Thursday, October 31, 2013

Defend Ethnic Studies

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Defend Ethnic Studies: Defend Ethnic Studies- Or we will lose them. At several   CSU campuses including San Jose, Bakersfield, Long Beach, Sacramento State...

El Día de Los Muertos

El Día de Los Muerto And Halloween
Quo Vadis?
Rodolfo F. Acuña
Mexicans, more than most races, seem preoccupied with death.  Since colonial times Mexican laborers have continuously been uprooted, travelling thousands of miles from the interior of Mexico forging an El Camino Real to to mining camps and plantations in northern Mexico. They arrived in places like Zacatecas where they fanned out, forging spider web corridors in form of roads.

These workers felt vulnerable. They missed home, and most knew that they would never see their homes or families again.

La Cancion Mixteca written in 1912 in Mexico City by José López Alavez, a Oaxacan composer, speaks to feelings of homesickness for Oaxaca. The song was later taken north to places such as Chicago where it became a favorite of Mexican migrants in the United States.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Killing of a Child

Another child has been killed. Andy Lopez was playing with a toy on Oct. 22 near his home in a Latino community in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, Northern California. A sheriff's deputy pulled the trigger and hit the 13-year-old seven times, fearing that his toy assault rifle might be real. His partner, sitting next to him in the car, held his fire. That patience was a better approach. Who is responsible for this death?
"The shots were fired within 10 seconds of the deputies' first report of a suspicious person," according to the daily Press Democrat. Why was he suspicious? Does it have to do with the fact that he lives in a Latino neighborhood? Or that he was wearing a hoodie, as some of my college students do?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Growing Clash Between Immigrants Rights Activists and Washington DC Power Brokers

By David Bacon

OAKLAND, CA  (10/21/13) -- This fall, when Congress couldn't pass immigration reform bills -- even ones deeply unpopular among many immigrants themselves -- one of the most important responses came from Oaxaca.  In the capital of this southern Mexico state a representative of a Silicon Valley union sat down with a state agency and an organization of indigenous migrants, and signed an agreement for mutual cooperation.

All three groups pledged to work to protect the rights of Oaxacans who have migrated to the U.S. -- about 800,000 now live in California alone.  "Our objective," the agreement reads, "is the protection of the human and labor rights of Oaxacan workers and their families, in the food and commercial industries."  It lists a number of shared commitments, including explaining to immigrant workers their labor rights in the U.S., helping them file claims when they're hurt at work, and advocating for them when they face government agencies.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bart Strike settled; DSA Convention on Schedule

The BART Strike has been settled. We await a vote on the contract.

 Building the Next Left : Rebirth and Renewal
A public event sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America

Date and Time: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.  7:30 PM. 
Location: Humanist Hall. 390 27th Street, Oakland, California


John Nichols – Washington Correspondent, The Nation
Catherine Tactaquin, Executive Director. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
Steve Williams. Co-founder .Former Executive Director,   POWER ( People Organized to Win Employment Rights) S.F.
Maria Svart – National Director, Democratic Socialists of America


Mario de Mira aka Nomi from Power Struggle

DSA, the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, is the largest socialist political organization in the country, with more than 6,000 members and active locals in more 40 U.S. cities and college  campuses. DSA Locals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Wichita, among others, have taken an active role in the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Freedom Plaza, and other Occupy protests in support of jobs and economic justice.

This meeting is organized in conjunction with the 16th National Convention of Democratic Socialists of America, which is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Emeryville, Ca. Oct. 25-27. . Visit for more information. A full press kit with bio’s and ph

Monday, October 21, 2013

DSA Joins With Others to Support Bart Strikers and Their Union

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) joins with the broad labor and social justice community in the Bay Area (including Jobs with Justice and the Chinese Progressive Association) in supporting the strikers of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
Even after the BART employees, represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, and BART management were nearing a difficult economic agreement, management insisted that workers sacrifice long established work rules. The union negotiators offered to submit the rules to impartial binding arbitration, but the BART management team, led by a highly paid union busting attorney, refused. This precipitated the strike.

DSA, which is celebrating its National Convention in Emeryville the weekend of October 25‐27 ( see post below) will face some of the inconveniences faced by 400,000 Bay Area commuters. But we join with the broad Bay Area progressive community in unconditionally supporting the BART workers in their fight for a fair contract. We reject this new assault on public sector workers and their unions. The BART unions have helped thousands of people of color and immigrants to gain secure and stable jobs, and BART workers are fighting to retain those conditions of work, which we all want to have.
We stand with them in their just struggle.

For the Bay Area Chinese Progressive Association statement on the strike see:
For the Bay Area Jobs with Justice statement on the strike see:‐10‐19/support‐bay‐area‐transit‐strikers

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Making Change in Education for Chicano Students

Over 80 graduates of the Mexican American Education Project  and community members came together on Oct. 11/12, 2013 at CSU Sacramento to begin the recording of the history of the Mexican American Education Project ( 1968-1973) in Sacramento. The event was recorded and a video transcript should be available by 2014. 
The fundamental purpose of the Mexican American Education Project was to prepare activists as change agents- usually working in schools. Follow up research will document the success and the problems of the effort.
Photos from the event are up on the Chicano Digital History Project .
These  are of participants in the event: Recuerdos del Moviemiento Chicano 1965-1980.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dia de La Raza

El Día La Raza :What happened to the indigenous race?
By  Rodolfo F. Acuña

When César Chávez was asked what he thought about the term la raza, he answered the question with a question, asking, what was wrong with the indigenous race? 

The word raza was popularized by José Vasconselos who in 1925 wrote an essay titled “La Raza Cósmica” (The Cosmic Race). Vasconcelos was an intellectual and intellectuals at the time took it to mean that Latin American was comprised of races from all over the world, and that the mixture had produced a new people who would transcend the "old world".

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Demands for Immigration Reform Produce Nonviolent Direct Action at Capitols

 Demands for Immigration Reform Produce Nonviolent Direct Action at the Capitol

At least eight Democratic lawmakers were arrested Tuesday at an immigration rally on the National Mall in Washington.
The staff of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., confirmed to Al Jazeera that Ellison, who sat in the middle of Independence Avenue together with other House Democrats, had planned his act of civil disobedience to push for a law that, among other things, would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Ellison is expected to release a formal statement on his protest after his release.
Representatives of the social policy organization Center for Community Change and The Associated Press witnessed the arrests of House members John Lewis of Georgia; Luis Gutiérrez and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois; Raúl Grijalva of Arizona; Ellison; John Crowley and Charles Rangel of New York; and Al Green of Texas.
Source: Al Jazeera. 
October 8, thousands of people from across the country  gathered  in the nation’s capital to demand the House Republican leadership pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. After the rally at the National Mall and march to the U.S. Capitol, two hundred of the attendees – national and local community and labor leaders, impacted immigrants, civil rights and faith leaders, and Members of Congress,  follow the event at the steps of the U.S. Capitol with nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at underscoring the urgent need to vote and pass fair immigration reform this year. Speakers at the rally include Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), civil rights leader Julian Bond, AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten. Other Members of Congress, national and local community, faith, and labor leaders will be standing on stage during key moments before the march begins.
Some of the national and local leaders participating in civil disobedience  include Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice-President of the AFL-CIO, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, Bruce Goldstein, Executive Director of Farmworker Justice Fund, Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action, Bernard Lunzer, Vice-President of the Communication Workers of America, Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, Abel Nuñez, Executive Director of the CARECEN DC office, D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE, Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, John Stocks, Executive Director of the National Education Association, Maria Elena Durazo, President of the LA County Federation of Labor,  New Haven Alderman Delphine Clyburn, Joslyn Williams, President of the DC Central Labor Council, Jaime Contreras, Vice-President of SEIU 32BJ, Giev Aaron Kashkooli, Vice-President of the United Farmworkers, Terry Cavanagh, Executive Director of SEIU MD/DC State Council, Javier Valdes, Co-Director of Make the Road New York, Lawrence Benito, Executive Director of Illinois Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26. For more on the Washington events go to
These arrests follow the arrests of Women Activists for immigration on Sept.13, and union activists on Aug. 10.

by Duane Campbell
In Sacramento the California Republican Party headquarters across the street from the State Capitol was the site of a demonstration by Unite/Here and  SEIU members as well as community activists.  The Republican party was confronted with a message of,  “ We will remember your candidates in  November.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Oct 5, Immigration Reform Marches

Rallies took place in more than 150 cities across the U.S. on Saturday in an effort to restart the push for comprehensive immigration reform led by a group of bi-partisan lawmakers earlier this year.
Organizers of the "Day of Dignity and Respect" events in cities from New York to Los Angeles hope to draw fresh attention to an issue that was at the forefront of the national dialogue in July when the Senate passed an immigration bill that would have included a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented individuals in the U.S., but House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has refused to put to a vote.
Meanwhile, Democrats in the House introduced a similar measure Thursday, which will likely also face opposition from House Republicans, many of whom are wary of supporting anything that could be perceived as "amnesty" for individuals who broke immigration laws to get to the U.S.
House Republicans have also let it be known that they prefer a more step-by-step approach to the immigration issue in contrast to the broader measures in the Senate bill.  

Friday, October 04, 2013

Oct.5. Immigrants march for dignity -Sacramento

Miles de inmigrantes participarán este sábado 5 de octubre en al menos 160 eventos organizados en más de 60 ciudades de 37 estados para exigir a la Cámara de Representantes –controlada por los republicanos- que apruebe una reforma migratoria comprensiva.

También pedirán al gobierno del Presidente Barack Obama que frene las deportaciones, que durante su primer mandato bordean los 2 millones y de ellos más del 40% no tenía antecedentes criminales.

“Este 5 de octubre es el día nacional de acciones coordinadas”, dijo a Natalia Jaramillo, directora de comunicaciones del Florida Immigrant Coalition. “Es el punto en que se inicia el escalamiento de nuestras actividades con un mensaje claro: vamos a seguir aumentando la presión sobre la Cámara y sobre ambos partidos para que aprueben la reforma migratoria y paren las expulsiones”.

En Los Ángeles, California, las organizaciones están de buen ánimo sobre todo por la promulgación, el jueves, de la Ley Sb60 que otorga licencias de manejar a indocumentados a partir de enero de 2015.

Más en

CSUS Indian Conference

Excellent many nations conference at CSU.
Information at

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Eliseo Medina, Retires from SEIU

Eliseo Medina, Who Reshaped Labor and Immigrant Rights Movements, Retires from SEIU

Today is Eliseo Medina’s last day as the Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU International. Medina is retiring from his job, though not from immigrant rights activism, after nearly fifty years working for social change. Medina helped expand Latino union membership, and increased Latino voting and political empowerment. He secured SEIU resources to implement Latino voter outreach strategies that effectively changed the course of national politics, and played a leading role in broadening a network of immigrant rights groups into a national labor and church-backed movement.
Medina’s activism began in 1965 at age 19 as an organizer with Cesar Chavez and the UFW. He was trained by the legendary Fred Ross Sr [1]., who also mentored Chavez. Seen by many as Chavez’s successor, Medina abruptly left the UFW in 1978 over concern with the group’s direction. His departure began a mass exodus of the UFW’s key organizing talent, whose future endeavors became the subject of my previous book, Beyond the Fields [2].