Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 - RIP Sister Rosa, Korematsu, Tookie, Corky - the Fists of La Raza, Richard Pryor and Brother BIRJ Anant of ASATA - We are all Joaquin!

2005 Rest In Peace
* Rosa Parks - Sister Rosa and other brave and strategic women like Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer were the sparks for the freedom movement of the 50's leading to the 60's Black Liberation movement and other movements for self-determination
* Fred Korematsu - civil rights and redress/reparations movement icon - the soft-spoken korematsu will be missed by those of us in the Asian American Movement
* Tookie Williams - let his execution be the spark that ignites a movement against racism in the criminal justice system and prison industrial complex
* Corky Gonzalez - the "Fists of La Raza" - with brother Corky's passing let's remember the lessons of the Crusade for Justice, Chicano youth and student movements, the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the war in Viet Nam - Corky Gonzalez Presente! We are All Joaquin!
* Richard Pryor - political comedian extraordinaire who laid the groundwork for folks like Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy - check out the power pac blog's commentary
* Birj Anant - lastly, a young global justice activist from ASATA/APICAW and most recently the World Social Forum and anti-WTO campaign in Hong Kong this past month.
Many of us from the Chinese Progressive Association, Asian American Movement group and others just saw BIRJ upon his return from Hong Kong.
Below are excerpts from a few statements about Corky Gonzalez from
and Rosalio Munoz
and the BAYAN NorCAl statement from Kawal about BIRJ's contributions to our movements.
To the memory of all those that left us in 2005.
THE FISTS OF LA RAZA - We are all Joaquin!
Corky Gonzalez - Presente!

From Democracy Now! Friday, April 15th, 2005
Chicano Leader Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales 1929-2005:
"He Was the Fist. He Stood For Defiance, Resistance"
Listen to Segment Download Show mp3 Watch 128k stream Watch 256k stream Read Transcript Help
Chicano political and civil rights activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales died Tuesday at his home in Denver, Colorado. He was 76 years old. We speak with his friend, columnist Roberto Rodriguez.

Chicano political and civil rights activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales died this past Tuesday at his home in Denver, Colorado. He was 76 years old.
Gonzales was an iconic leader in the movement for justice and equality for Mexican-Americans in the Southwest and he is credited with raising the nation's awareness of the plight of urban Chicanos.
In the mid-1960"s he founded an urban civil rights and cultural movement called the Crusade for Justice which advocated Chicano nationalism. During the late sixties and early seventies, he organized walkouts, demonstrations against police brutality and marches against the Vietnam War.
In 1968, Gonzales led a Chicano contingent to the Poor People's March on Washington D.C and issued a "plan of the Barrio" which demanded better housing, education and restitution of pueblo lands. Gonzales was also an organizer of the Annual Chicano Youth Liberation Conference which sought to create unity among Chicano youth.
Gonzales also advocated for increased political representation for Chicanos. In 1972 he was the keynote speaker at the newly formed La Raza Unida Party national convention in El Paso Texas. The party fielded political candidates to run for office in the state.
But perhaps Corky Gonzales is best known for his poem "I am Joaquin/Yo Soy Joaquin." He wrote the epic poem in 1965 and it is one of the most important literary works to emerge from the Chicano movement.
In the poem Gonzales tells of the historic struggles faced by Mexican Americans in the United States.

See also UCSD Chicano Studies Professor Jorge Mariscal's piece on Corky from Counter Punch.
April 15, 2005 - Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales - The Passing of a Legend
or check out his blog hasta la justicia...siempre by clicking here ->JORGE MARISCAL

Lastly, here's a link and a few excerpts from Chicano and anti-draft Movement leader Rosalio Munoz piece about Corky from People's Weekly World April 05.

In 1968, he was the main organizer of the large Chicano contingent in the Poor
People’s Campaign that King initiated before his assassination. He spoke at
peace rallies, including the November Moratorium in San Francisco where 250,000 attended. It was the Crusade for Justice that hosted a watershed event for the country.

In 1969, 1,500 activists from barrios and campos throughout the
Southwest and Midwest came to the National Youth and Liberation Conference, where “Plan de Aztlan” was produced. The legendary plan called for cultural and race pride and independent political action. The event galvanized the youth movement. It stands as a foundation for today’s Latino political power, vital to all U.S. progressive struggles.

In 1970, a second conference was held. I went and was fortunate to head up the peace workshop where we developed plans to hold a National Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles on August 29, 1970. The plenary of nearly 2,000 unanimously approved the motion I brought from the workshop. A reporter named Ruben Salazar put the plans on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. Thirty thousand marched at that demonstration. The local police and federal agents viciously attacked us. They killed Salazar and arrested Gonzalez on trumped up charges. The FBI hounded Gonzalez and the Crusade well into the 1980s.

I attended a memorial for Corky organized by Mecha student leaders on April 14. Without permit we occupied the big gondola of La Placita Olvera, the historic first plaza of Los Angeles. We lit candles, recited all of “I Am Joaquin,” and reflected on what Corky’s life and poem meant to us.
I asked the youth to speak of what they were working on now: a May Day march for
immigrant and labor rights, fighting cuts by Gov. Schwarenegger, counter-military recruitment, planning for the World Youth Festival, campaigning for a Chicano mayor of L.A., organizing support for the farm workers, organizing conferences for high school youth. They are carrying on the legacy of Corky Gonzalez, the Chicano/a champion.

San Diego County's Office of Education has a decent lesson plan for use of Corky's I am Joaquin in the High School Curriculum -

Rest in Peace and Justice - BIRJ Anant -
Many global justice and Asian American Movement folks will miss BIRJ's warmth and never forget his commitment and movement-building work for a better world and future for us all.

For more on BIRJ's global justice work - and this interview -
WTO voices: Birjinder Anant, San Francisco, USA
With an Asian American delegation representing garment workers and migrant rights.

"The idea that the WTO is going to be a panacea for the ills of developing countries and benefit the poor is all propaganda. The negotiating position is still formulated by elites that will benefit from it."
Photograph: Kristian Buus
Listen to Birjinder Anant's interview

From the Bayan Nor Cal statement by Kawal Ulanday, Chairperson BAYAN USA

We are deeply saddened to have learned yesterday that our loved comrade brother Birjinder Anant apparently passed away in his Oakland apartment sometime during the last few days. We are awaiting reports and autopsy results which will provide more details on how this tragedy occurred. Birjinder just returned from the World Trade Organization Ministerial international resistance activities with a large Bay Area AsianPacific Islander No to WTO delegation. He met with many of our Filipinocom patriot organizations and allies while in Honk Kong just days ago. He is also a founding member of APICAW representing the ASATA - Alliance of South Asians Taking Action - for many years. Birjinder has been on the frontlines of anti-war people of color resistance in the Bay and internationally for aslong as most of us have known him. We remember him vividly gently smiling yet fiercely confronting thecontradictions of huge wealth and economic starvation, and the clash betweenempires waging war and people wanting peace, liberation and democracy. We observe Birjinder and on the front security lines protecting Strength inUnity contingents in major actions with the commitment of a proud son of the people.
Long Live Birjinder Anant!
Long Live International Solidarity!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Calculating the cost of WAR vs. PUBLIC EDUCATION

To everyone:
Have a Happy Holiday and a peaceful 2006.

I just found a cool site which allows you to compare
with school, and human needs.

When I added the counter to my side bar today 12/20/05 -
The War In Iraq Cost
$227, 892,983,321

[that's $228 billion @#$%^#$^%&%^*&^%*& dollars]

And, for the
San Francisco Unified School District, we could have hired
13,291 additional public school teachers for one year

for that cost of the war and occupution.

The site allows you also to compare to the cost of:

Click here to Embed a counter in your own web page!

History of the site -
In April, 2003 an intergenerational team of Niko Matsakis of Boston, MA and Elias Vlanton of Takoma Park, MD created After maintaining it on their own for the first year, they gave it to the National Priorities Project to contribute to their ongoing educational efforts.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

SF Garment Workers Take the Struggle to City Hall and the WTO meeting in Hong Kong!

Many parents in our San Francisco public schools are garment workers and other service sector hotel and restaurant workers. These posts below show some of the difficulties and uncertainties in the lives of many parents and their children in San Francisco west and east side neighborhoods like the Richmond [where I live], the Sunset, but also Chinatown, Visitacion Valley, the Tenderloin, the Portolla and the Bayview Hunters Point communities.

Because of the rise of Globalization or Global Capitalism, as some call it, garment industry workers in SF have been decimated from 20,000 in the 1990's to only about 2000 today.
But San Francisco Garment Workers are resisting the negative impacts of globalization and taking their struggle not only to San Francisco City Hall but also to the global powers at their WTO meeting Hong Kong. For example, former Nova Knits workers have organized themselves with the help of the grassroots Chinese Progressive Association.

For more background see:
SF Chronicle Nov 05 or this earlier SF Chronicle article from Jan 05
SF Bay Guardian Asian American Movement Ezine
Associated Press San Francisco Chronicle

And, these workers and their allies are taking their fight straight to the WTO - meeting in Hong Kong later this coming week - and to a grassroots conference of global justice organizers and activists that begins today in Hong Kong. They are makers of history, not the elites.
Check out these great posts from the Bay Area anti-globalization warriors who blog at BAYAREA WT-NO!

Chinese-American Garment Workers Lose China (re-post)
This is a link to the Up Front Radio story, featuring, among others, Workers and Alex from CPA, Victor Menotti from IFG, and a professor from UC Berkeley. Publlished Dec 6, 2005 on New America Media website.

From New American

The garment industry has a long history in San Francisco, starting when Levi Strauss and Company opened its first factory here nearly one hundred years ago. In the early nineties, there were 20-thousand garment workers in San Francisco. Now, only about two thousand remain as jobs moved to Mexico and China. Ironically, all of San Francisco’s garment workers are Chinese immigrants, many of them middle-aged women who don’t speak English and have few transferable skills. Zoe Corneli reports, a pilot program in San Francisco is giving these garment workers new hope in the new, global economy.

Lastly, the Hong Kong People's alliance has a great website too with lots of info and perspectives from the struggle for global justice in the East. Events begin today and conclude with a massive Concert Against the WTO at Victoria Park! Wish I were there. But there are many young activists from the SF Bay Area that will be bringing back their stories and adventures.
For more on the events -

Saturday, December 10

Globalizing Economic Justice and Social Sustainability (December 9, 10)YMCA Youth Village, Wu Kai Sha
Ecumenical Organizations in HK

People's Resistance Against Globalization and WTO: A Speak-out on Trade and Human Rights 2:00pm - 6:00pm, JIL Church
Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN)APMM, AMRC, DAGA

TU-NGO Seminar Workshop on "HK's Missing Agenda: SDT and Development for LDCs"
Union Network International (UNI)AMRC

Sunday, December 11

March/Rally (Victoria Park to Central Government Office)2:00pm, Victoria ParkCultural Events/Solidarity Night
8:00pm, Victoria Park

Rice Festival Mobile Cultural Performances (December 11-18)Victoria Park & other locations to be announced
PANAP Save Our Rice Campaign

Migrants Workers and WTO: Migrants’ Wage & Underpayment Campaign and Solidarity Against WTO8:00am, Victoria Park
Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), AMC, CMR, MFA, IMWU, KOTKIHO, AP

Monday, December 12

Global Ecumenical Women's Forum on Life-Promoting Trade (December 12, 13, 14)YMCA Youth Village, Wu Kai Sha
Ecumenical Organizations in HKWCC, CCA, HKWCC, ACISCA, HKCI

Trade for Jobs9:00am - 1:00pm, Duke of Windsor Social Service Building
ICFTU, Global Network, GPF, WCLHKCTU

Regional Seminar on Improving Labour Rights in China 3:00pm - 8:00pm, Duke of Windsor Social Service Building
Global NetworkHKCTU

Why are we in Hong Kong, and why we are protesting? An assessment of 10 years of the WTO, what's at stake in the WTO negotiations, overview of the week aheadThematic Morning, Victoria Park

Book Launch and Discussion with authors: "Alternative to Economic Globalization"3:00pm - 6:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
International Forum on Globalization (IFG)

WAR AND TRADE: Militarism and Neo-liberalism - a two-headed monster?
6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Focus on the Global South

Press Conference12:00pm - 1:00pm, HKPA Media Centre
People's Caravan for Justice and Sovereignty

Asia Social Movements Assembly
6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Focus on the Global South, KoPA,Stop the New Round (SNR)

Catholic WTO Forum4:00pm - 7:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Korean Catholic Farmers

Tuesday, December 13

Opening Public Assembly and Rally
11:00am, Victoria Park

Global Ecumenical Women's Forum on Life-Promoting Trade (December 12, 13, 14)YMCA Youth Village, Wu Kai Sha
Ecumenical Organizations in HKWCC, CCA, HKWCC, ACISCA, HKCI

Official Inauguration of the Korean delegation10:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
Korean Delegation

Roundtable Discussion with Women ParliamentariansBoys and Girls Club

Book launching3:00pm - 5:00pm, Boys and Girls Club

Trade and Development Symposium HK Exhibition Centre
Int'l Centre for Trade and Sustainable Dev. University of Hong Kong

Fluvial Parade in Victoria Harbour10:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Harbour

WTO Protest Banner-Weaving10:00am - 12:00pm
Wednesday, December 14

Forum on Trade and War: Junk WTO! Resist Imperialist Plunder and War!
9:00am - 5:00pm, Victoria Park

WTO, Food Sovereignty and Alternatives to Globalization
9:00am - 5:00pm, Boys and Girls Club

Solidarity Rally among Asian People's Movement
12:00pm - 3:00pm, Victoria Park
Korean Delegation

Asian People's Voices-Impact of WTO on Asian Communities
9:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
People's Caravan for Justice and Sovereignty

Fair Trade Fair & SymposiumHK Exhibition Centre
Oxfam and INGOOxfam HK

Slow Trade-Changing pace and pattern for the benefit of the people
9:30am - 1:00pm, Knutsford Hotel
The Greens, EFA in the European Parliament

Not in our NAMA! The impact of NAMA negotiations on natural resources and livelihood
2:00pm - 4:30pm, Knutsford Hotel

Defending public services, creating jobs and protecting communitiesThematic Morning, Victoria Park

CHINA and the WTO: What to know about the New China and the emerging collective actions for social justice
6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
FocusGlobalization Monitor

International Day of Protest Against GATS and the Privatization of Basic Services
9:30am, Victoria Park

March to MC6: Deliver Anti-GATS petition and GATS-free notice
11:00am, CEC / Cargo-loading area

Consulate-hopping: Deliver migrants’ petition and GATS-free Notice
1:00pm - 5:00pm, Admirality

WTO and Labour Struggle in Asia
9:00am - 6:00pm, India Club in Jordan
Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

Trade and Development SymposiumHK Exhibition Centre
Int'l Centre for Trade and Sustainable Dev. University of Hong Kong

Defending cultural diversity from WTO
5:30pm - 9:00pm, WTC
Int's Network on Cultural Diversity (INCD)

Building Solidarity Amongst Garment, Farm and Other Migrant Workers from San Francisco to Hong Kong
2:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
San Francisco Bay Area WT-No

Labor's Voice from the South on the WTO and Regional Free Trade Agreements
7:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Hong Kong Confederation Trade Union, Korean Confederation Trade Union

WTO Hong Kong MC6 Collapse and New Generation of FTA in North America
10:00am - 1:00pm, Victoria Park
Citizen's Networks of North America (Canada, US & Mexico)

Thursday, December 15

International Mining Caucus on Mining and WTO
9:00am - 5:00pm, Boys and Girls
Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment, Cordillera People's Alliance, AGHAM and CEC-Phils

WTO / GLOBALIZATION: Endangering the World for Children (December 15 & 17)
1:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
ARCSEA, SalinlahiCCA, Migrante

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Rural People’s Tribunal on AoA (December 15-17)
9:00am - 1:00pm, Victoria Park
Asian Peasants Coalition, Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN-AP) and People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)APMM, AMCB

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Forum on Japan’s Agrarian Reform: Lessons and Challenges (December 15-17)
2:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
NOUMINREN (Japan Family Farmers Movement), Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN-AP) and People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)APMM, AMCB

People's Workshop on AoAMorning, Victoria Park

Cultural Festival6:00pm - 9:00pm, Victoria Park
Korean Delegation

Consulate Hopping Protest
10:00am, Indonesian, Philippine, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Thai, & US consulates
Migrante International, Other Migrant GroupsAPMM, AMCB, MIGRANTE

Beijing + 10 Meets WTO +10
9:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
IGTNHK Women Coalition, AMC, MFA

Globalization: Strategies in Responding to Informatization of Work
2:00pm - 6:00pm
CAWHKWWA, HKCTU-Women Committee

Workshop on the GMO case at the WTO
3:00pm - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
Friends of the Earth (FoE)

WTO and FTAs: Complimentary Agents of Neoliberalism The Case Against Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
3:00pm - 6:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Focus on the Global South, Transnational Institute (TNI)AMC

The G20s Hong Kong challenge: stand for farmers or for agribusiness
6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Focus on the Global SouthAMC

Women Peasants’ Action against WTOVictoria Park
IMWU, women peasant groups

Economic violence of WTO, also globalization, war and empire9:00am - 5:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Peace for Life

International Youth and Student Conference on Education and EmploymentHong Kong University

Quality Public Services for All
4:00pm - 7:00pm, Duke of Windsor Social Service Building
ICFTU, Global Network, GPF, WCLHKCTU

WTO and Labour Struggle in Asia9:00am - 1:00pm, India Club in Jordan
Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

The Mexican and Chinese Relationship between competition and cooperation
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Knutsford Hotel

Building Solidarity Amongst Garment, Farm and Other Migrant Workers from San Francisco to Hong Kong
2:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
San Francisco Bay Area WT-No

Friday, December 16

Program: Women's Tribunal on the impact of WTO on the world's womenAction: Women's March Against WTO9:00am - 3:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Gabriela, APWLD, APWN and AMIHAN

What Happened to us Sisters? An Encounter9:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
Southeast Asian Women Taking on Globalization and WTO / Women’s March Against Poverty and Globalization

Young Women’s Dialogue with Maturing Women (“Shaping Globalization: Women’s Resistance and Alternatives”)
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Victoria Park
Southeast Asian Women Taking on Globalization and WTO / Women’s March Against Poverty and Globalization

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Speak Out of Agricultural Workers, Building Solidarity for their Rights and Welfare (December15-17)Victoria Park
Coalition of Agricultural Workers (CAWI), Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN-AP) and People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)APMM, AMCB

Beyond Free Trade: Food sovereignty and export opportunities. A public hearing of farmers voices in the framework of the EcoFair Trade Dialogue10:00am - 12:30pm, Knutsford Hotel
HBF Wuppertal Institute Misereor

Winners and losers: Big business against women, workers and the environment
Thematic Morning, Victoria Park

Fair Trade Fair & SymposiumHK Exhibition Centre
Oxfam and INGOOxfam HK

Prospect for the joint campaign in Asia Pacific against war and imperialist globalization1:00pm - 6:00pm, Boys and Girls Club

EU Trade Policies: Implications for gender equality, development and women's rights.3:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
Women in Development Europe (WIDE)

World Social Forum meeting6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
WSF Asia

Not in my NAMA! The impact of NAMA on natural resources and livelihood12:00pm - 3:00pm, Victoria Park
Friends of the Earth International (FoEI)

International Youth and Student Conference on Education and Employment10:00am - 6:00pm, Hong Kong University

Trade and Development Symposium HK Exhibition Centre
Int'l Centre for Trade and Sustainable Dev. University of Hong Kong

Migrants and Mode 411:00am - 5:00pm, Victoria Park

Women March Against WTO9:00am - 3:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
People's Caravan for Justice and Sovereignty

Women take on the WTO: Women's Resistance to Corporate Hijack of Food and Health3:00pm - 6:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Diverse Women for Diversity

Exploring Global Civil Society's Dynamics in WTO governance 10:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
Chaire de recherche du Canada en Mondialisation, Citoyenneté et Démocratie (Chaire MCD)

Winners and Losers: Big Business against Women, Workers and the Environment12:00pm - 3:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Pacific Institute

Experiences of resistance against free trade in Asia and the Americas2:00pm - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
Hemispheric Social Alliance
Saturday, December 17

WTO / GLOBALIZATION: Endangering the World for Children (December 15 & 17)Victoria Park
ARCSEA SalinlahiCCA, Migrante

Rice Festival Mobile Cultural Performances (December 11-18)Victoria Park & other locations to be announced
PANAP Save Our Rice Campaign

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Asian Workshop on TRIPS: Defending Farmers’ Rights against Patents on Life – Organised by (December15-17)9:00am - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Magsasaka at Siyentista para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG), No Patents on Life (NPOL)-Asia and Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)PAN-AP,PCFS, AMCB, APMM

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Asian Action to Stop! GM Rice (December15-17)10:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
No-GMO Coalition Japan, PAN-AP, PCFS AMCB, APMM

People's Camp on Food Sovereignty: Launch of Case Studies on the Impact of AFTA on Food Security in Asian Countries (December15-17)2:00pm - 5:00pm, Victoria Park
South East Asian Council for Food Security and Fair Trade, PAN-AP, PCFS AMCB, APMM

Asian Women Press Conference 9:00am - 11:00am, Boys and Girls Club

The Rights Approach for gender equality, environment and development: Recapturing Policy coherence around trade9:30am - 12:00pm, Knutsford Hotel

Democratization of decision making processes regarding international trade agreements - the Israel scenario2:00pm - 3:00pm, Knutsford Hotel

Workshop on GM Rice9:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park
No GMO Campaign

Asian Farmers' Assembly, privatization of services, FTAs in Asia, GMO issues12:30pm - 3:30pm, Victoria Park
No WTO Coalition in Japan

Asian People's Caravan Journey Open Bus TopLate morning, Victoria Park --> Sham Shui Po
People's Caravan for Justice and Sovereignty 2005

Trade: war by other meansWhat are the alternatives to the WTO?Thematic Morning, Victoria Park

War and Trade: Iraq: Ground Zero of Globalization and War6:00pm - 10:00pm, Boys and Girls Club

Solidarity Among Migrants and Peasants Against AoA and WTO9:00am - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), peasant groups, IMWU, KOTKIHO, AMC, CMR

Trade and Development SymposiumHK Exhibition Centre
Int'l Centre for Trade and Sustainable Dev. University of Hong Kong

Forum/Speak-Out on Globalization, WTO and Forced Migrantion1:00pm - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
ILPS International, Study Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Peoples', Migrante InternationalAPMM, AMCB

Cultural Solidarity Night for International Migrants' Day 6:00pm - 10:00pm, Victoria Park
ILPS International, Study Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Peoples', Migrante InternationalAPMM, AMCB

Resisting Economic Partnership Agreements in Africa and the Caribbean2:00pm - 6:00pm, Victoria Park
Hemispheric Social Alliance, Transnational Institute

Health of Migrant Workers10:00am - 12:00pm, Victoria Park

Big Concert6:00pm - 10:00pm, Victoria Park or Southorn Park
Sunday, December 18

Closing March/Rally

Korean Delegation Closing RallyAfter HKPA Rally
Korean Delegation

International Migrants Day / Equal Pay for Equal Work campaign
10:00am, Chater Road (Central)

‘Rock Against the Round’ Concert / Cultural Solidarity Against WTO
5:00pm - 10:00pm, Chater Road (Central)

Beyond WTO and AoA: Alternative Rules of Agriculture3:00pm - 6:00pm, Boys and Girls Club
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology

International Migrants Day / Equal Pay for Equal Work Campaign
8:00am, Victoria Park
Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), IMWU, KOTKIHO, CMR, MFA, AMC

International Solidarity / “Rock Against the Round” / Concert Against WTO
5:00pm - 10:00pm, Victoria Park
Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), IMWU, KOTKIHO, CMR, MFA, AMC

More info:
Bayarea WT-no!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Myth of Education Gap Closing in NYC Schools and the Nation

NYC Black Radical Congress leader Sam Anderson critiques NYC Superintendent Joel Klein's claims of 'closing the gap' .... from the NYTimes article from December 2, 2005. Anderson was a founding member of the NY Chapter of the Black Panther Party and now serves as Education Director at Medgar Evers College’s Center for Law & Social Justice.

In the aftermath of NYC's elimination of their community school boards in 2002, Anderson and others formed the Independent Commission on Public Education (iCOPE) which is forming an independent task force of parents, community members, students, teachers, principals, policy-makers, elected officials, scholars and business leaders to shape a new common vision for our schools based on human rights.

The Myth of Education Gap-Closing in NYC Scools (and the Nation)
From: "S. E. Anderson

Malcolm X said (I'm paraphrasing): When a man with a 12 inch knife in your back pulls it out 3 inches, you don't call that "Progress."
The Bloomberg/Klein spinmasters at the NY Times have produced another "gem" of mythical propaganda with Dec 2's news article rosily headlined: "City's Schools Cut Racial Gap in Test Scores". (the link to the full article below) also visit <> for the data.

DAVID M. HERSZENHORN's raggedy mishmash article is a classic attempt to abuse statistics for the sake of shoring up and covering up a major corporate-sponsored education implosion. Herszenhorn and The Times can get away with it because 99% of US citizens don't have a clue about analyzing statistical data. Let's be real here: there is a real educational meltdown going on in NYC's public schools (as well as the rest of the US's public education system).
So let's take a look at the Times's attempt at bamboozling and obscuring and fabricating....
"The results are divided into four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced."
What The Times DOES NOT tell you is that "below basic" and "basic" are actually about being super-illiterate/innumerate and functionally illiterate/innumerate. A "proficient" score means that your child is AT grade level.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) lumps the "basic" level with the "proficient" and "advanced" levels, thus distorting the reality of literacy and numeracy in the US. It prettifies a national horror of tens of millions of academically ill-prepared young citizens (but that's what present-day capitalism needs!). So when you go to: <> and look at the stats, regroup the stats to have basic and below basic together to get a better picture of the depth and breadth of US miseducation.
For example: if we look at the nationwide Black 8th graders Math scores this way, we'll see that 92 out of 100 Black 8th graders are incapable of doing -at best- 7th and 8th grade math! And 89 out of 100 NYC's Black students are in the same devastating state. see: data.

"Mirroring a nationwide pattern on state by state results released last month, reading scores in the urban districts were up in the fourth grade but flat or lower in the eighth grade."
So how's this education progress when by the 8th grade, most children -at best- know only as much as they did in the 4th grade?

"New York City's strongest results over all were in fourth-grade math, with the number of students scoring at the basic level up 6 percentage points, to 73 percent, from 2003."
You get these results by:
(1) making the test even easier than all the previous ones...
(2) ...then spend 80-90% of classroom time teaching-to-the-test (meaning that no real math education is going on... resulting in disastrous test scores and grades by the 8th grade AND nurturing the pre-high school dropout rate)
(3) Give the test earlier in the year, thus testing more 3rd grade material than 4th grade material.
(4) systematically weed out low performing students test time.

"In fourth-grade reading, New York City's gap between the average score of black and white students shrank by 10 points. Among Hispanic students the gap shrank 7 points."
10% and 7% shrinkage from what gap? It's never revealed. So these numbers sound good but have no context. How wide was the gap? That's key to see how much progress is being made and how long it will take to achieve parity.

"In all, 36 percent of white fourth graders achieved reading proficiency on this year's test, compared with 16 percent of black students and 15 percent of Hispanic students."
64 out of 100 white 4th grade students being illiterate is an alarmingly horrific figure! But the Times hides this horror thru its glazing data-ese. 84 out of 100 Black 4th grade students can't read and 85 out of 100 Latino students can't read. This is beyond horrific. This is educational genocide. But all this is counched in the shroud of "progress" and "gap closing." I am convinced that if white, Black, Latino parents are given test data in this manner, there would be more outrage and action against Bloomberg/Klein (mis)education policies. But the Times's job is not to give a true picture of the education crisis. There job is to say: "You're doing a good job Bloomie!"

"...New York had the most striking gains in fourth-grade reading scores, with 57 percent of students testing at the basic level this year, up from 47 percent in 2002...."
(1) How do you get 57% from the data state above: 36% white proficiency, 16% Black profiency and 15% Latino profiency? Even if the Asian and "other" 4th graders scored 100% proficiency (which they did not), they only constitute an even smaller-than-white-students percentage of 4th graders.
(2) Don't forget: not ALL 4th graders took the tests: thousands were "absent" from the exams thru various underhanded bureaucratic maneuverings.

"But while New York City could boast of encouraging gains in several areas, the overall picture of student achievement remains sobering. The results showed that in the city 43 percent of students remained at the below basic level in reading in the fourth grade. And eighth-grade reading scores fell slightly on the federal test, to 20 percent at the proficient level from 22 percent in 2003. The eighth-grade reading scores were the one area where the gap between white and black students widened."

(1) Education regression is progress according to The Times: "sobering progress." I hate to see "drunken progress."
(2) Now we see reality: "...eighth-grade reading scores fell slightly on the federal test, to 20 percent at the proficient level from 22 percent in 2003." Translation: By the time your 4th grader gets to an 8th grade class in NYC public school system he/she will most likely be among the 80 out of 100 who CANNOT READ at either the 7th or 8th grade level (because the test content is really wieghted on 7th grade material).
(3) "The eighth-grade reading scores were the one area where the gap between white and black students widened." Why is the widening happening?
(a) Teacher expectation is higher for white teens than for Black or Latino teens.(b) More tutorial support (via parents and schools) for white students(c) White teens are surrounded by white achievement and power(d) Black/Latino teens are surrounded by oppression, negative/criminal imagery, eurocentric curriculum(e) Black/Latino accept a form of racial inferiority complex about low test-score expectations(f) White Teens go to qualitatively better middle schools than Black/latinos

"Mr. Klein played down the fact that gains were made in moving students to the basic levels, but not to the level of proficiency required by President Bush's signature No Child Left Behind law."
Bloomberg/Klein Progress = getting students to basic level NOT proficiency level. Emphasize this to parents and media rather than he reality that the city's children are, for the most part, functionally illiterate.

"New York City's gains among black and Hispanic students were also accompanied by drops in scores among white students that both national experts and local school officials were at a loss to explain.
Some said the drop might be a result of the fact that the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests a sample of students rather than the entire district. Both gains or declines in scores must exceed the margin of error to be statistically significant."

The Real Deal: When you gear all your teaching to making sure students pass exams, this has a ripple effect thruout the system. One result is "white student alienation." That is, there are culturally given expectations for white student's intellectual development. Their family, their friends, their neighborhood expects that. But being immersed in a test-driven schooling system collides with these expectations by the time of the 8th grade test.

Remember, most of these white students and their families are already looking at high school and college. But many of them have experienced only teaching-to-the-test and very little critical thinking that's essential for being college bound. Hence, many white students join the ranks of the academically aliented... and just tune out of his miseducation scene.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress's sampling is done in the standard scientific manner: maximizing the possibility of getting a true representation of NYC's white student population. So... don't blame NAEP for the white student score decline: it's a result of years of teaching-to-the-test having a negative impact on thousands of white teens.

"Mr. Easton, one of several officials making the presentation, cited research in Chicago showing that ninth-grade outcomes are highly predictive of high school success or failure, and he noted that black eighth graders in about half of the urban districts had very low math scores."
This telling fact is buried near the end of the article. One thing we never see in these news articles is projection. That is, given these data how long will it take for Black/Latino 4th and 8th graders to reach parity with white/Asian students? They don't want us to look at this because it would reveal that it would take DECADES to reach parity. Remember, the education gap existed from the end of slavery and was exacerbated by segregation's separate and unequal policies both NORTH and SOUTH.

Only total systemchange based on the premise that education is a Human Right can reverse this education pogrom/implosion. No Bloomberg/Klein mandates of corporate intervention can do it. No moral and intellectual suasion with Bloomberg/Klein can do it. It's parents, students, teachers, communities emnvisioning another educational system grounded in critical thinking and truly embracing New York's vast cosmopolitan culture and fighting to make it real.

NY Times Article

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Youth & Asian Americans Organize for Global Justice and Grassroots Power

Some of my SF State students, friends from the Chinese Progressive Association, CJWP, the Asian American Movement Collective, PODER, SWOP, and close allies in the environmental justice movement are heading to Hong Kong Dec 10-19 for a major gathering of grassroots organizers and advocates from around the US and the world. Please support them if you can.
Check out their blog for daily updates at

From Chinatown to China and Beyond: Chinese American Garment Workers Go Back to China to Protest the World Trade Organization

OAKLAND and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A national delegation of over 50 people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean and South Asian descent called WT-No!, is going to Hong Kong this December. They are not going holiday shopping.

The delegation is part of a broad coalition of Asian & Pacific Islanders including former garment workers, youth, immigrants, activists, organizers, artists, teachers and students who will be connecting with organizations in Hong Kong whose members have shared similar experiences from the impacts of globalization and trade liberalization, and to show solidarity with other workers worldwide.

WHAT: Interviews available before delegation leaves and in Hong Kong with key voices of the delegation
Worker interviews available in Cantonese, Friday, Dec 2, 5 pm / Chinese Progressive Association, SF
Coverage & daily updates of the WT-No Delegation in Hong Kong (Dec 10 – 19, 2005)
Mass mobilizations December 11, 13 and 18, 2005
Blog:; Photos and Videos will be uploaded or linked to this site.

WHEN: December 10 – 20, 2005 (WTO Ministerial: December 13-18, 2005)

WHY: Our delegation will help the press move beyond their planned coverage of the Ministerial Conference. Follow over 50 Asian Pacific Islander Americans and Latinos on the outside. For instance,

Lisa Zhou was one of nearly 240 garment workers abruptly terminated in 2001 after having worked for months without pay. In 2002, nearly all of the former garment workers received close to $1 million in back wages. Zhou had come a long way during that year, when the intimidation tactics of her former employers made the workers fearful of taking any public action. Now, three years later, she and over 20 other people from the Bay Area are taking another public action, this time near her old home court of Guangzhou.

Zhou is part of a national delegation of over 50 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans participating in the global protests against the Sixth World Trade Organization (世界貿易組織) Ministerial Conference. They are also going to show solidarity with workers abroad, who in many cases have also experienced subminimum wages, no wages, lack of jobs and/or massive layoffs tied to global trade liberalization. According to Colin Rajah, of the Oakland-based National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could increase the abuses by employers of workers like Zhou.

“Through its “Mode 4” deal, the WTO is proposing to create a global guestworker program that will enable corporations to dictate the flow of temporary workers -- whose rights and immigrant status would be tied to their employer, exposing them to significant abuse such as those endured by Braceros and other guestworkers, with no possibility of permanent residency. We want to highlight how trade agreements struck by the WTO have caused communities to lose their livelihoods and forced people to migrate, while using immigrants as cheap, disposable labor for corporations,” said Rajah.

WT-No! is a collaboration between Bay Area-based organizations including Chinese Progressive Association (華人進步會;, Chin Jurn Wor Ping (前進和平;, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights ( and the Korean Community Center of the East Bay (; and nationally, with the Garment Workers Center in Los Angeles, Organizing Asian Communities ( in New York, and Community Organizing Committee (CYOC) in Philadelphia.

# # #

VISUALS: mass mobilizations, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, South Asian organizers and delegates to the NGO conference, direct actions, street theater, signs, banners, etc in many languages.

AUDIO / VIDEO: Interviews with SF Chinese garment workers, Hong Kong garment workers, meetings between garment worker organizations in Hong Kong, video / audio of mass mobilizations, multiple languages (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish).


o Education / media / art: A 29-year old Chinese Vietnamese Oakland schoolteacher who teaches young people in Oakland to make videos is going to be making videos herself, in Hong Kong, at the protests to stop the negotiations. Find out who she meets and talks to.

o Environment / environmental justice / activism: A 24-year old Chinese American environmentalist networks with other communities affected by diesel pollution from port-related shipping traffic. Find out how global communities are dealing with diesel pollution and how WTO affects port-related shipping.

o Youth / immigration / diaspora: A young 26-year old Chinese American woman goes back to Hong Kong for the first time to join the protests and to show global solidarity. Find out how she experiences this return trip under very special circumstances.

For more information on how to contact the delegation, please contact Diana Pei Wu; (510) 847-9339;

Monday, November 28, 2005

David Bacon on 'divide and conquer' and scapegoating immigrant communities in the aftermath of the new orleans disaster

As usual, people's journalist David Bacon provides a useful analysis of the politics behind immigration reform legislation, the rebuilding of New Orleans, and 'divide and conquer' media messages. In his conclusion he helps point us in a more constructive direction of multiracial justice and economic sustainability.

DIVIDED WE FALL - By David Bacon
From Colorlines Magazine - [you will have to wait for the full article in the Feb 06 issue]

If Congress' current proposals for immigration reform pass this year or next, will they help the immigrant workers now doing reconstruction on the Gulf Coast? What about the residents hoping to return home - what might these proposals mean for racial divisions already fanned by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and syndicated newspaper columnist Ruben Navarette in the wake of the flood?

Both Nagin and Navarette play on growing insecurity on each side of the migration divide. "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?" the Mayor asked in early November. Navarette praised immigrants for "not sitting around and waiting for government to come to the rescue. They're probably living two or three families to a house ... that's how it used to be in this country before the advent of the welfare state." African American politicians, he said, just want to "keep the city mostly Black."

It's not a theoretical problem. The Gulf Coast disaster is having a profound and permanent effect on the area's workers and communities. The racial fault lines of immigration politics threaten to pit Latinos against Blacks, and migrant laborers against community residents hoping to return to their homes. Community organizations, labor and civil rights advocates can all find common ground in a reconstruction plan that puts the needs of people first.

But flood-ravaged Mississippi and Louisiana could also become a window into a different future, in which poor communities with little economic power fight each other over jobs. Even before Hurricane Katrina hit, the unemployment rate among Gulf residents was among the nation's highest. ...In New Orleans, Blacks, concentrated in public-sector jobs and already reeling from the storm and flood, were hit again by massive layoffs. With no sure job waiting for them, few families had the resources to simply go back and take a chance on finding new employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in October that 500,000 of the 800,000 people evacuated had yet to return home.
In the hurricane-affected areas, fears generated by competition are already apparent. Politicians like Nagin, using racial fears to win votes, and columnists like Navarette, seeking to incite racial hysteria among readers, both see gains to be made from increased division. Yet as immigration changes the demographics of the South, its communities have a good record of reaching across racial lines.

"Every immigrant rights bill in Mississippi has been introduced by African American legislators," Chandler says. In the state's poultry and meatpacking plants, longtime Black workers and a new wave of immigrants have found themselves on the same side in union organizing efforts. Hurricane relief is a key test of those bonds, and the desire to achieve common ground.

This year the Congressional Black Caucus made two important contributions to this effort. The CBC-sponsored HR 4197 addresses hurricane recovery and poverty, authorizing funds for housing and new Section 8 vouchers, for increased health care, and for extended unemployment and temporary assistance to needy families. It provides money to help returning residents rebuild their homes or seek new ones,
and for schools to help relocated students. The bill reinstates Davis Bacon wage requirements, creates apprenticeship programs to develop good jobs, and requires the President to present a plan for eradicating poverty.

For Pitts, this moves in the right direction. "You have to assure there's a floor under wages," he suggests, "Both immigrants and African Americans need this. To ensure people can return, the government has to recognize the need for two kinds of income-wages from decent jobs, and money to cover the cost of relocation.

Immigrants need a living wage too, as well as the right to organize and the ability to move freely, so they're not tied to an employer or contractor." The CBC also supported another bill this spring, by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2005, HR 2092, provides a way for currently undocumented workers to gain permanent resident status, and enforces migrants' rights in the workplace. Unlike every other immigration proposal in Congress, it has no guest worker program, and doesn't call for greater enforcement of employer sanctions. It will take the fees paid by people applying for legal status, and use them to provide job creation and training programs in communities with high levels of unemployment. For community and labor activists who see Kennedy/McCain and similar proposals as dangerous, Jackson Lee's bill provides at least a partial program for progressive immigration reform.

The key to finding common ground is fighting for jobs for everyone. Whether Black, white, Asian or Latino, native-born or immigrant-no one can live without work. Yet this basis for an alliance of mutual interest has largely fallen off the liberal agenda. Even unions, the bastion of support for the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, a 1970s proposal that the federal government provide jobs to eradicate unemployment, pay only lip service to the idea today. In the Democratic Party, free market ideologues ridicule the idea that the government should guarantee employment, as it did in the New Deal programs of the 1930s. Instead, both parties propose to pile guest worker programs, and increased enforcement of employer sanctions, on top of job competition. This is an explosive mixture in which no one has the right to a job, and everyone shares only increased insecurity.

Unemployment and racism in the U.S. economic system pit communities of color against each other, and against working-class white communities. Competition produces lower labor costs and higher
profits. It's no accident that the guestworker programs in Congress are pushed by the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, which includes 38 of the country's largest industrial and business associations.

Racial division is a powerful political weapon as well, helping to maintain a conservative Republican majority in Congress and the White House. By the same token, for working communities, overcoming racial division creates new possibilities for winning political power.

In the early 1980s a Black-Latino alliance defeated the Chicago political machine and elected Harold Washington mayor. In the spring of 2005 the same strategy elected Antonio Villaraigosa mayor of Los Angeles, where division between Blacks and Latinos was used to keep conservatives in power for decades. The rebuilding of Biloxi, Gulfport and New Orleans can forge a similar political coalition on the Gulf Coast too. But to accomplish that, working class communities will have to reject the use of immigration as a new dividing line to keep them apart.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day, and Indigenous People's 'Unthanksgiving Day' to everyone!

SF Turkey Day Championship Goes to Lincoln High School
Congratulations to San Francisco's Lincoln High School Football team for their exciting 21 to 20 victory, but also to the inspiring 20 point 2nd half effort from the Balboa High School Buccaneers as well in the Annual SF Turkey Bowl at Kezar Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. What a game this year! Though I missed the game this year, we are fortunate that there has been good local coverage of public school athletics in the SF press.
See the SF Examiner's article on the game.

San Francisco Solidarity with Indigenous People on Thanksgiving Day

Over the years, as a progressive tradition of solidarity I have always tried to attend the annual Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering to support Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Day and to confront the myths of history, give thanks for our lives and honor the spirit of continued resistance.
The alcatraz event is a tradition that streches back 30 years to Thanksgiving 1975 when the American Indian Movement and others came together to support the struggle of Native people for self-determination.
Every Thanksgiving morning thousands gather at PIER 41 - at SF's FISHERMAN'S WHARF - to catch ferries from 5 - 6:30 am. This year MC's and special guests included:
Lenny Foster, Floyd Westerman, Traditional Pomo Dancers, Danzantes Aztecas, Humaya Dancers, and the All Nation Drummers.
The Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island is always followed by a pot-luck feast, open to the public, free of charge, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Inter-Tribal Friendship House, 523 International Boulevard, Oakland. The organizers always include music, special guest speakers and great food and solidarity. They always need volunteers as well for cooking. If you can help, please call (510) 444-5808.
For more history on the American Indian Movement and the history of the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz from December 1969 through early 1971 check out the film Alcatraz is not an Island . From the website -

The takeover of Alcatraz was one of the most successful American Indian protest
actions of the 20th century, fueling the rise of modern Native American activism. In fact, many of the 74 Indian occupations of federal facilities that followed Alcatraz were either planned by or included people who had been involved in seizing the island.

The occupation also brought Indian rights issues to the attention of the federal government and American public, changing forever the way Native people viewed themselves, their culture and their inherent right to self-determination. The occupation also succeeded in getting the federal government to end its policy of termination and adopt an official policy of Indian self-determination. From 1970 to 1971, Congress passed 52 legislative proposals on behalf of American Indians to support tribal self-rule. ...

After visiting the occupiers on Alcatraz Island, the American Indian Movement (AIM) began a series of national protest actions by seizing federal facilities. Comprised of mostly younger, more progressive and better educated urban Indians, AIM was initially formed to protect urban Indians from civil rights abuses. Inspired by the Alcatraz occupation, AIM became an important multi-tribal protest organization during the '70s. Its first protest action was on Thanksgiving Day 1970, when AIM members painted Plymouth Rock red and seized the Mayflower II replica in Plymouth, Massachusetts to challenge a celebration of colonial expansion. From the takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969 to the Longest Walk in 1978, the Alcatraz-Red Power Movement (ARPM) used social protest to demand that the government honor treaty obligations by providing resources, education, housing and healthcare to alleviate poverty. The ARPM aimed to build Indian colleges and create Indian studies programs, museums and cultural centers with federal funds to redress centuries of cultural repression.

At San Francisco State, where I teach, we also honor the memory of Richard Oakes, a SF State student leader who was instrumental in leading the Alcatraz takeover. Along with other students from SF State and campuses like UCLA, Oakes represented a generation of youth and oppressed groups fighting for power and self-determination for their peoples. The spirit of Alcatraz lives on through us and the annual Sunrise gatherings. Please join us next year.
For more info on the Film Alcatraz is Not an Island

Click here to join qualitySFschoolsforallstudents
Click to join qualitySFschoolsforallstudents

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Educators for Tookie Williams; Books Not Bars Actions Nov 30 & Dec. 5th


The clock is ticking for California death row prisonerStanley Tookie Williams who is scheduled to be executed on December 13. The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is calling on educators nationwide tosign on to a letter urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger togrant clemency to death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams.
To download a copy of the Educators for Tookie letter, visit No Death

The collective voice of educators can send a powerful message calling for clemency. Please sign on to this letter today, since Governor Schwarzeneggercan make his decision any day.
This effort is being led by Professors Philip Gasper and William Keach who have previously nominated Stan for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prizein Literature, respectively.
Please see their call to action below.
To sign the letter, send the following information to
Name, Title, Name of institution (for identification purposes only)
Home, address, City, state and zip and E-mail address
For further information about Stan's case, visit or
To download a pdf of the call to action, visit No Death
To Our Fellow Educators:
We are reaching out to you to add your voice to the tens of thousandsof others urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemencyto death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams, due to be executed onDecember 13.
At just 17-years old, in 1971, Mr. Williams co-founded the Crips streetgang. In 1981, he was convicted of four murders and sentenced to death,though he has always maintained his innocence of these crimes. While inprison, Mr. Williams underwent a spiritual transformation. He renounced ganglife and issued a public apology for his role in promoting gang violence. Hedecided that he would dedicate the rest of his life to helping children makebetter decisions than those he made during his youth. His life story is portrayed in the television movie, "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story" starring actor Jamie Foxx as Mr. Williams. From his cell on death row, Mr. Williams has accomplished the following:
* He has written nine children's books about the dangers of gang life thathave touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people all over theworld.
* He developed the Protocol for Street Peace, which has been used by rivalgangs around the country and the world to broker gang truces.
* He speaks to school children of all ages, teachers, juvenile offenders,gang members, school principals and many others about ending gang violenceand the importance of staying in school.

Mr. Williams is an educator in his own right and we believe that his work isinvaluable to the cause of helping kids stay out of gangs and promotingpeace in communities across the country.
That is why we have nominated Mr.Williams for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. We not only value Mr. Williams work, we value his life. We are asking you to join us in calling for clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams.
Please sign onto the attached letter and become an Educator for Tookie.
Info: or (773) 955-4841.
For further information about Mr. Williams' case, visit .
Thank you for caring about Mr. Williams' life and the lives of youngchildren who find themselves struggling to find their own way.
Sincerely, Philip GasperProfessor of PhilosophyChair, Department of Philosophy & ReligionNotre Dame de Namur UniversityBelmont, CA 94002
William KeachProfessor of EnglishBrown University70 Brown St.Providence RI 02912
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
As educators from around California, the United States and the world, we are writing to you to add our voices to the tens of thousands of others urging you to grant clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams, due to be executed by the State of California on December 13.
Mr. Williams, a former gang leader from Los Angeles, has been on San Quentin's death row for twenty-four years. During his years in prison, however, Mr. Williams has undergone a remarkable transformation. After several years in solitary confinement, he publicly renounced his gang connections and apologized for the pain and harm that his past actions had caused. Since that time, Mr. Williams has dedicated himself to combating the influence of street gangs and offering an alternative to at-risk youth. As a result of his extraordinary work, Mr. Williams has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times since 2001.
From the confines of his tiny nine-by-four-foot cell, Williams has written nine books for children, attempting to de-romanticize gangs, crime and prison. One of them, Life in Prison, has received two national book honors, including an award from the American Library Association. It has been used in schools, libraries, juvenile correctional facilities and prisons throughout the United States and, indeed, around the world. Mr. Williams has also recorded anti-gang public service announcements for radio that have aired on stations across the United States. More than 70,000 people have sent emails to Mr. Williams' web site, expressing appreciation for his work, with many saying they have opted not to join gangs or have withdrawn from gang membership as a result of reading his books or hearing his voice.
Last year, gang members in Newark, New Jersey who had learned about Mr. Williams by seeing Redemption-the TV movie about his life, starring Jamie Foxx-negotiated a truce based on the "Tookie Protocol for Peace: A Local Street Peace Initiative," posted on his web site. Before signing the peace treaty, the gangs had been responsible for 34 murders in the first four months of 2004 alone. After signing the treaty in May, gang-related killing in Newark stopped, and the truce has held ever since.The Observer newspaper in London reported in November 2004 that Mr. Williams' anti-gang initiatives have now been extended to Britain.

In London, where there is a significant street gang problem, the hip-hop music industry is featuring him in an anti-gang advertising campaign in magazines, and his recently published autobiography (Blue Rage, Black Redemption) is being sold in music stores alongside hip-hop CDs. Mr. Williams' work has been positively cited by several authors, including the psychologist Linda Goldman in Raising Our Children to be Resilient: A Guide to Helping Children Cope with Trauma in Today's World, the criminologist Lewis Yablonsky in his book Gangsters, and social activist and former- California State Senator Tom Hayden in Street Wars: Gangs and the Future of Violence. According to Yablonsky, emeritus Professor of Criminology at California State University, Northridge, "Williams is the only person I know of-gangster or criminologist-who has come up with any kind of articulate insight into black-on-black violence."
Mr. Williams has always maintained that he is innocent of the murders for which he was originally convicted. There was no physical evidence linking him to these crimes, and it is disputable whether he received a fair trial.What is clear, however, is that over the past few years Mr. Williams has probably saved hundreds of lives. If his death sentence is commuted and he is permitted to continue his work, he can save hundreds more. If he is executed, a unique and irreplaceable voice for peace will have been lost. Governors are given the power to grant clemency so that they may show mercy in truly exceptional cases. It is hard to think of a case that could be more exceptional than that of Mr. Williams. He has become an inspiring example to thousands of at-risk young people in California, in the rest of the United States, and in many other countries around the world.
We urge you to halt his execution.

Campaign to End the Death Penalty
773-955-4841 office ® 773 955 4842 fax

Books Not Bars - has been pressuring the Governor and State to end the racism and injustice in the juvenile prison system. Gear up for nov 30th actions!

Dear Friends,
We're getting down to the wire in November: will the Governor do the right thing? So far this month, over 500,000 people watched news coverage of our statewide vigils, and over 20,000 people watched our funny new online cartoon. And in the last week, over 2,500 people e-mailed the Governor urging him to close the youth prisons! And that's not all! Read below for important actions and updates, and how you can help in this crucial time.


1) Watch (and forward) our hilarious online cartoon!
Can the Governator's multiple movie personalities help him solve California's problems? Find out in "Action Heroes in Office." Arnold promised he'd fix California's infamous, abusive youth prisons by November 30. The deadline is fast approaching. What can he do?
click here to help

2) Sacramento Day of Action on November 30th!
On November 30th, the Governor and corrections officials will reveal their plan to fix the CYA. We're going up to Sacramento to tell the Governor that any plan that doesn't close Chad and the other abusive CYA prisons is bound to fail.
We'll be arriving with high hopes and fun props; you won't want to miss this event! For more information, contact David at 510-428-3939 x243 or
click here to help.

3) Come Out For An Important Public Hearing on December 5th!
On December 5th, the Senate Budget Subcommittee for Corrections will likely hold a hearing to find out why corrections officials have failed to bring an end to the abuse and waste of CYA. Come show these officials that youth, families, and community members are watching and won't wait any longer! For more information, contact David at 510-428-3939 x243 or .

FUNNY FLASH FILM: Over 20,000 People Watch It!
Last week, we made history by releasing our first ever online "flash" cartoon about California's broken juvenile justice system. This hilarious parody has been forwarded all over the internet and over 20,000 people have watched it so far! Check out “Action Heroes in Office” today and help us spread the word!
Click here to help

STATEWIDE VIGILS: Over Half a Million People Hear Our Message!
Our statewide vigils on November 16th were a huge success! Over 500 people attended, and we received coverage on 11 newscasts with over 500,000 viewers. Read the highlights from each city!
About 250 people marched from juvenile court to the state building, where we gathered for the vigil. Dozens of onlookers were so inspired by the chanting and songs, they spontaneously joined us in our march. Families for Books Not Bars member Barbara Jackson led in an inspiring program, featuring Reverend Dr. Elouise Oliver, Nancy Nadel of the Oakland City Council, and civil rights attorney John Bass. Huge thanks to AYPAL, the Center for Young Women's Development, Candace Wicks, Siaira Harris, Malaika Parker and all those who helped make the vigil an enormous success!
The sanctuary at the Agape Spiritual Center was a powerful setting for a vigil filled with song, prayer, and hope. Brian Walton of the Guiding Light Prison Ministry made this event happen -- thank you! Special thanks also go to Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith, Javier Stauring from the Los Angeles Office of Restorative Justice, Youth Justice Coalition, Labor Communities Strategies Center, and the Bus Riders Union.
Families for Books Not Bars member Laura Talkington organized an inspiring vigil in Fresno, where a young man recently released from Chad spoke about his experiences. Many thanks to the Reverend Floyd Harris from the California Chapter of the National Action Network, and all those who took part in this meaningful event!
In San Jose, youth, families, and community members gathered around five special candles, made in honor of the five youth who have lost their lives in CYA. Special recognition goes to Blanca Bosquez, Connie Flora, Violet Mejia and Civil Rights for Children for helping to plan the event -- thank you!
Many thanks are in order for Blanca Gabriele, youth advocate with Sobriety Brings A Change for coordinating a powerful vigil at the Sol Art and Culture Collective! We also want to appreciate Estella Sanchez, Samuel Iniquez and the folks from Escuelas Si, Pintas No! for making the vigil a great success.
For more info

Monday, November 21, 2005

SFOP's Avenues of Hope Organizing for San Francisco Youth and Families - great post by Kim Knox

The San Francisco Organizing Project - SFOP's Sunday afternoon ['accountability session'] rally at Mission High School with 3000 community folks staring down politicians like me, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Leno, Aaron Peskin, Gavin Newsom and Norman Yee [Tom Ammiano, Sophie Maxwell and Ross Mirkarimi and Mark Sanchez and Sarah Lipson were also in the audience] was a breath of fresh air in SF schools and City politics.
SFOP's base and organizers deserve a lot of credit for building their voice and power by successfully bringing together one of the most diverse - multi-ethnic, multilingual, neighborhood and parish-based - political events of the year which linked issues of housing and economic justice with community safety and educational justice.
Their leaders talked about a broader vision of social justice - their AVENUES OF HOPE CAMPAIGN - that will help people unite to defeat the conservatism in Sacramento and the White House and advance SFOP's strategies of community organizing and policy change. It was very inspiring too to see so many young folks [older folks too] from June Jordan High School of Equity and Aim High Academy, 2 amazingly successful small schools in SF, and Principal Dr. Raymond Isola from Sanchez Elementary School in the Misison District as well.

Here's educational justice activist Kim Knox's article on the 11/20/05 SFOP rally from the Left in SF website: [one of the SFOP leaders she accidentally omits is Natalie Gee who challenged Assemblyman Mark Leno on universal health care and job training for working families and youth. Natalie is also active the Board of SFOP and a leader of the Chinese Progressive Association who will be going to the 4th World Social Forum in Hong Kong in a few weeks to join with other grassroots organizers in the US and throughout the world fighting against globalization]
The San Francisco Organizing Project, a coalition of churches and schools, had an organizing conference on “Avenues of Hope: Offering a Future to the Youth and Families of San Francisco.”
The program’s organizers estimated 3,000 people at the conference. The presenters were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Assemblymember Mark Leno, BOS President Aaron Peskin, BOE President Eric Mar and BOE Vice President Norman Yee.
Co-Chair Eleanor Williams of Providence Baptist Church explained that the proposal was created by 3,000 surveys received by SFOP from their members. They found that the biggest concerns that members had were education and jobs for youth. SFOP then did research to create nine proposals.
Co-Chair and Deacon Nate Bacon of St. Peter’s stated some of the information that they found-only 50% of African-American and Latinon students that enter in the 9th grade graduate from SFUSD in the 12th grade. Even though San Francisco has the lowest percentage (versus its population) of children of any urban area in California, it has the largest number of jailed youth. Bacon said, “We need to create avenues of hope where families can survive and thrive in the City of Saint Francisco.” Later Bacon also quoted a local minister who stated, “Nothing stops a bullet better than a job.”
At that point, several youth gave testimonies on the impact of education and lack of jobs on their lives. Marcus Garrett explained that he started hanging out with dealers and in the streets at 14-till he was sent to Sacramento at 16 by his mother. Another young speaker spoke about how when he got out of Juvenile Hall at 16, his parole officer wouldn’t give him approval to go back to a traditional high school. At 18, his parole officer refused to give him approval to enter the Job Corps program. But he announced that he has three sons and his wife has just been accepted to USF. He also reports that he is working with construction-and helping his friends get jobs in constructin.
Joe Trigueros and Brittany Donaldson then asked Mayor Gavin Newsom four questions-

1) Would the Mayor support programs that would allow all youth in the
juvenile justice system to have access to job training and education programs,
2) Would the Mayor agree to sponsor an employment summit with key
businesses to create summer jobs for youth in 2006,
3) Would the Mayor agree to implement CityBuild (a construction jobs
program that the Mayor is planning to implement in January 2006) and replicate
it for jobs in digital media, biotech and clean technology,
4) Would the Mayor agree to provide an annual public report card that
documents progress of local hiring?

The Mayor stated that he applaud SFOP of bringing this issues out to the community. He stated that he had already hired a new person to head Juvenile Justice, a point person for the new program for CityBuild along with Jesse Blout to work on these type of programs. He also promised to give SFOP a one year to five year program to show the progress of various programs. Newsom also stated that he had been to the Gates Foundation in San Francisco to get a honest assessment of why they reluctantly withdrew a $10 million grant from SFUSD. He didn’t give a list of what the Gates Foundation thought that SFUSD could do better.
Frank Arana asked Assemblymember Mark Leno two questions-

1) Would he promise to again sponsor legislation to provide universal
health care program to all youth up to age of 25 in California and
2) Would he promise to sponsor legislation on job training.

Leno agreed very quickly to both-and pointed out that even though the Governor vetoed Leno’s last legislation for universal health care for all children, the Governor recently sent a message that he was now (after the election) willing to support it. Leno also stated that he would continue to push for legislation that would allow San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to pass a local vehicle tax that would bring $70 million into the coffers.
Marcus Garrett then asked President Peskin if he was willing to support legislation that would reduce youth violence and would he support the Small Schools Initiative? Peskin was the only one who repeated SFOP’s theme by stating “The Board of Superivsors is willing to follow your lead in creating Avenues of Hope.” He pointed out that Mirkarimi and Maxwell had passed legislation to create a Select Committee to Study Guns and Violence in San Francisco. He also pointed out Ammiano’s legislation to get more jobs for youth in San Francisco.
Ayanna Banks first directed her questions to BOE President Eric Mar-

1) Would he support community involvement in the Superintendent selection
process, including townhall meetings and school-based meetings,
2) Would he support taking “small schools by design” off the closure list,
including Aim High, June Jordan and Sanchez?,
3) Create a policy that supports the development of “small schools by
design” and gives them autonomy to be successful?

The crowd was at its loudest and on its feet when Eric simply said, “Yes, Yes, Yes!”
Eric said that he wanted a process where community input was truly heard and not just a tokenism. He agreed to work to get the three small schools off of the closure list. He also stated that he would work with other School Board members to do all that they could to support the Small School Initiative.
Ayanna Banks then directed the same questions to Vice President Norman Yee. Norman stated that he has always been supportive of community input in the superintendent selection. He noted that a citizen advisory board was being created in order to faciliate community invovlement in the selection.
As for the small schools, Norman stated that he is always supportive of “successful schools that are doing well with academics.” He noted that both of the high schools listed-Aim High and June Jordan-were doing well academically and he would be willing to support getting them off the closure list. He didn’t say anything about Sanchez.
At that point, Mayor Newsom was asked to return to the podium. Before Regnaldo Woods from Bethel AME Church asked Newsom if he felt the urgency that SFOP feels about getting programs on education and youth training implemented. Newsom said that he did-and he said,”When SFOP comes back in a year or two from now, we want to make sure that you all will know what progress will be making over the next five years.”
At that point, the program was concluded.
Full Posting from Left in SF