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Biking by the Laurelhurst Theater on NE 28th and Burnside in Portland this afternoon, I noticed an extremely interesting and enigmatic object on the sidewalk: The Meme-o-matic. The Meme-o-matic is apparently the work of some creative guerrilla artists, who saw fit to heavily modify a sidewalk newspaper box and chain it down at the corner of East Burnside Street and 28th Avenue. The Meme-o-Matic seems to take alternative media to a completely new level, consisting of an ambiguous and mysterious mechanism which receives public submissions and churns out more media.
This author encourages readers to pay a visit to the Meme-o-matic as soon as possible before the authorities decide to remove this subversive street presence. And if you dare, "submit," and see what happens.
A gaggle of around 10 activists went around in Beaveron hunting down the homes of OHSU animal abusers.
5 houses were visited by the activists, Tuesday night. They yelled into a megaphone the about the horrible injustices against animals that the employees were guilty of. Further activists continued to chant. Neighbors came out to inquire as to why there were people yelling at a house, and were given much information about who their neighbors are. For more information about OHSU visit www.vivisectioninfo.org/ohsu/
WASHINGTON, DC ? In light of recent reports that conservative journalist and pundit Armstrong Williams received $240,000 from the Department of Education (DOE) through a contract with Ketchum Public Relations, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today has filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to 23 government agencies, including all cabinet agencies."This type of covert propaganda, has no place in a healthy democracy," Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today. "It is particularly outrageous that the government continues to engage in this sort of illegal activity despite the fact that the GAO has said that it is illegal."
Here are some photos from the excellent Riot Folk show last night. A benefit show with the Riot Folk tour, including Ryan Harvey, Anna Roland, Ethan Miller, and Brenna Sahatjian. Proceeds split between the International Workers of the World (IWW) Hall and the worker-owned Back to Back Cafe.
The Urban Adventure League conducts various bicycle rides and walking tours around Portland. Their latest on Sunday, 9 January, was a ride to celebrate the various tropical plants that grow around town.
The ride began in Ladd's Circle and wound around the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood, into Sunnyside, over Sullivan's Gulch and into Irvington, ending with a surprise of wonderful tea and muffins provided by the family that lives at the ride's endpoint. Along the way we saw a variety of vegetation more likely to be found far south of here: 3 or 4 types of palms but also eucalyptus, monkey-puzzle, and more. Shawn, the ride's leader, also commented on architectural and urban history along the way.
It was indeed a fun and informative time, and I would encourage anyone to check out future Urban Adventure League events.
This is something that my friend emailed me about what is really happening around the Palestinian elections. I have prepared an audio report on the Palestinian elections, held yesterday, which you can listen to online: here is the script...
On Sunday January 9, Palestinians held their first presidential election since 1996, electing Mahmoud Abbas as the new Palestinian President, while the Israeli occupation and ongoing military incursions in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue.
On Friday the 7th, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that the army had pulled out of certain areas of the West Bank to facilitate the elections, but the Palestinian Authority countered that there was no evidence of any troop pullout, and checkpoints remained closed. The town of Beta remained under military curfew -- residents there were unable to vote. And residents of the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis refugee camp were barred from voting due to a military closure of their area.
Nearly 200,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem on the Israeli side of the separation barrier, 160,000 of them are eligible voters -- the largest single bloc of Palestinian voters. In the preparations for Sunday's elections, East Jerusalem saw Israeli obstruction of voter registration, harassment of registrants, confiscation of registration materials, and the arrests of two candidates who tried to campaign there... halfway through the election day, former US President Jimmy Carter accused Israel of obstructing elections in East Jerusalem. Only then did Israeli authorities agree to allow the 160,000 East Jerusalem voters to vote within their city.
Tragedy Central: In the course of this campaign we have run up against the biggest and the most well protected companies in the world. From the 200 billion dollar a year pharmaceutical industry, the world biggest financial firms, to the largest insurance broker on the planet and the UK and US governments no less. Now present before our eyes is what can only be seen as Huntingdon's most desperate last bid for corporate survival. Hidden behind another name is the emerging clinical division to the lab. As the clinical laboratory arm to Huntingdon Life Sciences, Centralabs actively recruits much needed business to the lab in areas it could not previously compete for. Centralabs is one and the same with Huntingdon. Huntingdon's survival largely depends on the success of the sales of their new clinical division.
This week we track down the secret asset to HLS's survival and give them a proper SHAC-style welcome to the campaign. Trying to sell the dark services of HLS we must compassionately root out their marketing ploy.
PLEASE - take 20 minutes this week for all those animals suffering in vivisection labs and help us expose Centralabs as the rather sinister new front to Huntingdon. Write, email, call, fax, and PROTEST HLS as it begs for business scraps at this week's major conference in Las Vegas. IF everyone reading this email just spent twenty minutes, our collective voice will be deafening. Visit the URLs below for phone numbers and addresses.
The Portland community responded enthusiastically today, Saturday, January 8, 2005, against white power organizing in the Southwest Portland Gabriel Park neighborhood. One gathering, at the park itself, prepared to directly confront the Tualatin Valley Skins who had announced in December that they would be at the park on this date in order to distribute literature. The white power recruiting drive, failed to materialize. This gathering drew in about 350 people, and finished off with a rally which perservered despite occasional rain and hail showers.
Another group met at the Multnomah Center, about a mile away from Gabriel Park. This Unity Rally, as it was called, drew a crowd in excess of a 1000 people, I would estimate. The Multnomah Center event featured numerous speakers, including the new mayor Tom Potter and County Commissioner Serena Cruz, ministers and members of minority communities, as well as a few musical interludes. Each event provided people the opportunity to protest racism and hate in a manner more in harmony with their own temperament and philosophy. Both sought to defend the neighborhood from invasion and spoke out for diversity of culture, race and religion. Whether in your face, or at a rally celebrating diversity with strong words and music, the community gathered together in their different ways and stood vocal and defiant against racism and hatred.
related articles: [ hate crime websites & statistics I j8-05 Anti-Nazi Rally Breaking News & Reportback I Racist Skinheads Ran Away When They Saw The Large Crowd of Anti-Fascists I Interview @ rally I Opposition Grows Against Tualatin Valley Skins in Southwest Portland |Stopped on the way to SW Protest of TVS ]
photos of Gabriel Park Rally: 1 | 2 | 3
[Yesterday]'s historic Electoral College vote challenge would not have happened without the leadership of Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, who initiated the recount of Ohio's presidential vote and is demanding a second recount in federal court because the first recount was conducted in violation of state and federal law.
"Clearly, by demanding a recount and an investigation into the widespread irregularities with the presidential vote in Ohio, the Green Party paved the way for today's challenge to Ohio's Electoral College votes," said Cobb.
related: [ Exit polling gag order | Tubbs Jones-Boxer Challenge in Congress a Big Progressive Win | Voting irregularities summary | Well, There It Is Lads and Gents....The Glorious American Democratic E | Oregonian and TV news more subversive than we are! | wyden is a scumbag ]
Eureka, CA - Two years ago on my birthday, I was sitting 150 feet up a 1,200 year-old redwood, where I had been for ten months without touching the ground. It was January 3, 2003, and I was watching redwood forest on the hillside below me getting cut down by Maxxam's Pacific Lumber (PL).
This year on my birthday, I went to court for a hearing in the lawsuit brought against me and about 30 others for the crime of watching and opposing PL's destructive clear-cutting, (or for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as in the case of some of my co-defendants). Five of us have filed counter lawsuits against PL, and the extractors who forcibly removed us from ancient trees PL intended to (and in most cases, did) cut down.
The issue before the court on Monday was whether it was lawful for Brian Carter, attorney for the extractors, to disqualify Judge W. Bruce Watson. The move to disqualify came just two days after a Dec. 6 hearing in front of Judge Watson, who indicated he would grant permission for citizens sued by PL to file counter-lawsuits.
Today was a historic day and you directly helped bring it about! Not since 1877 have the electors been challenged in this manner. Today Senator Boxer and Representative Tubbs-Jones challenged the electoral votes from Ohio. As per process, the Senate and the House of Representative moved to their appropriate chambers to futher debate the issue.
During this time 10 Senators came forward (including Ron Wyden), came forward and spoke about the horrible problems in Ohio and elsewhere! In the house even more came forward to speak against the electoral votes from Ohio. Again I cannot emphasize enough on how historic this action was.
In the end both chambers defeated the challenge.
CSPAN censors Sen. Barbara BoxerCSPAN originally announced that one channel would be covering Senate and one covering the House counting of the Electoral Votes. Fair enough I thought. Next, before that, CSPAN2 actually had half of Sen. Boxer's press conference describing myriad problems with the Ohio voting infrastructure that showed systemic vote fraud.
HOWEVER, IT WAS CENSORED. DURING THE BOXER PRESS CONFERENCE, which was framed as a series of questions about all the different levels of fraud, CSPAN TWO CUT AWAY FROM HER, MUTED a Senator's voice to nothingness, and an anonymous voice came on and described "at this time, Senators and Representatives are moving to their respective houses, etc." and we saw several minutes of senators and representatives walking over, without anything actually going on, while someone made a decision to remove Sen. Boxer's statement from the visual live record, and move her to a smaller MUTE screen in the bottom left-hand corner while we saw silent Congress people walking, and walking, and walking. The walking had very important sound coverage. Sen. Boxer did not!
Meanwhile, where is Senator Kerry?Meanwhile, Senator Kerry is on an extended Mideast photo-op, "thanking the troops for their service." Apparently he'll be following the Electoral College vote and the Senate confirmation hearings for our new attorney general, Alberto Torquemada, on his Blackberry.
'Sean4489' writes: John Kerry is a piece of shit
related: [ Sen Wyden endorses Rep Conyers' Report, but certifies election | Stop hoping for a legitmate government, it will not happen | 1 real Republican in House opposes VOTE FRAUD versus Rep. Party that Descends into Nazism | The U.S. Senate Has Just Murdered American Democracy | Live coverage via C-span 2 on Vote Challenge | Four More Senators Join Electoral Objection | Breaking news: Kucinich To Join Challenge To Ohio's Electoral College Vote | Other senators ?to support Boxer in challenge? | Boxer Signs Objection to Ohio Electors ]
Tonight i had the pleasure of interviewing Theressa Litoski and Norris Thomlinson, who are active with the Central Portland Public Utility District (PUD) campaign. During our conversation we discussed the history of the ballot measure (including the previous Willamette Electric PUD initiative, which was thrown off the ballot last year), the current state of the effort, and future plans / next steps. Theressa and Norris also shared their opinion of the Willamette Week article about PGE that just hit the stands today.
TO LISTEN to the interview, which is about 40 minutes in length, click here.
Today, the city council just agreed to send our police to protect a President that, not only did 3/4 of us Portlanders oppose in the last elections, but whose Secret Service has become infamous in the last four years for suppressing public dissent at any appearances of Administration VIPs.
Today I got a good lesson in how government works. By "emergency ordinance" (therefore exempting the item from public review and second reading by the council) the city authorized sending 20 PPB cops to DC to assist the Secret Service at the Presidential Inauguration. This is the same Secret Service under whose authority the PPB sent its officers to brutalize Portlanders protesting the same president's visit to our town in 2002, resulting in a third of a million dollar legal settlement against the city.
The Forest Service released another egregious timber sale in Mount Hood National Forest, and this time convienently over the holiday season when the public was unlikely to notice. Public pressure early in the process has forced the Forest Service to drop much of the sale, but there are still many problems remaining that need to be addressed. BARK has been working on this sale from the inception and are calling upon the local community to help stop this sale and preserve our heritage.
Bearknoll Timber Sale is 531 acres and located in the White River watershed. Bearknoll is very diverse, with 12 species of conifers in the planning area, more than in most areas of Mount Hood. Bearknoll is located on the transition between Eastern and Western forest habitats and rests between low and middle elevations, with even Ponderosa Pine and Pacific Yew growing a few feet apart.
[ Latest news from BARK, incl. upcoming events I Oregon Forests Named as One of Nation's Biggest and Best Forests ] I [ more forest defense stories from pdx indy ]
Tre Arrow, an environmentalist, refugee and political prisoner, has been incarcerated in Canada for over nine months. He's awaiting an extradition hearing which would see him returned to his native country, the United States. While incarcerated, Mr. Arrow's case has gained international attention. The United States Government is seeking Mr. Arrow's extradition in connection with the destruction of logging equipment in Oregon, 2001.
This case is highly political, and Mr. Arrow is repeatedly and constantly referred to in the corporate media as an 'Eco-Terrorist'. Although Judge James Redden, in his ruling on the 2001 arson case against Jacob Sherman, stated that "The term 'terrorist' is not to be used in reference to this case or the defendants," the FBI and the Corporate Media continue to sell news by branding Mr. Arrow as an Eco-Terrorist.
Portland is planning to send 20 officers to be part of the "Presidential Inauguration Task Force (PITF)" who will be deputized as US Marshals and under the direction of the US Marshals, Metropolitan Police Department (Wash. DC cops), US Park Police and, you guessed it, the FBI.
The contract covers the dates of January 15 to January 21 and requires the City to cover the salary of the cops, including overtime. The Feds will cover the airfare, living expenses, and any expenses if the officers have to go to court (like to testify why they pepper sprayed babies in Washington DC).
I think that in a time of City budget crunch, when citizens are complaining there aren't enough police in their neighborhoods (even if that's not particularly a philosophy we agree with) and there are unsolved murders, when the cops themselves constantly complainm about being understaffed, and when a political battle over the Joint Terrorism Task Force just pushed its renewal off the agenda for the first time in 4 years, this is a very unwise move.
I'm sad to report that Chief Foxworth has already signed the agreement.
I hope other people can join me at City Council tomorrow, otherwise contact info is below for the new council.
We've been robbed again, and yet most voters probably know little about this latest episode of electoral travesty. The most under-reported story of 2004 is what happened pre-, during, and post-election Nov. 2. Yet the story of irregularities and fraud, occurring in many ways and in many different regions, may be a hard one for the public to follow, as the story line is complex, and the information is out there, but mainly in the alternative media.
Neither The Oregonian nor The New York Times have covered the topic in depth. Even the Nation only ran a simplistic piece by David Corn, who pooh-poohed the vote protest and echoed the Boston Globe in making the issue seem only of importance to internet conspiracists.
A movement of frustrated voters has risen around Oregon. "Clean Vote" sprang from the Multnomah County Democrats, with the catalyst being activist Bill Dodds. Portland's Action Speaks is a non-partisan group, which sprang from the efforts of Code Pink and others, with the principal spokesperson of Johnny Marie. Truth-in-Voting is active in Eugene, and has published a guest column in the Eugene Register-Guard.
These groups rallied at our state capitol on both Dec. 12 and 13, in synchronicity with the national vote protest movement. The Sunday event (Dec. 12) coincided with the "51 Capitol March" protests at the federal capital and other state capitols, and attracted over 200 people from around the state. Katy Eymann, activist and wife of Secretary Bradbury, was one of the many speakers; she pointed out that Oregon is one of only six states in the nation that do not have a lawsuit pending over vote irregularities!
related: [ CALL YOUR SENATORS! STOP THE FRAUD! | One Party with Two Name | Time to Put Democratic Senators on the Hot Seat | COBB TO SPEAK AT DC RALLIES ON THURSDAY | CHALLENGE TO LEGITIMACY OF ELECTION LOOMS IN CONGRESS JAN. 6 ]
On November 29, 2004, approximately 60 mental health workers in Portland, OR. went on strike against the Parry Center, a subsidiary of Trillium Inc. While Trillium is bent on destroying the union, the workers are striking for quality care and therapy for the Parry Center's approximately 38 severely emotionally disturbed children. The Parry Center is a long-term residential treatment facility.
I spent last Saturday night on the picket line, where about 60 mental health care workers are striking the Parry Center, allegedly an inpatient treatment center for about 36 pretty mentally disturbed kids, ages eight through 14 years old. I use the word "allegedly" quite specifically, because whether the Parry Center is a treatment center, as its managers allege or is something else, is exactly what this strike is about.
I got hooked into doing some picket duty through the familiar route. The union on strike is SEIU Local 503, my old union, and home of most of my friends. So a friend asked me what I was doing on Saturday night, and could I help picket? I said, "Sure!" (the American Saturday night party scene is vastly over-rated anyway.)
previous feature stories: [ Parry Center protest at ODS building downtown (12/17/04) | Update on the Parry Center Strike, Day 11 (12/11/04) | Call for Support for Parry Center Strike; Photos from Monday's actions (12/1/04) | Day 2 of the Parry Center Strike (11/30/04) | Group of Concerned Citizens Occupies Parry Center Offices (11/29/04) ]
Thanks once again for all the letters of support and encouragement. I think about you all quite frequently. This is just a short communique to address the concern or should I say rather the assumption that many of you have expressed that I must be finding it very difficult to be happy given the horrifying political climate of my surroundings. Let me please begin by assuring you that I am doing quite well. If I am depressed at all it is because I have to leave this land in less than 12 days.
Yes, the occupation fills me with a heart-wrenching guttural rage that makes my face twist up involuntarily if I think about it too much. Yes, sometimes I feel like an angst-ridden adolescent, crushed under the weight of the helplessness that I feel towards this madness, this sadistic arbitrary cruelty that I am powerless to stop, wanting to scream until I am hoarse and skin is stained red with hot tears, wanting beat my fists against the wall until they bleed. Yep, the occupation sucks, and it gives you sick, drowning feeling if you let it, but so does everything, if you let it, because I have known that feeling for years. Certainly, I find the political climate inside the United States no less horrifying, and no less aggravating. My palms have known the crescent-shaped fingernail imprints of exasperation for a long time, but you just can't walk around that way forever. The Palestinians don't(and certainly the soldiers don't, they let their tasteless Israeli techno ring loud and clear from every mountainside). You still have to live life.
[ Sami in Palestine: All Updates ]
It's New Year's Eve. Thousands of motorists are preparing to operate heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol. Portland Police are busy harassing cyclists. Due to heavy rains, blowing winds, and cold temperatures, Critical Mass turnout for December Critical Mass was even smaller than years of police harassment have made it. Despite only 5 riders meeting at North Park blocks, PoPo had a large presence.
At 5:55PM, there were 5 officers on bicycles; 2 officers on motorcycles; 1 cruiser with 1 officer; 2 undercover cars, one with 1 officer, one with 2. So a total of 11 officers, and 5 expensive automobiles "guarding" the public from 5 sodden but spirited cyclists preparing for "Critical" Mass. The Camaro Cruiser followed the mass for two blocks and then turned off to pursue other matters (perhaps even public safety, but no prior evidence suggests this).
A few blocks later the mass informed a taxi that it was driving without lights on, then continued for a merry and unpoliced ride of downtown and then onto the eastside, with shouts of "We're not blocking traffic, We are traffic!" and "If you love you're car, Set it free!", picking up 2 more riders early on for a grand size of 7(!).
[ read more ]
[ Past Critical Mass Stories, aka 'The Good Ole Days' ]
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