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San Diego May Dai Workers Film Festival (tags)

Workers Film Festival returns to San Diego this May Day weekend at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park! We've got a strong line-up of the most recent international films that connect workers and social justice struggles. Join us Friday May 2nd - Sunday May 4th. We'll also have a labor art exhibit, live music and a pop-up book shop.

May Day Workers Film Festival San Diego (tags)

May Day Workers Film Festival runs April 26-28 & May 1 in San Diego... The May Day Workers Film Festival connects labor and social justice issues to audiences through the arts and culture. Expressing labor history and workers struggles as entertainment and education, while supporting social change movements.

S.A.M.E. Hosts Victory Celebration for Marriage Equality Protesters (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) held a victory celebration September 21 at the Bamboo Lounge in Hillcrest after San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith dropped all charges against the Equality Nine, protesters who were arrested at the San Diego County Clerk's office August 19, 2010 for showing up to request marriage licenses or support others doing so, including same-sex couples who had appointments. The event featured five of the Equality Nine and also Queer-rights pioneers Leo Laurence and Pat Brown, who led militant Queer-liberation demonstrations in San Francisco months before the Stonewall riots.

“EQUALITY NINE VICTORY CELEBRATION” AT BAMBOO LOUNGE IN HILLCREST SEPTEMBER 21 (tags)

San Diego's Queer community is celebrating the end of the Equality Nine case Friday, September 21, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Avenue in Hillcrest. After having criminal charges hanging over their heads for more than two years, the six remaining members of the Equality Nine are finally free thanks to the city dismissing the case in late August.

April 7: Day of Action Against Human Trafficking (tags)

On April 7, 2012 the Radical Feminists of San Diego will mobilize a direct action in solidarity with 2012’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign on a local, national and global level to demand the abolition of human trafficking, the modern-day form of slavery. The event will start at noon on the southeast corner of 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard in North Park.

“The Hard Edge” Comes to San Diego Jan. 26-29 (tags)

The Hard Edge, the four-day series of Leather events and workshops sponsored by Ms. San Diego Leather 2009 Christi Campbell, will take place Thursday, January 26 through Sunday, January 29. Online registrations will be open until Wednesday, January 25 at http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=932418. Registrations can also be made in person at Pleasures & Treasures adult store, 2525 University Avenue in North Park, and at the opening event: an introduction and reception for the presenters Thursday, January 26, 7 to 9 p.m. at 428 Fourth Avenue, suite C, downtown San Diego. Locations for the other events will be given out only after people register.

Nico D'Amico-Barbour: Canvass for a Cause Organizer on Marriage Equality, Occupation-print (tags)

Nico D'Amico Barbour, regional director of Canvass for a Cause -- an organization founded in San Diego two years ago to advocate for marriage equality which has since expanded to Los Angeles -- shows an entrepreneurial spirit and an almost born-again commitment to activism that's more commonly associated with the Right than the Left these days.

Nico D'Amico-Barbour: Canvass for a Cause Organizer on Marriage Equality, Occupation (tags)

Nico D'Amico-Barbour, regional field director for the marriage equality organization Canvass for a Cause, discusses marriage rights, the Occupy movement and other progressive issues in this audio interview, scheduled for print publication in the December 2011 issue of Zenger's Newsmagazine.

CHRIS TINA BRUCE: Transgender Bodybuilder Competes in San Diego Oct. 29 (tags)

Transgender bodybuilder Chris Tina Bruce is scheduled to compete in her first contest in 20 years — and her first as a woman — this Saturday, October 29 at the Scottish Rite Events Center in San Diego. In this interview for Zenger's Newsmagazine, Bruce discusses her history, how she came out as Transgender and how her professional worlds have accepted her — or not.

What's in a Name? "San Diego Democrats for Equality" (tags)

The mountain labored at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club September 22 and produced the club's new name: "San Diego Democrats for Equality." The push to change the club's name was sparked by several members who thought the original name, approved when the club started in 1974, was a relic of a more closeted age and the club needed a new name that more openly and proudly proclaimed its identity as a Queer-rights organization. Though the club voted overwhelmingly to change its name, there was considerable debate over what to change it to: out of the three proposed alternatives, the least openly Queer name, "San Diego Democrats for Equality," won a majority on the first ballot against "San Diego Stonewall Democrats" (after the event commonly, but inaccurately, thought to have started the U.S. Queer rights movement) and "San Diego LGBT Democrats."

Queer Democrats Host Incumbent City Councilmembers (tags)

Thanks to a member who asked that all so-called "friendly incumbent" endorsements be pulled for further discussion, the three incumbent San Diego City Councilmembers who attended the September 22 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality (formerly the San Diego Democratic Club) ? Todd Gloria, Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner ? found themselves on the spot. Instead of just showing up to receive their endorsements and thank the club, they spoke to the group on such controversial issues like the city's budget and pension problems, historical preservation and the influence of wealthy people like Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs on plans for Balboa Park.

Activists Host "Radio Summer" in San Diego August 29 (tags)

Members of San Diego's activist community gathered together at the Media Arts Center in North Park on August 29 to hear about how low-power FM (LPFM) radio can create new opportunities for progressive media and break the Right-wing stranglehold on the local airwaves. The attendees heard a presentation via Skype from Philadelphia-based Ian Smith of the Prometheus Radio Project, which was instrumental in lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the LPFM opportunity in the first place, and also heard from representatives of the World Beat Center, Media Rights Coalition and Activist San Diego.

Media Arts Center Hosts "Radio Summer" August 29 (tags)

The Prometheus Radio Project, a nationwide organization working to broaden the range of community voices available on America's audio airwaves, scored a major victory in July when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally set up a licensing rule for thousands of new low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations, including some in urban areas previously ineligible for these grass-roots local stations. Now Prometheus is promoting a series of events called "Radio Summer" to organize people to obtain these licenses and get their stations on the air. The Media Arts Center of San Diego is hosting a "Radio Summer" event Monday, August 29, 6 to 8 p.m. at their office, 2921 El Cajon Boulevard (near 30th St.) in North Park, with a wide variety of other organizations in coalition. So if you're tired of the San Diego airwaves seeming to be the private preserve of the extreme Right, that's where you need to be next Monday!

Queer-Oriented Obelisk Store Shut Down by Hellish Fire (tags)

Obelisk Bookstore, a major Queer-oriented business on University Avenue in Hillcrest, burned on Wednesday, July 6. Three other businesses in the building were burned out, as were 15 apartments on the second and third floors. Miraculously, none of the residents were injured because none of them were home at the time. Leo E. Laurence, J.D., associate editor of Zenger's Newsmagazine and a former volunteer firefighter in Tijuana, got photos of firefighters containing the blaze (they weren't able to save the Obelisk building but WERE miraculously able to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of the block), the true extent of the damage (visible only from the alley behind the building) and the condition of Obelisk's stock after the fire.

Dennis Wymbs: Retired Teacher Becomes Leather Artist (tags)

San Diego North County teacher turned leather artist Dennis Wymbs is showing his art through July 31 at Pleasures & Treasures, 2525 University Avenue in North Park. Wymbs creates stunning work in a wide variety of media, including leather sculptures, metal engraving, masks and painting. His work is sensual and reflects his background as a Gay man and a Leatherman, but without hurling his or its sexuality in our faces. The store where he's exhibiting can be reached at (619) 822-4280 or online at http://pleasuresandtreasures.biz

Queer Democrats Warned About Threats to Reproductive Choice (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard two presentations at its June 23 meeting: a report on the likely strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) against southern California?s three largest grocery chains ? Ralph?s, Albertson?s and Vons ? and a warning about the potentially devastating effects of Republican and radical-Right policies against women?s rights to reproductive choice. Though the struggles of women to maintain safe and legal access to contraception and abortion may seem to have little in common with those of workers for decent pay, access to health care and other benefits, speakers on both issues noted how the radical Right has effectively linked them in the service of a paternalistic agenda that regards workers as mere cogs in a capitalist economy, and women as mere vessels for giving birth to the next generation.

UFCW Local 135 Union Stores Not Facing a Strike (tags)

Facing a strike at the three largest grocery chains in southern California ? Ralph's, Albertson's and Vons ? the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 prepared this list of stores in San Diego County which they represent and which will NOT be involved in the likely upcoming strike. Since at this time they have not posted this list on their own Web site, http://www.ufcw135.org, Mark Gabrish Conlan and Zenger's Newsmagazine are making it available as a public service. Please help support this action by reposting this list and spreading it far and wide on the Web, and hopefully this will give the union leadership the message that they need to join the 21st century and promote this list on their own Web site.

Teen Producers' Project Makes Pro-Immigrant Videos (tags)

In addition to running the popular San Diego Latino Film Festival, the Media Arts Center in North Park also sponsors the Teen Producers? Project, which trains teenage filmmakers to make professional-quality videos. This year?s productions were a series of hard-hitting documentaries on the rights of immigrants that progressive Congressmember Bob Filner offered to take to Washington, D.C. and show to his colleagues.

FilmOut Taps the Magic of Movies for Gays (tags)

There?s a film festival for virtually every racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and lifestyle community, and Queers are no exception. In San Diego, FilmOut runs monthly screenings at the Birch North Park Theatre as well as an annual festival in August featuring Queer-themed movies from around the world.

San Diego Queers Split Over City Redistricting (tags)

San Diego?s Queer community has split over their response to the redrawing of district lines for the City Council. On one side are the members of the self-styled ?LGBT Redistricting Task Force,? who are pushing a major redesign of the city?s Queer-influenced District 3, pushing out the people of color and less affluent Queers in City Heights and adding more upscale neighborhoods like Mission Hills and Bankers? Hill to the Hillcrest/North Park core of the district. On the other side are Queer residents of the City Heights community of Azalea Park, who bought there because gentrification had priced them out of Hillcrest and North Park and now find themselves threatened that they will no longer be represented by a Queer Councilmember. The current District 3 is San Diego?s most ethnically diverse; the district proposed by the LGBT Redistricting Task Force and the Hillcrest Town Council will be 70 percent white.

This Sunday, May 1: March for Immigrant & Workers' Rights (tags)

May 1: International Workers' Day Join Marches & Rallies for Immigrant and Workers' Rights in Los Angeles & Around the Country

KURT WENDELBORG: Not Your Typical Mr. San Diego Leather (tags)

Kurt Wendelborg may look like a typical Leather community titleholder — he’s tall, thin, in excellent shape physically and commandingly butch in his overall appearance and demeanor — but he really isn’t. Most of the Mr. San Diego Leather winners have been people who’ve lived in San Diego and been involved in community activities for years; Kurt had lived in San Diego less than a year when he ran for the title and won. Most of the title winners have been “tops,” playing the dominant role in scenes; Kurt not only is a “bottom” but proudly boasted about it from the stage at Rich’s during the March 19 contest. Offstage, Kurt is personable and easygoing but also passionate and dedicated about serving his community and his fellow human beings. He eagerly agreed to a Zenger’s interview and talked about the role of the title contests in the Leather community, his ambitions as a community leader and how he hopes being Mr. San Diego Leather 2011 will help him grow both personally and as a member of the Leather community.

S.A.M.E. Rallies Against Hate Crimes, Bullying (tags)

Drawn by several recent hate assaults on Queer people in the Hillcrest and North Park areas, members and supporters of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) rallied at the North Park Community Park Saturday afternoon, March 26. The rally featured speeches by openly Queer elected officials like Assemblymember Toni Atkins and School Board member Kevin Beiser, as well as ministers and others in support of Queer equality, but the most moving statements came from people who’d been on the receiving end of anti-Queer violence or bullying themselves: S.A.M.E. member René Torres, high school student Maya Conti and North Park resident Jacob Harshbarger, who wasn’t at the rally but sent a statement describing not only the attack against him but the lax response of local police and prosecutors. “I felt that the system that was supposed to be there to protect me was treating me as though it was my fault,” Harshbarger said.

Assemblymember Atkins Warns Queer Democrats on State Budget Cuts (tags)

California State Assemblymember Toni Atkins spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club February 24 and warned of two approaching deadlines coming up in the state legislature's budget deliberations: March 6, the ending of the special budget session called by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and March 10, the last day the legislature can vote to call a special election to extend the current state sales tax rates and vehicle licensing fees so that current Governor Jerry Brown's budget, which calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, can be enacted. Without that — and so far the Republican minority in the legislature has held firm to block any vote on the tax issue, which requires support from 2/3 of both houses of the legislature even to make it to the ballot — Brown and the Democratic majority will have to make $12.5 billion more in spending cuts, which will virtually end California state spending on health and welfare and eviscerate the state's already underfunded education system.

Redistricting, Open Primaries and the Challenges for Democrats (tags)

At the January 27 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party and former president of the club, explained the challenges the party faces as the citizens’ redistricting commission begins work on redrawing legislative lines for the 2012 election and beyond. He also talked about California’s new open primary law, which also goes into effect in 2012 and allows members of any political party, or of no party at all, to vote in primary races, with the two top finishers from the primary running against each other in the general election even if they’re from the same political party. California’s Democratic leadership opposed both these changes, but Durfee’s presentation focused on making them work and protecting the party’s interests in this new electoral environment.

Mera Szendro Bok’s New Media Rights Hosts Drumbeat-San Diego Feb. 5 (tags)

Drumbeat San Diego, part of a nationwide mobilization of independent media activists for skills-building, networking and activism, will be held Saturday, February 5, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Queen Bee’s Arts and Cultural Center, 3925 Ohio Street in North Park. Zenger’s Newsmagazine recently interviewed Mera Szendro Bok, director of New Media Rights, whose organization is one of the key players building the local event. She talked about Drumbeat, about the media rights landscape in general, and how individuals can fight to keep the Internet free and open and prevent it from becoming yet another transmission belt communicating only the anti-progressive, anti-human “free market” message of all other corporate media.

Darnelle Williams: San Diego Urban Pride Reaches Beyond African-American Queers (tags)

A Zenger’s Newsmagazine interview with Darnelle Williams, activities chair for San Diego Urban Pride. Originally called Ebony Pride and aimed particularly at African-American Queer men and women, the group recently relaunched with a new name and a broader mission including social events and raising money for health and other community issues.

Sarah Davis: Midwife, Alternative Health Advocate, Activist (tags)

Sarah Davis got into midwifery as a career when she was writing a college paper on midwives in the African-American community — and was startled that midwifery wasn't just an historical relic but a living cultural and health-care tradition. She practices out of a birth center in Chula Vista and finds being a midwife by profession fits in with also being an alternative health advocate and a Left political activist convinced that Western medicine in general, and its treatment of pregnancy in particular, systematically disempowers women.

Is It a Gallery or a Garage? Larry Caveney’s Is Both (tags)

Every month, artist Larry Caveney throws open the door of his garage and reveals … an art gallery displaying a carefully curated theme show. In this interview from the September 2010 Zenger's Newsmagazine, he talks about his history of exploring non-traditional art spaces and the way The Garage helps him and the other artists he shows reach an audience in a comfortable non-commercial venue.

Queer Pride Town-Hall Draws Small Crowd (tags)

In sharp contrast to the earlier meeting in January, a town-hall called by San Diego LGBT Pride February 22 drew only about 50 people and lasted just 45 minutes. Instead of a bitch-fest aimed at getting rid of the Pride board — whose members resigned and were replaced with respected community veterans who'd served on previous Prides — the February 22 meeting offered constructive discussion about the fate of the annual Pride parade and festival, including concerns from politically oriented Queer activists that by abolishing the annual pre-Pride rally, the former board had betrayed the true meaning of Pride.

Michelle Jackson: Sign-Language Interpreter, First Female San Diego Leatherboys President (tags)

Michelle Jackson knew she was going to be interested in languages from the age of five,when her father took her across the border from San Diego to Tijuana and she heard Spanish for the first time. In college she studied American Sign Language (ASL) and ultimately made her living as an interpreter for the deaf community. It was a job she took to interpret at a San Diego Leatherfest that led her to the Leather/kink/BDSM community — and she's become an energetic activist in it, serving as Ms. San Diego Leather 2005 and recently being elected the first female president of the San Diego Leatherboys.

San Diego Hosts Meeting on Same-Sex Marriage Equality (tags)

The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center hosted a town-hall meeting April 2 to discuss the future of marriage equality in the wake of the upcoming California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in the state. Speakers included Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, other professionals and grass-roots activists like Fernando Lopez, whose group is organizing people to go talk to individuals one-on-one to make them aware of how Queer people suffer from not having access to civil marriage.

The Platt Brothers: An Act You MUST See (tags)

The Platt Brothers, playing at the Sunset Temple near Claire de Lune Coffeehouse in North Park through the end of April, offer an exciting, hilarious combination of the Smothers Brothers, Monty Python and the Three Stooges. Their act combines three-part vocal harmonies, comedy sketches and stunning acrobatics, all centered around their real-life family history. See them before they become major stars!

Anti-Proposition 8 Protests in San Diego (tags)

The statewide wave of protests against the passage of anti-Queer, anti-marriage, anti-family Proposition 8 hit San Diego November 7 and 8 with a nighttime rally in Balboa Park November 7 and a march from Hillcrest to North Park, through San Diego's most Queer neighborhoods, the next day.

Stephen Whitburn: Progressive San Diego City Council Candidate (tags)

Zenger’s-endorsed District 3 City Council candidate STEPHEN WHITBURN is the real deal: an experienced journalist and progressive who’s seen more of the world than San Diego and knows from government in other cities what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be fooled by an opponent who offers nothing but charm, geography and experience at taking orders.

Tony and Ashley Weeks: Transgender Couple Relate Their Experiences (tags)

Male-to-female Transgender person ASHLEY WEEKS and her female-to-male husband TONY talk about their struggles with gender identity and the love they’ve found in being themselves.

Sandy Lareau: Informing and Entertaining the Modern Witch (tags)

This May 1 — Beltane in the Pagan holiday calendar — will see the debut of Modern Witch, a quarterly magazine aimed at witches, wiccans and Pagans. In this interview from the May 2008 Zenger's Newsmagazine, publisher Sandy Lareau tells her Wiccan coming-out story and talks about her plans for the magazine and the commitment her community has for protecting the environment.

Mike Copass: Progressive Democrat Takes On Pro-War Incumbent (tags)

Though San Diego Congressmember Susan Davis voted against the original authorization for the war in Iraq, since then she's been a faithful supporter of funding the war and last year crossed party lines to vote for the open-ended, three-year commitment to the occupation pushed by the Bush administration. Mike Copass, scientist and legal consultant, is mounting a grass-roots primary campaign against her with the support of Progressive Democrats of America, who helped Donna Edwards mount a similar challenge in Maryland to a pro-war Democrat.

San Diego's Controversial City Attorney 'Speaks (tags)

To his supporters, San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre is an activist and truth-teller who'sone of the few local elected officials dealing seriously with the city's budget crises. To his opponents, ranging from the Right-wing San Diego Union-Tribune to the city employee unions, he's a loud-mouthed obstructionist who's dividing the city and costing it money. The controversy was on display January 24, when Aguirre and two of his election oppoennts debated at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club.

The Fires of Class (tags)

An analysis of how the recent fires in Los Angeles and San Diego counties demonstrates how much America has given up even lip service to the notion that "all men are created equal" and how this nation has evolved into an aristocratic society that judges people's intrinsic worth based on their wealth.

M20: Chicago Mobilizes Against the War (tags)

In January, representatives of over 90 antiwar and community organizations gathered to begin organizing the Chicago area's response to the 4th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq - a mass march on Michigan Ave. As the scene of the largest mass false arrest in Chicago history and an on-going free speech battle with the city, organizing for the right to march on Michigan Avenue was seen as a symbol of the ongoing battle to defend civil liberties in Chicago, and in the nation at large. This year's march will be preceded by walkouts and feeder marches from area high school and college campuses.

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