- capitalism sucks
- mayday books
- women of color
- book review
- antiwar sign
- women friends
- stuff about me
- st. paul
- working class
- immigrant rights
- gay pride
- native americans
- 1934 strike
- Sami Rasouli
- book group
- march 20
- Northern sun news
- allied media conference
- capitalis sucks
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- marge piercy
- mayday parade
- Cindy Sheehan
- Doris Lessing
- Iris Murdoch
- Nice Guy Syndrome
- barbara smith
- disability rights
- fbi harassment
- food not bombs
- latin america
- lee maracle
- march 18
- news release
- radio flyer KFAI
- renegade evolution
- teach in
- ► 2010 (43)
- ► 2009 (77)
- Another flyer Highlighting the need to gtf out of...
- Workers win! How long has it been since you've re...
- Communist Christmas Enjoy!
- Holiday antiwar event
- Help Winona LaDuke On November 9, 2008, Winona La...
- Workers Take Over! Please take a moment and lend ...
- Prop 8, the musical Not posting anything but link...
- Too much type! Had to slam a lot of type into one...
- I heart Wanda
- Rachmaninov had big hands In my thirties I, with ...
- Review of My Toddler's Pretend Restaurant Via red...
- more music charts
- LOLdogs Trying out the builder thingy: moar funn...
- First time? The other day, one of my bosses stopp...
- Rally against hate and Prop 8! Almost 1,000 peopl...
- It's what I suspected all along
- Perspective From Pros before Hos:
- Obama is not socialist
- Articles by David Roediger Roediger will be in to...
- That irritating Wassup! commercial has been reborn...
- Funny Awesome cartoon
- More sillyness
- Quiz stolen from Daisy
- Another flyer Trying to capture a bit of the grap...
- Great Book, Great Author Visit Here's my flyer fo...
- Quick Test Your result for Are You a Jackie or a ...
- Barbara Smith interview in Colorlines One of the ...
- Overcoming Zionism The local group, Coalition for...
- Nice Mayday Books pictures! Long-time Mayday Book...
- Banner for Saturday's March Just in case you thou...
- Cute advertisement BraveFont from ilovetypogr...
- Font Conference from College Humor See more funny...
- Progress? Stolen from The Jaded Hippy. See more o...
- 440 Workers Stay Home Don't mess with mine worker...
- ! Happy Punctuation Day! My favorite candidate w...
- Sound Familiar? From The Seminal: Dear American:...
- Latest fliers
- RIP Peter Camejo I met Peter Camejo while sitting...
- Ha Ha Ha! This image was posted on reddit, appare...
- Typography on TV I managed to make it through onl...
- "Welcome" to the Twin Cities You can also view ...
- Forum flyer My flyer for tomorrow night's event o...
- September 1 march Highlight 4:10: "Yah! Ya betc...
- Pre-emptive protests Cops raid activist space in ...
- Getting the work done Tonight, 16 volunteers came...
- ABC affiliate says we're professional Check this ...
- Duluth coverage of Sept 1 march The Duluth News T...
- They never post mine moar funny pictures
- They're coming! I have been extremely busy lately...
- Effigy vs. Pinata Allow Sister Ilyka explain it f...
- Silly more cat pictures
- Randy Newman has a new album And it makes me very...
- Kyle Payne continues to be an ass A whole lot of ...
- Ferocious Attack Kitten Here's a Craig's List ad ...
- Vietnam; the (last) war the U.S. lost I just fi...
- About those '70s feminists An article on Alternet...
- Presenting activist Isabel Garcia It's amazing ...
- The first protest by Americans against the U.S. wa...
- You are beautiful
- Wanna read Capital? A hearty welcome to commenter...
- The Great Tattoo by Val McDermid I've been readin...
- The idea of the bad girl A Review of two new book...
- Be Kind The easiest thing in the world is to be s...
- So how's your Lakota? I finally got to use that l...
- Linking is awesome I wish I were a creative geniu...
- Kyle Payne is an ass Kyle Payne, a blogger and ad...
- Raven Black by Ann Cleeves I just finished readin...
- The skills of workers A couple of nights ago, I c...
- Anti-RNC flyer update #3 This is close to the las...
- How to be Productive Food not Bombs has an organi...
- Allied Media Conference I met Steven Mansour the ...
- The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski i...
- Back from the National Assembly Last weekend, Det...
- Allied Media Conference I arrived home Monday nig...
- Going to AMC Why is it that I have to work three ...
- Second draft
- First Draft
- Sticker idea The Republicans are coming this fall...
- Local man busted for trying to have his wife kille...
- Flickr Meme 1. Yukon Raven, 2. coffee and choco...
- This is my friend From the StarTribune, an arti...
- ▼ December (7)
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- ► 2006 (136)
- ► 2005 (186)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
How long has it been since you've read those two words, eh?
The UE workers at Republic Windows got their demands met:
The settlement totals $1.75 million. It will provide the workers with:
Eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act,
Two months of continued health coverage and,
Pay for all accrued and unused vacation.
JPMorgan Chase will provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance coming from Bank of America.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Help Winona LaDuke
On November 9, 2008, Winona LaDuke, political activist and former vice-presidential nominee, lost her home to a fire. Her family is safe, but she has lost much. Read here to see how you can help Winona and her family.
Workers Take Over!
Please take a moment and lend your support to the workers at a factory in Chicago who were given two days notice of their plant closing. In order to prevent the owners from selling off inventory and equipment without paying the workers, the workers have taken over the plant. Even Obama is backing them:
The Sun-Times quotes Obama as saying, “When it comes to the situation here in Chicago with the workers who are asking for their benefits and payments they have earned, I think they are absolutely right ...what's happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy."
What you can do:
Read more and send a donation via paypal:
Send a message of support:
Petition Bank of America
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Prop 8, the musical
Not posting anything but links and fun lately. Too busy. So enjoy!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Rachmaninov had big hands
In my thirties I, with my big hands, used to play this for fun. Not as fast as this guy, but with as much passion. Here's what you do when your hands are not so big:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Review of My Toddler's Pretend Restaurant
Via reddit. Very cute post.
Service: You can wait for your food for hours -- sometimes until after nap time.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Trying out the builder thingy:
moar funny pictures
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The other day, one of my bosses stopped by my cube to ask me what I was up to. "Just kerning type and watching puppies!" I said. He assured me that was probably the first time that phrase had been spoken in the English language.
If you haven't caught on to the latest internet sensation, The Guardian talks about it here. A quote:
Well, finally someone has discovered a use for life-casting technology, filming their six baby Shiba Inu puppies all day, every day for the past month.
Much like Big Brother (but without the annoying people), the pups don't really do anything much apart from sleep, but there's always enough chewing, fighting, tickling, scratching and frolicking to keep viewers entertained.
Puppy cam has notched up 2,464,939 views as I write this. But enjoy it while it lasts because Autumn, Ayumi, Amaya, Aki, Akoni and Ando reached their five-week birthday on Tuesday - and that means there's only three weeks before the puppies leave the nest.
Join with me and watch the puppies here.
Rally against hate and Prop 8!
Almost 1,000 people showed up on five days notice for a rally in Minneapolis in support of the rights for gay people to marry each other. Here's some wonderful photos from Facebook friends:
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
From Pros before Hos:
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Articles by David Roediger
Roediger will be in town this weekend. These are just place holders for articles he's written that I want to check out.
The Retreat from Race and Class in Monthly Review July-August 2006
Interview on Stuff White People Do
An Interview with David Roediger Working Toward Whiteness
Gook: the short history of an Americanism
What Effect Would Obama's Election Have on Race Relations?
Race Will Survive the Obama Phenomenon
Understanding Racism Today: an Interview with David Roediger
Saturday, October 25, 2008
That irritating Wassup! commercial has been reborn!
It looks as if they got the original actors to do this. Amazing job.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Posted by Ravenmn at 3:49 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Katharine!
You are a Katharine -- "I am happy and open to new things"
Katharines are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.
How to Get Along with Me
- * Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
- * Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
- * Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
- * Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
- * Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
- * Don't tell me what to do.
What I Like About Being a Katharine
- * being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down
- * being spontaneous and free-spirited
- * being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.
- * being generous and trying to make the world a better place
- * having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures
- * having such varied interests and abilities
What's Hard About Being a Katharine
- * not having enough time to do all the things I want
- * not completing things I start
- * not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
- * having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
- * feeling confined when I'm in a one-to-one relationship
Katharines as Children Often
- * are action oriented and adventuresome
- * drum up excitement
- * prefer being with other children to being alone
- * finesse their way around adults
- * dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up
Katharines as Parents
- * are often enthusiastic and generous
- * want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
- * may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Barbara Smith interview in Colorlines
One of the most inspiring people I have ever met is Barbara Smith, black lesbian activist and one of the co-authors of the The Combahee River Collective Statement. She is interviewed this month here in Colorlines magazine.
She is currently serving as an elected official in Albany, New York. I love her forthright attitude:
It’s fascinating being in the council. It’s frustrating because it can be very slow, but it’s also very concrete…It’s not revolutionary, but it is gratifying.
The local group, Coalition for Palestinian Rights hosted author Joel Kovel this weekend and I was able to attend a Friday night talk. When I learned last week that Kovel would be speaking, I bought and read his book, Overcoming Zionism. The book is great in the way it shows how modern Zionism and western imperialism worked hand in glove to create the racist state of Israel. It also highlights all the many steps along the way that provided opportunities to avoid creating a racist state and how these opportunities were sabotaged or ignored.
What struck me most about Kovel's book was the great respect he gave to other writers and thinkers and they way he encouraged the reader toward ways to learn more about the many opinions about Zionism and the state of Israel. This is so outside the norm for books by political thinkers. In fact, it is much more in line with people who work as on-the-ground activists, supporting each other in our different struggles. It was pretty damn awesome, actually.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Nice Mayday Books pictures!
Long-time Mayday Books volunteer Corey Mattson moved to Illinois this year. We threw a party for him and he posted pictures on his facebook page. The pictures do a great of showing the store, that I stole them and posted them here for posterity. You can get large images by clicking on the images and going to Buzznet, if you are curious about book titles. I have a fascination with determining the titles of books I see in pictures!
Corey in front of the Anarchist rows.
Health, Politics and Media section
Bulletin Board and signboard creating by local sign painter Phil Vandervoort
Craig behind the counter
Health and Environment sections
The Red Rack with Latin America, magazines and newspapers in the background
From behind the counter
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
440 Workers Stay Home
Don't mess with mine workers!
Blacksville #2 Mine Idle After 440 Workers Stay Home
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 ; 06:20 PM
Updated Monday, September 29, 2008 ; 07:07 PM
BLACKSVILLE -- Coal production at a mine in Monongalia County came to a halt today when every union miner stayed home, as part of a political protest.
It was an idle day Monday at the Blacksville #2 Mine.
More than 440 workers who are members of the United Mine Workers of America took what's called a Memorial Day instead of going to work.
Union officials say they took the day to protest after a film crew from the National Rifle Assocation showed up at the Consol mine last week to interview union workers.
They say the crew tried to get union coal miners to speak out against Barak Obama.
The UMWA has endorsed the democratic presidential nominee.
"This was a surprise visit," explained VP Local 1702, Safety Chairman Eric Greathouse, "and a lot of the miners felt this was a direct slap in the face of the union because they were trying to coerce our people into saying things against Barck Obama."
"Consol doesn't let anybody on their property - never," said Safety Committee Member Mark Dorsey, "And for them to let the NRA come on the property and solicit our membership was totally uncalled for. We made our endorsement to our political process and we didn't bother them and they shouldn't be harassing our membership over this."
The workers will return to work at 12:01 Tuesday morning.
A spokesperson for Consol said the company is not issuing any comment on the day.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Happy Punctuation Day!
My favorite candidate was on a malt shop in St. Paul many years ago:
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
From The Seminal:
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to email@example.com so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson
Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson Jr. is the United States Treasury Secretary and member of the International Monetary Fund Board of Governors. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
RIP Peter Camejo
I met Peter Camejo while sitting in a coffeehouse in Berkeley the one year I spent living in Sunnyvale. I introduced myself and we chatted for a while. I remember nothing of the conversation. What I do remember is that people who knew him in his prime were mesmerized by his speeches and motivated by his activism. That is an important legacy to be emulated.
The Angry Arab writes about him.
Two speeches he gave while participating in the Berkeley, California, Free Speech Movement.
Edited to add more tributes:
The City Project: Camejo wrote a book during this period about the civil war and was keenly interested in rooting left politics in the “American experience” in the same way that the FSLN did through Sandino in Nicaragua, the FMLN through Farabundo Marti in El Salvador, and Hugo Chavez through Simon Bolivar in Venezuela.
American Leftist: "Having worked for Merrill Lynch and, later, as an independent investment advisor, he was able to strongly advocate for universal health care, the living wage and farmworker rights within the framework of his financial expertise."
Louis Proyect: The Unpretant Marxist: " considered Peter to be a very good friend. More importantly, he was the one person who helped me understand a revolution could be made in the U.S. notwithstanding American Trotskyism’s tendency to create all sorts of obstacles in the way to that understanding."
Links including two articles by Camejo: "How to Make a Revolution in the United States" and Liberalism, Ultraleftism or Mass Action.
Ha Ha Ha!
This image was posted on reddit, apparently because it is hilarious:
I suppose it is funny in a self-referential way. Generally, I love self-reference. Here is one of my favorite self-referential limericks (from Scientific American magazine years ago):
There was a young man from Japan,
Whose limericks never would scan.
When someone asked why,
He said with a sigh,
"It's because I always try to get as many words into the last line as I possibly can."
Ba dum bum.
So, this silly little image got me thinking. The vast majority of workers deal with inanimate machines every day. The only folks who think they may some day have a career that does not involve dealing with one inanimate machine or another, are those folks who plan to become bosses, capitalist, exploiters, etc. The rest of us are going to be slogging away at one thing or another, facing idiotic machines and unreasonable requests and doing the best that we can to get by.
Recently, I got involved in a heated discussion in which I called someone out on their classism. The person I called out said she couldn't possibly be classist because she had no money. She completely missed the point. Classism is the idea that your work life would involve doing something other than working with inanimate machines. Classism is when you tell somebody that everybody else understands and agrees on something and that if you don't, you are fundamentally flawed. Classism is when you can seriously look someone in the face and say that being smart is more important than getting a degree or degrees from a university.
Classism is a lot of other things, too. Which I've written about before. To pretend that classism is solely about how many digits are in your bank account is ignorant. I am happy that we are learning more about how to respond when being called on our racism, our homophobia, our anti-trans assumptions, our anti-crip assumptions.
I am unhappy that this knowledge does not apply to classism. So back to the work of an activist. More on this to come.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Typography on TV
I managed to make it through only the first 15 minutes of the new TV show "Fringe." However, the typography was awesome. Take a look:
Thursday, September 04, 2008
"Welcome" to the Twin Cities
You can also view on line the entire rally as covered by C-SPAN. There were wonderful speeches from a wide variety of activists who are doing everyday on the ground work to end this crazy war.
I begin with this picture. It's meant to show something important. There are hundreds if not thousands of people in this photo. They are marching through St. Paul expressing their anger and determination to end the war against Iraq. That is a huge number of people and they have something important to say. I got that image off flicker. Here's the image I got from my local newspaper, the StarTribune:
By Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune
Caption: Police officers, dressed in riot gear, gathered outside the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul on Monday. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman praised the officers’ overall performance.
Now tell me, which one of these is spectacle?
To follow events in the police state of Minnesota, please check often to the following websites:
Twin Cities Indymedia
The Uptake videographers
The Minnesota Independent
Cold Snap Legal
Lindsay Beyerstein is blogging the RNC.
Nezua from The Unapologetic Mexican is blogging the RNC.
And for some AWESOME! commentary of the acceptance of violence in our society, please check it this post and the comments from the always interesting Brownfemipower. She riffs off a post by Cara of The Curvature who comments on the video of Amy Goodman getting arrested and says the following:
...the simple fact is that she didn’t do anything to deserve arrest. And yet, at the RNC, arrested she was.
THAT right there is important. Over and over again in the last few days I have watched video after video showing indivudals who have done absolutely nothing wrong getting arrested. How does that happen? Well maybe it happens because of what the StarTribune photographer chose to see in that photo above. Maybe the glorification of police power leads to the over-application of police power.
Although I gotta admit I like the stripe of pink hanging below the female cop's jacket on the right. Is it a hidden message that she's actually a member of Code Pink?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
September 1 march
Highlight 4:10: "Yah! Ya betcha! We say no to war!"
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Getting the work done
Tonight, 16 volunteers came together at Mayday Books to put together press packets and badges for the many people who will be involved in the anti-war rally on the first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Here's something that needs to be said. Real change comes when people agree to give up a few hours of their spare time to try to make a difference. Tonight it was about collating and stuffing 1,000 press packets to distribute at next Monday's antiwar rally. It was about stuffing media passes into plastic sleeves and attaching flimsy strings so that the media can wear a badge that allows them to cover the event from primo spots.
It's about sore fingers and paper cuts and boring work with fun friends and comrades.
What could be more fun?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
ABC affiliate says we're professional
Check this out!
Duluth coverage of Sept 1 march
The Duluth News Tribune ran a good article talking about the folks who plan to hop on a bus to the Twin Cities to protest the war during the Republican National Convention:
Anti-war groups plan protest in St. Paul
Duluth News Tribune
Published Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Several local anti-war groups outlined plans today to participate in a peace march next week in St. Paul at the start of the Republican National Convention.
Holding a news conference in the Duluth Civic Center were representatives of the Northland Anti-war Coalition, Grand Rapids Peace Circle, Bemidji Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace Chapter 80, University of Minnesota Duluth students for Peace, and the Center for Just Living at the College of St. Scholastica.
Members of those groups will travel to St. Paul Monday for what they called a peaceful protest. The groups plan to march on the Capitol Building in St. Paul at 11 a.m. and later will make their way toward the Excel Energy Center, the site of the Republican National Convention.
The Duluth bus leaves at 8 a.m. from Peace Church, 1111 E. 11th St. The bus will stop in Pine City to pick up additional riders. The cost for the trip to St. Paul is $35 a seat, with discounts being offered for students, families and people with low incomes. For more information, call Peter Krause at 728-9395
For information about the Bemidji bus, which leaves at 5:30 a.m. and makes stop in Cass Lake and Grand Rapids, contact Vicki at 795-2453. The cost for this bus is $30 per seat.
Friday, August 22, 2008
They never post mine
moar funny pictures
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Randy Newman has a new album
And it makes me very happy.
NPR has a concert online where you can listen to the whole thing. Awesome!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Kyle Payne continues to be an ass
A whole lot of us posted about the squickiness that is Kyle Payne. The fellow is now facing sentencing for the sexual assault he admits to committing. But first, he'd like us all to hear all about his pain and his anguish. I consider myself fortunate for not posting my web address so I never got the form e-mail he sent. Suffice it to say, it was all about Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. Ugh!
Of the many wonderful responses, I've been enjoying Purtek's excellent post. Be sure to read the comments, too.
So as not to clog up her blog, there is something about this whole episode that makes me think about personal weaknesses.
Each and every one of us suffers from a weakness in regard to one thing or another. For whatever reason, we can't handle certain experiences and circumstances. For me, it happens to be cops with guns. I've had some real bad experiences with guns and I've had some real bad experiences with cops. Combine the two and I'm pretty much unable to respond effectively. Think of the concept of "triggering" and multiply it a few times.
So I avoid situations that put me into contact with cops who wield guns. Which shouldn't be all that difficult for a law-abiding white woman. Except that, in the activist community, there are a lot of good people, friends of mine, who practice the tactic of non-violent civil disobedience. They break bad laws in order to make a point. They get arrested, spend time in jail and use their court cases to argue for a greater good. This is a valuable and useful political activity.
I won't do it. I would be ineffective at it. It would be about my personal fears, my issues with guns and cops. I could really blow it if I wasn't able to contain the impulses and the alligator-brain responses that I learned as a child. It's important that I protect other activists from having to deal with my inappropriate responses.
Guess what? That is not a huge sacrifice on my part. It is basic common sense. It is honest self-assessment. It is basic respect for the goals and ideals of activists who are working to change the world for the better.
If Kyle has a problem with abuse issues, then he needs to protect other abuse survivors from his inappropriate responses and actions. That's simple common sense. That's basic decency.
But he won't do it. Because everyone has to deal with the problems of Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. Except for Kyle, of course.
Ferocious Attack Kitten
Here's a Craig's List ad for a cat. Fun!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Vietnam; the (last) war the U.S. lost
I just finished reading this excellent re-telling of the Vietnam War and the movement against it by Joe Allen. I met Joe at the Cleveland anti-war conference in June and he signed a copy of his book for me.
I'll write a full review in a bit, but here's some existing rules to get you started.
He got a very favorable review at Z magazine from Ron Jacobs.
An older and much shorter version of the book is available on-line from International Socialist:
Part One: from the French conquest to the overthrow of Diem
From the overthrow of Diem to the Tet Offensive
From Quagmire to Defeat
And an excerpt from the current book is available here:
1968: The Democrats and the antiwar movement
About those '70s feminists
An article on Alternet by Heidi Schnakenberg got a whole lot of comments. 268 of them when last I checked. Schnakenberg followed up with three more comments at her own blog before taking a break from blogging.
I happened upon the story by reading WOC PhD post entitled I care about WOC, I really do... that kind of blew me away as I said in the comments.
Other interesting responses to the issue:
Dear Feminisphere, PUT ON SOME DAMN PANTS
My anger is valid, your running away isn't
An imported rant: My sexuality, gender identity and ethnicity are NOT accessories that come with the Ami doll! >:|
Intersectionality, racism, and divisiveness in feminism
Yeah No by BlackAmazon
What I would like to do, when I get some time, is come up with an argument that cuts through the assumptions that white people make when we ask other people to concentrate on only one aspect of themselves: the fact they are female, and to put aside other aspects of themselves: all the other characteristics that differentiate ourselves from those in power.
But before I get to that, I want to tell Ms. Schnakenberg a little something about movement building. I'm a long time activist. I've seen a lot of political issues that have started out as one or two voices speaking out. Over time, with effort, those political ideas have grown and spread and sparked real change in the world. One way that is happened is by asking each other to unify around a single issue.
And I have never seen unification come about when my starting point has been to tell everyone else how they are doing it wrong. It's not a very effective way of working with other people.
And you know, Heidi does not seem to be a complete idiot. I find it really hard to believe that she doesn't understand that basic point.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Presenting activist Isabel Garcia
It's amazing how someone can spend years being an on-the-ground activist, making a real difference in the lives of real human beings and go unnoticed and unappreciated. Before yesterday, I had never heard of Isabel Garcia. She is a lawyer who works in the public defenders' office and an activist working with a coalition to defend the rights of immirants in Tuscon, Arizona.
In 2006, she was recognized by the Mexican government with the 2006 Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos for promoting human rights, the first time a US citizen has received the award.
However, Isabel has pissed some people off and they will stop at nothing to try to discredit her.
I'm not gonna give any air time here to the sexist and racist crap that is being directed at Garcia. I'll post links below for you to acquaint yourself with the situation. Instead, I'd encourage you to go to the website of The Coalition de Derechos Humanos and support their work. There are sample letters you can send to support Garcia personally and there is a Donate! section on the left hand side that allows you to contribute to the cause.
I plunked $25 in the bucket. I challenge my readers to do the same!
And now for a round up of what some humorless right wing twits are in a snit about.
A good start is at Latino Politico.
The Unapologetic Mexican
The Mahatma X FIles
Off Our Pedestals
The Strangest Alchemy
Para Justicia y Libertad
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion
Chicks Dig Me
Mexico Trucker Online
See Feathered Bastard from the Phoenix New Times for coverage.
edited to add
This quote from American Humanity has really stuck with me. Today I followed the links and got a really good breakdown on this kind of propaganda. Awesome writing!
When it comes to Latino activism many whites have made up their mind that these repressed and marginalized people are somehow advocating for a take over. This propaganda is simply meant to tear apart the idea of community and create an “us against them” mentality that helps those in power stay in power. Imagine if all of us worked together to make this country better from the ground up. That is a powerful thought. Sadly though, there is such misdirected anger from “true Americans” and “patriots” that it will take a lot of work to get there.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The first protest by Americans against the U.S. war against Vietnam
I'm currently reading Joe Allen's, "Vietnam: the (last) war the U.S. lost". He reminds me of an amazing incident that isn't taught often.
So before I provide some links, when do you think the first protest by U.S. citizens against the U.S. war in Vietnam may have occurred?
Did you guess 1968, the year the movement burst into the mainstream media?
Did you guess 1965, when Julian Bond and SNCC came out against the war?
Perhaps you recall 1960, when the anti-nuclear group SANE and Quakers spoke out against American forays into the country?
That would be pretty early, wouldn't it?
The truth: 1945.
And who were these suspicious antiwar activists?
The Merchant Marines.
Vietnam declared its independence in September of 1945 after the defeat of the Japanese colonizers. The U.S. and the nationalist movement of Vietnam, the Viet Minh, had fought together against Japan and the French Vichy occupiers. But only a few months later, the U.S. government switched positions and began supplying arms to the French colonizers.
Here's a bit from the BBC:
Within two months, at least eight US troopships were diverted from their mission of bringing American troops home from World War II. These ships were used to transport French troops and Foreign Legionnaires from France into Vietnam, to begin a recolonization process. ... The entire crews of four of these ships, all members of the US Merchant Marine, prepared a resolution condemning the US government for its use of US ships to transport troops 'to subjugate the native population' of Vietnam.
Here's more from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
At least 8 and possibly 12 U.S. troopships were diverted from their task of bringing American troops home from World War II and instead began transporting U.S.-armed French troops and Foreign Legionnaires from France to recolonize Vietnam. The enlisted crewmen of these ships, all members of the U.S. Merchant Marine, immediately began organized protests. On arriving in Vietnam, for example, the entire crews of four troopships met together in Saigon and drew up a resolution condemning the U.S. government for using American ships to transport troops "to subjugate the native population" of Vietnam.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wanna read Capital?
A hearty welcome to commenter Jack Stephens who carries on the tradition of bashing Kyle Payne.
He is among a group of people who are reading Karl Marx's "Das Kapital" together.
I must admit, I am a bit inspired. Could this be my chance to make it through the entire volume?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Great Tattoo by Val McDermid
I've been reading Val McDermid for years and almost always enjoy her work. This is no exception.
The book has a fascinating construct, based around the fact that Fletcher Christian, the lead mutineer on the Bounty, was acquainted with William Wordsworth, famous English poet. McDermid takes this fact and posits a hidden manuscript that Wordsworth wrote telling Christian's side of the tale. The lead character, Jane Gresham, is a Wordsworth scholar who picks up hints of this manuscript while digging through Wordsworth family correspondence and sets out to investigate. Meanwhile a "bog body" is discovered in the area, preserved by peat and bearing tattoos from the South Seas. Could "Pirate Peat" by the man himself?
None of which adds up to a murder mystery until ruthless collectors get involved in the process and the locals connected with Gresham's investigation start ending up dead.
Along the way we get to know Jane, a low-level academic struggling to make ends meet by working a side job at the local pub and living in a squalid housing complex with its local variety of gangster. Jane's brother, a pompous, jealous headmaster at the local school. Janes' friends fellow academic Dan and his partner Howard who runs the bar where Jane works. We meet Jane's friend, Tenille, a young black woman with a love of poetry and a knack for avoiding school. Jane's parents, sheepherders in the Lakes District, a fascinating forensic scientist who is turning her investigation into Pirate Peat into a TV documentary and the local lawman.
Between chapters, we are granted short passages from the story of Fletcher Christian.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to others. I was kept guessing right until the killer was revealed, which is a real treat. I like being surprised.
The idea of the bad girl
A Review of two new books that look interesting:
Emily Maguire, Princesses and Pornstars: Sex, Power, Identity, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2008 (256 pp). ISBN 9-78192135-131-0 (paperback) .
Meda Chesney-Lind and Katherine Irwin, Beyond Bad Girls: Gender, Violence and Hype, Routledge, New York, 2007 (235 pp). ISBN 0-41594-828-2 (paperback).
Friday, July 18, 2008
The easiest thing in the world is to be sarcastic. You can point out other people's flaws. You can show all the inconsistencies in your fellow human beings.
But take a moment and ask yourself why you would want to take that path rather than the path of love.
Anger is easy. Compassion is hard. Make your choices and live with them.
That is all.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
So how's your Lakota?
I finally got to use that line this week when a co-worker was blithering on about how people should assimilate. It worked like a charm. He actually got it. Amazing.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Linking is awesome
I wish I were a creative genius and could come up with the blog icon that is so richly deserved by Renegade Evolution, who has given up the side bar of her blog to list all the posts, from many different viewpoints that explain what a complete asshole Kyle Payne is.
Linking isn't difficult, but it is a political issue in the blogsophere. Because I cannot spend loads of time reading internet posts, I appreciate beyond measure when somebody collects blog posts on important. So three and more cheers for Renegade Evolution.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Kyle Payne is an ass
Kyle Payne, a blogger and advocate against sexism and pornography, has been convicted of sexual assult. Renegade Evolution explains and follows up with a list of links to other bloggers who are following the story. Way to go, Ren!
Go. Read. Learn. When you're done, let me disgust you some more.
Belledame's post on the matter beings with an interesting post about the weenie character in politics and blogland (that last link stolen from belle's post-thanks).
The Self-Righteously Indignant!
I've spent a lot of years as an activist and these types tend to come around regularly. They totally creep me out. Their sarcasm is passive-aggressive in the extreme. They reek of self-righteous indignation. They are a parody of the true activist, imnsho.
pause for unimportant anecdote
I had a good friend who used to watch old Dr. Welby episodes that began at 10 o'clock at night. She used to wait for the doc's self righteous indignation speech to get ready for bed. She claimed it happened at 40 minutes after the hour like clock work on every single episode.
back to rambling post
So here is a sample of this creepiness, taken from another great post by belledame about this creep.
Dennis Leary did a fun take-down of the type:
I much prefer sarcasm with a bite. Just found this lovely bit about the TV show My Sweet Sixteen. Now that's sarcasm! Special props for the typeface snob comment midway through!
Edited to add:
Purtek at A Secret Chord has this Awesome Post. The following is brilliant:
... discussions of the horrific experiences of others (be they sex workers, or rape victims, or women of colour, or women as a whole, or people with disabilities) that re-centre the conversation on how you feel, what you’ve done, the deep emotional impact and the journey of self-discovery that you are on…they’re on the same continuum, and they’re not alliance. They’re appropriation, and they violate boundaries, and they come from a mental place that doesn’t quite recognize the full humanity of whomever you’re talking about, as distinct from you’re own. They’re narcissistic.
Emily at A Partial Muse has this Awesome Post.
In other words, Kyle's feminism is not about feminism, so far as I can tell from his writing. It's about his show of self-flagellation, about his public displays of emotion, about his desire to get in front of crowds and speak (or blog). Although annoying, all of this would be fine, I suppose, except that it means that Kyle's feminism is not about women, but it's about men, specifically a man -- himself. I honestly and truly welcome male input into the feminist movement, I really do, but a feminist movement that centers on male concerns -- well, it kind of defeats the purpose of feminism.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
I just finished reading this mystery novel set in the Shetland islands. Frankly, I'm ambivalent.
There are things about this book that piss me off. Two girls are murdered and the immediate suspect is a man with mental illness. When he is arrested, the community heaves a huge sigh of relief. There! We don't have to worry. Only *damaged* people need be feared.
Of course, we readers know this solution is too easy. Of course the old man is not the culprit.
And yet, the resolution, while shocking, is fundamentally disappointing. The writer has tricked us by letting us into the head of the murderer without letting us know the whole story. This is the same technique Agatha Christie used in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Christie was much better at this.
The skills of workers
A couple of nights ago, I couldn't sleep. For some reason, I thought back to my days of working in the corn canning factory for Green Giant in Le Sueur, Minnesota.
The work was all-consuming. We worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. We had the option of taking one day off, but the prospect of overtime pay made that choice unlikely.
For about one month, my entire life was consumed by factory work. All of which is lost, over and dead. I spent a few moments looking for images of husking machines, kernel stripping machines, etc. The knowledge is gone. The reality that consumed me for a brief period of time is lost in the ether.
This happens all the time. The everyday life of workers: the machines with which we interact, the quotas which guide our actions from moment to moment. They are all gone. Lost in the wind. Overpassed by progress. New machines. New technology.
Skills that marked us as valuable workers have died again and again, as technology makes us obsolete.
I wish I could do what Gene Gable accomplished in his article Waxing nostalgic over paste-up. He talks about the skills that I mastered nearly 20 years ago that made it possible for me to live a productive life and earn a decent, union wage. These skills have all become obsolete now. The lives of printers and typesetters have metamorphosed into unrecognizable cockroaches of progress.
What do we, as workers, do when our skills become obsolete? What choices do we have? How do we honor our learning and skills once they are no longer needed?
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Anti-RNC flyer update #3
This is close to the last version, I believe. Endorsers were added, the phone number and website went up in size, added Monday to the date, moved stuff around quite a bit. Print!
How to be Productive
Food not Bombs has an organizing manual that can be very useful for activists. Here is their section on behavior.
How to be Constructive, Productive and
Generally Nice at a Meeting
We are often aware of these behaviors in others, but not often enough are we conscious of how we ourselves are acting. Confronting the behavior of others before it gets out of control is key, as is checking ourselves and listening to honest critiques of our own behavior.
Creating an atmosphere of trust and comfort is essential for overcoming disruptive behaviors. If someone consistently dominates conversation and it’s disruptive to the group, try talking one-on-one with him/her to see what’s up. Don’t accuse; just observe.
- Hogging the show: talking, too much, too long, or too loud.
- Problem solver: continually giving answers before others have had much chance to contribute.
- Speaking in Capital Letters: give one’s own solution or opinion as the final word on a subject, often aggravated by tone of voice or body posture.
- Defensiveness: Responding to every contrary opinion as if it were a personal attack, “People obviously didn’t understand what I was saying. What I meant was…”
- Nitpicking: Pointing out minor flaws in others’ statements and stating the exception to every generality.
- Restating: Stating in another way what someone else has just said perfectly clearly. In other words, repeating someone else’s point as if it were your own, as if you weren’t listening or as if it didn’t have meaning when said by someone else, especially someone you don’t feel is as important as yourself. Or, like saying the same thing over again unnecessarily, etc.
- Attention-seeking: using all sorts of dramatics to get the spotlight (as above).
- Put-downs and One-upmanship: “I used to believe that, but now” or “How can you possibly think that?!”
- Negativism: Finding something wrong or problematic in everything.
- Focus Transfer: Transferring the focus of the discussion to one’s own pet subject to give one’s own pet rap.
- Self-Listening: Formulating a response after the first few sentences, not listening to anything from that point on, and leaping in at the first pause.
- Inflexibility: Taking a last stand for one’s position even on minor items.
- Avoiding Feelings: Intellectualizing, withdrawing into passivity, or making jokes when it is time to share personal feelings.
- Condescension and paternalism: “Now, do any students or younger people have anything to add?”
- Being On the Make: Using sexuality to manipulate others; not to be mistaken with just flirting, being on the make is about power.
- Running the Show: Continually taking charge of tasks before others have a chance to volunteer.
- Graduate Studentitis: Protectively storing key group information for one’s own use and benefit.
- Speaking for others: “A lot of us think we should...” or “What so and so really meant was...”
- Ending a statement with a question mark: “I really disagree with that?”
- Self-Sabotage: “This is really stupid, but...” or “I think that maybe I kind of feel strongly about this issue.”
- Stargazing: Idolizing more experienced or charismatic activists and downgrading oneself in comparison.
- Walking on eggshells: Tailoring one’s comments to calm down or soothe a volatile member of the group, holding back words for fear that they will upset someone.
- Deferring to others: “Go ahead...” or “You were first...” or “l think he is more qualified...”
- Pushover: Abandoning an idea or opinion at the first sign of disagreement.
- Feeling Expendable: Assuming your opinions are irrelevant or naive; imagining oneself as a faceless observer.
Allied Media Conference
I met Steven Mansour the first night I arrived in Detroit as we were wandering about looking for the dorms. Steve has a wonderful slide show that does a great job of providing a snapshot of the atmosphere in Detroit that weekend. Way to go, Steve!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski is getting a lot of good press. I think I first read about it in this USA Today review. This part:
Wroblewski, whose parents ran a kennel in Wisconsin, lets the dogs in his novel share in the narration, to a small degree. Sounds hokey, but it works remarkably well.
grabbed my attention. A dog as narrator? Cool! The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is indeed a great read.
I saw a copy in the Barnes & Noble store at Wayne State University when I visited Detroit. Decided against spending money at a chain store. So I jumped at the chance to buy the only copy available at Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative in Madison, WI on our way back from Cleveland. I spent this weekend reading it much too quickly. I needed to now what would happen. The language and location are fascinating, but the plot drove me to read as fast as possible. Which means not savoring and enjoying it as much as I like.
There are allusions to Hamlet in this story of a young man whose father dies and whose mother takes up with his uncle. So I guess we have to hate Trudy (Gertude) for her stupidity/vulnerability. Which is a shame because the mother was a fascinating character until she got forced into the plotline (at least in my opinion) of Hamlet. I don't buy her being so stupid. The uncle, Claude (Claudius), is a smooth-talking manipulator who is very, very good at getting other people to believe the lies he tells. So I'll give the author a pass, I guess, although grudgingly!
To read this book, you need to be willing to engage in fantasy. Ghosts provide some of the most important information. Dogs are conveyors of wisdom and provide training. Storms arise to answer questions. A crazy old witch predicts the future.
What comes through in this telling of the Hamlet story, is how much burden is placed on the young boy, who is, in this re-telling, barely a teenager. He is burdened with too much knowledge and too little practice in using it. In fact, he is overburdened in every way. He can hear but cannot speak and his disability is the cause of some of the most wrenching events told in the story.
In the world today, we do not expect children to be able to solve the problems of adults as well as all the flora and fauna of their environment. Edgar does not have the luxury and I'm not sure the author cuts him enough slack for his failures.
And still, it's an awesome read. And I will read it again. I think you should too.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Back from the National Assembly
Last weekend, Detroit. This weekend, Cleveland. I sure can pick the vacation spots!
We just got back from the National Assembly, an anti-war conference held in Cleveland. Around 400 people participated. This in a time when Iraq is barely in the news, the country is distracted by electoral politics and impending economic crises. It's pretty damn impressive, if you ask me.
I cannot begin to describe the difference between the two conferences I attended in the last two weeks. Cleveland was a majority of old timers with a strong base in the unions. Robert's Rules of Order applied. Very, very different.
We decided to drive a take our own sweet time about it. Stopped in Michigan City, Indiana to see trains. Stopped in Kenosha, WI to ride a cable car and look at the lake. Stopped outside of Milwaukee to rest and relax. Stopped in Madison, WI, to visit awesome independent bookstores.
Really good time and fun to share with Ravenhub.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Allied Media Conference
I arrived home Monday night and have been working like a maniac ever since. No rest for the wicked.
I accomplished many things by attending AMC. I met awesome women. You know them from the internets. They are also awesome in person. I'll write more about that later.
I managed to raise the average age 20 years or so every time I walked into a room. Which is perfectly OK. Being around young activists is a real treat. Only sour point came when I signed into the dorm and someone behind the desk asked me if I was there as a chaperone. Not a big deal, since there were, in fact, events for high school age kids at which chaperones are required. But I was with two 30 something (I think) videographers and it felt like an insult to them. What? These folks need chaperones?
The dorms were ascetic to the extreme. And empty of everything useful. First, call me old for not realizing that dorm rooms have private baths and showers these days. Also call me clueless for not realizing I'd need soap. In the U.S., of course, it is impossible to buy one bar of soap. So I was forced to walk to a CVS and purchase way more soap and shampoo than I needed.
Call me an old fogie for having nothing at all to entertain myself in the ascetic dorm room. No laptop. No MP3 player. Just a Walkman. So I listened to some awesome jazz stations as I fell asleep.
What's different about AMC from other conferences I've travelled to? People are all about caring and learning. No old axes to re-grind. No old battles to re-fight. Just new ideas and new attempts at making a difference.
Grace Lee Boggs in her closing speech talked about the anger of the sixties that motivated a lot of us. Activists today seem to be motivated by something else: caring and loving and forgiving and continuing. If I were a poet (Little Light could do this!), I could describe this sense of both acceptance for our faults and hope for our futures.
I also got to experience my first pay-as-you-go cell phone. The rest of you awesome nerds know all about this, but I have been postponing my acquaintance with modern technology. I can't tell you how much wasted time I spent trying to figure out how to use and program this tiny piece of technology.
I keep reminding myself of my mother's experience. She's a very intelligent woman. She read the instructions about loading websites. The instructions tell you to type a url address into the text box and you will be transported to the website you desire. Nowhere in the instructions does it mention you have to hit return or enter in order for the website to be accessed. So she spent far too much time typing addresses in and waiting for something to happen. Same experience, different tool for me and the cell phone. What an amazing waste of time!
Much more to talk about, of course. I am psyched and inspired.
Tomorrow, I head off to continue my tour of the rust belt cities. I'm attending the National Anti-War Conference in Cleveland this weekend. About which, more later.
Hugs to all the fabulous people I spent time with this weekend. You make the world a better place!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Going to AMC
Why is it that I have to work three hours of overtime in order to get ready a few days off? Yikes!
Anyway, I'm headed off to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference this weekend. I've never been before and I have no idea what to expect, except that I look forward to meeting some folks I've been reading on the internets. Brownfemipower, Black Amazon, Little Light, Miss Crip Chick Lex, Mamita Mala, tigera consciente will all be there. An embarrassment of riches if you ask me.
I'm going to do my best to sit, listen, learn, absorb, and try to comprehend. One thing about an old gal like me is how hard it is to sit and listen for hours on end. I know I did this when I was in school for many years. But I've lost the talent. I need to rest and let stuff settle in or it will just bounce right off my hard shell of a brain.
Going to Detroit is almost like going home. I spent much time on my Grandmother's farm growing up on 37 Mile Road north.
I hope to give a decent report when I return. Wish me luck!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Local man busted for trying to have his wife killed
You can read the article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. An interesting twist is the guy has some writing up on an MRA website:
A man listed by the Web site (I'm not gonna link) as "Terrence DeChaney" of Coon Rapids describes in a posted entry as being frustrated with the court system and living "in a county that does and will not believe in joint custody." The Web site promotes custody rights issues.
The posting details how the man's wife went to a women's shelter, where she was instructed on how to kick him out of their home by claiming domestic abuse. She now lives in the house that he built "by hand." And he pays her more than $3,100 in child support (or 60 percent of his income) each month. The posting continues by voicing concern about his limited visitation and custody rights, claiming, "This is basically legal theft and legal child abuse."
He ended the nine-paragraph diatribe by noting, "Father's [sic] going through this lopsided process snap."
Lovely little tidbit from his posting:
... the women's shelter instructed my ex to say she was afraid of me and to kick me out of the house with a DV charge, even though she had just told her that I had never threatened her or and she was not afraid of me. I have this recorded from my personal telephone, but can not use it because I was not part of the conversation.
Notice that? He was bugging his wife's phone conversations!
On the internets, everyone knows your an asshole.
1. Yukon Raven, 2. coffee and chocolate mousse cake, 3. Assignment: Seasons, 4. End of the day, 5. Kyra Sedgwick, 6. You Sexy Thang, 7. Up north in God's Country, 8. Chocolate Mousse Decadence!, 9. What Is Truly Indecent?, 10. Croak, croak, 11. War Sucks, 12. *raVen*
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, and pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?
Friday, June 06, 2008
This is my friend
From the StarTribune, an article about my friend getting arrested for exercising his free speech rights in St. Paul:
St. Paul police to apologize for detaining antiwar activist
By PAT PHEIFER and RANDY FURST, Star Tribune
Last update: June 5, 2008 - 11:54 PM
St. Paul police said Thursday that they will apologize to an antiwar organizer who was detained Tuesday outside the Obama campaign rally at the Xcel Energy Center for handing out leaflets promoting a Sept. 1 march on the Republican National Convention.
The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the arrest of Mick Kelly, 50, of Minneapolis, does not augur well for the way authorities will treat protesters during the convention.
"We're concerned the police so quickly violated Mick Kelly's First Amendment rights," Charles Samuelson said.
Mayor Chris Coleman said Thursday that he did not think the arrest presages anything about how convention protests will go. "It just says we need to educate our officers," he said. "The First Amendment is a core value of me as mayor and [John] Harrington as [police] chief.
Coleman praised police for moving quickly "to correct what was a mistake." He added, "We are going to move quickly to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Tom Walsh, a St. Paul police spokesman, said police initially believed that Kelly's leaflet distribution was in violation of an ordinance that prohibits peddling within a certain distance of the Xcel Center.
"But it's not," he said. "It's a free speech issue. He wasn't selling or vending, so in this case he was within his rights."
The citation will be dismissed, Walsh said, and the event commander, Cmdr. Joe Neuberger, will apologize to Kelly. Walsh said free speech issues will be part of the training officers receive for the convention. That training has begun but has not been completed, he said.
Walsh said there were no other arrests at the event. Peddlers (who had been selling campaign souvenirs) who were within the radius of the ordinance were asked to move and did, he said.
"It was an impromptu event," Walsh said. "A limited amount of resources were available. ... The safety and security of people attending the event was our priority."
Pioneer Press article
Protester wrongly cited by police
City to apologize to man leafleting at Obama rally
By Tad Vezner
Article Last Updated: 06/06/2008 01:20:57 AM CDT
St. Paul police plan to apologize to a protester who was given a citation and placed in a squad car outside the Xcel Energy Center for handing out fliers promoting an anti-war rally during the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Mick Kelly, of Minneapolis, was detained Tuesday just before Sen. Barack Obama gave his speech claiming the Democratic nomination for president, according to Charles Samuelson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.
Kelly was cited with scalping, Samuelson said; police records indicate he was cited for "soliciting and peddling."
"There weren't any tickets (being scalped). That's interesting, in and of itself," Samuelson said.
Kelly is a spokesman for the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War and was handing out fliers for a protest scheduled for Sept. 1, Labor Day. He has also been active in trying to lay out what he considers an acceptable, more prominent protest route during the Republican convention, which will be held Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel arena.
"Mick gets arrested for handing out clearly protected information in a clearly protected area. That concerns us: How many people are going to get arrested on Labor Day? For what? Being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Who knows?" Samuelson said.
Teresa Nelson, legal counsel for the ACLU, happened to be standing beside Kelly when he was detained.
"Sort of ugly luck for the cops," Samuelson said. He said Kelly was placed in a squad car but later released.
As of Thursday evening, the citation was dismissed and the event commander, Joe Neuberger, had contacted the ACLU to try to get Kelly's phone number to apologize, Samuelson said.
Samuelson added that he had yet to reach Kelly on Thursday evening.
Mayor Chris Coleman also expressed his apologies Thursday.
"It's pretty clear that we made a mistake, that he should not have been given a citation. We do apologize and are taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again," Coleman said.
"I, as mayor, and the (Police) Chief (John Harrington) take the First Amendment very seriously. It's something we both believe in very strongly."
Coleman said he had assurances from Harrington that the citation against Kelly was dropped and that an apology would be made.
Tom Walsh, the police spokesman handling RNC issues, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. Another police spokesman said Thursday evening that he knew only of the initial citation, but nothing related to the subsequent fallout.
Coleman said police will receive "a lot more training" on First Amendment issues and "more clarity about what the ordinance allows."
The city ordinance in question was Ordinance 345.08, which in part prohibits peddling "within one hundred (100) feet of an entrance to an entertainment venue within three (3) hours of an event scheduled at that entertainment venue," and also "within the State Capitol complex buildings and grounds and the Saint Paul River Centre complex buildings, grounds and surrounding sidewalks."
"(The incident) was a bad thing to do, especially when you've been telling everybody for 14 months how in support of the First Amendment you are," Samuelson said.
Tad Vezner can be reached at 651-228-5461.