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Pro-wolf activist chains self to Idaho governor’s office door

A half-dozen pro-wolf activists from around the country demonstrated at the Idaho Statehouse today, and a woman from Virginia chained herself to the door of the governor’s office, demanding that Gov. Butch Otter respond to the group’s concerns. Otter, ironically, was in Virginia.

Members of the Wolf and Wildlife Action Group, or WWAG, said Idaho should spend its state money to fund education, not to kill wolves. Karen Hall, an activist from Wisconsin, said the group has staged similar actions in Wisconsin, Montana and Wyoming; the activists included one from Chubbuck, Idaho, and others from Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado and Michigan. “We try to go to the statehouses in the wolf-killing states,” Hall said. The group is also calling for banning wolf trapping, calling the practice cruel.

Members rallied outside the Capitol with signs and megaphones, then marched into Otter’s office, where secretary Claudia Simplot-Nally cheerfully complied with their request for a signature and date stamp on their message to Otter, which charges he’s violating a United Nations charter regarding nature. But when the group went out into the hallway and chained the arm of a member to the door, Nally told them that wasn’t permitted. Idaho State Police officer Jon Vance delivered the same message shortly thereafter. “You can sit anywhere you want in here, but you just can’t be chained,” he told the group. “You’re welcome to set up anywhere you want in the building – you just can’t be blocking the door.”

Hall said members of the group are willing to be arrested, and she said she was arrested in a similar protest last summer, but Vance said he’d only move to arrests as a “last resort.” He said, “It’s not really necessary.”

State lawmakers this year voted 29-5 in the Senate and 53-16 in the House to allocate up to $400,000 to kill problem wolves in Idaho this year, which particularly drew the group’s ire; Otter signed the bill into law in April.

40 in Spokane protest Ferguson police shooting

Spokane resident Sarah Peterson isn’t generally an activist.

But as she grew more concerned about the events Ferguson, Missouri, she decided to take action.

She organized a rally, took to Facebook and spread word to her church, Spokane Friends Church, and to the Spokane Peace and Justice Action League.

The result was a drive-time rally with about 40 people Friday evening at Monroe Street and Riverside Avenue, across from the Spokane Club.

“I hope that the people Ferguson, Missouri, see that we see what’s going on there and that we want to stand in solidarity with them,” said Peterson, who held a sign that said “Makes me wanna holler.”





Saudi Arabian women arrested over driving protest

Automotive news from Saudi Arabia this weekend serves as a stark reminder feminine equality is a bit behind the times there.  Saudi police arrested 12 women and gave fines to six other ladies for purposely ignoring the country’s ban on female driving.   

XXXtreme Espresso Draws Protest

More than 200 people filled Spokane Valley City Council chambers and packed the hallways Tuesday to ask elected officials to force lingerie-clad baristas at nearby XXXtreme Espresso to cover up or move to a location out of the sight of children. Protesters said they think the laws pertaining to adult entertainment venues should apply to the drive-thru coffee stand in the 11700 block of East Sprague Avenue. “We’re here to support our concern for the community,” said Valley resident Dena Tucker. “We’ve chosen to live in a family-oriented community. We want our community to stay a safe place for our children. We are petitioning our City Council to address our concerns and the city codes.” The stand came to the forefront of community awareness when a sign recently posted out front read: “Topless Tuesdays and Thursdays.” On those days, the baristas wear star-shaped pasties/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo: Part of crowd that attended Spokane Valley City Council meeting to protest XXXtreme Espresso)

Question: Would you contact your elected city officials if XXXtreme Espresso tried to locate in your North Idaho community?

Some Protesters Take To Overpasses

A Berry Picker who was on the Kootenai County portion of Interstate 90 reports on the planned national Overpasses for Obama Impeachment: "I saw a group of 8-10 people this morning on the NW Blvd/I90 overpass protesting Obama.  One sign referenced Benghazi.  Another sign said 'Honk for no IRS.' No other overpasses had protesters at the same time in the CdA area." Organizers of the North Idaho protest had hoped to man every overpass from Post Falls to Wallace.

Question: Anyone else seen Overpasses for Obama Impeachment activity?

Obama has tax protest license plate

Millions of people watched President Barack Obama’s motorcade cruise down Pennsylvania Avenue on the way to his inauguration this month.  Anyone who looked closely may have noticed his limo, ‘The Beast’ featured a license plate that reads “Taxation Without Representation.”  The plate is a rolling protest for equal voting rights in Washington D.C.  Per Obama’s request similar plates will soon be added to the vehicles in his presidential fleet. 

Danny Glover is angry at Nissan

Actor Danny Glover might be getting too old for Mel Gibson’s craziness but he’s still down to take a stand for the working man.  On the opening day of the Detroit auto show the longtime political activist joined forces with the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN).  Their gripe:  Workers at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant are being threatened out of voting to unionize their workforce. 

Taco Stand Picket Gets Gun Sentence

A Whitman County man who bragged about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for unlawful gun possession. Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop's lawyer, Roger Peven, asked for him to receive between 15 and 21 months in prison, according to court documents, but U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley rejected that request on Wednesday. Hop, 31, is to be on probation for three years after his release. Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation April 20, 2011, for allegedly possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25. His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting/

Occupy Portland takes on Hanford

On April 15th, Occupy Portland plans to set up near the Hanford Nuclear Facility. Why? "This is about human responsibility in the face of an epic environmental tragedy which has occurred and which will only get worse without us taking a stand," says the group. "Because we must speak out against the failure and corruption of this clean-up as it stands today."  

A rally will be held at John Dam Plaza in Richland between noon and 5 pm. Richland. Not too far from where many of the workers involved in the Hanford clean-up call home.  

According to Occupy Portland, the goals for the events are:

 *To Create External Oversight for the Clean-up

*To push the Hanford clean-up effort up the list of priorities of the government and people of the United States
*To increase funding, while also increasing transparency and efficiency of the Hanford clean-up
*To call for measures to protect against profiteering and conflicts of interest
*To unite the people of all communities effected by the Hanford situation includingthe Native communities, Hanford employees, downwindersand residents of the Tri-Cities area in order to call for and to findsolutions to the problems caused by Hanford's past, ensuring thehealth and dignity of future generations.

AM: Scouts Protest Easton Swap

J.D. Meads, second from right, of Athol, Idaho, leads a group of scouts in a camp-style song outside the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Spokane Saturday. The scouts, and adult leaders, from North Idaho and the Spokane area were protesting the sale of Camp Easton, a scout camp on Lake Coeur d'Alene, to a private golf community. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Foe Describes Aryan Protest Standoff

RE: Aryan Alert/HucksOnline

Harlem Renaissance (Rachel Dolezal) gives details of counter-demonstration to supremacist protest: Winkler and crew had KKK flags, signs that included “MLK was a (expletive deleted) terrorist” … amongst others. And Winkler was in military garb packing a gun on his belt. I (Rachel Dolezal) posted across the street with an African American Flag (red/green/black) and a sign that said, “Malcolm X is my hero.” Winkler hurled plenty of assaults at me directly, calling me out by name. I said nothing to them the entire time. I was there alone for maybe 20 minutes, and eventually around 25 people showed up, some with signs and flags some with voices. We were black, white, hispanic, gay, straight, male, female, young, and old. Some white male college students stood on the KKK side with signs reading: 'I’m NOT with Stupid' that had arrows pointing at the KKK individuals. Some students had GSA rainbow banners. One guy had a sign that said, 'Not everyone in Idaho is racist.' A veteran came by and said he’s ashamed to have fought for the racists across the street…" (Kathy Plonka 2008 SR file photo of Rachel Dolezal during her tenure as a Human Rights Education Institute educator)

Press: Open Curtain On Controversy

Item: Tickets gone for Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent" for opening weekend/Bill Buley, Press

Opinion: Bless the protesters and pass the popcorn. Tonight's opening of "Rent" at Lake City Playhouse will feature a cast of passionate characters. Most of them will be on stage, but a few will be standing outside, perhaps with signs condemning the play, the performers and maybe the audience, too. This is America, thank goodness. In this land of the free and home of the brave — those brave enough to perform a controversial, critically acclaimed work of art and those brave enough to make a symbolic statement in a small sea of theater-goers who likely disagree with them - there's plenty of room for dissenting opinions, so long as everybody obeys the law. Just as it is the right of Playhouse decision-makers to put on this sold-out production, so, too, is it the right of critics to say it does not meet their moral standards. The gray area is this: When is protest a legitimate disagreement, and when does it constitute outright bigotry?/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you consider the protest against the Lake City Playhouse production of rent to be legitimate disagreement or outright bigotry?

10 Turn Out In Support Of Wolves

Kathy Stewart calls her green van the "Wolfmobile." She wears T-shirts and coats with pictures of wolves. She says the wolf is her guardian. So, the message she wanted to deliver to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Monday about wolves was not surprising. "Stop killing them." "Get education about the wolf. Don't go out and kill it because you can," she said before a candlelight vigil at Independence Point. Stewart, joined by husband Glen wearing his wolf T-shirt, was one of about 10 people who took part in the event organized by the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider the small turnout an indication that wolves don't have much support in North Idaho?

Target Stores Upset Nursing Moms

Nursing moms upset with breastfeeding preferences at Target stores staged a "nurse-in" Wednesday at locations in Chicago and across the country. Local moms say the demonstration is meant to raise awareness about controversies over nursing in public. This latest outcry, they say, stems from a recent incident in Texas. Michelle Hickman, a Houston mother of four, apparently was nursing in a remote area of a Target store when staffers told her to move into a fitting room. There were so many employees confronting her, she said, that it was time to speak up/Natalie Martinez, 5 NBC Chicago. More here. (AP file photo) H/T: Sisyphus

Question: Do you support this protest?

Some Trying To Pull Plug On “Rent”

Next month "Rent" is opening at the Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d'Alene, but some people think the plug should be pulled because of what they call immoral behavior in the musical.Rent has won a Pulitzer, a Tony and was made into a popular motion picture. According to Lake City Playhouse artistic director George Green, Rent is about "artists trying to make it in the world through their struggles, through their addictions, through their pain, through their sickness and overcome."The musical takes place under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, and there are several characters that are homosexual, and not everyone in the community is OK with the play being performed in Coeur d'Alene/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.

Question: Does this controversy guarantee sellouts for Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent"?

APhoto Of The Day — 8.25.11

A demonstrator moons police during protests as part of a national strike in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday. Chilean students, opposition politicians and union workers are leading a two-day nationwide strike to fight for fundamental changes in government. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. I said I wanted the “Chilean Sea Bass”, not “See a Big Chilean Ass!” — Eddie Torreal.
  • 2. (tie) While a man protests, his dog suddenly notices he has a Chile behind — JohnA; and: This demonstrator soon regreted telling riot police what they could do with their batons — Phaedrus.
  • 3. I’m the number one Athol — Eyes & Ears.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

Budget protests coming to Olympia

OLYMPIA – When the party that’s in becomes the party that’s out, one can expect an increase of unhappy people coalescing and demonstrating against the new order.
But if one is aligned with the party that’s in, and those leaders aren’t doing what one thinks are the right things, is it still possible to raise the call, assemble the troops and storm the barricades?(All together now: "Aux armes, citoyens/Formez vos battalions, marchon, marchon…" *)
Groups generally allied with the Democratic Party may discover that this week in Olympia. Labor unions, progressive community action groups, social service organizations and others plan four days of escalating protests in the Capitol, starting Tuesday. They’ll demand something that legislators have repeatedly said they won’t do:

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

AWOL Pistons, Ex-Zag Daye Miss Bus

A number of Detroit Pistons were rumored to be leaving the team around the trade deadline, but not like this. Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox missed the team's shootaround Friday morning before that night's game against the Sixers in Philadelphia, and team sources told multiple media outlets that the players were staging a protest. Sources told the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News that the shootaround boycott was directed at second-year coach John Kuester, who has clashed with players in the past. Team spokesman Cletus Lewis said that McGrady had a headache, Prince an upset stomach and Hamilton and Wilcox missed the bus from the team hotel. Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye also missed the bus, but they arrived toward the end of a media session, Lewis said/ESPN NBA. More here. (AP file photo of Austin Daye)

Question: Are we entering a new era of walkouts and demonstrations (a la 1960s) as a result of great divide in this country? And/or: Have you ever been involved in a sit-in, die-in, walkout, or any other protest?

Aryans Stage Protest Near HR Institute

I have a friend who moved here last year from the Portland area and she called me a few minutes ago about the Aryans on NW Blvd. She was freaking out, crying, saying she couldn't believe her eyes, that she'd never seen anything like it in her life and that she wanted to puke. She had driven around the block three times to holler (expletive deleted) at them, at which point they all gave her the finger and cheered wildly. To me, the saddest part is how nonplussed I was by this news. I told her that it's not that uncommon to see those idiots around town doing their hate thing. I told her that they thrive on attention and in the future it'd probably be best to just ignore them and go along her merry way, or she's just feeding into exactly what they're after: a reaction. Depressing, because I should be more outraged by these things but I have just become a bit numb to it/OrangeTV. More below.

Question: Have you become numb to the presence of supremacist activity in the Coeur d'Alene/Hayden area?

WA Lege SpecSess: From Tea Party to Soda Party?

OLYMPIA — Democratic leaders in the House and Senate may still be searching for enough votes to pass their “go home” tax package, but some of the would-be taxed aren’t waiting for them to get a head count and reassemble at the capital.

Bottlers, convenience store owners and others opposed to the tax on soda will be protesting at 10 a.m. on the Capitol steps. Won’t be many legislators around to watch. Day 26 of the “Seven-Day Special Session” is a pro forma day, with few of the honorables even around.

They’re scheduled to start up real legislative business Saturday at 2 p.m. It’s a late start to accommodate the travel back to Olympia from their respective homes, where most of them have been for more than a week while Democratic leaders passed tax proposals back and forth.

They’ve allegedly settled on the “menu” approach: taxes on bottled water, soda, big brewery beer, a B&0 hike for service businesses; no bump in the sales tax, no trimming or gutting the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers, no new tax on specialized software, no bump in taxes for private airplanes.

The plan hasn’t been released to the public yet — still needs to be tweaked — legislative sources say, but enough of it has been leaked that those who are about to get new taxes are already torqued.

Tuesday Video- acquiescence doesn’t signify change

Obama on Mount Rushmore?  A mere six months ago, despite barely making a dent in his presidency, if you would have asked some of his more fanatic followers if they thought that was appropriate, you would have been greeted with an enthusiastic, “Yes we do”

Well he made it there, but the message associated with the gesture wasn’t one of admiration, but of frustration.  Last Wednesday morning, a group of Greenpeace activists targeted the iconic Mount Rushmore to protest President Obama’s unwillingness to criticize the House for watering down last month’s ambitious climate legislation, and for going along with it, leaving many feeling that he is abandoning his campaign promise that he would be a leader on combating global warming and shifting to renewable energy sources.  The banner, which read, “America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming,” was draped down the front of Mount Rushmore next to President Abraham Lincoln’s head by three repelling Greenpeace activists while the action was caught from several angles by a handful of others.  The protest was in conjunction with the G8 summit which was happening at that time in Italy.  Where leaders of the most industrialized nations were meeting to discuss, among other topics, climate change - where the hope was that President Obama would show the rest of the world that the United States was ready to lead on combating climate change, especially as the uber-important Copenhagen Climate Conference nears. 

Crowd gathering outside City Hall

Opponents of the proposed “Spokane Bill of Rights” charter amendment gathered outside City Hall in the intermittent drizzle, starting about 5 p.m., warming up for Monday night’s council meeting.

It’s an interesting coalition that includes the Spokane Home Builders as well as longtime members of the county Republican Party from both the fiscal conservative and social conservative wings. Organizer Michael Cathcart worked on the Ron Paul campaign last year. Organizer Mike Fagan, a candidate for City Council, works with Tim Eyman on statewide initiatives.

They attracted about 65 people of all ages to carry signs like “Envision Spokane - Envision Spokane Jobless”.

Envision Spokane, for those not keeping track at home, is the sponsor of the charter change.

Another serving of “TEA”…

From the print paper:

OLYMPIA – Encouraged by the large turnout this spring at anti-tax rallies, critics of government spending are planning a new round of demonstrations July 4.

Events are planned in more than 20 Washington cities, including Spokane Valley, as well as in Sandpoint and Boise. One rally in Olympia – the first of two – took place Saturday.

“It’s gotten to a point, with the out-of-control spending and the government nationalizing the auto industry, banking and things like that, that it’s woken the silent majority up,” said Dan Rehling, of Olympia, who’s organizing the July 4 demonstration at the Washington state Capitol. “This is my prediction: It’s going to be the biggest rally the Capitol has ever seen.”

The demonstrations are modeled on April 15’s anti-tax demonstrations, which drew thousands of people to the Statehouse and other sites across the state.

“We’re not against taxes. We’re against unreasonable taxation beyond the scope of the Constitution,” said Dann Selle, a spokesman for a group that is organizing the Spokane-area rally July 4. It’s tentatively slated for Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley.

Much of organizers’ ire is directed at the Obama administration’s moves to try to right the economy, including federal stimulus spending.

“All these people are saying it’s just a bunch of right-wing extremists living on the fringe,” Rehling said. “I am not that person. I’m just an average Joe that is fired up.”

State Rep. Brendan Williams said the demonstrators’ passions are misplaced.

“It would have been nice if they were protesting the excesses of the Bush administration that got us into this economic calamity,” said Williams, D-Olympia. “Now they seem to be faulting Obama for trying to dig us out.”

Ombudsman protest planned

Groups who think the city isn’t going far enough to provide oversight of its Police Department will be protesting Friday in advance of a series of “meet the ombudsman candidates” forums.

And they have a special guest protester: Shonto Pete, the Spokane man who was shot in the head by Police Officer Jay Olsen in that strange incident that started in the parking lot of Dempseys Brass Rail and ended in (not so) Peaceful Valley.

They think the city’s plan for an ombudsman falls short because the office doesn’t have independent investigative powers.

Pete, some of his family, along with Sovereignty, Health, Air, Water, Land (SHAWL) Society; NAACP, Spokane Chapter; Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane; Progressive Democrats of America, Spokane Chapter; EWU MEChA; Medicine Wheel Academy, will be setting up at the Chase Gallery in City Hall at noon Friday.

Ombudsman forums will be held Friday and Saturday. Click here for the schedule.

CdA High Students Stage Walkout

At 12:30 p.m. today, Coeur d’Alene High students began protesting what they felt was misrepresentation on the part of Superintendent Hazel Bauman and other administrators of the successful $7.8 million levy election April 21. The students walked out of their sixth period classes and gathered outside of Jordan Court by the general student parking lot. Students believe that Bauman promised not to cut district athletic budgets in exchange for help on the levy, which passed with 74% approval. Afterward, coaches, athletes and sports supporters say they felt betrayed when told that the budgets — about $250,000 for both local high schools, including $75,000 for activities — would be cut by 50%. On Thursday, the Coeur d’Alene Educators Association staged a protest outside the District office. The crowd, wearing red, chanted and were reportedly a group large enough to require traffic to detour elsewhere because they blocked off the street. The CEA claims the district made misrepresentations to members about the levy and future cuts. Teachers at th protest report that Superintendent Bauman came to the front steps of the district office but did not address the crowd.

Question: Do you think Superintendent Hazel Bauman is doing a good job?

Peaceful protest at City Hall

A group of young adults tried to bring some attention to the kidnapping of children in Uganda by camping outside Spokane City Hall over the weekend until they could be “rescued.”

They were part of a national protest called “Invisible children” which set up demonstrations in some 80 cities around the United States.They started Saturday at Lewis and Clark High School, about 160 strong, on Saturday, then shifted to City Hall on Sunday where they passed the time drawing on the sidewalks and streets with chalk and wrapped in blankets and sleeping bags.

By Monday morning, about 30 were on or around the grassy knoll outside the Post Street entrance to the council chambers. According to the rules for the nationwide protest, they couldn’t leave until a high-ranking government leader or a celebrity came to make a public statement on behalf of the kidnapped children, thus “rescuing” the protesters and setting them free.

Considering that the kidnapping of children in Uganda and other East African countries is pretty far down on the list of local concerns, just about anything they did would raise consciousness to some higher level. So they can count themselves successful.

But the protest had a few unusual twists.

Tea parties — anyone going?

Tax-and-spend protests are scheduled across the state on Wednesday. There will also be a rally at the Capitol. The Spokane party will be outside the Convention Center. Here is the forecast — not that a chance of rain should stop a revolution.

Anyone going?



Today’s video: Tea’d off?

Fox News reports on anger and discontent brewing among the populace. The plan: Tea bag the White House.

Those with a local interest in such protests might check out the Spokane Tea Party’s Facebook page. (They don’t have a separate Web site, apparently.)

Much as Spin Control loves a good populist protest movement, a question did hit us: Did the Sons of Liberty throw tea bags into Boston Harbor? No, we didn’t think so…