Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Phil Angelides joins high school students and alumnus Cornel West at Kennedy High - Sacramento

In the last stretch of his grueling challenge to Governor Schwarzenegger, Phil Angelides campaigned today with visionary leader Cornel West at West's and my alma mater - Kennedy High School in Sacramento. See Duane Campbell's Choosing Democracy Blog which links to today's LA Times blog.
West grew up not far from my old stomping grounds in the south area of Sacramento along Freport Blvd near the old airport.

The students at Kennedy seemed as sharp as I remember them in my high school days:

A student asked about Proposition 85, which would require parental notification if a minor seeks an abortion. Angelides told the students that Schwarzenegger supports it and called the initiative a right-wing plot to take away women's rights.

Another student, standing in the corner, asked about the "illegal immigrant issue" .... Angelides said "we need a real border" and spoke of his immigrant mother and grandparents.

Angelides said the state would "come to a grinding halt" if immigrants were to leave, because they provide so much for the economy. West, a graduate of Kennedy High, said: "I just wish we could be as scrutinizing of corporations that often don't pay their fair share of taxes." He mentioned Jesus' admonition to focus on the least of us.

SF Halloween protest of Mexican Consulate - the People of Oaxaca are not Alone!

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On Halloween San Francisco teachers, parents and students will be foregoing our trick or treating to protest the Mexican Consulate here to condemn the government repression in Oaxaca and call for democracy in Mexico.
From the Mexico Solidarity Committee:
STOP THE REPRESSION IN MEXICO! Emergency Demonstration at the Mexican Consulate in SF to Protest the Political Murders in Oaxaca!
On Friday, the October 27, the Mexican federal police invaded the barricades in Oaxaca to take back control of the city after five months of occupation by APPO (the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca).
As of midnight, 27th of October the death toll is 5 with 30 wounded. Among the dead are New York City Indymedia journalist Will Brad. Among the wounded is a media worker, Oswaldo Ramirez, a Mexican photographer.
We stand with the people of Oaxaca! We Demand: Mexican Federal Police Out of Oaxaca!
For a tribunal to investigate the murders by government troops and paramilitary!
5:00 PM, Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Mexico Consulate General - in San Francisco CA
532 Folsom Street, San Francisco CA 94105
Issued by the Mexico Solidarity Committee
Telephone: 415-864-3537
Email: mexicosolidaritycommittee@yahoo.com

Zapatistas Call for Solidarity and Resistance
A Call from the Zapatistas: Oaxaca Is Not Alone
Shut-Down of Roads, Highways and the Media on November 1; General Strike Called for November 20

The EZLN calls out to the Other Campaign in Mexico and north of the Rio Grande, so that these November 1st mobilizations happen wherever possible, completely, partially, at intervals or symbolically shutting down the major artery roads, streets, toll booths, stations, airports and commercial media.
The central message that the Zapatistas send and will continue sending is that the people of Oaxaca are not alone: They are not alone!
Ulises Ruiz out of Oaxaca!
Immediate withdrawal of the occupying federal forces from Oaxaca!
Immediate and unconditional freedom for all detainees!
Cancel all arrest warrants!
Punish the murderers!

From the North of Mexico.For the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.For the EZLN Sixth Commission.
Subcomandante Insurgente MarcosMexico, October, 2006.

From http://Indybay.org
At 5pm this evening, hundreds will gather to protest at the Mexican Consulate to condemn the repression in Oaxaca. Yesterday many protested around the world to keep Mexican consulates and embassies all over the world from opening.
In SF, protesters met at the the Mexican Consulate at 532 Folsom St. at 6:45am ( Photos: 1 2), to tell the government of Mexico "that we will not allow this savage attack on our brothers and sisters in Oaxaca to be taking place and have business go on as usual." People came together again at 4pm. People also gathered at the Mexican Consulate in San Jose (540 North First St.) at 7am on Monday morning.
There was an electronic blockade of Mexican Embassy and Consulate websites on Monday.
A film screening that will be a benefit for the Rebelión Popular will take place at Station 40 (3030b 16th St. in SF) on Wednesday night, November 1st, at 7pm. Monday: Today has been quieter than yesterday. Radio Universidad has called for people to gather to defend the Zocalo and to protect the radio station.
Reports from Oaxaca: Text by Tristan Photos and text by Danielsan
Sunday evening: Tanks and large machinery were used in Oaxaca today in the government's attempts to tear down barricades. Thousands of women, children, and men were protesting in the streets. There are reports that several more protesters were killed by the police, including one child. Many who have been abducted were taken to Ixcotel Penitentary and military camps and are being beaten there. They are also raiding and destroying homes in Oaxaca, as happened in Atenco.
Read breaking news in English y en español en Centro de Medios Libres Live Audio Stream Rough English Translation Of Audio Stream Ongoing coverage: Centro del Medios Libres Indymedia.org APPO UlisesRuizAsesino website, with list of vigils El Enemigo Común

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fighting for Small School Reform in San Francisco - advocates push for a new policy

The San Francisco Organizing Project [SFOP], June Jordan High School for Equity, and others this month are working with San Francisco Unified School District officials to develop a clear small schools policy which incorporates much stronger autonomies and support for the reform efforts. Despite tremendous challenges, the small schools movement here, has continued to work with the district to establish new rules for small schools in our City.
SFOP is organizing an accountability session for district officials on Wednesday November 8th at 6pm at the San Francisco Community School [125 Excelsior, SF]. Parent, student and community leaders from many of our small schools in SF will address district officials and Board of Education members at the session.
I am off to Washington, DC area this evening on a red-eye flight to serve as a judge for the American School Board Journal's Magna Awards which for the last 12 years has honored innovative school district projects involving school boards and districts in raising student achievement and closing achievement and opportunity gaps.
Thanks to the multi-talented dad/music-lover/Editor-in-chief Glen Cook and the great folks at the American School Boards Journal for sponsoring the awards!

Welcome to Lewis Cohen, the new director of the Oakland-based Coalition of Essential Schools.
CES is working on a new small high school for San Francisco's predominantly African American, and now also Asian immigrant Bayview District. Cohen brings tremendous experience from his small schools and policy work as an Assistant Superintendent across the Bay in Oakland Unified School District.
The Coalition is holding its annual Fall Forum in Chicago at the beginning of November. Our friend Mike Klonsky is on a panel addressing:
Dilemmas of Urban School Reform
Several large urban school districts across the U.S. – including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia – have embraced large school re-design and the development of small schools as part of their overall reform efforts.
Despite significant resources from foundations and attention and support from city leaders, questions persist about taking small schools to scale in large urban systems.
How should urban districts go about implementing systemic reform through a small schools strategy? What are the struggles and competing pressures of doing small schools work in urban communities?
A panel of Chicago educational leaders - including Pat Ford from the Chicago High School Redesign Initiative, Michael Klonsky from the Small Schools Workshop, Don Moore from Designs for Change, and Margaret Small of Young Women's Leadership Charter School – will address these questions and other dilemmas faced by urban
districts working to restructure schools.
The lessons shared by the panel should be useful for San Francisco as we search for a new and hopefully :-) small school friendly superintendent and develop a much stronger small schools policy for our district in the coming months.
More from Lewis and CES - http://www.essentialblog.org/

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SF Yes on Prop F - working families deserve sick pay

This morning in San Francisco's Chinatown I am joining District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, Parent Voices, Coleman Advocates for Children, the Chinese Progressive Association, St. Peter's Housing Committee, Young Workers United, SEIU and many others to urge concerned parents and communities to VOTE YES on SF's Prop F -

What do 116,000 working San Franciscans do when they cannot take a sick day to care for themselves or for their family’s health?
They send their children to school sick. They forgo preventative healthcare. They go to work sick because there is no better option. Because they have to. Until now. Until Prop F.
Working families deserve paid sick days. Measure F will guarentee all workers paid sick leave benefits to take care of themselves and their families. Families say we want a more fair, healthy, and compassionate plan:
Fair: Paid sick days give workers time to heal and recuperate from illness.
Healthy: Paid sick days reduce the spread of contagious diseases in workplaces, e.g., restaurants, hospitals, & childcare centers.
Compassionate: Paid sick days allow workers to care for their children, elderly parents, & family members when they are sick.
How will paid sick days work under Prop F?:
1) Every worker in San Francisco will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and
2) Workers may use their paid sick leave to care for themselves, their families & their partners. Big businesses will provide up to 9 days or 72 hours while small businesses will provide up to 5 days or 40 hours.
Contact http://www.paidsickdayssf.org/index.html
415/621-4155 or email: RightToBeSick@gmail.com for more information and to support the campaign. Vote YES on Prop F!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sick Kids & Yes on SF's Prop F, the Makibaka Hotel and learning about people's struggle

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My 6 year old daughter Jade is sick today, so I had to quickly make arrangements to get the day off to care for her and get her to the hospital. Yet most low wage workers in San Francisco don't have that luxury, or even the luxury of getting a paid sick day for themselves. That's why low wage worker organizations like Young Workers United with their allies like Parent Voices, Chinese Progressive Association, St. Peter's Housing Committee [which just celebrated their 25th anniversary this past weekend], POWER, SEIU Local 790 and others in the May 1st Alliance and the labor movement placed Prop F on the ballot. See Sasha's great post from Left in SF.
The Yes on Prop F campaign is stepping up their Get out the Vote work these next 3 weekends. To plug in contact - www.paidsickdayssf.org/ or if you want to target low wage workers and their families in the Asian American and immigrant communities - contact the Chinese Progressive Association at www.cpasf.org/home.html. Parents can plug into the campaign too through Parent Voices at www.parentvoices.org/ or contact www.youngworkersunited.org/

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.comAs a parent and teacher with a sick kid at home waiting for our visit to the doctor, I had to come up with some kind of relaxed learning activity for us. Over the past month I had been teaching my SF State college students about the history of SF's International Hotel and our current ongoing anti-displacement struggles in San Francisco's SOMA, Bayview Hunters Point, Mission, Tenderloin and other neighborhoods in Seattle, Boston, NYC, and Philly.
So I needed a teaching resource that would help my 6 year old develop skills of empathy and some understanding of SF's Filipino and low income immigrant communities...
Luckily for me Manilatown poet, activist and father extraordinaire Tony Robles has just released his most recent children's book - Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel. Robles teamed up with painter Carl Angel for an incredibly beautiful and moving story that's also fun and serious at the same time. This children's book breaks down the complexity of displacement and gentrification to the level of elementary school kids like my daughter. Inspired by the recent struggle of the Trinity Plaza Tenants Association in SF's SOMA district, the story makes an important and inspiring political statement in support of Makibaka or the struggle of our communities for self-determination and the need for solidarity with other communities as well.

Filipino History Month Event with Tony Robles/Chris Daly - 10/19/06 -4-6 pm
Jade and I plan to join Tony, Carl, District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, and others for a celebration of October as Filipino American History Month in City Hall, Room 273. Many of us are also rallying to support our ally progressive Supervisor Chris Daly in his re-election campaign as well.

Though my daughter is sick and I had to stay away from work with her, through Tony's book and our time learning together we have become more human, and I have satisfied my role as a parent, teacher and activist.
Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!
Struggle! Don't Be Affraid!

[and best wishes to Trinity Plaza Tenant leader Ken Werner in his recovery]

Teachers and Parents to Arnold - No More Lies about Your Broken Promises to Our Schools and Communities

The Alliance for a Better California blog notes the Governor's hypocrisy and lies regarding his real stance on education funding.

Arnold promised when he was running for office in 2003 not to touch education funding. In 2004 the state was facing a severe budget deficit. Arnold and the education coalition negotiated an agreement where he could borrow $2 billion, in a one time deal to help close the gap. He agreed to pay it back at a undetermined later date. Then he proposed a budget that took another $3 billion away from the school. He denied that he had made the original deal with the education coalition and refused to pay it back. CTA filed a lawsuit against him
for reneging on his deal.

...Now he is trying to run on his education record. Puuleaase. His record is full of broken promises and cuts to education.

See also Howard Blume's piece from the LA times on the Governor on schools as well.
Schwarzeneger swung through town here in San Francisco last week proclaiming his support for afterschool programs even though the money our state's communities will receive as a result of the passage of Proposition 49 is small peanuts to urban areas like ours which have been devastated by 5 years of budget cuts to our schools and human services. The hoopla and media-spinning by the Governor's camp caused some community-based organizations to really believe there was a lot more cash coming in for their programs causing some rifts as community groups, the City Hall bureaucracy and our school district fought over those crumbs.
Pictured here from www.indybay.org are Salinas High School students protesting the gropenator. To hear audio coverage from the demonstration and background information, please go to: WIN: Protesters Challenge '"The Terminator's" Education Policies.
At the top is a photo of
Fresno teachers and students challenging the Governor's lies.

Friday, October 13, 2006

From Oaxaca to San Francisco - Teaching for Social Justice - Linking our movements

Some 600 progressive teachers will be meeting at San Francisco's Mission High School tomorrow for our 4th annual Teaching for Social Justice conference. Keynote speaker Dr. Asa Hilliard will help us link our individual acts of resistance to the building of broader and longer term social movements to change our schools and communities. See the website for numerous workshops and strategy sessions.
2 caucuses will be meeting during lunch time - one led by my colleague School Board Commissioner Mark Sanchez to establish an Education Not Incarceration chapter in San Francisco; and one that I will lead with Sandra Schwartz of the American Friends Service Committee on strengthening anti-war/social justice work in our SF high schools.
Lastly, many of us will be strategizing too on how we can support the Oaxacan teachers in their struggle for educational justice and a democratic society.
As the Oaxaca situation has hit a stalemate with the standoff in Oaxaca City, solidarity is growing in SF and other parts of the United States. Nancy Davis reports that APPO [the grassroots people's assembly] is moving towards a more permanent status having just completed Thursday their "Democratic Dialogue in Oaxaca", as an alternative to meetings called by the government.

Several days ago Narco News published a great piece by Erwin Slim with some inspiring statements from Oaxacan teachers during their Long March from Oaxaca to Mexico City.

Lastly, I first met Oaxacan activists over 10 years ago when I worked with immigrant rights organizations in the Central Valley. David Bacon in his Znet article - Oaxaca's Dangerous Teachers - links the Oaxacan people to California immigrant workers and the struggles of various indigenous groups in Mexico.
And I recommend another great article which gives deeper political perspective to the demands of the Oaxacan teachers and grassroots communities - see Gerardo Renique's Oaxaca Teacher's Strike Sparks Democracy Movement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

San Francisco Bayview/Hunters Point Communities March on City Hall -We Demand Self-Determination

As activists gather from around the world for the 40th anniversary reunion of the Black Panther Party in Oakland this weekend, San Francisco's POWER - People Organized to Win Economic Rights - is organizing with Bayview/Hunters Point community groups and allies to march on City Hall on Monday, October 16th to halt the gentrification, curfews, school closures and other attacks on African American, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander and working class communities in the City.
In the end of September, POWER and others organized a mass march and rally commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising. Some longtime activists like Dr. Jimmy Garrett credit the SF Hunter's Point Uprising, the 1965 Watts Riots/Rebellion and Oakland resistance to police brutality with the 1966 founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
On Sept. 27, 1966, Matthew Johnson, 16, was fatally shot in the back by SFPD, and the people rose up in rage -- only to be put down by National Guard troops and tanks called in by City Hall. On Sept. 27, 2006, we demand that City Hall reinstate our referendum petition signed by over 33,000 San Franciscans to stop the redevelopment land grab and 'repeopling' of Bayview Hunters Point. For 40 years, we've demanded:No more police brutality, Living wage jobs, especially on City construction, and the right to develop our own community. Don't let City Hall shoot us in the back again!

Enough is Enough! -
We Demand Self-Determination for our Communities!

POWER is a multi-racial, multi-lingual organization of no- and low-wage workers who are united in our commitment to fight for racial and economic justice. When we say “no- and low-wage workers”, we're talking about that section of people in the
economy whose ranks are rapidly growing. That section of people who do the work that is vital to the functioning of the economy and who work in the most dangerous and under-valued jobs- jobs which receive small wages, usually no benefits and no opportunity for advancement. These workers are welfare recipients, workfare workers, unemployed workers, domestics, day laborers, childcare workers, security guards, sex workers, farmworkers, housemakers and all other no- and low-wage workers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SF's Coalition on Homelessness

Local artist Sloan Showalter donated her work to the 20-year old SF Coalition on Homelessness in September during one of their fundraisers. She did a portrait of my daughter Jade here. For more info on Sloan http://www.sloanarts.com . The Coalition continues their amazing work to give voice and political power to homeless people in SF.

The Coalition on Homelessness (COH) was formed in 1987 to foster the active participation of homeless and low-income San Franciscan residents and front-line staff in the struggle for economic and social justice. Through an integrated approach that combines outreach, peer support, leadership development, public education, advocacy, and community organizing, COH works to defend homeless and low-income people from attacks on their rights and their persons, while advocating for permanent solutions to homelessness that take into account not only poverty's devastating effects, but also its root causes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

SF Teachers, Labor leaders and community groups support demands of Oaxacan popular assembly - APPO

The crisis in Oaxaca is heating up as students march on the Anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City massacre, the PRD and others take the APPO demand that the Governor resign to a national level, the "legitimate President" of Mexico and others offer themselves as Human Shields for Oaxaca, and the marines and military are poised to brutally attack the teachers and popular people's assembly of Oaxaca.
Mexico watcher Nancy Davies writes:
[PRD Presidential candidate] Andrés Manuel López Obrador... [and other leaders of the] national movement pledged to mobilize their followers around the issue and to go to Oaxaca as “human shields” in the event of a military intervention.
In San Francisco's Mission District last night teachers, students, our SF Labor Council, LCLAA [Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Open World Conference and many others gathered to meet representatives from APPO and to strategize on how to build solidarity and support.
The APPO representatives are on a quick tour of the United States to build support for the people's movement in Oaxaca.
Other great resources for info on APPO, Oaxaca and the fight for a democratic Mexico and global justice -
Department of Citizen Alice
Nancy Davies' reporting has taken a very critical view of the PRD but has been very insightful.
Contra G8 + 5 en Mexico - This blog does a great job linking global justice issues with climate change or "climate justice" as some folks call it. The blog provides great coverage of the recent Climate Justice Dialogue and Convergence Alternative to the G8+5 Climate Summit that just ended yesterday 10/4 in Mexico City.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Support the Oaxacan Teachers/People's Encampment for Dignity and Against Repression

Conference in PantitlánPhoto: D.R. 2006 Erwin Slim
Narco News has excellent and up-to-date reports on the struggles in Mexico City, Oaxaca and throughout Latin America. APPO and others are calling for allies and supporters to defend the people's encampments. See Communiqué: Encampment for Dignity and Against Repression in Oaxaca; Donate Seventy-Two Hours for Peace - By Civil Society Organizations of Oaxaca

Reporter Simon Fitzgerald also links Oaxaca to the 1968 Mexico City Massacre - In the Other Mexico City, the Ghosts of Tlatelolco 1968 March in Defense of Oaxaca and Atenco in 2006 - After 38 Years, Government Repression and Media Simulation Still Fail to Silence the Voices from Below - [I see clear historical parallels also with the US-military backed Kwangju Massacre of May 1980 which followed a peaceful people's uprising in Korea as well. See Korea reporter Tim Shorrock's excellent analysis of the people's movement in Korea below.]

On Oaxaca - From October 4, 2006 Narco News:

On Monday, as is tradition every October 2nd, citizens and students from all of central Mexico’s colleges and high schools commemorated the 1968 massacre of
student protestors and bystanders by government forces. This year’s march, from the Aztec ruins, Spaniard colonial cathedral and modern skyscrapers of the Plaza of three Cultures in Tlatelolco to the Zocalo at the center of Mexico City, repeatedly connected the repression of 38 years ago and the situation today.

While the majority of the crowd consisted of young student activists, the march was headed by survivors of the student movements of the sixties and seventies, as well as those whose family members were murdered or disappeared in what is known as “the Dirty War” of that period.

For more on Korea's May 1980 Kwangju People's Uprising and the Subsequent Massacre by the US-Backed Dictator Chun Doo Hwan's military forces see analysis and reviews by Tim Shorrock and others at

Monday, October 02, 2006

Oaxaca - NO PASARAN! San Francisco teachers, parents, labor leaders in solidarity

Posted by Picasa Enrique Rueda Pacheco, teacher leader Oaxaca, Mexico(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
As military helicopters buzz over Oaxaca City and Zapatistas and other supporters complete their 314 mile long walk from Oaxaca City to the Zocalo in Mexico City, San Francisco's Global Exchange, LCLAA [Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Open World Conference and others are holding an emergency forum in solidarity with Oaxacan teachers and APPO, the "Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca" on Thursday 10/4 [see below].
Teacher activists in the AFT are also urging their union leadership to become even more active in preventing bloodshed in Oaxaca. KPFA's flashpoints radio show this afternoon reported that while the EZLN supports the APPO demands, they apparently will not be entering Oaxaca because they fear the Mexican government would use their entrance as an excuse to use even more violence against the Oaxacan teachers and APPO. In Mexico City today for a national gathering to analyze the political situation in Mexico, Commandante Marcos stated that "Oaxaca Is Not Just an Emergency, It Is Also an Example to Follow.
Global Exchange activist John Gibler also mentioned that although the PRD is against bloodshed and repression by the PRI government forces, that they have not played an active role in solidarity with the Oaxacan communities.
Oaxaca and the Anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre
The Oaxaca crisis falls also on the eve of the 38th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968 where the PRI government [apparently with CIA intelligence support] massacred some 300 students and workers in Mexico City's Tlatelolco Plaza on the eve of the Summer Olympics of 1968. For more on the CIA involvement in the Mexico Massacre see Phillip Agee's classic, "Inside the Company ­ CIA Diary."

Public Forum Featuring José Alejandro Sandoval Torres & Juan Manuel López Sarsoza, Indigenous Leaders of the Peoples Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO).
These APPO representatives are currently on an Emergency West Coast Tour The Fox administration in Mexico is readying to send federal troops into the city of Oaxaca to crush the strike of more than 70,000 teachers and the resistance of an entire people, which has organized its own Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).

Wednesday, OCTOBER 4 @ 7 p.m.
Center for Political Education, 522 Valencia St., 3rd Fl., San Francisco(@ 16th Street; one block from 16th St. Mission BART station)
Donation Requested at door; No one Turned Away for lack of funds.
Forum Sponsored by Mexicanos En El Exterior, Global Exchange, S.F. LCLAA, Open World Conference, Comité en Defensa Del voto.
More info - www.corrugate.org/blog
John Gilber's Global Exchange Dispatches/

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Shameful Days of Anti-immigrant policies - Arizona groups struggle for human rights at the Border

The Arizona sun here in the Phoenix/Tuscon area is blistering. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been for the 171 migrants who died trying to cross the US/Mexico border this year. The Coalicion de Derechos Humanos estimates that some 3000 migrants have died since the 1990's militarization of the Border. From May 29 - June 4 this year the Coalicion organized a 75 mile walk from Sonora to Tuscon to highlight border human rights issues. More on the Migrant Trail We Walk for Life. The Tuscon-based group is an affiliate of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

In response to the Senate's passage of the "Border Fence Bill" on Friday, the Immigrant Solidarity Network called it "one of the darkest and most shameful days for immigrant and human rights in U.S. history".
Despite repeat appeals from activists, the U.S. Senate, approved the outrageous and racist detainee bill (S. 3930) and another multi-billion dollars for the immoral war in Iraq and Afghanistan (H.R.5631). At the House, they passed the wire tap bill (H.R.
) and several other anti-immigrant bills (H.R. 4844, H.R. 6089, H.R. 6090 and H.R. 6091).
But the most shameful one, on Friday September 29, the Senate rushed to passed the shameful Border Fence Bill (H.R. 6061), calling for construction a multi-billion dollar 700 miles of fence along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
Just 2 years ago Arizona voters passed the anti-immigrant Prop 200 [also known as PAN - Protect Arizona Now!] which was a more legally defensible clone of our California Prop 187 which passed in 1994 but most of which was legally struck down in court. [Click here for a good analysis of the struggle against 187 in CA by the amazing Jan Adams ] The fledgling civil rights and human rights groups here are clearly struggling with an apparent juggernaut of rising racism and intolerance. Yet many of the local anti-PAN groups here continue to fight for human rights for immigrants and educational opportunies and social services for everyone, regardless of their immigration status.
Just a few miles south - local groups like Derechos Humanos this weekend are organizing with other immigrant rights groups and indigenous peoples organizations to strategize about the border and global human rights issues.

The call for the Border Summit of the Americas was issued by the Arizona Border Rights Foundation - Fundación de Derechos Fronterizos de Arizona Tohono O’odham communities, along with Derechos Humanos Coalition, American Indian Movement, International Indian Treaty Council.
The three day Border Summit was facilitated with assistance from M.C., Dennis Banks, and Bill Means. Participants also viewed the film “Crossing Arizona” yesterday. Directed by Joseph Mathew and Dan De Vivo, the film is an up-to-the-moment look at the hotly debated issues of 'illegal immigration' and border security on the US/Mexico border. The legendary Floyd Red Crow Westerman—artist, actor, and songwriter—also performed an evening concert in solidarity with Nations along la Frontera!
"Make your voices be heard!! Immigration policy proposals and homeland security have combined to create a volatile situation along U.S. international borders.
Increased law enforcement and vigilantism along the U.S.-Mexico border, in particular, has sparked a wave of reactions across the United States, from massive demonstrations to calls for voter registration campaigns and targeted actions."
The convenors of the Border Summit will be developing recommendations for border tribal governments and other affected parties to communicate with local, state and national as well as international bodies. This effort lays the groundwork for non-violence on Indian land and a more secure border.
More info: Contact Derechos Humanos
Also see Delete the Border.org or nomoredeaths.org