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Posted: March 21st, 2012 By BWM

There’s been a lot of debate about the police and the Occupy movement. Are the police part of the 99%? If so, then why have they attacked Occupy protests? How should the movement respond?

Earlier this month, we were able to film author Kristian Williams while he answered these questions in detail while reading a chapter from an upcoming book called ‘We Are Many’ about the Occupy movement being put out by AK Press. We hope you enjoy this video, and we hope you help us spread this video around via your favorite social networking site!

Posted: March 7th, 2012 By BWM

Here at Because We Must, we love social justice media, this often includes videos of sorts that inspire us and give us goosebumps. This video is certainly one of those videos. “On Revolution: A Conversation Between Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis”, this historical event was the kick off event for the 27th Annual Empowering Women Of Color Conference in Berkeley, Ca. We could write pages about how Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis have inspired us to be the activists we are today, but for now we would like you to look into them yourselves. My favorite part of the talk is around the 45 minute mark, where Angela Davis discusses how she thinks the topic of food is going to be one of the next big social justice struggles. She then talks about being vegan, and the connection between human and non-human struggles. Although its a lengthy video, its a very interesting one. We should all be having these sorts of discussion everyday, and I thank those responsible for putting this talk together.

“I am sometimes really disappointed that many of us can assume that we are these radical activists, but we don’t know how to reflect on the food that we put in our own bodies. We don’t realize the extent to which we are implicated in the whole process of capitalism by participating uncritically in the food politics offered to us by great corporations. I usually don’t mention that I’m vegan, but that has evolved, and I think its the right moment to talk about it, because it is, I think, a part of a revolutionary perspective. How can we not only discover more compassionate relations with human beings, but how can we develop compassionate relations with the other creatures with whom we share this planet. And that would mean challenging the whole capitalist industrial form of food production.” – Angela Davis

Posted: February 29th, 2012 By BWM

Although this is a press release for a single action, it is important to note that countless other actions took place all across the U.S today in a coordinated effort to shut down the corporations affiliated with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).

When:

Wednesday February 29th

Where:

Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP

Wells Fargo Center

Suite 3400

1300 SW Fifth Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Contact:

Courtney Eastman, Portland Animal Defense League- (209) 559-0577, pdx_adl@riseup.net

Animal Rights Activists Occupy Office of ALEC Chair

Portland, OR – On Wednesday, February 29th, Animal Defense League and has occupied the offices of Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler and Paul S. Cosgrove, the state corporate co-chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ADL has taken this action as part of the international day of action to shut down corporations and ALEC affiliates on February 29th.

As the Oregon state corporate co-chair of ALEC, Paul S. Cosgrove of lobbying firm Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP is responsible for the myriad of legislation that institutionalizes animal exploitation and ecological devastation. ALEC represents the interests of some of the most notorious corporations synonymous with animal abuse and environmental degradation- AstraZeneca, Bayer, BP, Cargill, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, Monsanto, Novartis, Peabody Energy, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Sanofi-Aventis.

ALEC has written legislation forcing communities to accept the abusive practices of factory farming industries, including the Ag-Gag bills of Florida and Iowa, which criminalize the filming of cruel practices on factory farms. ALEC has written legislation that would allow the seizure of public lands such as wilderness areas and National Parks for resource extraction. ALEC has passed legislation, specifically the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), that labels and convicts activists that oppose these corporations and their activities as “terrorists,” silencing dissent and enabling corporate control and destruction.

“Paul S. Cosgrove, Oregon state corporate co-chair of ALEC, facilitates the systematic abuse of animals trapped on factory farms, caged in laboratories and surviving in the wild,” says Courtney Eastman of Animal Defense League. “Because the ALEC corporations Mr. Cosgrove represents stand in the way of ecological balance and freedom for all species, we demand he and his law firm, Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP, cut their ties with ALEC immediately.”

Three activists from the Animal Defense League covertly entered the Wells Fargo Center and made their way up to the 34th floor of the building, to the offices and Paul S. Cosgrove and Lindsay, Hart, Neil and Weigler. There, the activists chained themselves to together and physically began occupying the office in an act of nonviolent direct action.

For more information, please visit: http://pdxanimaldefenseleague.org/

Posted: February 28th, 2012 By BWM

Better late than never. Are you getting involved tomorrow? Check out the shut down the corporations site for details about whats happening in your area.

Posted: February 6th, 2012 By BWM

Occupy Oakland has faced heavy police repression since its inception.  From the first police raid on October 25th, when the camp was violently destroyed and people were brutally tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets, to the recent targeted snatchings and arrests of the last couple weeks, and finally to the attack on Occupy Oakland in its attempt to move into a vacant building which manifested itself in tear gas, rubber bullets, assault grenades and the mass arrest of up to 400 people last night, Oakland’s Police Department and City Government have made it clear that they will continue to target and repress those in Occupy Oakland in the attempt to squash the movement that challenges their exploitation, and oppression of the people of Oakland and the 99%. Often those arrested have had their charges dropped after spending several days in jail due to lack of evidence.  The newest tactic being used by the state is stay away orders, given to those arrested, making it illegal for those arrested to be in the vicinity of Oscar Grant Plaza, essentially making it illegal to participate in future Occupy Oakland events. Many of these people have been around since the beginning of occupy and are key organizers for different committees and actions.

While many members of Occupy have come to support those arrested at arraignments, picked people up from jail when they were released, called local officials or marched in solidarity with those who have been repressed, Occupy Oakland has yet to have a chance to present our side of the facts in court. Feb 6th will be Occupy Oakland’s day for that.  On this day, it will be the first time that lawyers working with Occupy will be able to argue against the repressive tactics used by the OPD and present evidence of unlawful activities and arrests.

We the Anti-Repression Committee of Occupy Oakland are proposing a Day of Action in solidarity with those that have been arrested and targeted by the local government and OPD. We will begin the day with Coffee Not Cops at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse starting at 9:00 AM, then at noon we will be organizing a rally at OGP with speakers that will address local and state police repression and the prison industrial complex. At 1:00 PM, we will march to the courthouse to stand in solidarity with those in court at 2:00 PM. Occupy Oakland endorses this action.

Additionally, in light of the massive amounts of arrests on Move-in Day, there will be a day of arraignments that come out of those arrests. We want to have a Day of Action Against Police Repression on the day of those arraignments as well. This day will be planned with a similar schedule as the Day of Action on February 6th.

We want all of Occupy Oakland to stand in solidarity with those who have been arrested and who have faced any form of police repression. Stand with us on February 6th!

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