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Politics & Film: An interview with John Sayles
John Sayles is perhaps the most celebrated independent filmmaker in the U.S. Among his classics are Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan, Eight Men Out, and Lone Star. His latest film Silver City received a two thumbs way up from film critic Roger Ebert.
BARSAMIAN: Silver City is set in Colorado, a state undergoing enormous transformationbuilding booms, subdivisions, malls all over the place. The film is about development, greed, corruption, and politics.
SAYLES: I wanted to do something, pretty much starting the year 2000, about electoral politics. We were in Florida shooting Sunshine State, and a lot of people in our crew and in the local community kept saying, So whats the deal with the national media? Dont they know the real story down here is how many people were not allowed to vote who should have been allowed to? Not about chads, which seems to have been an accident. But people prevented from voting. That wasnt an accident. How come thats not a nationwide scandal?
That got me thinking about both electoral politics and our mainstream media. I wanted a state that was kind of a battleground for a lot of things: for our laws on immigration; for this question about what were going to do about water, which is going to become the next oil, that people are privatizing left and right; for questions about the environment and development. Colorado has this nice schizophrenia. In the Front Range you have Denver kind of in the middle and then north of it you have the Peoples Republic of Boulder and then south of it you have Colorado Springs.
Two of the characters in the film are journalists who used to work for what had once been an investigative weekly called the Mountain Monitor. One of the journalists, played by Maria Bello, laments that journalists should change things, not just report.
shes really saying is that if you do your reporting rightyou
make a few connections, you dig for the facts, you dont just
report what people say is the truththats automatically
going to change things. And that was their idea. Another character
in the movie, played by Tim Roth, was their editor at that alternative
weekly. Now, because hes continued to do thathe hasnt
gone mainstream, he hasnt dropped out of the race the way
the main character, Danny OBrien, hashes been
so marginalized that hes literally underground. Hes
running a little news website. As he says, all he can do is break
these stories on his website and then hope that he plants the seeds
of doubt in the mainstream media and that one of them gets bold
enough to at least reprint his accusation almost as, well, heres
something from left field. The moment its reprinted in a mainstream
outlet, the powers that be have to respond to it. Then theyre
caught in lies.
The film is set against the backdrop of a political campaign. Dickie Pilager is the candidate for governor. Hes the scion of a senator. He is also not terribly articulate. There have been some comparisons made in reviews of the film that hes somewhat similar to George W. Bush.
The character that Chris Cooper plays, Dickie Pilager, is very much based on George Bush when he first ran for governor of Texas. Hes totally new at it. His father has been a senator from Colorado for a long time, has a lot of clout. Pilager has an enormous amount of corporate money behind him. But hes not very articulate and hes especially not good when he gets caught off the script. Hes got this kind of rabid, take-no-prisoners campaign manager, played by Richard Dreyfuss, who is trying to teach him slowly to stay more on the script.
But I think the important thing about Pilager is the two things the Tim Roth character says about him. The first is that there is not a corrupt bone in his body at this pointhe really believes what hes saying, when he knows what it isand second, hes user-friendly. Those two things mean they found the right candidate. He didnt decide to run for office. A bunch of people got together and said, Who shall we run? Whoever has been in this office before has not been doing what we wanted them to do, they have not been as user-friendly as wed like them to be. Heres a kid with the right name and maybe hell do what we tell him to.
There is a very interesting sceneand for me it was a key part of the filmand thats a conversation between Dickie Pilager and Wes Benteen, a developer and kind of eminence grise patron of the candidate.
Kris Kristofferson plays Wes Benteen, who is multicorporate. He has hospitals, media, cattle, and mining. You name it, hes got something. So there is an enormous amount of regulation, or deregulation, that affects his businesses. Hes basically the guy who has funded this candidate.
What hes trying to get through to this young candidate is his philosophy, which is, basically, There are visionaries like you and me, Dickie, and then there are the people. And the people need to be dragged by the horns to whats good for them. To me thats kind of the crux of this movie. Yes, I want people to draw lines between this movie and the Bush administration. But there is this bigger issue, which is, do we expect our politicians to have as their constituency the voting public or do we expect them to just serve the masters who put them into power?
Wes Benteen says the struggle is public versus private and he calls the West a treasure chest waiting to be opened only there is a 500-pound bureaucrat sitting on it.
There is a mindset among the movers and shakers of the world that all that public land is being wasted because its not being developed by somebody smart like them. They want the inside track on who is going to develop it and who is going to make money off it. They have done a good job in this Administration of finding people who are willing and happy to roll back environmental rules, to open lands up, usually secretly. Most of their environmental changes have been done without public review, usually announced on a Friday just after the news is closed for the weekend. Nobody notices it until its too late.
Energy policy has been designed by the major energy corporations.
There is a character in the movie who is a lobbyist, played by Billy Zane. What you see is this process thats happened in the Bush administration (and somewhat in the Clinton administration) of lobbyists for the energy industry or for logging or whatever becoming slowly the heads of the agencies that were supposed to protect those resources for the public. So at one point hes explaining some legislation, which he has written as a lobbyist that hes just handing over to the candidates campaign manager saying, The real name of this should be the Developers Bill of Rights, but were calling it the Environmental Heritage Initiative. There is that incredible Orwellian, Lets do one thing and call it the exact opposite.
It is a version of the big lie technique. When you have enough money, when you have a whole cadre of spin doctors, it becomes more than half-truth.
City is also about race and class.
You cant really separate economics from race and class. They have been used so often to manipulate economics. Its pretty hard to go somewhere where you dont hear Spanish spoken in the U.S. now. One of the reasons for that is there is this enormous hypocrisy in our immigration policy, which is that were playing cat and mouse down on the border, chasing people into the desert, people are dying, spending too much money to get into the country to work for less than our already-too-low minimum wage. At the same time that were spending all this money on the border, there is a tacit understanding that certain industries, especially the restaurant and construction industries, would not exist without that very, very cheap labor. Its been a bonanza for people in the lower end of those industries.
In the West in general, and in Colorado in particular, there are many people from Latin and Central America that are doing the work in the ski industryin Aspen, in Vail. On the Front Range they do most of the construction work. They are what I call the invisible armies of the brown doing all of the labor.
Its kind of an internal outsourcing. So instead of sending the jobs to Bangladesh, you bring Third World people into the United States and then pretend that theyre not here and pretend that you dont want them here. And its a pretty thin pretense.
Silver City opens with a dead body fished out of a lake by Dickie Pilager, of all people. So there is a detective story running underneath the whole issue of development and environmental degradation around the death of a Mexican laborer, Lazaro Huerta.
What I wanted was to have a kind of film noir murder mystery in the tradition of Chinatown. That film is mostly based on Raymond Chandler. The great thing about Raymond Chandler mysteries is the trip is important. Very often, by the end of a Chandler book, who killed who is a minor thing. But youve had this incredible window on those worlds within Los Angeles.
I also felt like what a journalist does is look under the rock to find out what people arent necessarily telling you at first. I feel like Danny OBrien, the character that Danny Huston plays, who is this apathetic, cynical ex-journalist, who says, I dont do politics anymore. There is nothing you can do anyway, as he gets into this case, which he has kind of grudgingly taken on, hes not a very good detective. For me hes the U.S. voter, who really is kind of sick of politics and doesnt think much of either side or the whole process. They think its really just kind of a sell-out and a scam.
As he gets involved in this, he gets his sense of moral outrage back. My feeling is that for the U.S. to really become a democracy, we have to take that same journey. We have to do some digging. We have to connect some dots and do a little analysis. Then were really going to get our sense of moral outrage back and then we have to do something about it. Voting is the minimum we can do about it. Informing ourselves is the first step. Thats a hard thing to do when there are so many news outlets and so few of them are doing anything that I would call real investigative journalism.
Daryl Hannahs character, Maddy Pilager, the sister of the candidate for governor, the daughter of the senator, complains that people have lost the ability to be scandalized.
Shes the black sheep of the family. At first, just because shes mad at her own family, she tries to make scandals that are self-defeating in some ways. But as shes gotten older and gotten a little more analysis of how the world works, shes really disappointed that people arent scandalized. That it becomes just a juicy story that lasts in the news for about three days, and that the publics appetite for the O.J. murder trial can last for months and months, but something that really affects everybodys life, or our foreign policy, they kind of get bored with after a couple days unless there is another big explosion or a lot of people get killed.
Youre described as an independent filmmaker. What does that mean? How are you independent?
What it means for me is I start with a story I want to tell and then we try to raise the money to make that story in such a way that the final product is what we wanted it to be. So we control the casting, we control the business decisions that are made, and we control the final cut.
If youre not an independent filmmaker, generally it means that its a negotiation all the way down the line. Well give you the money if you cast somebody we want. If its not somebody you like, too bad. You can either make the movie or not make the movie, accept this person or dont. Well give you the money if we can review the final cut and then make some changes and put it in front of an audience and get their numbers of how many liked it, how many really liked it, how many didnt like it, would they recommend it. Then we may recommend some changes that we will expect you to do.
There are people I would consider independent filmmakers who work within the Hollywood system usually because their movies have been successful enough. The Coen Brothers make the movies that they want to make. Its not necessarily how you get financed, but it has something to do with who generates the story and how that story comes out the other end. Ive often said, getting a movie through the studio system is like getting a bill through Congress. What comes out the other end may not resemble much what went in and a lot of stuff may be attached to it that waters down or actually does the opposite of what you originally wanted that bill to do.
The big Hollywood studios, mirroring trends in other media, are owned by a handful of conglomerates. Talk about their influence and power, particularly in the light of Disney/ABC trying to prevent the distribution of Michael Moores Fahrenheit 9/11. There is another studio right now, Warner Brothers, that doesnt want to release a new edition of Three Kings.
Theres all this talk about liberal Hollywood, but in the end, the corporations that own the studios have the final green-light power. So if they see something coming out that is going to make those people nervous, theyre likely to say, Lets not open it yet or Lets not open it at all. Its not so much that they tried to stop the distribution of Three Kings; they just didnt want their names on it. They didnt want to be liable. All big corporations now have these risk management people.
The most egregious example is Haskell Wexler, who shot Silver City. He made a wonderful movie in 1968 called Medium Cool [shot during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago]. I saw it in Washington, DC after marching against the bombing of Cambodia. It had just opened. The crowd was on their feet at the end of it. You could still smell tear gas from the day in the air. I said, This movie is going to be a great tool for everybody to think about the war and its going to play to everywhere in America. Within a week it was off the screen. Somebody in the State Department knew somebody at the studio and basically said, Give us a break here. Get this thing off the screen. Wexler couldnt buy it back from the studio. It was truly repressed.
What I think you see a little bit more now is not so much repression as disassociation. Usually it happens that you dont even get the money in the first place to make something that might upset people. But if it somehow happened accidentally within their system, theyre going to say, Okay, good luck. Go find another distributor, if you can, but we dont want to be associated with it.
According to Michael Moore, in the discussions with Disney/ABC to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11, the parent corporation was worried about possibly offending Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, where Disney has major economic interests.
You see this, for instance, in the publishing industry, where people who are very tight with whatever government has power at that point all of a sudden are getting multi-million-dollar book advances for their letters or their book, which you would say, How are they going to make that back? Well, theyre not going to necessarily make it back on the book, but the corporation that owns that publishing house is very happy to have that person happy with them, because they have strings that they can pull.
I think it was Louis B. Mayer who cautioned some writerswho, before we got into World War II, were writing about what the Nazis were doing in Europesaying, MGM is not at war with anybody. He did not want to piss the Nazis off because they were still buying his movies. Of course, the minute the war broke out with us, he was walking around Hollywood with a uniform on.
When you say low-budget what kind of money are youre talking about?
Casa de los Babys, my last one, was about $1.1 million. This is about $5.5 million, which for us is a pretty healthy budget. For a Hollywood movie, being this ambitious with this many characters in it, with this many locations, with this size and scope of story, its pocket money. So you have to be very efficient. You have to depend on the kindness of strangers in many cases, actors whom you havent worked with before, and just write good parts and hope they will come and work for scale. We have a lot of really good ones in this movie. You have to give up a little bit of spontaneity. You cant just go there and say, Oh, I see a great new angle or Oh, wouldnt it be nice if they could paint that barn or Oh, lets just ad lib for a while. You really have to do a lot of planning.
What advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what youre doing?
problem that I see with most independent films made by young people
is that they have only gone to see films, then they went to film
school, and then started making movies. They have not done much
out in the world. They havent had another job, they havent
lived more than one place in their lives, they dont know what
goes on in the world. So I would say go out and do something else.
Learn a little bit about the world. And then think about it a little
bit before you try to tell stories about it.
The other major thing is I find that people coming out of film school, the one big gap they have is that they havent worked with actors. So I would recommend they do some theater, direct some theater. Its a different medium totally, but youre going to work with actors and youre going to learn a lot.
Are you worried about the direction the country is going?
This is a complex country. Ive written a script thats set at the turn of the century, kind of the end of the populist progressive movement. A lot of the movement was in the Midwest and in the South. In the South it was defeated. Somebody played the race card. Poor whites, working-class whites, and blacks were getting together and really taking back the South from the old agricultural plantation owners. The old boys didnt like it and they said, What can we do? Theyre killing us at the polls. They owned the newspapers and they printed a lot of stories, most of them fabricated, about white women being raped by black men. That tore the populist progressive movement apart.
So that at the same time that something may be progressive in economics, it might be very reactionary culturally. This is a very complex country. Youve got religious stuff going on. Youve got an awful lot of people that think that capitalism and democracy are the same word and theyve been encouraged to think that way.
Now youve got this media beast. It used to be you had the three networks. There was some attempt by those networks to stay in the middle of the road. There were a few journalistic kinds of principles that they tried to live by and you had some principled people working within them and fighting the fight every day with their editors who wanted to water things down. And what you could usually see is an arc of them totally accepting the official version, and then, as it became more and more embarrassingly clear that that official version was not true, starting to turn. And then you got Walter Cronkite kind of saying Vietnam is a mess. It took a while. But he was not a soldier in Lyndon Johnsons army the way that the people who run Fox News are soldiers in the army of the right-wing Republicans. Now youve got dozens and dozens of these news outlets. So this is a country thats going in about 50 different directions at the same time.
There is a new documentary on Howard Zinn called You Cant Be Neutral on a Moving Train, which is also the title of his memoir. Can you be neutral in a time like this?
No, I dont think you can. Ive often had this argument with people who have not liked either of the candidates. Since I started to vote, Ive usually not liked either of the candidates, occasionally to the point where in a more local election if I feel like either of them is going to be destructive, Ill vote for some third party candidate. Usually on the presidential level you can boil it down to, okay, you dont think much of either of them. I know some people now who are working for this League of Pissed Off Voters. They say, Okay, one issue. Bush is adamantly against a needle-sharing program and Kerry thinks its a good idea. On that one issue go to the polls. Its not going to cost you. Forget about the rest of what theyre doing and whether you even understand it or care about it. You can usually find five or six of those things that one of the guys is more to your thinking than the other one. And you might as well do it.
Whats coming up for you?
Quite honestly, when we finish a movie, we very often dont know if were going to get to make another one. Ive got a couple big historical epics that Ive written. Id love to be able to raise the money to do those. Its been impossible in the past. Maybe it will become more possible, for whatever reason. Then there is always Plan B, which is to write something very low-budget and finance it myself or get it from a source that has a little bit of money in their pocket. I havent figured out what thats going to be yet.
David Barsamian is the founder and director of Alternative Radio. For more information, www.alternativeradio.org.
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AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
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MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
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Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
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ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
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CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
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MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
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GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
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ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
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SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.