Infoshop.org and the Alternative Media Project have kicked off our Spring 2007 online fundraiser. Our goal is to raise $4500 by June 1st. These funds are needed to cover our basic operating expenses, pay a modest stipend to several writers, and to otherwise keep this project afloat. During the Spring 2006 fundraiser, we raised $3500, so we think the movement can help us meet a higher goal.
Infoshop.org has been in nearly continuous operation since January 1995. We have provided news and information to hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million people. Infoshop News is one of the most popular independent online news services, yet we make do with an operating budget that is a fraction of what other independent media projects operate on. Infoshop and AMP rely heavily on an international network of volunteers, but we can't get around the fact that we operate on a capitalist planet and the capitalists are always demanding money.
This is a very critical time for radical left and anarchist media projects. Recent developments in the publishing industry and other factors such as postage increases are forcing more and more alternatie media projects to call it quits. Many people know about Clamor's demise and how that affected other media projects. The closure of the Indpendent Press Association (IPA) has affected other publications. We talk to people involved with alternative magazines and know about several titles that are close to quitting. It's a bad time for independent print media.
If you think that online independent media is on more stable ground, think again. Independent and radical online media are facing new hurdles in our efforts to stay online, provide content and services, and to reach more people. Several websites have had to discontinue their online forums because of bandwidth attacks, spamming, and hacking. Independent media sites face uncertain legal, financial and government headaches.
We don't like to come at you with a negative take on the situation for independent media, but this all underscores the reasons why you should consider supporting Infoshop and AMP with a modest financial contribution. We're not asking for much, but if more of the 98% of people who never donate to Infoshop will donate a modest amount, we'll be in a better situation to not just survive, but to thrive as a news and information provider.
I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays, and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.
In response to these new and unfair fees, we have formed the SaveNetRadio Coalition, a group that includes listeners, artists, labels and webcasters. I hope that you will consider joining us.
Please feel free to forward this link/email to your friends - the more petitioners we can get, the better.
Understand that we are fully supportive of paying royalties to the artists whose music we play, and have done so since our inception. As a former touring musician myself, I'm no stranger to the challenges facing working musicians. The issue we have with the recent ruling is that it puts the cost of streaming far out of the range of ANY webcaster's business potential.
I hope you'll take just a few minutes to sign our petition - it WILL make a difference. As a young industry, we do not have the lobbying power of the RIAA. You, our listeners, are by far our biggest and most influential allies.
As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support.
Join Rainforest Action Network & Global Exchange on Saturday April 7 when the "OIL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY" turns out in force to "police" the New York Auto Show.
Wearing "official" OEA uniforms and badges, and armed with caution tape, clipboards, and walkie-talkies, officers of this prophetic Federal law-enforcement agency will converge on the Jacob Javits center to impound vehicles that fall below the agency's recommended MPG guidelines, warn citizens about the public safety hazards of America's addiction to oil, and model what a real law enforcement agency should be doing about the climate crisis.
The OEA is the theatrical wing of the Freedom From Oil campaign: http://www.freedomfromoil.com. Chapters are starting up around the country, offering a creative new way for people to take action to pressure the big-6 automakers to improve fuel-efficiency standards.
The Javits Center is located at 11th Ave., between 35th and 36th streets. We will assemble at 11am in the little park across the street from the convention center's main entrance. Uniforms and agency gear will be issued at that time. If you can, please wear olive drab pants and black boots or shoes. And choose a color-coded code name. Agent Orange and Agent Chartreuse are already taken.
Officer-candidates that wish to receive pre-action training, please contact Agent Chartreuse (Andrew Boyd).
-- Andrew Boyd 347/228-7416 (cell) http://andrewboyd.com +++ "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it." --Andre Gide
A recent San Francisco Chronicle series validated claims that the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has been making for 10 years: the San Francisco Police Department is plagued by "a culture that tolerates or rewards the use of force."
For 10 years, we've been chipping away at this culture of violence through our Bay Area PoliceWatch program. Today, we need you to help us keep it up.
Last month, the Chronicle published Use of Force: When SFPD Officers Resort to Violence. The Chronicle set up a database to track incidents of police violence — something the department has never done. What they found was shocking.
Between 2001 and 2004, San Francisco police officers were the subject of more force allegations than officers in San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Seattle — combined. Indeed, the Chronicle reported that "force often is the first option for these officers."
Why is there so much violence in SFPD? Because the department "lags far behind many other major cities in developing an effective system for identifying problem officers. And it has failed, over and over, to take steps to get these officers off the streets." The result: problem officers stay on the force, even rising to supervisory positions, and perpetuate "a culture that tolerates or rewards the use of force."
We reached the very same conclusions about the SFPD — more than 10 years ago. That was when widespread community concerns prompted us to start Bay Area PoliceWatch — to document, expose and challenge police abuse.
In the intervening years, we have been a major force for change. We helped secure justice when officer Marc Andaya killed unarmed Aaron Williams. And demanded accountabilty when officer Gregory Breslin shot and killed unarmed, 17 year-old Sheila Detoy, who was not even a suspect in a crime. And supported the family when SFPD officers shot innocent bystander Vilda Curry in the street, in front of her young daughter. The list goes on.
<>Now is the time to press for a total overhaul of the City's police oversight mechanisms — and the just removal of those officers identified as repeat offenders. As the Chronicle report shows, the police department repeatedly turns a blind eye to officer violence. It's up to us to make the department address this crisis honestly. And the only way to do that is with help from you, now.
Members of the Bolivia Solidarity Network have launched an electronic petition drive aimed at the U.S. State and Justice Departments as well as the U.S. Embassy regarding the investigation of ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and two of his ex-ministers residing in the U.S. for the deaths and injuries during the "Gas War" of October 2003.
During September and October, 2003, Bolivians took to the streets in a series of protests demanding that the government nationalize the country's extensive natural gas resources. In response , the "Goni" government sent in the military to squash the protests. As a result over 60 people were killed by sniper attacks, gun shot wounds and other injuries. To date 8 of the 11 ministers involved have testified and now await sentencing, however the former President, ultimately the person responsible, has yet to stand charges.
In June 2005, the Bolivian government issued a letter rogatory, asking the US government to serve Goni papers demand him to return to Bolivia within 45 days for questioning. To date they haven't served him and the case against Goni cannot proceed.
The international campaign demanding that the US government subpoena, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) to return to Bolivia to face justice for the deaths of over 60 people in October 2003, has reached a critical point.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
We are re-initiating our online petition and are asking if you could forward it onto any contact lists, list serves or organizations which would be willing to support us. The aim is to collect 10,000 signatures by April 1, 2006.
Join Books Not Bars, Escuelas Si, Pintas No, and Youth in Focus on February 22 for a press conference and picket at the office of CYA Chief Bernard Warner in Sacramento. We will call on Chief Warner to close Chad immediately -- our youth need action now!
Please come and show your support!
What: Press Conference and Picket to close Chad
When: Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 1515 S. Street Sacramento, CA
Thanks for your calls! Due to public pressure, a related bill - Senate bill 217 which would establish a Nutrition Council in NM - has received an executive message. Keep calling about the Aspartame Bill.
The survival of this legislation depends entirely on Governor Bill Richardson.
ALERT TEXT: Aspartame, also known as NutraSweet, is currently in 6000 food products and in over 500 pharmaceutical preparations, despite clear proof of its toxicity. In fact, in November, a study published in "Environmental Health Perspectives," a peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the National Institutes of Health, clearly demonstrated that rats consuming Aspartame had a higher incidence of tumors, Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other cancers.
In light of this evidence, health activists have introduced legislation that would ban Aspartame in the state of New Mexico. Introduced in the state Senate by Albuquerque Democratic Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino as Senate Bill 250, and in the state House by Gallup Navajo Democratic Representative Irvin Harrison as House Bill 202, the measure draws upon statutes that allow the state to regulate poisonous and deleterious food additives in the interest of public health. A successful bill of this type could set a powerful precedent for the whole country.
The political climate in New Mexico is ripe for this kind of legislation, especially in light of Governor Bill Richardson's newly unveiled Healthy Kids initiatives - including a pledge to kick junk food out of middle and high schools - and his expressed interest in asserting the rights of states to protect public health.
However, the processed food industry is trying to kill this legislation. Governor Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Legislature must know that there is strong public support for this legislation.
Take Action: Ask Governor Richardson to Give an Executive Message on the Aspartame Ban Bill. Individual Faxes are less easily ignored. Use the Sample Letter Text. Please be Polite!
Fax Governor Richardson c/o his chief of staff David Contarino at: 505-476-2226
Fax Lt. Governor Diane Denish c/o her chief of staff Chris Cerbini at: 505-476-2250
Send a letter to: Governor Bill Richardson Office of the Governor 490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400 Santa Fe, NM 87501
If you live outside New Mexico, please also ask your Governor and Legislators to support an Aspartame Ban in your state.
Sample Letter Text
Dear Governor William B. Richardson:
I want to applaud your ambitious Healthy Kids initiatives. In the spirit of these long overdue public health measures, I ask you to please give an Executive Message to Senate Bill 250 so that it may be fully considered by the Legislature. There is not one good reason to delay this medically and legally well-founded effort to free New Mexico of a proven neurotoxic carcinogen, especially in light of the new study published in "Environmental Health Perspectives" that clearly demonstrated that rats consuming Aspartame had a higher incidence of tumors, Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other cancers. (See the Study: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2005/8711/abstract.html)
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee have signed onto this bill, indicating that this bill is legally sound, despite the usual industry cries from Ajinomoto and other purveyors of toxic chemicals that such matters are preempted by the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause.
We have the 10th Amendment, very clear New Mexico statutes prohibiting poisonous food additives and harmful adulterants, the Delaney Amendment (1958) to the law that created the FDA, numerous Federal statutes preventing adulterants added to food, numerous Supreme Court decisions, and hundreds of physicians' clinical reports to back up the Aspartame Bill.
The health of millions, not just in New Mexico, but throughout the nation, depends on your leadership. Together, we can make 2006 a precedent setting year for public health.
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