Because People Mater

Progressive News and Views May / June 2007
Inside this issue:
Editorial.............................................. 2
BPM.in.Utne.Reader.......................... 2
Virginia.Tech.Shootings...................... 2
Health.Care.for.All.............................. 3
Impeachment....................................... 3
American.World.Service.Corps.......... 4
Poem:.Unclean.................................... 4
Cucapa.peace.camp.in.Mexico............ 5
Peace.in.the.Precincts......................... 6
Poem:.Painting.in.the.Mail................ 6
Local.media......................................... 7
Film.Review:.Salud!........................... 7
SCUSD.School.closings...................... 8
School.segregation.returns.................. 8
WMIs.found.at.CSUS........................ 9
CSUS.Faculty.Referendum................ 9
Book:.Conservative.Nanny.State...... 10
Book:.Working.Toward.Whiteness.... 10
Media.Clipped................................... 11
Air.America.Gone............................. 12
Jailed.grandmother............................ 12
Peace.Action...................................... 13
Middle.East.Milestones?.................. 14
Calendar............................................ 15
By Jeanie Keltner
As so often, it’s the good news and the
bad news.
Te bad news is that BPM almost had a fnancial
meltdown. Facing the full court press of the Bushies
and their endless wars on people and the law, we got so
caught up doing the news that we didn’t do the money
enough. We were like the frog in the pot on the stove,
almost boiled by imperceptibly rising printing and mail-
ing costs.
I say almost because many of BPM’s core supporters
came through and helped us jump out of the deadly pot.
Teir generosity created the cushion that gives us time to
get the 300 NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS that will restore us
to fnancial health.
CAN WE DO IT?
I feel certain now that readers are alerted to BPM ‘s
$$ situation, you will respond. Maybe you’ve just taken
us for granted (or for granite, as a student once wrote).
However, faced with the possibility of losing BPM, I
believe even folks who don’t ordinarily think of them-
selves as fnancial supporters will see that that $20 bill-
which might buy a CD or a movie and a big popcorn-can
go a lot farther and deeper if it keeps BPM on the streets
bringing more people the crucial news that the big media
ignores or distorts.
You can pick up the paper for free of course. But
we need you to subscribe. Because BPM doesn’t just
preach to the choir. Our biggest brag and our primary
focus is the boxes and racks and stacks of FREE BPM s
around town (and in libraries and prisons too). For the
last 15 years, amazingly, a few hundred subscribers have
enabled BPM to put out 15–18,000 papers every two
months—to reach folks who’ve been turned of to politics
by the triviality, shallowness, distortions, disinformation
and outright lies of the corporate media-and to present
ways to engage and get involved.
To inspire maximum generosity, I want to pass on
some very good news that shows the power and impor-
tance of independent media—all those little outlets
scrabbled together by groups and individuals on their
own time—and ofen on their own dime, too.
Afer 9-11 when Bush frst declared eternal war, I
knew his high poll numbers were temporary. I knew
none of us who were meeting during those fraught days
to try to stop the oncoming disaster would go over to the
Bush side. And I also knew that many from the pro-war
side would come to join us. Even at those frst post-9-11
vigils at 16th and J, with cars sliding by in silent, dark
hostility, I knew that the day would come when we’d
stand with our signs amid a constant blare of honks for
peace. And it has! It was a matter of getting the info out.
Te people of this country have turned profoundly
against the war. And it’s certainly not from any info
they’ve gotten from the big corporate media. Tis huge
shif against the war was created by persistent and some-
times heroic actions by many thousands of activists—
and by the independent people’s media—like BPM—that
put their stories out. (And of course the worldwide web,
which connected us all.)
But there’s even better news.
Te English visionary, William Blake, wrote, “You
never know what is enough until you know what is more
than enough.” I’ve hoped from the start that the Bush
regime’s bald-faced lies, distortions, and billion dollar
corruptions are so over the top that people would see
through not only this war but war in general.
And that, too, has happened.
In spite of the best military propaganda system in
history-a corporate media which enthusiastically backed
the war and ignored dissenting voices and the peace
movement from the start, people now say overwhelm-
ingly that war is not the answer.
Public Agenda’s study, Anguish Over Iraq Shakes
Public’s Faith in Military Solutions, probes much deeper
than typical polls, examining core beliefs about America’s
role in the world. In a list of proposals for strengthening
our nation’s security, “attacking countries that develop
weapons of mass destruction” ranked at the very bottom
(17%)—compared to 63% for improving intelligence
operations and 55% for becoming less energy dependent.
Eighty-two percent say the world has become more
dangerous for the US and its people, and 70% say the US
has been too quick to resort to war. On fghting terror-
ism, 67% say we should emphasize more diplomatic and
economic methods, while only 27% call for more mili-
tary efort. In dealing with Iran, for example, support for
possible military action is in the single digits—8% (www.
publicagenda.org/CFPI4 ).
Tis is an amazing shif in the public mind, and
BPM is part of the independent information web of peo-
ple’s media that has enabled it . BPM is an all-volunteer
operation. Te paper is almost completely written, put
together, and put out for free—and we’re happy to do it.
Printing and mailing costs up to now have been covered
by subs, donations, ads, and fundraisers.
With 300 NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS BPM ‘s pres-
ent and future will be assured. Won’t you help?
It’s true, 300 sounds like a lot. But just since I started
this piece I’ve run into four people who took out sub-
scriptions on the spot—two with generous additional
gifs! So that’s only 296 to go! Help us! Especially now at
this critical time. Media is everything; it’s what creates
the public mind (and heart); as well as the very reality of
the world in the public mind.
Without true info there’s no democracy.
Keep BPM going: to borrow KPFA radio’s slogan, it’s
news you can use for a change!
Jeanie Keltner is BPM editor at-large.
If you want BPM to SURVIVE and
THRIVE,
you need to SUBSCRIBE!!
“This huge shift against
the war was created
by persistent and
sometimes heroic actions
by many thousands of
activists—and by the
independent people’s
media—like BPM—that
put their stories out.”
We appreciate your support! Please fll out the form and mail to:
BPM, 403 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
This is a great paper! I’ll gladly subscribe for a mere $20.
WOW! You sound desperate! I’m enclosing $ extra to
help out!
This is my opportunity to break into journalism and help get the
truth out! I’ll help: Writing, Editing, Distributing,
Proofreading, Anything!
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Help keep BPM on the streets: Subscribe today!
With a small number of subscribers, we’ve been reaching 15,000
readers, including mailing free copies to prisoners around the country.
We need 300 new subscribers to keep doing it. (Ooops! We’re also raising
our subscription price for the frst time in 15 years. But remember,
you’re helping make BPM available to dozens of other readers, all over
Sacramento, and from Chico to Nevada City.)
If you’re pencil-challenged, email us: bpmnews@nicetechnology.com .
See pages 4, 10 and 16 for additional volunteer opportunities.
Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
People Mater
Volume 16, Number 3
Published Bi-Monthly by the
Sacramento Community for
Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 162998, Sacramento,
CA 95816
(Use addresses below for
correspondence)
Editorial Group: Jacqueline
Diaz, JoAnn Fuller, Seth
Sandronsky
Coordinating Editor for
this Issue: Seth Sandronsky
Editor-at-Large: Jeanie
Keltner
Design and Layout:
Ellen Schwartz
Calendar Editor:
Chris Bond
Advertising and Business
Manager: Edwina White
Distribution Manager:
Paulette Cuilla
Subscription Manager:
Kate Kennedy
How to ReacH Us:
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403 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
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Call 444-3203.
copY DeaDLINes:
For the July/Aug., 2007 Issue:
Articles: June 1, 2007
Calendar Items: June. 10, 2007
Cultural events welcome!
For details, see our new
website, www.bpmnews.org
BecaUse peopLe MatteR is an all-
volunteer endeavor to present
alternative, progressive news
and views in Sacramento.
We invite and welcome
your responses. To discuss
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because
Editorial
On the cover
Consumer Advocate
Ralph Nader and BPM
Editor Jeanie Keltner
pose with a copy of our
paper. Academy Award-
winning documen-
tary filmmaker Michael
Moore and author and
broadcast journalist Amy
Goodman (Democracy
Now!) can count on
BPM and our readers to
get the truth out.
Seth Sandronsky, Coordinating Editor for This Issue
Mental illness and violence
By Ralph E. Nelson Jr., MD
T
he National Alliance on Mental Illness
California extends its sympathy to all the
families who have lost loved ones in the
terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech. NAMI Califor-
nia is a grassroots organization of families and
individuals whose lives have been afected by
serious mental illness. We understand the need
for compassion and support in times of mourn-
ing following any tragedy and loss.
When senseless acts of violence occur in our
society, it allows all of us time for refection on
the nature of mental illnesses—what they are and
what they are not— with regard to symptoms,
treatment and risks of violence. In our experi-
ence, most people with a serious mental illness
are more ofen the victims of violence rather
than perpetrators. Tis is borne out by consistent
research fndings by the US Surgeon General and
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
NIMH researchers found that the odds of
violence are ofen governed by factors other than
psychotic symptoms. For example, violence was
associated with young individuals who have
been victimized, physically or sexually; or have
co-occurring substance abuse. News reports state
Schools and Students
that Seung-Hui Cho,
the shooter at Vir-
ginia Tech, had been
frequently bullied by
others for his foreign
heritage, his shyness,
his speech and English
language difculties.
Ultimately, no
one may be able to
understand the motiva-
tions and actions of
someone who commits
premeditated murder. More importantly, we
must as a community continue to understand
the needs of people who have been victims in
the past and to ensure that those with serious
mental illness receive proper care in a time when
services for them are being eliminated all around
us. Tis includes both voluntary and involuntary
services and supports when they are needed,
whether or not the mentally ill individual realizes
the necessity. Many cases similar to this one have
the common pattern of “no follow-up” care afer
hospitalization.
We advocate for lives of quality and respect,
without discrimination and stigma, and we
advance education and support for families who
bravely continue their lives in the face of greatly
Responding to the Virginia Tech Shootings
misunderstood mental
illnesses and brain
diseases.
It is our mission to
ensure the facts con-
cerning the connec-
tion between mental
illness and violence are
fostered with accuracy
with the American
public. Ultimately the
treatment and care for
mentally ill individu-
als depends on it. Tis can be a matter of life and
death.
Ralph E. Nelson Jr., MD is president of
NAMI California.
Sources:
US Surgeon General’s Report on Men-
tal Health (1999) www.surgeongeneral.
gov/library/mentalhealth.
National Institute of Mental Health (2006)
www.nimh.nih.gov/press/schizophreniaviolence.
cfm.
Contact Annie Breault Darling, advocate
for ofenders with mental illness at breault55@
yahoo.com or 821-4165.
A
re you a regular or occa-
sional reader of Because
People Matter? And what
do you think of this all-volunteer
paper? Your replies matter to
us who produce and distribute
Sacramento’s progressive paper. By progressive I
mean the view that policies must frst and fore-
most meet all people’s basic needs in health care,
jobs, schools and other areas of life.
Speaking of needs, what are BPM’s? First, we
need readers. And as you read in Jeanie Keltner’s
front-page appeal, we face a money problem.
Of course BPM is not alone there. Many young
adults, the so-called “Generation Next” between
the ages of 18 and 25, scramble to make ends
meet on their paychecks.
Te majority of this new generation also
attends public
schools, as do
the vast bulk of
youth under the
age of 18. What
challenges do
students face in public schools, and why? Te
center spread of the paper focuses on parts of this
education situation.
Heidi McLean looks at the closing of neigh-
borhood schools in the capital city. A mother of
two and spokesperson for the Sacramento Coali-
tion to Save Public Education, her informative
article is a must-read. Paolo Bassi analyzes school
segregation in Sacramento and around the US.
A local attorney, he sheds light on the whys and
wherefores of this trend. Jef Lustig, a professor of
government at CSU Sacramento, has a funny take
on a serious matter in higher education. Hint:
high-tech learning is less than meets the eye. In
an April referendum, nearly four of every fve
CSUS faculty who voted expressed no confdence
in school President Gonzalez. Professor of sociol-
ogy Kevin Wehr explains why.
As always, BPM brings you a mix of progres-
sive articles by local writers on Sacramento, Cali-
fornia, US and world afairs. We also have poetry,
and book and flm reviews for your reading
enjoyment. And don’t forget BPM’s calendar page
of upcoming local events in May and June.
On behalf of the people who bring you the
paper every two months, please send a BPM sub-
scription or three to co-workers, family members
or friends. Tey just might like to read such news
and views. Onward.
Seth Sandronsky is a BPM co-editor.
“What challenges do
students face in public
schools, and why?”
By Charlene Jones
B
ecause People Matter made the shelf at
Utne Magazine in March this year. Noted
for its love of the best in independent
media, the lef-leaning bimonthly publication
keeps a watchful eye on the American social and
political landscape as a leading digest of alterna-
tive news and reviews. On March 16, it chose to
highlight Sacramento’s all volunteer community
newspaper in “From the Stacks,” the magazine’s
weekly Web page fle of notable publications that
land in Utne’s library from around the country.
Listed in the company of Foreign Policy
magazine, a multilingual literary journal and
the Ozarks Mountaineer, BPM’s March/April
issue was described as a progressive newsletter
from the Sacramento community for peace and
justice, dealing largely with feminist issues. While
not necessarily focused on a feminist agenda—
though peace and social justice struggles have
long been shouldered by women—BPM honored
March’s Women’s History Month by featuring
articles on topics generally characterized by
women’s activism. What is particularly pleasing
about Utne’s recognition of this issue of BPM
is its citing of articles by Renee D. Covey and
Amreet Sandhu, two young contributors, new to
the paper.
From a “steady fow of 1,500 magazines,
newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines and other
lively dispatches” seldom found on corporate
franchise racks, Utne Magazine recaps publica-
tions that present viewpoints missing from the
mainstream. Te magazine’s acknowledgment
of BPM in an increasingly vibrant landscape of
independent media may inspire devotees of alter-
native views and news to support Sacramento’s
own bimonthly publication.
If you read BPM on occasion, consider a
contribution to sustaining its ongoing work. If
you pick it up routinely, please send in a sub-
scription. In the 16th year of publication, BPM
continues to provide its readers and its commu-
nity with progressive thinking, writing, reporting
and opinion. Te importance of independent
community media only grows. Be a part of it.
Visit Utne at www.utne.com.
Charlene Jones is a member of the Sacramento
Media Group.
BPM on Utne’s E-stand
www.utne.com
“When senseless acts
of violence occur in our
society, it allows all of
us time for refection
on the nature of mental
illnesses—what they are
and what they are not.”
Subscribe to BPM!
Already a subscriber?
Buy a subscription to
BPM for a friend or
family member! Fill out
the coupon on page 1.
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
Sacramento
Progressive
Events
Calendar on
the Web
Labor, Peace,
Environment, Human
Rights, Solidarity…
Send calendar items
to Gail Ryall,gryall
@cwnet.com.
www.sacleft.org
By Jeanie Keltner
S
tate Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s healthcare reform
bill, SB 840, passed both houses of the
California Legislature last year, only to be
vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Moving
again through the Legislature, this desperately
needed bill provides comprehensive medical,
dental, vision,
hospitalization
and prescrip-
tion drug cov-
erage to every
California
resident. Tis
is made pos-
sible through
a streamlined
claims and
reimbursement system that saves billions in
administrative costs. With SB 840, California
will use its purchasing power to negotiate bulk
rates for prescription drugs and such medical
equipment as wheelchairs, thus saving additional
billions.
Folks who fear “socialized” medicine should
note that SB 840 preserves the status of health-
By Tom King
L
et’s get this meditation underway by frst
thinking of reasons not to impeach Presi-
dent George W. Bush and Vice President
Richard Cheney.
I’ll kick-start with the ones I’ve observed in
circulation:
It is looking backward when we should be
dealing with problems aplenty now facing us.
One, with only a slender majority in Con-
gress, the Republican resistance could never be
overcome.
Two, the process would take so long that
even if success were possible, the duo’s term in
ofce would have ended before they could be
rendered accountable.
And three in a
sweeping response to all
this foot-dragging, I’ll
treat you to an analogy.
A man returns home
from his late shif to fnd
his apartment ablaze.
Knowing his wife and
only son are inside, he
runs toward the inferno,
despite a nearby freman’s attempts to stop him.
Never mind whether Joe becomes a fam-
ing casualty or a hero, the point has been made:
When enough is at stake in a venture, the odds
against simply don’t matter in the decision of
whether to act.
Tis, we may say, is a principle of nature.
Now let us see how it applies to impeachment at
this moment in history.
American reporter Sherwood Ross reels of
18 justifcations for impeachment in his Febru-
ary 2007 piece, written for Permalink, entitled,
“America! If You Will Not Impeach Tis Tyrant,
Who Will You Impeach?”
I pause to choose from his smorgasbord
the ones I feel are powerfully paramount: “for
violating ... the International Convention against
torture; ... for usurping the power to imprison
people arbitrarily for indefnite periods by mak-
ing himself judge and jury; ... for ... reinitiating
a nuclear arms race in defance of the nuclear
arms treaty; ... for using illegal weapons against
Iraq such as white phosphorus, depleted uranium
ammunition and a new type of napalm ... ”
But the double-barreled reason that most of
us would like these men impeached is for initiat-
ing, unprecedented even in our nation’s heinous
foreign policy, preemptive warfare, and “... violat-
ing the Genocide Convention by turning Iraq
into a charnel house ... ”
Perhaps those grounds make enough of a
case.
But I propose to move to the clincher—the
long view of history.
Te 17th and 18th centuries were a gestation
period of great philosophers such as Tomas
Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke.
While Hobbes viewed the state of nature as
one of perpetual war, and wished to disarm men,
Rousseau and Locke wished to free men from
institutional excesses.
But their quest was the same—examining the
theory of social contract,
by which mankind sur-
renders certain freedoms
in exchange for protec-
tion from savagery, man
against himself. Tey
were weighing the poten-
tial of civilization, the
wager that by adjusting
its controls just the right
way, mankind might raise society to a higher
standard than found in the state of nature.
Have we evolved to a more civilized state
of what characterized us at the dawn of history?
Many will deny it.
Te strongest evidence ofered by these
somber observers is war, and how throughout the
20th and 21st century it continues to be used by
the strong to exploit the weak, and by the privi-
leged to repress the poor.
Tis pessimism can be repudiated by a single
boon that emerged from Western civilization: the
concept of the rule of law. By this is meant the
principle that governmental authority is legiti-
mately exercised only in accordance with written,
publicly disclosed and duly sanctioned laws.
Certainly those brainy thinkers of the 17th
and 18th century did not invent it.
At its peak, the ancient city of Athens
boasted democracy. Even afer it was engulfed by
the might-makes-right primitivism of the Roman
Empire, the Athenian ideals survived. Tey were
reborn in the visionary enterprise of those we
refer to as our Founding Fathers.
In the three-century span between the
Georges—George Washington and George W.
Fixing California’s broken healthcare system
SB 840 comes up again
“SB 840 is the only health
care reform package now
before lawmakers that
includes clear information
about how the plan would
be paid for.”
Unimpeachable Reasons for Impeachment
Why the wager must match the stakes
“When enough is at stake
in a venture, the odds
against simply don’t
matter in the decision of
whether to act.”
Bush—we see the one great and fnal wager
against the savagery that lurks in the heart of
man. Te US Constitution introduces the con-
cept of checks and balances, embraced by Locke,
whereby power might be counterbalanced if not
disarmed.
Contrarily, what we presently observe in
these United States is a coup d’etat representing
a receding to that primitive condition of human-
kind where the “rights of man” are abrogated.
Where we fnd ourselves in April 2007 is not
in a republic, but in a dictatorship. Our Consti-
tution is scuttled, no more than a “goddamned
piece of paper.” Te rule of law is a dead letter.
Does anyone suppose that Congresswoman
Nancy Pelosi’s band-aids will heal us?
Shambling somnambulists, we have sleep-
walked into enormous damage.
In our carelessness we have mislaid the
preciously unique dream that set us apart in all
history—the experiment of mandating the will of
a people. We shall not recover that dream by sim-
ply recycling despots in 2008. If we are to restore
what is lost, we must bring the traitors of the rule
of law to justice, no matter how long it takes.
Let us seek impeachment regardless of the
time limits lef in the Bush term in the White
House. For whether Bush and Cheney are held
accountable in or out of ofce, they are war
criminals: thieves who have stolen our legacy;
monsters of such magnitude that if we allow
them to die of natural causes in their beds, our
cowardly complacency must lose us all the chips,
terminating for good and all the great wager of
our democratic dream.
Tom King is the leader of the Peace Pyramid, a
Sacramento suburban grassroots group promoting
a cabinet-level Department of Peace.
care providers, hospitals and pharmacies as pri-
vate, competitive businesses.
A companion bill, SB 1014, details fund-
ing. SB 840 will draw in current local, county,
and state medical care spending and will replace
all premiums, co-pays and
deductibles paid to insurance
companies with one afordable
premium paid to the system.
Why should insurance compa-
nies siphon of 25% or so of our
health care dollar?
“Te angels are in the
details,” says Senator Kuehl. “SB
1014, the funding bill, demon-
strates concretely how SB 840
really can provide comprehensive coverage to
each Californian while guaranteeing our right to
choose our doctors and control costs. Tis is the
only health care reform proposal out there, with
numbers in black and white, which ofers genuine
afordability, shared responsibility and consumer
empowerment along with quality coverage.”
Under this plan, most individuals and busi-
nesses that now buy health coverage would
receive substantial savings and a higher level of
coverage. Full coverage, for everyone, for every-
thing, forever, for less payment!
It’s not too early to tell the governor you want
SB 840. It will take a few minutes to get through,
but dial 445 2841 extension 2.
Jeanie Keltner is BPM editor at-large.
Place an ad for your business
or nonproft group: Business
card size ads only $40 (or
$30 if run in multiple issues).
Call 446-2844 for more info.
Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
By Tom King
“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morn-
ing” runs the paean to freedom Peter, Paul and
Mary sang back in the ‘60s. Well, it seems that
former President Jimmy Carter found his ham-
mer. Dwayne Hunn attests to the fact.
Dwayne revisited haunts he had served as a
young man in the Peace Corps. In Sri Lanka, Fiji
and Georgia, he worked with Carter and other
Americans on building projects with Habitat for
Humanity.
Dwayne, the executive director of People’s
Lobby and of the American World Service Corps,
has regaled groups such as Freedom From War
and the Peace Pyramid in the Sacramento vicin-
ity with many uplifing stories. Te tales he tells
end with a gladdening close: whole villages of
folks come to view Americans not as an army of
occupation and exploitation, but instead as min-
istering angels. Unfortunately, such US service to
the world is feebly stafed now. Te Peace Corps,
for instance, while still in operation, has a serving
base of only around 7,000, compared to 15,000-
plus it had only a few years afer President John F.
Kennedy and his vision were taken from us.
History leaves us Kennedy’s immortal sum-
mons, “Ask not what your country can do for
you, but what you can do for your country.”
From the ashes of this all but forgotten ideal-
ism rises the phoenix of Dwayne’s dream and
mission—American World Service Corps pro-
posals in Congress, to build a volunteer service
corps of one million can-do Americans. Tese
proposals would engage already existing core
organizations such as the Peace Corps, Habitat
for Humanity, AmeriCorps, Head Start, Doctors
Without Borders, Red Cross, International Res-
cue Committee, Oxfam, etc., asking not simply
what we can do for our country, but what we can
do for the world.
You’re invited to dream along with Dwayne.
Imagine military service being only one of many
ways youth, baby boomers and some retirees
might serve their country and all humanity.
Tink of quelling terrorism through our friendly
acts instead of creating terrorists with our
violence. Imagine legions of the peaceful and
productive going forth to assist with the next
disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, a tsunami, or
an African genocide. Imagine standing tall again
as Americans!
One then poses the inevitable rejoinder,
“What’s in it for me?”
Sadly, we live in times when JFK’s sum-
mons seems to have been ditched for consumers’
dreams. Perhaps only imagination and education
can save us: the imagination that comes from
educating ourselves in the classroom of world
needs. Our payback then comes from the satis-
faction we feel in having helped those less fortu-
nate than ourselves.
But you need not sign up for far-fung
assignments around the globe to help.
Go to www.worldservicecorps.us and read
the text of the citizen-initiated World Service
Corps bills proposed in Congress. Sign the peti-
tion to encourage congressional co-sponsors to
introduce and pass this legislation. Even with that
signature you’ll feel the tonic of world service in
your blood.
Tom King is the leader of the Peace Pyramid,
a Sacramento suburban grassroots group promot-
ing a cabinet-level Department of Peace.
“Our payback then comes
from the satisfaction we
feel in having helped
those less fortunate than
ourselves.”
Helping All Humanity
Te American World Service Corps
Unclean
There are car bombs in Baghdad almost ev-
eryday now.
Fifteen people blown up here, thirty there.
You lose count
of the shredded children, the maimed grand-
mothers.
You go about your life; it’s the other side of
the whole world.
Here, it’s Wednesday, the trash truck comes
tomorrow.
You think you might be depressed about
something,
but what is it? In Baghdad, in a junkyard,
a man hoses blood and bits of fesh from a
ruined bus.
From far down the littered street he hears a
woman sobbing.
James Lee Jobe
All Good Things - James Lee Jobe
~beat your swords into ploughshares~
http://jamesleejobe.livejournal.com/
Place an ad for your business
or nonproft group: Business
card size ads only $40 (or
$30 if run in multiple issues).
Call 446-2844 for more info.
Bugged by high gas prices?
No problem! BPM has a
volunteer job you can
do from home. You don’t
need a car, a computer or
even much time: we need
someone to update the
local group meetings and
radio programs listed in
our paper. Call Ellen at
369-5510 for details.
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
CAAC Goes
to the Movies
ALMoSt EVEry
MoNth
the Central America
Action Committee
shows interesting
and informative
videos on social
justice, labor
struggles, and so
much more! Call to
see what’s playing
this month…
WE ALSO HAVE A
VIDEO LIBRARY YOU
CAN CHECK OUT.
1640 9th Ave (east
off Land Park Dr)
INFo: 446-3304
By Dan Bacher
F
rom February 26 to May 2007, the Cucapa
Tribe in El Mayor, Baja California, orga-
nized an historic bi-national Zapatista
peace camp to defend their fshing rights against
harassment by the Mexican government on the
Colorado River Delta.
Te idea originated during a visit to El
Mayor by Subcomandante Marcos, spokesman
for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation,
during the Zapatista “Otra Campana” (Other
Campaign) in October 2006. Te Zapatistas, a
group of Mayan rebels from the Lacandon Forest
in Chiapas, rose up in arms against the Mexican
government on January 1, 1994, the day that
North American Free Trade Agreement went into
efect.
“We have decided to send an urgent message
to the Mexicans and Chicanos north of the Rio
Grande to come in order to maximize the num-
ber of people here, create a safe space, and protect
the Cucapa and Kiliwa community during the
fshing season,” said Marcos.
Te 304-member Cucapa said the camp
aimed to “help reestablish
the networks and relations
that existed before borders
separated families and
communities, and to help
expose these atrocities to
a world that has avoided
looking at the price of
its excess, comfort and
luxury.”
Afer a slow start, the
momentum built in March
as the Cucapa and sup-
porters constructed the camp, secured buyers for
the fsh (corvina), purchased a refrigerated trailer
and netted fsh in a “marine protected area”
(MPA) in defance of federal fshing regulations.
“Te camp is almost over, but the main goal
of the Cucapa – to fsh without government
harassment was achieved,” explained Cesar
Soriano from LA’s Banda Martes, a group of
young activists and artists who meet regularly at
the Eastside Café there to work with the Zapatista
Otra Campana and establish working relations
across borders. Armed federal soldiers have
patrolled the reserve and accosted fshermen
since the protected area was established. In Octo-
ber, the community had 30 outstanding warrants
for “illegal” fshing in their attempt to practice
the same traditions as their ancestors.
“Te camp also achieved its second goal, to
organize direct support from people from both
sides of the border,” said Soriano. At diferent
points during the camp, activist groups from
Mexico City, Australia, El Salvador and American
Indian nations, as well as from San Diego and
Los Angeles, showed solidarity and organized
fundraisers and caravans for the Cucapa.
“Te Cucapa are doing the same thing they
have been doing for 9,000 years,” said Marcos,
quoted by Brenda Norrell. “Tey called for
this camp in defense of nature so they can fsh
without detentions or being put in jail” www.
narconews.com/Issue45/article2623.html.
For thousands of years, the Cucapa people
lived on land surrounding the Colorado River
and the delta where it empties into the Sea of
Cortez, surviving of native fsh and plants.
However, as agribusiness and thirsty cities in
California and Arizona diverted the entire fow of
the Colorado without regard for the indigenous
people below the US-Mexico border, catches of
corvina, totuava (a giant sea bass-like fsh that is
now protected) and other species declined.
Te massive water diversions and corporate
commercial fshing feets caused the fshery and
ecosystem to decline. Meanwhile, corporate-
funded US conservation groups like Conserva-
tion International and the World Wildlife Fund
urged the Mexican government to declare the
traditional area of the Cucapa and Kiliwa people
the “Biosphere Reserve of the Upper Gulf of Cali-
fornia.” Tis declaration was made “in the public
interest” in June 1993.
“Since 77% of the
people who live in and
around the reserve rely
on fshing for their liveli-
hoods, it is unclear which
public interest the fsh-
ing ban in the protected
area serves,” said Kristin
Bricker www.narconews.
com/Issue43/ article2205.
html.
Te Cucapa and Killi-
wa point out that it is in
their very best interest to protect the endangered
species they rely upon for their livelihood and
they want very much to be custodians of the river
and its fsh as they have been for generations.
Tey were not responsible for the over- fshing,
even though they bear the brunt of its conse-
quences, according to Bricker.
Hopefully, the success of this camp will send
a strong message to the Mexican government
and US “conservation” groups that so called “bio-
reserves” and MPAs cannot be imposed upon
indigenous people and other family fshermen
without resistance.
Te problem faced by the Cucapa in Mexico
parallels the situation in California, where well-
funded “conservation” groups, in collusion with
a Republican governor, are attempting to kick
recreational anglers and family commercial
fshermen of the water through the institution
of “marine protected areas.” Tis has been done
even though massive de facto reserves and some
of the strictest fshing regulations in the world are
already in place.
Te MPAs constitute a major case of ‘green
washing.’ In this way, the corporate interests
responsible for fshery declines—habitat
destruction, water
quality decline and
global warming—
avoid accountability.
Just as the Cucapa
and other tribes have
been completely
excluded by conserva-
tion groups and the
Mexican government
from input into estab-
lishing bio-reserves,
California Indian
tribes have also been
excluded from the
process pushing
through the Marine
Life Protection Act
Initiative, established
by Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger. His
purpose was to set up
a network of MPAs
along the California coast.
And just as the Colorado River Delta ecosys-
tem has been destroyed by water diversions and
pollution, the California Delta, which sustains
a wide variety of California coastal species, is
threatened by a food chain collapse caused by
massive increases in water diversions of state and
federal governments.
For more info about the Cucapa Camp:
http://detodos- paratodos.blogspot.com/
Dan Bacher is a writer, alternative journalist
and satirical songwriter in Sacramento.
Defending Indigenous Fishing Rights
Zapatistas, US and Mexican activists create camp in Colorado delta
“For thousands of
years, the Cucapa
people lived on
land surrounding
the Colorado River,
surviving of native
fsh and plants.”
Cucupa tribe members fsh for corvina on the
Colorado River Delta.
Photo by Joel Garcia.
Members of Zapatista Peace Camp clean corvina (a delicious saltwater
fsh) before selling the fsh.
Photo by Joel Garcia.
Members of the Cucupa Fishing Cooperative prepare boats for a day of
fshing on the Colorado River Delta.
Photo by Joel Garcia.
Pangas like this one, located on the shore of the Zapatista Camp,
are used by the Cucapa and other indigenous people to fsh for
corvina and other species on the Colorado Delta and throughout
the Sea of Cortez.
Photo by Joel Garcia.
Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
W
hat does Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
practice of nonviolence and the late
Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone’s
strategies of tying together candidates, grassroots
community organizations, and progressive poli-
cies have to do with the peace movement and
our eforts to end the war and occupation of
Iraq? Plenty. Tese two strategies together will
help broaden and strengthen our movement to
democratize our national security and foreign
policy, the two least democratically formed poli-
cies in our country.
Locally, community members are putting
these two strategies, important parts of our
American heritage, into action through Peace in
the Precincts.
Peace in the Precincts was founded in Min-
nesota as the next logical step to building the
movement for progressive peace and security
policies, or as the group likes to call it, “nonvio-
lent security.”
Te Sacramento Chapter was founded by
community members two years ago and now has
over 500 members.
Peace in the Precincts continues to imple-
ment three linked activities: community and
network building, grassroots policymaking, and
election participation.
For example, organizing neighbors in Sac-
ramento neighborhoods built a network that
has successfully lobbied Rep. Doris Matsui to
support several Iraq and Iran-related bills in
Congress, support US withdrawal from Iraq, and
discourage US invasion of Iran.
If you would like to get involved,
contact Peace in the Precincts
Chairwoman Glenda Marsh at:
marshmellow8562@yahoo.com
or 452-4801.
Sacramento’s Peace in the Precincts
Group backs “nonviolent security” at home and abroad
By Glenda Marsh
Peace in the Precincts has a grassroots-gen-
erated Peace Platform with fve principles for
nonviolent security: economic justice, domestic
needs, weapon nonproliferation, international
cooperation and the rule of law, and respect for
human rights. Based on these principles, commu-
nity members have proposed to Matsui policies
for the US to leave Iraq, and back sovereignty,
reconstruction, and safety for Iraqis.
Peace in the Precincts members worked on
the 2006 campaign in California’s 3rd Congres-
sional District, where Bill Durston challenged
incumbent Republican Dan Lungren. Tis cre-
ated a new network of people in the 3rd District
that continues to exist today.
Te group is working hard to expose Lun-
gren as out of tune with district constituents, and
to reach out to fnd more concerned community
members to work with.
Peace in the Precincts hopes to launch a
“Talking Community” speaker series in the 3rd
District to share progressive ideas and approach-
es to tackling issues ranging from national
security, health care, and global warming, to job
benefts for hotel workers.
Peace in the Precincts also wishes to work
with local organizations registering new voters in
the 3rd District to ensure that we have the votes
to elect progressive candidates at any level of
government.
A friend in rural Calaveras County said, “I’m
tired of losing; I want to win.”
Tese are the critical elements of movement
building, leading us to winning.
We need your help with outreach in Rancho
Cordova and Elk Grove, and with fnding health
care or other local community-based organiza-
tions, like PTAs, for our Talking Community
speakers to address.
“Members have
proposed to Matsui
policies for the US
to leave Iraq, and
back sovereignty,
reconstruction, and
safety for Iraqis.”
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Painting in the Mail
You send a painting in the mail,
the brown paper wrapping crinkling off
in Mama’s hands,
It is 1969 and you are fghting diseases
by fnding them in the blood of the dying,
fghting soldiers.

Your painting is of four red stockings over
a freplace, our home—one stocking has no
name,
my sister yet to be born,
but in this time, the mail and baby have been
delivered.
“Claire,” I want to scrawl on the red stock-
ing.

Aunt Gretchen collected your check
at the army depot and we watched
a funeral on TV.
Aunt Gretchen said, “he was a good man -
he was the President’s brother.”
I was too young to know my aunt was a Re-
publican
and that everybody loved Bobby Kennedy.
There would be other family occasions
without you, they kept you moving in the
army
and in business, but your painting is a holi-
day
and you will be coming home.

Frank D. Graham
http://people.tribe.net/graham
Let your representatives know
what you think!
Toll-free line to the Capitol
Switchboard for House & Sen-
ate:
1-800-828-0498
Representative Matsui
Web site: www.house.gov/matsui
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
222 Cannon House Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0505
Phone: (202) 225-7163
Fax: (202) 225-0566
Main District Ofce:
501 I St., Ste. 12-600
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 498-5600
Fax: (916) 444-6117
Representative Doolittle
Web site: www.house.gov/doolittle
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
2410 Rayburn House Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0504
Phone: (202) 225-2511
Fax: (202) 225-5444
Main District Ofce:
4230 Douglas Blvd., Ste. 200
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone: (916) 786-5560
Fax: (916) 786-6364
Representative Lungren
Web site: www.house.gov/lungren
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
2448 Rayburn House Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0503
Phone: (202) 225-5716
Fax: (202) 226-1298
Main District Ofce:
11246 Gold Express Dr., Ste. 101
Gold River, CA 95670
Phone: (916) 859-9906
Fax: (916) 859-9976
Representative Thompson
Web site: mikethompson.house.gov
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
231 Cannon House Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0501
Phone: (202) 225-3311
Fax: (202) 225-4335
District ofce:
712 Main St., Ste. 1
Woodland, CA 95695
Phone: (530) 662-5272
Fax: (530) 662-5163
Senator Boxer
Web site: boxer.senate.gov
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
112 Hart Senate Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0505
Phone: (202) 224-3553
Fax: (415) 956-6701
District Ofce:
501 I St., Ste. 7-600
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 448-2787
Fax: (916) 448-2563
Senator Feinstein
Web site: feinstein.senate.gov
E-mail: Contact via form on web site
Washington Ofce:
331 Hart Senate Ofce Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0504
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Main District Ofce:
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710
BPM won’t survive
without you!
Subscribe!
Keep us alive!
Subscribe! Subscribe!
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 7
Film Review
Cuba’s Health Care
Salud!
Reviewed by Michael
Monasky
Connie Field is the director of Salud! Her
flm focuses on Cuba’s export of medical interns
to Gambia, South Africa, Honduras, and Ven-
ezuela. Tey travel to the nations’ barrios, the
poorest, most remote, and least medically served
communities.
Over 10,000 medical students attend classes
in Havana at the Escuela Latino Americana
Medicina (ELAM). It is the world’s largest medi-
cal school. By contrast, the UC Davis Medical
School has a total of 400 students, 4% of the
ELAM student body.
Cuba has a progressively complex, modern
health care delivery system. In Field’s flm, Cuban
News with a space for you
By Ron Cooper
W
ake up, please! Media issues really do
matter. Nothing is more important
than media in shaping the public
mind. Yet many are still not aware of its enor-
mous infuence.
Sacramento Media Group
Te Sacramento Media
Group is focusing on just
that. A local sub-set of Cal-
ifornia Common Cause,
SMG meets monthly at
Access Sacramento, 4623 T
St. Common Cause advo-
cates for ethical and fair
elections and active participation of all eligible
citizens. Since media coverage is so important in
elections, fair treatment of all candidates is fun-
damental to our democracy.
SMG is currently writing a report on how
local TV stations covered the 2006 elections. It
includes station visits with general managers and
news directors, feedback on what’s inside the
public records each station must maintain, and
an estimate of how much money stations made
on the election process (lots!).
Te big commercial media need to know that
we the people are watching and listening criti-
cally, and SMG invites you to help with this very
important project. Please join our Media Matters
Presentation Team that visits local schools and
colleges to develop awareness of the many ways
media matters.
Media Edge
Media Edge is a local, fast-moving progres-
sive video magazine. It produces great two-hour
shows on local and global matters. Congratula-
tions, Media Edge, on your 100th show!
Free wireless Internet Service
Te Sacramento City Council will soon
award a contract establishing free wireless Inter-
net Wi-Fi service to all homes within the city
limits. Many thousands of homes are either not
connected to the Internet or don’t have a com-
puter. Te Wi-Fi efort will help bridge what is
called the “digital divide.”
Te Nonproft Resource Center and Access
Sacramento are circulating a computer survey.
Seven public meetings have been held over the
past 12 months with 40
non-proft organizations
to gather information for
a “Digital Inclusion Vision
Statement.” Te feedback
combined with an analysis
of resources granted by
winning vendors in other
Wi-Fi cities such as Minneapolis and San Fran-
cisco, has been presented to the City Council ad
hoc Wi-Fi committee. Contact Common Cause
if you would like to be involved. Te City Coun-
cil will announce a decision on Wi-Fi contract
details in the next two months.
Telecom deregulation
Te California Public Utilities Commission
will receive new cable television franchise appli-
cations but will not be the enforcement agency
for recently passed AB 2987 (Núñez & Levine)—
thanks to $26 million in lobbying dollars spent by
cable and telephone companies, especially AT&T.
Te bill opens cable delivery of media to tele-
phone companies AT&T and Verizon, and was
sold to the state Legislature as a means to lower
the cost of cable television via greater competi-
tion and less local government regulation.
Don’t be surprised if the future of cable
resembles the commercial chaos of the cell phone
industry. California city and county governments
are watching the implementation of the law
closely. Expect a series of court cases to follow
attempting to clarify what AB 2987 intended to
accomplish.
Questions being asked include: Will local or
“Get of the couch
and get behind the
camera—and make
your own media.”
Because Media Matters
state government enforce the guidelines prevent-
ing discrimination of services to low-income
neighborhoods or “red-lining?” Will state or local
government protect promised funding for public
education and government access television?
How will cable consumer complaints be handled?
Public advocacy groups are watching the impacts
of the new rules closely.
Access Sacramento
Get of the couch and get behind the cam-
era—and make your own media. Access Sacra-
mento ofers television and radio production
classes and free use of production equipment.
Two new classes are looking for attendees: “Digi-
tal Storytelling” and “Video Blogging.” Call 456-
8600 or visit www.accesssacramento.org.
At the same Web site, see volunteer oppor-
tunities for the “A Place Called Sacramento” flm
production project in its eighth year. Watch the
10-minute flms and join a production team.
Lights, camera, and you are in action!
IndyMedia
SacIndyMedia.org is another way to “become
the media.” Publish your stories about the people,
places, and issues that bug or inspire you. Go to
the Web site, click on the publish button in the
upper right hand corner, and follow the simple
instructions. If your article is deemed well done
and vital, it will “move to the center column” as
a searchable database with the powerful Google
search engine. SacIndyMedia.org group is also
posting stories from Because People Matter.
Speak up and others will listen.
Ron Cooper is executive director of Access
Sacramento, rcooper444@aol.com.
medical interns treat patients in their homes and
villages. Te interns consult each other to deter-
mine accurate diagnoses and refer patients to
district clinics and hospitals. Tey place patients
in regional medical centers for specialized treat-
ment, and advanced, state-of-the-art surgical and
medical interventions.
In early March, Sacramento’s Tower Teatre
screened Salud! Te audience was a mix of Hol-
lywood celebrities, the state medical association,
a legislative leader, policy wonks, and universal
health care advocates. Karen Bass, a Democrat
who represents LA as the state Assembly majority
leader, hosted the flm.
Actor Danny Glover introduced Salud! “I
asked to be here,” he said.
Glover recalled his childhood as a son of a
postal worker. Kaiser, the HMO giant, met their
health care needs. It was, he said, afordable, and
taken for granted.
Glover compared the Cuban health care sys-
tem in the flm to that in the US. “Cuba spends
$400 per person per year on health care versus
$6,000 annually in the US.” All Cubans have
health care, unlike all Americans.
Afer the flm, I asked Glover about the
efects upon ELAM of the US embargo against
Cuba. Te embargo has cut imported supplies
and drugs, he said.
Despite the US embargo, Cuba has advanced
its pharmaceutical research. Cuba has developed
a meningitis B vaccine that the US refuses to
import, Glover said.
Bass closed the gathering by promoting
universal, single payer healthcare to viewers of
Salud! Te audience, afer all, had just seen a flm
about prevention, not pathology, about patients
as people, not customers.
“I hope people walk away with a sense of
hope,” Bass said.
For more information go to www.saludthe-
film.net.
Michael Monasky has worked in health care
for nearly 13 years, and can be reached at the-
generalwelfare@surewest.net.
To join the Sacramento Media Group, con-
tact JoAnn Fuller, 443-1792 extension 11 or
jfuller@commoncause.org..
Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
By Heidi McLean
T
he Sacramento City Unifed
School District (SCUSD) has
yet to ofcially announce
a plan to close small elementary
schools. But there are signs that such
a plan is afoot. On March 20, the
SCUSD Board of Education voted 4-
2 in favor of staf’s proposal to close
one Pocket area school (Bear Flag
Elementary) and assign its students
to nearby Caroline Wenzel. More
Sacramento neighborhood schools
may close as SCUSD enrollment
continues to decline.
Another sign of a “plan” is
the current emphasis on the need
for elementary schools to “break even.” According to
SCUSD budget department staf, small elementary
schools cost the district too much money to operate
without a minimum enrollment of 500 to 525 students.
Te blending of Caroline Wenzel and Bear Flag was pre-
sented to the Board and at community meetings as a way
to save SCUSD money.
However, district staf claimed that the amount to
be saved was based on the district’s average cost for a
teacher, cost for a principal, cost for classifed staf, etc.,
rather than the actual payroll and facility maintenance
cost of Bear Flag. Tere was also no discussion of the
cost of making the Bear Flag facility the interim site for
the planned Science and Engineering (small) high school
next year.
Another indicator that more
closures are in the works is district
staf’s dismissive treatment of the
following: suggestions to redraw
attendance boundaries to level out
enrollment for all schools; convert-
ing low enrollment K-6 elementary
schools to K-8; public questions
regarding plans for more small high
schools that lack sites; alternatives
to closure such as co-locating
another program on the campus to
either share in the facility costs, or
pay rent to help defray Bear Flag’s
operating costs.
Te convoluted logic that the district presented to
the public revealed several critical faws. Tere is a lack
of a consistent evaluation process for determining school
viability. Consider this. Te district closes elementary
schools with 500 students but keeps open four charter
small high schools with fewer than 400 students each.
Also, there is a lack of a comprehensive long-term
plan to address the problem of declining enrollment in
the lower grades. And there is a lack of a meaningful
process to inform and engage the public.
For people interested in preserving their own neigh-
borhood elementary school with less than 500 students,
start preparing now for arbitrary action by the district’s
administrators. Otherwise your school and community
will be faced with a process that looks and feels like a
“done deal,” because district staf will ofer no alterna-
tives to closure, will show no interest in parent and
community suggestions, and will not care that they have
lef a trail of frustrated, angry parents and community
members. Survey your neighborhood to see how many
elementary age children live there and pay attention to
home sales. Be prepared!
Below is a list of all SCUSD schools with less than
500 students. Some of these schools are flled to capacity.
A.M. Winn, Abraham Lincoln, America’s Choice,
Camellia, Cesar Chavez, Collis P. Huntington, Crocker/
Riverside, Earl Warren, Ethel Phillips, Father Keith B.
Kenny, Freeport, Fruitridge, Genesis High, H.W. Hark-
ness, Health Professions, Hollywood Park, Isador Cohen,
James Marshall, Jedediah Smith, John Bidwell, John
Cabrillo, John D. Sloat, John F. Morse, Joseph Bonnheim,
Kit Carson, Lisbon, Maple, Mark Hopkins, Mark Twain,
Met Sacramento Charter High, New Technology High,
O.W. Erlewine, Oak Ridge, Phoebe A. Hearst, Pony
Express, Sequoia, Susan B. Anthony, Tahoe, Teodore
Judah, Tomas Jeferson, Washington, William Land,
and Woodbine.
Heidi McLean is the spokesperson for the
Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education, www.
savepublicschools.org
By Paolo Bassi
I
n 1954 African-American lawyers and activ-
ists (Brown v. Board of Education) forced the US
Supreme Court to sit up and concede that “separate
but equal” schooling was nothing but legal racial apart-
heid and anything but equal.
Te Brown case was only the start. It took decades
of litigation and insults for black children to enter white
majority schools. Nevertheless, the next 30 years saw a
great deal of desegregation. Te federal government and
the courts supported this. However, that support did not
continue. If it had, US public schools would be harmoni-
ous and mostly integrated today. Fify years afer the
Brown case, studies such as the Harvard University Civil
Rights Project, and works by authors such as Jonathan
Kozol, an education activist, show segregation increasing
rapidly.
Precisely because class and racial inequality underlie
school segregation, the US political class and its corpo-
rate media ignore or confuse it. Issues of race, but espe-
cially class, are simply too dangerous and uncomfortable
for US politics, which prefers to portray a merit-based
vision of society. Even the word “segregated” is replaced
with evasive euphemisms such as “mixed,” “urban”
or “gritty” to describe black- and Latino-dominated
schools. Likewise, federal courts have largely turned their
back on school desegregation, also the approach under
the Clinton and both Bush White Houses.
President George Bush’s approach has been the
controversial “No Child Lef Behind” (NCLB) of January
8, 2002. Te NCLB has burdened overworked teachers
with time-sapping standardized testing requirements,
while ignoring underlying inequality and segregation.
Bush’s rationale is that few racial minorities will attend
college and that addressing pre-college inequality is not
an appropriate policy. Such an approach means that poor
and minority children are punished twice—frst with a
lower standard of education and then greater exclusion
from colleges. If this is not class war, then what is it?
Te attack on public education is really part of a
larger ideological shif towards privatization. Private eco-
nomic choices are valued above collective public choices.
If parents with resources deem a school unft, they pay
for a private one. Poor parents simply do not have such
choices even within public school districts such as the
Sacramento City Unifed School District. In the SCUSD,
poor students lack the family resources to attend their
school of choice, regardless of other administrative
hurdles.
According to the 2001 Harvard Civil Rights Project,
70% of black students attend schools where minorities
predominate. Latino students are even more segregated.
Naturally, whites are also increasingly segregated. On
average, whites attend schools where they represent
about 80% of the student body. Additionally, as a per-
centage of enrolled students, whites are decreasing in the
public school system, choos-
ing to opt out of it for reli-
gious or otherwise private,
fee-based schools in white-
majority areas. In efect,
public school populations
are beginning to resemble
their late 1960s racial make-
up. Yet social and geographic
segregation fail to complete-
ly explain why white and non-white children have parted
company in such signifcant numbers.
In the SCUSD, blacks and whites each represent
about 20% of the total student body. Tere are schools in
poorer areas where there are virtually no white students.
Take for example Parkway Elementary School, where
blacks and Latinos dominate. Tey also sufer economic
deprivation and have terrifyingly low profciency rates in
English language/arts (around 20%) and science (about
10%). Tere is little doubt that learning sufers where
there is segregation, which usually correlates with greater
poverty.
At Luther Burbank High School in the SCUSD,
blacks and Latinos dominate. However, their profciency
rates are a fraction of that the same racial groups achieve
at West Campus High School, which has a more inte-
grated and diverse population. Even if poor students
have the grades to make it to a better school, they usually
lack the resources to make the transfer.
Instead of being a place of refuge and creativity, and
simply somewhere to be young, segregated schools come
to mirror the society outside. Poor children’s cultural
enrichment and childhood disappear. All available data
show that poor and minority students do better in racial-
ly integrated schools due in part to the greater resources.
Our political and economic system fosters inequal-
ity in every sphere of life. Tus the lack of educational
equality is deliberate and political. If an equally funded
education system existed, how could the elites ensure
that their children got the start needed to remain elites?
Tis is very rational from a capitalist viewpoint, which
cheers competition as a virtue but in reality seeks and
needs to crush it. Likewise, public education is rigged
from the start with inequality that harms mainly black
and Latino children.
Te attack on public education is consistent with
the attacks on the living standards of working people in
America and all over the world. As US workers become
more poor and insecure, why should the government
make a real investment in
educating their children?
Perhaps expectations of
certain children have to be
reduced in order to produce
the next generation of docile
and hungry entry-level
workers and soldiers for
future corporate wars.
Te re-segregation of
American public schools is an assault on the destinies of
poor and minority children. Fully integrated and equally
funded public schools in this country can foster a sense
of justice and citizenship among the young. We need a
collective political solution now to halt segregation and
to dismantle the myth that pre-college inequality can
be overcome if just lef alone. In a decent society people
cannot want one thing for their own children and some-
thing inferior for the children of those less advantaged.
Paolo Bassi is an attorney and writer based in
Sacramento.
Closing neighborhood elementary schools
Will yours be the next?
“The district closes
elementary schools
with 500 students
but keeps open four
charter small high
schools with fewer
than 400 students
each.”
School Segregation Returns
Te class lines of racial inequality
“The re-segregation of
American public schools is
an assault on the destinies
of poor and minority
children.”
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www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
By Jef Lustig
W
eapons of Mass Instruction (WMIs) have
been found on the banks of the American
River in Northern California. Te devices
have been stockpiled apparently awaiting installation
in the classrooms of CSU Sacramento. Once activated,
specialists report, the weapons would be capable of wip-
ing out thousands of independent minds and triggering
the Sudden Instant Death of
countless new ideas.
Te devices permit the
mass processing of students,
the conscription of mal-
leable minds by platoon and
regiment and bushel and peck,
instead of the old one-on-one
give-and-take of the class-
room. Weapons-grade materi-
al was found: distance learning devices, online teaching,
commodifed courseware, webcasting and iPod lectures
ready to be piped across campus, if not the country.
Aristotle may have walked with his students. Presi-
dent Garfeld may have thought the ideal education was
Williams College President Mark Hopkins on one end
of a log and a student at the other. But that’s old news
for current campus chiefs. Tey seek instruction on the
regimental and regimented scale. “Yes, that’s it,” admitted
the president of the shocked campus. “Why else would
we be letting classrooms go to seed, canceling classes,
refusing to replace tenured retirees and goosing-up stu-
dent/faculty ratios to as much as 27:1 in Social Sciences
and Interdisciplinary Studies?”
Campus managers acknowledge a little may be lost
in transition. Like classroom dialogue. Student interac-
tion. Writing assignments. Faculty attention to individ-
ual students. Tenured faculty themselves. Tat’s tough,
they add, but look what you get in return: huge gradua-
tion rates at minimal costs. Te university can become a
diploma mill. Like the neutron bomb, WMIs will destroy
minds but leave property intact.
Tis highlights the real novelty of the new devices.
“Mass” refers to not only their
means but to their end. For a
century American higher educa-
tion thinkers grappled with the
problem of how an institution
designed for elites could be
reshaped to serve the citizenry
at large. How could the fruits of
a liberal education—the grasp of
history and context, critical cast
of mind, broadened horizons and preparation for public
life—be imparted to the general population?
Now CSU administrators have resolved the prob-
lem, by dismissing it. Te point of the devices of mass
instruction is no longer to prepare people to be members
of an informed public but to ease them into life in mass
society. Tat’s why new campus leaders prefer one-way
instruction to interactive education, and transmission to
communication.
Te point is not to help students see the big picture,
but to know their niche, not to question conventional
wisdom, but to accept it, not to judge the authorities
but be manipulated by them. Tese days, the authors of
What Business Wants from Higher Education (1998) cau-
tion, the development of intellectual autonomy “may…
work against developing the skills” (of “fexibility and
teamwork”) employers are seeking. Te point, in short, is
not to develop citizens but to prepare subjects.
“We’re at the cutting edge,” boasted a CSUS ofcial
who asked not to be identifed. “A lot of folks in the Edu-
cation Industry have fantasized about WMIs, but only at
Sac State, the Baghdaddy of all campuses, are we actually
ready to detonate them.”
Jef Lustig is a professor of government at CSU Sacra-
mento.. Tis article frst appeared in Te Stinger: www.
csusresistance.org/stinger/stinger_march_2007.pdf.
By Kevin Wehr
F
aculty have overwhelmingly voted no confdence
in CSU Sacramento President Alexander Gonza-
lez. April’s referendum on him expressed “outrage”
and “dismay” over his misplaced priorities, gaining the
support of 78% of faculty who voted.
CSUS faculty and students
have been outraged by many
of the president’s actions over
the last three years. But his
colossal mismanagement of
the school budget tops the list.
Te core problem is increased
health and beneft costs asso-
ciated with salaries, which
have gone up for every CSU
campus. But Sacramento is the
only campus that managed to
produce a towering $6.5 mil-
lion defcit. In the face of this
budgetary mess, the president transferred $1.4 million
from instruction—the core mission of the university—to
other, non-academic divisions.
But the budget issue is only the tip of the iceberg.
Te president has damaged instruction, ignored shared
governance, and undermined the mission of public
education:
• He supported raising student fees which reduces
accessibility to the university.
• He reduced class oferings and increased class
sizes, thus delaying student progress toward graduation
and increasing the workload of instructors.
• He built administrative and athletic buildings, but
no new classroom buildings.
• He removed the chickens, our beloved unofcial
mascot from campus.
• He changed the university’s name against the
expressed will of students and faculty.
• He gutted the Multicultural Center and programs
for less-prepared students.
• Under Gonzalez graduation rates have gone
down—now only 44% of stu-
dents graduate in eight years,
with even lower rates for stu-
dents of color.
• Trough all this he took an
astronomical raise. And his son
was hired at a salary higher than
most faculty earn.
Tis is a partial list that
shows the sources of the
faculty’s lack of confdence. Te
president’s actions amount to
an overall program of privatiza-
tion and corporatization that
degrades the quality of instruction and dismantles public
education.
But where do we go from here? Past university
presidents who lost the confdence of faculty have usu-
ally resigned, but the referendum cannot require this and
Gonzalez has indicated that he will not leave. As well as
expressing no confdence, the referendum ofers a road-
map for reconciliation by directing the Faculty Senate to
identify “specifc actions that the president must take” to
“restore the quality of the instructional program and the
faculty’s confdence in his leadership.” Perhaps the facul-
ty and administration can work towards restoring broken
bonds of trust, but the April vote makes it clear that it is
Gonzalez who must make the major accommodations.
Kevin Wehr is an assistant professor of sociology at
CSUS.
“Under Gonzalez
graduation rates have
gone down—now
only 44% of students
graduate in eight years,
with even lower rates for
students of color.”
CSUS President Gonzalez Loses
Confdence Vote
“Like the neutron bomb,
WMIs will destroy minds
but leave property
intact.”
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WMIs Found!
CSUS faculty and students at-risk
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D
espite the dominant belief in the value of
the free market, the US government reg-
ulates and intervenes
in the market in many ways to
the beneft of the wealthy and
to promote corporate inter-
ests. Tis intervention defnes
the conservative nanny state,
the title of economist Dean
Baker’s book.
Consider copyright
and patent protections that
amount to government-
enforced monopolies. Micro-
sof’s revenue was about $40
billion in 2005, the major-
ity of which resulted from
the government-enforced
copyright protections on its
sofware. Ten there are the
government protections aforded to individuals
who form corporations.
Government regulation of the market results
in increased profts for CEOs, shareholders, and
other elites, ofen to the detriment of the average
worker. For example, the Federal Reserve Board,
of which 5 of 12 members are appointed by the
fnance industry, serves the wealthy by privileg-
ing the fght against infation over maintenance
of low unemployment rates.
In a chapter on the government assistance
that goes to small businesses, Baker points out
that while small business owners like to see
themselves as rugged individualists, they are
among the prime benefciaries of the conser-
vative nanny state. He points out that small
businesses are responsible for the majority of
job destruction in the US, low job security for
employees, lower wages, and fewer benefts com-
pared to larger businesses. Yet politicians bless
the role of small business in our economy and the
government provides numer-
ous subsidies to them. Tese
subsidies include below market
interest-rate loans and exemp-
tions from labor and safety
standards.
Baker is co-director of
the Center for Economic and
Policy Research. He ofers
suggestions for alterna-
tives to current methods of
determining CEO pay, sup-
porting creative work (such
as more government funding
to researchers for developing
new medications, with full
disclosure of results stipulated)
and discouraging tax evasion.
Te changes he suggests are not revolutionary,
but could put US policies more in line with the
more worker-friendly policies found in much of
Western Europe.
While successfully highlighting the many
ways in which corporations reap government
funds and privileges, Baker overstates the secu-
rity and privilege of higher income professional
workers and neglects to see the corporate drive
to use any means necessary to drive down their
wages and power (such as the use of HB1 visas).
He argues that licensing and immigration restric-
tions keep out highly trained workers from
entering the US. Tis keeps wages high for highly
paid doctors, lawyers, engineers and journalists,
and increases the cost of their services to the con-
sumer. If we dropped these protections, wages
would drop, services would be cheaper and soci-
ety would beneft (assuming the capitalist didn’t
take the wage diference as proft).
Rather than pointing the fnger squarely at
the capitalist system, Baker pits workers against
each other based on their income and the type
of work they perform. He seems torn between
a libertarian belief in the virtues of a truly free
market, and the desire to create a society that
better serves the common worker. Te failure to
recognize the power diferentials between major
corporations and small businesses, while exag-
gerating the power of professional workers is the
author’s major failing and limits his ability to sug-
gest meaningful changes that truly would beneft
the majority of Americans.
Jacqueline Carrigan is an assistant professor
of sociology at CSU Sacramento.
Reviewed by Seth Sandronsky
T
he upsurge of immigrant workers in
the US this spring and last spring were
watershed events. In response to them,
some activists, politicians and pundits noted
that America is a nation of immigrants. Such
an assertion conceals more than it reveals. For
instance, what does this say about the country’s
frst inhabitants and enslaved blacks? And what
did their historical reality mean for the newcom-
ers who departed Europe between 1890 and 1945
for a kind of freedom in the US? Author and
scholar David R. Roediger delves deeply into
the history of the 55-year period that ends with
the close of World War II in Working Toward
Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became
White: Te Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the
Suburbs.
Roediger develops the concept of eastern and
southern European immigrants as “inbetween
people” who occupied an unclear point on a
racial spectrum of skin color. One of the fasci-
nating threads he explores is what these immi-
grants knew about race, and when they knew
it. Tis line of inquiry sets the stage for their US
experience over time and between genders dur-
ing a period of capitalist industrialization.
He lays out the scope of his book in the frst
of its three parts.
“Working Toward Whiteness asks what hap-
pens when we think of assimilation as whitening
as well as Americanizing, and when we view
the deeply gendered clash between frst-genera-
tion immigrant parents and second-generation
children as being in part about who commanded
knowledge of the US racial landscape. It seeks
to change the whole story of a crucial period in
US history without losing track of the wrench-
ing dimensions of race experienced by the new
immigrants who were at its center.”
Roediger references them in part through
the lens of fction and social science. Tis is a
stimulating process of discovery, thanks to his
use of dialectics, or the study of change. In this
way, he helps readers to understand how the
idea of whiteness developed in the context of
white supremacy for the newly arrived and their
children.
Eastern and southern European immigrants
had to wrestle with what black author and scholar
W.E.B. Du Bois called the “color line” in the US.
Tat is the racial division which is a part of—not
apart from—labor conditions of a market econ-
omy. In doing so, Roediger examines the hateful
words some whites used to describe Hungarian
and other immigrants from the oppressed classes.
The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay
Rich and Get Richer, by Dean Baker (Paperback: Lulu.com. July 26, 2006.
113 pages.)
Reviewed by Jacqueline Carrigan, Ph.D.
“Government
regulation of the
market results
in increased
profts for CEOs,
shareholders,
and other elites,
often to the
detriment of the
average worker.”
Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White: The
Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs, by David R. Roediger.
(Massachusetts: Basic Books, 2005)
See Working Toward Whiteness, page 11
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 11
Media Clipped
Seth Sandronsky
Time Tested Books
is now buying
Political posters, handbills & pamphlets
Books on history, labor, & politcs
Records of blues, jazz, rock, punk, world, R&B, & spoken word.
And, of course, we are selling books & records, too!
We are located at 1114 21st Street, Sacramento.
Our hours are 11 – 5:30 M-Sat. (but please call for appt. if selling).
916-447-5696.
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Whitening in the US
Two famous examples of immigrants targeted
by such racial bigotry were the executed Italian
radicals, Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco.
Some racists of the time slurred them as being
not-quite-white. Tis racial language had simi-
larities to popular descriptions of longtime black
residents of the US, generations removed from
their ancestors’ forced migration from Africa.
Te book’s strength is its close attention to
national and racial identities within the class-
structured society of the US. Roediger writes:
“Te ways in which capital structured workplaces
and labor markets contributed to the ideas that
competition would be cutthroat and should be
racialized.” Capitalism, racism and sexism are
intertwined, and are reinforced with state back-
ing. Tis nexus empowered central and eastern
European immigrants’ white-skin privilege. State
policy helped them to see and use this as a ticket
to private property, a point that Roediger takes
pains to explain.
Te Immigration Act of 1924 and Deporta-
tion Act of 1929 were milestones that divided the
US working class. Tese bills fortifed whites-
only housing segregation patterns, but only with
the consent of second-generation immigrants.
Here are the roots of FDR’s New Deal of racial-
ized white nationalism in the 1930s and 1940s,
according to Roediger. His narrative of the New
Deal runs counter to those who depict it as a
high water mark of US democracy. Tat stance
ignores or minimizes the gendered and racialized
roots of FDR’s legislation. A case in point is the
barring of domestic and farm workers, mainly
brown and black people, from coverage by the
Social Security Act of 1935. Later, the GI Bill
that made a college education available to fve
million veterans of the Second World War largely
excluded returning African American soldiers.
Working Toward Whiteness builds on
Roediger’s groundbreaking scholarship in History
Against Misery (2005), Colored White: Transcend-
ing the Racial Past (2002), Towards the Abolition
of Whiteness (1994) and his classic work Te
Wages of Whiteness (1991). People of all ages
and backgrounds inside and outside US borders
should read Working Toward Whiteness for the
light it casts on the conficted and conficting
paths (not) taken at critical junctures in the
development of the American nation.
Te material in this compelling book can
help to inform a new generation of political activ-
ism, part of an emerging US mass movement for
social justice. Now, as a century ago, immigrants
play a pivotal part. Te May Day 2007 rallies for
immigrant rights across the country are a current
example of that.
Seth Sandronsky is a co-editor of Because
People Matter.
I
f being white in America is “normal” then
what about everybody else?
Before the mass murders at
Virginia Tech in April, there was
a Salt Lake City shopping mall
shooting spree. A woman employ-
ee at the shopping mall—where
a young gunman maimed and
murdered people this February
12—said he appeared to be “an
average Joe,” the Associated Press
reported the next day. Once again we saw the
“white-as-normative” syndrome as pervasive in
American life. Inevitably, it seems, whites are
shocked to witness insane, homicidal behavior
by people who look like them, while appearing to
anticipate in advance, anti-social conduct from
non-whites.
Yes, daily journalism is the frst draf of his-
tory. Yet the employee’s description of the gun-
man raises a question.
Tat is, what are the meanings of “average”
in the USA? One unstated meaning, I maintain,
is that average is a person with white skin. Tis
description ft the Utah killer, an immigrant teen
from Bosnia, who was shot dead.
His status as a white person upon arrival
in the US from his war-torn country was likely
never in doubt. Tis is hardly a new trend nation-
wide. For perceptive analysis on the roots of this
European racial formation upon arrival in the
US between 1890 and 1945, see historian David
R. Roediger’s Working Toward
Whiteness: How America’s
Immigrants Became White:
Te Strange Journey from Ellis
Island to the Suburbs (Basic
Books, 2005).
In the book, he helps read-
ers to understand how the idea
of whiteness developed in the
context of white supremacy for
those newly arrived from eastern and southern
Europe and, later, their children. Contrast the
experiences of those European immigrants and
their kids to the current era of non-white immi-
grants feeing armed conficts fueled by capitalist
imperialism in their homelands (Africa, the
Caribbean and Latin America). Te latter people
do not whiten when they come to the US, as best
I can determine. Tus, in the sense of the quote
attributed to the witness during the Utah mall
shootings, “average” probably does not mean
an Asian, black or brown person. Tis is racial
insanity and a taboo topic nationwide and in
Sacramento.
Terefore, I suggest that a misperception
of white skin as being average is embedded in a
description of the homicidal male teen. Now let
us back up a bit and look at the social context
of the Utah bloodletting. Tis tragic event took
place as the US work force is becoming increas-
ingly female and non-white.
Working Toward Whiteness continued from p. 10
“The US has a
culture which
normalizes
whiteness as
a standard.”
For example, the civilian labor force par-
ticipation of black women age 20 and older rose
from 51.5% in 1954 to 64.7% percent in 2006,
according to data from the Labor Dept. It is
important to note that the labor force participa-
tion of white women age 20 and up was 32.8%
in 1954 and nearly doubled to 60.1% in 2006.
Te trend of larger numbers of women workers
employed for wages fows from capitalism’s con-
stant drive to increase labor productivity. Tat
is, workers using machinery and technology to
produce more and cheaper goods and services
for sale in the marketplace. Tere has been and is
no other social system like capitalist production.
Tis system, which constantly changes the way
people live and work, can be a bit hard to see in
the US, the most market-based society in history.
Tus in the world’s third most populous
nation, non-white females are average in the
sense of their class roles as producers and con-
sumers that mirror millions of white males. To
this end, a grass-roots discussion of what con-
stitutes an average American could help to raise
people’s political consciousness about their actual
places in society. In other words, the Utah trag-
edy could provide an opportunity for people who
live in the US to better see who they really are.
Sight unseen is sight not thought.
Seth Sandronsky is a co-editor of Because
People Matter.
1 Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
Cofee from
Nicaragua
Support Sacramento’s
sister city, San Juan de
Oriente, Nicaragua,
by purchasing organic
whole bean coffee
grown in the rich
volcanic soil on the
island of Omotepe,
Nicaragua.
Thanks to the efforts of
the Bainbridge-Omotepe
Sister Island Association
in Washington, we are
able to bring you this
wonderful medium roast
coffee.
Your purchase helps the
farmers on the island
and helps support
Sacramento’s long
relationship with San
Juan de Oriente.
All profts go directly
back to the Nicaraguan
communities.
$9.00 a pound.
Available in Sacramento
at: The Book Collector,
1008 24th St.
Sacramento
Soapbox
Progressive Talk Show
Access Sacramento,
Channel 17
with Jeanie Keltner &
Ken Adams.
Monday, 8pm, Tuesday
noon, Wednesday, 4am.
Now in Davis, Channel
15, Tuesday, 7pm.
By Dan Bacher
A
fer lunching with family and support-
ers, Cathy Webster of Chico entered the
Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center on
March 21. She had been sentenced to 60 days for
a simple trespassing charge at last November’s
protest at the US
Army’s School of the
Americas in Fort Ben-
ning, Georgia.
Webster hugged
her daughter, Stephanie
Tarrago, and grand-
children, Alicia and
Alejandro, before two
Sacramento County
sherif’s deputies
escorted the Chico
resident into jail.
Meanwhile, supporters such as Grandmothers for
Peace and other peace advocates, sang “Tis Lit-
tle Light of Mine,” and “Down by the Riverside.”
Webster had trespassed on the US Army
school to protest the military teaching of Latin
American soldiers. In the same spirit as the US
civil rights movement, she used non-violent civil
disobedience to spotlight the school’s teachings,
Chico Grandmother Jailed
Protested US training of Latin American soldiers
“As a prisoner of
conscience, I am
in good company,
stretching back
centuries.” Cathy
Webster, age 62.
Cathy Webster hugs and kisses her granddaughter, Alicia Tarrago,
minutes before reporting to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Facility
for her 60 day sentence for “trespassing”at the School of the
Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.
Photo Dan Bacher.
Cathy Webster and her daughter, Stephanie Tarrago, at the Rio
Cosumnes Correctional Center before being taken behind bars by
Sacramento County Sherif’s Deputies.
Photo by Dan Bacher
renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for
Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in 2000.
Webster had participated in the annual protest
and vigil along with 22,000 others.
“Te Latin American soldiers trained at
the SOA are not defending their countries,” she
said. “Tey return home to kill
and torture their own people.
Te graduates of this school are
among the worst human rights
violators in Latin America.”
Te short-term goal of her
action and of organizations
around the country is to educate
the American people about the
Army school. It is known as
the “School of the Assassins”
throughout Latin America. Te
protesters’ long-term goal is to
pressure Congress to pass legislation to de-fund
the school and close it permanently. A vote for
that in Congress is expected in May.
“I stepped onto military property with other
protestors and was arrested for trespassing,” Web-
ster said. “I was fully aware of that when I walked
onto military property.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced HR
1707 on March 27 with 72 original co-sponsors.
Tis new legislation would suspend operations at
the SOA/ WHINSEC and investigate torture and
human rights abuses associated with the school.
Webster went to jail on the eve of the con-
gressional vote for a supplemental funding bill to
continue the Iraq war and occupation. “We need
to cut the funds so we can stop a war that has
been waged without any just cause,” she added.
Te 62-year-old grandmother was one of six
activists incarcerated throughout the country on
March 21. Tis was the frst time she had ever
been jailed.
“I feel no anxiety, other than leaving my
family behind, nor shame,” she said. “I do feel
resolute in calling people’s attention to what our
taxes are paying for, and thus what we as a nation
are participating in. As a prisoner of conscience,
I am in good company, stretching back centuries.”
For more information about eforts to
close SOA/WHINSEC, go to the School of
the Americas Watch Web site at www.soaw.
org or the 1000 Grandmothers Web site at
www.1000grandmothers.net.
Dan Bacher is a writer, alternative journalist
and satirical songwriter in Sacramento.
Air America Gone!
By Michael Stavros
At a time when our democracy is in serious
jeopardy partly because our media has failed
us, KCTC radio (1320 AM) tried to justify their
decision to remove Air America, Sacramento’s
“lef channel,” by saying how much the city needs
a second all-sports channel.
But the reality is that the tremendously
popular Air America was flling a much needed
service of providing political discussion and
expressing viewpoints that have been kept out of
the rest of the mainstream media.
I wanted to know what and who was behind
this change, so I called Te Bee to ask one of their
investigative reporters to, you know, investigate.
Tey pointed me to an article by Joe Davidson,
Bee staf writer.
According to Joe, KCTC ditched Air Ameri-
ca to go with continuous ESPN sports program-
ming because: “In short, there are more fans of
lef-handed pitchers and passers than there are of
lef-leaning politics.”
Where did Joe get his information, and on
what does he base his opinion? Based on the
results of the November election, I don’t think Joe
is correct—or at least I hope he’s not.
If Joe is, what a sad state of afairs we are in,
sharing our fate with an apathetic populace dur-
ing this time of war, death, loss of our rights and
economic squeeze.
How’s your health insurance? Filled your
tank lately? Been to the Middle East lately? How
‘bout them Jayhawks?
Michael Stavros is a Sacramento writer.
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 1
By Brigitte Jaensch
O
n June 5, 2007, Palestinians will begin
their 41st year under what United States
ambassador emeritus Ed Peck called
a “savage occupation” by Israel. He spoke at
McGeorge Law School this February.
Every day Palestinian
mothers in the Israeli-occu-
pied territories wonder:
Can I feed my children
today? If I bathe the kids,
will we have enough water
to drink? What will happen
to the children at the Israeli
checkpoint between here
and school? Will the sol-
diers invade and ravage our
home? Will Israeli bombs or
rockets or bullets kill some-
one in our family today?
Israel controls every aspect of life for 4 mil-
lion Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West
Bank, and the Gaza Strip. In addition to the
occupation, Israel has also imposed an embargo
for over a year. Almost 2 million innocent Pales-
tinians (80% of the total population), including
children, are hungry, the United Nations reports.
Te West Bank is a closed Israeli military
zone. Israel’s apartheid walls enclose Palestin-
ian towns and villages. For the Bethlehem area’s
170,000 residents, there are three gates. Smaller
towns like Qalquilya have one gate. “Gate” means
checkpoint, which the Israeli soldiers lock shut.
Te West Bank, cut up by fences and walls into
detached towns and villages, is sealed tight!
A new restriction makes it illegal for a West
Bank Palestinian to ride in a vehicle that has
Israeli license plates unless each passenger and
driver has a special permit for that particular
journey (issued by the Israeli authorities). Te
penalty for violation? Te Palestinian rider gets
fve years in prison; the driver’s vehicle gets
confscated. Emergency ride to the hospital? Te
Israelis fouled up the paperwork? No exceptions.
Rider and driver are guilty. Complaints can only
be fled in person at Israeli police stations inside
illegal Israeli settlements throughout the West
Bank—of-limits to Palestinians.
Fences and walls around the Gaza Strip
imprison 1.5 million innocent Palestinians. Its
fve checkpoints are locked down up to 80% of
the time. Gaza is sealed tight!
On the ground there are Israeli soldiers in
tanks, Humvees and watchtowers. Overhead,
there are Israeli war planes, fghter jets and attack
helicopters. Israeli gunboats are poised to strike
along Gaza’s coast.
Tree Families:
Mohammed, 22, lives in Rafah refugee
camp (Gaza Strip). For 12 years his father was
imprisoned by the Israelis. No charge. His
brother, Hassan, 17, chatting with a friend out-
side a neighbor’s house, was shot by an Israeli
sharpshooter. Te next day an Israeli bulldozer
destroyed the family’s home. To avoid being
crushed inside the collapsing house, Moham-
med’s mother and sister had to jump from
upstairs windows. Teir injuries required hospital
treatment.
Ranim and her family live in Bethlehem.
Her father, whose family fed West Jerusalem
during the 1948 war in Palestine which created
the state of Israel, has a Palestinian identifcation
card (ID.) Her mother, whose East Jerusalem
family came under Israeli control when the 1967
war brought East Jerusalem, the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation, has
an Israeli permit residence ID. Ranim and her
brothers, born in Bethlehem, have Palestinian
IDs. Ranim’s mother (Israeli ID) used to be able
to visit her parents and her sister in Jerusalem.
Ranim, her father, and brothers (Palestinian IDs)
could not.
An Israeli wall surrounds Bethlehem now.
Another Israeli wall cuts of Jerusalem from the
West Bank. Ranim’s mother’s ID isn’t valid in
places where Ranim’s and
her father’s and brothers’
IDs are valid. And theirs
aren’t valid in places where
the mother’s ID is valid. Will
Ranim’s mother be able to get
an ID which lets her stay in
Bethlehem with her husband
and children? Would that
ID mean no more visits with
parents and sister? Israel
decides.
Anita and Ghassan
married 28 years ago while he
was a student in her country of Switzerland. Tey
have lived in Ramallah in the West Bank for the
last 12 years. Ghassan has a Palestinian ID. Anita,
who is Swiss, has a visitor’s permit ID. Every 3
months for the last 12 years she’s gone to Jordan
or Lebanon to get her permit renewed, but now
the Israelis stamped it “last permit.” If Anita and
Ghassan want to continue to live together, will
they need to leave Ramallah? Tousands of Pales-
tinians have family members whose “last permit”
has expired. Tis is just another way Israel is forc-
ing Palestinians out of the West Bank.
For Palestinians every moment of life is
dictated by the state of Israel. Te US government
supports Israel’s every illegality.
Of course, the 41-year occupation is only the
most visible Israeli aggression. In 1948, the Israeli
military expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians
from their homes and land. Although the Pales-
tinians have the legal right to return, for 59 years
the state of Israel has forcibly prevented them
from going home.
Brigitte Jaensch is a civil and human rights
advocate.
Sacramento Area Peace Action
Peace Action
on the Web
Keep up to date
on peace activism
in Sacramento.
Check out
www.sacpeace.org.
Capitol
Outreach for a
Moratorium
on the
Death Penalty.
Third Mondays,
11:30am to 1:30pm.
L Street at 11th.
We bring petitions,
literature and banners.
You bring yourselves.
Cafe nearby for coffee
after the vigil.
INFO: 447-7754
Sacramento Area Peace Action is an all-volunteer organization that
works to educate and mobilize the public to promote a non-interven-
tionist and non-nuclear US foreign policy and to promote peace through
international and domestic economic, social, and political justice. Join us!
Send your check to: sacramento area peace action (sapa) 909 12th street, #118, sacramento,
ca 95814. or call us! 448-7157, e-mail: sypeaceact@jps.net, web: www.sacpeace.org
JOIN SACRAMENTO AREA PEACE ACTION
Annual dues are $30/individual; $52/family; $15/low income.
Name:________________________________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________________
City _______________________________________ Zip _______________
Phone: __________________________
E-mail: __________________________
____Here is my additional contribution of $_______.
____Please send me the newsletter only, $10/yr.
Resources on Palestine:
Institute for Middle East Understanding:
www.imeu.net.
Washington Report on Middle East Afairs:
www.wrmea.com.
Rafah Today: www.rafahtoday.org.
National Council of Arab Americans:
www.arab-american.net.
“Israel controls
every aspect of
life for 4 million
Palestinians in
East Jerusalem,
the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip.”
Book Reviews
Reviewed by Maggie Coulter
The Other Side of Israel by Susan
Nathan (Doubleday, 2005, 336
pages).
Nathan’s moving and superbly written narra-
tive richly describes life for the approximately 1.2
million indigenous Palestinians who live inside
Israel. Tough they are legally Israeli citizens,
Palestinians are subjected to apartheid-type laws
which restrict their ability to own land or hous-
ing, move, hold employment, get good education
and health care, and manage their daily lives.
Born in Britain to Jewish parents, Nathan’s
father was an immigrant from South Africa,
where his family had gone to escape pogroms
(attacks) in Lithuania. She immigrated to Israel
in 1999 under Israeli law which allows anyone
who was born into or converted to Judaism to
live in Israel. Nathan, who experienced prejudice
against Jews in Britain and witnessed discrimina-
tion against non-whites while living in South
Africa, writes poignantly of the mistreatment of
Palestinians by the state of Israel.
Nathan, who spoke at UC Davis last fall, now
lives as part of an Arab family, the only Jew in the
Arab town of Tamra. Her book is a must-read to
fully understand life under Israeli theocracy.
One Country: A Bold Proposal to End
the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse by
Ali Abunimah (Metropolitan Books,
2006, 227 pages).
In his book, Palestinian-American Abun-
imah, co-creator and editor of the Electric
Intifada (www.electronicintifada.net), starts
with a historical overview to the current situa-
tion in Israel-Palestine. He then ofers a South
Africa-like solution: that all of historic Palestine
becomes a democratic secular state that does not
discriminate against any of its inhabitants. Real-
istic but hopeful, Abunimah discusses possible
visions for the new one country, a way to foster
healing through equality and multi-cultural
vibrancy. One country is an idea whose time has
come.
Maggie Coulter is board president of Sacra-
mento Area Peace Action.
Palestinians: 41 Years
Under Israeli Occupation
“Handele”, at left,was created
by Palestinian artist Naji
al-Ali about 20 years ago.
This eternally-10-year-old
Palestinian refugee child
symbolizes Palestinian
refugees of every age.
1 Because People Matter May / June 007 www.bpmnews.org
By Mary Bisharat
M
iddle East milestones are worth not-
ing. Last April, the London Review of
Books published “Te Israel Lobby”
by two respected academics, John Mearsheimer
and Steven Wald. In 80 pages (half are notes and
sources), they point out the painfully obvious—
that there is a pro-Israel lobby in US politics.
Te American Israel Public
Afairs Committee (AIPAC)
leads this Lobby.
Mearsheimer and Wald
began a national discussion.
It is well worth having for
many reasons. Recall the
Lobby was overwhelmingly
in favor of starting the US
war against Iraq. Further,
the Lobby is now urging a US attack on Iran.
And then there is a milestone concerning the
Lobby and the confict between Israel and Pales-
tine. Consider former President Jimmy Carter’s
book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Simon &
Schuster, November 2006). A Nobel Prize winner,
he came under swif attack for using the word
“apartheid” to describe Israel’s military occupa-
tion of Palestine’s West Bank. On his book tour
Carter was berated and rudely handled by PBS’
Judy Woodruf, and NPR’s Terry Gross. Te NY
Times ran a full-page attack ad against him. But
Carter kept his cool and stood his ground. He
had broken the taboo on using the “a” word in
relation to Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestin-
ian land.
Reading Carter’s book, I frst wondered
what the fuss was about. It read like a personal
travelogue with maps. Such may not be the case
for other readers. In speaking to the Jewish
community, Carter said he chose the book’s title
knowing it would be provocative, but would in
the long run generate positive discussion. And
his book has.
Carter confronts the fact that Israeli lead-
ers have carried on a series of unilateral actions
which put confscating land ahead of making
peace. Te fnal chapter, “Te Wall as a Prison,”
lays out the grim truth that Palestinians are sur-
rounded by Israel’s apartheid wall which snakes
through Palestinian territory, stealing privately-
owned farmland and controlling the chief aquifer.
It is important to note a landmark 14-1 vote of
the International Court of Justice in Te Hague
that the wall violated international law. Te vote
gave hope to Palestinians. Carter writes: “Peace
will come to Israel and the Middle East only
when the Israeli government is willing to comply
with international law.”
However, he also maintains that Jewish and
non-Jewish citizens get equal treatment under
Israeli law. Tis is untrue.
Israel has two sets of laws. One law is for
Jewish citizens. Te other law is for non-Jew-
ish citizens. Tey are Palestinian Christian and
Moslem, about 20% of the population. Israel
also has a Law of Return that allows a Jew from
anywhere in the world to become a citizen. By
contrast, Israel prevents Palestinians living out-
side Israel from returning to their stolen homes
and properties.
Carter’s forthright statements have helped
to break the taboo of talking about the infuence
of the Lobby, a loose collection of several dozen
American Jewish organizations. Te Lobby’s
most prominent groups are the American Jewish
Committee and the Anti-Defamation League,
organized as AIPAC.
AIPAC’s policy conference this March drew
6,000 activists to Washington, DC. Tey heard
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), John Boehner,
minority whip (R), Senator Harry Reid, majority
leader (D), plus Sen. Mitch McConnell, minority
whip (R). GOP Vice President Richard Cheney
gave a talk titled “Te United States and Israel:
United We Stand.” Several top presidential candi-
dates held receptions.
Closer to home, AIPAC also has roots.
AIPAC paid for the late Democratic Congress-
man Robert Matsui and Doris, his wife who
succeeded him in ofce in March 2005, to visit
Israel in 1981. Rabbi Mona Alf at B’Nai Israel on
Riverside Blvd. was a foreign policy analyst for
AIPAC. Mort Friedman is a Sacramento lawyer
and national board member of AIPAC. State
assemblymember Dave Jones (D) and state sena-
tor Darrell Steinberg (D), who represent Sacra-
mento constituents, attended AIPAC’s luncheon
at the Radisson Hotel this
past winter.
Despite the power and
reach of AIPAC, the Lobby’s
eforts to shape US public
opinion in favor of Israel’s
policies have not succeeded.
In December 2006, a United
Press/Zogby poll of 6,296
Americans found that 59%
believed it was very important to resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute. A clear majority of
respondents, 56%, believed that President Bush
should choose the middle ground, or be even-
handed toward both sides. A big majority, 79%,
told the pollsters that Palestinians should enjoy
equal rights with Israelis. And 64% favored a fully
independent state for Palestinians.
Surprising results? Perhaps we should not be
surprised. Te US public by wide margins is out
in front of its politicians and government. Tis is
so in spite of the Lobby’s attempts to mute politi-
cal discussion about Palestinian rights. AIPAC
should pay heed to this important milestone.
Mary Bisharat is a human rights activist and
retired social worker in Sacramento.
Milestones in the Middle East?
Many local links to the region
“Rabbi Mona Alf
at B’Nai Israel on
Riverside Blvd. was
a foreign policy
analyst for AIPAC.”
Four plays by
David Ives
Performed by
the Short Center repertory
May 11–May 27
The Short Center Repertory, a Sacramento-
based theatre company of developmentally
disabled actors, presents four plays by David
Ives. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 11–May
27, 8 pm at California Stage, 1725 25th
St. $15 for adults, $10 for people with
disabilities.
INFO: Jim Anderson 737-2709 or 205-
2674.
Sacramento Peace Festival
May 20th noon to 6:00 PM
William Land Park,
corner of Freeport and Sutterville
Many speakers and peace organi-
zations, children’s activities, live
music, etc. Visit www.sacpeacefest.
com for details.
Admission is Free!
Fools Foundation Friday
Night Video Series:
1025 19th St. off of K St, between 19th &
20th, next to the back end of old Spaghetti
Factory.
Except for Saturday, May 19, admission is $5.00
and show time is 7pm.
May 4: Freeway
This 1996 low-budget black comedy indie from
executive producer Oliver Stone features Reese
Witherspoon as the nearly illiterate Vanessa who
flees her crack-addicted prostitute mother (Amanda
Plummer) and abusive stepfather (Michael T. Weiss)
in search of her grandmother. Yep, it’s Little Red
Riding Hood all over again, but this time around,
the Wolf is a lot worse.
May 11 your Mommy Kills Animals
We are extremely excited to bring you an advance
look at this new doc from Academy Award winner
Curt Johnson. Curt Johnson set out to provide a
neutral portrait of the current state of the animal
rights movement, inspired by the US government
naming animal rights activists as the #1 domestic
terrorist threat to our country.
May 18 Mojave Phone Booth
With 42 official selections and 9 awards to date, this
fascinating and well crafted micro-budget narrative
finally makes its way to Sacramento! Starring Steve
Guttenberg (in a decidedly different performance
from his role in the “Police Academy” series), An-
nabeth Gish (“Mystic Pizza”), and Christine Elise
McCarthy (“ER”). In the middle of the Mojave
desert rests a phone booth, riddled with bullet
holes, and graffiti, but otherwise functioning. Word
of the phone booth spread and for years travelers
trekked out and camped next to the booth in the
hopes that it might suddenly ring. This is the story
of four disparate characters whose lives intersect
with this mystical outpost, and the common voice
they seek on the other end of the line.
May 19 Special Saturday screening!
Shiny Object, Fools Foundation, and the Sacra-
mento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
present a fundraiser for Equality California with a
screening of “We the People”! This film could not
be more timely. At a time when Spain and Canada
have embraced the concept and legalized same sex
marriages, the United States finds itself teetering
on the edge of conflict.
“We The People” promotes understanding and
compassion. It provides an opportunity to meet
same sex couples and their families, with the hope
that a greater understanding and acceptance will
be born based upon reality not upon political
rhetoric. NOTE: doors open at 6:30 PM on this
evening. Advance tickets are recommended. Sug-
gested minimum donation for admission is $10.00.
(Movies on a Big Screen gift certificates will not be
accepted for this event.)
May 25: Gothic
Forget your backyard beer and bbq this Memorial
Day weekend and load up on your favorite opiate
for an evening of twisted Ken Russell weirdness!
The story is embellished from events which al-
legedly took place at the Swiss villa of Lord Byron
(Gabriel Byrne) on the night of June 16, 1816 which
supposedly ultimately led to the creation of the
novel “Frankenstein.” Byron’s guests include poet
Percy Shelley (Julian Sands) and his future wife Mary
(Natasha Richardson); Mary’s half-sister Claire
(Myriam Cyr) and Byron’s leech-happy personal
physician Dr. John Polidori (Timothy Spall). Byron
promises them a night of horror like only a mad
poet can deliver after partaking of laudanum and
other hallucinogens, the guests tell ghost stories
while exploring the dark corridors of his home.
New theater Concept:
“the reality Play”
opens at the Space June 1st.
The progressive theater troupe Folktales
for a New Tomorrow will present “Daunt-
less Little John Saves the World”, a new
“reality play” at 8:00pm Fridays, Saturdays
and Sundays from June 1st through June
30th in The Space at 2509 R Street in
Sacramento.
The play, suitable for mature teens and
above, combines elements of farce, melo-
drama, political satire, improvisation and
audience participation in an absurdist
comment on the difficulties surrounding
activism and apathy in America.
INFO: Adam Bearson, abearson@sanjuan.
edu or 916-708-4050.
design: Karen Bearson
www.bpmnews.org May / June 007 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 1
May / June Calendar
ONGOING EVENTS
MoNDAyS
Sacramento Poetry Cen-
ter hosts poetry read-
ings. 7:30pm. 1631 K
St. INFO: 441-7395;
w w w. s a c r a me n t o
poetrycenter.org.
1St MoNDAyS
O r g a n i c S a c t o :
C o u n t e r o n g o i n g
threats to our food.
6:30pm. INFO: www.
Organi cSacrament o.
org.
2nd & 4th MoNDAyS
UUSS/SAPA Peace and
Sustainability Commit-
tee. 6-8pm. INFO: Peace
Action, 448-7157.
3rD MoNDAyS
Capitol Outreach for a
Moratorium on the Death
Penalty. 11am –1pm, L
Street @ 11th. INFO:
447-7754.
1st tUESDAyS
Amnesty Int ’l, Davis
Chapter Meeting. Int’l
House (10 College Park).
7pm. Free Pizza. Invited
speakers. INFO: www.
humanrights.ucdavis.
edu.
2nd tUESDAyS
Gray Panthers. 2–4pm.
Hart Senior Ctr., 27th &
J St. INFO: Joan, 332-
5980.
4th tUESDAyS
Amnesty Int ’l. 7pm.
Sacto. Friends Meeting
House, 890-57th St.
INFO: 489-2419.
4th tUESDAyS
Peace and Justice Films.
7pm. Peace Action of-
fice at 909 12th Street.
INFO:448-7157.
1st WEDNESDAyS
Peace & Freedom Party.
7pm. INFO: 456-4595.
2nd WEDNESDAyS
Sacto 9/11 Truth:Ques-
tioning the “War on
Terror.” 6–8pm. Juli-
ana’s Kitchen, 1401 G
Street, at 14th. INFO:
sac911truth@gmail.
com. 372-8433.
2nd & 4th WEDS
Support Group: Incar-
cerated Loved Ones. 7
p.m., Trinity Cathedral,
2620 Capitol Ave. INFO:
Annie, 821-4165.
3rd WEDNESDAyS
CAAC Goes to the Movies.
7:15pm. INFO: 446-
3304.
thUrSDAyS
Daddy’s Here (Father
Enhancement Program).
Men’s support group; info
on custody, divorce, raising
children. 7-8:30pm. Free!
Ctr for Families, 2251 Florin
Rd, Ste 102. INFO: terry
@fathersandfamilies.com.
424-3237x 205.
thUrSDAyS
House of Spoken Words.
7–10pm. Colonial Café,
Stockton Blvd. & Broad-
way. $5. INFO: 308-
2766.
3rd thUrSDAyS
National Organization
for Women (NOW). 7pm.
INFO: 443-3470.
FrIDAyS
Shiny Object Digital
Video/Fools Foundation
Film Series. Weekly in-
dependent/foreign films,
documentaries. 7pm.
1025 19th St. $5. INFO:
484-0747or www.shiny-
object.com/screenings.
1st FrIDAyS
Communi t y Cont r a
Dance. 8-11pm; 7:30pm
beginners lessons. Clunie
Auditorium, McKinley
Pk, Alhambra & F. INFO:
641-7781.
2nd FrIDAyS
Dances of Universal
Peace. 7:30–9:30pm.
Sierra 2 Ctr, 2791- 24th
St., Rm. 10. $5–$10.
INFO: 361-3153.
3rd FrIDAyS
Progressive Free Thought
Exchange. Discuss topics
of interest to atheists,
agnostics, humanists.
I NFO: pf x of s ac @
prodigy.net.
1st SAtUrDAyS
Health Care for All.
10am. Hart Senior Ctr,
27th & J. For universal
access to health care.
INFO: 424-5316.
1st SAtUrDAyS
Sacramento Area Peace
Action Vigil. 11:30am–
1:30pm. Arden and Heri-
tage (entrance to Arden
Mall). INFO: 448-7157
2nd & 4th SAtS
Communi t y Cont r a
Dance. 8-11pm; 7:30
lessons. YWCA Audito-
rium, 17th & L Street.
INFO: 641-7781
SUNDAyS
Sacto Food Not Bombs.
1:30pm. Come help dis-
tribute food at 9th and
J Streets.
SUNDAyS
Community Debke les-
sons 3–3:50pm, children
and 4– 5pm adults.
Yosemite 187, CSUS.
Free, open to all ages.
Beginner level adults
welcome to come to the
children’s lessons for ex-
tra practice. INFO: nca-
sac@arab- american.
net or sjpsac@gmail.
com (530) 902-4000
1st SUNDAyS
PoemSpirits. 6pm. Re-
freshments and open
mic. Free. UUSS, Rm. 7/8,
2425 Sierra Blvd. INFO:
481-3312; 451-1372.
1st SUNDAyS
Zapatista Solidarity Co-
alition. 10am–noon.
909 12th St. Info: 443-
3424.
2nd SUNDAyS
Atheists & Other Free-
thinkers. 2:30pm. Sierra
2 Center, Room 10, 2791
24th St. INFO: 447-
3589.
Send calendar items for the July / Aug. 2007 issue to bpmnews@nicetechnology.com by June
10, with “calendar item” in the subject line. Make it short, and in this order, please: Day, Date.
Name of event. Description (1-2 lines). Time. Location. Price. INFO: phone#; e-mail.
For online calendars of progressive events, go to www.sacleft.org and
www.sacpeace.org.
Area codes are 916 except where noted.
Friday, May 4
Evening of short stories presented by Los Escritores
del Nuevo Sol / Writers of the New Sun. The
presenting writers will include Juan Carrillo, Dr.
Fausto Avendano, Minerva Daniel, Graciela B.
Ramirez. 7:30 p.m. at La Raza Galleria Posada,
1022-1024 22nd St. $5 or as you can afford.
INFO: Graciela Ramirez, 456-5323
Saturday, May 5
Writing workshop and potluck presented by Los
Escritores del Nuevo Sol / Writers of the New
Sun. 11 a.m. Location to be announced. INFO:
Graciela Ramirez, 456-5323.
Saturday, May 5
Lecture. AFRICA presents “The Black Panther
Party: Building Grassroots Organizations for Posi-
tive Social Change”, by Elaine Brown, author of “A
Taste of Power” and former Black Panther. 7P.m.,
CSUS Redwood Room. $ students, $7 general
public. INFO: 760-0273, or african_black_stu-
dent_conf@yahoo.com
Sunday, May 6
Poetry. PoemSpirits presents Rhony Bhopla, Bd.
member of the Sacramento Poetry Center and
founder of ShiluS Publications in Elk Grove. Plus,
Tom Goff will present the work of Rabindranath
Tagore, 1923 Nobel Prize winner. Also, open
mic, bring a poem to share. 6 p.m., Unitarian
Universalist Society, 2425 Sierra Blvd. Free. INFO:
Tom or Nora, 481-3312; JoAnn, 451-1372.
Sunday, May 13
“Syliva”...the Dog! A comedy play about a
streetwise mutt, benefit for Happy Tails Animal
Sanctuary. 2pm. Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325
Engle Rd., Carmichael. $15. INFO: 320-4254.
Saturday May 19
Margo Smith, convenor of Gray Panthers, will
show a documentary of her recent trip with women
peace advocates to Iran, including a special meet-
ing with the Vice President of Iran. Sponsored
by Older Women’s League and Gray Panthers.
10:30 am. Redwood Room, Hart Senior Center,
915 27th St, Sacramento. INFO: 332-5980
Sunday, May 20
Peace Festival. Speakers, live music, childrens’
activities. Noon to 6pm, Land Park at the cor-
ner of Sutterville Rd and Freeport Blvd. Free.
INFO: Candy Anderson, 455-6312, or www.
sacpeacefest.com.
Sunday, May 20
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative
Nonviolence. 1–2:30pm, Newman Center, 5900
Newman Ct. She will also speak at 3pm at the
Peace Festival (see above). INFO: sypeaceact@
jps.net; 448-7157.
thursday, May 31st
Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club An-
nual Four Freedoms Award Dinner honors State
Controller John Chiang, Mayor Heather Fargo,
union leader Jay Hansen and Rev. Robyn Hartwig;
INFO and tickets; www.sacstonewall.org, info@
sacstonewall.org.
Friday, June 8
Lecture. “Take Back America.” Dr Bob Bowman,
named America’s top public speaker by the L.A.
Times, joined by David Dionisi, author of “Ameri-
can Hiroshima.” 7-9 p.m., Marriot Courtyard Main
Ballroom, 4422 Y St, Sacramento. $20 at door,
or $15 online at www.teachpeace.com. INFO:
David Dionisi, 530-554-7061.
Wednesday, June 13
Workshop. “Copyright and Trademarks,” pre-
sented by California Lawyers for the Arts. Artists
of all disciplines are encouraged to attend, Guest
speaker, atty Mark R. Leonard. 6-8 p.m. at the
Pence Gallery, 212 D St,Davis. $5 student/senior
members, $10 other members, $20 non-mem-
bers.INFO: 442-6210, or clasacto@aol.com. Top-
ics include: trademarks, ownership and protection
of your copyright, work for hire, fair use.
Friday, June 15
Benefit for Lavender Library: KINGS OF DRAG
- “He’s So Gay!” Dancing, singing and of course
some wild gender-bending. This will be one of
the best shows yet, and we have been packin’ the
house for over 2 1/2 years now. Tickets $10-$400
for a stageside table. 8:30pm, Clunie Hall at
McKinley Park. INFO: www.kingsofdrag.com,
louie@kingsofdrag.com.
June 16-17
Juneteenth - A Celebration of Freedom Weekend,
the oldest known celebration of the Emancipation
Proclamation. William Land Park. INFO: www.
discovergold.org or Gary Simon at 808-8983.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Poetry events at
the Book Collector
1008 24th Street, Sacramento, INFO:
442-9295. www.poems-for-all.com (click
“events”)
Saturday, May 5th, 7:30pm
Xico Gonzalez.
Wednesday May 9th
Ron Tranquilla.
Saturday, May 12th, 7:30pm
Jacquelyn Schaffer, Robbie Grossklaus
Book release party and reading.
Wednesday, May 16th, 7:30pm
Leah Denboer Memorial Peace Poetry
Reading: James Den Boer, Julia Connor,
and others. You are welcome to share
your own peace poems or reminiscences
of Leah Den Boer.
Saturday, June 9th, 7:30pm
Jonathan Kiefer & Friends
Wednesday, June 20th, 7:30pm
TOM MINER
About the Book Collector:
http://www.sacfreepress.com/poems/
blog/2006/05/book-collector.html
June 28
Take Back America
Dr Bob Bowman, America’s top
public speaker (LA Times), is com-
ing to Sacramento Tursday, June 8.
Dr. Bowman is joined by American
Hiroshima author Dave Dionisi for
a 7–9pm “Take Back America” pre-
sentation at the Marriot Courtyard
Main Ballroom (4422 Y Street in
Sacramento). Tickets: $20 at the door,
$15 online at www.teachpeace.com.
Proceeds help fund the 501(c)(3) non-
proft Teach Peace Foundation. (www.
teachpeace.com)
Point of View Speaker Series
Tursday, May 17: Catherine Hodge McCoid, PhD, speaking on“Eleanor Burke
Leacock: an anthropologist looks at race, gender, class and capitalism.”
Eleanor Burke Leacock is probably best known for her outstanding introduction to
Engels’ Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Dr. McCoid will look
at Leacock’s life and work in relation to race, gender, class and capitalism, and will
include material from interviews she conducted with Leacock’s colleagues, friends,
and family.
Sierra 2 Ctr, Green Room, 2791 24th St., 7–9pm
Discussions/Classes
Tuesday, May 8: Eleanor Burke Leacock’s Introduction to Frederick Engels Origin
of the Family, Private Property and the State. (Check our website for electronic ver-
sion.)
Tuesday, May 22: Frederick Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property and the
State. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.
htm
Sierra 2 Ctr, Room 11, 2791 24th St., 7–9pm
Special Event—May 24
Tursday, May 24: Michael and Karen Yates, Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate: An
Economist’s Travelogue. Disillusioned with academic life after 32 years teaching
economics, Michael Yates took early retirement in 2001. He and his wife hit the
road and have been traveling ever since. Told with humor and insight, Cheap Motels
and a Hot Plate is both an account of their adventures and a penetrating examina-
tion of work and inequality, race and class, alienation and environmental degrada-
tion in the small towns and big cities of the contemporary United States.
Sierra 2 Ctr, Curtis Hall, 2791 24th St., 7–9pm
INFO: www.marxistschool.org; e-mail info@marxistschool.org; 799-1354. All activities
are free and open to the public.
Te Marxist School of Sacramento
P.O.Box 160564 Sacramento, CA 95816
May / June 2007 Activities
Your subscription
keeps us going!
Have you sent in your
subscription form??
Kathy Kelly: Witness and
resistance to war and
occupation
May 20, 1-2:30pm
Newman Ctr, 5900 Newman Ct.
Three time Nobel Peace Prize nomi-
nee and co-coordinator of Voices
for Creative Nonviolence (formerly
Voices in the Wilderness), Kathy Kelly
has worked to save the lives of the
Iraqi people since the brutal 1990-
2003 blockade of Iraq. Kathy will
discuss the consequences of war for
Iraqis, for Americans, for the environ-
ment and call us into a campaign of
sustained resistance.
Kathy will also speak at the May
20th Peace Festival at 3pm (see
calendar).
INFO: Sacramento Area Peace Ac-
tion, 448-7157; sypeaceact@jps.net;
www.sacpeace.org.
Wednesday, July 4
Afternoon of Friendship. Please join the Sacra-
mento Area Black Caucus, the Black United Fund
of Sacramento Valley, the All African Peoples
Revolutionary and Central America Action Com-
mittee to welcome the Cuban Caravan to Oak
Park and Sacramento. 4-6 pm. More details soon.
INFO: fayek@springmail.com.
NON-PROFIT
ORGANIZATION
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 2668
SACRAMENTO, CA
Access Sacramento tV
Cable Channels 17 and 18
Sacramento Soapbox: Progressive Talk Show
w/ Jeanie Keltner & Ken Adams. Mon 8pm, Wed
4am. (In Davis: Channel 15, Tues, 7pm.)
Being Gay today: Thurs 6am, 10pm, Sat
6am.
Democracy Now!: Weekdays 6pm, 12mid-
night, 5am.
Media Edge: progressive documentaries,
including local productions.Sundays 8–10pm
other sources for Media Edge
Davis, Channel 15, Sundays, 8–10pm.
Nevada County, Channel 11, Mondays,
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Channel 21, Mondays, 9–11pm.
Dish Network Satellite tV
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Democracy Now!: News and Analysis. Mon-
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BBC News, M-F 6, 7, 8am;
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Saturdays, approx. 3–4 pm., followed by Coun-
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Democracy Now!: Mon–Fri noon.
Free Speech radio News (FSRN) Mon–Fri
4:30pm.
Printed Matter on the Air (interviews with
local writers) alternating with
Panic Attack (attorneys and guests discuss
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Making Contact (int’l radio seeks to create
connections): Tue 8am.
Proletarian revolution (focusing on politi-
cal, social, and economic issues) alternating
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Speaking in tongues (labor, environmental,
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Memo Durgin and Eddie Salas (Public
affairs and music of the Chicano/Mexicano
people): Sat 6–8pm.
▼ KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley
Democracy Now!: Reports on US and world
news. M–F 9am.
Living room: Chris Welch. M–F Noon.
Seven Generations: M–F 1pm.
New Directions: including visionary astrolo-
ger. Thur 2pm.
Flashpoints: News and analysis. M–F 5pm.
▼ KSQR 1240 AM (TalkCity Radio Sacramento)
Progressive talk radio all day long with
Christine Craft, Thom Hartman and others.
▼ KCTC 1320 AM (AirAmerica Radio)
Progressive talk radio all day long with
Randi Rhodes, and others.
▼ KZFR 90.1 FM Chico
People Powered Radio! managed and operated
by volunteers, provides mostly locally produced
and community oriented programs.
Sacramento and Central Valley INDyMEDIA: www.sacindymedia.org.
Progressive Media
BLACK AGENDA REPORT
Te weekly magazine of African American
political thought and action
www.blackagendareport.com
Incisive. Insightful. Independent radio com-
mentary, twice each week from Black Agenda
Report Radio. Freely downloadable broadcast
quality MP3 fles for radio stations or personal
use.
Te Black Agenda Report is led by
Executive Editor Glen Ford
Glen Ford is a veteran journalist and seasoned
broadcast professional with a career stretching
back more than three decades. Ford conceived,
co-founded and hosted America’s Black Forum
in the early 1980s, and was lead editor, co-
publisher and founder of the internet magazine
Black Commentator, till leaving there to start
Black Agenda Report. Ford is based in Jersey
City NJ.
Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
A native Chicagoan living in exile near Atlanta,
Bruce Dixon is a longtime and incorrigible
activist whose most recent internet home was
also Black Commentator.
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