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The South Central Farm is under siege. If you live in LA or anywhere near there please make your way to the farm to keep the protesters and farmers safe. The immediate area around the Farm has been blocked off by the authorities limiting access to the site. Spontaneous rallies of support have sprouted on these perimeters with crowds increasing in size as the morning passes. Protesters still inside the Farm are being physically removed and arrested.
Once again, this is the Red Alert! The Sheriffs have begun and are carrying out the eviction! Mobilize as many people as you come to continue to protest this oppressive action Arrests have already been made. It is still unconfirmed but there are also reports that a protester was carried out on a stretche. Bulldozer positioned nearby have began breaking through the fences.
Once again, please converge to the Farm.
One man's answer to the question, 'What can I do to slow BushCo's dismantling of our Democracy for his Imperialistic fantasy?' How one guy calls hundreds of Portlanders to action each day, as part of his regular routine. Portland needs to lead in the Impeachment of these despots!!
First, a little update on the successes I am having...
I have teamed up with a DFA group that is pressing Portland City Council to consider, debate, and adopt a Resolution of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney, using Jefferson's Manual, Sec. LIII, sec. 603. The Commissioners seem reluctant to get involved with such a "National" political issue, despite the fact that the FBI tried to plant a mole to spy on City Council during May!!
At first I thought this was simply the late night hijinks of Critical Mass. Now I see that it is World Naked Bike Ride 2006 and is part of a bigger, world wide, trend centered around raising awareness about oil dependency, car culture, and bicycle safety on the third dirt clod from the sun. This all happened right around midnight and smack-dab in the middle of Portland's Rose Festival. I was in my cab when I caught this happy little creature crossing the Morrison Street Bridge. She, and another 500 just like her, pedaled all over down-town while onlookers gawked and snapped, ham-fistedly, thousands of bad cell phone pics. Since this was the last Saturday of the festival and the last night of Fleet Week, I can only imagine that there must have been some 18 year-old sailor from Ames, Iowa who finally made up his mind that Portland will be his home in the future. Now if he could just remember which stripper has his lid.
America's first woman GI to declare herself a conscientious objector, Katherine Jashinski, was denied a discharge and courtmartialed on May 23rd. She is serving a 120 day prison sentence.
Protests held for Guantanamo Bay prison closure: Protesters seeking a shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay US prison camp marched to the US Mission to the United Nations on Monday. They also held an interfaith service in its entryway after building owners asked New York police not to arrest them.
Code Pink activists showed up on Mother's Day to challenge the War Party. They took their case directly to the White House. In a rally that included a mini-parade, speeches, a sing along and the waving of plenty of roses, the Ladies in Pink were in great form. Cindy Sheehan said they are "making a difference." And, Actress Susan Sarandon read an open letter to Laura Bush, in which she mocked Laura's husband, "The Decider," as a warmonger.
Today, June 7, 2006, Lt. Ehren Watada from the 3rd Stryker Brigade, announced his refusal to redeploy to Iraq because the war is illegal. This makes Watada the first soldier to resist his orders on these grounds. Press from all the major media outlets showed up for the press conference that happened today at noon. Watada had planned to be at his press conference during his lunch break, but was prohibited to leave Fort Lewis by his superior officers.
Besides press, friends, people of faith, Veterans for Peace, students, workers and folks from all walks of life showed at Associated Ministries in Tacoma up to give support to Watada. Outside the crowded building people holding signs stood reading "Students say: www.ThankyYouLt.org," or "Veterans say: www.ThankYouLt.org." Unlike others who have resisted the war, Watada is the first to do so because the war is not legal.
About forty Olympia residents took to the streets June 9, 2006 to kick off the Weekend of Resistance Against the "Green Scare" with a street party and rally for civil liberties. After a rousing public address by Kassey Shoemaker of Olympia Civil Liberties Resource, we made our way into the streets accompanied by a mobile sound system on a bike cart and live deejays keeping the party jams fresh. At the front of our column of revelry, two demonstrators carried a banner that read "Reclaim Our Rights! Stop the Green Scare!". Another marcher carried a sign that read "We will not be silenced by fear!" and "Free Nathan and Joyanna! Free Jeff Luers!"
Green Scare Weekend Critical Mass in Virginia
The community of Virginia Beach, VA held a critical mass bike ride yesterday, Saturday June 10, in solidarity with the International Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was excited about the success of the ride. Stickers and pamphlets about the green scare defendants were handed out and "Support Daniel McGowan" stickers now happily grace some bicycles and public spaces in Virginia Beach.
It was standing room only at Olympia's City Council meeting last night as people showed up to support TJ Johnson and Laura Ware's actions at the Port last week, to speak up for peace and against the illegal war on Iraq, and to support the continuation of Olympia's Nuclear Free Zone ordinance.
A diverse group of people spoke at the council meeting and highlighted a wide array of issues about war and peace, about what happened at the Port, and about nuclear weapons. A few spoke in support of the war and against what they called the "mob of rioters" at the port. Their courage in speaking up was acknowledged by several speakers, who pointed out democracy allows everyone to speak out on issues even when they hold minority viewpoints. Others spoke about the right of people to protest a war they believed to be illegal and immoral. While some tried to frame the issue of support for the war as the equivelent of support for the troops, several others gave elequent statements of their support for the troops in terms of ending the war, including a mother whose son is in the military. One woman who grew up in Germany reminded the audience of the shame Germans still feel today about Hitler and warned us all not to be silent in the face of the immoral actions of this administration. A young man spoke for the next generation of children who will ask the Council Members and all the adults present what they did to ensure peace and a nuclear free world. "What will you say?", he asked
Laura framed the dilemma she and others were wrestling with--we oppose the war but also don't want to deny support for the troops, she said, but if we allow the ships to head to Iraq, we are also supporting the war.
What will happen when the next ship comes into Port?
Today in Rome Italy activists, video producers, programmers, and others alike have come together for the first day of active discussion at a conference called Transmission ( http://transmission.cc ).
As I type this I am sitting in a room of about 30 people who are mostly in front of laptops sitting in a big U shape table setting. It's dark, everything but a few lights and the glow of laptops on people illuminates their faces. There is a presentation being given about how, in this instance, people can make money using p2p networks for producing artist video content over a projector in the front of the room, switching between tabs on their browser while having questions fired at them. The facilitator play's the song, Eye of the Tiger from their computer letting the presenter know they have five minutes remaining before the next presentation. Everyone chuckles, amused for a few seconds during the song, and then it's back to the presentation.
Investigative reporter Greg Palast spoke in Portland on Monday evening, June 5, 2006, to packed house at the First Unitarian Church. The event was sponsored by KBOO radio, 90.7 fm and the Portland Alliance newspaper.
His appearance was part of an international tour called, "Armed Madhouse: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Class War."
Palast was his usual flippant, humorous and sarcastic self. Yet, under this veneer he unleashes serious facts and devastating statistics which, at least to my mind, leave no doubt as to the deliberate fraud perpetrated on the American voter during the 2000 and 2004 general election.
For instance, 2004 exit polls showed John Kerry ahead 51% to George Bush 49 among men and 53% to 47% among women. "Okay class, what is the third sex that put George Bush over the top...... the disappeared, the uncounted." [ read more ]
From my little note pad...
Greg urged all of us to write our County Election Clerks and demand Verified Elections in Oregon.
He told of spoiled votes and how he once flew to New Mexico And there he found 34,000 uncounted ballots in the garbage so to speak Problems with chads, touch screens, and GLITCH's these were the "spoiled votes".
He discusses the other type of "rejected ballots" which also were not counted. These were known as "provisional ballots". Which were all those Military Ballots, that were returned because they couldn't be "forwarded to the soldier's location" Resulting in many Soldiers that didn't get to vote at all. And ALL, by the way, were black soldiers. [ read more ]
In October of 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1461, The Federal Housing Finance Reform Act. This bill contained a Low Income Housing Fund, which would assist local agencies in providing much-needed housing for low income families. This bill, however, contained a rider saying, in effect, that any agency which does any kind of work around voter registration would be ineligible for funding. Not only that, but here's the kicker, if they had done any of this kind of work in the previous 12 months to applying, they would also be ineligible.
Almost immediately, Multnomah County, Oregon (where I live) contacted the housing agencies with which it does business, and told them to cease all voter registration work. They are not even allowed to have voter registration forms in their offices for people to pick up.
First, let me point out that, as of the first of June, 2006, this bill is not even law yet. The senate counterpart to this bill, S. 190, has yet to be referred to the floor. In any case, the Senate version does not include this heinous voter registration restriction.
Last month I was called up for jury duty and with 25 others was picked for the grand jury pool. I took notes before escaping via a medical excuse. Here's how the process works:
We made our way from the main jury pool room up to a courtroom on the fifth floor, the only one that hasn't been divided or remodeled.Portraits of dead white male lawmakers glared down at us from the red and green marble walls between huge gray pillars. All the furniture was made of thick oak and looked incredibly uncomfortable. We took seats on the uncushioned pews in the spectator area and the clerk counted heads. When everyone had arrived Judge John Whitmeier entered and began lecturing us on grand juries and our roles as juriors. He was attired in his judicial robes which look like those worn by people graduating school or perhaps something the Pilgrims might have invented.
He said that grand juries were originally set up to protect the innocent from false charges; that the juries decide if the the district attorney has enough evidence to proceed with a case. How warped this process has become in these dark days!
Breaking news: The Bush administration is planning to auction the controversial Mike's Gulch roadless logging project this Friday, June 9th. Logging could begin within days after the auction.
The Mike's Gulch timber sale would saw into the largest roadless forest in Oregon: the 105,000-acre South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area. In addition to harming the South Kalmiopsis, Mike's Gulch would set a dangerous national precedent by logging roadless forests for the first time since the 2001 Roadless Rule was approved.
In a move to gut the Roadless Rule, the Bush administration has asked state governors to complete complicated petitions to protect roadless forests in their states. While some anti-conservation governors are not participating in the process, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is currently creating a petition. Despite a promise to provide "interim protections" to roadless forests while petitions are being completed, the Bush administration is moving ahead with roadless forest logging in Oregon.
NEST finds species to stop old growth timber sales
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (NEST) will be conducting surveys for red tree vole nests?a small rodent which is the main food source of the endangered spotted owl?in the "Trapper" timber sale, a tract of old-growth forest in the McKenzie River watershed, the source of Eugene's drinking water.
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is a group of forest defenders committed to protecting the habitat of rare species associated with old growth and late-successional forests. NEST enforces environmental protections built into the Northwest Forest Plan (NWP). In 2004, Bush and the timber industry conspired to end the protections provided by the Survey and Manage portion of the NWP. However, their conspiracy was short lived because in January, a U.S. District Court judge upheld Northwest Forest Plan rules that required on-the-ground inspections for various animal and plant species before logging can begin. This ruling halted more than 140 logging projects on public land in the Northwest -- about three-quarters of them in Oregon -- after concluding that the Bush administration illegally stopped checking for sensitive species before letting the cut proceed. [ NEST Needs Volunteers!! ]
I participated in the Horns Across the Hawthorne Bridge this afternoon.
Here are a few photos of todays celebration of 06-06-06.At 6:06pm about 300 people were photographed by various news media outlets as we were giving the devil horn salute!
Four queer men were bashed close to death on Stark Street last night. Two of the men were beaten at gun point and are in critical condition. There have been a rash of queer bashings around Portland that have not been reported on by the local news stations.
Don't rely on the news! Talk about it. Don't let a day pass by that you don't tell one of your homo buddies that bashings happen in Portland. If you are bashed, your community needs to know. The Portland Police and News outlets have other priorities and can not be trusted.
Give a little effort to keep your community safe. Walk your friends home. Use your voice. Carry a brick, spray or gun.
It was a mix of serious outreach and lively protesting this Saturday at Schumacher Furs as we held signs, passed out literature, chanted, showed video of animals on fur farms, jumped on pogo sticks, used hula hoops, blew gigantic bubbles, danced, and ate cookies. Anti-fur cheerleaders periodically performed cheers for smiling on-lookers. While Schumacher Furs provides just one deathly item to those callous enough to enter their store, there's something for everyone at our protests outside.
Many people stopped and thanked us for being there. An older couple said they had read news reports about our protest and were pleased that we were continuing to protest for the animals. This gives us encouragement that, even though reports seldom focus on the actual issue (the cruel treatment of animals), some people are still able to see through to the issue that we are protesting. In contrast, a woman who said she was one of Schumacher's long-time customers said that she "loved fur" and "didn't care" about what happened to the animals; it was never in doubt that the Schumachers and their loyal customers cannot be reached by compassion.
If no one at The Oregonian is reading David Reinhard's columns before they make print, editorial management there should seriously re-evaluate that practice. In Slouching toward Haditha on June 1 he flatly states, "Of course, nobody knows for sure what happened in that small Iraqi village last Nov. 19." Is he joking, or better yet, making a bad attempt at an existential moment?
Any rational observer could inform Mr. Reinhard that yes, there are people alive today who definitely know what happened on that day in that small Iraqi village when more than a dozen civilians, women and children included, reportedly were shot and killed. Those that know what happened undoubtedly include the on-site US Marines and probably their immediate superiors. And what about anyone who survived the Haditha Massacre? Yes, there are credible accounts of Haditha survivors. They would have a good idea of what went down. And what about any other witnesses who might have seen or heard something? I would say that yes, all these people surely have a good idea of what happened that day in that Iraqi village. [ read more ]
What Did The Oregonian Expect?
The Oregonian endorsed Bernie Guisto for Sheriff. Now they are attacking him for mis management.
I read an editorial published in the Oregonian written by Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Guisto. The Oregonian published an editorial on May 25 severely criticizing the Sheriff for mis managment in his jail system.
It so irritated the Sheriff he wrote an animated reply saying he was doing this and doing that and things were really better.
Should we be amused? The Oregonian endorsed the Sheriff for four more years. What did they expect but more of the same old same old. Did they expect change? Did they expect progressive reform? [ read more ]
the developers had a huge drawing of their, unchanged project displayed in the front of the mtg room along with a bunch of other pictures of buildings on mississippi and other surrounding streets(albina for example). One of the architects began his speech that described, yet again, the project and how it's designed and why and how he lives in the neighborhood and how great the building is and on and on and on. After listening to what seemed like hours of this, my neighbors and I began exchanging looks of disbelief and disgust, what we had feared was looking to be true, in the nine days since the historic landmark committee sent them off to redesign their building they had done nothing. even more insulting was that they were taking up so much of our valuable time with a long, long speech on the merits of their building they had been directed to redesign... I interrupted the architect and told him as much and then left.
Eugene, OR - Release was denied at a detention hearing held in federal court in Eugene Thursday, June 1 before Judge Thomas Coffin in the case of individuals associated with what is being called the "Green Scare" round up of environmentalists in several states. Judge Coffin denied bail. Ms. Zacher and Mr. Block, both of Olympia, Washington, have been in custody since February for an alleged arson in 2001. Their arrest resulted from a bargain struck between federal authorities and one or more individuals previously arrested for the same alleged crimes. The previously arrested informants claim Zacher and Block's involvement out of hope for future leniency. The Bush Administration continued to describe the alleged crimes as "terrorism" despite the fact that none of the defendants have been formally charged as such and no injuries or casualties occurred. In fact, Judge Coffin stated that he believes these are "arson cases, pure and simple". However, the judge denied bail despite the fact that Block and Zacher presumably meet the legal standard for bail. Neither fled or hid after others were arrested in December and no weapons were found at their homes. [ read more ]
Chelsea Gerlach & Suzanne Savoie are informants
Chelsea Gerlach and Suzanne Savoie have both been named by some of their co-defendants, as well as by some of the lawyers, as cooperating with the authorities which has included making statements against others. We have no yet confirmed the full extent of their cooperation with the authorities (and there may be others who they have named), but we have confirmed that both Gerlach and Savoie have made statements against Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher. ELP is removing Chelsea Gerlach from our prisoner list. We are also withdrawing our support for Suzanne Savoie (who is currently on bail). [ read more ]
Green Scare Sacramento Defendant Lauren Weiner Takes Plea and COPS OUT
Lauren Weiner, Zachary Jenson, and Eric McDavid were arrested in Auburn,CA as part of the government's Green Scare campaign on Jan 13, 2006, and were charged with conspiracy to destroy property by means of fire or explosives. According to assistant United States Attorney Steve Lapham "the defendant agrees to cooperate with the continuing investigation and prosecution of this case". This confirms that Lauren Weiner is a government informant. Sacramento Prisoner Support does not support government informants and we will not support Lauren Weiner at anytime in the future. [ read more ]
When we arrived at Schumacher Furs on Saturday, the store was dark, desolate and "dead" inside. A small sign on the door said the store was closed until Tuesday, for Memorial Day weekend. We decided to stay and remember the 40-plus million animals brutally killed each year by the fur industry, by educating the public about their needless suffering for businesses like Schumacher.
Last week a protester gave a flier to a woman who said that her cousin had won KPTV/Schumacher's recent fur coat giveaway. She said that while Schumacher claimed/publicized that the value of the coat was $27,000, her cousin had had the coat appraised and it was actually worth only $3,000 to $4,000. Assuming the story is correct, we wonder how Schumacher's taxes might reflect this discrepancy.
Protesters worked to bring attention to the militarization of the Port of Olympia from Monday the 22nd until Wednesday the 1st of June. The protesters made a call to action in Olympia and 37 were arrested during the events. The height of the protest happened on May 30th when protesters took direct action against the port and tore off the fence at the entrance.
On that day, protesters outside of the port were at a stand off with the police. The police violence had become too much for those protesting the militarization of the Port of Olympia and U.S. imperialism. Rounds of pepper bullets, tazers, billy clubs, steal toe boots, and unwarned multiple fogs of pepper spray were just some of the tactics used in the attempt at squashing the demonstrators who had been at work since Monday of last week.
Leading up to Tuesday's events, 16 people were arrested. On Monday, May 22nd, one arrest was made when a protester stepped in front of a Stryker convoy. On May 23rd, Drew Hendricks was arrested early in the morning for attempting to lock the port gates and five more were arrested later in the day, again for blocking another Stryker convoy. Hendricks was charged with second degree trespassing while others were charge with pedestrian interference. A vigil was held later in the day at Plum and State. During this time folks protesting watched a number of Stryker vehicles roll in to the port.
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