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At first I thought this was simply the late night hijinks of Critical Mass. Now I see that it is World Naked Bike Ride 2006 and is part of a bigger, world wide, trend centered around raising awareness about oil dependency, car culture, and bicycle safety on the third dirt clod from the sun. This all happened right around midnight and smack-dab in the middle of Portland's Rose Festival. I was in my cab when I caught this happy little creature crossing the Morrison Street Bridge. She, and another 500 just like her, pedaled all over down-town while onlookers gawked and snapped, ham-fistedly, thousands of bad cell phone pics. Since this was the last Saturday of the festival and the last night of Fleet Week, I can only imagine that there must have been some 18 year-old sailor from Ames, Iowa who finally made up his mind that Portland will be his home in the future. Now if he could just remember which stripper has his lid.
America's first woman GI to declare herself a conscientious objector, Katherine Jashinski, was denied a discharge and courtmartialed on May 23rd. She is serving a 120 day prison sentence.
Protests held for Guantanamo Bay prison closure: Protesters seeking a shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay US prison camp marched to the US Mission to the United Nations on Monday. They also held an interfaith service in its entryway after building owners asked New York police not to arrest them.
Code Pink activists showed up on Mother's Day to challenge the War Party. They took their case directly to the White House. In a rally that included a mini-parade, speeches, a sing along and the waving of plenty of roses, the Ladies in Pink were in great form. Cindy Sheehan said they are "making a difference." And, Actress Susan Sarandon read an open letter to Laura Bush, in which she mocked Laura's husband, "The Decider," as a warmonger.
Today, June 7, 2006, Lt. Ehren Watada from the 3rd Stryker Brigade, announced his refusal to redeploy to Iraq because the war is illegal. This makes Watada the first soldier to resist his orders on these grounds. Press from all the major media outlets showed up for the press conference that happened today at noon. Watada had planned to be at his press conference during his lunch break, but was prohibited to leave Fort Lewis by his superior officers.
Besides press, friends, people of faith, Veterans for Peace, students, workers and folks from all walks of life showed at Associated Ministries in Tacoma up to give support to Watada. Outside the crowded building people holding signs stood reading "Students say: www.ThankyYouLt.org," or "Veterans say: www.ThankYouLt.org." Unlike others who have resisted the war, Watada is the first to do so because the war is not legal.
Fouad Kaady was murdered nine months ago, and his killers are still at large, and being paid by the citizens of Clackamas County. I think that they are hoping that this whole thing will just go away. PLEASE DON'T LET HIM DIE UNAVENGED!
Those familiar with the incident are still very much in shock at the gross way the Sheriff (Craig Roberts) and the District Attorney (John Foote) have failed to hold the two criminal cops responsible for gross misuse of power, reckless endangering, and yes, murder.
About forty Olympia residents took to the streets June 9, 2006 to kick off the Weekend of Resistance Against the "Green Scare" with a street party and rally for civil liberties. After a rousing public address by Kassey Shoemaker of Olympia Civil Liberties Resource, we made our way into the streets accompanied by a mobile sound system on a bike cart and live deejays keeping the party jams fresh. At the front of our column of revelry, two demonstrators carried a banner that read "Reclaim Our Rights! Stop the Green Scare!". Another marcher carried a sign that read "We will not be silenced by fear!" and "Free Nathan and Joyanna! Free Jeff Luers!"
Green Scare Weekend Critical Mass in Virginia
The community of Virginia Beach, VA held a critical mass bike ride yesterday, Saturday June 10, in solidarity with the International Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was excited about the success of the ride. Stickers and pamphlets about the green scare defendants were handed out and "Support Daniel McGowan" stickers now happily grace some bicycles and public spaces in Virginia Beach.
Two major victories were scored [Friday] for Mike's Gulch, a threatened forest in Oregon's largest roadless area, the South Kalmiopsis. The area's Congressman clearly stated his opposition to logging and the State's Governor announced he is filing a lawsuit in Federal Court to block the sale.
Only one week ago the Bush Administration announced they were selling timber in a roadless forest for the first time since overturning the Clinton-era rule protecting 59 million acres of roadless forests from logging. People across the country quickly moved to be heard and to convince the two public officials to take serious action in favor of wildland protections. Forest lovers are celebrating today because it worked.
Last summer an intense campaign of civil disobedience, lawsuits, and media focused on stopping massive clearcuting of old-growth reserves burned by the 500,000 acre Biscuit fire of 2002 in Southern Oregon. This year the North and South Kalmiopsis Roadless Areas have been targeted for clearcuting as the Bush administration continues it's full frontal assault on the nation's forests while promising to let states decide whether to log or not to log in roadless areas.
The DVD is a tribute to those who gave it their all to defend the Wild Siskiyou in 2005 and why folks should come to defend the Siskiyou roadless areas in the weeks and months to come. John West owner of Silver Creek logging company, who recently purchased the Mikes Gulch roadless area logging sale, is called to task in this 89 minute documentary made on a zero budget.
June 9th-11th, 43 cities worldwide will participate in the International Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare in order to show solidarity and support for those facing charges and harassment in what has come to be known as the Green Scare. June 11th is also marks the 6th year Jeff Free Luers has been in prison. [ read more ]
Solidarity Statement from IRSN for Weekend of ResistanceComrades: A year ago I travelled to Oregon to speak out in support of Jeffrey "Free" Luers. At that time, I reflected on my almost quarter century as an activist with the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and drawing upon that experience spoke of the importance of recognizing that Luers was a prisoner of war, because he, like comrades of the Irish National Liberation Army I'd known, was compelled to take illegal action in order to resist a system which called forth opposition and understood only the language of force.
Since that time, a host of other environmental activists have been incarcerated. One is now dead, allegedly having committed suicide following his arrest. Lives have be disrupted, some have been ruined. We believe all of those arrested in recent months to be innocent of the actions with which they are charged. The US government would have us believe that the more than a dozen environmental activists they've now indicted are "terrorists." "Terrorist," of course, being what the US government calls anyone it seeks to crush. "Terrorists" is what they call the heroic opposition to the US and British invasion and occupation of Iraq, with the resulting destruction of that country and the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent civilians. "Terrorist" is what they call the Venezuelan government, which survived a CIA-backed coup attempt and is now using the nation's petroleum wealth to not only provide literacy programs, medical clinics, and a host of other projects aimed at improving the lives of the destitute masses of that country, but are using their wealth to assist other struggling nations in the developing world, and have even used it to supply cheap heating oil to the working poor in the north-east part of the US. "Terrorist" is what they call the children of the Palestinian intifada, who combat heavily armed soldiers and tanks with nothing more than stones, rather than be forced out of their homeland by an invasion which provided a European surrogate in the heart of the Middle East.
The environmental activists indicted, even the activists who actually carried out the actions for which these people have been charged, are not terrorists. The term is absurd when spoken from the lips of a government so despotic, so stained in innocent blood, so contemptuous of human rights and human liberty, so callous to the plight of animals, forests, the seas, the land, the skies, as the one we have at present. It is the US government and their allies in Iraq, the British government; it is the US government and their allies in Haiti, the French state, who are the terrorists in the world today.
The US government, on behalf of the capitalist class, has unleashed upon this earth an assault from which, if left unchecked, it cannot recover. Such policies must be opposed. Such policies must be opposed in whatever way is necessary to defeat them. End the "green scare" and free these activists. The comrades of the International Republican Socialist Network, here in the US and abroad, extend our solidarity to you in this struggle. Your victory, is our own!
At all times we must speak up and support one another in our resistance to global oppression. As we tirelessly work for a better world we would like to keep our priorities in order and take time for Multicultural Community Solidarity Announcements. So please take the time to learn about the following important community events which will feature indigenous women speakers.
6/12: Eugene, OR:
6/13: Ashland,OR: First Methodist Church 175 N. Main St. 7pm $5---
hey folks, laughing horse books is having a benefit this SATURDAY, JUNE 10TH to cover expenses for our MOVE TO 12 NE 10th Ave! the event takes place at the parliament, 305 SE 3rd Ave, and gets started about 7 PM.
special guest: Captured by Porches!!!!
admission is $5-10 sliding scale, with all proceeds going to the bookstore. come support a valuable community resource, and get all the rock you could possibly need in one weekend ALL AT ONCE!
that is all. continue with your daily lives, but REMEMBER.
Pedalpalooza "2+ Weeks of Pure Bike Fun" beginning Thursday, June 8th
Huge, stupendous festival of Bike Fun... so much fun it's actually ludicrous. At 17 days long, with 139 events currently scheduled and more being added, Pedalpalooza is so large, diverse, and intense, it would be impossible to take in half of it. Much more than a collection of workshops, competitions, and themed rides, Pedalpalooza 2006 starts with a parade and film fest for cyclists and brings us the World Naked Ride and Kickoff Dance Party, and not one but several bike-in movies. There are several "mystery" rides, there's plenty of Clownarchy, and a scavenger hunt. There are events oriented to kids, to food, to transportation geeks, to foreign cultures, to historical people / places / things, to trees, and to alcoholic beverages (responsibly!). All that, and learning events for both beginning and experienced cyclists.
Grab your bike, get hold of a calendar (in the June 1st Portland Mercury or online), and get ready for more pedal-powered action in 17 days than you'll find the whole rest of the year.
It was standing room only at Olympia's City Council meeting last night as people showed up to support TJ Johnson and Laura Ware's actions at the Port last week, to speak up for peace and against the illegal war on Iraq, and to support the continuation of Olympia's Nuclear Free Zone ordinance.
A diverse group of people spoke at the council meeting and highlighted a wide array of issues about war and peace, about what happened at the Port, and about nuclear weapons. A few spoke in support of the war and against what they called the "mob of rioters" at the port. Their courage in speaking up was acknowledged by several speakers, who pointed out democracy allows everyone to speak out on issues even when they hold minority viewpoints. Others spoke about the right of people to protest a war they believed to be illegal and immoral. While some tried to frame the issue of support for the war as the equivelent of support for the troops, several others gave elequent statements of their support for the troops in terms of ending the war, including a mother whose son is in the military. One woman who grew up in Germany reminded the audience of the shame Germans still feel today about Hitler and warned us all not to be silent in the face of the immoral actions of this administration. A young man spoke for the next generation of children who will ask the Council Members and all the adults present what they did to ensure peace and a nuclear free world. "What will you say?", he asked
Laura framed the dilemma she and others were wrestling with--we oppose the war but also don't want to deny support for the troops, she said, but if we allow the ships to head to Iraq, we are also supporting the war.
What will happen when the next ship comes into Port?
Today in Rome Italy activists, video producers, programmers, and others alike have come together for the first day of active discussion at a conference called Transmission ( http://transmission.cc ).
As I type this I am sitting in a room of about 30 people who are mostly in front of laptops sitting in a big U shape table setting. It's dark, everything but a few lights and the glow of laptops on people illuminates their faces. There is a presentation being given about how, in this instance, people can make money using p2p networks for producing artist video content over a projector in the front of the room, switching between tabs on their browser while having questions fired at them. The facilitator play's the song, Eye of the Tiger from their computer letting the presenter know they have five minutes remaining before the next presentation. Everyone chuckles, amused for a few seconds during the song, and then it's back to the presentation.
Investigative reporter Greg Palast spoke in Portland on Monday evening, June 5, 2006, to packed house at the First Unitarian Church. The event was sponsored by KBOO radio, 90.7 fm and the Portland Alliance newspaper.
His appearance was part of an international tour called, "Armed Madhouse: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Class War."
Palast was his usual flippant, humorous and sarcastic self. Yet, under this veneer he unleashes serious facts and devastating statistics which, at least to my mind, leave no doubt as to the deliberate fraud perpetrated on the American voter during the 2000 and 2004 general election.
For instance, 2004 exit polls showed John Kerry ahead 51% to George Bush 49 among men and 53% to 47% among women. "Okay class, what is the third sex that put George Bush over the top...... the disappeared, the uncounted." [ read more ]
From my little note pad...
Greg urged all of us to write our County Election Clerks and demand Verified Elections in Oregon.
He told of spoiled votes and how he once flew to New Mexico And there he found 34,000 uncounted ballots in the garbage so to speak Problems with chads, touch screens, and GLITCH's these were the "spoiled votes".
He discusses the other type of "rejected ballots" which also were not counted. These were known as "provisional ballots". Which were all those Military Ballots, that were returned because they couldn't be "forwarded to the soldier's location" Resulting in many Soldiers that didn't get to vote at all. And ALL, by the way, were black soldiers. [ read more ]
Bush is coming to town and a call for action is being. The puppet of the war machine in person; in Cascadia. Details in article...
Please send out a call for action to your email lists about Bush's visit to Medina on the morning of June 16th, 2006.
This visit needs to be protested because the "Control of House may hinge here"...(Niel Modie-Sea PI-June 1,2006)
Protest / Demonstration Bush to attend fund-raiser for Reichert June 16th in Medina
June 16 (Friday), Mid-morning (please get there early)
Bellevue Square - Maydenbaur Park march to the Medina mansion of Microsoft executive Peter Neupert
Me and my friends
In October of 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1461, The Federal Housing Finance Reform Act. This bill contained a Low Income Housing Fund, which would assist local agencies in providing much-needed housing for low income families. This bill, however, contained a rider saying, in effect, that any agency which does any kind of work around voter registration would be ineligible for funding. Not only that, but here's the kicker, if they had done any of this kind of work in the previous 12 months to applying, they would also be ineligible.
Almost immediately, Multnomah County, Oregon (where I live) contacted the housing agencies with which it does business, and told them to cease all voter registration work. They are not even allowed to have voter registration forms in their offices for people to pick up.
First, let me point out that, as of the first of June, 2006, this bill is not even law yet. The senate counterpart to this bill, S. 190, has yet to be referred to the floor. In any case, the Senate version does not include this heinous voter registration restriction.
Last month I was called up for jury duty and with 25 others was picked for the grand jury pool. I took notes before escaping via a medical excuse. Here's how the process works:
We made our way from the main jury pool room up to a courtroom on the fifth floor, the only one that hasn't been divided or remodeled.Portraits of dead white male lawmakers glared down at us from the red and green marble walls between huge gray pillars. All the furniture was made of thick oak and looked incredibly uncomfortable. We took seats on the uncushioned pews in the spectator area and the clerk counted heads. When everyone had arrived Judge John Whitmeier entered and began lecturing us on grand juries and our roles as juriors. He was attired in his judicial robes which look like those worn by people graduating school or perhaps something the Pilgrims might have invented.
He said that grand juries were originally set up to protect the innocent from false charges; that the juries decide if the the district attorney has enough evidence to proceed with a case. How warped this process has become in these dark days!
Breaking news: The Bush administration is planning to auction the controversial Mike's Gulch roadless logging project this Friday, June 9th. Logging could begin within days after the auction.
The Mike's Gulch timber sale would saw into the largest roadless forest in Oregon: the 105,000-acre South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area. In addition to harming the South Kalmiopsis, Mike's Gulch would set a dangerous national precedent by logging roadless forests for the first time since the 2001 Roadless Rule was approved.
In a move to gut the Roadless Rule, the Bush administration has asked state governors to complete complicated petitions to protect roadless forests in their states. While some anti-conservation governors are not participating in the process, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is currently creating a petition. Despite a promise to provide "interim protections" to roadless forests while petitions are being completed, the Bush administration is moving ahead with roadless forest logging in Oregon.
NEST finds species to stop old growth timber sales
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (NEST) will be conducting surveys for red tree vole nestsÂ—a small rodent which is the main food source of the endangered spotted owlÂ—in the "Trapper" timber sale, a tract of old-growth forest in the McKenzie River watershed, the source of Eugene's drinking water.
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is a group of forest defenders committed to protecting the habitat of rare species associated with old growth and late-successional forests. NEST enforces environmental protections built into the Northwest Forest Plan (NWP). In 2004, Bush and the timber industry conspired to end the protections provided by the Survey and Manage portion of the NWP. However, their conspiracy was short lived because in January, a U.S. District Court judge upheld Northwest Forest Plan rules that required on-the-ground inspections for various animal and plant species before logging can begin. This ruling halted more than 140 logging projects on public land in the Northwest -- about three-quarters of them in Oregon -- after concluding that the Bush administration illegally stopped checking for sensitive species before letting the cut proceed. [ NEST Needs Volunteers!! ]
I participated in the Horns Across the Hawthorne Bridge this afternoon.
Here are a few photos of todays celebration of 06-06-06.At 6:06pm about 300 people were photographed by various news media outlets as we were giving the devil horn salute!
Four queer men were bashed close to death on Stark Street last night. Two of the men were beaten at gun point and are in critical condition. There have been a rash of queer bashings around Portland that have not been reported on by the local news stations.
Don't rely on the news! Talk about it. Don't let a day pass by that you don't tell one of your homo buddies that bashings happen in Portland. If you are bashed, your community needs to know. The Portland Police and News outlets have other priorities and can not be trusted.
Give a little effort to keep your community safe. Walk your friends home. Use your voice. Carry a brick, spray or gun.
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