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FOREST DEFENSE 14.03.2003 22:37
Forest defense community mourns the loss of our friend Sparrow
From the open publishing newswire: The forest defender community of Cascadia is suffering from a severe tragedy that occurred this past week. During the early hours of Tuesday, March 11, 2003, our friend Sparrow, aka Carson McCann, took his own life while out in the forests that he loved and worked to defend. It happened at the beginning of a group skill-sharing campout in the Willamette National Forest.

We all knew Sparrow as a kind, gentle individual who fought hard every day to defend the ancient forests and to bring about a more responsible relationship with our ancient forests. Sparrow was especially involved in surveying for rare species like the red tree vole. He spent countless hours in the forest climbing every tree possible looking for voles trying to cancel egregious, old-growth timber sales. Even more, he spent countless hours teaching people how to climb ropes safely, so they could carry on the important work he helped pioneer.

Those of us who knew Sparrow will never forget him - the twinkle in his cool blue eyes, his calm tone and amazing spirit. He was a loyal friend, passionate and dedicated to changing the world. Sparrow was a political, emotional and spiritual revolutionary. He was the real thing. [ Read More... ]

Forest (dis)Service billboard in Eugene re-faced to memorialize Sparrow
this forest (dis)service billboard in eugene was re-faced sometime late tuesday or early wednesday morning as a tribute to sparrow, the forest defender who took his own life monday night/tuesday morning. the billboard is on franklin, near the university. [ Photos ]

DECLAWING THE LEGACY 20.01.2003 10:04
MLK, Not Political?
Two years ago at our Ashland MLK celebration I spoke to Judge Arnold just prior to the event. Think back two years, can you remember? We had just had the presidential election and the following fiasco that selected Bush. 60,000 (mostly people of color) had been illegaly dropped from the voter's registry in Florida by brother Bush. Remember? I requested to Judge Arnold that this be mentioned during our celebration. His response: "This celebration is not political."

Last year here in Ashland at the time of the MLK celebration there was a war going on against low income residents ... to displace trailer home owners in the Lower Pines trailer park. Anything said about this at last year's celebration? No, its not political....

And this year. We have this hideous United State's foreign policy that has us rushing towards a stupid war that benefits this country's war mongering administration. Cronies in the military industrial complex will make big bucks with the oil and arms economy. It is shameful, absolutely shameful. But, what will Judge Arnold say about our rush to war with Iraq? If Martin Luther King was with us he would first speak, but then he would lead us to act... Not Political! What a joke, and a huge discredit to this Great American Hero! [ Full Story ]

MLK Celebration - 12P - 1:15P
Britt Ballroom
Southern Oregon University in Ashland

FOREST ACTIVISM 17.01.2003 16:54
Winberry tree-sit celebrates 4 years of occupation today
From the open publishing newswire: Cascadia Forest Defenders has been occupying the trees at the Winberry timber sale since January 17, 1999. Roseburg Forest Products has the contract for the sale. The forest at North Winberry will NEVER be logged. We're fighting for the last scraps of ancient forests and there is no more room for compromise. Allyn Ford needs to get out of the old-growth business and OUT of Cascadia!!

The Cascadia Forest Defenders and friends first built a platform in a tree named "Glisten" on January 17, 1999 at the North Winberry timber sale in the Willamette National Forest. Eventually, a tree-village was built with platforms in three different trees connected by traverse lines. Four years later, they're still there and are enduring another long, cold winter in order to bring attention to the plight of this amazing place. The tree-sit village is among some of the largest, oldest ancient trees in Oregon.
[ Read More... ]

[ Cascadia Forest Defenders ]

RADICAL POLITICS 12.01.2003 22:59
Audio from Friday's lecture by Craig Rosebraugh, former ELF spokesperson
From the open publishing newswire: Friday evening, January 10, 2003, at Laughing Horse Books here in Portland, Craig Rosebraugh spoke to packed house on the subject of the legitimacy of Political Violence. Packed is an understatement, for the crowd filled the building and then spilled out the door onto the sidewalk. There has already been an excellent post on Indymedia concerning Craig's presentation, including photographs. For those who arrived late and could not find a space to listen, or for those who could not make the event at all, follow the link provided for his presentation, broken up into three parts. [ Comments ]

Streaming AUDIO: [ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ]

RADICAL POLITICS 11.01.2003 00:48
Craig Rosebraugh, former ELF spokesperson, speaks on the 'Legitimacy of Political Violence'
From the open publishing newswire: Craig Rosebraugh delivered a lecture to an overflow crowd at the Laughing Horse Bookstore tonight. Folks were packed in as tight as sardines, and spilled out onto the sidewalk, but listened in rapt silence as Craig shared his thoughts and research from the work he has recently done on his Master's thesis. A sense of occasion unmistakably permeated the room, and Craig did not disappoint. I missed the first part of his three part lecture because I couldn't get in, but I managed to squeak in for parts two and three. Way in the back, I took notes as furiously as I could, but was unable to keep up with his quick pace, so I don't have much to share at this time. Fortunately the audio from the full lecture was captured and will be uploaded to the internet sometime in the next day or two. As soon as it is, a link will be posted here to portland indymedia, so check back for it.

Craig is a good public speaker. There was not a single "um" in the entire evening that I heard. You could tell he's been writing on these subjects a lot because of the many nice, tight phrases that he used. I had my eyes opened to some history I didn't know, and some concepts I'd considered, but not heard out loud (at least not so eloquently). He made no call for "violent revolution" and I don't know if that disappointed the cop in the room. (There was at least one, of course.) He shared the facts he'd found, and some insights he'd arrived at, but made no specific prescription for action. Nonetheless, the radical perspective he brought was refreshing in these peacenik-ridden times, when a call goes out for 100 peacekeepers but not one cop-watcher.
[ Read More... ]

[ Original event annoucement ]

EVENTS ROUNDUP 09.01.2003 23:46
Do Something!
From the open publishing newswire: Volunteer Doctor from East Timor to speak in PortlandDr. Dan Murphy, a physician from Iowa who has volunteered in East Timor for the last four years, will speak in Portland on Monday, January 13th. Dr. Murphy remained in East Timor through the violence leading up to the 1999 UN-supervised referendum on independence.

Time: 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 13.
Location: Portland State University, School of Education, Corner SW Montgomery and Broadway, 3rd floor Foyer.
For more information: 503-292-8168.
[ More Info ]

hike state forest sunday / timber sale threatens bald eagle nestThe Oregon Department of Forestry's Back Break Ridge timber sale is to clearcut around an American Bald Eagle's Nest! Come out and join Bark, The Coast Range Association, Oregon Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club on their first groundtruthing hike of the year.

When: Sunday, Jan 12th. Please dress for wet & cold, & bring food & water!!
Where: Gnat Creek and Back Break Ridge timber sales.
Meet: Portland @ 9-ish at the Daily Grind, 4026 SE Hawthorne, and carpool... Near Astoria gather at 11ish across from the Gnat Creek fish hatchery!
[ Details, Directions and Actions ]

Political Prisoner Letter Writing PartyHere it is AGAIN!!!! Get off your BoOtY and write to Political Prisoners who are currently in jail for animal rights, earth rights, human rights and a lot more, and also learn updated info. We have had a lot of letters from prisoners that wrote back to the people who took the time to write.

Cascadia Forest Alliance (16th and Clinton)
Saturday, January 11th 6:30pm
[ More Info. ]

Howard Zinn on PBS this FridayHistorian, author, and activist Howard Zinn will be featured on NOW with Bill Moyers this Friday, January 10, on OPB. Howard will be talking about the case against war on Iraq and the broader Bush administration "war on terrorism."
[ Find Out When ]

ACTIVIST LEGACY 08.12.2002 16:11
The Legacy of Philip Berrigan
Legendary anti-war activist Phillip Berrigan died of cancer on the night of Friday, December 6 at the age of 79. From burning draft files with napalm at the height of the Vietnam War to pounding nuclear missile silos into plowshares, Berrigan, a former Jesuit priest, had been involved in non-violent direct action against the U.S. war machine for nearly four decades. He spent eleven of those years in prison, and was the author of numerous books. He also co-founded the Jonah House, a Baltimore resistance community, where he passed away surrounded by family and close friends. the following is [from] one of his essays written while he was in prison. "if the American people knew the truth about Washington's nuclear and interventionary warmaking, they would stop it."

Two old men come into our collective view, both warriors, one a man of masterful peace and nonviolent resistance, the other an evil man, a war criminal and mass murderer. Phil Berrigan was once charged with trying to kidnap Henry Kissinger, a trumped up charge by those afraid of the growing leadership of the Berrigan brothers in the anti-war movement. Phil's death is auspicious in that it gives us a chance to tell the story of a life-long resistance fighter at the very time that the corporate media is glorifying war and death. The coverage of Phil Berrigan's life will hopefully teach us to live our lives with courage during these dark days.

I was a young person when I first saw Phillip and Daniel Berrigan speak. I was a student at Oregon State University. It was the late 60's. The Vietnam War blazing and the U.S. military was bringing back 40,000 young U.S. men a year in body bags. The corporate media was slinging the same old "we have to save Vietnam from Godless communism" propaganda at us. OSU administrators immediately "removed" any professor who would teach us the truthful history of SE Asia. The Berrigans came to the campus to talk to us. We asked how could we learn if the administration of the college would not allow it? Phil said that we should stop giving our power to authorities. He told us that on campuses all over the US and Europe students were organizing "teach-ins". The Berrigan Brothers told us to organize ourselves, to teach ourselves. And so it began.

Berrigan was a Christian - a peace-loving follower of Jesus Christ. His words are flowered with references to the bible and to Christian peaceful doctrine. He does however understand fully that anti-Christians have taken over the "church" to spread war, greed and hatred. One of the primary goals of the Berrigan brothers was to stir the conscience of their fellow religionists, their church and even the U.S. government and attempting to shift church and state from a death-driven to a life-affirming course. In an interview by Father John Dear called "The Life of Resistance, a conversation with Phil Berrigan (.pdf)" he explains the meaning of non-violent resistance and asks each of us to access thoughtfully, carefully, and with discipline what we will do to stop the growing worldwide oppression.
"One way to look at our responsibility is from the angle of law. We don't know anything about this law that we have. People purport to be Christians don't know anything about the biblical treatment of law and the fact that human law is always under the judgement of God because it's a sign of rebellion against God. Nuclear weapons are legal, right across the board, from making and processing them to running them through Pantex down in Amarillo, Texas and deploying them. It's all legal, every step of the way. What does this say about law? What does it say that we legalize every measure that could destroy the world? What does it mean that it is legal to destroy the world through toxic poisoning? It says something about law. It's like the law under which Christ was crucified. The rulers said, 'We have a law and under this law, he has to die.' He was executed, legally." - interview with Father John Dear (1993)
Just before he passed over, Phillip Berrigan sent these words to those who would resist evil and the spread of world dominance at this time:
  • that it is right and good to question our God, to plead for justice for all that inhabit the earth
  • that it is urgent to feel this; injustice done to any is injustice done to all
  • that we must never weary of exposing and resisting such injustice
  • that what victories we see are smaller than the mustard seeds Jesus praised, and they need such tender nurture
  • that it is vital to celebrate each victory - especially the victory of sisterhood and brotherhood embodied in loving, nonviolent community. [ Legacy ]
In Memory by flamewalker We walked across the country with the Hiroshima Flame ... brought back to this country to purify the fire that had been misused by humans ... it came with us to vigil at many of our nations nuclear sites ... Hanford, Livermore Laboratories, Lockheed, Los Alamos Labs and Oakridge ... Peace Rallies in Washington, D.C. ... to the building that housed the bomber known as the Enola Gay ... to a home in Baltimore that held the deep resonance of peace and contemplation ... When I first arrived, I had never met Phillip, Elizabeth, Ardeth or Carol before [ ... ]

Phil Berrigans connection to Oregon For you who don't know, or can't remember... Phil Berrigan came to Oregon during the time he was a political refugee on the run. I first met him in a farmhouse in a remote part of Oregon. He was being hidden and cared for because he was a hunted man for burning draft cards and breaking into a military recruiting office and pouring blood on draft records ... I was an ex-Catholic ... a peace activist. I had much anger about the Catholic church and the role of religion in the spread of war and hatred. He told us that the greatest spiritual truth comes from within us. He said that each of us have to hold a center that belongs to what is good and courageous [ ... ]

[ Baltimore Indymedia: Phillip Berrigan, Anti-War Activist, Dies at Home ] [ Phil Berrigan on Confronting Truth ] [ obituary | tribute ] [ December 4 edition of Democracy Now ] [ Berrigan interviews ] [ autobiography ] [ Disarmed and Dangerous (biography) ] [ 1989 interview ] [ 1997 profile ] [ Baltimore Sun obituary ] [ corporate media coverage ] [ video interview with Berrigan ] [ Baltimore feature ] [ ANALYSIS: Comparing Corporate Media's Berrigan Coverage ] Phil Berrigan's essay - Confronting Truth ] [ Philip Berrigan Interviews ] [ Looking for Legacies of Courage ]

RADICAL (REAL) HISTORY 04.12.2002 09:54
Thirty third anniversary of the murder of Fred Hampton, Black Panther and community organizer
"We must stop this rising tide of fascism - school is not important, work is not important, nothing is more important than stopping fascism because fascism will stop us all."
-Fred Hampton

From the open publishing newswire: As soon as they arrived at the panther apartment they immediatly kicked the front door open and shot mark clark in the heart. This was at 4:30 in the morning. Radical lawer william kunstler tells us that the police say they entered with a warrent that said there were guns at the apartment, he tells us "everyone knows the panthers have guns, you go there at 4 in the morning you are looking to provoke". What kunster didn't know then but we know now thanx to declassified documents from the cointelpro files (some of the ex agents who brought us the truth about cointelpro paid with their lives) is that the f.b.i had a floor plan of the apartment and had drugged some of the occupents using an agent named william o'neil. So with eight in the front and six in the rear the police ran in shooting from both ends of the apartment. After killing mark clark officers shot 18 year old brenda harris,she was hit twice yet survived. Officers after shooting their way into chairman fred room gave this verbal exchange "That's fred hampton...Is he dead?...Bring him out.He's barely alive he'll make it"...These statments were heard by fred's partner deborah johnson who was very pregnat with fred's son. After they brought his body out two more shots were heard, these shots were fired point blsnk into his brain."He's good and dead now" they said.
[ Read More... ]

[ Biography of Fred Hampton | Black Panther Party | On the Relevance of Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party ]

POLITICS 27.10.2002 21:04
Paul Wellstone candlight memorial
From the open publishing newswire: There will be a memorial/candlelight vigil for Senator Paul Wellstone tomorrow night, Monday, October 28 at 7:00 PM. Come to Shemanski Park (SW Park and Salmon) to pay tribute to Senator Wellstone. Please bring a candle (or two) if you can. [ Newswire post ]

From a previous story about Wellstone: Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported dead in a plane crash on Friday morning. He was a member of the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and was described on the Twin Cities IMC site as "one of the very few Representatives who had the courage and conviction to speak for those that are so often ignored". Wellstone was among the 23 Senators who voted against a bill granting war powers to Bush. From a progressive point of view, Wellstone's record was not spotless -- he voted in favor of bombing Iraq in 1998, the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act", and the xenophobic Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001 -- but he was generally seen as one of the least of evils on Capitol Hill. From a radical point of view, he fell quite short of any respectable ideal, and showed the pointlessness of electoral politics. [ Read More... ]

[ more on Wellstone: Twin Cities IMC ]

DEEP POLITICS 25.10.2002 21:09
Senator Paul Wellstone killed in plane crash; Foul play suspected
From the open publishing newswire: Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported dead in a plane crash on Friday morning. He was a member of the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and was described on the Twin Cities IMC site as "one of the very few Representatives who had the courage and conviction to speak for those that are so often ignored". Wellstone was among the 23 Senators who voted against a bill granting war powers to Bush. From a progressive point of view, Wellstone's record was not spotless -- he voted in favor of bombing Iraq in 1998, the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act", and the xenophobic Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001 -- but he was generally seen as one of the least of evils on Capitol Hill. From a radical point of view, he fell quite short of any respectable ideal, and showed the pointlessness of electoral politics.

Shortly after the news was announced, speculation broke out on Indymedia that his death was no accident. On a post to the Twin Cities site, the question is asked, "If Bush had died in a plane crash, would there not be immediate open speculation about the possibility of assassination? Wellstone held the balance in the Senate for the Democrats; he was as opposed to Bush policies as any Senator could be, in issues of war, health policy, and labor issues. His death has great political and social significance." So far, corporate media has not raised the possibility of assassination and is pointing to bad weather conditions as the cause of the crash. There is much doubt about this story, though. [ Read More... ]

[ Possible Assassination of Wellstone | Wellstone was NOT a Progressive ]

Twin Cities IMC stories: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]
portland indymedia stories: [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]
Global Indymedia stories: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

FOREST ACTIVISM 10.10.2002 18:42
Treesitter dies in Santa Cruz
From the open publishing newswire: Robin (last name unknown), called in the woods by the name Naya, had just arrived in Santa Cruz from Arcata, CA where he may have been involved with direct action in the Mattole area of Humboldt county. He was eager to go to the forest and defend against logging that would harm Steelhead Trout at the southern end of the coastal redwood forests. He was found Tuesday night by employees of Redwood Empire at the base of "Esparanza," the tree he had been sitting in for about 12 hours. He was taken by helicopter to Valley Medical Center in San Jose where he died earlier today. He would have been 22 years old on Thursday, 10 October. While he enjoyed rock-climbing, this was Naya's first treesit. [ Read more... ]

[ Santa Cruz Earth First! | portland indymedia forest activism stories ]

PEACE / ANTI-WAR 06.10.2002 16:21
War On Iraq? Ten Years From Now, What Will You Tell Your Children?
From the open publishing newswire: The bottom-line is that there are other ways to solve the "Iraq problem," and containment has worked for over ten years. Furthermore, the Bush administration planned to invade Iraq four years ago (see Sunday Herald, a respected U.K newspaper). The U.S. mainstream media hasn't rushed to inform you of that little detail, and U.S. commentators that address this fact usually joke about conspiracy theories to lessen the chance of taking heat from angry letters to the editor and irate media bosses.

War with Iraq is primarily about oil. The terrorism arguments have some truth, however. Propaganda never works, after all, if there isn't some measure of truth behind the message. But the fact is, "our" action could inspire thousands of new terrorists. Nevertheless, even the Washington Post speaks openly about oil being the key issue -- on it's front page, no less. Although you have to read between the lines (WP, Sept. 15, 2002).

Within a couple of years, the world is likely going to reach the midpoint of all petroleum product extraction. Many oil industry executives know this, and that's why BP has changed it's slogan to "Beyond Petroleum," leaving "British Petroleum" in the dust bin of marketing history. Highly respected industry scientists like Dr. Colin Campbell talk about the issue (e.g., RealVideo Presentation [in English after the five minute German intro]; here are the slides he used in that presentation). Even the U.S. Geological Survey documents note that the midpoint is not far off. The Middle East and the Caspian regions house the world's largest untapped resources, and the U.S. seeks to control them. Don't take my word for it. Just read Zbigniew Brzezinski's book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and It's Geostrategic Imperatives. Better still, just enter that title into an internet search engine and read articles about it, like this revealing one by Mike Ferner, a former Navy serviceman. No sense in giving royalty revenue to Brzezinski. As a member of the foreign policy elite on par with Henry Kissinger, he doesn't need your money. [ Read more... ]

THE WAR ON DISSENT 01.10.2002 12:06
...And Then They Came for the Anarchists
From the open publishing newswire: Make no mistake, we've been engaging in pitched battles for quite some time now. Until now, the West Coast radicals have faced the most severe and overt repression and surveillance from the federal authorities. Anarchists and forest defenders in that region regularly must deal with infiltrators, grand juries, and lengthy prison sentences. Same is true for our brothers and sisters in Long Beach, California and elsewhere in the West. The list goes on.

But these attacks on the anarchist movement are not unwarranted. Anarchists have of course been engaged in a low-intensity war to eliminate the very state that seeks to eliminate it, but the state refuses to acknowledge or declare its intentions... until now. [ Read more... ]

Anarchism Is About Moving Forward and Creating Real Options for Dissent
Anarchists are anarchists precisely because we are frustrated by the marching-in-place, stagnant tactics of much of the old Left. We want more than anything else to be done with the tired and failed media primping, choir-preaching, and marginal posturing that the Left has relegated the role of dissent to. We don't want to live on our knees! [ Read more... ]

Tens of thousands of salmon dead or dying in the lower Klamath
From the open publishing newswire: The weekend of September 21-23 I went to visit family in Klamath, California. The salmon had began their fall run, and the river was lined with Yurok fishermen and tourists. As we were wandering along the beach on Saturday, rumors of "someone dumping dead salmon" began to circulate. Within hours it became clear that in fact, the salmon were sick and dying in the river. A combination of drought, drained marshlands, water diversions (from the Klamath and tributaries), and a recent stretch of warm weather caused the river temperature to rise to the point that the salmon can't survive. The water is thick with algae and the salmon are succumbing to gill-rot (branchiomycosis). They are suffocating by the thousands. It appears the die-off began Friday. By Sunday the river had become a mass grave of dead and dying fish. We walked along a small stretch of river at Klamath Glen, about three miles up from the mouth. There were easily a thousand or more dead fish in that stretch alone. Some surviving fish were thrashing about the surface. Others were swimming listlessly along the banks. But most of the fish appeared to be doomed. [ Read more... ]

[ Photos ]

COMEDY / POLITICS 26.06.2002 01:20
Paul Krassner in Portland July 12, 13
"Krassner has rare ability to alter perceptions permanently" -LA Times

His antics as co-founder of the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman & Jerry Rubin led the FBI to classify him as "a nut, a raving unconfined nut". George Carlin confirmed J. Edgar Hoover's statement saying "The FBI was right. This man is dangerous, funny AND NECESSARY!" Krassner even accompanied Groucho Marx on Groucho's first acid trip. "I predict in time he will wind up as the only live Lenny Bruce", said Groucho.

FRIDAY: July 12, 2002 ; 7:00 p.m. Doors Open, 8:00 p.m. Show
Artichoke Music Backgate StageLimited to 50 seats!

SATURDAY: July 13, 2002 7:30 p.m. Doors Open, 8:00 p.m. Show
The Old Church at 1422 SW 11th & Clay, Portland

CYCLES OF LIFE 17.06.2002 23:26
'The Movement Loses a Visionary Leader'
In a tribute posted to the open publishing newswire, Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator of the Nicaragua Network, writes: "Trim Bissell, founder and National Co-Coordinator of the Campaign for Labor Rights, succumbed after a 20-month battle with a brain tumor and left the ranks of those who struggle for justice and peace..."

"Trim taught college level creative writing for three years and was becoming a nationally noted poet when, in 1968, his outrage at the US slaughter of Vietnamese peasants caused him to give up his academic life and move with his first wife to Seattle, WA to, as he described it, 'join the armed resistance to the Vietnam War.' ...He and his wife joined the Weathermen, a more radical off-shoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)... His activities in the Weathermen resulted in his arrest on federal charges of attempting to set off a bomb late at night at the University of Washington ROTC building (Reserve Officer Training Corp). With the willing agreement of his parents, who had put up their house as bail, Trim went underground where he remained a fugitive for 17 years. For a time he was on the FBI's 'Most Wanted' list."

"He took a new name, Terrance Jackson, went back to college where he earned a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Physical Therapy and rooted himself deeply in the Eugene, OR community working as a physical therapist and, beginning in 1980, as a painter and sculptor... In 1987 the FBI finally caught up with him... There was widespread support from friends, former patients, the local newspaper, and even the FBI agent who arrested him, for the argument that his 17 years as a productive citizen paid his 'debt to society' and he should not be sentenced to jail. But, a jury in Seattle sentenced him to two years in a minimum security prison."

"In late 1995 we created the Campaign for Labor Rights (CLR) with Trim as its unpaid coordinator. ...CLR grew quickly due to Trim's indefatigable energy and incisive analysis and soon became know as the 'grassroots organizing department of the anti-sweatshop movement.'" [ Read more... ]

Verdict in on Bari/Cherney Vs FBI Case: FBI Political Police Lose - Jury Awards $4.4 Million
The FBI loses! As Ashcroft plots the expansion of the American police state, a jury in Oakland has found the FBI at fault for attempting to frame environmental/labor activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. Three senior agents from the FBI's terrorism squad, which worked with the Oakland Police Dept. collecting files on local political and activist groups, as well as three OPD officers were found liable for violating Bari and Cherney's 1st and 4th amendment rights. "This verdict shows that activists are the target of the FBI and that reasonable people can see that, and they've awarded us huge damages because of that," says Earth First!er Alicia Littletree. [ Full details | Press release ]

The 10-person federal jury reached unanimous verdicts against 6 of the 7 defendants, but remains undecided on the claim surrounding Cherney's arrest and found no liability for the conspiracy claims, perhaps because evidence of COINTELPRO-style frameups was withheld by Judge Wilken. "We have more to appeal than they do," says plaintiff's attorney Dennis Cunningham, referring to withheld evidence and the six FBI agents dismissed from the case. Cherney summed it up to the press, "We argued this case with our hands tied and the jury blindfolded and we still won." [ SF Indy Judi Bari Page ]

From an SF newswire comment: "Judi Bari was a labor organizer and an environmentalist who understood the connection between the two movements and did her best to unite both movements. She was also a feminist, fighting for our right to abortion, and a peacenik. A verdict that so clearly demonstrates the strength of all those movements comes from a community, the San Francisco Bay Area, where labor, the environmental movement, the women's liberation movement and the peace movement are all comparatively strong. It is the progressive ambience, created by all of our many demonstrations, workingclass community organizing of all kinds and labor organizing that made this verdict possible."

Inventing Reality
Michael Parenti Michael Parenti's 1986 expose of the press media ("Inventing Reality", St. Martin's Press, NY) seems even more relevant today. As corporations merge and the oligarchy grows in power and influence our outlets of information are falling more and more under the watchful eyes of the editors and owners. Parenti points out, time and time again, the subtle stranglehold conservative ideologies maintain over a staggering percentage of our printed information.

Parenti's logic is uncannily simple: capitalists own the mainstream press, the owner(s) executes final power (however indirectly or subtly) over the paper; therefore the press is ultimately pressured by capitalist tendencies which have the effect of stifling certain types of information that could be deemed anti-capitalist, as well as other types of "destructive" information. This tendency to stifle certain types of voices has incredible influence on the masses, who, in turn, sway the electoral process, which then in turn determines economic policy. Basically, there is a conflict of interest in the mass media in the benefit of the rich. There is an in-built cycle that increases the power and money of the few at the top of the hierarchy.

"Inventing Reality" has a similar approach and modus operandi as Rachel Carson's benchmark look at the pesticide crisis, "Silent Spring". By supplying the reader with an impressive number of figures and sources these authors provide a formula and reasoning for reaching their conclusion and the ability to research the information back to its origin. This is in drastic contrast to the tactics of the mainstream media, which, as a general rule, relies on "government sources" and other depersonalized sources of information, effectively blocking any research into stories.

Those interested in alternative media (and if you're reading this then that's probably you) should find "Inventing Reality" and keep searching via Parenti's sources. It's a great place to start trying to understand how things went wrong in the mass media and what we can do to change it. We're just beginning to change the press for the better and now we need to learn how a healthy and organic media system functions. Thinkers like Parenti will help us do just that.

Michael Parenti Interview on Independent Media

The Terrorism Trap
Michael Parenti Presentation at Portland State University

POLITICAL PRISONERS 18.12.2001 16:00
Mumia Abu-Jamal's Death Sentence Thrown Out
Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence was overturned by a federal judge in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning, marking a victory for Mumia and his supporters. In a 272-page ruling, Judge William Yohn determined that Mumia Abu-Jamal, a celebrated journalist and Black Panther, deserved a new sentence hearing based on the instructions given to the jury. If the state does not call for a new sentencing hearing within 180 days, Mumia will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Mumia's conviction still stands and he can still be sentenced to Death Row. The rest of the 29 challenges brought before the court by Mumia's lawyers were rejected, and he was denied a new trial.

[ Newswire story | for more info check the Philadelphia IMC | Photos of police brutality at mumia rally ]

Mumia Abu Jamal - websites
[ Refuse and Resist | Free Mumia | Friends of Mumia ]

FOREST ACTIVISM 24.10.2001 03:18
Activist injured at God's Valley pledges that struggle will continue
On Tuesday, Tre Arrow held a press conference to discuss logging operations in the Tillamook State Forest and the injuries he suffered when he was attacked there earlier this month. Both ODF employees and loggers have been subjecting activists to extreme harrassment, going so far as to cut all the branches from a tree in which Tre had perched. After 45 hours in the tree, Tre fell from a height of 70-90 feet, and sustained serious injuries. Though wheelchair-bound for the time being, Arrow expressed confidence that he would heal soon, and pledged to continue the fight to save the trees. "I'll be right there on the front lines again," he said. This was his first public appearance after being released from the hospital.

[ VIDEO of press conference ]

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