June 30, 2011


An alliance of Chicago area peace and justice organizations, together with the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) are jointly calling for a united mass mobilization to protest the NATO and G8 Summits to be held in Chicago May 15th-22, 2012. Permit applications were submitted for:
Tuesday May 15th - A National Assembly to put war makers on trial
Saturday May 19th - An international demonstration to express broad outrage at the gathering of war makers wasting billions of dollars on war and devastation during a time of enormous economic hardship and crisis for millions.

Below is the full UNAC Statement and individual and organizational endorsers:

There are some interesting things to think about:
First, history tells us it is generally very difficult to organize large actions in a Presidential Campaign year. The Democrats hate it and they pressure the Left not to "embarrass" the President.
On the other hand, how arrogant is it to invite global capitalism (its military and economic leaders) to literally meet in the President's home town.
And in addition groups on the left are all talking about ways to create a united front of the left.
2012 just got more interesting.

Oregon Faith, Labor, and Immigration Activists Stand With Allies in Georgia

Media Advisory
Wednesday, June 29th
Contact: Eliana Machuca: 503-703-1407, Romeo Sosa: 503-381-0848

Faith, Labor, and Immigration Activists Stand With Allies in Georgia

Faith, labor, and immigration activists speak out against unjust immigration laws in Georgia and advocate for reform in Oregon.

Safe Communities Project
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project
Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition
Oregon New Sanctuary Movement
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee
North West Immigrant Youth Alliance
American Friends Service Committee
Jobs with Justice
Center for Intercultural Organizing
Committee of Solidarity and Mutual Support

Saturday, July 2nd
Press Conference: 3:30pm in front of City Hall (SW Madison st & SW 4th Avenue) Portland OR
Press Availability: 3:30pm, Press Table

The State of Georgia recently passed HB 87, an unjust immigration enforcement measure that promotes fear, mistrust, and discrimination. Local activists and concerned community members will demonstrate solidarity with allies in Georgia and discuss why HB 87 and similar efforts around the country make everyone less safe. Speakers will address how the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program hurts public safety locally in Oregon. Secure Communities is a federal initiative that allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to anyone who comes into contact with law enforcement, regardless of the charges against them or how the charges are resolved. Despite recent changes to the program, S-Comm remains too broken to be fixed. Faith, labor, and immigration activists will also stand with members of the Northwest Immigrant Youth Alliance in support of their “Coming Out of the Shadows” event, during which immigrant youth will reject the fear and silence they have lived under for so long.

Invitacion a la Prensa
Miercoles 29 de Junio del 2011
Contactos: Eliana Machuca: 503-703-1407, Romeo Sosa: 503-381-0848
Comunidades de fe, sindicatos y activistas pro imigrantes estan con aliados en Georgia.


Comunidades de fe, sindicatos y activistas pro-imigrantes hablaran de la injusta ley en Georgia y abogan por una reforma en Oregon.

Safe Communities Project
Voz Proyecto de Educacion de Derechos laborales
Coalision Pro-imigrante de Portland
Movimiento Nuevo Santurario
Comite de Solidaridad con Centro America
North West Immigrant Youth Alliance
Comite de los Amigos Americanos
Trabajos con Justicia
Center for Intercultural Organizing
Comite de Solidaridad de Apoyo Mutuo

Sabado 2 de Julio
Conferencia de Prensa: 3:30 en frente del ayuntamiento de la ciudad (SW Madison St & SW 4th Ave) Portland OR
Disponibilidad de prensa: 3:30pm

El Estado de Georgia recientemente paso la SB HB 87 una medida injusta de enforzamiento de la ley de migracion que promueve temor, desconfianza y discriminacion. Activistas locales y miembros de la comunidad preocupados mostraran solidaridad con aliados en Georgia. Y hablaran de la HB 87 y esfuerzos similares en todo el pais que hace inseguro a cada uno de nosotros. Los discursantes hablaran del controversial enforzamiento del programa Comunidades Seguras (Secure communities en Ingles) perjudica la seguridad publica local en Oregon. Comunidades Seguras es una iniciativa federal que le da accesso que agentes de migracion que hace contacto con la policia, independientemente de los cargos contra ellos o como resolver los casos. A pesar de los cambios recientes en el programa, Comunidades Seguras sigue siendo roto para ser arreglado. Comunidades de fe, sindicatos, y activistas pro-imigrantes tambien estan en solidaridad con miembros del Northwest Immigrant Youth Alliance en apoyo al evento “Salir de las sombras” donde jovenes imigrantes dejaran el temor y silencio que vivido por mucho tiempo.

Pedro Sosa
Project Voice Pacific Northwest Regional Organizer
American Friends Service Committee
2249 E. Burnside
Portland, Oregon 97214
Phone: (503) 230-9427
Fax: (503) 230-1835
E-mail: psosa@afsc.org
Web Address: www.afsc.org/immigrants-rights

June 29, 2011

From Our Friends At Committees Of Correspondence

Last weekend several of us met with comrades from the Albany chapter of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), a socialist group. I hope that we will continue to meet with them, work with them and share our blog with them. One comrade from CCDS sent the following piece in:

Two interesting columns from the Madison Wisconsin Capital Times website today highlight some of the issues in Rosa Luxemburg's "Reform or Revolution".

First, John Nichols, who also writes for the Nation, writes about the 1911 State of Wisconsin legislative session: The most progressive legislative session in Wisconsin history took place precisely 100 years ago, when a coalition of rural Republicans and Milwaukee Socialists united to enact reforms that broke the grip of the robber barons..."
Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/john_nichols/article_e80def6c-df6f-5646-9488-966ceca6d825.html

Second, Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of the same paper, writes about McCarthyism in Wisconsin and a striking incident in 1951, 40 years after the celebrated legislation cited above, in which a reporter "typed up the preamble to the declaration and included six of the Constitution’s first 10 amendments and the 15th Amendment (the right of citizens to vote regardless of race), putting them in the form of a petition, and then went to Vilas Park, the site of the city’s biggest Fourth of July celebration. He asked a total of 112 people to sign his “petition,” but only one, a Madison insurance agent, did. The other 111 said no, they couldn’t."
Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/article_ab5c2502-14b4-5ffd-a65e-bcd35191f6d0.html

A Town Hall in Salem Oregon

Several Willamette Reds folks went to the Town Hall Meeting held by Rep. Kurt Schraeder (one of Oregon's Representatives in Congress) this morning. The event was held at the City of Salem's Center 50+ on Portland Road.  The Mayor of Salem, Anna M. Peterson, was also at the front table with Rep. Schraeder.

Willamette Reds made a flier about the 1967 attack of USS Liberty by Israel and Israel policies of ethnic cleansing, etc., and sent copies around to the audience. A copy of that flier is here and copied below. Questions at the Town Hall were by "ticket" and unfortunately none of us got a chance to ask a question. We wanted also to question Schraeder regarding his support for the pending “free-trade” agreements with Korea, Panama, and Columbia.

One of the last persons to have their ticket called asked if the USS Liberty flier was from the Representative, and added that they did not agree with the flier and thought that the US should continue to support Israel (or something like that). Rep. Schraeder of course indicated the flier was not his and the Mayor of Salem added (without even having read the flier) that the City of Salem has a non-discrimination policy in its facilities including against religious discrimination. I believe she indicated that passing out a flier at this type of event was not acceptable.

After the the forum one of us spoke to the Mayor and said that criticism of the state of Israel does not equate with being anti-Semitic. The Mayor walked away without saying anything. Another of us also confronted the Mayor at the end of the meeting and was struck by her inability/unwillingness to have a conversation We also spoke with Schraeder about the Liberty (who claims not to know the details re: the deliberate nature of the attack) and the destructive influence AIPAC has on political discourse in this country regarding the Palestine/Israel conflict. His response did not show understanding of the issues.

Regarding the Mayor of Salem, one might interpret the Mayor's comments and attitude in a couple of ways: one that she does not understand the right of free speech in City of Salem facilities and the other is that the Mayor immediately reacts to any criticism of Israel as being anti-Semitic. As a Mayor, maybe she doesn't really need to know a lot about Israel (but would be good if she did).

If you think it would be a helpful or good idea if the Mayor of Salem hears from you - here's the contact info:

Mayor Anna M. Peterson
555 Liberty Street SE, Room 220
Salem, OR  97301
Phone:  503-588-6159
Email address: ampeterson@cityofsalem.net


June 28, 2011

Looking for the Union Label

ETSY, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, posted a blog article about union garments.

"In a global atmosphere of radioactive produce and exploitative fashion, the choices that we make as consumers speak volumes about who we are and what we stand for. However, this isn’t a strange, new concept; in fact, union-made goods could be considered the origin of conscious consumption. Long before we clamored for cage-free eggs and locally sourced kale, factories readily identified the union responsible for production of each garment. If you take a look at any piece of vintage clothing, you’ll probably find the small, square label, faded through with age."

Read the rest here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/noted-look-for-the-union-label/

June 27, 2011

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger and his partner have been arrested in California after 16 years of hiding out. Most news stories have focused on his crimes and his temper or on the appearance and vanity of his female companion.

It should be noted with equal or more interest that, for a time, the FBI let Bulger run various criminal enterprises in exchange for his cooperation in helping to break certain Italian-led and competing criminal organizations. In other words, the FBI took advantage of a then-simmering tension between Italians and the Irish on the east coast and exploited these differences while letting certain crimes go unpunished. Rumor has it that among these crimes were drug dealing.

Assuming the truth of these rumors, we can then say that the FBI has been complicit in allowing drugs into poor and working-class communities, and especially into communities of people of color. Two FBI agents are in prison for having helped Bulger, but it seems that they either must have followed orders or at least acted in concert with other agents in their work. These could not have simply been "rogue agents." After all, this country is swamped in drugs and many people along the line must be turning their heads in order for the drugs to get here and be sold so openly.

If readers think that I'm stretching a story, please remember or read up on the COINTELPRO programs run by the FBI. If the FBI could exploit differences between Italian and Irish mobsters, could they not also exploit differences between Blacks and whites or differences of opinion in the liberation movements of the day? Of course they could--and they did.

None of this is to take sides or to find excuses for Bulger's activities. We say that the criminal gangs recruit from the ranks of the lumpen proletariat and the unstable petty-bourgeois who are being displaced by advancing capitalism. We have no sympathy with them and we are frequently their targets.

Yosuke Matsuoka

The Sunday Oregonian carried a short biographical piece on Yosuke Matsuoka. Matsuoka graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1900, served as a Japanese delegate to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, went to the League of Nations to defend the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and served as Japan's wartime foreign minister in the 1940-41 period. The Spartcus School website reminds us that "Fumimaro Kondoye appointed Matsuoka as his foreign minister in July 1940 and successfully negotiated the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany in September 1940. The following year he visited the Soviet Union and signed a non-aggression treaty with Joseph Stalin on 14th April 1941. Matsuoka was replaced by Soemu Toyoda as foreign minister in July 1941." The Oregonian article goes into some detail about Matsuoka's extensive pre-war Oregon ties and mentions in passing that when he arrived in Oreon in 1933 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oregon and that banquets were held here in his honor.

The USSR had good reason to be concerned under such circumstances. Leading Americans and leading American institutions were going out of their way to honor an architect of aggressive and virulently anti-communist imperialism. The leadership of the USSR rightly understood that a war was coming; what they could not predict was how the leading imperialist governments would react and how much resolve they would or could muster to fight fascism. Small wonder, then, that a temporary non-aggression pact was signed.

Readers of The Oregonian (and the Spartacus School website, for that matter) deserve a bigger picture and more consideration needs to be given to the USSR's leading role in defeating fascism and the struggles which led up to the anti-fascist war.

June 25, 2011


Crowds gathered in front of the Stonewall Inn to celebrate Marriage Equality in New York State. Inside the bar all televisions were tuned to the vote. Among those watching was Danny Garvin, 62 who was at the bar the night of the Stonewall Riots which eventually were celebrated every year in Pride Marches around the country. On the streets where police beat patrons in 1969, on Friday night the crowds cheered as the police quietly stood by and watched.

While all the pundits will credit the politicians who voted, this was actually a result of 42 years of work organizing, marching in the streets, coming out to friends, families and co workers and never compromising. This will be an important impetus for all those who continue to work in the 44 other states. Of course equality will not be achieved until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed and DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) is repealed. Both of these need to be done on the Federal level before Marriage Equality is truly equal.


Nurses take on Wall Street

More than a thousand Registered Nurses and other activists marched on Wall Street on Wednesday (6/22/11) chanting "Wall Street Got bailed Out! We Got Sold Out!" They stood on the steps of Federal Hall across from the New York Stock Exchange and held signs. The protest is part of the campaign of the National Nurses United (NNU) to tax the corporate speculators who buy and sell and buy and sell our country.
Similar events were organized by the European Trade Union Federation in 35 countries in support of similar taxes there.

June 23, 2011

From Sisters Of The Road--A Workshop On Single-Payer Healthcare

Join Us for a Workshop on Single Payer Health Care

Keep hearing about “single payer health care” and want to know more? You're in luck! Our awesome allies at Portland Jobs with Justice (JWJ) are offering a free workshop to answer your questions this Saturday, June 25th, hosted by the JWJ Health Care Committee.

The governor of Vermont just signed into law a plan to offer truly affordable health care to everyone in the state. JWJ is working for single payer health care here so we can have universal, affordable, quality health care for all Oregonians!

Join us for the "Review of Single Payer" workshop:
Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
JWJ office (6025 E. Burnside in Portland)
To register for the workshop, email singlepayoregon@gmail.com. Please include 3-4 questions that you'd like answered so presenters know what information you need!
Stay tuned for more workshops on later dates from Portland's Jobs with Justice covering topics like legislative strategy, tips on public speaking and more!

For questions about this event or more information about Sisters' Health Workgroup, please contact Andrea at andrea@sistersoftheroad.org.

Thursday, June 30, 9:30am - Get on the Bus!

Thursday, June 30, 9:30am - Get on the Bus!

This month we continue the fight for Good Jobs and Benefits, No Cuts on June 30th with a fun filled Day of Action. June 30th is a critical day in the Portland/Vancouver area for workers’ rights. We will support workers in several shops that have contracts expiring on this day as well as others that are currently in negotiations with many creative, exciting actions! And we say no to safety net cuts and push for job creation!

Portland Rising Day of Action
Thursday, June 30, 9:30am
Load bus at 1125 SE Madison
Free parking available – Bus lines 10, 14, 15, 70
RSVP required for bus - sign up here: http://www.jwjpdx.org/misc/portland-rising-get-on-the-bus

Closing Rally – 4:15pm – 36th and Hawthorne

If you can commit to the full day, here is what’s going to happen. We load up the buses at 9:30 and head out to our first worksite. We'll have fun on the bus, chanting and learning about each other's struggles with games and prizes. We'll stop for a picnic lunch after a powerful rally with SEIU State Workers. Another surprise action will push for job creation, not job destruction through "free trade" agreements. After a couple of more solidarity stops we finish with a surprise action in the heart of Southeast Portland. You must RSVP to get on the bus. http://www.jwjpdx.org/misc/portland-rising-get-on-the-bus

If possible, please take public transportation or carpool Thursday morning to the Bus Tour starting point. Call Greg at 503-285-6603 to coordinate carpooling.

The Facebook event page for this is here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126145554133573

If you can’t commit to the full day, join us at 36th and Hawthorne for the Day of Action closing action and rally. It will be fun!

June 22, 2011


While the message of the liberal press has been that "Gosh, isn't it great that those LGBT folks have all made up with Obama?" - Well, they sure need to be outside at the New York Sheraton Hotel tomorrow evening.
The reality is that the grass roots organizations Get Equal and Queer Rising are organizing "A Demonstration For Full LGBT Equality". They will be just outside the perimeter of the Obama LGBT Fundraising Event. Of course the back drop of this event is that we are waiting to see if New York will become the 6th state to enact Marriage Equality. The last time it was voted down 6 Democrats voted against it. This so enraged the LGBT community that it gave impetus to the "Don't Ask, Don't Give" campaign where individuals pledged not to work or give money to the Democratic National Committee.
It is possible that the vote will be tomorrow and if that is the case the demonstration could become a victory rally with its main chant, "Evolve Already".

Speakout For Good Jobs Coming To Portland

Touring for Good Jobs

The Speakout for Good Jobs Now tour features stops in numerous cities across America giving Americans the chance to speak out about how the economy is affecting them. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will listen to what everyday Americans have to say and take that back to Washington with them as they continue to fight to reinvigorate the American Dream - the ability to put in a day’s hard work for good wages and benefits so we can provide our children with a better future.

The tour started Saturday in Minneapolis, and will be in Detroit next week. Upcoming cities listed for the tour are: Milwaukee, New York City, Miami, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Portland, Seattle and Oakland. Check this page to see when the tour is coming to Portland.

June 21, 2011

The System--From Monthly Review

The System
by Eneko

Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain. The cartoon above was first published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 20 June 2011. Cf. Victor Mallet, "Spain Protesters Turn Anger against Brussels" (Financial Times, 19 June 2011);Paula Díaz and Ana Requena, "El movimiento 15-M se hace más grande" (Público, 20 June 2011); www.democraciarealya.es/tmp/19j/

June 19, 2011

Post Capitalist Economics: Sustainability versus Growth

I found the linked article, an interview of economist Harry Shutt published in the British left magazine, Red Pepper, to be quite interesting. The questions and thoughts posed are exactly the kind those of us on the Left need to be asking as we engage in the project of building an alternative society which puts human values first.


June 18, 2011

The Cat and the Coup

Free download of the game available here.

The Cat and the Coup - Release Trailer from Peter Brinson on Vimeo.

The Cat and the Coup is a documentary game in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. During the summer of 1953, the CIA engineered a coup to bring about his downfall. As a player, you coax Mossadegh back through significant events of his life by knocking objects off of shelves, scattering his papers, jumping on his lap and scratching him. The game is now available for free download. You'll find the Mac and Windows download links below, but it's also available on Steam (for Windows, Mac coming soon).

www.thecatandthecoup.com (mac and pc)
store.steampowered.com/app/95700 (pc)

For more information, visit coup.peterbrinson.com.


For the first time in Portland all LGBT Union members and allies will be marching together in one contingent. The newly formed Pride At Work in Portland (PAW is an AFL-CIO constituency group) has organized to have us all march together. We will be meeting between 10:00 and 11:00 Sunday morning at 12th and Everett. We are number 85.

The SEIU 503 Lavender Caucus has been marching together in Portland Pride for over 10 years and is excited to be joined together with other Union members. Pride Marches have been occurring yearly around the nation to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969. The LGBT community in Greenwich Village fought back against continual Police harassment. One night they had enough and attacked the Police who were raiding the Stonewall Inn. Riots continued each evening with organizing during the day. The first March was in New York City and their two main slogans remain true for today. "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" and "Gay Is Good".

June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17th: Railroad Workers Memorial Day

On Friday, June 17th, Railroad Workers United calls on all railroad workers in North America to observe Railroad Workers Memorial Day to honor and remember those railroaders killed on the job this past year. All railroad workers are urged to wear black shirts to work and to "Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living,"

Railroad Workers United is a solidarity grouping of railroad workers from various crafts, drawn from all rail carriers, represented by a number of unions across the continent. According to RWU Co-Chair Robert Hill, "Railroad Workers Memorial Day is a time for all railroaders to pause and reflect, to remember our brothers and sisters who have perished on the job this past year, and to commit ourselves to the fight to build real safety programs at work."

On Mother's Day, 2009, a young conductor Jared Boehlke was killed on the job in Selkirk, NY while working a single-employee remote-controlled job in the rail yard. Like so many other railroad fatalities, RWU believes that Jared's death could so easily have been avoided had the carrier maintained a safe workplace. In response, Railroad Workers United called for a national day of remembrance a few weeks later, on Father's Day Friday. Urging all railroaders to wear black shirts to work that day, RWU proclaimed the day "Railroad Workers Memorial Day," and according to RWU Co-Chair Jon Flanders, "we have pledged the organization to observe this day every year in honor and remembrance of those railroad workers who died on the job."

Last spring, RWU observed the day by honoring and remembering the increasing number of brothers and sisters who were killed on the railroad in the previous 12 months. Despite the recession and the decrease in rail employment by more than 10%, the number of fatalities had risen dramatically. In fact, twenty employees lost their lives on the railroad between Mothers' Day 2009 and 2010.

This year's action was originally designed to focus on the March 23rd fatal crash in Longview-Kelso, WA. which took three lives, while a fourth rail employee lies in critical condition. "While the company flails about wildly searching for workers to blame," states RWU General Secretary Ron Kaminkow, "their actions beg the question: why was such a dangerous railroad crossing -- an obvious hazard, an accident waiting to happen -- allowed to go unprotected year after year? Help us to make a statement to the carriers that we will not go along with business-as-usual corporate-sponsored safety programs that only look at our behaviors and fail to take an interest in alleviating these sorts of hazards." RWU is selling T-shirts to railroaders in the Pacific Northwest to heighten awareness of the issue and to raise funds for deceased engineer Tommy Kenny's surviving family members.

Since the above mentioned incident, five more rail workers have been killed while at least four others have sustained critical injuries, including two amputations. RWU believes that the rail carriers' failure to alleviate existing and known hazards -- together with their penchant for simply blaming worker behavior -- is what lies behind many of these and other rail accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

For more information: 206-984-3051 or 608-358-5771; info@railroadworkersunited.org

Washington County Democrats Office Open House

Washington County Democrats Office Open House
Sunday, June 26 at 1:00pm
Location: Washington County Democratic Party Office
140 NE 3rd Ave.
Hillsboro, Oregon

June 16, 2011

Corvallis Oregon: Cuban Aid Caravan fundraiser

Cuban Lunch!
Noon, Wednesday, July 6, 2011
101 NW 23rd St, Corvallis, Oregon (Westminster House)

Send your greetings and goodwill with Ed Hemmingson from Albany and Mike Beilstein of Corvallis, who are traveling with the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Aid Caravan to Cuba.

Alicia Jrapko, Argentine-American activist, and coordinator of the International Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five, will speak on current conditions and outlook for Cuba and Cuban-American relations.

No charge to attend but this is a fundraiser. Your contributions to IFCO/Pastors for Peace are appreciated. (See IFCO website here.)

For further information contact Mike Beilstein, 541 754 1858.

Sit-in for Racial Equity staged at Capitol Offices of OR State Representatives


Salem, Ore -- This morning, 75 people staged a sit-in at the Capitol offices of Oregon State Representatives Andy Olson (R-Albany), Vicki Berger (R-Salem) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay). Those participating included students, parents, clergy and members of CAUSA, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Urban League, and Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS).

The Sit-in was in direct response to bills promoting racial equity--those allowing all Oregonians greater access to basic rights like quality health care and affordable education-- being blocked by partisan gridlock and obstructionism.

Participants in this morning’s action called on the leadership from both parties to work with one another and with those legislators, business leaders, community leaders and countless Oregonians who have already united to support these bills and to break from the status quo and advance racial equity.

“The time has come to rise above partisanship and politics and recognize that people of color make up over 20% of the population of our great state”, said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA Oregon. “The issues we bring to our lawmakers will not simply go away with the end of session. They need to do what is right for all Oregonians now.”

Participants agreed to end the sit-in in exchange for a meeting with the Republican and Democratic House Leadership to discuss the future of Tuition Equity and other legislation that promotes Racial Equity.

Currently, Senate Bill 742 Tuition Equity, one of the important pieces of legislation for Oregon’s communities of color, is still sitting in the House Rules Committee and being obstructed from having an up or down vote in the Oregon House.

View additional photos here:

Related News Coverage

Ethnic organizations demand racial equity at sit-in The Oregonian

Protestors try to dislodge stalled in-state tuition bill Salem Statesman Journal Read more...

Salem Fair Trade Meeting June 20

Hello All,

Washington, DC is abuzz with speculation today that the White House and Congressional Republicans are close to a deal that would allow pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to be voted upon within a matter of weeks. Already, a "mock mark-up" has been scheduled in the House Ways & Means Committee for next week — the first step to the FTAs being introduced under Fast Track.

The thing that has prevented the FTAs from being introduced recently has been a debate over whether Congress will approve an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for displaced workers. The rumor mill has it that Republican leadership will agree to a limited extension — and that the White House will agree to drop service sector and government workers from TAA coverage. Since the TAA program was expanded in 2009, more than half of the Oregonians who have qualified for TAA have been service sector workers and others not previously covered by the pre-2009 program. As of November, that was 5,828 Oregonians and 155,417 people nationally. It appears in the zeal to hand Wall Street more job-killing trade deals, these workers could be again thrown under the bus.

This package of FTAs is the biggest package of trade deals in a decade. We've been fighting these proposed pacts for four years now, and can't afford to let up now with the votes so close at hand.

We need Congressman Schrader to vote NO on Korea, Colombia and Panama FTAs. Help us put the pressure on this key Dem!

Take action this Monday!

Salem Fair Trade Meeting
June 20th at 6pm
SEIU, 1730 Commercial St SE

To read more on Congressman Schrader's position check out this current article in the Statesman Journal, Rep Schrader Confused on International Trade http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20110613/OPINION/106130306/Rep-Schrader-confused-international-trade

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Swager
Assistant Director
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

June 15, 2011

USS Liberty: Veterans, Activists Mark 44th Anniversary of Israeli Attack


Veterans and activists marked June 8th, the 44th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty by holding visibility actions in Portland and Eugene, holding signs and distrbuting handouts while urging passersby to call their US Senators and Congresspeople to demand a re-opening of the case and a suspension of US aid to Israel. Our visibilities were viewed by several thousand people. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and one of shock for many who have never heard about the attack.

The flyer that was distributed is reprinted below with contact information for Oregon's Congressional delegation. Please take a moment to call your Senators and Congressperson. Let them know in no uncertain terms that support for Israel is an affront to the memory of the USS Liberty vicitims and their families.


On June 8th, 1967, the USS Liberty was attacked by Israel off the coast of Egypt. 34 US servicemen were killed and 172 were wounded in this well documented unprovoked attack. The deliberate nature of the attack was covered up by the Johnson administration. Israel and its supporters continue to deny the attack was deliberate.

According to the ‘Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Attack on the USS Liberty’, this air and naval attack lasted 2 hours “during which time unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on the Liberty’s bridge, and fired 30mm cannons and rockets, causing 821 holes, more than 100 of which were rocket size; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes which were jamming all 5 American emergency radio channels.” This ‘accident’ happened after 8 hours of aerial surveillance on the Liberty, which had unmistakable American markings.

Israel has never been held accountable for this murderous attack on the Liberty, yet Israel receives billions in US tax dollars every year, which subsidizes Israel’s continuing ethnic cleansing of occupied Palestinian territories. Few politicians, whether Democratic or Republican, have been willing to speak out and take on the Israel Lobby. And they won’t, unless we make them do so.

Call or write your US Representatives & Senators. Tell them to stand up to the Israel Lobby, demand an official investigation into the attack & US government cover-up, and tell them to demand a suspension of US aid to Israel pending a full and objective investigation free from foreign influence and free from interference of special interests.

Sen. Ron Wyden (202) 224-5244 http://wyden.senate.gov
Sen. Jeff Merkley (202) 224-3753 http://merkley.senate.gov

Rep. David Wu 202-225-0855 http://www.house.gov/wu
Rep. Greg Walden 202-225-6730 http://walden.house.gov/
Rep. Earl Blumenauer 202-225-4811 http://blumenauer.house.gov/
Rep. Peter DeFazio 202-225-6416 http://www.defazio.house.gov/
Rep. Kurt Schrader 202-225-5711 http://schrader.house.gov/

For detail on the attack and cover-up, go to these and other websites: www.USSLiberty.org or www.ifamericansknew.org


This is an important action tomorrow (Thursday 6/16) if you are anywhere near Salem, OR! The Governor has refused to extend the contract for State Employees and Higher Ed past the end of this month. This is unheard of the past 30 years of bargaining!!! On Thursday there will be a march down the Capitol Mall of all 16 State agencies. It will start at noon at the Human Services Building. They will be marching to the Capitol Rotunda to make some noise. This is an important action for all rank and file and their supporters to send a message to the Governor and to their Bargaining Team..Fight Back!!

Some Coming Events From Portland Jobs With Justice

Friday, June 17 4pm-6pm Solidarity Action at Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway Coordinated by Portland I.W.W. Provenance Hotels manages 6 hotels in Seattle, San Francisco and Portland (Hotel Lucia & Hotel deLuxe). Hotel Frank (SF) was bought by Provenance in May 2010. Shortly after the purchase Provenance threw out the workers' union contract, and has attacked their working conditions. The workers at Hotel Frank remain vigilant, their demands are: Fully restore their contract; Rehire 3 fired workers; End discrimination of workers organizing for a Union. For More Information Visit www.hotelfranksf.info

Friday, June 17, 6pm VOZ Annual Dinner “Con Trabajo, Poder, y Apoyo, Luchamos por un Futuro Mejor” “With Work, Power, and Support, we struggle for a better future” Eliot Center, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1226 SW Salmon St info: http://portlandvoz.org/

Saturday, June 19, 11:30am Pride March The Oregon AFL-CIO, along with our constituency group Pride @ Work, will proudly join our LGBT brothers and sisters in the 2011 Portland Pride Parade. The Parade kicks off at 11:30am on Sunday, June 19th. To join, contact: sallen@unitehere.org

Thursday, June 30th, 9:30am Portland Rising Bus Tour - Get on the Bus for a fun-filled, action-packed Day! Bus departs from 1125 SE Madison, but you must RSVP! (A 4:30 closing rally will be announced soon) Support seven unions, fight for good jobs for all and stand against threatened cuts to the safety net and job killing “free trade” deals - All in one trip! June 30th is a critical day in the Portland/Vancouver area for workers’ rights. We will support the unions that have contracts expiring on this day as well as others that are currently in negotiations with many creative, exciting actions! To save your seat: http://www.jwjpdx.org/misc/portland-rising-get-on-the-bus

June 14, 2011

Cuban socialism adapts for the future

Cuban socialism adapts for the future

A video presentation by Roberta Wood, Secretary-Treasurer, Communist Party USA, along with a current student at Latin American School of Medicine in Havana

Please join us for this exciting video presentation and discussion. Roberta has traveled to Cuba several times in the past few years and will give an update on the exciting new changes being implemented to renew and improve socialism on the island. She and a guest student from the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana will overview the large and small reforms adopted at the recent Congress of the Cuban Communist Party and discuss how the Cuban people are responding to the changes. The presentation will discuss new opportunities for solidarity with the Cuban people and ending the 50-year U.S. blockade.

Questions will follow the presentation.

Tuesday, June 21
8:00 - 9:00pm Eastern

Watch live video on Ustream or at CPUSA.org
or listen in by phone. Call (605) 475-4850 and dial 1053538# after the prompt.
(Check Ustream to make sure your computer is compatible)

Communist Party Of Turkey (TKP) Reacts To The Turkish Elections

13 June 2011

Turkey has left behind an election in which the government utilized all sorts of illegitimate methods such as oppression, blackmailing and cheating; in which news about electoral frauds came all day long one after another. The outcome as a whole is far from being pleasing for the laboring classes of Turkey. Poverty, unemployment, increasing debt burden, the total collapse of the legal system, the complete siege of reactionism in all spheres of social life and the practices of the police state have not been sufficient for the disengagement of the peoples from the AKP. This picture itself stands as a major problem. The reality that the AKP achieved a portion of its votes through electoral tricks and frauds as happened in previously in the referendum does not alter the fact that a considerable section of the society comes face to face with the threat of decadence.

The elections on June 12 do not lead to a recovery among the “displeaseds” of this picture. Apart form votes cast as a reaction, the massive pressure applied in order to gather the left-wing votes under the banner of the CHP did not breed any social dynamism or mobility, and the CHP remained at a vote rate far from generating hope among the electorates attached to this party. The policies of the new CHP of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to rasp off its differences with the AKP not only yield any result, but this also caused certain sections of the society to become more vulnerable before the AKP.

The Labor, Freedom and Democracy Block, which succeeded in achieving its targets to a great extent, in essence reinforced the representation of the Kurdish people in the parliement despite the fact that the Block managed to have three persons from the Turkish left elected. In the upcoming period, it remains ambigous how the BDP, which will become a more important actor than the CHP and the MHP in Turkish politics, will intervene to transformation of Turkey, at the center of which stands the AKP. Neither the Kurdish issue nor the internal dynamics of Turkey coupled with the developments in the region will allow this ambiguity to be resolved with reference to the Kurdish problem on its own.

Communist Party of Turkey, which entered the elections with the slogan “Do Not Bow Your Head Down” and declared its target as recieving 500 thousand votes in order to build greater resistance after June 12, is the most unsuccesful party if we take the election outcomes as the point of reference. The TKP recieved even less votes than certain political formations that have no importance at all, and missed the target it declared before the elections by a mile. In concrete terms, the TKP failed to attribute a different meaning to the elections, at which everybody was focused on possible parliamentary arithmetics, and hence recieved way less votes compared with its social influence. Our party will examine the reasons why it recieved so little votes without having resort to the effects of the unfair electoral system, the media blockade, the frauds in the elections, the pressures applied through arguments such as “do not divide the votes” or “one should support those who will be in the Parliement”, or to the fact that some of its votes were stolen despite all the measures taken by the party. Of course, the TKP will not resign itself to this outcome, but rather take the necessary steps rapidly and will not wait for the next election to make a leap forward, which will strengthen our party carrying the falg of socialism in Turkey.

Besides, Turkey is not a kind of country in which you can remain still.

Even though the political party that has been ruling the country for the last nine years achieved the consent of the society by recieving the 50 per cent of the votes, June 12 elections have not rendered Turkey more stable. Intensifying problems of the toiling masses, the developments in our region, the over-sensitive and vulnerable economy of the country, the fact that the high vote rate of the AKP does not bring a comfortable majority to this party in the parliament, and that a considerable amount of the population has achieved greater strength vis-a-vis the government will give a significant degree of headache to the AKP despite the 50 per cent rate it gained.

Communist Party of Turkey will clarify its current tasks of the revolutionary struggle in view of the post-election scenery in the coutry and will do its best in order to fulfill these tasks. Our party will also utilize the reservoirs and positions it achieved in the course of its electoral work in its endeavor to fulfill these tasks.

To this end, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey decided to launch the work for holding the 10th Congress of the party immediately. The preparations of the congress will be done by the Central Committee and the Party Council along with the active contributions of the TKP's fellows who participated in the electoral campaign of the party. The TKP will not allow the election results to bring the political and organizational development of the party to a standstill. The procedure for the 10th Congress will start with the meeting of the Party Council that is going to be held next Sunday and end with the Nationwide Conference to be held in July.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey celebrates all party cadres and fellows who made an enormous effort in order to raise the voice of “those who do not bow their heads down” despite various impediments and restraints. The CC of the TKP also calls to all party cadres and fellows to roll up their sleeves immediately for the Congress that has an historical significance.

Communist Party of Turkey
Central Committee

June 13, 2011

The Compatibility of Christianity and Marxism

The common wisdom of both Christians and Marxists is that Christianity and communism are incompatible; when looking at the history of relations between the two ideologies as well as the ideologies themselves, it is understandable why many come to this conclusion. Communists have traditionally believed that Christianity has been a tool of the ruling classes to keep proletarians and peasants in chains. Marx, in his essay “On the Jewish Question” claims that religion provided an escape from the alienation of proletarian life. As this alienation would not exist in communism, religion would no longer be necessary.

Since people would find fulfillment in their day-to-day labor, the worship of deities would simply fade away. In addition, he believed that humans should strive for authenticity themselves rather than project ideal humanity onto a non-existent being. Many Christians see Marxism a materialist, secular philosophy that is antithetical to all forms of spirituality as well as inherently repressive. Hence, in spite of Christianity’s doctrines concerning social-justice, Christians do not view Marxism as a viable political option. As an orthodox Christian and a communist, I would contend that both sides are incorrect in their assessment of one another and that the time has come to build new bridges of reconciliation and solidarity between Christians and Marxists.

The main Christian critique of Marxism is that historical materialism is incompatible with Christian doctrines such as the existence of substances beyond matter, like spirit. Many Marxists (Marx himself) would agree. Many Christians have reinterpreted Christian doctrine in such a way that squares more ontological materialism, but for more conservative Christians such as myself, this is not a viable option.  There is, however, a way to interpret historical materialism in such a way that it need not conflict with the existence of spirit.

Whether or not Marx would have believed that all things are composed of matter is beside the point; the most important aspect of Marxism is historical materialism—material entities satisfying their material necessities and the forces and modes of production that facilitate this are what primarily drive history—not necessarily ontological materialism (everything is matter). If we understand historical materialism in this way, we still leave open the possibility of immaterial reality; it is merely that, in terms of how history plays out, material reality has a certain priority. In addition Engels, in “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” concedes that higher levels of the historical materialist superstructure can turn around and exert causal influence over economics, so Marxism can allow for things which are not necessarily material to have a direct impact on history.

Read more at http://www.politicalaffairs.net/the-compatibility-of-christianity-and-marxism/.

"Blood on the Tracks" book reading by S. Brian Wilson in Corvallis

Date: 2011-06-27
Event Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Book Bin Book Store
215 SW 4TH ST
CORVALLIS, OR, 97333-4624
Organization: Veterans for Peace #132
More Info: http://https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=330

Description: S. Brian Willson is a Viet Nam veteran whose wartime experiences transformed him into a revolutionary nonviolent pacifist. He gained renown as a participant in a prominent 1986 veterans fast on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The fast was in response to funding of Reagan's Contra wars in Central America. One year later, on September 1, 1987, he was again thrust into the public eye when he was run over and nearly killed by a U.S. Navy Munitions train while engaging in a nonviolent blockade in protest of weapons shipments to El Salvador. Since the 1980s he has continued efforts to educate the public about the diabolical nature of U.S. imperialism while striving to "walk his talk" (on two prosthetic legs and a three-wheeled handcycle) by creating a model of right livelihood including a simpler lifestyle.
Brian will be reading and discussing his book, taking questions, and signing copies of the book which will be available for purchase.

Contact Leah Bolger for more information: 541-207-7761.

YOU ARE INVITED to an urgent community meeting for Immigrant Families w/ Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL)

Congressman Gutierrez is traveling the nation on a Campaign for American Children & Families Tour to speak about:
- Passage of the DREAM Act for our youth
- Legalization for Immigrant Families
- The need for President Obama to sign an executive order
stopping deportations and the separation of familes

Monday, June 27 at 6:00 p.m.
Woodburn High School
1785 North Front Street
Woodburn, OR 97071
For more information, please contact Lorena at 503-984-4823 or Alejandra at 503-884-2679
Sponsored by CAUSA Oregon, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Latinos Unidos Siempre, Mano a Mano Family Center, Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas, and Voz Hispana Causa Chavista

Reunión de comunidad para las Familias Inmigrantes
con Congresista Democrata De Chicago Illinois Luis Gutierrez

El Congresista Luis Gutierrez se encuenta actualmente trabajandoen una gira a travez de la nacion para abogar por:
- El Acta Del Sueño para nuestros jóvenes 
- Legalizacion para las familias inmigrantes  
- Así como también pedirle as Presidente Obama que por medio de una decisión ejecutiva se ponga un alto a la separacion de nuestras familias
27 de junio 2011 6:00 p.m.
Woodburn Highschool
1785 North Front Street
Woodburn, OR 97071
Para mas informacion: Lorena a 503-984-4823 o Alejandra a 503-884-2679

Evento  auspiciado por organizaciones:  CAUSA Oregon,  Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Latinos Unidos Siempre,  Mano a Mano Family Center, Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality, Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas y Voz Hispana Causa Chavista

A heated confrontation and an eloquent lesson given to the leaders of "the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF)"

Press Release – 11th June 2011

A heated confrontation and an eloquent lesson given to the leaders of "the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF)"

Kamal Abbas interrupts a speech by Ismail Fahmy saying: "Enough, you killers ... enough all these years."

CTUWS, June 10, 2011: The participants in the sessions at the International Labour Conference on Thursday, June 9, witnessed a heated confrontation between the two Egyptians sides present (one side being the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), "the official government trade union federation closely allied to the former regime", and the other side, the CTUWS, and the newly formed Independent Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions). Kamal Abbas, the General Coordinator of the CTUWS categorically interrupted Ismail Fahmy, the Acting Head of the ETUF, during his speech given in the plenary (main hall) of the ILO’s Conference, opposing the premise and commitment of the ETUF to continue to represent the Egyptian workers, and with the General Coordinator repeatedly saying, "Enough ... enough ... what you have done to the Egyptian workers over the past decades", and he cited some of the numerous other sins committed by the ETUF against the legitimate rights of workers.

Mr. Ismail Fahmy, the Acting President of the ETUF was in a state of confusing paradox before delivering his speech in the presence of both the government delegation headed by Dr El-Borai, Minister of Manpower and Immigration, and representatives of the CTUWS and the newly formed independent trade unions, where with the overlap of lengthy meetings and speeches one after the other -- the Acting President of the ETUF - Egypt was introduced as a representative of the workers’ group of Ukraine!!

Before the attendees at the meeting noticed the wrong introduction of the speaker, Kamal Abbas stood in the hall to object to Fahmy’s status from the an objective point of view, saying that the ETUF no longer had the right to represent the Egyptian workers particularly after the participation of some leaders in the plot the of 2nd February 2011, known as the “incident of the camel attacks” on the crowds in Tahrir square.

Kamal Abbas said emphatically: "Enough ... all these years ....and crimes enough! .... Enough you killers!".... "You participated in the passage of the privatization deals, and facilitated and justified the blatant attacks on the rights of workers ... You defended with impunity Mubarak’s regime with its corruption, repression and tyranny, and then you plotted against the killing of the revolutionaries in Tahrir square!”

The meeting hall shook with these strong words! And there continued to be echoes in the corridors and hallways of the International Labour Organization, and many of the delegations present continued to ask and question: until when shall those who belong to the regime that the Egyptian people revolted against continue to claim to represent the Egyptian workers?

Labor and Radical History - Herb March And Vicky Starr: Chicago Organizers Of The United Packinghouse Workers Of America (UPWA-CIO)

Labor and Radical History - Herb March And Vicky Starr: Chicago Organizers Of The United Packinghouse Workers Of America (UPWA-CIO)
Harry Targ

[This paper will be presented at the Working Class Studies Association, 2011 Conference, June 22-25, Chicago, Illinois. The Working Class Studies Association will feature 70 panels and workshops and more than 200 presenters. For more information see http://www.wcstudies.org/conference/]

Worker ferment, including uprisings in Minneapolis, Toledo and San Francisco, reverberated inside the U.S. labor movement in the 1930s. John L. Lewis stormed out of a 1935 national meeting of the American Federation of Labor to create by 1940 what would become the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) with 4 million industrial workers marching to the banner of trade union militancy.

Herb March was sent by the Communist Party USA to Chicago to help organize workers in the meat packing plants on the south side of Chicago. The slaughtering and distribution of meat products in the 1930s was centered in a small number of locations. The Chicago Stockyards constituted the largest site. Work on the line was brutal as graphically described earlier in the century by Upton Sinclair in his classic novel, The Jungle. Workers tried to organize at the time in which Sinclair wrote and again after World War I. Such efforts failed, often because of racial divisions. When March was sent to Chicago in the 1930s, he and other activists knew that racism would have to be overcome along with monopoly control of the industry by "the Big Four packers." March recruited a young Michigander, Vicky Starr, to help organize in the "yards." They networked with college students from the nearby University of Chicago and worked with Communist, Socialist, and religious activists from the plants to build a militant CIO union that for a time represented meat packing workers in their struggles to improve wages and working conditions and end racism and sexism in the plants.

This paper examines the political theory and practice of March and Starr as they helped organize the UPWA CIO in the 1930s and 1940s with particular attention given to possible meanings for 21st century organizing of the working class

For the complete paper see:

June 11, 2011

Know Your Rights-Adult Series

Date: 2011-06-15
Event Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Centro Latino Americano
944 W 5TH AVE
EUGENE, OR, 97402-5106
Organization: Civil Liberties Defense Center
Description: Free workshops that are open to the public! Yes, you read correctly, free and open to the public! CLDC and Centro will host the Know Your Rights (KYR) Series at the Centro location in the Meeting room on the 1st Floor. These trainings will be provided in English AND Spanish.

Adult Rights
Learn about your basic rights particularly when dealing
with police & government. Basic criminal law & court
procedures will be covered.

Derechos de Adultos
Aprende sus derechos constitucionales cuando está en
contacto con la policía, el gobierno o el servicio de

Moonlight Rafting Trip Fundraiser for the CLDC

Date: 2011-06-16 - 2011-06-17
Organization: Civil Liberties Defense Center
Description: Sure to be one of the most fun nights of the summer. On Thursday June 16th and again on Friday June 17th will be the second annual Moonlight Raft Trip Fundraiser for the CLDC. Each night we'll hop in a bus and head up the McKenzie to Quartz Creek where we'll sip beverages and eat dessert as the sun sets and the full moon rises. Then we'll paddle 5 miles down the mighty McKenzie River and howl like wolves at the full moon.

The CLDC provides low cost legal services to ensure that those putting their bodies on the front lines for our future have their civil liberties protected!

All rafting and safety gear is provided and the trip will be run by professional river guides. A donation of just $30-50 to the CLDC reserves your seat on this moonlight float. To reserve, go to http://www.cldc.org and click "Donate to CLDC". Put in the correct donation amount ($30 minimum for one person, $60 for two and so on) and in the "Designate my donation" just write "Rafting" and the names of each person you'd like to register.

If you have questions or comments please email Jasmine at: jasminum.flora@gmail.com

Now through June 16th or 17th: Donate to the CLDC!
7:00PM - Depart Eugene 7pm - transportation provided
8:30PM - Arrive at McKenzie River put-in - drinks, dessert, etc
9:30PM - Put in river & raft under the stars
11:30PM - Reach the take out
12:30AM - Arrive back in Eugene

See you on the river!
Trip & Jasmine

Know Your Rights-Teen Series

Date: 2011-06-22
Event Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: The Center
EUGENE, OR, 97401-3002
Organization: Civil Liberties Defense Center
More Info: http://cldc.org
Description: Free workshops that are open to the public! Yes, you read correctly, free and open to the public!

These trainings will be provided in English AND Spanish.

Teen Rights
Designed for Juveniles ages 10-20; come and learn
about your rights when dealing with police/school
officials as well as rights pertaining to when you are on
the streets or in a school setting.

Derechos de Jovenes
La presentación es diseñada para los jóvenes de las
edades de 10 a 20 anos. Aprenda sobre sus derechos
cuando trata con la policía o los oficiales escolares,
además de sus derechos cuando se encuentre en la calle
o en la escuela.

Afghanistan: How do we end America's longest war?

Date: 2011-06-29
Event Time: 7:00 pm
Organization: Alliance for Democracy - Portland
Description: Afghanistan: How do we end America's longest war?

Join us for an evening with:

  • Dr. Zaher Wahab, Lewis & Clark professor just returned from training teachers in Afghanistan
  • Matthew Hoh, former Marine and State Department Official who resigned in protest of the war in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, June 29th

First Unitarian Church
Buchan Building, Room B102
1226 SW Salmon St., Portland

Brought to you by Peace Action West, Peace Action Committee of the First Unitarian Church, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Pacific Green Party of Oregon, Alliance for Democracy, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, Portland Branch Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Augustana Lutheran Church, Rural Organizing Project

June 10, 2011


UNAC and Mass Action -Boston sent out a message to spread the word that David House who is a former Boston University student, friend of Bradley Manning and head of The Bradley Manning Support Network just received a summons to appear before a grand jury on Wednesday June 15th in Washington D.C. They are asking everyone to spread the news and for those in the Washington D.C. area to prepare to respond. More information will be forthcoming.

Youth activism summer camp

Date: 2011-08-07 - 2011-08-14

Event Time: (All Day Event)

Organization: Youth Empowered Action (YEA)

More Info: http://www.yeacamp.org

Description: Summer is approaching quickly--what will teens who care about social change be doing this summer?

Life-Changing Summer Camp Opportunity for Youth Making a Difference!
Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp is a unique and inspiring summer leadership program for youth 12-17 who want to make a difference in the world. A week-long sleep-away program in a beautiful camp setting, YEA campers choose an issue of importance to them (for example, some have chosen climate change, racism, homophobia, homelessness, or animal rights) and they build the knowledge, skills, confidence, and community to take action on that issue once they get home. They also build life-long friendships between youth with similar interests in bettering their community and society. Youth who have participated in our programs report that the camp was one of the most fun, memorable and life-changing experiences they have had, and, with YEA's support, many have gone on to start school clubs, plan fundraisers for nonprofits, organize a call-in to Congress, and attend hearings to comment about important community issues. Check out our short video or website www.yeacamp.org to learn more about this unique program.

"This camp has truly changed my life. You have inspired me to do so much with my life and to make the world a truly better place. You have inspired me to believe in myself and to not just say 'I'm just a kid, what can I do?' Because of you, I have been able to actually make a difference." -Bianca, Age 15

Where: Corbett, OR just outside Portland
$925; some scholarships may be available

Contact: laura carver, 503-347-0223 www.yeacamp.org

Portland BDS Flash Mob at New Seasons!

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions team calls out New  Seasons Market for continuing to sell Israeli goods in their store.

Joseph Massad Writing For Al Jazeera

From Joseph Massad, an Associate Professor for Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York, writing in Al Jazeera:

There is an increasing understanding among US policy makers that the US should ride the democratic wave in the region in those countries where it cannot crush it, and that in doing so, it should create political conditions that would maintain the continued imperial pillage of their economies at the same rate as before and not threaten them. Saudi money followed by American money and IMF and World Bank plans and funds are all geared to supporting the business elites and the foreign-funded NGOs to bring down the newly mobilised civil society by using the same neoliberal language of structural adjustment pushed by the IMF since the late 1970s. Indeed, Obama and his business associates are now claiming that it is the imposition of more neoliberal economic policies that is the main revolutionary demand of the people in Egypt and Tunisia, if not the entire Arab world, and which the West is lovingly heeding. That it is these same imperial policies, which were imposed on Poland by the IMF (and produced Solidarnosc in 1980), and ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Union, as they marched onwards to impoverish the entire globe, with special attention to Africa, the Arab World, and Latin America, is glossed over as socialist whining. In this sense, the US will ensure that the same imperial economic policies imposed by international capital and adopted by Mubarak and Ben Ali will not only be maintained, but will be intensified under the cover of democracy.

Moves to limit economic protests and labour strikes are ongoing in Egypt and Tunisia. Once elections are held to bring about a new class of servants of the new order, we will hear that all economic demands should be considered "counterrevolutionary"and should be prosecuted for attempting to "weaken" if not "destroy" the new "democracy". If, as is becoming more apparent, the US strikes alliances with local Islamist parties, we might even hear that economic protests and opposition to neoliberal imperial economic policies are "against Islam." The US-imposed "democracy" to come, assuming even a semblance of it will be instituted, is precisely engineered to keep the poor down and to delegitimise all their economic demands. The exchange that the US hopes to achieve by imposing some form of liberal political order on Egypt and Tunisia is indeed more, not less, imperial pillage of their economies and of the livelihoods of their poor classes, who are the large majority of the population. The ultimate US aim then is to hijack the successful uprisings against the existing regimes under the cover of democracy for the benefit of the very same local and international business elites in power under Mubarak and Ben Ali. How successful the US and its local allies will be will depend on the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples.

June 9, 2011

Two Timely Quotes From Lenin

Unlike the anarchists, the Marxists recognize struggles for reforms, i.e., measures that improve the workers' conditions without destroying the power of the rulling class. But the Marxists wage a most resolute struggle against the reformists who, directly or indirectly, confine the aims and activities of the working class to the winning of reforms. Reformism is the deception of the workers by the bourgeoisie, for as long as there is a domination by capital, the workers are condemned to remain wage slaves, notwithstanding individual improvements.

The liberal bourgeoisie always takes back the reforms it grants, reduces them to nought, uses them to enslave the workers, divide them into separate groups, and perpetuate wage slavery. For that reason reformism, even when quite sincere, in practice becomes a weapon of bourgeois corruption and weakening of the workers. The workers who put their trust in the reformists are, in the end, always fooled. This has been demonstrated by the experience of every county. (Marxism and Reformism)


Only those who are totally incapable of thinking, or those who are entirely unfamiliar with Marxism, will conclude that, therefore, a republic is of no use, that freedom of divorce is of no use, that democracy is of no use, that self-determination of nations is of no use! Marxists know that democracy does not abolish class oppression, but only makes the class struggle clearer, broader, more open and sharper; and this is what we want. The more complete freedom of divorce is, the clearer will it be to the woman that the source of her "domestic slavery" is not the lack of rights, but capitalism. The more democratic the system of government is, the clearer it will be to the workers that the root of the evil is not the lack of rights, but capitalism. The more complete national equality is (and it is not complete without freedom of secession), the clearer will it be to the workers of the oppressed nation that it is not a question of lack of rights, but of capitalism. And so on. (The Right To Divorce)

Marion Courthouse Square Options Forum In Salem

DemoForum with, Architect Geoff James--Marion Courthouse Square Options
Wednesday, June 15 at 12:00pm
Location: Kwan's Cuisine, 835 Commercial St SE , Salem OR

REFUSING TO BE ENEMIES: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance

Speaker: Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta

TIME: 1:15 PM

DATE: Sunday, June 12, 2011

PLACE: Room B202/B203 Buchan Bldg., 1st Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon

SW 12th Ave. between SW Salmon and SW Main

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta is a Canadian Jewish Quaker who has just completed a book with the same title as her talk. She spent 7 years in Jerusalem where she participated in anti-occupation work and offered non-violence training workshops. She has just returned from Israel/Palestine and will discuss the current situation as well as non-violent action for Palestinian rights. We will have juice, cookies and fruit. Bring a brown bag lunch if you expect to be hungry.

Sponsored by the Canadian Friends Service Committee and the Peace Action Committee of 1st Unitarian Church.

Help protect the Farmworker Housing Tax Credit


The Farmworker Housing Tax Credit (FHTC) has been providing resources to house Oregon's farmworkers for the last 22 years. While the credit has helped create thousands of units on and off farm, it has only scratched the surface of the need for safe, decent and affordable housing for this vulnerable population.

You all know what having a stable home means. It not only provides a healthy environment for its residents, it also benefits the entire community. Employers have access to a much more stable workforce. This stability means that farmworker families and their children have opportunities that would not normally be available to them.

House Bill 3168 would extend the tax credit. We have asked the legislature to extend the credit to 2020. Now we need you to tell your elected representatives how important this credit is to you and your community.

This bill has been heard by a policy committee and is now sitting in the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. We expect that since the legislature is nearing an agreement on the budget, they will soon be deciding which credits will have their sunsets extended. While the committee is generally supportive of the FHTC, they need to hear from constituents that this is an important tool that helps the state meet its affordable housing goals.

Below is the membership of the committee. If you reside in a committee member's district, taking action is crucial to the extension of the FHTC. Even if you don't have an elected official on this committee, we need you to communicate with your elected representative and ask them to continue to support the credit.

I ask that you also forward this message to family, friends, co-workers, county commissioners, city councils or other key folks in your community and ask them to send a brief email to Senators and Representatives.

To find your Senator and Representative, please link here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

Sen. Ginny Burdick, Co-Chair
Rep. Jules Bailey, Co-Chair sen.ginnyburdick@state.or.us 503-986-1718
Rep. Vicki Berger, Co-Chair rep.vickiberger@state.or.us 503-986-1420
Sen. Frank Morse, Co-Vice Chair sen.frankmorse@state.or.us 503-986-1708
Rep. Sara Gelser, Co-Vice Chair rep.saragelser@state.or.us 503-986-1416
Rep. Matt Wand, Co-Vice Chair rep.mattwand@state.or.us 503-986-1449
Sen. Mark Hass sen.markhass@state.or.us 503-986-1714
Sen. Chris Telfer sen.christelfer@state.or.us 503-986-1727
Rep. Phil Barnhart rep.philbarnhart@state.or.us 503-986-1411
Rep. Cliff Bentz rep.cliffbentz@state.or.us 503-986-1460
Rep. Katie Brewer rep.katieeyrebrewer@state.or.us 503-986-1429
Rep. Tobias Read rep.tobiasread@state.or.us 503-986-1427

Here are some ideas to include in your letter. Be sure to personalize it by explaining to your senator and representative that the credit helps create housing in your communities. Be sure to highlight that the credit is effective and efficient:

• leverages millions in federal and private funds
• creates jobs during construction and ongoing operation
• provides rural areas with much needed housing for a traditionally under-served population
• supports agriculture by providing a stable workforce
• Oregon is home to more than 150,000 farmworkers

On behalf of Oregon's farmworkers, we appreciate you helping to ensure this important resource continues to be available.


Francisco Lopez, Executive Director
CAUSA Oregon

June 7, 2011

Dosha Salon Spa--Part 2

We have previously mentioned the great victory won by Dosha Salon Spa workers in Portland when they voted to unionize.

Northwest Labor Press now reports that the company has hired right-wing wacko Bob Tiernan as a "hired gun" and that an anti-union captive audience meeting was recently held during which he reportedly said that the company is going to "pretend" that there is no union. The company is cracking down, according to the paper, and doing what it can to intimidate union supporters and activists.

We got a number of e-mails after we posted our initial article on Dosha and many expressed a desire to visit the spa and use a union-organized salon. The company is pushing back and looking out for its short-term profits and jealously guarding its power over the workers. I hope that people will take these developments into consideration before going to Dosha.

Creative Action to Support Albertson's Workers TODAY---Tuesday, June 7, 5-7pm

UFCW LOCAL 555 invites you to join the fuel center workers at the ALBERTSONS-- CULLY.

These workers work hard and ALBERTSONS is seeking to increase corporate profits by forcing these workers to pay more for their healthcare.
Help us show ALBERTSONS THAT WORKERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROFITS by lining up to buy gas one dollar at a time -- And pay for it WITH PENNIES. Will you join us?


June 6, 2011

Bottle Bill Modernization Passes Oregon Senate

From Oregon Peace Works:

House Bill 3145 headed to Governor's desk for his signature

Nearly forty years ago Oregon became the first state in America to pass a Bottle Bill to address a growing litter problem on our beaches, roads, and public lands. And now the Oregon Senate has voted to bring the Bottle Bill into the 21st century by approving HB 3145 to upgrade this landmark piece of our state's history.

HB 3145 updates Oregon's Bottle Bill by adding beverage containers like sports drinks and teas to the law will reduce confusion among consumers and increase recycling rates of containers that would otherwise end up in a landfill or as litter. It also uses an increased deposit from 5 to 10 cents to encourage higher recycling rates, reducing waste and helping to meet or exceed recycling goals.

The Updated DAS/OUS Pay-Cut Calculator--Spread The Word for 6/16 and 6/30!

SEIU Local 503 has developed a great tool to help state and higher ed workers figure their potential paycuts under the current proposals put forward by the state in union contract negotiations. That tool is here.

The state has been forced to back up from several of its worst proposals in contract negotiations because state workers have pushed back and rallied and because labor and its allies have been such a strong political presence at the state capitol. There will be informational picketing on June 16 and a mobilization on June 30.

Some Labor & Progressive Wins At The Oregon State Legislature

Labor and its progressive allies can take credit for these wins below---and more---at the State Legislature:

*Stopped the privatization of the custodial staff at Department of Administrative Services.
*Got state managers fired who were involved in a contracting scandal.
*Money to preserve union members' state jobs was specifically taken from contractors.
*Governor Kitzhaber was forced to remove the agency director at the Department of Revenue.
*Blocked rate and pay cuts of 16-19% for homecare workers, adult foster care providers, and nursing homes for at least one year. The one exception is DD adult foster care providers, who will have a rate cut.
*Reduced the loss of homecare hours from 16% to at most 4%. We still have a fighting chance to restore this 4% cut.
*9,000 low-wage working families will receive child care subsidies. (The need is closer to 11,000 families, and maybe more.)
*The legislature was forced to restore the TANF limit to 60 months.
*Labor defeated 35 of the 37 bills attacking PERS.
*A proposal to tax state worker health benefits to help pay for the Oregon Health Plan was defeated.
*A large number of bills were introduced to attack publicly funded workers' rights to bargain collectively and to limit union rights in other ways. All of these proposals were defeated.
*Labor's allies are fighting to expand collective bargaining rights for community health workers, an emerging health care field that bears some similarities to homecare. This would be a national model for organizing under the federal Affordable Care Act.

June 5, 2011

Social democracy and social progress

Is the Center-Left really Left?

Steve McGiffen, editor of the European web magazine, Spectrezine, says "No". According to McGiffen, Europe's traditional social democratic parties have abandoned their working class constituencies and social solidarity welfare state orientation and have evolved into parties of the bourgeoisie more than willing to carry out the demands of capital even at the expense of their traditional working class constituencies.

Yes, this is about the European Center-Left, but to my mind McGiffen's piece is an equally relevant analysis of the state of the Democratic Party here in the USA. One only has to remember Bill Clinton's presidency with its tight alliance with Wall Street. Then, in 2008 the Democratic Party ran a campaign based on a populist and progressive agenda. Two and half years later one would be hard pressed to find any instances of a "New Deal" progressive political agenda within the policies of the current Democratic administration and elected Democratic legislators.


June 3, 2011

Up the Cul de Sac of Passion without a Plan

The pain of the global economic collapse is getting palpable. Without banners and without organization thousands of Greek citizens hit the streets in daily banging pots and pans rallies. In Spain thousands of disaffected citizens recently took Madrid's central square as well as occupied other locations in other Spanish cities.

Both recent actions indicate the deep level of pain being experienced by millions of citizens throughout Europe. In Spain youth unemployment is around 50% and in the population at large, well over 20%. Homelessness and hunger are now problems effecting many.

Pots and Pans? Yup. You might as well bang on the pots and pans because there's nothing much to put in them in the way of food. Meanwhile Greece is in a tight contest with Ireland regarding Europe's race to mass pauperization; with the UK, Portugal, Spain coming up quick.

"It's the bankers and the political class" many of the recent demonstrators holler. And the demonstrators are right, in a simplistic way.

There is something in all of this that is deeply lacking. The problem is a lack of serious attention to the development of any political and social alternative to the world run by the "bankers and political class". Likewise, there's the same lack of attention regarding what it might take to seriously challenge the bankers, capitalists and the political elites; how we organize, build alternative institutions, and a values system able to transcend the current atomization of individuals within the consumer culture (shopping is the opium of the people!).

Without serious mass attention to what a new world means, what it takes, how things got so bad, what kind of a world we really want to live in, all these demonstrations and recent actions will amount to nothing more significant and lasting than a post-modern version of a medieval peasants' revolt...

Protesters take over Finance Ministry as Athens granted more cash

From Hurriyet:

Protesters took over the Finance Ministry building in Athens on Friday, hanging a giant banner from the roof calling for a general strike...

June 2, 2011

Show Your Pride! Labor To Join Portland Pride Parade June 19

From the Oregon AFL-CIO:

Show Your Pride!

The Oregon AFL-CIO, along with our constituency group Pride @ Work, will proudly join our LGBT brothers and sisters in the 2011 Portland Pride Parade. The Parade kicks off at 11:30am on Sunday, June 19th.

We had a blast participating last year and are looking forward to making 2011 even better! Any local union members who’d like to be a part of our float should contact Pride @ Work-Oregon President Shallea Allen at sallen@unitehere.org or Elana Guniey at elana@oraflcio.org. We will also have a booth at the Pride Festival. Pride 2011 will be held June 17th – 19th at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Pride @ Work is Oregon’s newest constituency group, and works to support LGBT workers who are fighting for equal rights at the workplace and to reach out to members of the LGBT community with information about the importance of unions.

Marion County Dems To Hold Quarterly Grassroots Mixer & Social

Marion County Dems Quarterly Grassroots Mixer & Social
Thursday, June 9 at 5:00pm
Location: Cherry City Cafe, 615 High Street Northeast

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign To Meet In Salem On June 6

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign is organizing a group of activists from the Salem labor movement to plan strategic actions pressuring Congressman Schrader to oppose pending NAFTA style Free Trade Agreements. The meeting will be held Monday, June 6 * 6:00pm

SEIU 503 Salem Headquarters, Board Room

1730 Commercial Street SE

At a recent town hall Kurt Schrader admitted that he supports the Korea FTA which the federal government’s own International Trade Commission (ITC) predicts would increase the overall U.S. trade deficit.

This threatens not only traditional manufacturing jobs in the Northwest such as paper products, wheat products and transportation equipment, but it seriously threatens our high-paying high tech jobs such with seminconductors and solar technology. Here in Oregon, the U.S. Labor Department certified nearly 10,000 Oregon jobs as lost to either direct offshoring or displacement by imports in 2009 alone. We can not afford to loose any more family wage jobs.

We have to act now to urge Schrader to change his stance on this and other job-killing Free Trade Agreements. Please join us for this emergency strategy meeting!

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Swager
Assistant Director
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

June 1, 2011

Message to Communists of the World by the Syrian Communist Party (Unified)

From Monthly Review:

Painful events have been continuing in Syria for nearly two months, since the emergence of a protest movement raising legitimate local and general demands among people in the governorate of Daraa. This movement threw light on the presence of major problems in the political life in Syria: the continuation of the state of emergency, the absence of laws governing political activity, and so on. Further, it drew attention to the popular discontent about the deteriorated living as well as social conditions as a consequence of Syria's turn toward a free market economy -- the reduction of state support for the poor, the erosion of subsidies for basic necessities and agricultural inputs, and free trade unaccompanied by an upgrading of the Syrian industry -- which has raised the unemployment rate, especially among young people. This has already led to three decrees: the abolition of the state of emergency, the dissolution of the State Security Court, and the legalization of peaceful demonstrations. Special committees have been also set up and assigned to draft election, party, media, and other laws. Other new laws addressing the social and economic aspects of life are also in the works.

Nevertheless, protests have spread to other cities, due to the authorities' disproportionate security responses in dealing with protestors in the streets which have resulted in a number of casualties. No sooner did this popular movement arise than an extraordinary mass media campaign was launched by many Arab and foreign satellite TV channels, using the latest technology. This campaign has resorted to forgery, exaggeration, and psychological incitement. Notable in the campaign is the American interest, falsely claiming to have sympathy for the Syrian citizens, as if we are supposed to forget the death, destruction, and ethnic and sectarian strife caused by the successive US administrations in various parts of the world, especially in Iraq.

Syria has played a key role in foiling the US schemes in the Middle East that aim to remake the region against the interests of the Arab peoples, to deal a blow to the Palestinian resistance, and to further Israel's expansionism, violating the Palestinian people's right to return, their right to self-determination, their right to a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and Syria's right to regain the occupied Syrian territories. That is why our party supports the steadfastness of Syria against such schemes, and that is why Syria's national stance has enjoyed the support of the Arab peoples, the world communist movement, and the national liberation movements in the world.

Read more here.