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In an example of really bad timing, this years locust plague matures and moves south right after harvest time for millions of subsistence farmers on the Sahel, a disaster which was predictable, since the first signs of the plague emerged during last years torrential rain storms, that nearly flooded out the region, and created ideal locust plague conditions. This plague which in its first months, has already been described as worse than the worst year of the last plague in the 1980s, which is a pretty bad sign, since the current plague has only begun.
The plague locusts produced by last years exceptional rains over the Sahel (bordering the southern Sahara Desert) are now poised to invade the crop producing regions with their arrival timed to coincide with the approach of harvest for millions of subsistence farmers in the area. In Senegal, millions of locusts landed several weeks ago, and each can lay up to 90 eggs three times, creating many hundreds of millions of hopper larvae, which then take to the wing after about three weeks. There are reports that Senagalese farmers are waging 'hand to hand combat' against the insects using hoes and brushes and given that the hoppers can only jump a short distance they are also attempting corral them into large ditches and then bury them alive. Harvest time arrives in October, and given the three week maturation cycle of the insects, and then their repeated heavy multiplication millions of locusts could become hundreds of millions and then billions in a very short time.
A few days ago, as I was walking through town on my way home from work, I noticed a police cruiser slowly gliding past O'Bryant square, otherwise known as Stark Park. The officers inside were riveted on something, and came to a stop near the park. I followed their gaze and saw two other officers and two plain-clothed people standing in the park. The officers in the cruiser stepped out and walked up to the scene.
I've learned from past experiences that it's never cool to just walk by when Portland cops are circling. One never knows what they will do when they think no one is watching. I decided to stop and bear witness to whatever they might be up to. I wandered into the park from another corner and saw that they were surrounding a young man who was hunched over on a park bench. He was wearing a hoody and carried a worn back pack. One of the officers began digging through his pack as the plain-clothed men laughed and looked on. They kept looking over at me as I casually leaned on the cement wall nearby, clearly out of "interference" range. Despite the rain, I stood and observed while they eventually clamped cuffs on the boy's arms and the cruiser cops marched him away.
About that time, one of the officers began to walk toward me.
My son recently returned from the Iraq War, his third war, and, being fed up with Bush lies and back-to-back deployments, applied to be discharged from his "indefinite enlistment" status. Six days later he was under investigation for making "disloyal comments" about George Bush...
For generations we have been a loyal and faithful military family, however with this recent action taken against a member of our family, we will no longer encourage military service to our future generations. In other words, we are going to do the same thing that Bush, Cheney, Wolfovitz, and most members of congress do, WE AINT SERVING NO MORE!!
The Iraq War was based on lies and exaggerations, poor intelligence, a mass deception with no rhymne nor reason for invading Iraq. For those who still have kids and loved ones in this illegal war, our blessings and best wishes go out to you.
Here's the fifth, and last, archive of a day's worth of breaking news items as posted to the portland indymedia site during the RNC protests in NYC. Events covered include protests/marches in/from Union Square, an ANSWER-sponsored rally, protesting around Madison Square Garden, and the unfolding legal drama concerning the City's trampling of habeas corpus rights of rounded-up protesters.
Deeper analysis can start to emerge now about the meaning and significance of the events of the last week, which were often played out in the context of protester vs. authority. Authority here was embodied not just by the Bush administration - the direct target of demonstrations - but by the police and City. Overall, i belive we can at least declare a draw. That is, the protesters were not defeated; that feeling is not pervading the air, nor did it taint the actions on the ground. In the legal arena, we can perhaps actually declare victory. The National Lawyers Guild forced the City to back down when it clearly did not want to. When push came to shove over habeas corpus, a judge demanded that the City release all prisoners since it was clearly in violation of that legal concept, and when the City did not act fast enough, the judge declared the City in contempt and levied fines. Finally, the City relented, and by the end of today, it seemed that everyone had been released. In other cities after big actions, such courtroom dramas have often played out for much longer. So we can chalk at least one checkmark in the Win column.
Over the five days of breaking news updates from Aug. 29-Sep. 2, about 800 items were posted. The news came from call-ins from the street to pdx indy radio and to A-Noise Radio, from the breaking news wire on NYC indymedia, and from an internal indymedia communication board. In such a way, hundreds of people contributed information over those five days. That's a helluva lot more reporters than corporate media had out there, and it shows. The overall coverage of the protests using the indymedia tactic, on the web, the radio, and with the video and other projects yet to come, is an example of what reporting and journalismm are really about. Once more, indymedia put corporate media to shame!
An interview with Sue Niederer, Military Families Speak Out member, whose son Lt. Seth Dvorin was killed in Iraq on February 3rd, 2004. Sue Niederer is from Hopewell Township, New Jersey. She has been very vocal and active in the anti-war movement and has participated in numerous peace marches and actions. While she has been interviewed on many occasions, I have tried to let this interview develop over the last two months. I have spent countless hours talking to her on the phone, and she has impressed me with her strength, conviction and dedication to her cause.
There is a price that the families and loved ones pay when a soldier dies, and their pain is an ongoing and ever present wound that refuses to heal. Many families now feel that as long as there are still troops dying and being wounded in Iraq they cannot fully come to grips with their grief. [ Read More ]
Anyone following the mainstream media couldn't miss the news today. CNN reported that two suicide bombers set off almost simultaneous blasts on buses in Beer Sheva, killing 16 people in addition to themselves. At least 93 people were wounded. Usually, such attacks are followed with a wide range of condemnations. Ariel Sharon said: Israel will continue fighting terror with all its might." Most news reports stated that Palestinian groups had not carried out a major attack inside Israel since March 14, when 11 Israelis were killed in the port of Ashdod. None, however, referred to the number of Palestinians, mostly civilians, killed in the months between.
The media's tendency to downplay -- or completely ignore -- Palestinian suffering and death is nothing new. In late 2001 and the beginning of 2002, for example, a loose cease-fire declared by Yasir Arafat led to a period of very few Israeli deaths, but sustained Palestinian deaths -- and the mainstream media repeatedly referred to it as a time of "relative calm". In order to convey the Mideast crisis in all its complexity, journalists need to take seriously the violence suffered by all communities. References to "relative calm" while Palestinians are being routinely killed only serve to trivialize human life and obscure the cycle of violence that afflicts the region.
It looks like hackers are supporting us. A group calling itself C-BLOC has shut down computers in the financial district today. This just in via IM from C-BLOC. Apperantly they've shut down some computers on Wall Street as part of their on going hacktivism in solidarity with the Anti-Bush protests. Here is their statement: "We have successfully shut down several computer systems on Wall Street and in the NYSE in a direct action aimed at war profiteers, Bush supporters and companies invested in the Surveillance States of America. This action was brought to you courtesy of your friends at C-BLOC. Peace from da east." [ Read More ] [ NYC IMC Story ]
Migratory Bird's request: Order the police to drop charges, judge, if you really want justice. Fine the police department and give it to indymedia! Give it to the protestors! Take the money from the cops budget! Make the descion here and now to not even be idealogical or fair but to try and ease a little of the pain of the sham. Stop the way this is going judge becuase if you don't fight it now you will watch your city taken over... watch it become an open police state. They defied you and your "justice." Becuase you justice was still helping them out! Dontcha see? Cause we do! We do! We do and we let the whole world know! [ Read More ]
Legal/prisoner update from NYC: "Jails are essentially empty" of RNC detainees8:30pm ruling - People had to be released at that moment w/o process. Lead counsel for Legal Aid, Michelle Maxine, was to be given full access to all the cells. She went on that tour and confirmed that there were only 25 people on RNC arrests still inside. 11 of them may have been released already. 6 of them were in the feeder pen. 8 were felonies. [ Read More ]
"Habeas corpus" is Latin for "you have the body". It is a Constitutional concept, meaning that if you arrest & detain someone, you have a certain amount of time to charge them, and that if you don't do so within that time, the person or people must be released. A eoman from the National Lawyers Guild in NYC stated that this period is 24 hours in the state and City of NY.
A writ of habeas corpus is presented to a court on behalf of a detainee or detainees. The writ issued by the National Lawyer's Guild to the City of NY, demanding the release of all RNC detainees, can be read here.
The City's excuse for violating habeas corpus was that it couldn't release people until the proper paperwork was done. As reported on indymedia, a NY Judge ordered the City to release hundreds of people because they had been held so long (24-30 or more hours), but the City has not been complying.
NYC is not the first city to ignore habeas corpus; indeed, it is a tactic, consciously executed, as part of a national trend toward fascism.
Caller from jail to A-Noise Radio at 6:14am EDT: He has been held since Tuesday night. He was coming home from work and his train was stopped at Madison Square Garden. Police told everyone to get out and get back on at 34th st. But 34th was closed so that had to walk down to 35th.
Everyone was soon trapped between lines of motorcycles and police. Police were violent when making arrests - slamming people up against cars and walls. According to caller, the police were much rougher with journalists than with protesters or pedestrians like himself.
It is the caller's estimate that 40% of the arrests in that area (of 35th and Herald Square) were protesters. The rest were innocent bystanders.
AC and others from A31 have been released this morning. They've been held for over 36 hours in horrible, unsafe, unsanitary conditions. Another portland person is still being held on felony charges. Please call the numbers to demand that bullshit felony charges get dropped. This person is a videographer and she was targeted. Call again today even if you called yesterday.
In August of this year, six neglected and abused horses(Pete, Beauty, Goldie, Mac, Rosie, Shetan)from a farm in Banks, Oregon (Washington County) were rescued.
To view more photos go to www.helpthehorses.org
Specifically regarding the cop presence ...On August 29 with half a million people jammed into major streets surrounding madison square garden the police were fairly laid back and all dressed in their *blues*. This resulted in people in the streets having actual conversations with them and inquiring after their contracts, etc. I did see a handful of cops with riot helmets on that you could clearly see their face through, but that was just a hat paired with the policeman blue cloth outfit. Aside from my affinity for fashion, the reason I post this is to underscore the fact that police systematically escalate reactions ("violence") from protestors at Portland events by dressing up in their full body, no skin showing, storm trooper riot outfits. It was startling for me to talk to cops and have them respond like humans during a protest. We are so completely getting fucked by the robo-cop routine they pull here in portland. We bring what? 500? a 1,000? people to a protest here and you're lucky if the officer is wearing his badge number on top of his thick black padded chest. ' [ Read More ]
After speaking on the phone with a member of Team Cascadia at their convergence space in New York City, I'm able to give a summary of arrests of Cascadians and related information. In total, 6 have been arrested/detained or are missing, and one has been released already.
Arturo Commando, pdx indymedia radio reporter, arrested in NYC on TuesdayWell-loved and much-listened-to pdx indy radio personality Arturo Commando was arrested Tuesday in NYC. Arturo had been calling in reports from the streets during the chaos in the Union Square environs [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ], and was apparently swept up during the mass arrests there or in Herald Square [ 1 | 2 ]. Arturo is one of at least a dozen indymedia activists who have been arrested in NYC, where police have been targeting alternative media, legal observers, and medics.
From the Free State of Cascadia, we send all our love and best wishes to our dear brother Commando, and look forward to seeing him again soon, healthy and safe and happy.
Cascadia-based independent journalist detained in New YorkJennifer Whitney, a Portland-based activist, writer, and musician, has been detained during protests in New York City, in Union Square. She is a journalist for Narco News, Indymedia, an editor of the book We Are Everywhere, and a founding member of the Infernal Noise Brigade. Narco News reports on her detention, along with 2 other of their reporters and the rest of the INB. They give details and discuss the unconstitutional and illegal nature of the police action, and demand their release.
Sparkle Girl Press Release: inb arrested by repressive state-apparatus
It has come to Sparkle Girl's attention that the Infernal Noise Brigade has been arrested during a performance at the Republican National Convention. We are at a loss to understand why the Repressive Apparatus Of State Terror (hereafter referred to as RAOST) finds the prospect of human beings playing beautiful music-- in public, for free, so terrifying.
This is a summary of things that I ran into and saw while in NYC yesterday. So, The day started early. I was up and downtown by 11 am for the Save Our Civil Liberties rally and march. The action was a theatre piece and march that would start at Columbus Park in Downtown Manhattan and go to Federal Plaza, also in Downtown. The march consisted of about 300-400 protestors with a heavy police prescense. [ PICTURES 1 I PICTURES 2 ]
8-31 Lo-Down on the RNC Ho-Down Breaking News from NYC, Aug. 31, archive
From PDX IMC newswire:
[ Camera Photos from 6pm PDT 18:20 Aug-31 | photo update from nyc 17:09 Aug-31 | Marco sends solidarity song from Milwaukee 19:37 Aug-31 | The Daily Poetry Movement ]
GDC Keeping track of Portlanders 21:26 Aug-31
Protester INSIDE Convention site heckles speech relayed by Philly girl 20:11 Aug-31
QuestionFundraising for NYC bail? 17:08 Aug-31
Infernal Noise Brigade arrested in NYC 16:59 Aug-31 |
breaking news nyc hearld sq pics 16:14 Aug-31 |
43rd/bway: no indication of "huge situation" 16:32 Aug-31 |
Revolutionary Reporting Live from the RNC 15:25 Aug-31 |
Guide to events being covered on Breaking News wire |
Holly from Michigan IMC, reporting from Ground Zero 13:41 Aug-31 |
Interview with a DNC to RNC marcher 12:36 Aug-31 |
Reflections on protests in NYC so far 11:27 Aug-31 |
some quick notes from this morning's events in NYC 11:23 Aug-31 |
March in Harlem: NO to DNC and RNC 10:31 Aug-31 |
breaking report from Immigrant Detention March in NYC 10:25 Aug-31 |
Breaking news from NYC, Aug. 31, as of 12:40pm EDT 10:17 Aug-31 |
August 30 Recap 01:10 Aug-31 ]
From the NYC IMC newswire
[ Department of Corrections: Bush & Cheney 2004 RNC Theme song D.O.C. A31 9:49PM |
NYC indymedia.org served with subpoena A Noise Sound Team A31 7:14PM |
A Noise Daily Roundup from the RNC - 8 30 A Noise Sound Team A31 7:04PM |
Arrests at Queer Fist Kiss-In on Times Square Vinny Lombardo A31 9:45AM |
Interviews from Still We Rise March Vinny Lombardo A31 9:39AM |
March For Our Lives Report Vinny Lombardo A31 9:02AM |
Robert Khuzami's Patriot Act DT A31 4:00AM |
Houston Indymedia News [on RNC] A31 3:21AM |
song from women's march chickpea A31 12:42AM |
Voices of the United for Peace and Justice Rally Aubrey Semple A31 12:40AM ]
A new tree-sit is being occupied within unit 5d of the Blue River Face Timber Sale in the Mckenzie Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest. Continued implementation of old-growth timber sales by the McKenzie District has demonstrated the district is not interested in halting controversial sales involving the cutting of ancient trees. Why are Cascadians occupying trees within the Blue Rver Face Timber Sale? [ Here's why ]
The DNC to RNC march was an event in which activists walked from Boston at the end of the Democratic Convention to NYC for the Republican Convention, sowing community-centered dissent along the way. i just heard a great interview on A-Noise radio with Simon Sanchez (sp?), a community organizer from Austin, TX, who was one of the participants. i typed up some notes as i listened, to share with indymedia readers. It is paraphrased on the fly, so is not a word-for-word transcript, but i believe i've gotten the facts right and stayed true to the spirit of his words.
Last Tuesday, 8/24/04, the Nader Campaign submitted more than 18K signatures, each of which had been individually validated by County Elections officials. This process included confirming that the signor was currently registered to vote in that county and comparing the actual signature on the sheet to the original signature of that voter as displayed on a computer screen.
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