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Well kids, this looks like it might be it... Car culture is on the skids. GM & Ford look like they might be going under and they'll probably drag much of the rest of the world economy down with them. The word "depression" has started to get some serious use in the mainstream media in the last few hours (a few hours too late) and it would probably happen even if they weren't allowed to use the word. So what's it, the depression, going to be like?
As usual, this May Day there was a massive demonstration in Bogot?, Colombia. Hundreds of people from a diverse range of social movements took the streets to fight against capitalism. Walking along with the workers, there were a lot of young anarchists that agitated their black flags and shouted for freedom while hearing rock bands in a non-violent attitude. Suddenly, when the demonstration reached one of the main streets of downtown Bogot?, the police started to throw tear gas to the anarchists without any reason. Soon there was an explosion and the police initiated a violent repression, hitting people with wooden sticks and shooting rubber bullets in all directions. In this moment a 15 year old, who was walking inside the anarchist block, was badly beaten up by various policemen.
Today, at 1:30, students for peace went over to Jefferson to take part in a walk out. It started off quite, and everyone was afraid that it would not work. There was a rumor flying that if you participated in the walk out that you would be suspended. Many of us had our doubts, but in the end it, all worked out.
In April 2005, over a month later than expected, police informant William "Billy" Cottrell was sentenced for his role in a series of coordinated ELF arsons on four SUV dealerships, which saw the destruction of 125 vehicles.
Much to everyone's surprise, Cottrell was not rewarded for his cooperation with the courts, but instead was sentenced to eight years imprisonment. This sentence sends out a strong message that informants will no longer find favours with the courts.
I think actually it sends a message that the state didn't consider Cottrell an informant... He didn't tell them anything useful, because they already knew that if Cottrell was involved, so were Tyler and Oe... On the other hand, Cottrell's not viewed as having been cooperative with the courts or the FBI - he wouldn't play their game in the run-up to the trial, he refused to renounce his ecological views... The state don't like him, and neither do we.
Bear with me, I know few words inspire more boredom than "budget." But this is important. The Multnomah County budget is just about to break out of the secret box in which it's been fomenting since the commissioners learned that they were facing yet another gigantic funding shortfall. Although it's not slated to go public until Thursday, word about its substance has been eeking out bit by bit. And if you care about the people of this city, you're not going to like it. Despite the reputedly progressive leanings of Diane Linn and at least 3 of the four other commissioners, it looks like children, old people, people with disabilities, and people who are poor are about to get the shaft, while the Sheriff's department smiles.
About 40 people came out for the 90th anniversary celebration of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). We met at O'Bryant Square in late morning and visited and greeted eachother under bright, warm sunshine. Many of the women wore clothing-types from the long ago era. Gathering many WILPF banners and signs, we marched by police motorcycle escort up to the South Park Blocks at PSU. The giant, awesome peace dove which made an appearance last year at the Hiroshima nuclear bomb ceremony on Waterfront Park, was with us!
Amber Birmingham was arrested April 18th after unlocking from a 1200 lb. cement-filled barrel blocking the road to logging on the Biscuit timber sale at Fiddler Mountain. She stayed locked in while the Forest Service and County Deputies used a small dolly to precariously move the barrel to the side of the road. This was her second arrest, after she participated in the Women's Blockade of the Green Bridge on March 14th, and the court refuses to release her without bail, which is she refuses to pay. She follows in the footsteps of 74-year-old Joan Norman who has never paid bail in her life, and spent 18 pre-trial days in jail for her second arrest in March.
Portland Metro Pacific Green Party Chair opines that Portland should limit its municipal takeover of PGE to city boundaries as a way to ensure that it can control its destiny. It is possible that Portland could acquire all of PGE territory and lose control of a board of directors and discover it has minimal voice in its electricity destiny.Portland should condemn Portland General Electric assetts in Portland only, avoid a purchase of PGE "stock" and avoid collaborating with conservative interests outside of Portland that do not share Portland's values about ecology and sustainability.
About 200 people showed up to protest CAFTA. From all indication, it seems that Earl Blumenauer will vote with Gordon Smith and the other Republicans on this one. Call his office at 503.231.2300 to voice your opposition. Ask Earl to say it loud and proud: "I support fair trade and will vote NO on CAFTA."
Speakers included: Madelyn Elder, Pres. CWA Local 7901; Tim Nesbitt Director, OR AFL-CIO; Diego from the Amalgamzated Sugar plant in Nyssa (he drove 6 hours to get there!); Mary Mendez from Enlace America; and David Foster from the District 11 Steelworkers. They focused mostly on Oregon job loss, but Mary did speak about the lies that sold NAFTA to Mexican workers. Now we know that these agreements screw workers on both sides of the equation: US and Central America.Portland Central American Solidarity Committee I FTAA IMC I Roadless-Summer I Resistance to CAFTA in Central America (photos) (11/04) I CAFTA Protest at Rep. Blumenauer's (10/04)
We met in the North Park Blocks and there were speakers from unions, farmworkers, anarchists and Code Pink. Someone put up a maypole and unionists, anarchists, children, a farm worker and other people took hold of the ribbons that walked the may pole.
There were several hundred people who walked to the INS where speakers talked about legislation and corporation around immigrants and farm workers. Someone tried to burn a flag there and someone else tried to take it away and after a short tussle, the flag was given back and we all walked on.
We walked a mile or so to the World Trade Center where there was a banner strung across the street celebrating free trade. It was hard to hear the speakers because they did not have any kind of amplifying device.
[ May Day's Past, as reported to portland indymedia ]
It's Called TOPOFF 4 and it has happened in several cities already. We have a year to prepare: will we be ready to show the DHS how portland will respond?
I am imagining how WE would respond to a terror attack. the DHS would try to take us over to establish martial law, but we would hold potlucks in the streets, we would take over and plant gardens, we would rally to ensure that those who hold power in the council and state act following the will of the people.
let's not protest the Simulation, let's inhabit it! let's act as if there has been a terror attack and let's treat one another as if we were in the midst of a disaster and it was nessisary to care for one another. let activists stage neighborhood assemblies and permaculturists distribute composting toliets and let black cross treat the wounded.
THEY are using the senario to get better organized. so should we!
At 4AM I picked up the April 29th , 2005 Oregonian. It had a front page article titled "Joy in galley as Portland quits FBI task force" (It really did - I still have the paper!). By nine I came across the OTHER April 29th, morning (NOT the Street Final) that ran an article titled "Families living atop asbestos site to be moved" occupying the same front page spot instead - with no mention anywhere in the newspaper about the original PJTTF article or anthing about Portland's decision.
'Matilda' writes: All right, I admit it. I looked up this article online. I hate the Oregonian, I make it a point never, ever to read that rag anymore, after all they have done to prove themselves unworthy of so much as lining the bottom of my compost pit. But on my way home from work, I happened to walk past a paper box, and I saw that headline. ABOVE THE FOLD, no less...
So yes, I read the article online as soon as I got home. And damn if it wasn't what it seemed! It was all about how happy everyone here in pdx (even if not in Washington) was that the resolution passed, that people in the gallery were overjoyed, that Saltzman alone got a stony silence, and that when it passed, the gallery erupted into 3 minutes of applause. It also detailed the reasons why the proposal was so warmly greeted -- including the abuses of the JTTF and concerns of civil rights violations. It directly quoted the best parts of Potter's speech, and seemed to keep everything in appropriate context.
Just found out my State Representative, Mary Nolan, does not support Senate Bill 861, to stop the cruel and unnecessary force-feeding of birds for foie gras. This even though no Democratic State Senators voted against it, and two Republicans even voted for it.
She represents the west side of Portland - here is a map of her district (36): http://www.leg.state.or.us/nolan/hd36.jpg (If you want to find your state senator and representative, not to be confused with your Federal senators or representatives, go to http://votesmart.org
This makes me wonder what other issues she is basically a Republican on. Anyone have any ideas how to find a better candidate (i.e. a real Democrat) next time around?
more about foie gras from pdx imc: Radio - 'On The Air' with Matt Rossell talking about the foie gras campaign I Three Local Restaurants Drop Foie Gras I all articles
'me' writes: [To] The guy that got $700 in tickets on his bike in Gresham: Hey, court was a few days ago, how about an update? Lots of us want to know how your trial went! Please update us and let us know if you got off on those bogus charges!
'Rider' replies: So I went to court but since i was pleading not guilty, I will have a trial which has now been scheduled for 5/23. I hate the delay but since I dont have any $$ I guess time is good.
I have learned a few other things since then. After filing a written complaint against Officer Durbin, I got a response from Sgt. O'Keeffe (Traffic Supervisor) It read:
Thanking for taking your time to complete our "Citizen Comment Form" regarding the contact you had with ne of our traffic officers.
original post: [ Long story short, today I got $700 worth of tickets on my bike in Gresham ]
After some very eloquent public testimony, the city council today took the historic first step in whacking our society out of its complacency in the face of creeping fascism. At approximately 8pm tonight, we became the first city in the nation to call off the dogs. I'm tired after a long day, and so I will try to make this brief.
Suffice to say, there is finally a real mayor in city hall. Tom Potter took the time, both before and after the hearing, to talk to many of the people who came tonight, and to let them know they have been heard. At several points in the evening, he reminded people that he is the police commissioner, and he takes that responsibility seriously. Unlike the previous mayor, it seems, he does not intend to sit idly by while a rogue police force tramples the civil rights of the people of Portland. In a short speech he gave as the vote was being tallied, Mr. Potter referenced the corporate media's fearmongering attempts to force him to continue to blindly cooperate with the JTTF. He said that a media person had told him that, "If anything happens in the city, I'm toast." Not that this thought hasn't crossed my mind, or the minds of those who would like nothing more than to sabotage the effort to rid ourselves of the JTTF. But Potter calmly reassured those present that "the way we protect ourselves, is to take care of each other."
The crowd gathered at 5PM (about 65) There were some chants and Z21 interviewed several people. We chanted some chants:
-Don't give up the fight, our courts, our rights
-Save our courts
- E.M.P.I.R.E. does not spell demorcracy
We marched up Oregon Street to Wall, accross Greenwood and up the the Deschutes County Court house where several people spoke.
Portland: Rally to stop the Republican Judicial Takeover12:00 Noon on the stairs and sidewalk outside of the courthouse on Broadway and Main there was a rally, put on by MoveOn PAC. There were several speakers rallying the crowd to call senator Smith whos vote could stop this blatant corruption fo our system, and educating the public about this huge issue. The estimate was 600-775 people in attendance, all of whom were peaceful. After the rally ended, a small group of 50-100 (i never took a good count) people marched on the Portland office of Senator Smith in the World Trade Center to demand his office listen to our opinion. We marched up the skywalk and into the building intent on getting into the office, only to find the elevators shut down and the stairwell locked. One of the security officers forcefully ejected a female protestor from the elevator with no provocation.
The other "nuclear option"Senate majority (Republican) leaders have made it plain that either the Democratic majority must allow the Republicans to appoint Bush's extreme anti-environmental nominees for the Federal judiciary OR the Republicans will go ahead with what they (Republicans) coined as their "nuclear option" -- eliminating the long-standing Senate rule that allows unlimited debate on votes that rise to the level of issues of conscience for the minority. That's what filibusters have generally been about -- issues of conscience -- as when Oregon's Senator Hatfield attempted a one-man filibuster against the development of a neutron bomb back in the 1970's.
It turns out that the Senate Democrats have what they don't call, but could be called, their own "nuclear option." Democrats have made it plain that either the Republican majority must back down and allow vetting of Bush's extremist anti-environmental nominees for the Federal judiciary OR the Democrats will slow the Senate down to a crawl and block all legislation (except for matters of national security). When you look back at the history of this Congress, shutting down all legislation doesn't look like a bad idea. Shutting down the Senate would mean no more of Bush's so-called "reforms" -- bankruptcy "reform", tort "reform" -- and it would preclude any more talk of so-called "Social Security reform."
During World Week for Animals In Laboratories (April 23-30), activists hung a banner on the sign at the main entrance to OHSU's Oregon National Regional Primate center
According to a communication, activists encouraged others to: "Let the primate center know what you think of their crap research. Hang a banner. Visit a vivisector's house. Throw a brick. Invest in some spray paint. Let people know what's going on inside the hellhole of OHSU."
Portland's decision tonite [Thursday @ 6:30p] is very important, not only for the people of this city, but for the nation. If we finally sever ties with the JTTF, we will be the first city in the country to do so. Our courage will be contagious. And they know it. It's that domino thing they hate so much.
Don't get me wrong, this is far from the unequivocal in-your-face pullout that I would prefer. Too many loose ends still dangle, too many loopholes remain open. But this, if it happens, is one small stone that starts the landslide.
And so, the pressure is on. Thank God we have a real mayor this time, who might just put the best interests of the people ahead of concerns about what the corporate media will say. In any event, it's been a bumpy ride and it's not over yet. All the commissioners are still tallying public opinion, so if you would like to voice your thoughts, now would be a good time to be calling their offices. And if you want to see an interesting show, come down to the city hall at 6:30 this evening. [ Read More ]
On April 22, 1991, I was only 18 years old; I was out with some of my comrades planning to conduct a march and rally in the streets of our town, Beit Sahour, against the Israeli occupation of our land. This march was one of many peaceful protests held as part of what had become known as the 'first Intifada' (popular uprising), which had begun in 1987.
... on that fateful April morning in 1991, I discovered at one point during the demonstration that I was surrounded by a group of masked men who pretended they were also Palestinian protesters. They tried to talk to me in Arabic and ask me about "the location of the soldiers" in an attempt to fool me, but the man who spoke to me didn't pronounce the Arabic words correctly. It was at that moment I realized that I was actually surrounded by a death squad. [ Read More ]
Recent reports indicate that budget negotiators are considering "splitting the difference" between House and Senate versions regarding cuts to entitlement programs that would require $43 billion in cuts, including $12 billion to Medicaid alone. This level of cuts to Medicaid is substantially higher than even the President's budget proposal of $7.6 billion to that program.
A delegation of a dozen senior, labor and consumer groups encouraged Senator Smith to continue to stand up for Oregonians. The delegation delivered a letter signed by a broad group of organizations, thanking the Senator for standing up and encouraging him to continue to oppose cuts. Oregon Action delivered a book with the stories of 50 Oregonians who's lives depend on Medicaid.
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