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Early AM on the 22nd, DCTU and the City reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. DCTU held off on striking past the midnight deadline as the negotiations were still underway, but finally at 5am began the strike. With pickets going up, both sides quickly reached an agreement.
In the final days leading up to the possible strike, other organizations planned acts of solidarity with DCTU. Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) organized to support the scheduled pickets and plans were in place to picket Terminal 6 which would have been recognized by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
The tentative contract must be approved by the union members over the next 10-12 days before it is finalized.
The final vote renewing the PJTTF ordinance for this year took place today in Council chambers. The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of renewal. Commissioner Hales again took a brave stance with the only "no" vote. Mayor Katz was in and out of the Chambers, attending to the city employee contract negotiations, so Commissioner Francesconi acted as Council president. Contrary to expectations, he allowed those who signed up on the "Communications" agenda to speak before the vote on the task force ordinance. Katz had earlier said that those signing up to comment would be able to speak only after the vote.
Today, about 200 people gathered outside the Schnitzer Theatre to protest against Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel, who was giving a speech there. A group of a couple dozen counter-protesters were also on the scene. Hundreds of people lined up on Broadway waiting to get into the theatre, and barricades were placed around the doors so that only a few people could enter at a time. The Portland Police were out in full force, with about three dozen squad cars, two paddy wagons, five vans, a half dozen mounted officers, and a bomb squad truck, but did not misbehave during this event. There was very little contact among the protesters, counter-protesters, and speech attendees; all kept their distance for the most part though -- according to a newswire report -- the messages that each had were not necessarily mutually exclusive.
The Corvallis City Council voted 6-3 today to adopt a resolution opposing Fast-Track, or "Trade Promotion Authority," legislation. Fast Track delegates a large portion of Congressional powers on negotiating trade agreements to the President. Members speaking in favor of the resolution spoke of how trade agreements, such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), contain provisions encroaching on local government's authority. Opponents argued that fast-track was a federal matter, and thus out of their domain. The resolution adopted by the council referred to Article 1 of the Constitution, which delinates the rights of Congress, not the President, to negotiate trade agreements. The resolution directed the mayor to communicate the resolution to the Oregon Congressional Delegation.
Two Portland Indymedia reporters interviewed Mike Swaim, the Mayor of Salem, Oregon, on Friday, October 12. The conversation ranged over many topics: the current threat by Pictsweet Mushrooms to close its factory there in November, political activism and civil disobedience, fighting corporate developers, media accountability, money in politics, civilian oversight of police, the fracas over his public comments regarding the September 11 attacks on the East Coast, public participation in government and society, and the importance of staying true to one's values. In a separate venue, the reporters also spoke with a Salem resident who does not like the Mayor or the City Council.
[ Edited transcript of interview | "Not all Salem residents happy with Mayor Swaim" | Article and VIDEO of speech by Swaim on the Walk for Farmworker Justice | from Alternatives Magazine: "If It Smells Like Hell, It's Probably Pictsweet", by Mayor Swaim ]
In an unsurprising move, the City Council denied public testimony about the non-emergency PJTTF (Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force) resolution Wednesday and ended without any discussion.Commissioner Saltzman read a motion that appeared tohave been written for him by the Mayor, requesting that public testimony be taken in writing prior to the end of the work day on Tuesday the 16th. For the record, in order to suspend the Council rules they needed an affirmative vote of four members of the Council, but Mayor Katz simply said "any objections? hearing none, the motion carries." And the City Attorney present said he thought that was "sufficient." [ Read more ]
[ Source: Copwatch | Background: Portland | COINTELPRO [
The Eugene City Police Commission held a public forum today on "Media Access Issues". The commission has held roundtables on these subjects before but has yet to decide what action, if any, to take. Today's hearing featured commentary from the public, including people from the Portland Independent Media Center, the Eugene Register-Guard, the Eugene Weekly, the Springfield News, the ACLU, and the Society for Professional Journalists.
Eugene activists and independent media are concerned that any credentialing of individuals by police or government agencies will lead to censorship and will set a precedent of distinguishing only certain credentialed individuals as media while denying equal rights to others. Oregon media shield laws provide wide protection for citizens to produce and distribute their own media and do not require any media credentials whatsoever.
All those who testified agreed that access for the press at public events is very important, and that as few limitations as possible should be put on the media, both corporate and alternative. Cascadia Alive! covered the event and will broadcast footage next Wednesday, October 17, at 10pm on CTV Channel 97 in Eugene. Cascadia Alive! is rebroadcast in Portland on Multnomah Community TV, channel 21, on Sundays at midnight and Mondays at 10pm.
PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, "United Treeplanters and Farmworkers of the Northwest"), Oregon's farmworker union, is searching for a company to buy the Pictsweet mushroom farm. 150 workers have signed a petition urging a sale, rather than closing the plant. The workers are convinced that the farm can be run safely and profitably. Pictsweet management reported in September that the farm had lost money for the last three years, and announced its intention to end operations at the farm, which employs 300 workers. PCUN sources say that the boycott of PictSweet mushrooms will continue until the owners recognize the union.
Earlier this year Fred Meyer and Safeway implemented a boycott in reaction to the working conditions at the Salem Pictsweet plant.
[ Background, in Walk for Farmworker Justice feature | Sources for this feature: PCUN Salem Statesman Journal ]
The US and Britain began attacks on Afghanistan. Cruise missiles struck the cities Kabul and Kandahar as well as other targets. Further attacks are following.
The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition called an emergency protest for 4 p.m. in Terry Schrunk Plaza to protest the bombings that have begun in Afghanastan. Over 300 people showed up for a spirited rally that featured a variety of speakers and dozens of hand-painted signs. Drivers honked their support as they drove by. Police presence was low for this unpermitted march; one officer told Indymedia that they understood that there wasn't time to attain a permit on such short notice and that "free speech" rallies such as this were not considered problematic anyway. [Photos]
George W. Bush addressed the nation in a speech and said "Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground.". . ."We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today's new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it."
Osama Bin Laden addressed the world by a pre-recorded tape that was released at the start of attacks. He said "And there are civilians, innocent children being killed every day in Iraq without any guilt, and we never hear anybody.". . ."And every day we see the Israeli tanks going to Jeanine (ph), Ramallah, Beit Jalla and other lands of Islam. And, no, we never hear anybody objecting to that.". . ."So when the swords came after eight(y) years to America, then the whole world has been crying for those criminals who attacked. This is the least which could be said about them. They are people."
Sixteen people were arrested in God's Valley today when they crossed the line into the "safety zone" around current logging operations in Area II of the Acey Line timber sale. They were protesting the recent attacks on other activists in the past three days, as well as the October 3rd commencement of cutting by Christian Futures (a logging company) that the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) allowed. These 16 join three others in jail who were arrested on Thursday. This direct action represents the first of its kind in an Oregon state forest, and was called by the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) and the Hard Rain Alliance, which recently worked together to set up treesits in the same area after surprise logging of dubious legality began in Area III in August. Of the 60+ people who showed up, about half were local residents, making this a cooperative effort between urban and rural forest activists.
The law enforcement response to those engaging in completely peaceful civil disobedience was violent, and would have been surprising had it not followed two days of serious intimidation techniques against other activists in the zone and what some would characterize as "attempted murder" on one particular protester in a tree.
Reporters from Portland Indymedia were on the scene, and they called in up-to-the-minute cell phone reports throughout the action. KBOO community radio, Portland Cable Access, and KMUN radio were the only other media organizations at the action. If any local television stations or newspapers present stories on the day's events, they will not be based on eye-witness reports, but only on official statements from the Clatsop County Sherriff's Department, which were delivered in an entirely different part of the forest, a ten minute drive and half an hour's walk away.
One Indymedia reporter was assaulted and threatened with arrest by law enforcement officers, but they let her go when they saw her press pass. [ Story and VIDEO ]
Those arrested are facing charges of interfering with a police officer, criminal trespass 2, and intent to commit a crime. Some have also been charged with resisting arrest, as well.
Indymedia recieved word on Tuesday that everyone has now been released.
Upcoming coverage: You can see more video of the action on cable access and at Portland Indymedia's upcoming monthly video showing. Details of times, channels, and places.
PRINT: A two-sided print publication containing Portland Indymedia coverage of these events is available at the Red and Black Cafe, on Division Street SE at 22nd. Take one, make copies, distribute. Help get out the news the corporate big boys ignored!
On Wednesday, October 3, the City Council voted to renew the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) by 4-1. Commissioner Hales cast the lone vote against. As it turns out, because the PJTTF was promulgated as an emergency ordinance, a unanimous vote was required to renew it. Therefore, the PJTTF currently exists without official city sanction. Mayor Vera Katz has re-introduced it to the Council on October 10's agenda as a regular ordinance, to go up for a vote at the October 17 meeting.
On Sunday, September 30, the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC) held a peace action downtown. A rally in Pioneer Square featured a diversity of speakers, and was followed by a march to PSU. Afterwards, there was a panel discussion on Afghanistan at PSU's Campus Ministries, where a photo exhibit will be on display for the next month.
Since the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., peace actions have been taking place all over the United States. On the 16th, the PPRC held a downtown rally, and on the 20th, students at Reed College held a vigil (pictured) in conjunction with a National Student Day of Action for Peaceful Justice coordinated by students at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Solidarity actions called by other groups have been held in Eugene and Corvallis, where organizers highlighted the ties between military build-up and corporate globalization.
Earlier this month, Pictsweet Mushrooms announced they will be closing their plant in Salem in mid-November. Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon's farmworker union, sees this action as union-busting, claiming, that "the company has steadfastly refused to negotiate with workers in the plant who have demanded union recognition." According to PCUN, some workers suspect that this is just a plan by Pictsweet to reopen later with a new, nonunion workforce.
U.S. government officials and corporate media correspondents are suggesting that the coming days or hours could bring a declaration of war from Congress and "overwhelming" U.S. military strikes against foreign targets. In contrast to this bellicose mood, over 2300 people gathered in Portland on Sunday, September 16, to memorialize those who died in last Tuesday's attacks on the East Coast, and to demand that the U.S. government not go to war in response. Though this march was unpermitted, Portland police allowed it to take over the streets, and blocked intersections for the crowd. Signs, banners, and speakers all expressed messages of peace, in contrast to the drive for vengeance being encouraged by the government and much of the population.
The newly-formed Portland Peaceful Response made the call for the event. The coalition decribes itself as "individuals and groups from many diverse backrounds united for a singlular cause: to see a peaceful resolution to these events, and to promote and protect the peace of those who may be unduly discriminated against as a result."
Emergency protest: At the Sunday rally, Portland activists reiterated that in the case of sudden events such as "retaliatory bombings", an emergency protest will take place in Terry Schrunk Plaza. The demonstration will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the day of attacks, if they start before 4:00 p.m., and the day after attacks, if they start after 4:00 p.m. The plaza is located downtown, across the street from City Hall, at SW 3rd & Madison. [ Details ]
Reacting to discrimination and war-lust: Local activists are also offering suggestions for how to "combat anti-Arab racism and rampant jingoism" here in Portland. [ Read more ]
In the wake of the attacks on U.S. soil, Afghanistan and its ruling Taliban are at the center of media attention. The Taliban, whose name means "holy student," was created by the the Pakistani Intelligence Agency (ISI), and developed during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban army consists of Muslim fundamentalist mercenaries from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, armed and financed primarily by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Over the last six years the Taliban have gained control over 90% of the country. (Until recently the Taliban have been referred to as 'freedom fighters' in the western press.)
Many people in Portland are deeply concerned about the events that are unfolding after the recent attacks on NYC and DC: U.S. government officials are making calls for a "massive" military retaliation against the unknown perpetrators; personal attacks against Arab-Americans are being reported; corporate media coverage is dominated by bellicose viewpoints. However, citizens who wish to speak out against this state of affairs in public might soon find their First Amendment rights limited. On Wednesday, 26 September, the City Council will be voting on a resolution that will change the permit process for events in public spaces. The measure will raise the fees, give the Police department greater control over the approval process, and require organizers to give their names and contact information. If attendance at an event exceeds the estimates supplied in the paperwork, the city will be able to fine organizers $500. Although this resolution was introduced before Tuesday's attacks, some activists are fearful that this is only the first of many government-sponsored assaults on civil liberties in the name of "security".
Any citizen may contact the City Recorder Auditor's Office by phone or email to sign up for a comment slot at the City Council meeting where this issue will be decided. The Joint Terrorism Task Force, the activities of which are also viewed by many as dangerous to civil liberties, is up for renewal that day as well.
In the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, about 150 Portland citizens gathered Tuesday evening to consider appropriate responses. People spoke about the tide of prejudice against Arab-Americans that is already rising, their opposition to any violent retribution on other countries by the U.S. government, and their concerns about a culture that many are expecting to become more repressive toward dissent. Representatives of the National Lawyers' Guild gave advice on defending one's rights, and offered to support people involved in these struggles who have problems with law enforcement.
The United States government has a well-documented history of suspending civil liberties and oppressing minority groups during times of war or crisis. With emotions running high, a corporate-backed conservative administration in the White House, and an official partnership between Portland Police and the FBI, fears of resurgent neo-fascism seem well-placed. The group of Portlanders who met Tuesday night seemed ready to resist any such illegal tyranny committed in the name of national security, and to stand up for their fellow citizens who might become targets of the general populace.
KBOO 90.7 FM Is offering comprehensive coverage of the events free of hysteria and finger pointing. They suspended their Fall pledge drive on Tuesday and dedicated the day to offering more information and taking calls on the air. Throughout this tragedy, KBOO has lived up to their admirable title of Community Radio by being very thoughtful and supportive.
LOCAL INFO: [ Schedule of meetings/actions | "Know Your Rights": National Lawyer's Guild info ]
Expansion is on the horizon for People's Food Co-op. After years of planning, the Co-op is scheduled to break ground on Wednesday, September 26th, having recently secured a large loan necessary for the $700,000 project. Efforts are now being made to raise the final $50,000 so that the project may commence as scheduled this fall.
An expansion benefit is planned for Sunday, September 16th. The event will take place at SEIU Hall on 26th and Powell from 3PM- 9PM. Music, food, a raffle, and a silent auction are scheduled. In addition a harvest and ground-breaking celebration is planned for Wednesday, September 26th at the Farmer's Market at People's. For more information call the store at 503.232.9051.
The Homeless Liberation Front (HLF) is currently protesting the recent eviction of Dignity Village, and issues regarding homelessness in general, by camping out at a site called the "Field of Dreams", near the waterfront in downtown Portland. Negotiations between the city and Dignity Village, a community of self organizing and self regulating homeless persons, recently ended with the Village grudgingly moving to a site many deemed unlivable. [See "Dignity Village residents vacate site" feature, below.] Some of the residents refused to go to the new site; local activists have joined them to challenge the city by setting up this new campsite. Portland Police have told the HLF that they will be subject to arrest starting at one minute after midnight on Monday night. On Sunday, HLF held a press conference to air their concerns. No corporate media attended. Alternative media activists are on-site overnight to report any new developments in this story. HLF organizers are strongly encouraging those who care about homeless issues to visit the site, which is located at Naito Parkway and Harrison Street.Update 10:00 pm Monday
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