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Expensive 4th of July security at Fort Vancouver, Washington allows uninspected vehicles for a crafts fair into site, while making a big show out of checking every handbag.
From the open publishing newswire: "I took a walk past the security fence surrounding Fort Vancouver this morning about 8:00 am on July 4th. Citing terrorism as an excuse, the promoters of this years fireworks show have placed a large cyclone fence around the normally open park at Fort Vancouver, a reconstructed historic Hudson Bay Co. site. People entering the grounds will have their belongings searched for the first time this year.
"A Lawyer, supported by the ACLU tried this week to prevent the checkpoint, arguing on the grounds of 'Unlawful Search and Seizure' without probable cause, but apparantly failed to get an injunction.
"I observed as I strolled the grounds this morning, that a 'craft fair' was being set up. Pick-up trucks full of boxes and tents were driving past the checkpoints without being inspected, and unloading their goods onto the site..." [ Read more ]
A new tree-sit has been built in unit 3 of the Berrypatch timber sale. Tree-sitters from Cascadia Forest Defenders are protesting the cutting of ancient forest within the Winberry Creek watershed. Much of the sale has already been logged, but they feel attention needs to be called to the continued destruction of old-growth and native forests. At around 7 am logging crews arrived at the tree-sit and became aware that there were protesters in the trees. The crews left and as of 12:00 pm,had not returned. Updates will follow.
2002 Earth First! Round River Rendezvous - July 1-8
The Round River Rendezvous is a week-long wilderness gathering of hundreds of folk from around the world dedicated to taking action to protect the Earth. A diverse bunch is expected to attend this year's rendezvous: from activists with decades of experience, to people new to the movement, families, punks, rednecks, hippies and people who wear Patagonia gear. Days are spent hiking and relaxing, networking, training and meeting. Everyone is encouraged to share skills, teach and learn, work hard and have a good time.
Examples of workshops this year include wilderness skills, native plant identification, wildcrafting and herbal medicine, sitting and setting, media skills, gender circles, eco-spirituality, timber sale monitoring, markets campaigning, rural organizing, labor organizing, blockading techniques, street medic training, communications training, self-defense skills, anti-oppression workshops, movement history, bioregional updates, security training, tactics and strategy sessions and whatever you are willing to share.
With giant replicas of radioactive waste transportation casks as a backdrop, national environmental, public interest and consumer groups joined lawmakers and activists at a press conference and rally to urge the Senate to reject the dangerous proposal to transport high-level nuclear waste to a dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A final vote in the Senate is expected within the next month.
The caravan of six casks converged at the Capitol today after a three-week national tour across the country in an effort to alert citizens who live near the projected nuclear waste transportation routes. Each dumbbell-shaped cask is 20 feet long and seven feet tall, a life-size replication of the actual casks that would be travelling on the nation's highways, railways, and waterways for up to 38 years if the Yucca Mountain Project is approved.
"We have been overwhelmed by the response of local communities as we've driven through town after town in the last few weeks," said Amy Shollenberger, an activist from Vermont who drove one of the casks through New England and the Midwest. "We've come to Washington to deliver the message that people across the country are worried about the prospect of regular shipments of deadly nuclear waste through their communities."
A website, nuclearneighborhoods.org, shows the proposed routes for carting the nuclear waste through the country. A clickable map allows you to see how close they are to wherer you or people you know live. On May 29, one of the mock nuclear casks from this tour arrived in Eugene, Oregon.
From the open pubilshing newswire: "Several local socialist groups are joining together to celebrate Independence Day with politics and conversation. Get away from the nationalist hype and flag-waving corporatism.
"It's outrageous that the 4th of July has been expropriated by reactionaries and warmongers as a day to celebrate empire, the war machine and corporate dominance. For these people, the 4th is not a day to rededicate one's self to the values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and expanded by social movements since 1776. Instead it has become a day to bring out the war toys, celebrate U.S. triumphalism and rededicate the state powr to the dominaton and repression of anyone who doesn't like the New World Order of corporate capitalism.
"Join the enemies of reaction from several groups in a forum speaking to the reclaiming of the legacy of the American Revolution and the dedication to securing the 'blessings of Liberty' for all humanity."
Thursday, July 4, 2002 - 7:30 PM
Laughing Horse Books
3652 SE Division, Portland
Organized by Left Turn, the Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist Action, the International Workers of the World, and Solidarity.
On Saturday, June 29, Senator Ron Wyden held "sidewalk office hours" on Southeast Portland's hip and trendy Hawthorne Boulevard. In addition to the support he received from the Billionaires for Bush that day he was also welcomed by members of "Republicans for Ron".
Waving signs that read "Republicans Love Ron Wyden", several activists were there to greet the Democratic Senator and salute him for supporting Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority), which gives more power to George Bush to negotiate trade deals like NAFTA. Last time Ron Wyden was in town, he said this to some confused hippie freak who was expressing concern about workers and the environment: "I have voted for trade for twenty-two years, I will keep voting for trade. If you don't like it, you can vote me out of office."
It's that kind of hard-line stance that inspired the Republicans for Ron to present Senator Wyden with a Certificate of Appreciation on Saturday afternoon. [ Read more... ]
From the open publishing newswire: "The sound of saws at the Berry Patch timber sale 20 miles east of Eugene are the opening shots in this summer's ancient forest wars. Berry Patch is the first old-growth timber sale to be logged on the Willamette National Forest in more than three years... The Willamette National Forest has a dozen other timber sales that would clearcut more than 2,000 acres of ancient forest ready to go this summer. Last year the Willamette lost $30 million selling old-growth below cost. [D.R. Johnson of Prairie City] is logging the last ten percent of old-growth left in Oregon, trees twice as old as the United States - at a loss to the taxpayers AND to the company itself. To call the situation absurd would be too kind."
"I've been watching old-growth logging in Oregon for more than a decade, and this is some of the worst logging I've ever seen. On a recent trip to Berry Patch I saw fields of one and two log loads stripped of branches and bucked out to 30-foot lengths. Most of the logs I saw were more than 250 years old and 4 feet in diameter. The largest log I saw on the ground was 6 feet 8 inches in diameter and 478 years old, born in 1524, 30 years after Columbus stumbled on the New World. The entire 5-acre stand was probably logged in about two hours.
"I spoke briefly with the night watchmen, a nice enough guy with a totally demented view of National Forest management." [ Read more... ]
July 3 UPDATE: "Protestors occupy Berry Patch timber sale"
From the open publishing newswire: "When Chani was sixteen years of age she began seriously questioning the public school system, especially what was being taught in history books. She decided to explore other (alternative) options. She recalls that at the time she kept seeing things around about the School of Americas (SOA) and thought to herself that it must be something cool since everyone was talking about it. Chani thought that perhaps this was the school for her.
"While she now laughs at her ignorance then of what the SOA was all about, in some ways it has become her 'school'. Chani, now 19, and on staff at the Oregon PeaceWorker, is preparing for her upcoming federal trial for which she, along with 37 others, is being charged with 'crossing the line' and getting arrested at Fort Benning, Georgia, the home of the SOA.
"The SOA, a U.S. based military training school for Latin American soldiers, was established in Panama in 1946. Sources say that it was to promote stability in the region, but the SOA trained soldiers have waged war against their own people, with hundreds of thousands tortured, raped, assassinated, massacred, 'disappeared', and forced into refuge.
"Chani and a group of others, who went to the SOA rally last November, spoke about their experiences to a room of about 50 people last evening in Eugene." [ Read the full story ]
Rough & Ready Creek is a 24,000 acre mostly roadless watershed adjacent to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Out of 1,400 Oregon watersheds, Rough & Ready Creek and the West Fork Illinois ranked number one for botanical diversity and rare plants. It is a candidate Wild & Scenic River and it is geologically and botanically unique. No other watershed is quite like it anywhere else in the world.
In 1992, NICORE filed a plan of operation for a nickel strip mine in the Rough & Ready Creek watershed. More than 5,000 citizens opposed the mine. In 2001, NICORE mine proponent Walter Freeman filed a 600 million dollar "takings" lawsuit, alleging the government hadn't processed or approved his mining plan quickly enough.
Federal Claims Court ordered BLM to conduct mineral exams in the watershed. The major mineral sampling program is said to be the largest mineral exam in history, which in itself endangers the bioregion. The BLM and Forest Service say they do not have to abide by previous Forest Service decision to require use of a helicopter for access and ore transport, in order to protect the "incredible natural values" of the area.
Public pressure on elected officials and forestry officers could make a difference in restraining the mineral survey, while further public pressure could finalize pending Wilderness designation to protect the area permanently.
This just in, from the open publishing newswire: "In a clever ploy to show himself a man of the people, Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon's Democratic Senator, held sidewalk office hours on SE Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland. He posed casually, sporting a blue baseball cap with the word 'Oregon' emblazoned in bright colors on the front.
"Sen. Wyden seemed strangely discomfited by the arrival of three charter members of the Billionaires for Bush. This chilly reception left Philippa Casterquoits, Sir Reginald Beefnostril, and Cordelia Hasteharvest in something of a snit, as they wished to cheer him on for his recent servile support of their pet projects.
"'Wyden the gap between rich and poor!' called out Cordelia, waving politely to the passing flow of Saturday shoppers on the Boulevard. Sir Reggie unfurled the corporate flag, smiling and showing Sen. Wyden the true colors of America. Philippa Casterquoits sniped, 'The Senator seems not to wish to associate with us in public, and yes, we ARE offended!'" [ Read more! ]
This is the third surprise appearance by the Billionaires for Bush in Portland since June 18, when they crashed the Greg Palast lecture. On June 24, the Billionaires hob-nobbed with wealthy supporters of Vice pResident Cheney and Senator Gordon Smith during Cheney's visit to town. When and where will they strike next? What dastardly billionaire deeds will they commit? No one knows, and fear is rising in the heart of the people. Stay tuned to portland indymedia for further reports of this unfolding crisis.
From the open publishing newswire: "I just returned to Portland after eight months elsewhere so I went to check out the weekly PPRC rally. I was a bit late and caught up with the crowd at the Federal Building. About two dozen people were gathered there with signs and Palestinian flags. Women in Black co-sponsored this rally and the theme was 'Free Palestine!', timed to coincide with the 35 year anniversary of the Six Day War.
"I thought it was a small number of people considering how big Portland is, though some people are better than no people of course. I don't know why people are so apathetic. Some say, of course, that street-corner demonstrations and marches are an 'ineffective tactic', but I don't think that entirely explains why so few people are out on the street protesting the oppressive war being waged at home and abroad by the U.S. Government. I think fear and apathy are at the root of it, and that sucks. That's how the bastards will win.
"Still, for a small number of people, they were energetic. A drummer livened up the mood and the chants, and the Palestinian flags were quite arresting."
From the open publishing newswire: I had decided a few days ago that I would be going to the Federal Building on Friday to take the message of the fascist Patriot Act bill to the streets. But then the rain started this afternoon. I really didn't feel like going out in it, but the universe had a different idea in mind for me when a song came streaming over the airwaves with the lyrics: "we are victims of comfort". It's too true, I thought; gotta go do it
My protest theme on the Patriot Act was prompted by an e-mail that I received a few days ago from my fellow comrade Hope, who made this a two-woman rally with me today. Taken from an article in the Village Voice, it speaks about a group of 300 citizens in Northampton, Massachusetts who organized to "protect" their neighbors against the U.S. Patriot Act.
This is a nationwide movement that we all need to get involved with! You can visit the website where you will find all of the tools that you need to get a petition going to enact a Civil Liberties Safe Zone in your community. Hope and I will be working on doing that here in Eugene. [ Read more... ]
Dale Matthews, a Josephine County member of the Pacific Green Party, has received his Party's nomination for representative from state House District Three. Pacific Green delegates voted their enthusiastic support for his candidacy at their second statewide nominating convention, held June 22-23rd in Eugene. Matthews will accept no corporate contributions and strongly supports the State Budget Resolution passed at the Eugene convention. The resolution calls for a more equitable contribution to state funding from large corporations as an untapped resource to balance the budget and rescue the state's educational system.
After a somewhat heated debate, Greens also voted to endorse the candidacy of a Democrat, Peter Buckley of Jackson County, who is running against Greg Walden for Congress in Oregon's Second District. Buckley has also received the endorsement of the Oregon Teachers' Association and the Sierra Club. An arts administrator, producer, and writer, Buckley describes himself as "an other-centered man" who wants to help take back the Democratic Party from those who have sold out the ideals of the Party and the country. [ Full story ]
From the open publishing newswire: Cottage Grove, OR -- Under cover of darkness last night, several members of the Cottage Grove community, along with support from the Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) of Eugene, constructed a tree-sit at the Blodgett timber sale. Blodgett is located in the Brice Creek Watershed of the Cottage Grove Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest. This area has been mired in controversy over the past two years. Local citizens have tried to make their concerns known to the Forest Service, but the response has been increased law enforcement and being locked out of public events.
The forest advocates are protesting the sale of old-growth trees and have erected the tree-sit in order to defend the sensitive network of biodiversity that makes up the last native forests in the Pacific Northwest. Meera Subramanian, a local citizen, said, "All other means to stop the destruction of these irreplaceable old-growth forests have been thwarted by the Cottage Grove City Council, the Forest Service, even Congress. None of these things have worked."
The Blodgett timber sale includes massive old-growth hundreds of years old. There have been numerous sightings by the citizens of bear, cougar, rare butterflies, spotted owls, pileated woodpeckers and many small mammals. The hills surrounding the timber sale are spotted with clearcuts which is a sad reminder of the imminent danger that this brilliant ecosystem faces. The tree-sitters say they plan on staying at Blodgett until this forest is permanently saved.
Today the regular Women in Black peace vigil took place at Pioneer Square in Portland. "Women in Black is an international peace network. Women in Black is not an organization, but a means of mobilization and a formula for action. Women in Black vigils were started in Israel in 1988 by women protesting against Israel's Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Women in Black has developed in the United States, England, Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan and in FR Yugoslavia, where women in Belgrade have stood in weekly vigils since 1991 to protest war and the Serbian regime's policies of nationalist aggression." [From a Women in Black website]
The Women in Black have been holding vigils since March 2001. At today's vigil, participants handed out flyers about the Palestinian Occupation and engaged pedestrians in conversation about the issues. One woman who stopped to talk to them was upset about the Occupation, and said, "Nobody asked me if my tax money should to to Israel to pay for oppression." One of the vigil participants expressed the need for public education on these issues, and pressure on national legislatures to stop such foreign policy abuses. That's why they're out there every week.
With the situation in Palestine worsening, and pResident Bush's recent call for Arafat to step down from leading the Palestinian Authority, the situation is urgent, and requires more public action. The corporate media is not reporting the events in Palestine fairly or accurately, so the educational effort must be taken directly to the people. The Women in Black invite everyone to stand in solidarity with them at their regular vigils, which take place every Friday in Pioneer Square from Noon to 1:00 p.m., and help spread the truth. [ Photos ]
From the open publishing newsire: "Of the many possible responses to the atrocity of bombing the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, bombing Afghanistan is not likely to be the most effective or appropriate. Family members of victims of the attack have joined together to seek peaceful alternatives that will more effectively identify and punish the perpetrators and prevent future attacks.
"Speaking at the River Theater in Astoria, Oregon on her way to Chicago to an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Campbell, representing the September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows said that the present violent response appears to have had the perverse effect of failing to identify the attacker, while simultaneously decreasing world security and increasing the sense of frustration with and even hatred of the U.S. that may have motivated the attacks in the first place.
"Campbell said it is evident from the public response to September Eleventh Families that many, if not most, Americans question the effectiveness, not to mention the humanity of the present U.S. 'war on terrorism'. The present emphasis of her organization is to provide immediate relief to the men, women, and children who are innocent victims of the American bombing campaign ('war') in Afghanistan. They are pressing for Congressional action as well as raising funds privately through the Afghan Sister Families Fund to provide compensation for those hurt unintentionally by our bombs.
"September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a group of family members, now numbering over 40, who have joined together to plead with the world to stop the violence being done in their names and in the names of their loved ones who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They took their name from Martin Luther King Jr.'s assertion that 'The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.'
"Kelly Campbell's presentation, 'The Power of Non-violence: Exploring Alternatives' was the second in a planned series of programs produced by the North Coast Peace Coalition and the Clatsop Community College Arts & Ideas Program to bring an awareness of the logic and utility of a non-violent approach to conflict resolution to the residents of the North Coast." [ Full story... ]
Peacemakers in the Hood River area are off to a fast start organizing Sept. 11 events. The Columbia River Fellowship for Peace is leading the effort to create a Gorge-wide program to observe the anniversary of 9/11 and there's still time to get involved. "We especially need people from beyond the Hood River area to organize events of any size in other mid-Columbia communities," say organizers.
Activities and events will occur between Tuesday, 9/3 and Wednesday, 9/11. At present the time and place of most events have not been determined, though the week will include a poetry reading, a one-day fast and community meal, and activities for children, youth, and veterans.
Everyone who wants to get involved in planning this week-long set of events is invited to the next meeting on Wednesday, July 10, from 7 -9 p.m. at Riverside Church in the upstairs Pioneer Room, in Hood River. [ More information... ]
Corvallis 9/11 anniversary planning meeting
In addition to remembering the tragic day, the weeklong slate of events is aimed at building a better understanding between diverse cultures. The remembrance will include a moment of silence during a public event at Central Park to mark when the three jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. [ Newswire post ]
Tree Sitters Oppose Gas Pipeline Company
June 24, 2002 Olympia, WA - Activists from the Cascadia Defense Network, a grassroots environmental group, have staged a tree sit in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline in Thurston County, WA. The group feels that the 49-mile long gas pipeline project will adversely impact endangered species habitat in the Black River National Wildlife Refuge.
The section of the Black River that the pipeline company (Tulsa based Williams Company) wants to tear up contains 1 of only 3 known Oregon Spotted Frog populations found in the Washington State. This pipeline project violates the Endangered Species Act and NEPA. Williams is using power granted to them by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to circumvent existing environmental and safety laws. [ Read Full Article ]
Berry Patch timber sale, being logged
American Lands Roadshow
From the open publishing newswire: "On Wednesday, 26 June, fifteen of us gathered at the Lloyd Center Umpqua Bank to demand a boycott of the Roseburg-based chain. Why boycott Umpqua bank? The chairman of the bank's board, Allyn Ford, is also the owner of Scott Timer and Roseburg Forest Products. Further, the largest shareholders of the bank are Lynn and Milton Herbert, owners of Herbert Lumber, which will decide the fate of old growth forests in Cottage Grove's municipal watershed. Hence the label 'stUmpua'. Ford is receiving a 'replacement volume' sale is called North Winberry and the plans call for clearcutting 300 acres of 200-600 year old trees. This trade is in violation of the Rescission Act which requires that replacement volumes be of 'like kind, value and volume'; Siuslaw is second growth, and North Winberry is old growth.
"We handed out flyers to folks on the sidewalk and in cars [and] talked to people about the issues. Response was mostly positive. Who wants to cut down more old growth?
"These Boycott stUmpqua demonstrations have been happening every Wednesday afternoon at the Lloyd Center stUmpqua bank on 15th and Weidler NE. This was the biggest turn-out in a few weeks. Starting next week, folks will be gathering from Noon to 1 to educate a different set of customers. Please come out and join us sometime !! This is a great high-visibility action that involves education and outreach to save old growth in Oregon." [ Full story & PHOTOS ]
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