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First, at around noon, there were many people (I'd say around 50) who lay down at the cable-car turnaround on market, though this was on the sidewalk and while there were many police there, no one bothered us. Later, we went up to Montgomery and many people lay down on the sidewalk, but then after that many went into the streets and lay down (including myself, but I got up after I was warned). About 45 people were arrested there, to lots of noise and a great band! After everyone was taken away, we followed the band to Powell and Market where many of us spontaneously just sat/lay down in the streets (again, including myself). So about 60 of us were arrested overall. We were taken to the station in paddy wagons, held for processing, and released within a few hours. I'd say the average age of those arrested was well over 50 (I recognized quite a few Quakers in the crowd), but there were a lot of young people in the crowd who gave us support.
Are you pissed off enough yet to take it to the next level?? The Surge Protection Brigade / Seriously Pissed Off Grannies will return to the recruiting center on NE Broadway and 13th tomorrow, Friday March 23rd at 10:00 am.
We continue to protest the recruitment of our young men and women by the insatiable war machine. At this event, there will be opportunity for civil resistance. There is also need for support in the form of protesters and witnesses. Bring signs, or use ours. Bring rocking chairs! (however, know that they may be confiscated for "evidence").
After over two years of debate, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals is expected to rule Thursday, March 22 on the Wal-Mart Supercenter proposed for southwest Gresham. Opponents will meet Thursday night at 7pm to discuss the decision and next steps.
Wal-Mart's proposal to build a Super-Center in southwest Gresham was denied by a Hearings Officer November 2006, and that decision was appealed to the Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). The LUBA ruling is due March 22, 2007.
On Friday, March 2, Pittsburgh Organizing Group (POG) and supporters set out to shut down the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), a largely Pentagon-funded venture of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that has become a world leader in warfare robotics. The action succeeded beyond the organizers' expectations.
PSU administration has decided to terminate the food services contract with multinational corporation Sodexho. On Wednesday of this week, [2/28/07] PSU administration informed multi-national corporation, private prison supporter and current PSU food service contract holder Sodexho of their decision to terminate their contract with the company effective June 31st.
Now is the time for students, activists and everyone who has a stake in this decision to weigh in and ensure that administration and whoever takes Sodexho's place observes the values of the PSU community. This is not a rumor. An official PSU administration announcement will be coming at any time. This is our opportunity to influence the food service change that we want to see!
(March 3, 2007, Ashland, Oregon) Concerned citizens, spiritual representatives from many Ashland churches, temples, and local tribes, met in Ashland's Lithia Park to honor and highlight the pristine Ashland Watershed. Concerns were highlighted about the Mount Ashland Association's proposal to log seventy acres of old-growth forests (for new ski runs), thus possibly impacting the Ashland Watershed.
A group of approximately fifty community members met in Lithia Park beside a gurgling stream, emphasizing the beauty and "lifeforce" of Ashland Creek and other areastreams, rivers, and its local watershed. The event was hosted by Grandmothers & Friends in Green, chaired by Angie Thusius, who opened the event by stating, "There are old-growth forests among this watershed. Their roots help to anchor the soil on the mountains. Our bodies are 70% water, and the planet is approximately 70% water, so we are gathering here today at Ashland Creek to honor the water in this area." Ms. Thusius formed her group last June after reading in the local Ashland newspaper that The Mount Ashland Association was "planning on logging seventy acres of old-growth forests for ski slopes." Noting that "worldwide watersheds are diminishing, and that we can all think about the future, preserve the Middle Branch (of Ashland Creek's East Fork) and keep it undisturbed." Pointing to the facts about Ashland's Mission Statement, she also added, "Our City (of Ashland), in terms of watershed issues, has the power to maintain and preserve our watershed from developments." Logging was to begin in early April, but now is postponed until June.
March 1, 2007, marked the first anniversary of the implementation of a free trade agreement between El Salvador and the United States of America. DR-CAFTA has been something many Salvadora?os have opposed from the very beginning of negotiations. After one year of experiencing the effects first-hand of Tratado de Libre Comercio, also commonly known as simply TLC, it is unsurprising the streets of San Salvador were not quiet.
The innards of DR-CAFTA were hashed out behind closed doors by the elite power holders, in this specific case, the ARENA government and the Bush Administration. The TLC agreement passed all legislation necessary despite an immense amount of resistance against neo-liberal models of trade throughout the Americas. Before the creation of this free trade zone in 2005, foreign investment in El Salvador was at $300 million - in 2006 it declined to $222 million. Also in 2006, the inflation rate of El Salvador grew from 4.3% to 4.9%, the second quickest growth of inflation in the last 10 years for the country. As for the employment sector, a manuscript released by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean claimed that in El Salvador, "in spite of economic growth, the unemployment rate has increased."
Related:The Salvador Project
My take on the March 18th Protest In Portland
BLAC K BLOC: From A 55-Year Old Perspective
The Bumblebees are up to their old tricks
updates: [ Last detainee released at 3:00am | Solidarity Protest (post anti-war protest) | Portland Police Still Selectively and Tactically Closing Sidewalks! | Where are the protestors now? | Portland Legal Defense Network Updates on Peace March ]
Several photos by Clyde Keller from Saturday's Sizzlin' Peace Parade capturing the flavor of the day's events from some of the 300 participants who came to voice their oppostion to the Irag War. Similar marches were held nationally over the St. Patricks day weekend. The "Imagine Peace" March was organized by Ray Duray with the support of many concerned Citizens including Businesses and Professionals. Organizations such as the Central Oregon Progressive Alliance, C. O. Peace Network, Deschutes Democrats, Central Oregon labor Council, Human Dignity Coalition, Amnesty International, World Can't Wait, Sierra Club and others helped to attract many participants who each contributed with various forms of anti-war expression including placards [as pictured] costumes and theatrical props such as stilts. The grouped marched to City Hall taking a tour through the main downtown arterials leading to a grand loop moving away from and back to the downtown area, culminating at the historic "Old Church" where films were shown.
I arrived late, just as the march was beginning. No way to estimate the size of the crowd, but, I know that as it finished passing by me I hurried back to where it began and the march was just arriving back at the park.
Probably 15 blocks of a fairly tightly packed march.
Going on the fifth year of our aggression against the people of Iraq. What's it take to bring this country around to the enormity of its error? Marches and rallies gather the community together and let us know that we are not alone. We see the stranger beside us, and know that this Occupation eats at their soul as it does our own.
more photos: [ Photos of 3/18/07 Portland Peace March | Pics/video for today's protest? | Just one picture from the peace parade today | more peace march photos | A Few Photos From Above the March | Peace March Photos | Photos of PDX m18 Protest ]
Several of the SHAC7 defendants need your support now more than ever! Please read further for updates on the ridiculous punishments they're dealing with inside prison.
Josh Harper and Jake Conroy are both currently on indefinite lock-down in prison, which for them means no access to what few vegan food options they'd had (read: little to no eating), loss of most (if not all) of their possessions, loss of phone "privileges", and being locked inside a cell all day every day. Josh is in "the hole"; he was taken there yesterday and not given a reason why. There was a fight at the prison where Jake is, and so his unit has been locked down. Both are okay, but extremely in need of letters to keep them sane through this!!
Lauren Gazzola and Andy Stepanian have also recently lost phone privileges for 6 months, depriving them of an important means of contact with the outside. And though not currently suffering these extra punishments, Darius and Kevin are still suffering the deprivation of being imprisoned for voicing their beliefs.
Many hearty greetings from Rising Tide and the Beehive Design Collective!
We're writing from Maine and here in Oregon with good news...our two organizations are joining forces this Spring to cross-pollinate the Pacific Northwest together!
We hope you'll join us for an interactive, multi-media, combined presentation that celebrates fossil fuel resistance from around the globe AND embarks on a visual tour of the Beehive Collective's Graphic Trilogy about corporate globalization in the Americas (FEATURING a behind-the-scenes look at the long-anticipated MESOAMERICA RESISTE graphic, currently on the cusp of completion!).
The fun start March 22nd and runs till April 7th. We'll be speaking throughout Cascadia, from Victoria, BC to Ashland, Oregon!
we have a real chance of getting an irv bill passed by the oregon legislature. but we need your help to do it. On Wednesday, March 14, the House Committee on Elections, Ethics & Rules held a hearing on HB 2761, which would allow cities and counties to use IRV for local elections. Although similar legislation has been introduced several times before, this is the first time the bill has ever received a hearing. We're really close?we just need to pick up one more vote.
PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS IMMEDIATELY and express your support for HB 2761. Call, write or email the Committee members. If you're sending an email, put HB 2761 in the subject line. Here is a sample letter. It is especially important that Representative Roblan be contacted, as he is a potential swing vote. If you know of people in Coos Bay, North Bend, Reedsport or Florence, they are Rep. Roblan's constituents and should be encouraged to contact him.
Comment: IRV on Public Access T.V. For those of y ou who have cable, the Public Access television program, "A Growing Concern" on this last Friday night featured David Delk of the Portland Alliance for Democracy speaking about Instant Run Off Voting. Along with David, Barbara Dudley, of Oregon Working Families Party spoke about HB 3040, which will institute Fusion voting for the state of Oregon. This program will replay on Sunday evening at 10:00 on channel 23 and again on Thursday at 10:00 on channel 22.
comment: I support IRV for a foot in the door then with wider competitive parties mattering, work for more... IRV will have the pragmatic effect of having corporate parties working for it, which will get it past the gatekeeping door. Either way it is interpreted, IRV has difficulties itself. It is at best a half-step toward a more optimal democracy--though perhaps an important half step.
An important element in the struggle in Oaxaca is the defence and protection of the precious and unfortunately seriously threatened spiritual,environmental and agricultural natural resources of their state. Oaxaca is the birthplace of corn in the world, and the US is now aggressively and deviously manipulating Mexican economic structures to force the importation of vast quantities of US GM maize. This is an issue of URGENT importance, both for Oaxaca, Mexico and the world.
16 Marzo 2007: The situation in Chiapas is very tense and everyday it worsens. What we're seeing is a new policy that brings together paramilitary forces with state and federal governements, the police and the armed forces, to take away the Zapatista's land and provoke a conflict in order to justify an armed incursion. Since early this year the authorities of the zapatista communities in resistance have been denouncing increasingly serious aggressions and threats by the paramilitary organization Opddic ("Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Peasant Rights").
Alarmed by the situation---which has received very little media attention---an International Informational Brigade was formed at the beginning of March to investigate the accusations and make them public in Mexico and the world. Representatives from Spain, France, Germany, Greece, the US, and Mexico... What they have discovered is an even more alarming situation than was believed. The zapatistas have repeatedly declared that they will defend their lands at all costs, and this is perfectly understandable: it cost them many lives in 1994 and in the following years to recover and maintain those lands. There they have been building all of these years autonomous education and health systems, they have invented new forms of democracy, eradicated alcoholism and drug use, developed networks of just commerce, and, above all, they have taught their children to live with dignity. The serenity with which they have resisted Opddic's provocations is admirable. But it is fair to ask: how much longer can they keep resisting peacefully the violence, the threats, and the humiliations? Everything seems to indicate that Opddic's methods are designed to provoke violence in order to justify a military incursion.
Today is the fourth anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death, murdered while peacefully standing in defense of a Palestinian home, murdered by an Israeli soldier, murdered with a US-made Caterpillar 'dozer.
It is outrageous that the typical American knows all about Spears & Smith, but nothing of brave & wonderful Rachel Corrie. Olympia remembers. We should all remember, what injustice brings.
I'll be at my best corner in Vancouver today during afternoon rush, with Rachel's picture, a Palestinian flag, & other stuff. I can't do nothing on this sad day. Not much on my part. She gave everything.
Today at 1PM I visited Senator Smith's office in Eugene and spoke with his Constiuent Service Representative Jean Borland. Jean said Senator Smith would not be able to meet with me because he was in Washington D.C. I told Ms. Borland that I wanted to thank the Senator for being the sole Republican to vote to end the war yesterday. I also asked if the Senator had decided how he would vote on the upcoming war appropriations bill, and asked if the Senator would oppose the Bush administrations stepped up plans to invade Iran. Ms. Borland replied that Senator Smith, it was her understanding, would need to vote in favor of the war appropriations bill because it had a rider providing timber funding for rural Oregon counties.
She said she did not know if Senator Smith would support or oppose Bush'es invasion of Iran.
Well, apparently the sacred and all powerful cop code was not enough to protect at least three of the coppers who gunned down an unarmed bride groom and his bachelor party back on November 25. Unlike so many other murders by cops, this one was so egregious, and so witnessed, that some of the cops are actually indicted. Of course, it is still a long way to justice...
Imagine my surprise, coming from a state where cops can kick a helpless man to death, taser and then murder an even more helpless man, and indiscriminately kill at will with no consequence, save an occasional Starbuck's gift certificate, or (shudder) a medal for "courage" under fire.
Since about 3 month half of all universities are occupied and on strike. This Thursday March 8 in Athens and Thessalonica, two great demonstrations took place at the time when the Parliament voted the new law -cadre, which opens universities to private companies.
In Athens, 40.000 demonstrators were in the streets, 5000 in Thessalonica. The demonstration of Athens was regarded as the main event and gathered demonstrators from all of Greece. That of Thessalonica was more local and gathered students from the city itself and north of Greece. The protests become more and more militant, as repression by state escalates.
University professors were also present with the students, whose trade union (POSDEP) has been in strike for 5 weeks, but also of the representations of primary and secondary education teachers, pupils, parent organizations and several sectors of the industry.
Wilson High School in Southwest Portland's activism club Students for Social Justice(SSJ) over the past month have painted the windows of many classrooms at the school, using water soluble paints, displaying the word "Peace" in five languages along with doves and peace signs. This was meant to support the non-political idea of peace. After a parent complaint a legal adviser for Portland Public Schools has asked that the display be removed with the reasoning that in allowing the windows to be included in free speech, other messages could be displayed similar to graffiti. While a large portion of Wilson's staff has encouraged the students, the students have agreed to remove the display from the windows as the janitorial staff would be forced to if they did not.
SSJ is still dedicated to the promotion of peace. In response to the request for the removal of the display, a group of students created a poster declaring "Let Peace Be Heard", and after refusal of the administration to allow the poster to be displayed on walls carried the poster during lunch and passing times.
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