The struggle to pull away the welcome mat from Wal-Mart continued last weekend when about 300 activists gathered at the mega-store along 82nd Avenue. Sponsored by the local organization, Jobs with Justice, the protesters hoped to bring attention to the corporation's piss-poor record on wages, health care, and union busting.
At one point, three activists dressed in Wonder Woman's star-spangled bikini bottoms and golden lassos marched into the store, where they staged a tug-of-war against a faux representative from Wal-Mart (another activist wearing the corporation's telltale yellow smiley face).
In another part of town, Wal-Mart is also facing stern opposition to its plans to plop a superstore in the Sellwood neighborhood. Residents hope that city council will stymie requests for zoning changes. A month ago, commissioner Sam Adams sent off a letter to the CEO of Wal-Mart stating his opposition, but he has yet to receive a response. PB
Last Thursday, the FBI came closer to ending Tre Arrow's three-year Canadian vacation when a British Columbia judge approved his extradition back to Oregon. Arrow is on the FBI's most wanted list for allegedly setting fire to machinery at a controversial logging site, and to dump trucks from Ross Island Sand & Gravel. Last year, he was picked up in Vancouver, BC for shoplifting bolt cutters and has since been held in a Canadian prison.
The ruling in last week's extradition hearing pivoted on whether the Canadian judge thought there would be sufficient evidence to convict Arrow if he stands trial in Oregon. She did, even though Arrow's attorney argued the evidence against the environmental activist is flimsy. The case against Arrow is based on testimony from two PSU students who admitted they helped set the fires, and fingered Arrow as the ringleader. Arrow's attorney also argued unsuccessfully that the activist should be granted refugee status because his chances of getting a fair trial in Oregon are impossible. This claim will be reasserted on appeal before the Canadian Minister of Justice, who has final authority to rule on Arrow's extradition. A decision is expected within 90 days. If convicted, Arrow faces 80 years in prison. SHANNON GREEN