July 30, 2011

S. Brian Willson and Jeff Paterson at St. Johns Bookseller on Wednesday, August 3rd

Wednesday, August 3rd, 7:30, St. Johns Bookseller, 8622 N. Lombard St.

S. Brian Willson and Jeff Paterson

Join us for this two-book launch party held to coincide with the Veterans For Peace Convention: http://www.vfpnationalconv​ention.org/ This event is FREE.

After serving in the Vietnam War, S. Brian Willson became a radical, nonviolent peace protester and pacifist, and this memoir details the drastic governmental and social change he has spent his life fighting for. Chronicling his personal struggle with a government he believes to be unjust, Willson sheds light on the various incarnations of his protests of the U.S. government, including the refusal to pay taxes, public fasting, and, most famously, public obstruction. On September 1, 1987, Willson was run over by a U.S. government munitions train during a nonviolent blocking action in which he expected to be removed from the tracks. Providing a full look into the tragic event, Willson, who lost his legs in the incident, discusses how the subsequent publicity propelled his cause toward the national consciousness. Now, 23 years later in BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, Willson tells his story of social injustice, nonviolent struggle, and the so-called American way of life.

ABOUT FACE contributor Jeff Paterson is project director of Courage To Resist, which channels support to persons in the uniformed services who take a stand of conscience against war. In ABOUT FACE, resisters describe in their own words the process they went through, from raw recruits to brave refusers. They speak about the brutality and appalling violence of war; the
constant dehumanizing of the enemy—and of our own soldiers—that begins in Basic Training; the demands that they ignore their own consciences and simply follow orders. They describe how their ideas about the justification for the current wars changed and how they came to oppose the policies and practices of the U.S. empire, and even war itself. Some of the refusers in this book served one or more tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and returned with serious problems resulting from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Others heard such disturbing stories of violence from returning vets that they vowed not to go themselves. Still others were mistreated in one way or another and decided they’d had enough. Every one of them had the courage to say a resounding “NO!” The stories in this book provide an intimate, honest look at the personal transformation of each of these young people and at the same time constitute a powerful argument against militarization and endless war.

Kathy Kelly: The Costs of War, The Price of Peace in Portland

Friday, August 5, 7:00pm

Kathy Kelly: The Costs of War, The Price of Peace
Moriarty Arts Building Auditorium at Portland Community College Cascade Campus (705 N Killingsworth at Albina).

Kathy Kelly, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her work to challenge US sanctions on Iraq, will address her peacebuilding and eyewitness work in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq on Friday, August 5 at 7 PM at the Moriarty Arts Building Auditorium at Portland Community College Cascade Campus (705 N Killingsworth at Albina). Ms. Kelly is the co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. The title of her talk is "Kathy Kelly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq: The Costs of War, the Price of Peace." Following her talk there will be a Q&A with the audience.

Kathy traveled to Afghanistan three times in 2010, working closely with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in search of non-military solutions to end the war. In 2009, she lived in Gaza during the Operation Cast Lead bombing; later that year, Voices visited Pakistan, aiming to learn more about the effects of U.S. drone warfare. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 "Shock and Awe" bombing. From 1996 to 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kathy also headed to Gaza on the "Freedom Flotilla II" in June 2011, and was prevented from visiting Palestine both by sea and after flying into Israel.

With increasing calls for the troops to come home from Afghanistan, a looming deadline to withdraw from Iraq in December, and drone attacks reported at a rate of about twice weekly, Kelly's talk promises to be informative and transformative.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is being organized by Peace and Justice Works (PJW) Iraq Affinity Group and is co-sponsored by the PCC Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Portland, Voices for Creative Nonviolence (Chicago), Peace Action West, and KBOO Community Radio 90.7 FM. It has been endorsed by Portland Peaceful Response Coalition and Sisters Of The Road.

Flyers for the event can be found at http://www.pjw.info/kathy_kelly_0805 11_flyer.pdf .

Kathy will be in Portland for the Veterans for Peace National Convention and will be a featured speaker at the Sunday, August 7 Hiroshima Day event (also being cosponsored by Peace and Justice Works). For more information, to arrange for media interviews with Ms. Kelly, or if your organization would like to cosponsor and have a table, call PJW at 503-236-3065 or email iraq@pjw.info

Can You See Me Now? (Part I): Reflections on Palestine

an art exhibition by Sarah Farahat

TWO EVENTS at Pioneer Place Mall 3rd Floor PLACE Gallery
700 SW 5th Ave- go up to the Atrium 3rd floor
Portland, Oregon

Saturday July 30th @ 7 pm (doors at 6:30)
First Hand: A Night of Storytelling from the West Bank and Gaza.

Wednesday August 3rd @ 7 pm (doors at 6:30)
From South Africa to Palestine: Shaping a Movement through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-Portland Activists talk about their past and present work

These Events are FREE and OPEN to the Public

 

From LabourStart: Support South Korean Trade Unionists

The Government of South Korea has prosecuted over 500 public servants and teachers, members of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) and the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), for alleged violation of punitive laws which make it unlawful for public workers to either support or criticise political parties. Thousands more teachers and public servants are facing indictments and prosecution.

Please add your voice to the online campaign of protest by clicking here:

Attend the August 5 Oregon home foreclosure defense workshop

Attend the August 5 foreclosure defense workshop

Oregon home foreclosures have leaped to 236 percent, according to Attorney General John Kroger, in a July release. And, it’s doubtful this trend will be reversed any time soon. Membership entitles Union members to a FREE Foreclosure defense workshop, August 5, 2011, in Portland.
Attendees will learn what is behind the curtain in the foreclosure crises, and options available. Click here for more information about this important event. Or, click here to register online today.
To read the Oregon Department of Justice information sheet on foreclosure prevention, click here.

July 29, 2011

REMEMBERING FRENCH SOCIALIST JEAN JAURES: ASSASSINATED JULY 31, 1914

Popular and charismatic leader of the French Socialist Party Jean Jaures would not have called himself a Marxist but was a strong believer in the working class and their ability to change history. He was a strong Anti-Imperialist his whole life and was killed for his beliefs. He tried to stop the First World War.

The Socialist Party grew under his leadership but eventually split on the issue of the war. He struggled within the Second International (an association of Socialist and Labor Parties) believing that the working class of France and the working class of Germany have no reason to kill each other for the benefit of the imperialist powers. He tried to organize General Strikes in both France and Germany to stop their respective countries from going to war.

On July 31, 1914 Jaures was assassinated in a Parisian Cafe, Le Croissant 146 rue Montmartre by Raol Villain who was a French Nationalist who wanted France to go to war with Germany. After the war Villain was tried and acquitted. He was killed in 1936 by Spanish Republicans. One wonders if Jaures would have seen the irony of the internationalist flavor of the justice brought to the assassin.

Many people have conjectured about how different history would have been if Jaures' vision of working class solidarity had come to fruition. But none have expressed it as poignantly as Jacques Brel in possibly his most popular song, "Jaures". In the plaintive cry, "Pourquoi ont-ils tue Jaures?" "Pourquoi ont-ils tue Jaures?" "Why did they kill Jaures?" "Why did they kill Jaures?".

July 28, 2011

Two Labor Forums In Bend Sponsored By Oregon AFL-CIO

We have two opportunities coming up in August in the Bend area that you won’t want to miss:

August 3rd at 12:00pm - United Labor Rally
1300 NW Wall Street, Bend
Stand together with your fellow union members, workers, supporters and activists to rally in support of working families in Deschutes County. Find out all the details by downloading the flier for this event.

August 18th at 6:00pm - Economy, Immigration & Trade: Town Hall Discussion
Central Oregon Community College Wille Hall (in the Campus Center Building)
2600 NW College Way, Bend
Congressman Greg Walden has been invited to attend this town hall to answer your questions about the federal debt ceiling, the economy, immigration and trade. Find out all the details by downloading the flier for this event.

Marion-Polk-Yamhill Fair Trade Campaign Moves Forward



Thanks everyone from the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Fair Trade Campaign for making last week's trade action a great success! Labor and community activists gathered outside of Congressman Kurt Schrader's downtown Salem office to shine a spotlight on the 4,500+ jobs that are are predicted to be lost in OR's 5th Congressional District if the Korea Free Trade Agreement were to pass.

We asked Congressman Schrader to give Oregon workers the right of way and take corporations out of the drivers seat with some creative street theater. Check it out!

Phone bank:  We called over 100 people in Schrader's district asking them to put in a call to his office. We had at least 10 calls into Schrader's office just in the first 15 minutes. After the action, a group of us met with Schrader's staff to convey a message that we need to see Schrader stand up for workers in his district by opposing the Korea FTA.

The next day we got an article in the Statesman Journal.
Rep. Schrader is targeted from two sides
Statesman Journal

NEXT STEPS!
These trade deals are predicted to go before Congress for a vote either next week or early September; either way, we need to be prepared to keep the pressure up.

Important Planning Meeting: *Monday at 12 noon* At Clockworks Cafe - 241 Commercial Street NE, Salem. Hope to see you there!