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In the spirit of furthering understanding and communication within and between our many communities LA IndyMedia brings Film-Night back with the film "Precious Knowledge." Sunday October 14, 7pm at Gateway Portal in West LA. One of the filmmakers will be present for a discussion.

"Precious Knowledge" is an important documentary that exposes the blatant racism that the State Superintendent of Education in Arizona recently displayed in cutting out the successful ethnic-studies program at Tucson High School.

The film follows the lives of four students and several teachers as they fight to save their classes and the program that became an educational lifeline for them.

The disenfranchised high school seniors became academic warriors and community leaders in the face of losing a successful program that has become a national model of success. In a climate where the national average of Mexican-American drop-outs is 45 percent, 100 percent of the students enrolled in the Tucson High ethnic studies classes graduated from high school and 85 percent of them went on to college.

The filmmakers spent an entire year in the classroom filming this innovative social-justice curriculum, documenting the transformative impact on students who become engaged, informed, and active in their communities.

This story is important to all of us; as Americans and as Angelinos. In our city Ron Gochez, a high school social studies teacher and important activist, currently running for city council, was recently fired for teaching ethnic-studies courses in his South LA classroom.

Come join LA IndyMedia, in conjunction with the Gateway-Portal in West LA for our screening of the film followed by a discussion.

Calendar announcement | | Trailer

In her first solo exhibit, photographer (and contributor to LA IndyMedia) Isabel Avila explores the dual identities of Native American and Mexican American cultures, emphasizing people active in their communities. Avila's photographs, taken over the last few years, are complimented by video discussions with the photo subjects and other people, including Gloria Arellanes, one of the early Brown Berets and member of the Tongva community. (Excerpts of these talks are included in the article below.) The free exhibit is currently at the Vincent Price Museum through December 8. It will then then relocate to Rancho Cucamonga's Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art and run from January 22 to March 16, 2013. (Location details within the article.)

"Through video dialogue and portraiture, the museum goers are not just given facts to go away with but are also left to make their own connections with this subject matter in their own lives," Avila explained.

Article: Isabel Avila's "Parallel Worlds" at the Vincent Price Art Museum by Ross Plesset, photos by Isabel Avila

Most readers here already know about the effects of plastic on birds and sea life--although the footage shown here is even worse than anything I've seen. There is also footage of impoverished people in China sorting through OUR "recyclables" as their children loiter about and pollution from a processing plant poisons the air.

But most revealing of all (to me, anyway) is the effects plastic seems to be having on us humans, including, perhaps, the increase we're seeing in Autism; Attention Deficit Disorder; early onset of puberty; male infants becoming more feminine and females more masculine; and lower sperm count.

Also insightful is the film's revelations about the powerful American Chemistry Council, which is made up of plastic and oil interests, including Chevron BP, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Dow, DuPont, 3M, Honeywell, and Bayer. ACC spends huge sums of money battling initiatives that would ban plastic bags. Some of their cute pro-plastic bag slogans include "save the plastic bag!"

Review: Important New Film "Bag It!" Playing on PBS This Week by R

The American Indian Movement (AIM) is planning a demonstration outside the MTV Music Awards in L.A. on June 6. People of all races are being encouraged to attend, and participants are being asked to wear red shirts. A second action may occur simultaneously on the east coast. (Additional information can be found here: http://www.aimsb.org.)

Recently, MTV ran an episode of its "reality" show The Dudesons. In it, four buffoonish Finnish men visit Buffalo Hills, California in the hopes of becoming "honorary Native Americans." Their "rites of passage" include riding a canoe down a normally waterless hill, a "rite" called "Balls of Steel," and another that involves "Indians" breaking other "Indians" out of jail.

According to AIM, MTV has not apologized for the content on the show nor have they ceased broadcasting it.

More about the show: MTV's The Dudesons Offends Many American Indians

Left: The table for the Open Source Voting Consortium at the L.A. Linux Expo '09.

In the spring of 2008, after years of getting p.o.'d at Microsoft on almost a daily basis, I switched over to Linux (free, non-proprietary software). I had just gotten a new computer, and a friend who was setting it up for me, offered Linux as an option. This seemed a bit risky since Linux sounded less user-friendly than Microsoft, and I am not a technically-savvy person. Yet I loved the idea of being free of Microsoft and proprietary software. I took a chance and went with Linux. In the ensuing year, my computer sessions became markedly less stressful--it was usually at zero.

. . . On February 19th of this year, I attended the 2009 Linux Expo in L.A. Below are conversations I had with a few of the vendors. Story and photos: Transitioning to Linux and a (Late) Report on the 2009 Linux Expo L.A. by RP | RELATED: LA IMC 10th Anniversary - Technology Workshop by Mallory Knodel

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