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'm happy to report very positive developments in the twelve-year fight to protect Rough & Ready Creek from the infamous NICORE Mine. We've just learned that the BLM has filed a formal contest/challenge to all 161 mining claims (4,360 plus acres) held by Walter B. Freeman in the Rough & Ready Creek Watershed, arguing that none of the claims are valid under the law.
In 1992 Mr. Freeman filed an application to purchase the Rough & Ready Creek claims for $2.50 per acre - using a provision of 1872 Mining Law. The same year he filed a plan to develop a nickel-laterite mine and process ore on Rough & Ready Creek. The final proposal involved not only mining and processing but giant ore trucks driving through Rough & Ready Creek or its tributaries at 17 different locations.
Undisturbed, Rough & Ready Creek's waters approach the clarity of distilled water. With the West Fork Illinois, it has the highest concentration of rare plants in Oregon. The mining claims in question include the Rough & Ready Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, the Rough & Ready Creek Botanical Area, the Inventoried South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area and many miles of stream eligible to be added to the National Wild & Scenic River System.
Given the lack of objectivity and the generally maudlin sentimentality surrounding commentaries in the media surrounding the death of this Pope (with a few exceptions here and there) I decided that perhaps I would write a brief commentary on this funeral myself, having watched the whole extended affair, because I need an antidote.
I do not have cable, because I don't watch television, and last night all three of our over the air channels carried live coverage of the funeral of the Pope, so you had a choice of three different feeds. One feed, on the channel that typically just pipes up an American feed, usually from Fox, featured coverage of the funeral, with no commentary that I heard, the idea being I would suppose that it was thus supposed to be just like being there, and if you were there, you would not have any talking heads narrating the funeral. That feed seemed quite dignified, and really atypical for media coverage of big events. I switched over to our national public broadcaster, the CBC, where I stayed for the rest of the evening, and was subjected to several hours of commentary on the funeral, much as you would get commentary on a golf tournament, or something like that, from one of our most famous die hard catholic conservative broadcasters who was brought on board by the CBC to provide the 'color commentary' for the Pope's funeral.
Somehow getting the real die hard catholic conservative point of view concerning that funeral, and that pope, seemed strangely appropriate, so I resisted the urge to change channels and instead decided to soak it all in. It was unbearable, to tell the truth...
A comment on Anti-Catholic bigotrymaybe this is a surprise. There are Catholics who read this site. They are participants at anti war rallies, support the environment and generally are politically in the same place as many of those who post here --- or you see, they wouldn't read this site at all. Now if those who post with such anti Catholic sentiments or who write such misinformed statements as "the pope was a wealthy man" were to write the same or similar comments about blacks, jews, gays or moslems for example --- all hell would break loose on this site or at least the comments would be immediately composted.
It is a mystery to me why people who had no interest in the pope or catholicism or christianity stayed up to watch the funeral --- only to write vitriolic nonsense columns. I am not sure if those who did so were any less hypocritical than gw bush himself. his obnoxious display of praying at the casket of the pope was really crass.
The progressive radio network, Air America Radio, just celebrated its first tumultuous year. Air America has an impressive line-up. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to my favorite program, Unfiltered. Unfiltered featured a co-creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead, entertainer Chuck D, and activist and Rhodes scholar, Rachel Maddow. The chemistry between Winstead and Maddow often left me giggling along with their infectious laughter. Chuck D. had insights that are hard to find on the talk radio gamut that is dominated by white males.
As readers can tell by my use of the past tense, I can no longer listen to three hours of the most entertaining, progressive radio. The new CEO of Air America thought it best to replace Unfiltered with three hours of -- drum roll please - Jerry Springer. Yes, the same Jerry Springer who's ads for re-runs of his TV show run side-by-side with ads for "Girls Gone Wild".
The military's Stop Loss POlicy was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday in the case Santiago v. Rumsfeld. Emiliano Santiago signed up for the Oregon Army National Guard when he was 18 years old and a junior in High School. His enlistment contract had an expiration date of early summer 2004. Two weeks before this date, his unit was put on "alert." In October, the military notified that Santiago was "activated" and that he would be deployed to Afghanistan with his unit due to Stop Loss policy, despite the fact his enlistment had expired months ago.
The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers' Guild began to mount challenges to Stop Loss around the country, the first case being filed in August 2004 in Northern California (Doe v. Rumsfeld). Portland National Lawyers'Guild attorney Steven Goldberg took Santiago's case on pro bono with the help of two other attorneys from Los Angeles. In December 2004, District Court Judge Panner denied Santiago's injunction and he appealed.
As of this evening, we have 916 people who have registered their opposition to the proposed Wal-Mart store in Cedar Mill. We hope to add many more to our ranks in the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who has signed up. Please keep recruiting your friends and neighbors to join our growing movement!
Protest on Friday
[ Save Cedar Mill ]
The American Friends Service Committee brought its traveling memorial exhibition,"Eyes Wide Open," to Portland Oregon on April 6 and 7, 2005. Eyes Wide Open has been traveling the country since January 2004, and has already impacted more than 40 cities crosss-country including: Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Austin and Atlanta.
Through this memorial, organizers seek to honor American soldiers fighting in the War in Iraq and to raise awareness of the high human cost of war. The exhibit opened in Chicago's Federal Plaza with 500 pairs of boots in January 2004 and wikll continue to grow as the death tool continues to rise.
The First Methodist Church, where the exhibit is being displayed, is filled with pairs of boots, signifying the fallen American soldiers, and 1000 pairs of shoes memorializing a small fraction of thge numerous Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the conflict.
RAWAR LIVE! video installation @ Backspace GalleryThis Thursday, April 7, Backspace Gallery (115 NW 5th Ave.) in Portland, Oregon, presents RaWaR Live!, a video installation featuring graphic images from the war in Iraq by Portland historian Elliott Young. The viewer is forced to confront the horror of war, gruesome beheadings, torture snapshots from Abu Gharib prison, and killings of civilians from the air. While the Abu Gharib photographs are seared into our memories, the most horrific images from the war have not been broadcast on television, just as we are shielded from the sight of soldiers returning in flag-draped caskets. The excessively violent images in this installation are juxtaposed with President Bush's soaring rhetoric in his State of the Union speech. Constructed as a peepshow, the viewer is invited to examine the pornographic nature of violence, and the voyeuristic quality with which we watch war unfold on our television and computer screens.
By popular demand, the Biscuit forest defense skill share has been extended thru this weekend!! Contact action--at--cascadiarising.org / 503.493.7495 for Portland rideshare info or contact Wild Siskiyou Action at siskiyou--at--cascadiarising.org / (541) 659-2682!
LEARN HOW TO SAVE THE WILD SISKIYOU AT THE BISCUIT BURN SKILLSHARE CAMP running from April 1st to 10th, come for all or part, or stay and never leave!
SB 501-1 would increase accountability for the insurance industry. The bill had its first hearing in the Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday, March 30. SB 501-1 would allow the Insurance Division to collect and make public financial information from insurance carriers for small and large group health insurance plans. Information including medical loss ratio, administrative costs, CEO salaries and profit margins would now be publicly available.
One of the Oregonians who testified in support of SB 501-1 was Pastor Gail McDougle of Salem's First Congregational United Church of Christ. Pastor McDougle is concerned about health care on two fronts. First, as a greater moral issue of health care for vulnerable Oregonians. "Health care is not optional or negotiable," explains Pastor McDougle. As the church administrator, Pastor McDougle is also concerned about the cost of health care for their employees. Premiums for the church's two employees increased 36% this year, while co-pays and the out-of-pocket maximum doubled. "We have been seeing double-digit increases, but to get a 36% increase in just one year makes it impossible for us not to think about what happens next year."
Federal cuts under House budget plan would hurt vulnerable Oregon residentsOregon's share of federal funding cuts in key programs that assist Oregon's low-income working families, children, elderly and disabled residents could be as much as $422 million over the next five years under the budget plan passed by the House earlier this month, according to a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). In the Medicaid program alone, the study estimates the potential cuts for Oregon range between $159 million and $213 million over five years.
"The impact of the proposed federal cuts for Oregon's health care system is just unacceptable," said Ellen Pinney, executive director of the Oregon Health Action Campaign (OHAC). "Over six hundred thousand Oregonians currently go without any sort of health coverage. Reduced federal support will certainly cause the number of uninsured to increase, which is not the outcome Oregonians overwhelmingly want. It is bad for individual Oregonians and bad for our economy as well."
We've all seen photos of baby harp seals; with their white coats and big dark eyes, they're quite adorable animals. Most of us have also heard of the yearly hunts that target them for their pelts, and leave their skinned bodies to rot all over the ice. This annual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals, subsidized by the Canadian government, is cruel, economically unnecessary and is also the largest single killing of marine animals that happens every year.
An on-the-ground scientific study found that 42% of the seals were skinned while they were still alive. Babies are killed in front of their mothers. Mother seals chase after their babies as their babies' still struggling bodies are dragged away on hooks. The level of cruelty of which humans are capable is disgusting beyond words. Someone complained about one of the graphic photos of the seal hunt posted to this site. This story is about the graphic acts themselves.
This year, both the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have crews in Canada to document the hunt. Activists are prevented from approaching an active seal hunt closer than half a nautical mile without permission from the Candadian government. A permit to "observe" from no closer than 10 meters is the best one can get. Activists with and without such permits have been threatened and attacked while obeying the law, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and U.S. Coast Guard have been siding with the hunters.
Some of these stories have been posted here to portland indymedia, but you can follow the updates, daily in some cases, at a couple of different websites:
Portland, Oregon Independent Producer seeking Iraq War (and previous war) Veterans who oppose the war for short independent documentary project... showing potential recruits the realities of the war in Iraq. Your participation in this project will help give potential recruits a better view of the realities of military service. Veterans of color, female veterans, sexual minorities, and disabled veterans are especially encouraged to apply. [ Read More ] [ Veterans Against the Iraq War | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ]
Your immediate action is needed to ensure safe and accurate elections in the state of Washington. The legislators must hear from all of us as soon as possible, or we may lose our chance to ensure paper ballots in Washington. ESSB 5395 requires a voter-verified paper record of each vote, makes that paper record the official record for recounts and audits, and requires an audit of the records produced by electronic voting machines. This is a good bill. It was passed unanimously by the Washington State Senate, and by the House State Government Operations and Accountability Committee. Now two auditors, Bob Terwilliger of Snohomish County and Corky Mattingly of Yakima County, have written to the legislators, attempting to kill the bill before it is enacted, claiming the bill is supported *only by a few vocal citizens.
The rally was started off by Michael Funke, who affirmed that the WalMart north of Bend was "not a done deal". He pointed out the victories that had been achieved in Hood River and other places. He pointed out the fact that WalMart no longer takes questions directly from the community because of the problems it encountered in Gresham. He asked; "How often is it you get to fight a big corporation in your own back yard?"
The next speaker was John Schubert, who said that he had tried for many years to create a model community. He said he did not want to see Bend sucked dry and abandoned as he had seen happen in other communities where WalMart had conducted business. He pointed out the diverse group of people in Bend who are opposed to WalMart.
Today marks the third day of a three-day strike in India. Called a 'VAT' (value added tax) strike, merchants are protesting the governments plan to increase the taxes of goods. Along with the tax increase there will be mandatory documentation and paperwork of sales. Those in opposition to VAT say that aside from hurting the consumer who will be most affected by the tax, it is also a burdensome and time consuming endeavor for businesses, some of which are operated by merchants without the necessary skills to keep proper documentation.
All shops are closed, but public transport is still up and running. Eateries in some areas remain open, while in other districts, every marketable business is shut down. Some people prepared for the closing of stores in advance, having the essentials on hand, while those who live on a day-to-day basis have been unable to buy their daily ration of food.
The first day of the strike the streets in Bhagsu were near empty, all of the doors of the shops rolled down and padlocked. Even the fruit and street vendors had their goods covered under plastic tarps. Pappu served breakfast at the Gispy King, but closed shortly thereafter, not certain if he would be in violation if he was open for business. He said that the police could wage a hefty fine if shopkeepers did not adhere to the strike. But that night Bhagsu Nag general store opened its doors, flooding the small space with customers in need of sundries.
Civil resisters from the Civil Resistance study group that have been meeting at the Friend's Meeting house in Eugene led 70 people in a successful direct action at the recruitment offices of the four major branches of the military service: Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.
In a dignified, inspired example of classic non-violent struggle, and armed with graphic photo enlargements of the human casualties of the war, American and Iraqi, as well as thoroughly researched material that exposed the lies of our government about the realities of the war and the recruitment process, the resisters confronted the military recruiters and the mainstream media. While acting from a place of deep compassion and respect for the human dignity for those who disagree with us, we achieved three major objectives with startling success; we shut down the recruitment center for the day; we succeeded in injecting into the mainstream media graphic images and powerful verbal messages capable of transforming public opinion about the war; and we established our First Amendment rights to demonstrate at a supposedly "private property" shopping center without interference from law enforcement.
The action was executed after a month of meticulous planning, many meetings, civil disobedience training, copious research and a tremendous amount of hard work and long hours by many of the resisters.
Tre's extradition hearing, initially scheduled for April 2005, has now been postponed until June 27th, 2005. These three days of hearings will decide whether Tre will be extradited to the United States to face a possible life in prison. If the Judge believes that Tre's human rights will be violated in the United States, or that he will not receive a fair trial, the Judge has the right to refuse Tre's extradition. The nature of the case is highly political, and as a result it would be professional suicide for a Judge to disapprove Tre's return to the United States.
If Tre is extradited, he will be facing an onslaught by the FBI, the largest investigations bureau in history. The government is seeking a lengthy trial, potentially lasting for over a year, causing the complete drain of legal funds. They are most certainly attempting to disseminate fear among the public by setting an example of Tre. What is happening to Tre Arrow could conceivably happen to any peaceful defender of the planet and its people. By supporting him in this time of need, we show each other that friends will not be left behind.
"I am innocent of the charges the U.S. government is trying to pin on me. Just as many activists have experienced, I am being targeted by the U.S. government and the FBI, not because I am guilty, but because I have chosen to challenge the status quo."
A collection of short videos made in Portland about bicycles. The films are really creative and varied. If you've been hearing a lot about all of the crazy bicycle stuff in Portland but didn't really know what was going on, this is a good introduction to it. Many of the facets of the Portland alternative bike community are represented here including ZooBomb, Bike Polo, Chunk 666, bike hauling and transportation, and some more creative artistic things (like the bicycle audio project). The collection leaves you with a feeling that you could not only go out and ride a bike but also make a short film about it!
[ indytorrents.org ]
Finally, we're getting some moisture in the Inland NW, at least enough to slightly loosen the knot gripping the stomach of anyone who makes a living by putting seeds in the ground. By the end of last month, the driest February on record, area farmers were genuinely panicked. Every conversation with our neighbor, who's been farming the surrounding land for four decades, was about the weather.
No different from usual farmer conversation, I guess. Just more intense. "Never seen anything like it," he'd say over and over.
So even though they spend more time listening to market reports and talk show windbags than climate scientists as they ride around in their tractors and pickups, these guys might be increasingly sensitive to news such as findings from this new study out of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
The 11 activists arrested by the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Mounted Police after an altercation with seal hunters remain on the Coast Guard ship, possibly bound for Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Eleven crew members are being held prisoner on the Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard ship. The fate of the eleven arrested crew is uncertain. They have all vowed to refuse bail and to refuse food.
Assaulted with a deadly weapon, injured, and then arrested, and all this because they attempted to take a picture of a sealer.
see also: Latest info on arrested Sea Shepherd activists I Sea Shepherd activists to appear in court today I Sea Shepherd Crew Released from Custody
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
On February 28 Brazilian UN troops, part of the MINUSTAH mission in Haiti, stood by as police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing five and wounding dozens.
Following the demonstration UN officials condemned the shooting and for the first time stated that if this happened again they would intervene "with force if necessary". They also restricted the police from attending several demonstrations later that week.
These bold, and ultimately disingenuous, statements from UN special envoy Juan Gabriel Valdes created a moment of hopefulness and peaceful demonstrations swelled in numbers over the past weeks in response to the heightened security brought about by conspicuous police absence. People felt a new degree of safety and the nonviolent pro-democracy movement was gaining tremendous momentum.
Until last Thursday, March 24, when police once again opened fire on thousands of unarmed demonstrators in Cite Soleil as they courageously took to the streets to demand the return of President Aristide and the release of all political prisoners in Haiti. Reports indicate that between 3 and 5 people were killed.
related event! Saturday, April 16th, 2005 7:00 PM - Repression and Resistance: The Struggle for Democracy in Haiti; public lecture by human rights advocate and writer, Ben Terrall [ details ]
most recent reports from Haiti from Sasha Kramer: [ Police Brutality in Port au Prince puts UN Mandate to the Test (2005.03.25) | Walking a Tightrope Between Hope and Fear: Northern Haiti One Year after the Coup (2005.03.17) | Lavalas Officials throughout Northern Haiti Forced into Hiding (2004.12.24) | Community Schools in Northern Haiti: A plea to the international community (2004.12.23) | Peaceful Demonstration in Cap Haitien a Success despite Ongoing Repression / Beloved Mayor Continues to Serve his Community from Hiding (2004.12.21) ]
previous reports to portland indymedia about Haiti by Zoe Moskovitz and Sasha Kramer: [ The Politics of Injustice in Haiti: The Cases of Auguste and Chamblain (2004.09.01) | Hard hit Municipalities:The Attempt to Destroy Lavalas and the Consolidation of the Coup (2004.08.21) | The Dismantling of Popular Education Under the new U.S-backed Regime in Haiti (2004.08.21) | Reportback form Haiti: Resistance and Repression Six Months After the Coup (2004.08.21) ]
More info: [ HaitiAction.net ]
Today, as I often do, I commuted to work by bike. Living at 75th and Holgate and riding to 242nd and Burnside in Gresham is a pretty long ride for me on my mountain bike but one that I usually thoroughly enjoy.
Nearing the end of my ride in downtown Gresham, I cut through a parking lot as I always do. Taking a right out of this lot, I see 3 guys crossing the street. Otherwise the street is void of traffic. We did this I kinda stop, they kinda stop, who is going to do what sort of thing. Like a deer in headlights. I manuever around the guys thinking no harm no foul. Even though and especially so that one of the guys' coat was open and I could see a badge attached to his belt.
Thinking everything is cool, I approached the next stop sign. T-intersection across from Jazzy Bagels.
As I got to the intersection, one of the guys (officers) yelled at me from behind. As I always wear a helmet I didnt hear what he said, but being an avid rider, I am used to being yelled at. Especially in Gresham. And as usual my rhetorical response is fuck you!(say what you will)! Badge or no badge you yell at me and I will yell back. I did. Fuck You!
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