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DEFENDING WORKERS 23.01.2004 16:41
Biggest labor dispute in US in 20 years
The lockout of supermarket workers in California is the biggest labor dispute in the United States in the last twenty years, affecting some 70,000 workers. In many ways this is a watershed event for the US labor movement, on a par with other historic challenges to US workers, such as the PATCO strike in the 1980s, which President Ronald Reagan crushed, with such important and destructive implications for the vitality of organized labor and collective bargaining rights in this country.

This time, the issues at stake are perhaps even more fundamental. Workers are being locked out for insisting on retaining employer-paid health care benefits that they struggled to win years ago. If employers win this battle, it will mark a major turning point in the health care crisis in this country, as it will almost certainly strengthen the resolve of bosses nationwide to strip workers everywhere of these benefits.

Your support is urgently needed to defend the interests of these workers, and workers everywhere who will be affected by the outcome of this struggle. Please come and show your support.

Two grocery strike picketers arrested trying to file police complaint | Safeway Rally in Portland Saturday Jan 24th at Noon


NO STARBUCKS IN 7 CORNERS 22.01.2004 12:57
Seven Corners Area Businesses opposed to plans for new Starbucks on SE Division
Mirador, a kitchen and home supply store, and the Red and Black Cafe, a worker- owned coffee shop, have announced their opposition to plans by Portland-based Urban Works Real Estate to develop a new Starbucks in the historic Ladd's Meat building on SE Division at 21st Avenue.

"We are in favor of a locally-owned, community-based business opening shop in the Ladd's building," said Lynn Hanrahan, co-owner of Mirador. "A Starbucks would be sending money outside the neighborhood, and -- if their record in other neighborhoods is any measure -- would not be the best neighbors to the residents and other businesses here."

Urban Works, the manager of the property, and the siter for Starbucks stores in the Portland metro area, has until recently been less than fully honest in communication with the community on the subject of whether it plans to put a Starbucks on the property.

"Now that their intentions have been revealed through media stories," said Sole, a Red and Black employee and co-owner, "there are people who feel they were decieved."

"I called [Urban Works] and asked them if a Starbucks was going in and they said, 'No'," said Steve Hanrahan, co-owner of Mirador. [ Read more... ]

related:[ Starbucks to open store in SE Portland? | Channel 6 filming story on Starbucks in Red&Black right now - Vive la indymedia! | Community urged to call Ladd's Meat bldg owner to tell him "NO to Starbucks in 7 Corners!" | Willamette Week publishes an article on Starbucks in Seven Corners struggle ]

Organizing meeting to oppose this Starbucks, 1/27, 7:00pm. @People's Co-op: [ Details & downloadable posters ]


RESISTANCE 22.01.2004 12:46
Code Pink says “Give Bush a Pink Slip!”
Bush's speech to the nation was a combination of platitudes, exaggerations, half-truths and downright lies. Afghans would be curious to hear that their country is now free and prosperous, not a dangerous, fractured nation governed by warlords and fueled by opium. Iraqis would be surprised to know that they are assuming more and more responsibility for their own future, while the Bush administration is dishing out their oil money to its cronies in Halliburton and Bechtel, and passing privatization laws favoring foreign corporations that will distort the Iraqi economy for decades to come.

Bush insists that we Americans are safer because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. The truth is that these invasions unleashed a new wave of anti-American sentiment, making us MORE vulnerable, not less. In fact, global opinion says the entire world is less safe now that the Bush administration decided to launch a pre-emptive war, thumb its nose at the United Nations, break critical treaties such as the ABM treaty, and violate the UN mandate to stop the scourge of war.

It's telling that the two most repeated words in George Bush's State of the Union address were "America" and "terrorism"?a continuation of the administration's politics of fear. Bush also continued to make connections between terrorism, America and Iraq, connections that never existed until, of course, the US invaded Iraq and attracted jihadists from around the world. It's also interesting that the name "Osama bin Laden" never came up in the speech.

UPCOMING CODE PINK EVENT IN PORTLAND, 1/22: [ Code Pink back on Portland streets! ]


COMMUNITY BUILDING 22.01.2004 12:37
Portland Anti-Capitalist Action declares Cafe Revolution a success
Portland Anti-Capitalist Action would like to thank community members and organizations for participating in Cafe Revolution this past Saturday. We had a great turnout, everyone had a fantastic time watching the bands, eating good food and talking to organizations. Folks who were interested in plugging into some of the great work being done in this city got the opportunity to met and discuss with organizations and individuals, it was wonderful to see community members inspiring and educating one another. Thank you to Liberty Hall for the use of the space and special thanks to all the collectives who came and presented their work.


LABOR | RESISTANCE 22.01.2004 08:14
Vons Strike Continues -- Pacific Coast Highway
On January 16, employees on strike from Vons and Ralphs were picketing in front of the Vons on Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades. While traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway (near Sunset Blvd. and Topanga Cyn.) in Southern California, I came across people that were picketing in front of the Vons in Pacific Palisades. Employees of the Ralphs in Malibu were picketing on PCH near the entrance to Vons, while employees of Vons were picketing in front of the store where they normally go to work.

When I first arrived, most of the picketers appeared to be pretty worn out, both mentally and physically. Most of the striking employees have been picketing about 6 hours a day, and their union funds, from which they are collecting money, are running dry. It has been demoralizing to see some of their co-workers cross the line and go back to work, as well as customers crossing the line daily. However, business has been pretty slow at Vons and many people are very supportive of the strike by totally avoiding Vons or conciously spending less money at Vons. Solidarity came in many forms. And, as the striking employees witnessed the acts of solidarity, the mood of the employees began to transform and they were again bosterious and full of energy. [ Read More ]

[Other Articles by ~Bradley]


INT'L SOLIDARITY 22.01.2004 00:43
Local activist in Palestine for solidarity work
Known as Port Orford on the inside and Jack Rose on the outside, this 20 year old Portlander has been in Palestine for about a week. He's a activist intent on doing everything possible to make his voice heard as a Jew against the occupation. Enclosed is the first installment of his experiences as he e-mailed them from the frontlines.


DICK'S VISIT 22.01.2004 00:30
Dick Cheney (barely) Visits Portland--Video File
cheneysign On January 13, 2003, Dick Cheney struck Portland a glancing blow and made off with close to half a million dollars. Those attending the event to protest the policies of the Bush adminstration were crowded in to a small "protest zone," barely within shouting distance to the Embassy Suite Hotel where Dick was fleecing his constituency.

All who attended were peaceful, though legitimately angered over the diminishment of their right to voice their grievences to an elected official and the ludicrous show of force by local law enforcement. And too, the corporate media were not herded into the same area, but were outside the "zone," enjoying freedom of movement and access to interviews with the protesters through the chain link fence.

What is Dick Cheney so afraid of?

[ Read More ]

RELATED ARTICLES: [Cheney Protest Pics | Why it is Wrong to Stand in a Free Speech Zone]

[Other Aritcles by Jim Lockhart]


BUSH LIES 21.01.2004 11:40
State of the Union For Simpletons
As usual, I stood before the TV screen for the State of the Union address with a small pile of wadded up balls of paper, the better to throw at the screen when an outrageous or simplistic statement was made. Suffice it to say, my arm is now very tired.

First surprise . . . nothing about sending men to the Moon or Mars. But then again, nothing ever came of the hydrogen car chatter either, so perhaps it's not surprising that Mr. Bush avoided bringing up an expensive proposed budget item, particularly when he went to great lengths to chide the Congress about responsible spending. Good thing I wasn't swallowing anything when he announced, with perfect confidence, that such responsible spending could "reduce the budget deficit by 1/2 in five years!" I would surely have choked. This amazing statement was made after the announcement of his intention to introduce several new large request in his proposed budget, and before the announcement of several more.


COMMUNITY SUPPORT 21.01.2004 00:52
Wild Oats cuts Local Products from Shelves
Wild Oats is a popular store in Portland. With a variety of locations and catering to the trendy eating habits of the middle-class left, the chain has grown far from its start in Boulder CO. Up to now, the chain has incorporated local products into its stores. Now, the word on the street is that that is about to change.

First, they downsized their pick-up crews. The people who drove the trucks to pick up the local goods were suddenly out of their jobs. For many this came as a big suprise. Many had been doing the job for more than a decade and had house mortgages and such resting on their income. This has been happening incrementally since Natures was bought out by the chain. Along with slowly fazing out contracts with local manufacturers, growers, and producers, Wild Oats also apparently has a fierce animosity for competition- it dropped one local organic produce distibuter's contract after learning that the distributer also sold goods to a local health food chain.

Now, Wild Oats is making it impossible for small local businesses to participate in the chain's distribution by demanding that products carry millions of dollars in insurance, that manufactueres deliver their goods to the stores, etc. It is all done in the coporate model of centralization. It is making its "health food" into an economy of scale: the more centralized and mass produced the product, the cheaper the production, and the cheaper the production, the larger the the profit margin. The larger the profit margin- the larger the chain.


WHAT ARE YOU EATING? 21.01.2004 00:32
Pharmaceutical & biotech corporations behind Morelos attacks
Biopiracy and genetic engineering by pharma/GE corporations represents an attack on biodiversity and human autonomy. The attack on the villagers of Tlalnepantla, Morelos by the Mexican government is the forefront of the Plan Puebla Panama agenda that seeks to control the Lacandon rainforest with genetically engineered trees from Grupo Pulsar, Mexican biotech corporation.

Genetic engineering corporations are becoming more aggressive in their attempts to control the global food supply and patent biodiversity. The collaboration of pharmaceutical (Novartis, Syngenta) and biotech (Monsanto, Grupo Pulsar) corporations is an assault on biodiversity wordwide. Farmers and indigenous people are chased off their land by WTO controlled governments, the pharma/GE corporations are right on their heels engaging in biopiracy and spreading GE seeds of destruction..


INDYMEDIA | GENDER 20.01.2004 19:02
Hysteria Colletive fully endorses and supports the Global Indymedia Women's Proposal
The imc-women's-list has existed since summer 2001 and consists of women active in indymedias in Latin America, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. For two years, we have discussed in many facets the depressing situation of patriarchal repression in society which unfortunately doesn't stop at the doorstep of leftist groups.

Many concrete situations came up, in which women were discriminated against in their local group. In most cases we were able to support the women emotionally and to give advice. But we feel that this is not enough.

Women are a small minorty within many indymedia groups, some groups consist only of men. This may be due to the fact that people perceive indymedia mainly as a website and don't realize how much work needs to be done concerning building politcal relationships, outreach, editorial work etc. Therefore indymedia attracts relatively more people who are interested in computing than people who are not. Accordingly, the underrepresentation of women within indymedia reflects the underrepresentation of women in Information Technology related fields.


MEDIA CRITICISM 19.01.2004 16:19
Article In Portland Tribune on Cheney protest "tasteless"
The following article appeared on the front page of last Thursday's PORTLAND TRIBUNE, accompanied by three photographs . . . one of a protestor standing behind a high chain link fence topped by razor wire and emblazoned with "police line - do not cross" banners . . . one of an overkill number of riot police and police on horseback, standing between about 80 peaceful protestors in the "free speech" area and the Embassy Suites hotel where Cheney was speaking to about 65 donors . . . and a beaming portrait of Mr. Cheney himself.

The Bush administration's jaunts among the common people resemble, more and more, the movements of the world's dictators. Encased in bulletproof vehicles, isolated from the general public, and with any protest or demonstration of a differing view ushered into an isolated area where it cannot be seen or heard.

This is the policy of preemption carried to further extremes. If differing views are isolated and made insignificant, they need not be considered by an administration with its own agenda. All protestors are treated like nuts and terrorists, and their right to peacefully protest and make their point nullified by an administration that simply does not care what they think while paying lip service to "free speech."

This turn of events horrifies other free nations such as England and Australia which refused to make concessions for Bush that would have limited the rights of citizens to peacefully protest when he traveled there. The really horrifying thing is that -- here in the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave -- a majority of citizens are simply accepting this bizarre turn of events in exchanged for perceived by largely non-existent "security."

[ Here is the article (with a few personal notes) ]


ELECTORAL POLITICS 19.01.2004 16:18
"I Decided To Run For Mayor" of Eugene
Well it will be official by Tuesday folks... I am running for Mayor of Eugene under the name Eric G. Sephiroth, and this will be an awesome race! Right now it looks like Kitty Pierce (sp?) is going to be a progressive candidate as well, running against Nancy Nathanson who is a right wing nutcase like the current mayor Jim Torrey. But this year Torrey is resigning so I decided, why not? That's what you get for listening to too much Jello Biafra.

I decided to also include some of the ideas from the 1934 Upton Sinclair, and 2003 Linda Averill campaigns for CA Governor and Seattle City council, respectively. The platform is still sketchy but here are some positions:

Bike paths on both sides of every single Eugene street.

A 50-cent gas tax.

Bus services available 24-7.

No "research lab" along the Willamette.

No gentrification of low income housing.


12th Annual Martin Luther King Day March for Peace and Justice 5:30 pm Monday
CNP's Founder's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Statement Portland's Sisters of the Road Cafe will hold its 12th Annual Martin Luther King Day March for Peace and Justice on Monday, January 19th, gathering at two different locations at 5:30 p.m.

As in past years, marchers will gather either at the Sisters of the Road Cafe (133 NW Sixth Avenue, at corner with NW Davis) or at the Lorenzen Conference Center of the Legacy Emanuel Hospital (N. Graham Avenue at N. Gantenbein Avenue, just West of N. Vancouver Avenue).

Both marches will converge on the Oregon Convention Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. For more information, please call Sisters of the Road Cafe at (503) 222-5694. Check their website at www.sistersoftheroadcafe.org for updates.

PDX- MLK Jr. Commemoration at Lewis & Clark College all day.
Multicultural Sensitivity workshops begin at 10:30 am, Templeton Student Center, Stamm Dining Room; Keynote speaker Phillip E. Walker, artistic Director and Playwrite, on MLK Jr. for the New Millennium, begins at 3 pm, Templeton Student Center, Council Chamber; Chapel Celebration in Agnes Flanagan Chapel begins at 7 pm. All is FREE and open to the public. For more info call 503-768-7216.

New Book: On The Mountaintop | A. Philip Randolph's Dream | Before Brown: Charles H. Houston and the Gaines Case | Frederick Douglas | New Book: Black Freedom Fighters in Steel | William F. Pepper & MLK | Dr. Martin Luther King Poster Project


One Pair of Eyes Out of 100,000: Day 1 at the World Social Forum
I am at the Media Center in the WSF right now and the alt.media people have been kicked out for a meeting. So I wrote this out stone age style. No matter. There is a WSF going on and Portland is going to hear about what I have experienced on this, the first real day of the WSF.

Let me start by saying that this feels like a truly global movement. This year's WSF has been held in India to encourage greater participation from Africa and Asia. Taking a quick glance around me I can attest that the strategy succeeded. Trade Unions make up the majority of the organizations but the Indian participants far outweigh any other group. The NESCO grounds are huge, with 5 major indoor presentation halls, 3 exhibition centers filled with mazes of Non Governmental Organization (NGO) stalls. Glossy pictures depicting heart rending scenes of child exploitation, the effects of chemical contamination and the conditions Indian sanitation workers endure line every available space. There are scores of seminar tents all over and 5 food courts with not a Starbucks or Burger King in sight. There is more: two open air stages and the Media Center which manages to meet the needs of journalists and houses the film festival.


POLITICAL THEORY 17.01.2004 21:54
Audio Report: Derrick Jensen in Portland
On Saturday, January 10, 2004, Derrick Jensen, activist and award winning author spoke in Portland to an enthusiastic gathering of about 350 people at the First Unitarian Church. His earlier books include: Older Than Words; The Culture of Make Believe; Listening To the Land; Railroads and Clearcuts. A prolific writer, Derrick has recently released: Strangely Like War: the Global Assault on Forests; Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution; and,The Other Side of Darkness

His presentation was both witty and humorous, demonstrating a wide and free ranging wisdom, as well as a decent grasp of the work of many prominent authors. Often spontaneously wandering off in all directions, he most usually navigated the crowd back to where he left off. Usually, and this is a matter of opinion.

related: [ Random thoughts after hearing Derrick Jensen's lecture ]


COMMON GROUND 17.01.2004 14:26
My only encounter with KPTV's Jim Hyde
When we did the Ron Wyden sit-in during the vote to authorize force in Iraq, we sent out press releases to all of the press we could think of. No one from the Oregonian, no one from WW or the Mercury or OPB, or streetroots, or any of several radio stations, and no one from the Tribune showed up. Several Indymedia people came and attended all day and did good stories on the event, Dave Mazza from the Alliance came and stayed all day (but I never saw an article--doesn't mean one didn't come out), one TV news camera (with no reported) from a station I can't remember came out for about 5 minutes, and Jim Hyde and a camera person came out. Jim stayed for about 45 minutes, he took his time interviewing people outside and in. He was incredibly respectful of us, friendly, he asked intelligent, thoughtful questions. I was somewhat shocked because I expected him to be a jerk, being from KPTV and such.

Preconceived notions are usually wrong, but only when two people treat each other with respect.

I can remember only one quote from him, "I cannot see how anyone, anywhere can be for this war." [ Read More ]

related: [ It's a Cold World ]


World Social Forum in full swing
Since it is only noon and there are many, many seminars, panel discussions and workshops to attend I will breifly outline the scene. Busy, in a word. This is Mumbai India and it is quite humid and hot. People, roughly 100,000 of them, are everywhere traveling singly, with affinity groups and in pairs to go to skill and information sharing forums on all aspects of the movement. I attended two talks this morning, catching half of each. The first was NAFTA & FTAA the Global North meets the Global South, organized by Grassroots Global Justice and the Second was titled simply enough, WTO and was WSF organized.

I left the GGJ talk because sound issues and because I came to hear about NAFTA and after two speakers on the panel it was not really addressed. Or mentioned really. I am sure they got to it eventually. I ambled over to the WTO talk and was pleased to hear powerful orators talking in Spanish with competent interperetors translating competently. The focus was the link between bilateral and regional trade agreements and the WTO. The two are really different roads leading to the same scortched earth. However, in Bilateral and Regional agreements, the pressure of the United States or another 1st World economic force such as Britian or France is more directly and powerfully felt.

RELATED LINKS: Watch Video (mpeg 4) | Photos | First Day Report | Live Radio Stream


Cop violence at LEIU protests in Seattle, Wa June 2, 2003 (Pic from Seattle IMC) In a time when Seattle is in deep need of money for its schools, its health care systems, for affordable housing, for public transportation, etc., we are paying $250,000, and rightly so, to protesters who were grotesquely violated at the WTO protests in 1999. And Seattle did not learn from that riot, as it produced two more unnecessary police riots in 2003, which still need to be addressed properly by officials, and perhaps the courts. Perhaps using this WTO case as precedence.

In December 2003, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said the police lacked probable cause to arrest the protesters outside a "no protest zone." Pechman said the police had done an "atrocious" job at record keeping, as well as citing the use of improper warrant and arrest procedures to round up protesters... Many of the issues in these WTO trials will affect the outcomes of these antiwar and LEIU riot situations from 2003... If Seattle police had no right to arrest those protesters at the 1999 WTO protests, for simply protesting, they also had no right to beat, assault, and falsely imprison, from what I saw, (and arrest in some cases), any of the approximately 500 people on March 22, 2003 that police abused in Seattle. The Seattle Police also had no right to riot...

This concept of acceptable police violence, and "no protest zones," has been pushed as far as possible by Bush. "No protest zones" undermine the Constitutionally-protected freedoms of speech and assembly so fundamentally that it is amazing this is even up for argument. As that part of the WTO protest case is still to be heard, in an appeal to a 2001 ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein... Rothstein upheld the no-protest zone, saying, according to the [Seattle] Times article, "Free speech must sometimes bend to public safety." ... Just as the Bush administration lies about weapons of mass destruction, it also lies about public safety issues when it comes to political protests.

When Seattle Police were beating, assaulting, and containing us against our will on March 22, THEY were the ONLY public safety issue present... If this concept of extreme police violence upon hundreds of unarmed protesters in Seattle at the WTO 1999 protests, is found to be unconstitutional in the 9th Circuit courts, the City of Seattle will be liable for even more in damages to WTO protesters, still to come. And to LEIU and anti-war protesters after that. [ Read More ] [ kirstenanderberg.com ]


Beginning the New Year in Reality, Chiapas, Mexico
Zapatistas en el barco Beginning the New Year in Reality, Chiapas, Mexico author: jw A description of the new year's events in La Realidad, and how movements in the US need, now more than ever, to try and learn from the examples set by the Zapatistas:
"That we are not a collection of individuals dispersed by the world, but rather a living harmony of colors and voices, a constant shout of desires and thoughts that are born, that grow, that lovingly fertilize in one heart and one will, woven of hope. We call this existence and form of harmonic and collective thinking communal. That we don't resign from being who we are. That we will continue defending our autonomy and defending it. We will also defend everyone who is like us, who want to live differently for their color, their song, their vision of their own lives and freedom, with dignity." ~ Declaration of the Indigenous National Congress in Nurio, Mexico, March 2-4, 2001

Reaching the place called Reality is daunting. We were on a mission, 16 of us piled into a van really meant for 12, pulling away from the San Crist?bal z?calo long before breakfast. Most of us were Mexican, but also Chicana, Italian, Quebecois, and from the US. We came from different backgrounds: writers, musicians, photographers, videographers, anthropologists, a biologist, and representing three different collectives. It was the first time for all of us to visit the community known as La Realidad.

Full Story >>>

The Zapatistas are the masters of innovation and also the masters of silence. The two are closely entwined. It is often only during those periods of silence that new ideas can be born. If we in the North continue to chase summits without pausing to reflect, to reconsider, to critique, and to brainstorm, we will continue dwindling in numbers, in strength, in effectiveness, and in relevance. Without retreating from street action, we must also be developing our autonomy, practicing disobedience and refusal on a daily basis, and not only in the hot spots of confrontation with the police, where we will always be fenced out and met with the brutal "model of Homeland Security."

The reality in which we live, whether in the mountains of southeast Mexico or in the concrete jungles of the United States, requires endurance. As the anonymous representative of the Junta de Buen Gobierno said on 1 January, 2004, "We are the thorn in the side of neoliberalism. We are here. We have always been here. We will continue being here. We will always continue to stab them."

photos from La Realidad

homepage: www.WeAreEverywhere.org


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