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Activists and organizers of the Green Party of the United States are demanding that the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) be represented in international talks on the future of Afghanistan beginning this week in Bonn, Germany.
RAWA has worked for years to end the suppression of women's rights and abuse of women in Afghanistan by both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance before them. These women have proved to the whole world their right to attend through all the work and risks they have undertaken in their struggle to bring democracy, freedom, human rights and women's rights to the Afghan society.
Though Bush and others in the administration used the suffering of women as an excuse to begin their war, their true disregard for those same women became clear when not a single woman was invited to join 1,200 representatives of various Afghan ethnicities, religious groups, and political factions at a peace and unity conference in Peshawar last month.
In a further showing of the hypocrisy of Bush and other involved US representatives, RAWA was not invited to join U.S. officials, United Nations representatives, and five Afghan groups in the upcoming talks. RAWA has issued an urgent request for international action to secure an invitation to the meeting which may otherwise place control of Afghanistan into the hands of two alleged Afghan war criminals, Burhanuddin Rabbani and General Dostrum of the Northern Alliance.
UPDATE: US Allies ban women's march in Afghanistan.Read the story
London saw one of the UK's biggest demonstrations in over a decade (Sunday 18 November) when over a hundred thousand people from across the country gathered to call for an end to the US-led bombardment of Afghanistan.
Peace campaigners are continuing to criticise the applause surrounding the fall of a majority of Afghanistan to the Northern Alliance who - like the Taliban before them - have an appalling human rights track record. There are further fears that - as winter approaches - the humanitarian crisis confronting millions of Afghani refugees will worsen. The bombing of the Kabul offices of a key independent Arabic news service - Al Jazeera - by US air forces has also been widely condemned.
Meanwhile, in the UK itself, the Home Office has declared a 'state of emergency' permitting the UK Government authorities to 'intern' terrorist suspects wthout trial.
A series of photos taken in Kabul last week prove the terrible human rights record of the Northern Alliance:
Protests against US imperialism have occurred worldwide: [ KERALA , India Oct 13 | Nairobi, Kenya Oct. 12 | Italy a mass day of anti-war action | Schnews | Statewatch ]
Buy Nothing Day or Steal Something Day?
The Day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year, is also known to many as 'Buy Nothing Day.' Nine years ago the campaign started to promote consumer awareness and Adbusters promotes the campaign with tv commercials as well as other forms of media. This year Adbusters ran a tv commercial on CNN.
SEIU Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union has been bargaining for a first contract for the employees at Northwest Regional Education Laboratories (NWREL) in Portland since February, 2001. The 160 employees of NWREL voted 2 to 1 to strike if an agreement could not be reached by the end of the November 8th bargaining session. The strike began Friday, November 9 at 8am
Most issues have been resolved, but NWREL is insisting on a gag rule that infringes on the workers First Amendment rights to communicate with public officials, the public and the press.
NWREL is also insisting on an "open shop" allowing workers the rights and benefits under the union contract, including union representation, but without union membership. The clients of NWREL are public schools. Teachers' collective bargaining agreements across this country operate under the "agency shop" rule, know as "fairshare" in the public sector. To deny this to the employees of NWREL only sets up an atmosphere of divisiveness and resentment.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has requested the assistance of local police departments around the country in the task of rounding up alleged "terrorist" suspects for what he claims is an investigation of the September 11 attacks on NYC and Washington D.C. In a move that surprised and pleased community members who are dedicated to protecting civil liberties, the Portland and Eugene police departments have so far refused to cooperate with this request, citing concerns that such actions could be unconstitutional under Oregon State Law. Since most of the people on Ashcroft's list in Portland are of Arab descent, many smell "racial profiling", which the police would like to avoid. Portland Copwatch is one organization urging citizens to commend the police for this choice.
However, the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) -- which partially funds one officer in Eugene -- is not accountable to local authorities such as police chiefs or mayors. Community members are worried that the task force could be used for implementing Ashcroft's "investigation", but so far neither Portland nor Eugene officials have been able to assuage such fears.
If Ashcroft utilizes the task force in this way, it would not be the first time he has assailed local law with federal pressure. Recently, he announced a Justice Department attack on Oregon's right-to-suicide law, for example. It was not known at press time how Ashcroft reconciles such top-down meddling with his political party's support for "states' rights" and oft-expressed abhorrence of "big government".
About 60 people marched from the University of Oregon to the Federal Building in downtown Eugene today to demand an end to the U.S.'s military response to the Sept. 11 attacks on NYC and DC, and to call for the closing of the School of Americas (SOA). This weekend hundreds of people will descend on the School of Americas in Georgia for the annual protest against the terrorist-training that takes place there. Solidarity actions were planned in dozens of cities across the U.S. today, so Eugene was not standing alone in its vocal and visible opposition.
[ For the full story in Eugene | VIDEO ]
Rally in sympathy with SOA protestors in Georgia
There will be a rally organized in solidarity with the thousands of people who will be gathering at Ft. Benning, Georgia this weekend, including over 50 from Oregon. Marchers here will be standing with the victims of violence in Latin America who have been tortured, killed, and disappeared by graduates of America's Terrorist Training Camp, aka. School of Americas, aka Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. newswire story
Meanwhile, 2 jailed SOA activists from Oregon are in the 17th day of an 18 day hunger strike. Read their story
Corvallis: Activists march against war and corporate globalization
Student and community activists staged a mass die-in and march on Friday to protest the current U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan and the continuing onslaught of corporate globalization. The protest coincided with the opening day of meetings among key segments of the Group of 20 (G20), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank in Ottawa, Ontario. Organizers also linked their efforts to this weekend's annual demonstration and mass civil disobedience at Fort Benning, Georgia against the School of the Americas, an institution notorious for training dictators and death squads throughout Latin America. The march brought together a multigenerational group of more than eighty people despite a constant downpour of rain and one of the march organizers characterized the turnout as "extraordinarily successful." This action demonstrated that dissent is brewing not only in the metropolitan areas of the United States, but in predominantly conservative communities like Corvallis. [ Read more ]
Eugene: "Stop the war, make some noise"
Members of the City of Eugene Police Commission's Committee on Media Access Issues met Thursday and continued their discussion about the relationship between police and media in the city. The committee seems to be moving closer to making a recommendation that members of the media sport visible "press pass" ID badges when engaged in reporting at a scene of any incident in which police are involved. Currently, the Eugene Police Department acts under General Order 240.1 (March 2000) which states that "all members of the media, whether they posess news media credentials or simply assert that they are members of the media, will be treated equally" (emphasis added) at such scenes. That is, currently no press pass is required. This order creates a de facto policy that is possibly the most progressive of its kind in the state, insofar as it makes no distinction between corporate and alternative media. The order was a reaction to tensions that had arisen between the Eugene police and both alternative and corporate media in town, and bases its broad interpretation of "who is media" on Oregon State Law, which defines media as "any person connected to, employed by, or engaged in any medium of communication to the public" [ORS 44.520].
Recommendations made by this committee could have serious consequences not only in Eugene but around the state if used as a precedent. Policies regarding the relationship of police and media have become especially important since September 11, as basic civil liberties have come under increasing attack; this is an important local issue to watch. Indymedia contributors were the only media in attendance at this meeting.
The committee is soliciting opinion from various quarters on whether and how a policy requiring ID badges should be implemented, and has invited Indymedia to submit its recommendations by December 14. Make your voice heard here.
[ Newswire items: Full account of committee meeting | Contribute to Indymedia recommendation ]
UPDATE: Moss's grand jury hearing was postponed until January. Apparently the other activists who also received subpoenas to testify at the grand jury had their dates delayed until January, and so Moss's date was also postponed until then. The exact date has not yet been made public.
Forest activists from Portland and Eugene have been receiving subpoenas to appear in front of a grand jury. Included in the list of activists is Mary "Moss" Fanelli, who had been very active in the Eagle Creek campaign in past years. Wednesday she will appear before this archaic and outdated jury.
It is unclear what the (not so) grand jury currently issuing subpoenas is investigating at this time, but this one seems different from others seen in the Northwest in recent years. Whereas other grand juries have almost exclusively summoned spokespeople for groups like the Earth Liberation Front, this one is summoning numerous forest activists from the community who've focused their activism on public, nonviolent civil disobedience actions. Their agenda appears to be to coerce and intimidate people engaged in public dissent, rather than investigate any particular 'criminal' activity.
Since receiving her subpoena, Moss has been followed at times, and apparently has had her mail read. With all such shady activites, it is hard to ascertain the extent of the surveillance. Moss will be appearing before the grand jury in Eugene on Wednesday morning. There is a rally in support of Moss at 9am in front of the Federal Courthouse in Eugene with rides leaving from Portland early that morning, and a solidarity rally in Portland in front of the Federal Courthouse (1000 SW 3rd Ave.) at noon on the same day.
Monday night approximately 175 Portland citizens attended a community panel and briefing on the USA PATRIOT Act at the Central Lutheran Church. The USA PATRIOT Act (an acronym for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), a statute that was quickly passed by Congress and signed on October 26th by President George Bush, severely threatens constitutional protections, especially for immigrants, and the expanded definition of "domestic terrorism" poses a particular peril to activists everywhere.
Following the speakers was a panel represented by local activists, including Kathleen Jergens, who spoke candidly about the Police Joint Terrorism Task Force and Civilians against Police Spying, Craig Rosebraugh, a former spokesperson for Earth Liberation Front and currently under subpoena to the House Grand Jury, and attorney Stu Sugarman, who spoke specifically about grand juries, their objectives to co-erce and intimidate, and the details of the process.
This Saturday (the 17th) is a panel and workshops on war, US foreign policy, domestic issues, and activist education at the First Unitarian Church (SW Salmon and 12th) from 1 to 6pm.full story | photos
[ Patriot bill becomes law | Craig Rosebraugh congressional subcommittee summons | Moss' grand jury summation | FBI and slip-ups | Three DOJ documents:Wiretapping, searches, computer seizures | details on Carnivore | web proxie services | COINTELPRO ]
Eugene: Protesters clash with cops
Portland: Peace Vigil with Anti-WTO Protest
Logging has begun right around the tree-sit in Area IV of the Acey Line timber sale in Gods Valley and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has decided that it does not want Portland or the rest of the State of Oregon to know that they are endangering the lives of tree-sitters---AGAIN!
Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) is in contact with the sitters and they are reporting that trees are falling as close as 20 feet from the tree-sit. This is contrary to ODF's stated plan of leaving a buffer zone of 2 tree lengths and shows yet again that what ODF says and does can be very different.
Meanwhile, ODF has refused media access requests from Indymedia, KBOO and the Alliance and has given access to one hand picked local newspaper editor, which in effect is an imposed media blackout in Portland and the rest of Oregon.
With the help of Indymedia, Greenpeace intends to put at least 1 hour of English programming a day on the web during the WTO Ministerial in Qatar. Arabic programming is also being planned. These programs will be broadcast from the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, as it is docked in Doha, Qatar.
This is the only independent broadcast platform covering the WTO conference, which is quite possibly a defining meeting between the West, the developing world and Islam. The anti-globalisation movement has never had a voice in the area, so this is an important opportunity to build up relations with the Arab world. Indymedia really does go where no other news agency will go and thus brings a voice to the unheard, the dispossessed and from all corners of the planet. Full story
Is there a connection between the WTO and the Al Queda? Read more, from the Newswire
On Monday, November 12th PSU Students for Unity and the Associated Students of PSU will be presenting "Faces of the New World" as an opportunity to explore answers to how the international trade policies being negotiated thousands of miles away in Qatar will affect our own communities. "Education, discussion, debrief, and FILMS!!!" Details
World-Wide WTO Actions on Nov. 9
Two prisoners at the Federal Prison Camp in Sheridan, Oregon, Eric Robison and Josh Raisler Cohn, have declared an 18 day hunger strike to protest the continued existence of the School of the Americas (SOA). Robison (21, from Spokane, Washington) and Raisler Cohn (24, from Portland , Oregon) have been imprisoned on six month maximum sentences along with 19 others for trespassing at Ft. Benning, Georgia, the home of the controversial combat training school.
Several of their co-defendants will also be participating in the 18 day juice and water fast in various locations around the country. The fast will continue until November 18, the day thousands of citizens will gather at Ft. Benning to take part in a vigil and civil disobedience calling for the permanent closure of the SOA.
"This combat training school is a School of Assassins for Latin American soldiers, and we will continue to work -- even from prison -- until it is closed forever," said Robison.
Thousands are expected to participate in the vigil at Ft. Benning on November 18, 2001. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the murders of six Jesuits, their coworker and her daughter by SOA graduates in El Salvador in 1989. Atlanta Indymedia will be providing coverage of these actions, and is inviting people attending to report for their website.
According to Citizens for Sensible Transportation, plans are now under way to add four more lanes across the Columbia River to serve Vancouver residents who commute to Portland. The little-publicized I-5 Transportation and Trade Partnership is moving to take the first steps toward increasing auto traffic throughout the region. If these plans go through, they will create tremendous pressure for new sprawling development throughout the region.
Citizens will have the opportunity to make their views on this project known at the I-5 open house Wednesday, November 7 at the Kaiser Town Hall in Portland, and November 8 at Hudson's Bay High School Commons in Vancouver.
Local forest activist subpoenaed
Recently, forest activists from Portland and Eugene have been receiving subpoenas to appear in front of a Grand Jury in Eugene in mid-November. Included in the list of activists is Mary "Moss" Fanelli, who had been very active in the Eagle Creek campaign in past years. It is unclear what the Grand Jury currently issuing subpoenas is investigating at this time, but this one seems different from others seen in the Northwest in recent years. Whereas other grand juries have almost exclusively summoned spokespeople for groups like the Earth Liberation Front, this one is reportedly summoning numerous forest activists from the community who've focused their activism on public, nonviolent civil disobedience actions as opposed to covert sabotage and arson. full story
Help support Moss at the Grand Jury | Anti-terrorism forum Part of the forum will also be focused on grand juries in addition to focusing on the new 'anti-terrorism' legislation. | Cascadia Forest Alliance | forest activism
Green Party member alleges denial of travel
During a Counter Punch interview, Nancy Oden, a Green Party USA coordinating committee member from northern Maine, states she was grabbed by armed government agents as she attempted to board an American Airlines flight to Chicago. Military personnel with automatic weapons surrounded Oden and instructed all airlines to deny her passage on ANY flight. "I was told that the airport was closed to me until further notice and that my ticket would not be refunded," Oden said. full story | Counter Punch interview
However others offer a different account of what transpired at the airport. The Green Party of the United States is trying to find the truth behind this incident as other members were able to travel. "USGP advisory on detention of a Green at Maine airport" Green Party USA and Green Party of the United States are separate organizations.
Craig Rosebraugh ordered to testify
Craig Rosebraugh, a spokesperson for the North American Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) from 1997-2001, received a subpoena in the evening of Oct. 31, to testify at a Congressional Subcommittee meeting on Ecoterrorism. The subpoena, delivered by two U.S. Marshals, demands Rosebraugh to appear before the Congressional Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health at 3:00pm on February 12, 2002 in Washington, DC.
Craig Rosebraugh: "In light of the events on September 11, my country has told me that I should not cooperate with terrorists. I therefore am refusing to cooperate with members of Congress who are some of the most extreme terrorists in history..... " full story
FBI subpoenas woman in black
After S11 the FBI attempted to question Kate Rafael, a member of the Women in Black, an international network of women committed to racial justice and peace. Rafael refused questioning, seeing that as an attack on her first ammendment rights. When asked by Kate's lawyer, the FBI refused to tell about the scope and nature of the investigation. This is an interview from Flashpoints Radio.
full radio report
contact Women in Black, San Fransisco | National lawyers Guild 415.285.1055 (24 hours) | Flashpoints Radio
Along with Kate Rafael's there is a full interview with Dr. Arrod Kareem who was questioned on his political beliefs in an FBI interview and an explanation of the choice for the new cabinet of Homeland Security: the new 'Terrorism Czar' Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Ridge. full radio report
3 November - Salem: "No such thing as a holy war"
2 November - Eugene: "Begging for an end to the madness"
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted volunteers from San Francisco Indymedia on Friday. Agent Chuck Esposito, from the Oakland FBI office, telephoned "Espe", a volunteer who has worked with the SF Indymedia collective. Esposito indicated that the FBI is interested in reviewing Indymedia server logs. While an alleged criminal act is the stated reason for the inquiry, activists feel it is not beyond the pale to suspect that this contact is meant to intimidate individuals and organizations involved in legal political activity whose views are not popular with the government in the current climate of war-time repression. While this particular event might not seem like a big deal to some, it is merely the tip of the iceberg, if history is any judge. This is just what we are seeing now; inevitably, much more investigation and behind-the-scenes shenanigans are going on.
Indymedia does not record IP addresses of website visitors, so the FBI will have to use Constitutionally-questionable spying devices such as Carnivore in their attempt to hunt down this type of information. Fortunately, hacktivists are providing "anonymous web proxies" that allow web surfers to avoid such intrusions into their privacy.
Indymedia volunteers have contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which helped Indymedia when Seattle Indymedia was served with an order by the FBI in April. According to information obtained by an EFF representative, Agent Esposito was instructed to follow up on a lead they had received involving some kind of "anthrax threat" that allegedly appeared on Arizona Indymedia.
Note that the FBI claim about the type of content posted on Indymedia during the April case was later shown to be false. The FBI dropped that case in June, putting the current score at: Media Activists 1, FBI Spies 0.
Many city workers organized under the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) are not only dissatisfied with their new contract but also angry at the union Business Agents who caved in to the City last week and who will not have to live with the new contract themselves. The deal, in all important aspects the same as the one rejected by the membership last month by a 3 to 1 ratio, was accepted by negotiators at the last minute while rank and file members on the Bargaining Team were kept from the table. The main point of contention is over health care.
Contrary to the portrayal of Yvonne Martinez as an uncompromising hard-liner in the Willamette Week, her actions were widely regarded as unethical and a sell-out among the Union membership.
On Monday, October 29, the Executive Board of AFSCME Local 189 voted to recommend that its membership vote "No" on this new tentative agreement. The voting will take place on November 8 and 9. If the DCTU membership does reject this offer, then the union will probably have to strike in order to get Mayor Katz and the City Council to negotiate a better contract. Sources say the members are ready to do just that. The DCTU bargaining team and Union bureaucrats may have lost their nerve, but it appears that the members have not.
Ten Social service workers from Streetlight Youth Shelter and Porchlight Crisis Shelter were on the verge of being arrested at the wishes of their employers when bargaining turned sour this afternoon. The workers, represented by Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Industrial Union Local 650, made considerable compromises in bargaining to assure that no one would make less than $9.00 an hour at the facilities, but this was unacceptable to JANUS. Workers then refused to leave the building until an agreement could be reached and occupied the office for two hours, during which about a dozen IWW members and sympathizers arrived in support.
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