|Aaron Elijah: Enemy of Occupy Seattle. He LIED and attempted to make a false report to Seattle Police just before the "Bring Diaz Down!" event at City Hall. Click on pic to enlarge.|
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
at 2:01 PM
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s image on the back of a King County Sheriff's vehicle. Seattle-area uncle tom/neo-kkkolonial elements pushed hard for this particular 'civil rights' reform. Lol. No, seriously.|
at 6:10 PM
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
UPDATE 8:30 pm PST 2/7/12 - Port Truckers rally under the viaduct at S. Alaskan Way and S. Hanford to get stolen wages from employer.
UPDATE 8:35 pm PST 2/2/12 -Seattle Times Transportation writer Mike Lindblom breaks the Port’s media blackout attempts! http://bit.ly/xj0pyn
UPDATE 12:00 pm PST 2/2/12 – Port officials are denying to reporters that workers have walked off the job to protest runaway safety hazards; they claim there is zero slowdown! Please help get the truth out…
Monday mornings are the busiest at any port, but this past one in Seattle the trucks were parked. Drivers spanning the major companies that do the most business in the Puget Sound simply turned off the engines, got out of their cabs, and stopped hauling. They had somewhere else they needed to be.
Steely determination led roughly 150 port drivers to sacrifice income and risk retaliation to make the hour-and-a-half trek to swarm the State Capitol in Olympia. Commerce at the Port of Seattle slowed to a trickle, and hasn’t picked up since.
This week the truck drivers – who toil under the guise of false self-employment – are making it their job to sound the alarm on occupational hazards, overweight containers, shoddy equipment, risks to motorists, and the culprits responsible for these rampant safety violations: their employers and their giant retail shipper clients like Wal-Mart, Sears, and Target.
The trucking bosses at Pacer, Seattle Freight, Western Ports and others were stunned, but the state troopers weren’t. Washington’s top cops testified before lawmakers right alongside the workers, detailing a dizzying array of dangers associated with the drayage industry: Chronic safety violations so serious that an investigative journalist discovered late last year that officers pulled 32% of rigs they inspected outside the terminals off the road — double the rate for trucks throughout the state. When specially trained troopers conducted more thorough inspections in 2011, King 5 TV reported, 58% of Port of Seattle cargo vehicles were yanked. And according to Captain Jason Berry’s testimony, an astonishing 80% have been put out of service during certain recent time periods.
If the drivers’ collective action sent shockwaves throughout the shipping and trucking industry, then their demonstration equally uprooted a commonly held societal belief. During the Occupy Wall Street port shutdowns, activists and well-intentioned sympathizers debated whether the blockades would siphon wages from port workers – arguably one of the greatest symbols of the 99% — or if it would suck profits from the 1%, such as the Seattle-based global terminal operator, Goldman Sachs’ SSA Marine, and its West Coast trucking outfit, Shipper’s Transport Express.
What their protest proves is that port drivers, as inside agitators, are very much willing to lose pay as a means to powerfully reveal the crushing economic forces that literally put their lives and livelihoods at risk. Even, and especially amidst a severe economic downturn. Their historical ability to self organize, unite, and seize opportunities to improve their working conditions is unfolding before our eyes. Hundreds more drivers have since joined the safety work stoppage, and some companies remain shut with too few workers to move the cargo.
As their trucks remain parked, they’ve asked allies and supporters to help amplify their voices by reposting this and spreading the word about why they flooded the legislative hearing room to standing room-only capacity. One by one, they ferociously spoke in favor of HB 2527, a bill to shift responsibility for fixing the hazards, paying fines, and correcting safety violations off their sweat-ridden backs, and onto the broad shoulders of the mega-rich corporate owners of the tools of the trade like chassis.
Semere Woldu, who has been hauling cargo at the Port of Seattle for 8 years, told the panel:
“Our work is extremely dangerous. So the safety laws are very important. Unfortunately though, we drivers are forced to pay for violations that we are not responsible for. We often get tickets or are cited for faulty equipment that we don’t own. One time, my boss knew I had a heavy load. He told me to go by the scale early in the morning when it was closed to avoid having the load weighed.”
More drivers cited these illegal pressures their employers put them under, and shared their fears for their personal safety and the lives of motorists. “Every day, I haul two or three loads that are overweight, possibly putting myself and others at risk,” said Aynalem Moba, a 14-year port veteran. “The truck could tip over. I’m afraid I might kill myself or someone else. Sometimes we’re carrying hazardous materials, and we don’t know it.”
Some explained the retaliation they face for blowing the whistle. They get banned from the terminals or are denied work by their dispatchers.
at 8:55 AM
Monday, February 6, 2012
By David Zucchino. Los Angeles Times. RALEIGH, N.C.
Elaine Riddick was a confused and frightened 14-year-old. She was poor and black, the daughter of alcoholic parents in a segregated North Carolina town. And she was pregnant after being raped by a man from her neighborhood.
Riddick's miserable circumstances attracted the attention of social workers, who referred her case to the state's Eugenics Board. In an office building in Raleigh, five men met to consider her fate. Board members concluded that the girl was "feebleminded" and doomed to "promiscuity. " They recommended sterilization. Riddick's illiterate grandmother, Maggie Woodard, known as Miss Peaches, marked an "X" on a consent form. Hours after Riddick gave birth to a son in Edenton, N.C., on March 5, 1968, a doctor sliced through her fallopian tubes and cauterized them.
"They butchered me like a hog," recalls Riddick, now 57. Nearly 44 years later, the State of North Carolina has proposed paying $50,000 each to compensate Riddick and other victims of its eugenics program.
It's the first state to consider compensation for victims of forced sterilization -- up to 65,000 in at least 30 states, according to most estimates.
Between 1929 and 1974, nearly 7,600 people were sterilized under orders from North Carolina's Eugenics Board. Nearly 85% were women or girls, some as young as 10. The state estimates that 1,500-2,000 of the victims are still alive.
The board's declared goal was to purify the state's population by weeding out mentally ill, diseased, "feebleminded" and other people deemed undesirable. In a 1950 pamphlet, the Human Betterment League of North Carolina said the board was protecting "the children of future generations and the community at large," adding that "you wouldn't expect a moron to run a train or a feebleminded woman to teach school."
Riddick has endured a lifetime of humiliation and regret. She can barely control her outrage when she discusses what the state did to her -- and what the state proposes by way of compensation and apology.
"Fifty thousand dollars?" she says, her voice rising. "Is that what they think my life is worth? How much are the kids I never had worth? How much?" The $50,000 compensation recommended Jan. 10 by the Governor's Eugenics Compensation Task Force must be approved by the state Legislature. If so,
Riddick said, she will refuse it.
"Fifty thousand dollars isn't nearly enough to bury my pain," she says. "It's shut-up-and- go-away money." Dirt poor and pregnant, she dropped out of school in the eighth grade.
After she gave birth, her son was put in her grandmother' s care, and Riddick was sent to live with an aunt in New York. At 18, she married a man she met there. When he discovered she had been sterilized, Riddick says, he abused her. They later divorced.
Riddick struggled for years to shed the "feebleminded" label stamped on her records. She earned a high school equivalency and a degree in human services from a technical school in New York. For years, she was an office manager for a tax preparation company. She traveled regularly to North Carolina to visit her son, Tony, and the boy went to New York every summer to spend time with his mother. But the stigma of her forced sterilization still clings to her. Now remarried and living in Atlanta, she dreads returning to Perquimans County in eastern North Carolina, where everyone knows the details of her wrecked childhood. "What must they think, reading what the state wrote about me?" she asks.
Between 1929 and 1960, twice as many white people as black were sterilized in North Carolina, according to Eugenics Board records. But between 1960 and 1968, when Riddick was sterilized, twice as many black people as white were sterilized. Riddick was 19 when she discovered, during a medical examination, what had happened to her. She was devastated, for she had always intended to have several children.
Outraged, she contacted the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina, which filed a lawsuit on her behalf in 1974. The suit accused the Eugenics Board, social workers and the local hospital of unlawfully depriving Riddick of her right to bear children. Riddick became one of the state's first sterilization victims to go public.
"Nobody knows the pain and humiliation I had to go through," she says. In 1983, a jury ruled in favor of the defendants. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Riddick's appeal. In 2010, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue established the Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation. In June, Riddick testified before the task force.
"I am not feebleminded -- I have never been feebleminded, " she told the task force. “They slandered me,” she said of the Eugenics Board, which put her IQ at 75. “They ridiculed me and they harassed me.” A social worker threatened to take away her grandmother’s state food rations if she did not sign the consent form, Riddick says.
Tony Riddick, now 43 and an entrepreneur in the eastern North Carolina county where he was born, says what the state did to his mother is a crime. “This is not sterilization,” he told the task force in December. “This is genocide.”
In a recent interview, Tony Riddick said he supports his mother’s intention to refuse $50,000 in compensation.
“It’s a political game, and it’s an insult,” he said. North Carolina is one of about half a dozen states to acknowledge or apologize for sterilizations.
Dr. Laura Gerald, a pediatrician who heads the eugenics task force, said the five-person body sought to strike “a fair balance” between victims’ rights and political realities when it approved the $50,000 figure on a 3-2 vote. (Two members voted for a $20,000 payment.)
Several victims requested $1 million in compensation, Gerald said in an interview. “On the other hand,” she said, “there has been little political will for anything other than an apology.”
Then-Gov. Mike Easley issued a one-sentence apology in 2002. He called sterilization a “regrettable episode” and assured victims that “we will not forget what they have endured.”
Elaine Riddick says no apology can erase the fact that the Eugenics Board treated a 14-year-old rape victim like a criminal. She says she was provided no explanation and no follow-up care.
“Because of Elaine’s inability to control herself, and her promiscuity — there are community reports of her ’running around’ and out late at night unchaperoned — the physician has advised sterilization,” the board reported, according to minutes unearthed by the Winston-Salem Journal in 2002.
The board went on: “This will at least prevent additional children from being born to this child who cannot care for herself, and can never function in any way as a parent.”
The words still stab at Riddick. “I was just a child who was raped,” she says, “and then the state raped me all over again.”
at 8:07 AM
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The Northern Illinois Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas stated that the “investigation is continuing” into the case of the anti-war and international solidarity activists hit with FBI raids and grand jury repression. Barry Jonas is known for his leading role in prosecuting the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation while he was trial attorney for the Department of Justice Counter-terrorism Section.
This confirms what the U.S. Attorney’s office related some months ago - they are preparing multiple indictments of multiple activists. The FBI raided seven homes and the government subpoenaed 23 international solidarity activists to a Chicago grand jury over a year ago. The anti-war activists refused to appear at the secretive grand jury and launched a campaign against political repression. The U.S. government is threatening to imprison anti-war activists on the grounds of “material support for terrorism.”
The confirmation of the ongoing investigation came during a January 24, 2012 phone call between Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas and attorney Bruch Nestor, who represents some of the political activists.
Nestor initially contacted Minneapolis Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Winter to view some of the sealed documents in the case. The grand jury proceedings against the anti-war activists are secret. The vast majority of documents relating to their case are under seal, meaning the targeted activists or their attorneys cannot view them. Assistant U.S. Attorney Winter helped to oversee the Sept. 24, 2010 raids and in recent months represented the government on the issue of returning property seized in the raids. Winter told Nestor to contact Chicago Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas.
Jonas told Nestor the documents would remain secret "pending completion of the investigation."
Barry Jonas is responsible for railroading the Holy Land leaders. Jonas views solidarity with Palestine as a crime deserving long-term imprisonment. He is willing to pull every dirty trick available to him to obtain convictions. The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was once the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. Its efforts were geared towards providing humanitarian aid to help the people of Palestine and other countries. In 2001 its offices were raided. Three years later, five people associated with the charity were indicted. The first trial ended with a hung jury. The second trial ended with convictions. The five defendants received sentences that range from 15 to 65 years in prison.
The Holy Land trial included secret witnesses - the defense never got to find out who the witnesses were - the use of hearsay evidence, and the introduction of evidence that had nothing to do with the defendants in the case, such as showing a video from Palestine of protesters burning an American flag, as a means to prejudice the jury.
As lead prosecutor, Barry Jonas played a key role in all this. He is now working under Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who runs the federal grand jury attacking anti-war and international solidarity activists.
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression urges all supporters of peace with justice to sign the pledge to take action (http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/pledge-of-resistance) in the event that international solidarity activists are indicted.
In a closely related case, the FBI directed the LA Sheriff to raid the home of veteran Chicano leader Carlos Montes. Carlos Montes is now facing trial and imprisonment on six felony charges relating back to a student protest that happened 42 years ago.
More at www.StopFBI.net
at 12:53 PM