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A federal judge has ordered Schumacher's furriers to pay nearly $97,000 in legal fees to the animal-rights protesters he has accused of destroying his family business.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ordered Gregg Schumacher and Schumacher Furs & Outerwear to cover $43,186 in legal fees to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; $34,735 to In Defense of Animals; and $18,950 to protester Kevin Mieras, court records show.
Schumacher and his wife Linda sued animal-rights protesters for a relentless campaign of Saturday protests that the couple maintains stepped over the bounds of free speech into crimes and violations of city ordinances.
But Mosman threw out such claims in a series of rulings last year. This week, he signed an order compelling the Schumachers to pay the protesters' legal fees in the case. In his order, Mosman called the facts of the case "extraordinary" but said the Schumachers had abused the legal process."Although the (Schumachers) may have had meritorious claims against people whose names they did not know, or even against the City of Portland," Mosman wrote, "they sued people against whom they had no evidence for $6.6 million, sought to restrict their First Amendment rights, and disparaged their reputations with accusations of criminal conduct, terrorist affiliations and responsibility for 'shutting down' a business whose financial solvency was questionable before the protesting activities began."
On Wednesday, February 6 the House Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 1066, sponsored by State Representative Cory Gardner (R-63). This "Castle Doctrine" legislation would extend self-defense protections beyond the home to include businesses.
The bill would grant civil and criminal immunity to a business owner if the business owner used lethal force against anybody who they had reason to believe would be committing a crime in their store. Take this scenario:
You're peacefully protesting the DNC and you go into a local coffeeshop to get some coffee. Since there are other, more violent protesters in the area, the shopkeeper shoots you and kills you. The shopkeeper gets off scotch free. He can't be sued or put in jail because he had reason to believe you might commit a crime. This is collective punishment. Even if you had planned on shoplifting, should you really be killed for it?
Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectively urge them to stop HB1066. The DNC protesters will have enough to risk with the cops, we don't need a vigilante business-owner militia running around and shooting them. The NRA has asked their Colorado members to call in support of this bill; we must stop them.
The subprime lending debacle should cause massive rethinking among those who have long proclaimed that the route to Black equality is through wealth accumulation. In a report titled, "Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008," United for a Fair Economy details the catastrophic losses inflicted on Blacks and Latinos in the U.S. at the hands of predatory lenders - "the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history." With more than half of Blacks in many cities caught in the subprime trap - and with even these usurious financing schemes disappearing in the wake of the bubble-burst - the prospects for Blacks to amass wealth have grown bleaker than at any time in living memory. At the current rate, it will take 5,423 years for Blacks to achieve homeowner parity with whites.
The money-lenders have already sucked the value out of whole communities, urban and suburban. The wealth loss is staggering: People of color have collectively lost between "$164 billion to $213 billion over the past eight years," with Latinos losing slightly more than African Americans. For the average American, wealth is passed on through the value of homes. That dream, as the report concludes, has been largely foreclosed.
Today two activists were arrested at a rally protesting NW Natural's investment in new Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) related pipelines. Activists converged on the NWNasty office with banners and dozens of trees to demand an end to clear-cuts for over 600 miles of proposed pipelines for new fossil fuel development.
Portland forest defense activists are targeting NW Natural for the gas utilities' involvement in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) related pipelines, which threaten to clear-cut strips of forest throughout Oregon.
Piling dozens of trees on NW Natural's downtown office entryway, activists with Stumptown Earth First! and Cascadia Rising Tide, aim to send a message to the LNG-invested gas company: "There's nothing Green about Clear-cuts, No new pipelines."
The Palomar pipeline, Oregon LNG pipeline and the Pacific Connector, which total over 600 miles of pipe, threaten to cross over 1000s streams, rivers and wetlands and require wide clear-cut construction corridors through public lands, including roadless areas and old growth forests.
The Trident submarine base at Bangor is located 20 miles west of Seattle. It is the last active nuclear weapons depot on the West Coast and is the place of deployment for approximately 1,360 nuclear warheads. Another 1,000 warheads are stored on the base in inactive reserve. The Trident base at Bangor has the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the United States.
120 people were present at the demonstration commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the gates of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on January 19th. 17 demonstrators were arrested at the highway entrance into the base.
At 2 PM on Saturday, demonstrators walked from the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action to the entrance of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. After a vigil for peace at the base, six demonstrators entered the highway on federal property, walking arm-in-arm toward the base while singing "We Shall Overcome." At the same time, five other demonstrators blocked the highway entrance to the Trident submarine base while holding a banner with a statement by Dr. King which stated, "When scientific power outruns spiritual power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men."
Wshington State. Senator Oemig's revised petition calling for a full investigation and trial of alleged misdeeds by President Bush and Vice President Cheney passed a vote in the Senate Government and Operations Committee today, Monday 21, 2008.
SJM 8016 2007-08, revised for 2008, calls on Congress to initiate impeachment hearings for the President and Vice President. The bill, first introduced Feb. 15, 2007, was heard before the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee on March 31st, 2007 with over 500 pro-impeachment citizens in attendance.
On Wednesday, January 16, Portland City Council voted to accept all four Immigrant and Refugee Task Force recommendations, including:
1. Create an office of immigrant and refugee affairs, with a multi-ethnic staff, that would serve as a bridge and facilitator between the immigrant and refugee community and City government.
2. Establish a multicultural community center that can house a variety of immigrant and refugee organizations, has space for large meetings and community gatherings,and offers opportunities for people of different ethnicities to mingle.
3. Provide additional resources for immigrant and refugee organizations to train or support their constituents in civic engagement.
4. Conduct a professional evaluation to assess the City's current Human Resources (HR) policies and practices and recommend changes that would result in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of multilingual and multicultural staff to serve Portland's fast-growing immigrant and refugee communities.
The barricade at the end of the road is decorated with freshly-planted poinsettias in a mound of earth. Yellow plastic sunflowers, two graffitied TV sets and an oversize truck tire line a meter-wide trench just past the pavement's end. They mark the boundary between the city of Langford and a protest camp occupied by feral humans.
The Raccoons are a ragtag mob of irregulars holding back a major highway interchange project designed to service Bear Mountain, a sprawling golf resort in Langford, just west of Victoria. A few dozen dumpster-diving, trash-talking, anti-authoritarians with a passion for undisturbed natural places have built a camp in the path of the new highway. The proposed interchange cuts through a pocket of forest packed with natural and cultural rarities: a sacred First Nations cave, a seasonal pond, garry oak meadows, arbutus bluffs, red-legged frogs and chocolate lilies.
"This is the only example of eco-anarchist action in Canada right now," says Ingmar Lee, a Victoria environmentalist and camp supporter. "This is the grassroots, and it's a totally different kind of protest."
The NOAA national marine fisheries service is about to decide whether to begin killing sea lions on the Columbia river. Some say the decision has already been made, and they are simply going through the motions (ala the FCC) of pretending we have a say in the matter. Perhaps. But this is the last chance to make any public comment about whether or not they should be allowed to kill sea lions on the Columbia river. Please take the moment or two that it will take, and make your voice heard. Tell them not to kill the sea lions.
You have only until February 19th to be heard by them before they make a decision. This is the last paragraph of the draft:
"NOAA will consider all substantive comments received by 5 p.m. (PST) on Feb. 19, 2008. You may submit comments by e-mail. See the Federal Register notice, below, for more information; or contact Garth Griffin, 503-231-2005."
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chef Thomas Hurley is closing doors of his posh restaurant and skipping town. In recent years Thomas Hurley has come under fire by animal activists for continuing to carry foie gras on the menu of his upscale restaurant Hurley's. Hurley blames animal rights protests as being one of the main reasons for his restaurants failure.
This is yet more proof that our actions can have an effect. First the Schumachers, now Hurley's. Who's next?
Well over 100 people filled Hearing Room 2 and an overflow room in the Cherberg Building today to hear statements in support of SJM 8016 calling for impeachment investigations. Only a handful of people got to speak but those who did spoke eloquently on their desire to see the Constitution restored.
Senator Oemig made the opening statement at the meeting that started at 3:30 with only the Democratic members of the committee present: Fairley (chair), Pridemore, Kline and McDermott. He said it was unfortunately necessary for the state legislature to act. Since he first introduced the bill ten months ago, there are more abuses, he said, the most recent being the White House destruction of emails. "We can no longer hope and pray that these abuses will stop," he said. The state legislature must act. "If we fail to pass this memorial, we will tell Washingtonians that we are as unwilling as Congress to take a stand to protect the Constitution."
Did you notice over the past couple of days, how many reports in the local media have highlighted various problems with our so-called "law enforcement" personnel? Today was about as bad a "Bad Press Day" as I've seen in long time. Let's recap, briefly, 7 of the stories making the news:
(1.) Beaverton hires former Portland cop who shot unarmed motorist...this, of course, is a report of a bureaucratic misstep made by the Beaverton officials as they hired former PPB Officer Jason Sery, who became infamous in 2004 for killing an unarmed motorist.
(2.) Portland police officer pleads guilty to official misconduct/Plea follows investigation into sexual relationship with autistic woman...A 10-year Portland Police Bureau veteran, 34-year-old Jason Faulk, resigned from the bureau after pleading guilty Wednesday, Jan. 16, to an official misconduct charge.
3.) State agency's final report: Giusto lied repeatedly...The state agency investigating allegations that Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto lacks the moral fitness to serve in law enforcement, issued its final report today laying out a case that describes the sheriff as repeatedly lying to the public...hmmmm!
As reported on this site previously, NW officials are gearing up to "save" salmon by killing sea lions. They claim that the killing of sea lions is necessary because there are an estimated 50 to 100 sea lions each year that hang out near the Bonneville Dam, and those sea lions kill an annual average of 3000 salmon. This, they say, is causing our threatened and endangered salmon to move toward extinction. But a little sleuthing creates some serious questions about this assertion, and about wildlife management policies on the Columbia in general.
According to the ODFW, in the Fall of 2006 alone, the legal, officially counted catch of Chinook salmon by humans on the Columbia river was as follows: By commercial fishers: 26,000 Chinook. By sport fishers: 13,400 Chinook. By Native fishers: 78,082 Chinook.
This is a total of 117,482 Chinook salmon, killed by humans, in only one season of only one year. This does not count all of the other species of fish, including threatened or endangered coho or steelhead. It does not include all of the fish illegally killed and not counted. It does not include fish killed in the ocean, before they could return to the river. And it does not include any of the thousands upon thousands of fish killed each year by the dams.
It appears that humans killed 25% of threatened Chinook salmon in the fall of 2006, while sea lions killed around 3%. (Depends on which source you consult: Some sources have the number of fish killed by sea lions as low as 0.3%, but I will use the highest number, that quoted by the ODFW. That number, again, is 3%.)
We arrived at our destination in front of the building, which was going to host Rebooting Democracy08 at 1:45 PM. We had been in contact with Ms. Caitlin Baggott, one of the members of the Bus Project and were given permission to hand out our leaflets outside the doors. When we made the turn into the parking lot there were about a dozen or so protesters along the street to greet the Peace Bus. Yes, we arrived with members of Chapter 72, to the cheers of our friends in a 30-foot bus with peace messages and impeachment signs all over the bus.
As we passed the security people standing at the gate, I knew the rules were about to be changed. We came off the bus, and Building Management with their security people looked like someone hit them with a brick---they did not know what to do with us progressives. First, they demanded we get out and off their private property. I explained we had permission to have people by the doors to hand out our leaflets, I called for Caitlin Baggott, "Caitlin come out wherever you are, no Caitlin--I knew this was not good. We talked and explained that we would move the bus, (parked at a yellow lined curb) but would not go away from the front door because we had permission to hand out our leaflets. The usual stand off began, they still did not know what to do except call the cops.
Statement of PPRC's Brian Greer to Commissioners today at City Hall:
I am speaking today on behalf of Portland Peaceful Response Coalition to inform you of troubling developments in relation to our exercise of free speech, and to request your consideration of the important issues that are raised thereby.
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition was formed on the evening of 9/11. It initiated a weekly series of demonstrations at the corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square that has continued for more than six years. With support of a strong majority of our fellow-citizens, we exercise "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In recent weeks, PPRC has been approached by employees of Portland Patrol, Incorporated (PPI) objecting to our use of a battery-operated megaphone and to the use of drums. On December 21st, the City of Portland Noise Control Officer, accompanied by a representative of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc., and by a member of the Portland Patrol, informed us that, if we use either the megaphone or drums, individuals will be cited.
The words "May pose a suspected threat to National Security" are so vague one can't wonder if that could apply to stopping individuals wanting to fly to an anti-war or environmental protest. Case in point: Currently, International air carriers are responsible for checking passengers against "government watch lists." That will change in 2008.
Subsequently in 2008, under the Federal Government's "Secure Flight Program" the Government will begin not allowing U.S. Citizens on domestic flights until the government has prescreened a passenger's information against "government Watch Lists." The Government states, "Watch Lists" will be used to identify individuals who "may pose" a known or suspected threat to aviation or national security. But what does that mean? "May pose a suspected threat—to national security? U.S. Government officials have called protesters potential terrorists and a threat to national security. The words "May pose a suspected threat... " are so vague one can't help wonder if that could" apply to an individual wanting to fly to an anti-war or environmental protest.
Rome. January 4th, 2008. Last night, at about 10 p.m., a devastating fire broke out inside the two sheds of the former Mira Lanza warehouse (each about 500 mts square) in the Marconi area of the city. 250 Rrom citizens had take shelter in the sheds, living in very harsh conditions. The fire broke out suddenly and spread with unprecedented speed throughout the sheds of the derelict warehouses. Some of the Rroms noticed the flames and gave the alarm, allowing all the families, including 100 children, to make their escape. The fire was obviously a case of arson because it broke out in the same moment in both sheds, which stand many meters apart. It is impossible that the flames spread from one shed to the other. What is more, the speed with which the flames developed and spread and the height of the flames are typical of fires caused by Molotov cocktails.
We just wanted to give you the latest information about Eric's upcoming hearing dates. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the hearing on the motion for a new trial has been moved to January 24, and sentencing has been moved to February 14th. Every time a hearing gets moved it's a frustrating and emotionally trying situation for all of us, as this only prolongs the amount of time that Eric has to spend in Sacramento County Main Jail (which has much worse restrictions and living conditions than a federal facility, for which he is ultimately headed, will have). It also prolongs the wait we have to endure before we can start the appeals process, which can't begin until after sentencing. Please keep writing Eric! Your letters always help him through these difficult times. Information on writing Eric can be found on his website: www.supporteric.org
SHADES OF RNC 2008? CLUELESS ANTIWAR GROUP CALLS COPS ON CRITICS
From the police riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago to the mass arrests at the 2004 party conventions in Boston and New York, and at every convention in between, police have played a terrible role of crushing political dissent and brutalizing those who dare challenge the ruling elites. Naturally, then, with the Republican Convention poised to hit our river banks in summer 2008 and with popular opinion about the direction of this country at an all time low, many are concerned about whether there will be room to exercise our First Amendment rights at all. Actions by the Minneapolis and St. Paul city councils and their respective police departments certainly give us no reassurance, especially with their secret meetings, efforts to pass new ordinances restricting protest and refusals to grant permits.
The number of licensed fur trappers in Oregon has more than doubled for the 2007 - 08 trapping season. According to the ODFW, 1500 new licenses were issued above the roughly 1,000 already outstanding. The revived popularity of furs in fashion, reversing the decline of the past decade, has caused a marked increase in the price of pelts, especially bobcat.
Population growth in rural areas has led to more conflicts between newcomers and trappers, often caused when pets, especially dogs, are caught and sometimes killed. Most new residents in the rural West are unpleasantly surprised to find traps along their hiking and skiing trails, fishing streams, creek bottoms, anywhere in fact where furbearers can be found. Oregon has very few restrictions on where traps can be set. They can be set anywhere along public roads and trails, anywhere on public lands unless specifically forbidden. There are no required setbacks, no indications where traps are set. Traps designed to kill are mingled with leg-hold traps.
Newspaper stories and letters to editors about trapped pets have brought unwanted attention to the trapping industry. Dogs trapped and killed in Montana, Nevada and Oregon during the 2006 -07 trapping season have inspired the formation of citizen groups intent on restricting or eliminating this abusive practice. TrapFree Oregon, FootLoose Montana and TrailSafe (Nevada) have all begun to educate the public about the indiscriminate and cruel nature of trapping, whether it be for fur or wildlife management.
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