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News :: Arts & Culture

The Great Global Assembly Line: film shoot for Planet USA

Downtown Santa Cruz was used to illustrate global economics in a satirical scene for the upcoming film "Planet USA." Fat cats and corporate swine moved sweatshop operations from Mexico to China, pursuing profits, assisted by Profit Man and Greed Girl and American military.

Large wads of oversized $100 bills sprinkled the streets of Santa Cruz on Saturday, March 6th, as corporate pigs celebrated their profits. With a curious public audience looking on, an independent film crew converged on downtown Santa Cruz to film the latest installment in the docudrama Planet USA. Part satirical theatre, part educational film, Planet USA examines the disastrous global effects of current American economic, cultural, and military imperialism.

Filming on the Planet USA project began July, 2003 when Director/Producer Marlene Winell organized 50 activists who participated in the Redwood City July 4th parade, the largest in Northern California. Under the auspices of "celebrating American contributions to world culture," the group utilized humor, satire and street theater in creating a float to "celebrate" Americas military, economic, and cultural domination around the globe.

Video: Download the Trailer of Planet USA


News :: Globalization & Capitalism : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Brian Avery Speaks In Santa Cruz

b_avery.jpgBrian Avery spoke at the Resource Center for Nonviolence on Sunday, March 15.

Avery arrived in Jenin as a member of the International Solidarity Movement on April 5, 2003. He had been in the West Bank for two and a half months when, after spending six days in Jenin, there were gunshots outside of the apartment where he’d met with two Swedish activists. When the gunfire quieted down the three went out to check the streets. They were about two blocks from the apartment when two armored Israeli vehicles approached the roadside. At thirty meters the vehicle’s occupants opened fire with approximately 230 rounds. The two Swedes were unharmed but Avery was shot through the face.

The bullet entered the upper right side of his nose and blew out the bones of the left side of his nose, cheek and upper jaw. He lost most of his teeth and his left eye was permanently damaged.

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Brian Avery Talk
>> Brian Avery Interviewed by George of FRSC

comments from Brian Avery: "There were some miscommunications going on in this string, I'd like to clarify that there were not 230 shots fired at myself and Tobias Carlsson but rather 20-30. Also the comments about there being a "fighting zone" at the border when the ambulance was trying to get through is false. There was no combat activity at the time and the detention of the ambulance is standard policy against Palestinian medical crews."

related article: Zionism, Nazism, and Radical Islam

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Announcement :: Peace & War

Silenced Hearts: A Day of Mourning for the Dead in Iraq

The turnout for this event was good. On March 13, about 200 people showed up, most dressed in black, and carrying small signs with the names of dead soldiers or dead Iraqis on them. As the people marched through the town, the names of some of the dead were read over the megaphone while others chanted "(name).... Died in Iraq" or "(name).... Killed in Iraq". At the end of the procession, people assembled at Mission park where Mike Rotkin read a Mayor's proclamation naming March 13th a day of remembering the dead in Iraq.

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News :: Alternative Media

FCC "Punks Out" of Monterey Localism Task Force Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission’s Localism Task Force announced that its next broadcast localism hearing will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota, on May 26, 2004. Further details regarding the Rapid City hearing will be released as they become available.

Scheduling conflicts and logistical difficulties required the Task Force to change its original timeframe for the remaining localism hearings. Dates for the California, Maine and Washington, D.C. hearings will be announced as they are established.

[ Media Reform: FCC Town Meetings I Support LPFM and Reclaim Radio I Media Monopoly Made Simple ]


News :: Alternative Media : Resistance & Tactics

Jeff Perlstein on "The Real Media Indecency and What You Can Do About It"

jeff.gifJeff Perlstein is the Executive Director of Media Alliance in San Francisco, a media resource and advocacy center for journalists, activists, nonprofits, and the community. Jeff initiated campaigns for Press Freedom during Wartime, greater community accountability at Clear Channel station KMEL-FM, and public hearings on the FCC's media ownership rules. He is also co-founder of the website, which launched during the Seattle WTO protests in 1999 and now links over 120 Independent Media Centers in more than 22 countries.

You can listen to a presentation Jeff gave in Santa Cruz on March 4 titled, "The Real Media Indecency and What You Can Do About It."

Today five corporations control more than 80 percent of what the American people see and hear, down from fifty companies just ten years ago. At the urging of Chairman Michael Powell, the Federal Communications Commission voted last year to make it even easier for these five corporations to gobble up more local outlets.

Along with the opposition of millions of Americans and organizations across the political spectrum, Media Alliance has temporarily stopped the FCC give-away in the courts.

This spring, Chairman Powell is bringing his new FCC Localism Task Force to Monterey.
>> It is time to organize!

The next meeting to prepare for the FCC's visit to Monterey will take place on Tuesday, March 16, at 7:00 PM

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Jeff Perlstein on Media Reform

* Free Radio Santa Cruz Needs and New Location NOW *

[ Jeff on the IMC and WTO I Clear Channel Stumbles I Day one as Executive Director of Media Alliance I Media Alliance I Writers' Roundtables for Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties ]

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News :: Gender & Sexuality : Government & Elections

Santa Cruz County Residents Say Marriage Discrimination is a Human Rights Abuse

On March 9, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting was filled with a couple hundred Santa Cruz County residents to advocate for Gay Marriage. Santa Cruz County locals have been asking the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to follow the lead of San Francisco and join the lawsuit being filed against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment banning same-sex marriages.

The community members present were happy when the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously (4 yes, 0 no, 1 absent) in support of asking Richard Bedal, the Santa Cruz County Clerk, to join the lawsuit being filed against the proposed ban on same-sex marriages. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has no authority to order the independently elected clerk to act.

Same-Sex Marriage Testimony

more photos: [ 1 - 2 - 3 ]

[ Same-Sex Marriages Break Barrier in America I Indybay's LGBTI / Queer Page I The Diversity Center I Santa Cruz Pride I GLBTI Resource Center at UCSC I Manifesto News ]


Announcement :: Alternative Media : Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Brian Avery of the International Solidarity Movement to Speak in Santa Cruz

free_palestine.pngBrian Avery of the International Solidarity Movement will be speaking in Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Resource Center for Nonviolence (515 Broadway at Ocean in Santa Cruz).

On April 5, 2003, Brian Avery was shot in the face by the Israeli Military while wearing a bright red jacket. When he raised himself from the ground, witnesses saw that his left cheek had almost been totally shot off.

Brian was in Jenin as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and international activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to the Israeli occupation. ISM utilizes nonviolent, direct action to confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

There will also be a showing of “Dispatches: The Killing Zone.? Filmmakers Sandra Jordan and producer Rodrigo Vasquez reveal the shocking level of daily violence in the Gaza Strip. They arrived in Rafah right after the murder of Rachel Corrie.

Tune in to Free Radio Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 14, at 3:00 PM for a live interview with Brian Avery.

[ Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions I Rabbis for Human Rights I Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories I Gush Shalom I Palestinian Monitor I Middle East Research and Information Project ]

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News :: Government & Elections

Will Your Vote Count in the Next Election?

ballot_box.gifA growing concern over the inadequacies of election equipment in the United States has recently been heightened by the problems of the 2000 Presidential election. Added to the mix is the election reform mandated by recent federal legislation attempting to address the concerns. The result is that many states are scurrying to replace their older equipment with new electronic voting computers.

Unfortunately, election technology has not advanced to the point where it can provide us with electronic systems that are reliable enough to trust with our democracy. In other words, we just aren’t there yet.

Here are the facts:

  • Computer experts say today’s voting machines are prone to errors and vulnerable to fraud.
  • Defective hardware and bugs in software could decide who wins an election.
  • Even thorough testing can’t reveal malicious programs that could subvert an election.
  • Many election officials don't realize the risks inherent in using electronic voting machines.
  • Courts have ruled that secret software can be used to record and count our votes.
  • Manual recounts will be impossible in districts that don’t allow voters to inspect a paper record of their votes.

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Interview with Bob Kibrick, legislative analyst with

[ I California at a glance I Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines and Santa Cruz County ]



Announcement :: Gender & Sexuality

Calling All Women and Men for the Global Women's Strike

march8.gifThe Global Women's Strike was born in 1999, when women in Ireland decided to welcome the new millennium with a national general strike. They asked the International Wages for Housework Campaign to support their call, and called on women all over the world to make the Strike global on March 8, 2000.

The Strike came out of a long grassroots history, starting in 1952 with a little pamphlet called A Womans Place and continuing with Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, now a classic, in 1972, and Sex, Race and Class in 1973. All three pamphlets made the case that the work women do for wages is a second job, and that the work women do in the home and in the community without wages were invisible but central.

Since 2000, the Strike has been a great success. It has brought together women in over 60 countries, including grassroots organizations with impressive track records, who also demand a world that values all womens work.

We are often told that in order to win we must unite, but we don't hear much about how to do that (except from political parties that want to lead us). We use the Strike as a framework for unity -- among sectors of women, between women and men, within and among countries -- because it is based on each sector accepting and enriching the independent struggle of every other. The Strike is not party political, nor is it separatist. It is ambitious for the movement for change but it stands against personal ambition that undermines mutual accountability.

Meet at the townclock (Pacific and Water) in Santa Cruz on Monday, March 8 at 5:30 PM.

International Women's Day at UCSC from 8:00 - 10:00 PM

Audio and Text: What Half the World Wants, by Mumia Abu-Jamal

[ 5th Global Women's Strike I International Women's Day I International Women's Day Background and Resources I All Women Count I Refusing to Kill ]

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News :: Environment & Food : Globalization & Capitalism

Mendocino County Becomes First in Nation to Ban Growing of GE Crops and Animals

no_gmo.jpgIn a sweeping victory, Mendocino County became the first county in the nation to ban the growing of genetically altered crops and animals.

Mendocino County voters defeated the world’s largest producers of genetically engineered foods and seed, which pumped a record $621,000 into a county of 47,000 voters.

Under the guise of CropLife America, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical and a consortium of other biotech multinational corporations shattered spending records in this small agricultural county.

But CropLife America was no match for thousands of Mendocino County farmers, business owners, vintners and families who joined the largest, most successful grass roots campaign the county has ever seen to fight the encroachment of genetically altered crops.

Audio: Free Speech Radio News Story (Streaming Audio)

Related Article: Mendocino Goes GMO Free

Indybay Coverage

[ GMO Free Mendocino I neRAGE I GE Free VT I BioTech IMC I Network of Concerned Farmers I National Family Farm Coalition I BioDev I Santa Cruz / Live Oak Grange ]

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