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human & civil rights | immigration may day 2001-2007

2 Days Left-MayDayPDX06!!!

Outline of facts from the coalitions that are organizing the May Day events in Portland on monday.
This outlines the efforts of the May day coaltion nationwide and the details of the day for Portland, Oregon.

Also following is an incredible essay written to encourage those who might not yet be excited to participate in the people's movement and also gives an opportunity to sign a national petition that will bring awareness to the current rascist/classist/nationalist infastructure this country is wrought with.


International Workers Solidarity!
Respect workers' rights!
No human being is illegal!
STOP the INS raids!

We demand:
- Legalization with a clear path to citizenship
- Restoration of civil rights and liberties, end the Patriot Act
- An end to free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that benefit corporations at the expense of workers

Please Bring Food and Water

The Legal Defense Hotline number is 503-234-4518. People should call and report if they witness an arrest or any police misconduct. It is suggested that you write the number on your body because many times people lose the flyer with that number (which will be passed out at the rally) but also they can be taken or thrown away if you're arrested.

Place: Meet at the South Park Blocks (SW Park Ave and Mill)
Time: Monday May 1
9:30am - Music, dance, and a play
11am - Rally
Noon - March
3pm - more music & speeches
4pm - Rally

The Coalition that organized these events include the following groups:
American Friends Service Committee,
Center for Intercultural Organizing,
Freedom Socialist Party,
Portland Anti-Imperialists,
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee,
Portland IWW,
Portland Jobs with Justice,
Radical Women,
VOZ:Worker's Rights Education Project,
and many more.

Portland Workers Celebrate May Day!!

Join the Great American Boycott of 2006
International Workers Solidarity • Respect Workers' Rights
No Human Being is Illegal • Stop the ICE Raids

Portland, Oregon (April 27, 2006) On Monday May 1st beginning at 10am, Portland immigrant rights, labor, environmental, religious, women's rights, indigenous rights, GLBTQ, and other community groups will gather at the South Park Blocks (SW Park and Mill) to celebrate International Workers' Day with music, theater, and speeches, culminating in a march which will begin at Noon.

May Day is recognized around the world as a working class holiday, a day of solidarity between workers of all nationalities.

The May Day events in Portland are being organized as part of the Great American Boycott of 2006/el Gran Paro Americano 2006. Nationwide, hundreds of thousands are expected to walk out of work and school in solidarity their fellow immigrant workers to demonstrate the invaluable contributions immigrants make to the economy of the United States and to demand an end to anti-immigrant legislation like the Sensenbrenner Bill (HR 4437). Criminalization is not the solution.

We call for immigration policy that includes the following: Legalization with a clear path to citizenship, family reunification, and the restoration of civil rights and liberties.

We ask each worker to access their situation and if at all possible join us that day. Certainly almost every one can join in economic solidarity and not buy anything that day.

Consider this:
• Immigrants contribute $7 billion in social security per year;
• Immigrants contribute $25 billion more to the U.S. economy than they receive in healthcare and other social services;

The Coalition that organized these events include the following groups: American Friends Service Committee, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Escuela Magdalena Mora, Freedom Socialist Party, Latino Network/La Red Latina, Portland Anti-Imperialists, Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland IWW, Portland Jobs with Justice, Radical Women, VOZ:Worker's Rights Education Project, and many more.

Petition & Facts & Opinions:

For May Day and Beyond: White People Step up for Immigrant Rights!

In the past month, five million people, mostly immigrants of color, have mobilized for justice and are making history, flooding the streets in unprecedented numbers. Meanwhile, the most visible participation by white people is coming from the racist and right wing leaders who are defining and dominating the debate in the Federal government and in the news, radio and opinion pages. Where are the voices of anti-racist white people in this crucial moment, when the worst anti-immigrant legislation in decades is still poised to drop?

We, white people who believe in justice and ending racism, have a responsibility and a historic opportunity to stand with immigrant communities and unite behind their demands. As white people, most of us with U.S. citizenship, we call out to our white communities to take to the streets for immigrant rights. We must demonstrate that the rightwing racists, from the Minutemen to in the Congress, do not represent us!
Anyone who has experienced this month's electrifying, grassroots explosion feels the power and excitement growing.

Working-class immigrants, with their crucial roles in the economy and culture of the U.S., have real power to reshape this country, as a vibrant part of broad multiracial movements for justice and equality. As anti-racist white people, we have a role to play in this struggle.
Immigrants are the direct targets of these policies, and we know enforcement will aim at immigrants of color. But we are all endangered by the accelerating drive of this country towards greater abuse of working people, more criminalization of poor/working-class people, and of all communities of color, particularly African-Americans. Our futures are tied together and now is the time to stand with immigrants fighting for their rights.

The ruling class in the United States has historically led anti-immigrant campaigns to divide working people, getting people to blame one another for stealing their jobs while corporations build their financial empires from all of our labor. Building from a foundation of enslaved African labor and mass land theft from indigenous nations, corporations used anti-immigrant campaigns against the Irish, Italian, Jews. Chinese, Japanese, Eastern Europeans and other immigrants, to deny them legal protections, attack unions and maintain cheap labor to under-cut better waged jobs. These campaigns intensified with the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1880's and as more and more European immigrants were assimilated into white society, immigrants of color from Asia and then Latin America were targeted to be a permanent low wage, legally unprotected, work force to drive wages down and corporate profits up.
White people have led and rallied behind anti-immigrant campaigns in the millions throughout the history of this country and today a new history for immigrant justice is being written and we have a responsibility to be part of it. We're fighting two racist agendas: big businesses need to retain a vulnerable pool of exploitable labor, and the blatant organized racists want to preserve white political dominance and agitate for mass deportations. This divided right wing unites to dehumanize immigrants of color, working to strip them of any rights or protections. The small handful of mostly white billionaires backing and benefiting from these strategies depends on our complicity. Instead, let's build upon the legacy of anti-racist white people who have refused to participate in divide and conquer strategies, where the ruling class historically uses race to pit
us against each other.
White people need to take responsibility for countering the attacks generated by white racists, from the border to the White House.
If you're a white person who stands for justice, we encourage you to step it up. How can you more actively support immigrants fighting for their rights, and encourage your families and friends to get more involved?
What local organizing by immigrants can you support with your time, money, and resources? On April 23rd in the Bay Area, and throughout the country on May 1st (International Workers' Day) immigrant communities around the country will again take the streets. Let's be there in greater numbers: on the streets beside our friends and neighbors,
raising our voices in the national debate, making a commitment to organizing
more white people to stand up against attacks on immigrants.
This letter comes to you from two Bay Area-based white anti-racist organizations, Catalyst Project and the Heads Up Collective. Heads Up is a member organization of the Deporten a La Migra Coalition, which is primarily composed of organizations based in working-class immigrant communities. We ask you to act in solidarity with the principles generated by the Deporten a La Migra Coalition, Immigrants Fighting For Our Rights.

They are:
• The land is for those who work it!
• No more displacement
• The border is hypocritical
• Unity makes us strong
• Demand dignity and equality for all immigrants
• In every neighborhood, organize!
(please read full text at
If you agree with these principles, we invite you to sign this letter and make your signature a commitment to putting them into action in your work and life.

In struggle,
> >>Catalyst Project and the Heads Up Collective

Catalyst Project and Heads Up Collective were inspired by the work of white anti-racists with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City, and Italian Americans for Immigrant Rights in the Bay Area, who put out similiar open letters to move white people to stand for immigrant rights. By signing here, we are also joining with the thousands of white people participating in those and other efforts.

> >>Please sign on if you stand with the principles
> above. To add your
> >>signature to those below, go to this link:
> >>
>> http://www.petitiononline.com/mayday06/petition.html
> >>

dont drive 29.Apr.2006 18:25

if u can

Don't drive on may day

continuing boicott beyond May 1st 30.Apr.2006 17:23

pesticide + industrial ag = farmworker cancer

these are two different articles pertaining to breast cancer and farmworkers;

1) about exploitation of breast cancer "pink ribbon" campaigns by corporations

2) and the links between breast cancer in farmworkers and pesticides used by industrial agriculture

bcaction.org Breast Cancer Action
by ThinkBeforeYouPink.org


Hello! It's time for another installment of Breast Cancer Action's monthly e-alert-- a collection of news, notices and action alerts for people concerned about the breast cancer epidemic. Welcome to any new e-alert members! If you think you've been added by mistake, please follow the directions at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe.

SPREAD THE WORD - if you like this e-alert, please help us by sharing it with your friends and family. Forward this message and let them know that they can subscribe.

WE PUBLISH A SNAIL MAIL NEWSLETTER TOO - We just can't get enough of you ...and hope that you can't get enough of us! If you're not already on our mailing list we'd love to send you our bimonthly print newsletter filled with information on treatment, diagnosis, politics, and true prevention updates. Check out the archives and subscribe online.
1. NEW AT BCA: BCA Welcomes New Staff
2. IN THE NEWS: STAR Trial Results Released, BCA Urges Caution; Study Challenges Chemotherapy's Benefits; Study Examines Estrogen Therapy in Women with Hysterectomies
3. TAKE ACTION: Tell Avon to Be More Transparent
4. SAVE THE DATE: First National Conference on Precaution, June 9-11, Baltimore, MD; LGBT Pride Celebration, June 25, San Francisco, CA
5. FAQ OF THE MONTH: What is raloxifene?

1. NEW AT BCA: BCA Welcomes New Staff

BCA Welcomes Katrina Kahl, Communications Associate

I'm Katrina Kahl, BCA's new Communications Associate. I have a background in science and education and come to BCA fresh out of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. I am excited to be a part of an organization dedicated to the fundamental principles of public health -- prevention of disease, the precautionary principle, and access to quality care. My personal commitment to these principles will guide my work towards advancing BCA's mission of ending the breast cancer epidemic.

2. IN THE NEWS: STAR Trial Results Released, BCA Urges Caution; Study Challenges Chemotherapy's Benefits; Study Examines Estrogen Therapy in Women with Hysterectomies

STAR Trial Results Released, BCA Urges Caution

Long-awaited results from the STAR (Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene) trial were released by the National Cancer Institute on April 17. Despite the fact that many press reports characterized the results as related to breast cancer prevention, BCA noted in a press release that they are in fact about risk reduction, and urged people to be cautious in interpreting them.

The trial compared five years of tamoxifen versus raloxifene in healthy women with a higher than average risk of developing breast cancer. Women in both arms of the trial developed breast cancer. While no peer-reviewed results have yet been released, the data that the NCI provided indicate that, overall, the women taking raloxifene experienced fewer side effects than those taking tamoxifen. However, side effects were still present in women taking raloxifene, and the absolute benefit was much smaller than the relative benefit touted by the NCI. Absolute benefit is what individuals can expect, while relative benefit explains what is observed in large populations. The patterns that are true in a large population are usually much different (and much smaller) for individuals.

BCA has long been concerned about using powerful drugs in healthy women to "prevent" breast cancer. True prevention can only come from finding and eradicating the underlying causes. And the pills offered will almost certainly increase the risk of other diseases. For healthy women, the risks and benefits of taking a powerful drug with multiple side effects for many years mean very different things than for women living with breast cancer.

Barbara Brenner was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article stating, "We're very concerned that the ultimate result will be disease substitution instead of disease prevention." Barbara Brenner was also quoted in a USA Today article on the topic. BCA's perspective on the STAR trial is expressed in our press release and a past newsletter article.

Study Challenges Chemotherapy's Benefits

In mid-April the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that chemotherapy may be more effective for treating certain types of breast tumors than others. In particular, women who had positive lymph nodes and estrogen receptor (ER) negative tumors fared better with standard chemotherapy than did women with positive lymph nodes and ER positive tumors. What this means is that science is beginning to confirm what breast cancer advocates have long knownthat many women are overtreated with harsh and toxic chemotherapies that may not do much to increase their chances of survival. An article in the New York Times noted that the kicker is "that there is as yet no reliable way to identify the women who may not need chemotherapy." BCA Executive Director Barbara Brenner's letter to the editor, which asked "For all the billions of dollars spent on breast cancer research, why dont we have the answer to that question? Could it be that some of these research dollars are being misspent?" was printed by the Times on April 15. The questions raised by this study are right in line with some of the questions posed by BCA's Puzzle Project.

Study Examines Estrogen Therapy in Women with Hysterectomies

Researchers recently re-examined results from one of the studies in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in which women without a uterus took estrogen therapy or a placebo. In contrast to other evidence from the WHI that showed an increased risk of breast cancer when estrogen is combined with progestin (the standard hormone therapy for women who have not had hysterectomies), this study found that, in women without a uterus, there appeared to be no increased risk of breast cancer.

The original estrogen-only arm of the WHI study was stopped early because there was an increased risk of stroke and no decrease in the risk for heart disease, which was a benefit researchers were expecting to find. Another adverse effect noted was that the women who received estrogen had more questionable mammograms and had to have more biopsies than the women receiving the placebo. The researchers will continue to follow the women in this study to see whether their risk of breast cancer increases over time. Once again, it is important for women to weigh the risks and benefits of all types of treatment. As a lead author in the study told USA Today, "What is worse? A hot flash or a stroke, more mammograms or more breast biopsies? That's the kind of discussion a woman has to have with her physician."

3. TAKE ACTION: Tell Avon to Be More Transparent

Tell Avon to Be More Transparent

As many of you know, we are still trying to get Avon to clean up its cosmetics and be more transparent about the money raised in its walks. The annual Avon shareholder meeting will be on Thursday, May 4, and shareholders will be voting on two issues important to BCA. One resolution calls for a report on the company's methods for analyzing the safety of its products and the steps it will take in finding safer alternatives. The other resolution calls for transparency in the company's breast cancer fundraising and funding.

If you are an Avon shareholder, there are some steps you can take to voice your concerns.

- If you own stock in Avon, submit your vote for these two resolutions on the proxy card that comes in the mail, or vote your proxy by calling in or voting online (the contact information will be in your Annual Meeting notice). You can also send a stockholder letter to Avon explaining why you think the company needs to be more transparent about the safety of its products and its breast cancer funding. Send copies to your fund manager and to BCA.

- If you own shares in mutual funds, contact your mutual fund managers and urge them to vote their Avon shares in favor of the product safety report and fundraising transparency resolutions.

Whether or not you hold shares in Avon, there is a lot of power that you have as a consumer. We encourage you to write a letter to Andrea Jung, the CEO of the company, to voice your concerns.

Spread the word! Tell your friends about the Follow the Money campaign, and urge them to get involved.

4. SAVE THE DATE: First National Conference on Precaution, June 9-11, Baltimore, MD; LGBT Pride Celebration, June 25, San Francisco, CA

First National Conference on Precaution, June 9-11, Baltimore, MD

The precautionary principle charges us to take action to protect public health when there is credible evidence of harm, rather than waiting for absolute proof. Join with groups across the U.S. who are applying the precautionary approach to environmental hazards by shifting the focus from "what level of harm is acceptable" to asking, "how can we prevent harm in the first place?" This national event will bring together people working on conservation, disease prevention, environmental justice, environmental health, green purchasing, precautionary business practices, toxic and nuclear pollution prevention, worker safety and more to build a stronger movement to protect our health and environment. For more information and to register, visit the Be Safe Network web site.

LGBT Pride Celebration, June 25, San Francisco, CA

Have fun while volunteering with BCA! Please join BCA at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration on June 25th in San Francisco. We'll have a BCA information booth and will also have a 'bucket brigade' group collecting donations at one of the entrance gates. We need volunteers for 2 to 3 hour shifts from about 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM that day. This is one of the liveliest and most well-attended events we go to, so it's a great way to get the word out about BCA and to raise some money. You don't need to be an expert on BCA or breast cancer to participate; you just need enthusiasm about sharing information with others. If you'd like to help out, email Pauli Ojea or call (415) 243-9301 x11.

5. FAQ OF THE MONTH: What is raloxifene?

Raloxifene (trade name Evista) is a drug that is FDA approved only for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is being studied for its ability to reduce breast cancer risk because studies that looked at its effectiveness in fighting osteoporosis also found that women taking raloxifene developed fewer breast cancers than women taking the placebo. It is not approved, nor being considered as a breast cancer treatment drug.

Like tamoxifen, raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). SERMS are synthetic hormones that bind to the estrogen receptors in a woman's breast cells in place of her own estrogen. SERMS "fake out" the estrogen receptors because, unlike natural estrogen, they do not stimulate breast cell growth. Doctors often explain the relationship of SERMS to estrogen with the analogy of a lock and keys. SERMS like tamoxifen and raloxifene act like a plug in a keyhole, blocking estrogen from being able to turn the lock.

The STAR trial, mentioned above, looked at raloxifene versus tamoxifen in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease. Like tamoxifen, raloxifene is a strong drug that may increase the risk of developing blood clots and uterine cancer.

The manufacturer of raloxifene is Eli Lilly, the same company that made and promoted diethylstilbestrol (DES), the first widely marketed SERM. The company has already been admonished by the FDA about promoting raloxifene for breast cancer risk reduction.

To learn more about the history of raloxifene, visit our web site.

-- YOUR INPUT WANTED: Is there a question you want answered, or an issue that you want BCA's opinion on? Send it to  pojea@bcaction.org and we'll try to answer it personally or feature it in a future e-alert!

That's it for this edition! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about this listserv.

Thanks for your continued support of BCA. Until next time,

Pauli Ojea, Community Organizer
Toll free at 877-2STOPBC (278-6722)

Our members are the driving force behind our efforts to end the breast cancer epidemic. Because Breast Cancer Action does not accept funding from the government or the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, we need your support. You can donate online, or call 415-243-9301, or toll-free at 1-877-278-6722. All gifts are deeply appreciated.

pesticide dependency in Sacramento Valley increases breast cancer rates in farmworkers/residents

Thanks for collecting the info above. Would like to add some extra links specific to breast cancer rates in the Sacramento (& San Joaquin) Valley of CA. Am also in agreement that prevention of breast (& other forms of) cancer needs to be the priority, not ineffective and toxic chemotherapy pharmaceutical treatments that speed the cancer victim faster towards their grave..

In the Sacramento Valley industrial agriculture corporations continue the dependecy on petrochemically derived pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to increase yield of monoculture crops. The response by nature is to evolve pesticide/herbicide resistant weeds and pest insects, thus requiring increased applications of even more toxic pesticides/herbicides. This is referred to as the 'pesticide treadmill', an ongoing cycle of dependency on these petrochemically derived toxins. Many of these pesticides are applied via aeriel spraying when there are slightly windy conditions and the chemical product can remain in air and water for days or months after initial spraying, depending on weather conditions. The basin effect of the valley surrounded by mountains traps this chemically toxic air in the basin inversion layer for weeks at a time during the dry seasons. Many people who either work directly in the ag fields or live in the nearby towns and villages are exposed to these carcinogens from an early age for many years of their life. For years research has indicated higher rates of breast cancer in these rural locations than elsewhere..

Organophosphate (OP) pesticides do not remain in the ecosystem or human fat cells for long time periods, though they show up frequently in human urine, enough to indicate that people are exposed to OP pesticides on a regular basis. OP pesticides are so common in the Sacramento Valley that nearly every resident has OP exposure of varying levels. Of course migrant farm workers are exposed to OPs the most frequently and at the highest doses, therefore exhibiting the most sypmtoms of OP poisoning..

"Q: How do organophosphorus pesticides affect our health?

A: OPs are chemically similar to the chemical warfare agents originally produced during World War II, and they work by interfering with the nervous system of insects, as well as mammals, birds, and fish. Organophosphorus compounds block production of an enzyme called cholinesterase (ChE), which ensures that the chemical signal that causes a nerve impulse is halted at the appropriate time. Symptoms of exposure include nausea, headaches, twitching, trembling, excessive salivation and tearing, inability to breathe because of paralysis of the diaphragm, convulsions, and at higher doses, death.

OPs are among the most acutely toxic pesticides, with most of these chemicals classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as toxicity class I (highly toxic) or toxicity class II (moderately toxic). In addition, some OP pesticides cause developmental or reproductive harm, some are carcinogenic, and some are known or suspected endocrine disruptors. Detailed information on specific OP pesticides is available at  http://www.pesticideinfo.org/. Sample chemical structures are available on Pesticide Action Network's pesticide tutorial page."

article continues @;


Another category of pesticides are organochlorines (OCs), used primarily as insecticide. OC pesticides remain in the human body and ecosystem for longer time periods..

"Q: Are organochlorines in our bodies? How do they get there?

A: Yes. Organochlorines are some of the chemicals found most often in the hundreds of tests of human body tissue - blood, adipose tissue, breastmilk - that have been conducted around the world. Because of their chemical structure, organochlorines break down slowly, build up in fatty tissues, and remain in our bodies for a long time."


The northern part of the Sacramento Valley is isolated from air circulation and traps the pesticides in the smog collecting basin, combining drift from further south and adding more pesticides on top of that. Increased rates of cancer can be found in the northern valley residents..

from the Butte Environmental Council;

"According to Susan Kegley, lead author of the report, "Pesticide use trends show California is hooked on toxic pesticides." She adds, "the use of the most toxic pesticides remains alarmingly high, indicating that the state is on the wrong track."

How do we fare in Butte County? According to the same report, not well. Butte County is listed as having one of the largest increases in the use of "CA Bad Actor" pesticides in the state, an increase of 68% from 1991-1998. "CA Bad Actor" pesticides are the most toxic pesticides currently in use. Furthermore, in the Sacramento Valley where 24,212,000 pounds of pesticides were used in 1998, we led the pack with 4,272,730 "gross pounds of active ingredients" applied to our forests, homes, and schools. Even worse, once applied, pesticides do not always stay put. They have been found in the jet stream, in the rain, in glacial aquifers, in our waterways and in our groundwater.

Fifty years later, we are still, in effect, chasing the DDT fog down our neighborhood streets. Daily we're exposed to deadly pesticide contamination even while studies document its link to cancer, sterility, birth defects, and damage to the nervous system. The 127% increase documented in "Hooked on Poison" is especially alarming considering the concurrent increase in age-adjusted incidence of cancers associated with pesticide exposure: childhood leukemia, brain tumors, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, testicular cancer, and some forms of breast cancer."

article continues @;


Since MAYDAY May 1st is a nationwide boicott action for immigrant rights, the Sacramento Valley industrial agriculture corporations in particular have a debt to the countless migrant farmworkers (most are from Mexico) who work in the fields at close proximity to toxic petrochemical pesticides/herbicides on a daily basis..

from Natural Resources Defense Council;

"Chronic Impacts

"Twenty-two years that I have been working in the fields, I've seen more illnesses, more children being born ill, more families that miss work because every day they have more problems, headaches. Sometimes their children are sick and they have to miss work. . . . We live in a depression. We don't know if it's because of the chemicals."
-- Laura Caballero, Lideres Campesinas (Salinas, CA Public Meeting July 25, 1996)

Chronic effects of pesticide exposure may include adverse effects on neurological function, cancer, reproductive harm, reduced growth and development, and birth defects. Much of the evidence of chronic effects is based on studies of adult workers who are exposed to a mixture of chemicals every day, making it difficult to pinpoint specific pesticides. The effects of individual pesticides during specific periods of fetal life, infancy, and early development have been studied in laboratory animals. Little research on the chronic effects of pesticides has been done directly on children, and even less on farm children."

article continues @;

The suffering of migrant farmworkers from pesticide exposure was ignored by the corporate media & agribusiness for too many decades. NO MAS! There needs to be ZERO TOLERANCE for exposure to toxic chemical pesticides. This boicott effort needs to happen beyond a one day strike on May 1st. Please support organic (pesticide/GMO-free) produce whenever possible, and boicott industrial agriculture until they either go organic or go out of business. Far from being cruel to farmers, this effort will help lower the price of organic produce (industrial agriculture is heavily subsidized by taxpayers, thus forcing organic farmers to raise their price to remain in business), lower the rates of cancer and provide farmworkers with a safe place to work and live. The frogs will get their cojones back and be able to reproduce and help eat the mosquitos..

"WASHINGTON, June 18—Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency say there is "sufficient evidence" to conclude that the country's most widely used pesticide, atrazine, causes sexual abnormality in frogs."

article cont's @;

For the farmworkers, residents and surrounding ecosystem, the Sacramento Valley needs to be pesticide/herbicide free ASAP. We need to get off the pesticide treadmill permanently. When corporate spokespeople throw this demand back as being "unrealistic" than we need to respond with the ecological wisdom of farmers who have provided nutritious food for people over thousands of years without depending on toxic pesticide/herbicide or genetically modified seeds (also pesticide dependant)..

Vandana Shiva recently visited the Sacto Valley at UC Davis and made her case for crop diversity in organic farming as the solution to poverty, famine, cancer and the other side effects of industrial agriculture. The claim that "without petrochemically derived pesticides/herbicides the amount of food available would be decreased and result in mass starvation" is an industry myth supported by the chemical corporations that manufacture pesticides. V. Shiva has visited small farms in India and throughout the world that proved they could use permaculture and crop diversity to increase yield and nutritional variety. Monoculture industrial agriculture is not able to meet this standard of biodiversity and is also unable to maintain a healthy ecosystem and work environment..

from "Monocultures, Monopolies, Myths and the Masculinization of Agriculture" by V. Shiva;

"In Indian agriculture women use 150 different species of plants for vegetables, fodder and health care. In West Bengal 124 "weed" species collected from rice fields have economic importance for farmers.[6] In the Expana region of Veracruz, Mexico, peasants utilise about 435 wild plant and animal species of which 229 are eaten.[7]"

article cont's @;

Another good example of organic success stories is the Cuban people's response to the trade embargo eliminating pesticide imports. Making the best of a bad situation may prove that the initial situation (depending on soviet style industrial agriculture pesticides) wasn't so great to begin with. Now Havana is filled with organic gardens (huertos intensivos) in every empty lot and rooftop, and insectos beneficios (beneficial insects) have rebounded to ther previous numbers..

"Cuba: Case Study in Food Security"
"Another innovation has been the huerto intensivo (intensive garden), which
employs intensive gardening methods to maximize yield in small areas.
Vegetables are planted close together on raised beds enriched with organic
matter to provide adequate nutrition for the plants, but without retaining

article cont's @;

Another factor of the Sacramento Valley is the restoration of tule reed wetlands as flood buffer zones (cheaper & more effective than levee reconstruction), seed bank for indigenous (pre-Columbus) plants like tule, wild rice and other native edibles. This can combine organic farming with ecological biodiversity, providing habitat for beneficial insects like dragonflies and by keeping water circulating preventing low lying regions from becoming mosquito breeding ground. Eutrophication from excess fertilizer runoff may be the greatest contributer to stagnation of water and thus increasing mosquito larvae. Lack of predator insects like dragonflies also increases numbers of mosquitos..

For thousands of years before Columbus arrived, indigenous peoples of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley have used wetland reeds like tule in construction of homes, boats, baskets and other practical cultural tools. Modern day indigenous peoples and anyone else are interested in continuing this tradition..

The 16th annual gathering of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA) is meeting Saturday, June 24th at the Soboba Reservation in San Jacinto, CA. More info on CIBA;


A few more things about tomorrow 30.Apr.2006 23:05

la maestra de los inmigrantes

Just wanted to add a couple of things about tomorrow's general strike: YES this is a nationwide general strike.

1. Students, stay home from school and go to the rally instead!
2. If you have to go to work or school and want to show solidarity, wear a white shirt or white armband.
3. Some communities in other parts of the US are doing a blackout from 8-9 pm (an energy boycott) to go along with the economic boycott. Consider participating in this as well.
4. This is a buy nothing day in the immigrant community. The rest of us working stiffs can also make a point that our labor is what keeps the capitalist machine running.
5. Have fun! May Day 2006 aside from being a historic day for Civil rights, and workers rights, is also an ancienty pagan holiday that deserves to be celebrated. Don't forget to have fun while you're changing the world. Emma Goldman would approve.