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Dignity Village, Portland's tented community of over 80 houseless people, has come under attack by City officials. The City has demanded that Dignity Village vacate the public land they are currently on by July 1, promising that the Portland Police will follow them and forcefully prevent their "shopping cart parade" from setting down anywhere on public land. This comes at a time when the poor and houseless people of Dignity are more organized and empowered than ever, which has taken Portland's officials, as they say, "outside their comfort zone."
In order to educate one another about Dignity Village and how people can work proactively together to prevent this, a Teach In was held on Sunday, June 3rd at the First Unitarian Church. The Teach In included updates on Dignity, guest speakers, slides and the opportunity to talk with Villagers.
Stand-off at Eagle Creek
Meanwhile, Treesitters at Mattole have been Assaulted
Early on the night of Monday, May 28, just over a half dozen signs were posted throughout the trendy shopping district known as Nob Hill. The signs had crayons attached to them and invited passers-by to contribute pictures or text. Comments included phrases such as "you wanted to be a painter. instead you are a cashier. make up for lost time." and "I miss my pole". Several of the signs were removed, but none of the advertisements on the poles were taken down.
[ Read More ]
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued community radio KBOO 90.7 FM a $7,000 fine for indecency. There were multiple clips brought into question, all of which were dismissed except one. The indecency to which they are referring is the lyrics of a song aired by programmer Deena Barnwell on her program "Soundbox". The FCC claims there was no artistic merit and that the song is designed to pander and shock.
The song is the powerful proclamation by a woman that she will not allow men to use her body. Barnwell is known for airing such music that speaks truth to the power of rap and hip-hop music, which is frequently demeaning to women. The FCC investigates stations when prompted by a complaint from a listener who has evidence. The listener is this case is a man who has had problems with Barnwell's show for years.
It had always been a bit of a joke in community radio that there were regulations (loosely defined) in place about what could be aired and what programmers had to watch out for, as if the FCC were lurking behind the radio at all times. In reality, the FCC used to rarely investigate the small stations. Since Bush has been in office, many community radio stations across the country have come under investigation.
Mayor Katz created the PIIAC Work Group in May of 2000 in response to mounting community pressure to reform the City's current system of police oversight, the Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee (PIIAC). Community leaders and organizations such as the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the National Lawyers Guild urged the Mayor to revamp PIIAC, arguing that it is ineffective and lacks community credibility. The Work Group presented majority and minority recommendations in October 2000. Katz chose to support the findings of the minority, who were asking for a lot less. Representatives of the majority have delivered a letter to Katz demanding a voter initiative between the majority and minority proposals. [ Letter of Demands to Katz ]
The City Council will be hearing comments on this issue at their meeting on Thursday, 24 May, at 2:30, in Council Chambers at City Hall. Supporters of the majority finding are encouraging as many people as possible to attend this meeting, and show support for greater police accountability.
Wild ridges of coastal rainforest are at the mercy of corporate raider Charles Hurwitz (Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Company) and Columbia Helicopters of Aurora, Oregon. An active campaign to save the Mattole River Headwaters and some of the last large blocks of old growth Douglas Fir left in Northern California has emerged over the last few years. There will be an Action Camp to save Mattole in Humboldt County, May 18-24, to kick off a summer of actions.
For those interested in forest activism, three other events are coming soon:
A Peace Walk was organized in honor of the arrival of the Dalai Lama to Portland and as a symbol of commitment to his message of world peace. The walk began at Mt. Hood and progressed to Portland. On Sunday, May 13 a group gathered along with the Mt. Hood walkers at Mt. Tabor for the final leg of the walk, which joined the NW Tibetan Cultural Association's scheduled Amala Peace Walk to greet the Dalai Lama at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The Dalai Lama's speech was preceded by four hours of performances from various music and dance acts. Many viewers felt very touch by his words encouraging self confidence and focusing on the individual's peace to lead to world peace. Others felt that the Dalai Lama failed to address real-world issues and to offer specifics. A caller on Community Radio KBOO stated that she was left wondering what answers the Dalai Lama could give if she were to pull a homeless person in front of him and ask "What do we do about the problem of homelessness". Still others have their thoughts on the Dalai Lama and his role in the world.
On May 8, the owner of the Ohio Valley IMC domain (ovimc.org) was served with a subpoena directing him to appear before an Ohio grand jury this Friday, and to hand over server log information related to a particular article posted to their open-publishing newswire. This development comes as the Seattle IMC remains burdened with an FBI court order seeking the surrender of server logs, also in relation to newswire postings. [ Story ] Unlike the court order served to the Seattle IMC, the Ohio Valley subpoena was not issued under seal, and the server log request applied to a single post rather than to two days of website traffic.
The posting in question at the Ohio Valley IMC includes what might be interpreted as an implied threat to Cincinnati Police Officer Steve Roach. On May 7, Officer Roach was found guilty of negligent homicide in the case of his April 7 shooting of Timothy Thomas. That incident, the latest in a wave of Cincinnati police shootings of young black men, sparked a wave of protests in the city. Roach's sentence was widely seen as a mere slap on the wrist, and has provoked further protests.
The owner of the ovimc.org is currently in consultation with lawyers and activists who have been dealing with the recent federal request for logs from the Seattle IMC site. According to a post at the Ohio Valley IMC, the request is for naught, as the "custom written software [for the site] doesn't keep IP logs, or ANY tracking information for that matter".
For updates to this story, check in with the Ohio Valley IMC
Local community activists held a march and rally on Saturday, May 5 to protest the killing of Jose Mejia Poot. Poot, a 29 year-old Mexican national, was shot and killed by the police while in psychiatric custody on April 1, 2001. Officer Jeffrey M. Bell, 25, fired the fatal shots. He has been with the police department for just over a year.
The march traveled trough downtown past the Cinco de Mayo festivities. It stopped in front of City Hall for a speech by Dan Handleman from Copwatch and in front of the Justice Center for a speech by Dave Mazza, editor of the Portland Alliance and chief petitioner for PAC-2002. Well over half of the crowd was Latino/a, making this a very significant march. The largest previous anti-police brutality march in recent years (1998) was mixed racially, but was still mostly white and the crowd was only about 400 strong.
May Day celebrations in Portland went off without a hitch; police kept their promise not to riot like they did last year; 1500 people came out and had a great time celebrating workers' rights and demanding an end to corporate and capitalist exploitation. Portland IMC provided a blow-by-blow log of the afternoon's events. For historical background on May Day background, see the Portland IMC May Day Special Feature.
PHOTOS: [ solidarity | may pole | may crown | fairy wings | fire your boss | gold mask | costumes | infernal noise brigade: 1 2 3 | green guns | crowd | radical cheerleaders!: 1 2 | pacific green party | skeleton | baby | mirrored shield | stilts | puppet: 1 2 | riot cops | marching band | even More MAY DAY photos ]
CARTOON from Channel X (requires Macromedia Flash).
ARAMARK is an international food service corporation with over 180 cases of unfair labor practices violations. This week, ARAMARK employees at Portland State University began the fight for union representation with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The company has responded with union-busting tactics. On International Workers Day (May Day),Tuesday, May 1st, students, faculty and staff will show their support with an ARAMARK boycott and campus education blitz.
[ Read More ]
The situation in Colombia is worsening with every passing day, and is most dramatically illustrated by the increase of massacres in Colombia. Local activists from the Peace In Colombia Action Group (PICAG) have stepped up their efforts to inform Oregonians about the recent US military intervention in Colombia.
Merely one and a half years later, IMCs are operating across the globe. Over the FTAA weekend, many IMCs came together to report on FTAA events.
While Global IMC listed a blow-by-blow log of the events in Quebec, Portland IMC and many others followed suit with logs of their local actions or compilations of all the major actions happening around the world.
Quickly realizing the potential of this network, Urbana-Champaign IMC sent 16 reporters to Quebec. The reporters sent back audio pieces which were aired daily throughout Central Illinois on Community Radio WEFT 90.1 FM. Reporters also phoned in up-to-the-minute reports on important A21 actions.
Globally there was a powerful collaboration between unpaid reporters, photographers and videographers to get a more accurate report of FTAA events out to the public. CNN even had a link to Global IMC. The options are endless and many people are working to make the Global IMC network strong. Perhaps the elite will no longer be able to present issues to the public behind the smoke and mirrors of corporate media lies as Independent Media Centers and other alternative media sources rise up.
Anti-FTAA demonstrations in Quebec City were marred by police riots. Law enforcement there made indiscriminate use of tear gas, plastic bullets, concussion grenades and water cannons against protesters, hospitalizing several.
Summary of events: [ Global IMC | IMC-Print's Quebec City PDF ].
...but a good day in Portland
With drummers leading the way, and accompanied by banners and giant puppets, the crowd then marched through downtown and across the Burnside Bridge. At each stop Radical Cheerleaders led the crowd in chants. The stops were Nike Town, focusing on sweatshops; the World Trade Center/Senator Gordon Smith's Office, asking Senator Smith to oppose the FTAA and Fast Track; Pope and Talbot, a lumber company that has sued Canada under NAFTA to force the export of softwoods; Made In Oregon Stores, protesting the inclusion of goods made by Oregon companies in Mexico; and Senator Ron Wyden's Office to renew the request for elected officials to oppose the corporate free trade agenda.
AUDIO: [ IWW activist Bill Bradley, on the FTAA | Maria Damaris Silva, on the Media | Brad Witt, on Global Raiding | Juan Ramirez, on unionizing at Diamond Parking | Radical Cheerleaders at Diamond Parking ]
Background: [ Portland IMC Special Feature on the FTAA ]
April 11 was a National Day of Action against Citigroup, with actions planned in over fifty cities in North America and Europe. Locally, students from Portland State University, Reed College, and Lewis & Clark College marked the day by announcing the formation of the Coalition for Responsible Investment. The coalition's aim is to pressure the three schools to withdraw investment funds from Citigroup and other transnational corporations that commit crimes against humanity and the environment. To accomplish this, the coalition proposed the formation of student-faculty-administration committees that would oversee school investments and vet them on socially responsible criteria.
[ Read More ]
In late March, eighty-four members of PPS's custodial staff were informed that they had been "recommend for layoff". On Monday, April 9, the Board of Education meeting where this action could be reversed was filled to overflowing with supporters from the staff's union, SEIU Local 140, and from the Pacific Green Party. Board member Derry Jackson, Sr., introduced a motion to delay the lay offs for two weeks in order to negotiate "a permanent solution". Despite citizen accounts of the deleterious effects of maintenance and custodial cutbacks already suffered, the Board defeated the motion 4-3.
[ Read More ]
In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 5th, the FBI raided the home of the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF) Press Office for 6 and a half hours. This is not the first time the house has been visited by the FBI, but this time they went further than usual. In past raids, the FBI has seized equipment that could store information, such as computer hard drives, in an attempt to link the Press Office to ELF actions. On April 5, they took monitors, printers and keyboards as well. House resident LeslieJames Pickering says it's obvious the FBI is just trying to do anything they can to stop the Press Office from disseminating information.
The ELF Press Office receives anonymous communications from ELF activists and releases them to the media. They are not involved in ELF actions. An Oregonian article about the raid furthers the misconception of the ELF as terrorists and seems to doubt that the Press Office doesn't know the names of people behind the comuniques.
Confiscated equipment from the recent raid will not be released until the court cases surrounding certain ELF actions are solved. Pickering does not plan to see the equipment again and hopes the cases are never solved. In order to continue the work they do of disseminating information they receive from anonymous sources, the ELF Press Office is asking for donations of equipment. They can be reached at 503-478-0902 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reclaiming the rose a symbol for the activists, Portland IMC has a new logo! Congratulations to Will Davies, the illustrator for the new logo.
The rose has a long history as a powerful symbol. In the Bread and Roses strike of 1912, women workers said they needed enough wages for bread, yes, but they also wanted wages for roses, their symbol for having more than just enough to get by, for being treated with dignity in the work place. The rose is also used as s symbol of the Trail of Tears, the route traversed by the Cherokee forced off their land in the winter of 1838-39. Oh it's beautiful, the rose, but try to snatch it away in haste and it'll stab you.
In Portland, of course, we're known as the City of Roses, but with a ho-hum connotation. We say, reclaim the rose!
On Thursday March 29, the Portland Police broke up a party in NE. The initial call was for a noise complaint, but several attendees were arrested. According to some accounts, the party was filled with people dressed in black, some of whom were metal heads or "gutter punk types". Many feel the police targeted the part as an anarchist gathering. People who were taken into custody with their backpacks said their bags were returned to them, but their address books were missing.
[ Read More ]
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