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Indymedia-Boliva, after less than one year of operation is now embarking on another project. They are setting up operations in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with plans to work with Indymedia-Rosario, Argentina, to set up live radio broadcasts for an Alternative Summit which will be running concurrent with the annual Ibero-American Summit -- where heads of state from Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations gather -- these events will be taking place in Santa Cruz Bolivia this November 14,15 and 16th !!! SOON.
Local Portland collective has quickly moved to support an urgent plea from Indymedia-Boliva for funds, by scraping together $120 dollars. We just sent them $100 dollars today, November 10th. Personally we are asking for $65 dollars to reimburse one of our members, beyond that we are asking to raise as much possible to send to Bolivia -- Pronto / Quick !!!
Our collective "El Filo de la Frontera" or "The Border's Edge" will be working with them to produce bilingual radio programs generated from their interviews and broadcasts.
Workers at Borders Books store #1 in Ann Arbor, MI went on strike this past Saturday, November 8 at 9:00 AM. We do not take this step lightly. By striking, we hope to convince Borders Management to negotiate with us in good faith so we can reach a fair contract and return to our jobs.
We are writing to ask all of you to support us by
1) boycotting all Borders, Waldenbooks, and Amazon.com;
2) volunteering to picket with workers in front of the store or organize solidarity pickets in your city;
3) joining Borders Readers United, our community support coalition ( email@example.com)
4) calling Borders Headquarters (734-477-1100) to tell them you support u
Two interesting PGE / PUD-related items appeared in this morning's Oregonian. The first is an odious, folksy and expensive full page ad taken out by PGE "employees" (read: PGE) to "thank you for your support on election day." The second is another editorial by Steve Duin, taking PGE Prez Peggy Fowler to task.
First of all, the jobs of PGE employees were never at risk. Oregon law requires that a P.U.D. offer continued employment to current PGE employees; it was only option on the table that guaranteed continued employment at current wages and benefits. Foolish PGE employees who voted against the P.U.D. are now vulnerable to manipulation by whatever corporation buys the assets of Enron (of which PGE is one), currently being sorted out by the courts. However I suppose we cannot be too hard on these employees, as I am sure the pressure to campaign on behalf of their employer was enormous and constant.
Rather than paying big bucks to campaign against the best interests of the community and buy expensive, full-page advertising to rub it in, why doesn't PGE take the money and either reinvest it in the community, lower utility rates, or use it to pay back some of the money owed to Oregonians over the Trojan debacle?
Well, its officially Holiday season for the retail industry and we still have no contract. They have not moved at all. We want what we want, we won't move either. Otherwise, there is not much to report other than that they told us exactly how much their healthcare costs have gone up in the past year and it's WAY LESS than they were saying it was. To recap, they want to freeze our wages, and give us 2% each year for the next 4 years. This (wage alone) results in a 4% wage decrease for all employees over the life of the contract. Additionally, they want to increase our healthcare costs by over 100%. All the while, their sales have increased, and the number of employees has been reduced--less people doing more work. We won't take it, heres what you can do to help.
[ ILWU Local 5 (Powells workers) ]
3 peace camp participants are going on trial in the next few days. Todd goes to trial this morning Nov. 7th at 9 AM and Brandi & Amber go on trial Monday at 2 PM. Please come to their trials to show your support. The only hope we have to stop this madness is for these comrades to get acquitted and then be able to file lawsuits that will force the city to change their rules of engagement.
Read Courtroom details & some of their stories below.Full Story...
The PROWL Project is springing into action to bring new energy to forest conservation east of the Cascade crest. "PROWL" is the acronym for a nice long name: Protecting and Restoring Oregon Wild Lands. We are based in Bend and engage in forest watch and public outreach activities to protect the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests. Our goal is to pounce on (and stop!) proposed public lands projects that are likely to degrade native ecosystems and to support ecological restoration.
The PROWL Project was recently initiated in the Bend area to increase the number of people working on forest protection issues. We are engaed in forest watch activities on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests. These areas are currently covered by the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project (BMBP), a small but very effective group which has been working to protect eastside forests for the last 11 years. Additionally, BMBP covers legal monitoring for the Malheur and Umatilla national forests, as well as the Prineville BLM district. This is a huge workload, considering that most westside forest groups focus on one national forest...and still never run out of work to do!!
The current forest watch activities of PROWL include keeping up to date on public lands projects, submitting comments during the planning process for proposed projects, and ground truthing out in the forest. We hope to move into initiating or signing on to appeals and litigation when those means are necessary to stop bad projects, which can often involve logging, mining, herbicide and pesticide spraying, predator extermination, and cell phone tower construction. We will also be engaged in public outreach activities in Bend and other places throughout the northwest and working to collaborate with other conservation groups in central and eastern Oregon, as well as folks from the westside. As a group that's just getting started, we are of course needing all kinds of help.
Members of the Portland Peace Encampment gathered today for a reunion at one of the easiest locations to find them all together, The Injustice Center or the Multnomah County Courthouse. Assistant District Attorney Shannon Gray was ready to proceed after reading the court docket list to ensure that all were guaranteed their "day." Members of the Peace Encampment who were unable or choose not to appear were fined $350 to $500 plus statutory fees and assessments, adding a couple of hundred dollars more to each fine.
The other members of the Portland Peace Encampment in a solidarity movement worked collectively to negotiate a set back date in so that they may find council and file motions of a constitutional nature that address the civil liberties that are being violated by Portland City Code. Pro bono work for these committed activists is most welcome and can be arranged thru member Todd Kurylowicz who can be reached at 971-570-7018. Many thanks to K-BOO for being on hand to document the real news.
Forest activists from all over the state of Oregon converged near Ashland this weekend to protest the Bear pen timber sale as part of the kickoff of the "Back to the wall" campaign to save our forests.
"Back to the Wall" chapters from Portland, Salem, Eugene, Roseburg, and Ashland all participated in what turned out to be a "victory" party when our large presence forced the forest service to lift the "closure" that had previously resulted in 3 arrests two weeks ago.
Witness against lawless logging (WALL) is back!!!!
Around 40 people showed up in the cold last night to let OHSU president Peter Kohler's neighbors know that what he does for a living is not acceptable. Mr. Kohler himself was apparently not home, as he fled the area after learning that animal rights activists would be paying him a visit. A handfull of corporate spies from OHSU and some PDX police officers were left holding the bag.
Dozens of people arrived at Mr. Kohler's luxurious, taxpayer-financed mansion in the West Hills around 6:30pm. They brought candles, a banner, and the sincere belief that what Mr. Kohler does to other animals is wrong. They were met by taxpayer-funded OHSU security forces, who stood on the long, opulent stone stairway leading to the mansion. Throughout the evening, security forces trained large video cameras and spotlights on peaceful demonstrators while the demonstrators gathered into a circle and spoke against animal research. Even the children among us were meticulously videotaped.
A resolution against the Patriot Act passed last Wednesday. There are many ways to view this. As a member of the Portland Bill of Rights Defense Committee, I'd like to share my view of this important event.
For nearly a year, the Portland Bill of Rights Defense Committee worked relentlessly to have the City Council pass a resolution. Now they have done it.
Sure, it doesn't include all that we had initially proposed. Yes, it may seem purely symbolic. I ask that people take another look at what the resolution means in the context of the national grassroots movement regarding civil liberties and the JTTF.
First and perhaps easiest, we all know how the current administration and many administrations before have used symbolism and very successfully I might add. Symbolism in these times is incredibly powerful and moves people into action. The content of the resolutions differs greatly. Some include directions for police and some do not. The national grassroots movement has reached the doorsteps of Congressional offices. A good part of why is 1) the shear number of resolutions passed and 2) the call to action people feel from the symbolic nature of the resolutions.
The senate passed Bush's Healthy Forest Initiative last night [Oct. 30]. Effort to amend the bill to address some of the worst aspects of it were voted down everytime by Senator Wyden. Interestingly, Wyden has received the most money of any senator from timber interests so this may explain why he has voted as he has. A dozen or so people, some dressed in colorful costumes held a half hour protest in front of Senator Wydens office today to highlight this issue and hand out information to passersby.
background: [ previous stories on pdx indy about the "Healthy Forests Initiative" | Fire Facts from Siskyou Wild Rivers site American Lands Alliance | Klamath-Siskyous Wildlands Center | Peace With Fire? | Life In A Tinderbox ]
The cold nights are here and the snow has begun to fall. One wise bull buffalo continues to successfully bewilder the Department of Livestock (DOL) agents. The DOL gathered yesterday at their headquarters on Duck Creek to plan their strategy. Thursday morning they woke early to search for the lone bull a little over a mile outside the park boundary. To their chagrin, the old bull had hidden himself in a maze of willows and could not be found by the agents.
More volunteers are beginning to arrive just in time to help with the many projects underway in preparation for the coming winter.
Tipis are going up in the yard to supply homes for BFC coordinators this winter and spring. Many projects in the kitchen are underway including a new gas stove that will feed many hard working volunteers. Also, both offices will be heated with new propane stoves to create a better environment for all of the equipment because--Mike Mease likes to say--"These are the tools we use to save the buffalo."
Congress to Introduce "Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act"
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED NOW
Please take the time to call or write your Representatives and urge them to support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act by becoming a co-sponsor of the bill. Tell them to contact Representative Hinchey's office for more information.
Members of the Salvadoran Supreme Court came out against ARENA's draconian Mano Dura anti-gang law last week, calling it unconstitutional and unenforceable. The judicial branch of the Salvadoran government had already set up a confrontation with President Francisco Flores's government by prosecuting less than 1% of the suspected gang members arrested as part of Mano Dura . Judges have condemned the political nature of the law, and raised questions about the effectiveness of the government's overall crime fighting strategy. Still, more than 3,200 young Salvadorans have already been arrested since Mano Dura was proposed by Flores. Intent on keeping the "criminals" in jail, ARENA has introduced a law that would give police the right to book gang members and send them directly to prison without having to go through the courts. The FMLN has long been fighting against these new laws, and joined community and church groups in backing the Supreme Court.
War in the Woods Moves to Cattermole Timber's Head Office: The war in the woods raging in sacred Elk Creek, near Chilliwack, was brought to Cattermole Timber's head office this morning in a dramatic action taken by a group of forest protectors. A group of about 25 forest protectors and broadcast media visited the Cattermole office in Downtown Vancouver at 1055 W Hastings this morning at 11:20. They scattered saw dust, the remains of a Cheam First Nation sacred site, throughout the office.
Earlier this week, Joe Foy, a spokesperson for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, said, "It's time to halt the logging at Elk Creek. Hundreds of people wrote in to the Chilliwack Forest Service that they did not want the logging - and when it was approved by the Forest Service anyway, it should come as no surprise that people are protesting the logging."
For Interviews Contact June Quipp (Cheam elder): 604-794-5715
Observed and photographed the Northern Lights here in Portland, on Tuesday Night, during intense geomagnetic storm activity. As usual, mainstream media totally missed the boat, even when we attempted to hand it to them on a silver platter.
i went to the sham hearings for the renewal of the portland joint terrorism task force (PJTTF) today. what a fucking joke. we all knew how they were going to vote. why even bother with a hearing? this is the sorry state of most of democracy today: foregone conclusions buttered up with "process". sten and francisconni asked some questions and expressed some "concerns" in a meaningless show that will probably be characterized by the corporate media (if they bother to cover this non-event) as revealing some thoughtfulness, but their efforts were complete bullshit. were either of them ever seriously considering voting "no" on a measure that could only pass with a unanimous call? highly doubtful. it's more likely that the timber industry would voluntarily decide to stop cutting old growth; in other words, out of the realm of realistic possibility. no, today's hearing was a kangaroo court that illustrated the hollowness of the so-called "democratic" process and showed that new forms of governance are necessary if we are to create a culture with any fairness or honesty.
RELATED ARTICLE: Will this year's PJTTF agenda focus on environmentalists?
As of September 29th, 2003, Cattermole Timber Ltd., a logging outfit based in Surrey, B.C., has been operating in a series of clearcut and selective logging zones throughout this area of the Lower Fraser Valley in British Columbia.
Now, after a month of direct action and forest defense, the stakes on the work and lives of a dedicated group of people have just been upped. Instances of physical and verbal abuse of protesters in the work-zones by Cattermole employees have been documented at online sources listed below, as well as on mainstream media broadcasts that aired yesterday evening and throughout today on the Global News Network and CTV. Grassroots appeal to the cessation of forest harvesting is being smothered.
Help is urgently needed in the defense of Elk Creek. Multiple avenues for expressing support can be reviewed on the websites below, as well as perspectives being offered by many allied groups and organizations. People are especially needed who are willing to participate in direct action.
Tuesday Oct 28 post: "We have received word from several Senate offices that the Senate version of the so-called Healthy Forests Restoration Act will come up on the Senate floor tomorrow. The actual version of the bill that will come up on the Senate floor is the so-called "compromise" brokered by the Bush Administration and accepted by several pro-logging Republican Senators and Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Wyden (D-OR), Daschle (D-SD), Bacus (D-MT), Lincoln (D-AR), and Johnson (D-SD).
Many Senators are using the fire tragedy in Southern California to ram this bad fire bill through Congress. They claim the legislation would have prevented the Southern California fires. We know, and they know, that it would have done no such thing. Since, the bill is 99% certain to come to the Senate floor tomorrow, several Senators have committed to offering amendments to this bad bill. The main message that we want to get across to Senators is to vote no on the Cochran-Wyden-Feinstein Healthy Forests Substitute bill. Senators should also be asked to support several amendments."
The following short video clip shows some of the destruction in the suburbs of San Diego caused by the raging wild fires in California. Already just under half a million acres have burned in one of the worst wild fire seasons in a long time. In a typical fire year for the United States, around 2 million acres could be expected to burn, and so having half a million acres burn in a matter of days is significant.
According to some news reports, a lot of the trees in the mountains are dead, making them kindling for the fires, and thus these California fires might indicate the danger posed to America's Unhealthy Forests in next years fire season (no word on how many trees in the mountains are already dead, like the California trees, but given the severity of conditions in the American West, you have to expect trees to start dropping dead sooner or later...)
The video file was shot in color, but looks black and white due to the great amounts of soot in the area. The file is in Real Player format (about 166 KB)
San Diego Fires (Real Media)
Related story : The Unhealthy Forest Initiative | Update on Bush's unHealthy Forest Restoration Bill
Other Climate related news
On Thursday, October 23rd, 2003, NASA released composite images which show the retreat of the arctic ice cap over the last two decades, in a press release titled RECENT WARMING OF ARCTIC MAY AFFECT WORLDWIDE CLIMATE.
Article in today's Eugene Register-Guard and my letter to the editor in response.
Register-Guard: Thank you for your Oct. 26 article on the decline of the Oregon Health Plan. The comfortable, self-righteous, middle-class state legislators have no understanding of what it means to be poor. Never mind mental illness or drug addiction, often caused BY poverty; just being poor is enough to create constant instability in our lives. The problem is unemployment, low-wage jobs, part-time and temp work, insufficient Social Security and disability payments.
The state legislature has kept OHP in an uproar with constant changes. They split it into two programs, Plus and Standard, and cut benefits from Standard (mental health, addiction, dental) prescriptions. People died. They pushed us into HMOs, supposedly to save money, even though this just adds an extra layer of administrative cost, and set up premiums and copays people can't pay. Now they're proposing to reinstate some of the benefits they cut, but will reduce the list of illnesses that are covered and cut hospitalization so your life has to be threatened to use it. Read More >>
Comment: People with chronic, and life-threatening, disabilities are not getting even the most basic medical care- including for psychiatric crisis-treatment and psychotropic medications (for schizoaffective disorder, severe depression, schizophenia, etc.). It is no exaggeration to say that many lives have already been lost.
It is also completely outrageous that for the lack of a $6 dollar payment, someone would lose their health benefits for six months. For those of us who work with these clients on a daily basis, it is clear that a much simpler (and much more comprehensive) system of health care is urgently needed (and one that is not punitive). All of us, insured or not, must strongly demand that OHP and other such programs be designed to work effectively for the people that need it most. Universal healthcare, NOW!!
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