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This conference was about reformist politics, academic speech, and money. Reformers are generally people that recognize that a problem exists, and use their dollars and sense to rectify that problem. These people exist everywhere. In this incantation the people had recognized that the media may not be telling the truth all of the time and in some cases may also be working or the governement or the corporations that own them in an attempt to trick the people into thinking a certain way or beleiving a certain set of lies...
Some radical media makers went to this conference to connect with one another, some with scholarships from the hosts, Free Press. The radical media makers, especially the indymedia crowd, went to the panels put together by Free Press and spoke about the larger problems of capitalism and attempted to connect the movements together. The reformers seemed hellbent on subsidizing independant media and throwing around dollar bills.
About 100 people gathered on the corner of Highway 199 and Eight Dollar Road in the Illinois Valley this morning to protest logging at the Biscuit timber sales. The crowd walked a few miles to the closure line and were not met by any law enforcement. The closure blocks public access to the Fiddler timber sale and the famed Babyfoot Lake area.
A group of women crossed the closure line and walked 3 illegal miles of public land to the Green Bridge. Five women locked arms and sat down on the bridge, blocking logging trucks that were carting away Fiddler Mountain Old-Growth. All five were arrested and taken to Josephine County Jail.
The over-reaching Biscuit project has resulted in more than 60 arrests since Old-Growth Reserve logging began March 7. The Green Bridge, leading to the Fiddler sale, is the location of dozens of arrests in the last couple of months. Twenty-two women spanning four generations were arrested on one day in April for refusing to move from the bridge, incuding one woman who was hanging from a platform suspended above the epic Illinois River. The area has since been under a broad closure, denying the public access to the area and any opportunity to monitor logging activities.
Most of my city travel is by walking, bus, or bike. In the case of walking and biking I frequently notice the running of red lights by many motor vehicle drivers. Several times lately I have entered a crosswalk with the walk light several seconds after getting the legal signal and had my path crossed by a motor vehicle running the light. The light was not only plainly red, but I was plainly well into the cross walk. (Strangely? it seems that many of the light runners are "law abiding" types in large SUV or pickups, often with patriotic? yellow ribbon stickers. What the fuck does THAT mean?) My daily path includes the full length of Hawthorne from downtown to the end of the street. The worst location is at SE 39th and Hawthorne where you can count on 1 or more incidents per cycle. Close is the end of the bridge at SE Grand and Hawthorne.
On Saturday afternoon, a dry day assisted volunteers working on the foundation for the 7 Corners Temple bench to complete this phase of construction in record time. The reclaimed concrete chunck and used brick mortared foundation was finished with an artistic face of local green basalt and a series of red brick halves, broken by members of the local kung fu school. The bench is one of the dozen or so projects of the upcoming Village Building Convergence.
The foundation was built with the prudent use of only three bags of cement, maximizing the matrix with reclaimed concrete pieces and detritus otherwise destined for the landfill.
I got there around 7 last night, for the Earth First/Cascadia Rising benefit, and I stayed for the rest of the night. There were the inevitable last minute snafus that always happen at these things, coupled with some spectacular saves. All in all, it turned out to be a great time. For what they're worth, here are my observations for those who could not be there.
First, Rolf Rocks! I finally got to see one of his famous slide shows, and I learned a lot about the Siskiyou forests, and about forests in general. I confess to be one of those people who did not understand the importance of fire in the forest ecosystem. Now, I do. The whole thing was really inspiring, and makes me want to get on a bus and go to the forests. (And apparently I will have the opportunity to do that, because Joe Keating stood up later and announced that there will be a bus and an opportunity to get on it in June.) If you would like to see this incredible slideshow for yourself, along with some awesome videos, he's going to be doing it all again at People's this [Sunday] evening.
On May 12, S.E.I.U. workers, students, labor organizers and other commmunity members demonstrated outside Sunshine Villa Assisted Living on Beach Hill in Santa Cruz, California. Sunshine Villa is owned by Regent Assisted Living which is based in Portland, Oregon. The owner is very worried that if Sunshine Villa is unionized, then the many other assited living facilities he owns in 7 other states will become unioned as well.
Today a group of anarchist protestors marched through downtown portland carrying a mock casket in honor of nicolas david neira alvares, a 15-year old anarchist beaten to death by police in bogota, columbia on may day.
The turn-out was small, but focused, and began at pioneer square and made its way through downtown--blocking the bus here and the streets here and there--and to the saturday marketplace, and then down 1st avenue to the world trade center, where the casket was left at the door under the guard of a security officer who raised his fist in solidarity with the marchers when they arrived.
As vibrant south american music played through a loudspeaker and various speakers keeping the marchers hungry, passers-by joined the march for a time and people watching voiced their support.
Are you a working parent? Do you have what the police state condescendingly refers to as a "domestic partner"? Do you and your "DP" (that is, your mate) have a child together? If your family is made up of people who are unrecognized by George Bush & co, then you're about to feel the sting of yet another rip-off, hidden in the fine print, behind the reassurances of yet another lie. It's called the "Working Family Tax Relief Act," (WFTRA) and like the "Healthy Forest Initiative," or the "Clean Air Act," or any of a number of other Bush doctrines, it's title is bald faced disinfo.
Many people aren't aware of its impact just yet. Although Bush signed the WFTRA into law last October, and it became effective in January, it's been somewhat of a sneak attack. It was slipped quietly past us, and those who crafted it purposefully distracted us with the banner headlines above the stark reality contained within. Because despite the title, it actually means a tax INCREASE for many, many working families, mine included. You won't really see the impact until you see your tax return next year, but if you're in the midst of filling out open enrollment forms for your health benefits, like I am, then you are getting an education in slimy tax policies right now.
If Klamath Valley farming collectives would grow jojoba, tepary bean and other CA drought tolerant natives, then there would be no need for maintaining the expensive dams on the Klamath River. The Klamth dams' FERC license expires in 2006, decommission dams and restore Klamath for salmon!!
Klamath River salmon need to have free passage up into the tributaries for spawning grounds. The reduction in salmon population is a result of decades of diversion dams blocking spawning grounds, raising water temps, etc. In 2006 people have the chance to save the salmon by voting to decommision the Klamath dams as their Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license expires. Renewal of the FERC licenses would result in another fifty years of these dams suffocating the Klamath river and very possible extinction of the salmon. [ Read More ]
What will finally break the back of the beast of American apathy is... Debt, Morgage Penalties, Interest Rates and Bankruptcy. Six months it takes for Bush's bankruptcy act to come into being and is there a rush to declare bankruptcy? How many bankruptcy lawyers are there? Soon the fluxuating oil prices which had been artificially low in this country will cause the cost of living to elevate. Will your pay rise with that? Will the institutions ... the schools, police departments, local governments, social services survive the economic crunch with the budget cuts? Is that what the corporatists want? Riots, higher crime rate and homelessness so they can declare martial law? So they can replace disloyal police with DynCorp officers?
We need only wait and soon the streets will swell with middle class refugees ... former patriotic lower class and angery military families and even disenfranchised police ... But to sit and wait as this imperialist system collapses or for the declaration of martial law by Fascists is just as bad as the corporatists who lick their lips at the suffering that they reap. We need to educate and create networks. We need to create networks to feed, cloth, house, educate and assist those falling to the streets. [ Read More ] [ Health system in crisis; we pay too much, get too little | NATIONAL PARKS DIRECTOR SAYS "WHOLE PARKS" MAY BE OUTSOURCED | WAR CRIMES IN IRAQ | Tues., 5/17 is Next ORIENTATION re: Biodiesel & Vegetable Oil for Vehicles & More! | Breaking:! ABC's Jim Lampley calls Election 2004 theft 'the biggest crime in the history' | Wed., May 11. 7:00pm - 8:30pm VFP Film Night: Arms for the Poor | The Bush Administration and Iraqi Oil | American Oil Production Peaked in 1970 & America has only 3% of the World's Oil | FARRAKHAN'S MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE: WE'RE BLACK AGAIN | American Oil Production Peaked in 1970 & America has only 3% of the World's Oil | US Military Fatalities In Iraq Surpass 1,600 | Hanford downwinders take Dept. of Energy to court | Portland 9/11 Discussion Group : a sample of internal newsletter + weekly meeting invite | Democrats join Republicans in War on Poor | Medical insurance for uninsured kids in Oregon | Tell state senators to reduce health care costs ]
This Wednesday May 11th, Senate Bill 545, the Payday Loan Reform bill, is scheduled for a floor vote in the Oregon Senate. Supporters are fairly confident that we have the votes needed to pass the bill. However, every additional vote we receive from a Republican Senator will help ease the way once the bill goes to the House. Dial 1-800-332-2313 and give them your zip code. You will be connected to the voice mail for your Senator. Leave a message. Then call back and leave another. Then tell your neighbor to call...
Effective and well-paid lobbyists in Salem have managed to eliminate some of the more consumer freindly provisions of the original SB 545, such as a 31-day loan limit. Contrary to what you may have read in the corporate press, this provision was scrubbed in favor of provisions more amenable to lenders. But your support is still very much needed to help pass the current version, which contains basic regulations that benefit consumers and do very little to dent the huge profits being raked in by Pay Day Loan lenders. [ Read More ]
Congressman Earl Blumenauer announced today that he will oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) if it comes up for a vote in Congress!
Let's take time to celebrate the victory and to acknowledge the many people who took the time to understand this important issue and take action on it. Many Jobs with Justice pledgers, CBLOC members, the Oregon AFL-CIO, union members, students and others held informational pickets, phone banks, wrote post cards, and emails, all urging Representative Blumenauer to vote "NO" on CAFTA. We told him that CAFTA was even more destructive than NAFTA because CAFTA's labor protections were weaker than NAFTA's protections, which themselves never judged in favor of a worker. We also pointed out that CAFTA included "Trade in Services" which would hasten the rush to privatization on both sides of the border. Another issue we emphasized was the harm done to small corn farmers in Mexico due to the unfair advantage US. agribusiness has because of subsidies. All of this would be intensified under CAFTA.
In Haiti's overcrowded prisons the constitutional Prime Minister Yvon Neptune lies on his deathbed as hundreds of other political prisoners languish behind bars without charges.
Neptune's sacrifice has cast a light into the shadows of Haiti's prisons and thousands of people around the world have felt compelled to speak out, unable to forget the injustices illuminated by Neptune's courageous and tragic hunger strike.
Neptune's case is a microcosm of a much larger problem that has plagued Haiti since the overthrow of the democratically elected government in February 2004. Since that time Haiti's justice system has been hijacked by an interim government intent on silencing dissent and there is no semblance of due process for those identified as Aristide supporters.
Yvon Neptune Nears Death: Clearing the Fences in HaitiYvon Neptune's last meal may have been on April 17. Haiti's most recent constitutional Prime Minister, now its most prominent political prisoner, stopped eating over eighteen days ago to protest ten months of illegal imprisonment.
He is weak, emaciated and near death-his internal organs are failing. He has vowed not to eat until the Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) drops the charges against him; charges that it has refused to pursue. The IGH, coming under increasing pressure and looking for a compromise, offered to fly Neptune out of the country for medical treatment and exile last weekend. But the government would not drop the charges, so Neptune refused to leave.
The IGH has chosen a precarious place to take this stand.
This Mayday, like many others around the world, workers from many social movements gathered in Bogota, Columbia to march for worker's rights and to commemorate the events of 1886 in Chicago. According to accounts there was music and dancing and folks were in a non-violent mood. As the march reached the downtown area, pigz suddenly opened fire with tear gas and rubber bullets. Exploiting the chaos that ensued the pigz(faces concealed) charged into the crowd brutally beating people. In this moment 8 pigz singled out a 15 yr old male anarchist and beat him into unconsciousness. Many comrades bravely attempted to interfere to rescue him. It is unclear how long it was before they were successful. Alvares was then taken to the Salud Coop Hospital where he suffered for 7 days until his death. Apparently the trauma was so extensive that they were unable to operate to save him.
KATU News has a well-established history of systematically demonizing and minimizing dissenting views that oppose the mass murder, maiming, torture, poisoning, and ongoing humiliation of an estimated 100,000 plus innocent civilians in Iraq. KATU News instead works routinely to justify the mounting list war crimes that are being committed daily in Iraq by the occupying forces. By propping up the duped participants in the Iraq invasion as heroes, KATU attempts to help Americans feel good about the ongoing slaughter of Iraqis.
One recent example is a story entitled 'Emotional photo shows local soldier carrying dying child'. While completely ignoring the daily butchering of Iraqi children by US troops, KATU exploits the death of a little girl in a naked effort to justify the ongoing unjustifiable, criminal occupation of Iraq.
Have the Democrats learned anything from 2004?
Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, now wishes President Bush "success" for his war in Iraq.
"Now that we're there, we're there and we can't get out," Dean told an audience of nearly 1,000 at the Minneapolis Convention Center on April 20, 2005. "The president has created an enormous security problem for the United States where none existed before," Dean said. "But I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now that he's there."
Two months earlier, Bush's CIA Director, Porter J. Goss, told the Senate that the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruitment tool for more terrorists from Iraq and other countries.
The military/industrialist Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for her party's 2008 Presidential nomination, continues to support the war in Iraq.
We all need to learn everything we can about the LNG caper. This is a very big deal.
The May 19 meeting with another of the pirate corporations, this one known as "Northern Star Natural Gas", out of Houston, Texas, with a fake office in Tigard, will be ramping out the guys in suits (or jeans, whatever they think will see the best), and will be dazzling us with powerpoints, in the Knappa High School gymnasium. Representatives from FERC will tbe there, too--woohoo!
Our counter presentation needs you.
The U.S. has a chronic shortage of jobs. Governments at all levels are using this as an excuse to give tax credits to big business. The result is a loss of tax revenue to support public services. We are throwing people out of the lifeboats. Another result is a shift in the tax burden from corporations to the rest of us. And from what I've read, the tax credits do NOT produce jobs. We need to demand that our elected officials stop playing this game.
I first got wind of this from a Cascadia Wildlands Project (CWP) email, and felt it was something people should know about. For anyone who is familiar with the herds of wild Mustangs in the Steens Mtns., this may be close to your heart. The following correspondence is from a woman by the name of Camilla who has taken on the daunting task of resisting this sickening hypocrisy. I've taken the liberty (with Camilla's permission) of posting her response to my inquiries, and the articles she sent...
If you have the time and energy, please get involved with the campaign to reverse the Burns Amendment. All the pertinent info is contained below.
Last February United for Peace and Justice, the largest representative coalition within the American "anti-war movement", emerged from their second annual Assembly with a 2005 "action plan" that effectively caged the "anti-war" debate exclusively within the Iraq conflict to achieve partisan ends on behalf of the pro-war Democratic Party and their Neoliberal corporate benefactors. Their "action plan" refused to address any of the core issues of US Foreign and Defense policy, which are the root causes of a pervading culture of war and militarism that has taken over the nation in the years since WWII.
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