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17.03.2005 10:09
High Levels of Radioactivity Found in Columbia River Clams
Asian clam shells taken from the Columbia Riverbed near Hanford's 300 Area contain radioactive radium at more than four times background level, a new study has found. These findings highlight deficiencies in government efforts to protect Columbia River aquatic life and those dependent upon it.

The report, "Radioactive Bioaccumulation in Clams along the Hanford Reach" released today, found that the US Department of Energy (USDOE) fails to measure and report any radium entering the river from 300 Area. USDOE is responsible for the monitoring and cleanup of nuclear wastes at Hanford Site in Washington State. The study states the USDOE consistently under-reports levels of long-lived radioactive strontium and uranium. Some clam shells tested positive for uranium at 24 to 102 times background.

Clams were sampled from five locations along the Hanford Reach - the 50 mile stretch of the Columbia River that flows through Hanford Site - as well as from one upriver location for background comparison. Asian clams are a recognized indicator of Hanford's biological impact on Columbia River ecology. The study tested the clam flesh and shells, separately, as well as riverbed water, for short- and long-lived radioactivity.

see also: RadioActivist.org I Hanford Watch I pdx indy energy/nuclear topic page


17.03.2005 09:00
Video from March 14 women's blockade of Fiddler timber sale uploaded to pdx indymedia

i just watched this video, and it's amazing. First of all, this action happened Monday morning, and this is a well-edited video that got put together so fast. Secondly, the story is incredibly inspiring. All these women, together, with their own special brand of communal magic, standing (and in one case, hanging off the bridge on a platform) to stop the destruction of an old growth ecosystem. In the video, you get to see their faces and hear their words one after another in a moving collage about what's important to them and why they've chosen direct action. They are of many ages and backgrounds and one was nine months pregnant due to deliver four days later.

It's really says something about the Battle of the Biscuit that the resistance is made up of this beautiful diversity. No one can say that it's "just a bunch of radical kids" (not that there's anything wrong with that, thank you very much!) and as this news and these images get around, more people will inevitably be inspired to help however they can.

video (streaming quicktime)

Video from 3/7 Direct Action at Biscuit! See it at upcoming PDX indy video showings!

[ Archive of all pdx indymedia "Save the Biscuit!" stories ]


16.03.2005 20:29
"Wet Seal" store at Lloyd Center Mall targeted to stop selling fur
PETA and local animal rights activists have been gathering outside the Loyd Center Mall in Portland OR to educate people about a women's clothing store in the mall called Wet Seal that is selling rabbit fur. Wet Seal employees have said that they have been ordered to take all the fur items off their shelves and they no longer will be selling fur. But, without a written agreement, they can be sneaky and continue to sell fur.

Recently, a group of animal rights activists held signs and passed out literature, educating the public about Wet Seal selling rabbit fur and how they have not yet signed a public statement. The activists went inside the mall to tell Wet Seal again that they want a written statement saying that Wet Seal will no longer sell fur in their stores. A Wet Seal employee told an activist that she and other employees did not want fur at the store from the beginning and that she will personally call the Vice President Helen Rotherham to write a public statement.


16.03.2005 20:06
Hey Look! There Goes our Topsoil!
What's that up there in the sky? Is it a bird? A plane? A chemtrail? No! It's our topsoil, the stuff of life. The thin layer of humus, nutrients, and microorganisms that form the ground layer of our ecosystem. The thing our food grows in. Not worried? Here's why you should be.

The unseasonably dry winter and the powerful gusts of wind today have combined with our foolish timber and agricultural practices to create clouds of dust billowing by in the air. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, then you're already aware of some of the risks associated with this development. But the issue is much deeper even than that. The things we squander from the surface of our planet are hard won, unimaginably necessary, and not easily replaced. The complex and delicate forests that we carved off the face of the earth, for example, are gone forever. And now, beneath those vanished forests, and laying atop plowed fields and weeded lots and manicured gardens, is a quieter, less glamorous, but absolutely important resource that is about to be gone with the wind.


16.03.2005 20:03
Remembering Rachel
Are you gonna let Rachel Corrie down by using hate tactics? On March 16, 2003, two years ago today, Rachel Corrie was crushed and killed under an American-made bulldozer operated by the Israeli governement. This tragic event took place less than a week before the first bombs fell on the City of Bagdad. Indeed, some regard Rachel as the first casualty of that war.

Amnesty International is calling on Condolezza Rice for a State Department investigation but as yet Rice has not acted. Tommorow the Corries' attorney will be contacting US DOJ officials in this regard. They are also suing the State of Israel and Catepillar, manufacturer of the bulldozer that was used to kill Rachel.

[ Interviews About the Life and Death of Rachel Corrie and Pal Solidarity | Remembrance: Rachel Corrie 1979-2003 | previous posts about Rachel Corrie ]


16.03.2005 09:35
At the Oregonian, some lives are more equal than others
A three-way collaborative effort between Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Palestine Media Watch and If Americans Knew has produced a new report focusing on the news coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by The Oregonian. The report details findings on The Oregonian's news coverage of the conflict between May 1, 2004, and October 30, 2004.

The Oregonian's coverage was found to display clear double standards when it comes to reporting Palestinian deaths compared to Israeli deaths. The likelihood of a death receiving headline coverage clearly depended on the nationality of the person killed.

Analysis of The Oregonian news articles showed that 100% of all Israeli deaths were reported during the period of this analysis, and in many cases were reported more than once. By contrast, only 61% of all Palestinian deaths were reported.

Even more disturbing was the coverage of children's deaths, with only 28% of Palestinian children deaths receiving any coverage by the Oregonian, compared with 100% coverage for Israeli children.


BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 15.03.2005 12:52
42 arrested so far at Fiddler road blockades; Tree-sit up in Unit 5
Over 100 people gathered to witness the Women's Blockade Monday morning. Twenty women were arrested in a diverse array of tactics that halted logging operations in the Fiddler timber sale for nearly seven hours.

The on-the-ground campaign to save Fiddler Mountain is one week old; 42 people have been arrested. Resistance continues and a tree-sit is in place in unit seven.

"The broad-based coalition of activists from local woodsmen, local business owners, teachers, retirees, to Earth First! vow to continue protesting and blocking logging roads. We are united in a historic confrontation. The outcome of this struggle will have implications for national forest policy for decades to come," said Laurel Sutherlin of the Oxygen Collective.

Treatment of jailed forest defenders in Josephine County Jail "cruel and unusual punishment and unconstitutional"
While serious and violent offenders are released on a daily basis from the new Josephine County Jail, non-violent protestors are held, and even put into "lockdown" or segregation based upon their First Amendment-protected beliefs.

This form of lockdown or solitary confinement is an extreme form of punishment, particularly for non-violent protestors who were engaging in civil disobedience. "It is unconstitutional to punish a citizen prior to a Court hearing and jury determination of guilt. This gulag-style treatment is a travesty to a fair and just society," said Attorney Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

The deputies at the jail have been intimidating and attempting to coerce people by placing them into solitary confinement because of their opinions or beliefs.

[ pdx indymedia Save The Biscuit stories | more at Rogue Valley IMC ]


15.03.2005 12:42
Breaking News -- court records show Cobb-Badnarik-Kerry add charge of vote tampering
(RawStory.com/exclusives/) The lawyers for Green presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, along with Kerry-Edwards 2004 have added election tampering to a civil suit filed against the state of Ohio over problems with the state's recount, RAW STORY has learned.

The suit, detailed here, alleges that a manufacturer of voting machines, Triad Election Systems, which serves 43 counties in the state, is tampering with the recount. It is unclear exactly what recourse the plaintiffs' seek; the filing adds on to an original suit to have the recount take place before Ohio electors meet, which failed in the courts. Green Party spokesman Blair Bobier said the party hoped to reform the recount process and suggested Ohio should secure or impound voting machines.

'DT' adds: This story should be big news across the U.S.A. -- of course, it is systematically ignored by the corporate media. That's why I am reporting here at PDX indymedia.

[ pdx indymedia Election Fraud stories ]


POLITICS AS USUAL 15.03.2005 12:35
Democratic Senators Side with Credit Card Companies and Republicans to Screw Us
Last week the US Senate passed a bill making it much harder for people to declare bankruptcy. It doesn't matter if you were the victim of identity theft, are incapacitated by illness, or even if you made the mistake of signing up for the National Guard, and are stuck in Iraq--while your family goes into financial ruin back home (I wonder how many of these Senators have those idiotic "support the Troops" magnets on their SUV's).

This is a very bad bill. It passed 74 to 25, with 18 Democrats sucking up to their corporate donors and voting Yes.

related: [ Does the Democratic Party have a place at the table? ]


FOREST DEFENSE 14.03.2005 10:00
Direct Action continues in the Biscuit: Women Draw the Line Against Lawless Old-Growth Logging
Cave Junction, Oregon - In this latest action driven by determined elders, church members and conservationists, a large group of local women sat down on the "Green Bridge", to block logging trucks at dawn on Monday morning - offering themselves up for certain arrest - locking down in solidarity against the lawless logging of federally protected Old Growth reserves within the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area of SW Oregon.

Community elder and artist Dot Fisher Smith, 76, said "We are united in a historic confrontation and we are wearing black today in solidarity with the blackened trees; to give voice to the voiceless. These grandmother trees must not be violently ripped from the Earth. Those trees want to fulfill their birthright by providing shade, shelter and retaining moisture for the newly regenerating forest, as has occurred naturally for countless thousands of years."

[ Photo Of Biscuit Pod Action ]

Forest Service responds with road closure
Here's the press release from the Forest Service site. Note that the comment about a delay on Saturday is bullshit. There was no blockade on Saturday. Get ready to cross that line! Public lands not private proffit!

Interview with Joan Norman, one of the participants: "Tell them to come with Fire in their Bellies"
This morning, March 14th women took the bridge that allows entrance to the Biscuit Fire forests and a beautiful diverse National Forest. Among those women was Joan Norman. Joan is a 72-year-old woman who has been an activist for over 30 years. On March 8th she was arrested for blocking a bridge the leads into one of the most botantically diverse national forests on the North American continent. Z interviewed her on March 13th at the Siskiyou forest defenders camp near Selma, Oregon.

Joan: There are only 5% of the old growth trees left in the United States. They are clearcutting paradise; they are doing it in spite of a legal injunction. The courts don't work against evil anymore. It's time to stand up. Whatever rules and laws that civil society once had are now gone. This is the time we have been waiting for, we knew it would come, and we are the ones we have been waiting for. Yes, the people to rise up!

Video from 3/7 Direct Action at Biscuit! See it at upcoming PDX indy video showings!

background & recent news: [ Save the Biscuit action page ]


14.03.2005 08:29
Big Boxes and Backroom Deals about to Displace Bald Eagles
scappoose In a bucolic and little traveled area just outside of Scappoose lies Santosh wildlife reserve and associated acres of verdant wetlands and rolling green pastures. Herons, egrets, kestrels, double crested cormorants, northern harriers, red tailed hawks, muskrats, spotted frogs, white tailed deer, opossums, raccoons, kingfishers, and yes, bald eagles call this place home. Backroom deals and the good old boys are about to change all that.

In a series of mysterious maneuvers that I still do not fully understand, the Scappoose city council and Morse Brothers mining made a deal last year that promises to gouge up Columbia County in all sorts of ways. In return for a relaxing of mining restrictions all over Columbia County, Morse Bros agreed to lease about 100 acres of wetland near their Scappoose quarry to the city for development. I do not know the details here, so I cannot comment on how this all came about. But this is part of a dismantling of one of the few remaining thriving ecosystems along the Columbia river so near to Portland.

City officials in Scappoose have long been courting that elusively destructive, and yet strangely seductive thing called "development." It's hard to believe, in this bland world of chain stores and corporate logos, that anyone in their right mind would actually TRY to have their scenery shattered, local resources corrupted, and local economy gutted by inviting in big box stores and vomiters of industrial waste. But greed does make some people into short-sighted fools, and it sure doesn't hurt that a few people stand to benefit disproportionately by selling out their community. Yes, some people will make a killing off this development, while the rest of the city will be sold off into the slavery of cheap labor.

related: Mining to Scar More Earth in Columbia County (9/7/03)


SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS 13.03.2005 11:58
Sky lit up brilliant green by spectacular meteor
"az arany boci" reports: Ok I was hiking this evening through Tryon Creek Park when all of a sudden the forest lit up in green light. I looked up and saw what I thought was a flare and quickly realized its a beautiful big meteor! It had a green tail (traffic light green .. I am assume green from the iron burning off in the meteorite) with a ball of fire that was yellow-white and I thought there was blue in it (but that might have been my reconstruction after the event).

"J&D" write: We spent the sunset on the hobbit trails overlooking the ocean just South of the CARL G. WASHBURNE MEMORIAL STATE PARK... As I was getting back into the car I noticed that Moon was green, then I realized that the whole sky appeared green. I looked up and I saw the falling object glowing green and blue. It had a tail that was long and sparkling.

"az arany boci" adds: By the way in many cultures meteorites are the embodiment of the Divine specifically Eastern Mediterranean Goddesses (Cybele, Ishtar, Aphrodite and so forth) and of course Kalapuya and their descendants the Grand Ronde honored the "Sky Person" or Tamanamas or Tomanowos (called by dominate society "the Willamette Meteorite). Actually in Chinook Wawa "Tamanas" means spirit and implies something magical or supernatural.

previous related: [ Red Moon (5/15/03) | Full Lunar Eclipse graces Portland sky (10/28/04) ]


BASH CORPORATE MEDIA 13.03.2005 01:49
Just turn it off. It's all a load of shit.
Where, Oh where has the Media Gone? The Federal Government now functions like the Ministry of Truth in 1984. The New York Times has just released (about 50 years too late) a report on how what was once journalism in the U.S. has been replaced by news releases written by PR departments of big corporations.

For regulars here at PDX indymedia, this is old news. The purpose of this article is to ask people to carry the word out to everyone else -- don't let a single news story or attribution to any corporate news source go by without questioning its veracity on grounds that NOTHING put out by corporate media is anything but GOVERNMENT controlled propaganda! Most of the public is open to this idea and already suspects that it's true, but they still sometimes find themselves talking about what they have seen lately on the mainstream media.

And don't make much, if any, exception for NPR -- the most you can say for NPR is that there is a POSSIBILITY that the story has some validity, but NPR is as guilty as any of them of running canned pre-recorded bits from corporate PR offices.


13.03.2005 01:45
Book Review: Crimethinc's "An Anarchist Cookbook - Recipes for Disaster"
Recipes for Disaster: an Anarchist's Cookbook, is is the newest book by Crimethinc, a somewhat mysterious collective of activist publishers I've respected greatly ever since I read their "Days of War, Nights of Love" a few years ago - a book which I'm sure would have changed my life irrevocably if I'd been about a decade younger, and as it was still gave me tremendous energy and inspiration (although their "Evasion" books are a little less worthy of praise, but that's another story). Shortly thereafter I began hearing that they were working on this cookbook, and had been looking forward to it with mixed feelings ever since.


12.03.2005 11:53
FOUR Liquified Natural Gas Receiving terminals now proposed for Lower Columbia River
Four LNG termianls have now been proposed for the mouth of the Columbia River. Major players will be Shell/Bechtel. Other areas, like Vallejo and Eureka, California, Baja El Norte, Mexico, and Mobile, Alabama have booted out the priates. We can, too!

The transnational pirates have set their sights on the Columbia River, with FOUR LNG receiving terminals now being proposed: two on the mouth of the Columbia, the Graveyard of the Pacific, one about 25 miles upriver in Bradwood, Oregon,across from the Columiba White-Tailed Deer Refuge, and another close to Clatskanie, Oregon, The privateers have been kicked out of all the ports along the California coast, and had a failed incursion attempt into the Puget Sound last year. So they are desperate to occupy the Columbia, and have the first West Coast LNG termianl in the US(there are only four of these monsters in the entire US).

Reasons the corpos give for siting these massive, belching, smelly, volatile things surrounded by concertina wire and helidopter gunships and soldiers with M-16s here: The fact that Calpine Corporaation was allowed to sign a 65-year, transferable lease with the Port of Astoria without public input; Relative sparcity of population, economic vulnerability of the people(High unemployment rate, traditional resource extraction jobs pretty much gone), and social and political disempowerment of the population (low voter turn-out, high school dropout rates).


SAYING NO TO WALMART 12.03.2005 11:38
Anti-Sprawlmart Campaigns heat up in Beaverton & Gresham
no walmart There are two groups opposing Walmarts in the Portland area. GreshamFirst and Save Cedar Mill

Save Cedar Mill folks got a taste of what it's like to deal with Walmart last night at a meeting where 650 residents crowded into a small room and were offered blow-ups of the design of the new store. People were expecting a chance to vent and there was a lot of tension in the room. After it became clear that there was to be no public comment period, people starting chanting "no Walmart" over and over again. Finally, a man with a mike, got up, turns out he is the lawyer representing Walmart. Mostly he just complained about the tone in th room and how it was not nice for people to heckle him.

First-hand account from Cedar Mill meeting
Last night was Wal-Mart's neighborhood review meeting. It was held at the Kingstad Center, a small conference facilty in the Beaverton Creek office park. The meeting format used by Wal-Mart was, in fact, similar to what I'd indicated in my last email: stations descibing the various aspects of the project, with no formal presentation by Wal-Mart.

By 7:15 PM, hundreds of people had shown up. As required at neighborhood meetings like this one, attendees were required to sign in. However, there was only one sign-in station, causing a huge back-up of people who formed a line that snaked around the building. That line also included our state representatives, some of whom drove up from Salem to attend the meeting. As people went from station to station, there was a sense that their concerns and objections to the project were not being heard. Coupled with the long line of people waiting to get in and the fact that the room could only hold a small portion of the crowd that turned out, frustration quickly mounted. Attendees became quite boisterous and demanded a formal presentation from the Wal-Mart representatives and a chance to publicly voice their concerns about the project.

related: [ Have fun shopping at Whirl-Mart ! ! ]


12.03.2005 11:06
Live from Louisville: Immokalee Workers' Victory Celebration
Farmworker Dignity. About 80 farmworkers and 100's of their supporters have converged upon Louisville, KY, home of Yum! brands, the parent company of Taco Bell. Originally, this was to be a yet another mobilization to pressure to Taco Bell into recognizing its role in the supply chain of tomatos...

The feeling here is electric. It is more electric than in Seattle 1999. The reality is that people engaged in a strategic process that never strayed from neither the big picture, nor the limited goal. It was a strategy that employed tight messaging, consistent direct action, and a smart media strategy. It was a strategy that always believed in people power and invited in anyone who was willing to sign on to the goals of the movement. Students, faith-based, organized labor, everyone. It was a strategy that emphasized the voices of farmworkers: that they be heard in their own voice, from their own experience.

Building off of this type of strategy always takes a leap of faith.

previous related: [ Victory for Farmworkers! Taco Bell Agrees to Pay! (3/10/05) ]


11.03.2005 18:15
Willamette Week's Hypocrisy Exposed Again
Willamette Week was beholden to do favors for Old Town real-estate interests by receiving a subsidized, below-market-value rental rate on its former Old Town office space when it wrote a nasty, homophobic smear "expose" against the director of a social-service agency in an attempt to prevent the agency from locating in gentrifying Old Town. In a recent "Where Are They Now?" article, the sleazy paper repeats these antique charges against Michael Stoops and even went so far as to try to cause trouble between Stoops and his current employer, the National Coalition for the Homeless. The sleazoid tabloid has repeatedly regurgitated this disgusting smear, and yet again, in "Thirty Years of Willamette Week" (March 9), they do it again. This letter to the director of NCH sets the record straight.


10.03.2005 22:50
Battle for the Biscuit comes to Portland
i've been following the stories here on indymedia of the direct actions that have been taking place this week to stop the logging in the Fiddler Sale in the Biscuit area. It's been quite exciting to see that so many people have been willing to put their bodies on the line, and that so many have been supporting them. My admiration and gratitude totally go out to them.

i'm also impressed at how organized the outreach effort is. Today, outside my co-op, some folks had set up an info table to draw attention to their fight. They had photos printed up from the portland indymedia website, Call to Action flyers to distribute, and were making themselves available to spread the word and to collect donations. Many people stopped to talk to them and it was clear they were getting support! Such grassroots organizing inspires me.

Biscuit timber sale action orientation
This is an orientation to anyone interested in coming out here to save the ancient ecosystems of SW Oregon. It answers some questions and gives a run down of what to expect... details >>

for download: [ halfsheet on the biscuit situation for mass public distro ]

events: [ Rally to save our wild siskiyou Saturday morning ] [ PSUers: Fiddler/Biscuit Talk at Food 4 Thought at noon Friday, Special Request for Support ]


10.03.2005 22:04
Victory for Farmworkers! Taco Bell Agrees to Pay!
Taco Bell Picket in 2002 CIW to end Taco Bell boycott; Taco Bell to pay penny-per-pound surcharge demanded by workers, will work with CIW to raise farm labor standards in supply chain, across industry as a whole

March 8, 2005 (IMMOKALEE/LOUISVILLE) - In a precedent-setting move, fast-food industry leader Taco Bell Corp., a division of Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), has agreed to work with the Florida-based farm worker organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), to address the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry.

Taco Bell announced today that it will fund a penny per pound "pass-through" with its suppliers of Florida tomatoes, and will undertake joint efforts with the CIW on several fronts to improve working conditions in Florida's tomato fields. For its part, the CIW has agreed to end its three-year boycott of Taco Bell, saying that the agreement "sets a new standard of social responsibility for the fast-food industry."

related: [ Boycott's Over... And We Won! -Immokalee Workers get there penny/# ]


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