Support the Finnieston 4

Thanks to my friend Larry Morton in Scotland for this news.

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Today four members of the White Feather Club were arrested after undertaking a banner drop from Finnieston Crane to protest the glorification of war and militarisation that Armed Forces Day represents. You can show your support for the Finnieston 4 and resistance to militarism by emailing whitefeatherclubglasgow@gmail.com and adding you or your organisations name email to the following letter:

“We the undersigned proudly add our names in support of the four female anti-war activists arrested after almost 12 hours atop Glasgow’s iconic Finnieston Crane.

These activists audaciously occupied the Finnieston Crane and unfurled banners reading ‘Resist Militarism’ and ‘#WhiteFeather’ in dissent of the the glorification of war and increasingly US style culture of militarism by events like today’s Armed Forces Day and reclaim the white feather, once used as a symbol of cowardice, to celebrate those who bravely refuse to participate in war.

Armed Forces Day, in it’s 6th year, will bring to Stirling today a display of chauvinistic militarism normally associated with the fascist regimes of the 1930′s, Soviet era Russia or the brutal dictatorship in North Korea. Flyovers by military aircraft, simulated combat missions, tanks and other military vehicles and marching bands amid a flurry of flag-waving. All billed as a family day out.

All this comes in the lead up to the UK government funded celebrations of the start of WW1 with Glasgow chosen as host city of. £55,000,000 will be spent during a time of austerity to attempt to derive nationalistic pride and glory from one of the most senseless human catastrophes in history. The ‘War to end Wars’ was a lie then and 100 years later a new generation is being told that lie to indoctrinate them with militarism and with a heartless irony, sell them a myth to ensure support for current and future wars.

It’s time to speak out and these brave activists have done so in the proud tradition of Glaswegians Mary Barbour, John MacLean and the many, many war resistors and conscientious objectors from Glasgow and far beyond.

They now lie in police station prison cells and we send them our love, support and solidarity and our warmest thanks for daring to dissent, to speak and act for us all without fear.

We demand their welfare and well being be looked after and call for their immediate release from police custody, without harassment and without charge.”

Portland Freeskool

Registration is Now Open for the Saturday, July 12th Freeskool at George Middle School in St. Johns!

George Middle School, 10000 N Burr Ave. Portland, OR 97203

PDX Skillshare is a day of FREE classes, taught and organized by your neighbors. Register HereThis is a way to learn new skills, pick up a hobby, and meet other people , all in a fun and informal setting. Over 70 classes will be offered on every imaginable subject. Classes start on the hour from 1 pm to 6 pm and run for 50 minutes each. At 12:15, sign-up sheets for each class will be posted in the cafeteria and students can then sign up for the classes they wish to attend. Check it out. 

Here are a sample of the classes already confirmed for PDX Skillshare: PDX Skillshare: A free day of classes taught by your...

Intro to Genealogy
Bookmending
Body Weight Boot Camp
Co-op 101
Research the History of Your Home
Learn To Juggle
Screen Printing With Stencils
Fearless Knotting: Crochet for the Beginner
Tai Ji (Tai Chi)
Introduction to Aikido
How to mend your clothes
 Urban Garden Soil Safety: Lead Testing and More
Introduction to Compassionate Communication
Quit Your Job & Start A Business
Basic Bike Repairs
Seated Shiatsu Massage You Can Do Anywhere
Learn to Sing
Art of Clowning
Aquaponics

If you have skills to share, sign up to teach a class:
http://pdxskillshare.org/teach-a-class/


		

	

Perp….with dolly

What happens when one nine year old schoolgirl tells on another girl for drawing on a desk?  kids drawingWell, there might be a little hair-pulling and some non-injury fisticuffs, and then 6 days later, the 9 year old desk artist is eventually clapped in irons and led away to the pokey. Once Portland cops had the dangerous perp safely in custody, they fingerprinted her, (with a really tiny ink pad) and took her mugshot (with their Hello Kitty camera.)  What else would we expect!!  How disappointing, though – they must have forgot to swab her.

The little girl’s mother was absolutely gob-smote as she watched uniformed officers head off with her kid in the back of a cop car. The child had been running through a neighborhood sprinkler and was still dripping wet. That did not bother Portland’s finest! They pinched her still wearing her flip flops and a little pink Velco wrap-around towel over her swimsuit.

“When they put handcuffs on, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, this has got to be a joke,’ ” the girl’s mom said. “The look on my daughter’s face went from humiliation and fear, to a look of sheer panic.”  Oh pshaw – imagine her being upset. I mean, what is she; some kind of a drama-queen? And then, the woman even had the temerity to complain! This mother is now speaking out publicly to the city’s Independent Police Review Division after her complaints fell on the Police Bureau’s deaf ears. No significant discipline of the officers ever resulted, (naturally.)  So now anyway, maybe these overly eager cops will be charged and made to go before the GRAND JURY, ewww, look out!  And where, like always after carrying out some some boneheaded action, the grand jury will find them faultless and compliment them for a job well done.  Then the Bureau will be unfettered in their zeal to promote them and give them their own wee piece of a park with a nice plaque nailed up to a tree they can march around and salute during re-enactments.

The review panel is inviting the mother back to speak to look at whether the city, or the Police Bureau should adopt more restrictive guidelines for taking children into custody. Wol…ya think?

“We really don’t think there’s circumstances where children under 10 should be taken into custody,” said the executive director of Youth, Rights & Justice; a not-for-profit law firm serving vulnerable children.

The Citizen Review Committee also has invited juvenile advocates to the meeting. “We just want to hear what some of these experts say, and based on that, decide if we want to weigh in and make a recommendation,” said the committee chair. We guess this process is necessary because it must take a horde of “experts” to get through to the Bureau what might pass for common sense to most people.

An Oregonian article gives background on the case and can be found here: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!

Anarchist Radio Berlin

From ABC Belarus and our anarchist comrades in Germany. With Ukraine so much in the news, this is a timely interview Th_ABCmskabout revolt and the status of anarchism in Belarus and right next door, in  Ukraine.  This interview provides an alternative perspective from the asinine saber rattling coming out of Washington DC and American sensationalist media. (The link is safe; I check before posting them here.) Stay with it, only the first few words are in German – all the rest is in English:

we would like to present you an interview with the Anarchist Radio Berlin (Anarchistisches Radio Berlin: aradio.blogsport.de) made with a member of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) in Belarus about the anarchist prisoners in the country, the situation in Belarus and the neighbouring countries and the planned info tour through parts of Europe starting in April 2014. This audio has been re-recorded with a different voice in order to protect the identity of the original speaker. You’ll find the audio (to listen online or download in different sizes) here: http://aradio.blogsport.de/2014/03/31/a-radio-auf-englisch-interview-with-abc-belarus-2014/ The length is: 9:25 min. Enjoy! And please feel free to share!

map of Belarus Ukraine

 

 

May Day

basketPagan May Day stems from the ancient, pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, (pronounced Bell-tinna,) a Celtic celebration of Spring and fertility. Villagers would get together around the Maypole and uh….merge units. Orgy-day, as it were. The origins of the Maypole have been hotly disputed for centuries (disputed we suspect by those people who prefer filling baskets up with flowers to having sex,) but the phallic significance of an enormous, ERECT POLE should be fairly obvious to the average person. Baskets and poles aside, most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day.  Many make the assumption it is a holiday celebrated only by RED MENACE COMMIE BASTARDS in countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that Worker’s May Day has its origins here in this country, and for some excellent reasons. The industrial barons of the time were tantamount to slave owners, and workers, who had no rights at all at the time, worked and died in horrid conditions and were treated abominably by cruel employers. So Worker’s May Day is as American as the hubcap. The IWW reports that in 1886, a socialist publisher appealed to the working people with this plea:

  • Workingmen to Arms!
  • War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
  • The wage system is the only cause of the World’s misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
  • One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
  • MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.

 

The Haymarket Massacre, which  took place in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in 1886, is widely accepted to be the foundation of May Day observances for workers.  Haymarket  began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day. As pro-labor speakers spoke to the crowd, cops swooped in to disperse the public meeting. (Unfortunately, cops are still prone to doing that.)  A blast was set off by unknown person(s) and between the explosion and ensuing gunfire, seven police officers and at least four civilians were killed and scores of others wounded.

In the legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. Evidence generated by a police search implicated one defendant, Louis Lingg, who could have constructed an explosive devise with dynamite but it also showed that none of the defendants on trial had thrown one.  Seven anarchists were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. Out of those seven, two of the defendants death sentences were later commuted to terms of life in prison, four were hanged, and one committed suicide in jail. In 1893, Illinois’ new governor, John Peter Altgeld,  criticized the trial and pardoned the remaining defendants. A  public sculpture was dedicated at the spot in 2004.

ABC LargeMay Day 2014

Portland Anarchist Black Cross, Portland Books to Prisoners and Oregon Jericho are all going to be tabling (asshole to elbow) downtown at May Day/International Workers Day! Tabling will be in the South Park Blocks (behind PSU) on SW Park Ave, roughly in the area between SW Main and SW Market. Tabling usually involves sitting there for a couple of hours, handing out info about the prison industrial complex, and answering the nagging question: “What does books to prisoners do?” (ANSWER: They send BOOKS TO PRISONERS!)  We will set up around 2pm. There is a rally that starts at 3pm and a march that starts at 4pm. May Day falls on a Thursday this year. Come by and see us! March in the street! Tie a ribbon around your pole and have an orgy! We hope to see everybody at May Day!

 

POW Gavin Coyle

Gavin Coyle is an Irish Republican prisoner incarcerated at Maghaberry (pronounced Maw-bry) prison, in the British occupied North of Ireland. Gavin is currently on a hunger strike to protest being held in the segregated

Maghaberry Prison

punishment unit for 3 years.  Irish Republicans – those who believe Ireland has the right to be a whole, sovereign, and undivided nation, are imprisoned only for believing Ireland’s freedom is worth fighting for. It is a fight that goes on daily and even though Ireland is not that far away from us, because of US/English joint tactics and the media blackout serving to protect the interests of the British elite, many people in the US are never aware of this struggle.  Maghaberry is one of the most notoriously inhumane prison facilities in the world. Once those cage doors slam shut behind an Irish Republican person, they will meet with the worst treatment the Brits can devise. The prison staff at Maghaberry is entirely British and of a mindset that to this day, stubbornly holds itself to be entitled to any lands occupied in the name of Empire. Irish prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and brutal strip searches. These are known to occur as often as 6 times a day when the prisoner is considered political, or is being leaned on to inform on others. Such is the case with Gavin Coyle; they think he knows something. The battle to bring human rights observers and international awareness to the cruel practices taking place at this prison, is one we have been fighting for over a decade.  Clearly, this prison is in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Prolonged, enforced isolation is unjustifiable in any circumstances. It is unjustifiable whether it is imposed as a punishment, or for any other purpose.”  Letters to political offices and human rights organizations in the US, Ireland, England, and to ECHR committee members, when they have been answered at all, have held scant promise of any resolution to the cruelty being inflicted upon the Irish by Maghaberry’s sadistic staff and administration.  So what, as human beings opposed to the torture of other human beings, can we do about it?  The best approach, whether the prisoner is located in the US, Ireland, or anywhere else, seems to be to just to write to the prisoner directly. By that action alone, a prison’s staff and administration are made aware there are people on the outside who are watching how the prison treats people and that we know precisely what is happening there, and who is responsible for it. Portland Anarchist Black Cross holds regular community writing nights for people to join us in caring. These are on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm and are located at Red and Black Cafe, on SE 12th and Oak, in Portland. We provide everything you need to pick up a pen and demonstrate your support for somebody in prison.

 

SEE ALSO:

graphic courtesy of Ansionnachfionn.com

IRPW, the Irish Republican Prisons Welfare Association

HARK: Political Prisoners in the North of Ireland

Irish Freedom Committee

Phoblachtáigh do Aontiú / Republican Network for Unity

Workers Solidarity Movement

Indymedia, North of Ireland

Irish Political Status Committee Forum

 

Strife Sues Olympia PD

Strife is suing the Olympia Police Department. He was in a crowd at a protest in Olympia in April of 2010, when police swooped in to take them down. The cops surrounded the group and began swinging batons at them and firing pepper balls in their faces.  During the protest, ironically called “West Coast Days of Action Against Police Violence,” one cop claimed Strife punched him in the face. There were no witnesses to the alleged offence and no other officers will corroborate the story.  Olympia Police swiped everyone’s cameras and recording equipment and refused to give the stuff back until three years later, when Strife’s lawyer forced the issue by winning a settlement against the city of Olympia. In a video clip used as evidence of Strife’s doubtful crime, he on his knees with a banner in his lap, roughly in the center of a group of twenty-nine people. It should be pointed out Strife is several feet away from the cop’s head he is alleged to have remotely smote. In the police report, the cop incorrectly described Strife’s attire and general appearance and in photos of his “injuries” after the protest, the officer’s head and face show no injuries (other than an unfortunate accident of birth rendering him a damned ugly lout to begin with.) According to court documents, the cop Strife allegedly socked, has racked up a total of eight citizen complaints and two disciplinary actions in the past five years for engaging in threatening or intimidating behavior. He also has some excessive force complaints, including one for brandishing a gun at a citizen during a traffic stop and another for slamming a woman’s face into the ground. A few more and they’ll promote him to Captain. 

Despite glaring inconsistencies, Strife was charged with assault and after being successfully railroaded by his public defender served a two-month sentence in Thurston County Jail.  Please join Strife on March 11, 2014 at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma at 9 am for the first day of this civil trial that aims to expose the criminalization of dissent. For news and updates on his case, please visit Strife’s support blog, “We Are All Suspects Now” at http://strife-101-life.tumblr.com/.

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