17 APRIL 2006
OF JUSTICE EVERYWHERE
This morning I received the news that Professor Pat Washington was denied her appeal in her case against San Diego State University. The fact that her case has gone this far exposes the institutionalized racism that continues to exist in the underbelly of government systems and is as infectious as the winter flu bug. What happened?
In 1996 Professor Pat Washington was hired by San Diego State University's (SDSU) Women's Studies Department. The Women's Studies Department at SDSU is the oldest in the nation. Created in 1970, it was seen as a leader in feminist theory and academics. Pat Washington was the first African-American to be hired on a tenure track in the Women's Studies Department, begging the question, "Why would a progressive discipline take so long to hire a black woman?"
I am a graduate of both the Women's Studies Department and the Africana Studies Department with minors in both Religious and American Indian Studies. From this perspective, I believe I can discuss progressive academic disciplines as well as anyone. In 1997, I enrolled at SDSU and declared Women's Studies as my first major. However, my inherent radical views were never welcomed on campus by the Women's Studies Department. For instance, when I ran against another woman for Congress in 1998, I was somehow cast as betraying the cause of Women's Studies. In fact, during a Women's Studies luncheon, Professor Bonnie Zimmerman snapped at me, "Why would you do that [i.e., run against another woman]?" I replied with something like, Just because she's a woman doesn't necessarily mean she represents a fresh female point of view. I went on to cite this particular opponents support for current law enforcement practices and her pro-death penalty stance. Professor Zimmerman's testiness continued with me even when--as one of her students--I looked to her for assistance on one of her classroom assignments. I was confused about the content of the reading assignment, and she grabbed the book out of my hands from across her desk and snapped, "Oh what is it Janice?" I never asked her for assistance again.
Professor Pat Washington was chosen as the "Most Influential Faculty Member" by the "Outstanding Graduating Senior" three years in a row. Professor Washington was also chosen Most Influential Faculty Member for two years in a row by winners of the "Quest for the Best" award, which recognizes both student activism and academic excellence. In addition, Professor Washington continually met the publishing requirements for tenure, even though the Women's Studies Department repeatedly increased these requirements every time Professor Washington met them. Its inconceivable to me that the courts could not see the use of shifting standards as racial discriminationespecially since Professor Washington was subjected to three different sets of criteria in a 5-year span,and she was the only person in her department this happened to.
At the time of my graduation, Professor Washington's struggle to keep her position at San Diego State University was in full swing. Sit-ins, teach-ins and rallies were taking place on campus. The division of students was interesting; Women's Studies Undergraduate students, Africana Studies students and Chicano Studies students were pitted against Graduate students from the Women's Studies Department. Of course there were cross-overs; however, to see the students from different disciplines supporting Professor Washington's cause was powerful.
The Department Chair of Women's Studies, Susan Cayleff attempted to open up dialogue in her evening class the following day about the recent sit-in. I raised my hand and shared an experience I had a few years earlier with a white female Women's Studies Professor. She would call me at home, drunk, and late at night. When I questioned her about the disparate treatment of Professors by the Department, Professor Cayleff told me that it was handled. After sharing that story, a fellow classmate shared with me that the same white female Professor used to call her at 2:00 am--drunk! Professor Pat Washington is trying to liberate minds and is being punished for it! I still don't get it.
I support Professor Pat Washington, and quite frankly I am disappointed in the Women's Studies Department at SDSU. Quite often I am ashamed that I received my diploma in this discipline from this department. However, there were a few other great instructors in the department that influenced and guided me on my journey of higher education.
Supporters of Justice! Look at the hiring and firing practices of SDSU! Look at the racial and gender discrimination cases filed against this institution! Look at the people making the judicial decisions about discrimination! Power and privilege is guiding the outcome of Professor Washington's case. I had hoped for better. I had hoped for a democratic process that weighted the balance toward justice, equality, and fairnessand against the intolerance and corruption of bureaucrats and bullies who could care less about creating a fair, just, and equitable society.
The reality and the shame of it all is this: future graduates of the Women's Studies Department are the ones losing out by not having a chance to take a class from a professor like Pat Washington.
Women's Studies and Africana Studies 2001 Graduate
Peace & Freedom Party Gubernatorial Candidate-California 2006
1ST IS INTERNATIONAL WORKER'S DAY!
The political history of May 1st (aka May Day) originates in 1880's United States during a time of labor organizing and worker rebellion. A six to seven day work week and 10 to 12 hour work day was the norm for the working-class making the employment environment miserable and often dangerous for workers. Organizing for an 8-hour work day, labor unions in Chicago called for a strike on May 1st 1886 demanding safer working conditions and shorter working days. On May 3rd, a fight broke out on a picket line near a Chicago machine plant, the police attacked the strikers killing two of them and wounding others. The next day on May 4th, a rally was called by anarchists condemning the police killings and supporting the working-class struggle. What happened at the rally has been a point of contention for over one hundred years.
The rally at Haymarket Square began peaceful, however as the Chicago police began to dispurse the crowd, a bomb exploded killing eight officers. Although the person who planted the bomb was never identified, labor leaders, socialists and other political radicals were harassed, and the State Attorney charged eight men with conspiracy. Four men were hanged, one committed suicide while awaiting the death sentence, and the other three ended up getting prison sentences. The three remaining men were pardoned in 1893 by the Illinois Governor.
Honored around the world, May Day is a day of celebration, demonstration, reflection and challenge. Every year, the San Diego Peace and Freedom Party has recognized this historical day by organizing film showings, forums and political meetings. This year immigrant rights activists have called for a boycott of businesses and a day of absence from both work and school. I applaud and unconditionally support this boycott and I urge everyone who considers themself a human rights activist, a peacemaker or an agent of change to support this call of action.
Strength and solidarity in numbers create an atmosphere of hope and a reality of change and progress. All we have to do is look to the demonstrations, rallies and walk-outs the past three weeks in the United States against HR4437. HR4437 is losing support in its original form with the changes made by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The people united have succeeded in dividing the powers at be! Although the changes haven't gone far enough, there is no doubt in my mind that as long as we keep the pressure on, policies and regulations will reflect the will of the people.
May 1st, 2006 will go down in history as we reclaim our history and pass on the spirit of the working-class struggle to the instant gratification generation. Put down your cell phones, your lap tops with instant messaging and XBoxes; call in sick to work and school; spend the day with your comrades and friends. Get into the streets, attend a rally, a demonstration, a forum, film showing or political discussion. Mahatma Gandhi called it a day of prayer and fasting and Martin Luther King, Jr. organized a boycott to end bus segregation. Together we can do this, there is no doubt in my mind!
In the name of Amnesty,
Peace & Freedom Gubernatorial Candidate-California 2006
08 APRIL 2006
WOMEN RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSAULT-TO THE TODAY MORNING SHOW
Yesterday's Today's Morning Show presented a segment on the dangers of public drinking, targeting your female viewers. I found this segment to be offensive, because: 1. There was no female advocate for sexual assault survivors and 2. The episode focused on behavior modification for women. WOMEN AREN'T THE PERPETRATORS! Women don't need behavioral modification. It appears that most men need behavioral modification.
Social health and law enforcement systems must hold perpetrators accountable for their violations. Mass media has a large part to play in the presentation of stories that influence politics and the public. Please present a segment geared towards men, expose and confront violence against women and bring in an expert targeting men that drug, assault and rape women. Go undercover and monitor the actions of men in bars, fraternities and sports games. MEN NEED TO UNDERSTAND WOMEN ARE NOT OBJECTS FOR PLEASURE! MEN CAN STOP RAPE!
Peace & Freedom Party Gubernatorial Candidate-California 2006
06 DECEMBER 2004
she's gone tomorrow . . . We must continue the fight . . .
Last night I visited Theresa Azochar. She is surrounded by her family, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, sisters, brothers and her mother. If ever a woman was to be received into sainthood, I nominate Theresa Azochar.
She is the most honest person I know, and I'm going to miss her. Short of the Goddess, Great Spirit and the Creator of All Life visiting us in lifeform, our San Diego-CCWP Mother is saying goodbye. I can't even begin to know where I'm going to start without her. It was she and her drive to free her daughter Theresa Cruz that gave birth to the San Diego Chapter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. With her spirit and a few of us following on her tail (you know who you are) San Diego's CCWP was born in March of 2000.
For those of us who have been working on the FREE THERESA CRUZ campaign, "let's see next year" was the final straw. Only five days after Theresa Azochar had been diagnosed with cancer in October, her daughter Theresa Cruz was denied parole again. Theresa Cruz lost her father because of her unjust incarceration and now, she can't be with her mamma to say goodbye. I'm angry at Kaiser, I'm angry at Teledyne and I'm disgusted with the Board of Prison Terms.
Miracles have happened, and people have turned around. I've lit my candle and saged my house-if only she can be with us for just a little bit longer. Just to see her daughter come home . . . That's all I want.
01 AUGUST 2004
Contact: Jennie Lopez (JORDAN FOR VICE-PRESIDENT Co-Campaign Manager) 619.239.2408
Bob Alba (JORDAN FOR VICE-PRESIDENT Co-Campaign Manager) 619.795.3155
RE: PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PICKS LEONARD PELTIER FOR PRESIDENT
Delegates to the Peace and Freedom Party Convention, July 31, selected Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier as their Presidential Candidate for 2004 and Janice Jordan, a prelaw student, activist and mother as their Vice-Presidential Candidate. The delegates meeting in Los Angeles rejected an impassioned plea from Ralph Nader supporters for his nomination. Nader appeared at the convention a few hours before the vote but was unable to sway a majority of the delegates, many of whom were already committed to Peltier. Peltier received a majority of votes in a field which included consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Socialist Party candidate Walter Brown.
The Peace and Freedom Party was Nader's last hope to get on the California ballot. Now, Nader must depend on a successful petition drive to qualify as an "independent" candidate. Democrats have been challenging his efforts to get on the ballot, particularly in certain key “swing” states.
Many believe Leonard Peltier was framed for the killing of two FBI agents at Wounded Knee in 1975. A worldwide effort to free Peltier has been endorsed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mikail Gorbachov, Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, Bono, the European Parliament and more than 300 other world leaders and celebrities. He has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
convention, which took place in Los Angeles at the the Workmen's Circle, concluded
Aug. 1 in a spirit of unity and accomplishment. Peltier will join the following
presidential candidates on the California ballot Nov. 2: Michael Badnarik (Libertarian),
George W. Bush (Republican), David Cobb (Green), John Kerry (Democrat), Michael
A. Peroutka (American Independent).
06 OCTOBER 2001
RE: THE SAN DIEGO PEACE AND JUSTICE COALITION
The deaths of over 5,000 people on September 11th, 2001 have impacted all of our daily routines. We mourn the loss of so many people in a criminal act that appears to be incomprehensible, especially on U.S. soil. This horrible act of hate did not occur because the United States is a freedom-loving democracy and a leader in worldwide human rights. Since World War II the United States government has been responsible for millions of deaths worldwide; from Hiroshima, to El Salvador, to Iraq, U.S. foreign policy has literally destroyed cultures, governments, and people.
The United States' "new war" is the "new crusades". Although Bush and Colin Powell state that this is not an attack on Islam or Muslims, many people living on U.S. soil have read between the lines and follow the media's negative images of brown-skinned people in turbans and hijabs and have declared their own "Holy War". Hiding behind the patriotic cry of "I'm American", and "In God We Trust", many revenge seekers have attacked and killed Muslims and Sikhs, defaced and destroyed mosques, and are willing to give up some of their Constitutional Rights in the name of Freedom.
In San Diego, the Sunni Mosque in Clairemont has been attacked and the Iman threatened; in Mira Mesa, a Sikh woman was stabbed in the head; and in City Heights, a Somalian Muslim couple was attacked. These are not the acts of a civilized society, but of a barbaric nation. We are all responsible the existence of such hatred, whether it is the destruction of the World Trade Center, or the stabbing of a brown-skinned woman sitting in her car.
Bombing Afghanistan will create only more hate and destroy more innocent lives. All people of good conscience must ask why this happened; it is only when we seek out the truth can we be sure this will never happen again . . . anywhere. The perpetrators of the September 11th attacks should be held accountable for their actions in the International Tribunal Courts. Dialogue, not destruction, is the security we can offer our children for their future. The hate that was acted out on September 11th didn't happen overnight; healing will take time and now is the time to begin.
Please support the efforts of the San Diego Peace and Justice Coalition. Through dialogue and outreach, the coalition seeks to halt military action in response to the September 11th attacks. Meetings are held every Monday night at 7:00 PM at the Church of the Brethren, on Westgate Place off of Home Avenue. For more information, please contact the Peace Resource Center at 619.263.9301.
02 JUNE 2001
RE: THE POLICE SHOOTING DEATH OF MARIO MERINO
The San Diego Chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party mourns the loss of Mario Merino. Mr. Merino was shot and killed by an officer of the San Diego Police Department in the early morning hours on highway 805 on Thursday the 24th of May. The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Merino remain a mystery, and many questions remained unanswered. This is the second shooting death by this officer in a three-month period.
Mr. Merino's brother was the secretary for the Peace and Freedom Party in San Diego, and the Peace and Freedom Party comrades are keeping Mr. Merino's family in their thoughts. We are waiting for the medical examiner's report and police report on Mr. Merino's death. Please continue to check this website on a weekly basis for updated information. If you would like to help the Merino family in their time of need, please call the number listed above. Thank you.
21 MAY 2001
RE: SOUTH STATE CHAIR MIRIAM CLARK ESCORTED OUT OF CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Today at the San Diego City Council Meeting in downtown San Diego, Peace and Freedom Party's South State Chair Miriam Clark was escorted out of the Council Chambers. Raza Rights, The Committee Against Police Brutality, and members of the Peace and Freedom Party attended the City Council meeting to discuss the issue of police brutality that has been plaguing our city for years.
During the opening ceremony of the meeting, a local reverend was leading the public group in prayer, when Ms. Clark loudly questioned the legality of prayer in a government building. She also questioned the hypocrisy of the City Council members portraying themselves as a respectful and God loving group when they aren't willing to acknowledge the slaughter and carnage affecting the communities they represent. Mayor Murphy called for the police and Ms. Clark was removed from the room. Supporters began chanting, "Let her speak". During the public testimony, Raza Rights representative Christian Ramirez told the City Council members that he brought victims of police abuse to the meeting and invited them to share the microphone with him. At least 25 people joined Mr. Ramirez at the microphone.
Members of the Peace and Freedom Party of San Diego challenge the unjust treatment of Ms. Clark; the separation or church and state is necessary in a country and city as diverse as San Diego. We also question the blatant police brutality which infects our communities with distrust, fear and murder; why are City Council members, the Police Chief and the Police Review Board ignoring the concerns of the families of individuals who were killed and murdered by officers of the San Diego Police Department?
This summer, the Peace and Freedom Party of San Diego is spearheading an initiative drive calling for a democratically elected police review board to be activated in San Diego. If you would like to get involved in this necessary campaign, please contact Carl or Zola Muhammad at 619.444.3256. Thank you very much!
20 MAY 2001
RE: SUPPORT THE GRANT HILL TWO - UPDATE
CONTACT: 619.475.8227 or 619.295.4403
The first Grant Hill Park Festival took place on Sunday, March 18th, with hundreds of children and youths participating in the Children's Mural Project, enjoying the temporary skate board park, and listening to the sounds of local DJs. There is no skate board park in District 8 in the City of San Diego, leaving youths no alternative but to take to the streets to ride their skateboards. District 8 is one of the poorest districts in the City, and is frequently used as a toxic waste dump and industrial storage area. The organizers of the Festival distributed information to the community, supporting the renaming of 25th Street and Crosby Street to Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The Grant Hill Festival was a great success in bringing the community together, despite harassment from the San Diego Police Department throughout the day.
An ongoing community concern is the reinstallation of the restrooms in Grant Hill Park that were taken out years ago by the City of San Diego. During an impromptu act of civil disobedience, as youths began painting the park's utility room with a message to the City: "WE WANT OUR BATHROOMS BACK", two sisters from the Peace and Freedom Party were cited for vandalism. Their arraignment has been rescheduled for Tuesday the 29th of May at 8:30am in the misdemeanor arraignment court at 220 West Broadway in downtown San Diego. The two women are planning to take their case to trial.
The Grant Hill Two appreciates the support of San Diego City College's MEChA, the Freedom Socialist Party, president of the Associated Student Body of City College Mr. Cooper, the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, the Native American Rights Network, Mosque Number 8 of San Diego, and, of course, the Peace and Freedom Party for their solidarity in the struggle for bathrooms! If you would like to support the Grant Hill Two and the reinstallation of the restrooms please call the numbers listed above. Thank you very much!