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activist san diego

Will Johnson: Occupy Activist Says Movement's Alive & Well (tags)

According to Occupy San Diego activist Will Johnson, the movement is alive and well. It may no longer be running law-defying occupations in prominent public places, but it's still working out ways to challenge the vast and increasing inequality in the distribution of wealth and income in the U.S.

"Explosive" 9/11 Documentary Premieres in San Diego (tags)

One day before the film's "official" premiere in Beverly Hills, architect Richard Gage and other members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth showed their new film, "9/11: Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out" at the Joyce Beers Community Center in San Diego. Its thesis is that "controlled demolition," not fires caused by the impacts of the planes hitting the buildings, brought down the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

"A Hell of a Way to Boil Water": (tags)

Veteran anti-nuclear activist Ace Hoffman came to San Diego from his home in north San Diego County February 20 to talk about the dangers of nuclear power plants in general and two nuclear power plants in particular: the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactor which melted down after last year's tsunami and the ones at San Onofre in southern California. The event was held in part to promote a march and rally at the San Onofre site March 11, the first-year anniversary of the Fukushima tsunami.

It Didn't All Start at Stonewall! audio links (tags)

An audio version of the January 16 event at Pleasures and Treasures, sponsored by Activist San Diego, at which Leo Laurence and Pat Brown talked about their experiences doing militant Queer activism in San Francisco months before the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City, commonly but wrongly believed to be the beginning of the Queer rights movement in the U.S., is now available at the following links.

San Diegans Rally Against Citizens United Decision (tags)

Though the original location had to be changed when agents of the Department of Homeland Security blocked off the original one, San Diegans nonetheless held a rally January 20 against the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which opened the floodgates for even more corporate influence over American politics and elections.

Democrats Are Not Evil (tags)

Whatever we think of the Democratic Party, like it or not, in the current political emergency, we are going to HAVE to align with them and vote for every Democrat on the ballot over every Republican — not because the Democrats are that progressive but because the Republicans plan a sweeping Right-wing revolution comparable to the changes Germany went through when Hitler took power in 1933, and the Democratic Party is one essential vehicle we will need to use to stop them.

Queer Liberation Started in San Francisco, Not Stonewall (tags)

The legend says America's — and the world's — Queer liberation movement began with the riot at the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City in June 1969. But three months before, militant Queer activists in San Francisco had launched the Committee for Homosexual Freedom (CHF) and mounted the first-ever picket against a private employer for discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Leo Laurence and Pat Brown, two veterans of that movement, brought their story to Activist San Diego June 16.

FABIO A. ROJAS: Immigrant Musician, Producer, Activist in San Diego (tags)

Fabio A. Rojas has certainly packed a lot of living in his 20-something years. At present he’s the owner of Refugio Roots Music, a combination recording studio, performance space and art gallery at 906 21st Street in Golden Hill (it’s a corner building and the entrance is on “E” Street). He’s also recording progressive events for Activist San Diego’s under-construction radio station, KNSJ 89.5 FM in Descanso, and he recently returned from a tour with the popular, long-lived (17 years) Latino rock band the B-Side Players.

The Way She Sees It: Jamala Rogers in San Diego (tags)

Jamala Rogers, columnist for the African-American weekly St. Louis American since 1994 and co-chair of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, spoke in San Diego November 15 to promote her book, "The Best of 'The Way I See It,'" a compilation of her columns. Among them are a ringing defense of Queer rights and a series denouncing the government response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath as anti-Black genocide.

Occupy San Diego Draws Thousands Downtown Oct. 15 (tags)

Despite attacks by police wielding pepper spray and Mace, confiscation of their possession and a series of threats to evict them forcibly from the Civic Center Plaza, over 1,000 members and supporters of Occupy San Diego reclaimed their downtown space October 15. The day was busy, including three marches and two rallies as well as Occupy San Diego's usual open discussion about its goals.

Downtown Labor Day Rally Draws Over 200 (tags)

MoveOn.org's San Diego chapter and other local activists hosted a Labor Day rally outside Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego Monday, September 5, featuring speakers like Congressmembers Bob Filner and Susan Davis, San Diego-Imperial Counties Central Labor Council secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, State Senator Juan Vargas, State Assemblymember Lori Salda?a, former City Councilmember Floyd Morrow and Activist San Diego president Jeeni Criscenzo. Much of the action urged solidarity with the supermarket workers threatened by their employers' demands for a takeaway contract and the likelihood of a strike. While most of the speakers said, "Jobs, jobs, jobs," Criscenzo urged listeners to take another look at the whole concept of a "job" and question why the only way we should be allowed to make a living is to beg a rich person or corporation for the chance to make them richer.

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.

S. Brian Willson Speaks in San Diego (tags)

Because of what he was doing the day he lost his legs ? September 1, 1987, in Concord, California, when he was run over by a train he and his fellow activists were trying to stop before it could deliver arms to Right-wing governments and private armies in Central America ? and his involvement in the Veterans for Peace organization, most people who?ve heard of S. Brian Willson think of him as an anti-war activist. But he?s considerably more than that. At his most recent San Diego appearance September 4 to promote his book, a combination autobiography and work of political philosophy called Blood on the Tracks, Willson presented a far-reaching critique of so-called ?human civilization? and suggested it?s all been downhill since the Neolithic period, when economic scarcity forced humans to live in small communities and share equally with each other.

Tea Party America and How to Fight It (tags)

The recent debate in Washington, D.C. over raising the debt ceiling has underscored just how totally the radical Right in general and the "Tea Party" in particular have taken over America's political debate and the economic and social consciousness of a majority of Americans. The remnant of a Left that still survives in America can only fight back if it first realizes, like a rehab patient, that we've "hit bottom" and then musters the kind of internal and external discipline it will take to mount an effective counter-attack. Instead of critiquing ourselves in public, we need to settle our differences behind closed doors, present an image of rock-solid unity to the outside world and get rid once and for all of the insanity of "consensus decision-making."

Activists Discuss Debt Debate, Wonder How We Let Right Control It (tags)

Congressmember Bob Filner, San Diego labor leader Lorena Gonzalez and three other speakers appeared as part of a panel convened by Activist San Diego for their regular meeting August 15. The ostensible purpose was to discuss the recent debate in Washington over raising the nation's debt ceiling, but it soon turned into a discussion of how the Right managed to take over the debate, frame it the way they wanted and get virtually everything they wanted -- including promises of large cuts in government spending that will only worsen the economy and risk not only a double-dip recession but an outright depression. Filner talked not only about President Obama's willingness to concede the domestic agenda to the Republicans but his and the Democrats' Congressional leaders utter unwillingness to end the unaffordable wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

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!

Activist San Diego Screens Medical Cannabis Film (tags)

A new film, ?Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health,? exposes the lies about the medical use of marijuana that led the San Diego City Council to enact a virtual ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Director James Schmachtenberger, who works at a local dispensary, appeared with the film Saturday, April 30 at a showing sponsored by Activist San Diego. The film is a bit dry, and even Schmachtenberger describes it as not especially entertaining, but it lays out the facts about marijuana's medical uses and makes the case for allowing the substance to be used to treat disease and preserve health.

San Diego Hosts Three May Day Rallies (tags)

San Diego hosted no fewer than three rallies on Sunday, May 1 — one between the Centro Cultural de la Raza and World Beat Center in Balboa Park, followed by a march to the Federal Building downtown where the second rally was held, and a third at the San Diego Community Concourse that united the participants with another set of marchers, who had assembled earlier in the morning in Chicano Park, also for a walk downtown. The rally speakers focused on a wide variety of progressive issues — workers’ rights, education cutbacks, health care, immigrants’ rights, war and peace, Queer liberation — and attempted to draw connections between them and psych the participants for the long struggle ahead to preserve and extend those rights in the face of a relentless assault on them by the radical Right.

Joshua Napier: Singer, Songwriter, Queer Activist Brings Passion to His Music (tags)

The first thing you’ll notice when you hear Joshua Napier sing is the sheer emotion and passion he projects with his music. Napier sings with an edgy intensity that makes you identify with him and his songs. What’s more, though he’s a political activist and writes topical songs, he has the knack of the best activist songwriters of combining the personal with the political and creating pieces that reflect his beliefs instead of hitting you over the head with them. Napier is equally passionate off-stage. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised by a single mother, he was out as Gay in high school. One of the reasons he came to San Diego was to find an activist community with which he could work. Active as the membership chair of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.), he recently left that group’s board to join the board of Activist San Diego (ASD) because he wanted to work with a group that isn’t just focused on Queer issues. Catch him wherever you can — at fundraisers, coffeehouse gigs or the “Redfest” event of politically aware music he’s planning for this summer.

“Know Your Rights,” Progressive Attorneys Tell Activist San Diego (tags)

Though guest of honor Ted Burke, one of 11 Midwest peace and social justice activists recently detained and harassed by the FBI, wasn't able to make Activist San Diego's November 15 meeting on law enforcement and political activism, the discussion was still compelling. Local attorneys and activists Kate Yavenditti, Frank Gormlie and Alex Landon reviewed the history of anti-Left and anti-progressive repression in San Diego and discussed what rights you have when you're stopped by law enforcement or when police officers come to your home.

San Diego Activists Turn Out to Support Bradley Manning (tags)

San Diego’s progressive community turned out for a downtown rally September 19 in support of Bradley Manning, alleged leaker of the 90,000 pages of documents about the war in Afghanistan and the so-called “Collateral Murder” video of a U.S. attack on civilians in Iraq in 2007, who’s currently being held awaiting trial in an Army brig. Law professor Marjorie Cohn, anti-war veteran Chuck Wynette and other speakers called for Manning to be set free whether he leaked the papers or not.

Days of Action for Bradley Manning (tags)

"On September 16-19, groups and individuals will call on the United States government to drop the charges against Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. Twenty-two year old Manning, held in solitary confinement since May, has been charged with releasing classified documents including a video that shows American troops shooting and killing Reuters journalists in 2007. (Watch the video at www.collateralmurder.com) Manning’s imprisonment has resulted in an international outcry, with groups and activists throughout the US and abroad demanding his release and calling for transparency in America’s war policies. Famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has called Mr. Manning, “A new hero of mine.” Act Locally! Activists should work within their communities to organize events locally during the International Days of Action. If you aren’t involved with a local group, contact your local affiliate of Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War or Code Pink, or look for activist groups in your area. Be Creative."

“House of Numbers” Exposes the Faillings of the“HIV/AIDS” Myth (tags)

Brent Leung’s 2009 AIDS documentary, “House of Numbers," shows both sides of the controversy over whether the so-called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) actually causes AIDS. Leung got interviews with scientists, journalists and other experts on both sides, and showed that even within the HIV/AIDS mainstream the scientists are not anywhere as unified on key questions about AIDS as they pretend to be when they present themselves to the public. The film is available in two versions from Leung’s Web site, http://www.houseofnumbers.com: the basic theatrical version and a deluxe edition containing two discs' worth of additional material, some of which will be shown at the next meeting of H.E.A.L.-San Diego, Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m. at the Activist Center, 4246 Wightman Street in City Heights. Please call (619) 688-1886 for more information.

“Earth Is for People, Not for Corporations” (tags)

Election fraud expert Steven Freeman headlined “Earth Is for People, Not for Corporations” at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood July 1. The event featured a wide variety of anti-corporate presentations and showed the role of corporations in promoting and profiting from every current social evil, from war to the exploitation of immigrants and denial of the reality of climate change. It also exposed the role of corporate media and discussed ways people can challenge it.

Two Anniversaries: Berlin and Seattle (tags)

November 2009 was not only the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — an historical milestone reported to death by the corporate media — it was also the anniversary of an event the corporate media chose to ignore: the 10th anniversary of the mass protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in November and December 1999. The challenge for radicals and progressives today is not only to revitalize the spirit of Seattle but to take back the initiative in an era in which the biggest and most confrontational mass actions are being staged by the "teabag" Right.

Fred Phelps Brings Road Show of Hate to San Diego; 500 Protest Against Him (tags)

Fred Phelps, founder and pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas and a man so far on the fringes of the radical religious Right even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell called him “a certified nut,” brought his nationwide road show of hate to San Diego the weekend of October 16-18. Along with a number of synagogues and Jewish community groups, one of his picketing targets was San Diego High School for its alleged tolerance and acceptance of Queer students. A counter-protest drew 500 people as opposed to the 10 or so Westboro Baptist Church members on the opposite side of Park Boulevard from the school.

A Radical Proposal: Open the U.S.-Mexico Border (tags)

That's what immigrant rights activist David Schmidt called for at a September 21 meeting of Activist San Diego. Originally called to discuss the closure of Friendship Park along the U.S.-Mexico border, the meeting expanded into a consideration of border issues in general. Schmidt and his better-known co-speaker, Enrique Morones of Border Angels and Marcha Migrante, both questioned why under NAFTA and similar “free trade” agreements, capital, commerce and corporations are allowed to move freely across national boundaries — while workers are trapped inside their home countries and routinely exploited for the greater profits of capital. If business is free to locate wherever it wants, workers should be too, they said.

Fernando Suárez del Solár Speaks at “Senseless Death” Screening (tags)

In 2003 Jesús Suárez del Solár became one of the first U.S. victims of the current war in Iraq -- and his father, Fernando, expressed his anger and sadness at the loss of his son by joining the San Diego anti-war movement and becoming one of its most powerful activists. On July 8 the San Diego Public Library showed “A Senseless Death,” a 2006 documentary by a French-Canadian filmmaker that told the story of Jesús and other so-called “green-card soldiers,” immigrants (both documented and undocumented) lured into the U.S. military and promised citizenship in return for becoming cannon fodder for U.S. imperalism.

California Apocalypse (tags)

Though a lot of so-called “progressives” voted no on the ballot measures on California’s May 19 special election ballot, the overwhelming defeat of these legislative compromises aimed at a short-term solution to California's budget problems has been a boon for the radical Right. For 43 years, ever since they elected Ronald Reagan as governor in 1966 and passed Proposition 13 in 1978, a cadre of radical-Right Republicans have been seeking to destroy the financial basis of California's government and thereby force the elimination of virtually all social welfare programs as well as scorched-earth cuts in education and health care. Now they’ve got their wish: after the budget dust settles, California will now no longer be in the business of helping working-class and lower-income people, and will instead be a low-tax,corporate-privilege Libertarian haven.

Obama's Medical Marijuana Rhetoric Better Than His Actions (tags)

Despite the much-ballyhooed announcements from the Obama administration that they're going to stop prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers as long as they abide by the laws of their states, little has changed, attorney Gerald Singleton and activist Dion Markgraaf told Activist San Diego at a meeting April 20. Patients and providers are still being raided, and the Justice Department disappointed medical marijuana advocates by recommending a five-year prison sentence for former Morro Bay dispensary operator Charles Lynch despite the request by the judge in the case for some legal ground to be more lenient.

Canadian MP Speaks Out for U.S. War Resister (tags)

Activist San Diego put together an impressive list of speakers for its March 16 meeting on the fate of U.S. war resister Robin Long — including Olivia Chow, a member of the Canadian Parliament who helped lead an unsuccessful struggle to persuade her country’s government to grant Long political asylum instead of returning him to the U.S. — but the most powerful voice of all came from someone who wasn’t there: Robin Long himself, via a letter from jail read aloud at the meeting.

San Diego Activists Show Pro-Palestinian Film "Occupation 101" (tags)

Activist San Diego showed the movie "Occupation 101," a documentary denouncing the Israeli occupation of Palestine, February 16. Leading a discussion after the film, Edgar Hopida, public relations director for the San Diego chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and filmmaker and public-access cable show producer Ed Sweed mostly talked about the American corporate media's near-total pro-Israel bias and ways to use nontraditional media to get alternative perspectives to the American people.

Liberal Prof Confronts Socialist Audience (tags)

Grossmont College economics professor Shahrokh Shahrokhi was invited to speak at the January 12 meeting of Activist San Diego, but though he attacked "market fundamentalism" and called for more government regulation of the economy,,public equity purchases iin the major financial firms and an extensive stimulus plan, many in the audience didn't think his proposals went far enough. They also bristled at his contention that homebuyers who took out mortgages beyond their means were partly responsible for the current economic crisis.

Palestine Watch:1/2-1/3 Weekend of Worldwide Protests Against Israeli Attacks on Gaza! (tags)

Over 60 protest at coming weekend across U.S. and Europe!

“No on 8” Actions, Discussions Continue (tags)

The fight against the anti-marriage Proposition 8 has lasted quite a bit longer than the election, in which the same-sex marriage ban passed by a five-point margin. Queer and allied activists are still holding demonstrations against the initiative and meeting to discuss where the fight will go next. But their discussions are stronger on building communications strategies than actually plotting a course to reverse the ballot measure.

Elections Expert Speaks at Activist San Diego (tags)

Elections expert Sal Magallanez spoke to Activist San Diego Monday, October 13 as part of a presentation that also included a documentary film, "Hacking Democracy," about Seattle activist Bev Harris and her exposés of the ease with which computer-counted elections can be rigged. Magallanez, an official elections observer for the Democratic Party, noted how the San Diego County Registrar of Voters — hired by an all-Republican County Board of Supervisors — has made suspicious policy decisions that may help Republicans in this year's and future elections.

Locals Continue Battle Against Blackwater on the Border (tags)

Blackwater Opponents Announce Two Upcoming Public Events Community Forum on Tuesday, June 10th and Wednesday, June 11th Rally Outside Front Door of Blackwater's New Site Jeremy Scahill, Renowned Author of International Bestseller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" Special Guest Speaker Community Groups Charge Blackwater Misused Federal Court to Muscle into Cal-Mex Border Site and Call for Facility Including Shooting Range to Be Shut-Down "No to Baghdad on the Border" New Facility 500 Yards From International Border Will Exacerbate the Potential for Increased Human and Civil Rights Violations to Both Migrants and Members of Border Communities

San Diego, June 10th - Jeremy Scahill speaks on Blackwater (tags)

Scahill will have a new presentation on Blackwater with a critique of the U.S. media, saying that the role of Blackwater as an unaccountable combat force not only abroad but in the U.S. as well is just one of many stories that aren’t being covered properly in the mainstream press.

Over 50 Attend Progressive Community Summit (tags)

Over 50 people attended a progressive community "Mega Summit" in San Diego February 17. Organized by the San Diego County Community Coalition and San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, the event brought together representatives from various local groups ranging from anti-war and anti-drug war groups to insurgent candidates for elective office and urban landscape activists.

Giving His Eyes for His Country (tags)

Arab-American Mazin al-Nashi got screwed twice by the Bush administration and the private military contractor that employed him. Recruited to work as an interpreter for Titan in Iraq, he was blinded in an attack and then systematically denied the medical care that might have saved his eyesight. Mazin and his wife Layla told their story to Activist San Diego January 14.

Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Speaks on Iraq (tags)

Anti-war journalist Dahr Jamail spoke at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego November 15 to promote his new book, "Beyond the Green Zone," about his experiences as an unembedded reporter in Iraq over eight months from November 2003 to February 2005. His most moving stories were about the two U.S. sieges of Falloujah in April and November 2004.

Locals Confront Blackwater at Their Gates as, Iraq Concludes Blackwater Committed Murder (tags)

As the Iraqi prime minister’s office determined that Blackwater USA shootings on September 16th in Baghdad was deliberate murder resulting in 17 civilian deaths, local opponents confronted Blackwater at the gates of the proposed “Blackwater West” site in Potrero, a tiny town in east San Diego county. Organizers estimated that over 300 people took part in the weekend's event, marching a mile from the rally site to the gates of Blackwater West.

Blackwater USA Faces Congress and Wrath of Tiny CA Town (tags)

As US Congress Committee on Oversight and Government holds hearings on the use of private security contractors in Iraq--including testimony from Blackwater USA Chairman Erik Prince--local opponents of Blackwater USA are planning a major rally, for the first time at the gates of the proposed Blackwater West site, on Saturday, October 6th through Sunday, October, 7th.

As Blackwater Comes Under Fire in Iraq, So-Cal Turns Up Heat to Stop Blackwater West (tags)

As US Congress and Iraqi government officials probe recent killings of civilians by the notorious private contractors in Baghdad, local opponents to the expansion of Blackwater USA will stage a major rally and encampment at the gates of the proposed “Blackwater West” site in Potrero, a tiny town in east San Diego county on Saturday, October 6th - Sunday, October, 7th. The event will happen just days after Blackwater founder Erik Prince is scheduled to testify before the US Congress.

Stop Blackwater West Demo Oct. 6 & & (tags)

Encampment and Demonstration to Stop Blackwater West from building a training facility in San Diego County

“We are Human Beings” Enrique Morones on the New Movement to Defend Immigrants (tags)

An interview with Enrique Morones, bane of the Minutemen, Border Angel and member of the Buenas Noches Brigade.

Another World is Possible, Final, Expanded Agenda (tags)

Activist conference in San Diego this weekend! Get the word out!

pbnberkeley news notice - 1/6/03 (tags)

Publishing, republishing and compiling community news and event information promoting global peace and working class solidarity and NO WAR ON IRAQ!

Michael Moore Packs the House in San Diego! (tags)

On Friday, March 8, 2002, Michael Moore drew a huge crowd to an elementary school auditorium. There were about 800 people inside and another 1000+ outside. This is a copy of the audio to the performance.

S22 - San Diego Calls For Peace (tags)

This is a short photo essay on the downtown rally organized by a diverse coalition of community groups in San Diego. 9-22-01 **LINK to Activist San Diego for future events** Photos By Jim Carter, WebPage by Jonathan Snapp-Cook

San Diego Vigil (tags)

Peace Vigil in San Diego at Horton Plaza Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2:00 PM If the U.S. uses force before Saturday, there will be a demonstration that day at 5 p.m., at the above location.

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