Tags >> politics
May 12
2010

George Houser

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , protest , poverty , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , justice , international , history , government , author , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

george-houserFifty years of support and participation in the drive toward democracy in South Africa has earned some recent recognition for a new Santa Rosa resident, both here and there.

The South African award bestowed upon George Houser is named for Oliver Tambo (left) ,  the African National Congress' president-in-exile during the years that Nelson Mandella was imprisoned.  Tambo died in 1994.  Non-violence was a consistent theme throughout his lifetime of political involvement, George Houser recalls, starting with his early participation in the American Civil Rights Movement.

The Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County will hold their annual Community Celebration and Awards Ceremony--at which George Houser will be honored-- Saturday evening, Nov. 13 at the Sebastopol Veterans Building from 5-8:30 pm. A silent auction and no-host bar with hors d'oeuvers will precede the presentation of the awards, which begins at 7:30. Tickets are $40 at the door. Information at (707) 575-8902.sit-in

Bayard Rustin and George Houser (right)  in a sit-in protest against segregated restaurants in Toledo, Ohio in 1947.

As Houser explains, South Africa was the only region on the continent that was claimed and colonized  by the Dutch, who introduced the concept of apartheid, a state-controlled form of enforced segregation.

Houser, an ordained Methodist minister, was interviewed about the role of the clergy in pressing social justice issues on the PBS/ Tavis Smiley blog.

May 05
2010

Nuclear Arms Control

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , technology , speaker , public safety , politics , peace , international , history , government , current events

Bruce Robinson

Nuclear non-proliferation is back on the United States’ diplomatic agenda, but there are some deep differences in how to pursue that goal, both at home and among the nuclear nations.

Advocates for a complete dismantling of the world’s nuclear weapons stores have what might, at first blush seem like some unlikely allies among the military leadership of the United States. Arms control expert Dr. Arien Pregenzer explains that thinking.

As the drive toward alternative power sources increases, the call for expanding nuclear power plants is also growing. That should not be a problem, says Dr. Pregenzer, at least from a weapons control perspective.

 

 

Dr. Pregenzer’s talk on “Moving toward a World Free Of Nuclear Weapons” will be at 7:30 tomorrow evening, at the Spring Lake Village Auditorium, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County.

Apr 13
2010

Daniel Ellsberg Documentary

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , protest , politics , news , media , journalism , jail , international , history , government , events , election , Congress , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

A single significant act of civil disobedience, one that may have changed the course of American history in the 20th century, is chronicled in the new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America.

Daniel Ellsberg (seen here a in 1971 news photograph)  was arrested and faced serious criminal charges for making public the highly classified “Pentagon Papers.” But the case collapsed in a mistrial, when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had interfered in it, initially by engineering a surreptitious burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Looking back on those events now, film-maker Judith Erlich (below)  says, it’s entirely plausible to see Ellsberg as the catalyst for Richard Nixon’s downfall.

Having spent considerable time with Ellsberg over the five years it took to make the film, Erlich says she is convinced and appreciative of the sincerity of his motives, both in 1971 and over the years since.

Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed on the North Bay Report in November, 2006, prior to an appearance in Sebastopol. Here is that archival report.

This is the trailer for The Most Dangerous Man in America, currently showing at the Rialto cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa.

[video://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXlmQeSpqI4&feature=player_embedded 360x240]

Apr 06
2010

Stimulus jobs

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , jobs , government , finances , employment , economy , current events , Congress , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Federal stimulus money is quietly funding subsidized job placements in Sonoma County.

One the funding was released to the local program, it took only a few weeks to begin working. Conner clearly recalls the first person they were able to get hired.

In some cases, explains Fran Conner, the federally subsidized employment program covers the employer’s full cost of hiring the new worker. But even in those other cases, the substantial major of the workers’ wages are reimbursed.

Employers who are interested in participating in this program are invited to contact Karen McCarty, the Subsidized Employment Coordinator, at (707) 523-0550, extension 214. Job seekers should contact either Kirsten Gardner (707) 565-8543 or Isabel Garciabedoya-Melara (707) 565-8559.

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