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TWO WHEELS GOOD, FOUR WHEELS BAD 06.01.2004 21:59
Beaverton Crtical Mass Lives
A brief report on the last two month's Beaverton Mass. This ride is alive and fun. Because of it's diminutive size, this ride offers a totally different experience to the Portland Mass.

Highlights from the December ride:
Going faster than the cars on 26 east bound, due to some construction or something somewhere. It's terribly satisfying going faster than cars on a normally high speed freeway. And the shoulder of 26 is comfortably wide enough for two riders abreast. The enthusiasm for the ride was high, with much shrieking, whistling, ringing of bells, and joyous cries of "We are the traffic!".

After a bit of representing, we turned tires east for a ride over the hills back to P-town proper. A beautiful and fortunate window in the rain, exquisite riding conditions. Coming up from Beaverton leaves one without decent shoulders in places, but nothing CM can't beat.

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INDIGENOUS ISSUES 05.01.2004 23:00
Help return Old Man House to the Suquamish
We need your help. The Washington state Parks and Recreation Commission will be hearing the Suquamish Tribe's request for the return of Old Man Park on January 22, and they need to hear from you before that date. This park, a small part of the historic home of the Suquamish people and of Chief Seattle, is a vital cultural and historic resource for the Tribe. The Tribe has made clear that the land will continue to function as a park, accessible to all.

The Suquamish Tribe and Suquamish Olalla Neighbors have spent months eliciting community input and drafting a management plan for the park. This plan, which incorporated hundreds of comments, is now available on the Suquamish Olalla website, along with more background information and other letters of support.

Unfortunately, there continues to be opposition from anti-Indian activists across the state and others who oppose this transfer and are circulating a petition opposing the transfer. We need to make sure the state Parks Commission hears from those who are seeking healing and seeking to right an historic wrong.


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GENOCIDE 04.01.2004 11:05
From Nablus Under Seige
Your awareness and help for Nablus under siege: January 4th and 5th Nablus has been under siege for the last 10 days while Balata refugee camp has been under siege for the last 18 consecutive days. We have just heard that every single entrance/exit to Balata has been sealed off completely. No food or medicine is allowed in.

Medical relief teams are being obstructed and at times completely prevented from passing through. Activists from ISM were attacked while carrying out their missions to observe and bear witness on what the Israeli occupation authorities are brutalizing the Palestinian population. Beit Foreek has been completely sealed off; its mayor reports that there are signs of starvation.

The siege of the old city of Nablus and its neighborhoods (Yasmeeneh, Qaryoun, Habaleh) has been intensified since December 30, 2003. No one can get into the old city, but Dr. Ghassan Hamdan of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committee, who is in the old city has called on the whole world to immediately intervene to support the people of Nablus.

We have just heard explosions in the old city. It was in Qaryoun neighborhood inside the Abdelhadi Palace that houses 75 people. The Palace, built 400 years ago, is a waqf, endowed by Mahmoud Abdelhadi for the use of Abdelhadi women who have no place to live and no sources of income. The Israeli military has ordered the 75 people to vacate the palace at 3:30 in the mooring and left them out in the cold.

homepage: www.palsolidarity.org

Budrus Jan 2: 15 Wounded & Member of Sweden's Parliament Arrested | Palestinian lives count for less; Media ignores Israeli atrocities | In Buddrus, actions against building apartheid wall result in injury & arrests | Why Is This Story NOT Reported or Reported Correctly?


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POLICE BRUTALITY 03.01.2004 15:55
First act of police brutality for 2004!
Barely 5 minutes after ringing in the new year, two police officers at the Morrison St. exit from the Pioneer Square (on Morrison just north of the Nordstrom's building between Broadway and Park) manhandled and arrested an Asian man estimated to be in his early 20's. The man stopped in the exit to look back into the fenced off area, as if looking for a friend, and was immediately confronted by a officer who told him angrily (as according to one bystander) "This is an exit. Get out of here, Happy New Years, now go THAT way" At this point he began to push the man and declaring "What's your problem?!"

He eventually grabbed the man and forced him out to the street, where a heated debate followed (no one was close enough to hear what they were saying). Eventually another officer approached to assist, and suddenly both officers grabbed him. The one who had just approached kneed him repeatedly in the stomach and threw him to the curb, where a good 5 more cops jumped on him and manhandled him while handcuffing him.


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FOREST DEFENSE 02.01.2004 15:19
Largest logging project threatens Kalmiopsis - FS should extend Biscuit comment period
biscuit fire The Forest Service has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for salvage logging in the Biscuit fire. The preferred alternative would take out more than 500 million board feet of timber. This is the largest proposed timber sale in modern U.S. history and the Forest Service has given the public 45 days (the statutory minimum) to review the document and make substantive comments. We urge you to write the Forest Service and request a time extension. A sample letter is below.

Scott Conroy, Supervisor
Siskiyou & Rogue River National Forests
PO Box 520
Medford, Oregon 97501
Fax (541) 858-2205

[ Largest Forest Service Logging Project in Modern History | Significant Risks for Salvage Logging in the Biscuit Fire | Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center ]


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U.S. IMPERIALISM 01.01.2004 14:12
Cuba Update!
Cuba is on the verge of modernity--but not if GW can help it In October, Bush announced that his administration was looking into "bringing democracy to Cuba." He also announced a tightening of restrictions for American travelers going to Cuba, to stop money, tourists, or business from going to Cuba. He claims that any money that goes to Cuba ends up in Castro's hands, but just as in the case of Iraq, the economic sanctions that have been in place in Cuba since Eisenhower was president have only starved and crippled the people of that country.

Yet, Cuba has survived.

A big part of that reason is that the entire world ignores Americas embargo, and trades freely with Cuba. The rest of the world, and now even senators and congressman, are seeing more clearly how the policy on Cuba is ridiculous and failed.

My interest in Cuba comes from reading Chomsky, but also I had a friend from Cuba. She had really mixed feelings about Cuba, and Castro. She was glad to be out of there, but she also couldn't understand America's intense focus on that country. I'm sure alot of Cuban-Americans feel the same way, but Bush and Colin Powell would have you believe that all Cubans are "freedom loving exiles who love America and hate Castro with a passion." It's just not true.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3212821.stm | http://whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031010-2.html | a Russian view of America's policy Lonely Planet Article


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PERSONAL REPORTING 30.12.2003 18:49
"Last Travel Journal" part III
This third part of the Travel Journal series concerns some general thoughts on Traveling and Resistance. This section also being a surmise on the idea of Travel contradicting the practice of Travel, after thirteen months of journeying around the Earth; in addition to visiting and experiencing so many different cultures.

New York was more than a final stopover: I was born here and lived here most of my young life. I stayed with old friends, and with some distant relatives that I ignored for so many years, especially while living in Europe. New York City became a further extension of my travels. I was discovering it again, and living a charmed life of telling travel stories; having people buy me beers and taking me out to meals. My last couch surfing gig was at a friend's flat in Brooklyn who I met earlier in Portland before this great traveling period. It was time to buy the final ticket. After around 13 months of Travel, I returned; and I did it: a 360 degree trip circumfrence around the Earth. I still had a little money (although in credit card debt) my bags, my sore backpacked back and my precious health intact; all my sense organs were overloaded and fondled at many turns, and I felt so wonderful about it. I was embraced by the pure ideas of Culture and Humanity - in every region that I explored. I was different from before, and still so much the same. A strange power and travel phantom was upon me - was I more alive? [ Read more... ]

previous chapters: [ part I | part II ]


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HEALTH 30.12.2003 18:45
Medical Racism, Bush Bans Chinese Herb
With the banning of Ma Huang (Ephedra) a Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb without any real medical evidence of harm to the public and against the recommendations of an independent medical and scientific body, the Bush administration is committing an act of medical racism against the Chinese American community that relies on Ma Huang as a part of highly effective medical patent herbal remedies.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson actually had the gall to quote anecdotal nonscientific evidence as the very reason Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration came to their obviously corrupt decision. The ban against Ma Huang can only be seen as the Trojan horse the pharmaceutical industry in America has been demanding for decades to do away with their highly effective competition. So far the U.S. government has only been able to musel the "dietary supplement industry" by removing that industries free-speech rights in the form of censuring the ability of legitimate herbal remedy companies from placing health claims on product labeling.

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INDIGENOUS ISSUES 30.12.2003 14:52
Report Back From Gathering At The Skwelkwekwelt Protection Center
Portland Native Youth Movement raised funds locally to support the Canadian chapter of NYM in their struggle against Sun Peaks Resort and the invasion of the Canadian government on their native land. There was a meeting held with various chapters and elders to discuss the the spirit of the movement and the vision of defending our lands. War stories and songs were shared and an inspiring time was had by all. The last day of the gathering ending with a spirited march around Sun Peaks resort to let the people know that they are trespassing on this sacred land.

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POLICE STATE | ALTERNATIVE MEDIA 30.12.2003 07:29
Israel Police Shut Down Indymedia-Israel
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) states in a letter to the Attorney General of Israel: ''The investigation against Indymedia Israel has turned into intimidation, harming Freedom of Speech on the Internet.''

Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 10:08 am (Translated from Hebrew ) Police investigators are attempting to throw responsibility on Indymedia Israel's operators, for publications appearing in he "open publishing zone" of the website. This is done illegally and against the recommendations of a professional committee of the Israel Ministry of Justice.

Fear of abuse on the internet, says Attorney Pinchuk, must not bring about the destruction of the platform itself. We can assume that the invention of the airplane assisted criminals occasionally to escape, but the solution to this problem lies in the field of extradition law and international agreements, not in the destruction of airplanes or placing responsibility on pilots or stewardesses.

Therefore, Attorney Pinchuk requests a permanent end to the investigation and a cessation of harassment against the website operators for publications published by others on the open platform on the website.

Shamai Leibowitz, lawyer for Indymedia Israel, adds: ''This is a dangerous attempt by the Israeli government, to quash Freedom of Speech and the Freedom to Disseminate Information. It uses fear and threats in order to suppress critique of the Israeli government and what is occurring in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This police investigation reminds us, to our deep regret, of the situation in the book 1984 by George Orwell.'' Full Article


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ECONOMY 29.12.2003 15:11
Is the US Bankrupt?
This December 2003 article is translated from the German by local translator, Marc Batko
A bankruptcy occurs when the debtor can no longer afford his debt service. In the US economy, spending increases strongly while revenues structurally fall. In the medium term, the US is unable to pay for its debt service! This will lead to worldwide shortfalls, especially for countries whose revenues come from the US [for example, oil] or where the US is the second currency.

Seen historically, the US in the last 200+ years gained the reputation of an economic power and a secure haven. This was based on its export power and geographic position. A creeping erosion of its economic power and security has occurred unnoticed by the general public.


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LABOR 29.12.2003 14:32
Update on contract struggle of Powells Books workers
"bookfreak" writes:
"About a month ago, there was a ton of news about the negotiations at Powell's, and the struggle against management. For a month, there has been no news, and the local 5 website is way out of date. Did these folks win a contract? Did they lose? Should we boycott? Is there a story out there?"

"powell's union worker" responds:
"The upshot is...while the strike days caused some financial pain to the corporation, Management made clear to the union that they were willing to weather the called strike days...which would've been the weekend of Dec. 13-14 and the Sat. before Christmas, Dec. 27. Meanwhile, Management was doing all it could to split the workers...and pit those (mostly younger workers) who value cost-of-living raises against those (mostly older or with dependents) who value good medical benefits. They also were trying to demonize the union for calling strikes, and to get workers to cross the lines (mostly without success)."


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NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE | ENVIRONMENT 26.12.2003 16:18
5.5 Nevada Quake Near Fed Gov't Nuclear Storage Site Hidden 0n USGS - Why?
Interstate trucking of nuclear waste The US government is a traitor to democracy. It is risking everyone with its crony capitalist ways.

The 5.5 EARTHQUAKE near nuclear repository site Yucca Mountain, NV, occurred on December 23, 2003. And the US gov't obviously shows its contempt for Americans by dropping the whole event down the scientific memory hole. However, other states reported it. How can Ameicans know just how risky Yucca Mountain (and nuclear power) is, if the government keeps them uninformed INTENTIONALLY? The only one who benefits from Yucca Mountain are the private nuclear contractors, instead of the people. If we stop all nuclear construction, like Germany has already agreed to do, we help stop American fascism as well.

It is posted here: www.gfz-potsdam.de/geofon/alerts/ev031223182946/

www.NuclearNeigborhoods.org | www.hanfordwatch.org | www.shundahai.org/


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ANIMAL RIGHTS | MEDIA CRITICISM 24.12.2003 19:56
KATU spinning Mad Cow already
KATU (Portland broadcast television channel 2) just ran their take on the mad-cow incident. Their 11AM "news" show stated that prions have not been found in beef cuts or milk--and conveniently omitted the fact that cheap burger meat contains the spinal cord and brain tissue that reliably contains mad cow disease. They also ran a prions-can-be-our-friends segment that cheerfully passed on the research on prions as nanontechnological metallurgical tools.

They also omitted the fact that the beef producers had to have been feeding downer-cow bits to other cows in order to pass on the disease.

Another person comments:
axiom: the mere instance of spinning, downplaying, or public relations campaigns instigated by corporations or industries, solicited and intentional, or in this case done free of charge by an unrelated industry, the corporate media, points to the prescence of a sensitive point or even perhaps some fact in the charges being spun, downplayed, denied or given the p.r. treatment.

axiom: the more truth in the charges, the faster the spinning will spin.


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RESISTANCE 24.12.2003 19:47
The Snail as Bearer of Hope: On the Zapatistas
This article originally published in: Ossietzky 17/2003 is translated from the German by local translator, Marc Batko.

The Zapatistas have reported back about their work behind the scenes in Mexico's political center. Many ears listened; millions of eyes watched. The shocked Mexican government reacted on one hand with empty diplomatic phrases and on the other with intensified force. Ten years after their rebellion at a great fiesta with over 10,000 guests including representatives of international solidarity groups, the Zapatistas celebrated the transition from revolutionary organizational forms to five representative administrative structures.

The newly-formed "councils of good government" that are also called Caracoles (snails) embrace 30 autonomous communities, more than a million people altogether. The snail symbolizes the efforts of the Zapatistas for a self-government of "obedient governance": the spiral of a collective decision-making process. The National Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN), the military part of the Zapatista movement in the past will be limited in the future to the role of a defensive organization of the autonomous area in southern Mexico. EZLN-subcommandante Marcos yields his representative role: "I give back your hearing, your language and your perspective... As the EZLN, we believe we have accomplished our part of the changes."


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SELECTION 2004 | DEAN WATCH 24.12.2003 12:22
Doctor of Deception: Howard Dean at it Again
Defendant Howard Dean managed to state to that he "completely pulled ourselves out" of the Judicial Watch lawsuit where Dean is named as a defendant, and Defendant Howard Dean, through counsel, appeared and filed an answer to the Judicial Watch lawsuit calling for dismissal of the same.

Huh, how does a defendant to a civil lawsuit "pull out" and wash their hands of the matter? Answer: they can't. Deception, smoke and mirrors will not hide the plain truth that Defendant Dean filed an answer to the Judicial Watch complaint on the same day he stated that he was distancing himself from the suit. Defendant Dean's papers requested that the suit be eventually dismissed.

The fact is that defendant Howard Dean can not lawfully "pull out" of this dispute and, in fact, regardless of what lawyer filed Dean's pleadings in Vermont Superior Court on 12/23/03, the filings belong to Dean not to his counsel on the case. These papers have the same legal force and effect as if they were penned by Dean's hand. They were filed with the consent and authorization of Defendant Dean.

Dean's contradictory statements and conduct on 12/23/03 are the ultimate test of just how gullible are his supporters and how long the media will overlook his deceptive conduct. [ Read more... ]

background: [ JUDICIAL WATCH - WATCHING HOWARD DEAN | other pdx indy articles in this ongoing story ]


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POP CULTURE 24.12.2003 12:21
The Racist Tapestry of "Lord of the Rings" movies
I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out "You great warriors of the West" in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a "crusade" against the "evil doers" in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the "evil doers" are of dark skin.

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CORPORATE DOMINANCE 23.12.2003 10:52
Home Depot: America's Do-It-Yourself Bush Fundraising Store?
President Bush, after a major fundraiser in Baltimore on December 5, made a stop at a nearby Home Depot to talk about the economy. But the site confused some people, so much so that the Baltimore Sun ran an article entitled "A Presidential Mystery," which concluded that "nobody seems to know why" he was going to the Home Depot. Well, a little digging provided the answer to this mystery: Home Depot is a major contributor to President Bush's campaigns. Home Depot executives, employees and their families have given more than $1.5 million to the GOP since 1999, most of it in "soft money," before that practice was outlawed last year. The company's political action committee has also already contributed $31,000 directly to the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign. And guess what? Buried in two small paragraphs on page 710 of the massive, stalled energy bill is a measure that would lift a tariff on Chinese-made ceiling fans - with Home Depot being the largest retailer of said fans. The measure, inserted during a closed-door conference committee and undebated in either house of Congress, would save Home Depot and other smaller companies about $48 million, at taxpayer expense, of course.

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GLOBAL JUSTICE 22.12.2003 00:17
Dec. 8-16th CAFTA Talks in WDC
Throughout the week of Dec. 8-16th the Central America Free Trade Agreements (CAFTA) meetings were taking place in Washington DC. During that week, however, there were daily protests in DC and solidarity protests in Houston, TX and Chicago, IL among other places.

CAFTA is, like the FTAA, is built around the same structure as NAFTA. With the FTAA meetings in Miami being unsuccessful for the delegates, the Empire (US) has focused on creating smaller trade agreements like CAFTA to create more money for the upper class, and more poverty for the lower and middle class.

Costa Rica walked out of the talks supposedly becasuse of differences with the US on agriculture and textiles. The US pushed on without Costa Rica eventually signing an agreement with the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Costa Rica may resume talks next month, and the US plans to pressure the Dominican Republic next year to join CAFTA.


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HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHTS | POLICE STATE / PRISONS | RESISTANCE / TACTICS 21.12.2003 10:10
What Does Self-Defense Against Riot Police Look Like?
FTAA protests swarm with riot police (www.ftaaindymedia.org) What does legal self-defense against riot police look like? Rob Thaxton, in jail in Salem, Or., 8 years, for what seems to be self-defense in Eugene Reclaim the Streets protest. 231 protesters criminally charged in Mimai at FTAA protests, 0 cops charged. Prosecutors are friends with cops. Judge in Miami says witnessed 20+ felonies by police with own eyes. No 911 response while we are assaulted by riot police. Tacoma Police Chief rapes you, where do you turn? How do we protect ourselves from police??

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