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'HOMELAND SECURITY' / GOVERNMENT REPRESSION 13.11.2001 17:56
Local activist faces grand jury in Eugene - grand jury delayed until january
protect the trees UPDATE: Moss's grand jury hearing was postponed until January. Apparently the other activists who also received subpoenas to testify at the grand jury had their dates delayed until January, and so Moss's date was also postponed until then. The exact date has not yet been made public.

Forest activists from Portland and Eugene have been receiving subpoenas to appear in front of a grand jury. Included in the list of activists is Mary "Moss" Fanelli, who had been very active in the Eagle Creek campaign in past years. Wednesday she will appear before this archaic and outdated jury.

It is unclear what the (not so) grand jury currently issuing subpoenas is investigating at this time, but this one seems different from others seen in the Northwest in recent years. Whereas other grand juries have almost exclusively summoned spokespeople for groups like the Earth Liberation Front, this one is summoning numerous forest activists from the community who've focused their activism on public, nonviolent civil disobedience actions. Their agenda appears to be to coerce and intimidate people engaged in public dissent, rather than investigate any particular 'criminal' activity.

Since receiving her subpoena, Moss has been followed at times, and apparently has had her mail read. With all such shady activites, it is hard to ascertain the extent of the surveillance. Moss will be appearing before the grand jury in Eugene on Wednesday morning. There is a rally in support of Moss at 9am in front of the Federal Courthouse in Eugene with rides leaving from Portland early that morning, and a solidarity rally in Portland in front of the Federal Courthouse (1000 SW 3rd Ave.) at noon on the same day.


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'HOMELAND SECURITY' / GOVERNMENT REPRESSION 13.11.2001 09:16
Patriot Act: Silencing Dissent
room is full

Monday night approximately 175 Portland citizens attended a community panel and briefing on the USA PATRIOT Act at the Central Lutheran Church. The USA PATRIOT Act (an acronym for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), a statute that was quickly passed by Congress and signed on October 26th by President George Bush, severely threatens constitutional protections, especially for immigrants, and the expanded definition of "domestic terrorism" poses a particular peril to activists everywhere.

Following the speakers was a panel represented by local activists, including Kathleen Jergens, who spoke candidly about the Police Joint Terrorism Task Force and Civilians against Police Spying, Craig Rosebraugh, a former spokesperson for Earth Liberation Front and currently under subpoena to the House Grand Jury, and attorney Stu Sugarman, who spoke specifically about grand juries, their objectives to co-erce and intimidate, and the details of the process.

This Saturday (the 17th) is a panel and workshops on war, US foreign policy, domestic issues, and activist education at the First Unitarian Church (SW Salmon and 12th) from 1 to 6pm.full story | photos


[ Patriot bill becomes law | Craig Rosebraugh congressional subcommittee summons | Moss' grand jury summation | FBI and slip-ups | Three DOJ documents:Wiretapping, searches, computer seizures | details on Carnivore | web proxie services | COINTELPRO ]

LOCAL RESPONSE TO SEPT. 11 'WAR' 09.11.2001 23:43
Peace Actions update

Eugene: Protesters clash with cops
Protestors stopped traffic today during a peace demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Eugene. The police showed up, some in riot gear, and hauled seven activist off to the station. The protestors were given citations and fines for disorderly conduct and let go. Knowing the city's reputation for civil disobedience, many of the protestors have wondered where the cops have been for the half dozen marches that have occurred over the past two months. Good or bad, this day might mark a change in the relationship between the protestors and the tolerance of city officials towards the anti-war demonstrations. Time will soon tell. Next Friday the anti-war march combines with the School of the Americas protest to begin again at 3 p.m. at the U of O Urb Union amphitheater. [ Read more ]

Portland: Peace Vigil with Anti-WTO Protest
As the evening set on downtown Portland, roughly 100 protesters stood alongside Broadway and held their heads high with spirit and hope as they sang songs of freedom and chanted anti-war slogans, waved their banners, and passed out flyers to the evening traffic downtown. Because the World Trade Organization is currently meeting in Qatar for their Fourth Ministerial, this rally was also an anti-WTO event. [ Read more | "The revolution starts here" ]


FOREST ACTIVISM 08.11.2001 17:33
God's Valley: As trees fall, ODF imposes media blackout
no camera allowed Logging has begun right around the tree-sit in Area IV of the Acey Line timber sale in Gods Valley and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has decided that it does not want Portland or the rest of the State of Oregon to know that they are endangering the lives of tree-sitters---AGAIN!

Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) is in contact with the sitters and they are reporting that trees are falling as close as 20 feet from the tree-sit. This is contrary to ODF's stated plan of leaving a buffer zone of 2 tree lengths and shows yet again that what ODF says and does can be very different.

Meanwhile, ODF has refused media access requests from Indymedia, KBOO and the Alliance and has given access to one hand picked local newspaper editor, which in effect is an imposed media blackout in Portland and the rest of Oregon.

[ Newswire Story | Action Alert | another view ]


WTO / WORLD TERROR ORGANIZATION 07.11.2001 19:06
Rainbow Warrior / Indymedia at Qatar for WTO meeting
rainbow warrior 2

With the help of Indymedia, Greenpeace intends to put at least 1 hour of English programming a day on the web during the WTO Ministerial in Qatar. Arabic programming is also being planned. These programs will be broadcast from the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, as it is docked in Doha, Qatar.

This is the only independent broadcast platform covering the WTO conference, which is quite possibly a defining meeting between the West, the developing world and Islam. The anti-globalisation movement has never had a voice in the area, so this is an important opportunity to build up relations with the Arab world. Indymedia really does go where no other news agency will go and thus brings a voice to the unheard, the dispossessed and from all corners of the planet. Full story

Is there a connection between the WTO and the Al Queda? Read more, from the Newswire

HELL NO WTO Locally, plans for a solidarity protest have been forming, loosely, on the Indymedia newswire here and here.

On Monday, November 12th PSU Students for Unity and the Associated Students of PSU will be presenting "Faces of the New World" as an opportunity to explore answers to how the international trade policies being negotiated thousands of miles away in Qatar will affect our own communities. "Education, discussion, debrief, and FILMS!!!" Details

World-Wide WTO Actions on Nov. 9
[ Washington, DC | San Francisco | New York City | International Call to Action | World Wide Actions | International Action List | protest.net | WTO Action | WTO Watch | Global Trade Watch ]


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STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM 06.11.2001 23:30
Oregon hunger strike against terrorism
Two prisoners at the Federal Prison Camp in Sheridan, Oregon, Eric Robison and Josh Raisler Cohn, have declared an 18 day hunger strike to protest the continued existence of the School of the Americas (SOA). Robison (21, from Spokane, Washington) and Raisler Cohn (24, from Portland , Oregon) have been imprisoned on six month maximum sentences along with 19 others for trespassing at Ft. Benning, Georgia, the home of the controversial combat training school.

Several of their co-defendants will also be participating in the 18 day juice and water fast in various locations around the country. The fast will continue until November 18, the day thousands of citizens will gather at Ft. Benning to take part in a vigil and civil disobedience calling for the permanent closure of the SOA.

"This combat training school is a School of Assassins for Latin American soldiers, and we will continue to work -- even from prison -- until it is closed forever," said Robison.

Thousands are expected to participate in the vigil at Ft. Benning on November 18, 2001. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the murders of six Jesuits, their coworker and her daughter by SOA graduates in El Salvador in 1989. Atlanta Indymedia will be providing coverage of these actions, and is inviting people attending to report for their website.

[ Full story | Atlanta Indymedia | Atlanta Indymedia invitation | SONG about the SOA | SOA Watch | Jesuit murders ]


LIVEABILITY 05.11.2001 23:47
Citizens resisting new freeway project
ugly According to Citizens for Sensible Transportation, plans are now under way to add four more lanes across the Columbia River to serve Vancouver residents who commute to Portland. The little-publicized I-5 Transportation and Trade Partnership is moving to take the first steps toward increasing auto traffic throughout the region. If these plans go through, they will create tremendous pressure for new sprawling development throughout the region.

Citizens will have the opportunity to make their views on this project known at the I-5 open house Wednesday, November 7 at the Kaiser Town Hall in Portland, and November 8 at Hudson's Bay High School Commons in Vancouver.


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'HOMELAND SECURITY' / GOVERNMENT REPRESSION 04.11.2001 11:57
Repression against activists increasing rapidly
Local forest activist subpoenaed
Recently, forest activists from Portland and Eugene have been receiving subpoenas to appear in front of a Grand Jury in Eugene in mid-November. Included in the list of activists is Mary "Moss" Fanelli, who had been very active in the Eagle Creek campaign in past years. It is unclear what the Grand Jury currently issuing subpoenas is investigating at this time, but this one seems different from others seen in the Northwest in recent years. Whereas other grand juries have almost exclusively summoned spokespeople for groups like the Earth Liberation Front, this one is reportedly summoning numerous forest activists from the community who've focused their activism on public, nonviolent civil disobedience actions as opposed to covert sabotage and arson. full story
Help support Moss at the Grand Jury | Anti-terrorism forum Part of the forum will also be focused on grand juries in addition to focusing on the new 'anti-terrorism' legislation. | Cascadia Forest Alliance | forest activism

Green Party member alleges denial of travel
During a Counter Punch interview, Nancy Oden, a Green Party USA coordinating committee member from northern Maine, states she was grabbed by armed government agents as she attempted to board an American Airlines flight to Chicago. Military personnel with automatic weapons surrounded Oden and instructed all airlines to deny her passage on ANY flight. "I was told that the airport was closed to me until further notice and that my ticket would not be refunded," Oden said. full story | Counter Punch interview
However others offer a different account of what transpired at the airport. The Green Party of the United States is trying to find the truth behind this incident as other members were able to travel. "USGP advisory on detention of a Green at Maine airport" Green Party USA and Green Party of the United States are separate organizations.

Craig Rosebraugh ordered to testify
Craig Rosebraugh, a spokesperson for the North American Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) from 1997-2001, received a subpoena in the evening of Oct. 31, to testify at a Congressional Subcommittee meeting on Ecoterrorism. The subpoena, delivered by two U.S. Marshals, demands Rosebraugh to appear before the Congressional Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health at 3:00pm on February 12, 2002 in Washington, DC.
Craig Rosebraugh: "In light of the events on September 11, my country has told me that I should not cooperate with terrorists. I therefore am refusing to cooperate with members of Congress who are some of the most extreme terrorists in history..... " full story

FBI subpoenas woman in black
After S11 the FBI attempted to question Kate Rafael, a member of the Women in Black, an international network of women committed to racial justice and peace. Rafael refused questioning, seeing that as an attack on her first ammendment rights. When asked by Kate's lawyer, the FBI refused to tell about the scope and nature of the investigation. This is an interview from Flashpoints Radio.
full radio report

contact Women in Black, San Fransisco | National lawyers Guild 415.285.1055 (24 hours) | Flashpoints Radio

Along with Kate Rafael's there is a full interview with Dr. Arrod Kareem who was questioned on his political beliefs in an FBI interview and an explanation of the choice for the new cabinet of Homeland Security: the new 'Terrorism Czar' Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Ridge. full radio report

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LOCAL RESPONSE TO SEPT. 11 'WAR' 04.11.2001 03:24
Peace actions update
US on fire

3 November - Salem: "No such thing as a holy war"
About 300 people gathered for Peace in Salem on Saturday. Following music in the city's waterfront park, the crowd marched to the capitol building for speakers, a performance by Urgent Carnival, and a die-in to represent those killed on and since the September 11th attacks on the East Coast. Police present was light, and the handful of counter-protesters kept to themselves. The weather started out cloudy but did not rain, and broke for sun by the end of the event.
From the newswire: [ Story & photos | more photos ]

2 November - Eugene: "Begging for an end to the madness"
Approximately 75-100 people from the Eugene community marched from the University to the Federal Building on Friday, chanting "Brains Not Bombs", "Peace Not War", "No Bush", "Stop The Bombing, Honor The Dead". According to a participant, positive response was overwhelming; people emerged from workplaces clapping, giving the thumbs up or smiling wildly. "Both this peace march and the last few marches that I participated in make me even more doubtful and suspicious of the percentage of Americans that the media says are in support of war."
From the newswire: [ Personal account | VIDEO ]


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'HOMELAND SECURITY' / GOVERNMENT REPRESSION 03.11.2001 01:52
FBI nosing around Indymedia... again
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted volunteers from San Francisco Indymedia on Friday. Agent Chuck Esposito, from the Oakland FBI office, telephoned "Espe", a volunteer who has worked with the SF Indymedia collective. Esposito indicated that the FBI is interested in reviewing Indymedia server logs. While an alleged criminal act is the stated reason for the inquiry, activists feel it is not beyond the pale to suspect that this contact is meant to intimidate individuals and organizations involved in legal political activity whose views are not popular with the government in the current climate of war-time repression. While this particular event might not seem like a big deal to some, it is merely the tip of the iceberg, if history is any judge. This is just what we are seeing now; inevitably, much more investigation and behind-the-scenes shenanigans are going on.

Indymedia does not record IP addresses of website visitors, so the FBI will have to use Constitutionally-questionable spying devices such as Carnivore in their attempt to hunt down this type of information. Fortunately, hacktivists are providing "anonymous web proxies" that allow web surfers to avoid such intrusions into their privacy.

Indymedia volunteers have contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which helped Indymedia when Seattle Indymedia was served with an order by the FBI in April. According to information obtained by an EFF representative, Agent Esposito was instructed to follow up on a lead they had received involving some kind of "anthrax threat" that allegedly appeared on Arizona Indymedia.

Note that the FBI claim about the type of content posted on Indymedia during the April case was later shown to be false. The FBI dropped that case in June, putting the current score at: Media Activists 1, FBI Spies 0.


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LABOR 03.11.2001 01:04
Union negotiators betray rank and file in DCTU/City dispute
Many city workers organized under the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) are not only dissatisfied with their new contract but also angry at the union Business Agents who caved in to the City last week and who will not have to live with the new contract themselves. The deal, in all important aspects the same as the one rejected by the membership last month by a 3 to 1 ratio, was accepted by negotiators at the last minute while rank and file members on the Bargaining Team were kept from the table. The main point of contention is over health care.

Contrary to the portrayal of Yvonne Martinez as an uncompromising hard-liner in the Willamette Week, her actions were widely regarded as unethical and a sell-out among the Union membership.

On Monday, October 29, the Executive Board of AFSCME Local 189 voted to recommend that its membership vote "No" on this new tentative agreement. The voting will take place on November 8 and 9. If the DCTU membership does reject this offer, then the union will probably have to strike in order to get Mayor Katz and the City Council to negotiate a better contract. Sources say the members are ready to do just that. The DCTU bargaining team and Union bureaucrats may have lost their nerve, but it appears that the members have not.

[ Read More | Message of Solidarity to the DCTU | Background | Local189 Website for more info ]


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LABOR 01.11.2001 23:05
Wobblies occupy Janus Youth Programs office
IWW Ten Social service workers from Streetlight Youth Shelter and Porchlight Crisis Shelter were on the verge of being arrested at the wishes of their employers when bargaining turned sour this afternoon. The workers, represented by Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Industrial Union Local 650, made considerable compromises in bargaining to assure that no one would make less than $9.00 an hour at the facilities, but this was unacceptable to JANUS. Workers then refused to leave the building until an agreement could be reached and occupied the office for two hours, during which about a dozen IWW members and sympathizers arrived in support.

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AFGHANISTAN 31.10.2001 00:58
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rise after last weekend's air strikes
Civilians injured by last weekend's US bombing raids have been crossing into neighboring Pakistan for medical treatment. Numerous civilian deaths have been reported inside Afghanistan since the beginning of the US air campaign by reporters inside the country and refugees fleeing into Pakistan. On Wednesday, the 31st of October, predawn US strikes destroy a Red Crescent dispensary in Kandahar, allegedly killing ten.

sources: The Daily Star News (Lebanon) | The Afghan Daily | myafghan.com | Red Crescent

There is a growing unease in the US and abroad over the war. In Oregon there will be a March For Peace on Saturday, November 3 in Salem. A peace rally will be held in Vancouver, Washington, on Sunday, November 4th. In Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square Women in Black meet every Wednesday at 1 pm to stand in an ongoing protest of war. The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition has also organized ongoing vigils at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the first to held this Friday, November 2, from 5-6 pm and continue at the same time and place thereafter.

US military admits that no mistake caused relief agency warehouse destruction: U.S. military official


MSNBC reports that the US military has admitted to targeting and completely destroying a Kabul Red Cross compound in two raids. The first raid, staged on the 16th of October, partially damaged the compound while the second, carried out the 26th of October, saw its complete destruction. The warehouses within the compound contained foodstuffs and other humanitarian supplies needed by starving Afghanis in order to survive the harsh winter that will soon fall on this impoverished and draught-stricken country. Within several weeks the first snows are due to arrive.

The US admission runs contrary to the official statement given earlier that blamed "human error" for the targeting of the warehouses.

"BOMBING RED CROSS ON PURPOSE" | full MSNBC story -scroll down | "Red Cross Stunned by Bombing" | International Red Cross | UNHCR (United Nations High Commision for Refugees)

newswire commentary

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ANIMAL RIGHTS 29.10.2001 13:46
Showdown in Little Rock turns ugly; police use pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets against protesters
Twenty six animal rights activists were arrested and dozens more brutalized by police during a protest against Stephens, Inc., in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, on Monday, October 29. The demonstration followed a weekend of actions intended to highlight the cruel treatment of animals by UK-based Huntingdon Life Services (HLS), and to force Stephens to withdraw its financial support from the laboratory company. HLS kills 500 animals a day, mostly for testing household products and cosmetics, and not for the "medical" purposes that their public relations firm claims.

Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) organized the events. People began arriving on Friday. Organizers met with police, who said their presence would be "minimal" if protesters did not "break the law" or become violent. Laws regarding public assembly and speech in Little Rock had recently changed, however, at the behest of Stephens, which pressured the Little Rock City Council into adopting a new ordinance regarding public assembly and speech. The result, brutal attacks by police on protesters, seems the intended result of the promulgation, and reflects a broader -- indeed global -- pattern of individual liberties being sacrificed to serve corporate interests.

Saturday started with a town meeting featuring speakers from activist, medical and academic backgrounds meant to "bring activists and the City of Little Rock together in mutual understanding". The meeting was followed by workshops on undercover investigation of labs, direct action, and constitutional rights. On Sunday, people gathered for a vegan barbecue and then embarked on a Parade of Homes; about 170 activists marched through the manicured residential streets where Stephens executives live to take their anti-HLS message directly to the decision-makers. Police followed the parade with a helicopter and horses, but caused little trouble.

Monday's demonstration at the Stephens headquarters in downtown Little Rock drew 200 activists with signs and puppets and 100 police in full riot gear with guns and gas masks. A protest pen surrounded by metal barricades had been set up for the demonstrators, but they quickly decided not to use it and took the streets instead. After a short march, activists lined up at the barricades, across from the police, and chanted positive animal advocacy statments. At some point an activist evidently tripped over one of the barricades, which brought down others with it. The activists stepped back, but the police charged, and the brutality began. Police pepper sprayed those trying to get away, set off a compression grenade and sent tear gas pouring through the crowd. At least two activists were shot in the face with rubber bullets at very close range. [ Monday, 1 | Monday, 2 ]

Despite this treatment, the activists took to the streets for a second march. They ended up behind Stephens, where they lined up in the street. This is when the arrests began in earnest. Police ripped masks off activists' faces and applied pepper spray from only inches away. Everyone was pushed around and abused, including the Indymedia journalist on the scene, despite her press pass. [ Monday, 3 ]

Stories of abuse in the jail began trickling in that night; police punched in the face one of the activists who had been shot in the face earlier. Those arrested may need help with bond money. A newswire story reports that in arraignments for those arrested yesterday in Little Rock, the judge ordered the activists to pay restitution, which implies guilt. In other words, the judge found them guilty without due process which is a fundamental violation of the constitution. A website has been set up to support the 26 arrestees. In related news, the North American Animal Liberation Front has taken credit for a strike against the Bank of America, Stephens' parent company, in Long Island.

Local Solidarity Action
A Portland solidarity action took place Monday at the 5th and Main Bank of America branch from 12-2. Animal rights activists held large banners, and handed out information. Photos

On-the-spot Indymedia reports: [ Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday, 1 | Monday, 2 | Monday, 3 ]

Background: [ Portland Indymedia: The issues and the players | City of Little Rock: Anti-free speech ordinance | SHAC: October 29 website & VIDEO | In depth: "Vivisection or Science: a choice to make" ]


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FOREST ACTIVISM 25.10.2001 15:19
Logging resumes in God's Valley, CFA action resupplies tree-sits
Despite popular opposition, public outcry, and civil disobedience, logging has resumed in Tillamook State Forest in the area known as God's Valley. The cutting is occuring in Area 4 of the Acey Line timber sale, where the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) and Hard Rain Alliance have set up two treesits. CFA held a non-violence and videography training last thursday to teach people how to be effective in protests and be prepared to face the level of police violence encountered at the last action.

The situation at the timber sale has been heated lately; loggers and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) attacked an activist (see feature, below), 3 people were arrested while documenting it, and 16 people protesting the attack were arrested in a civil disobedience action on October 6.

Sunday, CFA carried out a re-supply of the area 4 tree-sits. 60 people gathered to cross the line and bring supplies to the sitters who had been cutoff behind a closure. ODF, and the police, tacitly admitting how far over the line they crossed last time, were not there at all.

Re-supply Action [ photos | article | poem ]
VIDEO: [ "OR. Department.of Forestry Abandons Closure" | "Gods Valley tree sit re-supply" ]

[ CFA press release | Newswire stories about Oct. 6 action | Forest Activism feature ]


GLOBAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT 25.10.2001 13:44
Canadian activists raising a ruckus in Ontario
While much of the Western World has been obsessed with war and peace, activists in Ontario have been bringing the agenda back to what they percieve as the root cause of injustice, poverty, and violence in the world: Globalized Capitalism. From Toronto, to Hamilton, and Sudbury, and several places in between, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and the Ontario Common Front (OCF) have been holding actions intending to slow down or stop economic activity in city centers. On October 16, the financial district of Toronto was effectively shut down for several hours by 2000 protesters, despite the presence of 1500 riot cops.

The people at these actions -- who have included labor unions, anarchists, high school students, and others -- take issue with the conservative politics of the Tory-controlled provincial government. This current wave or resistance has not yet crested; more protests and rallies are still planned.

Coincidentally, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings initially scheduled for Sept. 29 in Washington, DC, but cancelled in the wake of the attacks on the East Coast, will now take place in Ottawa, from November 16-18. These institutions, which stand at the center of globalized capitalism, will likely face great protest that will be magnified by the energy currently building across the province.

Follow the continuing action at: Ontario Indymedia & Hamilton Indymedia.

More coverage: [ Print Indymedia: print #24 (25 Oct. 2001) | OCAP/OCF website ]


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FOREST ACTIVISM 24.10.2001 03:18
Activist injured at God's Valley pledges that struggle will continue
On Tuesday, Tre Arrow held a press conference to discuss logging operations in the Tillamook State Forest and the injuries he suffered when he was attacked there earlier this month. Both ODF employees and loggers have been subjecting activists to extreme harrassment, going so far as to cut all the branches from a tree in which Tre had perched. After 45 hours in the tree, Tre fell from a height of 70-90 feet, and sustained serious injuries. Though wheelchair-bound for the time being, Arrow expressed confidence that he would heal soon, and pledged to continue the fight to save the trees. "I'll be right there on the front lines again," he said. This was his first public appearance after being released from the hospital.

[ VIDEO of press conference ]


LABOR 24.10.2001 03:02
Two victories for PCUN
PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste - "United Treeplanters and Farmworkers of the Northwest"), Oregon's farmworker union, has declared two more victories in its continuing struggle to gain recognition for workers at the Pictsweet Mushrooms plant in Salem and at NORPAC farms throughout the Willamette Valley.

Sodexho & NORPAC
Sodexho USA, one of the largest food service providers in the world, with contracts at 750 college campuses nationwide, has agreed to investigate the reasons behind PCUN's boycott against NORPAC. NORPAC is a cooperative of farmers and growers in Oregon that exports agricultural products across the country, and PCUN has been calling for a boycott against its products for ten years. Workers on NORPAC farms toil under difficult conditions, often making less than minimum wage and no overtime due to the per-pound payment methods that are common in agricultural jobs. Workers have also reported pesticide poisoning, unsanitary working conditions, and housing that is far below grade. Child labor is not uncommon. Since the majority of the workers are immigrants, many undocumented, many are afraid to ask for better treatment.

PCUN believes that student activism played a large part in Sodexho's decision and PCUN president Ramon Ramirez is currently touring East Coast college campuses to encourage more student support.

Pictsweet and the Salem City Council
On Monday night, the Salem City Council approved a resolution calling on the Pictsweet Mushroom Farm to sell their facility to another mushroom growing company and to offer severance pay to workers who will lose their jobs due to the facility's closure. The measure was introduced by Mayor Mike Swaim, who has been an active supporter of PCUN and the Pictsweet workers. Workers in the factory endure dangerous working conditions, and individuals have been fired for attempting to organize. Pictsweet has announced that the plant will be closed in November.

From the newswire: [ PCUN press release ]

Background on NORPAC & Pictsweet struggles: [ special feature: Walk for Farmworker Justice | interview: Mayor Swaim | story: "Pictsweet threatens to close plant in Salem" ]

Websites: [ PCUN | NORPAC ]


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FOREST ACTIVISM 23.10.2001 12:50
Secretary of Interior visits Portland; Activists raise questions, tripod
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and Christie Todd Whitman's arrival at Portland State University was marked by a herd of caribou and an activist in a tripod. The little publicized Society of Environmental Journalists conference welcomed Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, and Christine Todd Whitman, Adminstrator of the EPA, to speak at the Friday plenary session about the Bush agenda on environmental issues.

Activists erected a tripod right outside the large wall of glass windows of the Smith Memorial Center, where inside, conference participants attended panels on the wise-use movement, aboriginal whaling, consumption, toxic waste, and even a panel on civil disobediance featuring Donald Fontenot of the Cascadia Forest Alliance, Craig Rosebraugh of the North American ELF press office, and William Pickell, of the Washington Contract Loggers Association.

[ newswire report | Cascadia Forest Alliance ]


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POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY 22.10.2001 17:40
Young people hold a parade to seek police accountability
October 22 is a nationally recognized day of protest against police brutality. Events were planned all over the country. In Portland, about two dozen passionate young people gathered at 21st NE and Alberta for a local observance. Carrying handmade signs, and led by a young woman dressed as a raven, they marched throughout this mixed-race neighborhood, taking the streets most of the way. They brought with them a large puppet of the Grim Reaper, which represented the connections between corporate power and the "criminal justice system".

Reception by people in the neighborhood was positive for the most part, with many honking their horns as they drove past the small parade. Police presence was nil at the beginning of the march, but inexplicably heavy by the end. The first officer who arrived halted the parade by grabbing the arm of the puppet [pictured, above]. He then ordered everybody onto the sidewalk, but they quickly took the street again. In contrast to previous occasions, the officers did not attempt to break up the event, and the young people successfully made their statement for justice.

Update:The police, in a seemingly petty move, confiscated the giant puppet, which had been carried during parades in other cities, including Seattle in November 99.

Newswire reports: [ "Police Accountability March" | "god bless the black bloc" ]

More information: [ October 22 Coalition | Portland Copwatch | IMC News Blast on Prison-Industrial Complex ]


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