all action pages >>
Me and a buddy rode our bikes down to Share-It Square today for this workshop. We were first of all damn impressed with the intersection project there that City Repair has done through the Village Building Convergence. The intersection is painted and there's all manner of benches, structures and street furniture around it, all whimsical and useful and constructed using sustainable building techniques like cob. If you want to see how groovy neighborhoods can be in the middle of the city, when the residents get together and work on something, go check out Share-It square, at the corner of SE 9th & Sharrit (just south of Tacoma in Sellwood).
The workshop itself was quite interesting. It was led by a community activist and anthropologist who spent time in the Dominican Republic, where much tobacco is grown. He has studied not just the plant and how to grow it, but also its history and place in societies. We learned a lot. And of course sampled some fine homegrown leaf from his own crop!
Though I wasn't feeling well, I went with a group to hike the Tincup Trail, which passed through burned roadless areas and went to the edge of the Wilderness. These forests are representative of the periphery of the Biscuit Burn in general, where many back-burns were set to control the fire. These back burns were deliberately intense, intended to remove fuels which could be consumed by the spreading fire. The Forest Service and other Federal agencies that fought the blaze didn't keep or won't share information about how much area was back-burned. Considering that about 20% of the total burn area was rated as "intense", it would be good to know just how much of that (half?) was from back-burns.
Over the last few weeks, the Forest Service has been working hard to promulgate the idea that only 4% of the forests burned by fire are going to be logged. The fire is widely reported to have "devastated" 500,000 acres of forest in and around the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, and now they are saying that they will just log 19,400 acres of the burned areas. Except that a vast quantity of that area is off-limits to logging. The 250,000 acre Wilderness, for example. The roadless rule should protect another 180,000 of Wilderness-quality roadless area. And another large chunk is assigned to the Late Successional Reserves, native or cut-over land which is supposed to be protected as future old-growth. The remaining Matrix land, which was designated for potential logging, is the only land they can legally cut on. Lawsuits are in the works to protect the roadless and LSR forests, while the Matrix is expected to receive an Emergency Status Determination, much like many recent salvage sales in Eastern Oregon. This haste comes only after the Forest Service was dragged its feet on planning the salvage for most of a year and a half (as pointed out in this letter Representative DeFazio sent to the Forest Service). With the Big Greens bowing out of additional lawsuits, and the Government giving it both barrels, only citizen involvement can do anything for the 50 million board feet set to be extracted from Matrix lands.
Related Articles: [ Background on the Biscuit Burn | Overview of the Fire Salvage Scam | Active logging at White Bird and Jigsaw Timber Sales in the Umpqua | AUDIO AND VIDEO FILES: Defending Mt. Hood, the Tongass, and the Siskiyous ]
23 year old Lenin Cali Najera, national leader of the youth of Pachakutik and founding member of Indymedia Guayaquil (Ecuador) was assassinated on the night of June 29th.
Lenin Cali Najera was shot in the jugular vein on july 6th. the official version is that he was after refusing to hand over his bicycle, but members of his political organization and his mother believe is was the result of his work for social change.
below is the letter published by Pachakutik, the national network of Youth Weaving Together a New Country, a group he was a member of.
Youth are not the seeds for tomorrow, we are the fruit of every day, bringing joy to life and to the soul. Lenin Cali Najera is one of these seeds, a friend and companion in struggle, hopes and dreams, who brings joy and courage to keep fighting.
LENIN, you are with us and you will live forever!
You will be reborn every time we need hope, breath, strength and feelings of liberty. You will make Pachakutik* a reality. You will be with us in our meetings, in our resistance, in our rebel calls, friend.
These words are not just another text, they are at this moment our aching, indignant and agitated hearts. It is as if we are holding our breath or squelching a laugh. We, the youth, are your companions in struggle forever?the young men and women of the "Weaving Together a New Country" National Network.
This fire that is the unity of Andean communities burns stronger than ever. It is in our dances in our songs and in the work of the GLBT. It will all bear fruit in the construction of the utopia of a new country.
Youth Weaving Together a New Country
Tuesday, July 6, 2004, simultaneous rallies were held in Portland and Medford to protest the largest public lands timber sale in modern history in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area of Southwestern, Oregon. The Portland rally first gathered at the Greenpeace ship, Artic Sunrise, and then moved the brief distance to the Battleship Memorial in Waterfront Park. The brief program was moderated by Joe Keating of Witnesses Against Lawless Logging. Joe first introduced Rolf Skar, of the Siskiyou Project, who gave a synopsis of the threat to this unique area. Next to speak was Laura Etherton of OSPIRG, followed by Jake Krielick of the National Forest Protection Alliance.
From there all marched down to the US Forest Service office chanting "shame on you." At the building they were greeted by about 4 officers, one armed with some kind of high tech paint gun, who kept the crowd back away from the doors of the building, which was, as usual, in shut down mode. This is the first time I've seen this scenario, where the people were kept back away from the doorway of the building, Again, the event was moderated by Joe Keating, first introducing Rolf Skar who announced the winnder of this years "Golden Stump Award. The winners were George Bush, Linda Goodman, regional Forest Service supervisor, and Mark Rey, a former timber lobbyist for 25 years who is now in charge of the Forest Service.
Following the award ceremony burnt biscuits were lined up on the sidewalk to emphasize dissatisfaction with current Forest Service plans to log 372 million board feet in the Biscuit post-fire project, filling 70,000 logging trucks. [ DSL/CABLE Stream | 56 K Stream ]
Activist, Kim Berardi, was temporarily released from custody at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center Tuesday afternoon. It seems that Judge Zilly displayed a sense of compassion that is sorely lacking by the U.S. Attorneys Office and AUSA Andrew Friedman, in particular.
The judge has allowed Kim her freedom to take care of some pressing personal issues (circumstances that AUSA Andy Friedman has sought to exploit for coercive purposes).
The Washington Department of Ecology will check previous reports of radioactive waste in the Columbia Riverbed, from the production of mini-nuclear weapons at Hanford, Washington. Ecology plans to invite the Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors, the Washington state Department of Health, and The RadioActivist Campaign (TRAC) along for this riverbed sampling, this year.
Since 1999, Norm Buske, director of TRAC, a public-interest organization that monitors U.S. nuclear facilities, has reported wastes from Hanford's uranium-233 production in the Hanford Reach riverbed. Ten major salmon spawning areas are located in the riverbed under the Hanford Reach - the 50 mile stretch of the Columbia River that flows through the Hanford site in eastern Washington State.
Radioactivity from uranium-233 produced for mini-nuclear weapons increases over time, as it decays into radium-225. Radium-225 is soluble in riverbed water and mimics calcium, an element essential for animal life.
On June 29, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit lifted its stay in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and ordered briefing. At issue is whether the death judgment should stand. Also pending is the prosecution's unconstitutional use of racism in jury selection.
Robert R. Bryan, Mumia's lead attorney, has summed up the impact of the latest developments:
"Mumia's case is now moving forward. He is in extremely grave danger. The authorities want to silence his voice and pen. They thought this could be accomplished by convicting this innocent man and placing him on death row. However, his voice against injustice and oppression is now stronger then ever, and is heard and read throughout the world. The government knows that the only way to stop Mumia is to murder him in the name of the law, to execute him. In over three decades of litigating death-penalty cases, I have not seen one in which the government wants so badly to kill a client. We must not rest until Mumia is free!"
On March 6, 2004 residents of Mendocino county passed a measure that bans the planting of Genetically Engineered (GE) crops -- also known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) -- within their county. Mendocino county's Measure H is being used as a model for at least seven other counties in California where local residents are well on their way to passing similar measures. Californians feel that local measures seeking to ban the cultivation of GE crops are critical steps to take in the promotion of economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture.
The California counties that are currently campaigning to ban GE crops are Alameda, Butte, Humboldt, Marin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma. The people behind these campaigns include farmers, gardeners, health professionals, chefs, business owners, teachers, local government officials, and environmentalists. Jill Frandsen, Co-Director of Santa Barbara GE Free says, "SB GE Free is an organization established to get information to consumers, farmers, businesses and organizations concerning genetically modified crops. California is currently the second leading place where experimental test plots are grown."
This an audio interview with a some loggers at the Peanuts timber sale in the Umpqua national forest on June 24th during the blockade actions that Greenpeace and other local groups did. This interview was conducted as forrest conservatives were being arrested. This a dialogue between a forest conservative and a professional logger that was affected by the actions. Listen to the Interview
The Upper Timber Sale, located in the North Fork of the Clackamas River Watershed, is currently being logged. The roads have already been punched in. Trees located in landing areas and in the new roads have already been cut. The heart of the units could go any day now!
On Saturday Portland Independant Media Journalists got a Pre-Tour of the GreenPeace Ship the "Arctic Sunrise" which just docked on Portland, Oregon's Tom McCall Waterfront Park Friday Night. The International Crew is stopping in Portland on their way from South America enroute to Alaska. There will be free public tours on the ship on Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. including activities for children. The Arctic Sunrise is one of the three GreenPeace ships operated by a Multi-talented International Crew. GreenPeace, often identified by a big green peace sign, is well known world wide as an educational public awareness group. Greenpeace is a non-profit organization which according to their website "focuses on the the most crucial worldwide threats to our planet's biodiversity and environment.".
Native forest is falling on Mt. Hood National Forest right now. Get involved! Without Cascadia Forest Alliance (disbanded fall 2003), it is up to us as autonomous individuals and affinity groups to take action to protect Mt. Hood National Forest now! There are 48 timber sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding BLM lands.By the end of the 2004 logging season, it is likely that only 24 of those sales will remain standing.Over 5,000 acres (or 8 square miles) of Mt. Hood National Forest are likely to get logged this summer. This includes over 61.5 million board feet of lumber.
These statistics do not include sales currently held up by legal action: Borg, Solo, Tartan, Clan, Kilt, Imp, Slinky and YoYo. Depending on litigation status we could potentially (though unlikely) also see these sales logged this summer - specifically Borg and Solo after August 11th.
The 2004 season started early with logging at East Five Mile and Hipo Hilynx occurring in the winter. Last year Unguard was logged, and this year sister sale Guard was logged by the same company (Hampton). Many of the 24 sales expected to be logged this summer were partially logged last summer, and/or currently being logged. Logging at many more could begin at any time. Only constant field-checking will alert us to the logging status of these sales. Companies logging Mt. Hood National Forest this summer include: Freres, Thomas Creek Lumber, High Cascade Inc, Herbert Lumber, Rosboro, Hampton, Swanson, and Dodge Lumber.
The Newhouses are generally known for their ruthlessness: to call them disagreable would be a terrible understatement. The old godfather of the clan, known to associates and enemies, as Sy, pushed some harsh business practices.
Part I Link: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/06/290984.shtml
Part II Link: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/06/291435.shtml
Sure, it's kinda slimy that Lars Larson and other right-wingers are trying to help get Nader on the ballot because they think think it will help Bush win in November, but is this the kind of behavior that Democrats would engage in, too? Surprisingly, the answer is YES. In fact, I think what the Democrats did at the Nader nominating convention (intentionally filling up seats with people who did not sign so that many people who wanted to sign could not get in) is even slimier. The Republicans wanted to help someone get on the ballot, because they thought that candidate would siphon votes from Kerry. The Democrats on the other hand, were actively working to prevent people from exercising their right to nominate a candidate they believed in. Even if these two actions are ethically equal, why would the Democrats stoop to that level?
I'm not a huge fan of Nader, and I guess I don't really want him on the ballot (although I do think his presence in the campaign and the debates would bring up important issues). But I am disgusted by the actions of some Democrats. It's important to point out that this effort was spearheaded by an official with the Multnomah County Democrats-Moses Ross.
Sunday afternoon, June 27, 2004, an event entitled "Rise in Remembrance" was held in Laurelhurst park to honor the US soldiers killed in Iraq. The event culminated in the release of black balloons carrying a red tag for each US Soldier who died in Iraq.
Unfortunately the event was sparsely attended, but what it lacked in numbers it made up in heart and compassion. The deaths of these soldiers in the face of the lies and dissemulation which brought them to this fate is more than tragic, it is CRIMINAL. Those who love Democracy in this country are burdened, not only with an Administration seeking world Empire, but by a population apparantly asleep at the wheel, lulled into a numb state by a Corporate Media refusing to ask hard questions of government officials or challenge the growing Corporate influence upon every facet of our daily lives.
Logging is active at the Nugget Timber Sale in the Mckenzie Ranger District in the Willamette National Forest. Some of the units were logged last summer, but upon learning cutting had commenced within the sale again in the past week or so, one man decided he had seen enough. In an action that should be an inspiration to all Cascadians, he went to the area determined to do what he could to halt the operation and occupied a tree in unit 8 of the sale.
When fellers arrived for work the next morning, they found him perched high in the branches of a large Douglas Fir. Evidently the fellers attempted to tell him he needed to come down and leave the area immediatly-he replied that was not going to happen and he was going to be there for an undetermined amount of time. There was a lengthy discussion between members of the felling crew and after a while they decided they could not cut with him there and jumped in their trucks and left the area.
Freshwater, CA - Life has been quiet around the treesits here over the last few months (minus the incessant logging, of course). That ended today, when representatives from Pacific Lumber paid visits to at least two of the treesits in Freshwater. No trespassing signs were nailed up, along with signs reading (ironically enough) "Keep California Green." Spray paint was used to mark the trees occupied by treesitters, as well as every tree and stump leading to those trees.
At the treesit called Presidia, the words "Gass [sic] here" were painted on the tree with an arrow pointing up. The words "night ops" (as in "nighttime operations) were also tagged. Treesitters were enjoying the view from the top of the tree when they heard hammering as the signs were nailed around the area. Attempts to communicate with the man wielding the hammer were unsuccessful. Shortly after they left, a young woman treesitter began rappelling down the climbing rope. She realized too late that the Pacific Lumber employee had cut her rope when she slid off the end, falling fifteen feet to the ground. No serious injuries were sustained though she will be sore and bruised in the coming days.
As many who love Oregon's wild forests know, the Bush Administration has proposed the largest timber sale in modern history in the midst of the most diverse National Forest in the country. The Biscuit logging project and the citizen effort to protect the Siskiyou Wild Rivers are now entering a crucial phase.
Numerous activities to protect the Biscuit are planned and on-going.
Please take action now. The forest needs help as simple as a letter or phone call, as extensive as a new organizer joining the campaign. The momentum continues to move in our direction. In many ways the Bush Administration is backing down and delaying the project because of citizen pressure. Our legal case is strong and the politics of a presidential election summer are in our favor. Still thousands of acres of primary forest hang in the balance of citizen action and corporate greed.
Please take action now.
Portland activist Josh Raisler Cohn was arrested this week after a banner drop at coal plant in Pittsburgh. He faces charges of four state misdemeanors, three state felonies, and two federal felonies.
After hanging a banner on one of the dirtiest coal plants in the country to protest the Bush Administration's energy plan, six peaceful Greenpeace activists were charged with multiple state and federal felonies. The four women and two men scaled the 700-foot smoke stack at the Hatfield's Ferry power plant, 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, and unfurled a 2,500 square foot banner that read, "The Bush Energy Plan Kills - Clean Energy Now!"
Weyerhauser (the "tree growing company") used their financial might to buy up cutting rights to more than half of the Little Qualicum River watershed, threatening the ancient, pristine forest known as Cathedral Grove. As I write this, they and Canada's liberal government are preparing to cut yet another swath through the grove, literally, to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. Warriors are rising to meet the challenge.
pages: 232, 231, 230, 229, 228, 227, 226, 225, 224, 223, 222, 221, 220, 219, 218, 217, 216, 215, 214, 213, 212, 211, 210, 209, 208, 207, 206, 205, 204, 203, 202, 201, 200, 199, 198, 197, 196, 195, 194, 193, 192, 191, 190, 189, 188, 187, 186, 185, 184, 183, 182, 181, 180, 179, 178, 177, 176, 175, 174, 173, 172, 171, 170, 169, 168, 167, 166, 165, 164, 163, 162, 161, 160, 159, 158, 157, 156, 155, 154, 153, 152, 151, 150, 149, 148, 147, 146, 145, 144, 143, 142, 141, 140, 139, 138, 137, 136, 135, 134, 133, 132, 131, 130, 129, 128, 127, 126, 125, 124, 123, 122, 121, 120, 119, 118, 117, 116, 115, 114, 113, 112, 111, 110, 109, 108, 107, 106, 105, 104, 103, 102, 101, 100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 91, 90, 89, 88, 87, 86, 85, 84, 83, 82, 81, 80, 79, 78, 77, 76, 75, 74, 73, 72, 71, 70, 69, 68, 67, 66, 65, 64, 63, 62, 61, 60, 59, 58, 57, 56, 55, 54, 53, 52, 51, 50, 49, 48, 47, 46, 45, 44, 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1