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In allegiance to the American Recreation Council (ARC), headed by Disney, RV manufacturers, and makers of off-road motorized vehicles, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton has started a media campaign to quell the strong, prevailing opposition to the charging of fees for individual access to quiet, harmless recreation on public lands. With the overarching goal of commercializing and privatizing our public lands, Norton/ARC have already succeeded in criminalizing non fee-paying with penalties of up to 6 months in jail and $10,000 fines. Her first example of the wonders of charging these fees is in the Mount Hood National Forest, where timber companies meanwhile get paid millions to clearcut sensitive ecosystems. A letter-writing campaign can subvert Norton's PR campaign and put her on the offensive rather than being able to shape the media's representations of the issue.
US Soldiers, local sheriffs and SWAT officers violently shut down a legal, permitted, outdoor electronic music event dubbed "Versus II" taking place the evening of Saturday, August 20th in the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah County.
Here are some short excerpts from firsthand accounts:
"Out of nowhere huge semis filled with national guard, swat, and the police rolled up. Soldiers came out of the bushes and rushed down to the party. Carrying M-16s, Ak-47s, nightsticks, and tazers."
"The police were rounding up the staff of the party and the main promoter went up to them with the permit for the show and said "here, I have the permit." The police then said, "no you don't" and ripped the permit out of his hand. Then, they put an assault rifle to his forehead and said "get the fuck out of here right now."
Though cameras were being confiscated, some video has surfaced:
On a daily basis I defend my actions in interviews with journalists, arguments with guards, and debates with prisoners. When I am confronted by fascists for being an anarchist, when I am teased for being a "feminist" - or as I prefer, an egalitarian - or when I'm called a hippie and a tree hugger, I stand my ground and force them to accept it or do something about it. I'm not looking for a fight but I sure as hell ain't gonna back down from one.
Over the years, my debate skills have become so honed I can rattle off facts and numbers at the drop of the gloves. I know how bad things have gotten. I clip articles from dozens of sources. I keep notebooks full of information on climate change and U.S. tyranny. The knowledge physically makes me ill.
[ Free "Free" Now ]
The Byzantine madness that passes for forest management in these the final troubled days of our short-lived empire is enough to drive a man to cynicism and strong drink. Those were the thoughts racing through my fevered brain as I barreled headlong down a dark gut tightening mountain road after having survived one more supply run to the hearty souls maintaining the line in defense of mother earth at the place the powers that be have named Hobson's Horn. It had been another night jitterbugs and jangles, you know, hugs and hellos tinged with fear and loathing. That kind of happy to be where you are, but unable to stop looking over your shoulder in the dark for the steps you're only hearing in your mind sort of night; that kind of night that seems to happen way to often when good Americans dare to raise their voices against the powerful and mad. Rumored threat and actual threat flowed like thick wine around the meeting place, mixing and mingling with the light of the nearly full moon.
Over the past two weeks, more than 15 people have been killed during police raids in Port-au-Prince, most were hacked to death by civilians wielding machetes who appear to have accompanied the police. What is known for sure is that the killings took place during or directly after police raids in the slums of Solino and Bel-Air. In Bel-Air, a Reuters cameraman filmed young men armed with machetes hacking apart an unarmed man who had just been shot by the police. The police did nothing to stop them declaring that the victim was a "bandit".
I was on my way home on a bicycle on broadway, and passed through a nice lively demonstration headed up to OHSU. Went home to get my camera and joined them up at "pill hill"
Quite a few people came up the hill, and the Portland police were there for a while. OHSU's private security observed and took pictures from the enclosed walkway above the street and lurked in the emergency door. I had the distinct feeling of being "sized up" like a stranger wandering into a grimy college town sports bar at 1 in the morning.
"Why hasn't Karl Rove resigned?" seems to be the question written on the faces of all my liberal friends as they walk around Martha's Vineyard this summer in a conscious stupefied form of denial I have literally never seen before. "Why hasn't Karl Rove resigned?" Not even Bill and Hillary Clinton had the guts to press the public flesh as they always have in the streets Martha's Vineyard towns teaming with tourists hoping to meet the sexy prez and his smart wife the Senator from New York. No they were virtually non existent when it came time to raise money for Hillary's New York senatorial incumbency from the liberal elite's here this August. No they were hidden behind the gates of a billionaires estate here on Martha's Vineyard the world's largest gated community knowing full well the question if not spoken would be written on people's faces: "Why hasn't Karl Rove resigned?" and of course the follow-up question "Why the Fuck haven't you done anything about it?"
140 people showed up in support of Cindys vigil. A group of dedicated (but unknown to myself) folks made wooden crosses , painted them white with the names of the dead on the front and the details of their deaths on the backs. They sink them in pails and we line the highway with them. Too many crosses and its just the tip. I think of all the Iraqi dead and I feel sick.
We stand there with our candles and flowers as 9 out of 10 cars go by wildly honking and waving in support. A man and his son with a Support Our Troops sticker drive slowly by handing out to go cups of coffee. I refuse one and the man says softly, come on, drink on for our boys. I hold back tears.
Related articles: [ moveon.org's Opportunistic Waffling on the Issue of Peace vel non | Camp Casey takes a bad turn | set the world on fire | A Limousine in Crawford | The Vigils for Cindy Sheehan - All Across America ]
On August 15, 2005 the Back 2 the Wall performers got on a bus named "Cool" to do two performances of "Light It, Fight It, Log It", a protest musical, in Sisters and Bend, Or. "Light It, Fight It, Log It" tells the story of the probable arson that started the Buscuit fire in contrast to the Forrest Service's, frankly, questionable story. Back 2 the Wall asked folks listening and watching to call the governor to "Re-open the case".
That morning, I had phoned OHSU president Peter Kohler's office (503-494-8252) to inquire about their animal research and to get their side of the issue. I spoke to someone who identified herself as Tiffany. She offered to mail me information but I elected to pick it up since I was going out anyway. She told me I should go to the front desk in Mackenzie Hall and the printed materials would be there for me.
When I arrived, the woman at the window did not know anything about any printed information. I returned to my car to get the number I had called earlier and when I returned to the building I started to notice things seemed strange. As I went up to the window where I had been before, the woman I had spoken to saw me and walked away. I was then approached by two men who told me I needed to leave the building. Confused, I asked why. They told me I looked suspicious. I asked what was suspicious about me and did not get an answer. I then headed outside of the building, leaving the same way I came.
I reached the sidewalk on Sam Jackson road, started walking to the right and noticed someone behind a bush, talking on a walkie talkie. I turned around, headed back down the sidewalk and the guy behind the bush joined up with the other individual who was following me. I was followed down the sidewalk and across the street. They were continuing to tell me to leave even though I was walking on the sidewalk away from them. Then a security officer came up from behind me, pushed me and said I was under arrest.
I just wrote this op-ed to coincide with the so-called "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip by Israel. I am a Portlander who has been to Palestine several times, and am fed up with the media coverage of the issue in this country. I hope this article will give you a little more insight into this issue than CNN or the corporate news has been doing in their cheerleading for Israel this week.
n an attempt to rationalize an unconstitutional closure of Fiddler and then Hobson to stop protesters from stalling logging operations through non-violent civil disobedience, Pam Bode lies on the stand. In a hearing on 8/12 concerning a court case challenging the closure, Pam stated that some protesters had thrown rocks during an action, that she, "could not tell the violent protesters from the peaceful ones", and that protests at Fiddler, "approached riot levels". Anyone, who was at Fiddler, knows this to be an act of blatant perjury.
Around 3:30 i was buying a trimet pass in Pioneer Square when I noticed a bunch of people standing around with red tape over their mouthes with the word "life" written on them. Most had their eyes closed; one was listening to music, all were swaying back and forth. Tape-over-the-mouth is a commonly used tactic by activists when they feel their rights are being trampled on. I wanted to know what was going on, and, if it was a cause I liked, join in.
So I went up to the guy whose red tape said "Spokesperson." He very curtiously told me that they were having a silent prayer meeting asking god to end abortion.
Father Gerard Jean Juste, from Haiti's National Penitentiary, writes:
Brothers and sisters around the world, allow me to thank you for what you have done for me personally, and what you have done for the poor ones I serve and stand with, for all prisoners, especially the political prisoners of Haiti. I know that thousands of you are advocating on my behalf. People from Haiti, from the US, from Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the Netherlands have sent letters and faxes to the US Embassy and the Haitian government trying to free me and to bring democracy and human rights back to Haiti.
Vancouver: About 378 people came out with candles and signs for Cindy at one of three vigils for her in conservative Vancouver. We began showing up by 7 pm at the library on Mill Plain. Because of the large numbers, we moved over to the grassy field across the street. We visited old and new peace friends, and Vancouver for Peace had a table with literature, free social security t-shirts, and a card for everybody to sign for Cindy. [ more ]
McMinnville: From 7:30 to 8:30 the corner of 2nd and Adams in McMinnville was filled with pro-Cindy, anti-war protesters. There were lots of signs, candles and even a few kids. In contrast to the last protest I attended at this location in September '04 (on the other side of the street) a majority of the people driving by honked, cheered, nodded and exhibited drive-by support. Only one person expressed their disagrement with a single digit "Bush Press" salute. [ more (w/ photo) ]
Astoria: Tonight we held a Candlelight Vigil in honor of Cindy Sheehan who is still trying for an audience with President Bush to ask the questions spawned by the death of her son in the Iraq War. Our purpose in the vigil was to show Ms. Sheehan that she is not waiting alone. Setting up, I was fearful that no one would come and I would have to stand alone. But people came from every direction: singly, in couples, in families, and in small groups, on bikes, by motorcycle, in cars, and on foot. People came from Ilwaco, WA, Cannon Beach, Seaside, North Bend, and even Portland. And they kept coming. [ more ]
Olympia: This is a second hand report but I was told that 400 people showed up to the vigil in downtown Olympia tonight. Spirits were apparently very high and the response from the community was overwhelmingly supportive. People spread out along the sides of the street for several blocks with signs supporting Cindy Sheehan and calling for an end to the war. The overall feeling, as related to me, was very positive and energizing. [ more: 1, 2 (w/ photo), 3 (w/ photo), photos (flickr.com) ]
Portland (@ NW 23rd): This evening, August 17, 2005, I attended one of the many Vigils being held throughout Portland to honor and support Cindy Sheehan in her ongoing attempt to speak with President Bush at his ranch in Crawford Texas... This Vigil was held in Northwest Portland, beginning at NW 23rd and Hoyt. By 7:30, people had already begun to gather, and before the Vigil ended, and hour later, at least four full blocks were lined with people holding candles and carrying signs supporting Cindy and opposing the War in Iraq. I estimate the crowd at this Vigil to be in excess of 350 people. [ more (w/ photos) ]
Portland (@ SE 82nd): Code Pink hosted a "Stand with Cindy" vigil on SE 82nd Ave at the Eastport Plaza set of superstores (that includes Wal-Mart and the largest Armed Forces Recruiting Center I've ever seen). Cindy Sheehan's son was killed in Bush's war of choice in Iraq. We were supporting Cindy's month long vigil to get Bush to come out of his Texas vacation home and explain to her just where in all his lies about the war is the noble cause for which 1,860 American soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqi's have died.... About 200 people took part in this SE 82nd Ave vigil. [ more (w/ photos) ]
Portland (in NE): Judy and I were back on the protest streets last night, vigiling for Cindy's vigil. The demonstration we attended was in the NE, it was the largest, but quite a number were organized by moveon all over our city. There must have been at least a thousand at the one we attended. It wasn't my favorite peace crowd. I usually prefer something noisier and with pointed and angry humor but we carried candles, held up Cindy signs and felt quite at home. Mother Cindy magically broke the Teflon curse, she actually scored big points on Bush. It was a warm hearted pleasure to be standing on a street corner and to be supporting and honoring her achievement. [ more ]
Related: [ Military Recruiters Target Working Class Students | Something is Happening | Audio interview with local activists and military familes | Baltimore Shows its Solidarity with Cindy Sheehan! | Boycott The Drudge Report | Portland Area Hosts Many Vigils In Support Of Cindy Sheehan | Between the Crosses | Desecration of the Dead ]
Portland, Oregon. On August 10, 2005, Lynnae Lake, Family Rights activist from Michigan and co-host of "A Voice for Children Radio Show" was arrested at the home of Roger Weidner, long time defender of family rights. When Roger attempted to discover why police surrounded his house and that of his 95 year old mother.
Weidner was told by police "you know why we are here - where are they?" Weidner said he had no idea what they were talking about and where was their warrant? Roger was told they "didn't need a warrant". Roger was immediately arrested and thrown into the back of a police car - one of seven which surrounded his house.
Twelve police officers of the Portland Police Department stormed into the house terrorizing his 95 year old mother as she took a bath.
Nine people have been arrested in the takeover of a mountaintop removal mine ever held in the United States. Before dawn this morning protesters blockaded a road to National Coal's strip mine in Campbell County, Tennessee to halt the destruction of Zeb Mountain.
Activists affiliated with MountainJusticeSummer.org and Katuah Earth First! blocked the road to the mine by removing the wheels from one of their cars. Two people locked themselves to the vehicle with lockboxes imbedded in cement pillars.
Other activists put up a tripod between the car and the company's gate and another activist suspended himself from the tripod. "Road Closed" signs were erected and flares shot up into the sky announcing their presence.
"We are reclaiming Appalachia. We are calling on Governor [Phil] Bredesen to do the same by enforcing Tennessee's water quality laws and banning mountain top mining," said Mere Burton, perched on the tripod on the Zeb Mountain road.
It was an action that seemed to feel good to all who participated. Thanks to about 30 human dignity activists, a 100 person Town Hall in St. Helen's went on record in opposition to the failed and expensive war machine in Iraq. It happened like this.
The Town Hall was to go for an hour and have a focus on social security: a critical and timely topic. It was held at the senior center in St. Helens. CCCHD (Columbia County) and WCCHD (Forest Grove) wanted to use this congressional recess access to Congressman Wu to push him to further challenge Bush's pro-war administration. But we also didn't want to dis-respect or derail a critical conversation on social security. Especially since we wanted to build popular support for our anti-war stand.
A simple plan evolved that had many additional benefits. We would use signs, held aloft at critical moments, to accent our point. We would limit ourselves to two speakers, both asked to weave their opposition to US Occupation in Iraq into support for social security. We would be brief. We would be choreographed (i.e. when one of our speakers had the floor, we would hold our signs up.)
Our group was spread around the very full room. When it was our turn, we seemed to be everywhere.
Those of us super isolated in rural America are dependent upon access to the independent media centers through the facilities of extended wireless services as proposed via FCC docket 04-151. The FCC is to be commended for their work and support in bringing this proposal to it's present state and should be encouraged to resist reopening docket 04-151 which would likely result in a takeover by big corporate providers.
Knoxville, TN - As dawn approached this morning, activists stood on an ancient Appalachian mountain in a dramatic protest against mountain top mining. This is the first time a mountain has been taken over in the struggle to protect the Appalachian Mountains from the devastating practices of mountain top mining. Dedicated citizens are blockading National Coal's strip mine in scenic Campbell County, Tennessee to halt the destruction of Zeb Mountain. Activists affiliated with MountainJusticeSummer.org and Katuah Earth First! are using creative non violent tactics to bring attention to the modern atrocity of mountain top mining.
In an unprecedentated non violent intervention, individuals are blockading the entrance to the mine by locking themselves to a car on the haul road and sitting in a tripod to prevent access to the mine. Other activists have locked themselves to drilling equipment. Citizens are using their bodies to create a giant "no blast" zone across the mountain.
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