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Two busses on the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride (www.iwfr.org) were stopped by Border Patrol agents just outside of EL Paso, Texas. People were apparently ordered off the buses to be indentified, but people refused to provide the documentation asked for. This show of strength and solidarity, plus the immediate intervention of the local Bishop and elected officials, most likely forced the Border Patrol to back off and let folks through. Si se puede!
"They were asked for their identification but the passengers felt it was racial profiling and exercised their right to remain silent," Bicchieri said. "Almost everyone on both busses are people of color."
"This shows exactly why these laws are needed," Bicchieri said. "People who are working, paying taxes, contributing into this economy, contributing to this society, should not worry that when they drive to another part of the country they live in, that they will be stopped, and harassed, and asked for papers."
I camped in the Mt. Hood National Forest in mid September, in the valley of the Oak Grove fork of the Clackamas River. I visited three timber sales and Buck Lake. Everywhere I went I was vividly reminded of the horrendous destruction wrought upon the ecosystem by the Forest Service. Where once there were thriving temperate rain forests, now there are clearcuts and monoculture plantations. Tiny islands of old growth ecosystem remain, but for the most part they are set to be on the chopping block sooner or later due to their designation as part of "the matrix", a creation of the Clinton administration's Northwest Forest Plan. Clinton's plan has been characterized as "merely paint[ing] a thin veneer of conservation on the continued destruction" of Cascadia's precious ecosystems. In reference to the Northwest Forest Plan and other decisions, noted environmentalist David Brower went so far as to say: "Clinton and Gore have done more harm to the environment in 8 years than Bush and Reagan did in 12." Writer Jeffrey St. Clair maintains that this poor record is not due to Clinton and Gore's political beliefs, but can be blamed on the mainstream environmental organizations, which rolled over and played dead during the 1992-2000 Democratic administration, because they had friends in high places they didn't want to offend. The cost of their misplaced civility is clear to see in the Oak Grove valley, which activists currently describe as "hammered". Then and now, the lesson is the same: Don't trust the liberal establishment; it is a hollow farce that lacks both political spine and moral conviction, and it will sell out any attempt at meaningful change in a heartbeat.
Here in the Cascadia, we cannot count on the possibility of a President Howard Dean to do what needs to be done to save the forests: that is, to end to all commercial logging on public lands. We must take matters into our own hands. Currently, the Oregon Natural Resource Council, Bark, and the Cascadia Forest Alliance are among the groups trying to stop the destruction. This weekend, the 25th-29th, you could go to CFA's action camp near the Solo tiber sale to learn more.
In many ways, however, it too late to save the ecosystems around us; they are already destroyed. That's what I saw in the Oak Grove watershed.
Even in her death, Dorothee Soelle has, again, given us a push. We have had a lot of exchanges among ourselves in our community about what we learned from her as a theologian and as a woman about her straight way of thinking, about her cheeky sense of humor, about her religious devotion, about her sense of resistance and conscientious objection. And we also have spoken about the new "mansions" that her speaking and writing have created. We will miss Dorothee Soelle, the prophet, the voice for the voiceless of our time.
Dorothee Soelle was our ally, here, at the Bread and Roses community. As one of the few liberation theologians working in the First World, the Catholic Worker roots of our movement were well known to her and they were valuable.
If you're at all familiar with their work, you need to speak up now. Blue Mountains is under attack in the Central Oregon press right as they have launched an appeal on one of the most important timber sales of the year.
In the wake of the B & B Complex fires that broke out right before President Bush came to town, and many sources, including some official ones, are declaring as deliberate, blatant, arson, Blue Mountains is getting hammered in the local press, right as they are appealing one of the most important timber sales of the year, the vast Metolius Basic project. Blue Mountains isn't alone in opposing the Metolius, but a lot of other local groups that haven't been surveying the area for the last year have caved into the Forest Service plan. Front page articles are quoting the Forest Service as gospel, while the editorials and letters are brimming over with misinformation and hateful rhetoric about environmental extremists. Keep in mind that this is a region where just "environmentalist" is a bad word.
There are two things that need to happen in response. The papers attacking Blue Mountains need to get letters to the editor in response, and people need to come to the Forest Service negotiation hearing in Sisters, for which 40 opposition parties have already registered their intent to come. That hearing has not been scheduled yet, but you can find out more by leaving a message at (541) 385-9167.
We, the undersigned, condemn the US actions that prevented Venezuelan President Chavez from coming to the US to speak at the United Nations
President Chavez represents the growing global movement for economic and social justice, against US domination and for self-determination - beginning in Latin America. The people in the United States have been deprived of truth and of information about the new Venezuelan process, by a corporate media which has vilified and censored Pres. Chavez, and the movement he spearheads. Pres. Chavez has said he most regrets not being able to give a televised speech at Riverside Church where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., a year to the day before he was assassinated, declared "[the Vietnam] war is the enemy of the poor."
We call on governments at the UN, Congress and people in the US in whose name these policies are carried out, to join us in;
The ordinance, which will take effect when passed and expire on Thursday, Nov. 27, is clearly aimed at stifling the voices of the tens of thousands of people - students, union members, activists, peasant farmers and many other types of individuals - from around the Americas and the world who will be coming to South Florida to protest at the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) meeting to be held from Nov. 17-21 in Miami.
It's important that concerned citizens immediately contact Miami city officials to voice their opposition to this draconian, unconstitutional measure.Tell them you're contacting them to express your opposition to this ordinance which strips away free speech rights - refer to it the parades and demonstrations ordinance; if they ask what you mean, tell them it's item J-O3-772 on the Sept. 25 City Commission agenda, which would add section 6.1 to Chapter 54 of the City of Miami municipal code
Senator Wyden (D-OR), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Lincoln (D-AR), and Senator Bacus (D-MT), Senator Craig (R-ID), Senator Kyl (R-AZ), Senator McCain (D-AZ), Senator Domenici (D-NM), Senator Crapo (R-ID), and Senator Cochran (R-MI) cut a deal today on a new version of HR 1904. Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey led the discussions between the Senators.
According to rumors, the democrats gained very little, but caved very easily to Senate Republican and the Administration's demands. The deal will not be final, until Mark Rey goes back to the Administration to get the Administration's commitment to uphold the deal. Once the Administration signs off, the deal is done.
According to Senator Feinstein and Senator Wyden's office this new deal is not going to be attached to the Interior Appropriations bill. However, according to Senator Bacus' office, the deal now will go to the floor as a stand-alone bill and the four deal-cutting democrat Senators have committed to helping the Administration and the Senate Republicans garner the needed 60 votes to pass a bill that is filibuster proof.
However, the four deal-cutting democrats did not get a promise from the Administration or the Senate Republican's that the deal would remain intact in conference. What this means is that the deal will hold on the floor but as soon as the bill goes to conference -- all deals are off. It is highly likely that Senate Republican's at the urging of Mark Rey, will just attach the original language of HR 1904 in conference. In short, the deal-cutting democrats will likely gain nothing (if the language is just added back in, in conference) for their weak compromise.
The Immigrant Workers' Freedom Ride bus from Portland departed to join ten other buses on the road to Washington, DC on Tuesday, Sept. 23 after a weekend of trainings, rallies, and send-offs. The Freedom Ride promotes awareness of immigration issues specifically legalization, a road to citizenship, family reunification, and workplace and civil rights protections.
Forty-five Oregonians will travel the Portland route across the country and represent Oregon as advocates for justice. They will call on Congress to change current and out-dated immigration laws. Their send-off rally, held in Portland on Sunday, Sept. 21, and their morning departure on the 23rd featured immigrant workers and allies sharing their stories and reasons for joining this unprecedented quest for justice.
"This is truly an historic event," said Ramón Ramirez, President of PCUN, Oregon's farmworker union, and a rider on the Portland bus, "With the support and participation of labor unions and immigrant rights organizations from throughout the country, we have succeeded in creating a campaign that will bring the struggle for immigrants' rights across the country."
Here is the audio from the full 3 hour meeting of the Ablina Ministerial Alliance.
The report on the killing of Kendra James was released by the Albina Ministerial Alliance on Saturday 6, 2003. The summary of the report can be found at Portland Copwatch . The full report is soon to be available on the website.
I listened with disbelief to GW Bush's address to the UN. In the recent past, both Cheney and Rumsfeld have gone on the record to admit that there had been no connection between the events of 9/11 and Iraq or the Hussein government.
Yet, in a speech designed to marshal support for nationbuilding in Iraq, the first words out of Bush's mouth, recalled the 9/11 tragedies and global terrorism.
In a speech where he often fumbled words and fiddled with his script, Bush spoke in a defensive, arrogant, and inexplicably vague way about the need for the UN and its affiliated countries to support police and rebuilding efforts in Iraq. Although it was not explicitly stated in the speech, it is still clear that these contributing countries will have no real influence or power - something the Bush administration is unwilling to relinquish. It is also increasingly clear that, despite the desires of the Iraqis and our allies, control over Iraqi affairs and services will not revert to actual Iraqis until it is pried out of Mr. Bush's fingers or until all major services have been divied up among major corporations domestic and foreign.
homeless people in southeast have been pushed from place to place all summer. In the last few months many people from the area near St. Francis have found a refuge around the old Pierre's Bakery. The bakery has been closed for a while. Until the last few nights, police have driven by, engaged people in conversation, sometimes taking pictures, often honking a horn at 7-8 am to get people up and about but no arrests of requests to move on. In fact the a neighborhood office told some of the people that there had been no complaints about the camp.. Now however the manner has changed and people have been warned that they must go "somewhere else" or they are going to be cited, have their possessions impounded and receive tickets and a day in court.
Just days before he was to give a speech at the U.N. President Chavez abruptly cancelled his trip to the U.S. Venezuelan Military Intelligence says it has "overwhelming evidence" of a CIA backed plan to bring down the Chavez airplane enroute.
This is one of a series of U.S. backed efforts to remove Chavez from power (and now kill him outright). There was last years coup attempt, backed by Washington, the CIA and the U.S. corporate media. On April 12th 2001, Venezuelan President Chavez was kidnapped and Dictator Pedro Carmona claimed power. The U.S., supposed defender of democracy, was the only Western Hemisphere nation to support the dictatorial overthrow of a popular and democratically elected leader. Enormous public outcry foiled the coup attempt and Chavez was reinstated.
In December, Washington supported a "national strike". The so called general strike, which was really a lockout led by wealthy corporate executives, was designed to break the popular support for Chavez by the shutdown of Venezuela's oil industry. It was highlighted by sleazy tactics, lies and sabotage. It too failed though it did cause serious harm to the economy.
Washington tried to impose new presidential elections through the Organisation of American States (OAS) This turned into an embarrassing blunder, however, when the proposal became the first major US initiative to be rejected by the OAS as they voted 32-0 to support the democratically elected government of Chavez.
This july, Washington cut off credit to Venezuela from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. According to foreign diplomats in Washington, the head of the bank privately admitted that this was done for political reasons. Now Chavez has had to cancel a trip to the U.S. because of intelligence information that the CIA might bring down his plane.
Why is the U.S. so determined to overthrow Chavez?
Chavez has twice been democratically elected by landslide vote. The first time in 1998, and the second time in 2000, along with a revolutionary new Constitution which gives historic rights to women, and indigenous peoples.
This August, Chavez handed over land deeds to campesino representatives from across Venezuela. Through the initial phase of a revolutionary Agrarian Reform process, more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) were transferred to campesinos, benefiting more than 40,000 families. The government handed over 31,437 land deeds, 121 farm machines and 30 billion bol?vars (US$20 million). The second phase of the plan will be to distribute two million hectares by the end of this year.
Quoting Chavez "In Venezuela, we are developing a model of struggle against neoliberalism and imperialism. For this reason, we find we have millions of friends in this world, although we also have many enemies." The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and Latin America may well be the strongest democratically based opposition to the neoliberal agenda happening in the world today.
[ Informative Chavez interview from Jan 2003 | Indigenous Rights Attorney Joe Castillo Assassinated in Venezuela | The Venezuela Papers | Farmers and Indigenous United - Historic Gathering Set for October 12 in Venezuela | Women protest moves to topple Ch?vez | Declaration To Support Land Reform And Farmers' Movement In Venezuela ]
According to a Reuters story, "The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for 3,000 years, has broken up." The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf broke into two pieces, and a local fresh water lake poured into the ocean after "all of the fresh water poured out of the 20 mile long Disraeli Fjord." Being scientists, they used careful language and introduced caveats : "Local warming of the climate is to blame, they said -- adding that they did not have the evidence needed to link the melting ice to the steady, planet-wide climate change known as global warming."
Recently someone posted an article under the title 'Baked Alaska' that described retreating ice in Northern Alaska. In this report the evidence was anecdotal (stories told by native residents of the area, tales of polar bear drownings when pack ice broke up and the bears could not reach shore, with other bears unable to get out onto the ice and instead spending their time rummaging through the town's garbage. Robins, using that uncanny sense they possess, have moved into Northern Alaska for the first time to nest, having somehow determined that it is safe to do so.)
According to the report over the last 100 years over 90 per cent of the Ellesmere ice cap has disappeared. A similar pattern of 'regional warming' is taking place in Antartica, and the warming in the North Atlantic is also responsible for the 'regional' pattern of increasing monsoons over the Sahara region since the late 90s (which in turn was responsible for pushing desert air into Europe this summer leading to the heat wave).
Sunday afternoon, September 21, 2003, a gathering of about a thousand strong met at Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland Oregon to demonstrate for Peace and protest the continuing war in Iraq. From there they marched through downtown Portland, joining up with the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride rally taking place at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
I arrived late, due to attendance at the Immigrant Workers Freedon Ride rally taking place almost simultaneously at Pioneer Courthouse Square [ audio story ]. Just as I walked up a small group of people wrapped in American flags burst into the center of the Plaza and ignited a Palestinian flag, seeking, presumably to encite conflict and divert attention from Peace to anger and animosity. Jo Ann Bowman, master of Ceremonies for the rally, more than rose to the occasion by immediately leading a chant, "we're here for peace," which rose from the crowd and lasted long after the provocateurs were led by the police from the Plaza. Thank you, Jo Ann Bowman.
Then Jo Ann introduced Zaher Wahab, a professor at Lewis and Clark College and Afghan native, recently returned from a ten month visit to his homeland, who spoke for about 7 minutes. Zaher states that the U.S. has spent approximately 1 billion dollars a month for two years, while spending less than 50 million on economic development. "Many people initially welcomed the Americans, but now they are perceived and treated as an occupying force."
Of all days, I witnessed a bike get thrown to the pavement this morning by a car door. Does anyone know what the law is?
This morning I was riding behind another biker in the bike lane going up Broadway towards PSU. Parked cars to the right of us, moving traffic to the left. In front of the Banana Republic building, a minivan pulled up next to the bike lane, no turn signal, and the passenger quickly threw open her car door on the bike in front of me. The bike hit the door and hit the pavement, so did the rider. I stopped quickly so I wouldn't hit the door as well. The woman getting out of the car immediately started to yell about how we should look where we're going, how we should've seen her and expected cars to be stopping there and unloading passengers. She was really pissed. So pissed, in fact that she didn't even bother to ask if the biker was hurt! Still yelling insults, she walked into her building and told her driver to pull away.
background: [ Sept. 22: International Car Free Day ]
Inspired by the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement, immigrant workers and their allies will set out from Portland and 9 other major U.S. cities and cross the country in buses on September 23rd, 2003. They (over 900 Freedom Riders) will converge on Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and then travel to Liberty State Park in New Jersey October 3, and then Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York for a mass rally on October 4, 2003.
This is a 10 minute audio file of three short presentations made at that rally, in English and translated into Spanish. First was a speaker who spoke to why this Freedom Ride is necessary. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch his name. Next was Jeff Richardson of the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Union, Local 9, followed by Ramon Rameriz of PCUN, which is the Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos Del Noroeste, Northwest Treeplanters and Farm Workers United.
See also: [ Unwelcome At Immigrant Rally ]
We know a lot more now about the dangers and disasters of U.S. empire building in Iraq ? the ongoing bloodshed on the ground, expansion of terrorist activities, the huge budget busting costs of occupation, the stretching and undermining of the military, and the increased sense of fear and insecurity that many Americans feel as a result of the invasion and its potential for blowback.
We also now have a better handle on the immediate and flimsy reasons for the invasion. But far, far less is known about the planning and the actors that brought us this foreign policy disaster? What ideas and worldviews motivated the push to overreach and try to dominate the globe, with Iraq as step number one? What secrets, maneuvers behind the scenes policy power struggles after the attacks of 9/11, led the U.S. to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11?
The "Top Ten Censored Stories" followed by the 15 runner-ups:
I drove away from the rally this afternoon with my sign in the back seat. I did a right turn on a red without stopping all the way and shit if a cop did not appear on my bumper with lights flashing a couple blocks away. Having the sign in my back seat was not the best thing for sure, as a cop walks up to you to give you a ticket. He took my license, looked it over and looked my back seat at the sign. Now the really trippy part. He handed back my licence and said please be more careful when you turn on a red light and TELL YOUR FRIENDS WE ARE NOT ALL BAD GUYS. That was it. Shit! No ticket, no warning, nothing, he just let me go. So that is it. I suppose I am sucker to believe him, but he really was just a nice guy. It was pretty nice to not get a ticket.
This is a web version of a presentation being given to packed audiences explaining why the towers collapse was a demolition.
the official timeline and narrative told by the media: The towers collapsed.
On Thursday, September 18, 2003 Portland Indymedia Web Radio did a live interview with m2, a portland imcista, who was in Cancun for the anti-WTO actions. In the interview, he relates his first-hand experiences of the actions, the community, the Cancun Indymedia Center (Centro de Medios Independientes), and the mythical activist "hurricane" that blew through Cancun. This a very positive and informational talk that you shouldn't miss. Listen to the Interview
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