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Farmworkers have traditionally been excluded from laws that protect nearly all other working people who wish to organize a union. Although farmworkers in Washington State cannot be legally discriminated against for joining a union, there is no legal mechanism to oversee union elections and collective bargaining. A rally has been scheduled in Yakima, Washington, on Sunday, August 5th, to call attention to Washington State's discriminatory practices against Agricultural Farmworkers. The Washington State March for Amnesty & Justice For Agricultural Workers will start at 10 AM. For more info see the United Farmworkers Website There is however, a policy that exists under the NAFTA regulations that provides for protection of workers, called NAALC, Under this NAFTA labor accord, individuals may lodge complaints, called "public communications," with the National Administration Office (NAO) of a country not involved in the complaint. A complaint was filed with Mexico's labor department in 1998. The workers' complaint cited violations of freedom of association, health and safety, and non-discrimination principles under NAALC. In August of 1999, the Mexican NAO completed its review of the complaint, and requested ministerial consultations. A May 2000 accord between the two countries' secretaries of labor authorized the August 8 public forum at Yakima Community College. This will be the first time that a broad, industry-wide complaint under the NAALC has come to public forum in the United States. It will be the workers' opportunity to share their concerns about lack of protection for their international labor rights and lack of enforcement of minimum labor and health and safety standards. For more information, contact the United Farmworkers of America at (509) 839 4903.
On Monday, August 6 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, activists will express grief and anger over the vengeful behavior of Italian security forces during last week's G8 conference, and fear of worsening repression in this country. Coffins, dirges, and mourning attire will symbolize horror at the renewal of state terrorism. Members of the Portland community will link the escalating police violence in Quebec, Sweden, and Italy to growing police aggression in Portland, including the FTAA demonstration on 7/31, July Critical Mass, and ongoing terrorism against "black-clad" activists. Speakers will highlight personal fear and grief, and community response. Press conference, 11:30 AM; Funeral, Noon
[ Read more | Global IMC G8 coverage | 7/31 FTAA Demonstration | July Critical Mass ]
On August 4th in the Portland Rose Garden Complex Democracy Rising will kick off the People Have The Power Tour. The tour is an effort to reclaim the high ground not just in politics but in all matters within the local communities that the rallies will be held. Ralph Nader and other prominent figures will be speaking and performing. Pre-rally there will be free Education Centers, held from 11:00 am to 6 pm in the Memorial Coliseum, that have been organized to offer action-enabling information on a huge range of progressive issues. Post-rally events will include free Action Centers, to be held from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Rose Garden, where interested citizens can become directly involved with ongoing campaigns and organizations.
Protest the Rally Organized by people who feel Nader voters gave votes to Bush in the last election, a protest will be held outside the Coliseum at 5 pm.
Ride Together to the Coliseum In conjunction will be a permitted bike rally, which will gather under the west side of the Burnside Bridge at Noon. The rally will circle downtown and end at the Memorial Coliseum. Noise makers and crazy costumes are encouraged.
4 August 2001
Don't hate the media -- become the media!
On Friday, 27 July, police harrassed a special Critical Mass being held in memorium for a cyclist's death. Two arrested and at least six citations were issued. It was described by one participant as "May Day of 1999 all over again". What was supposed to be an 'In Memorium' Critical Mass ride for the death of a fellow cyclist turned into confusion, oppression and of course, arrests made by Portland's finest. The route was simple. From downtown, over the Burnside Bridge, up Sandy Boulevard to 37th, back around onto 39th and into Laurelhurst Park for a party. The ride never made it en mass to the memorial site of 37th and Sandy.
Approximately four Portland Police cars screeched to a halt when the ride came to the bottom of the Burnside Bridge at Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard. PP blocked the ride, and two-and a half lanes of traffic eastbound from the bridge. Tickets were given to a few cyclists for 'impeding traffic'. The ride attempted to continue on across MLK, but was stopped between MLK and Grand, with more tickets given. The ride gave a last ditch effort to continue uninterrupted. At approximately 7th and Burnside, cyclists were told to get off the street, two were arrested, more tickets were issued--the madness had officially began.
This rally will be calling on Congressman Blumenauer to vote no on Fast Track legislation in a stand of support for the environment, workers and the poor here in Oregon and around the world. Fast Track legislation allows the Bush administration to negotiate trade deals, such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas and WTO expansion, which cannot later be amended by Congress, but instead must be voted up or down as submitted. This would strip Congress of the ability to adequately scrutinize trade agreements submitted by President Bush.
Giant puppets, colorful signs and lots of energetic people will be in attendance.
Contact: Kate Lore and Joe Schneider Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church Oregon Fair Trade Coalition t: 503-228-6389 ext. 44 , t:503-823-5129 | handbills and posters for the rally
Eugene Rally for Workers Rights, the Environment, and Democracy on high noon Friday, August 3 at Ron Wyden's office, 151 W 7th, Eugene (between Olive and Charnelton on 7th).
Join Eugene labor, environmental, political, and religious leaders in a rally to demand that Senator Wyden stand up for labor rights, the environment, Oregon communities, and the future of our hemisphere. Let him know that we don't support fast track, and he shouldn't either.
Congress is currently debating the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a trade agreement modeled after NAFTA (which has alone cost Oregon nearly 11,000 jobs since 1994). The AFL-CIO and many other organizations have made it a priority to defeat fast track.
Call Senators Wyden and Smith and tell them that you oppose the FTAA and the fast track authority that would deny Congress the right to amend the FTAA. Please act soon! Senator Ron Wyden: (202) 224-5244, (541) 421-0229 Sen. Gordon Smith (202) 224-3753, (541) 465-6750
Rally organized by the Eugene Fair Trade Coalition. Co-sponsored by CISCAP, ESSN, and the Lane County Labor Council. For more information call 687-2916.
Update: Thu 9:30am: The protests have not been cancelled. Several posts have been made to the IMC newswire claiming that the protests have been called off. This is false; the buses are still running and will leave downtown Vancouver, British Columbia from Burrard Sky Train Station & Library Square at 9:00am on Saturday. See this post. PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) is a Regional Trade Alliance who's policies and activities reflect WTO, FTAA and NAFTA rulings and regulations. On July 26-28, PNWER will be having their annual meetings in the posh ski resort town of "Whistler" located on unceded St'at'imc Territory in "bc." For more information on the events, visit Resist PNWER. Specifically, see the Schedule of Resistance. There will be a demonstration on Saturday, July 28th, beginning at noon in parking lot #3, Whistler, BC.
23 July 2001--300 people converged in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon today to protest against the G8 Summit, and to voice their opposition to the brutal and violent behavior of Italian law enforcement during the last few days, especially the death of Carlo Giuliani, a 23 year old activist, at police hands.
Delivering a letter to the Italian Consulate
Scuffle between protester and AP photographer
Taking the streets
Italian police have killed two protesters during the anti-G8 demonstrations in Genoa, Italy. The first was Carlo Guliani, 23, a Genoan man who was shot in the head with a revolver and run over twice by a jeep. An autopsy has confirmed that Guliani died of a gunshot wound [ Story ]. New reports tell of other deaths and injuries in what has quickly become a violent and repressive police state [ Other deaths ].
A Russian computer programmer was arrested by the FBI on Monday after giving a presentation at an annual computer security conference in Las Vegas. He is being taken to the district of northern California for arraignment. Mr. Sklyarov's lecture at the DefCon-9 conference was entitled "E-Book Security: Theory and Practice". He was arrested at the behest of Adobe Systems, a San Jose-based software company responsible for PhotoShop, Illustrator and Premiere (all popular graphics packages for Microsoft Windows and MacOS).
There is a protest outside Adobe Systems' headquarters in San Jose, California on Monday, 23 July, 2001 at eleven o'clock in the morning. There are several solidarity protests at both Adobe offices and federal buildings throughout the country, including Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Moscow. Local activists might arrange one here in Portland, too. See full story for details.
On Friday, 13 July, the U.S. federal government attempted to prevent the Sundance ceremony from taking place at Big Mountain, Arizona. Five Din? elders were jailed. One recieved $3000 in fines for being at the Sundance, where she recorded the following audio that tells the inside story.
On Tuesday, 10 July, Portland was honored with a labor-activism double-hitter. In the morning a number of labor, environmental, religious and community groups held a press conference on the waterfront to announce the launch of a campaign to convince Oregon's congressional delegation to vote against Fast Track legislation.
At noon, employees of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), joined by members of a broad array of unions, staged a rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square to highlight the low wages of DEQ employees, and to demand a living wage. It was a day marked by colorful solidarity and boisterous spirits which showed that, in the words of one speaker, "Portland is a union town".
After Years of planing and hard work Portland has another food co-operative. The Alberta Cooperative Grocery opened its doors Saturday after many staff and working members worked long hours in order to make final preperations. They are still working some bugs out of the system but were quite happy to open the doors.
This marks the continued revival of this Alberta neighborhood. On opening day the Alberta Co-op already had approximately 200 members. The Co-op is located on the corner of NE 15th and Alberta, and open Monday thru Saturday 10-8 and Sunday noon-5.
A group of Portland citizens attempted to visit Senator Smith's office today to present him with an award, but were at first rebuffed by his staff and by World Trade Center security. Though they eventually spoke with two of the Senator's aides, and were able to deliver the mock award, it was clear that Smith's office is not open to citizen commentary except under its own, very restrictive terms, and those of the World Trade Center building's private security.
The citizens' concern was the current battle in the U.S. Senate between two competing mininum wage hike bills, one sponsored by the Republicans, one by the Democrats. The delegation was led by ACORN, and included representation from Jobs with Justice, SEIU Locals 49 and 503, and Justice for Janitors.
In a major victory for workers at the Pictsweet Mushroom Farm, Fred Meyer, a large retailer with 119 stores throughout the Pacific Northwest, has decided to cease purchasing Pictsweet Mushrooms. This decision by Fred Meyer management came after a telephone call from Mike Swaim, the mayor of Salem, who recently began speaking out against the terrible working conditions at Pictsweet. [ Story ] This victory also follows the recent Walk for Farmworker Justice, which brought increased attention to the Pictsweet Mushroom factory.
Organizers for Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon's farmworker union are encouraging people to contact Fred Meyer and thank the company for its actions, and to continue to pressure their own local grocery stores to boycott Pictsweet Mushrooms as well.
About two dozen volunteers in matching tee-shirts and bearing buttons and flyers embarked from the Ralph Nader event office in the Governor Building at about 11:45 today heading to Pioneer Courthouse Square to promote Nader's August 4th visit to Portland. Only a few minutes after arriving at the square, two volunteers were informed by uniformed security that a permit was required to flyer there.
[ Read More ]
"I am not now Who i might have been" is a rare mixture of local art-making, community discourse. the performace is the culmination of a four month community engaged process called The Justice Project. For the past several months, Sojourn Theatre has conducted interviews and workshops with citizens and organizations all around the state of Oregon. They have worked with various organizatins and agencies including correctional facilities, schools, juvenile justice officials, civil rights specialists, law enforcement, faith leaders, immigration services and the Office of the Attorney General to name a few. Sojourn Theatre transforms the Solomon courtroom, a physical space that formally speaks Justice, into a space of questions.
[ Read More ]
The Walk for Farmworker Justice took place in Oregon from June 18-25. Participants in the Walk included people from immigrant, labor, religious, human rights, community, small farmer, environment, and youth organizations [ List of endorsers ]. Their goal: to bring NORPAC, an Oregon agricultural cooperative, to the bargaining table with Pi?eros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon's farmworker union.
The list of labor abuses committed by NORPAC growers is long, but includes low pay, no overtime, no breaks, exposing workers to carcinogenic pesticides, overcrowded and overpriced housing, lack of proper toilet facilities, and child labor. Workers who have attempted to claim their basic rights are met with discrimination, firings, evictions from grower-owned housing, mechanization of harvests, anti-farmworker and immigrant law proposals, and threats of physical violence.
IMC Portland, cooperating with KBOO, provided daily coverage of the event with reports in text, photo, video and audio. The feature continues to be updated as more content is produced.
In its original form, HB 3712 set aside $5 million to help fix hazards that keep kids from walking and bicycling to school. Unfortunately, it was amended to eliminate the bill's requirement that the state set up a Safe Routes to School grant fund. It now directs cities and counties to work with school district personnel to identify hazards that make walking or bicycling to school unsafe, and to develop a plan to address those hazards.
Although HB 3712 no longer contains funding, it is an important first step to create safe routes to school. The bill will push cities and counties to evaluate where kids can - or can't - walk and bicycle.
On June 7th, City Council voted for the Auditor's review board, 5-0. Commissioner Saltzman added a piece that allows the Independent Police Review investigators to ask questions directly to police. However, they wil still be doing so in the presence of Internal Affairs detectives, who "may repeat the question or order the officer to answer." Council lauded Auditor Blackmer for his honessty and integrity, yet berated the "activists", "advocates" and "legitimate groups" who were criticizing the board instead of coming along and helping make it work.
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