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Mercy for Animals Pro-Vegetarian Demo in Portland
From the open publishing newswire: Here's the [video] link
Mercy for Animals brought it's traveling demonstration that asks the question: Why Eat One and Not the Other? to downtown Portland on Thursday, Ocotber 17. A giant blow up hot dog stuffed with a puppy drew the lunch crowd over to find out what it was all about and get some information on how/why to change their diet.
Mercy for Animals has done an enormous amount of undercover video to highlight the abuse that farm animals face every day in factory farms. These "farms" routinely mutilate pigs and chickens, without anestheaia. They are stuffed into tiny cages where they are forced to live their entire lives. Dairy cows are left broken and exhausted on the ground, to be slaughtered as "downer cows." In its effort to bring awareness about the animals' plight, Mercy for Animals staged a peaceful demonstration in downtown Portland, and handed out veg guides to help people make more compassionate choices.
Move Marie! Call-in Monday, Oct. 21 and Write-in Friday, Oct. 25
From the open publishing newswire: Please call the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on Monday, Oct 21 and write a letter on Friday, October 25 to ask that Marie Mason be moved out of the restricted unit of Carswell prison and that it be shut down. [...]
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 WRITE THE BOP DIRECTOR
Please help get Marie Mason moved out of FMC Carswell by writing a letter to the Bureau of Prisons Director. We are asking as many people as possible to write letters and organize letter writing events so that we can show the BOP just how many people recognize her position as unjust, and support the idea of her being moved into a general population unit closer to her family.
Below is the address to send all letters to, and a sample letter. Please remain firm but polite in your communications with the BOP.
Charles E. Samuels, Jr. , Director,
Federal Bureau of Prisons,
320 First St., NW,
Washington, DC 20534
Dear Director Samuels:
I write on behalf of Marie Mason #04672-061, who is currently incarcerated in a special isolation unit at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
Marie has never violated any prison rules and is obviously being targeted for her political beliefs. We demand that she be removed from this restrictive unit and transferred to a federal prison near her family and friends.
Day 53 of California Prisoner Hunger Strike – Statement from the Mediation Team
From the open publishing newswire: Posted on August 29, 2013 by prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
50 days into a hunger strike which was announced last December, the Department of Corrections has just now issued a highly deceptive and problematic response to the prisoners' demands. The gist of the response was that the CDCR has done all that it plans to do and that the rest is non-negotiable. The reply was not directed at the prisoners themselves or the prisoners' mediation team; instead, it was issued as a press release on the CDCR's website late Monday afternoon. It is not clear if the CDCR has shared the response to the demands with the prisoners.
The CDCR's statement assures the public that it has addressed the prisoners' demands while continuing to assert that solitary confinement does not exist in California. The state's repeated denial of the problem and lack of willingness to implement necessary changes is dangerous and irresponsible.
Prisoners have used every means available to them to change the policies that result in them being confined in extreme isolation for decades including the CDCR's internal grievance system, meetings with Wardens, litigation and multiple hunger strikes. [...]
California cannot just ignore this problem, hoping that it will go away. The way to make the hunger strikes go away is to deal with the issues responsibly - meet with the reps and come to an agreement. Otherwise, the CDCR will only be repeating this cycle over and over again in an insane attempt to subdue any efforts to create necessary changes with extreme violence and repression. This cannot be tolerated any longer. It is time to break the cycle and to deal with this strike and the issue of solitary confinement responsibly and reasonably.
http://www.freedomarchives.org | Day 44 PIMC feature: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2013/08/424682.shtml
Inside California’s Prison Hunger Strike
From the open publishing newswire:
Statement by Brutha Sitawa: "I would like to reiterate that the Agreement to End All Hostilities, August 12, 2012, is significant for all prisoners because CDCR has encouraged prisoners in their 33 prisons to not only engage in self-destructive behavior but have also helped heighten racial hostilities - the catalyst for internal warfare, racial warfare and gang warfare. all of which all has been magnified inside the prisons and throughout our communities."
"We decided to address these contradictions head on by engaging in a dialogue that was meaningful, sincere and honest with each respected entity. We realized that our responsibility was to end actions that were contrary to the growth and development of each and every prisoner..."
Sitawa Jaama has been held in the "Security Housing Unit" (SHU) of California's Pelican Bay State Prison for 29 years. Along with hundreds of other prisoners throughout the California prison system Sitawa has been on hunger strike for 43 days. Sitawa is a member of the Short Corridor Collective, an interracial group of prisoners based in the Pelican Bay SHU. The Short Corridor Collective has been influential in calling for 3 hunger strikes in the past 2 years, as well as authoring the 'Agreement to End Hostilities' document (Full PDF), a political call for prisoner unity, and an end to all violence between different groups of prisoners throughout the state, from maximum security prisons to county jails.
Prisoner Hunger Strike: Day 44 - Outrage Over CDCR Force Feeding Plans
"CDCR justifies asking for the order to force feed by claiming that the widespread hunger strike is 'orchestrated' by gangs, that the massive participation and support for the demands is coerced and that prisoners have signed 'do not resuscitate' directives under duress," according to Claude Marks of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. "This order violates all international laws and standards and gives the medical director of each prison authority to violate human rights laws instead of reasonably negotiating with prisoners." Thousand of prisoners have united to challenge the torture of prolonged isolation, demanding an accountable process to challenge the gang validations that have kept them in security housing for decades.
Third Night of Protests and Blockades in Nez Perce Country
From the open publishing newswire: Protestors with the Nez Perce as well as Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Idle No More turned out for a third night of demonstrations against the illegal megaload's passage through Nez Perce country.
Yesterday's police was the largest yet, taking the side of Omega Morgan rather than the law. According to Wild Idaho Rising Tide, the police were "more forceful this time. Using their cars and phalanx tactics they forced a way through the crowd and broke the blockade faster than on other nights. The megaload took off and fled, tail between its legs, and proceeded to break laws (AIDED by the cops!) and endanger people all the way to get itself off the Res. before stopping for the night, terrified of facing the Nimipu on yet another night."
Related article: Chaos on the Clearwater River: Second Night of Megaload Blockades
Aerial Blockade Halts Enbridge's Pipeline 6BThis morning, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS) is taking direct action in the Crane Pond State Game Area to halt expansion of Canadian corporation Enbridge Energy's tar sands pipeline 6B. Enbridge's claim that they have restored the Kalamazoo River after the 2010 spill holds no merit, nor does it justify expanding the pipeline. Tar sands cannot be cleaned up; this material is thick and heavy, it sinks in water, and clings to surfaces. Expanding the pipeline increases the risk of another disaster for all of life and future generations.
Latest on California Prisoners' Hunger Strike
From the open publishing newswire: Mediators working on behalf of California prison hunger strikers just concluded their meeting with CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard. Today's meeting comes on the heels of nearly 100 family members of hunger strikers visiting the Capitol Tuesday, where they presented a petition signed by over 60,000 people demanding negotiations with hunger strikers to Governor Brown's office.
The hunger strike mediators' statement included, "We gave [Secretary Beard] ideas that would help bring the prisoners' hunger strike to a just end in short order. We provided input for revisions to CDCR's Security Threat Group Policy and Step Down pilot program. Our revisions are intended to create more humane conditions and circumstances. We urged him to follow the lead from other states, such as Illinois, Colorado and Mississippi, to end harsh and long term isolation practices."
Previous Feature: Largest Prisoner Rights Protest in California History Ongoing
Transcribed Talk by Chris Hedges: "Markets and Morals"
From the open publishing newswire:
And Obama is cut precisely out of that mold of Clinton. The Democratic party, in Europe, would be considered a far-right party. Obama's assault on civil liberties has been far worse than under George W. Bush: an absolutely remarkable fact. The FISA Amendment Act, which retroactively makes legal what, under our Constitution, has traditionally been illegal: the warrantless wiretapping, monitoring, and eavesdropping of tens of millions of American citizens. The radical - and I think most dispassionate legal scholars would go, inappropriate -interpretation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force act as giving the government the right to assassinate American citizens... and of course I'm speaking about Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni cleric... and not, incidentally, his 16-year-old son, two weeks later, who was on no terrorism list at all.
Largest Prisoner Rights Protest in California History Ongoing
From the open publishing newswire:
Earlier this month, a group of prisoners in the Pelican Bay Supermax facility just south of the Oregon border organized the largest prison protest in California history. At the time, it was reported that an estimated 30,000 inmates in two-thirds of California's 33 prisons had opted to refuse meals in a mass hunger strike. And it's still going on.
On June 20, 2013, prisoners held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit in Oakland, CA announced their plan to embark upon nonviolent peaceful protest on July 8. According to the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSSC), a group committed to amplifying the voices of prisoners on strike, prisoners had maintained since January that they would be willing to starve themselves unless the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) agreed to negotiate honestly about prisoners' demands, "the heart of which mandates an end to long-term solitary confinement."
Prisoners' demands have been represented in five core points:
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?
"Justice for Trayvon" National Day of Action Portland, July 20
From the open publishing newswire: A call has been put out for a National Day of Action by Al Sharpton so Campaign to End the New Jim Crow is organizing one here in Portland.
SATURDAY 2PM @ Federal Courthouse located at 1000 SW 3rd Ave (SW 3rd ave and SW Main st)
We are doing 2pm instead of 12pm because we usually meet at that time. so to avoid too much confusion and to make sure we get some work done we decided to call it for 2pm instead.
If you would like to join us for our meeting then check out the facebook event here- https://www.facebook.com/events/687032271322286/
Campaign to End the New Jim Crow General Meeting
11am PCC Cascade 705 N Killingsworth st
Student center on 2nd floor in room 204 or in the cafeteria (same building first floor)
The event will also help begin a four-week countdown to the 50th anniversary event for the March on Washington on August 24, which will include Martin Luther King III, and which Sharpton said will be centered on Trayvon Martin and the Voting Rights Act.
Protestors occupy private airport mail facility; five arrested
From the open publishing newswire: Five protestors, calling themselves "postal protectors", were arrested today in an occupation of a private air cargo facility slated to handle and process US mail.
"Postal mail handlers and mail processing clerks are losing their jobs to profiteering, private corporations," declared Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier who joined the civil disobedience action at the Matheson Flight Extenders facility, just next door to the US Postal Service's Portland Air Cargo Center. "We protest the privatization of the public postal service. We oppose the destruction of family wage, union jobs and the delay of the people's mail. We intend to disrupt this attack on our communities."
Protest organizers, Portland Communities and Postal Workers United, are demanding that Matheson management pull out of negotiations for the subcontracting of postal jobs. PCPWU is also targeting postal operations manager, Lisa Shear ( Lisa.email@example.com 503-294-2206 ) demanding that she put a halt to the privatization.
PCPWU has been fighting cuts and closures to the postal service for the past year. In May of 2012, ten activists were arrested occupying Portland's University Station post office, which has since been closed. In April of this year, five protesters went to jail for a civil disobedience action at the Salem mail plant, which is now being dismantled with mail processing machines moving to Portland. In June, the Portland-area USPS District had the slowest mail delivery in the nation -- 83% overnight first class compared to the 98% goal.
Postal mail handlers and processing clerks are losing their jobs in Salem as the work is being subcontracted to the low-wage, non-postal, non-union Matheson corporation in Portland.
Why Organized Labor Must Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
From the open publishing newswire: Spurred by real urgency over the corporate driven ruin of the environment, a growing social movement is taking shape that will be on display this Sunday, February 17, when tens of thousands descend on the streets of Washington, D.C. in a show of power titled "Forward On Climate."
What is the target galvanizing these forces? The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, to be built by TransCanada, which would carry crude oil extracted from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, some 2,000 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico for export.
What is the outcome hoped for by those who will attend? That President Obama reject the project, finally and definitively, when it comes up for his approval this winter.
Protests, blockades, arrests and disruptions of the pipeline's construction have been ongoing by activists and landowners in East Texas since last summer. Now, the "Forward On Climate" rally marks a huge step forward to enlarge the movement. This is not your typical environmental protest in defense of a limited ecosystem.
Rather, the potential consequences of the XL Pipeline's operations are global and catastrophic because of climate change. And that's why organized labor needs to stand up now in an alliance that has the power to defeat it.
Getting Perspective [...] | How will the operations of the Keystone XL Pipeline affect this trend? [...] | Where Does Labor Stand? [...]
Affidavit indicates FBI targeted anarchists for being anarchists
From the open publishing newswire: The newest document released in the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury case reveals the federal government's criminalization of anarchists. On January 30, a redacted affidavit was unsealed by order of Judge Richard Jones. The affidavit can be found at: http://nopoliticalrepression.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/redacted-warrant.pdf
Throughout the document Geoffrey Maron, an FBI Special Agent assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, repeatedly refers to individuals under investigation as being "known anarchists," as if the ideology alone is evidence of a crime. Maron admits that "many anarchists are law-abiding," but continuously points to the "Oregon Conspirators" as being known as part of the anarchist community. Similarly, Maron notes that some of the Portland police had seen many of those individuals at squats in Portland ? as if that had any relevance to the investigation other than that it might corroborate that the targeted individuals are, in fact, anarchists. [...]
Furthermore, according to Maron's statement, law enforcement used information gleaned from electronic records to identify "associates and conspirators" of the anarchists under investigation. By referring to "associates" (in addition to "conspirators"), Maron as much as admits that the FBI is casting its net over the entire anarchist movement, not narrowly investigating specific illegal acts.
UPDATE: POSTED TO PIMC ON 3/1/13: Good News reported: Two released for refusing to cooperate in a federal grand jury: