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After several arrests over the last few weeks, including two the day before, Sen. Gordon Smith chose to close his office on Tuesday afternoon, rather than be confronted again by citizens requesting he join in their efforts to Defund the War.
A Press Conference was held outside at 3:00 to inform the media about the reasons they are taking this course of action. The Corporate Media was conspicuously absent, OPB, KBOO and myself being the only media present. There was also no representative from Smiths office present, though after the Press Conference, security personnel went up to the office to inform them that someone could come down and accept whatever written materials were available to pass on to the Senator.
Two women, both who live out of town, traveled to Portland to speak with Smith or his aides about their concerns over the Iraq Occupation. They were denied admittance, and were forced to settle for handing their written concerns over to an aide.
Over 50 people attended tonights vigil at 5th and Hall in Beaverton. Comcast community access channel sent a reporter out to film and record various people's comments on the occupation, impeachment and the cabal in the White House.
There will be an Iraq Town Hall next monday, February 19th at: Pacific University, Taylor Auditorium in Marsh Hall (2043 University Way, Forest Grove from 6 to 8 pm. It is time to demand the withdrawl of American soldiers in Iraq. Representatives from David Wu's office should be present. Let our elected officials know that the majority of Oregonians want the miltary out now. Stop the Iran air assault before it starts.
This Valentine's day a group of animal activists gathered outside of three gourmet restaurants in the Pearl District, pressuring them to stop serving foie gras - a delicacy of fatty duck liver which requires painful force feedings. All three restaurants were booked solid, but activists still made their presence known. The first protest occured at Hurley's where the owner greeted activists by threatening them with a restraining order. The romantic evening took a more serious turn when three cop cars showed up outside the restaurant with lights flashing. This was probably pretty embarassing for Mr. Hurley. Mr. Hurley claimed to have removed the item from his menu, but was soon outed by the Portland Mercury who said it had reappeared and was served when requested.
The next restaurant visited was Carlyle where activist held graphic photos in the windows so everyone could see what foie gras production does to animals. Employees shut the blinds, but activists still got the message across with chanting and a bullhorn.
The third location was Blue Hour. Demonstrators passed out fliers about foie gras, had friendly conversations with those going in and out, and asked people to tell Blue Hour to take the product off their menu. Some restaurant goers did just that, thanked protesters, and promised never to eat foie gras again.
Feb 13, 2007, NE Portland
Lately, there's been a lot of crazy stuff going on up here in NE Portland. Almost every night, I see tons of cop cars and flashing blue lights, and one night nearly ended up in the middle of a street brawl.
While riding the southbound number 6 bus to Portland this evening, I went past an eerie sight. The Vancouver bound bus was laying idle across the road a bit north of Freemont, with darkened windows on the side of the road. It was still surrounded by police line tape, the flashing blue lights of cop cars, and several Trimet vehicles. According to the driver, there was a fight and a shooting on the bus sometime this evening between 6 and 7pm. By 7:30 there were only a few people still on the scene, but apparently no one was injured.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Precedent-setting Decision May Block Planting, Sales of Monsanto Alfalfa
Washington, DC (February 14, 2007) In what will likely be a precedent-setting ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California decided in favor of farmers, consumers, and environmentalists who filed a suit calling the USDA's approval of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa a threat to farmers' livelihoods and a risk to the environment. Judge Breyer ordered that a full Environmental Impact Statement must be carried out on "Roundup Ready" alfalfa, the GE variety developed by Monsanto and Forage Genetics. The decision may prevent this season's sales and planting of Monsanto's GE alfalfa and future submissions of other GE crops for commercial deregulation.
In his ruling, the judge consistently found USDA's arguments unconvincing, without scientific basis, and/or contrary to the law. For example: "... For those farmers who choose to grow non-genetically engineered alfalfa, the possibility that their crops will be infected with the engineered gene is tantamount to the elimination of all alfalfa; they cannot grow their chosen crop."
Washington State Senator Eric Oemig is announcing that he is introducing a joint memorial that calls on Congress to begin investigation of the serious allegations against the President and Vice President.
1:00 P.M. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH, 2007. SENATE HEARING ROOM 2 OF THE JOHN A. CHERNBERG BUILDING. WA STATE CAPITOL, OLYMPIA.
If a state legislature passes this, according to House Rules, it goes to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives where it can trigger an impeachment investigation. New Mexico is also considering a similar resolution.
The "Occupation Project" had a press conference at 3pm, after which Gordon Smith's office locked the general public out, for (they are claiming) the rest of the day.
There were 2 arrests yesterday, of people refusing to leave Smith's office until the war is defunded. On this second day of planned actions at Smith's office, they have responded by locking down the building.
Greg Lief: Locking down the entire building is an extremely drastic move. This demonstrates that Senator Smith is too frightened to answer to constituents (including myself, who was arrested on Monday afternoon), who are merely trying in a peaceful non-violent manner to urge Smith to follow his December 2006 statements condemning the Iraq war with concrete action, e.g., voting to defund the war and withdraw American troops as soon as possible.
Evidently it is one thing for a professional politician such as Smith to make such statements, but his attempts at blocking Iraq debate show where he really stands on this issue.
2 people were arrested this evening at Gordon Smith's office. The two were charged with trespass. This was the fourth arrest to have taken place in Smith's office in the past two weeks. The folks arrested are citizens who want Smith to stand up and stop the funding for the war.
They were arrested at 5:15 pm. One was cited and released. One is still in custody and is expected to be released around 11:00pm.
Pres Conference for Civil resist Actions at Sen. Gordon Smith's office
WHAT: The Defund the War Campaign will launch civil disobedience actions Monday, February the 12th, to ask that Senator Gordon Smith agree to defund the Iraq war.
WHY: We ask that [Gordon Smith] listen to his constituents who understand the price we have paid, and that he represent us by agreeing not to vote additional funds to continue this criminal war when the appropriations bill comes before him.
WHERE: Press Conference at the World Trade Center Building, near the bottom of the escalators.
WHEN: 3:00 p.m., Tuesday Feb 13th.
WHO: The Occupation Project is being organized by Defund the War Campaign, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Oregon PeaceWorks, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Peace Action affiliates and many local peace and justice groups.
The monthly Bark Field Trip for February hiked a portion of the Gordon Creek sale, offered by the Bureau of Land Management, now in its initial scoping phase. During this hike, Amy Harwood of Bark spoke about an upcoming open house, where the pubic will be able to offer comment on some up and coming Forest Service cost cutting measures.
Amy has already posted this alert to Portland Indymedia last week, but I think hearing her words will have more of an impact than the written word. This audio file details the issue at hand which, basically, is the Forest Service wanting to close some of OUR public recreations sites as a cost cutting measure. This is ludicrous, as the Forest Service has been losing money for decades with their timber sale program, and now ask the public to help them decide what recreational sites be cut due to their incompetence or downright collusion with the timber industry.
Yesterday, State Senator Eric Oemig announced his intention to submit a joint memorial to the Washington State Legislature asking Congress to investigate the serious allegations of abuses of power by the President, Vice President and others in the Bush administration that have weakened the Congress and placed the Bill of Rights in peril.
Speaking at a packed house in Bellevue, Washington on Feburary 10th at an event sponsored by the Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation, Senator Oemig stated that restoring the Constitution and the balance of powers in the federal government is "a moral imperative." As he a new Senator, he has been advised not to take this on. However, he stated that he does not want to ever have to tell his son that he did nothing to stop democracy from being dismantled. It is not about partisan politics, he said. It is about stopping the abuses at the federal level. At it is most basic, it is simple a case of right and wrong.
Here some impressions of revolutionary street art in Oaxaca.
Because most of the original paintings and graffities were destroyed by police after the uprising, much of the work is now presented in an exhibition in Oaxaca City.
Wisely, the soldiers who staff the Broadway recruiting center closed up shop and barred the windows today, girding their loins and steeling themselves against the grandmothers' bloc who took the sidewalks out front. The recruiters gave some kind of hasty excuse to explain their absence, but the truth was obvious: They simply recognized that they were outnumbered and facing superior forces. (No one but the Portland Police Bureau is usually foolish enough to mess with grandmothers.)
I spent my lunchbreak there today, with some of the coolest grandmothers I have ever met. (And some grandfathers, and even some younger folks.) (Even one of my favorite people from the Native Youth Movement was there... so it was more of a grandmother, grandfather, grandchild sort of thing. Solidarity!) It was a somewhat larger crowd than I had expected, and the signs and colorful knitted hats and scarves were visible from way down the street as I made my way toward them. There was something really, powerfully inspiring about seeing the steel awning pulled down over the exposed windows at the recruiting office, and the apologetic little sign hastily taped up on the door, informing passersby that the office was closed. It was like looking at a white flag.
related: [ when in doubt, provide food and water | Surge Protection Brigade: Nonviolent Resisters will Return to Recruiting Center Friday ] week 3: [ Six Angry Grandmothers of the Surge Protection Brigade Arrested | 6 arrested at the Recruiting Center | Surge Protection Brigade: Nonviolent Resisters will Return to Recruiting Center Friday ] week 2: [ Surge Protection Brigade ] week 1: [ Surge Protection Brigade Strikes Again: Nonviolent Resisters Shut Down Recruitment Center ]
Walking, talking and making people see the Thursday count of dead soldiers. (3,120+)
I have joined Chapter 72 across from the federal building; they have been out every day handing out copies of the US Constitution and calling for peace in the Middle East.
All you Vets who are downtown near the federal building during lunch should stop and spend some time with these heroes; they fought in wars and are now fighting for your rights under our Constitution. Bush thinks the Bill of Rights is something you can use or not use---he is wrong, it is the law we live and die for as military men/women---we are yesterday's soldiers. Veterans.
You gotta love the Sandy Post. It's actually becoming a family event to sit down and read the local rag each week. The kids and I are usually either left rolling on the floor in laughter or shaking our heads in bewilderment - at not only the events that occur in our little backward burg, but also frequently at the what passes for journalism.
This week's Post headline screams:
"New high school dress code targets gangs."
There's just one little problem though, as much as Chief Skelton may want there to be (and he frequently asserts there is), THERE ARE NO GANGS in Sandy. Sandy High School student body president Megan Murphy was quoted as saying MUCH later in the article (way back on page 10A): "We shouldn't have to worry about wearing gang material because there are no gangs at our school."
First Lt. Ehren Watada knew exactly what his case was about - and that scared the judge.
There was absolutely no reason to stop the Watada trial.
The judge's claim that Lt. Watada did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges is completely untrue (see Melanthia Mitchell, AP, 2/8/07).
The military seized on that claim and complimented the judge for "protecting the rights of the accused" in granting the mistrial.
Friday Vigil for 1LT Watada - Nationwide, supporters of 1LT Watada will be holding vigils tomorrow, Friday, February 9 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Here in Portland, Veterans for Peace, chapter 72 is holding a vigil at Terry Schrunk Plaza, at SW 3rd & Madison, across from the Federal Building. Come out and show your support for Lieutenant Watada and his stand for the U. S. Constitution. [more]
Open Letter To Seattle Post Intelligencer Columnist - Ehren Watada is not breaking rules whimsically he sees fit. He is violating an unlawful order. It is his duty. People like Thomas Jefferson made sure to articulate as much. First Left Tenant Watada is a war hero. As much if not more so than some Purple Heartsmen I know. I chose during Desert Storm to wait out my two surgeries and get my 10% medical discharge rather than speak out publicly against Bush's father's war, essentially. I began to sour upon that one too. [more]
photos: [ Ehren Watada Rally Brings Thousands To the Streets | more pics from Watada rally | Others Face a Similar Fate | A Father's Grief | Photogs of Rally | More Watada Rally and Vigil Photos | four more pics | February 5 Ft. Lewis Demo/Mistrial- A Short report ]
video: [ Watada Trial Update #1 | Watada's Trial Update #2 | Trial Video Update #3 | Short Interview With Pro-War Advocate at Rally to Support Lt. Watada | Rightwingnut Threatens To Assault Me At Watada Rally | Video Files From the Rally To Support Lt. Watada | Watada rally video | Nazi Punks F- Off ]
It has now been eighteen months since Fouad was brutally tortured and murdered by agents of this state. His murder was rendered all the more heinous by the fact that his killers, Officer Bergin of Sandy Oregon Police Department, and Deputy Willard of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office have thus far escaped any form of discipline or chastisement for their cruel and unjust actions.
The Spence Law Firm, of Wyoming (Well known defenders of human rights, including Karen Silkwood) has taken this case, and filed lawsuits on behalf of the Kaady Family. We wait, hopefully, for the day when these murderers are brought to economic justice, since the criminal justice system has so miserably failed to exact any measure of equality.
Over 70 people assembled tonight to voice their disgust and frustration with their senate, congress and president. The Iraq occupation is not going well folks. As I post, an aircraft carrier strike force is cruising to the Persian Gulf.
Gordon Smith: We are watching your voting record. Greg Walden: Oregonians are watching you and your voting record with this current cabal. Continue to go against the grain of the majority of Oregonians and you will be voted out!
Feel free to participate to any local, state and regional vigil and protest action. As a dad of an active naval officer, I am sickened by this 4 year failure of presidential imcompetance. The soldiers, air personnel and sailors want to come home now.
I think the mistrial is the best news possible for this week's trial. The media just finally stopped ignoring this case, expecting a lynching, and now they will have a harder time ignoring the issues that
Video From the Rally To Support Thousands lined the roads, the overpass leading to the gate, and a nearby field where many spoke and sang out their support, often speaking of other resisters who have taken similar stands of conscience, most without the enormous outpouring of support afforded Lt. Watada. None faulted him for this, yet many urged the crowd to educate themselves about some of the other soldiers whose lives have been equally devastated, both by their experiences in Iraq and their treatment by the
|related:|| Ehren Watada Rally Brings Thousands To |
| more pics from |
|A Father's Grief||read |
Lt. Ehren Watada's court martial trial began at 9:30 am today, February 5, 2007, at Fort Lewis, Washington. Here is the first video update here on the ground, which shows the morning's scene of supporters, including Sean Penn who is interviewed in this piece, flooding in to support
| Lt. Ehren Watada's Trial |
In Bandon, Oregon (southern Oregon coast), the Veterans for Peace and other peace-loving folks have been holding a weekly demonstration for some time. I was lucky enough to stumble upon
As my daughter and I were heading from Portland to Arcata, I noticed the glorious VFP flags waving on Friday afternoon/early evening. I pulled over, parked, took out my signs, and
| Photos of Peace Demonstration - |
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