2002 WWP Emergency National Conference
Even as the Bush administration was maneuvering feverishly to round up support for its planned war on Iraq, Workers World Party was holding an Emergency National Conference Sept. 21-22 in New York.
The agenda focused both on Bush's "endless war on terror," especially the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the growing capitalist economic crisis.
Monica Moorehead discussed the impact of U.S. intervention in Africa, and Johnnie Stevens of New York reported on the importance of the struggle for land in Zimbabwe and the need to support Robert Mugabe's initiative. Preston Wood spoke on the Palestinian struggle on Saturday; the next day Richard Becker of San Francisco presented an update on the urgent situation caused by Israel's most recent aggression against Palestinian President Arafat's compound in Ramallah.
CAIR 10th Anniversary Banquet
Circa 2004, some 2,100 people turned out for the annual fundraising banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Southern California (CAIR-LA) office on Saturday. The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said the dinner, which marks a decade of its service, raised $450,000.
At the dinner, held in California's largest banquet facility at the Anaheim Convention Center, speakers congratulated CAIR on ten years of service, and praised CAIR's efforts to combat anti-Muslim prejudice and to promote civil rights for all Americans. The annual report for CAIR-California, which includes the year's financial report, was also distributed at the event.
Speakers and attendees included Professor David Cole from Georgetown University Law Center, Honorable Curt Pringle, Mayor of the City of Anaheim, Bill Lockyer, Attorney General of the State of California, Orange Country Sheriff Michael Corona, Congressman Gary Miller (R-42), Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca, Judge James Gray, Orange County Superior Court, Honorable Judy Chu, Member of the California State Assembly, and Honorable John Chiang, Member of the California Board of Equalization. Representatives from most Southern California Islamic centers and Muslim organizations also attended the dinner. Mayors, city council members and chiefs of police from various cities were also present.
Keeping with the theme of "Restoring the American Dream", Keynote speaker David Cole emphasized the importance of challenging post 9/11 policies which unfairly target American Muslims, including ethnic profiling, preventive detention, the Patriot Act, and maltreatment of foreign nationals.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer, one of the authors of the anti-hate crime legislation AJR 64, assured Muslims that hate crimes against members of any faith community will not be tolerated. He said, "As California's top cop I will not allow it." Gary Miller urged Muslims to reach out and educate other members of the community. Sheriff Baca thankedd CAIR for its advertising campaign condemning terrorism. Judge Gray urged that the "the Patriot Act...be repealed by all."
One of the highlights of the event, CAIR presented its annual Civil Rights Leadership Award to Assemblywoman Judy Chu, for her effort and dedication in passing legislation against hate crimes, and especially for sponsoring the historic AJR 64 Hate Crimes Bill condemning hate against Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs. Chu commended CAIR for its outstanding support in proposing and garnering support for the bill.
Assemblyman Lou Correa and the office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. presented the Muslim Youth Activism Awards for the positive civic, religious and social contributions made by people in the community The Muslim Activist of the Year award went to Imam Saadiq Saafir for his commitment to building bridges between the Muslim and larger community.
CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad, CAIR-California Chairman Fouad Khatib, and CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush provided an overview of the civil rights group in its ten years of service, and a vision for an even better future. Commenting on the recent survey which shows that 1 in 4 Americans polled hold an anti-Muslim sentiment, Chairman Ahmad stated the need to present Islam in the correct way to Americans. California Chairman Khatib highlighted CAIR's progress and achievements such its public service announcements on radios, its library project which sends fair and balanced books about Islam to libraries, its activism in support of AJR 64, and many more. Executive Director Ayloush pointed out that through CAIR's efforts, accurate information about Islam was shared with 3.3 million people in Southern California.
List of Attending Guests:
- Bill Lockyer, State Attorney General, California Department of Justice
- Congressman Gary Miller, Member of Congress
- Assemblyman Lou Correa California State Assembly
- Assemblywoman Judy Chu, California State Assembly
- John Chiang, CA Board of Equalization
- Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney, Orange County, CA
- Sheriff Leroy Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff Dept.
- Sheriff Michael Carona, Orange County Sheriff Dept.
- Judge Jim P. Gray, Orange County Superior Court and candidate for U.S. Senate
- Many chiefs of police and their reps. from various So. Calif. Cities (including Anaheim, Long Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Laguna Niguel, ...)
- Mayor Larry Agran, City of Irvine
- Mayor Curt Pringle, City of Anaheim
- Mayor Pro Tem Andy Quach, City of Westminster
- Mayor Bruce Broadwater, City of Garden Grove
- Councilman Van Tran, Esq, City of Garden Grove
- Councilman Kermit Marsh, City of Westminster
- Dr. Karen Torjesen, Dean of Religion, Claremont College
- Dr. Thomas McFadden, President of Marymount College
- Dr. Ananda Guruge, Dean of Academic Affairs, Hsi Las University Los Angeles
- Bishop Murray Finck, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Rev. Dennis Short, Harbor Christian Church
- The Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, Director of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, LA Catholic Archdiocese
- Rev. Leonard Jackson, First AME Church, Los Angeles & LAPD Religious Forum
- Rev. Ginny Wagener, Executive Director of South Coast Interfaith Council
- Rev. Reese Riley, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Tustin,
- Sr. Marie Gaillac, from Sisters of St. Joseph
- Rev. Roy Riggs, United Methodist Church, Corona
- Bishop Edward Turner, HOPE for LIFE Foundation
- Rev Alexia Salvatierra, Executive Director of CLUE
- Preston Wood Executive Director of ANSWER
- Karin Pally from Women in Black
- Alison Weir from If Americans Knew
Anti Iraq War
October 27, (circa 2007) in Los Angeles, nearly 20,000 people marched through downtown to the federal building for a mass rally and Die-In.
After the march, almost everyone present participated in a mass symbolic Die-In. Ian Thompson of the ANSWER Coalition introduced the Die-In while masses of people lay down. Thundering sound effects of air raids and bombs exploding punctuated the action, followed by a solemn minute of silence for the Iraqis and U.S. soldiers killed in the war. As protesters rose up after the Die-In, all chanted "Stop the war!" Preston Wood of ANSWER and Greg Akili of African Americans Against the War spoke about the cost of war on people in the United States, urging everyone present to become organizers in the anti-war movement. Muna Coobtee of the National Council of Arab Americans spoke about the dire conditions facing Iraqis due to the imperialist occupation.
Other speakers included actors Martin Sheen ("The West Wing"), Mike Farrell ("MASH") and Mark Ruffalo ("Zodiac"). ANSWER initiated the protest, which was organized by the Oct. 27 Stop the War Coalition, a broad array of progressive, anti-war and social justice organizations.
"No war in Syria"
Albuquerque activists gathered on Central Avenue Saturday August 31 2014 to demonstrate their outrage at the Obama administration plan for military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
The action drew nearly 100 activists who held signs, chanted and spoke out on the busy street with much supportive horn honking from the passing cars. Speakers included Ellen Robinson, Raging Grannies, Preston Wood, ANSWER Coalition, Sayrah Namaste, (Un)occupy Albuquerque, Lizzie Perkel, Students for Justice in Palestine, Charles Powell, Albuquerque Chapter President, Veterans for Peace, Bob Anderson, Stop the War Machine, ANSWER Coalition organizer Joel Gallegos.
Building on Saturday’s gathering, an ad hoc coalition including (Un)occupy Albuquerque, Veterans for Peace, the Peace and Justice Center, the ANSWER Coalition, Stop $30 Billion to Israel and Students for Justice in Palestine filled the week with follow-up actions, including confronting an aide to Senator Martin Heinrich at a union gathering on Labor Day and meeting with Senator Tom Udall’s staff on Wednesday. A delegation als met with Senator Heinrich’s staff and with the staff of Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Party for Socialism and Liberation - Albuquerque August 4 2018.