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From the open publishing newswire: I am a Portland activist that has been traveling in Southeast Asia for around three months. Recently in Thailand, the Prime Minister with the military elite who run the country have declared an open war against "drug dealers." This war has turned into a terror campaign that has already left over a 1000 people murdered by special police/military death squads, just within a weeks time. There are police and military checkpoints everywhere, searching for the people on the "death list." The military command of Thailand has just closed down the INN news service due to its reporting of the murders. [ Read More... ]
Some scenes of a Sunday afternoon. Nice to see people with a greater cause than we're used to seeing occupying the sidewalks of Sandy blvd..... [ PHOTOS ]
From the open publishing newswire: People the world over are gathering in groups large and small to protest the Bush administration's move to a preemptive war with Iraq. On Saturday, March 1, 2003,about 100 people met at Wallace Park and marched through the local Northwest Portland business district in a high profile statement against the war.
I interviewed four people after the March had returned to the Park. None believe that the administration reasons for war with Iraq are either reasonable or real, and that there is another agenda behind the strident rhetoric and patriotic thumping. An agenda one hears being debunked from all quarters of the planet; an agenda that is truly about control of the petrolem reserves of Iraq, and perhaps a large step towards global empire.
All the people I interviewed spoke eloquently and passionately concerning their beliefs, beliefs that in one case contradicted beliefs held as soon as six months ago. Another, a man whose brother died in the VietNam Conflict, was particularly clear about the methods used by the established order to justify their will to power and convince the public that this path is the only option.
From the open publishing newswire: Many Indymedia readers have been raised on the "War on Drugs." There were too many socialist-type gains in the 60s and 70s for the taste of President Nixon. With the mind-expansion help of drugs, people were uniting, racial and gender lines blurred and rights were won, communes that questioned land ownership were born, people loved freely and a war was stopped.
From a United States perspective, what has this 30-year war given us? A booming profit-driven prison economy where half of those incarcerated are non-violent drug consumers? An expensive law enforcement system where one half of our "peace officers" are mandated to convict petty sellers and consumers? A drained economy that sends billions upon billions of US dollars to right wing paramilitaries in Latin America to stop drug production, which kills thousands of peasants.
This war has fueled a violent black market, a savage capitalism that will never be diminished because of the enormous profits to be had. And, although our government professes concern for the consumer, thousands die each year due to no quality regulation. A friend of mine died last year because of this.
The war has failed, violently and miserably, and its motivation now as in the beginning is clearly right wing government control. First to slap down US leftists and now to control all of Latin America so the literal superhighways may be paved through such devices as Plan Colombia, Plan Puebla Panama and the extension of NAFTA.
From the open publishing newswire: Saturday night, February 15, 2003, Following mass attendance at Peace Marches and Rallies worldwide, a group of about 50 people gathered in a Candlelight Vigil and demonstrated for Peace at Laurelwood Park in Southeast Portland. Despite a dampening drizzle, spirits were high after the days events, events that were actually covered on local broadcast media and cable news channels. Thousands, millions gathered in the streets of their cities and towns all over the world to emphasize the fact that they do not want war, that there are peaceful alternatives that have yet to be exhausted.
Here at Laurelwood Park, people lit candles to illuminate the minds of people driving by, sang songs and read poetry to the rain. Yea, war is on the horizon, but so are millions of people marching with one purpose, casting a singular shadow, singing with one voice, lighting one candle for Peace and Justice for all.
One poem stated, "We are here because a voice inside us, a memory in our blood tells us....you are not just a trade body, you are the blind tip of a dark wave that has forgotten it's source...we're here by the insistance of spirit and by the authority of Nature.....we're not here to tinker with your laws, but to change you from the inside out....this is not a political protest, but an UPRISING OF THE SOUL."
From the open publishing newswire: An American flag flutters in the breeze, its white stars replaced by symbols of falling bombs. Three soldiers face the viewer in silhouette, beneath the words "United We Stand -- On the Rest of the World."
These bold designs, by J.Mollison of Fabrica and street artist Alex Lilly, respectively, are among the early contributions to anti-war.us, a website recently launched by Portland-based design firm Plazm Media.
Graphics are free for immediate download, distribution and promotion of the anti-war effort by printing as posters, flyers, bumper stickers, or posting on the web.
From the open publishing newswire: Early Thursday morning, a local artist hung several masks/signs (see photos) on the fountain in the courtyard at Clackamas Community College. The title of the fountain is "Art at the Fountain," and it includes several bronze faces sculpted into it along with words from such "anarchists" as Sojurner Peace, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc. and therefore seemed to be a natural for uploading and posting a few anti war sentiments, in hopes of stirring a little thought. No property was defaced in any way, as the masks were "set free" by the artist, and simply hung by wires, to go their own way. They were posted at six a.m. and attracted a lot of attention as students and faculty arrived to face their day. They were, however, removed sometime around eleven a.m. by persons unknown.
[ Read More... ]
Meet at Noon at the North Park Blocks -- NW 9th and Burnside. We'll take off shortly thereafter. This feeder march will not be seeking permission from city authorities, since we believe we already have the right to assemble and the right to free speech.
Free childcare on January 18th
Please contact us by January 15th, with questions, and to register with us. We aim to have children dropped off with us no earlier than 11:30 am and picked up around 5 or 6 pm. Lets face it, it will be cold and rainy and a long day out. We need everyone out there to lend our voices and numbers against this war. If you feel you need childcare the 18th so you can be there, you got it.
Peace / Anti-war events in the region: [ pdx indy STOP WAR page ]
Decrying the "brutal demands to force workers to work as many as seven days per week and 16 hours per day" at the Graphic Packaging Corporation (GPC) plant in Kalamazoo, MI and the "anti-worker, union-busting" practices of the Coors Family, PACE International Union (PACE) was joined today by the AFL-CIO in announcing a nationwide boycott against GPC and consumer products for whom GPC provides packaging. Included among manufacturers whose products are contained in GPC packaging are Coors Brewing Company, General Mills, Quaker Products and Kraft Foods.
GPC, headquartered in Golden, CO, is the largest folding carton manufacturer in the United States, with one mill and 17 plants throughout the country. The corporation is publicly traded and owned and controlled by the Coors Family through family trusts.
More information: [ Coors vs. Human Rights ]
The ecumenical group of Christian pastors who led an exorcism and "spiritual fumigation" walk around the Portland Federal Building last month is planning a new public prayer service for Christmas Eve.
Rev. Gabrielle Chavez, who initiated the earlier action, contacted co-conspirators, pastors from the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Presbyterians, Evangelical Friends, and the Portland State Episcopal/Lutheran chaplaincy to begin planning a service at the Peace Plaza, located in the South Park Blocks at Columbia, across from St James Lutheran Church, set for noon on December 24.
The focus (pair of beneficiaries) of this radical spiritual action will be Israel and Palestine. The "rite of social exorcism" invites participants to pray for the "cleansing and realignment of the social institutions of the nations of Israel and Palestine for the support of peace on earth."
The prayer activity will conclude with a caroling procession to the churches in the immediate Peace Plaza area and the release of a dove symbolizing the birth of peace.
Previous action: [ Social Exorcism of the Executive Branch (Nov. 20, 2002) | Interview with Pastor Gabrielle Chavez about Nov. 20 'social exorcism' ]
From the open publishing newswire: In the 12/30/02 issue at page 8, The Nation published this full page ad:
Header: Picture of small bag of marijuana.
The text of the ad states that if you buy drugs you are financing drug cartels, people who are responsible for terrible things. If you stop buying drugs, the dealers and violence would go away. It concludes by saying it doesn't matter if you only buy a dime bag... "you pick which side you're on by buying it in the first place."
So pot smokers are on the side of the "terrorists?" Oh really... The Nation says that it blanketly accepts any advertising that does not impede the use of its editorial columns, unless the ads are "blatantly misleading" or purveying harmful products in which case they fall into the gray area of discretion. If the above ad is not blatantly misleading, what is? [ Read More... ]
Oaks are native to the valleys from Willamette/Rogue to Sacramento/San Jouaqin, with a yearly abundant crop of acorns and other natural medicines. The oak galls and bark contain tannins that are helpful in wound healing. Oaks provide habitat for biodiversity and moisture to the parched valley climate through transpiration..
This site describes how Earth centered people from Druids to Mayans used the oaks in their region for medicinal and nutritional support. Oaks are sacred trees globally..
Organic gardening and foraging are connected in that having oaks between food plants would provide additional moisture and fertilizer, with the root/mycorrhiza fungal network breaking down organic matter for the plants uptake availability.
[ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: On Sunday, November 17, 6000 to 7000 people marched against war on Iraq in Portland. This was only 3 weeks after the October 26 march of over 7000, thus making it the second major anti-war demonstration in Portland in less than a month. And given that the city is considerably smaller than Seattle, one has to consider these major demonstrations. (Moreover, something anti-war activists in Seattle should note: it's organizers didn't wait for A.N.S.W.E.R., N.I.O.N., or some other "recognized" national coalition's approval before calling the event.) Besides opposing war against Iraq, demonstrators also raised banners, picket signs and slogans against the war on "terrorism", fascist "Homeland Security", environmental rape, attacks on living standards of the masses of American people, and in support of the Palestinian's struggle for national self-determination (plus many others). Thus the demonstration was another blow to the bourgeois propaganda that "we" U.S. residents "are one" concerning U.S. imperialist policies.
Still, in spite of the numbers of people who have been turning out to rally and march in Portland and many other cities, the movement remains hampered by pacifism, illusions in bourgeois democracy, and illusions in the liberal politicians who foster these and other political ills. Looking a little closer at the Nov. 17 demonstration, however, we find that within the anti-war movement there already exists a trend which identifies imperialist war with capitalism, which wants militancy, and which wants to fight liberal sabotage of the movement.
From Pacific News Service, as posted to the open publishing newswire: A longshoreman reflects on the recently passed seaport security bill and wonders if an attempt to eliminate terror risks will disturb the rich tradition of freedom, work and friendship on America's docks and elsewhere.
NORTH BEND, Ore.--I was driving along in my car when news of the Senate vote came over the radio. They voted 95-0 for legislation requiring America's 361 seaports to develop security plans.
I'm a longshoreman who works in a small port in Oregon. The radio said the bill will establish "secure areas" at ports; workers in such areas will undergo background checks and carry identification cards. A "maritime intelligence system" within the Coast Guard will collect information on vessels and their cargoes and crews.
I'm skeptical. After all, what are they going to do about me and Ricky Provido?
From the open publishing newswire: First the Boy Scouts of America asserted its "right" to discriminate against gays. Now this self-professed bastion of moral values plans to expel yet another of its most exemplary members - 19-year old Darrell Lambert, a Seattle Eagle Scout with dozens of merit badges, awards and ten years in scouting to his credit. Is he gay? Has he done anything wrong? No to both questions. The thing that has the BSA's knickers in a knot this time is that the scout in question simply refuses to acknowledge a belief in God. The BSA has given Mr. Lambert one week to profess his belief in God or face expulsion. We all knew the organization was bigoted, but few realized it actually claimed authority under the laws of the Inquisition. Who's next on their hit list? Democrats?
From the open publishing newswire: Today's anti-war march was a pleasant change. While only a few hundred people at it's peak, today's anti-war march was loud, noisy and fun! Starting at Pioneer Square, people marched to the Federal Building, then back towards the Pioneer Place Mall. On the way, someone scaled a tree a hung a large "No Oil War" banner. When the crowd got to the mall, security guards locked it up tight, but someone found a side entrance. Several dozen protestors chanting "While you're shopping, bombs are dropping" did a few laps through the mall before trying to exit. They found the door still locked (isn't that some kind of fire hazard?). Eventually, one door was opened and folks continued on their way.
"Not my pResident, Not my war" Next stop Saturday market - hundreds of shoppers gawked as the rowdy crowd marched through the market. One of the street performers took up the chant and added a nice beat (where were the Portland drummers today?). Then most of the crowd hopped on the Max!! and headed over to Lloyd Center. The train was full of friendly faces, and folks shouted a loud chant before exiting. After gathering a few stragglers and having a little romp in the park's leaves, the crowd headed to the Army Recruiting station on Broadway. But they took a shortcut right through the Lloyd Center mall! It was pretty crazy, lots of folks out for a regular Saturday feast of consumption had to stop for a second, lean over the balconies and check out all the racket. Chanting, whistling, and the horde of Lloyd Center security guards ensured that everyone got the message.
After the mall, the crowd took back to the street for the short walk over to the Recruiting Station. Surprisingly, they were open for business, and folks headed in. The literature was rearranged a little, and some military posters were redecorated with anti-war messages. Protestors occupied the office for at least 20 minutes before heading back the park and disbanding.
Cops grab Indymedia reporter
From the open publishing newswire: A hearing on September 30th, 2002 in U.S. District Court in Portland was heard regarding a preliminary injunction filed by STARBUCKS to prohibit Sambuck's Coffeehouse to use her business name in the interim (between now and the trial). The judge denied STARBUCKS injunction. The judge said "proceed with trial". No trial date has been set. The first court VICTORY for Sambuck's Coffeehouse.
[ Astoria Coffee War (original post, with 100+ comments) | Sam Buck has been served a summons by Starbucks | Starbucks protest this Friday to support Astoria's Samantha Buck | Tell STARBUCKS and their PORTLAND LAWYERS to leave Samantha Buck alone!! ]
From the open publishing newswire: So I was really pumped about this month. I felt empowered and was riding my bike in circles in anticipation of this months ride. I always dig that when I am riding down to under the bridge I always meet someone along the way if not tons. The march finally gets under way after what was too damn long and bikes kept changing positions north south go go. I think I started in the middle but the next thing you know i'm by my self in the front. Alone all alone is a key theme for the evening. sure there were cops but the core riders agree that you need to keep together and that means running the reds. The laws that keep them up keep us down and since we don't have these big old economy supporting war sanctioning road machines We are not in the capitalists good graces and we must be stoped by any means.
Over 1000 bikes, but no Critical Mass
The evening makes me wonder about what were the arrangements between 'organizers' and the police. It seemed that there was an aggressive effort by 'peace police' to keep people under control and following the city's dictates. Well, not knowing what went on in meetings and in minds, I'll refrain from being overly critical of those efforts until I hear more. I'll just add that if this evening is what people are envisioning for Critical Mass to be in Portland, I want nothing to do with it.
Critical Mass: Know when to choose your battles
more: [ What happens if you don't show ID? | A Butcher-Knife Is Being Held To The Throat Of Critical Mass | Critical Mass, Wasn't All Bad | STOP THIS BULLSHIT! | November Mass, Critical | Critical Mass Clergy | Critical Farce | Bicyclist Struck by Hit and Run | bike riders stopped, possibly cited this evening by a hoard of police | August & September Critical Mass rides | Portland Critical Mass website ]
From the open publishing newswire: As we speak forest defenders are risking their lives to defend 660 acres of native forest threatened by the Peak timber sale. Roseburg Forest Products has been logging there since late September. On Thursday morning, Oct. 24, Columbia Helicopters began removing trees at great risk to the forest defenders lives. To bring more attention to this deadly situation, activists gathered at the Forest Service offices in downtown portland to protest the negligence of Columbia Helicopters and the U.S. Forest Service.
[ More on this story with pictures... ]
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