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On the eve of his 93rd birthday, Howard Keylor was honored on December 9, 2018, for his inspiring leadership in the struggle for social justice. The event took place in the Henry Schmidt Room of ILWU Local 10 in San Francisco. The Henry Schmidt Room was an appropriate location because union dockworkers have met there to organize protests against militarism, racism, classism and anti-unionism.
More than 100 people attended the tribute, including many who are members of the Peace and Freedom Party. Eric Bergman, co-chair of the PFP Alameda County chapter, read aloud the first paragraph of the PFP tribute to Howard Keylor during the open mic session; click here for the full text.
San Francisco Chronicle coverage of the event, entitled “A longshoremen legend in SF honored for a lifetime of standing strong”, may be read via the link. For video coverage, click here.
Did you think that the Delta Tunnels project was going out with Governor Jerry Brown? Nope – Senator Dianne Feinstein is keeping it alive. She has joined with Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy to attach an extension of the Water Infrastructure Improvement act for the Nation (WIIN) as a rider to the spending bill needed to prevent a government shutdown.
On December 6, Restore the Delta and Food and Water Watch organized a protest against this deal at Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco office. Activists from the Sierra Club, Golden Gate Salmon Association, the Peace and Freedom Party and others joined with the two sponsoring organizations in a small but spirited demonstration.
The WIIN Act is a waiver of environmental protections for the San Francisco Bay-Delta. It was originally designed as a short-term fix to send more Delta water south during California’s historic drought. It is scheduled to expire in 2021. The Feinstein-McCarthy deal would extend WIIN for an additional seven years. And attaching it to a critical appropriations bill removes it from committee scrutiny.
Who really wins with the WIIN act? The greatest beneficiaries are the big farms in the Central Valley.
California agriculture uses 80% of the State’s water supply and for the most part does not practice measures which would help conserve water. Extending their access to Delta water will not motivate them to farm more sustainably.
Diverting water from the Bay-Delta system does real harm to fisheries and to the local ecosystem. There is momentum in California to ameliorate this. The Delta Reform Act of 2009 established that water supply and ecosystem improvements are co-equal goals that must be met when managing the Delta’s fragile environment.
The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote Dec. 12 on a plan to use more of the water from the San Joaquin River for preservation of fish in the Delta.
So why are two prominent members of the Democratic Party in California supporting a federal plan to override State water policy? In a December 4 editorial, the San Jose Mercury News offered this explanation:
For Brown, the WIIN Act extension reportedly comes with Trump administration financial support for the Delta twin tunnels.
For Feinstein, the extension is a way to send more water south and to get $640 million for water storage projects, including environmentally controversial plans for raising Shasta Dam.
It seems like environmentalism has its place in the liberal constellation, but not when it stands in the way of profits for the water guzzling cronies of the “environmental” governor and the Senior Senator.
–written by Marsha Feinland, accompanying photos by Tim Daw
Peace and Freedom Party -- Vote Socialist in 2020!
After raising hopes of new progressive policies during the election, our newly elected Governor now claims to be a fiscal moderate. Gavin Newsom now says, “All of this will be whittled down and we will live within our means.” What does he mean?
The “this” he refers to is more preschool opportunity for poor kids and more money for education in general. “This” also means more health care for those left out of the current inadequate US healthcare system. Those are just some of the things he wants to whittle down.
And just what does Newsom mean when he says “our means?” Our means are the financial limitations imposed on California by all the tax loopholes for the rich and all the corporate giveaways that promise jobs and a better economy, yet never live up to their promises.
What we really need is not to be whittled down, but to expand our means by eliminating all those loopholes and all the corporate welfare. And especially the real estate tax loophole that allows large corporations to receive Prop. 13 tax breaks forever while private homes lose their Prop. 13 status when they change hands, which corporations never do. Then “living within our means” can mean a better life for all Californians.
The President’s threat to close our southern border is not only heartless and draconian, it’s exactly the kind of action that has lead to so many undocumented people living in the U.S.
Before 9/11, and before all this racist hysteria about our porous borders, many, many migrant laborers easily crossed the border each year to work seasonal jobs in the United States. And when those jobs were over, they returned to their families and their homes south of the border. When the border became harder to commute across, many migrant workers found it much more difficult to come north for those jobs. Some gave up, but many chose to just stay here. They became undocumented. Families, if they couldn’t get across the border, were split up. Tightening up the border may have kept some people out, but it also kept many people in.
No citizenship requirement for driver’s licenses also meant that we had licensed, knowledgeable drivers on the road. There are no good reasons to require proof of citizenship in order to get a drivers license. Passing the tests should be enough.
Let’s welcome immigrants, let them become full citizens, and join with them to fight for our common interests: productive jobs, a clean environment, peace, and an America that lives up to the promise engraved on the Statue of Liberty.
The Peace and Freedom Party of California endorses efforts by Veterans For Peace, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Roots Action, and others to return Veterans Day to its original name of Armistice Day.
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against a number of bills in the 2017-2018 session of the California legislature. This article lists our current positions with links to relevant documents.
“Stop Prison Slavery” was just one of the demands of a group of Sacramento activists, including many Peace & Freedom Party members, at a recent rally and press conference held outside the federal building in downtown Sacramento. One of the main demands was to stop the use of incarcerated people as cheap labor.
John Reiger (pictured in top image below), State Chair of the Peace & Freedom Party, reminded the public and the press of the PFP’s longstanding support for prison reform measures. He not only talked about the need for comprehensive prison reforms, but also an end to solitary confinement, an end to the death penalty, no more life-without-parole sentences, and the need to shift resources from prisons to programs to help people who might be in danger of ending up in prison.
Other prison strike supporters from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), labor, prison reform groups, and ex-prisoners stressed the need to change the racist, expensive, exploitative American criminal justice system.
Spread the word about the Peace and Freedom Party. Encourage your friends to register Peace and Freedom, join the supporting membership program, and get involved.
Here are some introductory handouts you can download and print for distribution. For a more extensive archive of our literature, click here.