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Responding to an invitation issued by the office of Mayor Tom Potter on Monday, elected representatives from the homeless camp outside City Hall met with the Mayor at 3:00pm Tuesday. Scheduling only a half an hour for the meeting (his press conference was to begin at 3:30pm) Potter sauntered out around 3:50 flustered and red in the face, perhaps upset that the meeting that took two weeks of avid protest to get had lasted more than a half hour.
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The corporate media is now reporting what we assumed they would: That nature is to blame for the deaths of six trapped sea lions, and not foul play. Because, as we all know, Homeland Security is keeping our dams very secure, and no one could possibly have gotten past them to close those traps and kill those sea lions. No, it must have been the heat. Yeh. That's it. The heat. ...But wait.
[ Previous articles What Killed Sea Lion B198? | More articles on sea lions ]
Yesterday 7 people were arrested when the Portland Police came to post 72 hour "Illegal Campsite" notices and alert us that our homeless encampment at City Hall was not within lawful compliance. We have been camping on the sidewalks for 15 days to protest the unconstitutionality of the sit/lie ordinance and to demand the repeal of the anti-camping law that makes being without a home a crime. Long term solutions to the affordable housing/greed crisis in downtown Portland however is the primary goal that has brought everyone who is down at City Hall together. So far, many creative ideas have been offered and discussed over the past weeks, and over the course of time the number of protesters has grown from 15 at the beginning into the upwards of 100. Although yesterdays police presence seemed to disperse protesters, the peak head count last night was 84.
"We aren't leaving until they give us what we want" is our general consensus, although the diversity of our growing crowd has brought many new angles as to how we would accomplish such. Mayor Potter has basically refused dialog, and continues to be narrowly focused on the federal mandated "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness," as well as on opening temporary shelter beds which do nothing over the long-term.
Last night our entire camp met to discuss issues and decide what's next.
Video Entitled "This is Coast Salish Territory"
On Monday April 28th, 2008 Indigenous Warriors on Coast Salish Territory blocked a vital intersection used for commercial shipping to the United States. The action was done in solidarity with the Tyendinaga Mohawk community. Five Warriors from Tyendinaga had been arrested and attacked by the OPP days before. SWAT teams and paramilitary units were on Tyendinaga Territory surrounding dozens of other unarmed Warriors who were peacefully occupying a rock quarry claimed to be on their territory.
Solidarity actions also happened in Six Nations and Guelph. With the mounting pressure from coast to coast, and steadfast position of the Tyendinaga Mohawks the SWAT teams and paramilitary units left Tyendinaga Territory without additional attacks.
Since their arrest, three of the five Warriors have been released on strict bail conditions. Two Warriors, Clint Brant and Shawn Brant are still in state custody.
Governor, State Agency Says There is No Need For LNG. They also demand a new EIS for Bradwood LNG. Learn more:
LNG for Oregon? Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Oregon at a Crossroads.
Just in time for this event, the Governor's office and Oregon Department of Energy yesterday demanded a new Environmental Impact Statement for the Bradwood LNG proposal. They cited multiple changes in the project proposal that are making it impossible for the public to get a clear sense of the project... a big help to the folks fighting the project... the report does acknowledge the excessive greenhouse gas impacts of LNG. The report, however, does conclude that Oregon needs more gas. Still, it will go a long way to undermine the false claims of LNG speculators. The Oregonian described it yesterday as a "potentially fatal blow" to LNG.
Speakers will include community activists, Bill Bradbury, and former Enron prosecutor John Kroger. All will address the importance of moving Oregon away from LNG and towards conservation, efficiency, and renewables. Come by and learn more about the push to reject LNG, "the next fossil fuel."
Ecuadorian police detained five journalists associated with Ecuador Indymedia late Tuesday night. Four of the five were released from custody on Wednesday afternoon. The government says that the four activists were detained because of their relationship with the fifth detainee, Ecuadorian resident and Colombian national Antonio Alcívar.
The government at first refused to issue a statement on the matter or inform the detainees of the reason for their arrests. The Regional Foundation for Assistance in Human Rights (INREDH) noted that this was a violation of the detainees' constitutional right to be clearly informed of the reason for their detention along with the identities of those who ordered and carried out the arrests.
According to Ecuador Indymedia and INREDH, the Judicial Police (PJ) and the Intervention and Rescue Group (GIR) executed the arrests. The journalists were arrested on the street and then taken to their homes where searches were violently carried out. Agents reportedly confiscated computers, documents and hard drives from the journalists' homes. Agents also reportedly confiscated a Che Guevara poster as "evidence."
According to INREDH, the detainees were not permitted to see their lawyer and were forced to undergo interrogation in the presence of a lawyer provided by police.
It is unclear why the Ecuadorian government made the arrests and whether the detentions are related to the recent conflict with Colombia. It seems possible that President Correa, in an effort to counter Colombian allegations, may be attempting to demonstrate the government's resolve to root out guerrilla presence in Ecuador—and intimidate some critics on his left in the process.
we need more housed people to come out and sleep on the sidewalks around city hall. until we have more housed folks out here showing that they are on our side and that this is in fact a WHOLE community issue, we will likely and unfortunately not be taken as seriously. pull out your sleeping bag, ground pad, tarp and sign, and set up shop with us. there's lot of friends down here who are willing to help you navigate our protest while sleeping on the street. see you there!
Yesterday while doing Food not Bombs at protest until late, I did my best to listen to what the organizers there needed and others requested.
The big one is more people that aren't homeless. Tarps and Blankets.
Food not Bombs served on Tuesday at City hall. Weds. Food not Bombs will be held at City hall instead of outer SE. We will also be serving on Thursday. It was requested that Saturday Food not Bombs be held at City hall. We would actually like to request that all food not bombs be held at City hall. There is the looming response of a police ticketing sweep of City hall. But there are still no where near the about of beds needed for people on the streets.
Another sea lion has been found dead on the Columbia, as the death toll rises. This one was just found this afternoon, floating in the water near the I-5 bridge. Officials have not commented on the cause of death, but one would not be unreasonable to conclude that humans had a hand in it. In the wake of at least 8 deaths related to the government trapping, officials have just called off any plans to trap, kill, or imprison any more sea lions this year. Now, apparently, they can just sit back and let the fishermen do their dirty work for them.
I would like to report that the remaining sea lions have received a temporary reprieve, but I cannot: There is no telling how many more will be found bleeding in the water, victims of fanatical fishermen and human aggression. Meanwhile, officials weigh the options for next year, and a court battle continues. Since the hunting and trapping has been ended for this year, the hearing scheduled for later this week in the 9th circuit court of appeals to determine the status of the injunction against shooting has been canceled. However, the legal fight is far from over.
Sea Lion Demonstration at Bonneville: Report BackBeneath the warm sun, about a dozen demonstrators chanted, sang, and reflected on the circle of life up at Bonneville dam yesterday. In the background, the roaring Columbia tumbled through the dam, and sea lions played in the crashing waves. It was beautiful up there, but most of us felt the somber weight of the senseless slaughter that had taken place on this very spot, only a day ago. Across the river, government workers in bright orange vests could be seen crouching and prodding within the bloody, eerie, shameful cages that had served as death traps for six beings who should have been protected from our predations by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but were not.
Four California sea lions and two Steller sea lions were found shot to death below Bonneville river at noon today. The area is now sealed off as a crime scene, since the killing involved gunshots at a federal facility. The sea lions were found dead at the traps. ...at the TRAPS.
This killing is a direct result of the government's recent proposal to kill sea lions. This is what we all knew would happen, up and down the river, from now on. A killing frenzy. Sea lions have been scapegoated for the human-induced salmon crisis, and fishermen have whipped themselves up into a frothing vengeance. As we knew it would, they have taken the government's decision as permission to kill. As they were meant to.
These, by the way, are the very fishermen who have been screaming about how "aggressive" the sea lions are when they try to haul out into their boats. I think it's pretty clear which species is truly aggressive, and truly destructive here. The sea lions were apparently caged in the traps at the time of the shooting, and although the finger on the trigger was apparently some beer-soaked fisherman (who remains free tonight) rather than an ODFW official, the government is directly to blame for putting these sea lions into harm's way in this manner. Please let them know what you think.
And please get to the river and keep watch. There will likely be more shootings like this now. Do what you must to protect the sea lions from human aggression.
I attended the march in Olympia on May Day. As I was involved in absolutely no illegal activity on that day, I feel no fear in speaking my mind. I saw everything that happened and was present from the beginning to the end of that day's activities. What I saw inspired, sickened and encouraged me. There were many good things that happened, just as there were many bad things. But most of those bad things were initiated and enacted by the police. I do not wish to give a blow-by-blow recounting of the actions of those involved, given that others have done this already. I wish to ask some questions.
Tre's Legal Update.
From Paul Loney, Tre's attorney...
Tre's 5/6/2008 Jury Trial has been reset for 7/8/2008 at 09:00AM
before Judge James A. Redden. We needed to set a new trial date
because additional time is needed for pretrial investigation and trial
preparation. So there is no court appearance for May 6th. The July 8th
date is also subject to change.
[May 1, 2008] Minutes ago, I spoke with Clarence Thomas of the ILWU executive board. "The rank and file action against the war is indeed happening right now", he said. And today the workers will write history.
In an attempt to head this off last night the PMA went to court, "Employers, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), will not agree to it, and threatened union leaders with court action under Taft-Hartley if they don't call it all off."
but the judge refused to take any action, until there is concrete action by the union in violation of their contract. This is a rank and file action by union members who are united by their opposition to the war. They disagree with the decision of the arbitrator who has dis-allowed the choice of May Day, by the ILWU, as a "day for union business" for workers at all 29 ports on the west coast. A "day for union business" is allowed by their contract. Their original intent was to use this day for their official protest, but official or not, the protest is on. Protests in the Bay Area began early today, led by Direct Action to Stop the War. DASW organized the famous march on Washington that gathered 500,000 people from groups across the nation. Today, they will close down the war effort in San Fransisco. Their effort to shut down the Union Pacific Rail lines began at sunrise this morning. Indybay reported:
In Forest Grove - the location of Pacific University - we live in direct contact with communities threatened by the largest dirty energy project proposed for Oregon: Liquefied Natural Gas. Yesterday, a group of us set out to educate our campus about the problems with LNG development.
Farmers and property owners in western Washington County - as in many other parts of our state - face the prospect of having their land seized through "eminent domain" to make way for LNG pipelines. Here in Forest Grove, we don't have to look to the oil fields of Ecuador or the coal-ravaged towns of Appalachia to find real people being displaced by the fossil fuel industries; they are right here, almost literally in our backyard.
To show just what an LNG pipeline means for property owners, our student group constructed a fake section of pipeline which we laid out on an often-frequented path. We strung out a length of red ribbon 25 feet to either side of the pipeline, marking off the size of the property "easement" rendered permanently unusable for tree farming and other practices involving deep-rooted crops or ploughing. The text accompanying our display asked viewers to "Imagine this is your property," and also spelled other problems with LNG development, which include contributions to global warming, and an increase in our dependence on foreign fuels. This dirty energy source means bad news for Oregon all around, and its time to let ALL our elected officials know it.
Omaha, NE - Tonight a group of Native women from the Klamath River Basin will stage a protest over Warren Buffett's fish killing dams on the Klamath River in Northern California. The event will be held during a cocktail party at Buffett's local diamond retail Borsheims.
"Wealthy women come here to shop for their jewelry. Wealthy women from the Klamath River make our jewelry from the plants that grow along the river banks and the shells of mussel and abalone," says Yurok Tribal member Georgiana Myers. "Now the river is so polluted from Buffett's dams we are worried about harvesting the plants we need for our jewelry and regalia."
The women, many of whom are mothers, hope to convince the Buffett family to consider their appeals to meet and discuss a dam removal plan that would serve in everyone's best interests.
The campaign against animal torture at the University of California-Berkeley continues on, despite the "terrorist" label being thrown at the activists, and the passage of AB 2296 (California Animal Enterprise Protection Act), which makes it a crime to run a campaign of this nature.
In the evening on Thursday May 1, activists demonstrated outside the lavish home of UC Berkeley primate vivisector Jack Gallant, in the hills near the Oakland/Berkeley line.
Gallant's research is especially frivolous and cruel. The macaque monkeys victimized by Gallant are confined to restraint chairs and denied the most basic freedom of movement. They are denied water. These sentient beings have holes drilled in their skulls and electrodes inserted into their brains. These animals suffer because of Gallant's greed.
This campaign continues on. No matter how many laws they are able to push through. No matter how many activists they attempt to jail.
Today in Olympia there was a march that followed a rally in Sylvester Park. During the rally people spoke about the plight of immigrant workers and the raids by ICE carried out in our communities. The hip-hop group Sound Asylum performed a short set and then the crowd marched up Capitol Blvd towards the Capitol Building.
When the march reached the Capitol, people flooded inside. Some people threw up tags on the marble walls and others chanted in front of the Governor's office. Afterward, people listened to speakers on the Capitol steps. The outline of a large circle (A) was still visible on the Roman columns above the speakers. The march then headed to City Hall where people listened to more speakers. When the march set off again, it headed down one-way 4th Avenue into the heart of Downtown Olympia. When the march passed the US Bank, multiple rocks were thrown and multiple windows were shattered. The march continued onward and soon passed a Bank of America. Multiple rocks were thrown, multiple windows were broken. And then the police attacked.
Three people were singled out and arrested. As of now this author is only aware of these three. Undercover cops pulled out their pistols and pointed them at people. Many people were hit and shoved by the police. The crowd stayed around the police and their cars as more police arrived. One officer started firing into the crowd with pepper balls at point-blank range. When the police had taken away the hostages the crowd went to the jail.
FBI escalates its intimidation tactics on Marie Mason supporters We would like to make Marie's friends and close supporters aware that recently individuals who have gone to visit Marie in Michigan have been pulled over for the most minor traffic violations by local law enforcement. A situation that should result in a warning or quick ticket turns into an interrogation of the identity, intent, and associations everyone in the vehicle. We believe this to be another form of harassment and attempt to isolate Marie likely being directed at Marie's friends and supporters from the FBI or some other related alphabet soup gang. If you are planing on visiting Marie it is best to give the vehicle you are traveling in a look over for any violation that could result in a ticket. You should also have the vehicles registration and insurance papers in order. The driver should have a valid drivers license on him or her. This wont stop them from pulling you over but will hopefully make the interaction go smoother.
Thanks to a recent supreme court ruling you are REQUIRED to identify yourself to law enforcement on request. Outside of this we would like to remind everyone that they are under no obligation whatsoever to speak with law enforcement under any circumstances without an attorney present. Additionally, if you do choose to speak to law enforcement, and are found later to have been untruthful in any way, this constitutes basis for criminal prosecution. Its perfectly legal for law enforcement to lie to you but it is a criminal act for you to lie to them.
The National Lawyers Guild has established a hotline, 888-NLG-ECOL, for individuals arrested, subpoenaed or questioned for offenses related to environmental or animal activism. We encourage people to call the NLG hot line if you are contacted by law enforcement and would like to consult with an attorney on these matters.
Its all about the Struggle,
ALL of the westside under-bridge areas now have "illegal camping" notices. People on the street are reporting that both the west and east sides are being swept, as well as downtown doorways in the middle of the night. I met three people last night who had lost their blankets and belongings to the popo in these sweeps. There are aslo scattered reports of camps and sleeping spots off in wooded areas, even out of town, being swept, so don't anyone plan on sleeping anytime soon.
The City Hall camp is 20-40 strong at any given time. All are welcome to come for a safe drug and alcohol free place to sleep for the night. So far the city governments response has been to try to hide the poor until after the tourist festival season is over.
The best way to get up to the minute info is to walk yourself down to the Camp and ask someone what's going on.
This week a sea lion was murdered at the hands of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after trapping, stressing, branding, and anethesizing numbers of sea lions that are supposed to be protected, but instead are being sold to Sea World in Florida.
Please call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and Governor Kulongoski Friday and Monday. Let them know that you want the Sea Lion trapping to stop and you don't want them to kill anymore Sea Lions.
We are their voice!
Call many times!
Organizing for this years West coast Convergence for Climate Action has been coming together really well and we are looking for organizations and individuals who are interested in plugging in, however they see fit. We are hoping to broaden the perspectives that are represented both while organizing the event and within our list of workshops.
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