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Each week I search the Indymedia sites worldwide for stories of resistance, community building, hope, and tactics. We here in America have forgotten that we can stand up. There are plenty of examples worldwide. We need to get out of our small space of convenience and illusion and look out into the world. Here a few of the stories I found this week.
Portland mayoral candidate Jim Francesconi testily distanced himself Tuesday from a proposal to radically increase downtown parking fees during an election year. The dustup between Francesconi and outgoing mayor Vera Katz occurred during a public work session on a new budget for the Portland Department of Transportation. The issue was tabled for future discussion in a more private venue.
Under a budget proposal submitted by Katz, the city would have increased downtown's metered parking revenues by extending hours from 6pm to 8pm, charging on Sundays that are now free, and raising parking fines. The city says the increased revenue collected from the proposed fees is needed to pay for a planned major renovation of the downtown transit mall and to cover the costs of city street repairs. According to Katz's budget proposal, the parking plan would have generated an additional $2.4 to $4.5 million per year.
The Transportation Department has been under commissioner Francesconi's management since 2002. When the candidate realized Tuesday that his department managers had included the plan information in background materials provided to the mayor, he quickly put the brakes on it. "... I have never recommended this," said Francesconi, according to the Oregonian, to which Katz responded, "It's in your own transportation budget."
Two more people were arrested last night for hanging up posters advertising for the April 24 March for Justice and Police Accountability. So far a total of three have been arrested in the last week. The cops obviously do not want this event to be publicized. We have received calls from all over North and Northeast Portland today saying that the cops are going block by block taking down all the advertisements for the March. [ read more... ]
This March for Justice and Police Accountability begins an effort by the people of Portland to:
1) Ensure Jason Sery, the Portland Police Bureau officer who shot and killed unarmed James Perez is prosecuted for murder.
Join the people of Portland for this March for Justice and Police Accountability. Meet at 12:00 Noon, April 24th at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland. [ read more... ]
RELATED STORIES: April 24 March against Police Brutality - I'll be there, but... | Rose City Cop Watch Press Release | COPS Removing RoseCityCopwatch Fliers | McCollister, Sery Identified!! [ arissa | Rose City Cop Watch ]
Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS is sending his minions up to Oregon this weekend to protest queers and queer allies. Best known for his protest at Matthew Shepard's funeral and his website, www.godhatesfags.com, Rev Fred Phelps has targeted various locations in Portland, Beaverton and Salem to protest a queer's right to life, love and state-sanctioned unions.
PSU, the courthouses, churches, high schools and city hall are all on their hitlist as places that condone queer lifestyle. Phelps announced previously that he was planning on coming to Beaverton to protest an art exhibit that accepted all families, including same-sex ones. However, due to the overwhelming number of other queer-friendly activities going on in the country, a spokesperson from the Westboro Church said that they were going to have to reschedule. So here they come. [ read more... ]
I was at the Oxygen Collectives (from Ashland) Fire and Forests Road Show tonight at PSU. It was so fucking amazing! I dont want to give too much away, because they are going to be at Reed tomorrow night... But, when I got upstaris I was greeted by some stiltwalkers giving me some literature, a long table with a ton of information and wonderful people (including good friends that I hadnt seen in awhile :)
Then, all of a sudden, the room went dark and a folk singer who wasnt supposed to be on the bill, got up and played a song about the Biscuit Fire. He said his name was Ryan. It was a really moving song and I enjoyed it. He had to have someone hold the lyrics for him, made me think that this stuff is so important and so many wonderful people are just busting their asses however they can to get this stuff out there!
Some observations from a witness at the Llaneza sentencing. Llaneza was given 20 years state prison, with a minimum 18 years to be served without possibility of parole, for killing two and critically injuring a third cyclist during a high speed drunken driving spree on June 25, 2003.
The International Food Not Bombs (FNB) Gathering has been cancelled. Due to poor planning and a lack of time there will NOT be an International Gathering in or around New York City in the week before or during the Republican National Convention.
FNB organizers across the United States worked with FNB people in NY to come to this conclusion. There was alot of intense discussion that went on between the people in NY and outside of NY...the only clear choice was to halt the planning for this and do more local organizing.
Along those lines, FNBers have began planning smaller regional gatherings before the RNC so that people can connect and share ideas/visions about the future on FNB. The first of which is the Rustbelt Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. There are also plans to have a gathering in Richmond Virginia towards the beginning of July.
What's more plausible - that the government has outlawed ephedra because it's LINKED to 155 deaths in history, or because the pHarmacuetical industry is one of the biggest political contributors and doesn't want a natural extract as a competitor that can't be trademarked and regulated?
Ephedra is the main active ingredient of Ma Huang, an herb that has been used for thousands of years to alleviate symptoms of asthma, upper respiratory infection, nasal and chest congestion, and to increase metabolism. The Food and Drug Administration, citing a TOTAL of 155 deaths that have been LINKED to it, has banned all sales of it as of today, April 12, 2004.
The move marks the first time the government has outlawed a dietary supplement and will set a precedent for action against other "risky" products, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. "For too long, dietary supplements containing (ephedra) have been heavily promoted and widely used. They are simply too "risky", Thomson said at a news conference. Bush administration officials said several recent developments allowed them to take action against a substance that had been under scrutiny for at least six years.
In light of the recent Hanford "State of the Site" public meetings, as well as the positive accomplishments and problems we face in cleaning up Hanford, I would like to share my observations and concerns.
Last week the Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) met with a full agenda concerning the federal budget for Hanford cleanup, worker pension and safety issues, ground water cleanup actions, update on the Solid Waste EIS (environmental impact statement) and more.
I believe we are facing the worst crisis at Hanford and across the weapons complex that we have faced in my 12 years of involvement. We have a crisis in cleanup "philosophy" or attitudes of this administration. Department of Energy Headquarters (DOE HQ) in D.C. has taken control of management to the point that management at the Hanford site seems to have lost all of its power.
The Tri-Party Agreement (TPA), a legally binding roadmap to cleanup, and the environmental laws that govern the cleanup of lethal and long-lasting wastes are being "held hostage" by DOE HQ. The administration's current attempts to reclassify waste, and hold back cleanup dollars until the courts give a "satisfactory" answer is typical in our new "Age of Secrecy." This in turn impacts the cleanup budget.
Even more important, many of the new initiatives impact the health and safety of this region now and for future generations. The buzzword for the new philosophy is "acceleration." Faster, cheaper. At the annual State of the Site meetings held around the region, citizens demanded quality cleanup, long- lasting cleanup, honesty, reality. Are we getting that?
[ Hanford Watch ]
I have been coming to Portland Indymedia for about a year and a half now. In that time, I have had to carefully determine which news sources to believe and what to discredit. (That happens with Indymedia... you need to use your own intellect to judge what is the truth and what is not.) During my visits here, I have seen stories about Chemtrails. To be honest... I never really read any of them, because the idea sounded just way too "out there" for me. (No offense.) Anyway...
Two weeks ago, (3/28) I went canoeing with my 4 year old son. We decided to go to a nearby lake and soak in some springtime sunshine. All was fine and dandy when we paddled out to the middle of the lake. (Round Lake, Camas Wa.) When I looked directly toward the south... I could plainly see numerous contrails laid in a north/south direction. (The contrails went as far as the eye could see.) However; when I turned my head toward the North... I could plainly see ALL of the contrails ending a couple miles north of Camas. (See picture.) For those of you that don't know... Camas, Washington is directly across the Columbia River from Troutdale Oregon, which basically makes us the northernmost part of the Portland Metro area.
Independent Police Review Division (IPR) held its monthly meeting in Portland City Hall. CRC meetings are open to the public.
On the CRC's agenda at this meeting was Bill Ellis, a Portlander in his mid-20s, who appealed the IPR's denial of his claims of excessive force against numerous Portland police officers during a war protest on March 25, 2003. Video taken by several cameras at the scene on SW Fifth Avenue and Taylor Street show Portland police officer Leo Besner approaching Ellis on a bicycle. As Ellis ambles up the sidewalk, protest sign in hand and accompanied by a large group of peaceful protestors, officer Besner instructs him to 'come here.' Seconds later, Besner grabs Ellis' arm and swings him out into the street, throwing Ellis off-balance as Ellis tries to avoid falling over Besner's bicycle. Ellis is body-blocked, slammed head-first into the pavement, handcuffed, and pepper sprayed in the eyes from point blank range while dozens of stunned demonstrators look on in disbelief. [ READ MORE... ]
Hello to everyone, I am alive and kicking behind these wall and bars. I'm staying strong.
Part of the reason I am staying strong is all the love and support pouring forth from folks.
No matter what kind of darkness the establishment tries to supress us with, they can't pierce the Light. they can't stop the love, the consciousness, awareness. And the Truth will prevail.
Time is now to rise up, stand together, and oppose the injustices that are being committed, not just against activists, but the thread of life on this precious Earth.
When the film The Corporation (independent Canadian film) comes to town please go see it, and bring everyone you know. Together we will stop them, stop the corporate corruption, and create a healthier, more just planet for every living thing.
Peace, I love you all
sittin here with my laptop in pioneer square (guess starbucks is good for somethin... free wireless net access) and i just saw two police officers grab a black man who was just getting off the max. he looked clean cut to me.. business casual.. he looked very surprised. they bent his arm back.. looked extremely painful. then they slammed his face down against their car (parked.. illegally?.. on the same street as the max) several times. a girl sitting next to me said she heard the cop say "nigger". anybody else see this? more details after i talk to some people down here.. departing max train blocked my view at one point.
I first became aware of comfrey when a housemate in Santa Cruz, Ca. pointed to a plant with huge leaves in the yard and said that American Indians used the leaves as pouches to carry things in. I wondered how that worked, so I picked one of the big leaves and put some rosemary leaves in it, and rolled it up. The tissues of the leaf actually held it in place, like a weak Velcro, and as it dried, it dried in the shape of the pouch, similar to a fried eggroll, but more fragile. After that experience, I have since used comfrey in lotions and oils, skin poultices and compresses, hair tonics, as pouches, and more. Comfrey (symphytum officinale) has been cultivated since approximately 400 BC, is used medicinally and cosmetically, as well as in glue, leather tanning, soap making, fabric dying, fertilizer, etc. It is native to Europe and Asia, and grows in temperate climates. It is used in England, America, Germany, the USSR, Kenya, China, Angora, Haiti, Spain, Turkey...
Because of its healing properties and the Velcro-like hairs, you can use a comfrey leaf just like a bandaid. If you want to sterilize it, dip it in boiling water, then let it cool and apply to minor wound. Comfrey is known for its healing qualities. It was referred to as "Knitbone" traditionally, as it is known for knitting together tissues and promoting cell growth. It was also referred to as "Bruisewort" as it is known to reduce swelling and bruising when applied to injuries as a poultice or compress. Leaves in poultices and compresses have been applied to varicose veins and arthritic joints, as well as diaper rash. Warm, smashed or bruised leaves applied to an inflamed injury are said to help reduce swelling and bruising, as well as reduce scarring.
Biotech, bioweapons and pharmaceutical corporations are all in favor of less restriction on animal testing to experiment with their genetically engineered products. These same corporations will be in SF 4 the BIOtech 2004 conference June 3-9th, no doubt attempting to force their chemically altered products on animals and people..
Why are these corporations becoming so powerful, besides US gov subsidies?
Biotech scientific establishment has a hold on the youth from an early age, some of the intro biology textbooks published by Peter Raven may hold clues why biotech is accepted by so many people. The Raven biology textbook contains info on how to genetically engineer life forms by inserting a viral/bacterial plasmid into the DNA of another living organism. This presents the genetic engineering method as acceptable and students are encouraged to pursue research in that field. ("Biotech's where the money is" said my biology teacher at community college) Raven is also head of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, heavily subsidized by Monsanto. Raven called out to the scientific community to document all the living plant species on the plant and record their taxonomy info. This is a form of biopatenting, claiming intellectual property rights of the genetic sequence of plant DNA/RNA. Medicinal plants are sought after the most, pharmaceutical products come from derived plant chemical compounds. By claiming ownership of the plant's DNA, it becomes easier for the corporations to manipulate the molecular biochemistry of the plant itself... [ READ MORE... ]
Every day I ride to work I pass an automobile in Hillsboro with the vanity license plate "ORION2"...Every day I am forced to remember the murder of Orion Satushek. For a few months last summer I went out of my way so that I would not have to be reminded, so that my eyes would not cloud with tears and reduce my ability to see and be safe. Gradually I found that I could once again ride my usual paths and was able to bear the pain easier. Every day I find my eyes drawn to that plate and every day I say a prayer for Orion.
Two days ago, out of the blue, I found myself saying a prayer for Lindsey Llaneza. I hoped that, condemned to live the rest of his life with the guilt of killing 2 people and maiming a third he would someday be able to find peace. I realized that my buddhist compassion had finally overcome my anger and sadness. I found that I had finally gotten to a space that I was able to forgive him for murder.
When I called the D.A.'s office today, thinking I was going to be able to find out what sentence had been handed down to Lindsey Llaneza, where he was incarcerated, as I was thinking of approaching some of my fellow bicyclist in order to try to do something for him as the system had failed him and he IS PART OF OUR COMMUNITY...who would have thought I would find out what's going on? There has not been a trial. The new D.A. assigned to his case, Rod Underhill, has agreed to a plea-bargain hearing Monday, April 12th in the office of Judge Kimberly Frankle.
Should police have the power to seize the cameras and tapes of people who are recording police misconduct? It seems clear that they should not. But since they do, a word of caution. Last year, a friend accidentally stumbled upon a police officer hasseling a young man in the street. Since she had a camera with her, she stopped to bear witness, and to record what transpired. I wasn't there, so I can't really comment on what the cop was doing other than to say my friend was obviously concerned about his conduct.
The officer asked her to step back, which she did. But as soon as the officer was finished with the business of harassing (and, I believe, arresting) the young man, he lunged at my friend, arrested her, and confiscated her camera. That was more than a year ago. Although no charges were ultimately brought against her, she hasn't seen her camera or the tape inside it since. Apparently, the officer has kept it in his personal locker all this time.
Why is this important? Because bearing witness to the actions of the police is one of the only (legal) means we have to enforce their accountability. The reason we know, for example, that officers proceeded to taze Jahar Perez' body for three solid minutes after shooting him point blank in the chest as he was strapped in his seatbelt, is that someone had the presence of mind to carry a tape recorder with him for just such an occasion.
State ups the anty again - Trying to turn the Tillamook into an Industrial Tree Farm
Is there no end in sight? The original Forest Management Plan adopted in 2001 was scheduled to cut on average 179 million board feet from the Tillamook. Now in 2004 the State is upping the cut to 305 million board feet. This is almost double from what ODF considered reasonable almost 2 years ago. Increased logging at the expense of clean water, healthy fish and recreation use is being driven by politics and the need for fast cash. At this increase rate in harvest, the State Forests will be logged over in the next 20 years. Polling shows Oregonians don't want their State Forests managed as a tree farm and are opposed to clear cutting. The Tillamook 50/50 Plan offers voters another option.
Joe Bean Keller started a website to get out the truth about what happened to his son, Deonte. Deonte Keller was gunned down by the Portland police in 1996. It wasn't enough to murder Deonte, now the PPB is harassing the Keller family by spamming the website devoted to telling the truth about that crime.
At the rally for Jahar Perez on Sunday, Joe "Bean" Keller spoke eloquently on behalf of his own family, and the families of many others who have been touched by the violence of the Portland police bureau. In the course of his speech, he mentioned a website, www.ppbcomplaint.com, devoted to the story of Deonte and the continuing violence of the police state.
I checked the site, and found that, indeed, he makes a good case that police lied and covered up important facts relative to Deonte's murder. I refer readers to the site to learn more. This is a story that is both sad and outrageous, as are so many acts of violence committed by the police.
While searching the site, however, I discovered something else that is quite alarming. The site is being attacked, and it appears to be police officers who are doing the attacking. Spammers are railroading discussions into silence, the way they once did here before the compost bin.
The Womyn and Trans Action Camp from March 30th - April 4rth was an all around success! The camp was held in a beautiful area within the Willamette National Forest. Three Hundred year old Douglas firs lay less than a quarter mile from where the majority of discussions and workshops took place.
The camp was made up of about sixty people coming in and out throughout the week. There were a lot of opportunities for people to get to know each other more closely, and I feel like people did an excellent job being aware of 'clickishness' that can sometimes be troublesome at large gatherings.
The atmosphere of the camp was very relaxed, despite some very intense discussions and workshops. These included discussions about sexual assault, the state of destruction in the national forest and racism in the movement. Workshops on yoga, acrobatics and dancing helped to keep people energized and focused during the long days. [ Read more... ]
Cascadia Forest Defenders Needs People
There is also an alarming amount of work to be done on the town end of the campaign, anyone that is interested in helping with that, particularly people living in the Eugene area are urged to call and find out how you can help. Any amount of time is useful, please don't feel like you have to be on board full time to be helpful. [ Read more... ]
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