The Thunderbolt 150212 Reliable Sources

Force of Nature

TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section:

1A) West Central Park Update

1B) The Situation According to Mike

1C) Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Request

1D) Food Handler Permit Training

1E) PP on the TPP

2) Olympia Village Building Convergence Placemaking Committee Meeting

3) Green Party Monthly Meeting

4) Backbone Campaign 11th Birthday Celebration

5) Fair Trade or BusTour

6) Bonus Tip of the Week




Reliable Sources



The New Normal

Hey Kids!

I spend about 20 hours per week selling newspapers. While I have a roof over my head, whatever the ambient outside temperature is then that is the temperature that I work in.

It is now over a week into February and this year I have not yet even had to wear mittens much less don any heavy-duty winter gear.

If this is the new normal, then the forward-thinking person will get a head start and start planting bananas and mangos…


Seeing Red at Greener Blues

When I first started publishing the Thunderbolt in 2011, about half of my calendar came out of the Evergreen State College. I’ve only lived in Olympia since late 2008 but from my understanding TESC has been a nationally noted center of social justice activism almost from its founding.

Does anyone have any theories ideas or explanations about why absolutely NOTHING is coming out of TESC these days? I noted a substantial decrease last year when my calendar started becoming leaner and leaner — and now there is zilch nada not nothing no way no how from any Greeners of any kind.

My thought is that possibly the reactionary administration that they’ve got out there these days is doing something to suppress or discourage activism from the campus — but I have absolutely no evidence or even rumours of anything like that and I’m actually at a complete loss for an explanation.


“Hosting” Terrorism

The thing about ‘liberty’ is that in order for anyone to have it then everyone has to have it.

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when Paris became the world center for ‘free speech’ rights and hundreds of thousands marched through the streets of Paris to defend Charlie Hebdo’s right to trash Muslims in whatever manner they saw fit? Do you remember how even a bunch of dictators with thoroughly lethal policies toward their own activists in their own countries joined into this ‘free speech’ extravaganza?

Well, it turns out that France is so hyped on ‘free speech’ these days that they are trying to pass a new law that would hold Internet companies ‘responsible’ for any ‘extremist messages’ that they may ‘host’. French president Hollande wants to make Google and Facebook into ‘accomplices’ in ‘crimes of hate speech’ if their users post any content that the French government deems to be ‘extremist’.

Judging from the last couple of weeks, the French government doesn’t consider it to be extremist to literally blaspheme Muslims, but if anyone so much as criticizes the body odour of someone with Jewish ancestry then they do consider it as such.

The government is obviously in a much better position than I am to know what I will think about something so sure, I have no problem with letting them decide whose points of view I should know about and who’s that I shouldn’t know about!

I’ll trust them t be fair and even-handed with that…


Flashpoints of View

There is a most excellent news program on KPFA out of Berkeley called Flashpoints.

The host, Dennis Bernstein, told a very interesting story: The Pacifica Network is in the middle of a fund drive and evidently Pacifica in general and KPFA in particular are experiencing serious financial dire straits.

FYI: This is happening everywhere in alternative media and it is not by accident. The truth is our most effective weapon and the Machine wants to disarm us. The struggle that alternative media is currently experiencing is not coincidental unintentional uncalculated accidental unintended inadvertent unforeseen or unplanned.

However, the interesting story Mr. Bernstein told concerned how representatives from the Israeli embassy approached KPFA management and told them that if they would drop Flashpoints and instead air a program that presented the Israeli point of view then they would dump a ton of money on their station.

These people are utterly relentless. They exhibit all of the common signals of a paranoid schizophrenic. Every member of our federal government and every major media outlet in this country is so biased toward Israel’s point of view that it is nuts and every major media outlet in this country and our government just ignores the Palestinian point of view by simply never mentioning it except in the context of ‘terrorists’ trying to obtain unreasonable concessions — but evidently that is not enough for the Israelis. They insist that absolutely NO negative information about Israel must reach the American public and they go to literally insane lengths to assure this.

What are they so afraid of?


Cuba Libre

As far as Mr. Obama’s pivot toward Cuba, many would say that this is about 50 years overdue. I personally think the Castro brothers are crazy to let the Americans into their country but since Fidel proved to be amongst the canniest politicians in history then I would feel really weird questioning their tactics or strategies.

I guess we’ll see.


CME for You and Me!

I think most people don’t realize how fragile our civilization is. If the trucks ever stopped rolling then major cities would run out of food within three days — and there are any number of known scenarios that would cause the trucks to stop rolling.

Well, you know that you can count on me for the latest in end-of-the-world catastrophic scenarios! If anyone out there thinks that our civilization doesn’t already face enough apocalyptic threats then I have yet another one for you that, more likely than not, you have never even heard of before! Yippee!

Yes, Kids, let’s give a big warm Thunderbolt welcome to Coronal Mass Ejection! [CME!]

The Earth is constantly bombarded by magnetically charged particles emanating from the sun. The sun is constantly emitting these particles in varying degree of intensity and our magnetosphere protects us from most of them. The northern lights are magnetically charged particles from the sun interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere, for instance.

Occasionally there is a massive explosion of this highly magnetized material that is ejected out into space in great volume and at great velocity.

This is called a Coronal Mass Ejection.

I have described electromagnetic pulse in previous Thunderbolts, i.e. a blast of high-voltage electricity that wipes out all electronics in its range. A nuclear explosion creates an accompanying electromagnetic pulse and there are other ways of generating them. In fact, I’m surprised that no terrorist organization has used one yet since they are relatively cheap and easy to make and to deploy.

Anyway, a CME is basically an inconceivably massive electromagnetic pulse.

CME’s happen fairly regularly — two or three per day during the peak sunspot cycle every 11 years — but most of them are relatively small and they are directional, meaning that most of them don’t come anywhere near the Earth. They make for spectacular northern light exhibitions — and one did wipe out the power grid in the Canadian province of Québec back in the 1980’s. There was also one back in 1859 that wiped out most of the nascent American telegraph system and shocked several operators, some of them quite seriously.

However, there are occasionally very large CME’s and if a large enough CME happens to be aimed directly at the Earth — the entire electrical infrastructure of our entire planet would be irrevocably fried. All the transformers and everything else made of electrical circuits would either blow up or become useless junk. Jets would drop out of the sky. Water would cease flowing through taps within a day. Gasoline pumps and computers would not function. No phones or Internet. The entire electrical infrastructure would be toast and it would take trillions of dollars and many years to rebuild it — that is, if it were even possible to rebuild it in a word without electricity.

And the question is not if a massive CME will strike the Earth, but when.

Never fear! If climate change don’t get us then CME will!

And another thing: I just mentioned that the Earth is constantly bombarded by electromagnetic particles from the sun and that the Earth’s magnetosphere protects us from them? Well every so often the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic poles switch around. Scientists think that this process could take up to several days to complete — and they suspect that our magnetosphere will virtually disappear during this time — meaning that the Earth will stand unprotected from the sun’s constant bombardment.

These shifts are almost completely mysterious to scientists. They don’t know why or how. The timing of these shifts appears to be random. Sometimes there are hundreds of thousands of years between shifts, but most reversals are estimated to happen between 1,000 and 10,000 years apart — and the last major one occurred 780,000 years ago.

We’re overdue.

There was a brief reversal only 41,000 years ago, but that change lasted only around 250 years before switching back again.

As far as the survival of our civilization is concerned, though, here is the important part: Even during this relatively minour change 41,000 years ago the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field dropped to 5% of its present strength.

I keep saying it: We need to become self-sufficient communities that are not dependent upon their Machine for our survival.


Reliable Sources

In the news this week, Zacarias Moussaoui has claimed that several top-level members of the Saudi government helped finance the 9-11 attacks — including Prince Turki al-Faisal, then-Saudi intelligence chief and longtime Saudi ambassador to the US, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was so tight with the Bush family that he is commonly referred to as ‘Bandar Bush’.

Keep in mind that numerous credible western reporters have been reporting the Saudi connections to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden almost since the day 9-11 happened. Bandar bin Sultan has been featured prominently in many of these reports — but the Media Machine has not only systemically ignored this reporting but anyone who gets close enough to touch this story with a 10-foot pole is shunned mocked insulted hounded blacklisted and driven out of mainstream journalism.

If they insist on pushing it, they are killed. 9-11 Truth is like the Kennedy assassination; it is so explosive that they simply are not going to allow the truth to emerge for at least 50 years, i.e. until all the participants are dead. In a way it is almost pointless to try to get to the bottom of that at this point of time. They not only kill people over stuff like that, they kill a lot of people over stuff like that.

Anyway, a convicted ‘terrorist’ with a history of mental illness compounded by having been water-boarded hundreds of times and further compounded by having been subjected to lengthy periods of solitary confinement and even further compounded by numerous other torture techniques to which the Americans subjected him — now Mr. Moussaoui says the Saudis were involved and the Media Machine is all over it!

Evidently someone like Zacarias Moussaoui is considered by them to be a ‘reliable source’ while my sources that — unlike the mainstream media — have been accurately reporting on this for years — are not.

Not. The reason they are all over Mr. Moussaoui after ignoring all previous reports, of course, is because since it is Mr. Moussaoui making the claims then his allegations can easily be discredited and dismissed — and thus, after this, any and all evidence of any bin Sultan/ bin Laden connections will finally once-and-for-all be taken off the table. From now on anyone who tries to make the connections between bin Sultan and bin Laden will be immediately associated with Zacarias Moussaoui — and who wants to be seen having his back?

And keep in mind: These guys are very strictly denied any and all contact with the outside world except through lawyers who work whilst wearing a straightjacket of laws rules and regulations governing what they are allowed to tell the outside world. One of their lawyers went to prison for several years simply for relaying a personal message from her client.

Moussaoui wouldn’t be talking to anyone unless Homeland Security approved of it.

Now any and all bin Sultan connections to 9-11 has been very neatly severed, thank you.

Mission accomplished.

It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of February 12th thru February 18th, 2015




1) FYI Section:


1A) West Central Park Update

Here is what’s happening with our people’s park these days.

From Alicia:

Want to see your business advertised during our Summer Movie series at West Central this July and August?  Well you can help us raise the $2000 we need to show nine free movies this summer by buying advertising time on the opening credits before each movie.  $25 will buy your business 60 six seconds blips of your ad in the hour before the movie. It’s well worth it as we had crowds of up to 120 last summer and expect double the attendance this year! Let us know you’d like to get involved, and we will get you set up to be a movie sponsor. You will be in great company with all of our already pledged local sponsors like Terry’s Automotive, The Good Life Heath, Olybuilt Contracting, Olympia Framemaker’s, The Cooper Point Public House, WSECU, Above and Beyond Auto Care and more!  Thanks guys, we have already raised close to half of our goal. Help us spread the word.

See you around the block!



1B) The Situation According to Mike

Mike Coday, who works mostly with the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace [OMJP] rocks. If you don’t know him you should. If you don’t know the OMJP you should.

This is Mike’s analysis of the current situation:

We are moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.  The global problem is our limited carbon budget.  We may get motivated on a local level by nimby issues like oil trains, but global warming is not a backyard issue.

I still appreciate the headsup that the oil train issue may run out of steam on its own.  It’s a reminder that we need to be clear about our messaging.  It is insufficient to be against oil and coal trains.  We have to be FOR something.  We need to keep our eyes on the prize:  transition from a fossil fuel society to something new.  Extraction of sweet crude through fracking is probably as foolish as extracting some kind of fossil fuel from tar sands.  We should be using the bulk of our fossil fuel burning these days to power the transition to cleaner energy system and more sustainable infrastructure (think transition from agribusiness model to a food system that does not rely on fertilizers and is indifferent to topsoil – that is the kind of infrastructure that I am thinking of, not newer, bigger bridges on interstate highways).

I think OMJP will be putting together a workshop on Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in the next few months that should stoke the radical imagination.  I dream of a society that funds a basic income guarantee, that passes Medicare for All (single payer, not ACA); that invests in topsoil instead of drone technology.  How would we pay for these kind of ideas?  There is no way we can do that and fund the national security budget.  Ok, I can live with that solution.  Maybe that is not enough money?  Maybe we need to reinstate the steeply progressive tax scheme of the Eisenhower-Kennedy era?  I am down with that as well.

I have little or no hope that our current state or federal legislatures are likely to pass any progressive bills like these, but I think we have to work from the foundation of a positive vision if we want to be part of a movement that is moving forward toward a better future instead of a movement that is constantly reacting and playing whack-a-mole with terrible, short-term profit ideas like oil trains, keystone pipelines, etc.

warm regards to all,


A note on this: Things like this tend to break suddenly. Activists beat their head against walls sometimes for centuries and on its face they seem to be getting absolutely nowhere — but the whole time they are changing the underlying meme and gradually winning converts. Then — seemingly suddenly but actually the result of all of these centuries of activism — the dam breaks and the overall meme switches. The people who were spewing hatred into your face yesterday are singing kumbaya with you today.

I don’t know about lions playing with lambs, but a lot of people are figuring all this stuff out now — largely thanks to the unpaid under-the-radar work that is being done by people like Mike — and I expect a lot of dams to break sometime soon.

Keep up the good work, bro.



1C) Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Request

I say more money for peace and less for war. Donate to Oly FOR.

From Glen:

If you like what the Olympia FOR is doing, we warmly encourage you to support our work. The Olympia FOR does not charge dues or have paid staff.  We rely on volunteer labor andvoluntary contributions.  We trust that each person will help in whatever ways they can.

Contributions to Olympia FOR are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

THANK YOU for helping us stay active in working for social justice, nonviolence, and peace.

Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Mission Statement

The Olympia Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation works for a nonviolent world, a healthy environment, social justice, economic justice, and peace.  We bring together people of diverse ages, races, and faiths who are committed to active nonviolence as a transformative way of life and as a means of profound social change.  We model these principles by personal example.  We collaborate and dialogue with the larger community for mutual education and to engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions.

(360) 491-9093




1D) Food Handler Permit Training

I was asked to include this in the Thunderbolt and at first I wondered why since it isn’t obviously political — but actually nearly everything is political these days including low-wage jobs — so this is from James:

Please let the Occupy Listserv and KOWA listeners know that Evergreen’s Center for Community-Based Learning & Action and Campus Food Coalition are hosting a food handler permit training at 3pm on Wednesday the 18th (a week from today) in Sem II D1105 (first floor D, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW Olympia, WA, 98505).  Questions can be directed to this email or called in at (360) 867-6137.  The cost is $10/head, cash only if you wish to be certified by the health department to work in food service.


James H.



1E) PP on the TPP

The vote on giving the Obomber fast-track authority on the TPP is coming up.


(There. Did I emphasize that enough?)

This will take you to Flush the TPP’s Action Page:

Word is that a new version of Fast Track will be introduced when Congress comes back from recess this month. Now is the time to let members know what’s in store if they vote for dangerous, corporate-backed trade deals. Be part of the resistance, and join the Presidents’ Day Week of Action!


This year’s attempt to Fast Track unjust trade agreements is around the corner. We’ve got just a couple weeks to make our voices heard over the promises of multinational corporations, and starting Feb. 16th, people in key districts will ring out the call for members of Congress to commit to voting NO.


Check out our action map to join one of the 18 events happening across the country next week. If there isn’t anything in your area, make plans to hold your own emergency rally, call-in, letter drop-off, flyering session, or other event today!

From people’s forums to two-state bus tours, communities throughout the U.S. are coming out strong to stop the latest round of Fast Track legislation. It’s now or never in this critical moment for trade justice, and we know our action can make all the difference.


With thanks for all you do,

The Flush the TPP Team

TPP Occucards

Flush the TPP on the web

Flush the TPP on Facebook

Flush the TPP on Twitter, @FlushTheTPP



2) Olympia Village Building Convergence Placemaking Committee Meeting

Saturday February 14th at 3:30 pm @ Fertile Grounds Guesthouse, 911 Adams St SE

The Oly VBC is dedicated to transforming neighborhoods into communities.

This is from Chris:

First meeting to plan Placemaking process for OlyVBC. On the agenda: Develop “request for proposals” to send to placemaking projects/groups to be included in event; set application fee; Identify known / possible projects; prepare list to send RFP to; Create a workplan for Placemaking Committee now-August.



3) Green Party Monthly Meeting

Saturday February 14th at Noon @ MIXX Studio, Corner of State and Washington Streets

It’s the alternative to the two-faced one-party political system!

This is from Janet:

Happy Valentines Day!   Our regular meeting is this Saturday, 12:00 noon at MIXX96, corner of State and Washington Streets.

On the agenda is the next effort at a public forum, this one to be sponsored by the Thurston County Commissioners.  A forum sponsored by the Commissioners would have more reach than anything we could put on, so let’s do it.

Mary has spoken with the Commissioners (I was with her) and they are receptive.  So the next step is to ask formally, at a Commissioners meeting.  We need to plan exactly what to ask, possibly to write a script with parts for several of us to speak.

Please come and help make this next step a success.


Janet Jordan



4) Backbone Campaign 11th Birthday Celebration

Sunday February 15th from 4 to 7 pm on Vashon Island

I haven’t touched base with the Backbone Campaign lately so here we are. The BC is the premiere direct action activist organization in the country.

From Bill:

LOVE WINS! Backbone Campaign’s 11th Birthday Community Celebration


Join Us or Send a Birthday Greeting:
This Sunday, February 15, 4-7pm
On Vashon Island at the Vashon Books (old VFW Hall) (map)
RSVP for the Party TODAY

Live Music, Contra Dancing, Delicious Cake, Finger Foods &Beverages. Don’t miss this opportunity to look back at what we’ve achieved together; and look forward to what we can manifest if we dare.

For our friends across the country and others unable to make it, you can be part of the celebration too:

  • Make a GIFT to hep us grow into the work ahead. Vehicle, stock, airline miles, and other cool stuff appreciated.
  • Share a Memory: Send or email a note or photo of your favorite Backbone-related memory to be included in the giant timeline to: Backbone B’Day PO BOX 278, Vashon, WA 98070.
  • Blow a B’Day Wish: call and leave a Birthday message at 206-408-8058 or
  • Record a Video Greeting: If you’d would be willing to record a short video Birthday Greeting send a link to

Forward Together!

In Gratitude & Collaboration,

Team Backbone



I haven’t mentioned the Backbone Campaign in months — and I swear to you that this was the very next email I opened after making this entry!

This is from Bruce:

Backbone Internal Update: The Spinal Column 

February 2015


Much has been happening with the Backbone Campaign and core allies and more good work is on the horizon.  Here’s a list of upcoming events, as well as some highlights from the recent past and what’s coming up!

Upcoming Events/ Actions

FEBRUARY 2015    

Feb. 8th through February 19th David Cobb, spokesman and director of the Move To Amend (national) is presenting a Barnstorming Tour at locations throughout Washington State in collaboration with and other local groups. For dates and locations, please go to:

Feb. 13 What the (Bleep) Happened to Hip Hop Forum and People’s Movement Assembly TACOMA. 2PM-5PM at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98405 (see details under updates section of this newsletter.)

Feb. 14- 15  What the (Bleep) Happened to Hip Hop Forum and People’s Movement Assembly SEATTLE. On Feb. 14: 10AM – 6PM and show at 7pm-12am at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 E Union St., Seattle, WA 98122. Feb. 15, Seattle Hip Hop forum at the Cortona Café 1PM-6PM; 2425 E Union St; Seattle, WA 98122. (see details under updates section of this newsletter.)

Feb. 15     The Backbone Campaign’s 11th Birthday party!

Backbone Campaign will be celebrating 11th wonderful years with a Birthday Party at the old VFW Hall (22100 Vashon Hwy SW) on Vashon this Sunday, February 15 from 4-7.  Come celebrate with us! Love Wins!

Feb. 17  The Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Sierra Club, and allies in the labor, environmental, public health and human rights movements are getting on a bus called the “Blue-Green Machine” for an action-packed day of rallies, press events and briefings to highlight how bad trade policy has impacted our communities. For details, visit:

Feb. 21 Solutionary Rail teach-in from 2:30-5pm at the WA State Labor Council building, 321 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA 9811.  RSVP

Feb. 23 Monday, from 5-9 pm is an Art Build for light-up letters. Location TBD. Join us for a fun time. No skills needed, bring food to share if you can, and your own plate/utensils . RSVP to Lisa Marcus.

MARCH 2015

March 1        Schedule deadline for Spring Backbone event @ LUSH  Southcenter

March 5-8    Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (Eugene, OR)

March 7-8    Citizens’ Climate Lobby Regional Conference. The focus will be on “Connecting with Concerned Harvesters,” exploring the issues of a changing climate that especially impact those in our region who make their living through fisheries, farms and forests.  Please see the link for details.

March 14 The Future of Rail: Safety, Workers, Community & the Environment at the Richmond Recreation Center, 3230                                                Macdonald Avenue Richmond, CA 94804. REGISTER HERE


March 14 Community Blank Book Project. Come make 2: 1 for prisoners and 1 for you. 12-4pm at 4200 So Othello, Seattle, WA 98115. In collaboration with Justice Works, Books to Prisoners, and No New Jim Crow.  For details, contact                                                                      .

March 21The Future of Rail: Safety, Workers, Community & the Environment at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia, WA 98505  REGISTER HERE

March 21      World Dance Party from 6-9pm at Rainer Beach High School. Includes dance lessons for dances from around the world and a delicious and diverse community pot-luck.  (PS: Everything I’ve heard about this is freaking awesome!)

March 31      EPA Deadline for public comment related to oil/coal transport

APRIL 2015 

April 1 (ish)   Schedule deadline for Spring Backbone event @ LUSH Westlake

MAY 2015

May 1 (ish)    Schedule deadline for Spring Backbone event @ LUSH Bellevue

May 1                        May Day March

May 5                        Cinco de Mayo Celebration at el Centro de la Raza.  WAmend has been invited to have a table at this     beloved community festival. Backbone will be there, too!

May 2                        Solutionary Rail tour (Omaha)

May 16              (3rd Saturday in May) March against Monsanto

JUNE 2015

June 1 (ish)    Schedule deadline for Spring Backbone event @ LUSH Tacoma

June 12-14    Resistance Ecology Conference

June 20          Fremont Solstice Parade (Seattle)

June 24-28    US Social Forum will be in three cities in 2015: Philadelphia, PA (6/25-28); Jackson, MS (6/24-28, and San Jose, CA (6/24-27)

June 27    Chocolatada- the Backbone Campaign’s annual fundraising gala will be held at the Ballard Homestead.

July 2015

July 17, 18, 19 Strawberry Festival (Vashon)

August 2015

August TBA  Localize This! Action Camp (Vashon)August    Nisqually Huckleberry Camp/ Commercial Harvest

September 2015

Sept. 1 (ish)  1st Funding Deadline for LUSH for 2015/ 2016 projects

Sept. ?  YES Magazine Anniversary

Autumn 2015

Autumn Retreat at Wellspring

People’s Budget Campaign (need link)

Prepare End-of-Year Report to Donors and Allies


July 2016      Canoe Journey hosted by Nisqually Tribe


HIGHLIGHTS from PAST actions/events


350Seattle collaborated with Backbone at Seattle’s downtown federal building, creating powerful visuals and garnering press to urge President Obama to stand against approving the extension of the KXL Pipeline. Thanks to the work of our allies Lisa Marcus, Peter Weston and Eric Ross for taking the lead on visuals for this action and to Carlo who also took a lead role. Photos from the Seattle action were used by (national) as the thumbnail image when people shared their national story on Facebook.  (A very special shout-out of THANKS!!! to our photographers: Alex Garland and Damien Conway and videographer, Jeff Dunnicliff!)


Cindy Black from facilitated a panel discussion at Garfield High School prior to the MLK rally and march.  The topic of the panel was Democracy is for WE the People – Get BIG Money Out of Politics! Bill Moyer, Jonathan Tong (Move to Amend of Greater Seattle) and Michael Ramos (Church Council of Greater Seattle) were on the panel. successfully reached more people and recruited more signature gatherers at the eventIn addition to this great outreach event, WAmend also coordinated state-wide actions to mark the 5th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United (money is speech) ruling on Jan. 21.


The Future of US Rail Symposium was held last week in Washington DC on the theme: Electrification, Transmission, Track Speeds, Labor, Financing & More.  The event was co-sponsored by the Backbone Campaign’s Solutionary Rail project and the Institute for Policy Studies’ New Economy Working Group. Later this month, a Future of Rail conference will be in Seattle.  (Please see upcoming events section for more info.)


HIGHLIGHTS for UPCOMING actions/events

Net Neutrality

The film “Killswitch: the Battle to Control the Internet” will be released at a screening in Washington, DC on February 25th. You can view the powerful trailer here.  Kudos to Larry Taubman, our Backbone ally, who has the foresight to embark on this film-making journey 4 years ago.  Your timing couldn’t have been more perfect to share this story.  The FCC is scheduled to rule on net neutrality on February 26th.


The Commodification of Hip Hop Culture invites you to join Move to Amend and Hip Hop Congress at our upcoming events called What the (Bleep) Happened to Hip Hop?! (Hint, the short answer is the corporate commodification of a liberatory art form is what happened to Hip Hop). On Saturday (2/14), the Hip Hop Congress will host educational panels and participatory conversations about culture and corporate rule. On Sunday (2/15), a People’s Movement Assembly will be held where people will engage in action-oriented conversations about our current situation and how to get to the world we want and deserve.  You can read the full article (and video) here.

For more information or to RSVP for these Hip Hop events, contact Jessica Munger at or Shamako Noble at or RSVP on Facebook!

PowerMapping Solutionary Rail

Ryan Provonsha ( ) has done some extensive research on Berkshire Hathaway and WA State legislators along the BNSF tracks to identify leverage points.  To build on that work, Patrick Mazza suggested working with George Draffan, a renown researcher for our movement who presented at the Localize This! action camp a couple of years ago. See George’s website: George is willing to do a workshop for some Backbone folks to do research on corporate targets etc.  If you are interested and willing to apply this information to this and other campaigns, Backbone is willing to invest in you to take this workshop. Please contact Bill if you are interested in taking advantage of this training opportunity.

Seattle Peace Concerts with Backbone

The Backbone Campaign will be co-sponsoring the Seattle Peace Concerts series this summer, so we can involve the community in creating artful activism to live music throughout the summer at 8 park concerts. This will be the 36th year of the concert series and the plan this year is to emphasize ways people can create peace through actively work for social and environmental justice. Backbone, WAmend, 350Seattle, SCALLOPS members (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound) and Compassionate Seattle will be collaborating with the Seattle Peace Concerts team and the Seattle Parks Department. Please let us know what other groups we should reach out to. Confirmed park dates; 6/14 Woodland; 6/28 Gas Works; 7/12 Magnuson; 7/26 Volunteer; 8/9 Woodland; 8/23 Volunteer; 9/6 Magnuson; 9/20 Gas Works.  Don Glenn, co-founder and lead organizer of the concerts series welcomed this collaboration by saying, “We’ve always had a Heart, now we have a Backbone!”


Community Supported Organizer (CSO) Program

The CSO working group met at Serina and Larry’s house on the 19th and discussed developing a manual that would include processes to determine eligibility/ application, clarifying mutual expectations, reporting, reflection, and feedback loops.  Peter Lister is the newest CSO, having launched his campaign at the beginning of the year.  (Welcome, Peter!) Peter has set up a website with donor links to Backbone’s CSO program donation page, and a facebook group page to help drive web traffic.



5) Fair Trade or BusTour

Tuesday February 17th: Board Bus in Seattle at 7:30 am, Arrive in Olympia at 6:30 pm

This is an all-day bus tour to educate and advocate against fast track authority for the TPP.

This is from Captain Japan:

2015 Fair Trade or BusTour

Washington Fair
Trade Coalition

Let’s Roll! February 17, speak out for Good-Paying Jobs & a Healthy Environment by Saying NO to “Fast Track”

The debate over “Fast Track” legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other pending trade deals is coming to a head right now. Several Members of Congress from the Pacific Northwest remain undecided on this critical issue and need to hear from you!

To voice opposition against the disastrous impacts Fast Track would have on the Pacific Northwest’s economy, environment and public health, the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, and their partners from the labor, environmental, public health and human rights movements are getting on a bus called the “Blue-Green Machine” for two action-packed days of rallies, press events and briefings that need your support.

Washingtonians will play a major role in the fight to defeat Fast Track for the TPP, so join us for part or all of the day on Tuesday, February 17!

Please RSVP here for any or all of the events below. And help us get the word out on Facebook.


7:30am — Optional: Get on the Bus!
Want to be part of a carpool for the morning’s events, or the full day? Groups are arranging carpools from Seattle and Bellingham. Call Gillian at 206.227.3079 for more information.

9:30am — Rep. DelBene: Stand with Washington against Fast Track!
(204 W. Montgomery St, Mount Vernon, WA — RSVP HERE)
Constituents rally against Fast Track at the office of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for Washington’s food suppliers, good-paying jobs, and a healthy environment.

2:30pm — Rep. Kilmer: Port Workers Oppose Fast Track, Will You?
(Fireman’s Park, A St. & S 9th St; Tacoma, WA — RSVP HERE)
A press event and rally overlooking the Port of Tacoma with port workers and other constituents exposing threats posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and calling on Congressman Derek Kilmer to oppose Fast Track.

6:30pm — Briefing on the TPP’s Threat to Washington State Sovereignty

(Labor Council Building, 906 Columbia St NW, Suite 330, Olympia, WA — RSVP HERE)
A happy hour briefing with partners from labor, environmental groups, and state legislature on ways in which Trans-Pacific Partnership provisions threaten state and local policies on the environment, consumer safety, public procurement and more.

RSVP online at
For more information on the full tour, go to

Join our Fast Track Rapid Response Team

We will need to move quickly once Fast Track is introduced in Congress. Can you commit to call or email your members? Write a Letter to the Editor? Join or host an emergency phone bank?

Please sign up now to be part of the Rapid Response Team!

Follow Washington Fair Trade on Facebook and on Twitter at @WaFairTrade for news and updates.

Fast Track is the Wrong Track.

606 Maynard Ave South #102 Seattle, WA 98104 ~ 206. 227 3079 ~



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