all action pages >>
While Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham finally nailed the coffin on the Fast Flux Test Facility at Hanford, there is at least one more proposal to keep the nuclear facility operating. Energy Northwest is looking for investors to finish construction of a reactor to provide for Bush's archaic energy plan though it is clear that continuing operations will exacerbate cleanup.
The history of Hanford reflects end-stage capitalist philosophy. Hanford began as a plutonium production site for the Manhattan Project in 1943 and produced plutonium used for the Nagasaki atom bomb. Throughout its history, it created some of the worst nuclear accidents, and created unwilling test subjects of its employees, local residents, and the environment. It remains one of the most polluted areas on earth.
The site is located approximately 230 miles northeast of Portland. Over 53 million gallons of toxins there pose a terrorist threat. Past practices include the dumping of 450 billion gallons of waste into the soil. The Department of Energy (DOE) is hampering current efforts by the Hanford Advisory Board and the public in ensuring ecologically minded cleanup. The DOE now wants to do away with removing 75% of the liquid waste and to cut corners under the promise that cleanup would happen cheaper and faster.
* The 2002 Hiroshima Interfaith Pilgrimage will be holding a vigil at Hanford on January 30, 2002.
Thousands of citizens took to the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, over the last few days to protest the tattered economy and what they viewed as inadequate government response to the suffering of the Argentine people. President De la Rua resigned, and a new government is being formed by an opposition party. The U.S. has been among the powers attempting to control the people and resources of Argentina by forcing the country to pay back debts arranged by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, though these debts were incurred by a small wealthy corporate class that simply enriched itself. These international institutions have been trying to force Argentina to privatize its public resources and cut back on health, education and social programs in order to repay the debt. Those who oppose this colonization of the country by foreign corporate interests consider the current upsurge in resistance to be only the first step in gaining true independence for Argentina. Police have been killing protesters, and have left at least 26 dead so far. Corporate media accounts are referring to this popular uprising as a "crisis", which it is indeed for the U.S.-backed forces of greed; if other people around the world rise up against injustice the way Argentinians are, the tyrants of capitalism will soon find themselves on the run.
Indymedia Argentina has been providing up-to-the-minute coverage of these events from the street, and is in dire need of financial help. You can donate to IMC Argentina online through a paypal account.
[ Greetings from Argentina | Appeal from Argentina: A TODO EL MUNDO - TO THE WHOLE WORLD | Indymedia Argentina |paypal account for sending donations to Indymedia Argentina ]
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - Dec 15-18: A few animal rights activists stood in the cold to help raise concert-goer consciousness of the atrocities sponsored by Bank of America mutual fund investment partner Stephens Inc. Besides an initial impotent threat of either detention, arrest, a ticket, or a stern talking-to, for exercising First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Assembly, the December 15-18 informational demos at the Arlene Schnitzer B of A Holiday Pops went well.
For three of the four nights, attendees of the show saw video of beagle puppies being punched in the face and a partially conscious monkey being cut open from groin to sternum. They witnessed the stark contrast between the inhuman, perfunctory cruelty in the lab and the genial public face of Bank of America. In four hours, with about four people, over four days, the activists passed out approximately 1,000 pieces of literature, and exchanged large amounts of unanticipated good dialogue and good will.
While a new government is being installed amidst the chaos and crime of post-Taliban Afghanistan, millions of ordinary Afghans, the supposed benefactors of "Operation Enduring Freedom", are facing starvation in the remote reaches of this mountainous country. The US once again is teaching the world that the military is being used for all the wrong reasons. Although time is running out, transport helicopters, heavy equipment, and guards could still be implemented to flood the country with aid, yet so far the US and Britain have rejected any call to utilize their militaries in the massive humanitarian effort. In spite of a bridge on the Uzbekistan border reopening, this has not been enough to supply all the needs of the far-flung displaced.
A rally in protest
You wouldn't know it from the corporate press or media but there was a major labor victory in Oregon this past weekend. By a 92% vote, Home Care workers voted for union representation. This is a major victory for a workforce that numbers over 12,000, is poorly paid, mostly women and substantially people of color.
In the largest union election victory in Oregon's history, and the largest in the U.S. this year, SEIU Local 503 grew by over 12,000 workers from 25,000 to 37,000 workers represented, making the union one of the biggest in Oregon.
Home Care workers care for senior and disabled clients in the client's own home, saving Oregon literally billions of dollars which would otherwise be spent for nursing home care. Despite these savings, this important but difficult job pays only a little more than minimum wage with no benefits, and no paid holidays, vacations, or days off. Newswire story
Nurses On Strike Since Monday After Voting 72% To Reject The Last Offer From OHSU
PORTLAND, Ore.- A majority of OHSU nurses voted last Saturday to reject OHSU's latest contract offer to its 1500 registered nurses. More than 1,100 nurses cast ballots throughout the day. With the rejection of OHSU's last and final contract offer, the nurses stopped work and walked off the job at 7:30 AM, Monday, December 17th.
The main points of the OHSU nurses are that, due to low pay, it is hard to attract and keep nurses and that positions at OHSU are already 10-12% unfilled. Nurses expressed frustration that this situation has gone on for a long time, is generally getting worse and requires them to work long hard hours under stress. The concern is also that patient care will suffer if the situation is not addressed.
Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence was overturned by a federal judge in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning, marking a victory for Mumia and his supporters. In a 272-page ruling, Judge William Yohn determined that Mumia Abu-Jamal, a celebrated journalist and Black Panther, deserved a new sentence hearing based on the instructions given to the jury. If the state does not call for a new sentencing hearing within 180 days, Mumia will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Mumia's conviction still stands and he can still be sentenced to Death Row. The rest of the 29 challenges brought before the court by Mumia's lawyers were rejected, and he was denied a new trial.
Local corporate media have not admitted why the Portland Police have not cooperated with the FBI and Attorney General Ashcroft's order to "question" "terrorist" "suspects" locally. The mayor, city attorney and the Portland Police were forced to abide by Oregon State Law ORS 181.575 due to the dedicated efforts of many people in the progressive community.
Some years of work culminated in the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Hearings, in which the city had to state very publically and definitively its support of Oregon State Law ORS 181.575 and its determination not to let it be violated by the FBI or other federal agencies. The efforts of many people and organizations forced the city to make these definitive statements so that now -- a few months later -- the city could not violate Oregon law when the Feds asked the Portland Police to interrogate people. Read the newswire story
While this is a victory to be applauded in the cause of people's democracy, it should be noted that Chief Kroeker -- in an email previously posted to indymedia -- stated that these people were being interviewed anyway by "local federal agents". Since as stated by the city itself, there is ZERO accountability over the JTTF, it could be portland police officers who are federally deputized under the JTTF who are carrying out these interviews.
PAC2002 Police Accountablility Initiative
Sunday, Dec 16th a few hundred people gathered for a rally and march against US imperialism and against the terrorist war of conquest being carried out in Afghanistan and Palestine, and which is spreading to other countries.
Both Craig and Ramona spoke powerfully and in no uncertain terms about the imperialistic, domineering, and destructive nature of the united states, and both made the point that a person cannot look to the government and system to bring a positive change and that it is only people, who take matters and responsibility into their own hands that will effect such change.
Many otherwise thoughtful and concerned citizens have shied away from facing the stark reality of the real U.S. role in the world and at home. Now that the corporate led government is boldly moving to conquer an unknown number of countries, it is more imperative than ever that people stand up and speak out against U.S. imperialism.
Following the rally, a march, carrying dozens of upsidedown us flags, banners and a radical spirit wound through downtown portland, going to the federal courthouse, pioneer square twice, and through the shopping mall. . .in pioneer square on the second pass, the flags were burned. one account of the march | another account of the march | Photos #1 | Photos#2 | Photos#3 | Video
De facto war criminal and CIA agent Michael Spann was buried Monday with full military honors in Arlington Cemetary. He was killed during the uprising at the fortress Qala-e-Jhangi that eventually led to US-delivered airstrikes and the deaths of 500 prisoners, many who were reported to have died while still bound, who were captured during the Northern Alliance takeover of Kanduz. Before Spann's death he and a fellow agent interrogated the prisoners under the camera of an Afghani news crew that recorded the audible threats that were made towards the prisoners. Under the Geneva conventions those threats are considered a war crime. Details emerging from the dealings with the prisoners, the entry onto the scene of the CIA who were conducting interrogations and the killing of the bound prisoners by US and British directed firepower has prompted Amnesty International to demand a full investigation. The US and UK have so far refused.
"You won't believe how much money we spent in the last two hours."
- A White House official, speaking anonymously shortly before Thursday's vote on renewing presidential trade negotiating authority.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001 (H.R. 3005), otherwise know as "fast track" legislation, by a one vote margin. pResident Bush pushed hard on the Republican-controlled House to grant him fast track authority. Fast track gives the President the ability to negotiate trade agreements that the U.S. Congress can not modify and must either accept or reject in toto, despite Article 1, Section 8 (3) of the U.S. Constitution, which delineates the responsibility to regulate foreign trade agreements to Congress.
Opponents of fast track fear that it will speed the rate of corporate globalization by making it easier to pass agreements such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which threatens to inflict the disasterous consequences of NAFTA on the entire Western Hemisphere.
Fast track goes next to the U.S. Senate where it could be defeated. Unlike the House, the Senate is currently under Democratic leadership. So pResident Bush may have a harder time getting approval there.
The myth of "objective" media revealed
"Racism" has been defined as the institutionally enforced tyranny of one race over another by, for example, the schools, government or legal system. "Prejudice" -- pre-judging a person on the basis of race -- is a result of this indoctrination. "Discrimination" is prejudice put into action; unequal treatment based on racial difference. In Portland, as elsewhere, racism has proven mostly intractible to efforts to counter it, though many still try.
The White Aryan Resistance [WAR] is one organization that is not fighting racism; rather, it encourages prejudice and discrimination, specifically against people who are not white. Volksfront is planning to bring Tom Metzger, the executive director of WAR, to Oregon on Dec. 21. An Anti-Racist Protest has been announced for that day. Volksfront has denied that it is a racist organization.
Within the anti-racist community, there is not full agreement on what language and tactics should be used. A discussion is taking place on this website about the particular approach of the December 21 anti-racist event.
On December 5, Charlie Kreiner gave an analysis at PSU on the underlying motives of racism and tools on how to eradicate it from our everyday lives. The talk was sponsored by Allies and People to People. Listen to audio: Part 1 & Part 2
Discrimination in the peace movement?
The recent success of the campaign to force Trader Joe's to drop its use of genetically engineered (GE) products has led some to believe that there may be an end in sight on some stores carrying GMO's. However, devestating news on the legacy effects of GMO products has surfaced from Mexico showing that GE plants cannot be geographically contained.
Aside from GE plants and animal cloning, there is also research being done on GE animals. Currently, GE salmon are being researched in Maine with the FDA preparing to release these fish in open waters. The effects of releasing GE animals in the wild are vexing. Purdue researchers say release of the GE salmon will wipe out native salmon within 30 years.
Proponents of GMO's argue that their work is important in finding ways to feed the world and point to "Golden Rice" as a succesful GE experiment. This rice contains a daffodil gene in order to produce beta carotene which helps in preventing blindness. However, it has come to light that a child would have to eat 15 pounds of this rice a day just to meet the minimum daily requirement of vitamin A.
What happens to these food products that are not wanted in the US, such as the GE products at Trader Joes? They are being foisted on other countries.
Chief Kroeker and other law enforcement leaders may not have the protection of civil liberties in mind as they continue not to violate the State law against unwarranted questioning. Some activists suggest that at the very least there is a wish to have Oregon laws, which are far stricter than those of the the federal as regards questioning, overturned or ammended during the next or an emergency congressional session and are trying to force the issue. This theory is borne out in a recent proposal to revise Oregon State Law. The 1981 statute -much hated and already violated by Portland Police Bureau rank and file- forbids law enforcement from collecting or maintaining any information about the political, religious, or social views, associations, or activities of any individual or group unless there is reasonable grounds to believe involvement in criminal conduct.
Update: Meanwhile, an email from Chief Kroeker indicates that the 23 individuals are being questioned by "local federal agents", which could be our portland police officers in the joint terrorism task force. If so, then this is exactly the sort of bypassing of law that many citizens criticized about the JTTF. Since there is no accountability whatsoever for the JTTF, no citizen or city official can investigate if this is what is happening.
Recent history of organized repression in the region: "Community Policing or Community Occupation?"
The Seattle National Lawyers' Guild WTO Legal Group has updated and re-released their substantive report on post-WTO militarization of law enforcement, and the increasing linkage between corporate hegemony and state violence.
Activists and organizers of the Green Party of the United States are demanding that the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) be represented in international talks on the future of Afghanistan beginning this week in Bonn, Germany.
RAWA has worked for years to end the suppression of women's rights and abuse of women in Afghanistan by both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance before them. These women have proved to the whole world their right to attend through all the work and risks they have undertaken in their struggle to bring democracy, freedom, human rights and women's rights to the Afghan society.
Though Bush and others in the administration used the suffering of women as an excuse to begin their war, their true disregard for those same women became clear when not a single woman was invited to join 1,200 representatives of various Afghan ethnicities, religious groups, and political factions at a peace and unity conference in Peshawar last month.
In a further showing of the hypocrisy of Bush and other involved US representatives, RAWA was not invited to join U.S. officials, United Nations representatives, and five Afghan groups in the upcoming talks. RAWA has issued an urgent request for international action to secure an invitation to the meeting which may otherwise place control of Afghanistan into the hands of two alleged Afghan war criminals, Burhanuddin Rabbani and General Dostrum of the Northern Alliance.
UPDATE: US Allies ban women's march in Afghanistan.Read the story
London saw one of the UK's biggest demonstrations in over a decade (Sunday 18 November) when over a hundred thousand people from across the country gathered to call for an end to the US-led bombardment of Afghanistan.
Peace campaigners are continuing to criticise the applause surrounding the fall of a majority of Afghanistan to the Northern Alliance who - like the Taliban before them - have an appalling human rights track record. There are further fears that - as winter approaches - the humanitarian crisis confronting millions of Afghani refugees will worsen. The bombing of the Kabul offices of a key independent Arabic news service - Al Jazeera - by US air forces has also been widely condemned.
Meanwhile, in the UK itself, the Home Office has declared a 'state of emergency' permitting the UK Government authorities to 'intern' terrorist suspects wthout trial.
A series of photos taken in Kabul last week prove the terrible human rights record of the Northern Alliance:
Protests against US imperialism have occurred worldwide: [ KERALA , India Oct 13 | Nairobi, Kenya Oct. 12 | Italy a mass day of anti-war action | Schnews | Statewatch ]
SEIU Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union has been bargaining for a first contract for the employees at Northwest Regional Education Laboratories (NWREL) in Portland since February, 2001. The 160 employees of NWREL voted 2 to 1 to strike if an agreement could not be reached by the end of the November 8th bargaining session. The strike began Friday, November 9 at 8am
Most issues have been resolved, but NWREL is insisting on a gag rule that infringes on the workers First Amendment rights to communicate with public officials, the public and the press.
NWREL is also insisting on an "open shop" allowing workers the rights and benefits under the union contract, including union representation, but without union membership. The clients of NWREL are public schools. Teachers' collective bargaining agreements across this country operate under the "agency shop" rule, know as "fairshare" in the public sector. To deny this to the employees of NWREL only sets up an atmosphere of divisiveness and resentment.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has requested the assistance of local police departments around the country in the task of rounding up alleged "terrorist" suspects for what he claims is an investigation of the September 11 attacks on NYC and Washington D.C. In a move that surprised and pleased community members who are dedicated to protecting civil liberties, the Portland and Eugene police departments have so far refused to cooperate with this request, citing concerns that such actions could be unconstitutional under Oregon State Law. Since most of the people on Ashcroft's list in Portland are of Arab descent, many smell "racial profiling", which the police would like to avoid. Portland Copwatch is one organization urging citizens to commend the police for this choice.
However, the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) -- which partially funds one officer in Eugene -- is not accountable to local authorities such as police chiefs or mayors. Community members are worried that the task force could be used for implementing Ashcroft's "investigation", but so far neither Portland nor Eugene officials have been able to assuage such fears.
If Ashcroft utilizes the task force in this way, it would not be the first time he has assailed local law with federal pressure. Recently, he announced a Justice Department attack on Oregon's right-to-suicide law, for example. It was not known at press time how Ashcroft reconciles such top-down meddling with his political party's support for "states' rights" and oft-expressed abhorrence of "big government".
About 60 people marched from the University of Oregon to the Federal Building in downtown Eugene today to demand an end to the U.S.'s military response to the Sept. 11 attacks on NYC and DC, and to call for the closing of the School of Americas (SOA). This weekend hundreds of people will descend on the School of Americas in Georgia for the annual protest against the terrorist-training that takes place there. Solidarity actions were planned in dozens of cities across the U.S. today, so Eugene was not standing alone in its vocal and visible opposition.
[ For the full story in Eugene | VIDEO ]
Rally in sympathy with SOA protestors in Georgia
There will be a rally organized in solidarity with the thousands of people who will be gathering at Ft. Benning, Georgia this weekend, including over 50 from Oregon. Marchers here will be standing with the victims of violence in Latin America who have been tortured, killed, and disappeared by graduates of America's Terrorist Training Camp, aka. School of Americas, aka Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. newswire story
Meanwhile, 2 jailed SOA activists from Oregon are in the 17th day of an 18 day hunger strike. Read their story
Corvallis: Activists march against war and corporate globalization
Student and community activists staged a mass die-in and march on Friday to protest the current U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan and the continuing onslaught of corporate globalization. The protest coincided with the opening day of meetings among key segments of the Group of 20 (G20), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank in Ottawa, Ontario. Organizers also linked their efforts to this weekend's annual demonstration and mass civil disobedience at Fort Benning, Georgia against the School of the Americas, an institution notorious for training dictators and death squads throughout Latin America. The march brought together a multigenerational group of more than eighty people despite a constant downpour of rain and one of the march organizers characterized the turnout as "extraordinarily successful." This action demonstrated that dissent is brewing not only in the metropolitan areas of the United States, but in predominantly conservative communities like Corvallis. [ Read more ]
Eugene: "Stop the war, make some noise"
Members of the City of Eugene Police Commission's Committee on Media Access Issues met Thursday and continued their discussion about the relationship between police and media in the city. The committee seems to be moving closer to making a recommendation that members of the media sport visible "press pass" ID badges when engaged in reporting at a scene of any incident in which police are involved. Currently, the Eugene Police Department acts under General Order 240.1 (March 2000) which states that "all members of the media, whether they posess news media credentials or simply assert that they are members of the media, will be treated equally" (emphasis added) at such scenes. That is, currently no press pass is required. This order creates a de facto policy that is possibly the most progressive of its kind in the state, insofar as it makes no distinction between corporate and alternative media. The order was a reaction to tensions that had arisen between the Eugene police and both alternative and corporate media in town, and bases its broad interpretation of "who is media" on Oregon State Law, which defines media as "any person connected to, employed by, or engaged in any medium of communication to the public" [ORS 44.520].
Recommendations made by this committee could have serious consequences not only in Eugene but around the state if used as a precedent. Policies regarding the relationship of police and media have become especially important since September 11, as basic civil liberties have come under increasing attack; this is an important local issue to watch. Indymedia contributors were the only media in attendance at this meeting.
The committee is soliciting opinion from various quarters on whether and how a policy requiring ID badges should be implemented, and has invited Indymedia to submit its recommendations by December 14. Make your voice heard here.
[ Newswire items: Full account of committee meeting | Contribute to Indymedia recommendation ]
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