The protest that started in Monument Square on October 1 turns four months old today, and this morning Maine Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren ruled that the Occupation should not have temporary protection from eviction while its full complaint against the city of Portland is heard.
There's a birthday party at Lincoln Park at noon, and an emergency GA tonight, slated for the OM Dome, also in the park.
Here's a basic map, courtesy of the Sierra Club, of the pipeline's route through New England to the Portland harbor. Note that the pipeline passes by Sebago Lake, which, as we've previously noted, provides drinking water for 15 percent of Maine's population.
"One of the major concerns for the Keystone project was the possible pollution of the giant aquifer in Nebraska and Kansas," says Glen Brand, a longtime environmentalist who was just hired as the first-ever director of the Sierra Club's Maine chapter.
Anyone who thinks that January's much-hyped news about the Keystone XL pipeline is the ultimate victory against tar sands oil is sorely mistaken. In fact, there is a plan in the works to potentially pump such heavy, viscous oil into Portland.
Next week, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Council of Maine will bring national enviro experts to the University of Southern Maine to outline about what this could mean for Maine, our environment, and our drinking water (Bill McKibben, who was in town just recently and is a leading activist against Big Oil, will supposedly be Skyping in).
The man being hailed as key in killing the Keystone XL pipeline is speaking in Westbrook tonight. Deirdre Fulton spoke with him this week; read the piece here. If you can't make the talk, which is at 6 pm at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, here's the link to UNE's livestream of the event
From a note to union members today:
The talks with the potential investors, Chris Harte and Aaron Kushner, have broken down. The investors and the Guild made significant progress. However, the Guild Negotiations Committee rejected the proposed deal because of the inability to secure an agreement that would protect the contract if the company filed for bankruptcy.
Here's the latest information from the Portland Newspaper Guild about the contract changes proposed by the prospective new owners of MaineToday Media. It looks like a huge change in power, toward management and away from workers, including forcing the Guild to bid against vendors in a global competition to provide services to the company, and stripping the Guild of its seats on the company's board of directors.
Making the rounds of the tubes is this video from New Orleans of Maine activist Emily Posner, now attending law school in the Big Easy, with what appears to be an original rhyme-poem about the #Occupy movement:
Last month, I wrote about the demonization and criminalization of the needy, noting that rather than actually fix social problems, conservative politicians make them worse and then blame the victims for having the problems in the first place. My piece was called "Barely Hanging On: Fraud Isn't Killing Maine's Welfare System - Conservative Misunderstanding Is
After being notified of a bomb threat involving the OccupyMaine encampment this morning, Portland police had bomb dogs check the park as well as the exteriors of the federal and county courthouses and the Central Fire Station, which surround the park. They found nothing.
Police Commander Vern Malloch said a statement with more detail will be forthcoming later today, but for the moment, he was able to say that another police department got a call from a resident of its town saying a friend of hers (who lives in another town, Malloch said) had made statements about putting a bomb in Lincoln Park.
I was on the radio this week (MPBN's new call-in program - they're taking listener suggestions for what to name it) talking about cohousing with Sanna McKim and Alan Gibson, of the Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
You can listen to a recording of the program here.
It appears time to consider the possibility that the
pro-business, anti-public ethos that plagues American
politics has also started to infect Portland's
To wit: Most Portland
city councilors love to make deals with corporations, but have no interest in finding a way for people to protest
overnight in city parks, despite repeated attempts on the part of OccupyMaine
members, the city manager, the city attorney, and even a fellow councilor to
persuade them to try it.
We'd hope so, of course - we'd hope that the council would
behave equably toward all petitioners, from all quarters. We'll have to see
councilors are up to that challenge, which is made sharper by the
anti-corporate nature of the Occupy movement's message.
The unions at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal, and the Morning Sentinel have approved the latest contract. (See below for the text of the contract.) This apparently frees MaineToday Media to seek refinancing of its debt and make a sizeable investment in technology.
In votes tallied separately in Portland and Waterville, there were 118 yes votes and 6 no votes in Portland; 11 yes votes, zero no votes, and one abstention in Waterville.