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There are several eyewitness reports that three people were arrested for peacefully protesting at the Port of Tacoma at about 12:30 AM Monday morning, March 5. They were protesting the shipment of Stryker Brigade equipment to the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. One person was brutally dragged on his stomach and another was shot by a rubber bullet as they were engaged in non-violent protest. The Tacoma police appeared to have become less violent after the media arrived...
The war is now being brought home in profound ways. These protests were part of a continuation of protests begun last year against the use of the Port of Olympia to ship offensive weapons to Iraq. The military at Ft. Lewis decided this year to avoid the use of the Port of Olympia, but rather to ship arms at the Port of Tacoma...
The military equipment is still at the Port of Tacoma and peaceful protests are expected to continue this week at the port and elsewhere in the city. A vigil is planned for by Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OLYPMR) and Tacoma Port Militarization Resistance (TPMR) in Tacoma at Pacific and I-5, from 4-6PM on Monday, March 5. Bring signs to oppose war being exported from the Port of Tacoma. On Tuesday, March 6, there is a planned rally at Noon at the Federal Courthouse at 1717 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
Press Release, Port Militarization Resistance
Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), a local grassroots organization, is claiming victory in its campaign to close the Port of Olympia to military shipment bound for Iraq as part of President Bush's escalation of the conflict.
The decision by the US army to not use the Port of Olympia to ship the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division Stryker unit's equipment to Iraq is a clear recognition that choosing to do so would have been a logistical and public relations disaster for the Port of Olympia and the Ft. Lewis based Stryker group.
"This is a tremendous victory in the campaign to end our community's participation in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq," said TJ Johnson, an Olympia City Councilman who has helped spearhead the campaign. He added that "our success in Olympia can serve as powerful model and beacon of hope for other communities seeking to take direct action to end their community's participation."
The Army's decision to not risk the consequences of shipping the Stryker unit through Olympia forced it to move equipment through the Port of Tacoma. Military equipment began arriving at the Port of Tacoma around 10:30 pm on March 2, and additional equipment arrived late in the evening on March 3 and 4.
A BC Supreme Court justice today sentenced Betty Krawczyk, age 78, to ten months in jail for protesting the destruction of a wetlands last year. A crowd of Betty's supporters took over the lobby of the Supreme Court building in downtown Vancouver, chanting "Shame, shame" and beating drums. The courthouse was closed for two hours and CBC Radio reports two people were arrested.
Krawczyk pitched a tent in the path of bulldozers building a highway bypass in West Vancouver last spring, defying a court order banning protestors from the area. She was arrested and carried away by police, but returned to the blockade site twice more and later refused to apologize to the court for her actions. After her third arrest last July, Krawczyk was held in jail for two months "to protect the public," the judge said at the time. She will not be credited for time served.
On Friday, March 2, 2007, constituents of Oregon Senator Gordon Smith were again denied an audience with members of his staff, and two were arrested for trespass.
This is the sixth episode with two people being arrested for seeking an audience with their Senator since the first of the year when Smith made a blistering speech condemning the war as "absurd and maybe even criminal."
Since that time members of the group, Defund the War have visited his office weekly, demanding, in light of his earlier pronouncements, that he announce his plans to deny any future funding for the war. Smith has refused to make a statement either way, and in fact no longer allows these constituents even to go beyond the lobby in the building where his offices are located.
A coalition of ranchers, conservationists, and animal welfare groups has vowed to halt the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's plan to kill the state's cougars. Despite public outcry over the ODFW plan, the agency has begun killing the big cats. According to the Associated Press last week, "A state wildlife agent trapped and shot two young cougars in Jackson County, the first of two dozen to be killed in that part of the state in a study of whether reducing populations of the animals improves public safety and reduces the loss of livestock. Nine cougars have already been killed in north-central Oregon as part of the study, state figures show." To make matters worse, opponents of the 1994 ban on hound hunting of cougars have introduced legislation (HB 2971) that would permit the ODFW to deputize sport hunters as agents to kill cougars. The bill would also allow hunters to use hounds to chase down cougars, essentially rolling back the ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.
On February 8, 2007 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published their official proposal to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) states from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The Service wants to delist wolves in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north-central Utah.
Olympia, WA, February 29, 2007 - Over the past week, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), a local grassroots organization, has stepped up its efforts to close the Port of Olympia to military shipment bound for Iraq as part of President Bush's escalation of the conflict.
Members of OlyPMR met with Thurston County Sheriff Dan Kimball on Friday, February 23. The goal of the meeting was to open a line of communication between OlyPMR and the sheriff's office in anticipation that the sheriff's office would provide security for military shipments targeted for blockage by OlyPMR. "It was a very positive meeting," said Wes Hamilton a Vietnam Veteran and member of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. "We support the County's position that the costs for these shipments should not be borne by County taxpayers." According to the National Priorities project, the occupation of Iraq has already cost Thurston County citizens over $300 million.
URGENT: Port of Tacoma Action Sun 3/5 @ 9pmFrom an earlier report:50+ military vehicles were observed Friday night, including 22+ Stryker vehicles, in addition to the other hummers, trucks, soldiers, and vehicles with missiles. The war machine is in our backyard. Be present and take action now. Saturday night, 30-40 regional activists observed multiple convoys from Ft Lewis coming through the Port of Tacoma to be shipped to Iraq. Riot cops had a big presence, probably 30 or so. Activists had a presence there to show that we do not want the military using our port. We need more people! Another action is planned Sunday night @ 9pm for the next expected set of convoys. The more people that come, the more of an effect we can have. If we have enough people, we can possibly take direct action and stop or slow down the militarization of our port.
There is a teach-in about the Iraq war during the day in Tacoma, including a discussion about the port militarization, with a free Riot Folk! show afterwards. So come down to Tacoma for the day, and we can find you a place to stay if you need to spend the night. In addition, there are actions planned for the whole week.
Over 300 people lined the stairs to Washington's Capitol in Olympia today and then filled three rooms for the hearing on SMJ 8016. Another memorial calling on Congress to reject the troop surge (SMJ 8003) was also heard. It was an excellent pairing, since the war in Iraq was premised on the deceptions perpetrated by Bush/Cheney. Those deliberate deceptions are one of the major impeachable offenses.
Indigenous Activists from Grassy Narrows Kick off 3,000 Mile Journey to Evict Weyerhaeuser from Their Land
For Immediate Release: February 23, 2007 GRASSY NARROW, ONTARIO - On Friday, Feb. 23, community members from the Grassy Narrows First Nation will begin a journey from their traditional territory in Northwest Ontario to the headquarters of logging giant Weyerhaeuser in Federal Way, Wash. Despite years of community opposition, Weyerhaeuser continues to produce and sell building materials made from wood clear-cut and taken without community consent from Grassy Narrows land.
The "Road to Seattle" tour will feature presentations from community members and organizing workshops hosted by activists working locally and nationally to defend forests and promote Indigenous rights. Stops on the tour include Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria before culminating in Washington state.
http://freegrassy.org | http://ran.org
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2007
What will happen today when people want to talk to Senator Smith? Two constituents will try to go to his office to talk with the Senator or his staff about why he should vote to not approve funds to continue the Iraq war. Will they be denied access to his office? Will they be arrested? If the past is an indication, they will suffer the same fate as five other groups and end up going to jail.
Whereas Senator Smith said, "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore", we are asking Senator Gordon Smith to agree to defund the Iraq war. We are simply asking him to walk his talk. It is anticipated that people will be stopped at the elevators in the lobby and be arrested there. If they are able to go to his office, they will ask him to vote in a consistent manner with his statements about the absurdity of the Iraq war. If he will not agree to do so they will refuse to leave until they have that assurance.
Comment: Kudos to these people who are so persistant and seem to never give up! They inspire us all! (Saturday, March 3, 12 noon to 1 pm, Oak Grove Peace Vigil
In memory of Harriet Nahanee, age 71: A community is in mourning following the death of a great-grandmother who fought to defend aboriginal rights and the environment. Activist Harriet Nahanee died at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Saturday, February 24, one month after she was sentenced to fourteen days in jail for protesting the destruction of a wetlands for a highway bypass. Fellow activist and great-grandmother Betty Krawczyk, age 78, was among those who attended a prayer vigil for Nahanee Friday night. "Me and Harriet really bonded" at the Eagleridge Bluffs blockade, she told me. "We were the only great-grandmothers there. It was up to us to bring it forward...Harriet believed Eagleridge Bluffs belonged to the Squamish Nation, and she felt her band" the elected chiefs "were trading the land away for development... She wanted the land preserved for her great-grandchildren. She put her life on the line for that."
Krawczyk reports that Nahanee was "challenging the right of the elected chiefs of the Squamish Nation to negotiate away traditional Squamish Lands off the Squamish Reserve, lands that include Eagleridge Bluffs. This action potentially has serious ramifications for the entire band concerning who has the right to negotiate away traditional Squamish Indian lands," she wrote in her blog.
On March 5th, Justice Brown will sentence Krawczyk for her own part in the Eagleridge Bluffs protest. Krawczyk expects to be sent to the same Surrey jail as Nahanee.
Henry Paulson, the Bush nominated Secretary of the Treasury, was formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs as well as President of Nature Conservancy. Wearing 2 hats, he introduced cattle to the NC wilderness shrines. Josh Bolton, Bush's chief of staff is also from Goldman Sachs.
Ann Veneman has gone from the American Meat Institute where she was mentored by Richard Lyng to the USDA Secretary chair, and from there to UNICEF where she is attempting to spread American animal cadavers and toxic vaccines to the children of the world.
National Public Radio has acquired 200 million in McDonald's
stock. Merck, vivisector, underwrites its "The World" originating
in Boston. NPR's sponsors include Cargill, which supplies
most of McDonald's eggs. Two private equity firms in Boston connected
to vivisector money have just bought over 400 stations in
the illegal Clear Channel monopoly chain. Please disinvest your $ from mutual funds and pension systems which own animal slaughter or vivisection stock.
http://stopmowing.blogspot.com | http://www.worldanimalnet.org
Support impeachment by attending a Rally on March 1st at 1 p.m. at the State Capitol and the hearing in the Cherberg Bldg. Hearing Room 2, starting at 3:30 p.m. Contact your state legislators and Congressional delegation to let them know you want an impeachment investigation.
On March 1st, the Washington Senate will hold a hearing on SJM 8016 that petitions Congress to begin impeachment investigations into the actions of Bush and Cheney. The hearing will be held in the Cherberg Building, Hearing Room 2 on the Capitol Campus, from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. A panel of speakers will present the pros and cons, and then it will be opened up to comments from the public. Written testimony is accepted and is not limited to residents of Washington State.
Murray and Inslee oppose impeachment
Patty Murray and Jay Inslee' efforts to stop the impeachment movement in Washington became public today in a Seattle Times story. It is clear that Murray has not read the bill, which asks for investigations into the actions of both Bush and Cheney about the use of fraudulent evidence to persuade Congress and the American people to support a pre-emptive strike in Iraq.
The Bill--SJM 8016 simply lists a number of serious allegations about Bush and Cheney and their administration, perpetrating a fraud, illegally spying on citizens, arresting and imprisoning people without due process, and engaging in torture. The question before the state legislature is simply this: are these violations serous enough to warrant an investigation? If yes, then the bill petitions Congress to do its job and begin impeachment investigations. This bill, unlike other memorials, will go the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for them to decide whether or not to begin impeachment investigations.
This week's Third Planet Report has the following interviews and music:
1. Interview with Ina May Gaskin, internationally known midwife about the care crisis. Are we ignoring the most important people in our society--women--who care for our children, our elders and yes, the guys;
2. Interview with Jim Coon, attorney for the wife of deceased Jesse Williams who died from smoking cigarettes over many years due to the deceptive practices of Phillip Morris. The US Supreme Court recently vacated the 79 million dollar punitive damages award against the tobacco giant. Jim tells us that punitives are still very much alive and he isn't worried at all;
3. Interview with the former attorney Albert Bates for atomic veterans and veterans with agent orange claims, who talks about his personal experience in the airport and why he is worried that the new x-ray machines may be causing more harm than the "terrorists" they are protecting us against; and
4. Banah Graf and friends place some really cool rock from Santa Barbara. Their sound is unique and catchy and deserves a listen (spoken like a proud dad).
This is the second video clip dealing with the military operation "Hot Winter" in Nablus, occupied Palestine.
This short film was filmed on Monday, 26th of February 2007. It's a co-production by the Research Journalism Initiative (RJI) and the anarchist film collective " a-films ".
IDF detains TV director, attacks journalists during Nablus raid
At around 3:00 a.m. on February 26, Israeli soldiers detained Nabegh Break, owner and managing director of the local Sanabel TV, after raiding his home in Nablus' Old City, an eyewitness told CPJ. When the troops arrived at Break's apartment, they ordered his family to leave and took Break to the first floor, which houses Sanabel TV's office. After about two hours of questioning, the soldiers seized computers and other equipment and left with Break, the eyewitness said. Break was taken to Israel's Hawara detention center south of Nablus where he remains held without charge.
On Sunday, Omar Mohammad Afaneh, a broadcaster for the privately-owned local television station Asia TV, told CPJ that he was roughed up by Israeli soldiers while conducting an interview with Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, the head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society in Nablus, about the health effects of Israel's curfew on the city. Afaneh was ordered to turn off the camera but he refused. Several soldiers began pushing him, ripped his jacket, and an Israeli captain seized the videotape.
Earl Blumenauer, in an attempt to weasel out of supporting progressive legislation like HR 508, presented his own HR 663, a masterfully constructed bit of fluff that, attendees agreed, would do nothing other than increase the chances of Earl receiving future support from corporate hacks.
While several Democrat operatives attempted to change the focus to worshipful topics, the majority of attendees at a Blumenauer meeting held today at DiPrima Dolci Italian Bakery on N. Killingworth Ave. to discuss his "New Direction for Iraq Act" were angry and impatient with Blumenauer and his DLC comrades for their obfuscation of those issues which they most care about: defunding the occupation of Iraq, impeachment of war criminals, and ending the support of US-Israel in the Middle East. (Members of the pro-Palestine community will be glad to know that one of Earl's contingent told us how exemplary his record was.)
A group of 8 people met in Yauger park at 10 AM this Saturday. It was raining and, much to my dismay, one of the main busses that would have taken people to the park was not running. As we were waiting there, we saw a bunch of amerikan flags by the recruiting center across the street. It became clear that these were counter-protesters.
We walked over to the center and began to mingle with the freedom fighters. The center, which was supposed to be open from 10-1 was closed, the doors locked and the blinds down. The patriots outnumbered us by nearly 2 to 1. Nevertheless, we stayed there for about 2 hours, talking with them. One man lost his cool and started yelling at one of us. He angrily stormed off and, soon after, 2 cops arrived but nothing happened with them. Finally, we got tired and left.
From two to scores of people have stood at the Astoria Post Office east lawn as witnesses for peace and in support of our civil liberties every single Friday from 5 to 6 PM for the past five years. Now, the new post master says the Peace gathering is trespassing on the post office lawn, and must get on the sidewalk, single-file. This exact same situation occurred in May of 2002, and with the help of the Daily Astorian newspaper, the peace witnesses prevailed. Last week, however, the police did show up, though after the gathering had concluded, and threatened anyone who stood on the lawn with arrest.
So we'll be out on the lawn on Friday, just like every other.
On February 25 2007, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) invaded the West Bank city of Nablus with massive forces. The IOF focussed especially on the Yasmine and Qariyon neighborhoods in the old city. During the first day of the operation, tens of thousands of people were confined to their homes. The Israeli army raided dozens of houses, detaining and arresting scores of people. This military operation is one of the biggest of its kind in the last two or three years that happenend in Nablus.
Here are the links to a short video clip done by indypendent media activists in Nablus. This short film is produced by the Research Journalism Initiative (RJI) and the anarchist film collective "a-films". We're trying to keep up with the current happenings as far as the circumstances allow us to do so.
Greece - since a few months more than half of all universities are occupied and on strike. Also demonstrations are hold across the country in opposition to the government's plan to amend Greece's constitution in order to allow private companies to open universities. Currently all institutions of higher learning are state funded and don't charge tuition.
In Athens a 25 000 people student-demonstration was brutally attacked by riot police several times. The police used teargas, gas grenades and did kick and beat people. Anarchists equipped with gas masks, wooden poles and Molotov Cocktails defended the demonstration against the attack.
Just days after anonymous U.S. military officials in Baghdad briefed reporters on what they asserted was evidence of sophisticated roadside bombs and other weapons provided by Iran to Shiite militias inside Iraq who are attacking U.S. soldiers, the government of Iran has made a counter claim. Officials in Tehran charged that two bombings carried out by Sunni insurgents inside Iran, which killed 11 people and wounded 30, were provoked by the United States and Britain. An Iranian news agency quoted what it said were informed sources as declaring that the explosives used in the bombings were made in the U.S.
Tensions between Washington and Iran have risen in recent weeks over a Feb. 21 U.N. Security Council deadline for Tehran to suspend its enrichment of uranium. This comes as the Bush administration has dispatched two aircraft carrier groups off the coast of Iran and arrested dozens of Iranians, including diplomats, inside Iraq. Iran has reacted to White House saber-rattling with three days of war games staged by the nation's elite Revolutionary Guards, simulating resistance to an enemy air strike.
David Barsamian, an author and radio producer, recently returned from a 10-day trip to Iran. Without restriction or government chaperones, he spoke informally with hundreds of Iranians. Many told him that President Bush's actions have only weakened moderates inside Iran. Between The Lines Scott Harris spoke with Barsamian about how the threat of a U.S. attack is perceived among the Iranians he met and how he believes activists in the U.S. can be most effective in preventing war.
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