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I've traveled to Athens, Greece ahead of Mayday and a General Strike. Here are some observations for folks back home for insight and inspiration....From http://www.insurgentphoto.blogspot.com.
Exarchia is known throughout Athens as the center of social struggles. This densely packed neighborhood has a reputation as being anti-establishment and is home to students, anarchists, artists, and leftists of all stripes. A month of nationwide rioting was sparked in December 2008 when a 15 year-old local high school student and anarchist was shot and killed by police near Exarchia Square. Most Athenians hate the police, and when this young boy was murdered the whole country exploded. On the corner where Alexis was shot, his mother has mounted a memorial plaque which has his photo as well as the following words (translated from greek):
"Here on the 6th of December 2008, without any reason, a child's smile was extinguished from the innocent fifteen-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulous by the bullets of unapologetic killers."
With the (alleged) death of Bin Laden, the FBI has reordered its "Most Wanted Terrorists" list, moving animal liberation fugitive Andres San Diego to number three. San Diego was indicted in 2004 for the bombings of two targets related to the campaign against Huntington Life Sciences: Chiron (Emeryville, CA) and Shaklee (Pleasonton, CA). He was last seen in 2003, after he evaded an FBI surveillance tail in downtown San Francisco.
Andreas San Diego first became a suspect immediately after the Shaklee bombing, when he was pulled over for a minor traffic violation less than a mile from the site of the explosion. He has been a fugitive for nearly eight years. Adding San Diego to the "most wanted terrorists" list is among the more bold moves by the federal government as it works to sell the public on animal rights activists and the A.L.F. as "terrorists". This despite a 30+ year history of activity in which no humans have been harmed. The bombing Andreas are accused of took place at unoccupied office buildings, and no one was injured.
The FBI's wanted poster has this to say about Andreas San Diego:
People from across Cascadia and up north, from Canada, gathered on the banks of the Columbia to say NO to the shipment of heavy machinery bound for the Albert Tar Sands.
Link to 7 minute video: link to blip.tv [blip.tv/bmediacollective/rising-tide-international-day-of-action-oregon-happenings-5203275]
[On April 20th, 2011 Groups around the world commemorated the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil catastrophe with actions calling for an end destructive energy resource extraction. In Hood River, Oregon, members of the community, people from the Northwest and guests from Canada handed a resolution to the City Administration calling for a shipping ban on heavy machinery bound for the Alberta Tar Sands up the Columbia River. People gathered on the river banks to fly kites, enjoy kayaking, listen to music and talk about alternatives to our destructive addiction to oil.]
Winona La Duke, noted Native American activist and author, speaking recently at the Native American Center at Portland State University. Winona spoke for about ? an hour about the Alberta Tar Sands and also about the large oil extraction equipment being shipped from South Korea through Portland and along narrow highways though Idaho and Montana.
Winona La Duke, Speaking About Tar Sands and the Heavy Haul
After a few brief introductory comments, Winona says that "we are these people at this moment in time; we are the one's who are here...........and as you look around you've got the shot to do something great. You've got the shot to keep them from blowing off the top of a mountain, you got the shot to keep them from combusting the planet to oblivion; you've got the shot to keep them from opening another uranium mine, or gold mine for some jewelry that you don't need; shot to take down a dam in a river; and you've got the shot to stop the Tar Sands. And I feel that it's a great spiritual moment where you have the ability to do something great spiritually." Winona says that we must keep up the battle, because the other side has a 50 year plan. "Exxon has a 50 year plan for their Tar Sands and for all of us.....you have to be prepared for a long haul, because these things don't get fixed in 48 minutes when you watch tv. A little character development, a little solution and we're done." "We need to step outside our arena of comfort and do something." La Duke speaks at length about the Alberta Tar Sands, and the plans to transport enormous equipment from South Korea through Portland and along small roads and fragile ecosystems in Idaho and Montana. This has been dubbed the Heavy Haul, and there are numerous groups resisting this invasion:
Shoppers at Portland's Concordia New Seasons were greeted with an unexpected performance this afternoon when about two dozen Portlanders broke into song and dance. "New Seasons, you say you're local but you buy into Israeli occupation," participants sang, referencing the 19 Israeli products New Seasons carries. The flash mob, coordinated by the Portland BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Coalition, was part of an ongoing campaign calling on New Seasons to stop selling Israeli products.
"New Seasons cannot claim to be friendly and local while it continues to stock products made by Israel, a gross violator of international law," said Wael Elasady, member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights and flashmob participant. "There's a glaring discrepancy between their ethical image and the products they profit from."
The now-burgeoning BDS Coalition, endorsed by groups such as Jews for Global Justice and the ILWU Local 5, has submitted a petition with over 500 signatures from New Seasons shoppers. The petition asks New Seasons to respect the boycott call issued by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and stop selling Israeli products until Israel complies with international humanitarian and human rights law. Additionally, hundreds of customers have submitted "comment cards" supporting the boycott.
Subject: Update on Wednesday's water rate$ hearing: The good, the bad & the ugly. A big thank you to all who came to the water rates meeting on Wednesday. For those of who couldn't attend, here's a break-down of what happened.
THE GOOD: Turnout at City Hall was terrific. Council Chambers was packed with people who are supportive of avoiding the unnecessary "treating" and covering of Portland's historic open reservoirs for contaminants that do not exist. Over 100 people attended , including a mayoral candidate. Near the beginning, a speaker asked people to stand up if they were attending in support of keeping the reservoirs open (and stopping unnecessary construction). THE ENTIRE CHAMBER (except for Water Bureau employees) STOOD. Numerous groups testified against the planned 85% water/sewer rates increase over the next 5 years -- 45 people signed up to testify including Siltronics, Portland Bottling Co., Yo Cream, Alsco Linen, a low income housing representative, Sierra Club Columbia Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility and many, many more.
THE BAD & UGLY: Commissioners gave the green light for water-sewer rates to go up nearly 20% this year. They approved a 6 percent sewer fee hike and a water rate hike of approximately 12 percent. Council is expected to officially approved the rate hikes next Wednesday. An audit recently found that the Portland Water Bureau has spent millions of dollars on projects other than water and sewer operations. This is in violation of Oregon state law. You may recall that the Oregonian Editorial Board recently called for regulatory reform in an opinion piece on LT2. The question is why isn't the Portland Water Bureau working in support of community will, our good water, and LT2 regulatory reform.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Call each city Commissioner's office and tell them to stop reservoir construction projects.
Here's a brief KBOO piece by Joe Meyer on Wednesday's rate hearing:
Previous coverage of this issue: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/05/408414.shtml
Jail Support needed for Alex Payan, Kyle Oels & Kyle Terry; Three activists staged a lockdown at the Seattle Fur Exchange and need support! They will be in jail all weekend and will need vegan food. Please call and politely request they receive adequate vegan meals.
Renton City Jail - 1055 S Grady way
We are posting bail for all three, so if you can donate anything to help get these folks back into the streets for the rest of the weekend, it'd be so appreciated!
An estimated four people were killed Sunday on the Syria-Israel border, five killed on the Lebanon-Israel border, 52 injured in Gaza, and at least 24 injured in the West Bank as Israeli forces attacked Palestinian refugees trying to re-enter their former homes in what is now Israel. The day of protests was a commemoration of the 'Nakba' or 'Catastrophe', the day when Israel was created on Palestinian land 63 years ago.
The Israeli military confirmed firing at protesters on the Israel-Syrian border, as thousands of refugees tried to cross into the Golan Heights - a territory that was traditionally Palestinian, but is now a disputed territory claimed by both Israel and Syria. Many Palestinians who lived in the area found their towns and families split in half by the border. Initial reports indicate that four people were killed by Israeli gunfire on the Syrian border, and dozens were wounded, as Palestinians crossed dangerous unmapped minefields to cross into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. At least 63 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces at protests in the West Bank and Jerusalem since Friday.
[W]ake the fuck up or get woke the fuck up!
This is just a link to an article posted on http://pugetsoundanarchists.org/ It is a detailed account of an entrapment-type undercover operation by the police and FBI in Seattle. In a nutshell, an undercover Seattle police officer tries to badger activists into more risky actions, and failing that, entraps one in a drug-deal by appealing to the activist's sense of friendship and loyalty.
The undercover cop pretended to be an activist, initiated conversations about making molotov cocktails and explosives, tried to push people into doing violent and illegal acts, and encouraged the presence of drugs and guns at after-hours parties.
Here is the link to the article (which originally appeared in the Seattle weekly, the Stranger):
The racist sub-text of the neo-liberal political agenda succeeded in creating acceptance of mass incarceration while simultaneously creating the laws and industries to police, prosecute, cage and control millions of people?almost all poor people and people of color. Neo-liberal policies have been in place for more than thirty years. As a result many people are not aware that our current political and economic situation is not the result of a natural course of events, but rather, of a systemically created ideology that has pervaded every aspect of our daily lives.
Lois Ahrens is the Founder/Director of The Real Cost of Prisons Project (RCPP) and has been an activist/organizer for more than 40 years. First started in 2001, RCPP brings together justice activists, artists, justice policy researchers and people directly experiencing the impact of mass incarceration to work together to end the U.S. prison nation. RCPP created workshops, a website that includes sections of writing and 'comix' by prisoners, a daily news blog focused on mass incarceration and three comic books that were first created in 2005: Prisoners Town: Paying the Price; Prisoners of the War on Drugs; and Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children. Hundreds of organizations around the country use the comix in workshops, outreach and organizing. 135,000 have been printed, while over 115,000 have been sent, free of charge, to organizations and thousands of people held in prisons and jails. Due to lack of funding, Prison Town is now out of print and Prisoners of A Hard Life will soon be as well. Prisoners of the War on Drugs is still available. Print-ready versions of all three are available to view and download here.
Northwest Primary Care, a local Medical Group has decided and begun informing patients who have legitimate diagnoses of Chronic Pain that they will no longer be treated with pharmaceutical pain medications if they choose to avail themselves of Medical Marijuana.
Current patients who use both pharmaceutical pain medications (opiates) and medical marijuana will have to decide which of the treatments they can utilize. Those that choose pharmaceutical treatment will be subjected to urine analysis (piss tests) to ensure they are not using medical marijuana at the same time. This will occur even in cases where opiates and MMJ are treating different issues such as pain and loss of appetite as many cancer patients suffer from.
Some may recall that the Obama administration had announced, some time ago, a truce in the federal enforcement of laws against the use of marijuana by those legally using it for medical purposes in States where it has been approved by voters, such as Oregon. However, the Pharmaceutical Industry has in the last few weeks announced that it wants to enter the market of providing, and profiting, from Medical Marijuana. The FDA has, as expected, been receptive to the plan, and are once again targeting the MMJ infrastructure. In Washington state, the Governor vetoed a Dispensary bill due to fear that the federal government will go after state employees who would have administered the dispensary program.
Photos from May Day march and rally.
Great turn out today for the rally and march in honor of International Workers Day and Immigrant Rights.
Joe Anybody's video post
joyofresistance photo post
The spirit of resistance is being kept alive and well in the tradition of Cascadia's rich history of meeting greed with passion for life. In Olympia, Washington, Olympia Rising Tide won the campaign against a proposed biomass incinerator planned to be built at the Evergreen State College, and one of two biomass incinerators proposed in Shelton, WA! Our victory shows the effectiveness of collaborative organizing, a diversity of tactics and persistence in the face of corporate power. However, biomass incineration is still a very real threat all over the world, and now is a crucial time to step it up and stop it from destroying our forests, air and health. The tides are beginning to turn, now is the time to fight for climate justice!
Art applied informally and as part of meaningful communities (becoming and already existing) succeeds in stopping Loggers and other implementing professionals in their proverbial tracks, while inspiring evolutionary ways of relating to re-enchantifying forests and their multiversity of gifts!
Local loggers at a forest near you were literally and figuratively stopped in their tracks of late thanks to steps taken by locals in bringing their creative intelligence away from coralled locales and back out into indepth relevance.
Last night, about 20 activists from Portland Animal Defense League visited the homes of two of Oregon National Primate Research Center's (ONPRC) most notorious vivisectors. These demos took place as part of ongoing World Week for Animals In Laboratories events and in solidarity with the countless innocent animals slated to die inside labs around the world. First stop of the night... Kathy Grant has received at least $18,304,940 in tax dollars to addict monkeys to alcohol at ONPRC. In one recent experiment, monkeys were starved and only given food if they consumed alcohol After observing their drinking behavior, Grant kills the monkeys and cut up their bodies. Her discovery was that alcohol damaged the monkeys' livers - something long known in humans.
Next, activists descended on the residence of Kevin L. Grove, another notorious primate vivisector at ONPRC that recently received attention in the New York Times for his cruel obesity tests. In his current experiment, Grove makes monkeys extremely obese by feeding them unhealthy, high-fat diets, and by forcing them to live sedentary lifestyles. He then impregnates his subjects and allows some of them to give birth. Most of the monkeys in his experiments are killed and cut open at various stages of this torture.
For more information on what goes on inside Labs like Kevin and Kathy's, be sure to check out our newly launched website ResearchKills.org.
Portland's water quality, and it's health record has been fabulous, with not even one case of Cryptosporidium sickness found to have come from our drinking water for over a century. Yet the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (which often sides with big business over our environment) says now we must quickly build an un-needed water plant to eliminate, to below zero, every dead, dead, dead, fragment of ALL varieties of this one-celled group of protozoa. (Only two of the approximately eight varieties can make people sick; Those two are only the type that come from human and cattle sewage.) But the EPA makes no distinction between the types at all. This is now going to force Portlander's to pay for the current compliance plan designed by Commissioner Leonard which is: Build a 99 million dollar ultraviolet radiation treatment plant in the watershed;
PORTLAND WATER LECTURE AND CITIZEN RALLY -- SAVE BULL RUN DRINKING H2O
EPA Wants Portland to Add Drinking Water Treatment, and Cover Our Open Reservoirs; for Microbial Problem That Does Not Exist; The Resulting Toxic and Carcinogenic Chemicals Added To, and Degrading Our Drinking Water Will Also Be Discussed.
RALLY FOR HEALTHY BULL RUN WATER
Take Action Against OHSU!
During World Week for Animals in Labs, activists around the country are voicing their disgust with the cruelty of vivisection. Here in Portland, OR, the focus remains on Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), home to some of the most notorious and cruel research in the country. Please take the time to write, call and email the vivisectors and administrators on this list and let them know how you feel about their sadistic research.
Web links are provided for for you to learn about the horrific details of each individuals research. Good Luck!
Photographs from the Portland Rising rally and march, Saturday, April 16, 2011. Well organized, well attended and well spoken, the event demands change and, most importantly, vows to continue the struggle.
The event began at Pioneer Courthouse Square, and after about 45 minutes of remarks, marched through downtown Portland, stopping at U.S. Bank and the Hilton Hotel, eventually gathering together at Tery Schrunk Plaza for a few more remarks. At U.S. bank, the Portland Rising march was joined by a smaller group coming from a separate but related event, the Climate Justice Rally.
Speakers were passionate and articulate. Besides the excellent speech by Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wiscoinsin, a high point was a series of 1 minute or so speeches from about 10 workers of various occupations and nationalities. Each gave a poignant snap shot of life in their world and stressed the need for all people to work together against the growing right wing attacks on unions, the poor and the middle class.
As usual the signs added a creative element to the event, and without uttering a word, said it all.
Bank of America grabbed $60,000,000,000+ in profit last year & paid nothing in taxes but received $3,000,000,000 in what is strangely called a "refund".
Around 70 people protested in front of Bank of America branch on Hwy 99 during rush, with many signs for traffic & hand-outs for customers. We signed & presented to management a bill for what BoA owes.
We fully understand that Congress could close loopholes & tax havens that BoA uses, but we also know that BoA is one of the corporate owners of Congress. So it is ultimately BoA & other such venal cesspools that suck resources away from people.
Presumably people in the progressive community do not hold accounts with national/international banks.
Joining the call for "Good Jobs for All" are public and private sector workers from nine local unions who are supporting each others drive for a decent contract.
br> When: April 16, 2011 at 12:00 noon.
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square, at the corner of SW 6th and Morrison
Special Guest Speaker: Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin
On April 16, 2011, hundreds of community members from all walks of life will join together in downtown Portland to call for "Good Jobs for All" and for Congress to protect the safety net including Social Security and Medicare. Joining the call for "Good Jobs for All" are public and private sector workers from nine local unions who are supporting each other's drive for a decent contract. The march and rally will be in the spirit of Wisconsin - family friendly and strong in spirit with excellent visuals.
Appearing direct from the front lines of the battle in Madison, will be Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. When talking about why he led the firefighters into the capitol to protest Scott Walker's attacks on working people, Mitchell explained, "When firefighters see an emergency, we respond."
With millions of Americans unemployed, underemployed and underpaid, the need for a national public works program to put people back to work is becoming increasingly apparent. There is a growing demand for federal programs that will serve to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by using energy efficiency programs and technologies and expansion of public transportation systems. At the same time communities are recognizing the need to protect vulnerable families from homelessness, hunger and other symptoms of poverty by strengthening rather than cutting programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Reports Back Links
Photos posted by: Bette Lee
Photos and post by: Jim Lockhart
Video posted by: Joe Anybody
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