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[This article originally published in: Freitag 49, 11/21/2004 is translated from the German by Marc Batko.] The republican election winners are enjoying their triumph. President George W. Bush consolidates his power. Whoever did not join a hundred-percent in the past four years must leave or voluntarily resign. Absolute loyalty seems to be the main criterion for a post in the second term. Colin Powell is gone. He had at least allowed the illusion to the friends of the US abroad that there was "another" voice in the government. Condoleezza Rice, the former security advisor who sang the loudest Amen in the hymn to the Iraq war, will be his heir. The Washington bulldozer now runs practically without any brakes.
Nostalgia was back in fashion last week when Bill Clinton opened his Presidential Library in the pouring rain in Arkansas. Even George W. Bush came and was full of praise for his predecessor in retirement. Clinton showed his appreciation. Bush was a "good man" like the defeated democratic candidate John Kerry. Kerry and Bush saw the world with different eyes. In Washington, Tom Daschle said goodbye. The leader of the democrats in the Senate defeated in the November 2 election appealed to his party to seek a "common center".
Attended by approximately 300-350 people, the protest featured speakers and music. Speakers included Pete Hamer, Oregon State Coordinator of 51 Capital March; Elizebeth Atly, of Portland Code Pink and Johnny Marie of Actions Speak Portland. The mike was then turned over for anyone who wanted to speak, including a 13 year old young lady and a phone relay from Portland with information from a press release concerning events in Ohio.
A commenter adds: Channel 6 had a brief account on their 5pm news, saying there were "dozens" of protesters... a quick shot of the crowd ... a smirking news reporter. Pretty disappointing, not even a serious attempt to research what the rally was about or that it was nationwide. No interviews with attendees.
related: [ Report-back from Democracy Is Dying gathering (11/21/04) ]
Was driving along Belmont and happened to notice a billboard around 28th or so. What a great opportunity to try out my fancy new cellphone with photo capability!
Obviously this message is more important than the usual billboard garbage from the fascists at Clear Channel. I figure this billboard improvement is likely true. I was surprised to learn that 50% of NYC residents believe that Bush and Crew consciously allowed 911 to happen for their own dark purposes.
When some monopolistic dictatorial company like Clear Channel has managed to swindle control of all the billboard space in Portland, then it is inevitable that people will fight back against their dominating control. I would enjoy seeing a new clear channel billboard improved every single day.
[ portland indymedia 9/11 investigation page ]
On December 22nd, the Portland City Council will once again meet to decide whether to re-certify the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF). When you go to protest this violation of our constitutional rights, be armed with the knowledge that JTTFs all over the country have been exposed for blatantly spying on political and environmental activists and critics of the government.
On December 2, the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests all over the county to expose this nest of vipers. According to an ACLU press release, they filed FOIA requests in 10 states (including Oregon) and the District of Columbia "seeking information about the FBI's use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and local police to engage in political surveillance." Said the press release:
"The FOIAs seek two kinds of information: 1) the actual FBI files of groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith; 2) information about how the practices and funding structure of the task forces, known as JTTFs, are encouraging rampant and unwarranted spying."
[ more on ACLU FOIA Requests ] I [ more CatWoman stories ]
As most of you know, the Parry Center for Children has been on strike since November 29.
Things are going as one would expect: lots of hours on the picket line and very little movement on the managment's part. Despite union-related support from the head of DHS, the AFL-CIO, multiple unions, the County Commissioners, and the Governor, Trillium continues to be obstinate. One might wonder why they are biting the hand that feeds them (the Commissioners will have more control of funding for places like Parry come January); the union has no answer for this. The only thing we know for sure is that they've spent more money on busting the union than it would have cost to give us our wage increases ... this is according to the UNION'S figures, not the CEO's grossly bloated $1.1m estimate.
Community support has been tremendous. We've received a couple of thousand dollars in donations, mostly from other locals and unions, which we are going to put towards paying for our workers' COBRA (public health insurance) payments. We've also received lots of Fred Meyer gift cards, hand warmers, plastic ponchos, and canned food. People have been randomly coming up and marching with us on the line. The community/union/activist support is wonderful, and we're extremely grateful for all their efforts!
Kids' Fesival of Lights For Rights
The workers at the Parry Center for Children have been on strike since Monday, Nov. 29. Parry Center workers provide 24-hour residential care to some of Oregon's most troubled children. We're fighting for worker rights, and for better quality of care for the children we serve and care about. We're taking a stand and working hard to improve our community. Come join them in support on Friday, Dec. 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Kids' Festival of Lights for Rights, in honor of International Human Rights Day.
previous stories: [ Community support is needed on the Parry Center picket line! I Parry Center Strike I Call Kim Scott and Demand Binding Arbitration to End This Strike I Call for Support for Parry Center Strike, Pics, and Report on Parry Center Rally I Parry Center, the striker's demands I Day 2 of the Parry Center Strike I Pictures from Parry Center Strike and Supporters' Building Occupation I Report from the Parry Center Strike I Breaking News: Group of Concerned Citizens Occupies Parry Center Offices I Portland Social Workers Go On Strike For Children ]
I just got back from the Multnomah County Commissioners board meeting and would like to say that the board passed the resoltion against the Patriot Act four to one. It was pretty interesting from my standpoint. Lots of great speakers (shy of twenty) spoke talking about civil rights, harassment from the government, discrimination under the Patriot Act, etc. No corporate media in sight were to be seen, only Portland Indymedia and KBOO yay!
All the board members excpet for Lonnie Roberts voted against the Patriot Act. I wasn't suprised or anything, but it just reminded me how afriad some people are to speak up, whatever their intent. Good work everyone who spent those lonely hours at night and long meetings working hard to get this passed.
On Dec. 3rd N.P.R. (National Public Radio) ran a show called "On the Media". They did a piece, which was titled "All you need is Hate"; they spoke to a group called "Panzerfaust". Panzerfaust is a White Power music distribution company that is running a program called Project School yard. In this program they are distributing thousands of copies of racist music to schoolchildren. They described the project like this "This fall, Panzerfaust Records embarked on a venture called Project Schoolyard. It's basically a distribution effort for hate music. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Panzerfaust is, according to Newsweek magazine, "one of the top 'white power' record labels in the country." Through methods as simple as direct mail and handing out CDs to kids filing off the school bus, Project Schoolyard aims to hand out 100,000 CDs to kids who may not even realize what they're being handed".
N.P.R. not only didn't criticize what Panzerfaust was doing, they actually played their songs and had only one person say anything in rebuttal to the blatant hate being spouted by the Panzerfaust rep.
The latest gentrification zone in Portland will be in the area around the east end of the Burnside Bridge. But what gets done there by developers is still an open debate. Are you ready for the struggle?
Y'all have certainly noticed changes in lower East Burnside. It is officially a PDC urban renewal area (mostly a good thing, though that could be argued long and hard).
Part of the project is creating an "anchor" complex at the end of the bridge. The PDC is entertaining three proposals - two of which would involve bringing "big box" retail stores (a Home Depot or a Lowe's) into the heart of Portland. The third proposal would house all local businesses (including a "chef's cooperative"). An article about the issue can be found here.
[ Public presentation of the Burnside Bridgehead development proposals: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2004, 4 PM, State of Oregon Bldg 800 NE Oregon, Rm 140 ] [ Discussion/workshop of the Burnside Bridgehead proposals: MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2004, 5 PM, State of Oregon Bldg 800 NE Oregon, Rm 140 ] [ Portland Development Commission ]
I was disgusted with the columnist known as "The Nose" and his take on the anti-fur rally last week in Portland. I wrote a letter to the editor saying that others who disagree with him should have some space to voice their views. Of course, they didn't print it.
The Willamette Week hires snotty, writers with snotty attitudes. They have a chance to make a difference but instead simply spout snotty reactions and judgements with regards to the protesters.
Anyone out there who is an animal lover should let the WW know that that paper sucks and that any newspaper with any merit would not have to sell escort services to support themselves.
some previous smack-downs of the WW:
The meeting was attended by 2 dozen people, ranging in age from high-school students to seniors and everything in between. There was numerous unaffiliated people, as well as representatives from local high schools, Students for Unity at PSU, the Industrial Workers of the World, Code Pink, forest activist groups, Radical Women, Reclaming Pagan Cluster, Jobs with Justice, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, Peace and Justice Works.
Motivated by our strong affinities (detesting Bush) everyone from labor to environmentalists, students to elders, and Dean enthusiasts to anarchists worked admirably together! At the meeting we set up something of a "spokescouncil" model (like the spokes on a wheel), with two primary planning groups, and a of variety of satellite groups and projects.
[ J20 PDX I Counter-Inaugural ]
Activists working to protect ancient forests within the Blue River Face Timber Sale in the Mckenzie Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest have been informed the US Forest Service and Rosboro Lumber have reached an agreement to drop units 5d and 3d from the sale. Unit 5d is where tree-sitters have been occupying a stand of massive old-growth trees in an effort to call attention to Forest Service policys in the district. Unit 3a is at this point the only unit remaining in the sale.
The offical reason the Forest Service is giving for the dropped units is unit 5d would not be cost effective to log because helicopters would have been required for yarding and it was deemed not profitable. They are saying unit 3d was dropped because steep slope skyline yarding would have caused adverse impacts.
Mckenzie Watershed Guardians must ask the question: Why is the Forest Service suddenly concerned about steep slopes and erosion when we have been telling them for the last 3 years that Blue River Face Timber Sale is an environmental nightmare?
Previous Features: [ Ecodefense Update: Blue River Face Tree-sit is now Blue River Face Tree Village (11/13/2004) I Occupation of Blue River Face Timber Sale continues (10/10/2004) I all stories ]
On December 2nd at 11:00am at the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse, federal prosecutors will formally indict Chuk'shon Earth First! (CEF!) activist Rod Coronado on conspiracy charges related to the local environmental group's interference with the hunt for mountain lions in Sabino Canyon last March. The indictment comes just seven days before Coronado was to stand trial for three lesser misdemeanor charges filed after his arrest in Sabino Canyon on March 26th. The new charge, "Conspiracy to Impede or Injure an Officer" carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison.
Coronado believes the indictment is in response to his continued organizing against AZGFD controversial policies such as the killing and removal of lions from the Coronado National Forest and the trophy hunting of sandhill cranes and desert bighorn sheep in southern Arizona.
I just have to share the miraculous event of efficient portland policing I encountered this morning. I received a phone call from Dectective Carter about a stolen bike report I filed on 7/20/04. Many of you were there as support people during this trying time (special thanks to Kiku, Allison, and Marilee for keeping me well hydrated during the immediate fall out). Dectective Carter was calling with the glorious news that my bike was found!!! Yes, it's true, it showed up at Ace's Quick Cash and was reported to the Police department on 7/21/04 (one day after it was stolen). He apologized for taking so long to get back to me with this discovery.
Here's the best part. I have two options: 1) Retrieve the bike from Ace's and reimburse the store for what they paid the guy who stole it in the first place ($40) or 2) Wait for the district attorney to prosecute the case, assume the guy will be convicted, and get my bike back after he pays restitution to Ace's - estimated time for this procedure? 18 months!
Louissane still has a vivid picture in her mind of the infernal production line where she worked for almost ten months in the free trade zone located on the Dominican-Haitian border.
"The minimum wage was 432 gourdes (10.50 Euros/12 Dollars) a week. We had to work on production lines of 14 people. If we managed to finish 10,000 items, we could earn 900 gourdes (22 Euros/26 Dollars). But I never managed. It was impossible. At best, 6,000 or 7,000 items, no more."
Louissane witnessed threats of physical violence and verbal abuse on a daily basis "We were often pushed around while we were working. Some women were approached by men who wanted to 'have a chat' with them. They were threatened with dismissal if they didn't allow themselves to be taken advantage of."Haiti Alert - Illegal Arrest of Political Leaders | The Politics of Injustice in Haiti: The Cases of Auguste and Chamblain | Reportback form Haiti: Resistance and Repression Six Months After the Coup
On December 1 Governor Kulongoski presented his recommended budget for the 2005-07 biennium. In determining his priorities the Governor declared six Oregon principles, one of which is to have the basic health, food and shelter needs of Oregon's most vulnerable met. With the state facing a $1 billion deficit the Governor is in a tough position. He proposed continuing OHP coverage for most individual in OHP-plus, but cut dental and vision coverage for adults. The Governor did not put any general funds into OHP-Standard, leaving the program entirely supported by providers and federal matching funds. This means the program would continue to operate with a cap of 24,000. The 25,000 individuals that must be cut before July would not receive coverage, nor is there funding to provide health care to the 50,000 who have already lost coverage. The Governor also proposed reducing prescription drug costs by further managing the prescription usage of OHP enrollees.
Mayor-Elect Tom Potter spoke tonight at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's annual meeting/awards night. Also present were newly elected city commissioner Sam Adams, whom Tom asked to speak first, and the much admired former mayor Bud Clark (who did not speak). Clark, who used to ride his bike to work, was known for his accessibility as mayor, and is credited with helping to make Portland nationally known as a bike friendly city.
Potter pledged to continue to participate in rides around town with the community, and to prevail upon the police to work with the cycling community, including "elements of the cycling community that they currently do not understand," which was interpreted as a promising sign by those of us there concerned about Critical Mass.
Tonight (Wednesday Dec. 1st) the Umpqua National Forest held a public meeting on the Steamboat Restoration Project. The proposed alternative will decommission 38 miles of drivable roads and another 34 miles of undrivable roads for a total of 72 miles of road decommissioning (as well as in-stream projects and road improvement.).
The public meeting was held at the usual place, in a meeting room in the public library in Roseburg. But the crowd that came could not all fit - over 200 people showed up, mostly large-sized men with loud voices. There was also the right-wing state senator Bill Fisher, the super right-wing county commissioner Dan Van Slyke, the just elected super super right-wing county commissioner Marilyn Kittleman.
The Forest Service started out by giving a presentation of why they are decommissioning roads -- LSR, Key Watershed, and virtually no money for road maintenance. They can only maintain 27% of existing roads. They did a good analysis of how many acres would have reduced fire protection and mitigated it by keeping some roads open for ATV for fire suppression only. There is another 4,800 miles of roads on the Umpqua NF they are not decommissioning. But the presenter was a young woman with a soft voice that sometimes had to talk over jeers and laughter.
On all sides of the political spectrum, limits exist. On the respectable (sic) Right, for example, it's fine to rant and rave about the sanctity of "unborn lives" but not acceptable to post pictures of abortion doctors on your website. The Left, contrary to popular belief, has limits of respectability (sic), too. For example, leftists can get hot and bothered over Bush not reacting to pre-9/11 warnings. However, those who go further and implicate the U.S. government in any way, shape, or form...well, they are banished to realm of "conspiracy theory."
"The seeming paranoia of conspiracy theorists is not necessarily the result of some underlying mental dysfunction or of stupidity," declares Jonathan Vankin, author of "Conspiracies, Cover-Ups, and Crimes." "The dysfunction is with American society, maybe even civilization as a whole. The structure of civilization itself requires mass adherence to faith in the institutions that built civilization and make it run. Conspiracies theorists question those authorities and, because they do, they skirt the fringes of society."
Actively skirting the fringes of society is Sander Hicks, founder of Soft Skull Press and now Vox Pop/Drench Kiss. Hicks gained national notoriety when he published Jim Hatfield's controversial Dubya biography, "Fortunate Son." The scathing, well-documented expose of the Bush dynasty resulted in near financial ruin for Soft Skull, a brilliant film documentary, and Hatfield's tragic suicide. Through it all, Hicks remained focused and ever-searching.
It was great to see Tre in court today [Friday, Dec. 3]. There were 13 supporters filling the whole front row and more. Tre was flashing peace signs and " I Love U" signals the whole time -- behind his back, so the judge couldn't see.
Sadly, the judge did not accept the surety and bond offered. The Crown argued, and the judge agreed, that it has to be someone in BC putting up $200k - $300k in cash or equity. Plus someone who can prove they can "control" Tre and be his "jailer in the community" 24 hours a day.
The bond and surety offered by James, Tre's father in Florida, and Mike here in BC were rejected by the judge. Tre was ordered detained, and he's back in maximum security at North Fraser Pretrial Centre.
I was a teen-ager, so completely uninformed, that I didn't really quite understand how sexual acts were performed. I was a teen-ager with such a crush on an older fellow (A WWII Vet of 28) that I allowed him to do whatever he wanted with me, which hurt a heckuva lot, caused much bleeding and kept him coming to the door. And, of course, I got pregnant. Telling parents was out of the question. Nothing to do but find a way out, ask the right people the right questions, get my older sister to fork up some money, all of which meant --quite literally -- a back-alley abortion.
Inside Boston's Beacon Hill, the streets wind dark and narrow, the houses are ancient. Some are mansions with priceless lavender glass windows dating from the eighteenth century, some are ready to fall down upon themselves, and some appear to have already begun to do so. It is to one of the latter to which I am directed.
A small, dark, foreign-looking man in a business suit answers my knock. "You wait here," he says, and leaves me in a little room with a day-bed kind of couch, covered in dark cordory and occupied by a very large grey cat. There is a saucer of milk on the window sill for the cat, who pays no attention to me at all.
Then, the man comes for me and we go to another room, painted in a dark cream color and outfitted minimally with an examination table, a cabinet and a sterilization tray complete with shiny, lethal-looking instruments. Waiting for me at the foot of the table is a short, squat, bald-headed man wearing surgical scrubs and mask. From behind the mask, he says, "OK, now don't be scared. I'm Dr. A, and t his will be over for you very quickly. It will be painful, because I am not going to anaesthetize you, that is not what we do in these situations. You will have to bear with me, follow all directions and remain quiet, evern when it hurts. Are you ready?"
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