moderate in the lead up to elections, while slavishly following the party line dictated by his republican leadership as he serves his term.
Although Senator Smith might wish it, I cannot forget how, during his reelection bid of 2002, the grieving mother of Matthew Shepherd appeared in the Senator's campaign advertisements, stating that she was sure Matthew would have viewed Senator Smith as a friend because of the Senator's advocacy for gay rights. Of course, after his reelection, Senator Smith quickly betrayed his gay and lesbian constituency by voting for the Protection of Marriage Amendment in 2004.
I was sleeping on my couch and woke up to 3 cops in my home. They were asking for my roommate, who was not home. The front door was open for ventilation and three of them just walked in.
My boyfriend says when he saw them on the porch he said they could not enter. They told him he was under arrest. The only way he resembles the man they were looking for is that he is a dude with glasses, he's several inches taller, 50 pounds heavier, 10 years younger than the guy they were looking for. In addition my boyfriend has a goatee and shaved head, this guy is clean shaven with hair.
They pointed tazers at myself, my boyfriend, and our dog who was only sniffing them. They said they didn't need a warrant because they were doing community caretaking. My boyfriend got the badge number of the first one who came into our house.
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