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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Coalition calls on candidates to take ombudsman pledge

A coalition of organizations including the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane is asking Spokane mayoral and City Council candidates to pledge not to vote for a Spokane Police Guild contract unless it includes stronger oversight.

The guild's contract expires at the end of the year and is under negotiation currently.

Earlier this month, the City Council repealed its 2010 police oversight law at the demand of an arbitrator, who ruled that it violated the guild's contract. The law gave Ombudsman Tim Burns the right to investigate allegations of police misconduct separately from the police department's internal affairs division.

The city is now operating under its 2008 police ombudsman rules.

Those who voted to repeal the law said the best way to obtain the provisions in the 2010 law are win guild approval of them through negotiations. Some council member said they would be unlikely to vote for guild contract unless the extra oversight is included in it.

League Director Liz Moore said pledge supporters will give candidates until the end of the week to decide if they will sign the pledge. Results will be publicized early next week.


The sounds of marching, charging feet…

Several marches and demonstrations are on the calendar in the coming days, and the summer's not even here*. Here's a quick list:

March to Demand Peace and Promote Justice
3 p.m. Sunday
Starts at Veterans Memorial Arena, ends at Riverfront Park. Organizers say it will "honor our commitment after the failed bombing (of the MLK Day march in January) and arrest of a suspect."

Labor Rights Demonsration
7:30 a.m. Monday
Broadway and Maple. Sign waving by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

We Are One Rally
4:30 p.m. Monday
North Division and Ruby.
Organizers say it's part of national effort "to raise awareness of the vital importance of the labor movement".

If any of that interests you, mark your calendar. If any of these bug you and may be along your planned routes for those days, consider yourself forewarned to make a detour.


*Reference to old Rolling Stones song. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Look what’s happening out in the street…

Groups opposed to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan will hold a rally this evening.

The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, the Gonzaga University Justice Club, Progressive Democrats of America and others will be meeting at Trent and Hamilton at 5 p.m. to hear speeches, wave banners, march and do other things one might expect at a rally.

The location is a bit of a switch from the standard anti-war rallies, which usually either start or end at the federal Courthouse at Riverside and Monroe. It may also have a younger look, considering it’s close to Gonzaga and the Riverpoint campuses.

Why today? It’s the anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan.