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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.

Lê’s “Gangster” Not Just Another Immigration Memoir (tags)

Lê Thi Diem Thúy was brought to this country from Viet Nam by her father in 1978, when she was six, but her book “The Gangster We Are All Looking For,” honored this year by the San Diego Public Library and PBS as the 2011 “One Book, One San Diego,” isn’t your ordinary immigrant’s memoir. Presented as a novel — which allows Lê to tap her childhood for material without having to be bound by literal truth — “Gangster” is written in an almost poetic prose style, rich in nature imagery, characteristic of many Asian writers who learned English as a second language. Introducing, reading from and commenting on the book at the Public Library downtown on February 2, Lê gave a presentation touching on a lot of the issues raised in her book, including culture clashes, the role of the imagination and language as a force that can tear people apart as much as it can bring them together.

City Heights Human Rights Fest Draws 500 (tags)

The first annual City Heights Human Rights Festival drew over 500 people to the streets of San Diego’s most ethnically diverse neighborhood Saturday, December 11 for a march down El Cajon Boulevard and a fair in the parking lot of Hoover High School at El Cajon and 44th Street. Besides speeches by local elected officials who represent the area, including City Councilmember Todd Gloria and his former employer, Congressmember Susan Davis, the event also included musical performers, readings and a showing of a short film by the Media Arts Center, I Want My Parents … Back, dealing with immigrant rights and how border enforcement is breaking up families. The event was organized not only to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the United Nations in 1948, but to call attention to rights abuses all over the world and especially in Viet Nam. The impetus for organizing the event came from local representatives of the Viet Nam Reform Party, which exists clandestinely in Viet Nam and openly among Viet Namese immigrants in countries like ours that guarantee political freedoms. Among their demands is an end to one-party Communist rule in Viet Nam and an end to its ban on independent media.

“Rethink Afghanistan” Screens in San Diego (tags)

The Peace and Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest recently screened Robert Greenwald’s hard-hitting 2009 documentary “Rethink Afghanistan,” which meticulously lists all the reasons given for the U.S.’s continuing and escalating military involvement in Afghanistan — from the alleged need to deny al-Qaeda “sanctuary” in the country to the supposed “liberation” of Afghan women — and demolishes them all. The March 18 screening was followed by a talk-back session with three members of the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace, who talked about their own experiences in Korea and Viet Nam and the similarities between how those wars were justified and sold to the American people and the current campaign to legitimize our Afghan campaign.

Dahr Jamail Celebrates U.S. Military’s “Will to Resist” in Iraq, Afghanistan (tags)

Dahr Jamail, the independent journalist who broke the monopoly on Iraq war coverage by “embedded reporters” and reported honestly on the war for his own blog, has tackled a subject equally taboo in the corporate media: the growing number of U.S. servicemembers who are resisting the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resistance takes many forms, from so-called “search and avoid” missions in the war zones to absences without leave (AWOL), conscientious objector filings and outright refusals to obey orders to deploy. While the movement hasn't reached the heights it did during the Viet Nam war — mainly because there isn't as large a mass civilian anti-war movement as there was then — it's significant for the courage and heroism of the resisters and as an index of the toll two long, grueling wars have taken on the U.S. military.

Anti-War San Diego Congressional Candidate Hosts Forum (tags)

Anti-war progressive Mike Copass, challenging incumbent Democratic Congressmember Susan Davis from San Diego in the June 3 primary, held a town-hall meeting on Mother's Day, May 11, not only to promote his own candidacy but also to build opposition to continuing the Iraq occupation.

San Diego Hosts Alternative King Day Event (tags)

Though only 30 people attended San Diego's alternative Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative cvelebration January 21, it represented an important challenge to the way King's "official" celebrations have been co-opted by his enemies: the police, the military and the poltiical establishment.

Still sounds like Viet Nam (c.1965-68) (tags)

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld calls (the daily killing of U.S. Soldiers in Iraq) the "untidy" aftermath of regime change. If it was his kids or Bush's daughters or Cheny's kids dying would he think it was "untidy"?

And they say it not like Viet Nam! (tags)

Viet Nam they relied on body counts to show we were winning, these usually didn't have any relation to reality, the body counts in Iraq seem to be following this same pattern.

No Peace without Victory (tags)

The Appeasement Mongers, and why we have to deal with them.

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