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Wisely, the soldiers who staff the Broadway recruiting center closed up shop and barred the windows today, girding their loins and steeling themselves against the grandmothers' bloc who took the sidewalks out front. The recruiters gave some kind of hasty excuse to explain their absence, but the truth was obvious: They simply recognized that they were outnumbered and facing superior forces. (No one but the Portland Police Bureau is usually foolish enough to mess with grandmothers.)
I spent my lunchbreak there today, with some of the coolest grandmothers I have ever met. (And some grandfathers, and even some younger folks.) (Even one of my favorite people from the Native Youth Movement was there... so it was more of a grandmother, grandfather, grandchild sort of thing. Solidarity!) It was a somewhat larger crowd than I had expected, and the signs and colorful knitted hats and scarves were visible from way down the street as I made my way toward them. There was something really, powerfully inspiring about seeing the steel awning pulled down over the exposed windows at the recruiting office, and the apologetic little sign hastily taped up on the door, informing passersby that the office was closed. It was like looking at a white flag.
related: [ when in doubt, provide food and water | Surge Protection Brigade: Nonviolent Resisters will Return to Recruiting Center Friday ] week 3: [ Six Angry Grandmothers of the Surge Protection Brigade Arrested | 6 arrested at the Recruiting Center | Surge Protection Brigade: Nonviolent Resisters will Return to Recruiting Center Friday ] week 2: [ Surge Protection Brigade ] week 1: [ Surge Protection Brigade Strikes Again: Nonviolent Resisters Shut Down Recruitment Center ]
Annual Event for Justice for Leonard Peltier, Saturday Feb 10 in Tacoma.
Leonard Peltier has been unjustly & politically imprisoned in federal prison in the Dakotas for decades. This annual Tacoma action tries to keep his cause alive. Rally begins in Portland Park at noon, on Portland Ave east of I-5, becomes a march to Federal Courthouse on Pacific Ave, across from UW Tacoma, near the museums, & continues with another rally.
I travel to Tacoma on Amtrak Cascades. If someone also going by rail needs directions once in Tacoma, i board at Vancouver Station at about 9am & would be happy to help point the way once we get to Tacoma, including how to use their light rail. Spot me with my usual green flag rolled up.
Walking, talking and making people see the Thursday count of dead soldiers. (3,120+)
I have joined Chapter 72 across from the federal building; they have been out every day handing out copies of the US Constitution and calling for peace in the Middle East.
All you Vets who are downtown near the federal building during lunch should stop and spend some time with these heroes; they fought in wars and are now fighting for your rights under our Constitution. Bush thinks the Bill of Rights is something you can use or not use---he is wrong, it is the law we live and die for as military men/women---we are yesterday's soldiers. Veterans.
You gotta love the Sandy Post. It's actually becoming a family event to sit down and read the local rag each week. The kids and I are usually either left rolling on the floor in laughter or shaking our heads in bewilderment - at not only the events that occur in our little backward burg, but also frequently at the what passes for journalism.
This week's Post headline screams:
"New high school dress code targets gangs."
There's just one little problem though, as much as Chief Skelton may want there to be (and he frequently asserts there is), THERE ARE NO GANGS in Sandy. Sandy High School student body president Megan Murphy was quoted as saying MUCH later in the article (way back on page 10A): "We shouldn't have to worry about wearing gang material because there are no gangs at our school."
Nonviolent resisters returning to recruiting center today
NE Broadway and 13th
This action is in response to Bush's call for an escalation of the occupation in Iraq. We have chosen this recruiting center because we consider it criminal to tell half-truths and recruit our young men and women to fight in an illegal, immoral occupation.
Martha Odom, one of the Grandmothers who was arrested last week, is back again because, "My grief and rage is demanding that I do everything in my power to make this stop." Come for an hour or come for the day. Come hold signs, come talk to the recruiters. Join us to build the momentum to stop the surge and bring our troops home.
The family of James P. Chasse, Jr., filed a federal lawsuit in the Disrict of Oregon against the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and American Medical Response Northwest. The suit also targets several named and unnamed police officers, firefighters
KILLOLOGY: The art and science of making a killerWhile the death of James P. Chasse Jr. horifies the average citizen, the Portland Police Bureau and the civil authorities have taken a business-as-usual approach. That perspective is a thoroughly modern phenomenon, and the unprepared public simply needs to catch up, because the horrifying epidemic of homicide by cop is destined to increase with time, especially as the Iraqi soldiers return home to fill law
The cause of this anti-social trend is specialized training administered to police and military personnel designed to reprogram their mental attitude away from their natural human instinct to preserve life. They are trained to be violent
First Lt. Ehren Watada knew exactly what his case was about - and that scared the judge.
There was absolutely no reason to stop the Watada trial.
The judge's claim that Lt. Watada did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges is completely untrue (see Melanthia Mitchell, AP, 2/8/07).
The military seized on that claim and complimented the judge for "protecting the rights of the accused" in granting the mistrial.
Friday Vigil for 1LT Watada - Nationwide, supporters of 1LT Watada will be holding vigils tomorrow, Friday, February 9 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Here in Portland, Veterans for Peace, chapter 72 is holding a vigil at Terry Schrunk Plaza, at SW 3rd & Madison, across from the Federal Building. Come out and show your support for Lieutenant Watada and his stand for the U. S. Constitution. [more]
Open Letter To Seattle Post Intelligencer Columnist - Ehren Watada is not breaking rules whimsically he sees fit. He is violating an unlawful order. It is his duty. People like Thomas Jefferson made sure to articulate as much. First Left Tenant Watada is a war hero. As much if not more so than some Purple Heartsmen I know. I chose during Desert Storm to wait out my two surgeries and get my 10% medical discharge rather than speak out publicly against Bush's father's war, essentially. I began to sour upon that one too. [more]
photos: [ Ehren Watada Rally Brings Thousands To the Streets | more pics from Watada rally | Others Face a Similar Fate | A Father's Grief | Photogs of Rally | More Watada Rally and Vigil Photos | four more pics | February 5 Ft. Lewis Demo/Mistrial- A Short report ]
video: [ Watada Trial Update #1 | Watada's Trial Update #2 | Trial Video Update #3 | Short Interview With Pro-War Advocate at Rally to Support Lt. Watada | Rightwingnut Threatens To Assault Me At Watada Rally | Video Files From the Rally To Support Lt. Watada | Watada rally video | Nazi Punks F- Off ]
It has now been eighteen months since Fouad was brutally tortured and murdered by agents of this state. His murder was rendered all the more heinous by the fact that his killers, Officer Bergin of Sandy Oregon Police Department, and Deputy Willard of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office have thus far escaped any form of discipline or chastisement for their cruel and unjust actions.
The Spence Law Firm, of Wyoming (Well known defenders of human rights, including Karen Silkwood) has taken this case, and filed lawsuits on behalf of the Kaady Family. We wait, hopefully, for the day when these murderers are brought to economic justice, since the criminal justice system has so miserably failed to exact any measure of equality.
Over 70 people assembled tonight to voice their disgust and frustration with their senate, congress and president. The Iraq occupation is not going well folks. As I post, an aircraft carrier strike force is cruising to the Persian Gulf.
Gordon Smith: We are watching your voting record. Greg Walden: Oregonians are watching you and your voting record with this current cabal. Continue to go against the grain of the majority of Oregonians and you will be voted out!
Feel free to participate to any local, state and regional vigil and protest action. As a dad of an active naval officer, I am sickened by this 4 year failure of presidential imcompetance. The soldiers, air personnel and sailors want to come home now.
The Forest Service is beginning the "Recreation Site Facility Master Planning" process on
I think the mistrial is the best news possible for this week's trial. The media just finally stopped ignoring this case, expecting a lynching, and now they will have a harder time ignoring the issues that
Video From the Rally To Support Thousands lined the roads, the overpass leading to the gate, and a nearby field where many spoke and sang out their support, often speaking of other resisters who have taken similar stands of conscience, most without the enormous outpouring of support afforded Lt. Watada. None faulted him for this, yet many urged the crowd to educate themselves about some of the other soldiers whose lives have been equally devastated, both by their experiences in Iraq and their treatment by the
|related:|| Ehren Watada Rally Brings Thousands To |
On February 1st, the day that the City of Olympia banned sitting, panhandling or performing on the sidewalk, the Poor People's Union set up a tent encampment in downtown Olympia at the corner of Capitol and Columbia. Dozens of local businesses and residents have donated food, clothing and other assorted necessities. People who would have been sleeping outside alone, isolated from any sort of community have now
Today, February 6th, the city manager Steve Hall and the police chief came down to the camp and, after kicking one of our tent poles over, gave us a verbal order to disperse. We need people to call all of their friends, contact as many media sources as possible and generally spread the word. We need people to physically be there for support and to continue what we are doing when some of us are
| more pics from |
|A Father's Grief||read |
Lt. Ehren Watada's court martial trial began at 9:30 am today, February 5, 2007, at Fort Lewis, Washington. Here is the first video update here on the ground, which shows the morning's scene of supporters, including Sean Penn who is interviewed in this piece, flooding in to support
| Lt. Ehren Watada's Trial |
In Bandon, Oregon (southern Oregon coast), the Veterans for Peace and other peace-loving folks have been holding a weekly demonstration for some time. I was lucky enough to stumble upon
As my daughter and I were heading from Portland to Arcata, I noticed the glorious VFP flags waving on Friday afternoon/early evening. I pulled over, parked, took out my signs, and
| Photos of Peace Demonstration - |
Today, just 9 days before facing a military court martial for refusing deployment to Iraq, Lt Ehren Watada spoke to an overflowing house at the Langston Hughes center in Seattle Washington. He is the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment, and has garnered enormous respect and support from the people of this country.
His keynote speech came at the end of a Seattle rally and march attracting at least 1000 people, protesting the war and Occupation of Iraq, as well as his upcoming court martial, scheduled for February 5, 2007 at Fort Lewis Washington. On that day there will be a gathering in support of his act of conscience, at the overpass to Interstate 5, exit 119, beginning sometime around noon.
On February 1st at 12 PM, the Olympia Poor People's Union (PPU) set up a tent encampment on city property. The date of the action intentionally corresponds with the city's implementation of an amended pedestrian interference code already in effect. The addition of Ordinance No. 6456n to the existing law criminalizes sidewalk sitting with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. This act of civil disobedience, the encampment, was carried out in response to growing discontentment amongst Olympia's poor people over the slow, systematic attempt at the dispossession of our city's homeless, orchestrated and supported by some city officials and business owners.
In addition, significant portions of the population of Olympia have taken on a generally dismissive and apathetic attitude towards the plight of those in need. This is the inception of an ongoing effort on the part of the PPU to find a sustainable, dignified way to address the issue of homelessness in this area, rather than to ignore it or to punish its victims.
After passing a serious of ridiculous laws banning sitting on the sidewalk, panhandling and busking, the City said they would give 200,000$ to the homeless. Regardless of the fact that 200,000$, divided among all the homeless in Olympia, cannot do anything, the City is not only threatening to take away the 200,00$, but they are refusing the even talk with us. There has been talk that the police may move in on us on Monday. So, refusing to talk with us or respect us as human beings, the City is ready to use force against us.
Please, tell everyone you know about what is going on here and, if you can, come down to the encampment. It is located on the corner of Capitol and Columbia, behind The Brotherhood bar.
On Friday, February 2, 2007 members of the Surge Protection Brigade in Portland, Oregon successfully blocked entrance to the Army/Marine Recruiting office on NE Broadway for two and a half hours. Emphasizing that many of them are grandmothers, they arrived at 7:45 AM with their rocking chairs. They rocked and stood in front of the three doors of the office, denying entrance to two recruiters and several visitors. At one point, frustrated recruiters physically pushed two of the protesters aside to squeeze through the back door. When two recruiters left to get breakfast they were denied re-entry and the accompanying police officer told them they would have to wait outside.
The police, after calling in enough reinforcements that they out-numbered demonstrators by about two to one, finally moved to arrest six of the grandmotherly protesters. They also took three rocking chairs into custody.
related: [ 6 arrested at the Recruiting Center || Surge Protection Brigade:Nonviolent Resisters will Return to Recruiting Center Friday ] week 2: [ Surge Protection Brigade ] week 1: [ Surge Protection Brigade Strikes Again: Nonviolent Resisters Shut Down Recruitment Center ]
Detailed plans and attack orders for an attack on Iran, along with the forces to carry them out, will be in place by the end of February, 2007. Debkafile reported on January 31, 2007 that an Iranian official predicts that the first US military action against Iran will begin around the end of March. The US would simultaneously execute with lightning speed: air-to-ground attacks, naval shore bombardment, anti-ship and anti-submarine attacks, and marine assaults on Gulf islands and coastal areas with anti-ship and anti-air emplacements. These attacks will be to secure the safety of US naval forces in the Gulf, and to secure control of the air over Iran. At the same time sea-launched cruise missiles with preset individual building targets, will begin the attacks on nuclear, military and economic infrastructure targets (transportation, electrical utilities). As soon as naval forces are safe and control of the air is secured, more of the same target types will be attacked by air-launched cruise missiles and guided bombs with pre-programmed precision targets. Note that the plan is not to invade and occupy Iran, but only to seriously degrade its nuclear and military capabilities, along with some related transportation and electrical generation infrastructure.
related: [ Zbigniew Brzezinski: Bush is seeking a pretext to attack Iran | Army journal maps out the future for the middle east with Kurdish nationalist map | IRAN. Chirac: "Teheran could be completely destroyed" - Stepped up US preparations for war | CRC: Warning of the Illegality of US Military Action Against IRAN ]
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