"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
View Kathy Emery, PhD's LinkedIn profileView Kathy Emery, PhD's profile

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Western Workers Labor Hertiage Festival

Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contribution
to the civil rights and labor movements
A weekend of solidarity in an era of war, racism, and hard times. 

Fri-Sun January 13-15, 2012
Local 1781 of the I.A.M.,
1511 Rollins Road, Burlingame, CA map

$65 for weekend, $40 for Saturday only. Concert $15-25,
sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Mail to: WWLHF, P.O. Box 7184, Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Conference registration form - pdf

YouTube of previous festival video highlights here.


Facing History - Freedom Riders Workshop

Freedom Riders: Democracy in Action
Event Date:01/26/2012Event Fee:No Fee
Event Time:4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location:Everett Middle School, 450 Church Street
San Francisco, CA


 Included in Program, Freedom Riders Mimi Real and Elizabeth Hirshfeld

From May until December, 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives by simply traveling together through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. Facing History is an educational partner for this PBS American Experience film. Workshop participants will learn more about southern segregation laws and models of political resistance during the civil rights movement.

Occupy West Coast Ports - December 12

The whole point of STRATEGIC direct action is to 
  1. dramatize the injustice to a larger audience 
  2. gain the sympathy of a larger audience to the point they want to join you and 
  3. provide a VARIETY of ways in which they can support you. 
For example, I am not willing to go out and get arrested, but I can give food and money. How do I do that? IS THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT  building an infrastructure to recruit people like make it obvious where I can contribute?

It is also crucial that activists understand the difference between organizing and mobilizing.  
READ BELOW AND DECIDE for yourself what is the degree to which the Occupy Ports succeeded in keeping the movement MOVING. and what needs to happen next...  MY EMPHASIS ADDED.

FROM   An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports
We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day....We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.

Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?....

It may be difficult to comprehend the complex issues and nature of our employment. For us too. When businesses disguise workers like us as contractors, the Department of Labor calls it misclassification. We call it illegal. Those who profit from global trade and goods movement are getting away with it because everyone is doing it. One journalist took the time to talk to us this week and she explains it very well to outsiders. We hope you will read the enclosed articleHow Goldman Sachs and Other Companies Exploit Port Truck Drivers.”....
But we believe in the power and potential behind a truly united 99%. We admire the strength and perseverance of the longshoremen. We are fighting like mad to overcome our exploitation, so please, stick by us long after December 12. Our friends in the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports created a pledge you can sign to support us here

...Long the most militant Occupy branch, Occupy Oakland has continued to push the movement’s campaign against the wealthiest 1 percent even after losing its perch in front of City Hall. It spearheaded a one-day action on Monday in which thousands of protesters rallied at West Coast ports from San Diego to Anchorage, effectively closing the Ports of Portland and Longview, Wash., and largely shutting the Port of Oakland. ...

Several labor leaders criticized the plan to disrupt the ports, which cost many longshoremen and truck drivers a day’s pay. And union officials were irked by Occupy Oakland’s claim that it was advancing the cause of port workers even though several unions opposed the protests. For example, several days before the disruptions, Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, issued a statement warning: “Support is one thing. Organizing from outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another.” Organizers at Occupy Oakland shrugged off the criticism, saying many union leaders are afraid of bold action. The Occupy movement, they say, is doing more for working people than some unions and union leaders are. ...

The Oakland protesters also made regular visits to the longshore union’s hiring hall in San Francisco to gather support from rank-and-file workers. They printed 50,000 fliers about the protest and went to the Oakland port, one of the nation’s busiest, to distribute them and talk to nonunion truck drivers.  ...

But the Occupy planners also knew that they had chosen a target that was symbolic of multinational corporations, including the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which owns a major interest in a company that operates many port terminals. They also figured that disrupting ports was relatively easy and likely to bring them lots of attention. ...

While praising the Occupy movement’s goal of helping the 99 percent, Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, faulted the protesters’ tactics, saying, “I don’t know how you call a strike without involving the union or the workers.” But the Occupy activists said unions were too timid about pushing the interests of workers. 

“The 1 percent has been able to write and pass labor laws that are designed to restrict the amount of action that can legally be taken by a union. Most union officials today refuse to challenge those laws,” Occupy organizers wrote on a Web site explaining the port shutdown. “It is the responsibility of rank-and-file workers and their allies to escalate the labor struggle. Occupy can spearhead this movement.” 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movie about Daisy Bates (Civil Rights Hero)

DAISY BATES: As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. You can watch a short trailer and read a short synopsis here:
Presented by ITVS, KQED,
The San Francisco Public Library and HandsOn Bay Area

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Doors Open @ 5:15pm | Screening @ 5:45pm 
Please note: the film is 60 minutes. 
Post-­‐screening discussion will follow.

San Francisc Main Public Library, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA
(nearest BART station is Civic Center)

Screening is FREE and Open to the Public

For more information, email

Community Cinema, the national engagement program of Independent Television Service (ITVS), is hosting a community screening in San Francisco on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 5:45pm for the film, Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock. The film is premiering on PBS in February 2012.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Update - Dec 7, 2011

They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor. And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public’s imagination.  Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.
Recent Developments (nytimes)
  • Dec. 6 Occupy Wall Street Protesters move into Senate Offices in Washington DC
  • Dec. 4 Police arrested 31 people and tore down a barnlike building that Occupy D.C. protesters had begun to erect that morning in a park two blocks from the White House where they had been camping out.
  • Dec. 1 A judge in Boston said that the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square could stay for the time being, extending a temporary restraining order barring the city from removing tents or protesters from the area without a court order.
  • Nov. 30 In the pre-dawn hours, Occupy encampments in Los Angeles and Philadelphia were cleared from public parks. 

Other noticeable effects of OWS movement:
Consider David Brook's article on December 6th:
According to data collected by the Center for Progressive Reforms, 62 percent of the people who met with the White House office in charge of reviewing regulations were representatives of industry, while only 16 percent represented activist groups. At these meetings, business representatives outnumbered activists by more than 4 to 1.
Compare that to an article on the same day reporting on Obama's meeting with College Presidents:
In a private meeting on Monday, President Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, conferred with a dozen college presidents, mostly from public institutions, and leaders of two nonprofit education organizations, about how to curb the rising cost of college and improve graduation rates. “It was an unusually interesting meeting, and not your usual list of college presidents,” said Jane Wellman, founder and director of the nonprofit Delta Project, which studies college costs. . . . In recent months, the cost of higher education has become a central issue of the Occupy movement, and one that arouses bipartisan concern.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

John Carlos at Mission High School!!! Dec. 2

Olympic/Civil Rights Icon John Carlos w/ Dave Zirin in SF 
Friday, December 2, 2011 
from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM (PT) 
Mission High School Auditorium 
3750 18th St  
San Francisco, CA 94114


"John Carlos is one of the grand figures of the 20th century. His incredible political courage, indisputable athletic excellence and indestructible spiritual fortitude set him apart from most contemporary celebrities. In fact, his fame derives from his courage, excellence and fortitude. Yet it is only in this powerful and poignant memoir that we learn of what and who made him who he is."
--Cornel West, from the Foreword to The John Carlos Story

See the book trailer for the The John Carlos Story

About the authors

John Carlos ( is an African American former track and field athlete and professional football player, and a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. He won the bronze-medal in the 200 meters race at the 1968 Summer Olympics, where his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record. After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League but retired due to injury. He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. He later became a track coach at a high school in Palm Springs, where he now resides. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

Dave Zirin ( was named one of the "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" by Utne Magazine. He writes about the politics of sports for the Nation magazine, and is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM satellite's popular weekly show, "Edge of Sports Radio," as well as a columnist for SLAM Magazine, the Progressive, and a regular op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times. Zirin's other titles are What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States; Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports; The Muhammad Ali Handbook; A People's History of Sports in the United States; and Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love.

About the book:

Price: $22.95
ISBN: 9781608461271
Published: October 2011
Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Haymarket Books