Steve Louie

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Steve Louie was active in the Asian American student, anti-war, and community organizing movements. He worked at the Asian Community Center in San Francisco Chinatown and with Wei Min She, an Asian American anti-imperialist organization. Louie also served as a co-editor and photographer for the monthly newspaper Wei Min. He was a working class organizer for seven years. He currently works as a business systems analyst.[1]

Revolutionary life

Steve Louie was born in San Francisco in 1949. In 1967, Louie was accepted to Occidental College. He was heavily influenced by the Black Panther Party and Mao Tse- Tung, which led him to first volunteer at a community storefront in Watts and then join the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Political Alliance. He was a founding member of the Asian Alliance, the first Asian student group at Occidental that successfully organized the first Asian American history class and was an active member in the Third World Student Coalition. During his junior year in 1969, Louie received the Richter Fellowship which enabled him to travel to San Francisco, Boston, and New York and participate in the Asian American Movement taking place in these respective cities. During his time on the east coast, Louie met comrade and colleague, Glenn Omatsu, who was organizing at Yale.

After completing his junior year, Louie left school to become a full-time organizer in the growing Asian American movement. He moved to San Francisco and initially worked with the Japanese Community Youth Council in Japantown. While working in Japantown in 1971, he helped form Joint Communications, a support program for Asian prisoners in Northern California. He also began working at the Asian Community Center in Chinatown and became an active member of organizations such as U.S.-China Friendship Association and Wei Min She (Serve the People), an Asian American anti-imperialist organization. In 1973, he began working on a truck dock as both a worker and a labor organizer.

While he was a part of Wei Min She, he served as a photographer and the co-editor for the organization's publication, Wei Min. The organization operated out of the Asian Community Center, located in the basement of the International Hotel (a low-income housing building for the elderly) in San Francisco's Chinatown. The geographic location was significant not only for its proximity to the Asian community, but also as a site of struggle for tenants' rights. Louie was one of the many active community members against the eviction of International Hotel residents in 1977. While working at the Asian Community Center in 1971, Louie met his wife Mary Chin with whom he started a family.

In addition to his work as a labor organizer and member of Wei Min She, Louie has worked closely with organizing Asian-American Studies centers in colleges and universities across the U.S., anti-war (Vietnam) actions, Marxist-Leninist-Mao Tse-Tung study groups, Asian-American prisoners, and Japanese-American youth. In 1997, Louie and Omatsu co-taught a course at UCLA entitled, "The Asian American Movement," which examined the Movement, its legacy, and its relevance to current social struggles. They further collaborated to edit the anthology, Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment, which was published in 2001 by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press.[2]

References