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News & Current Events

Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts: Trouble in the Northwest

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January 30, 2013
Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts: Trouble in the Northwest

By Mark Vorpahl Second of two parts In the Northwest, at the terminals on the Columbia River, Puget Sound, and Portland, Oregon, the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are on the defensive against the Northwest Grain Handlers Association (NWGHA). The conflict involves nearly 3,000 workers at terminals that handle a...
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Community Home Defenders Sit In to Persuade Sheriff to Step Up

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January 25, 2013
Community Home Defenders Sit In to Persuade Sheriff to Step Up

Story and photos by Pete Shaw “Some of us take risks. We’re asking you to take risks,” said John Schweibert to Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton, during a sit in at the Sheriff’s office staged by Schweibert and four other community home defenders on January 24. Though Staton expressed his support for homeowners, he...
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GM Worker Willing to Die Seeking Labor Justice

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January 23, 2013
GM Worker Willing to Die Seeking Labor Justice

By Pete Shaw If Jorge Parra lives to see the Portland Auto Show being held from January 24th through the 27th, he will have passed his 65th day on a hunger strike in support of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors-Colmotores (ASOTRECOL). Appearing at press conferences outside the North American...
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Sheriff Ousts Family, Spends Tax Dollars To Maintain Their Houselessness

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January 21, 2013
Sheriff Ousts Family, Spends Tax Dollars To Maintain Their Houselessness

Story and photos by Pete Shaw On the morning of January 16, soon after Ron Austin had gone to work, Debbie Austin and her two children awoke to the sound of the Multnomah County Sheriffs and Portland Police banging on their door. At the demand of Fannie Mae, the police forces entered the Austins’...
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Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts

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January 14, 2013
Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts

By Mark Vorpahl First of two parts It’s a familiar pattern: those on top of the economic ladder enjoy massive profits while expecting workers to sacrifice even more for the “greater good.” This storyline weaves itself into every justification for anti-worker policies. From Washington’s potential Grand Bargain that would cut trillions from needed social...
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Bob Dylan’s Latest Album to Bring More Jobs, or How to Distract from the Truth About Coal Exports

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December 20, 2012
Bob Dylan’s Latest Album to Bring More Jobs, or How to Distract from the Truth About Coal Exports

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Over 800 people packed themselves into the Abridge ballroom of the Ambridge Event Center on NE Martin Luther King Boulevard on Thursday December 6th for the last of three Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) hearings prior to DEQ determining whether it will issue a draft permit to...
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“We Want Safe Communities!”: Community Tells Sheriff Not to Work with ICE

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December 17, 2012
“We Want Safe Communities!”: Community Tells Sheriff Not to Work with ICE

Story by Pete Shaw Highlighting the growing national movement away from blanket policies to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds, over 75 people gathered outside the Multnomah County Building on December 10th to urge Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton to limit the use of ICE holds in Multnomah County jails immediately. The rally...
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Threat to ILWU Rallying Point for All Workers

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December 10, 2012
Fencing and warning signs have been put up around the publicly owned Port of Portland Terminal 5 in preparation for a possible labor conflict.  Photo by Pete Shaw.

Story and photos by Pete Shaw The contract being offered to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) by the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) has little effect on wages, but seeks vast changes to workplace rules, particularly those dealing with hiring and safety. Though the contract signing deadline of November 28 has...
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The Power Is With The People

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December 7, 2012
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Story and photos by Pete Shaw Sindy Avila is a member of the Oregon Dream Activists, a group working to advance immigrant rights and the rights of all people of color. Speaking at a forum about creating community control and putting radical politics into practice in communities of color, she noted that as the...
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Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

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November 28, 2012
Photo by Paul

Story by Pete Shaw “When is history not history?” asks Walidah Imarisha, at a recent Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? presentation sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project.  Imarisha, a Portland State University and Oregon State University instructor, poses the question to our group after we have spent 90 minutes examining,...
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