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I am at the Media Center in the WSF right now and the alt.media people have been kicked out for a meeting. So I wrote this out stone age style. No matter. There is a WSF going on and Portland is going to hear about what I have experienced on this, the first real day of the WSF.
Let me start by saying that this feels like a truly global movement. This year's WSF has been held in India to encourage greater participation from Africa and Asia. Taking a quick glance around me I can attest that the strategy succeeded. Trade Unions make up the majority of the organizations but the Indian participants far outweigh any other group. The NESCO grounds are huge, with 5 major indoor presentation halls, 3 exhibition centers filled with mazes of Non Governmental Organization (NGO) stalls. Glossy pictures depicting heart rending scenes of child exploitation, the effects of chemical contamination and the conditions Indian sanitation workers endure line every available space. There are scores of seminar tents all over and 5 food courts with not a Starbucks or Burger King in sight. There is more: two open air stages and the Media Center which manages to meet the needs of journalists and houses the film festival.
On Saturday, January 10, 2004, Derrick Jensen, activist and award winning author spoke in Portland to an enthusiastic gathering of about 350 people at the First Unitarian Church. His earlier books include: Older Than Words; The Culture of Make Believe; Listening To the Land; Railroads and Clearcuts. A prolific writer, Derrick has recently released: Strangely Like War: the Global Assault on Forests; Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution; and,The Other Side of Darkness
His presentation was both witty and humorous, demonstrating a wide and free ranging wisdom, as well as a decent grasp of the work of many prominent authors. Often spontaneously wandering off in all directions, he most usually navigated the crowd back to where he left off. Usually, and this is a matter of opinion.
When we did the Ron Wyden sit-in during the vote to authorize force in Iraq, we sent out press releases to all of the press we could think of. No one from the Oregonian, no one from WW or the Mercury or OPB, or streetroots, or any of several radio stations, and no one from the Tribune showed up. Several Indymedia people came and attended all day and did good stories on the event, Dave Mazza from the Alliance came and stayed all day (but I never saw an article--doesn't mean one didn't come out), one TV news camera (with no reported) from a station I can't remember came out for about 5 minutes, and Jim Hyde and a camera person came out. Jim stayed for about 45 minutes, he took his time interviewing people outside and in. He was incredibly respectful of us, friendly, he asked intelligent, thoughtful questions. I was somewhat shocked because I expected him to be a jerk, being from KPTV and such.
Preconceived notions are usually wrong, but only when two people treat each other with respect.
I can remember only one quote from him, "I cannot see how anyone, anywhere can be for this war." [ Read More ]
related: [ It's a Cold World ]
Since it is only noon and there are many, many seminars, panel discussions and workshops to attend I will breifly outline the scene. Busy, in a word. This is Mumbai India and it is quite humid and hot. People, roughly 100,000 of them, are everywhere traveling singly, with affinity groups and in pairs to go to skill and information sharing forums on all aspects of the movement. I attended two talks this morning, catching half of each. The first was NAFTA & FTAA the Global North meets the Global South, organized by Grassroots Global Justice and the Second was titled simply enough, WTO and was WSF organized.
I left the GGJ talk because sound issues and because I came to hear about NAFTA and after two speakers on the panel it was not really addressed. Or mentioned really. I am sure they got to it eventually. I ambled over to the WTO talk and was pleased to hear powerful orators talking in Spanish with competent interperetors translating competently. The focus was the link between bilateral and regional trade agreements and the WTO. The two are really different roads leading to the same scortched earth. However, in Bilateral and Regional agreements, the pressure of the United States or another 1st World economic force such as Britian or France is more directly and powerfully felt.
Help us Build a Community Owned and Operated Low Power FM Radio Station. Rogue Valley Citizens interested in building a low power fm radio station come to Talent United Methodist Church, Talent Oregon, on January 30th at 7:00p.m. to meet with Pete Tridish from Prometheus and find out how to build a community owned and operated radio station. Moe information call suzia (541) 482-0102. The Prometheus Radio Project and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers successfully put a new community radio station (pictured) on the air in December at a radio barnraising.
The CIW is a community-based farm worker organization. Their members are largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. They may be best known as the leaders of the nationwide Taco Bell boycott. Radio Barnraisings are conferences where we build an entire Low Power Radio Station from the microphone to the antenna, and gather radio activists, engineers, and community media makers from around the world to trade skills, learn, and plan the microradio movement for the next months. [ Read More ] [ Repost from: Rogue IMC ]
In a time when Seattle is in deep need of money for its schools, its health care systems, for affordable housing, for public transportation, etc., we are paying $250,000, and rightly so, to protesters who were grotesquely violated at the WTO protests in 1999. And Seattle did not learn from that riot, as it produced two more unnecessary police riots in 2003, which still need to be addressed properly by officials, and perhaps the courts. Perhaps using this WTO case as precedence.
In December 2003, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said the police lacked probable cause to arrest the protesters outside a "no protest zone." Pechman said the police had done an "atrocious" job at record keeping, as well as citing the use of improper warrant and arrest procedures to round up protesters... Many of the issues in these WTO trials will affect the outcomes of these antiwar and LEIU riot situations from 2003... If Seattle police had no right to arrest those protesters at the 1999 WTO protests, for simply protesting, they also had no right to beat, assault, and falsely imprison, from what I saw, (and arrest in some cases), any of the approximately 500 people on March 22, 2003 that police abused in Seattle. The Seattle Police also had no right to riot...
This concept of acceptable police violence, and "no protest zones," has been pushed as far as possible by Bush. "No protest zones" undermine the Constitutionally-protected freedoms of speech and assembly so fundamentally that it is amazing this is even up for argument. As that part of the WTO protest case is still to be heard, in an appeal to a 2001 ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein... Rothstein upheld the no-protest zone, saying, according to the [Seattle] Times article, "Free speech must sometimes bend to public safety." ... Just as the Bush administration lies about weapons of mass destruction, it also lies about public safety issues when it comes to political protests.
When Seattle Police were beating, assaulting, and containing us against our will on March 22, THEY were the ONLY public safety issue present... If this concept of extreme police violence upon hundreds of unarmed protesters in Seattle at the WTO 1999 protests, is found to be unconstitutional in the 9th Circuit courts, the City of Seattle will be liable for even more in damages to WTO protesters, still to come. And to LEIU and anti-war protesters after that. [ Read More ] [ kirstenanderberg.com ]
Beginning the New Year in Reality, Chiapas, Mexico author: jw A description of the new year's events in La Realidad, and how movements in the US need, now more than ever, to try and learn from the examples set by the Zapatistas:
"That we are not a collection of individuals dispersed by the world, but rather a living harmony of colors and voices, a constant shout of desires and thoughts that are born, that grow, that lovingly fertilize in one heart and one will, woven of hope. We call this existence and form of harmonic and collective thinking communal. That we don't resign from being who we are. That we will continue defending our autonomy and defending it. We will also defend everyone who is like us, who want to live differently for their color, their song, their vision of their own lives and freedom, with dignity." ~ Declaration of the Indigenous National Congress in Nurio, Mexico, March 2-4, 2001
Reaching the place called Reality is daunting. We were on a mission, 16 of us piled into a van really meant for 12, pulling away from the San CristÃ³bal zÃ³calo long before breakfast. Most of us were Mexican, but also Chicana, Italian, Quebecois, and from the US. We came from different backgrounds: writers, musicians, photographers, videographers, anthropologists, a biologist, and representing three different collectives. It was the first time for all of us to visit the community known as La Realidad.
The Zapatistas are the masters of innovation and also the masters of silence. The two are closely entwined. It is often only during those periods of silence that new ideas can be born. If we in the North continue to chase summits without pausing to reflect, to reconsider, to critique, and to brainstorm, we will continue dwindling in numbers, in strength, in effectiveness, and in relevance. Without retreating from street action, we must also be developing our autonomy, practicing disobedience and refusal on a daily basis, and not only in the hot spots of confrontation with the police, where we will always be fenced out and met with the brutal "model of Homeland Security."
The reality in which we live, whether in the mountains of southeast Mexico or in the concrete jungles of the United States, requires endurance. As the anonymous representative of the Junta de Buen Gobierno said on 1 January, 2004, "We are the thorn in the side of neoliberalism. We are here. We have always been here. We will continue being here. We will always continue to stab them."
Poor communities, who have the smallest portion of America's wealth, suffer the brunt of the country's pollution and waste. People of color often make up these communities. This is, essentially, the problem of environmental racism. The Environmental Justice Movement has responded to environmental racism by empowering individuals and communities to gain access to their right to be involved in environmental policy making and enforcement.
Hundreds of activists, community members, and students will converge at the University of Oregon for this year's CAER (Coalition Against Environmental Racism) Conference entitled, "The Power of One." The Conference begins on Friday, January 23 and continues through Sunday, January 25, 2004. The Conference celebrates the power of individuals to make sustainable changes toward social and environmental justice. It is free and open to the public. Workshop topics include discussions about racism in the environmental movement, educational panels about local Northwest environmental justice issues and "tools for change" trainings to share community organizing strategies. There will also be a reception on Saturday that will include a poetry slam featuring Womb Dialectic members, Turiya Autry and Mic Crenshaw. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for Conference attendees.
On Friday morning, January 16, 2004, local Latino groups united to hold a Press Conference at Portland State University in order to discuss President Bush's recent proposal for immigration reform. All groups united to call this proposal a cruel hoax.
(Excerpted from their press statement)
Portland Books To Prisoners will be hosting a benefit showing of Videos from Gaza this coming Sunday January 18th starting at 8:30 pm at Vinnie's Pizza, corner of N. Vancouver and Killingsworth. Vegan Pizza will be an option!
These films focus on efforts by the International Solidarity Movement in defense of Palestinian civil rights, and the shooting of internationals in the Gaza strip, including journalists filming there. Presently Internationals are being denied entry into Gaza.
The horror of life in prison and in Gaza is a reality that many of us Americans have no understanding of. But since 1979, as the numbers of people incarcerated in this country has increased 7-fold, more and more people in this country are finding out what life in prison is like. Books to Prisoners helps by sending books to people in prison, and we hope to politicize people in prison. Mailing nights are Mondays and Tuesdays 5-8 pm.
For more info on the statistics of incarceration in the U.S. go to www.prisonpolicy.org/prisonindex.shtmland check out the Prison Index, put out by the Prison Policy Initiative and the Western Prison Project (www.westernprisonproject.org)
SATURDAY JANUARY 17TH
At LIBERTY HALL 311 N. IVY
Dinner and show begin at 6PM end at 10 PM
10PM-Midnight DJ's and libations in lower room!
Food provided by Food Not Bombs Portland, but please feel free to bring food to share with the community, cook lots and mark whether its vegan, veggie, or meaty.
Revolutionary Art Show! With works by comrades in Art and Revolution, Black Thorn Collective, and Muse Arts Collective!
This is the One Year Anniversary of Portland Anti-Capitalist Action's paper Little Beirut and is coinciding with the new issue with new format and layout! The event will be a benefit and donations will be collected, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. This event is about community, its about revolution, its about you. Thanks for supporting us and thanks for coming! homepage: http://www.pdxaca.org
After examining the conflict in the SF Bay Indymedia community, with the information that we have Portland Indymedia activists have collectively decided that the actions of the current SF-IMC group are directly contrary to the spirit of Indymedia, to it's Principles of Unity, and to basic ethical behavior.
Therefore, Portland IMC activists have consensed to no longer recognize the current SF-IMC as a legitimate IMC until SF-IMC justifies it's actions of unilaterally taking over the SF server. Until that time, SF-IMC will be removed from the cities list on the Portland IMC site.
Portland IMC activists also agree that the subsequent New-IMC decision to recognize the new SF-IMC group was not valid with Gekked as the sponsor because the hard questions regarding his own actions have not been asked, nor answered. We feel it was a conflict of interest for Gekked to be the sponsor of his own groups petition to be recognized by New-Imc. Therefore, we recommend that SF-IMC's official recognition within New-IMC be RETRACTED, with a NEW application required for any future recognition.
Furthermore, Portland IMC activists encourage the Indybay group not to compromise and accept any deals but rather to demand that the SF Indymedia community remain a single IMC and that the people currently controlling SF-IMC justify their actions or step aside.
Indymedia activists across the broader Indymedia network are also encouraged to speak up and take action to address the wrong that appears to have been done.
[ En Espanol ]
Indy readers will no doubt remember that last week, KPTV blatantly ignored a real story about real suffering in the storm. They turned away from a homeless man who was unable to get into a shelter, and turned back to the fluffy and mindless "storm team 12" coverage of snowballs and pretty icicles. KPTV wasn't alone in its disregard for the consequences of sub-freezing temperatures on homeless people, but they were certainly more brazen and willful about it.
Yesterday, I had an interesting encounter with Jim Hyde, long-time reporter in Portland. While wandering around killing time after the Cheney beheading at Pioneer Square, I happened back on the rowdy little band of protesters near City Hall. When I arrived, they were having a heated debate with Mr. Hyde. It seems they had found him and a camera operator trying to interview someone in front of City Hall, and they interrupted his broadcast. Jim was livid, but to his credit, he stayed and talked to the people. He was stunned and baffled by the encounter, at first calling the protesters "stupid" and "foolish," saying they surely were "more intelligent than that." They held their ground, though. One young woman insisted, "The airwaves belong to us." She pointed out that the corporate media is hijacking the voice of the people. Mr. Hyde just shook his head, but again, he did stay to listen. I think he may even think about some of what was said. Later, though, and not on the air.
As reported here less than 48 hours ago, Starbucks may be planning to open a new store in the Seven Corners district of SE Portland: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/01/278265.shtml
At this moment, Channel 6 is in the Red and Black filming for their own piece about the story. And guess where they heard about it? That's right, here on portland indymedia! Say what you will about "preaching to choir", "censorship", etc., but this indymedia is helping to set the news agenda in Portland these days!
Free Speech Zone is to open dialogue and freedom of speech as cattle cars are to public transportation. It isn't just foolish to allow one self to be paraded off like a monkey at the zoo. It is self-destructive.
[I]f you comply with zoned free speech you end up not communicating with the public, which is exactly what the powers that be want. Free speech is the right to communicate, verbal intercourse. Being told by 'organizers' or police that you will only be allowed to demonstrate, as they see fit is to jump their hoops... I would rather stand with four other demonstrators at a time and place we picked than with four hundred who followed the leader or cops to a Free Speech Zone. I have never stood in an oxymoron. After seeing the cage I have to ask "whose cage, Our CAGE"? [ Read More ]
i went to the cheney thing at the airport. rode the max from pioneer square. froze my ass off like everybody else.
it was interesting to see the police riding the max line. about 8 multnomah county sheriffs, wearing their new, military style fatigues boarded the train car in east portland. throughout the day the cops were alternately shaking down people they thought were protestors for their tickets and then telling people directions to their pen. it seemed like a capitalistic 2004 version of 1937 germany. ('papers, please...')
i MUCH prefer a protest like the august 22, 2002 visit, where bush, the republican fat cats, and the police were the ones in the pen. that left the entire city for us to do our thing. that was our day. we may not get another one just like it.
meanwhile, cheney, who is so respected that they won't even let him in TOWN, relies on a phalanx of police state muscle to shield him from his admirers from the moment he arrives until the moment he leaves.
Cheney Protest Pix/From the Free Speech Zone | Cheneynigans | Why It is Wrong to Stand in a Free Speech Zone | Radical Cheerleaders - Feminist Fun at Protests | Protesters You Lost, Give Up | SprayPaint at the Recruiting Station? | Indymedia PDX derails planned Cheney protest | Cheney in PDX for "mug 'n' run"as another Rethuglican is in ethics meltdown |
U.S. District Court Judge Ancer Haggerty concluded that the language adopted by the Yamhill County Commission presented exactly the same issue as similar language adopted by the Multnomah County Commission in 2003. In that case, the Judge ruled that the language was "patently false" and "inherently misleading and hinders the conveyance of accurate information to voters." The Judge stated from the bench today that he was issuing an order prohibiting Yamhill County from including the false and misleading information on ballots or in the voters' pamphlet
The U.S. District Court of Oregon today ruled that the language placed on the ballot for the March 9, 2004, election regarding a People's Utility District (PUD) in Yamhill County violates the right of the PUD petitioners under the U.S. Constitution.
The March 9 ballot includes Measure 36-54, which creates a Yamhill County PUD, and Measure 36-55, which would allow the new PUD, if created, to apply a one-time levy of 3 cents per $10,000 - State law requires that any PUD formation election include this levy.
"The actual levy would amount to a one-time charge of 45 cents on a $150,000 house," said attorney Dan Meek.
For more information:
Sorry it hasn't been up till now. But here's the info for the BIG demo tommorrow.
12:30pm- Dance Against Dick! Meet at Pioneer Square. Bring your favorite costume, your favorite instrument, or your boombox and your favorite music. This is going to be a marching dance party to show our disapproval of Dick's visit to Portland and our solidarity to each other. We'll have lots of fun and dancing, as well as a DICK CHENEY PINATA, with prizes for the young and old. We want this to be fun for everyone (except for Dick of course), so please be respectful to everyone.
3:00 pm- Dirty Dancing Against Dick Meet in the South Park Blocks. Same as the 12:30 march, only without the immediate marching or the pinata. It has also been rumored that there will be a second march leaving the South Park Blocks at 4:30 as well.
There is also a protest going on at the Embassy Suites at the air port at 4:30pm which is, I believe, going to be organized by Greenpeace. However, it has seemed to us that it would be less practical to go to Dick Cheney's location to protest. All this will accomplish is to assure that we will efficiently be swept into "free speech" area's, which, as we all know, is simply a chain link fence protected by threat of violent police retaliation. Hope to see you all there. It'll be fun
According to an anonymous inside source, Seattle-based coffee-behemoth Starbucks is planning to start work on a store in the Seven Corners district of Southeast Portland on March 1. If this is true, it means that Urban Works Real Estate, a local property management company and the siter for Starbucks in Portland, lied to the Hosford-Abernathy Neighborhood Association last year when it said that a Starbucks would not be built at the particular location, SE Division at 21st. Urban Works manages many properties around the city, and if this anonymous allegation is true, then other neighborhood associations would do well to hold Urban Works' feet to the fire when it makes promises about other projects.
"If Urban Works wants to have a good name in this town," said a worker at a local eating establishment, "they'll back out of this deal, and fast."
Knife-Wielding "Colonel Sanders" Focuses Attention on "Kentucky Fried Cruelty"
For Immediate Release: January 12, 2004
Portland, Oregon Â— Holding signs reading, "The Colonel's Secret Recipe: Live Scalding, Painful Debeaking, Crippled Chickens," and depicting Col. Sanders as a knife-wielding maniac, members of In Defense of Animals (IDA) and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will protest the abusive treatment of animals by KFC suppliers by passing out leaflets at a local KFC restaurant. The protest is part of an international campaign launched by PETA on January 7 after nearly two years of failed negotiations with KFC's parent corporation, Yum Brands.
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