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On October 28 a statewide convention on state secession and running on the theme "Vermont Independence: An Impossible Dream or a Vision of the Future?" was held in the State House in Montpelier, VT. The last time a convention similar to this was held took place in North Carolina in 1861 when the state decided to secede from the US.
The group that organized the convention in Vermont was the Second Vermont Republic (SVR), formed in large part during the last few years. The SVR, according to its web site, "is a peaceful, democratic, grassroots solidarity movement committed to the return of Vermont to its rightful status as an independent republic as was the case in 1791 and to support Vermont's future development as a separate, sustainable nation-state." [ read more ]
On Tuesday, November 2, at 10 am, Cascadia Forest Defenders organized a protest at the Middle Fork Ranger Station in the Willamette National Forest, in Westfir, OR to show opposition to the Fall Creek Salvage Sale, where 2.422 million board feet were to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Just under twenty protesters occupied the lawn and lined the highway in front of the Ranger Station. After speaking with the head LEO of the Willamette National Forest, one activist, black flowing cape and all, was allowed entry inside the building, and was permitted to sit at a table alongside the bidding timber companies (Bald Knob, Butte Timberland, and Silver Creek Lumber), with stern warnings not to disrupt the proceedings.
Fifteen minutes after the bidding began, it ended, with Silver Creek Lumber (a front for Columbia Helicopters) winning the high bid of $195.00 / 1,000 board feet. If you do the math, it comes out roughly to be $480,000. Attempts to pass out literature and to converse with the timber companies about forest fire ecology proved futile, with timber company execs. unwilling to listen to what they insist are "hippie-isms."
Recently a woman named Mars called OHSU to ask questions about the animal experimentation conducted there. She was told that they had printed materials on the subject and she went to the campus to pick them up. Soon after arriving and stating her purpose there, to pick up the information, she was accosted by OHSU security. She was told to leave the property and after she exited, she was grabbed on the public sidewalk, handcuffed and arrested.
On Monday, Mars will go on trial for trespassing.
Clearly at OHSU, just asking about their animal research is considered suspicious behavior. The public pays millions of dollars for this experimentation and it is supposedly for our benefit yet we have no right to even ask about it?
A small riot broke out in front of the Victoria's Secret mall outlet storehouse in the Lloyd-controlled District [yesterday]. Mall security forces posted within and around the Ladies' undergarments supply depot effectively silenced the rowdy group of Ladies' garment discontents by dragging them through a service corridor and dumping them in the gutters, where they belong. The Department of Homeland Security issued an orange alert empire-wide as similar skirmishes erupted throughout the day. Security teams report that all sectors of the Portland region of the United Empire of States are now secure, additional forces have been posted to retain order at all Ladies' undergarment depots, and that nothing else bad is happening anywhere else in the world.
Just a quick update on Shaheeda Pierce's trial...
Myself and three other student midwives (including Shaheeda's apprentice) left Portland early Tuesday morning for Tacoma. The testimony began at 9am and continued all day. We had many wonderful witnesses on our side, all of whom spoke eloquently and intelligently on the subject of breech birth. At one point early in the day, Shaheeda's lawyer presented a set of statistics on out of hospital breech births for WA state. The Department of Health's Attourney objected to them, because it wasn't clear to her where they were from and therefore not reliable or accurate. Well, it turns out that the stats were compiled by Patricia Starszec, who works for the Department of Health's Center for Health Statistics!
Nov 2 Today's March My perspective This is the demo, in a nutshell, as I saw it. First, I'm fairly new to this town, this was my second march - the first one being against the Primate torturers meeting at OHS a while back. Everyone met in Pioneer Square at noon and some peeps talked. Then we took to the streets, er, sidewalk. This is extremely fucked for me. There were two or three hundred people (but I'm not good with numbers) all having to stop at the red lights, on the sidewalks. This was not a permitted march. It was just really unbelievable to me tho. The town I'm from has "illegal" demos all the time and we are not easily forced onto the sidewalk and we sure don't stop at red lights. This caused the march to be segrigated (sp?) At the very beginning of the march a guy in front of me got a ticket. For walking. There were a handfull of us that had crossed and were just making our way up onto the next curb and a cop targeted him because he was a young, not white, and was with a young punk kid. I think he said the ticket was like $92. Insane. [ read more ]
Very quick report Likely someone with more time than I have right now will do a better reportback. But for now, here is my impression. At the beginning, people mostly just chanted and talked about how they oppose the Bush administration, but some people openly recognized that the problem goes much deeper than one political administration. It was a very diverse crowd, at least in terms of what I was expecting. Anarchists and high school kids and little old ladies all marched in solidarity. Several former soldiers were present, one carrying a sign that said he served, he supports the troops, but he does not support this war. I saw numerous arrests, and at least four unarrests -- plus an unarrested megaphone. (And then there was a partial unarrest. It was actually such a pathetic attempt at arrest that it likely doesn't count. An officer standing along the curb pointed at a kid in the crowd and said, "You. You're under arrest." Then he made this silly motion with his hand and said, "C'mon." The kid declined to go with him, and the situation resolved without incident.) [ read more ]
The Nov. 2nd Protest Hello everyone. There is a lot of controversy on what happened today and being one of the organizers, I can tell you first hand what happened. I organized a walk out in my school which basically included everyone there. My school has about 50 people in it and we are extremely close to pioneer square so it all worked out. When walking down to the square, we would often take the streets and go back on the sidewalk when the max came around. When we arrived, there was a huge amount of people. We thought there would be about 300 people there but there was at least 700 people. A lot of people did some really awesome speeches. A musician played a calm song as the rally began to rage. I got up, did a speech about how the youth is being censored and kicked off the rally. [ read more ]
N2 At 12pm the walkout began. We left school in a group of 15 or so kids. We had a banner, we had a plastic-can-drum, and we had our (soon to be infamous) megaphone. We walked down to Pioneer square to find the rally underway. There was a tent set up in the middle of the square where a microphone was standing. the sound was okay up to a certain point, above the steps in the bowl of the square it was almost impossible to hear. A few news guys were around as well as some police, standing in two main groups (at the corner of Nordstroms where there is a coffee bar as well as at the corner where there is a US bank, they are opposite corners) as well as a few amoung the outskirts of the square. My friend bEn was the last speaker, and after he was done me moved to the corner of the square to go march. At this point I would estimate 700 people. [ read more ]
November 2nd participants go to David Wu's office, DeMoCracy ensues! After we sat down on the steps of the justice center to show solidarity with those that had been arrested by the police some more people addressed the crowd and there were some moving words and twice a moment of silence was called for those who had lost their lives in this insane ruling class war in Iraq. Eventually some of us decided to pay a visit to Congressional representative David Wu's office (620 SW Main Street, room 606) and try and ascertain exactly how it was the will and interests of the people are being misrepresented. Only about 6 or 7 of us were allowed up the elevator, but it was a fittingly diverse bunch I think. [ read more ]
updates: [ 700 marching south on broadway - police now giving tickets | nov 2 right now: two arrests, cops on horses, crowd trapped at 4th and morrison | NOV 2 demo: if you have a ticket or are injured please call 503-295-6400 FOURTH ARREST | what to expect if your friends were arrested today | for those who got tickets at NOV 2 demo | EcoTV update ]
related: [ if you want Portland to see what is going on I suggest a news station takeover next time | Report on Today's March? | Regime Change! Please Be Polite to the Police?! | target your audience better. SIdewalk marching yelling at cops doesnt work | The World Will Have to Wait -- Nov 2 ]
In response to a class action lawsuit filed against Portland General Electric Co. (PGE) in February 2005, PGE has decided to remove a charge from all of its electric bills to customers in Multnomah County. That is the charge labeled "Multnomah County tax," which PGE claimed to represent the Multnomah County Business Income Tax (MCBIT) it was paying to Mult. County.
In fact, while PGE has charged ratepayers in Multnomah County over $7 million for this "tax" since 1997, PGE in fact has paid less over that entire period than a total of $4,000 to Multnomah County for the MCBIT tax, and its parent Enron has apparently paid nothing at all.
PGE says it is removing the charge as of October 14, 2005.
"If you are a PGE customer, take a look at your next bill. If you see `Multnomah County tax' at the end of it, give us a call," said Linda Williams, one of the attorneys who filed the class action suit against PGE for imposing the phony income tax charges. (503-293-0399)
Mike D had his hearing today in Clackamas County for an additional charge which stemmed from a Disorderly Conduct allegation he was hit with while protecting the forests. Judge Robert Herndon gave him 10 days in jail with credit for time served - actually Mike has spent so much time locked up on these totally ludicrous accusations that they should give him a "get out of jail free card" for future use. This should mark the end of this ordeal - he will not have to perform any community service. They were to send him back to Multnomah County but for some unexplained reason he was not transported today. Hopefully - he will be back with us and on the streets again soon.
Tonight, 11/01/05, community members, city officials, public defenders and others met to discuss the future of the Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) and the Drug Free Zones (DFZ), specifically the Beech Area. The discussion was held at Emmanuel Temple (1032 North Sumner) and facillitated by Bishop Wells and Amalia Alarcon.
Bishop Wells is from the church, Amalia is the manager of NRC-ONI (Neighborhood Resource Center-Office of Neighborhood Involvement). I learned of the discussion through my neighborhood association, and was surprised at the turnout for the discussion, especially to see Mayor Potter and Police Chief Foxworth in attendence.
The evening was prefaced by Maria Rubio, the policy manager for public safety, she began the opening remarks. She talked abstractly about the DFZ and at some point said she felt that the DFZ was "a good tool to immediately remove people" from the DFZ. After she spoke, Mayor Potter had a few brief words, declaring that he was pro-community and that the discussion tonight wasnt just about the PFZ/DFZ (i dont think he continued to state what else it was about) and that he also had issues with the current DFZ.
related: Community discussion about future of the Drug Free Zones | Perspective on Portland streets | A Community in Flux | Boise Neighborhood
Counter recruiting vigils are held each Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 in front of the miltary recruiting office at 1317 NE Broadway. Each week, pages with the names of the most recently killed US troops are laid at the doorway of the recruiting office. This is to help the recruiters inside see the results of their blood work. We light candles and leave them on the sidewalk. Passersby have been giving increasing support to our efforts, with many honks, thumbs up, and smiles. Groups of us, including Portland Catholic Workers, Veterans for Peace Chapter 72, and Code Pink, have been doing this since July without incident.
Tonight was different.
A group of Oregon's conservation leaders held a Press Conference in front of the Department of Environmental Quality building in late October to protest proposed changes to water quality regulations. These proposed changes were funded by a grant from Northwest Pulp and Paper Association, who will profit by these regulations being relaxed.
Mark introduced the subject matter and why the Conference was being held in front of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality building. "Water is an incredibly valuable resource in this state, something that we all hold very dear. And the agency charged with protecting the quality of that water is this agency right here, the Oregon DEQ, the Department of Environmental Quality. In 2002, the NW Pulp and Paper Association entered into a contract with this agency, Oregon DEQ. The contract was expressly earmarked to send $120,000 to this agency for the purpose of funding a specific position dedicated to revising and weakening Oregon's water clarity standards, the turbidity standard."
Today, hundreds of people gathered at noon to line the 4th street bridge for a vigil to remember the 2000 American soldiers that have been killed in Iraq and to stand for peace.
Each person carried the name of a fallen soldier, reminding us of the loss of life. At the biggest peace demonstration in Olympia in recent months, people lined both sides of the 4th street bridge and the four blocks to Percival Landing. The sun broke through and many people driving across the bridge expressed their support.
Shaheeda Pierce, LM, CPM, has been charged by the Dept of Health with "attempt of vaginal breech birth at home." A breech birth is when the baby's bottom end is coming first, rather than the head. It occurs in 3-4% of pregnancies. Shaheeda has had hands-on experience with the special maneuvers that may be needed to facilitate breech birth. The mother and child are fine.
The Dept's stated position is that Shaheeda should lose her license for this. Home breech birth is not prohibited in Washington by any statute or administrative rule. As breech birth is not prohibited, some midwives here have attended planned home breech births, while some have attended surprise breeches only. The parents had specifically sought referral to a midwife who was trained in home breech birth, as they preferred to decline a planned cesarean. Hospitals in the Seattle and Tacoma areas are no longer offering non-surgical breech birth.
Pasted below is an action alert from our friends at Western Slope No Fee Coalition. We all have an immediate opportunity to provide decision makers in the US Senate with much-needed public comment about the implementation of the RAT. These Senators know there are problems. They just don't know how bad those problems are or where, specifically, they are occurring. This is an call for E-MAILS. Please help. Thank You.
The Senate Subcommittee hearing held on Wednesday, October 26th to review implementation of the new fee law, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), presented plentiful evidence of agency overreach beyond the letter and the intent of the law. On our side is the fact that the Senate unanimously passed Sen. Craig Thomas's (R-WY) bill in 2004, which made permanent Park Service fees ONLY, and would have allowed US Forest Service, BLM and US Fish & Wildlife Service recreation fees to lapse. Key Senators were extremely upset when the FLREA was foisted on them with no opportunity for debate, hearings or a vote, as a rider attached to a must-pass spending bill in Dec 2004.
vital to the success of our efforts to curtail the agencies' overreach in the implementation of the FLREA is YOUR INPUT to Washington DC! Quite simply, more will happen, and faster, if an unprecedented number of emails are received at the offices of the Subcommittee. Written public testimony is being accepted into the official record of the hearing until November 4th
Dr. Dhafir was sentenced today, in Syracuse. The place was packed and silent. When Dr. Dhafir came in the room everyone about 100 people stood in respect of him. It lasted about 3 hours from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon He is a highly respected and peaceful man in the Muslim community and in the general Central New York area. He has been sentenced to around 22 yrs, I believe, more details to come from the news tonight or tomorrow.
The case of Rafil Dhafir, a Syracuse NY based oncologist of Muslim faith and Iraqi descent, shows what can happen when a zealous justice department (FBI) and an eager prosecution are willing to bend the rules to win a conviction. To our knowledge he is the only person to convicted of breaking the sanctions against Iraq.
Hello to you all out there. It's Tre from behind these walls at Wilkie. I'm not jazzed about being locked up, but if I have to be, I am grateful to be here. Most of the staff is kind and the administration has made a concerted effort to accommodate my raw vegan diet. I can see and feel the rays of grandfather sun and grandmother moon. I can breath in fresh air through the metal grate covering the open part of my window. I've heard birds chirping outside my window, and have watched them pouncing on the grass, jerking and capturing the earthworms from the soil. I have been able to get outside and feel the cool, soft grass beneath my feet. I attended a sweat lodge ceremony with an elder native named Ron, along with three other prisoners...
In case you missed the last call out or have recently joined the supporters list, I'm inclosing the previous message dealing with a crucial letter writing campaign to the Canadian Minister of Justice, and newspaper editors across the continent. These letters are an extremely important act of support and solidarity for me and my legal defense. This is an opportunity for you as my concerned supporters to eliminate the feeling of helplessness that many have expressed. This simple, tangible act of sharing your thoughts and feelings can be extremely empowering. This gives you the chance to have your words documented, your voice heard, and can have a dramatic impact on the Minister's decision whether or not to extradite me.
INDUSTRY SNEAK ATTACK ON ORGANIC STANDARDS RAMMED THROUGH CONGRESS Despite receiving over 350,000 letters and phone calls from OCA members and the organic community, Republican leaders in "Congress voted last night to weaken the national organic standards that consumers count on to preserve the integrity of the organic label," said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the Organic Consumers Association. As passed, the amendment allows: Numerous synthetic food additives and processing aids, including over 500 food contact substances, to be used in organic foods without public review. Young dairy cows to continue to be treated with antibiotics and fed genetically engineered feed prior to being converted to organic production. Loopholes under which non-organic ingredients could be substituted for organic ingredients without any notification of the public based on "emergency decrees."
Please, where-ever you buy your "organic" food, ask a manager or fill out a comment card on how they plan to deal with the new rules about labeling. This was an inside job, it seems, and bigtime food corps are trying to hijack the organic marketplace. They've been at it for a while, but this is a big victory for them and a loss for those looking to feed themselves well.
A 12 minute video of Wedneday evenings anti war Vigil, honoring and remembering those who have lost their lives due to United States imperialism.
Video features Michelle DeFord, who lost her son in the Occupation, and a selection of people reading off names of those killed, American service personnel and Iraqis, mostly children. Music taken from the song, "Operation Iraqi Liberation," by David Rovics, whom I taped earlier in the week here in Portland.
David Rocknich: On October 18, military recruiters returned to UC Santa Cruz for the first time since they were rallied off campus by Students Against War on April 5, 2005. Students Against War organized a protest and hundreds of people rallied and marched to the College 9/10 Dining Hall. The Military and UC held the career fair on the second story of the building and had numerous police officers and administrators guarding the stairs and entrance to the career fair. At least one uniformed police officer was video tapping demonstrators.
Bradley: Here are links to other people's audio, photos and a the Students Against War (SAW) press release. Thankfully, there were numerous IMCistas covering various aspects and angles of the October 18, 2005, demonstration against military recruiters. IMCistas from our community, the corporate media, and any students suspected of having intentions of doing documentation were prevented from entering the career fair..... but, the SAW/IMCistas on the inside were able to take photographs of the Queer Kiss-in and publish them on SC-IMC before the next morning. David Rocknich linked to the first set of photos I published and here is the second set of photos.
CASE CLOSED: Oregon Veterinarian Goes Free
Published 09-24-04 (Banks, Oregon)
A Washington County, Ore., veterinarian who had been charged with six counts of animal neglect following forfeiture of six of her horses who were so severely malnourished that it was nearly impossible to guess their ages, will not stand trial afterall.
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