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DJ Charlie Rock and hosts Enrique and Lorain at the Cooptation of Hip Hop event from Enero Zapatista, 2012.

Latest Story

Mark Gabrish Conlan | 02/01/12 09:53pm

“By day I was a reporter for KGO-TV” — the San Francisco affiliate of ABC — “and by night I was a writer for the Berkeley Barb,” the Bay Area’s pioneering “underground” paper. Laurence also led a double life of another sort — as a closeted Gay man in an era when almost nobody was “out” in the modern sense — until March 1969, when the firing of a friend with whom he’d appeared in a provocative Barb photo led him to found the Committee on Homosexual Freedom (CHF) and lead the first protests in U.S. history against a private employer for firing a Queer employee...

What they did was mount a picket outside the States Steamship headquarters from noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Laurence recalled that his group started with 13 “core” members and ultimately grew to about 25, plus other people on a contact list they could bring out for the States pickets and other demonstrations. Brown recalled that he was made picket captain “because I already had experience leading demonstrations with the anti-Viet Nam War movement.” He sought out training from the American Friends’ Service Committee (AFSC) on how to do nonviolent protesting, but that group — which, Brown recalled, had “organized in the South and risked their lives for Black civil rights” — refused to help a Queer group mount a protest. So Brown bought a dozen copies of the AFSC’s instruction manual on nonviolent civil disobedience and the group’s members taught themselves.

CHF founders realized they needed allies — and they looked for them in the same places modern Queer activists often do: the militant organizations of people of color. In 1969 that meant the Black Panther Party and the United Farm Workers (UFW). Laurence and Brown recalled how CHF joined the UFW’s pickets outside Safeway supermarkets to get people to stop buying grapes. In addition to signs with the UFW’s slogans, they also carried signs reading “Gay Is Good” and other messages from the new Queer movement. Not everyone on the UFW picket lines liked the idea of marching with a group carrying “Gay Is Good” messages. So, Laurence said, they went right to the top. “We called [UFW president] César Chávez, and he said, ‘Let them picket.’”

Later Laurence got a call from the Black Panthers, who essentially wanted him as a human shield to forestall a police raid on their headquarters they’d been tipped was about to happen. “They wanted some white people there,” he recalled. “I went down and it was obvious that I was Gay. The Panthers were impressed, and they taught us. --Read More from Mark Gabrish Conlan--

See also: Gay Liberation DIDN’T Begin at Stonewall!!!

Features

Persimmon | 01/30/12 11:17am

On Friday, January 13th, Cipriana Jurado presented her work from the last twenty years as human rights defender and advocate for maquila workers as part of Enero Zapatista. The discussion and presentation took place at the Centro Aztlan Marco Anguiano and was organized by Colectivo Zapatista, San Diego. Cipriana has been organizing in Ciudad Juarez since the 80's, when at the age of 14 she started working in the maquilas.

Much of Cipriana's work has been addressing the victimization, kidnappings, murder and disappearances of women by the Mexican military. She is a co-founder of Centro de Investigaciones y Solidaridad Obrera (Center for Investigation and Worker Solidarity). This is dangerous work and she herself has been the victim of state violence. In fact, she is the first person to be granted asylum in the US due to Mexican military persecution. In 2008 she was taken, without warrant, by masked members of the Mexican military. She described the kidnapping in suspenseful detail and witnessed the brutality of the military first hand. --Read More (with Video coming soon)--

Centro de Investigaciones y Solidaridad Obrera || Colectivo Zapatista San Diego F***book Page


PDJ SD Media Committee | 01/30/12 10:51am

The San Diego Peace and Dignity Journeys familia met for an event discussing the upcoming 2012 Journey, a run Honoring the Water, at the World Beat Cultural Center on Sunday, January 22 as part of Enero Zapatista. After enjoying a delicious potluck meal, about fifty community members watched three videos that described the run and indigenous struggles regarding water and sacred sites. They then participated in a circle where individuals described their roots and their relationships to the Journeys and water.

In the circle, director Makeda Dread, noted that the World Beat Center (and the adjacent Centro Cultural de la Raza) used to be water tanks, and the strong connection of the World Beat to the Journeys and to broader indigenous struggles.

Peace and Dignity Journeys is a spiritual run uniting indigenous communities and strengthening indigenous culture that occurs every four years - starting in the South in Tierra del Fuego, and the North in Alaska. Runners carry sacred staffs that contain the struggles, hopes, dreams and prayers of the ancestors and the indigenous communities they visit. Fulfilling the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, the runners from the North and South meet somewhere in the middle of the continent. In 2012, they will meet in Guatemala. The Journeys began in 1994 as a response to the 500th anniversary celebrations of the start of colonization of Turtle Island by Columbus. Each Journey has a theme - in 2008, the theme was honoring Sacred Sites and in 2012 it is honoring the sacredness of Water and its life-giving role. --Read More (with Video)--

Peace and Dignity Journeys Web Site || Abuela Grillo Video (struggle against privatization from inigenous perspective) || Video: In Defense of Sacred Site Wirikuta and Sierra de Catorce || Local Organizing to Save Wirikuta


sdindymedia | 01/30/12 03:25am

On Thursday, January 26, San Diego residents filled the Saville Theatre of the downtown community college to remember the excluded history of their city, the Industrial Workers of the World's Labor Organizing/Free Speech Fight of one hundred years earlier.

The evening started off with the premiere of a short documentary about the San Diego Free Speech Fight and continued with local authors Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew, reading short segments from the novel Flash, a fictionalized investigation of the actual free speech fight and local Wobbly history; local musicians the Proles and Gregory Page performing labor classics Bound for San Diego and Which Side Are You On?, amongst others; and a panel of fellow workers, students, teachers and historians performing a Peoples history of San Diego. The evening ended with an audience sing-a-long of the union anthem Solidarity Forever.

--Read More (with Photos, Video and Audio)-- || Prior Coverage: 1 | 2 || Event Announcement


sdindymedia | 01/28/12 07:49am

SD Indymedia converged on the Media Arts Center SD in North Park Friday, Jan. 27 as part of one of the final events of Enero Zapatista. The Indymedia Collective introduced the audience to the SD IMC 2011 webpage model, the ten year history of Indymedia in San Diego and spoke about building relationships with compañer@s in Chiapas, Mexico.

Corazón del Tiempo was screened on the theater in development, Media Arts space. The film depicted a couple in struggle, not only with the revolution being fought by the rebel Zapatistas against the Mexican government and para-militaries, but their love and progressive ideas were at odds with the traditional Mayan customs of their village.

Friends from Schools for Chiapas, who organize trips to the Lacondon Jungle to visit Zapatistas, were on hand to speak briefly about the scenes and characters depicted in the film. As the film was shot on location Zapatista territory and the actors are untrained Zapatista actors.

Guests from Ocupemos el Barrio and Occupy San Diego updated us on their current campaign and related the Zapatista struggle to their own.

The event was a media equipment drive to benefit independent media projects in Chiapas, Mexico. An anonymous donor left a laptop. SD Indymedia will continue collecting laptops, digital and video cameras, audio recorders, and other equipment that is hard to come by in Southern Mexico. To donate equipment contact SD Indymedia. --Read More (with Photos)--

SDIMC E-mail: imc-sd@lists.indymedia.org || Chiapas Indymedia [in revision] || Ocupemos el Barrio || Schools for Chiapas || Event Announcement


Gabriela M. Reza (interviewed by SD Indymedia) | 01/28/12 06:00am

"I found it so inspiring that a group of wombyn without prior filmmaking experience could make such an empowering documentary..."

Over 35 folks gathered at the Birth Roots birthing center in Chula Vista on January 14th for a screening of the documentary film Tlakatiliztli and discussion with some of the filmmakers & filmmaking crew. Over nine aspiring midwives of color from LA & San Diego county were present as well. Two of the filmmakers who were able to bring the film to San Diego, Yasmin Pineda & Diana Lopez Angulo with her son Izkalli (who is almost two years of age), blessed the space with a welcoming song & sacred smudge in solidarity with the screening also being part of Enero Zapatista - the month-long series of event celebrating Zapatista resistance.

They shared what inspired them to create the film and inspired many of us to grow from their experience. Tlakatiliztli is a native word for birth, combining the words for people (tlaka) and life (iliztli). The Mothers of Anahuak, a Los Angeles collective of conscious indigenous mothers, produced the documentary over a period of six weeks, interviewing defferent wombyn about their birth experiences.

The film delivers the perspective of indigenous wombyn living in East LA who share a wide range of birth experiences, home births to hospital births, abortions, miscarriages, moon time & sexual realities of what they experienced in their upbringings as well as what some of them wish to create change for the future generations to come. For example, having more open communication with the young wombyn about sexuality and honoring their moon time instead of ignoring the deepest topics that mean so much to every wombyn's livelyhood. --Read More--

Mothers of Anahuak Web SIte || Trailer for Tlakatiliztli || Birth Roots Center Web Site || Event Announcement


More Features

Persimmon | 01/28/12 05:45am

Privilege and the powers granted by privilege are the conflicts of whiteness. Sunday, the 22nd, was another timely event held in conjunction with the month long celebration of Enero Zapatista. The conversation should be a focus of the occupy movement and the dialogues that have opened as a result. Sunday's event was a panel discussion that presented perspectives from womyn of color and a white ally, on whiteness and its oppression on society.

DJ Kuttin Kandi, on social control, "They (white capitalists) divided the people...they accomplished creating a system of racial oppression...this is how whiteness was created...dividing workers into black and white."

Indiana Rogers, on acknowledging whiteness, "[Oppression is] a system of power relations... people of color have continued to be oppressed...in the interest of white supremacy."

Video of the Event || Event Announcement


Fox | 01/28/12 05:26am

Nothing this month could have been more emotionally stirring than the polarizing remembrance of the Al-Awda Rally and Vigil for Gaza, which happened Saturday, January 14. As Palestinian supporters grew in Balboa Park to organize the march and vigil, they were pushed to one side of the fountain to make room, they were told, for the “other” gathering that day. The Palestianian-Israeli apartheid was created in microcosm in just a few hours as Zionist organizers showed up to rally against the Palestinian memorial.

After about an hour, the Palestinian activists and solidarity groups began their march, carrying signs that read, “Occupy AIPAC Not Palestine”, “The Key to Peace = The Right of Return”, and “End The Siege On Gaza.” The march went through the park and to the Houses of Pacific Relations to protest the Israeli House of Pacific relations as a form of Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

Back on route, toward the end of the march, a more solemn feeling came about the group of 150 or so participants. The vigil began with numerous speakers from different supporting groups, including but not limited to: Students for Justice in Palestine chapters, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist League, and the International Action center. Once the speakers had finished and candles were lit, the reading of 352 names and ages of innocent children, murdered during the winter 2008-09 assault on Gaza, began. The vigil was now a great distance from the Zionist group, nevertheless their amped music permeated the atmosphere.

--Read More (with Photos)-- || Al-Awda: Palestine Right of Return Coalition, San Diego Web Site || Event Announcement


sdindymedia | 01/27/12 11:51am

On Thursday, January 26, MAAC Community Charter School hosted a Know Your Rights event as part of Enero Zapatista. Students and families attended the forum that included a screening of the film Ten Rules for Dealing with Police and Ten Rules for Non-Citizens and a panel of three lawyers for a question and answer session. The lawyers were Adriane Bracciale, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, Jamahl Kersey, an immigration and criminal defense attorney and Sherry Thompson, the deputy district attorney.

The movies dramatized the most effective ways to assert your rights during an encounter with the police or a border patrol agent. The discussion after the film was lively and the lawyers gave good advice on how to stay out of jail and how to document police abuse of power. --Read More--

Flex Your Rights Web Site || Event Announcement


Abel Macias | 01/27/12 11:43am

On Friday January 20 the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) held a film screening of “Independence Cha-Cha, the Story of Patrice Lumumba” at the former Freeskool in East San Diego (renamed City Heights). This event was held in solidarity with the other events scheduled for the month of January to celebrate the uprising of the Zapatista Liberation Army in Chiapas in 1994.

Comrade Irvin introduced the Party for Socialism and Liberation and why we decided to participate in the Enero Zapatista celebration and why we chose this film. “The PSL stands for the liberation of all people, socialist or not who are fighting for liberation and freedom from dominance and control under U.S. imperialism” (Irvin). We also recognized the rich history of solidarity between the Black and Chicano community as evidenced in the struggle to name Third College at UCSD after Patrice Lumumba and Emiliano Zapata in 1969. Ironically Lumumba was assassinated in January 16, 1961 by Afrikans who had personal profit on their agenda with the support of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. However, we believe his spirit of liberation for Afrikan people lives on and we remembered him that night with the film and discussion that followed. --Read More--

Party of Socialism and Liberation Web Site || PSL San Diego E-mail: sandiego@pslweb.org || Event Announcement


sdindymedia | 01/26/12 05:28pm

The Association of Chicana Activists at San Diego State University held a film screening and panel discussion at Centro Aztlan Marco Anguiano (moved from Chicano Park because of rain) in Barrio Logan on Saturday, January 21 as part of Enero Zapatista. The film, Corridos sin Rostro (1995), tells the story of the 1994 uprising of the Zapatistas through popular ballads and interviews with members of the EZLN, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and indigenous residents whose traditional ways and subsistence have been disrupted by colonization, government-corporate policies and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Four members of recent delegations from San Diego to Zapatista autonomous communities, David, Fernanda, Jose and Enrique, provided a description of their experiences and recent developments in the communities.

The Association of Chicana Activists is a student association founded in 1991 to empower women from the Chicana community in higher education through working both on campus and in the communities. A.Ch.A. at SDSU holds an annual conference for high school students with free workshops and inspirational speakers to "form solidarity among Chicanas, to provide support in their college entrance experience and to provide networking and leadership skills for attendees."

Video of the Event || Corridos sin Rostro Video || A.Ch.A. F***book || A.Ch.A. E-mail: sdsuacha@gmail.com || Event Announcement

Excepts from Video of the Panel:
"They started singing Himno Zapatista. And at that moment it really got to me how all the children youngest to oldest stood up and they all started singing. Everyone knew the words and you could tell they knew it and they believed in it, they believed in what they were singing. Me being there and sitting within and next to them, next to the students. I remember turning to one of them and seeing their expression how much they believed in what they were singing. It just give me so much hope and I was able to realize it is possible, that another world is possible, like the Zapatistas say."
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"This compa showed us a drawing of a monster. And it is very hard to describe without a drawing of it. For me it was very hard to understand the [capitalist] system and how it works. I didn't go to school to learn about any of this, and a lot of times it was very hard for me to understand and to be able to articulate. So when this compa drew it out in this monster figure and broke it down into pieces, it was like, 'Wow, i understand it. '"
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"Olmeca would always tell us 'you are going to liberated land.' To us, it was just like 'yeah yeah yeah yeah.' First they didn't let us go in, because they have to do a check for our safety and for their safety. The atmosphere, the space that was created, the energy that's coming from all over, from the buildings and the murals and the words, from the children and everybody there, you could see that it was a different environment, a different space. You felt that freedom on that liberated land. That's when it hit me what he was talking about. No one can claim it. It's free. To nurture everyone who works on it, who lives on it… Once we were cleared, it was an amazing feeling, everyone just came and welcomed us with open arms. They are one of the humblest people you could ever meet, and it was just an amazing feeling."
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"I heard about the Zapatistas and i was like 'Ok, I'll check them out.' This one compa, Alex, he lent me a VHS of the Zapatista film, and I was like oh damn, and from there I started learning. I always tried to tie the Zapatistas and how it relates to home. That has always been important to me. I also had the honor to go on the delegation in 05 and 06. And that was a good experience, because it made me connect clearly how down there they are trying to create something different and we are able to exchange information about our struggles."