Greenpeace Protesters Face Up To $25,000 Fine (Each) For Protest In Portland, Oregon

Seven people involved in last month’s protests blocking a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker will face civil penalties of up to $25,000 each for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

They were either dangling from the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, or standing on the bridge helping the others, writes military.com.

Activists in kayaks also blocked the ship, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Guardian is claiming that two people have been fined $5,000.

“While the Coast Guard supports peaceful protest activity on domestic waters, the actions of these individuals violated federal law,” Capt. Daniel Travers, commander of the Coast Guard Sector-Columbia River, said in a prepared statement.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/14/greenpeace-activists-fined-portland-bridge-shell-protest

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/08/greenpeace_protest_dangling_ac.html

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/08/17/greenpeace-protest-dangling-activists-face-up-to-25000-fines.html

What Is Currently Going On In Baltimore?

It has been about a week since the worst of the riots in Baltimore.  What has been recently going on?

Protests have been largely celebratory since State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges against the six police officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest, states The Baltimore Sun.

The announcement by the city’s top prosecutor came as a shock to many in the Baltimore Police Department.

The police department officially handed over the case to Mosby’s office last week but will continue to investigate Gray’s death, Commissioner Anthony Batts said.

Gray died April 19, a week after his arrest.

Hundreds rejoiced and sang outside City Hall on Sunday, and many residents attended special worship services across the city, writes The Baltimore Sun.

Crime unrelated to the protests spiked last week, despite the additional police on duty and heavy National Guard presence.

Eight homicides and 12 shootings have been reported across the city since Tuesday.

Outside of the city, observers are looking at how the events in Baltimore will play into presidential campaigns. Former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor Martin O’Malley said the tensions that erupted into riots last week would be central to his presidential campaign, should he decide to run for office.

The New Republice writes that members of the city’s rival gangs—the Bloods, Crips, Black Guerrilla Family (BGF)—say they’ve declared a truce and vowed to bring peace to their communities.

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Many people in the city wonder what might be the long term economic impact to Baltimore after the riots destroyed some businesses, and left many outside the city with a negative image.

Baltimore Curfew Lifted

Protesters in Baltimore, 2 May

Baltimore has lifted its overnight curfew that was imposed after riots sparked by the death of a Freddie Gray while in police custody, states The BBC.

National Guard troops are now pulling out of the city, writes the BBC.

The curfew was put in place on Tuesday, after protests over Freddie Gray’s death turned into rioting.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32573694

Baltimore Police Officers Charged In Freddie Gray’s Murder

Six Baltimore Police officers who were charged Friday in the death of Freddie Gray: Officer Caesar Goodson; Lt. Brian Rice; Sgt. Alicia White; Officer Garrett Miller; Officer William Porter; and Officer Edward Nero.

According to The New York Times, the officers who were arrested, three white and three black, include a lieutenant with 17 years on the force, several near-rookies and a woman who had just been promoted to sergeant.

The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who was driving the van that carried Mr. Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Along with involuntary manslaughter, Officer Goodson, 45, was charged with “second-degree depraved heart murder,” which means indifference to human life.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the other officers were charged with offenses that included involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. The officers were taken into custody Friday and released on bail.

Recent Wal-Mart Developments

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union said it planned to seek an injunction from the National Labor Relations Board on Monday to get retailer Wal-Mart to rehire 2,200 employees at five recently closed stores, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The UFCW claims that Wal-Mart Stores closed its Pico Rivera, CA location in retaliation for protests by workers there in recent years seeking higher pay and benefits, states the Post-Dispatch.  Other closed locations are in Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Walmart’s spokesperson, Delia Garcia, claimed “these are not layoffs” just before clarifying that “everyone will have to reapply as if new employees” once the stores reopen, states Jobs With Justice.

Wal-Mart has argued it closed the stores because of “major plumbing issues.” They had said the stores would remain closed to up to six months, according to the Associated Press.

However, Jobs With Justice states that according to city officials in the city of Pico Rivera, Walmart has not applied for permits to engage in plumbing work.

The group OUR Walmart filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, and argues the closings were a “retaliatory” measure against employees.

The store in Pico Rivera, California, was reportedly a hotbed for worker protesting.

The group wants the board to seek a court injunction, which can be quicker than typical NLRB proceedings.

In other related news, Wal-Mart is increasing the pressure on suppliers to cut the cost of their products in an effort to regain the image of low-price leader and turn around its sluggish U.S. sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Wal-Mart says it has been telling suppliers to forgo investments in joint marketing with the retailer and to put the savings into lower prices instead. Makers of branded consumer products from diapers to yogurt typically set aside a part of their budgets for marketing with Wal-Mart, spending on things like product displays and online advertisements.

Wal-Mart has long had a reputation for pressing its suppliers to cut costs to help lower prices, but the retailer’s new leadership has embraced the concept with “fresh vigor,” states the Wall Street Journal.

With the growth of dollar stores and other discounters, Wal-Mart is facing more competition on price, which for many customers is the most important point.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new order to lower prices “is creating tension with companies that supply the hundreds of thousands of products on Wal-Mart’s shelves.”

More here

David Cross and Sam Seder Discuss Horses In New York

Comedian David Cross and Majority Report and discuss the coming NYC horse carriage ban, which leads them talking about horses and protests.  Sam Seder and David Cross reminisce about an anti-war protest.


Sam Seder