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Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Afternoon Briefs: Vanguard to Have Farmer's Market Booth and Much More

Vanguard to Host Farmer's Market Booth

The People's Vanguard of Davis will host a booth at the Davis Farmer's Market tomorrow. We will have literature and discussions about local issues.

In addition, a key attraction will be two petitions calling for the end of the Iraq War. One of which will demand a cut-off of funding immediately except that which is necessary bring home the troops and support the veterans after the get back home. The other will have a time-table for a withdrawal and no funding without a deadline by which troops must be home. Both of these petitions are supported by veterans' groups. People will be free to sign the one that they are most comfortable with signing or have a discussion about the issue.

Here's the language:
"We the undersigned do not support funding the Iraq war. We ask that Congress cut off all funding to the war for any purpose other than for bringing the troops home, veteran's needs, and rebuilding Iraq."

"We the undersigned do not support funding the Iraq war without setting definitive deadlines for troop withdrawal and supporting veteran's needs and rebuilding Iraq."
Student Activists Organize Around Malcolm X and Sodexho

Last night at the Silo on the UC Davis campus, more than 50 students and activists met for a panel discussion on a list of topics that ranged from Malcolm X to Civil Rights to modern activism. The group organized by UC Davis student Devon Lee, brought people of various groups and activism together in hopes of networking and branching out to create a new progressive movement in Davis. Devon Lee was one of the chief organizers last year of student march from the MU to the Davis Police Station in protest of racial profiling practices.

One of the panelists a long time civil rights leader helped to organize people against racial profiling in the West Sacramento area and spoke of the success in fighting the gang injunction. Moreover he cautioned people that West Sacramento Police continue to target minorities and that that struggle is still ongoing.

One of the panelists included Javier Ortiz, a Chicano Studies lecturer, remarked that this was the first time he had seen a large black contingent of students on the UC Davis campus.

Activism was a large topic of conversation, with students expressing difficulty in organizing given a heavy class load and many students needing to work multiple jobs in order to pay for the ever rising cost of tuition.

There were several representatives from Students Organizing For Change, the group leading the protests to make food service workers university employees instead of Sodexho employees. They talked about ways in which people can be active and organize in a short period of time using modern resources such as Facebook and the Internet.

My wife, Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald spoke both as a former member of the HRC and current Union organizer with SEIU. She talked about the need to take direct action and spoke of her experience of helping the Janitor's in Houston to organize and obtain union status and get a new contract that substantially raised the level of pay and benefits for over 5,200 workers.

Shh... Don't Tell Officer Ly

In the Halema Buzayan case last year, Officer Ly determined that Ms. Buzayan was lying about her claim that she was not driving that evening, based on a head scarf. Her mother was wearing a head scarf that evening and she was not. Officer Ly reasoned in a recording, that he felt that the witnesses would have mentioned a head scarf. Attorneys for the family have seized upon this as evidence of Officer Ly prosecuting on the basis of a misunderstanding about their religious attire and a contention that Ms. Buzayan since she was not wearing the head scarf that evening, never wore a head scarf. In fact, she does and she did last night.

Here is a picture with my wife Cecilia and Halema's brother, Mahamed, showing Halema in a headscarf. All three of these individuals have been involved in controversial events in the last year.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting