Tags >> rights
May 26
2010

The Costs of Israel’s Wars

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , teens , speaker , rights , public safety , protest , politics , international , immigration , history , government , families , education , current events , community , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Israeli occupation of The West Bank and Gaza Strip has clearly been a hardship for the Palestinian people there, but activist Dorothy Naor (left)   believes it has also inflicted deep costs on Israel as well.

Dorothy Naor (bio below) will present a talk titled “The Cost of Colonization and Occupation to Israelis and Palestinians,” May 27 at 7:00 pm at the Glaser Center, 547  Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.

Dorothy Naor (bio below) observes that each generation in Israel grows up amidst a near-constant series of preparations for warfare, something she sees as shaping the character of the nation in some undesirable ways.

The continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza (such as those enclosed by the protective wall in the photo at right) is not just condoned by the Israeli government, Naor objects, but heavily subsidized, too.

Dr. Dorothy Naor lives in Herzliah, near Tel Aviv. An activist with he Israeli dissident groups New Profile, an Israeli feminist and anti-militarist group, she participates in virtually all activities having to do with occupation policy and civil rights in Israel. Most recently, she has become involved in the Israeli Committee for Residency Rights (ICRR), an ad hoc committee working on residency rights for Palestinians and for allowing entry to the West Bank. Dorothy takes people on informal tours to the West Bank and is one of those who responds to the many calls of distress from people in the West Bank who are stuck at checkpoints, need medical care in Israel, etc.

Dorothy was born in San Francisco but immigrated to Israel in her early 20s, in 1958. She has lived in Israel for most of the past 50 years.  She worked for many years as a teacher of English and has a PhD in Education. One of her main concerns is the effect the occupation is having on Israeli society, i.e., increase in domestic violence and violence in general, brutalization of the young, increase in mental illness, etc.

 

 

May 18
2010

Prop 16 Protest

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Santa Rosa , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , Green , government , environment , election , economy , current events , climate change , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

The opposition campaign to PG&E’s big-budget backing for Proposition 16 took to the streets—well, actually the sidewalks—of downtown Santa Rosa yesterday (above, with Lady Liberty joined by Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin and Healdsburg City Councilman Gary Plass), blasting the measure as “another bailout” for the utility.

The Yes on 16 campaign may have a much bigger budget, but the list of local governments and other groups who have lined up against it is impressive and growing. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, offered a sampling of that roster of opponents at the midday rally on Tuesday.

Healdsburg was among the founding members of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a coalition of 17 cities that act as their own electric utility for their residents. ( Read their  statement opposing Prop 16 here.)  There are numerous other such operations elsewhere in the state. Expanding the service areas for any of them would be subject to the 2/3s vote requirement in Proposition 16, as would the creation of any additional local power purchasing entities, says Healdsburg City Council member Gary Plass. But while many cities oppose the measure, there is little they can do to directly combat it.

The lion’s share of the electricity used by the residents and businesses of municipal Healdsburg now comes from an array of renewable sources. Councilman Plass breaks it down for us.

Want to find our more about this measure? You can read an impartial analysis of Proposition 16  or to see the video ads against Prop 16 that won't be shown on television (due to no budget, not topical censorship), go here.

 

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.

Apr 28
2010

White Anti-Racist Allies of Sonoma County

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , rights , justice , current events , activism

Bruce Robinson

After 200 years of Caucasian hegemony, American society is now struggling to come to terms with its increasing diversity.  A new local group is coming together to aid in that process here in Sonoma County.

One common liberal response toward those who experience deprivation is to offer some form of charity. Community activist Carl Patrick says that’s not appropriate when dealing with ingrained cultural racism.

But, Patrick adds,  passive inaction is no better.

Aligned with other groups such as U.S. For All of Us and the Alliance of White Antiracists Everywhere.

Related reading: What if the Tea Partiers were Black? 

Tim Wise, the author of this article was featured on the North Bay Report on April 14th.