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14 People attended the Tuesday vigil at the Recruitment Center this week. Holding signs, and handing out flyers. As with the previous weeks, the response from people walking, biking, driving by was overwhelmingly positive.
Towards the end, some folks made a circle and read aloud the names of the U.S. soldiers killed this past week. Each person reads a name and how that soldier was killed. It goes around the circle until the names have all been read. The number of soldiers killed is more than the number of people reading names. I hope that the number of dead drops, and the number at the recruiting center increases. It is sad to see the list of names each week, and see their ages. Most so young, and all, dying in vain.
The threat of a peak in global oil supplies has received official attention from the City of Portland. A resolution to create a task force to investigate implications of peak oil was passed by City Council on Wednesday May 10 largely in response to activism from Portland Peak Oil, a local grassroots group. "This task force will focus on preparing Portland for a local response to impending global oil shortages," said Stephen Johnson, a volunteer with Portland Peak Oil.
"Portlanders' support for this resolution is reflected in the tremendous growth of Portland Peak Oil over the past year," says Emily Pollard, an organizer with the group. "We look forward to assisting the work of the task force and continuing to promote projects to educate the community."
Portland Peak Oil
Several dozen people gathered near the end of yesterday's workday at the front steps of the INS building. The diverse group included students and workers, parents and children, Christians and Socialists, Spanish and English speakers, recent immigrants and lifelong US citizens. They shared a single agenda: to send a message of opposition to the recent wave of raids and deportation of immigrant workers.
[READ MORE || Archive of local immigrants rights coverage || Archive of national immigrants rights coverage
[Listen to streaming audio Coverage || Download MP3]
PGE is refunding a portion of taxes collected but unpaid due to a lawsuit. Most of the money is going to customers between 1999 and 2005. If you are a current customer you don't need to take any action and will get a reduction on a future bill. If you are a former customer between 1999 and 2005, you must submit a claim.
A Former PGE Customer Claim Form is attached to the back of the notice being mailed out, or can be obtained by calling 888-279-4337.
A four-page notice has gone out to Multnomah County customers of Portland General Electric, saying that the class action lawsuit on their behalf has been settled. The case was regarding money PGE collected for the Multnomah County Business Income Tax ("Tax"), but "that were above what PGE or its parent company ended up owing and paying in Tax to Multnomah County." The settlement states that PGE will pay $10 million, most of the money going to those people who purchased electricity service from PGE between 1999 and 2005, and who were therefore paying the Tax on their PGE bills.
1,000's clash in resistance to U.S. base expansion. May 6th - The Korean Ministry of National Defense has declared martial law in the village of Daechuri and surrounding areas in its latest attempt to seize the land slated to be property of the United States military. In an attempt to control the escalating chaos that ensued when it sent troops and riot police to evict residents and activists, the MND is conducting door to door searches and arresting people on sight. Road blockades of sand bags and police buses have been placed around the village to prevent anyone from entering or exiting. Even the press, which had prior access, is no longer allowed to document the police activities.
At least 400 people have been injured and nearly one thousand arrested since Thursday. The three days of violence has prompted criticism of the police force's conduct during the eviction. Human rights advisors to the National Police Agency described the scene as a "blood bath", and an "embarrassing moment".
May 4th, 2006 at 5:00am, the Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) made its fourth attempt to occupy the villages of Daechuri and Doduri and crush the resistance to U.S. military base expansion. This time, they came with 12,000 riot police, 1,500 plain-clothes hired 'workers', who are notorious, right wing ex-military strike breakers, and 3,000 Korean soldiers and army engineers.
"It is important to have unions, but police unions are used to defend racism and murderous activity on the job," said Nick D...He added his own labor union would never defend him for murdering on the job. A mother, Michelle Jeffries, testified that the Seattle Police murdered her son without proper explanation, investigation, or prosecution. "They pick and choose who to prosecute for murder," she said of King County prosecutors.
I went to the recruiting center for the Tuesday vigil. I was surprised at the number of people waving and honking. Not just the number but the level of interest and energy expressed was decidedly higher than the previous weeks I went.
Maybe it is because it is spring, or maybe it is because of the talk of impending war with Iran, or maybe it is the growing awareness that things are going terribly wrong here in this country and people are slowly realizing that it isn't gonna fix itself. Sooner or later people are going to get aroused and finally angry about the lies this government is telling all so it can make a few people even richer at the expense and lives of many others.
This comic introduced a new villian, the Hate Monger (who is still employed by publisher Marvel Comics, BTW). Note the KKK type hood the Hate Monger wears. Not subtle, but this was actually a pretty brave thing to do in 1963.
Two things are of particular note:
1) In the first panel, the Hate Monger says that you are either "with" him or "against" him. This predates a certain speech by George W. Bush by about 38 years.
2) Note how easily the Hate Monger incites the crowd against the foriegners.
About 30 people and their dogs showed up at Schumacher Furs throughout the day Saturday to protest the fur industry's cruel treatment of animals. We stood together in the cold and pouring rain holding signs, passing out literature, chanting, and enjoying vegan food (doughnuts donated by Voodoo doughnuts, sandwiches, and cupcakes). A bagpipe player, and a boombox periodically playing "Too Legit to Quit" kept us entertained.
The "50% Off Everything Protest Sale (During Protest Only)" signs have reappeared in the windows. In typical low-rent Schumacher fashion, one sign had fallen and remained part-way down all day. Back to his old ways, Schumacher employee/attempted murderer Nick came out with a camera and pointedly took our pictures during the protest. I guess we're lucky that his "weapon of choice" for now is a camera and not a knife (Nick was previously sentenced to 70 months for attacking a woman with a knife) http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/04/338370.shtml More bathrobe-looking garments could be seen in the windows, one sporting unfashionably huge collar and cuffs. The only creatures this fur looked beautiful on were its original owners.
About 3 weeks ago, I decided that I'd had enough!! I have grown tired of feeling voiceless in the face of the GOP scandals surfacing weekly, the threat of nuclear war with Iran looming, the undermining of the integrity of our elections, our government's moral bankruptcy on the various human rights issues facing the world, and the utter dismantling of the civil rights guaranteed to Americans through the Constitution. I felt the need to try to stimulate more political consciousness, and more ACTION, among fellow progressives, and even conservatives, who believe that NOW is the time to ACT.
I decided to carry a sign wherever I go in Portland, essentially becoming, as one passerby dubbed me, a "one man parade." My aim is to try to make people think... "Wow, if this guy is so committed and so passionate that the Bush Administration (hereafter BushCo) is destroying the USA, he is carrying a sign and waving a peace sign on the way to and from work, maybe I should be doing more, or at least something... because I, too, am disgusted with the stuff that is happening to this country, under the leadership of a cadre that doesn't believe in Government!"
Agrarian violence claimed two more lives this month. A leader of Task Force Mapalad (TFM), Rico Adeva, 39, was gunned down by three men as he and his wife Nenita were walking to their home in Barangay Dos Hermanas, Silay City, Negros Occidental on Black Saturday. He suffered seven bullet wounds - in the head, stomach, chest, and hand. Meanwhile, in Davao, the Secretary General of the National Coordination of Autonomous Local Rural People's Organizations (UNORKA), Eric Cabanit, was assassinated by two masked men while he was in a public market in Panabo last April 24, 2006. His daughter, who was with him when the shooting happened, was also wounded and is still in critical condition.
The killing of Adeva and Cabanit are clearly agrarian reform-related. Indeed, we expect more cases of violence because CARP is already in its last - and arguably most difficult - stretch. The government has already distributed non-controversial public and private lands, while controversial and large haciendas remain untouched. Big land owners have cultivated a sense of impunity hardened by the government's coddling of landed interests, private armies, and the lack of political will to redistribute lands.
The fight against the environmental and social destruction promoted by Walmart is not just in the United States! The events of this week, a violent police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in the heart of the country, have electrified people throughout Mexico. A Zapatista solidarity call for the people of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco should resonate loudly with the people of Portland.
[Links: Alerta Roja General por represi?n en Atenco | Mexico: The Conflict in San Salvador Atenco | Rebellion in San Salvador Atenco: One, Two, Many Chiapases | Narconews article on Zapatista "Red Alert" |Virtual Sit-In]
Grupo Alavio, Argentine direct action and video collective has participated in working class struggles and supported them with audio-visual materials for over 15 years. Grupo Alavio has produced over 50 films dealing with many social conflicts: occupied factories, unemployed worker organizations, political prisoners, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, subway workers struggling for a 6 hour workday, art and Iraq. Grupo Alavio has just premiered several new films and launched the brand new Internet Community TV Station Agora TV, www.agoratv.org. We are working to let as many people as we can know about Agora TV, "a window for freedom and a new working class imagery". It is a great way for people around the world to learn about current struggles and to create networks.
A member of Alavio is going to be travelling to the US and would like to sell videos to raise funds for Agora TV. If anyone is interested in acquiring copies, please contact me this week. I'm leaving next week for the US and can take the copies with me.
An audio file featuring about 50 minutes of the powerful and engaging speakers from the May Day '06 Rally in the South Park Blocks in front of Smith Memorial Hall at Portland State University on May 1, 2006.
The remarks delivered to the crowd, prior to their March through downtown Portland and back to PSU, are in both Spanish and English. Speakers include Ed Edmo, Native American Poet and Spoken Word artist; Carrie Dann, Shoshone elder and activist; a student speaking for students; a union member; a day laborer, and an African American speaker. Other spoke during this time and after returning from the March, but this is all I recorded.
All spoke passionately for their Latino people and for America, their country. The Rally was flush with American flags and signs, some declaring that "no human is illegal" that "immigrant rights are basic rights," many reminding Americans that they too come from immigrant roots and that these Latino immigrants, despite being undocumented, have arrived with a strong work ethic and family values. [ read more and listen ]
Any Portland May Day Reportback?
worker bee: When I was riding downtown to the rally I saw a group of high school age people marching over the Hawthorne bridge behind a banner or flag (couldn't see what kind). As soon as they hit the west end they began chanting slogans about workers' rights-they had definitely made the connection. And these were, it appeared, white kids. Maybe they'd walked out of school to come down.
As for the event itself I have not seen that many people march and stay strong and together ever before. And why have all forms of media diminished the number of people? There were so many that when I ducked out to have some food it was still going past when I got done so I hopped back in. Many people were young (under 35?) and they stayed strong and spirited the whole way which was very long and wound around up through the Pearl district and back to PSU.
pchy: I thought the march was awe inspiring to say the least. I was near the front of the march... within the first block or so that is. It was a good spot b/c we really got to see the "whoa, this is still going?" reactions of on lookers. I had expected there to be a big turn out, but nothing like I had witnessed. On some of the small hills throughout the route, I had an excellent vantage point to see the thounsands of people in front of me filling the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. Turning around, I saw at least twice as many people behind. The energy was incredible too... even as we approached the last turn, we were still chanting, clapping, shouting, and whistling. Flags were still being waved while we marched up Broadway towards PSU. [ read more ]
"Illegal Immigrants" Take to the Streets
Bringing up the rear is harder than I expected. Block on block I wonder how far back this mass of people extends. All the way up to 8th, and then left, and then a few more blocks, I finally make it to where the contiguous mass of participants thins into a milling crowd of spectators. I turn and step into the mille, empty my paper cup and throw it into a garbage can, and then start slowly back down the path from whence I came.
I've walked about a mile, down and twisting around the streets of downtown Portland. The only thing of note to strike me came as I walked under the glass bridge that spans the two building of the World Trade Center. There, a business man in a suit stood leaning up against the glass, staring down onto the mass of people in the street. It struck me that this could very well be the one single thing that this man feared the most - the masses joined as one, rising up like a great wave, high enough to wash him out of his glass tower. [ read more ]
elsewhere: May Day Footage from New York City || Hundreds Mark Historic May Day in Olympia || Seattle May Day Photos || Olympia May Day Celebration || May Day in Madison, WI || Photos of MayDay Marches || Philly's March A Diverse One
VFP 72 has adopted a site and created a new Portland Peace Memorial Park which sports a 75-foot peace symbol made of turf. Go to the corner of N. Interstate and Oregon Street to see and enjoy it. (Between the Convention Center and the Willamette River, at the east end of the Steele Bridge)
The background of the symbol will be filled in with flowers to be planted on May 20, and many volunteers are needed to help that day. A Memorial Day dedication will take place May 29, 2006.
The purpose of the park is to memorialize all victims of every war, including civilians and future generations, a "peace" memorial rather than a "war" memorial, representing the true human cost of war.
[April 27 2006] David Korten is the author of the international best seller "When Corporations Rule the World". His latest book, "The Great Turning" will hit bookstores in the next few weeks. The End Corporate Personhood Committee at First Unitarian Church got some advanced copies for a study group which began last night. Here is my report.
Last night, 30 people turned off their TV's and met at First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland to begin a four week study group around David Korten's newest book, "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community". It was very inspiring to see such a great turnout and such a diverse crowd.
Korten argues that "Empire" is how our society is currently organized through heirachy and violence but that isn't the natural order of things and we can choose differently. Throughout the book he compares and contrasts what he calls "Empire" with "Earth Community". Our choice is between these two models.
Thanks to all who have visited the site. It was a beginning and more was planned. Unfortunately this letter to me from the Schumacher's attorney via the web host was my birthday present from the Schumachers. The site is down for the moment but I will try to get it back online real soon, possibly with a new domain name. Don't forget...protest day tomorrow in front of Schumacher's, 811 SW Morrison St. Peace everyone.
Update: Thanks to everyone who has posted comments, they have been very helpful... I was told by Bluehost that after my conversation with them earlier today they reconsidered their determination and have now determined the domain www.schumacherfur.com is not in violation of their terms of service. I was told they would have to take me to court if they wish to try to get it shut down again and they would have a difficult case.
I re-registered the domain yesterday and I'm free in the eyes of Bluehost to make it active. I also registered www.shumacherfurs.com (I was told this one was never in violation of the tos). [ read more >> ]
Schumacher Furs Stalking Order Trial
Krahmer filed a stalking order against Mills after the March 4 protests, where Mills and Clout Tolstoy were arrested (and brutalized) by Sgt. Larry Graham.
I believe Mr. Mills was engaged in constitutionally protected speech, and that his behavior does not warrant the issuance of a stalking order against him. That issue will be before Judge Beckmann tomorrow.
Update: Unfortunately, the judge ruled against Jonathan Mills. I believe the judge let in too much extraneous information, and will discuss an appeal with Mills.
In the meantime, every other person is welcome to protest, and Mr. Mills can even protest against Nicholas Ungar Furs, Saks Fifth Avenue (who *always* was advertising fur in the New York Times this winter) or other stores. [ read more >> ]
In a tragically under reported story, new Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke declared that the Fed would no longer publish M3, the index that shows total U.S. dollars in circulation. By doing so, the Fed has eliminated transparency into the total money supply being printed. Representative Ron Paul has introduced legislation to force the Fed to keep publishing M3. Call your Congressional Representative and demand that he/she support this legislation.
Liberal economist and activist, John Kenneth Galbraith, died Saturday night in Boston at the age of 97. The liberal PhD in Economics and author of more than a dozen books on sociology, economics, and relevant history has his obituary from the Associated Press listed below. However, the story does not fully pay tribute to his liberal credentials in life, so I've taken some time to pay respects and hopefully inspire Indymedia readers who are unfamiliar with his work to read some of his books.
Today in Olympia, WA, hundreds gathered to celebrate May Day and send a message to the government: Hands off immigrants, workers and families. The gathering started at Sylvester Park at 2:30 when a small gathering danced around a May pole. The crowd began to swell as music came on around 3:00 and continued to grow speakers began around 3:30.
The Citizens Band, a music group composed of IWW folk played songs celebrating free speach and labor history. People from groups including the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition, Bread and Roses Advocacy Center, Schools For Chiapas and more spoke about their organizing. The crowd left the park and marched in the four lanes of the street to the capital building around 5:00. At the Capital a sign reading "Hands off our- Immigrants, workers, families" with hand prints from marchers on fabric attatched to the banner was hung from the capital building while people stood, chanted, and spoke on the steps.
related articles: breaking news - May 1st 2006
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