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The struggle continues...
February 24th, 2011-- Workers from Janus Youth Program, a frontline organization helping at risk youth, continue picketing their workplace after management made the decision to move to an expensive and undemocratic arbitration process for dispute resolution.
Link to 2:30 min VIDEO: http://bmediacollective.org/?p=537
There were Solidarity with Wisconsin rally's across the country today....
In spite of the very cold weather, it was a good turn out in Salem Oregon.
February 16, 2011 Portland Oregon Press Conference by religious community opposing outrageous bloated military budget and inhumane cuts in social service in the recent Obama Budget for 2012.
Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Obama's 012 Budget
Clergy from various Portland denominations each spoke briefly, condemning the U.S. misplaced priorities and blatant disregard for human life worldwide.
First to speak was Rev. Bill sinkford, Senior Minister of First Unitarian Church; The Reverend was followed by Rabbi Joseph Wolf of the Havurah Shalom Community; Mark Knudson, Senior Minister of Augustana Lutheran Church; and Lynne Smouse-Lopez, Senior Pastor at Ainsworth United Church of Christ.
Fundamental to the Press Conference was a long graphic demonstrating the values inherent in the 2012 budget. Taking up over half of the graphic was a large red area portraying the 59% of the budget reserved for military spending.
At the other end of the graphic were the various other areas of expenditures provided for in the budget: 6% for Health and Human Service; 6% for Transportation; 4% to the States; 4% for Education; 4% for Other Programs; 3% for Department of Homeland Security; 3% for Housing and Urban Development; 2% for Justice; 2% for Agriculture; 1% for NASA; 1% for Energy(excludes nuclear weapons program); 1% Labor; 1% Treasury; 1% Interior; 1%Interior; 1% Environmental Protection Agency; 1% Commerce.
The opinion came through loud and clear from all who spoke that the U.S. is not fulfilling it's democratic obligations to it's citizens and also is a force encouraging and fostering violence world wide.
This is a very short, incomplete recap of the most recent events in Seattle. It concerns only the anarchists, not the protests organized by the family of the deceased. Undoubtedly, someone else will write a more thorough analysis for those of you who don't live in Seattle...
On the night of Tuesday, February 15, the media began reporting that the City Prosecutor had decided not to prosecute police officer Ian Birk for the murder of John T. Williams. Soon after, an event appeared on Facebook, calling for people to meet at 6pm on Wednesday, February 16, for a night of protest at Westlake Plaza, a busy shopping district in the heart of Downtown Seattle. The next day, anarchists leafletted for the demonstration throughout Capitol Hill and into downtown. The first protest brought 600-700 people into the street, all marching without a permit...Another Facebook event appeared that night, urging further action despite Ian Birk's resignation from the police force. The second protest, on Friday, February 18th, brought a fluctuating group of about 150 people out onto the streets, most of whom marched behind anarchist banners and some of whom held black flags.
Once again, the march took off without a permit. Thousands (literally) of anarchist leaflets were thrown into the air. Chants such as "An eye for an eye, the pigs gotta die" and "Cops and judges, we don't need 'em, all we want is TOTAL FREEDOM!" were yelled at the police.
Portland Rally supporting the people of Libyan in their efforts to establish a more democratic government. The present leader, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known simply as Colonel Gaddafi, has been the de facto leader of Libya since a coup in 1969.
Solidarity Rally With Libya
People gathered on the steps at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland chanting patriotic and anti Gadaffi slogans, periodically marching around the perimeter of Pioneer Square.
The chants demonstrated the anger of the people against their dictator, whose reign has seen a decline in the economic fortunes of the country, despite being a major oil producer.
"One, two, three, Libya will be free;" "No more fear, that's why we're here;" "Down, down, with the butcher." This last refers in part to Abu Salim Prison, where, according to Human Rights Watch,1270 people were killed in 1996.
One young person I interviewed said "we are here because most of the men you see here today were exiled out of their country, 20, 30, 40 years ago.....and are not allowed to go back home, because of the Gadaffhi regime."
She says that Gadaffi has been killing his citizens for 42 years for no other reason than that they have a view for a prosperous and democratic Libya."
They want the basic democratic rights that we take for granted in this country, to be able to speak their mind and vote for who they want to represent them, and "because these people speak out for what they want to do, he kills them."
"In the past 3 days he has killed over 500 people."
To underscore this statistic, later in the Rally, a man stood up and called for "a moment of silence to honor the 500 people killed and over 2000 injured......by Gaddhafi and his mercenaries from Africa. He brought people from the outside to kill our own people.
We need to remember that every single moment."
[Related Video Post From Rally]
On February 24th the Portland City Council will be voting on whether or not the City of Portland should re-enter the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). We strongly oppose the JTTF because we value our civil rights and we need Portland Police officers to be held accountable to Oregon State Law. We don't want roving wiretaps, secret access and domestic spying on non-violent activists & community groups.
Portland Says NO to the JTTF
RALLY OUTSIDE CITY HALL DAY OF JTTF VOTE!!!
DATE: Thursday February 24th
CITY COUNCIL VOTE: 2pm (public testimony will be taken)
LOCATION: Outside City Hall Council Chambers 1221 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97204
We said NO in 2005 and we say NO now.
CO-SPONSORS: Oregon Progressive Party, Oregon Jericho, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, NW Student Coalition, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, the Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, International Socialist Organization, Freedom Socialist Party, Individuals for Justice, and you...
After 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing mass commercialization of GE crops, like Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa.
In exchange for dropping their opposition, WFM has asking for "compensation" to be paid to organic farmers for "any losses related to the contamination of his crop."
I went to DC in March 2010 This is some video footage that ended up being "out takes" Here are some of those clips, compiled in one 20 minute video. This was filmed as I was at The Peace Of The Action anti-war-peace camp ...which is where this video starts out. (side note) Cindy Sheehan and fellow POTA acrivist were arrested earlier that wekend
20 min video from DC in March 2010
More information from my trip Here:
More of my videos from POTA Here:
Interview with Jonathan Demery, picketing at Janus Youth Program offices at 707 NE Couch Street in Portland Oregon. This local non profit runs the Street Light and Porch Light Shelters as well as Harry's Mother Youth Program.
[VIDEO:] Picket at Janus Youth Program
Video interview is about 7 minutes in length.
This is an ongoing Direct Action picket, everyday, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:00 am, at the Janus Youth Program offices in Portland Oregon.
According to Jonathan, and literature handed out at the picket, the management at the non profit have tied their agreement for the newest labor contract and very small raises to replacing the present Peer Review Panel with a Mandatory Arbitration.
"Basically what we are asking for is what we've had for ten years, which is a Peer Review Panel, which allows for people who have been fired to have their peers sit on a panel, review the case and decide if the firing was fair or not. And our managers are saying that they won't sign the contract with the Portland workers and with the International Workers of the World (IWW) unless the workers give up their fight for this panel and agree to have binding arbitration,.......which would cost $1500.000 a day."
"This would make it unfeasible for workers to have any meaningful democratic oversight into discharged employees."
The non profit organization is mostly funded from City, County and State grants, and so, this is community money that could be used on local youth programs.
Jonathan states that Janus is "hierarchical and are not allowing for workers or the Community to have any input on these issues. They are basically top down decisions that are being made, we are being told that we just have to live with them."
Jonathan further states that the top manager, Dennis Morrow, makes in excess of $156,000.00 a year, "while they can't give their workers who are running the program.......even $10.000 an hour in many cases, and they are trying to pressure us economically to give up some of the small worker rights that we've gained over the years that we believe in and want to keep."
Those who are holding this picket, the individual workers and the IWW, invite the community to support their efforts and join in the picket, which will continue until their demands are met.
2249 East Burnside
[Related PIMC post:]
Filmed at the monthly open to the public meeting
Held on the first Monday of the month
At the Portland Building on the 2nd floor
The time of the meeting is 3:30 PM
(81 minute video from 2.7.11 meeting)
This meeting discusses the sidewalk laws and the results from the laws.
The meeting is attended by citizens and city officials, as well as advocates and civil rights observers.
There is public input. The police and the PBA have a Representative at these meeting, which are hosted by City Council Amanda Fritz office.
I have been documenting these videos since the first meeting and all of them are archived on my website and on Portland Indymedia
Over the years we have spent time in prison and/or supported other activists who have been in prison for acts of conscience. We write to you now with a special request on behalf of Helen Woodson.
Back in November of 1984, Helen was part of the Silo Pruning Hooks action. She went to a Missouri nuclear missile silo along with Larry Cloud-Morgan, Fr. Carl Kabat OMI and Fr. Paul Kabat OMI. With sledgehammer and jackhammer, the group followed the biblical mandate of Isaiah to turn swords into plowshares. They were convicted and received a varied number of years of prison time for their action.
With the exception of a few days, Helen has been in prison ever since. (A couple of times in past years when released, she immediately engaged in an action that resulted in arrest and being returned directly to prison for violating parole.)
She is scheduled to be released in September of 2011 after 27 years behind bars.
Helen is looking forward to getting out, and at the age of 67 and with health issues, has decided to now retire from activities that might return her to prison.
It's been a long time since she's lived on the outside. She'll leave prison with a sweatsuit, plus books that she's accumulated. That's it.
Since she will leave prison with no source of income or health coverage, she plans to apply for government assistance, but it can take six or so months for someone to find out if they are eligible to receive benefits. In the meantime, in addition to things like food and clothes, she'll need to purchase medications for multiple health problems, at quite a significant cost. So she has asked friends to raise funds on her behalf (not money to be used while she is in prison, but for the things she'll need once she's released).
Her living situation once she's released is still uncertain. It has been challenging for her to develop a plan that the Bureau of Prisons and Department of Justice find suitable since Helen will be subjected to many conditions and restrictions after her release. The couple who have invited her to live with them are still waiting to be contacted to answer the questions and receive the home visit needed to determine if Helen will be allowed to live there. Helen is very much hoping that they and their home will be approved. If not, she is not sure where she will be able to live, and it's possible additional money will need to be raised to enable her to rent a small place to live.
In the meantime, until this becomes more clear, it will ease her mind significantly if she can at least know that she'll be able to pay for the medicines she needs, and things like a winter coat. Can you help?
Secure online donations can be made via paypal at the Nuclear Resister website at: http://www.nukeresister.org/donate
Teargas, rubber bullets, batons, knives, live, rounds as well PAINT BALL guns were used to disperse crowds. I would love to find out the brand of those paint ball guns.
Virtual information lock down. No internet, no texting, no cell phones, no phones at all in and around the main squares.
Journalists were banned from the streets and viciously attacked if they did venture out.
The latest report has 1 person confirmed dead and roughly 250 arrested.
Since there are no journalists on the ground some of the reports cannot be independently confirmed.
Its the closest thing we have to journalism from Iran at the moment. I'm sure there will more verifiable reports in the next few days as the internet and other communications become available.
'Reversing Diabetes in Native America'
Portland, OR to Washington DC
February 14 - July 8, 2011
This is a 5,000+ mile Walk Across America to bring awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes and how it can be reversed by changing our entire diet and lifestyle! This disease is at epidemic levels across America, and throughout Indian Country.
We will hold community talks along the way about reversing diabetes, and heart disease. We will be advocating for major changes in our eating habits, while promoting beneficial exercise programs. Our goal will be to REVERSE DIABETES AND RAISE THE CONSCIOUS OF AMERICA THAT WE MUST HALT THE WORST DIET IN THE WORLD!
We will be leaving Portland, OR on February 14, 2011 following a ceremony, and other events, and entering Washington DC on July 8th, 2011.
PLEASE SEE NOTES [on website] FOR ROUTE MAP AND LIST OF CITIES AND TOWNS THE WALKERS WILL WALK THROUGH!
You, too, can be a part of this! Please consider donating to our cause. We are accepting gas cards and unencumbered funds to be used for support and emergencies.
We need contacts for food and and lodging in communities along the route, and runners to help with the walk.
To see a video of Day 1 on the Walk, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJiobo_RT-Y
Janus protest continues into its second week, going strong
Workers stood in front of Janus Youth Programs, at 707 NE Couch, from 9am to 11am, again today, starting off a second week of picketing. About 12 workers held sign, passed out fliers, sang classic labor songs and chanted -- "1, 2, 3, 4, we won't take this any more, 5, 6, 7, 8, we don't want to arbitrate." Workers at Streetlight/Porchlight and Harry's Mother shelters are being told by Janus management that they will not have their IWW union labor contracts signed unless they give up their demand to keep their peer review panel in cases where workers are fired and contest that firing. These panels have been in place for a decade, and have never cost Janus any money. In their place, Janus is proposing binding arbitration, which could easily cost $1500 a day, money that neither the volunteer-run IWW union nor the workers have. Workers see this as a way for management to pressure them into accepting either a fair wage or a fair contract, and workers are demanding both. The small pay raise Janus is offering is contingent on the workers giving up their demand to keep their peer review panel. Workers chanted, "Every day til we get our way!" and plan to stand every morning of each workday in front of Janus until their demands are met.
[Related Video on Protest]
They did it! They won! The people of Egypt showed the rest of the world what people can do when they use their power and don't give up.
They did it! They won! The people of Egypt showed the rest of the world what people can do when they use their power and don't give up. With incredible courage and solidarity, they succeeded in getting rid of a hated tyrant and a corrupt government, which had tried to crush them for the past 30 years. The triumph of the people of Egypt makes all of us who stand for freedom and justice happy! We share their joy and celebrate their tremendous victory. They have made history that will inspire millions around the world for a very long time.
Many folks, who had shown up these last two Saturdays at Pioneer Square to support the protestors in Egypt, were here again today. But this time the mood was different. People were smiling and laughing, shouting with joy, chanting, singing and dancing, hugging each other and their children. They waved flags, and signs that expressed their joy and excitement: "Happy Birthday, Egypt! Long Live Free Egypt! Long Live the Egyptian Revolution! I'm so proud to be Egyptian! Freedom is Wonderful! All Power to the People!" Many also held up signs with pictures of those who were killed in Tahrir Square. They called for a moment of silence to honor the fallen heroes. Then, the music and the celebration began again, as people relished this momentous time in history. We will never forget what the people of Egypt have done in their unstoppable struggle for "Hurriya, hurriya, adalah igtimayyia - freedom, freedom, social justice!"
[Related Video Post]
The Portland Human Rights Commission had there monthly meeting in the City Hall Chambers
The topic of FBI spying and not being trusted were presented by a wide variety of Portland Citizens. The meeting was open too hear from the community regarding should the Portland police and the FBI be working in secret Top Secret stuff together with no oversight (or not)?
Portland Human Rights Commission hosted the public discussion on:
"Should the Portland Police Join with the JTTF (FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force)
The meeting was recorded by a couple people, other footage may be available.
The city council will be voting on this at the end of this month.
A dozen people testified at this Human Rights Meeting, from both sides of the issue. Most of those testifying were NOT in favor of join with the FBI for very good reasons.
There was a few Iraq veterans (IVAW) who make very good points at numerous times in this public hearing
[Video] link to: link to www.archive.org
Video of the Rally in support of the people of Egypt in Pioneer Square on Saturday, February 5, 2011, including interviews with participants.
[Video:] Egypt Solidarity Rally
The Square rang with the chants: "the people want Mubarek out," "brick by brick, wall by wall, we will see Mubarek fall;" "Hey Mubarek you will see, Egypt wants Democracy;""No more Pharoah;"and various other chants in another language, Egyptian Arabic.
Several people who were carrying signs saying, "ask me about Egypt," were kept busy with interviews by the numerous media on hand.
[Related Video Post]
I went to the Egypt solidarity rally in Portland today. It was a decent turnout. Chants were "Brick by Brick, Wall by Wall, We will make Mubarak Fall" and many more chants. Children were dancing waving the Egypt's flag as everyone chanted. There was a lot of energy coming from the organizers of this rally. It was wonderful to see a large group of people from all different backgrounds taking part in today's rally. I hope more will continue until Mubarak steps down.
Also, just to clear this up as there has been confusion that President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. This is not true. The top leadership body of Egypt's ruling party, including Mubarak's son Gamal Mubarak, has resigned today. But not President Hosni Mubarak.
[Pictures from Protest by: justicelies] [Pictures from Protest by: joyofresistance]
Three video clips from the recent Single Payer Health Care Conference held in Portland Oregon.
Dr. Margaret Flowers Interview
Representative John Conyers Keynote Presentation
Labor Session at the Single Payer Health Care Conference
Dr. Margaet Flowers is the Congressional Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program
Interview conducted by Lisa Stiller.
From Bill Moyers Journal
"While many in Congress, the press and the public have given up on the idea of even a limited public option in health care reform, Flowers and her group, Physicians for a National Health Program, are standing firm for a single-payer plan. Specifically, they want to extend the Medicare program, which they see as a functioning single-player plan, to the nation as a whole.
Flowers has testified before Congress and penned Op-Eds and she has been arrested three times in her attempts to get Congress and the White House to pay attention to single-payer."
Dr. Margaret Flowers Interview
Rep. John Conyers has been the Representative from Michigan since 1965.
"He is currently the second-longest serving incumbent member of the House (just after fellow Democrat from Michigan, John Dingell) and the third-longest incumbent member of the entire Congress by length of service (after Dingell and Daniel Inouye). The district includes most of northwestern Detroit, as well as Highland Park, Hamtramck and part of Dearborn."
Representative John Conyers Keynote Presentation
The Labor Session featured two speakers: Tom Leedham, Principal Officer, Teamsters Local 206 in Oregon; and Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator, National Campaign for Single Payer.
This was an excellent workshop on the relationship between Labor and Health Care.
A 1/2 hour Public Access program featuring Steve Hughes, Working Families Party of Oregon, discussing the advantages of a State Bank. Right now the State of Oregon deposits billions of our tax dollars into the same "Too Big To Fail" banks that crashed our economy.
A Proposal to Create a State Bank in Oregon
Oregonians for a State Bank believes that we should bring that money home, and invest it into creating jobs here. The Oregon legislature will consider a bill this year to cut our dependency on Wall Street by creating the Oregon State Bank.
On the program, "A Growing Concern," Steve also announced an upcoming event, and invited the community to attend and find out what they can do to get involved in this exciting campaign.
A Public Forum About the Oregon State Bank.
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011
5:30 - 6 pm Reception
6 - 8 pm Public Forum
At the New Song Community Church
(2511 NE MLK Blvd, Portland)
Speaking will be:
Barbara Dudley - Co-Chair of the Oregon Working Families Party;
Jim Houser - Co-owner of the Hawthorne Auto Clinic, and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon;
Teresa Retzlaff - Farmer at 46 North Farm in Astoria, and member of Friends of Family Farmers;
State Representative Jefferson Smith - (D-Portland, District 47).
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