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In Tacoma, Washington, we are witnessing Bush's "surge" right here, right NOW. The armored Strykers are being brought from Ft. Lewis to the Port of Tacoma. We expect the Strykers of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry will be loaded onto military ships bound for the Persian Gulf starting Friday, which normally takes three days. That gives us less than a week to act. By slowing or stopping the Strykers from being loaded, we are drawing attention to the criminal escalation of the Iraq War against the will of the American people. Join the Port Resistance!! KEEP THE 4TH HOME!!! Tues. March 6th to Sun. March 12th or until Strykers have left the port.
Lynne Stewart was in Portland tonight, March 6, 2007, at Portland State University, as part of a West coast fund raising tour. She spoke for about 45 minutes, in part about her case, but much, much more. As she says at the outset, "this really isn't about the case and me, as much as it is about lawyering and what has become of lawyering over the past five years......my perception about this is....that we have seen a freezing of the playing field upon which lawyers operate. And this has to do of course with the sense that we have of who controls the court."
She continues speaking about her case, but mostly as an example of government overreaching and attempts to instill fear in the community of lawyers who defend American citizens. Her trial was a horrendous mockery, being held a few blocks from Ground Zero in New Your City, before a jury of local citizens, "who each had their own 911 story to tell." And at one point in this trial a large photograph of Osama Ben Laden was somehow introduced to the jury. The judge permitted this. One of many grounds to fuel their appeal.
It's no small boon to the U.S. government that the story of 9/11-related Israeli espionage has been thus relegated: the story doesn't fit in the clean lines of the official narrative of the attacks. It brings up concerns not only about Israel's obligation not to spy inside the borders of the United States, its major benefactor, but about its possible failure to have provided the U.S. adequate warning of an impending devastating attack on American soil. Furthermore, the available evidence undermines the carefully cultivated image of sanctity that defines the U.S.- Israel relationship. These are all factors that help explain the story's disappearance, and they are compelling reasons to revisit it now.
Today, a group of us went down to the Tacoma City Council meeting to talk during the public speaking section. After a couple of us had spoken our mind about the brutality of the police at the Port, Wally Cudderford (who was arrested and tazed 3 times on Saturday) got up to read something he had written. When he began shedding light on the fact that the TPD allowed their chief to use their resources to stalk his wife and connected that with how he did NOT expect the police to EVER be accountable for their actions, the council tried to silence him. When he continued to speak, a council member told the police to remove him from the building. They pulled his arms behind his back and dragged him out screaming in pain. They arrested him, put him in a cruiser and took him to jail. Luckily I was able to ask him if he wanted us to bond him out and he answered no.
Make no mistake about it, the police are human, true, but they are fucked up human beings empowered by the State to silence political dissent. This was another manifestation and points, along with what happened on Saturday, to an increase in the amount of force used to crush even the smallest amounts of dissent.
I just learned, as I was writing this, that Wally will be released from the Pierce County Jail. He will have his arraignment first at the County City Building on the 1st floor, room 134 at 9:30 in the morning. He was charged with obstructing a public servant and criminal trespace. If you are up, try to be there.
Felony assault charges dropped against Tacoma Port demonstrators
In a victory for the Tacoma resistance to the US troop surge in Iraq, a Pierce County Superior Court judge dismissed felony assault charges today against all three activists who were arrested at the Port of Tacoma after midnight on Sunday morning.
Wally Cuddeford, Caitlin Esworthy and Jeff Berryhill were amongst a crowd of demonstrators when police in riot gear entered the designated protest zone. One by one the three were pulled from the crowd.
Several witnesses have described how Cuddeford was thrown to the ground and dragged across the pavement. Cuddeford later added that he was Tasered three times while police held him down before dragging him away. Berryhill was holding a protest sign when, according to witnesses, police fired a projectile into his thigh from close range, knocking him to the ground.
It has, already, been eight weeks since the world of education in Greece has been struggling. Today we can count up to 280 occupied faculties out of the 420, six national mobilizations in Athens and six decentralized, a few occupations of secondary schools, a three week strike by university personnel and three days of nation-wide strike in several sectors of the industry (inter alia, teachers of the primary and secondary education). This movement does not seem to deflate yet, not even after two events which completely changed the scene: firstly, the PASOK (Greek socialist party) does not support any more the government in its will to revise article 16 of the constitution and secondly, on Tuesday February 20 the government put again on the table the law cadre...
New Year's resolution: To fight for the public and free education for all!!
"2007 will be remembered in history as the year of total refusal of all the reforms which do not go in the direction of free and public education for all and at all levels... ", declared a member of a student union.
Gold's, the world's largest chain of gyms, is owned by TRT Holdings, which engages in oil and gas drilling. A Gold's Gym on Division would be contrary to the character of the neighborhood and would threaten the survival of locally-owned Loprinzi's Gym. Send an email to voice your concern!
Synergy Health & Fitness Center NW seeks approval from the city to open a franchise of Gold's Gym at the former Wild Oats location at 3016 SE Division. The city has approved the project, but that approval is being appealed by the owner of Loprinzi's Gym (2414 SE 41st Ave.), a locally-owned business threatened by the prospect of a corporate gym only ten blocks away.
At community meetings, Synergy has presented itself as a local business interested in sustainability. Synergy has expressed its willingness to make the Division Gold's Gym "fit" the neighborhood. However, Gold's cannot fit the Richmond neighborhood for the following reasons:
1. Gold's is the largest chain of gyms in the world ( Link To Corporate Site )
There are several eyewitness reports that three people were arrested for peacefully protesting at the Port of Tacoma at about 12:30 AM Monday morning, March 5. They were protesting the shipment of Stryker Brigade equipment to the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. One person was brutally dragged on his stomach and another was shot by a rubber bullet as they were engaged in non-violent protest. The Tacoma police appeared to have become less violent after the media arrived...
The war is now being brought home in profound ways. These protests were part of a continuation of protests begun last year against the use of the Port of Olympia to ship offensive weapons to Iraq. The military at Ft. Lewis decided this year to avoid the use of the Port of Olympia, but rather to ship arms at the Port of Tacoma...
The military equipment is still at the Port of Tacoma and peaceful protests are expected to continue this week at the port and elsewhere in the city. A vigil is planned for by Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OLYPMR) and Tacoma Port Militarization Resistance (TPMR) in Tacoma at Pacific and I-5, from 4-6PM on Monday, March 5. Bring signs to oppose war being exported from the Port of Tacoma. On Tuesday, March 6, there is a planned rally at Noon at the Federal Courthouse at 1717 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
Press Release, Port Militarization Resistance
Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), a local grassroots organization, is claiming victory in its campaign to close the Port of Olympia to military shipment bound for Iraq as part of President Bush's escalation of the conflict.
The decision by the US army to not use the Port of Olympia to ship the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division Stryker unit's equipment to Iraq is a clear recognition that choosing to do so would have been a logistical and public relations disaster for the Port of Olympia and the Ft. Lewis based Stryker group.
"This is a tremendous victory in the campaign to end our community's participation in the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq," said TJ Johnson, an Olympia City Councilman who has helped spearhead the campaign. He added that "our success in Olympia can serve as powerful model and beacon of hope for other communities seeking to take direct action to end their community's participation."
The Army's decision to not risk the consequences of shipping the Stryker unit through Olympia forced it to move equipment through the Port of Tacoma. Military equipment began arriving at the Port of Tacoma around 10:30 pm on March 2, and additional equipment arrived late in the evening on March 3 and 4.
A BC Supreme Court justice today sentenced Betty Krawczyk, age 78, to ten months in jail for protesting the destruction of a wetlands last year. A crowd of Betty's supporters took over the lobby of the Supreme Court building in downtown Vancouver, chanting "Shame, shame" and beating drums. The courthouse was closed for two hours and CBC Radio reports two people were arrested.
Krawczyk pitched a tent in the path of bulldozers building a highway bypass in West Vancouver last spring, defying a court order banning protestors from the area. She was arrested and carried away by police, but returned to the blockade site twice more and later refused to apologize to the court for her actions. After her third arrest last July, Krawczyk was held in jail for two months "to protect the public," the judge said at the time. She will not be credited for time served.
Eighteen months have passed since two murderous thugs under cover of the authority of the state, chose to terminate a young life, rather than administer first aid to a severely injured person who had his clothes burned from his body in a car fire.
Officer Bergin (Sandy Oregon Police Department) and Clackamas County Deputy Willard, after eighteen months, are you sleeping well? If that drug induced sleep seems peaceful to you, hang on, the other shoe is going to drop. It is the hope of every decent, law abiding citizen in this county that Gerry Spence and his law firm will render your estates dry, as well as rake your soulless reputations over the coals for weeks. YOU HAD NO RIGHT!
On Friday, March 2, 2007, constituents of Oregon Senator Gordon Smith were again denied an audience with members of his staff, and two were arrested for trespass.
This is the sixth episode with two people being arrested for seeking an audience with their Senator since the first of the year when Smith made a blistering speech condemning the war as "absurd and maybe even criminal."
Since that time members of the group, Defund the War have visited his office weekly, demanding, in light of his earlier pronouncements, that he announce his plans to deny any future funding for the war. Smith has refused to make a statement either way, and in fact no longer allows these constituents even to go beyond the lobby in the building where his offices are located.
A coalition of ranchers, conservationists, and animal welfare groups has vowed to halt the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's plan to kill the state's cougars. Despite public outcry over the ODFW plan, the agency has begun killing the big cats. According to the Associated Press last week, "A state wildlife agent trapped and shot two young cougars in Jackson County, the first of two dozen to be killed in that part of the state in a study of whether reducing populations of the animals improves public safety and reduces the loss of livestock. Nine cougars have already been killed in north-central Oregon as part of the study, state figures show." To make matters worse, opponents of the 1994 ban on hound hunting of cougars have introduced legislation (HB 2971) that would permit the ODFW to deputize sport hunters as agents to kill cougars. The bill would also allow hunters to use hounds to chase down cougars, essentially rolling back the ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.
On February 8, 2007 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published their official proposal to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) states from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The Service wants to delist wolves in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north-central Utah.
On February 20th, I sent a letter to the mayors of Salem and Medford, asking them to develop meaningful plans to reduce global warming emissions. Please help make sure these two cities listen to that request, by visiting the Action Dashboard of the Oregon Cities Climate Solutions Network. Many of our largest cities, including Portland, Eugene, Gresham, Corvallis, and Ashland, have already committed to developing plans to reduce carbon emissions. Salem and Medford need to join them. You can help make that happen by signing OCCSN's petitions.
Together, we will show that local governments can make real change, and help to shame the federal government into taking action. Global warming solutions are often amazingly inexpensive, and may actually save the city money. Measures taken to cut back on greenhouse emissions on the local level also contribute to quality of life in other ways, by clearing the air of pollution, reducing traffic congestion, and making public transportation easily available. With little meaningful action on global warming from the federal government, as yet, local governments in the US are at the forefront of the movement to address this worldwide crisis. It's easy to get involvedÂ—if nothing else, visit the OCCSN website to sign our petitions to Gresham and Salem. The sooner each one of us takes action, the better. Let's keep OregonÂ—and the worldÂ—a habitable place to live.
FEBRUARY 20, 2007: CucapĂˇs, Quilihuas and Zapatistas united In defense of the original peoples and Mother Earth... UNIOS, the Good Government Council of the Chiapas Highlands and through its Sixth Commission, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation... WE CONVOKE
... The activities and mobilizations that for the survival of the original peoples of mexico, respect for indigenous culture and the defense of mother nature will occur in Mexican territory during the months of February, March, April and May 2007 under the banner: THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN DEFENSE OF LIFE, CULTURE AND NATURE: BELOW AND TO THE LEFT... To Be Installed February 26 in El Mayor, Baja California; March 13 in Huitepec, Near San CristĂłbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
We invite the alternative and free media to be present and, with their knowledge and abilities, link both encampments and contribute that way to the defense of nature and its original guardians, the Indian peoples, and the unity of the Northwest and Southwest of the Mexico from below. We invite the national and international press to report and broadcast, first hand, the life conditions and history of the Indian peoples of the Northwest of Mexico for whom the evil governments only have disrespect and oblivion.
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO!
Olympia, WA, February 29, 2007 - Over the past week, Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), a local grassroots organization, has stepped up its efforts to close the Port of Olympia to military shipment bound for Iraq as part of President Bush's escalation of the conflict.
Members of OlyPMR met with Thurston County Sheriff Dan Kimball on Friday, February 23. The goal of the meeting was to open a line of communication between OlyPMR and the sheriff's office in anticipation that the sheriff's office would provide security for military shipments targeted for blockage by OlyPMR. "It was a very positive meeting," said Wes Hamilton a Vietnam Veteran and member of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. "We support the County's position that the costs for these shipments should not be borne by County taxpayers." According to the National Priorities project, the occupation of Iraq has already cost Thurston County citizens over $300 million.
URGENT: Port of Tacoma Action Sun 3/5 @ 9pmFrom an earlier report:50+ military vehicles were observed Friday night, including 22+ Stryker vehicles, in addition to the other hummers, trucks, soldiers, and vehicles with missiles. The war machine is in our backyard. Be present and take action now. Saturday night, 30-40 regional activists observed multiple convoys from Ft Lewis coming through the Port of Tacoma to be shipped to Iraq. Riot cops had a big presence, probably 30 or so. Activists had a presence there to show that we do not want the military using our port. We need more people! Another action is planned Sunday night @ 9pm for the next expected set of convoys. The more people that come, the more of an effect we can have. If we have enough people, we can possibly take direct action and stop or slow down the militarization of our port.
There is a teach-in about the Iraq war during the day in Tacoma, including a discussion about the port militarization, with a free Riot Folk! show afterwards. So come down to Tacoma for the day, and we can find you a place to stay if you need to spend the night. In addition, there are actions planned for the whole week.
Over 300 people lined the stairs to Washington's Capitol in Olympia today and then filled three rooms for the hearing on SMJ 8016. Another memorial calling on Congress to reject the troop surge (SMJ 8003) was also heard. It was an excellent pairing, since the war in Iraq was premised on the deceptions perpetrated by Bush/Cheney. Those deliberate deceptions are one of the major impeachable offenses.
Why Cloned Food Should Be Inedible and Unacceptable: The mission of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to protect the public's health through assuring the safety of our nation's food supply. The FDA's purpose is NOT to facilitate the dumping of dubious food products onto people's dinner plates for the sake of corporate profit.
FDA first unveiled the commercially motivated lie of "substantial equivalance" back in 1993 when it railroaded through approval of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Now we know from a real scientific study (May 2006 Journal of Reproductive Health) that milk induced through genetic engineering is NOT the same...but, because of FDA's irresponsible rubberstamping, U.S. consumers now suffer reproductive problems from...rBGH dairy products with elevated levels of Insulin Like Growth Factor - 1 (IGF-1).
That is why it is so disturbing to hear about the FDA's Dec. 28, 2006 determination that cloned livestock byproducts are indeed safe for human consumption, and to read a subsequent wave of editorials clamoring for fullblown commercialization of cloned milk and meat. Once again , it seems the FDA is over eager to become an accomplice in the corporate forcefeeding of questionable byproducts to an unwitting populace. Whether it is genetic engineering, biopharming, nanotechnology, irradiation, or cloning, it is hard to escape the thought that U.S farmers and consumers are now guinea pigs caught up in some massive frankenfood experiment that the rest of the world is wise enough to watch from a safe distance. Deadline for public feedback: April 2nd, 2007. Refer to Docket 2006P-0145.
Indigenous Activists from Grassy Narrows Kick off 3,000 Mile Journey to Evict Weyerhaeuser from Their Land
For Immediate Release: February 23, 2007 GRASSY NARROW, ONTARIO - On Friday, Feb. 23, community members from the Grassy Narrows First Nation will begin a journey from their traditional territory in Northwest Ontario to the headquarters of logging giant Weyerhaeuser in Federal Way, Wash. Despite years of community opposition, Weyerhaeuser continues to produce and sell building materials made from wood clear-cut and taken without community consent from Grassy Narrows land.
The "Road to Seattle" tour will feature presentations from community members and organizing workshops hosted by activists working locally and nationally to defend forests and promote Indigenous rights. Stops on the tour include Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria before culminating in Washington state.
http://freegrassy.org | http://ran.org
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2007
What will happen today when people want to talk to Senator Smith? Two constituents will try to go to his office to talk with the Senator or his staff about why he should vote to not approve funds to continue the Iraq war. Will they be denied access to his office? Will they be arrested? If the past is an indication, they will suffer the same fate as five other groups and end up going to jail.
Whereas Senator Smith said, "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore", we are asking Senator Gordon Smith to agree to defund the Iraq war. We are simply asking him to walk his talk. It is anticipated that people will be stopped at the elevators in the lobby and be arrested there. If they are able to go to his office, they will ask him to vote in a consistent manner with his statements about the absurdity of the Iraq war. If he will not agree to do so they will refuse to leave until they have that assurance.
Comment: Kudos to these people who are so persistant and seem to never give up! They inspire us all! (Saturday, March 3, 12 noon to 1 pm, Oak Grove Peace Vigil
In memory of Harriet Nahanee, age 71: A community is in mourning following the death of a great-grandmother who fought to defend aboriginal rights and the environment. Activist Harriet Nahanee died at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Saturday, February 24, one month after she was sentenced to fourteen days in jail for protesting the destruction of a wetlands for a highway bypass. Fellow activist and great-grandmother Betty Krawczyk, age 78, was among those who attended a prayer vigil for Nahanee Friday night. "Me and Harriet really bonded" at the Eagleridge Bluffs blockade, she told me. "We were the only great-grandmothers there. It was up to us to bring it forward...Harriet believed Eagleridge Bluffs belonged to the Squamish Nation, and she felt her band" the elected chiefs "were trading the land away for development... She wanted the land preserved for her great-grandchildren. She put her life on the line for that."
Krawczyk reports that Nahanee was "challenging the right of the elected chiefs of the Squamish Nation to negotiate away traditional Squamish Lands off the Squamish Reserve, lands that include Eagleridge Bluffs. This action potentially has serious ramifications for the entire band concerning who has the right to negotiate away traditional Squamish Indian lands," she wrote in her blog.
On March 5th, Justice Brown will sentence Krawczyk for her own part in the Eagleridge Bluffs protest. Krawczyk expects to be sent to the same Surrey jail as Nahanee.
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