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Report from Germany #1: Story from Hamburg: As my plane landed in Hamburg a lightning bolt almost hit it. I was looking out the window and saw the bolt streak down barely 300 feet from the plane. I landed without being blown to pieces, which was nice. However, I sincerely hope it is not an omen.
Never having been to Germany, Hamburg appeared to me as an anarchist paradise. Political graffiti was everywhere. You can identify people like you by sight. And the Rote Flora, the convergence center for Hamburg, is incredible. An old theatre from the 1800's, it is now a political center/squat with dozens of rooms all for specific things. There also a bike shop. Take the best community bike shop in the US and amplify it 100% and you will understand. Which brings me to the Critical Mass... well over 200 of us, probably more. Every time I looked backwards I could not see the end. We were pursued by a dozen green vans. When they thought they had us, black and green clad cops streamed out of the vans. But we always got away, thanks to the sidestreets. The filming on the part of the cops is a lot more intense than it is in the states and it is big concern for the people in Hamburg, now that they are being called terrorists by their government, just as we will be soon. Their biggest weapon is the suppresion of information and they use it well. The only way to counter it is to spread it all ourselves. Perhaps what is happening here can give you some form of hope. It is giving me hope.
Another story from Hamburg:There was a student demonstration today, protesting the EU's desire to privatize education. We all met at one of the university plazas and waited until we had enough people. On the way there I felt my weak American heart sink at the sight of 25 police vans waiting outside the university. When we marched out of there we only got a few hundred feet into the city before we were stopped. The police were saying that the permitted student march could not proceed because there were people against the G8 amongst the crowd. They boxed us in completely all the way into the inner city. When we got to the inner city, where most of the tourists and monied types and big banks and shopping centers are, we found barricades and water cannons all around us. The German media reported that there will be snipers on the rooftops when the EU ASEM summit takes place in order to "protect the delegates". I'll try and get people out here to send video and their accounts to the US.
Related Articles: German Police Opens Thousends Of Letters Of Suspected G8 Activists | Anti-G8 Filmfest and Informational | G8, Germany: Soldiers Against Protesters | German cops will track G8 crusties by their smell | Security Fence going in around G8 Hotel/Restaurant | Solidarity for the KÃ¶pi squat in Berlin! Evictions planned June 15/16
Activists attending Gore's book-signing held a banner and distributed fliers to call attention to climate change and the incarceration of a young activist, Jeffrey Luers. Hundreds of Al Gore fans lined up at Barnes & Nobles in Manhattan to hear the former Vice President speak out against the growing detachment of American culture.
All attendees of the events learned about Jeffrey Luers, the incarcerated climate activist. In June 2001, the 23 year-old forest defense activist was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for actions in Eugene, Oregon. His stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs play in that process. No one was hurt in this action nor was that the intent. However, despite the fact that this action hurt no one, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon state. Even the City Human Rights Commission stated "...We found that similar crimes have not been met with such harsh sentences, and we are concerned about the length of Mr. Luers' sentence".
Reminder: June 9, 2007 is the International DAY OF SOLIDARITY With JEFFREY LUERS.
For Immediate Release May 25, 2007: Farmington, New Mexico - The home and car of Elouise Brown, a leader of the grassroots Navajo group Dooda Desert Rock, were vandalized early this morning. Dooda Desert Rock and their allies are mobilizing Navajo people and supporters to attend the hearings to be held in June by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the proposed power plant. Although it cannot be known if the vandalism is connected to the Desert Rock controversy, Navajo opponents of the power plant are worried this may be an act of retaliation and harassment in response to increased activism of power plant opponents.
The vandalism occurred as Navajo people and their supporters are waging a strong and high-profile fight against Sithe Global, Navajo tribal government and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in an attempt to stop the siting of what would be the third giant coal-fired power plant in the area south of Farmington, New Mexico. "We will not be intimidated by this vandalism," said Elouise Brown. "We will continue fighting to stop the proposed Desert Rock power plant and to protect the health, environment and culture of our Navajo people."
[this played at Hollywood Theatre may 24] The context of this film is important: Hurricane Katrina and its after math are supposed to be resolved issues now... The mainstream media is more likely to approach New Orleans now as a story of statistics, (how many people have returned), of the allocation of federal relief money and the problems associated with that, of developer's dreams for the city, etc...These are all important issues, but they don't give a continuing, lasting picture of the Dust Bowl-like tragedy of the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Katrina.
From what I remember, Katrina was presented as a regional story, and not something that affects all of us in this country. Walidah's film gives the on-the-ground perspective that I, personally, haven't seen on the topic of post-Katrina New Orleans, save for one or two Nation articles, and possibly some other journalists' reports. We all need to sense what it's like to drive (or walk) through a landscape of chaos like that, passing by military vehicles. Far from being a resolved matter, post-Katrina New Orleans is a matter that needs to be continually looked at from new perspectives such as the one that this film brings. Thanks to Walidah and Suncere for presenting the two films and for the after-film discussion.
Comment: I thought the discussion afterwards was very powerful as well. My favorite memory was Walidah's statement to the effect of "A lot of people believe that the US Government blew the levy. It's important to recognize that that is something that people not only in New Orleans, but all over the country are willing to believe very easily, given the daily lived experience of black folks. Whats most important, is that it doesn't really matter whether or not the US Government specifically acted to blow the levvies, fifty years of neglect, knowing that a category five-storm would blow them, the outcome is exactly the same. They just managed to save themselves that certain amount of dynamite or c4 that they can instead drop on Iraq."
Finally, a shipment of truth has arrived at the gates of hell, also known as Sandy, Oregon.
Today, almost two dozen copies of the excellent DVD, "28 Seconds, The Killing Of Fouad Kaady" were delivered to an unsuspecting city of Sandy, Oregon. May they live, and multiply, and maybe serve to educate those who are still foolish enough to believe that the cops are there to protect and to serve them. Oh, several other copies have been scattered hither and yon, as well. Estacada's brand new library has a copy, and there are more to follow. Please, if you manage to score a copy, if you have the means, burn a copy or ten, and spread the wealth. We can use all the help we can get, to illuminate the dark regions of Clackamas County.
Another action for Fouad Kaady
As most Indy readers know, the excellent video, "28 Seconds: The Killing of Fouad Kaady" is now available on You Tube, as well as several venues about town. We have been fortunate enough to have obtained a full DVD copy of the entire movie, and have felt compelled to distribute it as widely as possible.
To that end, my partner and I have burned several copies of the movie, and are "setting it free" in the community. Today, the fortunate recipient of our efforts was the Fred Meyer's Store in Canby. Their movie kiosk seemed to cry out for some meaningful content. We will be releasing copies at various locations, and would love to hear if any of them come full circle and fall into the hands of fellow Indy readers. In the meantime, it is out there, keeping his memory alive, and hopefully making the public aware of just how much danger we are all in.
Here is the relevant text from the Union Grievance I plan to deliver to ATU 757 tomorrow:
Beginning in April 2001, Grievant experienced constant workplace bullying by individuals angry at her gender expression ("male-to-female transgender"). Grievant has filed several security complaints since April 2001. Tri-Met has made no effort to educate the public and its workforce as to appropriate restraint of discriminatory language and actions in the workplace. Tri-Met has exacerbated the suffering of Grievant by refusing doctor-ordered medical care. See City of Portland 23.01.050 (anti-discrimination), also ORS 659.030 ("... may not... discriminate in compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment... ").
I pass by this field every day on my way home. It's not important which one it is, it could be any field. It's a rolling, green pasture, sprinkled with spring flowers and bursting with rich, green grasses. There's a pear tree out in the middle, and a stream running through it. On one side, it runs along the river, and often geese gaggle along the shore, haughtily daring anyone to come too close. This time of the year, there are often eagles sitting in the trees near the shore. This is a beautiful and blessed place. But the most conspicuous residents are the cows.
Large, quiet, soft-eyed cows graze the grasses, blink somberly at the geese, and gaze into the fragrant, green light of spring. Heady, heavy thoughts are obviously on their minds. Joyful, spindly-legged calves trot along beside them now, their noses wet with the dew of new life, their eyes full of the wonder of a new day. I love these cows. The mothers and their babies gather in soft communion in the shade of the pear tree, and down along the coolness of the shallow stream. Wisdom and strength reverberate through the bones and hides of these ancient mothers' sturdy bodies, while joy and faith and exuberance ring out from their leaping, wide-eyed progeny.
Last Schumacher Furs Saturday protest tomorrow (slight time change) A slight change from previous weeks, instead of meeting at 1:00 we will meet at 2:30. The end time will still be 5:00 or whenever they close for the day. Please join us for the entire 2.5 hours, or a few minutes or just to stop and say hello. [more]
EF! Troubadour Darryl Cherney plays benefit for Grandmother Aggie in So Oregon 5/26 Infamous Earth First! Troubadour Darryl Cherney, along with his band the "Patriot Act" (formerly the Chernobyls) will be performing at Grandmother Aggie's benefit in Takilma on Saterday the 26th at 8:30 PM. [more]
End the Occupation March / Vigil, Waterfront Park, Memorial Day, Portland, Oregon Meeting at the Waterfront Fountain, Standing quietly to Honor Our Fallen Soldiers, And Honor in solidarity the ones whom served in the Past that are still with us. Then Marching to end the Occupation at 1:30 p.m. down to the Korean War Memorial. [more]
Anti-G8 Filmfest and Informational May 30th 5-7pm, Portland State Universiaty RM 298. We will be showing 2 films and have updates on events at G8 meeting in Germany June 6th thru 8th. June 6th 2:30-4:30pm, Portland State University RM 238. Updates and video footage from events currently going at G8 in germany (June 6-8) and film on FTAA (free trade agreement of the americas). [more]
Impeachment Discussion in Portland Impeachment is on the table on June 2, 2007, at the Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Living Earth Gatherings (www.earthgatherings.com) at its monthly potluck. The potluck starts at 6:30, and the impeachment discussion part at 7:45 to 9:00 p.m. Earth Gatherings asks a $5 donation of attendees. [more]
War Contractor Exhibit in Tacoma This is a call to NW activists to mobilize in Tacoma for a war contractor exhibit that will be visiting our city within the next two weeks. The defense industry has registered for a trade show at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, June 4-6 billed as "SpecOps West 2007 ExpoTrade Show and Symposium"... [more]
On Friday, May 25 at 12 Noon, Cascadia's Ecosystem Advocates (CEA), Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) and the UO's Forest Action held a citizen demonstration outside two Eugene Market of Choice stores (29th/Willamette and Coburg Road) to urge Market of Choice to stop banking with Umpqua Bank, whose board of directors is responsible for clearcutting and herbiciding hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon's forests.
Despite Market of Choice's green, eco-friendly image, by continuing to bank with Umpqua Bank, they are complicit in the destruction of Oregon's precious forests and watersheds.
Over 50 people assembled at 5th and Hall in Beaverton last night. Of course, everyone was disappointed of the compromise with that the congress reached with Chimpy yesterday.We must continue to hold all elected officials accountable for the continued occupation of Iraq. Keith Olberman said it best last night: "The entire government has failed us in Iraq."
Speculative industrialists are trying to foist a dirty, toxic tire burning plant upon the community of St Helens, just North of Portland. Despite an underhanded effort to sneak this in under the radar of public comment, hundreds of people showed up last week to register their strong opposition to the proposal. But it seems that corrupt and short-sighted city officials may have already made up their minds, long before the public was even informed about the project at all.
Reklaim Technologies wants to make a killing. Literally, it seems. "Recycling" tires is the next big thing. They say they can get just over a gallon of oil for every tire they burn. They call themselves "eco-friendly," and their website is decorated with pictures of trees and waterfalls and hiking boots. They say that their "patented pending process" will "improve the environment." Those who know bullshit when they see it will recognize this for what it is. It's a lie. A story, manufactured to quell public concerns about the highly toxic process that this company will be using. A lie that will pave the way to profits for Reklaim technologies.
Gone to broken ankles every one. When will they ever learn?
Wilson High School students planted marigolds in the shape of a peace sign on school property. The only one to confess is facing severe consequences. School officials claim that they don't object to the message of peace (yeah, right), just the "damage" to the grounds.
One student, senior Maggie Collins, has admitted to taking part in the planting. She now faces consequences which could prevent her from gaining admission to college. She will be expected to pay for damages or repair the grounds before receiving her diploma or transcripts. "I think it's sad that we're living in a society right now where you're teaching us to silence our voices," she said.
Portland Citizen interviews school officials: "It's in a courtyard and now we have 6 inch trenches of dirt and the kids are going to break their ankles playing frisbee now." What?! "They're going to break their ankles... on marigolds?" I asked. "The marigolds are all going to die, and then we're just going to have trenches of dirt, and then they will break their ankles," she replied. Seemed a little hyperbolic to me. I asked to speak with the principal, but was told she was busy.
Collins is planning a work party this weekend to patch things up (so to speak) at Wilson H.S. this Saturday @11am - 1151 SW Vermont St.
On Monday evening (5/21/07) Judge Ann Aiken issued her ruling on whether the "Terrorism Enhancement" could apply to the District of Oregon federal defendants in the "Operation Backfire" eco-sabotage cases. Although Judge Aiken stated that this enhancement may apply, the government still has to provide clear and convincing evidence that the enhancement applies in the case of each individual defendant.
From the Civil Rights Outreach Committee:
UPDATE, 5/25/07: Chelsea Gerlach was sentenced today to 108 months plus 3 years supervisory probation. Terrorism enhancements for BPA power line, EPD substation and Jefferson Poplar. Court notes from Gerlach's sentencing are here.
UPDATE, 5/24/07: Kevin Tubbs was sentenced today to 151 months plus 3 years supervisory probation. Terrorism enhancements for Oakridge, Burns BLM, EPD substation, Romania and Jefferson Poplar.
UPDATE, 5/23/07: Stanislas Meyerhoff was sentenced today by Judge Ann Aiken to 156 months plus 3 years supervisory probation. The terrorism enhancement was applied for the Jefferson Poplar, Romania and EPD substation arsons.
Have you been wondering what's happened with HB 3270, the bill sponsored by Representative Mitch Greenlick to mandate verification of machine-tallied election results in Oregon? Thanks to all of you who previously contacted your elected representatives, it's still alive in the Oregon House - not well, but alive.
The Secretary of State's office has been voicing objections to the bill but it is finally on its way to being amended and is scheduled for a work session in the House Elections, Ethics and Rules (EER) Committee next Friday, May 25th. If the bill makes it out of committee, it will go to the full House for a vote and then on to the Senate. Time is critical now, with the legislative session scheduled to end on June 30th. The clock is ticking to pass legislation mandating verification of machine-tallied election results before the 2008 elections!
Your voices are needed once again.
On Mothers Day This Silent Vigil lasted around an hour and a half. I recorded 24 minutes. Peaceful, powerful, visible, and a strong message.
Here is the google video link to the video I filmed:
Over 60 people attended last evenings vigil.K eep contacting your elected representatives urging them to end the occupation of Iraq and to begin impeachment of Bush, Cheney and Gonzales.
I asked repeatedly what we had done and why we were being ordered to leave the city. "You're part of a dangerous anarchist group that will only drain our security resources," he responded. "We've been monitoring your website and e-mails, we know what kind of agenda you have."
"So this is about our political beliefs?" I asked.
"No," he responded. "This is about you being federal security threats.
Kansas Mutual Aid is not welcome in this city, end of story. I know you
are going through legitimate means to work in the city, and you're story
seems picture perfect, but we know who you are, and you're not allowed
June marks the seventh year that our friend and comrade, Jeffrey "Free" Luers has been imprisoned and held captive by the state. Sentenced to an outrageous 22 years and 8 months for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at Romania Chevrolet in Eugene, Jeff has continued to be active in prison and fight back with his words and inspiration. Although Jeff recently won his appeal and is expecting a reduced sentence, this case is not over:
"I have spoken with my attorney and there are still many battles ahead. Hard choices will have to be made. I am by no means close to walking out of prison, just one step closer. This is a victory, and while my own personal struggle is making headway others are just beginning."
We encourage people to organize events for Jeff and other political prisoners, uniting struggles for human, earth, and animal liberation.
Join media activist Walidah Imarisha and Orleans-based organizer Suncere Shakur for a screening and presentation on the continuing aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and the rebuilding and rebirthing that is going on from the ground up.
Thursday, May 24th
Human Rights activist and highly regarded futurist Keith Henson was arrested Tuesday, May 8th, after a hearing during which he was denied lawful due process. He is currently being extradited to California on an Governor's warrant on a minor misdemeanor -- a never-before-used and obscure law titled "Interfering With A Religion" -- while picketing and protesting the Scientology corporation for its involvement in a number of disturbing homicides involving its customers -- as well as for the killing of non-Scientologist Ashlee Shaner. The arrest and jailing came as a surprise to everyone, including Mr. Henson's attorney who was not given copies of the warrant and who has been unable to reach Mr. Henson by telephone.
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