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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 ]

Portland Freeskool Publishes May Schedule
The Portland Freeskool is an alternative educational project that believes education should be open to all people regardless of class and monetary position; that allows teachers to teach regardless of official state or corporate education qualifications; that understands that good teachers are also good students. What is required is knowledge in a certain area, the enthusiasm to teach it, and a respect for the students that have willingly joined the class. The Freeskool, like other Freeskools in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Eugene, Olympia and Seattle, also believes that real education is a path to resistance, organizing and liberation.

This month the Freeskool will continue with Mathematics, Spanish, Ancient and Medieval African History, Poetry Performance and Silkscreening. This month will also feature: Meditation and Rituals for Healing, Taoism and I Ching, and Tree Climbing Safety and more. Read More

FreeSkool Website

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

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER 27.04.2002 01:51
bell hooks at Portland State University


The noted author and feminist thinker bell hooks spoke at Portland State University on April 26,2002 to a crowd of over 1,500 people in an event sponsored by student groups and the Women's Studies program at PSU.

The crowd, which was largely women and students of both sexes, gave hooks many rounds of applause, especially during her attacks on "imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy".

Bell Hooks quoted from an interview with Znet: "I would disagree that my political standpoint begins with feminism. My political standpoint begins with the notion of Black self-determination. In order for me to engage in a revolutionary struggle for collective Black self-determination, I have to engage feminism because that becomes the vehicle by which I project myself as a female into the heart of the struggle, but the heart of the struggle does not begin with feminism. It begins with an understanding of domination and with a critique of domination in all its forms. I think it is, in fact, a danger to think of the starting point as being feminism." Full Interview on Znet

Bell Hooks Articles
[ Misogyny, gangsta rap, and 'The Piano' | On Death and Patriarchy in Crooklyn ]

[ Full story | Infoshop's "unofficial bell hooks page" ]


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).


RACISM / POLICE VIOLENCE 26.04.2002 16:28
Rally on behalf of Byron Hammick - Another black man killed by police
There will be a RALLY FOR JUSTICE FOR BYRON HAMMICK Saturday, April 27, 1pm in Laurelhurst Park. There is also a call for people to write letters to defend Black community leaders who are being targeted in the media for speaking out on the Hammick case.

Concerned people and Community Leaders will be joining the Hammick family in marching to the SE Precinct, and demanding an independent investigation into what went on the night Byron was shot, and an end to the Portland Police's "fire at will" policy against African-Americans.

All too often, lethal force is used by the police, and the questions are there: Why are the police unable to find ways to subdue people without killing them? If Bryon Hammick was white, would he be alive now?

Newswire Statement With Background Links

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 ]

NEW INDYMEDIA CENTERS 23.04.2002 18:24
'Eugene Indymedia: The Beast Has Risen'
Eugene Indymedia Oregonians now have two Indymedia centers for coverage of local issues. On Saturday, 20 April, Eugene Indymedia had its "grand opening". Unlike many other Indymedia center websites, including portland indymedia's, Eugene's does not have a center column feature section. To quote the grand opening announcement: "Eugene Indymedia has sidestepped ideological battles between Anarchists and the Rest of the Left by skipping the usual Indymedia Features Section (fraught with editorial battles) and instead put up 'buttons' tended by collectives focusing on a variety of subjects. So far there's a Radical Feminist Button, an Anarchist Button, a Forest Defense Button, and a Prisoner Support Button. More on the way soon!" As might have been expected by some who know Eugene, the launch of an Indymedia center there was not without controversy, and one critic has called the site "bogus". A counter-argument has been posted to Eugene Indymedia. Active discussions are underway at both posts.

Since its birth in Seattle during the WTO protests, Indymedia has grown from one site to a global network of over 80. This phenomenal success has been the product of Indymedia's loose, open, transparent structure, which is non-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian, and decentralized. This experiment in anarchist methodology has thrived on very little money but has been fueled with the creative energy of hundreds of volunteers.

Three other Indymedia centers were also birthed within the global network in the last few days: Central Florida, Ithaca, NY, and Madrid, Spain.

Check out Eugene Indymedia at eugene.indymedia.org!

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" ]

A20 ACTIONS 20.04.2002 18:36
Reports from D.C., Ashland, Eugene, and Portland
Thousands of people all over the country took to the streets and their public spaces today to express dissent against the 'war on terrorism', the brutal invasion of Palestine, and the policies of global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. From the nation's capital to Ashland, Oregon, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota (!), people young, old, and of all colors rose up together to speak out for justice. Many wondered if pResident Bush is really as popular as the corporate media claims.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--A portland indymedia journalist in D.C., reports: "There were three or four different rallies this morning, including one for Palestine and one against the IMF and World Bank. Starting from different locations, they all took the streets and marched, converging on the lawn in front of the Capitol Building for speeches, tabling, etc. I was with the Palestine march. Organizers estimated there were 20,000 of us. When all the marches came together, it was 60-75,000. People as far as the eye could see. It was something else!"
[ Read more ]

ASHLAND, OR--A local resident reports that, "Southern Oregon was alive in solidarity this sunny Saturday afternoon when over 300 marched and rallied in Ashland. 'It was the largest such gathering in many years', I heard one actist state. The feelings of a new awakened movement were vibrating, you could feel it... A woman came up to me, down in the plaza, and identified herself as a US national who resides in Germany. We spoke for awhile about the waking up of the peace movement here, but then she started talking about the feelings of people back home in Europe. She said she could never remember before the criticism of the US being at the level it is now. She said it had been growing very strong this last three weeks. We ended our chat with a recognition that we have some signs here that are similar to pre-world war two. Those from Germany can recognize red flags pretty damn well, it seemed to me, as we ended our chat and I headed off my way."
[ Read more ]

EUGENE, OR--About 300 people gathered in Eugene in solidarity with the D.C. actions. Starting from the National Guard Armory on 13th & Chambers, they marched downtown to the popular and crowded Saturday Market, an outdoor farmers' and retail market. There was an impressive proliferation of signs and banners, and the Radical Cheerleaders led chants along the way. Four or five bicycle cops shadowed the route and corked intersections for the marchers. Arriving at Saturday Market, the group circled the market block once before gathering for a rally on Eighth Street, which blocked all automobile traffic. Urgent Carnival performed a song (before being "kicked off stage" by Downtown Eugene Management) and the Radical Cheerleaders presented their own anti-corporate, anti-war version of the "Star Spangled Banner".
[ Photos | "Security? Security?!" | "A20 in Eugene: 'SAVE the country: F*CK the WAR'" ]

PORTLAND--According to a newswire report, "Protesters gathered at the Pioneer Square in Portland today to demonstrate in solidarity with the many rallies throughout the country. The protest, estimated at a few thousand, started in Holladay Park at around 2.00 pm and people gathered for speeches, after which musicians led the march down Broadway. Someone standing around not involved in the protest screamed that a marcher had a gun. The police jumped on this individual and forced him to the ground. The crowd yelled "We are watching, let him go!" It was unknown whether or not the person was arrested... The make-up of the march was very diverse, composed of families, working class youth, musicians, high school students, union workers, bicyclists, pensioners, military veterans for peace, arab-americans, and peace and justice activists for Palestine and for Colombia."
[ Read more | "2000 march in Portland" | "A20 song lyrics ('We Will Stop You')" | VIDEO and photos: "Portland A20: Short Video clips" | media analysis: "Support local free press!" | "A20 Portland Speakers" | "A20 - I was so proud of Portland today" ]

Elsewhere, at least 15,000 gathered in San Francisco, and activists in Seattle suffered pepper-spray. On Friday, there was street theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Houston, thousands protested against Israel's treatment of Palestine.

For ongoing coverage of events in Washington, D.C., visit dc.indymedia.org.

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.


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.


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.

Salvadoran labor leader to speak in Portland

Sunday, April 21, Ricardo Monge, Salvadoran labor leader, will visit Portland to speak about how unions, women, campesinos, youth, and other community groups are coming together to resist privatization and the corporate "free trade" agenda in El Salvador and internationally. The talk will be at 5 pm at 3536 SE 25th, SEIU Local 49 union hall, at 5:00 pm, to be followed at 6:00 by a Latin American dinner, dancing, and Pe├▒a Cultural.

Ricardo Monge will speak about building international resistance to the proposed "free trade" Fast Track legislation and CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) as well as privatization, both in El Salvador and here in Portland. He will address the harsh attacks that labor and unions are facing in El Salvador as part of the government's plan to pave the way for "free trade." full newswire story


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.

9.11 15.04.2002 16:42
'Not in my name': Peace rally in Portland
Darth Vader and Peace Elf Excerpts from a report on last Friday's peace rally in Portland:

"The weekly rallies are still going strong. Last week drew up to 300 people because of Israel's decimation of Palestinian cities. Perhaps due to that, and due to this week's payment, or non-payment, of our taxes, we again had a strong showing, around 100 people.

"The rally began at 5:00, as it does, with soap box speeches. This week the War Resister's League brought the issue that our tax dollars pay for the military, militarism, and military aid to Israel. Tax resisters presented two checks to two groups working for peace, redirecting their tax money from the US military machine... We marched on the sidewalks with drum accompaniment to the federal building [where] we burned tax forms to the boom of drums and the chant 'Not in my name. Not with my money.'

"...We marched back to Pioneer Square in the streets, and while heading up toward Broadway, I saw Governor Kitzhaber in a parking garage, either getting into or getting out of a car. He smiled and gave us a thumbs up... Was Governor Kitzhaber's thumbs up a politician's thumbs up, or is he sympathetic to our cause?"

Check out the full report, "Friday Rally April 12: Not in My Name", for photos and VIDEO of the rally.

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 Chávez, 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 Chávez, 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├ę "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├ęrica, 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


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 ]

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.

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