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Save the Date! On Good Friday, March 21, the Seriously Pissed Off Grannies and Friends will hold the second annual vigil at the Army/Marine Recruiting Office at 1317 NE Broadway in Portland. Come show your support for bringing our soldiers home. Join the Grannies on March 21st at 11:00 at the NE Broadway Recruiting office.
In 2006 the Grannies were arrested for placing red tempera pint handprints on the windows of the recruiting office. They were charged with a misdemeanor and a violation. A jury found them innocent of the misdemeanor charge, but a judge fined them $100 each, calling their political speech "graffiti." That decision is under appeal.
5 years ago this morning, many people were mourning the loss of our dear friend Sparrow, aka Carson McCann. We have been mourning him ever since.
But that does not mean we have not put our sorrow into action - and the action began just a few days after his death as you can see in this previous post.
Sparrow is in our thoughts and in our hearts with every day that passes, every precious forest that we hike through, and every sparrow that flies across our path. We love you and miss you Sparrow.
Just 93 miles off the coast of Florida lies perhaps the last remnant and stronghold of cold war opposition with the United States. For the last five decades it has boasted a leader that earned the title of dictator by successive U.S. regimes, while simultaneously maintaining widespread respect and admiration among his own people. Involved at one time in a potent trio, along with the U.S. and Soviet Union, that nearly brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, today the country stands as one of the sole examples of resistance to U.S. corporate and ideological imperialism. As the global community awoke on February 19 to the news of Fidel Castro's resignation, U.S. politicians, along with Florida's Little Havana, were in celebration of the impending change. But as Cuba officially hands over the reigns of power to Fidel's younger brother Raúl, the change the U.S. government has sought since 1959, appears truly to be an unlikely reality.
I borrowed a car this morning and headed out to Honeyman Road, just outside Scappoose. The mountains were lit up like jewels on the horizon, and heron, egrets, and red-tailed hawks filled the green fields and bare branches. But I was not out here for this today. I was tracking something more sinister. I was searching for a horrifying ritual that takes place far more often than most Cascadians would believe. I was on the trail of cowards with guns. And I found them.
I found them in a remote field owned by a dog kennel. (The sign at the entrance to the drive read "Meifert Kennels" on one side, and "Westend Kennels" on the other. The phone number for both is 503-543-6398. The address is 52745 E Honeyman Rd, Scappoose. Just outside of Portland. More on this later.) I could see them through the brambles along the road. As soon as I came near, I saw the first dog, bright, orange collar around its neck, anxiously pointing at the ground. I pulled my camera out of its bag, and crept up to a place where I could clearly see what was taking place.
At 1545 hours (0445 GMT), a clash between the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin and the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru turned violent when the Japanese Coast Guard began to throw flash grenades at the crew of the Steve Irwin.
Captain Paul Watson was struck by a bullet in the chest. Fortunately, the bullet was stopped by his Kevlar vest. The bullet struck just above the heart and mangled Captain Watson's anti-poaching badge, which was worn on his sweater underneath the Kevlar vest.Dr. David Page was videotaped prying the bullet from Captain Watson's Kevlar vest. "You have been hit by a bullet," he said. The Kevlar vest and anti-poaching badge effectively saved Captain Watson's life.
The Japanese Coast Guard was retaliating against Sea Shepherd crewmembers for tossing rotten butter onto the decks to discourage their illegal whaling activities. The clash came after a week long pursuit by the Steve Irwin of the Nisshin Maru, in an effort to stop illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
At about 3:43 AM yesterday a bomb went off doing minor damage to the historic recruitment office on the Times Square island.
Trigger a mob response at Four AM? Incite violence, I am reminded very strongly of the pepper spraying of Anarchist by "peace keeping" reformist to prevent vandalism to a bank. Violence involves physical pain, injury or death to a living creature, not the destruction of a glass window even if it does have Uncle Sam's picture on it. A few year's back American's were pondering why American's were hated in the third world? Could it be because we value the property of American's before the life of third world citizens? That the façade of an orderly peace loving society govern by reason is more important to middle class self-esteem that any substantial effort to create such a society. These are the reasons why the American dream, a mere illusion of democracy, is the nightmare of the rest of the world. As the false hearted Liberal movement commit themselves to denoucning the braking of a pain of glass, the Bush Administration lays the ground work for a proxi war in Latin America. A war Obama and Hillary are as likely to initiate as Bush himself. American's need to go beyond their meaningless self-delusions of being a peace loving people and address the reality that the US is easily the most aggressive militaristic state of our century. To turn our nation away from this path we need to stop acting like children and look at violence as it really effects are world.
Taking Place at the U of O Law School in Eugene, the four-day Conference includes over 125 panels, workshops, and multi-media presentations addressing a broad spectrum of environmental law and advocacy. Topics include: forest protection and ecological restoration, grazing and mining reform, labor and human rights, air and water pollution, Native American treaty rights, globalization and "free" trade, environmental justice, corporate responsibility, marine wilderness, international environmental law, water rights and dam removal, oil and gas litigation, genetic engineering, and urban growth.
EARLY AFTERNOON PANELS FRIDAY • 2:15 - 3:30 P.M.
Indigenous Sacred Estates: Protecting the Climate at Home
Land Use, Energy Depletion, and Climate Change: Opportunities for Action.
Solving the Energy Crisis: Are We Making the Right Policy Decisions?
Pacific Northwest Old Growth Protection and Forest Restoration Legislation
Bends in the River: New Developments in Clean Water Act Policy and Litigation
The Iraq Body Count Exhibit will be displayed at Portland State University from March 9th until March 20th. Using 120,000 surveyor flags, the Exhibit represents American and Iraqi deaths caused as a result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"Passer byes are awe-struck when they see how large the Exhibit is and how many people have died in this war. It is much different from reading a number in a newspaper" said Rudy Dietz, an organizer of the Exhibit. The numbers used by Iraq Body Count Exhibit are based on The Lancet Medical Journal's 2006 study that interviewed over 1800 Iraqi households, using widely accepted statistical methods (1). More recent surveys by British research firm ORB have cited numbers as high as 1.2 million (2).
The Students for Unity at PSU are sponsoring the Exhibit, and are helping to recruit the over 200 volunteers required to set up on the 9th. Volunteers are welcome to help out for an hour, or the entire day. Those who are interested in volunteering can meet at PSU in front of the Millar Library (1875 SW Park) at 9:00 am on Sunday March 9th.
Declaration of Latin American anti-militarists: We don't need another war:
We don't need another war. We, conscientious objectors and anti-militarists from Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean together, categorically refuse to participate in belligerent escalades that will lead to a war that, again, will attempt to divide us. We have enough with hunger, corruption, rampant militarism, the obscene military budget, insecurity, the continuous violations of human rights by our governments, for them to give us yet another armed conflict.
The truth is that bellicose rhetoric favors both Uribe and Chavez, the latter perhaps more so. The truth is that the Comandante's revolutionary discourse has seen better days. After the December 2nd defeat, the first electoral thrashing he has got, the floodgates of discontent within chavismo have swung open. Not the discontent seen on TV with high sounding declarations, but that of the people who abstained and caused the constitutional reform defeat, the same people who are tired of empty supermarket shelves and abandoned Missions while the Boli-bourgeoisie drives expensive cars. The same people who denounce corruption and confront the Ministry of Labor bureaucracy and get shot by the National Guard in return. The very same people who those chavistas closest to the presidency accuse of being left deviationists, ultra-left or anarchists, of whom it is said it isn't ready for socialism after nine years waiting for some real moves, and who get desperate seeing Chavez flirting with the right in the past few months.
Stand in Solidarity with the Professor's Union tomorrow at 11AM.
As the struggle continues between the professors and administration, your support of the faculty is critical. The Oregon University System (OUS) is holding a Board Meeting tomorrow. The union will be making a statement. Show that you care about quality higher education!
Date: Friday, March 7
Time: 11:00 a.m. (the meeting is 8:30-1:00, but the union is planning on making a statement)
Place: PSU, Smith Memorial Student Union rm. 328
Tacoma, WA - A federal jury was unable to reach a decision on conspiracy and transportation of a destructive device but convicted Briana Waters, a 32-year-old mother and violin teacher and former resident of Olympia of arson. The government charged her with being a lookout in connection with the May, 2001 arson of the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington in Seattle. If convicted on all counts, Waters would have faced a sentence of 35 years. The two informants who testified against her in the case, who admitted to participating in the arson, face between three and seven years. Ms. Waters' sentencing is set for May 30.
Without any physical evidence linking Ms. Waters directly to the arson, the government built its case on the testimony of the two informants, and a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence. The defense argued that the informants falsely accused Waters in order to avoid 35-year prison sentences themselves, and that their testimony was demonstrably false. "The government's case was primarily based on character assassination and guilt by association," said civil rights attorney Ben Rosenfeld, a member of the Board of Directors of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. "Evidence of other people's writings never should never have been allowed to be used against her."
On the morning March 5th, 2008, five individuals were arrested by the Thurston County Sheriffs office on charges related to the incident following the Dead Prez show at the Evergreen State College. After much media hype about the events that occurred in the morning of February 15th, the police are finally taking action to ensure the blame be put on the community they attacked. Video taken after the concert clearly shows that police officers attacked a peaceful crowd of people without issuing an order to disperse or giving any warning. The so-called riot that ensued was a direct result of police violence, and an indirect result of racism on the part of the police. Both the incident itself and the response demonstrate a systematic abuse of police power, as officers from Washington State, Thurston County, Evergreen, Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater were all involved and have yet to be held accountable.
The Valentines Day incident began when an unmarked 'security' person pointed out an individual who he accused of starting a fight with him over smoking a joint. At this time Evergreen police arrested Kaylen Williams, who maintains that he only tried to break up a fight that security started with another person in the crowd. Protests to free Williams after the concert were entirely non-violent until the Olympia Police Department responded to the scene. When OPD arrived they began clubbing and pepper spraying the crowd. Many of the concertgoers suffered chemical burns and one young man was hospitalized with internal bleeding.
Join us for a discussion about the case with Hank Jones of the SF8, Claude Marks and Maisha Quint of the Committee to Free the Eight, and former head of the Portland Black Panter Party Kent Ford. SF8 info day event presented by KBOO and Circle A Radio: Eight former members and supporters of the Black Panter Party now known as the San Francisco 8, have been targeted in a vindictive prosecution in San Francisco for their political activities of over 35 years ago.
Join us for a discussion about the case with Hank Jones of the SF8, Claude Marks and Maisha Quint of the Committee to Free the Eight, and former head of the Portland Black Panter Party Kent Ford.
Sunday March 9th
Assembling at Pioneer Square, the Procession for the Future wound through through downtown Portland, finishing off at Portland State University where they transformed the Park Blocks into a Festival for the Future, an activist theme park and training ground. Immigration Rights and much more. Conspicuous at the head of the march was an enormous U.S. Constitution, probably 20 feet wide by 50 feet in length, carried by eight people. Organized by the Backbone Campaign, this Portland Procession for the Future was the first, and as it traveled through the city it drew smiles of support and approval of all complexions from those who in their daily course of life happened upon it.
At the PSU campus, Billl Moyer of the Backbone Campaign gives a brief synopsis of the group. "The organization was started by artists in 2004 to provide creative tools for the Progressive movement nationwide. We believe that regardless of who sits in the White House, that we the People, have an essential role in transforming this country into a true decent society and a responsible member of the world community." Audio file is about 3 minutes in length.
On February 23rd, Peter Young, an animal liberation activist and former Green Scare prisoner, spoke at the Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz before a screening of "Behind the Mask" at a benefit for the SHAC 7.
Peter grew up in Los Gatos, California and moved to the state of Washington at the age of nine. He went to college at the University of Washington where he became involved in animal rights activism. In 1997, Peter and a friend liberated over 8,000 mink and foxes from various fur farms in a two-week road trip across three midwestern states. In 1998, indictments were handed down for his arrest and of accomplice, Justin Samuel. After nearly 7 years on the run, Peter was captured in San Jose in 2005 and served almost two years in prison until his release in early 2007.
Extraordinary women's health advocate, activist, journalist, writer founder of NWHN died Febraury 28. Barbara Seaman, author of "The Doctor's Case Against the Pill" and "The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women" has died. She was 72.
"The Case Against the Pill" resulted in hearings on the risks of birth control pills, and warnings placed on birth control pill packaging. She disclosed the risks of cancer and Hormone Replacement Therapy in "The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women". She compares use of HRT in the US and Europe. In Europe, HRT is treated for a short period of time and women are told to taper off the medication once menopause is over. In the United States it has become a money making industry, with doctor's prescribing long-term, cancer inducing medication to women. Menopause in the US is treated like a disease.
Seaman founded the National Women's Health Network in 1975.
She was a journalist, activist, organizer, mother and grandmother.
To read more about Barbara Seaman go to womensspace.wordpress.com
* The Collective Editorship of El Libertario, www.nodo50.org/ellibertario, expounds its vision of which path to follow in the current situation in Venezuela, summed up in the slogan, "Against the (B)oligarchy, demagoguery and corruption: Autonomous struggle of the underdogs!
Positive transformations in society are produced by the actions of popular movements and not by governments. As has been clearly illustrated in the case of Venezuela, as well in other parts of Latin America, the will for change of the majority has been channelled and co-opted by a new bureaucracy which tries, by all available means, to tighten its grip on power.
I attended an incredible event at PSU this evening sponsored by the Backbone Campaign. The event featured speakers Antonia Juhasz, author of "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World One Economy at a Time," and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus.
But this evenings event wasn't all there is to the Backbone Campaign. The Backbone Campaign will bring its Procession for the Future to Portland for a parade, Tuesday, March 4th at noon. Twelve giant puppets, representing progressive issues such as Universal Health Care, Climate Stabilization, Fair Trade, and others, will assemble at Pioneer Courthouse Square and process a mile through downtown to Portland State University. At the PSU Smith Memorial Student Union Building, the puppets will circle up on the park blocks and transform into a Festival for the Future, an activist theme park and training ground for students and others.
These good folks will need about 100 people just to manage these puppets during the Parade.
These are the images/puppets being brought to Portland:
Judge Hubel scheduled Arrow's trial for May 6th. Arrow is to be held as a flight risk and potential danger pending the trial. Arrow is currently being held in Multnomah County. Because of security concerns it is not yet known where he will be moved to. Tre faces fourteen counts with the charges of arson and conspiracy alone possibly resulting in life sentences.
Greeted by press outside the courthouse after the arraignment, (attorney) Loney stated that Tre felt that the time was right to return to Oregon to set the record. "His spirit is great," said Loney. "We are very happy that U.S. marshals will meet his raw vegan diet. He is a strong, centered and spiritual individual. This is what has carried him through."
Also speaking to press was Tre's sister Shawna Scarpetti. "Over the past four years we've had the time to discuss about how unjust and unfair what he is facing is. He absolutely believes that his attorneys will secure his freedom."
In this new interview, Ramona Africa talks about the upcoming MOVE 9 Parole Hearings that are scheduled for April. MOVE is asking for support. Stay tuned for an online petition and sample letter to send to the Parole Board.
Ramona Africa is the sole adult survivor of the May 13, 1985 massacre of 11 members of the MOVE organization. The FBI and the City of Philadelphia dropped a C4 bomb on MOVE's Osage Avenue home in West Philadelphia. Both 30-year old Ramona and 13-year old Birdie Africa (the only 2 survivors) report that as the MOVE family attempted to escape their burning home, their were met with massive rounds of automatic gunfire, forcing 11 members of the MOVE family to be burnt alive. Ramona dodged gunfire and escaped from the fire with permanent scarring from the burns. Ramona was charged with conspiracy, riot, and multiple counts of simple and aggravated assault. Subsequently Ramona served 7 years in prison. If she had chosen to sever her ties with MOVE and renounce the teachings of John Africa, she could have been released far earlier. In the face of this she held true to her revolutionary beliefs and was uncompromising in the face of state terror.
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