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News :: Education & Youth : Government & Elections : Labor & Economics

Monterey Bay Area Labor Terminates Governor's Visit

Organized labor in the Monterey Bay area is a potent force -- powerful enough apparently to intimidate Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from visiting Salinas. The Governor was planning an appearance in Salinas on Wednesday, May 12, to commemorate the opening of a new California Highway Patrol facility, but when a sizable protest organized against him was publicized, he canceled out at the last minute on Tuesday evening. Representatives from Schwarzenegger's office deny that he had planned on being at the Salinas ceremony, but insiders confirm that the city was preparing for the governor's visit.

Various labor groups have been organizing against Schwarzenegger throughout the state. The first was the California Nurses Association, who have protested his ban on safe nurse-to-patient ratio mandates in medical facilities throughout the state. The California Teacher's Association and California Federation of Teachers have worked in solidarity opposing Schwarzenegger's theft of two billion dollars from last year's education budget, which has yet to be returned. Meanwhile, schools throughout the state are suffering from budget shortfalls. Other labor groups, including state and school employees and service workers, have fought the privatization of the state's retirement system, cutbacks to Worker's Compensation and the Governor's proposed anti-Proposition 98 special election slated for November.

Despite the governor's absence, the demonstration on Wednesday brought record numbers of union supporters out into the streets of Salinas, according to Monterey Bay Central Labor Council's Executive Director, Paul Johnston. He estimated that there were 100 - 200 representing a wide variety of unions in the morning and another several hundred of school employees who arrived in the afternoon. "Outside of farm worker demonstrations, this is probably one of the biggest in the last 50 years," he observed.


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Announcement :: Education & Youth

TUSC Rally Friday: No Response Given thus Far on Student Demands

Many are trying to resume their normal schedules in the couple of weeks that have passed since the violent arrests of 19 students and community members at UC Santa Cruz. Last week, a group of involved students, members of the community, faculty, and administration sat down to talk about what happened on the night of April 18th. Chancellor Denise Denton apologized to those involved for the excessive "pain compliance" tactics used on peaceful demonstrators. The platform as a list of demands was also given to the administration.

The Tent U community believes that the police repression that night constitutes a violation of free speech and a glaring contradiction to the supposed educational mission of the UC system.

The rally on Friday the 13th was given to the Chancellor as an opportunity to respond to the demands on the Tent U platform, which include banning the use of pain compliance measures on peaceful student protesters, a democratic forum for student's concerns with the administration, reinstatement of the journalism department as well as the allocation of hard funds for humanities, and free speech 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A full list of demands is posted at The rally honored Pat True, UCSC worker and member of the local clerical union (CUE) who went on a hunger strike to demand information be released on who ordered the excessive force on the 18th.

The rally was held at the Baytree plaza at 1pm, during normal free speech hours. Chancellor Denton was invited but did not RSVP and failed to show up.

Audio: TUSC Rally on 5/13: Taking Back Democracy!

Photos: 1 | 2

Video from April 18: Resist and Unite: TUSC

[ Tent State University || Tent City Austin (Audio) || TSU Rutgers || TU Santa Cruz || TSU Kansas City || TU Colorado College ]

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News :: Education & Youth : Globalization & Capitalism : Peace & War

3rd Weekly UCSC Weapons Inspection Tour

5/6/05: Complete with costumes and characters such as UC President Dynes and "Hans" of SNL fame, the march through Science Hill, organized by Students Against War (SAW)'s Demilitarization working group, highlighted UC's management of Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Labs, as well as the large amount of weapons research currently underway on UCSC's campus. Student 'weapons inspectors' stopped outside the new Baskin Engineering building before a die-in outside the Science and Engineering Library. The inspectors also marched silently through the library and passed out information about UCSC's connection to the war machine.

Students Against War (SAW) meets every Friday in Conference Room #C above the Baytree Plaza at 5pm. SAW's demilitarization working group meets every Sunday in Cowell's fireside lounge at 7pm.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Audio: Hans; UC Plays Central Role in Thermo-Nuclear Weapons R&D

See also: UCSC's weekly "Weapons Inpsections" Tour a success (4/22/05) || Fiat Pax ||



Announcement :: Globalization & Capitalism : Resistance & Tactics

Anarchism Now Conference at UC Santa Cruz

On Saturday, May 7th, the UCSC Anarchism Research Cluster and the Center for Cultural Studies hosted a one-day conference and conversation exploring and contextualizing contemporary anarchism. The conference took place from 9:30am - 6:00pm in Oakes 105.

Organizing questions included: How can we think adequately about anarchism’s place in current social justice movements? What resources does anarchism present us for addressing the current moment? What is it about this current conjuncture that resonates with anarchism? How might anarchism be a part of re-politicizing the academic left?

The conference included two panels with ample time for discussion, and an extended lunch discussion. Conference speakers include Iain Boal, Arif Dirlik, Carwil James, John Holloway, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barry Pateman, Roger White, and Eddie Yuen.

The open form of the conference facilitated a roundtable atmosphere for all to participate actively.

Photos: Lunchtime

Audio: Second Panel and Closing Discussion

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Announcement :: Resistance & Tactics

Film night to benefit eco-defense prisoner Jeff "Free" Luers

California Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity (C.A.P.S.) Presents:

A film screening to benefit Jeff "Free" Luers, eco-defence prisoner.

In June 2001, 23 year-old forest defense activist Jeffrey "Free" Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for the burning of three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV's) in Eugene, Oregon. To make a statement about global warming, Jeff and his codefendent, Craig 'Critter' Marshall, set fire to 3 Sport Utility Vehicles at a Eugene car dealership. Their stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs play in that process. No one was hurt in this action nor was that the intent. An arson specialist at trial confirmed that the action did not pose any threat to people based on its size and distance from any fuel source. Despite the fact that this action hurt no one, caused only $40,000 in damages and the cars were later resold, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon state. Jeff is a political prisoner and continues to write and agitate for his release while imprisoned at Oregon State Penetentiary. His appeal was filed in January 2002. Please read the latest on his appeal here.

Friday May 6, 8:00pm, at the Next Door - 1205 Soquel Ave. right next to the Rio Theatre. Flyer (.pdf)

Sliding Scale admission. All proceeds collected at the door will go toward Jeff's legal defense.

Audio: Film documentary about Jeff "Free" Luers

Audio: Indynewswire show: June 10-12 Weekend of Resistance

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Commentary :: Education & Youth

Tent University Santa Cruz: What Went Right, What Went Wrong?

The past three weeks have been very eventful at UCSC: counter-recruitment efforts, an amazing strike (we won that shit – when is the party?), April 18th at Tent University, The state-wide student walk-out… Something is in the air. It is important for us to keep up the momentum, but also to reflect and learn from our own successes and mishaps. In this contribution to the ongoing conversations, I’d like to focus on the controversies and questions surrounding Tent University. I want to unpack the crucial criticisms that have been raised around this initiative, while also acknowledging the hard work and perseverance of Tent U’s organizers. Most importantly, I want to emphasize how this undoubtedly problematic event has still managed to open a space of possibility for student orgs and ‘the movement’ these orgs may potentially become and power. In sum I think student activists need to simultaneously engage in critical conversations about Tent U, while capitalizing on the moment it has provided – however awkwardly so.

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

US Soldiers Resisting the Iraq War

Camilo Mejia shares his experiences in Iraq at the Vet's Hall.

“By putting my weapons down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being,? said Camilo Mejia, the first US soldier to actively resist the Iraq War. The former US Army staff sergeant went AWOL in October 2003 while home on a two-week leave. It wasn't until March 15, 2004, that Mejia turned himself in to military commanders and filed for discharge as a conscientious objector, becoming the first Iraq War veteran to publicly challenge the morality of the war. In May 2004, he was convicted of desertion, and sentenced to nine months in the brig. Having recently been freed, Mejia is now on a speaking tour of the West Coast, and will visit Santa Cruz on Wednesday, May 4th, 7:00 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Building, 846 Front St., next to the post office. Immediate wireless translation from English to Spanish translation will be available. Audio PSA: Download Mp3

Photos: War Resister Camilo Mejia Speaks at SC Vets Hall

Audio: Camilo Mejia, Iraq War Resister, Speaks Out

Meanwhile, in San Diego, CA, Navy sailor Pablo Paredes' request for conscientious objector status has been denied. His court martial is scheduled for May 11, inside the San Diego 32nd St. Naval Station. Various support activities and protests are being planned for May 10-13 in San Diego.

SF Bay Area Events || San Diego Events

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Police State : Resistance & Tactics

Ward Churchill at CSU Monterey Bay

Ward Churchill spoke for more than two hours at an event organized by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MeCHA) de California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Outside there were competing displays of support and disgust for Churchill. Some supporters poked fun at the recent controversy, while some took it quite seriously. Churchill discussed recent attacks on his scholarship, patriotism, heritage, and writing and the essay that has caused so much controversy.

Continuing the talk, he outlines U.$. Policy, foreign and domestic, victims of said policies; American Exceptionalism, Educational system.

Audio: parts 1 - 2 || parts 3 - 4 || parts 5 - 8
Pages for downloading the mp3s: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

More audio courtesy of FRSC: Legal Update on Leonard Peltier's Case

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News :: Government & Elections : Health & Drugs : Police State

Roger Mentch Gets Leniency from Courts

Sentencing for local medical marijuana provider Roger Mentch, took place May 2, in the chambers of Superior Court Judge Samuel Stevens. Nearly two years ago, the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs drug task force raided the Felton home of Roger Mentch, managing director of the Hemporium, a medical marijuana consultant and delivery service, with about 20 clients.

The prosecutor who tried the case, Thanh Ngo, argued for a 150 day jail sentence and demanded the DA's office retain all evidence, particularly the cash seized by sherrif's deputies. Judge Stevens handed down, a 5-day jail sentence, giving Mentch credit for time served, and summary probation for 3 years. He was also ordered to pay $220 in court costs. Throughout the hearing, Judge Stevens repeatedly stipulated Mentch could continue to operate his marijuana deliveries, saying, "If he wishes to conduct himself under the law, he will not be in violation of probation." Read more...

Roger Mentch comments: First and foremost I want too thank eveyone that has played a part in supporting me/us in this medical marijuana battle. We are very happy with the verdict, timed served and probation and a $220 fine. A different outcome could of easily distroyed this family unit and the service we provide for many local patients. After my sentencing today I signed documents starting the appeals process. Read the full comment...

Another commenter writes: While Roger and friends were pretty happy about the sentence (no jail time), it still leaves unsettled the question of why Mentch was prosecuted in the first place to the tune of $80,000 in public funds (or so says Mentch) and if he can be prosecuted again for selling medical marijuana to patients with medical marijuana cards. What was never clear to me (perhaps someone can enlighten me?) is what was illegal about what Roger Mentch did in 2003 that prompted his eightteen month ordeal. Read the full comment...

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Medical Pot Provider Gets Leniency

Photos: Roger Mentch will continue the Hemporium, LLC. a Professional Caregiving Service


News :: Arts & Culture : Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics

May Day 2005 in Santa Cruz

On May Day 2005 in Santa Cruz, the Wobblies marched from the Tom Scribner statue to a rally at the Clock Tower. Rabble rousers played guitar, sang and spoke about the past, present and future of the labor movement. Speakers and singers included Faith Petric, Fred Hirsch, Mark Levy, David Winters, Fellow Worker Will and Brian from the Santa Cruz General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World.

After the rally, we marched down Pacific Ave. and gained the support of many onlookers as we chanted, "We Don't Need the Bosses, the Bosses Need Us!!!"

For better or worse, there were more people that wanted to watch The Wobblies than could fit into the main dartroom of the Poet & Patriot. Those of us that did not make it into the film screening celebrated 100 years of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) with a live performance of Rebel Girl by Phil Free and a birthday cake.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Audio: Singing and Soapboxing

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