Politics

Labor and the Democratic Party at Point Loma Assembly – Feb. 22nd

February 20, 2015 by Staff

richard Barrera2“Labor and the Democratic Party” is the focus of this month’s meeting of the Point Loma Democratic Club. The speakers for the event include Richard Barrera, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO at San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, and Daraka Larimore-Hall, Secretary of the California Democratic Party and Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party Labor Caucus.

The speakers will discuss historical and contemporary ties between the party and the labor movement and conclude by talking practically about how to be a labor activist without being anti-Party and a Democrat without ever being anti-labor.

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Chargers’ Point Man Calls Out Mayor’s Malarkey On Stadium Task Force

February 19, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani has done San Diego a huge favor by pointing out the obvious. He’s single-handedly challenged the existing political narrative about the politics of the process being used in deciding on the advisability of building a new stadium.

You won’t find me among those pining away for the possibility of a new football stadium in America’s Finest City, even though I sometimes wonder if I’m addicted to watching games.

First, there’s the silliness of taxpayers being expected to subsidize a rich man’s game in return for the possibility of an endorphin rush at some future time. And then there’s my sense that the long-term prospects for the sport aren’t very good, what with players’ health issues, spousal abuse scandals, and anything having to do with Patriots’ coach Bill Belechick.

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5 Reasons Losing an NFL Football Team is Good for a City

February 18, 2015 by Source

Qualcomm-Stadium-aerial-Google-750x350By Bill Adams / UrbDezine

My family will attest, I’m a San Diego Chargers football fan. During football season, not only is the TV tuned to Chargers games, but so are multiple strategically located radios around the yard, lest I miss any action while attending to a honey-do task or breaking up an argument between my children. Then there are the pre and post game shows, and wasted hours reading about the draft, trades, and other team side shows. Lest I forget to mention, I’m also a San Diego County resident – just outside the city’s boundaries.

However, the Chargers are one of several NFL teams, along with the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders, considered likely to move to another city unless they receive a new football stadium. The likely recipient city: Los Angeles.

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A Path Chosen in Black History

February 17, 2015 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

When I look back at my own little chapter of Black History, I feel grateful that I found a path that enabled me to survive a society that sought to deny me a life of dignity.

I, unknowingly, set out on this path on my first day of school, when my knuckles were, seemingly, knocked to kingdom come because I had dozed off, as if I had a choice in a room sizzling at 100 and some degrees with a fan (itself struggling to stay awake) blowing across a pail of water as though that could lower the temperature in that room to any degree. I swear I heard that fan wheeze. Talking, Tucson, Arizona, August or September of 1943.

I remember thinking, back then, as I looked at my hands, surprised to see my knuckles still there, “What the hell kind of welcome was that?” And I knew, as much as a five-year old can know such things, that someday I would be a teacher.

I would observe goings on in every school I ever attended, thinking of what I might have done differently if I had been the teacher. I’d imagine how I would have made lessons come alive, or more relevant to students’ lives.

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It Was Syrian Kurd Leftists Who Kicked Islamic State Out of Kobani

February 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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In international news, the recent liberation of the Syrian city of Kobani from the control of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters by Syrian Kurd rebels was a little reported story which popped up briefly for its 15 minutes on the mainstream media roulette wheel of fame. Then it disappeared. But the under-reported little story – a story with a huge irony – deserves retelling.

The story – which can be pieced together from a number of media reports – involves the identity of the major fighting force that kicked ISIS out of Kobani, a city of 200,000 mainly ethnic Kurds in north Syria, a stone’s throw from the Turkish border.

It turns out it was a group of Syrian Kurd leftists who kicked ISIS’ ass, if you forgive the vernacular, after 4 months of intense house-to-house fighting, at times room-to-room, and pushed them out of the city entirely. It was the People’s Protection Units, a local leftist organization, and its affiliate, the Women’s Protection Units, that have collective command structures and believe in the equality of women, and – in fact – have numerous women commanders in the fighting units. (These are new wave Sixties leftists, not from the old school like China, Russia, North Korea.)

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San Diego’s Racial Unconscious: History is the Narrative that Hurts

February 16, 2015 by Jim Miller

...the insistence on what one might call “San Diego exceptionalism,” the notion that our city is somehow free of the same troubled history as the rest of the country, is at the heart of our city’s failure to truly serve the needs of all San Diegans.

sdfp zoot 5

By Jim Miller

Last week, the San Diego Free Press – [the online media partner of the OB Rag] posted a story about a new report released by the Equal Justice Institute (EJI) that notes how:

“Capital punishment and ongoing racial injustice in the United States are ‘direct descendants’ of lynching, charges a new study, which found that the pre-World War II practice of ‘racial terrorism’ has had a much more profound impact on race relations in America than previously acknowledged.

This hidden history of racial terrorism in America is far more influential than many of us would prefer to acknowledge.

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“OB Time” – “Just Be-ing”, Long Hair, Beards and Tats

February 12, 2015 by Source
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Ye Ol’ OB Hippie Writes –

This is my almost weekly rant, man, so don’t be a square, gimme some slack, jack, grab some space and chill.

This is another rap session of “OB Time”.

Just Be-Ing

OB Time? You don’t know what that means? OB Time is more than the “hourly pause that refreshes” due to our overhead friendly skies. It means that OBceans are not bothered by any exact minute or hour. It’s why OB’s Holiday Parade begins at 5 minutes past 5pm and not 5 sharp.

Time is relative, and at times irrelevant. OB Time means we don’t get bothered by the mainstream and establishment requirements of temporal exactness. Nobody cared about the concept of “minutes” until capitalism came into being. Being anxious about minutes takes you away from just “being” – as in “be-ing” – existing for the moment.

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Changing Military Recruitment Policies in Schools: One Phone Call and Email at a Time

February 11, 2015 by Source
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The Experiences of a Santa Barbara Mother in Finding Alternatives Are Inspiring

By Kate Connell / Draft NOtices

In the spring of 2014, I went to observe a career day at Santa Barbara High School, where my son is enrolled. There were a variety of organizations with representatives and literature tables. The Marines and the Navy recruiters were also there. They were soliciting student contact information.

The Marine’s “survey” form included questions such as, “Did you know that the Marine Corps has a $150,000 scholarship?” and “Did you know that the qualifications for the Marine Corps are higher than the standards of UC Santa Barbara?” I told them that under the school’s existing recruiting protocol they were not allowed to get student information directly from students, and that they had to go through the Santa Barbara Unified School District office.

I turned around and saw the school’s career counselor and approached him, reminding him about the school’s recruiter protocol. He didn’t recall that part of the protocol and said he would talk to the military recruiters about it. I asked, “What about the information they have already gathered from students?”

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Why Not a Youth Party?

February 11, 2015 by Source

politics cartoonBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Why not a Youth Party?

Why not?

Call it what you want – Broke, Busted, and Disgusted might be good, or The Undead, or The Disillusioned Party– but a party dedicated to the economic and social interests of the young might brighten life and raise the hopes of the 40% to 45% of us who lately haven’t had a reason to vote.

We need that young party because the other two don’t work anymore. One of them is widely known as “the party of no” and the other one could as easily be called, “I’ll get back to you on that.”

Back in 2012 Pew Research Center found that the number of 18- to 29-year-olds who said they had registered to vote fell to the lowest level in the 16 years since the question was first asked of them.

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Labor Unrest Spreads to Refineries, West Coast Ports, SoCal Edison and Football Stadiums

February 10, 2015 by Doug Porter

Gas refinery strikeSo, why are gas prices going back up?

By Doug Porter

Local gasoline prices have increased by roughly 20% over the past few weeks. Retailers dependent on imported goods are voicing concerns about bottlenecks in supplies coming through west coast ports. And that could be bad news for consumers. There’s more to the story than what you’ve likely seen or heard.

While the factors surrounding both these development are complex, a major element in each are labor unions seeking safe working conditions. In what amounts to a sad commentary on the state of the news media in the U.S. the coverage has been largely one dimensional, leading with management’s pronouncements about wages and benefits.

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The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories

February 10, 2015 by Source

By Christian Christensen /Common Dreams

chopper pilotThe news that NBC’s Brian Williams was not, in fact, on a helicopter in 2003 that came under fire from an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) should come as a surprise to no one.

Williams had repeated the lie on several occasions over the course of a decade until a veteran, who was on the actual helicopter that was attacked, had enough of Williams’ war porn and called the TV host out on Facebook. In a quite pathetic effort to cover his tracks, the anchor — who makes in excess of $10 million per year — claimed that his fairy tale was, in fact, “a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women” who had served in Iraq.

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Dispatches from the Class War (On You)

February 9, 2015 by Jim Miller

class-warfare-fight-backBy Jim Miller

Last July, after the Harris v. Quinn decision took the first step toward gutting the power of public sector unions in America I noted that case “pretty much guarantees that we’ll see more cases brought to the high court aiming to send American labor into a death spiral.”

As legal observers commented at the time, this Supreme Court usually moves in a two-step process, starting with a narrow decision that then sets the precedent for a broader and more extreme move to the right in a subsequent decision.

Well, the case that will provide the pretext for that radical step has made its way up the food chain and will likely be heard by America’s highest court.

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San Diego Man Faces Life in Prison for … Rapping

February 5, 2015 by Source

Charges are a blatant violation of the 1st amendment, says ACLU

ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties

prison barsSan Diego prosecutors admit that Brandon Duncan was not at the scene of any one of several shootings in the city, and they have no evidence linking him to those shootings that occurred between May 2013 and February 2014. Still, the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis charged him for those crimes because…he rapped about them.

Only recently released on bail, Duncan, who performs under the name Tiny Doo, spent eight months in jail on so-called “gang conspiracy charges” arising from those shootings. The San Diego ACLU is filing an amicus brief in court asking the court to dismiss the charges immediately. In a blog post about the case, David Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties said that the case was “not only absurd; it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.”

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Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

February 3, 2015 by Source
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By Andrea Carter

The struggle continues to keep the historic CHE Café facility open on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. This battle over a rare public, all-ages arts, food, and music venue should concern us all as it represents the canary in the coal mine for additional onslaughts of this nature to follow.

Undergraduate and graduate student government councils, respectively the Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are set to soon issue reports and recommendations to the University as to what they feel should be done as the to the CHE Café, its facility and the other cooperatives at UCSD.

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Chargers’ Stadium Dreams Destined to be Dashed

February 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Qualcomm StadiumBy Doug Porter

The only thing more likely to be declared dead on arrival than any plan coming out of the newly ensconced Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group for San Diego is the budget proposal the President is sending to the Republican-controlled congress.

Today we’ll start out by looking at what the composition of the Faulconer’s task force tells us about the impossibility of their task ….
On Friday Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced a nine-member stadium task force including what UT-San Diego called “financial experts, prominent developers, longtime government leaders and a former Chargers executive.”

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San Diego Labor Goes Green: New Environmental Caucus Formed

February 2, 2015 by Jim Miller

“Let’s be clear, climate change is the most important issue facing all of us for the rest of our lives.” –John Harrity, President of the Connecticut State Council of Machinists

green planetBy Jim Miller & Micah Mitrosky

We are facing a historic environmental crisis that threatens our present and future survival. Think Progress pithily summarized the conclusions of last year’s United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, noting that:

The world’s top scientists and governments have issued their bluntest plea yet to the world: Slash carbon pollution now (at a very low cost) or risk “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Scientists have “high confidence” these devastating impacts occur “even with adaptation” — if we keep doing little or nothing.

A short list of the many catastrophic effects that unchecked climate change may bring includes severe drought, dangerous wildfires, increased disease, threatened food systems due to Dust Bowl-like conditions, ocean acidification, more global conflict over resources, economic collapse, and mass extinction.

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“Record Turn-out” at Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Hosts Councilwoman Zapf, Hands Out Parade Awards and Police Give Update on Local Crimes

To a standing-room only crowd, with pizza being handed out over on the side, with a couple of TV cameras in motion, Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Newsom loudly gaveled the monthly meeting to order. The crowd of over 200 took their seats in the large auditorium of the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Newsom called it a “record turn-out” for a town council meeting and then deftly guided the meeting over the next 2 hours, which included handing out awards for the winners of the 35th Annual OB Holiday Parade, and opening the floor up for non-agenda items during which a number of people aired complaints and issues. The room remained in a near-festive mood throughout the evening and not an uncivil word spoken.

The Friends of the OB Library made a big show, wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, and addressed the audience and the Councilwoman about the need to expand the local branch.

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City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

January 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

san diego sealBy Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

Gimme Money, Honey

The San Diego City Council Budget Review Committee hearing Wednesday morning gave local representatives a chance to air their budgetary preferences for the coming fiscal year.

They’re hoping the mayor will consider requests for police pay raises, new fire stations, new parks, longer hours at recreation centers and street upgrades favoring pedestrians and cyclists for funding out of a projected surplus of $63 million for the coming year.

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Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

January 28, 2015 by Source
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By Brendan James / TPM / April 18, 2014

A [relatively] new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” they write, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Reader Rant: Have Progressives Given Up on Ocean Beach ?

January 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: Have Progressives Given Up on Ocean Beach ?

Editor: The OB Rag received this interesting anonymous rant about OB progressives via an unapproved comment at the OB Rag in a fake email address. We’re posting it as a “Reader Rant” as our readers may find it of interest.

The email by “anon” does end by asking OBcean lefties to attend the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council monthly meeting on Jan 28; It’s at 7pm at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs. We couldn’t agree more with this part of the rant.

Have Progressives Given Up on OB ?

Psst! Don’t tell the government. Don’t tell the right-wing. But progressives, radicals, socialists, anarchists, leftists … whatever you want to call them – they’ve given up on Ocean Beach.

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Honoring Martin’s Dream Beyond MLK Day

January 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray

MLK Caricuture

By Ernie McCray

Martin Luther King. A loving man with the loveliest of dreams. After seeing “Selma,” which told the story of that chapter in the Civil Rights Movement powerfully well, I just had to write something about this dear man.

I didn’t know what I wanted to say until I happened upon a caricature that captured the very essence of how I often see him in my mind’s eye, as I think of him every now and then. How can I not in this world we live in?

The pose he struck in the portrait made me wonder what was going on in his head and based on what my friend, *Rabbi Ben Kamin, recently had to say about him in an examiner.com essay, he could have been thinking about a range of things.

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Change the World, Change Yourself

January 27, 2015 by Source

Unist’ot’en Camp scene

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press
(Photo credit: Zoe Blunt)

Friends and family tell me I too often focus on the negative. My doctors and therapists have told me me this, too. Diagnosed as I am with severe depression and surviving two suicide attempts, I used to believe them.

I came to therapy feeling like I was the problem.

Part of my recovery involved completing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program.

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The State Of the Union: Obama is an Eisenhower Republican

January 26, 2015 by Jim Miller

obama-eisenhower3By Jim Miller

Last week, President Obama gave a pretty good speech in which he outlined a series of solid progressive policy proposals along with a few very bad ideas like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What was most telling about the response to his speech, however, was how glowing the praise was in some quarters for what, in essence, was a fairly pedestrian list of things to do: …

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The American Sniper As Hero

January 26, 2015 by Source

American SniperBy FDRDemocrat/ Daily Kos

The controversy over the movie American Sniper has predictably reopened the divide among many Americans over the Iraq War. What is more interesting is how the choice made by director Clint Eastwood to choose a sniper as a heroic archetype unravels classic notions of what is considered heroism.

The concept of heroism has been with humanity since the beginning. At it’s heart it contains a common thread where the hero (or heroine) risks themselves for the sake of others.

How then to adapt the heroic archetype to the profession of sniper? This is no easy task.

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On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

January 23, 2015 by Source

Reproductive rights advocates say legislation would cause entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small businesses

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

On the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirms a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion, House Republicans passed a far-reaching anti-choice bill that women’s health advocates say would cause the entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small business who provide comprehensive health care to their employees.

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What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

January 23, 2015 by Doug Porter

infrastructure sdBy Doug Porter

Pssst! Got a spare two billion dollars? That’s a number being talked about in the search for a comprehensive approach to fixing San Diego’s deteriorating streets, pipes and public spaces.

The City of San Diego has issued a report outlining what it says are our infrastructure needs over the next five years, and it isn’t pretty.

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The Passing of Chicano Warrior Reies López Tijerina

January 22, 2015 by Source

King Tiger: Reies López Tijerina

Reies Lòpez Tijerina’s spirit will not be forgotten and will live on in our hearts, minds and history

By Herman Baca

In the late 1960’s Cesar Chavez, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, Jose Angel Gutierrez and Reies López Tijerina were known as the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement. With the sad news that Reies Lòpez Tijerina has passed at the age of 88 in El Paso, Texas, on January 19, 2015 only one of the Four Horsemen remains…Jose Angel Gutiérrez.

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Taking Back the Streets and Their Stories, Thousands Reclaim MLK Day

January 20, 2015 by Source

New York Marchers

In year that saw renewed calls for racial justice, over 50 nationwide demonstrations held to ‘desanitize’ the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

Thousands of people took to the streets on Monday rebuking what they say is the “sanitized” version of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and calling to restore the legacy of a man whose protests, like their own, were never “convenient.”

The nationwide actions marked the birthday of the civil rights leader in a year that saw renewed calls for racial justice in the face of persistent inequality, discrimination, and police targeting of communities of color.

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San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH – Today – Monday, January 19

January 19, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH – Today – Monday, January 19

San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH
Monday, January 19, 2015 San Diego, Ca –

From Press Release of United Against

Please join United Against Police Terror – San Diego, ACTIVIST SAN DIEGO San Diego Branch of the ISO with the Coalition Against Police Violence for San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH.

The 4 Mile March will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the rally will start at 1:00pm at the City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, California 92105 ending at Malcolm X Library at 5148 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92114

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