League of Women Voters “Hot Topic” Informational Meeting

League of Women Voters Eden Area FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Suzanne Barba,
510-538-9678 – suzbarba@comcast.net


The League of Women Voters Eden Area will be holding a “hot topic” informational meeting to discuss the potential plans for constructing a new main Hayward library building, how construction would be funded, and if other public buildings in the city need to be included in that funding plan.

The meeting will be held on October 25, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 2A at the Hayward City Hall. This “Hot Topics” discussion is to inform attendees about the pros and cons of this project and the funding mechanism and have a discussion with community members.

Resource presenters are: Sean Reinhart, Hayward Library and Community
Services Director; Kim Geron, CSUEB Professor and Chair, Political Science Department; Kari McAllister, Hayward Library Commissioner, board member, Friends of the Hayward Public Library; and Frank Goulart, attorney and long-time community activist working to preserve Hayward’s heritage. Results of a recent Hayward community survey on the subject will also be shared.

“Our speakers are our resource people,” said Evelyn Cormier, chair of the League committee that planned and is putting on the Hot Topic event. “We hope interested community members will ask questions and give their opinions on this important subject,” she said. Other members of the committee are: Beverly Reliford, Jewell Spalding, Gail Lundholm and Cossette Sun.

Light refreshments will be available for attendees at no charge. An RSVP is required so the proper amount of food can be ordered and handouts printed. RSVP to Evelyn Cormier at ev.cormier@comcast.net or call her at 510-471-0475 by Monday, Oct. 21.

This League informational meeting is also co-sponsored by the Friends of the Hayward Library and American Association of University Women Hayward/Castro Valley Chapter.

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Join us for “Mercy Killers,” a play by Michael Milligan

The Campaign for a Healthy California presents “Mercy Killers,” a one-man play written and performed by Michael Milligan. Winner of the 2013 Fringe First Award: Edinburgh Festival, the play will be performed on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM at the Westminster Outreach Center, 27287 Patrick Avenue, in Hayward.

TO reserve your seats, email precisetranslations2008@gmail.com or call (510) 294-8584. Refreshments will be served.

For more information about Mercy Killers, visit www.MercyKillersThePlay.com.

A note from Silvia: I returned this past Tuesday from Kendall, Florida, where I was visiting my younger brother, age 54, in his last illness, while he was at Baptist Hospital. My brother died today, and on my last day at the hospital I found out that his wife’s brother had died, untreated, from kidney failure, when he was refused dialysis because he was uninsured. This is the condition of our country today, and the only solution, especially in light of the relationship between the ACA and the insurance companies managing it, is single-payer healthcare, which my husband Jim Forsyth always supported, going so far as to be the individual who collected the most signatures when single payer was first introduced.

Please join us for a magnificent performance.


Silvia Brandon Pérez

Hsyward 0913_MercyKillers_Flyer_Hayward

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The Newsletter is online! ¡Nuestro boletín informativo está en línea!

Please note that the newsletter has been uploaded, but that we are also including a copy of the PDF.

Notice of errata: In the article on Syria, we noticed an error that we had corrected but the wrong version went to the printers. As the printed newsletter is on its way to Demos members on our list, we note here the error, which deals with the recognition of children born to Chinese during the Chinese Exclusion Act. The correct text is as follows:

Jim stressed that we continue to exhibit the same behavior of world domination, hypocritically accusing other countries of human rights violations when the US has committed them throughout its history. At the time of our founding a republic based on a beautiful statement that all men are created equal and endowed with rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the definition of ‘all men’ left out men who were poor, of color, and all women. It left out the native dwellers of the land who were not recognized as citizens until 1924, and left out those people who built our roads and highways, for the Chinese in particular were excluded until the Chinese Exclusion Act came to an end in 1943.

We are excited to report that we will begin posting regular articles about the history of immigration in the US, which will probably curl your hair, every month from now on, so that you can learn about where we’ve been and determine where we should be going.

I am signing off with the title I used to use for the Pocono Progressives:

Silvia Brandon Pérez de Forsyth, Mistress of Undeception

2013-09 DemosNewsletter Sept

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Eyewitness Syria: Where do we go from here

Freedom-Flotilla survivor and noted activist Dr. Paul Larudee will be presenting a discussion on September 25, 2013 beginning at 7 PM at the All Saints Catholic Church on 2nd and D Streets in Hayward, on Syria.

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League of Women Voters Eden Area Luncheon and other events

Join the LVWEA on October 4, 2013 at the San Lorenzo Village Homes Assn. Community Hall, 377 Paseo Grande in San Lorenzo, for a luncheon forum on:

The New Common Core Standards and Assessment. The cost is $12, and for more information you can email Suzanne Barba at suzbarba@comcast.net or call her at 510-538-9678.

Also, come to the Hayward Volunteer of the Year Dinner on October 8th at the St. Rose White Tent in Hayward, which will honor Suzanne as the Volunteer of the Year. Check out LWVEA.org

for any updates.

LWVEA Final VOTER_Sept13 (1)

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Why I don’t celebrate “Labor Day” in September

A bit of history: Why I don’t celebrate “Labor Day” in September

The real Labor Day is on May 1st, also known as International Worker’s Day, and it is celebrated as Labor Day in more than 80 countries throughout the world. The celebration is based, of course, on the labor movement in the US, in the same way that International (Working) Women’s Day, celebrated throughout the world on March 8th, is based on women’s labor struggles originating in the United States. So labor day is another ‘holy day’ taken away from us, the people, by vested interests. If we brought back the original Labor Day, the blood of those labor martyrs would be remembered, and working people all over the United States might rise and demand their rights as the creators of all goods in the world.

In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in the US passed a resolution to strike, inasmuch as all attempts to reduce working hours from 16 to 8 had failed. This movement gained momentum and on May 1st, 1886, in Chicago, there was a call for a strike. In those days, strikes were broken by police, paid for by “captains of industry.” The Chicago strike was peaceful until on May 3rd, near the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. factory, police started firing upon the unarmed and peaceful demonstrators, with no provocation, killing four workers and injuring several others. The next day on May 4th, the organizers announced a big rally against the criminal action of police at market square. The gathering was peaceful. When the last leader was delivering his speech, the police started firing on the workers. Several people died and hundreds were injured. A fake case was filed against labor leaders and 8 leaders sentenced to death. Albert Parson, August Spize, Adolf Fischer and George Angel were hanged on November 11, 1887. Louise Ling committed suicide in jail. The other three were pardoned in 1893. In 1889 it was decided to declare May 1 as labor day. On the first of May 1890, the first May Day was observed in the memory of the martyrs of the Labor Movement. It is the true Labor Day throughout the greater part of the world, and should be observed by anyone who enjoys the 8 hour workday.

Of course, after the Haymarket Massacre, President Grover Cleveland felt that celebrating Labor Day on May 1st would be an opportunity to remember the massacre; this is the main reason that Labor Day was established as an official holiday in September. Far-right governments have traditionally sought to repress the message behind International Workers’ Day, some of them abolishing this workers’ holiday completely. In the US of Apathy, of course, we have been into marketing from the start of the Republic; we always have a special twist and a marketing ploy for what we call our holidays, which become opportunities to barbecue and get drunk and never do anything that could disturb that holy class, the CEOs. It is called panem et circenses, or bread and circuses, well used by the Roman Empire to distract their citizens from the problems of empire.
More bread and entertainment, anyone?

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GLOBE’s 20th annual garden party

Honoring Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski and Hayward Librarian Sally Thomas (for her work on the film about the Hayward gay prom)

Sat, Sept 21st

From 2:00 to 4:30 PM
130 Isabella St., Hayward

$25 in advance; $30 at door
$100 sponsorship (includes 2 tickets and recognition at event)

RSVP: 510-538-9722 or mail to PO Box 56305, Hayward, CA 94545


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The Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another one of those ‘trade deals’ that is being created in secret, and is backed by the Obama administration, but without allowing any information to ‘leak out’ to the citizenry or the Congress. It is a troubling attack, worldwide, against all democratic movements everywhere and against protections for things such as health care and labor standards. Similar to NAFTA and CAFTA, it sets up tribunals where corporations can sue countries not just for the loss of their investments but for the loss of their anticipated future profits. As an incredible example of this, Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for hundreds of millions of dollars because Uruguay ‘dared’ to put warning stickers against smoking on cigarette boxes. In Bolivia the water system was privatized and water rates were increased by more than fifty percent; when the company was kicked out by the government, the company turned around on a one million dollar investment and sued for a fifty million dollar anticipated loss of profits. In El Salvador a local community finds out that a Canadian mining company is going to dump chemicals into the drinking water, and when they protest and the government shuts the operation down, the company turns around and sues for 350 million dollars.

These trade agreements make corporations stronger than national states, and prevent national governments from enforcing any penalties for things such as pollution, unfair labor practices, etc. actually blocking a sustainable future for countries and their peoples. These outrageous lawsuits have a chilling effect on the ability and willingness of governments to protect their people, as currently there are about five hundred lawsuits filed a year. And it is happening not only in Latin America but around the world. Global investments and profits become the only ‘law’ that matters. And this, of course, is being done ‘under the radar.’



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Syria and the Middle East: Reaping the Whirlwind – an Editorial

Syria and the Middle East: Reaping the whirlwind – An editorial
Hosea 8:7: “they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”

Many years ago on September 11, 2001, after watching the second plane hit the WTC from a red light in Jersey City, N.J., I made a comment that I didn’t know quite how, but that I was sure the US government had either a) been involved in the nefarious planning that led to September 11th or that b) after sowing violence and oppression and torture and supporting every dirty war and evil dictator around the world, we were ‘reaping the whirlwind.’

I was a working attorney and poet in those days, and I posted a historical article I had written about bloody military US intervention in place after place, including the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, on another September 11th… I was jeered at and ultimately had to resign as editor… It was months later that one of the poets on the board sent me a copy of an article he had posted to the effect that we should all be as aware of US history as I was… but my desire to understand US history came from my own growth as a Cuban refugee, leaving my beloved land in October 1960 against my will, as an 11-year old child. I dedicated years of my life to learning about US involvement in Cuba’s history, life, independence (in Spanish the word rather than involvement is ‘inmiscuirse’ which means unwanted meddling).

As a child in Cuba at the age of ten, before we left as exiles, I won a national contest on the work of our revolutionary leader, José Martí, who was a well-known poet, writer and intellectual fighting for independence against Spain, and who wrote that after we earned our independence, we had to make sure that the United States did not take over our country. That is what happened, however, as the U.S.S. Maine was sunk and blamed on the Spanish, and the US invaded, and attempted to annex Cuba, but ultimately settled for setting up a ‘permanent’ base in Guantánamo, and under the Platt amendment, demanding the right to invade our country whenever we were not behaving ‘democratically,’ which you should read between the lines as ‘not giving up all our property rights to US investors.’ And Cuba before the Cuban revolution was a gambling and prostitution paradise, not only Giancana’s, but a paradise for US investors; one of the largest banners welcoming you to La Habana in the early 1900’s was from Chase Manhattan Bank; the United Fruit Company and others raped the land and gave back nothing in return, which is typical of US investment worldwide. The history books did not analyze these things, because as in much of the United States until Howard Zinn, the ‘real’ history is unknown to duped citizens.

Jim knew as much or more about Cuban history as I, and he shared with me, on No Room for Racism vigils at Five Flags in Hayward, that he had suffered a similar fate when he tied September 11th to our worldwide policies of imperial domination, unbridled capitalism and greed… Now we are once again listening to Obama talking about a ‘narrow’ strike against Syria’s government. This ‘narrow strike’ will be a coward’s attack, where missiles or unmanned drones will be launched upon targets and will wind up maiming and killing civilians. We hazard nothing; they reap blood and tears. Where is the criticism by the Democratic Party of our national government’s continued outrages? The massive spying on citizens? The use of drones?

Jim stressed that we continue to exhibit the same behavior of world domination, hypocritically accusing other countries of human rights violations when the US has committed them throughout its history. At the time of our founding a republic based on the beautiful statement that all men are created equal and endowed with rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the definition of ‘all men’ left out men who were poor, of color, and all women. It left out the native dwellers of the land who were not recognized as citizens until 1924, and left out those people who mined our minerals and built our roads and highways, for until 1940 it was unclear whether children born to ‘aliens’ were automatically citizens, and the Chinese were excluded until the Chinese Exclusion Act came to an end in 1943.

I am outraged at the passivity of the people as to the ‘wars’ in our midst. When you ask our poorly educated young people about their position on war, most of them will respond, what war? This club which was founded on a peace premise, and whose original forty founders went against the Democratic Party to call for an end to the Vietnam War, needs to reconsider its priorities and be counted among the fighters and the resisters, and mount marches and protests and direct action. Of all of my arrests for civil disobedience, my two with Jim were among my proudest, because despite constant back and leg pain which he never complained of, he was willing to speak truth to power, age and infirmity be damned. His spirit was never infirm, and it lives on.

As I said in my words during his service on August 17th, everything you do is a political act, the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat; in some places in the world and in many places in our country today, with a poverty index, particularly among children, that we should be ashamed of, people cannot breathe or drink good water or eat good food. The U.S. maintains the highest prison population in the planet; the Jim Crow system has never gone out of style… And when you buy products such as Soda Stream, made from stolen Palestinian resources, you are making a political choice… or when you shop at Wal-Mart or cross a picket line.

You have to decide whether this club as it was founded by Jim and Fran and so many others will continue in that original spirit, or whether the club becomes just another political club with a local agenda, afraid to criticize ‘our rulers.’ You have to decide whether to join the forces of dissent in the world and say, enough, or as we say in Spanish, BASTA. Jim said this with every fiber of his being until the end of his life; he said it with his feet by walking picket lines and by lying down and being arrested, despite his waning health, despite any discomfort, at 83 and 85. He was outraged, even more than I am, because he felt guilty that he was ‘white and privileged’ and was a US American. He wrote on our wedding blog at the time: I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life (which has already started) but one which is a continuation of the story of my life up til now: afflicting the comfortable and arrogant and comforting the afflicted. I am overjoyed to join in partnership with Silvia. Needless to say, that has been the story of my life as well, so we were well matched.

You decide. We are looking at annihilation. We do not have the moral right to complain about violations by other nations because we violate human rights every hour of every day. It was Jim’s passionate conversation about Nagasaki (the fact that we would unleash a second bomb when we already knew the devastation caused by the first one) that led me to lie down last year on Nagasaki Day and be arrested. It is up to you, collectively and individually, to march to that final moment of your life with a clear conscience. Jim’s conscience was clear; he lived out his dharma to the end. Are you?



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Hayward’s own March on Washington

You are invited to Hayward’s own
March on Washington Vigil

Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

*Time: 4:30 PM- 6:00 PM

Location: The sidewalk by 5 Flags Park at
Mission, Foothill and Main St, near
“D” St, Hayward

Come help us remember the call for Jobs, Equality, Justice, Freedom and Peace

Harry – ph.-510-909-6272
Silvia – ph.-510-294-8584

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