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just returned from Venezulea with a global exchange delegation centered on community organizing. I am working on a larger documentary based on the Bolivarian revolution and will return to Venezulea later this year. In the meantime I completed a version that features the David Rovics song "Song for Hugo Chavez".
The Judge **jay bybee watch continues today at high noon. We will again stand in front of the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals at 700 SW 6th Ave. known here in Portland as the Pioneer Courthouse. We stand our watch to wait for the indictment/impeachment/disbarment of a man of horrors. This man wrote the justification for torture; he was in bush/cheney's State Department and was yoo's boss.
Video Report Back: HERE
It is with a heavy heart and a bruised face that I write this letter but I think it's important that my experience be known.
In the early morning hours of Sunday June 14th, I was the victim of a hate crime on the corner of NW 6th and Couch. This happened outside of Casey's, a gay bar where I am a dj and it was 2:30 in the morning, after the bar had closed.
When I came outside to make my way home, I saw that a friend of mine was talking with the Portland Police. She had been punched in the face by a man who had been spouting homophobic remarks at her and another friend of mine. Her nose was broken and the police had arrived to investigate this crime. While I was watching this interaction, a group of men approached the scene also shouting homophobic remarks. I walked up to them to ask them to leave the area and the next thing I remember, I was on the ground with my mouth bleeding. I didn't really know or understand what had happened. I had been punched in the mouth and knocked out.
The Portland Police department, who was on the scene, was completely negligent to my situation. They talked to the guy who said I had started it, yet there wasn't a scratch on him and I was the one on the ground bleeding. As I was sitting on the ground, the police officers refused to let a friend of mine bring me ice for my face, threatening to arrest him if he attempted to approach me.
"Twelve Lanes? That's Insane!" chanted 70 Portlanders as they rallied at Mississippi Avenue, just south of Mason Avenue Sunday evening. The rally was accompanied by a mobile bike-carted sound system, live musicians, and a huge banner unfurled from the roof of a nearby construction site reading "More Lanes=More Cars=More Climate Change. No CRC!" The protest followed a "Pedalpalooza" bike ride earlier in the afternoon - organized by Portland Rising Tide which toured areas of North Portland impacted by the current Columbia River Crossing (CRC) proposal, talking to neighborhood activists opposed to the project.
Environmental activist Justin Solondz has been apprehended in China and has been taken into custody. Justin was named as one of the Green Scare defendants in the University of Washington Genetic Engineering Research arson and was named as a codefendant of Briana Waters, who refused to cooperate, went to trial and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. Justin has been listed as a fugitive by the FBI since the UW indictment was issued several years ago. It is unclear at this time whether Justin will be extradited back to the U.S, and/or when such a transfer would occur. Stay tuned for more updates as they become known.
Not one democrat in U.S. House from Oregon & Washington voted against war supplemental.
Democrats in Oregon & Washington obviously are devoted to failed wars, are opposed to exit strategies, dearly love the current unreformed IMF, which ruins debtor nations, & support the totally unrelated & ridiculously inept cash-for-clunkers program. And of course these congresspeeps will dig deeply into their own pockets to come up with $100,000,000,000 for the war supplemental mishmash approved today. How much more in September, jerks!
This morning around 9:30am I was traveling on the MAX reading a book and I saw bright red from the corner of my eye. I looked up to see bright red paint splattered across a building like blood. Then I noticed it was Nicholas Ungar Furs. So I got off the train to get some photos and info for this article. The entrance, the sidewalk, the windows, and the sign on the front of the building were significantly splattered. The Police arrived very shortly after I did leading me to believe that perhaps this just happened last night.
As of this posting I have not seen a communiqué from this anonymous guerrilla artist so I will attempt to piece together an understanding of why such an action has been taken.
Despite the rain on Wednesday morning, several intrepid activists picketed outside Halton Cat on Columbia Boulevard in Northeast Portland. The small, but spirited group of protesters held the action in solidarity with the national day of action against Caterpillar, timed to coincide with the company's annual shareholder meeting.
Tre arrived in Portland Monday afternoon. Some folks met him at the airport bringing spring water, yummy food, coconut dates of course, and flowers. Lots of hugs and love before he rode a bike with friends to the halfway house he is staying at.
Do you remember the days of Fall Creek, Warner Creek, the first Cascadia Summers? Do you remember the lands that were saved by the direct efforts of concerned citizens? We remember, and it is within that greater tradition of non-violent forest defense that we now come to you proclaiming that a resurgence has begun.
As of June 1, 2009 tree-sits have been deployed within the Fall Creek Project planning area in defiance of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) propositions to clearcut 400 acres in the area. This action is taken as an escalation of the Cascadia Summer campaign against the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) and corruption within the highest levels of the BLM. Perhaps the BLM will listen to these events, as they did not listen to the more than 30,000 Oregonians who filed formal protest against the WOPR. These are public lands and we will not sit back and watch the continuing devastation caused by government incompetence and corporate manipulation. As far as the economy is considered, do not be deceived, you will find no jobs on a dead planet.
Two prominent Obama administration officials were in Oregon today to discuss salmon recovery. NOAA chief (and former OSU professor) Jane Lubchenco and White House Council on Environmental Quality chairwoman Nancy Sutley came to talk salmon, but pointedly did not allow participation from the public -- indeed, the doors were closed to almost everyone. Despite the incredibly short notice, dozens of people showed up with signs, banners, and lots of spirit.
I had actually expected to meet with some tension from the fishermen who had promised to be there. However, when I arrived and began talking to the other groups, I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at how articulate and well-informed this particular crowd was on this issue. Sea lion advocates and anglers immediately found common ground on numerous issues: All of us care about real salmon recovery; None of us believes killing sea lions is the answer; All of us want to see dams removed from the Snake river; All of us want to see habitat restoration. By the end, we were actually carrying each others' signs -- some of the fishermen carried signs supporting sea lions, and some of us carried their "science not politics" signs. [ Read More | Older articles | Sea Lion Defense Brigade ]
We now know the identities of the animals put to death by the state. There were three of them rather than two. They are: C645, C674 and C858... C645 had a name, not just a brand. He was given the name Glider, by the children of Redland Elementary School. C674 was named "Hershey" by the community, in honor of Governor Kulongoski's dog. C858 had been added to the death list only last month, after being observed eating only TWO fish. Clearly, they are not targeting "problem" animals, as they had initially claimed. They are targeting and killing any sea lion they can get.
Once again, we are asking for volunteers to step forward who would like to assist with monitoring. It seems that the killing has not ended for the year after all. We particularly need people to be watching the river at Bonneville dam, and down in Astoria at the sea lion haul out. If you would be interested in helping with this, please contact the Sea Lion Defense Brigade at email@example.com. You can also call Matt Rossell at In Defense of Animals to volunteer as a monitor. That number is (503)249-9996.
[ Read More | http://sealiondefensebrigade.org ]
Activists should be aware that a Portland Indymedia radio DJ, Sean Rice, has been harassed recently by the FBI and threatened with federal grand jury subpoena.
On Monday a man approached Sean Rice when Sean left his house to catch a bus. The man addressed him by his legal name claiming to be an FBI agent and wanting to "ask some questions". Sean quickly informed the man that he wouldn't be answering any questions. The man then claimed he "just wanted to talk to him about his rights". Mr. Rice then told the man he would not talk to him and walked away. At no time did the man present any identification proving whether he was a fed or not. It is important to be aware that corporations hire private detectives to harass activists. So this man may or may not be who he says he is.
Wednesday leaving work the same man approached, this time with a woman who did the talking. She started by trying to hail him over, "come here, come here". To which he replied, "No, talk to my lawyer". She then threatened him, "You're only making this harder on yourself. We can do this the easy way or with a grand jury subpoena." He requested her card to give to his lawyer and offered to have his lawyer contact her. She asked who his lawyer was and he, again, asked for her card. "No. Who's your lawyer?" "Stu Sugarman." Apparently Stu's bad ass reputation preceded him and she quickly uttered a nervous, "Ok," and they left;, again without identifying themselves or serving actual subpoena papers.
So just what exactly is a grand jury?
A motley crew of 35-40 pissed-off Portlanders disrupted the auction of foreclosed homes by bank-fraudsters yesterday morning at the Multnomah County Courthouse before being removed by Sheriff's deputies from the lobby of the courthouse, some violently. Attendees shouted slogans and made "bids" on properties (e.g., "I bid that you keep people in their homes").
The law-unenforcers outrageously claimed that the courthouse lobby and steps were not "public space", and that they therefore were entitled to grab and shove members of the group away from the building. One deputy said, "I'm the judge" of what's public space.
The banking industry has been obstructing attempts by activists to require pre-foreclosure mediation between themselves and homeowners because such mediation has been shown to keep people in their homes rather than out on the streets, where "unnecessary" people should apparently be.
[ Read More | forclosure resistance in portland | Fight the Banks: Foreclosure Prevention Direct actions ]
"We will not be silent" On Mothers Day a 30 minute Silent Vigil was happening in Portland Oregon ...on the sidewalk, outside the Rhododendron Gardens. The music was edited in latter and was sung by "A Suspended Mind." This Silent Vigil was organized by "Code Pink" and local peace activists and organizations around the world. [ Read More | video link from the vigil | Mother's Day Proclamation ]
A link to ACLU's know your rights! pocket guide to handling the police. useful for anyone attending the excessive force demonstration today or Copwatch workshops later this month... One thing we should all print, carry & distribute. I say we should all band together and circulate this to as many people as we know...
Last night, the resistance continued. Shipments started leaving Fort Lewis around 9:00pm. Scouts were located up and down the I-5 corridor. People were in position and then the HugBots - three people in robot costumes and concrete lockboxes - were unleashed in front of a convoy of Stryker vehicles on the off-ramp to Exit 137 near the Port of Tacoma. They jumped out of a van that came out of nowhere, in the midst of several cop cars and quickly locked down. The van drove off with the back doors still swinging open into the dark of the night.
In one of the most highly militarized places in the entire world, a van and a small group of people took the military and the police off guard. They were surprised. They had no idea what was going on. Imagine, if you will, how the scene would have unraveled if instead of three people doing a blockade there were ten or twenty or more? [ Read More | The Anti-Fun League Communique #1 | The Resistance Returns to Tacoma and Lakewood | 11 antiwar activists arrested, Port Militarization Resistance continues ]
On April 30th a 1/2 dozen "individuals for justice" protested outside Pioneer Courthouse, calling for Impeachment of Judge Bybee who signed off on Torture policy for Bush. This is a two part video. The vigil will continue every Thursday at high noon. Two short videos from The Protest against Torture in Portland at Pioneer Courthouse located by Pioneer Square.
On Friday, April 10th, Salem Police and Willamette Humane Society responded to a report of animal neglect at the Scamps Pet Center located inside Salem's Lancaster Mall. Officials liberated 2 dogs and a rabbit from Scamps who were found to be living in poor health conditions. Store manager Laura Lien, 59, was cited for animal neglect. Scamps Pet Center at the Lancaster Mall is now being investigated.
Tracy Lee, a former employee of Scamps in Corvallis, Albany and Eugene says, "I'm not surprised that there are only 6 stores left of the dozens that were in business when I worked for them. Yes, they were known for buying from puppy and kitten mills, and a number of animals would die while in the shop. I remember the mutant American Eskimo with the paw growing out of it's chest." [ Read More ]
Thirteen people were arrested last night along various exits and onramps on the I-5 corridor between Fort Lewis and the Port of Tacoma. Some others were detained but released. Looks like everyone will be out of jail today... Just the first night and we were able to mobilize perhaps seventy people in Lakewood from as far away as Seattle, Portland and remote places on the peninsula... Blockades of people popped out of nowhere during the night at various exits to I-5 and took the convoys and the police by surprise... Convoys were successfully blocked, albeit for a short period of time... If we do things right, this will be the first major anti-militarist and anti-imperialist action during Obama's presidency. We can send a clear message nationally that this administration's policies are terrible as the last. As Angela Davis puts it, "... a black face on white imperialism and capitalism... " This round of military shipments, unlike many in the past, places us at a very interesting and crucial point. [ Read More | 11 antiwar activists arrested, Port Militarization Resistance continues TONIGHT AND BEYOND ]
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