A Video Interview With and Poetry by Amiri Baraka

By SDFP Staff

The following video conducted in 1998 by poet E. Ethelbert Miller of HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life features an interview with, and poetry by, the late, great, radical poet Amiri Baraka (formerly known as Leroi Jones).

His website states:
“[D]ramatist, novelist and poet, Amiri Baraka is one of the most respected and widely published African-American writers. With the beginning of Black Civil Rights Movements during the sixties, Baraka explored the anger of African-Americans and used his writings as a weapon against racism. Also, he advocated scientific socialism with his revolutionary inclined poems and aimed at creating aesthetic through them.   [Read more…]

SDFP Is Going All in for $15 Today!

By Staff

SDFP editor Doug Porter will be spending the day at the locations listed below. He’ll be tweeting throughout the day, so check our twitter feed. Doug’s column The Starting Line will return tomorrow with lots of news and analysis of today’s events.

Here’s the list of times and locations for protests on Wednesday:

7 am – Fast Food Worker Strike: 2345 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA
8:30 am – Fast Food Worker Strike: 2829 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA
11 am – Security Officer Event:750 B Street San Diego, CA
Noon – State Workers Event: 1350 Front St, San Diego, CA
1:30pm – City Heights Rising Event: 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA
3:30 pm – Home Care Worker Rally: San Diego State University 5500 Campanile Drive San Diego, CA (Between the music building and open air theatre)
4:30 pm– The Big Event: San Diego State University Scripps Cottage Lawn near Hepner Hall 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA   [Read more…]

Celebrations of César E. Chávez Span Six Weeks Around San Diego

“The legacy of the United Farm Workers union in its first decade provides us with key lessons for the present and future. It reminds us that grass-roots power organized and deployed by ‘disposable’ workers, fearlessness in the face of corporate exploitation, and the political uses of music, theater, and ritual can change history. In 2015, in a society based on greed and personal ambition, we ignore these lessons at own peril.” –Jorge Mariscal, Professor, UC San Diego

While Monday, March 31st is the official César E. Chávez day, activities celebrating his legacy as a labor and civil rights leader will continue into May. The day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of his life and work. The ongoing activities are about continuing that legacy.

Thanks to the UCSD Blink, produced by the faculty and staff of that fine institution, for providing us with a list of activities over the next six weeks honoring the life and achievements of César E. Chávez.   [Read more…]

Help Us Find San Diego’s Progressive History and Locales

By Staff    

A reader from Liverpool, England, wrote us recently requesting our help in finding “hidden gems of progressiveness and places of historical importance I should visit whilst I’m there.”

That request got us to thinking about how much local history we must be blissfully unaware of. So we’ve decided to create and continue to update a page where the local history of progressiveness and protest will come alive for visitors, students and locals.

We’d like your help in putting this together. You can leave us ideas in the comments section of this article or email us at contact@sandiegofreepress.org with the subject line Progressive San Diego. Many thanks!   [Read more…]

SDFP Editors Debate To Publish or Not to Publish a Submission

An open letter from Dr. Fredi Avalos generates discussion on SDFP’s role in critiquing the Left and movement building

By San Diego Free Press Editorial Board

How do we reconcile our differences on the Left to more effectively fight a common enemy?

The San Diego Free Press does not publish every work that is submitted. The four daily editors determine whether a submission meets our criteria for quality of writing and compatibility with our mission of providing grassroots news and progressive views.

There have been a few times when we have declined to publish articles that were articulate and authored by respected members of the SDFP community of contributors and readers. When this occurs, it is a result of discussion and a final vote of the full editorial board, in which the majority position is reflected and the contributor is advised of our decision.   [Read more…]

November 2014 San Diego Free Press Editorial Board Endorsements

Following are the endorsements of the San Diego Free Press editorial board. For all our articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters issued a 76 page long list of the 671 local candidates for the November 2014 elections. And that doesn’t include local propositions, the statewide propositions and the dozen or so statewide races for office. So there are plenty of contests on the ballot we passed over. These were the ones we agreed upon.

Regardless of your political persuasion, we urge you to vote.   [Read more…]

SDFP Street Beat: Sherman Heights Streets, SDG&E’s High Pressure Gas Lines in the Mid-City, Artificial Turf in Pacific Beach Schools

By Staff

The San Diego Free Press receives emails about quality of life issues from residents across the city and county. These issues receive little if any media coverage and inadequate attention from policy makers and enforcement agencies.  We have decided to provide a civic forum for those issues in our weekly Street Beat column.

Sherman Heights Street Conditions

Sherman Heights resident Remy Bermúdez sent the following email to Councilman Alvarez, Mayor Faulkner and Council President Gloria:   [Read more…]

Which Side Are You On? A Requiem for Michael Brown

Ferguson flash mob provides an unscheduled performance at the St. Louis Symphony

By Staff

The August 9th police shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is far from resolved. The grand jury has not returned a decision and there is a general expectation that Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for Brown’s death. The Ferguson police force appears to be gearing up for riots if no indictment is handed down, possibly as early as next month. It is hard to shake the image of what protests in the street might look like if the past is any predictor of the future.

But the streets are not the only place where the demand for justice is taking place. …

  [Read more…]

San Diegans to Demonstrate Against Supreme Court Justice Scalia – Thursday, Sept. 11th

By Staff / OB Rag

Scalia: an Utter Moral Failure

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be attending the California State Bar Convention that’s being held in San Diego. Justice Scalia will be there on Thursday, September 11.

Women Occupy San Diego and the San Diego Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild will demonstrate against the appearance at 11:30 a.m. Hyatt Grand, 1 Market Place. The demonstration focuses on the Supreme Court’s attacks on the rights of women, workers, minorities, and honest elections.
  [Read more…]

Video Pick: “So Long Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb…”

“Remember, Mommy, I’m off to get a commie…”

By Staff

So long, Mom,
I’m off to drop the bomb,
So don’t wait up for me.
But while you swelter
Down there in your shelter,
You can see me
On your TV.

While we’re attacking frontally,
Watch Brinkally and Huntally,
Describing contrapuntally
The cities we have lost.
No need for you to miss a minute
Of the agonizing holocaust. (Yeah!) …   [Read more…]

Video Pick: Archival Footage of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945

“At the conclusion of the screening there was utter silence.”

“In 1970, when I was the Manager of the “Center for Mass Communication,” (CMC), at Columbia University, we received an amazing letter from Japan. CMC was the branch at Columbia which produced and distributed educational and documentary films. The letter was from a professor of law at Tokyo University, and informed us that nine Japanese newsreel cameramen went to Hiroshima the day after the atomic bombs had been dropped and took several hours of 35mm film of the devastation.

They did the same after an atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Nagasaki. When General MacArthur and his staff occupied Japan, they screened this footage and felt that the actual shots of the results of the damage of the two cities, and in particular the injuries suffered by the survivors, was so horrible that it should be marked top secret, and withheld from the public indefinitely.

Immediately upon learning of this, we at CMC asked the US Government to allow us to screen this footage, and the government denied that this film ever existed.   [Read more…]

San Diego Free Press and OB Rag Bring Home Four Awards in Society of Professional Journalists Competition

Recognition of writers Doug Porter, John Lawrence, Anna Daniels and Frank Gormlie

By Staff

On July 10 the the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. The names of all of the winners of the competition had been released in June. The list included San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter, Anna Daniels and weekly contributor John Lawrence and Frank Gormlie, editor of our sister publication the OB Rag. First, second and third place winners would be announced at the banquet as well as the Journalist of the Year award.

Eight of us, representing the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag, enjoyed a dinner on the bay against the backdrop of the city skyline and a rising, almost full moon.

  [Read more…]

UCSD’s Che Cafe Gets a Reprieve

UCSD’s Che Café has been saved. For now, anyway.

The renowned cultural icon, which operates as an all-ages music venue, performance space and cafe, won a temporary restraining order allowing the collective that runs the space to keep possession until a full hearing on the merits of their case can be heard.

A hearing is scheduled for August 1, 2014. If the Che prevails in the preliminary injunction hearing, it will maintain possession of the space until a final resolution is reached in the breach of contract lawsuit filed by Che’s legal counsel, Andrea Carter, against the University Regents and by extension, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on July 7, 2014.   [Read more…]

Tell SeaWorld: Stop the Nightly Fireworks

There’s now an online petition to get SeaWorld to put a halt to their nightly fireworks explosions.  As of Thursday morning (July 10), it had almost 2000 signatures.

Here is what the website states:

 STOP the Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld 

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis, 90 days straight during the summer season alone. They are causing hearing damage and overall the physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

  [Read more…]

ACLU Issues Statement On SDPD Body Cameras, Encourages Protection of Privacy, Trust Building

Taken from an ACLU press release issued Tuesday, June 10.

After months of scandal, the San Diego Police Department has announced it’s taking steps toward addressing police misconduct by requiring body cameras to be worn by many SDPD officers, according to the ACLU. The civil rights organization states that while body cameras can help protect both citizens and officers, it still has serious concerns with what is and is not included in SDPD’s draft policies for these cameras, as well as for the process of implementation.   [Read more…]

CA Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Fracking Moratorium Bill 

“The costs to people, homes and the environment remain unacceptably high, but we now also know that the projected economic benefits are only a small fraction of what the oil industry has been touting.” 

By Dan Bacher / DailyKos

In spite of the millions spent by Big Oil on lobbying in Sacramento every year, the California Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday voted 4 to 2 to approve a bill, SB 1132, to place a moratorium on fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in the state.

SB 1132, authored by Senators Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno, now moves to a vote on the Senate floor. Senators Gaines and Walters voted against the bill while Senators De León, Padilla, Hill and Steinberg voted to advance the bill to the floor.

The bill moved forward the same week that the U.S. Energy Administration reduced its previous estimate of recoverable oil in California by 96 percent.   [Read more…]

San Diego Free Press Contributor Update: Recognition and the Continued Pursuit of Justice

Karen Kenyon, Richard Juarez, Will Falk, Sam Ollinger, Ishmael von Heindrick-Barnes, Frank Gormlie and Brent Beltrán

By staff

San Diego Free Press contributors and editors are involved in myriad activities beyond writing articles for this site. We would be remiss if we don’t mention some of those activities that have occurred this month.   [Read more…]

San Diego Free Press Endorsements for the June 2014 Election

We met, we debated and we agreed, mostly.

Here are the people we’d like you to vote for in the June 2014 primary.

The first decision we made was to limit the number of endorsements. We agreed that local races were more important, with the exception of  a nod to Derick Cressman for Secretary of State because of his leadership in fighting the influence of Dark Money in California elections.

If you jump inside you’ll find a handy-dandy clip-able or click-able sheet. And DON”T FORGET TO VOTE!   [Read more…]

May is National Bike Month

By Staff

SDFP editors, contributors and readers include a sizable group that is passionate about bike riding and bikes. Some of our most popular posts have been on this topic. Here in San Diego we have Bike San Diego and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Check out the Bike Fiesta planned for May 10.

This interest means that there are stories to share about where you bike and why you bike.   [Read more…]

San Diego City Works Press Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary!

By Staff

Ten years ago, Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew co-founded City Works Press, a nonprofit publisher that they edit in concert with the San Diego Writers Collective. Both Jim and Kelly are well known to the San Diego Free Press community.

Jim has written a weekly article for his Under the Perfect Sun column since we launched the site in 2012 and prior to that he submitted articles to the OB Rag, our sister publication. Kelly wrote a series of articles about Golden Hill restaurants when SDFP provided a neighborhood focus on that community. Throughout the years this couple has hosted myriad events that benefit progressive organizations in San Diego. This Saturday, April 26, they will be hosting a celebration and fundraiser for City Works Press, the only press of its kind in San Diego.
  [Read more…]

Poem of the Day: “Homage to My Hips” by Lucille Clifton

The Poet as Mentor and Model

By Staff

A poet’s audience often includes other poets. If you want to write good poetry, you need to read good poetry and a lot of it. Then you need to read more. It’s not just about the writing. Poet and short story writer Aafa Michael Weaver wrote this about Lucille Clifton:

Rooted in that vernacular consciousness and endowed with an encompassing intelligence and supremely keen intuition, Lucille was also as originally American as the blues and jazz. She resisted the homage to western tradition with its Athenian origins. In her work, antiquity is African but not Afro-centric. In the distinctness of her poetic project she gave us a black woman’s confessional lyric that is as celestial as it is earthbound. She wrote openly of the female body, openly and defiantly, and she wrote about the pressurized space of a black woman as a survivor of childhood trauma. In doing so she gave me a model that would take me two decades to know, and the process of “knowing” is the key to that pressurized space. … “Two Puffy Afros Going Down the Road: On Lucille Clifton’s Influence,” The California Journal of Poetics.   [Read more…]

Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OBRag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.   [Read more…]

It’s 11 AM. Where’s Doug Porter’s Starting Line?

By Staff

Just a reminder from the SDFP editors that Doug Porter is either on vacation in The Land of Enchantment or receiving instructions from the Illuminati at some undisclosed location. His Monday through Friday column The Starting Line will resume publication on Monday April 7.

SDFP has a full week of posts and news scheduled. John Lawrence has an article about the value of a college degree; Anna Daniels will be giving an update on the Albertsons closure in City Heights; there are poems by Will Falk and Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes; Micaela Porte writes an art review from Paris about an extraordinary life size terra cotta Army of Daughters…   [Read more…]