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text of the letter sent to the mayor: "With profound regret, I am resigning my position as Chief of Police of the Portland Police Bureau. This resignation will be effective October 17, 2003. Although, through your intermediaries, you have asked me for this resignation, I do not feel walking away from the current leadership challenges is best for Portland or the Police Bureau. Had I been given the opportunity to explore this in person with you, I believe we could have collectively produced a positive strategy for addressing the substantial improvements that need to be made to the organization." [ Read more... ]
One down, so many more to go. After more than a year watching the rising police state take over our little town as well as the rest of the nation, we have one small victory. Kroeker, the man who allowed officers to rampage through this city, is finally gone. Yes, we can celebrate for a moment. But let us not be deluded into thinking this is enough. First, consider why he is gone. Why, after all this time? He awarded medals to the officers who murdered Jose Mejia Poot, and he was not asked to resign. (Well, not by Vera, anyway.) Unarmed people were beaten and tortured on his watch. People died in custody under mysterious circumstances. Babies were pepper sprayed by his minions. And still he was not asked to resign. Why now? [ Read more... ]
I wouldn't get too excited about this. Yes, Kroeker is a fascist and his departure is long overdue. Hoorah! But keep in mind that a big reason that he is resigning because his officers think he shouldn't have suspended Kedra James' murderer. They think he is too tough on them if you can believe it. That does not speak well of Portland police officers or police union's concern for addressing the problems in the Police bureau. Also, Vera gets to hire the new police chief, and that is definitely a reason for concern. [ Read more... ]
As we all in a group turned the corner the horn sounded again and a man on a speaker said, "you in the black sweatshirt and backpack stop," so we all did as the police officer seemed to be paying special attention to me.
he got out of his unmarked dark blue car and turn on his lights parking somewhat on the side of the street and pointed at me... "You, come here," so I got off my bicycle and walked over to the officer.
"Am I being detained officer Johnson?" I said name-tag now visible.
"Why am I being detained?"
"Because you failed to stop at a stop sign," said the officer.
"Well why am I the only one being stopped when there are all these people who were riding with me and are not being questioned?" [ Full story ]
Two guys, a truck and a 440-year-old tree stump set off across the country Aug. 28 on a roadtour to show Americans the growing threats against their National Forests. The tour has been dubbed the "Healthy Forests Reality Tour."
The massive 6-foot diameter stump is all that remains of an ancient tree that was logged at the Mr. Wilson timber sale on the Medford BLM. Such projects could become the norm under the Bush administration, which is pushing the so-called "Healthy Forest Initiative" that would allow damaging logging under the guise of promoting forest health and fire prevention. But it is, in fact, these large old-growth trees that are the most resistant to fire and disease, and that are a critical part of the forest ecosystem and wildlife habitat.
The tree, dubbed the "Shakespeare Tree" because it dated back to the time of Shakespeare during the 1560s, was cut down earlier this year on public land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.
"It took over four centuries for the tree to reach that size," said Joseph Vaile, one of the drivers taking the stump on the cross-country tour. "It took 20 minutes to cut it down."
During the 2003 legislative session, PCUN worked with numerous allies to defeat a long list of anti-farmworker, anti-immigrant bills, that could have severely limited farmworkers' right to organize, required a valid social security number to get a drivers' license, and allowed police officers to act as immigration officials.
As the legislative session concluded with a last-minute attempt by growers to push a farmworker collective bargaining bill through the legislature, we responded with a quickly organized mobilization on Thursday, August 28, the day after the session ended, holding a press conference and rally to call attention to the failures of the session and the wrongness of using such means to push a bill through the legislature.
3 agenda items are being heard this Wed., 8/27, at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall, related to the City's plan's for destruction and burial of the reservoirs, all of which should be protested. If not attending, you can submit in writing. Submit copies either way, to get them placed on the record. The main message: stop this travesty.
Well, you've heard that wonderful Margaret Mead quote about how you should never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, and that, indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Well, I think it's time we stopped repeating that quotation and came to some agreement about what we happy few might do over the next five years or so. That is the purpose of my remarks today.
You know, there are two kinds of politics in the world: the politics of love and the politics of fear. Love is about cooperation, sharing and inclusion. It is about the elevation of each individual to a life neither supressed nor exploited, but instead nourished to rise to its full potential--a life for its own sake and so that we may all benefit by the gift of that life. Fear and the politics of fear is about narrow ideologies that separate us, militarize us, imprison us, exploit us, control us, overcharge us, demean us, bury us alive in debt and anxiety and then bury us dead in cancers and wars. The politics of love and the politics of fear are now pitted against each other in a naked struggle that will define not only the 21st Century but centuries to come.
Here is the latest statement from redred (Lori Chavez), a Portland anarcha-feminist who was facing felony charges following the Mobilization to Shut Down the Ministers of Agriculture and WTO (Sacramento, CA, mid-June). redred was initially accused of using a slingshot to shoot out the window of a state building during this protest. This translated into a felony Malicious Destruction of Property charge, carrying with it the possibility of up to five years in prison. Thanks to the support of her community and the pressure brought to bear against the District Attorney, redred's lawyer Dean Johansen was able to engineer a deal far more favorable than expected on Friday, August 22nd. Here are redred's comments on the latest developments:
Last week Cascadians paid a visit to the Clark Fire which burned 5,000 acres near Fall Creek earlier this summer. The area is still off-limits to the public, but we wanted to get a first-hand account of just how bad it was... ...so we quietly hiked in after crossing the stream a ways before the road-block. The forest looked amazingly beautiful... stark contrast to the lush green forests we were used to seeing along Fall Creek, but beautiful nonetheless. Ferns had already begun sprouting back up through the ash. Scorched Doug Firs and cedars sparkled in the sunlight. Many trees were not burned at all, others were lightly blackened by the flames. Some had obviously been swallowed up by the flames, but appeared to be alive. Insects and birds were thriving in the disturbance.
However, in true Forest Service fashion the fire suppression techniques used at Fall Creek were horrifying to say the least. The most depressing scene was an 800-year-old completely healthy Douglas Fir, 7 feet in diameter, felled for no reason - with sap dripping from it like blood. Even trees near water were felled. Scattered throughout the burn area are trees marked with orange flagging, printed with skulls and crossbones and the words "Killer Tree". The tags were often found on large ancient trees that survived the fire. Loggers will be deployed to murder these "killer trees" so they can be "salvaged" for the insatiable appetite of the timber industry.
[ Cascadia Summer ]
Independent media first given Secret Service Clearance to attend Dubya soriee and then denied access by Portland Police. Portland's KGW/NBC Channel 8 Steve Redin assaults indy videographer, because he had to get his prise-winning shot through a chainlink fence. What does the real media look like? You, me or NBC? Who paid for this propaganza fundraiser and who owns the streets? Lane County Commissioner Peter Sorenson and other elected officials want a true healthy forest and safe communities, while Bush wants old growth timber for his timber wealthy donors.
The courtroom scene [Friday] was fairly positive. In courtroom 1 the crowd clapped when Neil's release was announced, and the judge took a bow. The arraignment for our comrades abducted yesterday by the State's police force was this afternoon. Many if not all [were] be released within the next few hours; IWW reports that they [were] suppsed to be out between 8 and 10 p.m, and they [had] folks down there to give them rides. [ Read More ] [ $29,000 Bail! Support Our Comrades in Court Today! ]
New info on police abusePolice used ethyl alcohol to erase legal resource phone numbers from protesters. Several released protesters have reported having their jail support hotline numbers erased from their arms by the police. After being handcuffed, police allegedly used rubbing alcohol to remove the sharpie-drawn jail support numbers the protesters had drawn on their forearms because they knew the police would not let them have the yellow pages, call 411 or let them keep a piece of paper with the numbers written on them. This effectively denied them their right to contact a lawyer (problem #1), was a use of force that exceeded their authority (problem #2) and is not an accepted police tactic (problem #3). [ Read More ]
On the night of August 21, 2003... two large dark-colored dogs killed a cat. Between SE 26th and 27th, in a corner of a parking lot between Ash & Ankeny. It happened in seconds. The dogs had collars, paid no attention to a neighbor's screams, killed the cat, and left quickly. One witness feels they may have been called, though no human voice was heard. The larger of the two dogs had a square nose and was wearing what looked like a rolled up gray kerchief, with a metal tag attached to it. The smaller one had a pointier nose and was less aggressive.
This may not be an isolated incident. These dogs are probably still in the neighborhood. Based on their behavior, their human companion may not be much nicer. There seems to be a large increase in the number of lost animal fliers appearing around town since mid-July, especially the SE. Mostly cats. Some small dogs. What could it be? Dog fighting? OHSU stocking up for more cat and dog research? We don't know, but we'd like to find out. [ Read More ] [ Multnomah County Animal Services | Lost & Found | Oregon Humane Society | PPD Non-Emergency Contact | Dog fighting: Snips | Last Chance for Animals | Animal Research at OHSU: Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing ]
At least 2500 people turned out to protest pResident Bush, dictator of the Corporate United States of America, in Portland. Popos made seven arrests and peppersprayed unarmed, peaceful citizens. Throughout the day, people called in with breaking news from the streets, which was broadcast on web radio and was posted to the website. For a full accounting of the events from witnesses and participants who are posting their stories and photos, see:
PORTLAND TAKES ON THE DICTATOR
Dissent: Mission Accomplished
US Govt has No Legitimate Authority
$29,000 Bail! Support Our Comrades in Court Today!
Preserving the countryside in Clackamas County is crucial to restoring and preserving the health, safety, and livability of Portlanders. Yet the Sandy City Council continues to approve massive developments within minutes to the Mt. Hood National Forest and the Sandy and Clackamas River Watersheds. In 2002 they allowed all kinds of environmental zoning variances to allow a 135,000 sf Fred Meyer, then earlier this summer they approved a clear-cut and development for 126 single-family houses on 12 acres, on the outskirts of town, right along Tickle Creek on a road that was illegally built. The next development that they unanimously approved is for another clearcut, road-building and dense development on 225+ acres in the rural countryside outside the town. Steel's "no" vote to all of these projects plus his enthusiastic advocacy for a small, walkable Sandy supporting local business and sustainable industry has so deeply angered Sandy mayor Linda Malone that she has taken to bullying the councilors to remove him from his volunteer position as planning commissioner.
Early this morning, a piece of artwork from "the children" appeared on the SE Division St. side of the building where the New Seasons market wants to put a new store. The art takes the form of an old door with a message painted on it: "dear New Seasons: STOP eating our homes and feeding us GMOs. from, the Children". The building has been empty for some months, but once housed a Red Apple grocery store and the Washboard laundromat (now sorely missed!). Many residents of SE Portland are opposed to a New Seasons store in the spot, saying it will raise rents in the surrounding area, increase car traffic, and endanger the People's Food Co-op, which is six blocks away. New Seasons is intending to remove or demolish a house next to this property to have a bigger store than would currently fit -- hence the reference to "eating our homes" on the artwork. The for-profit grocery chain also sells many "conventional" (that is, corporate and non-organic products) that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Today at the University Of Portland myself, some corporate media, and a few other indymedia journalists went out to cover the event. Before the press conference could start though the director of security for the University of Portland ordered that the lawn everyone was standing on were to move so it could be mowed. An interesting tactic if I do say so which bothered the hell out of the corporate media because after that they all had to cram onto the sidewalk, battling for space among themselves.
Five wonderful speeches were given to denounce George W. Bush and his visit to Oregon to promote his "healthy forest initiative." Among Them were CFA, PPRC, Code Pink, and the Portland Alliance to name a few. To our surprise, the Portland Police, and the University of Portland Security patrolling the area, a tree-sit was well underway. After the press conference a banner drop was held from a tree one block south of the main entrance to the University of Portland on N Portsmouth.
Police (ten officers in all including U of P security) began to tape off the area with crime scene tape to block off any pedestrian traffic from entering the immediate area around the tree-sit. Slowly but surely after it was announce the tree-sitters began to lower their belongings, bag after water bottle. Police then took their things and put them into their police cars. [ Read more... ]
Transcript of CFA speech
The scandal of the HFI is that the Forest Service authorizes logging in remote, in tact forests in one area to pay for the thinning of fire prone forests in other areas. In short, the Forest Service is cutting, intact, naturally fire resistant forests that have long been coveted by the timber industry to pay for "fuel reduction" near fire prone communities. [ Read more... ]
[ photos ]
Opponents and supporters alike of the proposed New Seasons Market in SE Portland attended a Land Use Review hearing this morning downtown and made their respective cases. The hearing officer made no decision; a continuance of seven more days to recieve public comments was granted at the request of one of the activists attending. New Seasons president Brian Rohter put on a slick show that was mostly devoid of relevancy; people opposing the changes, however, expressed themselves with a careful attention to detail. The city staff recommended that the hearing officer approve the application with no changes.
Previous related stories: [ Southeast Portland residents launch campaign to keep New Seasons out of their neighborhood | Globalization, sustainability, and cob benches at People's Co-op | What do People's Co-op customers think of New Seasons' plan for a new store? A report. | SE Portland resident communicates with New Seasons president about proposed new store | Sustainability vs. Capitalism in SE Portland: report-back from New Seasons meeting | 71 people sign letter to city criticizing the New Seasons plan for SE Portland ]
Sunday afternoon, August 17, 2003, members of the community gathered at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland Oregon to listen to inspirational words and music, and, as a finale, to form the outline of a dove holding a rose in its beak.
Music guests included Sky in the Road, Shantala and Sweetjuice. Peter Bergel spoke for Oregon Peace Works and Kim Antieau for Columbia River Fellowship for Peace, both sponsors of the event.
GrannyD began by speaking about the need for Campaign Finance Reform, the issue which prompted her to walk across the country to Washington D.C. in 2000, when she was 90 years old. She mentioned that, for the third time, Oregonians are circulating Oregon Campaign Fincance Reform Initiatives. GrannyD then went on to a scathing analysis of the current administration, one to which no written commentary could do justice. So, here is a 19 minute audio file of her remarks.
Portland residents have not been in agreement about the proposed New Seasons store on SE 20th Avenue between Division and Clinton. Some are flat-out against it, others wish to see the chain compromise on its zoning requests, and some are welcoming and unquestioning. Over a 24 hour period last week, a letter to the city about the proposed zoning changes was circulated in the neighborhood for signatures. The letter does not ask that New Seasons not be allowed to build; rather, it states concerns with the proposal as it currently stands. 71 people signed the letter, which was mailed to the city's Bureau of Development Services; to Brian Rohter, president of New Seasons; and to the local neighborhood associations and business group. While one point in the letter (the placement of the dumpsters) has since been revealed to be factually incorrect, the remainder contains some fairly solid critiques of the New Seasons proposal that should give the city some food for thought. These are points that could be raised in person at the zoning hearing, which is taking place on Monday, August 18, at 9:00 a.m., in the third floor hearing room of the Bureau of Development Services at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue. Rohter has gone on record saying "dozens of people" in the neighborhood want his store. Here are dozens more who are not in full agreement with him.
The text of the letter follows:
U.S. Drug Czar, John P. Walters of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, visited Portland today [14 August] as part of the White House's "25 Cities Initiative" National Tour, seeking to reduce substance abuse in America's largest cities.
The News Conference was hosted by Judy Cushing, president of the Oregon Partnership, a state wide non profit. After introducing Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker for a few brief comments, she then expounded a little on the "25 Cities Initiative," which is a local approach to a national problem. "In Portland leaders have meet over the last month to look at the most salient issues facing the community. They have addressed and identified three local initiatives they will focus their attention on." The first is Meth education, which has to do with pre cursor chemicals; the second "has everthing to do with the education of the public, schools and parents and community leaders about the angers associated with marijuana. Marijuana today is much different the marijuana of yesterday, and young people are being harmed; the third initiative has to do with parents, and the fact that parents are the most powerful influencing factor in childrens lives."
At this point John Walters gave his remarks for about 5 minutes and then opened the floor for questions from the media. [ Read more... ]
More independent audio and video coverage of events in Cascadia can be found at PhilosopherSeed.org.
I visited the Hanford Site on Tuesday, touring the building-in-progress of the Waste Treatment Vitrification facility. Wow, what a sight/site to see. The workers have my deepest respect and gratitude--I think in order for progress to continue and to be of high quality, the workers who go the extra mile and put themselves at risk need to be honored. To me, the vit facility is the key to getting 53 million gallons of waste out of the tanks and into a more stable form.
Some of us believe that every company that does business at any DOE site is corrupt and not doing all it should do. If we were to totally go with that belief, we may as well say, let the contaminants flow and do nothing. You can't paint everyone with the same brush stroke. Yes, we need to remain vigilant and get as much inside information as possible. Yes we need to raise hell when it seems called for. We think the public process sucks. We think we are being ushered secretively back into the era of secrecy. And we feel especially these days that the DOE, I.e., the Bush administration has absolutely no use for public interest or opinion. So, do we pull out of the process and bitch among ourselves? I don't find that productive. I like the "in your face" approach.
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