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From the open publishing newswire: War is not the only thing we should be talking about-- it is a huge media smoke screen in front of all the other really important issues we should be talking about in the context of U.S. imperialism. Today in the Oregonian business page there was the announcement of Robert Zoelick and company having proposed the elimination of all trade tariffs on garments and textiles in preparation for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
This article referred to the FTAA as something "nearly all nations in the hemisphere had agreed to a blueprint for..." It then went on to talk about how the U.S. has not moved on subsidies of agriculture, and in fact increased such subsidies by 80% last year-- a major issue for countries like Brazil that could stop and agreement from being reached.
So, The question is, if over half the stuff in the independent media is related to speculation and analysis about the unjust war that could happen in Iraq, and all of the deception related to this war, what about the permanent war? What about the thousands who will die or starve, or go deeper into poverty because of privatization, union busting, and neoliberal trade policies that are moving ahead full force, with the perfect diversion in place?
From the open publishing newswire: Grand juries: The best way to prosecute ... when you don't have a case. So a Federal Grand Jury has sprung up in New Jersey and anti-Constitutional zealots are jumping for joy. Hoping to crack down on activists practicing their right to dissent over issues of animal cruelty the FBI has convened a grand jury, one of their favorite tools in their war on freedom.
Banned in other countries with real democracies for several hundred years - today's grand jury is nothing more than a political witch-hunt. Draconian rules state that if you do not cooperate and give any information asked of you, even if it is just speculation or an opinion - you can be thrown in jail for up to 18 months (or until you cooperate). Additionally you do not have the right to an attorney and no one can ever know what was said and done in this secret forum.
SHAC have successfully infiltrated Eli Lilly
Monkeys escape from EU's largest primate lab
Of course this is a great moment to get into action (again)! I made a letter both in Dutch as in English, demanding instant closure of the BPRC and the release of all 1600 animals to Stichting AAP (a Dutch exotic animal sanctuary)or other sanctuaries of our liking.
From the open publishing newswire: 500,000 Deception Dollars were just printed and will be hitting the streets of the major anti-war demonstrations this weekend. The 9-11 Truth Alliance continues to grow, fueled by the research, art, cartoons, books, dedication, efforts of more and more people. A People's Commission on 9-11 will undoubtedly gain more credibility than a Kissinger/Kean led Whitewash Commission.
While few people think that they "know what really happened" on September 11, 2001, many know that the government's story is a fabrication and that the White House has consistently lied and tried to conceal the Truth about 9-11. [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: The Northwest Campus Peace Coalition announces today that the Student Senate of Portland Community College, Sylvania has endorsed the student walk-out. At Tuesday evening's session, the Senate voted in favor of resolution in support of the walk-out. The resolution reads as follows:
"While we support our troops overseas, we cannot support our government's decision to begin war with Iraq." Senators stressed the effects of war on students and youth, on all sides of the conflict. The NWCPC hails the passage of this resolution as proof that the walk-out has broad-based support among students and that opposition to unjust, immoral and unprovoked wars is growing with each day.
From the open publishing newswire: Give the gift of love to your valentine this year with an IDA Valentine Card. We are asking for a minimum five dollar donation for these adorable cards that you can give to someone you love, and help these special animals at the same time.
All proceeds will go directly to care for more than 400 animals rescued from deplorable conditions from the Ark Animal Sanctuary in Tillamook, Oregon last June. The cards have an adorable picture of three cats rescued from the Ark Georgie, Smokey and Sissy with a short description of the rescue and a message telling your loved one about the donation made in their name. For card orders please email Matt at email@example.com. We can drop them in the mail to your or you can stop by the office to pick them up. (5428 NE 30th - 503-249-9996)
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From the open publishing newswire: OREGON PUBLIC POWER COALITION TO STAGE FEBRUARY 12 RALLY, TURN IN SIGNATURES FOR CREATION OF PEOPLE'S UTILITY DISTRICT
Oregon Public Power Coalition supporters will rally on February 12, 11:00 a.m., on the corner of S.W. Salmon Street and 1st Avenue to display to Enron (disguised as PGE) their signatures to put creation of a Multnomah County People's Utility District (P.U.D.) on the ballot. The Coalition's mascot, Andy the Illuminary, will challenge Enron lackey, Larry the Lightbulb, to a debate on utility rates and on such Enron schemes as "Death Star," "Ricochet," and the one that describes Larry himself: "Fat Boy." [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: People I know who have to buy their own medical insurance -- self-employed or employer doesn't provide insurance -- are paying $300-$400 a month for one person! One health care activist who has studied this told me recently that he expects buy-it-yourself medical insurance to be up to around $500 a month in a couple years. Very few can afford that.
I'm on the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's expanded version of Medicaid. Due to the state budget crisis and a dysfunctional legislature, benefits -- dental, mental, drug treatment, vision and prescriptions -- have been cut for most of us on OHP. I'm just thankful that I can get by without any of that, but, at 63, for how long? Most major illnesses require expensive prescriptions. I fear for those on OHP who need prescriptions to survive. Also for the mentally ill, whose outpatient treatment has been eliminated. [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire:
Here's some of the highlights:
Friday, February 14
Saturday, February 15
10 am to 1 pm: Southeast Uplift
Noon: North Park Blocks
1 pm: Federal Building, Eugene
1:30 pm: State Capitol
2 to 4 pm: Colonel Summers Park Pavilion, SE Taylor between 18th and 20th
5:30 to 7 pm: Marylhurst University
7:30 pm: Echo Theatre, 1515 SE 37th and Hawthorne
To submit your event: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Paul is at it again, this time teaming up with a democrat to repeal Bush's blank check for war. Since this story is being ignored elsewhere I felt it needed reporting here. This is a good read on how corporate media really works (or, more accurately, fails to work).
After Colin Powell spoke to the UN Security Council yesterday, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in Congress by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ron Paul (R-TX). It wasn't just any bill - this is legislation that looks to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution passed by Congress in October.
Yesterday, DeFazio and Paul conducted a press conference that the major media outfits were invited to. Did you see it on C-SPAN? Nope. CNN? Nope. Did you read about it in the New York Times? Nope. They were all invited to attend the news conference. How about the Washington Post? Nope. But the story nearly saw daylight there. Almost. Almost? Almost.
"We decided not to run it," says a low-level staffer. [ Read More... ] http://www.house.gov/defazio/020503DERelease.shtml | www.ruminatethis.com/archives/000882.htm... | H.J. Res 20
Agree with DeFazio and Paul? Dial up the Congressional toll-free switchboard at 1-800-839-5276 and urge your Congressman to sign onto their bill, H.J. Res 20, which aims to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution.
Defendants Aim to Expose Double Standard in War on Terrorism, Put SOA and US Foreign Policy on Trial
Columbus, GA - As the Bush Administration seeks to expand the "war on terrorism", 35 human rights advocates from across the country are scheduled to appear for trial in federal court today where they intend to expose what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil - the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC). Graduates of the controversial combat training school for Latin American soldiers continue to be implicated in human rights atrocities throughout Latin America.
The defendants were among 10,000 who gathered in November to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC. They were part of a group of 96 who peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school. The 35 are the last of this group to be adjudicated. Forty-two defendants were tried and convicted January 27-29. Sentences ranged from twelve months probation to six months in federal prison with fines. The defendants include Catholic nuns, a priest, a reverend, veterans, union organizers and students. The defendants plan to testify in court against a double standard in the "war on terrorism", and to put the SOA/WHISC and U.S. foreign policy on trial. The trial judge, G. Mallon Faircloth, is known for giving the maximum of six months to opponents of the SOA/WHISC.
"The SOA is out of alignment with the values of the American people," said Judy Bierbaum, a defendant from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was sentenced in January to six months in prison and a $2,000 fine. "Patriotism is not about slapping a flag in the window if that's where it ends - it's about calling our country to task." [ Read More... ] www.soaw.org
From the open publishing newswire: PCUN Legislative Action Alert to all supporters: A bill, HB 2578, that requires proof of citizenship or legal residence to obtain a driver's license, permit, or identification card in Oregon, was introduced to the legislature on February 6 by Representative Betsy Close (R-Albany) and Representative Alan Brown (R-Newport). This piece of anti-immigrant legislation does nothing for homeland security and will only put Oregonians at risk because it will lead to an increase in unlicensed, uninsured drivers on the road. A similar bill,labeled by the Latino community as "Driving while Hispanic," was defeated in the 1995 legislative session.
We are calling upon our supporters to immediately call or e-mail Representatives Close and Brown and voice strong opposition to this legislation. This is an action alert forwarded from PCUN, the farmworkers' union. Please take a minute to call or e-mail to express opposition to this racist, divisive, immigrant-bashing bill, even if you missed the Feb. 10 "day of action" deadline. In the past, decisive action by Oregonians has defeated previous immigrant-bashing bills. We can do it again! Si se puede!
From the open publishing newswire: Heard on Free Speech Radio News today that Rep Conyers introduced after 1 1/2 yrs, consulting with Physicians and other groups, a bill called the US National Health Insurance Act. This means Health Care for all Residents of the U.S. as I understand it. It would improve/expand/strengthen Medicaire by slightly taxing bond/stock transfers, and repealing the Bush Tax cut.
URGE CONGRESSIONAL REPS TO SUPPORT THIS BILL !!! Let's see if we can push for a nationalized program... that DOESN'T emulate Clinton's plan to include big corporate HMO's and ensure they profit from our nationalized health care system. Let's support and pressure our Legislative Reps to accept this bill. Even if you don't vote you can call in to support this legislation that ensures our elderly have the health care they expected to get when they bought into the capitalist system...
From the open publishing newswire: The campaign to stifle dissent and censor any questioning of current U.S. policies vis a vis the Middle East in general, and Iraq in particular, has reached new levels. Websites which host alternative views, and/or views that contradict U.S. foreign policy are no longer tolerated on the Internet and are systematically coming under hacker attack and political pressures to "relocate."
YellowTimes.org (www.yellowtimes.org) has for the past six months withstood intense hacker attacks as it publishes views that directly question, criticize, and berate the U.S. official line regarding the impending invasion of Iraq.
Imad Khadduri, an Iraqi former nuclear scientist who was instrumental in Iraq's nuclear weapons program in the 1980s and early 1990s, has charged that recent allegations concerning the competence and progress of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program are baseless and untrue. In an article published on YellowTimes.org before it was taken off-line by its hosting company, Khadduri painted a dismal picture of Iraq's scientific community with many out of jobs and scrounging for work after the Gulf War and subsequent allied bombing reduced any nuclear hopes to rubble.
From the open publishing newswire: On Saturday, February 8, 2003, there was a demonstration in front of Adidas on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland Oregon, seeking to inform Adidas customers about the slaughtering of Kangaroos in order to manufacture a new line of shoes, the Predator.
This is an international boycott campaign that has been going on for about four months, sponsored by Viva USA. According to the spokesperson for another group, the Animal Protection Institute, Adidas has refused to engage in conversation. She said further that boycotts are a way for the public to demonstrate their power, and that consumers can speak with their money.
Matt Rosell, of In Defense Of Animals, said that we don't need to buy these shoes and contribute to the suffering. Animals are often clubbed to death and their babies abandoned. According to Matt, since most of Europe has shunned eating Kangaroo meat, they have turned to marketing the skins for shoes. Further, he said he thinks people are smarter than that, and once people are aware of what is going on they will be smart enough to honor the boycott. There are synthetic materials available and therefore no reason to continue the slaughter of these animals.
From the open publishing newswire: Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are now finalizing the Omnibus spending bill for all federal agencies for the 2003 fiscal year. In last minute, closed-door meetings the committee members are considering a number of bad forest riders. Calls are urgently needed tomorrow, Monday, because the Appropriations Conference Committee members will be finalizing the language in the bill Monday evening. The full Congress is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday. If passed, the bill would:
1) Permanently authorize stewardship contracting and goods for services authorities. This rider would authorize an unlimited amount of stewardship contracts over the next ten years and be expanded to include all BLM lands.
2) Exempt the Tongass from the landmark "roadless rule" intended to preserve millions of acres of unspoiled wildlands in America's national forests. Attempts to reverse it, yet the Bush Administration is planning more than 40 large industrial timber sales for Tongass roadless areas.
3) Allow the timber industry to log as many trees as it wants and wherever it wants in the Tongass National Forest, including even the largest and most ancient trees and in critical wildlife habitat areas. Not only would this devastate the Tongass ecosystem, it would greatly increase taxpayer subsidies to timber companies.
4) Prevent environmentalists from challenging in court Forest Service decisions limiting wilderness protection status for parts of the Tongass National Forest.
From the open publishing newswire: When we arrived at the school, we were immediately met at the gate with a security guard named David, who asked us if we had tickets. I told him no, that we were going to try to see if we could get in. He replied that we could not get into the building without tickets, so I told him the REAL reason we were there: to exercise our right to protest. He waffled a bit, then told us to hold on while he asked his supervisor. David then informed us that we could go in; we just couldn't hand out flyers or have signs of any kind. "OK," we agreed.
We parked, and brought a few flyers with us, but left the sign in the car. When we arrived at the entrance, however, we found five protesters standing outside who had signs! They had been smart, and came through another entrance, or parked their car somewhere else and walked in. Two officers from the sheriff's department were standing nearby, making sure that we stayed in a designated area away from the main entrance.
After standing outside and talking for a few minutes, my companion and I proceeded to go back to my car and retrieve the rest of our flyers. We then tagged almost every car in the parking lot ...
From the open publishing newswire: Nearly 100,000 protesters came together in San Salvador yesterday to celebrate the fifth doctor-led "White March" against the privatization of health care. Some 100 unions and organizations from across the Salvadoran social movement turned out to oppose privatization, known in this country as the "Pay or Die" system because it denies health care to those without the means to pay. Police, who had previously threatened violent repression against the march, attempted unsuccessfully to prevent dozens of busses from entering San Salvador, but found their roadblocks overwhelmed by protesters. At the closing rally, many speakers emphasized the need to oppose the CAFTA free trade agreement between the US and El Salvador. Salvadoran President Francisco Flores had hoped to break the strike within the next two weeks, but the strong turnout for yesterday's march is a clear indication that the Salvadoran social movement has no intention of backing down.
Responding to a call for increased international solidarity during this critical moment in the struggle against privatization and CAFTA, CISPES activists yesterday occupied the Salvadoran consulates in San Francisco and New York City, and rallied outside the consulate in Boston. At all three sites, activists from different sectors demonstrated their rejection of the Salvadoran government's attacks on workers' right to organize and the US government's complicity in these attacks. In San Francisco, two activists occupied the consulate and chained themselves to a display board, refusing to leave until the Salvadoran government ended the privatization of health care and rehired all fired strikers.
From the open publishing newswire: In our recent open letter to the Portland City Council (delivered to Council offices last week), we of the Portland Bill of Rights Defense Committee wrote the following, after detailing the effects of the USA PATRIOT Act:
"These examples illustrate some of what has already been done under the auspices of new authorities granted in the crisis mood that existed after September 11, 2001. But the government is not yet content even with these drastic increases in its authority....We trust the City Council to recognize that without any sustained public outcry over the initial increase of law enforcement authority via the USA PATRIOT Act, the Federal government has seen fit to continue its effort towards ever more such authority."
This massive push for drastic increases in government power is continuing unabated, as evidenced by the uncovering of a secret draft for what is being dubbed 'PATRIOT II'. We have obviously waited too long as it is, and we cannot wait any longer. They are going to do it to us again, and Portland cannot afford to dodge the ball any longer. Contact the office of Commissioner Sten and urge him -- all the more because of this new revelation of PATRIOT II -- that the time to come forward and sponsor the proposed civil liberties resolution is NOW.
From the open publishing newswire: Friday, Valentine's Day: don't work for the war machine! spend the morning making love, spend the afternoon making peace.
At NOON the ASHLAND PLAZA downtown becomes a festival of resistance! Music, puppets, dancing, drums, a vigil in grief and hope! Prayer, candles, sharing, visions, a zone to express our rage! Free speech, mobilizing, action. To do more than numbly watch, or shake our fists in despair, we must come together.
We invite all kinds of participants and all kinds of participation we will make of our public space an assemblea of the people in action your visions and skills and commitment will be not alone but collected, together, with all the power our diversity can muster . . .
From the open publishing newswire: Early Thursday morning, a local artist hung several masks/signs (see photos) on the fountain in the courtyard at Clackamas Community College. The title of the fountain is "Art at the Fountain," and it includes several bronze faces sculpted into it along with words from such "anarchists" as Sojurner Peace, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc. and therefore seemed to be a natural for uploading and posting a few anti war sentiments, in hopes of stirring a little thought. No property was defaced in any way, as the masks were "set free" by the artist, and simply hung by wires, to go their own way. They were posted at six a.m. and attracted a lot of attention as students and faculty arrived to face their day. They were, however, removed sometime around eleven a.m. by persons unknown.
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