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POLICE STATE UPDATE 29.04.2002 22:27
Kroeker and L.A. - Now what?
Current Portland Chief of Police Mark Kroeker announced his plan to apply for Chief of Police of Los Angeles at a press conference last Monday (4/22). While the announcement may not have surprised many Portlanders or Angelenos -- given Ex-LA Police Chief Bernard Park's recent fall from grace or Kroeker's public exultations stating five years in Portland seems difficult to do -- it comes at a time when Assistant Chief Mark Paresi will also be leaving the department. With the two top positions open in PPB, will city government and the police department take this opportunity to gain the trust of Portland citizens?

As well documented by groups like Portland CopWatch and the Police Accountability Campaign (PAC-2000), Kroeker has a history of making homophobic, misogynistic statements and running away from creating a police force that works with the community and really is about serving and protecting the community. Does Kroeker actually have a real opportunity of replacing Bernard Parks in Los Angeles? Will Portland actually get a police chief responsive to the populace? Probably no to both questions. Gay and Lesbian groups in Los Angeles were able to nix his last bid for chief there and it seems he has a bigger battle this time around. Judging the hostility with which city hall has fought against having a citizen's review board for police crimes, it doesn't appear that currently a move to have a humane police chief is in the cards.
[ Full story: Kroeker And LA - Now What? ]

[ Community Policing or Community Occupation? (more about Kroeker, on LA IMC) | Portland Copwatch | PAC 2002 | Portland Police Bureau ]


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REAL SUSTAINABLE GROWTH 29.04.2002 22:05
Expansion of People's Co-op taking shape
The site of the People's Co-op expansion on 21st and Tibbets SE was abuzz with activity on Sunday afternoon. The sun shone down on a dozen volunteeers working on the cob walls of the new building. Cob is made of clay, sand, and straw and is kneaded like bread dough into a thick consistency that can be shaped while wet, but that dries solid and brick-like.

Cob isn't the only groovy aspect of the expansion and renovation of People's. A resevoir has been buried under the property to collect rainwater, which will be used with the building's toilets. A heat exchange system for warming in the winter and cooling in the summer has been built by putting a pipe with a coil 300 feet into the ground underneath. It is the first of its kind in Oregon. The upstairs of the new structure will have a beautiful community room with high ceilings.

Work on the cob portions of the new People's structure needs to be done by the end of May so that the cob can have enough time to cure by the scheduled grand opening in September. Volunteers are always welcome and can come on any Saturday or Sunday in May, starting as early as 9:00 a.m.

Other opportunities to learn about cob and other environmentally friendly technologies will be available during the Natural Building Convergence (NBC) in May. The five completed projects in SE Portland will showcase the aesthetic, environmental, and economic benefits of building with natural and reused materials. All ages are welcome but NBC requests pre-registration.


9.11 INVESTIGATION 27.04.2002 22:47
Discussion and defense of Michael Ruppert's argument
From the open publishing newswire, a commentary about the case being made by independent journalist and 9.11 investigator, Michael Ruppert:

"Michael Ruppert (MR) recently spoke in Portland where his views have been heard and discussed on KBOO-FM. He claims George W. Bush and others in the United States Government (USG), one, knew ahead of time there would be attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and other places September 11th, two, were complicit in those attacks, and three, acted out of an ongoing criminal enterprise involving oil and drugs. One response to MR's claims made by Norman Solomon, Chip Berlet, and others, has been to question the intelligibility of these claims. For example, Mr. Berlet accuses MR of being a conspiracist who thinks that there's a secret group of elites responsible for all the evil doings in the world. Mr. Berlet argues that to make G.W.Bush involved in a conspiracy of such a wide scope is comparable to engaging in other obviously discredited conspiracy theories involving Jewish bankers and Freemasons. MR has certain problems with his argument and the claims he's made about Bush, et al, but he does not have the problems that Solomon and Berlet says he does."
[ Read more ]


PROTESTING ISRAELI OCCUPATION 27.04.2002 14:38
Portland activists conduct Israeli checkpoint street action
Yesterday at the weekly Friday Rally, Jews For Global Justice carried out an 'Israeli Checkpoint' action which lasted more than an hour through a steady rain. Between 15 and 20 people participated, wearing white suits.

The action took place at the northwest intersection at Pioneer Square. Each time the light would turn red, one group of activists would blockade the road using large signs painted with Israeli flags or saying Israeli Checkpoint on them. One person with the megaphone would loudly declare it to be an Israeli checkpoint, and then inform drivers what they could expect if they were Palestinian and it were an actual Israeli checkpoint. When the light turned green, they would part to let the cars pass, and repeat again at the next light.

While the cars were stopped at the 'checkpoint', 3 others also wearing the white suits, went to each car to pass out flyers describing conditions at the Israeli checkpoints. Many women have had to give birth at a checkpoint, and even more have bled to death as an ambulence was stuck at the check point. People on the way to work, can spend hours stuck at the checkpoint, or may not even get through at all. You may be strip searched for no reason other than to humiliate.

What is a checkpoint? In the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel, a checkpoint is a roadblock that has been set up to block Palestinian traffic. There are over 100 checkpoints separating palestinian towns from one another. A Palestinian may not travel within Palestinian territories without passing through an Israeli checkpoint staffed by armed Israeli soldiers and tanks. Palestinian vehicles bear blue license plates; Israeli vehicles bear yellow plates.

Full Account with Photos

For more information visit http://www.auphr.org and http://www.palestinemonitor.org


YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK 26.04.2002 20:57
NIH audit reveals massive waste of research money at Oregon lab
(HILLSBORO)--Today, Elaine Close, of the Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing (CAAT), held a news briefing in front of the Oregon Regional Primate Center to release an independent audit of the National Institutes of Health, authored by Michael Budkie, a national research analyst with Cincinnati-based SAEN. The Oregon Regional Primate Center is among dozens of research laboratories named in an independent audit of the National Institutes of Health that suggests there is a massive "waste" of tax money - including nearly $110 million at the ORPC alone - on useless, redundant studies.

The audit estimates the cost to taxpayers for the wasteful spending could be as much as $1 million an hour. The report details examples where the identical research - all funded by the NIH - is duplicated needlessly in scores of labs. Mr. Budkie notes that the number of experiments on animals that are duplicated excessively is increasing. As of 2001, NIH-funded research on animals included about 30,000 separate projects at a cost of $8.5 billion. That's an increase, Mr. Budkie said, of more than 18 percent since 1997 and 37.3 percent since 1991.

One study Close cites involves studying the cardiac effects of cocaine in mice with the animal equivalent of AIDS. In order for results to be predictive, Close says human and rodent cardiac systems would need to be the same. They're not. An essential component of discovering a remedy for a medical problem is charting its path of "infection." Mice don't get AIDS. Mice don't use coke.
[ Full story ]

CAAT is one of the sponsors of the World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL) conference at PSU this weekend (see feature immediately below).


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FOREST ACTIVISM 26.04.2002 15:35
Rally against Umpqua Bank in Eugene
About a dozen people demonstrated against Umpqua Bank at the its 11th & Oak location in Eugene today. The rally was organized by the Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) and featured huge banners and a cut-out of a tree to attract the attention of the lunch hour crowd at this active intersection.

Activists are targetting Roseburg-based Umpqua Bank for several reasons. First, its chairman, Allyn C. Ford, owns Scott Timber/Roseburg Forest Products. Scott Timber is being given old-growth forest in the Willamette, Umpqua, and Siskiyou National Forest to log in exchange for a Siuslaw National Forest sale that was canceled. This is being done under laws that require replacement sales of "like, kind, value and volume" when a sale is canceled. The Siuslaw sale, however, was made up of second-growth trees that are not at all "like or kind" to Willamette's old growth, which makes this trade a violation of the law.

Secondly, 20% of Umpqua Bank -- which was referred to as "stUMPQUA" in CFD's literature -- is owned by timber interests. The largest single shareholders in the bank are Milton and Lynn Herbert, owners of Herbert Lumber.

Saying that "putting our dollars into Umpqua Bank is a vote for the continued depletion of Native and Ancient Forests in the Northwest", the Cascadia Forest Defenders are urging people to boycott the bank.


FOREST ACTIVISM 26.04.2002 14:16
Spring forest campaign underway with weekly timber sale hikes and public comment campaigns
photo of Clark Timber sale, borrowed from Cascadia Forest Defenders website With the unexpected death of activist Beth O'Brien still fresh in the mind, forest defenders continue to work hard to protect this lands native forests through educational hikes, public comment campaigns and other means.

Every Sunday through the spring and summer, BARK and the Cascadia Forest Alliance are hosting hikes to timber sales in Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They are encouraging people to go out and learn about the commercial timber sale program and ways to help protect our few remaining native forests.

This Sunday, April 28th, the hike will visit the Granite timber sale in a riparian area of the Clackamas watershed. It will focus on the cumulative effects that logging has on sensitive aquatic species. Read For Details

Also, BARK is asking people to mail comments to the Hood River Ranger district on the proposed Bear Knoll Timber Sale by May Day (May 1st). This sale is over 800 acres with 217 acres of clear-cuts, old growth logging, and much road building in a Tier 2 Key Watershed (used for domestic drinking water). Commenting on sales while they are in the scoping period is an important way to influence the direction of the sale. Read More

[ Cascadia Forest Alliance | BARK ]


RISE UP AND DO SOMETHING 22.04.2002 00:26
Michael Moore speaks to sold-out crowd in Eugene

Michael Moore delivered one of his trademark fire-and-brimstone oratories at the University of Oregon on Sunday, April 21, taking on the Bush administration, Democrats, the lack of investigation into 9.11, and pathetic (nearly nonexistent) state of democracy in the United States. The engagement sold out several days in advance and not one, but two "feeder rooms", where his speech was simulcast on large screens, were needed to handle the crowd that turned out. Moore is currently on tour promoting his book, "Stupid White Men", which has been #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for four straight weeks (much to Moore's astonishment).

"This isn't a war on terrorists. This is a war on us"
"Why are our leaders and the media afraid to ask questions?" Moore demanded. "I have some questions. I'm an American. Someone I know died that day." Moore asked: "First, what are the financial connections between the bin Laden and Bush families?" Citing the New York Times and the New Yorker, Moore mentioned that the bin Laden family has been "funding" the Bushes since 1979. In that year, Arbusto, George W.'s first company, an oil business in Texas, started with the help of bin Laden money. Moore also noted that the bin Ladens are major investors in the Carlyle Group, which was founded by George Bush Sr.

For perspective, Moore speculated on what would have happened if a similar relationship had been discovered after the destruction of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, in 1995, and it had turned out that the McVeighs had been funding Clinton since the 70's. "Would anyone have asked to investigate or appoint a special counsel? Wouldn't the press have asked even one question?"

"This isn't a war on terror," Moore stated. "This is a war on us, to shred the Constitution and take away our liberties. They think they're going to get away with it."

A questioner mentioned Mike Ruppert's recent appearance in Eugene, and asked Moore's opinion of him. "I've read his website," said Moore. "He's asking some good and scary questions. Much scarier than mine. We should all be asking these questions."
[ Read more: "Michael Moore speaks in Eugene" ]

"speaking truth with integrity"
In a newswire post about the event, one person described Moore this way: "I really appreciated his down to earth and unabashed delivery of what's really going on out there, in america. That is how I found him to be in his lecture tonight - speaking truth with integrity, as well as with humor. He speaks of some very serious issues, but his humor makes them easier to hear. Like the way that he asks the audience why we allow such blatant deception to go on right under our nose. Why we allowed George W to steal the election, why we go out of our way to vote for a lesser of two evils knowing that they only have the interests of the wealthy in mind."
[ Read more: "Slackers Unite! Rise up and do something!" ]

"His outrage was palpable and infectious"
Another account of the Michael Moore event begins: "I went to hear Michael Moore at the University of Oregon on Sunday, April 21st. He was actually quite good. I did not know he was such a marvelous performer. It was like watching a political Lawrence Olivier as he went from booming anger then back to his trademark sense of humor, albeit with an edge. His outrage was palpable and infectious. I found myself calling my local Congressman again, in the D.C. office, repeating some of what he said - why is there not an independent investigation of Enron? Why is there not an independent investigation of 9-11? (And yes here is my address, but I do not want a letter as a response). Why are democrats letting McKinney twist in the wind instead of rising to her defense - how could any person who claims to be a thinking human being NOT be demanding an investigation of what happened on 9-11? How can anyone silently stand by and allow the victims and families of 9-11 victims be mocked by proxy by ignorant, fascist critics who choose to answer their grief with raucous and offensive ridicule?"
[ Read more: "Michael Moore in Eugene" ]


CORPORATE ARTISTIC CENSORSHIP 20.04.2002 17:44
Artists Beware: Magdalen Theater nixes play due to controversial work

The public is once again denied the right to judge art for art's sake. After three months of hard work, rehearsals, serious work, prop and lighting preparation and various directorial projects, Magdalen Theater Company refused to allow a play to be publicly shown due to "controversial content." Not only is this a blatant form of corporate McCarthyism, but Magdalen refuses to pay or to reimburse the director, artists and actors who worked on the project for three months straight.


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PROTESTING THE WAR IN PALESTINE 20.04.2002 10:47
Community members and students hold vigil in Corvallis
In response to the escalating violence in Palestine and Israel, a diverse group of community members and university students held a vigil and speakout on Wednesday, April 17, in the central quad of Oregon State University. Organizers and participants called for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory by Israeli forces.

Over seventy people participated in the two-hour event, which brought together campus and community activists and members of Corvallis' Muslim, Christian, and Arab communities. Crowded in and around a tent under sporadic downpours, participants clutched candles and intently listened as many took turns speaking.

The evening closed with a young man who identified himself as Israeli. Characterizing the current Israeli violence in the Occupied Territories as "war crimes," he called for two states in the region and emphasized our common humanity. "We are all flesh and blood," he said.


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A CREDIBLE 9.11 INVESTIGATION 19.04.2002 08:45
Indymedia interviews Mike Ruppert
Since 9.11, many people have asked the question, "What did the U.S. know, and when did it know it?" Mike Ruppert is one of the most prominent investigators of this question (see copvcia.com), and he delivered lectures in Portland on April 12 and 13, and in Eugene on April 14. portland indymedia reporters interviewed Ruppert in both cities.

About Mike Ruppert: Ruppert's history of muckraking goes back 25 years. In 1977, as an LAPD narcotics investigator, he discovered that the CIA was trafficking drugs. As an independent journalist in the time since, he has targeted issues such as the motivations and atrocities of U.S. foreign policy, the shenanigans of the global financial system, and the continuing complicity of the CIA in international drug trade. Ruppert is hardly alone in the allegations he makes. Indeed, these issues are the bread-and-butter of 'the Left' and are taken quite seriously by organizations like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, publications like the Nation, and thinkers such as Noam Chomsky.

Attacks from 'the Left': Yet, when the subject is 9.11, some of the most shrill attacks on Ruppert have come from 'the Left'. Even the websites of the quasi-anarchist Indymedia network have almost entirely ignored 9.11 investigations in their feature sections, though posts on the topic to their newswires have met with both accolades and criticism. "Criticism", though, is too generous a word to describe rhetoric that outright dismisses any 9.11 investigation without examining the evidence at all.

Ruppert's thesis: Ruppert's thesis is simple: The government is lying to us about 9.11. He does not claim that the government orchestrated the attacks, only that it had foreknowledge of them and did not act to prevent them. Such a scenario has precedent in the example of Pearl Harbor.

Ruppert's sources: For those whose minds are open to the idea that the U.S. Government doesn't always tell the truth, Ruppert offers a detailed, well-researched, carefully-built case. His evidence is drawn exclusively from mainstream media reports, government documents, and court testimony. "I refuse to speculate," he said in Eugene on Sunday. "That's journalistic suicide." Can the official 9.11 narrative as put forth by the U.S. Government and the corporate media stand up to the same rigorous standards of proof? Perhaps Ruppert's critics should start there.

Others are asking questions: Ruppert is not alone in asking questions about 9.11. Cynthia McKinney has called for a full government investigation, and Michael Moore feels the media should be doing more digging, too. From the mainstream liberal corner, Democrats.com has started a campaign called, "We Believe Cynthia". Other public figures are expected to emerge soon. Last weekend, the Atlanta Journal was hosting an online poll in which nearly half the respondents said they believed the governement is hiding something about 9.11. The poll disappeared from their website but the original page is archived here.

The interviews

PORTLAND: On Saturday, April 13, two portland indymedia reporters interviewed Mike Ruppert in Portland. Many questions were taken from this post, in which the reporters solicited interview questions from portland indymedia readers.

  • transcript
  • AUDIO, hi-bandwidth:
    Part 1
    (30.7 mebibytes)
    Part 2 (37.8 mebibytes)
  • AUDIO, faster download (16kbps):
    Part 1 (6.5 mebibytes)
    Part 2 (8.0 mebibytes)
  • VIDEO highlights will be presented at the next portland indymedia video showing.

EUGENE: On Sunday, April 14, two more portland indymedia reporters interviewed Ruppert in Eugene.

Comments? Click here.


WORKERS' RIGHTS 16.04.2002 12:42
Labor victory: Governor vetos anti-farmworker legislation
In great news for farmworkers and Oregon workers in general, Governor John Kitzhaber vetoed the anti-farmworker collective bargaining bill, HB 4025, on April 11. In his message, he said: "Despite decades of disagreement, misunderstanding, and a lack of trust, I appreciate the recent efforts by labor and the agricultural industry to address these issues. Those groups have made progress by taking the time to gain an understanding of common interests and working together to develop a framework to resolve issues. Yet, HB 4025 threatens that process because it would immediately implement, through an emergency clause, collective bargaining provisions with no rules in place, nor the necessary resources and personnel to provide an effective process for farm workers and employers."

While Kitzhaber's rhetoric could be criticized for casting the same net of negativity over both the beleaguered farmworkers and their corporate oppressors, his action was nonetheless the only just one of his two options, to veto or to sign.

Meanwhile, the agricultural industry is preparing another attempt to pass anti-farmworker legislation at the Legislature's next special session in June. According to PCUN, Oregon's farmworker union, "we've heard rumors that the Republican leadership is considering holding up a possible tax increase unless their anti-farmworker bill is passed. (For those of you not in Oregon, the State faces large budgetary shortfalls, social programs and education in particular are being gutted as a result). In addition, one of the largest agricultural interest groups, the Oregon Association of Nurserymen [sic] hired the current Speaker of the House as their public affairs director."

The Oregon Legislature passed HB 4025 in a special session in early March, so people have been waiting to see how the Governor would act for a month. This was the good news that many workers and activists were hoping to receive.


DEMOCRACY VS. TYRANNY 15.04.2002 12:02
Coup in Venezuela fails; Chavez returns to power
In an astounding event that gives hope to those fighting against tyranny everywhere, the military coup that took place in Venezuela last week has been turned back, and popularly-elected Hugo Chavez has returned to power. Gregory Wilpert writes in Z Magazine: "It looks like Venezuela is not just another banana-oil republic after all. Many here feared that with the April 11 coup attempt against President Hugo Ch?vez, Venezuela was being degraded to being just another country that is forced to bend to the powerful will of the United States. The successful counter-coup of April 14, though, which reinstated Ch?vez, proved that Venezuela is a tougher cookie than the coup planners thought." [ Read more ]

The CIA's role in this coup is not difficult to establish. According to William Blum, author of Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, "Overthrowing a man such as Hugo Chavez... [is] a duty so 'natural' for the CIA that the only reason it might not have been intimately involved in the operation would be that the Agency had been secretly disbanded." [ Read more ]

Chavez is also investigating what he says was a US plane on the island where he was held. Additionally, a U.S. State Department official has admitted that the U.S. had contact with Venezuelan Coup Plotters before the Coup.

According to SOA Watch, the Venezuelan generals who backed the coup are graduates of the notorious Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (ne? "School of the Americas"), a U.S. military school which "trains Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America." [ Read more ]

U.S. withholds support for reinstated Chavez.
A senior U.S. official cast doubt on Chavez's legitimacy, saying, "He was democratically elected. He won a majority of votes. Legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of votes, however." Apparently it requires the U.S. stamp of approval.

Three Days that Shook the Media
From Narco News: "The failed coup d'etat against Venezuela marks a turning point not just for authentic democracy in our Am?rica, but also for authentic journalism.... AP, Reuters, the New York Times, and CNN, the worst offenders in the English-language media among many others, have had to radically adjust their coverage of the events in Venezuela precisely because online journalists worked overtime in recent days to break the information blockade and get the true facts to the international public." [ Read more ]

Also check out U.S.BACKED COUP DEFEATED IN VENEZUELA! "updated".

14 April news: Dictator-for-a-day Pedro Carmona was forced to resign when thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets in protest and siezed the state TV stations. Some military leaders balked at Carmona's dictatorial actions as well. Nine people are reported killed and others injured in Caracas. Reports indicate that Chavez will be re-instated in the Presidency within hours, and that Vice President Cabello is acting President until Chavez returns. The U.S. media is already backpedaling on its previous coverage, which disengenously characterized the military coup as a triumph for democracy.

This highly unusual event shows that the Powers That Be are not all-powerful and that sometimes the people and democracy can prevail. Another wrench has been thrown into the plans of the Bush administration, his oil-company cronies, and globalized capital in general.

To follow this story as it unfolds, visit Argentina Indymedia (Espa?ol), Brasil Indymedia (Portuguese), and Global Indymedia (English).

Background: Previous portland indymedia feature on the coup | U.S. Military Attache implicated in Venezuelan coup | U.S. Navy provided jaming support for Venezuelan coup


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9/11 INVESTIGATION 13.04.2002 23:51
Congresswoman McKinney Courageously Demands 9/11 Investigation: What Did the Bush Administration Know?

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has courageously dared to publically demand a thorough investigation into the events of 9/11 and whether the Bush administration had advance warning of the attacks and did not act upon them.

She has immediately been attacked on many fronts. The White House dismissed her requests with ridicule. On Capitol Hill, the response was more dramatic. Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) said all GOP members of the state delegation should sever communication with McKinney until she retracts her statements. Others have called her judgement and character into question, while others have demanded that she be investigated.

On Friday, 4/12, Congresswoman McKinney issued a further statement expanding on her previous comments. She presents a solid and cohesive argument saying; "We deserve to know what went wrong on September 11 and why. After all, we hold thorough public inquiries into rail disasters, plane crashes, and even natural disasters in order to understand what happened and to prevent them from happening again or minimizing the tragic effects when they do. Why then does the Administration remain steadfast in its opposition to an investigation into the biggest terrorism attack upon our nation?"

She goes on to say: "It should be easy for this Administration to explain fully to the American people in a thorough and methodical way why we are being asked to make these sacrifices and if, indeed, these sacrifices will make us more secure. If the Administration cannot articulate these answers to the American people, then the Congress must.

This is not a time for closed-door meetings and this is not a time for secrecy. America's credibility, both with the world and with her own people, rests upon securing credible answers to these questions. The world is teetering on the brink of conflicts while the Administration's policies are vague, wavering and unclear. Major financial conflicts of interest involving the President, the Attorney General, the Vice President and others in the Administration have been and continue to be exposed."

Poll shows nearly 50% of respondents are not convinced that Bush Administration did not have forewarning | Poll removed from Atlanta Times website | Rebuttal to Atlanta Times attack on McKinney

[ McKinney Statement | McKinney Under Attack | where to write letters (of support) | newswire commentary /a>]


FOREST ACTIVISM 13.04.2002 18:23
Tragedy at Eagle Creek
The Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) released the following statement today:

"Last night 22 year old Beth O'Brien died in a fall from a tree sit at Eagle Creek. We are a community shocked and saddened by Beth's tragic death.

"Years of community efforts, heralded by direct action, have protected the Eagle Creek area thus far. Beth's death came as we were preparing to take down the tree sits upon receipt of a signed legally binding contract canceling the sales. This document is expected to be signed by the Bush Administration early next week.

"Tree-sitting is a risk taken to protect our remaining native forest from destruction. It is a tragedy that such risks must be taken. While we recognize the dangers inherent in tree-sitting, we take safety seriously. Tree-sitters and tree-climbing trainers are taught the best safety available and constantly stress the importance of conveying safety protocols to others. This tragic accident results because communities must risk their lives to protect their land.

"The timeline of events leading to the accident are as follows. For two hours Beth and two companions snow shoed into the area with supplies. At 7pm, after climbing to a height of 150 feet Beth fell from a rope ladder between platforms. She did not use a safety connection that was available. She survived the impact. Emergency services were called by cell phone immediately. First responders did not arrive on the scene until two and-one-half hours later. She was pronounced dead upon examination.

"We view Beth's death in a tradition of courageous action to defend life that extends through decades of non-violent protest in the US and abroad.

"A candlelight vigil in Beth's memory is scheduled for Mt. Tabor City Park tomorrow, Sunday at sunset."

[ CFA Press Release ]

Rush Limbaugh insults Beth
Rush Limbaugh, never one known for his sensitivity, has made some demeaning remarks about Beth on his website. Activists are encouraging people to write him and complain.
[ "rush limbaugh shows lack of human decency to family, friends, of beth o brian" ]

Why did portland indymedia "hide" previous posts about this story?
This was an unusual situation. Read about it here.


PEACE IN COLOMBIA 13.04.2002 09:41
Afro-Colombian Women's Rights Leader Speaks
Nimia Vargas, an Afro-Colombian human rights defender, spoke on Saturday, April 13th, to give a first hand account of her life and personal struggle in a country torn by war, and the devastating consequences for the Afro-Colombian community there. While in Portland, she is particularly interested in sharing her story with the African American, Latino, and Native American communities.

Vargas, co-founder of the Colombian Network of Rural Women and the Network of Choco Women, has worked for several years to support families displaced from Choco, and has played an important leadership role in the community's development. As an active participant in and leader of the Colombian women's movement, she specializes in issues of gender equality and community empowerment through social development. She plans to give testimony of the massacre of rural communities and the persecution of civilians caught in the crossfire of the current war between paramilitary units and the Colombia military, and the guerrilla forces.

According to national Colombia human rights and environmental groups, U.S. military aid is fueling the conflict and promoting the fumigation of food crops, which is causing destruction of arable lands. Furthermore, the U.S. anti-drug and anti-terrorism rationale is provoking unchecked violations of human and civil rights.

The public event was co-sponsored by the Peace in Colombia Action Group (PICAG), the American Friends Service Committee, and the Justice and Peace Action Network of the United Church of Christ, and is part of a series of lectures of a national speakers' tour organized by the Colombia Human Rights Network and the US Office on Colombia, Washington D.C.

In addition to the Portland event, she will speak at Oregon State University, Corvallis, on Monday April 15, at noon at the Women Center, participate in the Tax Day demonstration in Portland that afternoon, then will travel on April 16 to Seattle, returning to Washington D.C. for the National Mobilization on Colombia, April 19 - 22, 2002. Additional information on the event may be accessed: www.colombiamobilization.org or www.lawg.org

For further information, contact Andrea Cano, UCC Justice and Peace Action Network, 503 731 8874, or Kim Alphandary, Peace in Colombia Action Group, 503 554 9404.

Nimia Vargas' Portland Speech compels us to Action |School Of Americas Plan Columbia coverage

[ Former Governor of the Choco, Escapes to tell the truth | Communiqu? from the Colombian jungles of Choc? | Paramilitarization of the Choco, Colombia | Speech by exiled former Colombian governor of Province of Choco | World Rainforest Movement on Violence & Deforestation in Columbia ]


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DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK 12.04.2002 15:27
Coup in Venezuela
12 April: Globalized Capitalism has tromped on Democracy again, this time in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez has been driven from power by a military coup. Just such a power grab was predicted in a February 2002 Narco News article, which stated that "the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Morgan Stanley have come out in support of a 'transitional government' for Venezuela, supporting Chavez's removal from office." Goldman, Sachs & Co. had also fueled the coup-fire, characterizing Venezuela as "entering a profound recession," and stating that "there is fear of a political and economic collapse, the financial situation is in chaos, petroleum prices have fallen, the country has suffered massive capital flight." Professor James Petras of the State University of New York, correspondent for the Spanish magazine, Rebeli?n, however, stated that "the IMF and financial institutions are fabricating a crisis. There is no economic crisis. The economic problems facing Chavez have always been there, they are problems that Chavez inherited."

Chavez won the Venezuelan Presidency in 1998 and 2000 by the largest majorities in four decades. Using this enormous popularity, Chavez implemented an unprecedented number of reforms including: a new Constitution providing guarantees for indigenous and women's rights; free health care and education up to the university level; a restructuring of the judicial and legislative branches to reduce corruption; breakfast and lunch for schoolchildren year round, which led to an enrollment increased of over a million students; and a reinvigoration of OPEC that resulted in raising oil prices from $8 a barrel to $27 (though it has since fallen lower). Christian Perenti, professor at the New College of California believes that, under Chavez, Venezuela was "an example of a people struggling to create an alternative, attempting to reform capitalism into a more egalitarian, healthier system... In fact, perhaps Venezuela is the truest democracy in the world today."

Was, that is.

In other words, as "outside the whale" said in a comment posted to Indymedia, "Hugo pissed off the Oil Cos. The Oil Cos. conducted a coup. The Oil Cos. used media propaganda to provoke a civilian opposition. In short The Oil Cos. are in control not the people of Venezuela. Gee, Venezuela sounds kinda like America..."

UPDATE 13 April: Reports of citizen uprisings are coming from Venezuela. The majority still strongly support Chavez, and see him as a champion of the poor.report 1 | report 2
Meanwhile, the military appointed "pResident", Carmona, has called Chavez a dictator but has himself assumed dictatorial powers and taken it upon himself to dissolve the democratically elected Congress and change the name of the country, which the people selected last year.

The presidents of Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay have announced that they do not recognize the illegitimate regime of Carmona. Bush, himself an illigitimate pResident, has supported the toppling of democracy, once again revealing his and the United States' preference for dictatorial lackeys rather than democracy.

To follow this story as it unfolds, visit Argentina Indymedia (Espa?ol), Brasil Indymedia (Portuguese), and Global Indymedia (English).

[ "Coup in Venezuela: An Eyewitness Account" | Narco News: Kim Alphandary Reports on U.S. Coup Plot in Venezuela | PHOTOS (argentina indymedia) | Links to stories about Venezuela coup | More links ]


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STUDENT ACTIVISM 12.04.2002 10:45
Wilson High School students observe National Day of Silence
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and the United States Students Association sponsored a National Day of Silence on April 10. Students all over the country participated. According to the Day of Silence project website, the day began in 1996, when "then-18-year-old student Maria Pulzetti first conceived of the Day of Silence, after writing a paper on nonviolent protest and grassroots organizing. In the seven years since, the project has grown into a national effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of students in both high schools and colleges around the country."

Members of Wilson High School's Gay Straight Alliance (along with members of the Students for Social Justice) participated in the National Day of Silence. The kids did not speak for the entire day in order to accomplish the following: "Our silence is part of a national movement spreading awareness for and protesting the silence faced by victims of harassment, prejudice, and discrimination."

The students' silence served as a reminder to the school and community that there are people who are forced into anonymity every day. Among the kids' goals were to force people to see each other as individual people. One witness to the day described it thus: "Amidst the current chaos of the current school year, these students are an inspiration. We can cut funding, but not their spirit."


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CIVIL LIBERTIES 10.04.2002 21:04
Seattle Police Department trying to shut down April 20 events
Seattle Police pose during 2001 New Year's Eve Party, Pike place marketAccording to Seattle activists, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has been pressuring Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) to close its campus for A20 events in that city. Events scheduled for SCCC are nonetheless still scheduled, and will include a teach-in at 2:00 p.m., a Reclaim The Streets Party at 4:00 p.m., and two marches (one permitted, one not) "against the IMF/WB/WTO/War, etc." at 6:00 p.m. If the SPD has its way, however, all classes and lectures for the day will be cancelled and the school locked up.

A20 is a world-wide day of protest against transnational financial institutions, corporate globalization, and the U.S.A.'s 'war on terror'. Thousands are expected to attend events in Washington, D.C., and around the country.

Seattle activists are also saying that a church across the street from the SCCC campus and another business in the area will also be closed after requests from the SPD, which claimed that "'anarchists' from Portland and Eugene are coming" to the A20 events. Members of the SPD also attended an SCCC faculty meeting, where they said that no parking would be allowed on Broadway on April 20 because people could store bombs in cars there. Say the Seattle activists: "The police are insane. They are crossing every line to intimidate people. We must assert our rights!!"

The activists are asking people to contact SCCC's president, Charles Mitchell, "to demand he upholds our constitutional right to assemble and not crumble under police demands."

12 April update: SCCC Faculty Senate urges President to keep campus open
In a letter to Mitchell, the SCCC Faculty Senate has called for him "to rescind his decision to close the building and show support for the student-organized teach-in that was to be held on our campus on April 20, 2002... We reject the role of the SPD and any other law enforcement body in limiting academic freedom and the civil liberties of Seattle residents."
[ Full story ]

13 April update: Misinformation spread by police and corporate media
The Seattle Police Department and at least one corporate media station in Seattle are spreading rumors and accusations about "possible vandalism" during A20 and named Portland groups Reclaim the Streets and ACC as probable culprits. Activists were not consulted for the story, quelle surprise. In contrast, Karen Strickland, president of the Faculty Senate at SCCC, voiced concerns about possible police behavior. "Given the history of the police responses to public gatherings like this," she said to Channel 5, "I'm somewhat concerned that they may react in a way that instigates or escalates the situation."
[ "Seattle Police warn of A20 vandalism" | "Seattle SPD warns that Portlands RTS group may cause property damage on A20" ]

Portland activists are arranging carpools for those interested in going to Seattle for A20: [ Details ]

Check in with Seattle Indymedia to follow this story, and for coverage of A20 events that day.


FOREST ACTIVISM 09.04.2002 15:27
Activists await proof of Eagle Creek timber sale cancellation
Though representatives of Vanport Manufacturing, the US Forest Service and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's office have announced a deal to cancel the Eagle Creek timber sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest, activists with the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) are skeptical.

The timber sales, which would affect the drinking watershed of 180,000 Oregonians, wildlife habitat and popular wilderness trails, have been the target of citizen activism for over five years. Since April 20, 1999, activists have continuously occupied old-growth trees in an area called "Sunset Grove". Perched over 150 feet high, activists are determined to stay in place until there is proof that the sale has been cancelled.

"The Forest Service has a long history of bending rules and breaking promises" said Rolf Skar, a CFA volunteer. "We won't come out of the trees until we see documented proof of the cancellation."

While the cancellation of the Eagle Creek timber sales would be welcome, activists are mindful of a larger picture. "Eagle Creek is a symbol of what's wrong with the federal timber sale program," said Ivan Maluski, a volunteer with CFA. "There are over 50 other sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest that threaten our watersheds, recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat. Any one of those 50 could become the next Eagle Creek. On a regional and national scale, the number of proposed timber sales and acres to be logged on public lands is staggering."

CFA and other groups have announced a massive rally for Friday, May 10th at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland to call for an end to commercial logging on public lands.


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