News Briefs: Indigenous Solidarity Marks Columbus Day | Peace, Justice and Media in Spotlight | Developer Eyes Park to Build Condos | Don't Call | Nike's Legal Wriggles Irk Labor Activists | Phone Spam | Conference Targets Marine Reserves | Corvallis Group Gets National Attention | Corrections/Clarifications |


INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY MARKS COLUMBUS DAY

The celebrations at UO's EMU amphitheater and the WOW Hall on Monday, Oct 13, will not be honoring Christopher Columbus and the arrival of his three ships in North America in the 15th century. Rather, the focus of Indigenous Solidarity Day will be on the colonization that came in Columbus' wake, and the survival of native cultures in the world today.

"It's a nationwide event that a lot of indigenous people celebrate, and it's kind of a 'take back the day' idea in that it's an event that is against colonization and honoring and respecting the history of colonization — what has happened to indigenous people all over the world because of it," says Jana Schmieding of the Native American Student Union, "and it's also a celebration of the presence of native tradition and native peoples that are still residing here, practicing, and able to overcome colonization."

Organized by the Multicultural Center, Native American Student Union, Break the Chains, and the Survival Center, the amphitheater gathering will feature Chrystos and Stormy Ogden, both prominent writers, speakers and activists for native rights and social justice. Shandine Garcia and Chuck Hunt, both UO faculty members, will also be speaking. Music will be provided by Cuban/Latino salsa group Azuquita, and socially conscious hip-hop group Juice to Make It Happen. This event starts at noon on the 13th and is free, though donations are welcome. More information is available through the Multicultural Center at 346-4321.

In the evening, the celebrations will move to the WOW Hall, where the Cascadia Media Collective will present "Columbus to Cancún," debuting footage from the recent WTO protests in Cancún, as well as presenting footage from 2003 WTO protests in Sacramento, 2001 FTAA protests in Quebec, and 2002 anti-Columbus protests in Denver. Live performances will be given by Chrystos, who will be reading her poetry, and Northwest Connections, a Native American drumming group from Portland.

"We're trying to link historical and present forms of colonialism, because that's what the WTO is all about," says Lisa Igoe, a member of the collective. This event begins at 8 pm and costs $5. For more information call the collective at 688-2809.

A continuation of anti-Columbus events, Transforming Columbus Day, will be held at 12:30 pm Oct. 14 in Room 206 of the Education Building at LCC. Presentations by Chrystos and Stormy Ogden will encompass colonialism and focus on the plight of native people in the U.S. prison industrial system. For more information call 520-5401. — Celene Carillo

PEACE, JUSTICE AND MEDIA IN SPOTLIGHT

What is the role of the media, and how can it educate and empower the general public, advocates and activists? Is there a way to reform the mainstream media? Can that reformation result in more fairness, accuracy and diversity of voices to strengthen the progressive movement and the independent alternative media?

These are some of the questions that will be explored through the Peace, Justice and Media Conference, Oct.9-12 at LCC and UO. The conference includes workshops, national and regional speakers, theater, visual arts exhibits, poetry and a free film festival. The films are described and listed at www.justicenotwarcoalition.org and in the Oct. 2 EW. The conference is presented by Justice Not War Coalition, Northwest Media Project, UO Survival Center and
EW.

The conference kicks off at 12:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7th and Pearl with a rally to protect the Bill of Rights. Jim Hightower and San Francisco Mime Troupe will perform excerpts from their evening shows, and Hope Marston of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee will also be there in support of civil liberties. A delegation will go to Sen. Gordon Smith's office to present him with a letter signed by local organizations asking him to join Sen. Ron Wyden in support changes to the USA PATRIOT Act.

Conference topics range from community media outlets to racism in progressivism to military recruitment in the schools. National speakers and performers include Hightower, radio commentator and best-selling author; Andrea Buffa, anti-war activist and former executive directory of Media Alliance, a San Francisco-based media accountability group; Kelly Campbell, founding member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows; and San Francisco Mime Troupe, a nationally acclaimed political theater group.

The dozens of workshop speakers include EW's own Ted Taylor and Alan Pittman, who with Peter Moore will present "Beyond Mainstream Press: How Crucial is the Role of the Alternative Print Media?" at 11 am Saturday in the UO EMU's Ben Linder Room. For updated schedule details, visit www.justicenotwarcoalition.org

 

DEVELOPER EYES PARK TO BUILD CONDOS

The city of Eugene is considering selling West University Park to a developer who wants to build condominiums. The developer also wants the city to waive property taxes for his project for 10 years. City staff are analyzing the request, which would require approval from the City Council. The city closed the park several years ago as part of its police sweeps of homeless people in the area. The West University Neighborhood task force recently expressed interest in reopening the park. — Alan Pittman

 

DON'T CALL

To help clean up the riot-prone student ghetto around the UO, the West University Neighborhood Task Force has called for the city to strengthen its enforcement of nuisance complaints and make it easier for citizens to file complaints. But the city is moving in the opposite direction. Due to budget cuts, the city is will no longer take land use complaints on the phone, only in writing. — AP

 

NIKE'S LEGAL WRIGGLES IRK LABOR ACTIVISTS

Fair labor advocates are angry that Nike slipped out of its false advertising lawsuit with a settlement rather than having the case go to trial.

Nike had claimed that its allegedly false advertising about good treatment of its sweatshop laborers in Asia was protected by the First Amendment. But the corporation failed to get the U.S. and California supreme courts to go along with its legal theory.

The case appeared headed for a trial, but California lawyer Marc Kasky settled the lawsuit this month after Nike agreed to pay $1.5 million to the Fair Labor Association.

The settlement angered sweatshop advocates who say the FLA was set up and controlled by Nike and other exploiters of third-world labor to divert criticism.

"The terms of the settlement were totally set by Nike," Jeffrey Ballinger, a leading Nike fair labor activist, said in a column by worker's rights advocates. "If any money is going to come out of Nike to settle this kind of case, it should go to [third-world] workers who were cheated by Nike. End of story." — AP

 

PHONE SPAM

Those who want to slay phone spam may want to consider the size of the beast they're up against. There are 236,000 people in the U.S. making those annoying dinner-time phone calls from 11,428 telemarketing companies which make $8.2 billion a year off the industry of bothering you. That U.S. Census data doesn't even count the calls from the 7,689 harassing collection agencies that reach out and touch you. Despite overwhelming public and political opposition for decades, the number of telemarketing firms is growing, not shrinking, at about 3 percent a year, and the number of bill collection companies is growing at 4 percent a year. — AP

 

CONFERENCE TARGETS MARINE RESERVES

The marine world off Oregon's shores and the campaign to create protected areas in the ocean known as marine reserves will be the theme of the 16th annual Coast Conference coming up Oct. 25-26 in Newport. The conference is sponsored by the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and is open to the public.

Keynote speaker will be Pietro Parravano, president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA) and a member of the Pew Oceans Commission.

"There has never been a better time to discuss conserving our oceans," says Phillip Johnson, an Oregon Shores board member and director of the group's CoastWatch program. "The Pew Oceans Commission report has raised awareness of damage to the ocean as never before, but also raised hope that we can reverse the situation."

Other speakers will include OSU marine scientist Mark Hixon, Dave Hatch of the Siletz tribe, OSU marine researchers Vicki Wedell and Elise Granek and others.

For more information, contact Phillip Johnson at (503) 238-4450; or e-mail orshores@teleport.com

 

CORVALLIS GROUP GETS NATIONAL ATTENTION

The Sept. 28 New York Times Magazine featured an article about Grease Works, a Corvallis-based cooperative which promotes and distributes an alternative fuel known as biodiesel — a fuel that is domestically produced, vegetable-based and can be used in any diesel engine.

Grease Works has expanded over the last two years to 30 members, including a coastal branch, and in the process has displaced more than 21,000 pounds of CO2 emissions in the greater Corvallis area and the central Oregon Coast, according to the group's calculations. For more information, visit www.greaseworks.org

 

CORRECTIONS/CLARIFICATIONS

In our feature last week on Salon des Refusés, an artist's name was misspelled near the end. The bronze female figure Ascension was done by Tim Outman.

 

SLANT

We're happy to see Don Hampton's card rise to the top of the deck in the final shuffle for the County Commission appointment to replace Tom Lininger. Hampton's been one of the aces in the deck with his solid background in economic development, labor, land use, education and long-range planning. He's a retired teacher, mayor of Oakridge and a former city councilor. The joker in this game is once again Commissioner Anna Morrison who made her colleagues cringe with her insulting and belittling comments "welcoming" Hampton to the board. Hampton graciously responded that they can both learn from each other. Morrison needs to start her lessons right away if she wants anyone to ever take her viewpoints seriously.

Tony Corcoran announced this week that he's resigning from the Oregon Senate to accept an appointment to the state Employment Appeals Board. He'd gotten himself into a PERS pickle by wrangling a practical compromise in an impossible situation. His courageous leadership in PERS "reform" made it difficult to keep his day job working with some short-sighted and unappreciative colleagues at SEIU. We would like to see him stay in the Senate and the state job is a good opportunity, but he needs to eat. He's a talented, knowledgeable and passionate public servant, but he's not ready to retire. Corcoran was rumored to be eyeing a way out of his union job for some time now. We figured he'd run for the County Commission seat Don Hampton now occupies when it comes up for election next year. Hampton wouldn't necessarily run against Corcoran, so now that dynamic changes. And if state Rep. Floyd Prozanski gets appointed to Corcoran's seat on the Senate, that opens up a House seat. This little legislative shake-up could also affect who sits on the County Commission, Eugene City Council and even our Planning Commission in 2004.

Gotta hand it to WAND members Leslie Brockelbank, Susan Cundiff, Cappy Eaton, Betsy Steffenson, and Kara Steffenson who did a pilgrimage to D.C. in September to lobby Oregon's congressional delegation to curb the military budget and stop development of nuclear weapons, and instead appropriate money to programs that empower and support America's women and children. The blue-apron gang says they had a great time, met just about everybody on their list, and got to hang out with the likes of Molly Ivins, Helen Thomas, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky and Dianne Feinstein. Check out Women's Action for New Directions at www.wand.org


SLANT includes short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, editor@eugeneweekly.com

 



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