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(fer) Studio principal /architect Christopher L. Mercier is also an active artist within the Inglewood community. His 2015 Rogers Park mural "Pathways to Success" was a collaboration with 28 pre-teen and teenage designers. His latest mural “Wiggle Walls” (also in Rogers Park) was recently completed. The work arose from city efforts to engage at-risk city youth creative options to gang involvement.

Full story: Architect Chris Mercier Unveils Mural in Rogers Park, Inglewood by David Thompson

The winter 2016 Anti-Mall was in solidarity with Stop the Dakota Pipeline and Buy Back the Farm! (and there were multiple ways for guests to support them). Clemency for Leonard Peltier was also promoted. And as always, the Anti-Mall was a chance for shoppers to put their money into the activist-artist community and practice sustainable living (e.g., repairing more and throwing away less).

Story and photos: Anti-Mall '16: Buy Back the Farm! / Stop DAPL / Free Peltier by Ross Plesset

Lamoreaux judges turned Lexi Dillon (pictured at left) over to a foreigner whom the Tustin police cast reports showed sodomized and raped the girl repeatedly. The foreigner is no longer allowed in the U.S. and due to a lifting of the travel ban on Lexi, as far as anyone knows, neither is she. The alleged molester only has citizenship in Thailand, the site of considerable sex trafficking.

Massive fear surrounds the trafficking of Jonah Rief to Australia via the San Diego courts. A man who is not the father and who did not have to prove paternity was allowed to take Jonah Rief to Australia and he did so using a falsified passport calling the "Rief" boy "Sullivan." Alabama had issued a protective order against Brian Sullivan on behalf of the child and on behalf of the mother Tammy Rief after Sullivan or someone associated with him uploaded misleading YouTube videos appearing to be aimed at getting people to kidnap Jonah from his Alabama home. California chose not to respect the jurisdictional orders of the court in Alabama, which was Jonah Rief's home state. Jonah entered Australia with Sullivan on February 26, 2013 and disappeared. Nude photos that appeared on March 4, 2013, on the Facebook page of Sullivan's accomplice Sara Francis AKA Denise Glasier AKA Denise Sullivan are believed to have been sales photos.

Full story: Activists Hold Prayer Vigil for Lexi Dillon and Jonah Rief in Orange County by Stand Up Orange County Coalition

More: Pressure on Orange County District Attorney to Prosecute Minors Counsel by PAA: Parents Against Abuse

The best quality organic fruits, vegetables, prepared specialties, and non-factory farmed animal products were all found at the Rawesome Food Club in Venice. That is, before the Federal Government (FBI) raided it and eventually shut it down. Raw goat milk was the much publicized reason for the raids, but what appears to have been unsaid is that Rawesome was just a coffee shop and one small intersection away from Whole Foods Market, a giant corporation.

. . . Alex Jones, a controversial radio host, interviewed James Stewart just this year. James told the story of how the Rawesome Food Club was destroyed by the Federal Government to a sympathetic host that described James as a Raw Food Advocate. Too bad the local lefties didn't show the same sympathy. Venice lost a unique free enterprise that provided awesome quality food.In Venice the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been broken concerning the rights of the poor. James and Rawesome assisted poor and unhoused people by providing donations, including vegetables and fruits to the vegetarian Venice Food Not Bombs chapter. Harassment of the poor and unhoused population of Venice, surveillance by Government Agencies, an FBI bust of a raw food club and large corporations moving into Venice (such as Whole Foods and Google) have brought together the excesses of oppressive government policies.

The combinations of government, corporations and abusive community groups have altered the bohemian character of Venice Beach. By using local and federal law enforcement to abuse and control the unhoused population and people who choose the freedom to drink raw goat milk.

Full story: A Venice Rawesome Story by Calvin E. Moss

On August 17-18, the weekly Eagle Rock peace vigil went for 24 hours (normally it's two hours on Saturdays). When asked why they were doing this, they said they cannot in good conscience let their neighbors ignore global warming, "The world isn't proceeding normally, so we cannot proceed normally." Besides signs (which addressed a variety of issues besides climate change), there was a teach-in led by Anne Porter of NELA Move to Amend, "Psychopaths in High Places;" live music; and videos, including one about mass transit.

On September 21, the Eagle Rock peace vigil participated in's national "Draw the Line" campaign. About 35 people from all over North East Los Angeles converged on the corner to gather signatures to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline would carry one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, "tarsands oil," from Canada, through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It would threaten sacred lands, delicate eco systems, precious farmland, and the health of communities along the entire route. This action was a cooperative effort by local activist groups; North East Los Angeles Radical Neighbors for Peace through Justice (NELA Rad), Tar Sands Action SoCal, and SoCal Climate Action Coalition 350.

Story and pictures: All Nighter in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles California by Nina Zvaleko

The California Coastal Commission denied Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs) two years in a row and what has changed since are all the new Coastal Commissioners and the real reason behind the Venice OPDs has been virtually eliminated. We hope the new Commissioners will study the OPD denials from both June 2009 and again in June 2010 and maybe even listen to our story to see why so many of us have fought all this time to keep Venice Beach Free and keep our Coastal Zone open to All.

. . . The main reason for OPDs is to remove homeless people living in vehicles from Venice and to help make Venice a more exclusive community. The OPD law is a Los Angeles Municipal Code (an ordinance) brought to life by Councilman Bill Rosendahl after he was first elected and seated in 2005. The intent of this parking permit system is and has always been to make it illegal for homeless people (or other alternative people) to park a vehicle between 2-6am in Venice, because the rules make it so they cannot get a permit.

. . . Even though the Coastal Commission Staff and Attorneys along with the City of LA and Mark Ryavec all reached a tentative settlement agreement to put in the Venice OPDs prior to the June 2010 Coastal Commission meeting, the Commission denied the OPDs for the second year in a row.

Full story: VENICE OPDs ARE BACK! BUT WHY? by Peggy Lee Kennedy

Saturday, March 9, 2013: The daylong event began with a rally at the Downtown Jail, close to where several inmate families were waiting for visitation. "We were able to speak with some of them, and they were happy to see us out there rallying for justice, for themselves, their loved ones and for all women around the world," reports Wanda Miller. "Lots of people signed our sign-in sheets [and] wanted to join us in future events. Passersby were honking horns and waving in support.

"Even though we were across the street from the jail, some of those inside could [likely] see us through the tiny windows and were perhaps encouraged that we were outside protesting, that we were in solidarity with them."

The rally was followed by a "lively" March for Survival, with the message Invest in Life and Welfare, Not War and Prisons. At about 1:30, there was a teach-in at The Last Bookstore, about a mile away. Panels included Women Surviving Globally, which featured "video presentations from or about Haiti, Tanzania, Guyana, and IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network). The last clip was of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela talking about how important women were to what he was trying to do in Venezuela. . . ." The next panel was Women Surviving Locally with speakers Diana Zuniga of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Tanisha Denard Youth Justice Coalition; Rachel West, US Prostitutes Collective; Alexa Rishton, Military Families Speak Out; Rosamaria Segura CHIRLA Household Workers Campaign; Lydia Ponce, an Indigenous from Idle No More/LA; and Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children.

Full report and photos: 14TH ANNUAL INT'L WOMEN'S DAY EVENT Women Surviving Globally, Surviving in SoCal by Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children

Family and community members demonstrated near Manuel Diaz's memorial last Sunday as they continue to build momentum in their fight for justice for Manuel and all victims of the recent Anaheim shootings. Diaz was shot and killed by Anaheim police on July 21st this year. On the day of the incident, Diaz had been shot on the back of the leg following a pursuit, where he was brought to his knees, and then shot again in the head, execution style. Manuel Diaz was not armed. Videos circulated the internet that day showed Diaz on the floor just moments after being shot. People could be heard shouting at officers, asking why they had shot him and stating that Diaz was still alive. The video also shows officers more concerned with moving people away form the scene, than getting immediate medical attention for Diaz who passed away at a hospital a few hours later.

Full article: A Coalition of Mothers, Family and Community Members Fed Up With the Injustices by Anaheim by Oceloyotl X via The Rebel Press

Previous IndyMedia Coverage here

GARDEN GROVE - Niko Black, a Native woman (Apache) with terminal cancer, has been evicted from her Garden Grove home by Wells Fargo, with co-operation of the Orange County Sheriff's Department and complicity of the local police. This, despite Niko posting a Federal Court Order forbidding such action on her front door and filing it with local police agencies.

On the morning of October 10, Niko Black was in bed when her front door was kicked open by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Black, who has terminal cancer, crawled to her wheelchair as four-to-six deputies entered and proceeded to hold a gun to her face. She was then taken outside sans any of her medication. When she called the Garden Grove Police, they did nothing. Since all of her medication and other means of treatment were in her home, Black got sick very quickly and had to be taken to the hospital.

From the newswire: Wells Fargo Evicts Terminally-Ill Woman Despite Federal Court Order by Rick Panna, photos and video by Naui Huitzilopochtli | | Coverage on American Indian Airwaves (online for 90 days)

On February 14, 2011, the Los Angeles Human Right to Housing Collective stopped by L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson's Campaign Office to deliver a Valentine and demand that he move forward with the community;s recommendations to reform rent control in L.A.

Tenants have been fighting for rent control reform for two years, since the City released a $1 million study showing that landlords benefit more than tenants under the current Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Councilmember Wesson, as Chair of this committee, has refused to act.

From the newswire: Tenants Deliver Valentine's Day Message to Councilmember Wesson by Erik

Tongva Burials Threatened in Downtown L.A.
"STOP THE DESECRATION! 90+ burials (at present) being disturbed in the development of the Mexican Cultural Center at LA Plaza/Olvera St. They have attempted to not follow the law at the discovery of remains. Please support and help - call, write letters, emails. Voice your disgust...Tongva people tired and in pain." -- Tongva Elder

The developer is denying the burials are Native, but the Tongva say one of them includes an obsidian blade and beads.

Call to action: From AIM Santa Barbara: Your VOICE HAS POWER- It only takes 5 minutes to make a phone call & save a sacred site- and piss off the people that need to put in check- STOP THE DESECRATION. Call- Gloria Molina office, (213)- 974-4111-or email or call the Mayor Villaraigosa, 213 978-0600

More information: Statement of Facts/Call to Action Re: Burial Site by Members of the Gabrielino (Tongva) Community| | American Indian Airwaves (1-11-11)

Update: "GOOD NEWS!!! LA Plaza has stopped further work at site where remains disturbed. Tongva woman, Desiree Martinez provided documentation of the burials that we were told did not exist, and that proved that Native Americans were in that cemetery." -- Gloria Arellanes, Tongva Elder

Feb. 1, 2011: Despite the cessation of excavating, Cindi Alvitre explains why the issue is far from over: American Indian Airwaves.

Update (June 2012): The remains were finally reburied at that site in April of this year. Desiree Martinez, a Tongva involved in this issue, was upset by how the ancestors were treated prior to reburial. Many of them were wrapped in toilet paper or newspaper (and consequently parts were separated and had to be reassembled prior to reburial) or not fully removed, left in place, and covered with tarps. She described this disrespect as "the most painful experience" she has endured.

Mothers & other caregivers speak out against child welfare injustices, budget cuts, criminalization and war. Together they planned joint actions to demand that child "protection," welfare and other government policies end the trashing of mothers and recognize the value of their caregiving work.

Story and photos: Community Dialogues in four US Cities: Mothers and Other Caregivers Speak Out by Global Women's Strike

Saturday, December 11, 2010

COLTON, California - In a large public gathering the cafeteria of Alice Birney Elementary School, well over one hundred community members from Colton, a city whose residents include many low-income immigrants, met with their police chief to expose him to the injustices his officers have been committing and to petition redress of their grievances. While distrust between the community and police is historic, things have gotten worse since the city created its own towyard a few years back and began collecting impound fees on cars, mostly taken from immigrants ineligible for licenses. In order to impound more automobiles to bail the city out of its financial troubles, officers have resorted to profiling anyone who "looks undocumented," making pretextual stops in order to impound vehicles.

Full report: Colton Immigrant Community Meets PD Chief, Demands Justice by Rockero

After indicating that the Southwest Museum would fully reopen, the Autry, which owns the facility, recently closed the museum store and discontinued the monthly NELA Art Gallery Walk. Also, various community events, which had been free, are now $10 for non-Autry members. Autry closed the exhibit space in 2006 to allow for some earthquake retrofitting (which was completed last summer).

The demonstration on Wednesday afternoon was well-attended and occurred on Marmion Way, just outside the museum grounds and adjacent to the Gold Line's Southwest Museum Station. Thus, many rush hour commuters, whether they were in cars or trains, could see the event.

Story and pictures Protest at the Southwest Museum, its Future More Uncertain by Ross Plesset

December 19, 2009: The 2009 AntiMall was held on a cordoned-off street adjacent to Antigua Coffee House (which was celebrating its grand reopening) at 3400 North Figueroa in Cypress Park. Antigua serves coffee that is organically grown by a family-run business in Guatemala.

Many of us would like to give up holiday shopping altogether. However, the annual AntiMall is an opportunity for holiday shoppers to at least have their money go to artivists (artists + community activists) and causes such as Afghan Women's Mission--rather than big box stores and other corporate behemoths.

Story and photos: The Eighth Annual AntiMall by RP

Obviously, vigils such as this are not stopping America's many wars, but they seem to be reminding people that horrible things are going on. (Personally, I grew up during the Vietnam War totally unaware of that abomination. Had there been community vigils such as this, my world view would have been different.) We got a lot of positive response from adults and children. One city employee read all of our signs aloud over a p.a. system on their vehicle.

As we have done in the past, we brought food for the local homeless people. It was alarming to see how much the local homeless population had increased. . . .

Story/photos: Anti-War Demonstration on Thankstaking Day by R of the Northeast L.A. Radical Neighbors

On April 25, supporters of the South Central Farm held their third demonstration outside Forever 21 in Old Town Pasadena. (Background information can be found here.) The turnout was high: between 20 and 30 people, and the demonstrators were vocal and lively. . . .

This campaign is country-wide. However, not all of Forever 21's stores have the same name (even within Southern California). The names tend to be variations on Forever 21, like Forever Fabulous.

Report back and photos: Never Forever 21: Round 3 by RP

February 2, 2009: Another demonstration took place outside the Forever 21 in Old Town Pasadena. The turnout was even higher than the previous action of December 13, 2008. One demonstrator reported giving a leaflet to someone entering the store. This person looked at the flier, turned around, and exited. Many other passersby showed interest. Participants were asked to contact other Forever 21 outlets (see the list following this article) to remind them of the boycott.

Story and photos: Actions Against Forever 21 Continue by RP

December 25, 2008: Despite the threat of heavy rain, five of us turned out for our annual Xmas Day vigil. We have been vigiling on Xmas, at various locations, since 2004. Last year's holiday vigil was covered here.

This was the second year that the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors collaborated with the Montrose vigil. Some of us were a bit reticent to go out in the rain on a holiday, but activism isn't always about doing what one wants or feels like.

Story and photos: Xmas Day Vigil 2008 by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors

This year's AntiMall was held at East LA's Chavez Studio. As organizer Laura Palomares explained on Uprising last year (full interview here), the concept was inspired by her experiences with Zapatistas and the notion of an alternative, parallel economy. The AntiMall brings together many co-ops. "So the idea of El Puente is providing a space where you know you're buying something directly from the artisan, and that group of people are working on making things better for their community," she explained to Uprising's Sonali Kolhatkar. "So they--for example, the Zapatistas--are not waiting for the government to come in and fix what's going on in their community. They're going to make a demand, but at the same time they're working on creating their own autonomous communities. So the purpose of El Puente is to support those communities in their struggles and not support things like Walmart and Target in our neighborhoods but really invest back into social change ."

Story and photos: 2008 AntiMall (part 1) and 2008 AntiMall (part 2) by RP

PASADENA, Dec. 13, 2008 - Despite the threat of rain and many other competing activist events this Saturday there was a very good turnout at the demonstration in front of Forever 21 in Old Town Pasadena. Forever 21 intends to build warehouse space on the land of the South Central Farm, which developer Ralph Horowitz acquired by dubious means. (More details here.)


The recent exhibit Tongva: Our Voice, Our History, Our People, which ran from September 13 through November 22 at the Ruth & Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum, demonstrated that Southern California's history goes back far beyond shopping centers, Hollywood, city lights, theme parks, car culture, missionaries, Cabrillo, etc., etc.

As Chief Red Blood Anthony Morales stated at the show's grand opening, Tongva people have lived here for many thousands of years. He added that the community of Aleupkingna (sometimes spelled Aluupkenga) encompassed the land currently occupied by the Santa Anita Mall, the Santa Anita Race Track, and the Arboretum.

Story and photos:Tongva: Our Voice, Our History, Our People by RP

LOS ANGELES - 12 octubre 2008 En medio de una celebración del Día de la Raza, se unieron alrededor de 75 manifestantes para reclamar justicia para los inmigrantes y exigir que se deje de redar y deportar a la gente.
Leer más con fotos: Se exige alto a deportaciones y redadas by Rockero

People demand an end to raids and deportations by Rockero
LOS ANGELES - October 12, 2008 Amidst a celebration of Día de la Raza, about 75 protesters gathered to demand justice and an end to the raids and deportations.

Sound from anti-ICE Raid Demo, Columbus Day- Olvera Street by Anna Kunkin

CARSON and COSTA MESA, October 4, 2008
Clouds grayed the sky, but did not hamper attendance at either of the two anti-Sarah Palin rallies. Hundreds of activists arrived at both events to denounce the vice-presidential hopeful for her misogyny, ignorance, pettiness, and anti-democratic tendencies. A diversity among attendees and willingness to communicate characterized the day, particularly in Costa Mesa.
Story/Photos:Women denounce Sarah Palin in Carson and Costa Mesa by Rockero

On September 20 and 21, Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific hosted the fourth annual Native American festival, Moompetam Gathering of the Salt Water People. Moompetam (which means "of the ocean" in Tongva) is comprised of several maritime tribes, including Tongva, Acjachemen, Chumash, Costanoan, and Luiseno.

As one of the speakers at the event pointed out, this was a rare opportunity to experience Native cultures up-close via storytelling, food, one-on-one conversations, music, and workshops.

Story/photos: Moompetam Gathering of the Salt Water People by RP

August 12 was the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of Haitian human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. Thus, the Ad Hoc Working Group for Haiti stepped up its pressure on the local Brazilian consulate--in conjunction with actions around the world, including ones in England, Guyana, and Haiti itself. Between 20 and 22 demonstrators were counted, and a 92-year-old passerby raised her walker in support

Story and pictures: Local Actions on One-Year Anniversary of the Kidnapping of Haitian Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine by Ross Plesset

LOS ANGELES, July 30, 2008 - Residents of the Wyvernwood Community in Boyle Heights, are organizing to stop plans to demolish 1,178 units of affordable housing in the historic district and replace them with 4,400, primarily luxury units. The project and others proposed in the Boyle Heights area threaten to displace an estimated 6,000 people if approved.

The tenants have vowed to fight against any development plans that will result in demolition of historic buildings, displacement of any tenants, loss of rent controlled units or rent increases, loss of green space or have adverse impacts on traffic and congestion.
From the Newswire: Boyle Heights Residents Come out to oppose move

On July 2, Angelinos overcame the City-planned divides between rich and poor, cultural differences, and even broke through language barriers in the fight to restore the South Central Farm. When the developer proposed a diesel-spewing warehouse distribution center for the site, Farmers and Farm supporters threw a wrench in the cogs of City Hall and won a round in the fight to force Horowitz to do an Environmental Impact Report: they forced a twenty-one day delay for more public comments, and gained a glimmer of hope to restore the Farm. The fight between the people and developers' grip on City Hall could be decided by this Wednesday, July 23, 2008, the new deadline for public comments and the second hearing, a week or two later on the tenth floor of City Hall, in front of a small advisory board.

From the Newswire: Save the Farm. Deadline: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by Leslie Radford
Saving the South Central Farm: Listening to the Land by Juan Santos and Leslie Radford

July 2, 2008: Former Santa Monica Green Mayor Mike Feinstein spoke against approving a warehouse on the land of the South Central Farm, and the conflict such approval would have with the Los Angeles General Plan Framework, at the City of Los Angeles Hearing Agenda.

Also, Linda Piera-Avila (County Councilmember, Green Party of Los Angeles County) spoke against approving a warehouse on the land of the South Central Farm, and the negative air quality impacts it would have.

Videos: VIDEOS: South Central Farm - Feinstein, Piera-Avila oppose warehouse at Farm by Mike Feinstein

There was a lot of consciousness about the event itself, and quite a bit of discussion about the meaning of the Fourth of July and the whole concept of "Independence" in light of how many people have historically lost their freedom so that some could call themselves "Free." Another interesting discussion was the idea promulgated by the media, (at whose behest?)--that Black and Brown people are at war with each other. The lie to that supposed idea was obvious in the parking lot of Self-Help Graphics where people of all colors, (whites included), celebrated, if not their independence, their unity and solidarity in the face of common challenges--and enemies.

On Saturday evening at about 8:30, I stumbled upon a demonstration in front of the Scientology building on Hollywood Boulevard. About 12 people participated, most wearing masks, likenesses of the one in V for Vendetta. The numerous signs had messages including "Scientology disconnects families."

I interviewed one of the participants. During the course of our conversation, I learned she was Tory Christman, who had been in Scientology for decades.

Interview and pictures: Protest Against Scientology by Mitsy

On Thursday, May 8, the Ad-Hoc Working Group for Haiti launched a weekly vigil outside the Brazilian consulate in Beverly Hills for the return of Haitian human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antione. A weekly fast, begun last November and practiced around the world, continues.
Story/photos: A Weekly Vigil is Launched for Haiti and Kidnapped Human Rights Activist by Ross Plesset

Update: (5-15-08) Today was our second weekly vigil. Seven of us held our banner and signs and talked to pedestrians about the issue. There were lengthy and interesting conversations, and people signed our petition. Many of us continue to fast each week.

Update: (6-12-08) For over a month now, we have been standing here each week with signs and banners. Today, nine of us turned out. Passing motorists seemed especially enthusiastic--even the double-decker Starline Tour buses honked. Pedestrians stopped and asked to learn more about the issue, and we got more signatures on our petition.

Update: (6-26-08) Today we held a large photo of Don White along with our usual signs. Don was an organizer of this vigil--the banner pictured above was his idea. Also, Wilson, a colleague of Lovinsky's, called from Haiti at his own expense to express his regret about Don. Seven of us were present.

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2008 -- May Day demonstrations and marches were held throughout the region yesterday. Two marches converged downtown at 5th and Broadway in the late afternoon. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people took part in the downtown demonstrations. Although not as large as the past two years the marches were described as festive and high spirited. Immigrant rights was the primary focus of the demonstration, but other issues such as the Iraq war were featured as well.

Scattered student walkouts and sit outs also took place at a number of local high schools. Dockworkers at the port of Los Angeles staged a one day strike that halted port operations for the day. The dockworkers' strike, which included all west coast ports, was called by the workers to protest the continuing US war on Iraq. Reports from the newswire: Workers/Immigrants March Rally in LA on May 1 by AJLPP | | Venice High School Students Walk out of Class by Marcus | | May Day Time Line by LA-IMC

PHOTOS: Marcha Primero de Mayo by Oliver Santana
VIDEO: ¡Afuera Con La Migra! May Day Video by Que Chido

From Democracy Now: Report on dockworkers' strike
In related news: Did Google Block ILWU Web Page?

LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2008 -- Environmental activists from AmazonWatch with support from the LA Greens and other local groups paid a visit to Occidental Petroleum's corporate headquarters today. Dressed up in Haz Mat uniforms demonstrators staged a mock toxic clean up outside the Oxy building in Westwood.

Activists are demanding that Oxy pay for the clean up of an area of the Amazon home to the Achuar people. Oxy is blamed for the poisoning of an entire ecosystem that the Achuar depend on for their survival. Today's demonstration was the first of two planned for this week. The next protest will be held at Oxy's shareholders meeting this Friday, May 2nd at 9am at the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.From the Newswire: AmazonWatch Clean Up Crew Hits Occidental Petroleum Headquarters | | PHOTOS - From Oxy Protest | | "This is What a Clean-Up Looks Like!" by RP | | MP3 AUDIO Protest at Occidental Petroleum Headquarters by A

In a major step for the U.S. labor movement, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports on May 1, to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East. In a February 22 letter to AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, ILWU International president Robert McEllrath reported that at a recent coast-wide union meeting, "One of the resolutions adopted by caucus delegates called on longshore workers to stop work during the day shift on May 1, 2008 to express their opposition to the war in Iraq."

From the newswire: ILWU to Shut Down West Coast Ports May 1 Demanding End to War in Iraq, Afghanistan by Internationalist Group
More on: KPFK's Beneath the Surface (4/28/08 at 5:45 pm)

On Wednesday April 30 and Friday May 2, there will be demonstrations against L.A.-based Occidental Petroleum over pollution and illness caused by nearly 30 years of oil sdrilling in the Peruvian Amazon. The first event, a mock clean-up will take place at the company's headquarters, the second will be outside the annual shareholder's meeting. According to Amazon Watch, Occidental Petroleum is sensitive to this kind of publicity. (Photo at right by Adam Goldstein.) Full story: Two Upcoming Events to Expose Pollution, Sickness in Peru Caused by Occidental Petroleum by RP Announcements: Wednesday event Friday event

Wadsworth UTLA, The Association of Raza Educators, and Parents of Wadsworth will DEMAND that the Los Angeles Unified School District to remove Wadsworth from the Prop. 39 Schools with Available Classrooms List. Prop. 39 requires the LAUSD provide public classroom space, if there is open rooms, for charter schools. However, THERE IS NO ROOM on the Wadsworth campus which operates on 4-tracks due to OVERCROWDING.
From the newswire:South LA School Resisting Charter Invasion by Jose Lara

Pomona, Calif - After being subjected an unannounced pay cut from $10/hr to $8/hr, Cal Poly student marketing representatives Austin Garrido and Sarah Doolittle were fired by their employer,, for attempting to organize a worker's union. The students were fired from their part-time jobs 20 minutes after posting a message in an online inter-company form announcing their intention to form a union. Doolittle and Garrido have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
From the newswire: Student Workers Claim They Were Illegally Fired by Cal Poly Community Activist

Labor Notes supporters are no strangers to heated debate--and the SEIU International is not the first union to protest at our conference. During the 1980s, for example, we saw opponents of the New Directions Movement inside the United Auto Workers put up picket lines outside our conference hotel and had BLAST--the Brotherhood of Loyal Americans and Strong Teamsters--try to intimidate Teamster reformers attending our events.

People are going to disagree and that is fine. There is no idea that can't be discussed at a Labor Notes conference. We welcome debate on any and all issues facing the labor movement, including the heated dispute between the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and the leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) over the best way to build power for health care workers. But that debate must take place with respect and free from intimidation. Despite being welcomed to the conference earlier in the day--and given space to debate supporters of the CNA/NNOC about neutrality organizing agreements--SEIU staff and members shouted down speakers at workshops and panels throughout the event.
SEIU International Attacks Labor Gathering - Conference Goers Assaulted. by Labor Notes - repost

ESTE de LOS ANGELES, 13 abril 2008 -- Los manifestantes, convocados por un conjunto de organizaciones bajo los auspicios del Frente Unido de los Pueblos de Amrica, marchamos desde Cinco Puntos hasta el parque de Mxico (junto a Lincoln Park) en el este de Los Angeles.

Bajo un sol que pareca de julio y no de abril, echamos cnticos, cantamos, y por supuesto marchamos hasta llegar a la estatua de Zapata. All vimos a danzantes que nos hicieron recordar lo bonito de nuestra cultura mexicana y chicana y a oradores que nos recordaron lo crtico que son nuestros movimientos actuales.
Marcha Por Zapata 2008 by Rockero
March in Honor of Emiliano Zapata by Marcus

LOS ANGELES April 6, 2008 The large and loud mid-Wilshire protest demonstration against Antonio "Tony" Saca, right-wing president of El Salvador, in front of the Wilshire Ebell Theater this afternoon, apparently brought about a change in the President's arrival plans. As a bevy of LAPD motorcycle officers, leading his motorcade, arrived at the box office entrance to the theater, demonstrators "went into high gear" and the bike officers all reversed their route and the motorcade was taken to a parking lot side entrance.

It appeared both L.A.P.D. and Salvadoran security forces, traveling with the president, wanted to spare him the agitated anti-ARENA scenario. An L.A.P.D. officer, who related well to a National Lawyers' Guild legal observer, commented, "They're taking him around to the side; he won't be appearing in this area." Every large vehicle, including a giant white limo, created a frenzy of chants calling the ARENA president "an assassin," "an enemy of the poor and workers," and "a Bush puppet with troops in Iraq."
Photos: Protest Against President of El Salvador by Marcus

ONTARIO - March 24, 2008 - The residents of "Ontario Tent City," a Bushville formerly home to approximately 400 homeless people, were evicted today and their possessions bulldozed. "I have nowhere to go," and "I don't know what I'm gonna do," were the refrains heard over and over. The few residents who were allowed to stay were relocated to a lot across the street from the main settlement to allow for "improvements."

The city government set aside the plot of land, about the size of two city blocks, in October of 2007 in order to provide an alternative to the people that were removed from smaller encampments near the Ontario Museum of History and Art and elsewhere. Since then, awareness of the camp spread through word of mouth and through the reports of print and electronic media. The city provided port-a-potties and trash removal, but the bulk of the resources were provided by volunteers, including church groups, charities, and local activists. Full story: Tent City Residents Evicted, Dwellings Bulldozed by Rockero

  • Related articles: Tent City residents being evicted Tomorrow, March 24, ACLU to try to intervene by Lady Madonna
  • AUDIO: Interview with homeless rights activist Mike Dunlap. Part 1: History of Tent City Ontario.| | Part 2: The Eviction. | | Part 3: The Future for Tent City?

  • Documental en audio de 11 minutos sobre la Granja Sur Central, con breve historia de la granja, el desalojo y la lucha actual.
    South Central Farm by Radio Zapatista

    As part of the International Day of Action in Solidarity with the People of Haiti, Global Women's Strike hosted a showing of the films Haiti: Harvest of Hope (see the trailer here) and What's Going on in Haiti? at the Eastside Café on Saturday, March 1. Margaret Prescod of Pacifica Radio and Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike, moderated the event. "The Reports that I've gotten are is that things are going very well, there were events in about 36 cities around the world," she said.
    Report back: Haiti Event Marks Four Years Since the Coup Against Aristide by Weak from Fasting

    On January 31st of last year, Councilperson Jose Huizar spoke strongly in favor of keeping the Southwest Museum as a full-functioning museum, not as a truncated exhibit space as envisioned by the Autry National Center (which acquired the museum in 2003 through a merger). "We know that the Autry wants to expand its Griffith [Park] site in order to possibly put more of our resources [there]," said Huizar at a public meeting. "I will be opposed to any move to expand that site until we take care of the commitments [applause] we've laid out today. . . . The direction I'm taking is those items that have been expressed by the Coalition."

    He described the museum as "what is arguably the heart and soul of Northeast Los Angeles."

    When Villaraigosa was running for mayor in 2005, he famously said, also in front of a large gathering, that as mayor he would "yank their chain," to get the Autry to comply with the wishes of the community.
    From the newswire: Villaraigosa and Huizar Renege on Promises to Protect the Southwest Museum by Ross Plesset

    The winter 2007 AntiMall took place in Highland Park at La Culebra community space. (Other locations have included the South Central Farm, the Southern California Library, and the El Sereno Community Garden.) . . The items on sale came from numerous places from "Chiapas to Afghanistan to Venezuela." Food from the South Central Farmers was available as well. Live performers included In Lak Ech, Zocalo Zue, and Quincy McCrary, with DJs including Black Shakespeare, Songo Electriko, and Vampiro Fronterizo.

    La Culebra has served as a community space for many years for events such as sweat lodges, poetry readings, and women's circles.
    From the newsire: Winter AntiMall (photos/report) by RP| | Winter AntiMall (additional pix) by RP

    One day after helping to deliver, according to last Fridays, headlines in Los Angeles second largest newspaper, the Daily News, a beating to Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo --at a dramatic Union Rescue Mission press conference, that was called by the city to announce yet another highly-publicized lawsuit over hospital dumping on Skid Row --a grassroots coalition, currently headed by a homeless man on Skid Row itself, is denouncing the Citys dumping lawsuits as a fraud and a waste; and the group charges that Delgadillos lawsuits are, in fact, a part of a city-wide massive cover-up of LAPDs own, unprecedented, recent mass arrests of homeless people. Read: Homeless Denounce Delgadillo at Press Confrence; Expose LAPDs "Broken Windows"

    Martes, el 5 de mayo 2009
    RANCHO CUCAMONGA -- Dos aos despus de su muerte trgica, la comunidad de Rancho Cucamonga se reuni para rendirle homenaje al jornalero y luchador social cado Fernando Pedraza, un mrtir por la causa de los derechos de los trabajadores indocumentados. Voluntarios armaron un altar, oradores hablaron, y participantes cantaron, comieron, y bailaron en celebracin de la vida y lucha de este importante hombre inspirador. Informe con fotos: Memorial en honor a don Fernando Pedraza, jornalero y lder por Rockero

    Cobertura del memorial del ao pasado (en ingls)/Coverage from last year's memorial: Day Laborer Remembered, 1 year after Killed in Rancho Cucamonga during Minutemen Protest por/by miss x

    High school youth from South Los Angeles will lead walking tours, open to the public, of the Vermont corridor neighborhood. Focusing on local economic health and transportation issues, the youth will tell stories of the neighborhoods history, connecting it to conditions today. The tours, which will highlight community landmarks and cultural institutions as well as significant historical changes, were created by young people as part of the Southern California Librarys V-Map neighborhood mapping project.

    The tours begin at the Southern California Library, located at 6120 S. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90044. Two tours focusing on economic health will take place Saturday, June 9, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and two tours focusing on transportation issues will take place on Saturday, June 16, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The tours are free and open to the public, and are approximately one mile in distance and 60 minutes in length. Comfortable walking shoes are strongly recommended. Call the Library at (323) 759-6063, ext. 15, to reserve a spot; space is limited.

    La historia de la esquina de Arrow y Grove, donde se renen trabajadores para buscar trabajo, remonta a mediados de la decada 90, cuando, enfrentando un recrudecimiento econmico, varias personas empezaron a juntarse en la llamada "cachadera." Se lleg a conocer como un lugar adonde se poda ir para encontrar mano de obra para proyectos de construccin, jardinera, y otros trabajos de calidad manual.

    En poco tiempo, los hombres empezaron a organizarse para mantener una esquina segura y libre de crimen. Haba un trailer, dos excusados porttiles, una mesa de servicio, y unas 50 sillas bajo una lona, todo dentro de una rea cercada.

    A mediados de julio del 2006, la ciudad de Rancho Cucamonga anunci que ya no iba a alquilar el terreno, con la excusa de que costaba demasiado. Adems, decan que el dueo del terreno planeaba vender el terreno. Quitaron la oficina, los baos, y todo el equipaje y dejaron a los jornaleros sin nada. Aquella poca eran tiempos de un clima poltica sumamente anti-inmigrante, la cual que emblemizaba la odiosa propuesta de ley Sensenbrenner HR4437.

    Los Minutemen, una bola de paramilitares cazamigrantes empezaron a llegar a la esquina para hostigar e intimidar a los jornaleros por el supuesto "crimen" de ser "ilegal." A la polica no le pareca interesar estos crmenes racistas. Es ms, los oficiales intensificaron su persecucin de los trabajadores, multndolos por supuestas violaciones de ley.

    Los jornaleros, an organizados y con el apoyo de estudiantes, grupos religiosos, y miembros de la comunidad, se juntaron y nominaron a don Jos Fernando Pedraza, conocido por Fernando para representarlos ante el consejo municipal y la comunidad. Fernando era mayor de los dems y haba ganado mucho respeto entre los jornaleros por su sabidura y buen ejemplo. Adems, esperaban que, por su vejez, los concejales lo trataran con el respeto que ellos nunca reciban ni en la calle ni en el ayuntamiento.

    El 5 de mayo del 2007, una fecha reconocida al nivel mundial debido su importancia en la historia del anti-imperialismo por el xito mexicano contra el ejrcito francs en la Batalla de Puebla de 1862, fue escogido por los cazamigrantes como una fecha adecuada para protestar la cachadera de Arrow y Grove. En un da normal, los jornaleros se habran ido si no encontaran trabajo por el medioda. Pero aquel da, frente a la amenaza fascista, decidieron quedarse para contraprotestar y defender sus derechos. Entre el lanzamiento de tantos comentarios difamatorios y despectivos por parte de los Minutemen, se distray un motorista que pasaba por la esquina. ste choc con conductor, y en el alboroto, uno de los carros brinc la banqueta y atropell a cuatro de los jornaleros. Fueron llevados al hospital, y mientras que tres fueron heridos, el cuarto, don Fernando Pedraza, falleci.

    Este ao, resucitamos su memoria con un memorial y celebracin comunitaria. A pesar de la llegada de los cazamigrantes, cuyo grupo constaba unos ocho personas, (Se fueron poco despus de que empezamos nuestra ceremonia.) llegaron ms de 50 para conmemorar la muerte de Fernando.

    Estudiantes de Pitzer College donaron camisetas rojas estampadas con el smbolo de la alianza de jornaleros y las palabras "Rancho Cucamonga Day Labor" que distribuyeron a los trabajadores y sus solidarios.

    Habl Pablo Alvarado, el director de la Red Nacional de Jornaleros, conocido como NDLON por sus siglas en ingls. Habl del liderazgo de Fernando. "l inspiraba un sentimiento de paz. Se acercaban los muchachos a platicar con l, y es un tipo de liderazgo totalmente distinto. Es el tipo de liderazgo que debemos de promover: el liderazgo de la gente humilde."

    Sigui Suzanne Foster, directora del centro de jornaleros de la ciudad vecina de Pomona. "Vamos a continuar a defender los derechos de los jornaleros para buscar trabajo hasta que todos estn libres de ataques racistas y de los ataques de los Minutemen. Estamos uniendo toda la regin, de Rancho Cucamonga, Pomona, Riverside, hasta San Bernardino para que ningn jornalero est solo en su lucha para una mejor vida."

    Continu: "No slo queremos marcar el da que nos dej aqu, sino marcar la vida que l tena, la lucha que l luch y que nos dej para continuar."

    El prximo orador fue Jos Caldern, profesor en el Colegio Pitzer y presidente de la Mesa Redonda de los Valles de San Gabriel y Pomona. Al momento de hablar de Fernando, casi brot con lgrimas. Subray el rol de los estudiantes en la lucha, indicando que "Yo les digo a mis estudiantes que venir ac a ensear ingls es un acto revolucionario porque la derecha no quiere que nuestra gente aprenda ingls. El movimiento "Ingls Slo" en este pas se ha, efectivamente, enfocado en luchar para recortar la educacin bilinge y tambin se han opuesto a programas de alfabetizacin. Y la razn por la cual lo hacen es porque saben que si no olvidamos nuestro espaol y no olvidamos nuestra cultura y tambin aprendemos ingls, puede que no hagamos ciudadanos, y puede que votemos, y eso infiere el poder poltico."

    Continu: "Queremos racalcar, y nuestros estudiantes que escriben y en el lleguen a ser los que escriben la historia, no queremos que la historia sea como en el pasado, cuando las nicas personas que celebramos fueron George Washington y Cristbal Coln--las personas que ellos queran que celebraramos. Nunca nos contaron de Emma Tennayuca, quien dirigi una de las huelgas ms grandes de Texas, la huelga de los peladores de nueces. No conocemos su nombre porque excluyeron esa historia. Pues nosotros no queremos que la historia se olvide de Fernando Pedraza.

    "Esta calle es un santuario. Y es un santuario porque Fernando luch contra la ciudad cuando quera quitar a los trabajadores de esta esquina. Es un santuario porque vienen los estudiantes y ensean clases. Y diga lo que difa la polica, por la lucha de Fernando Pedraza, no pueden quitar a los trabajadores de esta esquina. As es de que tenemos que acrodarnos y no nos podemos olvidar de Fernando.

    "El Cinco de Mayo significa el espritu de un pueblo para superar la opresin y deshacerse de ella de la mejor manera posible: organizndose. No es ningn accidente que los Minutemed decidieron protestar el Cinco de Mayo. Llegarron aqu a protestar no tan slo los jornaleros, no solamente la gente inmigrante, sino el tipo de sociedad que queremos desarrollar, que es una que incluye a todos: A los latinos, a los afroamericanos, los indgenas, los asitico-americanos, a las mujeres, a personas de todas las sexualidades, una sociedad en la que podemos compartir de las riquezas de este pas."

    Sigui Imelda Pedraza, hijo de don Fernando. "Primeramente le doy gracias a Dios porque mi padre todava vive en sus corazones. Me siento muy emocionada porque lo principal de todas las reuniones que cada uno de ustedes hacen, ponen en frente a Dios. Y si nosotros ponems en frente a Dios, no tenemos por qu preocuparnos." Termin con un mensaje para los jornaleros. "Que sigan luchando. No importa que negro se ponga su camino, mi padre siempre deca. Por algo vienen las cosas. Pero tiempos mejores vienen para cada uno de nosotros."

    Bernardino, jornalero de la esquina, relat los tristes sucesos del da de la muerte de don Fernando.

    Despus de agradecer a todos y todas, discurs Jose, otro jornalero de la esquina. "Hoy no ms quiero compartir brevemente unas palabras que dira el cantautor venezolano Al Primera, que 'aquellos que mueren por la vida no pueden llamarse muertos.' Y esto es un ejemplo de que esa filosofa vive y seguir viviendo. Por qu? Porque si nosotros que siga creciendo el odio, van a llegar por m, despus van a llegar por ti, despus llegarn por cada uno de nosotros. Y esa situacin no tiene que seguir as, tenemos que seguir organizados aqu los compas jornaleros. Todos estamos que-- pensar que tenemos que seguir adelante y con la ayuda de aqu de la comunidad y de las dems organizaciones y tambin de los compas msicos, porque con su arte estn generando conciencia, y adelante que la lucha es constante."

    Entonces se acercaron los clrigos al micrfono a rezar, y luego nos agarramos de la mano y cantamos "De colores" todos juntos.

    El club de MEChA de una preporatoria cercana haba donado una cantidad de tamales, y organizaciones de Pitzer College fruta y pan, y con eso empezamos a comer. Las hijas de Fernando nos sirvieron de las aguas frescas que haban preparado mientras que escuchamos msica en vivo de los Jornaleros del Norte, un conjunto norteo integrado de jornaleros activistas. Cantaron canciones de resistencia y justicia social, y luego tocaron unas cumbias y nos pusimos a bailar.

    Poco a poco se fueron yendo los invitados, el altar fue desarmado, y los organizadores limpiaron todo antes de irse.

    La Coalicin de Jornaleros Fernando Pedraza invita a la comunidad a una junta comunitaria este mircoles, 13 de mayo, a las siete de la noche el la iglesia Monte Carmel, 10079 de la calle ocho, Rancho Cucamonga, 91730, para ver como damos el prximo paso en la lucha para los derechos de los jornaleros. Comunquese con cualquier pregunta al correo electrnico

    Se nos fue el don Fernando Pedraza, pero su espritu y su lucha viven y a nosotros nos toca resumirla.

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