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Finally, we're getting some moisture in the Inland NW, at least enough to slightly loosen the knot gripping the stomach of anyone who makes a living by putting seeds in the ground. By the end of last month, the driest February on record, area farmers were genuinely panicked. Every conversation with our neighbor, who's been farming the surrounding land for four decades, was about the weather.
No different from usual farmer conversation, I guess. Just more intense. "Never seen anything like it," he'd say over and over.
So even though they spend more time listening to market reports and talk show windbags than climate scientists as they ride around in their tractors and pickups, these guys might be increasingly sensitive to news such as findings from this new study out of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
The 11 activists arrested by the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Mounted Police after an altercation with seal hunters remain on the Coast Guard ship, possibly bound for Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Eleven crew members are being held prisoner on the Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard ship. The fate of the eleven arrested crew is uncertain. They have all vowed to refuse bail and to refuse food.
Assaulted with a deadly weapon, injured, and then arrested, and all this because they attempted to take a picture of a sealer.
see also: Latest info on arrested Sea Shepherd activists I Sea Shepherd activists to appear in court today I Sea Shepherd Crew Released from Custody
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
On February 28 Brazilian UN troops, part of the MINUSTAH mission in Haiti, stood by as police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing five and wounding dozens.
Following the demonstration UN officials condemned the shooting and for the first time stated that if this happened again they would intervene "with force if necessary". They also restricted the police from attending several demonstrations later that week.
These bold, and ultimately disingenuous, statements from UN special envoy Juan Gabriel Valdes created a moment of hopefulness and peaceful demonstrations swelled in numbers over the past weeks in response to the heightened security brought about by conspicuous police absence. People felt a new degree of safety and the nonviolent pro-democracy movement was gaining tremendous momentum.
Until last Thursday, March 24, when police once again opened fire on thousands of unarmed demonstrators in Cite Soleil as they courageously took to the streets to demand the return of President Aristide and the release of all political prisoners in Haiti. Reports indicate that between 3 and 5 people were killed.
related event! Saturday, April 16th, 2005 7:00 PM - Repression and Resistance: The Struggle for Democracy in Haiti; public lecture by human rights advocate and writer, Ben Terrall [ details ]
most recent reports from Haiti from Sasha Kramer: [ Police Brutality in Port au Prince puts UN Mandate to the Test (2005.03.25) | Walking a Tightrope Between Hope and Fear: Northern Haiti One Year after the Coup (2005.03.17) | Lavalas Officials throughout Northern Haiti Forced into Hiding (2004.12.24) | Community Schools in Northern Haiti: A plea to the international community (2004.12.23) | Peaceful Demonstration in Cap Haitien a Success despite Ongoing Repression / Beloved Mayor Continues to Serve his Community from Hiding (2004.12.21) ]
previous reports to portland indymedia about Haiti by Zoe Moskovitz and Sasha Kramer: [ The Politics of Injustice in Haiti: The Cases of Auguste and Chamblain (2004.09.01) | Hard hit Municipalities:The Attempt to Destroy Lavalas and the Consolidation of the Coup (2004.08.21) | The Dismantling of Popular Education Under the new U.S-backed Regime in Haiti (2004.08.21) | Reportback form Haiti: Resistance and Repression Six Months After the Coup (2004.08.21) ]
More info: [ HaitiAction.net ]
Today, as I often do, I commuted to work by bike. Living at 75th and Holgate and riding to 242nd and Burnside in Gresham is a pretty long ride for me on my mountain bike but one that I usually thoroughly enjoy.
Nearing the end of my ride in downtown Gresham, I cut through a parking lot as I always do. Taking a right out of this lot, I see 3 guys crossing the street. Otherwise the street is void of traffic. We did this I kinda stop, they kinda stop, who is going to do what sort of thing. Like a deer in headlights. I manuever around the guys thinking no harm no foul. Even though and especially so that one of the guys' coat was open and I could see a badge attached to his belt.
Thinking everything is cool, I approached the next stop sign. T-intersection across from Jazzy Bagels.
As I got to the intersection, one of the guys (officers) yelled at me from behind. As I always wear a helmet I didnt hear what he said, but being an avid rider, I am used to being yelled at. Especially in Gresham. And as usual my rhetorical response is fuck you!(say what you will)! Badge or no badge you yell at me and I will yell back. I did. Fuck You!
Message I received this morning..(Thursday)regarding 74-year-old Biscuit resistance warrior Joan Norman.
"Joan got out of jail last night; her attorney was granted the emergency release petition, and she was released O/R. Friends and supporters welcomed her and they went out for pizza and beer."
She is reported to be in great spirits and she spent her time in jail administering to other women to find their courage and thier spirit to rise up!
I write this by the glow of my laptop screen and the flame of a palm oil candle. When I arrived home to my room this evening the only light was from the white petroleum wax candles that were burning in the window of each floor of the hotel. The electricity was out most of the day as well.
The power goes out where I am staying at least once a day, sometimes for a few minutes, other times for hours at a time. When it first happened, a few hours after my arrival, I thought that it was intentional, remembering the first time that I was in India, in Jaipur, where electricity would be cut for two hours a day in each district for energy conservation purposes. From 4-6 o'clock we would sit in the clinic where I was studying Ayurvedic medicine, enjoying the loss of the computer, the lights and the noise that electrical power produces.
I came to look forward to this time, and thought it a great idea that could benefit every industrialized country where electricity churns 24 hours a day.
The Environmental Action Community, a student group at the University of Montana, has worked to build awareness here on campus, to educate, and to activate our students and faculty in solidarity with the efforts to halt the Biscuit logging project. The Wild Siskiyous Banner looks great at the University of Montana!
The Envrionmental Action Community tabled in the University Center, describing the cutting of protected Late Successional Reserves and the threats to Roadless Areas from the Biscuit Logging Project. The Siskiyou's bioregion is of international significance and efforts to stop this destructive logging project are important throughout our country. Montana has over 6 million roadless acres and most people are strongly opposed to development of roadless areas. This issue resonates strongly here.
By "PDX Dragon": In a 3-2 vote, the City Council postponed the resolution that would affect the Portland Police Bureau's participation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The resolution would have mandated that no police officer can have a higher security clearance than the Police Chief or Mayor (who in this case is the Police Commissioner).
Leonard and Adams voted against postponing the resolution. Mayor Potter, Salzman, and Sten voted for the postponement. The rationale for postponing was to give a 3 week chance to negotiate with the FBI. Even if an accord is made, this proposal is important, and should be passed regardless.
The Leonard/Potter Proposal: Observations and OpportunityBy "somone": It was an emotional and exhausting night and one filled with high spirits. It was refreshing to see the council willing to joke with each other and make jokes at their own expense. It was a night filled with honesty, whether it was Leonard's commitment to achieving oversight or Saltman's concerns about "the headlines" or the numerous citizen testimonies I got the impression that there was a lot of truth spoken tonight.
PJTTF: Another Frustrating NightBy "CatWoman": There were some definite differences this time around. First, we all had hope going in, which might be why the end result was such an unexpected blow. But there were other differences as well. Unlike past hearings, under a different mayor, those (very, very few) who supported the PJTTF were expected to offer whatever meager comments they had along with everyone else. They had to wait in line, and they were given the same 3 minutes as any other public citizens. (Those who have attended past hearings will remember that PBA representatives, timber companies, and other supporters were allowed to come up and testify before anyone else, and were not timed. Their testimony was given special privilege then, as if the rest of the people packing the chambers were just a lot of rabble.)
It was also refreshing that Mayor Potter was not glaring wickedly at speakers, as has occurred in past hearings, nor was he cutting people's testimony short each time the 3 minute clock ran out.
related: [ PJTTF Resolution Get set-over for 3 weeks ]
At about 11:30am today, forest activists erected a giant tri-pod in the middle of 2nd Avenue, in front of the Forest Service building. They blocked traffic and made a ruckus to bring attention to the insane and illegal logging that is commencing down in the Siskiyous.
Thank God there are so many people willing to put their words, their freedom, and their bodies on the line in this great struggle for the last ancient forests in the world. It was awe inspiring to see so many people chanting, singing, and speaking out to save what is left of our planet.
Pax eloquently ministered to the crowd from his perch in the air above 2nd avenue, and the crowd chanted their support from the ground. A corporate "reporter" asked whether he knew he was about to be cut down and arrested, to which he replied that he did. The "reporter" then asked how he felt about it. Pax said, basically, that it sucked to have to be arrested, but that it was a small price to pay. He reminded the reporter -- who will never air the words I think -- that the last forests are falling, and desperate times call for desperate measures. The police moved in, blocking traffic and milling around for awhile, trying to figure out what to do.
related articles: Breaking News Archive from March 30th I Breaking News: Direct Action in front of Forest Service Building downtown I Biscuit Protesters Block Street in front of Forest Service, 11:30 Am (images: 1 I 2 I 3)
With "Jordan offers up a 'sparkling' retort", a fluff piece in the current Portland Tribune about one small part of the FBI's PJTTF press conference last week, the reporter responsible has outed herself as superficial, snotty, and a liar. Which is par for the course for the corporate media, but always worth pointing out, especially when there's clear audio/video evidence to prove it.
Even though she targeted an indymedia activist in her story, the Portland Tribune writer apparently didn't pay any attention to the content on the portland indymedia website about the same event. If she had, she might have reconsidered delivering up the piece of schlock that she did. First, the article, "A fresh breeze blowing through City Hall; Potter and Leonard's resolution challenging the PJTTF" takes aim mostly at the corporate media's behavior that day, criticizing local reporters for not digging deeply, asking hard questions or taking the issues seriously. Which she does, splendidly, in her cute little piece. Secondly, the audio of the event was posted to the site as well. Anyone can go listen to it and hear quite clearly that she is LYING. Jordan does not answer the question "matter-of-factly"; he just spouts more rehetoric. Go ahead, read the text or listen to it yourself. It's not that the reporter is merely being charitable or fauning (as they often are around people like Jordan); she's actually creating something out of thin air that's not there in the first place.
i'm not going to call this reporter "stupid". i find it difficult to believe that anyone could interpret Jordan's War-On-Terror-ese non-sequitor as "matter-of-fact". Instead, like many of the others in her industry, the only explanation must be that she personal supports Special Agent Jordan and the draconian methods of the FBI, and is expressing that support through the production of slap-dash, low-quality, trivializing, misleading & mischaracterizing "journalism" like the article in question. That's what makes what she did a LIE, and not merely a "difference in opinion". It wasn't an error, or a lack of intelligence -- it was purposeful.
Corporate media people are just about the lowest form of life on earth.
Olympia Pizza Time franchise owner Richard Kelley locked out all nine striking workers by closing the store on Feb. 21st. The last negotiations between Pizza time workers and Kelley broke down when Kelley insisted he would open the store if workers accepted wages below state law. Pizza time workers refused Kelley's unreasonable condition.
Pizza Time workers took their case to the National Labor Relations Board. A federal investigator interviewed the workers and Kelley. The investigator informed the workers that federal labor law offers no protection from owners who close their own stores. Pizza Time workers are in need of a labor lawyer.
On March 8th Pizza Time workers joined in solidarity with the Global Women's Strike. The Global Women's Strike is a day to recognize the value in work women do, most of which is not paid or is underpaid, and for women around the world to realize the power and autonomy they have when they stand together. Pizza time workers made pizzas and helped feed local women on strike for the day.
related articles: Olympia Pizza Time Workers go On Strike--support needed (2/13/05) I Infor From Free Radio Olympia I Info From Media Island
There appears to be a new market for biodiesel. This is beyond cars, trucks, or buses, but now includes aircraft. The USDA has being doing research with biodiesel and believes that an avaition formulation is possible. The ramifications are that while aircraft travel is not a personal need, I much prefer the exhaust of that industry having the impact like french fries smell than what is being burnt now. And if farmers can make a few extra bucks doing it, cool.
more on biodiesel: Bio-Diesel: Salvation or Disaster? I Biodiesel History I Oregon Biodiesel Workshop
Joan Norman, 72, of Cave Junction was arrested on March 14 during a demonstration blocking logging trucks from entering Fiddler Mountain, part of the Biscuit timber sale in the Siskiyou National Forest. This was Joan's second arrest that week. The courts revoked her conditional release due to her "repeat defender" status. There have been 48 arrests since logging began in Old-Growth reserves on March 7th; Joan Norman is the only activist to remain behind bars. Norman will not post bail as a matter of principle.
Supporters are launching a "Joanathon" fund-raiser in her honor: "Joan is sacrificing her freedom, her access to fresh air and sunshine, each day that she is in jail. Her commitment to the defense of the forest is inspiring. I challenge us all to make a donation to the Biscuit Legal Fund in her honor. This money will contribute toward ongoing legal challenges against the Forest Service plan of destruction," said Shelley Elkovich of Ashland.
Peter Young was arrested on March 21st in San Jose, CA. He has been "WANTED" since 1998 after being indicted on charges of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act by releasing mink from a Wisconsin fur farm.
Peter has been able to make a couple of calls out, and received his first visitor today BUT he has now been told that he had forfeited "all his rights" and his phone privileges have been revoked because he refused to take a non-vegan TB test. As a result he is now being held in high security isolation - unable to make phone calls or trade for food. Since being jailed the only thing Peter has been given that he can actually eat is a small amount of lettuce. Peter desperately needs our help so that he can remain in touch with his supporters and start getting food he can eat.
[ SupportPeter.com ]
The expanse of the eastern sky opened up and from the top of the Himalayas a mighty rain fell. All day and all night, for two long days and three nights, with no bursts of sun or hint of cessation. Sometimes it came down so fast and furious that we all shifted our attention to witness this astonishing act of nature, fat rain drops pounding on and bouncing off the pavement. At times the drops were fewer, giving enough of a reprieve so that we can rush to our next destination.
But is this an act of nature or are we witnessing something else? The people who have lived in this place for many years say that this weather is very uncharacteristic, as were the snowfalls that blanketed them on three separate occasions a short while back. They shake their head in disbelief, as they sit and watch and wait and worry. Too much rain sends the tourists scrambling for warmer, drier, sunnier locales; business drops as does the spirits of the men with families to feed.
I have heard from travelers all around the world about the bizarre weather that their country has experienced this year. In my own home, the rain was scant, the dry deserts of California usurping it from us. There, mudslides and flooding claimed lives and homes. Forest fires are assured for Oregon, the rainfall way below average this year.
We've completed two years since the beginning of the war. These last two years have felt like two decades, but I can remember the war itself like it was yesterday.
The sky was lit with flashes of red and white and the ground rocked with explosions on March 21, 2003. The bombing had actually begun on the dawn of the 20th of March, but it got really heavy on the 21st. I remember being caught upstairs when the heavier bombing first began. I was struggling to drag down a heavy cotton mattress from my room for an aunt who was spending a couple of weeks with us and I suddenly heard a faraway 'whiiiiiiiiiiiiiz' that sounded like it might be getting closer.
I began to rush then- pulling and pushing at the heavy mattress; trying to half throw, half haul it down stairs. I got stuck halfway down the staircase and, at that point, the whizzing sound had grown so loud, it felt like it was coming out of my head.
I already realized that, of course, but it became just so abundantly clear this morning when I listened to ABC Radio News.
The contents (such as they were) were a detailed update on the Terri Schaivo case, a report on how Martha Stewart dislikes her monitoring legband, an update on the status a few other Hollywood celebrities, a report on the Pope's health, and a report on Prince Rainier's health. The Martha Stewart and Terri Schaivo reports were by far the most detailed, especially the latter.
Ahh, yes, Schaivo. If there's any better example of a non-news item that's being endlessly repeated in order to distract human sheep from thinking about real news, I can't think of one.
Regrettably, the Temporary Restraining Order sought by Cascadia Wildland Project (alongside The National Forest Protection Alliance, Native Forest Network, and Klamath Forest Alliance) was not granted on appeal by the 9th Circuit.
This DOES NOT mean that this, nor the other lawsuit filed by the Siskiyou Project (along with American Lands Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Pacific Rivers Council, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society), will not eventually stop the logging in the Biscuit -- it just means that logging will continue for at least another few weeks until the next round of legal battles.
Updates on this and other legal matters below...
CM this friday, was actually not bad! for the last two years, it's been a constant barrage of harrasement and brutality by the police. the noticeable exception was january's ride, when the Mayor rode with us (big props to the Mayor for having the political guts to stand up for us). no tickets were issued that ride. we thought it may be the return of the Golden Age of CM. february proved us horribly wrong, with no mayor and a whole bunch of harrasment, tickets, and motorcycle cops.
apparently, due to pressure from a handful of dedicated bikers from Shift to Bikes.org, the police heirarchy has agreed to only have bicycle cops follow the ride. yes, i know this sounds like a hollow victory, after all, we're still being policed. but, compared to the last couple years of beat-downs, this was a vast improvement. i don't think any tickets were given to cyclists, just a few verbal warnings. that's one of the first official CM rides we've had without a slew of tickets in the last two years! and apparently, that's the new protocall for dealing with CM, issue verbal warnings first, then ticket second, and bicycle cops only, no moto-pigs.
related: February Critical Mass: Tom Potter fails I Critical Mass Went Back to Normal...Police Issuing Frivolous Tickets (feb) I Going to Mass, with the Mayor (jan) I Portland Police waste taxpayer money for Critical Mass (dec) I Portland Critical Mass Website I Bikes and Transportation Page
I stayed in Delhi for a few days before making the long journey north to Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and many exiled Tibetans. A favorite place of mine in India, it felt like home the first that I visited, over four years ago.
I arrived in the early morning hours, in the dark rain with nowhere to go. I had heard that due to the Dalai Lama's teachings there were no rooms available. So, I ended up going a mile or so out from the main area of upper Dharamsala (or McLeod Gang as it's called) to a smaller community called Bhagsunag. I had been to this area before, but only to visit briefly during the day. I figured that I would remain here until a room opened up in McLeod Gang, since that is where I had Indian and Kashmiri friends, and where I wanted to hang out.
Now, more than two weeks later, I remain in Bhagsunag. The McLeod Gang that I once knew and loved has changed. Busy, noisy and growing fetid, the magic of this place is largely gone for me.
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