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This one-hour interview with Francome and Evans is the most extensive one given yet, and provides background on MOVE, the Philadelphia PD's history of corruption and violence, and more.
The new British documentary about death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal just premiered at The Sundance Film Festival. Listen to this radio show, and also check out the articles at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, and My Space. There are new trailers (1, 2, 3 4), and a previous interview with Francome.
H.R. 1955 has been passed by the House, and is being debated in the Senate. Should this bill become law, those with "extremist belief systems" - as defined by the government - would be subjected to government scrutiny and worse for supposedly promoting "violent radicalization".
As defined by the government, do you have an "extremist belief system" which could be used to facilitate "ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change"? Then you could be guilty of "violent radicalization", and find yourself in the crosshairs of H.R. 1955 (and companion bill S. 1959), the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This proposed federal law was co-written by its sponsor, California Democrat Jane Harman. It was passed by the House on October 23, 2007 by a vote of 404 to 6, and is currently being deliberated in the Senate.
See link to www.govtrack.us for Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to 'Disrupt' Radical Movements in the United States, an article by Jessica Lee written on November 16, 2007, describing this proposed law in detail, and its implications.
crime is called "9/11".
47 rats rescued from Scripps Hospital vivisection breeding facility.
Recently, concerned citizens rescued 47 rats who were apparently part of a breeding program at Scripps "Mercy" Hospital in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. We entered through an unlocked door and found these beautiful innocent creatures living in squalor. Eight were crammed into each tiny barren cage. Their white fur was matted in urine and feces. Their babies were to be stolen from them and tortured in useless experiments, but now they are in loving homes where they will spend the rest of their lives as individuals, rather than research tools to be discarded when no longer necessary.
Who are the terrorists in this situation: those who peacefully rescue neglected beings from abuse and cruelty, or those who terrify, torture and destroy innocent life? This rescue is dedicated to the brave people who speak out and more importantly act in support of direct action and rescue.
Siren Nation is a local non-profit that produces a music and arts festival in November (www.sirennation.org for details). We have put on a fundraiser, taking orders for Valentines (card + vegan chocolate) to be delivered around town by bike.
We got so many orders! Yay, awesome for our fundraising, but we need help!! We got so many Valentine Bike-o-Gram orders that we need help delivering them! This week is your chance to costume up and ride your bike, delivering love notes!
Can you help us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the days and times you're available this week (mon-thurs), Thank you!!
Jeff attended a status hearing yesterday [Feb 7, '08], along with his attorneys, in Lane County Circuit court. It appears that his resentencing hearing will now take place on February 20th. Although we don't have a whole lot to report we wanted to keep you all informed. Jeff was moved from OSP to Lane County jail several months ago in anticipation of this resentencing hearing and we are continuing to be hopeful. Please write to Jeff and give him your support at this critical time.
Jeffrey Luers # 1306729
Lane County Adult Corrections
101 West 5th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401-2695
If you are able to donate money to Jeff's legal debt, please do. Jeff needs all the assistance you can offer. Options for donations are here: http://freejeffluers.org/donate.html
Thank you for your support. It is greatly appreciated!
-Friends of Jeffrey Free Luers
We want to invite everyone to come to Liberty Hall to welcome the volunteers that have traveled in fifty cars to Portland with the Migrant March III. They are traveling from San Diego to Canada and back, with border actions on the US/Canadian border.
The event will bring together organizers and concerned community members from the Northwest and the US/Mexico border region to share experiences and strategies for engaging immigrant and allied communities in movement building.
For the third consecutive year a group called "Gente Unida", lead by Enrique Morones, a well known activist in San Diego who works on behalf of immigrants, has organized an immigrant march to travel throughout the Western United States. This Sunday, February 8th the marchers will arrive in Portland, Oregon, where they will be greeted at Liberty hall, where a community forum will be held -- bringing together activists from the South with activists of the North. On the 12th of February they will arrive at the Canadian border where they will hold a special action, known as a "US Border Action".
Yesterday, between 300 and 400 people gathered on the Capitol steps to stage a rally against liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Oregon. These developments face huge local public opposition in Northern and Southern Oregon, and Wednesday marked the first time that the two groups joined, en masse, to send a message of resistance to fossil fuel speculators, politicians, and regulating agencies.
The fight continues to heat up, as the Governor has stated his belief that natural gas originating in LNG terminals may act as a "bridge fuel". The Governor appears to be on the wrong side of this issue, as he faced boos from a friendly crowd at a Focus the Nation event last week when he mouthed industry rhetoric in favor of LNG. Ultimately, the Wednesday event offered LNG and pipeline opponents throughout the region an opportunity to connect, share ideas, and lobby the State legislators with common themes on a day that highlighted the unity of all Oregonians against these huge foreign fossil fuel developments.
Last week, Portland Indymedia ran an article detailing the curious downfall of officer William Bergin, the cop who tortured and shot Fouad Kaady to death. Bergin, it seems, was arrested almost a year ago, after drunkenly menacing his former girlfriend at around 3 in the morning on March 8, 2007. I want to make it clear that this incident was a serious one, especially given Bergin's record as a killer. I would like to know why this man is still working as an officer of the law. More than that, I want to use Bergin's own testimony to point out that there is a culture of violence, cover-up and dishonesty in the Sandy PD that bears looking into, especially if one is interested in justice for the many people who have suffered violence and injustices at the hands of Sandy police officers and been ignored. So this week, I am going to quote liberally from the Sherwood police report describing his arrest and subsequent behavior and statements to the police.
According to Newton's report: "As I was completing the paperwork for Mr. Bergin asked me if I could just take him to Detox [sic]. He said that he has pulled over plenty of drunken cops and has given them a ride home. I informed him that I had to do my job and that Detox was not an option, he was already arrested. He told me that in Sandy it is still the 'good old boy' system and he could just go to Detox or home. I informed him that I had a job to do and it was nothing personal. He told me that he understood and apologized for trying to mess with me. He told me that it was at least worth a shot."
The problems in Sandy go much deeper than this one man, and the public should know this. As Bergin himself has stated, there is a "good old boy system" in Sandy, that has caused immeasurable suffering for the people of that town. The Fouad Kaady murder has helped to bring this nest of nasties to light, but Mr. Kaady was not their only victim. For years, the people of Sandy have been telling horrific tales of racism, abuse, persecution, and cover-up.
Briana Waters' trial is scheduled for February 11th 9:00 am in Tacoma Washington, at the Federal Courthouse on 1717 Pacific Ave.
Briana Waters has been indicted in the arson at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, specifically for the alleged role as a lookout. Ms. Waters maintains her innocence and is pleading not guilty. She is facing a mandatory minimum of 35 years in jail. The case is built on the word of two informants, Jen Kolar and Lacey Phillabaum. Although, Ms. Waters attorneys, Robert Bloom and Neil Fox, filed a motion that the government concealed important information and created a fraudulent FBI report, Judge Burgess denied the motion in January. The Judge closed the pretrial, which is our fundamental right to an open and clear process in public court. Now is the time that we must show up in the court room to support the transparency of our judicial system. It is more than our civil liberties at stake, in this precedent setting case. We have seen more and more of our civil rights taken away and it is important for us to stand and bear witness to this trial.
Please be at the court at 9am. Judge Burgess starts on time. The trial is expected to go for a month, Monday thru Friday 9am -4pm. Briana Waters asks that there be NO rally or signs outside or inside of the courtroom. Our presence will be the support she needs.
Recently, the Portland City Council passed a resolution to approve $450 million dollars to fix bridges and streets throughout the city. Rolled into that plan was about an additional $24 million for bike safety and bike boulevards.
Most notably for cyclists, it would fund:
* 114-miles of new low-traffic Bicycle Boulevards
* Safer Routes to Schools for elementary and middle school kids
* Safety improvements to dangerous intersections
* New sidewalks
* SmartTrips programs that promote sustainable transportation options
It was an ambitious and forward reaching bike strategy for our city. It passed and then the Oregon Petroleum Association got involved. The plan was then blocked. This is where you come in...
This weekly Peace March starts on 35 and Taylor behind the Sunnyside School Elementary School, and is organized by a 14 year old boy.
This inspiring bunch of kids (and a few adults) have great spirit and are bringing the peace message to the community, which as you see overwhelmingly support them.
Febuary 9th at 10am. Fur store protest! Please some and support the animals!
Portland made history with the shutting down of Schumacher furs, but there is still much more work to be done. We must continue the fight and let others know that we will not tolerate fur stores in our city.
The store is only open from the the hours of 10am to 1pm on Saturdays so lets all get out there!
Nicholas Ungar Furs
1137 SW Yamhill St
On Friday night, just hours before critical mass visited the auto show, two climate change and social justice organizers entered the auto show with informational fliers and "Art not Oil" art in hand. Using guerilla media tactics, the two aimed to provide the opportunity for car makers and consumers alike to consider the true costs of oil.
One handout titled, "Buying a New Car: Safety Should be Your Number One Priority" listed the things that oil dependence endangers, including our economy, our environment, human rights, and national security. This handout was left on dash boards, in glove compartments, under visors and on the car floor, of almost all of the cars and trucks on the floor of the convention center.
The action was coordinated to call out the auto-makers for greenwashing, and put pressure on the companies for claiming to be green while they continue to produce loads of new gas-guzzlers and actively fight against government regulated fuel standards and other policies that would help fight climate change. This action was also part of Global Exchange's Freedom from Oil campaign, which also visited the LA and Detroit Auto Shows in recent months.
This last Fridays Critical Mass , a monthly bicycle ride with a history of police harassment resulting in no fun and small turn outs, starts out with 60 plus riders, a human pyramid, a bitchen sound system, and pays a visit to the auto show.
We made it to the auto show and grouped up outside the main door. A good sized banner was unfolded and held up for all to see that were making their way into the auto show. People laid on their backs and made like they were pedaling.
sign up for free mass transit to Salem No LNG Rally on Feb 6th! We are going to the capitol to tell our representatives that we don't want our forests and farmlands to be ravaged for the sake of supplying California with more dirty fossil fuels! Need a ride? You've got one! We have two forms of mass transit available to get you to and from this day of fun on the capitol building steps:
February 6 Rally in Salem: NO LNG in Oregon!Why should you care about this?
There are 3 LNG projects proposed for the Oregon coast.If even one should get built, it will increase Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons per year. These projects will cost billions, money that could be spent on clean, renewable energy. The terminals and pipelines linking them to California will endanger communities, cross and condemn hundreds of miles of land, and destroy habitat. LNG is not needed in Oregon; even the Governor admits that most of the gas is going out of state. Ask yourself: Why is Oregon being chosen for an LNG that will go to California?
Statewide Call to Action
I once lived in the Coast Range of Oregon. I had a farm with a large garden and a few fruit trees. My children and I were happy there. My farm was surrounded by land owned by a family who made their living harvesting forests. They used the most terrible type of tree extraction - clearcutting. About a year after I moved onto my property, the family decided to clearcut the forest just above my farm. I could hear the chainsaws take down the forest. It was a sad time for me. I loved that forest above me. It was diverse: Douglas fir, red alder, a wonderful array of wild native berry plants, ferns, and many herbs and wild flowers lived in that place. My children and I had identified three types of wild orchids in that forest: Fairyslipper (Calypso bulbosa) Mountain Lady Slipper (Cypripedium montanum) and Western Coralroot (Corallorhiza maculate).
One afternoon a year after the extraction of the forest I walked up the mountain to see what damage had been done. My heart was broken. I kneeled on the ground with my hands over my face. I saw a land that had been broken.
I did not go back up that mountain for another month. It was late spring when I sat in the muddy field of the clearcut. I looked around. I did not see anything unusual. I closed my eyes and asked for healing. I opened my eyes. I saw not far from the outer edge of the clearcut a bright green plant. I went to it. It was beautiful with waxy round leaves and a little white flower attached to a stem that shot up through the leaf. I sat for a long time and observed how it seemed to be spreading all around the edges of the wounded earth. It seemed to be creeping from the darker edges of the forest.
I took a sample of the plant to a local native plant lady and she identified it as Miner's Lettuce. She told me the story of how the plant was supposedly named by Miners who were suffering from scurvy and were able to find this plant, where hardly anything else grew, including in piles of mine tailings. They ate the plant and felt very much better. My friend called the plant a major healer of the earth. Where ever it grew there was work to be done. It grew heartily along abandoned logging roads, in clearcuts, and in other disturbed areas.
On March 8th, 2007, a year and a half after he gunned down Fouad Kaady in the streets of Sandy, officer William Bergin had another kind of showdown, in another kind of town... A town where police officers are not so quick on the trigger, and not so shy on the truth.
Bergin, a violent and angry man, showed up at the home of his former girlfriend, in the wee hours of the morning, around 3am. He was drunk, he was frightening, and he was despicable. His ex girlfriend was terrified. With a shaking voice, she called the Sherwood police in tears, requesting assistance. When the police arrived at her home, they found the drunk and belligerent Bergin, and arrested him. He was charged with DUI, and taken downtown. So far as I know, despite the presence of intoxicants in his system, and despite his bizarre behavior, no one tasered him, and no one shot him. Apparently, Sherwood is a more enlightened town than Sandy.
Domestic violence is an enormous problem among police officers. Sometimes, this epidemic of violence makes the news, as when Tacoma police chief David Brame shot his estranged wife and himself in front of their two small children in 2003. Usually, however, this abuse is shrouded in secrecy. As Bergin's abuse has been, until now.It's a very serious breach of the public trust when an officer who has been a perpetrator of domestic violence is allowed to continue to work in a position of authority, carrying a badge and a gun. How are we to expect him to react when he is expected to respond to a domestic violence call? Will he take the crime seriously? Or will he identify with the perpetrator?
To mark the one year anniversary of their weekly peace vigil the Oregon Trail Democrats, (Sandy Ore) along with other local peace and justice advocates, will be holding a "24 Hour Peace Vigil"on the corner of 362nd Ave and HWY 26 in Sandy, PM Friday,February 1st until PM Saturday, February 2nd, 2008.
In Olympia this week, a Washington State House Committee approved a resolution asking Congress to roll back the FCC's recent deregulation of media ownership rules. At issue is a controversial FCC decision last December to allow media companies to control both a city's newspaper and TV/radio stations, in the 20 largest markets. The decision flies in the face of overwhelming opposition expressed by the thousands of people who testified against media consolidation at six public hearings, hundreds of thousands of comments submitted to the FCC, and an impressively bipartisan range of elected officials.
The FCC's final public hearing on the issue was held in Seattle on Nov 9. Despite having less than a week's notice of the hearing date, over 1100 people turned out to testify at the nine-hour marathon hearing.
This week, the Washington State House Committee on Technology, Energy and Communications unanimously endorsed a resolution urging Congress to enact the Media Ownership Act, a bill which would retroactively repeal the FCC's December ruling, and impose stronger public accountability requirements on future FCC decisions.
Yesterday, an internal memo leaked out of the offices of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and into the hands of the press. The story outlined in that memo is horrific: The Chinook salmon of California's central valley, and indeed the salmon populations all up and down the west coast, are crashing. They are in "precipitous decline."
Since the salmon crisis on our own Columbia river is being blamed upon sea lions at Bonneville dam, sea lions who are being threatened with assassination this spring due to the dwindling salmon, it is important that we look at the real scope, depth, and breadth of this problem. It is not only the salmon of the Columbia, but those of every waterway along the west coast, who are in peril. According to the Pacific Fishery Management Council memo, this year's run of fall Chinook on the Sacramento river dropped by a shocking 67 percent over last year's run. Sixty-seven percent! This number is even more astonishing if we consider that, last year, the same organization lamented the unexpectedly low numbers of returning salmon, so that a 67 percent drop in an already calamitously low number raises the looming specter of extinction. In truth, the salmon population has been taking a precipitous nose-dive for years. Over-fishing, loss of habitat, and collapsing ecosystems are to blame. On the Columbia, we have the added burden of being the only river in the nation to actually allow commercial gill nets within the river channel -- a channel that is home to fish known to be "protected" under the Endangered Species Act. (If you want to see this for yourself, you will need to go out at night. Wisely, the commercial nets are not cast until after 7pm. They work at night, when there are few witnesses. But, despite the thousands of threatened and endangered salmon swept up in the nets, the ODFW declares that their activities are perfectly legal.)
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