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This evening, like every Tuesday since July, a counter-recruiting, anti-war, pro-peace demonstration was held in front of the military recruiting office on NE Broadway.
About a dozen of us were doing the same things we usually do: Standing and holding "NO WAR" signs on the sidewalk and in the parking lane, waving at motorists, leafletting, and visiting with each other. One of the Vets for Peace wh was present was waving the VFP flag.
Suddenly, a Portland Police squad car swerved into the parking lane, coming close to a protestor calling herself "Sprout." Another squad car pulled up. The officers got out and one stated everyone in the parking lane was going to be issued a citation. He also pointed to our candles on the sidewalk and said whoever put them there was getting a ticket for littering. He warned us not to block the sidewalk (we weren't) or we would be ticketed. He started writing Sprout a ticket. She questioned the officer as to why she should receive a citation, and refused to give her name.
What does Greg Schumacher, of Schumacher Fur Co., do when the persistent protestors are ruining his holiday fur sales with their weekly demonstrations? What any corporate-minded shopkeeper would do, have a Protest Sale! Yes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and that is exactly what Schumacher did on the last day of 2005 when around 25 anti-fur activists arrived at his shop. Schumacher climbed into the display windows to hang giant signs inside the full-window store front that read, "50% OFF EVERYTHING, PROTEST SALE, (during protest only)." This act of desperation was met with grins and chuckles from seasoned activists who interpreted the "protest sale" as an incremental victory.
We decided to climb to the top of Horse Butte, hoping to lift ourselves above the fog. We reached the top and our breath was taken away, as much from the spectacular view as from the strenuous climb. Up on top the day was clear, and the snow-covered peaks of the Madison Range rose like craggy islands from the fog. We followed the ridge for a few miles, walking in the footsteps of a bison herd that had passed the same way a few days earlier.
The mist lifted in layers, periodically removing the mountains and placing us in a dream-like world and blurring the shapes of nearby trees, rock outcroppings, and one another. Then, just as suddenly, the mist would dissolve, the sky would become blue again, and the view would be restored. We followed in the tracks of buffalo along the ridge and finally down, off the Butte and back into the thick fog at the valley's bottom. As we neared the flats below, vague forms took shape. As we drew closer these forms crystallized into five magnificent bulls, each weighing nearly a ton and standing six feet tall at the hump.
17th Yellowstone Bison Killed in Montana HuntIn spite of continuous national public outcry calling for Montana to cancel its controversial bison hunt, the state's zero-tolerance policy against the country's last wild bison continues. On New Years Day it resulted in another bison death in Gardiner, Montana, just outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. Update from the BFC - Slaughter resumes | Second Bison Killed in Montana's First "Hunt" in 15 Years
On Saturday December 10th approximately 40 participants of Portland's Black Bloc, and a number of Anti-Imperialists marched in solidarity with democratic labor against the forces of the WTO and its minions. Shortly after the march began we broke off and stormed the libertarian Cascade Policy Institute in order to demonstrate our disgust with their private market, think tank activism. Libertarian think-tank Cascade Policy institute "leads the way locally in confronting smart growth myths and presenting alternative policy solutions."
In contrast to community-based democratic planning, the Institute's alternative solutions rely on property rights, and market incentives. Cascade Policy's stand on unbridled "laze faire" capitalism, and their statement of principles illustrates that even the thinly-enforced, loosely defined environmental protections still in effect are too much for this hard-right think-tank. With statements like: "Over the last three decades America has increasingly looked to the federal government to protect the environment. Yet laws such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, Superfund, and The Endangered Species Act have proven costly and disappointingly ineffective." CPI clearly demonstrates their intent to rob us of our few hard won gains. CPI's president and CEO published the following classics: Free Market Environmentalism: Not an Oxymoron Wheels to Wealth: Why Low-Income Workers Need Cars, Not Transit Save the World, Ignore Global Warming
These are just a few examples of CPI's efforts to normalize the hard rights conspiracy to privatize our common resources. Their efforts stem from a bipolar worldview of America's political landscape. Recently libertarians ran a $100,000 Enron-funded campaign to keep "Portland's" General Electric private. The people of Portland need to ask our selves: What do we stand for:
Haiti's Judicial and Executive Branches are both getting what they deserve this holiday season- each other. After 22 months of close collaboration to trample Haiti's Constitution and democracy, they have now turned their destructive energies on each other.
The Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court) outraged Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue on December 8 by decreeing that Dumarsais Simeus was wrongfully disqualified from the upcoming Presidential elections. Latortue retaliated the next day by firing five of the Cour's justices, replacing them with henchmen. The judiciary went on strike, which has shut down the justice system for four weeks. It is a measure of how far Haiti has strayed from constitutional rule since the February 2004 coup d'etat that both sides in this dispute are wrong. The Cour de Cassation wrongly reinstated Simeus' illegal candidacy not once, but twice. Simeus cannot be President because the Constitution requires Presidential candidates to have lived in the country for the last five years, and to have never taken foreign citizenship. Mr. Simeus readily concedes in media interviews that he resides in Southlake Texas and has obtained U.S. citizenship.
Prime Minister Latortue's objection to the Cour's decision is right, but he is the wrong man to make it. The same residency requirement applies to Presidents and Prime Ministers alike, and Mr. Latortue lived in Boca Raton Florida for years before being illegally installed as Prime Minister by the U.S. and Haitian elites in March 2004. The Constitution requires an interim government to hold elections within 90 days from taking office, but Latortue will have 700 days in office, at the very least. Latortue's response to the Cour's decision is equally wrong. As in the U.S., justices in Haiti can only be removed through specific procedures, for duly established wrongdoing or permanent physical or mental incapacity. Latortue did not even give lip service to any of these procedures, he just fired the justices. Later his aides claimed that the justices were old and needed to be retired, but the Constitution does not recognize that claim.
Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, for example, was arrested without a warrant in October, 2004. When the government could produce no evidence against him, a courageous judge, Judge Fleury, ordered him released. The Minister of Justice then forced Judge Fleury off the bench, This "pre-trial" detention may be a death sentence- Fr. Jean-Juste has just been diagnosed with leukemia. The kind of leukemia he likely has can be treated, but not in Haiti's prisons. Amnesty International, the UN Human Rights Commission, 45 members of the U.S. Congress and human rights groups all over the world have criticized the injustice of Fr. Jean-Juste's persecution. Not one member of the Haitian judiciary has spoken against it, at least in public.
Children in Washington State are being given "patriotism tests" which are completely unrelated to their studies. The paper gauges whether or not the student shows fealty to the power of the state and whether the student believes in the right to overthrow a corrupt government.
A reader from Washington State writes to highlight a questionnaire paper handed out to her daughter and the rest of her classmates in the 10th grade classroom.
The reader comments:
"We live in Washington state. My daughter is in 10th grade and found this to be interesting. She has a GPA of 3.75 and uses her brain. This was given to her in English class, and has nothing to do with the materials they were studying. They are grooming our kids"
(I tried to upload the original paper, I'm new at this still)
I will type the questions as seen on the paper given to the students. They had to put whether they agreed of disagreed with the question.
With a long anticipated noise variance permit In Defense of Animals had acquired to use a bull horn for the Christmas Eve fur demonstration, the Schumacher Fur Co. owners thought they were going to beat the activists at their own game. But once again they were left shamed and looking stupid.
When around 30 dedicated anti-fur activists arrived at SW 9th and Morrison, Greg Schumacher had rented, no doubt at considerable cost, four huge speakers on tripods which were blaring obnoxious Christmas tunes to drown out the activist's bull horn and raised voices.
Undeterred, activists started chanting with messages like, "Stop the anal electrocution, stop the pain, Schumacher Fur is to blame!" That's when the furriers got amped and turned up the volume to ear drum shattering levels. I can't overstate how loud the music got; imagine being in the front row of at a hip hop show when you can almost feel your teeth vibrating from the sound waves. The volume was lowered slightly when a couple bicycle cops arrived, but still the volume was clearly beyond anything allowed by city ordinance, even if they had a permit, which states that you can use amplification as long as it's not audible more than 150 feet away. This music could be easily heard several blocks away!
Make no doubt about it, there is a MIDWAY type naval battle ocurring between Australia and Antarctica. A fleet of Japanese whalers are intent on harpooning to death any whale they see and these boats are being opposed by Greepeace and Sea Shepherd vessels. To see a first hand picture of the harpooning of a whale see Greenpeace. Although these incidents are being widely covered on Oceania Indymedia there is no news of this in the Northern Hemisphere. Remember that once there were abundant numbers of whales in the Northern Pacific. But these were long ago decimated by whaling fleets. Now they come down South, to a designated Sanctuary. Read More [ GreenPeace | Oceania Indymedia | Take action: * Tell Gorton's and Nissui that their customers do not support whaling! ]
On Thursday afternoon, TWU officials showed up on picket lines throughout the city and instructed workers to return to work, without any explanation of what had been accomplished. This generated considerable anger among many workers who had struck for three days and willingly accepted the loss of thousands of dollars in wages under the antiunion Taylor Law.
The sudden calling off of the strike was followed by a news blackout on ongoing negotiations between the TWU and the transit authority. It is being widely reported that the TWU has offered to impose greater out-of-pocket expenses for health care on their members in exchange for management curtailing or dropping its demand for the rolling back of pension protections.
Byrd and Republican Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio are fighting an effort by the Bush Administration, with the support of the Republican Congressional Leadership, to undermine American manufacturers and allow foreign traders to illegally dump products on U.S. markets.
Remember the Byrd amendment that Senator Byrd first introduced about 5 years ago to reclaim jurisdiction over how trade penalty moneys are distributed WITHIN the United States? If you are really watching trade issues, you might know that the WTO ruled that the Byrd amendment was illegal, even though it isn't ruled out by any of the trade agreements entered into by the U.S. through fast-track legislation. And you might even know that a couple of years ago, in the fever of an election year, Congress enacted a law that codified the Byrd amendment -- the "Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA)".
But did you know - has anyone noticed? - that the recent infamous budget resolution (also known as "Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act of 2005") also repealed the CDSOA?
In an excess of hypocrisy, the Senate had voted its support of the CDSOA just days before -- on December 15. Somehow, within just one week, all but 5 of about 30 Republicans who had been for the CDSOA on December 15 became converted to the WTO position when it came to the vote on December 21. No Democrat was similarly converted, and both Oregon senators - including Gordon Smith - remained firm in rejecting the WTO infringement of the sovereignty of the United States.
After the so-called "eco-terrorist" defendant William C. Rogers, also known as Avalon, killed himself in a "live wild or die" concluding action in an Arizona jail, other co-defendants have been put on suicide watch. But is it for their own protection, or is the FBI using Avalon's death to pressure the others? I don't know what happened to William C. Rogers or if he did kill himself, (I have no reason to believe he didn't) however, I also don't know what kind of extreme psychological or physical duress he had been under since his arrest. What I DO know is what is happening to a co-defendant, Kevin Tubbs.
Kevin is a uniquely gentle, compassionate, non-violent individual, who according to the law should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. He has been on maximum security lockdown in a 5 X 8 foot cell with only one hour out per 24 to choose from showering, trying to keep up on his case in the newspaper, shaving or using the phone to contact his girlfriend he dearly misses and loves.
All four of his requests for vegetarian meals have been denied despite a letter from his doctor saying that after 15 years of a strict vegetarian diet, his health could be seriously compromised. He is not getting enough nutrition and I know for the first week at least, he only ate fruit and water. In his prisoner's handbook it states you can request an additional blanket if you are cold. At home, Kevin could only sleep if he wore a hat, warm socks and extra blankets, he just gets very cold easily. To try and sleep he has been wrapping his sheet around his head, he only has one blanket. All his requests for an additional blanket at night were denied.
For those of us who love Kevin, our hearts are breaking for him. We are very concerned that he is being worn down. Even the strongest of individuals will have their judgement skewed when nutritionally and sleep deprived. He is still able to receive new letters so please don't stop writing.
Yesterday, I attended hearings for Daniel McGowan and Chelsea Gerlach. Daniel was arraigned on 16 new counts. Two of the counts charge Daniel with attempted Arson at Superior Lumber Company, and the other 14 stem from the fire at Jefferson Poplar farm in Clatskanie. These charges add another mandatory life sentence if convicted. There will be a status hearing on January 9th at 1:30pm in front of Judge Coffin. Trial is set (for now) February 28 at 9am in front of Judge Aiken.
Chelsea's lawyer presented arguments in favor of her release following the motion filed Wednesday. Her lawyer argued that Chelsea should be released and asked that the judge evaluate the motives of the two named informants that appear to be all the Gov has as evidence. He said, "The government has jumped in bed with a man who faces life, who is now loose in the community, who has admitted to setting at least three and maybe a fourth fire." The judge denied Chelsea's release pending trial stating that her defense could argue the questionability of the informant testimony in trial.
According to the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Daniel McGowan went to court in Judge Coffin's courtroom on Dec 22, 2005. He was there for both his initial hearing and also an arraignment. He entered a NOT GUILTY plea. His counsel has 21 days to present a motion now to the court. Both sides have 10 days to exchange discovery materials now. The status conference for Daniel is set for Jan 9, 2006, at 1:30 pm, in the Eugene Federal Courthouse. The presence of the accused is required. You may call the court clerk's office at 541-465-6423 to make sure it is happening at that time close to the date. At the status conference, they will determine if the case is ready to go to trial.
The culture of the Yurok revolves around the seasonal migrations of the spring, summer, fall and winter runs of salmon. There are specific ceremonies performed before, during and after the migration. Honor and gratitude are shown to the salmon for providing the Yurok with nutrition for survival. Celebrations occur simultaneously with the salmon's return and the salmon who are caught are smoked on alder sticks. Salmon contain every nutritional element and mineral needed by the body for survival. Without the salmon, there would be no Yurok. This also goes for the other tribes along the Klamath, depending on salmon for nutritional sustenance and cultural relevancy.
Since the arrival of European immigrants into California the Klamath River is no longer found in the same condition. At 840 feet at crest, Clear Lake dam was the first salmon blocking dam completed in 1910. The conditions of the slower velocity of the river trapped behind the dam also effect the juvenile salmon's health by raising water temperatures and depleting oxygen content from eutrophication. The process of eutrophication begins with excess nitrogen or other fertilizers entering into slow moving water promoting excess algae growth, the dead algae is decomposed by bacteria that require oxygen. This oxygen is removed from the water by bacteria at the expense of the fish.
Last night's TrashTalk featured a 10 minute phone call with a Brooklyn, NY resident affected by the TWU strike.
TrashTalk is a weekly one hour web radio show on Tuesday nights from 9-10pm pst. The focus of last nights show was work, working and trash. The 10 minute phone call happens around the midway point of the show. We also read articles about the transit strike and talk about getting free stuff at work. Enjoy!
Chelsea Gerlach was arraigned on new charges today following indictments by the Federal Grand Jury in Eugene last week. Numerous charges have been added related to an arson at Childer's Meat Company in Eugene on May 19, 1999 and another at Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie on May 21, 2001. I didn't catch the number of charges related to the Childer's fire, but she has been charged with 14 counts related to the Clatskanie fire.
The US attorney gleefully announced that Chelsea was facing 290 years in federal detention if convicted, when Chelsea's lawyer asked for another detention hearing to have Chelsea released on bail pending trial... Her lawyer asserted that the only evidence the Government has brought forth appears to be the testimony of confidential informants.
Court Report: Kevin Tubbs Arraigned on Romania Checrolet ChargesIn Federal Magistrate Thomas Coffin's courtroom today, Kevin Tubbs was arraigned on 36 new charges related to the March 30th, 2001, arson at Romania Chevrolet in Eugene. He is being charged separately for each of the 35 vehicles destroyed, and faces a mandatory minimum sentence for each vehicle of 5 years, with the maximum penalty being 20 years PER VEHICLE. In addition, he is being charged with an Enhancement for the use of an "incendiary bomb" which carries a mandatory minimum sentence under Oregon's Measure 11 sentencing rules of 30 years.
There will be a detention hearing for Kevin on January 3rd at 1:30 in the Federal Courthouse. Kevin's attorney will argue for his release pending trial.
We have just returned to the house after being in the Hong Kong streets all afternoon and evening in the most intense street battle that we have ever seen. We are taking turns showering the teargas and pepper spray off as we write this up. Farmers, workers, women's organizations, fisher folk, Hong Kong youth, migrants and other movement people from Korea, across Asia and around the world marched on, broke through several police lines to less than a block from the site of the WTO conference center and laid siege to it until we were dispersed with teargas and mass arrests tonight.
We have heard reports that as many as 900 have been arrested or detained and we just got a cell call from an activist still surrounded in the streets who was had been warned that the police will start to use rubber bullets. Riot police have not been seen en masse on the streets of Hong Kong for some 20 years, and this city will never be the same after tonight.
Stop the WTO Negotiations! Save Jobs!After ten years under the WTO, unemployment has increased everywhere in the world. The quality of present employment has often fallen. Dirty, dangerous and degrading works have become more common. Many of these jobs are precarious. More and more persons are actually forced into the informal, unprotected and unregulated economy from the formal economy, the destroyed livelihoods of small farmers and subsistence agriculture. In transnational businesses, many employees increasingly find themselves in precarious relations to the businesses for which they produce and no longer work. Their relation is determined by accident.
I attended the WTO Teach-In Saturday, December 17, 2005, held at the Koinonia House at Portland State University in downtown Portland. Organizers were thrilled with the turn out and the event met or exceeded all expectations.
After a breakfast supplied by the sponsors of the event, attendees were able to choose from a range of three workshops: the Basics of International Trade and Neo Liberalism; Immigrant Rights in a Liberal World; and Labor and the Corporate Agenda. This was the first of three sets of workshops being offered throughout the day, providing our community an opportunity to gather information and participate in discussions on a wide range of topics concerning global and local economics.
Audio Files: Barbara Dudley
Eureka, CA - A lawsuit between Pacific Lumber, former treesitters, and the "Extractors" hired to forcibly remove activists from old-growth redwoods to clear the way for logging will be back in court on Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:30pm in Eureka.
The battle over footage shot by hidden cameras mounted on the helmets of treesit Extractors during the evictions of more than a dozen tree-top activists will take center stage at Monday's hearing. The court ruled in October that Extractor Eric Schatz should turn over copies of the controversial footage to Jen "Remedy" Card, who is one of five former treesitters suing Pacific Lumber and Schatz over the extractions.
The treesitters recently added a claim for Invasion of Privacy based on the secretly-recorded footage.
Schatz was ordered by Judge Quentin L. Kopp to produce the footage to Card by November 18, 2005, but Schatz refuses. Recent documents filed with the court by his attorney, Brian C. Carter, say that Schatz would rather "serve time in jail - for contempt - than turn over the videos as the court has ordered."
The 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO is taking place from December 13th through 18th in Hong Kong. Negotiations have been continuing on key controversial issues such as agriculture, services, and market access for industrial goods and natural resources. The meeting will shape the final agreement of the Doha Development Agenda, which members hope to complete next year.
Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned for the dates between December 11th and 18th. Organizations that are mobilizing to protest the WTO meeting and corporate globalization, and to present alternative proposals, include peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea. Events: A new media and social transformation conference and workshop will take place in early December. Global Exchange will bring a delegation/reality tour to Hong Kong and parts of China in December.
Saturday December 17th:
From UK Indymedia newswire: Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages and WTO | Inspiring photos from the WTO summit in Hong Kong | Fisherfolks Murdered By Drowning, Suspect 6th WTO | pics from the WTO Hong Kong | Insurgent Zombies Occupy Paris Supermarket in WTO Protest | NO-WTO: DEMO SAT 17TH DEC, READING | WTO Protests - You Cannot Speak If You Wear Too Little | WTO - HK05 - Images of Resistance | WTO Protests in Hong Kong - Day One report | Report on the WTO Conference Day One Protect Actions | A list of sites with news on the WTO protests. (with links) | anti wto HK site | Philipinos protest WTO | KONG YEE SAI MAU! - Protest against the WTO! | Peaceful direct action violently oppressed by HK media | Free Trade Endangers Jobs Worldwide
Dispatches from Hong Kong
More links: No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | Indymedia.org article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media | Vatican Releases Guidelines for WTO Summit
Katrina was not a natural disaster; it was and still is a social disaster. Katrina and its aftermath is the market at work for you. In the same period another disaster is taking place, the destruction of workers' living standards, retirement benefits and health care. United Airlines, Delphi, GM, the last vestiges of the gains made during the 1930's are being destroyed as the US capitalist class seeks its goal of "Full Spectrum Dominance", the right of capital to go anywhere and do what it likes, unhindered by any form of regulation and Unions. The vicious attacks on workers at GM and Delphi are not new by any means, but they are an indication of the increased confidence of the employers and their politicians, going after this section of the working class with such venom. Why shouldn't they? The Union leaders will not resist and the two political parties will assist them. | read more >>
Common Ground collective reports: No account of what is occurring here can be given without a brief review of the stunning reality on the ground. The scale and scope of the destruction is really not possible to grasp if you have not driven the streets here. There are over a hundred thousand cars that will never drive again that have yet to be moved-they are in all manner of disarray- on curbs, upside down, in front lawns and perhaps most eerily- parked right where they were left when their drivers suddenly fled more than 3 months ago. There are currently 1.3 million households from the Gulf Coast still residing elsewhere. Bodies are still found every day. Vast areas sit festering, powerlines strewn across streets, trees sliced right through houses, two story homes crushed to the height of their front door. Tens of thousands of homes are filled with rotting furniture, warped floors and swollen drywall. | read more >>
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