Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

A good article by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
Link: Truthdig – Reports – Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

A good article by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
Link: Truthdig – Reports – Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

Thoughts on Mayday 2007 – no borders

Portland, Oregon

Besides being International Workers’ Day, Mayday is also the 8th anniversary of my marriage to PattyJo. She didn’t get the day off, so I will be our sole representative at this afternoon’s big Mayday march here in Portland. This has been an annual event for us since our first one in 2001.

Over the years I have harbored mixed feelings about Portland’s celebration of this important holiday. We missed the tumultuous post-Seattle-WTO Mayday clashes around Powell’s unionization drive, but Mayday 2001 and 2002 were large and boisterous, and full of costumes and maypoles and dancing. They were truly joyous occasions.

In 2003 the labor union leftists decided to take charge and keep the day “on message”. Instead of costumes and maypoles, we were bored by long, tedious speeches without end. Needless to say, attendance began a steep decline.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The message is one which desparately needs to be aired. But why must our holidays be stripped of celebration to accomodate this? By insisting on a narrow agenda, the labor left alienated many potential supporters.

On the other hand, last years inclusion of immigrants and support for their cause, has revitalized the celebration. I have hopes that this years march will have the same kind of vitality.

Keep expanding the agenda. No Borders!

Mayday 2007
March and Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights
South Park blocks at SW Salmon St.
• Rally at 4pm
• March at 5pm

From Portland Indymedia: Support South Central farmers

I have learned from the open publishing newswire on Portland Indymedia that the South Central farmers in Los Angeles are now under assault by local police agencies. Oregonians, and others on the west coast should support this movement for local, sustainable agriculture in the heart of the nations second largest city.

In a press release issued today, the farmers said, “For over three weeks supporters have been onsite at the South Central Farm, the nation’s largest urban farm, which serves as a 14-acre oasis in the middle of L.A.’s concrete jungle. This 14-year-old community gem functions as an active farm for more than 350 families and fills a local need for fresh produce, green space and a safe haven in a poverty-stricken region of Los Angeles. The farmers, community volunteers and celebrity supporters are in a daily state of peril anxiously awaiting the farm’s fate.”

According to Dr. Joseph Hurwitz, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Isaiah, Palm Springs: “The South Central Farm is a gem in the Los Angeles landscape. It supplies local communities with fresh, organic produce, gives children a safe environment to play and learn in, and provides a successful example of urban sustainability for the rest of the world to follow… ”

from the open publishing newswire:

The South Central Farm is under siege. If you live in LA or anywhere near there please make your way to the farm to keep the protesters and farmers safe. The immediate area around the Farm has been blocked off by the authorities limiting access to the site. Spontaneous rallies of support have sprouted on these perimeters with crowds increasing in size as the morning passes. Protesters still inside the Farm are being physically removed and arrested.

Once again, this is the Red Alert! The Sheriffs have begun and are carrying out the eviction! Mobilize as many people as you come to continue to protest this oppressive action Arrests have already been made. It is still unconfirmed but there are also reports that a protester was carried out on a stretche. Bulldozer positioned nearby have began breaking through the fences.

Once again, please converge to the Farm.
41st Street and Long Beach Ave. Los Angeles, CA

Thank you.

South Central Farmers website | NorthWest Rage

Big Mountain, Black Mesa in the news again – urgent

I recieved an email this morning from the Northwest Peltier Support Committee, forwarding this urgent message about the plight of Navaho families on Black Mesa. Congress needs to be contacted immediately.

Urgent! Navajo Communities Face Forced Relocation

Something critical is about to happen concerning the traditional
communities on Big Mountain and surrounding areas on Black Mesa. Today, more than 30 years after the passage of Public Law 93 – 531, the original Navajo-Hopi Relocation bill, a new bill is before Congress that sets a new timetable for the forced relocation of a number of Navajo families on Black Mesa. Senate bill S. 1003 is now on the Senate Calenda r and may be passed at anytime without deba! te or se rious consideration unless the public acts now. The last major relocation bill was approved by the Senate within a month after being placed on the Senate Calendar and stayed in the House of Representatives less than a week before becoming law. It’s difficult to convey the serious nature of these new developments. The passage of this bill would effectively devastate these traditional communities of Navajo, or Dineh, stripping them of their identity and way of life which is tied into the land itself.

Native people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line!



CALL CONGRESS!! Background and Talking Points, from the words of the People affected & contact list for appropriate public officials:

[Congressional Switchboard TOLL-FREE: 800-426-8073, 800-614-2803, or 800-839-5276]

Sunshine at last?

Sunday, here in Portland, the sun showed its face with no hint of shyness for the first time in months. No hide-and-seek with the clouds, just pure, glorious, unadulterated sunshine. On such a day you expect life to be good and to be rewarded with further soul-lifting support from the cosmos, so it should have been no surprise that the afternoon march and rally against the Iraq war would have a large turnout. But the actual size of the crowd was indeed a nice surprise.

When we stepped on the Max for the journey downtown, we were expecting maybe a few thousand of our fellow PDXers to join us in protesting this illegal and unconscionable war. But when we arrived at Waterfront Park, it was obvious that this would be quite large, even for Portland. It took over a half hour to file out of the park onto Naito Parkway for the march. March watchers reported that it took a full hour for the parade to pass Pioneer Square. The mainstream press estimated 10,000 participants, while some observers on Indymedia put the number at 50,000. My own (experienced) estimate is that there were 15,000 to 20,000 marchers.

After such a lame turnout for the protests across the globe on Saturday, one must ask, what made Portland different? Two factors I think were important: the northwest had a particularly wet and dark winter, which made the sunshine irresistable, and the anti-war movement in PDX has been languishing for over a year now. There was a lot of pent-up energy to get out on the streets with others and speak our minds.

Now, how about the converse to that question –despite Portland’s good showing, why is the movement against the war seemingly losing momentum? As you might guess, I have some thoughts on that subject.

1. What we have been doing hasn’t been effective. The tactics of massive rallies has not worked because the media has ignored or marginalized us. We need a new approach which involves civil disobedience on a large enough scale so that they can’t write us off. What if all 20,000 of us on Sunday decided to sit down in the middle of the street and not move until some concrete demands were met? What would the police have been able to do? Could the press have ignored that?

2. The world is waiting for US. The people of the United States are the only ones who can stop this war. Yes, we need the support of the rest of the world, but world public opinion of the Bush administration is close to zero, and that fact has had no discernable effect on the behavior of the U.S. government. It is up to us to stop this war.

Elections are coming up soon, and much of the anti-war fervor may be swept up into campaigns to unseat Republicans. This may or may not be a success, but what is the good of unseating Republicans if Democrats continue to have no spine? What will we do when the elections are over (regardless of who wins)? These are questions that need to be asked.

Support first nations at Grassy Narrows

In Ontario, Canada, an indigenous community called the Grassy Narrows First Nation are being subjected to human rights abuses. Logging companies, Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi are clear-cut logging their land without the community’s consent. This exploitation is poisoning their waters with toxins, robbing the community of economic opportunities, and destroying their way of life.

Sign the petition.

FreeGrassy.org: Home