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From the open publishing newswire: Columbus, GA - As the Bush Administration seeks to expand the "war on terrorism", 42 human rights advocates from across the country were tried this week in federal court for civil disobedience to close what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil: the School of the Americas. The defendants were among 10,000 who gathered in November to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC. They peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school... The group included eight Catholic nuns, a priest, a reverend, four veterans, union organizers, students and others.
[ Read More... ]
[ SOA Watch ]
From the open publishing newswire: With 70% of the vote counted these are the results:
No 494,509 or 56%
Yes 392,965 or 44%
More than 60% of all eligible voters in Oregon voted on this measure. The rural counties defeated it soundly. For instance Deschutes County defeated it No - 68% Yes - 32% At 9:10 PM Multnomah county results with 28% of votes counted No -54% , Yes - 46%
What does this mean for Oregon? Well how about up a creek without a paddle...
The failure of Measure 28 will force the state to make $310 million in spending cuts on top of $700 million slashed from the budget last year. Vital services will be cut all across Oregon. These include education, human services, and public safety.
From the open publishing newswire: Thomas Creek Lumber - the company which purchased the rights to log Solo at an auction last July 30th -did not finalize the contract. While the Forest Service will not reveal why this unprecedented failure to award the contract occurred, we believe Thomas Creek and other companies backed out because of the controversy around the sale CFA helped create. Another victory! Tarzan is being re-auctioned because there were no bidders at its first auction. Come participate in a peaceful rally Feb. 7th at the Mt. Hood Forest Supervisors Headquarters, 16400 Champion Way, Sandy OR 97055. Carpools at CFA office leave at 7am, breakfast starting at 6:30. Call us in advance for a wake up call that morning. Let us know if you can help drive.
[ More Solo Info. ]
UPDATE From the open publishing newswire: Yesterday - the first day of trials - ended with 23 of 43 defendants being adjudicated by Judge G. Mallon Faircloth. Faircloth is known from previous years for giving the maximum of six months to opponents of the SOA/WHISC. A total of 17 defendants pled "guilty," and six pled "not-guilty" while stipulating to the facts put forward by the prosecutor. Faircloth adjudicated defendants in groups of six, and the defendants were not allowed into the courtroom unless they were the six on trial. Near the end of the day, federal marshals cleared almost half the courtroom when people stood to offer words of encouragement to defendants being taken into custody.
The trial began with four students from The University of San Francisco. The President of the University, Steve Privett, testified on their behalf ("The defendants are not criminals but people of conscience").
[ Details & SOA Background Info ]
Oregonians Sentenced for School of the Americas Action in Georgia
Interview with Father Roy Bourgeois Father Roy Bourgeois, the founder of SOA Watch, spoke at the University of Portland Monday night, January 20. He gave us a very stirring, powerful reminder that while "President Bush keeps saying we have to go after these training camps wherever they are," we cannot overlook the terrorist training camps right in our own back yard. In his talk, Father Roy spoke about how he came to found SOA Watch, and why we need to close the school down. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing him.
Have you been looking for a way to help protect Oregon's beautiful forests and have fun doing it? YOU CAN HELP make it happen, simply by listening to music, drinking beer, munching on homemade tamales and socializing! Plus there'll be a great silent auction! Friends won't let friends miss this kick ass event! [ Details ] [ www.bark-out.org ]
Sat, Feb 1
7:30 pm - Midnight
Disjecta, 116 NE Russell St.
Today's rally (Jan. 27) at the Portland district headquarters was attended by nearly 2,000 teachers, union supporters, and community members. For your beleaguered teachers, today's rally was inspirational. While the public enters the final hours of deliberation before Measure 28, we teachers have continued to work without a contract. Since the bells first rang out the start of the new school year this past September, the educational climate has been hampered by the gloom of a monstrous budget shortfall.
Amidst the daily lesson plans, grading, developing positive classroom dynamics, and more grading, the value of schools as a public institution has been eroded. While the economic downturn has wreaked havoc with the private and public sectors alike, the Portland School Board's proposed contract limits teacher autonomy and goes against best practices for student achievement.
From the open publishing newswire: In celebration of Black History Month, The Black Cultural Affairs Board (BCAB) at Portland State University would like to invite you all to come out and hear Pam Africa speak about the most controversial topic of "Reparation for Enslavement and Colonization."
Pam Africa, known to be most Revolutionary and a writer of the MOVE 9, will present and discuss what most people avoid to talk about.
The event is free and open to the public. [ Read More... ]
Related: [ Pam Africa Interview (AWOL Magazine) | 'No More Time to Bide': Regional conference on Reparations to be held in Portland (portland indymedia) | NW Regional Reparations Conference (upcoming: Feb. 28-March 2) ]
From the open publishing newswire: After the Oakland Raiders football team lost (48-21) in the Super Bowl yesterday, there was widespread rioting in the streets of Oakland. Crowds gathered on International Boulevard in East Oakland, taking over intersections and blocking the street. People danced to hip hop music, hopped on cars, and waived Raiders flags.
Police, who had pre-emptively shut down dozens of blocks of downtown Oakland, were quick to respond. Hundreds of police in riot gear moved in, firing volleys of tear gas and wooden bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowds. What had been a party turned into a pitched battle. As one man put it, "Hey we're all cool here. It's when the fucking pigs come down and start shooting at us that the shit starts."
SF Indymedia report
Thousands of people were on the street. A spirit of comraderie and friendship was literally everywhere as people had fun in the streets together, mourning their Super Bowl loss. Things got scary when the police attacked the crowd with tear gas and wooden bullets. Police cars were trashed and some other cars as well as several buildings (including a McDonalds near 63th and International) were ransacked and set on fire. At several points there were barricades of burning dumpsters in the street as thousands of angry Oakland residents fought with the police.
From the open publishing newswire: Riverdale, the Small school district in SW Portland has been taking interesting steps in the left direction, which is the RIGHT direction. This letter was in their school paper. Students have taken it upon themselves to start a Peace and Justice club,a community Garden, and organize an Activism alliance. Ill try to keep informed and see whats up. But for now it looks good.
Dear Riverdale Community members,
From the open publishing newswire: On August 12 of last year I was arrested and injured by police officers while covering a solidarity bike ride prior to a rally for ILWU members preparing for last fall's contract renegotiations. This wednesday, at 1:30 in room 124 of the Multnomah County Courthouse, I will face charges and the possibility of $275 in fines. Any support is welcome, and anyone who witnessed the incident is requested to contact me.
[ Read More... ]
What: Critical Hearing before the Hood River Planning Commission to determine whether to allow a destination resort at Cooper Spur or not.
When: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2003 @ 7:30 PM. Sign in for testimony will be at 6:30 PM. Folks should plan on arriving early. Driving time from Portland varies with traffic. Plan on 1 1/2 hours.
Where: In Hood River at the Hood River Middle School. The school is just west of 13th Street on May Street. From Portland take I-84 to Hood River exit # 62 (US 30) toward West Hood River. Turn right on Cascade Ave. (1 mile). Continue on Oak Ave. (2/10ths mile). Turn right on 13th St.(3/10ths mile). Turn right on May St.(1/10th mile). Continue on May St to Hood River Middle School (1/10th mile).
CARPOOLING: We will use the same locations for carpooling. The first is in the parking lot opposite the Phu Hoa asian market on the NW corner of SE 38th and Belmont. The second is in the Parking lot of ONRC at 5825 N Greeley. Last time, folks also set-upother carpooling sites which was great.
How: We will have material on hand to help you organize your thoughts for testimony. Each witness will be allowed three minutes to testify. Speak from your heart.
Together we can save the mountain, bioregional agriculture, some of the best water anywhere and valley life.
This is a call for all Hands on Deck. We need a terrific showing at this hearing. PLEASE COME & SEE YOU THERE!
[ BACKGROUND INFO ]
AUDIO FILE: Public Comment Concerning Cooper Spur Resort Development
From the open publishing newswire: The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution opposing unilateral preemptive military action against Iraq by the United States at its regularly scheduled meeting this Thursday morning, January 30, at 9:30am.
On Wednesday, January 22, the Portland City Council heard over two hours of impassioned testimony against a first strike against Iraq before voting 2-2 on the resolution. Over 40 people testified in favor of the resolution while only 4 spoke against it.
Many Portlanders believe that Commissioner Jim Francesconi betrayed residents of Portland in testifying that he opposes many policies of the Bush administration, including Bush's seemingly unstoppable rush to unleash war on Iraq, while voting against the resolution. Francesconi voted against Commissioner Erik Sten's resolution on the basis that city governments have no control over issues American foreign policy. [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: As the Bush Administration seeks to expand the "war on terrorism", 43 human rights advocates from across the country are scheduled to appear for trial in federal court today where they intend to expose what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil - the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC). The defendants were among 10,000 who gathered in November to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC, a controversial combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Graduates of the school continue to be implicated in egregious acts designed to terrorize and coerce civilian populations throughout Latin America.
"Human rights abuses are being overlooked when it's convenient in the 'war on terror," said Sr. Dorothy Pagosa of Chicago. "We're here to shine a light on a terrorist training camp that's operating with impunity in our backyard." Pagosa is one of six Catholic nuns who face trial.
The defendants peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school. They are charged with trespass and face up to six months in federal prison and $5,000 in fines. Thirty-five others are scheduled to start trial on February 10. This past Tuesday two defendants pled guilty to "destruction of government property" charges. They await a sentencing date. [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: Part 3: Lula You can probably find news about Lula's speech online so I won't stick to that. First let me know that security was quite light. There were not very many police and they were lightly armed comparatively to a US presidential address. There was probably like 1000+ people in the amphitheatre. What was most noticable (and this is true of the forum as a whole) were the massive quantity of communists, the MST (movemiento sin trabajar), and the Argentinian Piqueteros/Asembleas. Some were chanting 'down with the flags' but the sight of so many authoritarian communist organizations was distirbing.
[ Read More... ]
Part 4: The Movement of Movements & update on the Casa de Indy First, On the Casa de Indymedia. Everything is working, the landlord issue is dealt with, and I bought a blanket and consequently am getting some sleep. The atmosphere here is lively with some 50 indymedia activists (mostly from Brazil but also Thunder Bay, Maine, Tallahassee, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, etc) working, partying, and fostering solidarity via cooking and sleeping communaly on mats on concrete floors. It is really fun! So I think that the movement of movements have two models here: 1. The familiar model of a centralized organization with membership, bureacracy, and most importantly a centralized body of organization and authority. 2. The model most popular here of a decentralized network of groups struggling without institutionalizing or forming a distinct central organization. The members of the Asembleas movement in Argentina repeat daily that their lives have been transformed from passivity and consumption into active engagement of everyday life by the directly democratic and anti-hierarchical asembleas. This model is at work in Indymedia, the I.W.W., and is spreading to activists, communities, and revolutionaries across the globe. The message of the World Social Forum as I have seen it is one of hope.
Part 5: Debating the end of Capitalism, masses or multitudes? Today I witnessed and participated in a debate about ending capitalism. The debate took place at the request of the Socialist Worker's Party (read: a political organization with a long history of authoritarianism, alienating other movements, and extreme centralism) at the World Social Forum here in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The debate sought to illuminate whether or not the classical or orthodox model of the working class as the sole vehicle of the death of capitalism is sufficient, or we need some other model/method. Let me put these questions into context to aid in understanding the necessity and practicality of these seemingly abstract ideas.
Part 6: Practice what? False dichotomies in theory and practice I find it unfortunate that at the World Social Forum, a forum which falsely purports to attempt the development of sustainable alternatives to the status quo, we find ourselves forced into debates about vague categories of theory and practice. Ultimately I think this debate rests on confusion, bad philosophy mouthed through less adequate mimicry of the originals, and a rabid anti-intellectualism as productive and positive as cutting off a limb. The claim has been made on occassion here in Porto Alegre that the left (whatever that means) is no longer entitled to the "construction of a new social and political vision for imposition upon the masses". We see several variations upon this which its proponents flouder between with deep confusion and ambiguity. Let me try to make sense of the mess.
Hugo Chavez addresses WSF Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, spoke to about 800 folks at the WSF today I made it through a mob of several thousand today, and somehow managed to be one of the few hundred who made it inside the auditorium. Security was very tight. The crowd was extremely rowdy, and at one point outside began trying to either break through some alternate door of the legislative assemby building, or were fighting amongst themselves with their flag poles. The police pushed people back using clubs, but they continued to let some folks in one at a time, and I was lucky enough to be on the less violent side of the crowd. After being searched, passing through metal detectors, and patted down, I joined folks inside.
From the open publishing newswire: Official Statement from the Indigenous Movement of Panama: Dear brothers and sisters from various organizations and communities of the world that fight against violence, against war, and against hunger-today we wish to mobilize against the War on Indigenous Peoples. On Saturday the 18th of January four Indigenous Kuna leaders, were violently tortured and assassinated by the Autonomous Defense Units of Colombia (AUC). These Indigenous spiritual leaders, are medicine men that hold the principal knowledge of our oral history, poets of truth, knowledgeable in medicine, the holders of our cultural heritage, the soul of our community, and are the maximum authority of the Paya and Pucuro communities. Four pillars of our community have been killed, if we compare this to western culture it is to say that our library of congress, our chief justice of magistracy, our minister of culture, our Nobel Peace Prize winners were killed. In the past years paramilitaries have assassinated indigenous teachers in Panama and an Embera Indigenous child Maria Mecha Tocamo.
This past Saturday 50 Colombian insurgents tore apart the Paya Community, closed in the community, asked for the indigenous authorities to present themselves and then took them outside the community to torture them, and slash their throats. Upon hearing the various detonations from the Paya community the paramilitaries fled leaving the Pucuro community in flames. This was all confirmed by the only survivor, who followed the paramilitaries for one hour, his throat slashed and his stomach openly bleeding, to solicit help from the Pucuro community.
This same paramilitary brigade had captured, just hours before, the US Discovery Channel reporter Robert Pelton and two other reporters, Marc Wedever of Canada, and another US journalist that is unidentified.
From the open publishing newswire:
WHEN: Wednesday, January 29, from noon on
WHERE: The Capitol in Salem
WHAT: A peaceful demonstration sit-in/sleep-in
Come ready to sing your heartls out!
WHY: People are already dying due to the funding cuts!
SOS Alliance does not accept the budget as it stands, according to bill 5100. Nor do we accept transferring money from other sources such as education and public safety. Our position is that human services must be restored to AT LEAST the level set at the end of the last biennium. We have to sustain the sit in for at least a few days, until they get tired of us interrupting everything they do except work on solutions for people's survival. They won't get much else done with us sitting on thier desks clapping and singing, blocking up the doorways, the elevators, and dramatizing our images everywhere underfoot.
The one hundred or so youth of the Student Activist Alliance for Social Justice met on the steps of the Capitol Building in Salem hoping to make a strong statement about proposed budget cuts for schools. The group members come from five high schools in the Portland area including Lincoln, Wilson, Cleveland and The Metropolitian Learning Center (MLC). As it stands millions of dollars will be cut from school budgets and schools in Oregon will have to cut a minimum of 15 school days off the school year. If Measure 28 does not pass, there could be another 9 to 10 days trimmed from the school year. That 25 days could mean that some young people will not be able to graduate in good standing. This could keep them out of colleges. Programs that teach team playing such as sports and outdoor school have already been cut. The only alternative to a higher education would be to go to a community college to complete their high school education or they could join the miltary.
Photos from the student action in Salem
Quotes from the rally:
Elliot: Measure 28 will not change these cuts. The Governor and legislators have already made these cuts. We are hear to let them know that this is wrong. We are kids organizing kids to ...most adults just don't care anymore.
Joe the teacher: This is just all so awful. I just can't understand how the legislature could let this happen. I have been a teacher for 31 years. My father was the first African American teacher in the Portland School district. Education of youth of all levels of society is very important to me. I am a teacher in a school for developmentally disable kids now. I have taken a pay cut and I am not only teaching I am the janitor for the school so we can keep teaching the kids. These kids here today think that it's pretty much a done deal...this destruction of the educational system in Oregon.
JT: It's about the war. They need lots of soldiers so they are gonna cut the schools back so the only way we can get an education is to join the military. The recruiters are already pounding on the doors telling kids that "isn't it too bad that your school got cut back, but hey...join the military and we will help you complete your education and get some job training." I say it sucks! I say Fuck you George Bush. We don't want your dirty war. Go send your own kids to war if you want to send kids to war.
Aide to Representative Greg Smith: He does not have any knowledge of all this. He is in his district right now. I don't know what he thinks. He dosen't have anything to say about the school cuts. I don't have to talk to you.
Someones mother: Oh, I've been here before. In fact I only come to Salem to rally for the schools. The legislature historically is not concerned with the future. Today is the day and they are not very thoughtful about tommorrow. They are not good at managing money or working together. They love to fight amongst each other. They seem to have little concern for the people of this state or the future of the people of the state. They seem only concerned with getting re-elected.
[ Full Story ] [ SOS Sit-in: Wed, Jan 29 - 12p ]
Corporate frontman George Bush and his sidekicks have been proffering to the public a transparent study into the external workings of con men. Could it get any better? One singular trait of a conny can be gleamed in the "rush" of his sales pitch, generally a fast ball ... In Bush and Co.'s case, they've been in "rush" mode since the beginning: Rush to point all ten fingers at Iraq after 9-11 (still no real evidence of evildoing against the U.S.), rush to pass draconian, Constitution-shredding acts without any genuine scrutiny and thoughtfulness by a cowering, conformist Congress (with a few, brave exceptions), and rush to an oil war whose reality the entire world sees through. By the time the con victim realizes he's been skunked, it's far too late. The contract's been signed, the check deposited. It's one of the oldest hustles in the world, and the average American in this case is the patsy. [ The Whole Shebang ]
Have you heard of National Century Financial Enterprises [NCFE]? The Enron of healthcare, it was a business based on buying medical bills from hospitals at a discount, then trying to collect them. It was the largest source of funding for hospitals in the country. In August, it collapsed, leaving hospitals unfunded and salaries unpaid.
In hospitals across the country, the Emergency Room has become the de facto health care provider for the uninsured. Health insurance costs have risen on average $100 per person in the last year, pushing millions into the uninsured (about 15% of the population and rising). When Hilary Clinton did her survey, healthcare consumed about 10% of GDP. Today it is around 14%. This is clearly unsustainable. These dry statistics are the tip of the iceberg. [ Full Story ]
[To learn more] Meet us outside
Saturday January 25th at 2.30 pm
4040 NE Tillamook
BACKGROUND: [ FBI Raids National Century Offices 11-17-02 | National Century files for bankruptcy protection 11-18-02 | National's downfall came 2 years after signs surfaced 11-24-02 | National Century-linked company files bankruptcy 11-29-02 ] FALLOUT: AMBAC FINANCIAL GROUP OWNS NATIONAL CENTURY 11-05-02 | Phoenix, AZ 1-10-03 ]
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