Friday, April 30, 2010

Tomorrow is May Day!

And here's what is going on around the Bay Area (the hubs and me will be in SF!):

Title:International Worker's Day Rally & March
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Details:
24th & Mission St.
San Francisco
Event Type:Protest
Protest on International Workers’ Day

Full Rights for Undocumented Workers—Legalization/Amnesty for All!
Money for Jobs and Education, Not War and Occupation—Jobs for All!
No Budget Cuts or Fee Hikes—Tax the Rich and Corporations!

Sponsored by the May Day 2010 Coalition, of which the ANSWER Coalition is a member.

Title:Modesto May Day 2010
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location Details:
Corner of Crows Landing & Hatch rd, South Modesto.
Event Type:Protest
Rally & March for Social Justice. NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL! 

Title:All Out for Revolutionary May Day 2010
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details:
RALLY POINTS 12 noon Telegraph & Bancroft, Berkeley
2 pm 34th & International
4 pm 71st & International
celebration after TBA
Event Type:Other
May 1st is the revolutionary holiday. The day when people come together around the tortured planet, and declare their determination to end exploitation and all forms of oppression by making revolution.
May 1st is not a day to beg those who rule over us to stop treating us as less than human beings. May 1st is a day to stand up and struggle against that system, to say that we do not accept slavery in any form. Its the day to expess resistance as part of a movement for revolution.
In particular, we call on people to join the campaign and help get out the RCP's message and call on the revolution we need, the leadership we have.
contact Mayday Committee via Revolution Books 510-478-8908
and join actions around the country! (and world!) 

Title:San Jose: Rally and Music for Just & Humane Immigration Reform
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location Details:
Mi Pueblo Plaza
Story Road and King Road
San Jose, CA
Event Type:Concert/Show
Contact NameSIREN
Email Addresscesar [at]
Phone Number408-421-2895
Address1425 Koll Circle, Suite 109, San Jose 95112
Rally for Just & Humane Immigration Reform
and for the protection of our civil, labor, and human rights

May Day
Saturday, May 1, 2010

2:00 pm - Concert at Mi Pueblo Plaza
3:30 pm - Opening Rally
4:00 pm - March north on King Road, east on Alum Rock Avenue and east on Santa Clara Street to San José City Hall (approximately 4 miles)
6:00 pm (approx.) - Rally at San José City Hall

Participating organizations include: United Voices/Voces Unidas, Californians for Justice, Comité Primero de Mayo, Comité de LUCHA de Laborers 270l SEIU Local 1877, Sacred Heart Community Center, Services, Immigrant Rights, & Education Network (SIREN), Silicon Valley Alliance for Immigration Reform (SVAIR), Somos Mayfair, Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE), Reform Immigration for America, UFCW – Local 5, Voluntarios de la Comunidad, ACCE, LULAC, California Healthy Communities Network, United Latinos, Coalición Mexicana-Americana por una Reforma Migratoria, COFEM, San José Peace & Justice Center.

See also: 

Title:(A) May Day 2010 (A)
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location Details:
Dolores Park
Event Type:Party/Street Party
Contact NameUA in the Bay
Email Addressuainthebay [at]
Phone Number
!!! MAY DAY !!!

In the sunny spring of 2010 join us in celebration of May Day with our black flags hoisted high! We invite everyone from the anti-authoritarian community for an all ages, all body types, all orientations, and *family friendly gathering in the park.

3:00-4:30PM The event will begin with food, drink, and merriment with **tabling from:
AK Press
Bound Together Books
Earth First!
Friendly Fire Collective
Homes Not Jails
Institute for Anarchist Studies
International Workers of the World (IWW)
PM Press
Stand Against Sit/Lie and more!

4:45-5:45PM **Performances, short speeches, and historical reenactments. Also face painting and bobbing for apples!

6:00-7:00 Maypole dance and anarchist soccer.

7:00 RTS to follow the event.

Aww yeah May Day!

- UA in the Bay

* UA will provide an unattended child space and medic for the event. We will do our best to ensure the event is a safe space for our community members, with the acknowledged limitation of being at Dolores Park on any given Saturday.

** Please contact us if you are interested in being involved. Think you have an idea to make this event better? We're open to shaping the event with others!

uainthebay [at] 

Title:May Day 2010 in Watsonville
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location Details:
Watsonville Plaza
Event Type:Protest
Contact NameRamiro
Email Addresssaviorself [at]
Phone Number831-254-1953
Please join us at the Watsonville Plaza at 4pm. March starts at 5:00pm. 

Title:Fresno May Day
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location Details:
Water Tower(corner of Fresno St. and O St.)
Event Type:Protest
more info, flyers, and contact info are on the Central Valley Peace and Freedom Party website.

Title:2010 May Day Solidarity Evening Event In East Bay
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Location Details:
6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609-1113
Event Type:Other
There will be an evening International solidiarity evening to commemorate May Day in Oakland

2010 May Day Solidarity Evening Event In East Bay

International Workers Solidarity Event/Videos and Music

May 1, 2010

7:00 PM Potluck
8:00 PM Program
$5.00 Donation Requested with dish

6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609-1113

Sponsored by IDG, Labor Video Project

2010 May Day comes with mass workers struggle throughout the world from Thailand to Greece and Turkey. This forum will have presentations
on workers struggles throughout world as capitalism to solve it's decline must attack all the gains of the working class of the world. The lessons
of these struggles and the state or the class struggle will be addressed with speakers reporting on the struggle in the US and around the world.
Reports on workers at SEIU, UAW 2244 NUMMI, Turkey, Venezuela, Brazil and other countries.

For information call (415)282-1908

Title:May Day Street Party - Downtown Santa Cruz
START DATE:Saturday May 01
TIME:9:00 PM - 6:00 AM
Location Details:
Clocktower, downtown Santa Cruz, 9pm until the sun comes up
Event Type:Party/Street Party
Contact Namewage earners everywhere
Email Address
Phone Number
May 1st 2010
Clocktower, downtown Santa Cruz, 9pm until the sun comes up

May 1st is International Worker's Day! How appropriate that this year this day should fall on a SATURDAY. As we all know along with the 40 hour work week and minimum wage the weekend its self was created by and for working people in this country through long and militant struggle. What better way to celebrate than by dancing in the streets?


meet at the clock tower at 9pm sharp and let the revelry begin. Bring drinks, bring fun, bring friends!

print a flier, post a flier! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Arizona Immigration Bill

This is some seriously xenophobic and racist shit right here.

I honestly don't know what else I can say about it.

It's just SO fucked up.

Although, if we're honest, is also basically putting into law behavior on the part of police that was already happening. For example, anyone who has read here for a while will be familiar with and know how I feel about Sheriff Arpaio, who operates out of Arizona, and always with high popularity amongst the (white) population of Arizona.

So, yeah, it was just already an extremely Latino un-friendly state. But it just got a whole lot more so. And we can already see how the law is going to be enforced, as well as how people opposing it are going to be treated.

So, stuff you can do. From where ever you are!

There is, naturally, many Facebook groups against the bill but here's my favorite so far: 1 MILLION Strong AGAINST the Arizona Immigration Law SB1070
Email AZ Gov. Jan Brewer's office:
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN at to boycott Arizona:
And of course there are wonderful posts already written around the interwebs, like this one from Sylvia at Problem Chylde, Arizona: All Latin@s Carry Papers or GTFO or from the always worth reading Vivir Latino, Russell Pearce, author of SB 1070, connected to White Supremacist Organizations, among others.

There are also calls from many quarters to boycott Arizona. Here in the Bay Area that has meant the city of San Francisco seeking to sever contracts with businesses there, for which I applaud the city government and highly support other cities and counties doing likewise! As many have already pointed out, boycotts have worked before with Arizona, they can work again.

I feel like I say this a lot but... This shit has got to stop.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sexuality Education Workshop - Any Thoughts Welcome

Yes y'all it's about school again... But hey, that is what I'm doing with most of my time right now, so.

OK so what I've got for you today is this workshop outline I'm doing with a colleague for the zine our senior class will publish at the end of the semester. I'm not exactly sure why I felt called to this project but I really, really, did and the woman I'm working with on it has been a pleasure to work with so it's just been good all around.

It is still, majorly, in a formative state (I'm also compiling a resource list which is not included below). In other words, this is not at all our final draft. I am putting it up here for constructive criticism and feedback, because I want it to be as good as it possibly can be! Also, I know that both my partner and I have similar privileges (for example, both cis, pretty much white and middle class) which we can not really check each other on, AND this is a similar concern for the people I have immediately around me in class.

So anyway, without further ado...

You Will Probably Have Sex Someday

What am I reading?

Following is a brief and tentative outline of our intended layout and key points for a sex-positive sexuality education workshop which would last about 3 hours. This outline/guide is primarily intended for audiences who already have some grasp of gender and sexuality studies, with the understanding that confusing elements for the students involved in the workshop could be addressed and explained during class time. Some aspects of the outline would need to be tailored specifically for each individual audience, for instance, to make the workshop culturally relevant, or to address the specific laws of the state/county the workshop is being held in. Finally, you will find that under some discussion points there will be a number of questions, if these are not addressed directly in the section below it is because we recognized that these may be discussed in more than one section of the workshop, or that the answers might alter slightly depending on the class context, and have left these options open for more flexibility.

Why did we create this workshop?

We think it is very important for people to have non-judgmental access to accurate information about sex and sexuality. We are troubled by the way some organizations have approached this topic and believe a lack of accurate information reproduces oppressive and unequal relationships. We believe that a person’s sexuality and sexual expression are unique and that each individual should feel they are in control of their sexuality/gender expression. We hope that our presentation will contribute to your developing a secure sense of self during a turbulent time.

Who is this workshop for?

We have created an outline for a sex positive sex education workshop catered to sophomores in high school. This is done with an understanding of their developmental location, as well as a cognizance of their likely life experiences and social interactions and relationships. Our intention is to provide and equip 14-16 year olds with the knowledge and tools they need to help develop their own understandings of their bodies, their sexualities, and their gender identities, as well as to facilitate future healthy relationships in their lives.

We want to avoid current and past practices of shaming and silencing issues around sex and sexuality to create a more open, honest, and accurate place for teenagers to acquire, interact with and apply information.

1) Who are we? (10 min)

2) Terms you should know (20 min)

Þ Sex: a category assigned at birth based on your secondary sexual characteristics. People born with an organ recognized by the doctors or midwife as a penis will be assigned “male” and people with an organ recognized as a vulva/vagina will be assigned “female.” People with ambiguous genitalia are considered “intersex” and often doctors will recommend surgery to “correct” that baby’s ambiguous sexual organs so that they may be assigned a “proper” sex. This surgery has sometimes even been done without parental knowledge/consent. Your assigned sex is commonly understood to determine your gender (though this is inaccurate).

Þ Gender: socially accepted/expected behaviors, personal traits, and physical appearance commonly recognized as “male/masculine” or “female/feminine.”

Þ Cisgender: someone who identifies with the sex/ gender they were assigned at birth.

Þ Transgender: someone who does not identify with the sex/gender they were assigned at birth.

Þ Genderqueer: someone who does not identify with or perform one socially accepted gender.

Þ Sexuality: behaviors, attractions and beliefs related to sexual feelings and expression.

3) Relationships (we all have them!) (30 min)

Þ As we’re sure you already know there are many different types of relationships a person will have with others throughout their lifetime; relationships with family, with acquaintances, with friends, and for many people, eventually relationships that involve sexual desire.

Desire is an emotion everyone feels and it is not always sexual in nature. In addition, the form it takes, and specifically what persons or behaviors are desired will vary widely from person to person. It is good to pay attention to your own feelings of desire because they can help tell you what you do and do not want out of a relationship with another person. This is important to know so that you can talk openly with your partner about what you are and are not comfortable with in the relationship (whether that relationship is romantic or not).

What you are or are not comfortable with can be described as the “boundaries” of the relationship. Boundaries can be everything from how often you both spend time just with each other versus separately or together with your other friends, to whether you will practice monogamy, to whether or not you want to be sexually active and what exactly “sexually active” will mean for you.

It is with this last example in mind that we have put together this workshop, to provide you with information so that you might feel comfortable making informed choices about your bodies and what you do with them, and the tools to communicate these desires to your partner(s). We realize that this sort of open communication is often not encouraged by authority figures and peers, that often people who “know too much” about sex are looked down upon, but we believe it is vitally important to understand desire and sexuality so that you can determine and set your own relationship boundaries.

Þ Consent: What is it? What are the laws about consent? What is enthusiastic consent?

o In this context, “consent” means an agreement to engage in a sexual activity. All people have the right to decide whether or not they will engage in sexual activity.

o The only form of valid consent is an enthusiastic “Yes” to each and every activity! “Maybe”, “wait”, “not yet”, “I’m not sure”, silence from your partner, or any other sign of hesitation on their part should all be understood as simply “no”. In addition, consent to one activity should never be taken as consent to any other activities!

Þ Rape and Abuse: What is rape? How is rape legally defined? How do I make sure I never rape someone? Can men be raped? Is it true if I dress “sexy” or flirt with someone that I have to have sex with them? What is date rape? What is sexual harassment? What is “sexual silence”?

o Rape is when someone is physically forced, threatened with physical force, or otherwise coerced into performing a sexual act they do not wish to. This can happen to anyone.

o “When either partner isn't given or allowed to have an equal voice, or when one voice or person is dismissed or silenced, we are usually looking at abuse. When one partner chooses not to treat another with respect and care for their physical, emotional and sexual health, well-being and safety, it is abuse.”[i]

o Resources: contains information on your local laws. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 1800-656-HOPE 24/7


Break (20 min)


4) STI’s and Birth Control (the stuff EVERYONE covers!) (20 min)

Þ Prevention: condoms/dams/gloves (brief overview)

Þ Birth control: condoms/HBC/natural family planning (brief overview)

o How/where to get testing for STI’s, pap smears, HBC, condoms, abortion (local laws and reference to local clinics with emphasis on sex positive, queer/trans friendly care).

5) Bodies (we all have these!) (30 min)

Þ People’s bodies look differently from each other; there is a lot of normal variety in how people look and function, both in their faces, body types, ability, height, weight and sex organs.

o It’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin, as impossible as that may sound to you right now, during a time when everyone is judging everyone else for the way they look. Try not to judge yourself, that your body keeps you alive is, in of itself, amazing.

Þ Functions: Periods and Emissions (milestones for people with uteruses or penises)

o Period devices (cloth pads, disposable pads, tampons, menstrual cups)

o Discharge:

Þ Gender: Most people feel uncomfortable with some or all of the expectations placed on us by others because of our gender. Maybe you are a girl and hate the dresses your parents want to put you in. Maybe you are a boy and hate sports. That boys love sports and girls love dresses are gender stereotypes and do not fit all cisgender men and women.

o Sometimes, this discomfort goes further than these examples. Maybe your parents tell you that you are a boy, but you know they are wrong and you are in fact a girl, or vice versa. It is possible you are transgender. Sometimes this can be confusing, other times it is not at all. Being transgender is also a normal bodily configuration! It is especially important for all cisgender people to understand this, because often transgender people meet with violence from cisgender people who are afraid of them.

6) Sexuality (the good stuff) (30 min)

Þ Sexual expression

o When engaging in partnered sex some people have a strong preference for certain types of bodies (gay, lesbian, straight) and some people do not (pansexual, bisexual), this is normal.

Þ Sex

o Many people have sex, but some people don’t like to; both are ok!

o Masturbation – A fun, common & healthy activity, though, no, not “everyone” does it.

o Sex toys – Can be used during masturbation or partnered sex as accessories.

§ Rubber vs. Silicone & safety.

o Partnered sex - Many people have varying sexual fantasies and desires, which is why communication is so important.

o Pleasure – Center mutual pleasure in any sexual activities.

o Lube – Important and useful, for instance when using condoms so they feel good and are less likely to break.

o Porn – Some people like it, some people don’t, be aware that this is entertainment and should not necessarily be used as a template for enjoyable sexual activities, communicating with your partner about likes and dislikes is a more effective strategy than copying pornography!

7) Q&A – Answer questions from box and raised hands (30 min)

Þ Questions should be being sorted while other person is speaking in previous sections

Some word of wisdom...

I’m sure that attitude will get you everywhere
You think it’s pointless to talk to POC because you fuck up every time? Why were you expecting it to be easy? Why don’t you sit back and learn a spell before you become the great Crimson Advocate Avenger. Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever get a hang of this disability & gender thing, and at night I often wonder to myself if I’ve accidentally said anything ableist today or if I could have stopped someone from doing likewise. Sometimes I think I’ve internalized homophobia or racism without even realizing it before. But the LAST thing I do is throw my hands up and get mad at the group I’m trying to learn from for not “teaching” me properly. They get enough shit, they don’t need my ignorant self roaming around looking for cookies and pamphelts; about as much as I need our plentiful campus feminist heroes sending me fliers to diversify their group.
(via tiaramerchgirl) (via telegantmess)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

So what did I end up presenting on?

So a few weeks ago I wrote about a collaborative project for school which I would be working on.

So what did I end up doing for my portion? Well, I decided that it was important to talk about dynamics online, and how the feminist blogosphere has and continues to reproduce the oppressions faced in "real life" organizing. As just one example of this I discussed Amanda Marcotte's appropriation of bfp's work a couple years ago. Those of you who were there...I'm sure you remember what I'm talking about. For those who weren't there...Sylvia and Gwen break it down (these are two posts I assigned as readings!).

The central article to this ended up being bfp's essay "Immigration at the Front: Challenging the Every Woman Myth in Online Media" from make/shift magazine's second issue (which is, naturally, excellent). I picked this because it seemed to sum up really well the good and the bad about online organizing. The good: reaches people in isolated communities and brings them together, and it's possible to mobilize a lot of people quickly. The bad: tends to address the same "mainstream" interests as other forms of organizing, and marginalizes everyone else, because of our belief in the "every woman."

The group brought up some other stuff (like about the Anonymous attack on feminist blogs, MMORPG's, and Second Life) but these first three articles ended up being the main things I discussed with the class. Since this was primarily our facilitating discussion with the class based on the readings we assigned it wasn't super structured but we covered a lot of topics, like about the unequal power relations between blogs/bloggers, which bloggers benefit monetarily from their work, who is the "every woman" (hint: white middle class able-bodied cis women!), who is marginalized, how people respond to privilege being called out, and online harassment. And overall I felt like things went really well, people were engaged with the conversation and asking questions.

So yeah, I was pretty happy with it.

New Layout!

So I've been thinking about a change for a while, and when I saw that Blogger had put together a new "templates" thingie I had to look through and see if anything worked. While I was REALLY tempted to go for the tie-dye theme, the colors weren't my favorite, so I've gone with this one!

If you normally read my blog through a Reader, come by and check it out, let me know what you think! (And, of course, if you run into any problems!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Listening to the natural world...

An incredibly important idea for Westerners to take to heart!
The other difference I want to mention—and essentially every traditional indigenous person with whom I have ever spoken has said that it is the fundamental difference between western and indigenous peoples—is that even the most open Westerners view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to something real. I asked American Indian writer Vine Deloria about this, and he said, “I think the primary thing is that Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people, especially science, reduce things to objects, whether they’re living or not. The implications of this are immense. If you see the world around you as made up of objects for you to manipulate and exploit, not only is it inevitable that you will destroy the world by attempting to control it, but perceiving the world as lifeless robs you of the richness, beauty, and wisdom of participating in the larger pattern of life.” That brings to mind a great line by a Canadian lumberman: “When I look at trees I see dollar bills.” If when you look at trees, you see dollar bills, you’ll treat them one way. If when you look at trees, you see trees, you’ll treat them differently. If when you look at this particular tree you see this particular tree, you’ll treat it differently still. The same is true for salmon, and, of course, for women: if when I look at women I see objects, I’m going to treat them one way. If when I look at women I see women, I’ll treat them differently. And if when I look at this particular woman I see this particular woman, I’ll treat her differently still.

Here’s where people usually ask, “Okay, so how do I listen to the natural world?” When people ask me this, I always begin by asking them if they have ever made love. If so, I ask whether the other person always had to say, “put this here,” or “do that now,” or did they sometimes read their lover’s body, listen to the unspoken language of the flesh? Having established that one can communicate without words, I then ask if they have ever had any nonhuman friends (a.k.a. pets). If so, how did the dog or cat let you know that her food dish was empty? I used to have a dog friend who would look at me, look at the food dish, look at me, look at the food dish, until finally the message would get across to me.

How do we hear the rest of the natural world? Unsurprisingly enough, the answer is: by listening. That’s not easy, given that we have been told for several thousand years that these others are silent. But the fact that we cannot easily hear them doesn’t mean they aren’t speaking, and does not mean they have nothing to say. I’ve had people respond to my suggestion that they listen to the natural world by going outside for five minutes and then returning to say they didn’t hear anything. But how can you expect to learn any new language (remember, most nonhumans don’t speak English) in such a short time? Learning to listen to our nonhuman neighbors takes effort, humility, and patience.

(via Fierce...Flawless...) (Read the whole article HERE)

Friday, April 09, 2010

A five-year-old reviews Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video

It's truly brilliant. Excerpt:
TH: Oh mommy, she fell down!

SH: Yes she did. She was shot.

TH: Why?

SH: Why do you think?

TH: Because she was naked and cool and free?

SH: Maybe.

(From Love Isn't Enough - on raising a family in a colorstruck world)