Saturday, January 29, 2011

Houston organizes Resistance to Immigration Propaganda

Local families are organizing against anti-immigration, calling for protection of human rights. The immigration issue is seen in a lens of nationalism or economics and it is not treated as it should be. Humans deserve rights, intrinsic to their existence.

"The successful effort of Houston United in Austin raised our collective voice for dignity and respect in the face of legislation that threatens at the core livelihood and well-being of millions of Texas immigrant families.
As part of the Houston United activities, CRECEN and America Para Todos encouraged the growing movement of TPS immigrants impacted by TX DPS cancellation of Commercial Drivers Licenses to directly petition those in authority to redress the harm inflicted by these unjust laws and practices. Truck drivers joined the effort.

One of the largest groups at the rally were over 100 legal immigrant residents of the State of Texas that are protected and authorized to work under the US DHS Temporary Protected Status. These are people in the Texas transportation industry, mostly truck drivers, who have had their Commercial Driver's Licenses cancelled under administrative decisions from the TX Department of Public Safety and the Texas Transportation Code.

As one truck driver told a representative of the TX DPS representative upon handing him over 500 letters from others directly affected, "My drivers license is my job."

While the legislative teams visited those at the State Capitol, TPS immigrants got on the two Houston buses, standing room only, and protested in front of the TX DPS Drivers License Office. Some had gone to Austin from Houston in the buses; almost as many had driven their own vehicules. Attorneys Gordon Quan and Houston's America for All Bianca Santornini had just had a meeting with TX DPS officials.

At the end of the day, the visible presence of over 100 truck drivers fighting for the fundamental right to a livelihood for themselves and their families laid bare the cruel unjust proposals and actions that drive many families to hardships and suffering when immigration law enforcement becomes state policy. It contradicts those who justify state anti-immigrant laws as a means of ending undocumented migration. Anti-immigrant legislators and supporters contend that this is about the undocumented, but by denying fundamental rights to certain categories of legal resident immigrants, the ugliness and ulterior motives are stripped off.

The truth is naked: it is about pure meanness of spirit driven by racism and entrenched power.

Houston United, all people of good conscience, and the truck drivers at the center, challenged that cruel reality and demonstrated that all persons deserve dignity and respect and that we must continue forward in our quest to say no to Arizona or any type of hate in Texas. After all, we are family." by Maria J Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

The Insurgent Stands in Solidarity with all the people of the world who seek to empower themselves and end oppression in their lives.

thanks to:
http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2011/01/72197.php

www.houstonunido.org/

The newest Insurgent

The Latest Student Insurgent issue is out, look for it on campus stands and in the mail (if you ordered it)!

main Feature:
Oscar Grant


If you want to let your opinion be known or you have news, art, comics, poetry- write us at studentinsurgent@gmail.com

Love,
-THE Student Insurgent

Friday, January 28, 2011

Red&Black Cafe in Portland working towards self-determination!

The Red and Black, is a classic piece of Portland! A Cafe, worker owned and operated, which serves home made recipes and delicious food (from multiple personal and second hand experiences), with the delicious ethical aftertaste. The Red & Black is, in addition to being a fine restaurant, is a community hub of meetings, movie showings and contributing to a sense of all-around solidarity!

"Workers at the Red & Black Cafe are teaming up with a newly forming low-income housing non-profit to own the cafe's current building at 400 SE 12th St in Portland. A fundraising drive was launched at the beginning of this month to raise the $50 thousand dollar down payment. Loans and donations to the project bring the current total raised to over $43,000! We have until the end of January to raise the money to make this project successful. The plan for the building is that the main floor will remain the Red & Black Cafe. The upstairs, which is currently offices, will become income restricted affordable housing.

With ownership comes the security of knowing that space costs can't be pushed out of reach by a future landlord. This is especially reassuring news for the Red & Black Cafe which faced this very issue when it was forced from its original location. This is also important due to the Red & Black's controversial reputation — owning the building ensures that there will be no future landlord who is tempted to not renew the lease."-http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/01/405592.shtml

The Student Insurgent says - Right on Red & Black!

Uprisings Spreading Across Middle East! Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia...

This morning tanks surrounded protesters in Egypt, the government is finally taking the people seriously. US considers cutting 1.5 billion in USA aid to Egypt is being considered the by White House.

Tens of thousands are in the streets of Jordon as well, demanding that their Prime Minister step down.

Streets flooded with people in Suez and Alexandria as well. Tunisia, Yemen still seeing unrest. Curfew in Cairo has officially begun.

Al Jazeera says Egyptian security have entered their Cairo building, the source of live feed: http://english.aljazeera.net

Muhammad El-Barada'i under house arrest.

Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt, makes curfew official. Has tried to shut down internet. Bringing a "brutal crackdown on protests".

US defends oppression: Joe Biden says Egypt's "Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn't step down..."

"Five men have so far been killed and almost 1,000 others have been imprisoned, police have beaten women and for the first time an office of the ruling National Democratic Party was set on fire. Rumours are as dangerous as tear gas here. A Cairo daily has been claiming that one of President Hosni Mubarak's top advisers has fled to London with 97 suitcases of cash, but other reports speak of an enraged President shouting at senior police officers for not dealing more harshly with demonstrators."-Reports the Independant

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with protesters, who seek only more freedom in their daily lives. Around the world we see this movement, against repression and authoritarianism. The Student Insurgent stands with you!

Thanks:
http://portland.indymedia.org/

http://www.indymedia.org/en/index.shtml

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-egypt-mubarak-20110129,0,3465482.story

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-egypts-day-of-reckoning-2196751.html

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oregon-Gaza cultural exchange

J. Campbell, E.Whitaker, S.Athamneh, are Co-founders of the Oregon-Gaza cultural exchange.

The Oregon-Gaza Cultural Exchange is a not-for-profit program dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding and academic development through dynamic dialogues between US and Gazan schools. The Oregon-Gaza Cultural Exchange prioritizes international collaboration between youth as central to achieving peace.

he inaugural Art Exchange aims to inspire mutual respect and personal growth by capturing students’ everyday life and culture through various artistic media. The Art Exchange intends to form partnerships with local businesses, artists, and arts advocacy organizations to provide ongoing artistic mentorship and promote student self-expression.

This June, E. Whittaker, S. Athamneh, and J. Campbell will travel to Gaza to carry out the second stage of the Oregon-Gaza Art Exchange: give American student art to Gazan students, and ask them to create their own pieces based off of the theme “What I See When I Look Out My Window”.

This idea of windows is really something visionary, windows today, into culture, daily life and a window into what the world may come to be like. The windows give the children the ability to see a bigger world, an oppertunity to see through another's eyes. The goals and these people are dedicated to a truly wonderful mission. A mission who's aim is to overcome cultural differences and bring us all closer together, with a window into a better world. When we see through a child's eyes, we do not see the problems, but the possibilities for a better world.

They have already brought $17,000 dollars in school supplies. As a part of school supplies for Gaza.

checkout their website:
http://notafashionstatement.com/

How to Plan and Execute an Act of Electronic Civil Disobedience

"In the midst of hacktivists using ECDs (similar to distributed denial of service attacks) to defend Wikileaks, it's worth having a document that describes how such attacks are planned and executed. Such a zine has recently been released that is written in laypersons terms so expertise in computing or networking is certainly not needed to understand it. If you have the ability to browse the web and edit a Microsoft Word document, you've probably got what it takes to understand the ideas it presents.

The zine goes through everything from anonymously scoping out your target to distributing your ECD tools and call-out. It includes a guide on doing research and making online postings anonymously, legal risks you may encounter and analysis of the effectiveness of ECDs as opposed to other large protest tactics. It reviews three popular tools (the Greek ECD Tool, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and Slow Loris) and provides step-by-step instructions for configuring and packaging them. It also includes a short section on the history of the use of ECDs by social movements.

see it here:
http://zinelibrary.info/how-plan-and-execute-act-electronic-civil-disobedience-ecd

Please repost widely."

From:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/01/405573.shtml

This seems like a great tool, for any activist. The power of the modern technology has been wont for more political ends. Good luck for all to try to use this Solidarity, THE Student Insurgent.

UO President discusses University Privitization

On January 26th, 2011. University of Oregon President LaRariviere held a 'Town-Hall' meeting to discuss the purposed plan to privatize the University of Oregon. Additional speakers on the panel included Jeff Condit and Economics Prof.Chomers.

His plan is essentially to have a matching endowment between the state and private donors, each to be the sum of $800 million dollars for an endowment. The total then would be roughly 1.6 Billion dollars. To be paid off over thirty years, but that would remove all university needs for regular state funding. The loans would not begin until state solvency progresses, at minimum around 2013-2014, so a few years off (and when this round of students are gone). When asked about amounts raised and interest paid the pannle responded "I don't think there has been any dollar amounts associated with this purposal"- R. LaRariviere

Theoretically the University will still be a state agency, answerable as a public body to records, ethics and meetings laws. But will also have more freedom (the exact meaning of additional freedom was ill defined). Mr.Condit offered some of the 'potentially lifted' constraints "a policy board able to decide degrees, new power to adopt and enforce benchmarks which the University must adopt".

The actual function of the University institution would remain largely unchanged. The University would move off the State board of higher education, onto two University boards- one of administration/policy board which would serve as a governing body the other of finance. The administration would be tightly controlled, as Johnson hall already is. The Finance board, answerable to the state legislature and Governor. The finance body would include one student representative, one faculty representative, representative of the state board of higher education and five 'at-large' members chosen for University interests- meaning the board can over rule any dissent by faculty, students and the state board of higher education combined. Also the President will sit on the committee in an ex-officio role, without voting privileges.


Sounds great right? Well it IS a plan, that much can be affirmed. The University officials failed to answer questions on the cornerstone of this plan- money. The sources of money, the investment of money and oversight of the money all remain in a grey and unanswered state. The ability of the boards to function autonomously is a critical element, that remains unclear how it will remain unbiased in its oversight of the university. These were questions asked and not answered. The Service Employees Union International had a representative, that their 1400 employees are uncertain about this plan and how this will effect their salaries and services. There was also a concern about how the boards will remain free of corruption, to which there was no good answer. So the plan doesn't seem to be all that privatized, but the plan seriously lacks in the issues of solvency, ethical boundaries and future commitments which makes the the plan seems unreliable at best. "I don't think it's high risk"- Univ.Pres.LaRaiviere, but what are plan lacks is not financial models, but ethical standards, to the affordable education we all desire.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UK Police Agent Provocateurs Exposed

This Article highlights both the need for security within movements, the ability of long-term infiltration and the ability to have mobile snitches operating in multiple organization and in multiple countries. These snitches try to stir up feuds within groups, so they will be less productive and they seek to continually disrupt any dissent. The Insurgent stands in solidarity with resistance movements around the world in calling for the abolition of these secret police divisions and governmental oppressive institutions.

“Marco Jacobs”, “Mark Stone”, “Lynn Watson”

Three police officers all thought to work for The National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), a political police unit with extensive links to large corporations, have been exposed by activists in the UK.

Two of them are known to have worked outside of UK police jurisdiction. All have actively taken part in illegal activity.

=====
"MARCO JACOBS" also known as “Mark Jacobs” Real name unknown

Infiltrated the Dissent! network of resistance against the G8 in Brighton, in 2004. Following suspicions that he was a policeman there, he moved to Cardiff, Wales where he successfully infiltrated Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN).

He encouraged ideological and personal splits within CAN.

He had at least one sexual relationship within activist circles.

Using his connections he then became involved in the Rising Tide Network. He was at the centre of a set of police raids and arrests that targeted climate justice activists, including one on his own flat.

He was involved in the No Border campaigns for freedom of movement. He was minute taker at UK wide gatherings. He had prior knowledge of No Borders successful blockades to prevent immigration snatch squad dawn raids on families,

He attended (with “Mark Stone”) a meeting in Poland prior to the G8 in Heligendam, It is believed that only one genuine UK based activist was at this event!

He travelled with UK activists to Germany to oppose the G8 in Heligendam, Germany 2007 and was actively involved in autonomous block planning at the Redelich camp.

In 2009 he attended planning meetings in Dijon for the Anti NATO resistance to take place in Strasbourg. He arrived with “Stone” . Set up website promoting this action.

He suddenly pulled out of attending the resistance to the G8 in St Petersburg Russia. Remained in contact with CAN activists in Russia.

Towards the end of his career in Cardiff, friends became suspicious of him and he was increasingly being left out of sensitive discussions. Ironically this included the location of the 2008 Camp for Climate Action, the location of which was known by a small group including “Watson” and “Stone”.

======
“MARK STONE” Real name Mark Kennedy

Distributed Zapatista Coffee 'Rebelde' from Germany to UK social centres In 2004.

Extensive involvement in Ireland
Ireland Early 2004 attended a grassroots gathering promoting Scotland G8,
Ireland 2004 Mayday protests. Involved in attacking police. Supplied defensive equipment. People serve prison sentences relating to material delivered by him from UK.
Ireland 2004 Protests against George Bush summit at Dromoland castle.
Ireland 2005 Attended EFYA winter meeting in Co Clare 2005 Attended a meeting and fund-raiser for the G8 in Belfast.
Ireland 2006 Attended the Anarchist Bookfair and then went to Rossport solidarity camp.

UK Coordinated transport for the Dissent network of resistance against the G8 camp in Stirling Scotland in 2005. (a fleet of minibuses) Gained name “Transport Mark”

Was involved in planing Camp for Climate Action “land group” from 2006 onwards often in driver role.

Was for a number of years involved in Climate Justice groups which faced repeated raids and arrests. These groups have been actively disrupted during this period.

Had sexual relationships with a number of activists.

Involved in anti-police anti corporate actions with Saving Iceland campaign in Iceland.

Was actively involved in Berlin radical left groups for some months prior to the Heligendam G8. Actively promoted a violent assault on Berlin business district. (Plan B)

Took part in riots surrounding the eviction of ungdomshuset “youth house” In Copenhagen Denmark.

Is believed to have visited Denmark after this point. (can Danish comrades confirm?)

Using established anarchist contacts in Denmark he was well placed to inform on UK activists and others attending the Cop 13 negotiations in 2009.

Involved in anti-fascist activity. Encouraged anti-EDL campaigners to attack coaches carrying members of the extreme nationalist group to Bradford in 2010.

More recent involvement in Animal Rights circles such as attending 2010 international AR gathering in Milan, Italy.

Appears to have moved into Private Spying. He shared a business address with a director of Global Open a company of private spies composed of ex -Special Branch, (political police.)

Kennedys role, has received intense media coverage in the UK, following the collapse of a court case against activists on Monday 10th January. This has led to highest ranking policeman Sir Hugh Orde defending infiltration of left wing groups on the Newsnight television programme.

Mark Kennedy spoke about his infiltration to extreme right-wing newspaper The Mail on Sunday, He claimed to have operational influence over German and Danish police.

Both “Marco Jacobs” and “Mark Stone” attended the Dissent! Europe gathering prior to Strasbourg, France anti NATO in 2009. They arrived together, very little real UK based activist involvement. (same time as G20 London)

======
“LYNN WATSON” Real name unknown

In late 2003 Lynn Watson attended event at Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory and then joined a Trident Ploughshares affinity group. NVDA anti nuclear weapons group.

She took part in non-violence training (one of the trainers didn’t get there as he was picked up on a warrant as he came off the ferry!) and attended a TP planning meeting.

During 2004 she also went to Aldermaston Womens Peace Camp and was very active in the Block the Builders campaign. (Direct action) She said she lived in Bournemouth and did care work.

In 2005 she moved to Leeds, Yorkshire. Active in environmental activist groups centred around anarchist social centre, The Common Place.
“Lynn Watson” used Bank Account.
Sortcode: 560054
Account Number: 33516774
IBAN: GB97NWBK56005433516774
Bank: NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK PLC

Lynn was part of a small group who planned the site take for the Camp for Climate action in 2006 drax and 2007 Heathrow, less so 2008 kingsnorth.

Was member of UK Action medics collective, who provide first aid to the direct action community. Lynn was involved with UK action medics at Dissent G8 in Gleneagles 2005, and later that year at Earth First! gathering in Derbyshire. Later, she hosted an Action medics meeting at her house in Leeds.

She was also the UK contact when medics went to G8 in Russia, so the address they were staying at may have been passed on. (to Russian secret state?)
( “Marco Jacobs” filled similar role for CAN!)

Was member of the Rebel Clown Army. (unclear if this made them any less effective)

Had sexual relationships with some activists. Was “camera shy”.

Is not known to have operated outside of the UK. (one unconfirmed sighting with “Mark Stone” in Berlin May 2006)

“Watson” “Stone” and “Jacobs” seem to have disappeared from left political circles in the UK.

********************************************************
Please add factual comments/corrections here so that statement can been produced for distribution through Indymedia and associated networks.

Please do not post anything you do not have direct knowledge of or can show where it comes from.

Please do not reveal any names or information that may reveal names of people other than the police themselves.

Please do not post the fact you once had tea with one of the infiltrators, only facts which develop a picture of their political involvement.

If groups could make statements that would be helpful.
Face to camera shots of “Marco” and “Lynn” would be very useful
Please do not repost information from other media there is a discussion of other media here.
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472102.html

Comrades worldwide feel free to post here if you have information on these police officers.


This post includes comments left here....
https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472162.html?c=on#c263103

Thanks to http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472317.html

&

http://www.indymedia.org/en/index.shtml

Students Against Empire: movie showing at U of O

A Rustling of the Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution

It will be screened on Thursday, January 27th, at PLC 180.
The movie will be screened at 6:30 p.m., followed by a general discussion.

Here's a basic overview of the film:

"Nettie Wild’s first documentary feature offers a remarkable behind-the-frontlines look at the aftermath of the anti-Marcos “Yellow Revolution” that brought Corazon Aquino to power in the Philippines in 1986. Shot over eight months, often in dangerous conditions, the film chronicles the three points of an often-violent political triangle: the legal left; the illegal, armed leftists of the New People’s Army; and the armed, reactionary right-wing groups operating on both sides of the law. The fascinating personalities on display include a former guerrilla leader now running for election; a rabidly right-wing radio DJ propagandizing for the death squads; and a rebel Catholic priest who shares command of the NPA. “There is [also] the puzzling dark side to Mrs. Aquino’s presidency. The film captures the tragedy of the Mendiola massacre where farmers were killed marching on the palace to demand land reform, and the president’s confusing endorsement of the vigilante groups which have brought back the terror of the Marcos era . . . A Rustling of Leaves places us in a most privileged position to hear their various rationales, to test the evidence, and to decide for ourselves” (http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/wild-at-heart-the-films-of-nettie-wild/a-rustling-of-leaves)

Here are two clips from the movie.

Clip 1: http://citizenshift.org/node/323& ;term_tid=6
Clip 2: http://citizenshift.org/rustling-leaves-inside-philippine-revolution-clip-2

The student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the oppressed people of the world and encourages movements of liberation!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stop TransFair's “FairWash” of Personal Care!

"Fair trade products are supposed to ensure benefits for producers in countries that produce everything from coffee to coconuts. So when a product is labeled "Fair Trade", should we question who says so? Apparently yes."-indymedia.org

"International trade has failed to deliver a better standard of living to many impoverished farmers and workers in the developing world, where unfair and exploitative prices, wages and working conditions prevail, trapping millions in poverty.

In response, the “Fair Trade” movement, fueled by hundreds of retailers, NGOs, mission-driven for-profit “Alternative Trading Organizations” and conscious consumers, has established criteria and standards for fair pricing, wages and working conditions in farming and processing of diverse commodities and products. Products certified to these standards empower farmers and workers, and their families and communities, enabling them to improve their lives and livelihoods.

One fair trade standards and certification organization is the Fair Labeling Organization (FLO), which has developed fair trade standards and certifies producer groups that comply with these standards. TransFair is the US arm of FLO, and receives a “licensing fee” from companies that use the TransFair logo on products that are certified or contain fair trade ingredients.
Another fair trade standards and certification system is the Institute for Market Ecology’s (IMO) Fair for Life program. Fully committed fair trade companies including Equal Exchange, Cooperative Coffees, Theo Chocolate and Dr. Bronner’s have chosen to use IMO rather than FLO/TransFair for several reasons. In particular, IMO does not allow use of its seal on products and brands that are not majority fair trade. Further, Fair for Life also broadened the scope of fair trade to allow for the fair trade certification of virtually all agricultural commodities produced in developing countries if fair trade conditions are met along the entire value chain.
The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a US membership organization that accepts only dedicated fair trade “Alternative Trading Organizations,” and screens applicants against rigorous fair trade criteria. Fully committed fair trade companies such as Equal Exchange, Co-Op Coffees, Guayaki and Dr. Bronner’s are proud members.

While TransFair has done an admirable job in promoting the concept of fair trade and broadening its visibility, TransFair has permitted its certification to be used in ways that mislead consumers and has attempted to claim exclusive use of the term “fair trade” in ways that unfairly hurt other certifiers and undermine the fair trade movement.

TransFair licenses its seal for a fee on products and brands that have as little as 2% fair trade content. This has allowed large brands to present themselves as “Fair Trade” by selling a token product line extension that has been allowed by TransFair to prominently feature its “Fair Trade Certified” logo yet contains only minimal amount of fair trade ingredients. TransFair itself promotes personal care brands with small FT line extensions with minimal FT content as if they are dedicated fair trade brands. TransFair should instead be focused on marketing brands and products that are dedicated to FT with meaningful FT content. A dollar of TransFair“s marketing should maximize sales of brands and products that do right by FT farmers, not use minimal amounts for a fairwash courtesy of TransFair.

The consumer deception and conflation problem caused by allowing the front-panel use of the look-alike logo for “made with” products is best illustrated by analogy to certified organic products: what if the certified organic USDA logo that appears on products with 95%+ content of certified organic ingredients, was used in identical fashion on products that are only 20% or even 2% organic, the only difference being a barely readable small ingredient descriptor below the organic logo.

Fair trade is a movement not a brand and its promise and reach is much bigger than that of TransFair or any single certifier or other fair trade organization. Many in the movement feel TransFair needs to be checked, and consumers educated about alternatives, in particular IMO's Fair for Life certification program. To prevent TransFair from monopolizing and abusing the term “Fair Trade”, the Organic Consumers Association and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps have filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It details the issues and problems with TransFair, along with illustrative “fair trade cheater brands” like Avon/Mark and Hain Celestial/Queen Helene.

TransFair has also used strategies aimed at monopolizing the field of certification of fair trade products in the US. TransFair has trademarked the term “Fair Trade Certified” and incorrectly represents itself as the “only fair trade certifier in the US.” Recently TransFair has changed its name to “Fair Trade USA” and has applied for a trademark for that name and associated logo, in an attempt to perpetuate the myth that TransFair is the only fair trade certifier in the American fair trade movement. Imagine an organic certifier re-naming itself “Organic USA” and proceeding to aggressively promote itself as the only organic certifier in the US.

The OCA in coordination with prominent fair trade companies has launched a campaign to organize concerned consumers, retailers, NGOs and mission-based companies to protest TransFair's attempt to trademark the term “Fair Trade USA” as well as “Fair Trade Certified“."-Organic Consumer Association (OCA)

The Insurgent stands on solidarity with the workers around the world, who have the right to decent labor conditions, a fair payment system and dignity. There is no excuse to not create any conditions but these, Workers of the world UNITE!

Thanks to
http://dc.indymedia.org/feature/display/132324/index.php

&

http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/stop-transfair.cfm

Breaking news: Pro-Democracy uprising in Cairo!

Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets, demanding rights and resisting oppression. "When you are under the foot of oppression, you must try to get from underneath"!

Regional circumstances are likely the cause of the timing for these protests.
"The Tunisian uprising was the most successful revolt in the region since 1979, but it is anybody's guess whether uprisings will spread to other Arabic-speaking lands."-CNN

Tens of thousands gathered in the streets, mostly peacefully, until provoked by police. The Egyptians are engaged in a struggle for their rights and dignity. huge segments of the population are impoverished, this contributes to the desire for a better life One we all desire and have a state in.

"The size of the protest was a lot larger than everyone imagined. Even through tear gas and water cannons and everything else, I saw the protesters break through the riot police line that was blocking Tahrir Square (the main square downtown). I literally witnessed a few hundred policemen sprinting down the street with a hail of stones being thrown at them. A few protesters took helmets and batons as trophies, and began waving them in front of the crowd as they cheered. The most remarkable moment was when a group of protesters rushed a fire engine that was hosing down the crowd, kicked out the guy, climbed on top of it and started waving the Egyptian flag. The crowd went nuts. Eventually protesters filled the entire square (it is a massive square, I'd estimate well over 10,000 people). Everyone I talked to seemed incredibly inspired, and they promised that they would keep it up until they had the same results as Tunis".-Han Le

Solidarity with the oppressed people of the world!

More updates as the story develops.

Van Jones speaks at the University of Oregon

The lights glinting off his glasses as Van Jones walked onto stage and began a humorous and empowering directive of an oration that lasted several hours. He began saying that "Eugene is the safest place for an Aluminum can", if a can could talk Jones guessed it would say "I just know I am gonna' get recycled"!

Jones's speech was aimed at the 'young' generation. He was after all on a college campus however, the audience was mostly (nearly 80%) community, administration and faculty. Despite relatively few students, Jones reached out offering both a message of encouragement and a call to action as well as stating that the students were facing "an era of hope and heartbreak".

Students, he said were empowered in three unique ways. The first great endowment Jones offered was in terms of size, calling this generation the "biggest generation", referring to sheer numbers. The second endowment was the American diversity, with representatives from all ethnicities and nationalities "we have the genius and wonder of every race and nationality, all the world's genius here". The Final, supplication was that the 18-24 generation is "Tech Savvy". He echoed the idea that students have a underutilized capacity "there is something about your generation that is amazing".

Technology he ascribed as being especially important among the three. Jones told a narrative of ancient times "[if you] could summon the stories of the whole human family, then you would have been a God. We call it a cell phone. We need to stop using technology as toys, but as tools, because [we] are potentially facing a catastrophe". Furthermore he contends "you have more computing power in your pocket than the whole US government had, when we put a man on the moon".

After offering in some detail the wonders of how these methods have the capacity to empower a young generation, he moved into describing the problem...

"We are not a market economy, we are a market society with state protection of pollution. We need to change the rules".

"Racially, Ethnically, we are more diverse and are less economically prosperous, that is a recipe for a battleground. We cannot attack diversity, we must attack the problem". The great problems are identified as essentially FOOD and FUEL industries, "shake up the energy and food industry, they are essentially monopolistic". The solution is that "if you want to pull America back together, you must put America back to work".

He said in closing comments that to succeed the youth must focus on "the earth, the future. Tax, Regulate by permits". He posited that "If you despair hope is impossible", saying essentially that if we move from despair to hope to change and if we do not quite get what we want, we must not fall back to despair, we must keep hopefully pushing and "at some point determination will pay off".

But Jones recognized that he was preaching to the choir "You vote right, you eat right, bike right, you think to yourself, what more can I do"? He then said that he cold not tell us how to live, or he would be a hypocrite, so he declined to offer any possibilities.

"We expect people to climb the corporate ladder out of poverty, a four and five story ladder, with only two rungs".

Jones spoke in the EMU Ballroom, to a crowd of several hundred. One cannot help but be startled at his eloquence, despite a slight lisp. Jones empowered the audience offering these words "you have tremendous power". In general this power, by his analysis, was in electoral and popular protest and market regulation- which does not address the problems of production, structural inequality or the reversal of the negative pollution and waste trends. Jones relied heavily on 'the youth' who were expected in his eyes, to rise up and take the lead.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Krissy Bates, Solidarity.

This story highlights the need for solidarity with transgender communities, because we are all part of a broader community. Oppressed peoples and allies need to stick together, because we are all part of a community! It is time not just to break silence, but to act, challenging any sense of 'transphobia' and and actively affirming communities.

"Krissy Bates was found murdered in her apartment last week, in all likelihood by someone she knew and feared. She’d appealed to her landlord to fix a broken window so that she’d be safer, but the landlord told her that she’d have to pay for the repair herself.

The media coverage, where it exists, has been sordid--from stories that mis-gender her to the City Pages’ ghoulish blotter coverage of her sex work and her last voicemail. Once again, the death of a unique, valuable person can be turned into a media spectacle because that person is a trans woman.

I’m not trans. I’m not trans, so if I say stupid things, please correct me. I’m not trans, and I’m addressing this to cis-gendered people, those of us for whom our gender assigned at birth, our bodies and our personal identity match up.

There are trans women in my life for whom I care deeply. I want to live with them in safety among people who respect and love them. This story--and the many others like it every year--makes me very angry.

I am angry that violence against trans people--especially trans women--is treated as something inevitable rather than the result of privilege, homophobia, hatred of gender non-conformity and transmisogyny.

I am angry that the majority of my trans woman friends have, like Krissy Bates, been sexually assaulted, and that the few resources available to cis women survivors are often inaccessible to them.

I am angry that landlords like Krissy Bates’s, Cedar Management, profit from the vulnerability of trans people--that they exploit low-income people and marginalized people, that they know they don’t need to create safe living spaces for their tenants because their tenants don’t have a lot of choices.

I am angry that transphobia can push trans and gender non-conforming people into poverty when cis people deny them jobs, educational opportunities and decent medical care. The poverty rate (PDF) for trans folks is double that of cis people. Twenty six percent of trans people surveyed in 2007 had lost a job because of transphobia; when broken out by race, more than thirty percent of African-American and multiracial trans folks had lost a job.


I am angry that many trans people loose the support of their families and friends when they come out, so their support network gets thinner and leaves them more vulnerable.

I am angry that clinics and social services are so often transphobic--if the women’s shelter doesn’t believe that you’re “really” a woman and the men’s shelter is dangerous, where do you go? Does your doctor care about treating trans bodies?

I am angry that sex work is treated as a titillating detail in these terrible stories, with a strong suggestion that sex workers should expect violence. I am angry for every friend I’ve ever had who’s stripped or done phone sex or porn, because they do not court or deserve violence. I am angry that for some trans people, sex work is the only work available. I am angry that women like Krissy Bates have nowhere to go for help when they do face violence because sex workers are treated as disposable people.

I am angry that we cis people let ourselves get bought off--how we accept a gender hierarchy that hurts us and that hurts trans people worse. I am angry that we accept a society which punishes people who don’t gender-conform. I am angry that we suppress the parts of ourselves that aren’t perfectly straight and perfectly cis in exchange for cis privilege. I’m angry that we are willing to accept laws, documents, clinics and spaces that benefit us, that protect us, and that exclude or ignore trans people.

I am angry that there is so much more I could put on this list.

I am angry at myself.

Cis women--and I was raised, at least, a cis woman--hold onto our gender privileges by pretending that what happens to trans women has nothing to do with us. We need to be allies to trans women. We need to listen to trans women. We need to say loudly that violence against trans people is part of the same system as violence against cis women, and that violence against trans women is misogynist violence. We need to force the clinics and social services in our communities to support trans people, not alienate and marginalize them. We need to recognize that there are sex workers in our communities, cis- and trans, and we need to stand with them.

It’s easy to write words. I can sit here and write all day, patting myself on the back for being so damn enlightened. I don’t want to stop with words. I don’t want us to stop with words."

The Insurgent stands in solidarity will the oppressed people in the world and makes no qualm of saying gender oppression is real and we never want to bow our heads or turn away, but to confront it.

"To stand, hand in hand,
Part of one community grand!"

from
http://twincities.indymedia.org/2011/jan/transmisogyny-cis-people-violence-and-murder-krissy-bates

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Solidarity,
-SI

Defining Peace

Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of understanding. That is the understanding that it is not ideologically sound, morally coherent or politically practical to attack those around you with violence.

Violence is the use of force with the intent to cause harm and can take many forms. Violence can be direct, indirect or passive. Direct violence is the form we are most familiar with, intentionally causing physical harm eg: punching someone. Indirect violence is to intend to cause harm in all actions short of physical violence eg: using racial slurs to enforce cultural oppression. Finally Passive violence is non-action with the intent to cause harm, this is commonly associated with systematic oppression eg: a government denying its people food aid, knowing those people will starve.

Knowing what violence is allows us to then gain a scope of tactics for non-violence, which requires the expulsion of hate from one's heart. The use of non-violence requires the confrontation of all forms of violence and allows a certain amount of force. It is conceivably non-violence to act, without the intent to harm, but to restrain. To tie up and transport individuals, to have shields which sustain and do not return blows and to contain violent elements. Armor is non-violent. The degree to which non-violence can be used is not limited to marches and boycotts. Indeed if there is popular support, a community could engage in escalating dialogue and when views are unalterably different a community has the capacity to non-violently defend itself. Almost any action is non-violent if it does not attack, intend to cause harm and affirms a principle. The moment one takes a swing, knowingly caused harm or deliberately tried to cause harm, that behavior has moved outside non-violence.

The reasons and excuses to use violence are many and the consequences are great, it is easy to say I was hurt and so I felt the need to hurt others. But if you did not want to be hurt, why would you hurt others? To partake in violence justifies any violence done to you already, it blurs the lines of correctness and honesty. The practical matter is that we live in such an interconnected world that greater influence can be exerted through nonviolent means than any bullet or baton could ever render. Even if you kill your opponent with violence, then you have justified any reprisal against yourself and you have made more enemies. If however you exert yourself as a physical barrier between the oppression caused by your opponent and the oppressed, you have entered a realm of tactical ownership as opposed to realm of reciprocal harm. By stopping trains, ships, trucks, picketing stores, seizing, expropriating and exterminating the institution of oppression and creating a barrier of popular support any source of oppression can be expelled from any community. No need for guns or bombs which will only delay or change the institution, but if you want an institution GONE, it must be confronted with its own inhumanity.

Take heart in these words:

Be at Peace. Not around peace, after or before peace. Be at peace.
Wether there be a great tempest on the sea,
Wether you are in a dungeon under lock and key,
Wether state or economy says what you can be,
Wether you are standing or on broken knee,
Wether you are burdened or bending like a tree,
If you are rooted in Peace you will be free.

Police keeping files on activists

The Portland Police are considering entering into an alliance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this was denied earlier, owing to a lack of oversight and overzealous investigation which kept files on political dissidents- kind of like the KGB. The files are not just on radical individuals, but anyone who is 'suspicious' under FBI qualifications, this includes anyone who ascribes violent, non-violent, political, ideological, religious or economic principles, regardless of if the person has acted on those beliefs.

Show me what a police state looks like:

"Residents of Portland, Oregon, recently attended a forum on the question of whether the city should rejoin the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. The city withdrew its task force membership five years ago after the Justice Department turned down a city request for oversight over the JTTF.

The would-be Christmas tree bomber, Mohamed Osman Mohamud.

The decision followed revelations in 2002 that the FBI and the Portland Police kept thousands of "red squad" style police files on political activists. Since 1981, Oregon law has barred police surveillance of political groups in the absence of criminal activity.

"Both the FBI and the Portland Police Bureau have a 70-year history of carrying out surveillance on thousands of innocent individuals and organizations because of their political, religious or social activities - or because of their race or national origin - rather than because there was evidence of criminal activity," PortlandInsight reported prior to the forum.

In November, Portland was in the news when Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up a Christmas tree in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square. It soon was revealed that the FBI had provided a fake bomb, van, and cell phone (to be used as a detonator) in the incident.

Stephen Sady, assistant federal public defender, said the arrest of the 19-year-old native of Somalia "was obviously timed for maximum impact and maximum publicity." Sady said the FBI had groomed the defendant and there was "potential for entrapment."

It can now be said it was also used to stampede Portland into accepting the presence of the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The FBI is notorious for recruiting clueless individuals on bogus terrorism cases. Over the last few years, dozens of such cases have provided the government with a diet of propaganda fodder in the fake war on manufactured terror.

We Are Change Portland mentioned the first World Trade Center bombing during the forum with city officials and the FBI (see video below)."- Alex Jones & Kurt Nimmo of Infowars.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/catrapesdog99#p/u/0/O9wPgyTn8vQ

This is what a police state looks like.

"We Cannot ourselves be free, until we have ended our oppression of others"-CFG

Thanks to Portland Indy Media:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/01/405481.shtml