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Herstory, history, OURstory, examining the past, personal stories, activist legacy.
The Betrayal of Helen Thomas - Fearlessness in Pursuit of the Truth
From the open publishing newswire: When the news spread through Washington this weekend that the unwavering, pioneering journalist Helen Thomas had died, there must have been a collective sigh of relief throughout the halls of Washington.
News articles and obituaries are obligatorily mentioning her retirement over political remarks about Palestine and Israel. They all will and should celebrate her trail -blazing career as a journalist and author. And now that she has died, it has become politically correct to re-embrace her, because now Helen is safe. She will not be asking the uncomfortable questions anymore, questions that made lying politicians squirm, as they stared dumbfounded back at her, always surprised at freedom of the press in action, at a woman who did not know her place.
But in Helen's final years, there was little celebration of her career and her courage, as former friends, coworkers and many in Washington jumped on the bandwagon resolutely condemning her for comments made in a hit piece that took brief comments out of context. Perhaps most appallingly, President Obama took time from spying on one half of the world and bombing the other half to state that her resignation was "the right decision."
In a world where politicians like George Bush, Dick Cheney and Rahm Emmanuel are celebrated for their reputations for expletive laden tirades, can we really pretend that Helen's comments were so shocking or offensive that they were worthy of forced retirement? In a world where we hear the daily drivel from presidents promoting wars of madness with lies and straight faces, how did we let such vitriol rain down on her?
Portland Veterans for Peace gather on Memorial Day
From the open publishing newswire: Portland Chapter 72 of Veterans for Peace gathered at Peace Memorial Park to honor those who died whilst serving in the Armed Forces. Peace was written in chalk in the languages of countries where U.S. Led conflict has occurred. Portland, OR, 05/28/2012.
Video: Brian Willson - Speaks at Occupy Portland - May 9 2012 Blood on the Tracks
From the open publishing newswire: Brian spoke in the St Francis church dinning hall for Occupy Portland on May 9, 2012. The discussion was about a variety of topics, from "occupy movement, war, protesting, obedience, imperialism, anarchism and community" The video covers experiences from a vast array of different actions and insights into making change from Brians opinion.
The topic of "Vertical Power Structures' is explained and encouraged by Brian, and he shares with the group why and how it correlates with the movement. There is also a Q and A in the last half of the video with the audiance.
High Noon, & Occupy at the West Coast Docks
From the open publishing newswire: "We can expect cold weather and cops"
HIGH NOON & THE WEST COAST DOCKS
by Daniel Borgström
HIGH NOON is a 1952 morality play about people deciding whether or not to stand up to the forces of corruption and criminality. Scenes from it often come to mind, since I've repeatedly seen people around me facing up to analogous situations here in Oakland, at the docks and also in the plaza.
I stood there, thinking at the time how much this resembled a scene from HIGH NOON, and was moved to see a substantial show of hands. Five weeks after the attack, on May 12, 2003, several hundred people marched back into the Port of Oakland and set up a picket line at the terminal where people had been attacked and injured. Thus the First Amendment rights of the community were reaffirmed; it was an amazing experience, an amazing day to be alive. [...]
"We can expect cold weather and cops," Barucha Peller told a meeting in Oakland on the eve of our expected departure. Snow was reportedly on the ground in Longview. People shivered visibly at the very thought of going north to do battle in snow, slush and freezing rain, but nobody seemed to be backing out either. 150 from the Bay Area had so far signed up for the caravan, and the list was growing. Then, came the news: EGT, the shipping company, had given in and signed a contract that the dockworkers of Local 21 found acceptable.
Veterans for Peace National Convention PUBLIC events Aug. 3-7 in Portland, OR
From the open publishing newswire: Free public events including films, an art exhibit and rally and presentation are part of Veterans for Peace National Convention being held at Portland State University Wed. Aug. 3rd- Sun. Aug. 7th.
2011 Veterans for Peace National Convention
As part of the Veterans for Peace and concurrent Iraq Veterans Against the War National Conventions being held in Portland from August 3rd through 7th, there are public events that are open to the public. Events and films listed below are free except were noted. Donations welcome.
For more information go to www.veteransforpeace.org and look under convention public events.
video coverage info at: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/08/409645.shtml
Film Screening: The People Speak
From the open publishing newswire: ONE NIGHT ONLY Wednesday, June 8th at 7pm. Hollywood Theater, NE 42nd and Sandy. $5 Suggest Donation, $10 Solidarity
Democracy is not a spectator sport. Using dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans, THE PEOPLE SPEAK gives voice to those who spoke up for social change throughout U.S. history, forging a nation from the bottom up with their insistence on equality and justice. Narrated by Howard Zinn and based on his best-selling books, A People's History of the United States and Voices of a People's History of the United States, THE PEOPLE SPEAK illustrates the relevance of these passionate historical moments to our society today and reminds us never to take liberty for granted.
This is a fundraiser for the International Socialist Organization- Portland District, to help us get to the Socialism 2011 in Chicago! link to www.socialismconference.org
The Challenge to the Rule of Money
From the open publishing newswire: How do we escape a system that's tearing up the world? We say `no', and do things differently
"These are days of rage. Rage in the Arab world, of course, but also on the streets of Athens, Dublin, Rome, Paris, Madrid, and now a loud clamourous rage on the streets of London.
An age of crisis is an age of frustrated hopes, frustrated life. We want to go to university but it is too expensive. We need good healthcare, but we cannot pay for it. We need homes, and we can see homes standing empty, but they are not for us. Or, for the millions of people who are starving: we want to eat, we can see that there is plenty of food for everyone, but something stands between us and the food - money, or the lack of it.
And so we rage. We rage all the more because we do not know what to do with our rage, and how to use our rage to make the world a different place..."
to read John Holloway's article "Today's march is a challenge to the rule of money" published in: The Guardian UK, March 26, 2011, click on
Audio of Ashanti Alston @ PSU
From the open publishing newswire: Ashanti gave one of the most inspiring talks at PSU today. For those that could not make it, BURN got permission from Ashanti to put this out there.
April 21st; Freedom of Speech Now! "Political Prisoners, Political Repression and the PIC"
From the open publishing newswire: "Freedom of Speech Now!" will feature several internationally recognized political prisoners & the movements they were and are apart of. From black liberation in the 60's, the American Indian Movement of the 70's and the environmental movement of today, they have all faced government repression as they confronted an oppressive status quo. In the end their struggles created lasting positive changes and inspiration for a continued struggle.
Police Brutality: Passover/ Easter celebrate transcending oppressionfear for liberation
From the open publishing newswire: One individual's right thinking and revolutionary morally courageous action can profoundly change events and has changed history.
Misfit Moses with the speech impediment, a fugitive wanted for murder, member of a slave colony, a lonely shepherd, almost murdered in infancy, distrusted or resented by all sides, boldly faced his greatest fears and demanded freedom to worship his God, and after a lot of plagues, finally, the thousands of intimidated, self-centered slaves moved in mass from all they found comfortable and familiar for the scary and hard unknown wilderness. After forty years the survivors outgrew the slave mentality. The most powerful military empire, wealthiest global trading center, most advanced technology, most sophisticated culture and enforced religion was not strong enough to defeat this one man and those he led to freedom.
From the open publishing newswire: In the back of a truck on a rainy winter day we pull off I-5 into Seattle. High in the distance a banner hangs from a crane building condos. WTO this way, Democracy that. A guy holding incense flashes a victory sign greets cars as they go into downtown. We find our friends, the house we would be staying in for the week of the convention. This house near downtown became our trenches. We ate from cans of beans with pocket knives.
I was here to take pictures. I had been part of demonstrations in the months leading up to the WTO. I had captured images on film with an old Nikon-F that my father had given me. On our first night, we plastered a Starbucks with political posters. These protest posters were tokens of the revolution. This was before 9-11 so things felt hopeful. Environmental activists and Union activists coming together in unity, in solidarity.
Radical Faeries lay Burnside and Hay to rest: Welcome home one last time
From the open publishing newswire: At 8 pm PST at the Radical Faerie Sanctuary in Southern Oregon. Radical Faeries at their annual summer gathering each were given a handful of crematorial remains (of John Burnside and Harry Hay) which in unison were released to the land, thus bringing these seminal figures of gay rights home one last time.
John Burnside passed away this last fall, surviving Harry by a number of years. The life partners were among the original founders of the Radical faeries, and Harry Hay was one of the initial agitators for queer rights, as founder of the Mattachine Society, the first gay rights advocacy organization since the fall of the German Vidmar republic, agitating in a world before Stonewall. Both life-long critics of Capitalism, and the commercialization of the gay culture and the commodification of gay men, as well as Advocates of "subject-subject" consciousness.
They will be missed, but will never be silent.
Martin Luther King and The Peaceful Revolution
From the open publishing newswire: It may still be the case that some people do not properly understand what a 'Great Depression' is and why it would be the case that the only correct strategy to adopt at a time like this is that of 'class warfare'.
Under the capitalist system the human condition is one of chronic anxiety because the capitalist system is based upon ruthless dog eat dog competition and people are routinely thrown to the wolves. You can even find them living in cardboard boxes under bridges. It is required that capitalism deliberately create poverty in order to maintain this constant state of chronic worry and anxiety in order for the capitalist system to function. If there was full employment, then we would have capitalists looking for workers instead having workers going cap in hand to capitalists and hoping to become the lucky chosen one our of a horde of such begging workers.