Free! Issue #7 Winter 2007 RAISE THE FIST! In this issue: Oaxaca, UPRISE, Recipes, Feminism and the Military, Christian Anarchism, DePaul Discrimination, Immokalee Workers, and more! The publication of DePaul Students Against the War Depaulasu.net What you have here in your hands is the 7th issue of an independent publication by DePaul Students Against the War. Originally titled Revolver and published in 2000, it has evolved into what you see before you, with new student writers and artists every year, as well as submissions from community members and other independent and radical media outlets. As always, we welcome contributions and letters-to-the-editor for future issues, just contact us at email@example.com or through our website, depaulasu.net. DSAW meets every Wednesday at 5:00 in the Cultural Center at DePaul University‟s Lincoln Park campus. Table of Contents The Current Struggle of Oaxaca…………………………………………………………………2 LOVE: the only competent fascist……………………………………………………………….7 Uprise Tour Comes to DePaul…………………………………………………………………...10 The Coalition of Immokalee Workers Brings the Fight for Fair Food to Chicago ……………..12 Private Entities? The Anti-Gay Discrimination and Invalid Assumptions of the United States Supreme Court…………………………………………………………………………………...14 Silence is Consent………………………………………………………………………………..17 Depleted Uranium………………………………………………………………………………..24 Executing Democracy……………………………………………………………………………26 DePaul Discriminates Against Some Faculty, Staff……………………………………………..29 Women in the Military: Who's Got Your Back?...........................................................................31 Feminists in the Military…………………………………………………………………………34 You Hate Me……………………………………………………………………………………..37 The Death of Malachi Richter……………………………………………………………………39 The Revolution Will Not Be Motorized…………………………………………………………41 Book Review: Assassin‟s Gate…………………………………………………………………..46 Film Review of Nice Bombs……………………………………………………………………..47 Recipes from Rachel……………………………………………………………………………..48 Poem: Alone……………………………………………………………………………………...4 9 Layout and editing by Andrea, Bobby, Giuseppe, Kyle, and Raechel The Current Struggle of Oaxaca by Nancy Romer <firstname.lastname@example.org> November 8, 2006 Article from CommonDreams I have been in Mexico City for the last week observing and participating in the struggle that has captured the dreams and fears of the Mexican people—the struggle for workers rights and democracy in Oaxaca, a poor state with a mostly indigenous population. Reeling from the movement of international capital and the concomitant movement of people from the Mexican country side to the cities, the people of Oaxaca have created a struggle that has wide implications. Beginning in May, the teachers of the “democratic” wing of the national teachers union (section 22 of the SNTE), began a strike and encampment in the zocalo (main square) of Oaxaca, fully supported by parents and students, demanding higher salaries and support for buildings, supplies and money for students so they won‟t have to work. Teachers in Oaxaca as teachers everywhere are civic and political activists who participate effectively in their communities; particularly in Oaxaca, their relationships to their communities are part of their everyday lives. The dynamic coalition of parents, teachers, and students is a model for all of us who want to see the schools be transformed into institutions that serve the needs of the people, especially the poor, instead of creating testing factories that sort people for the corporate economy. It also presents a model of how unions can engage in societal demands greater than the narrow confines of their contracts. Met with violent repression from the Mexican government, the teachers‟ struggle expanded into a mass-based coalition, APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca), that includes people from over 935 groups of unions, civic organizations, neighborhoods, churches, universities, and beyond. Their demands have expanded to include the removal of the hated conservative governor Ulises Ruiz, who has given rich state contracts to construction companies of his friends and relatives to the detriment of the people‟s basic services and has sold off historically significant publicly-owned works of art for his own aggrandizement. Oaxaquenos report that the city has become much more difficult to transverse with Ulises‟ expensive and hated construction projects. His administration is considered so corrupt that the people of Oaxaca have developed an alternate government structure to provide basic services. APPO has also demanded a new state constitution that would use traditionally indigenous decision-making processes that they view as more truly democratic than the present state constitution. In Mexico, a parallel struggle has ensued calling for the recount of the federal election vote for president, charging vote fraud (sound familiar?) in the (s)election of Felipe Calderon who has the support of the US government and the International Monetary Fund . While some APPO activists support the progressive candidacy of Manuel Lopez Obrador over Calderon, most are skeptical about any electoral candidates and see their struggle as distinct from some of their supporters outside of Oaxaca who are more likely to conflate these parallel struggles; some Oaxaquenos fear that their struggle is being used by the electoralists. APPO has formal meetings in which important decisions are made, representing a bottom-up participatory structure; implementation of decisions is decentralized. When state and local police were sent in to tear down the encampment in Oaxaca‟s zocalo last June, the battle began and continued throughout the summer, with an intense crescendo last week with a massive incursion of federal “preventive” troops, many in plain clothes, in Oaxaca. APPO estimates that nearly 30 people have been killed in Oaxaca since June, at least 8 in the last week, including teachers, students, parents, and at least one American, Brad Will, an Indymedia journalist. Many more have been wounded and more yet detained by the local police. Early on in the struggle, APPO activists erected barricades throughout the city as protection from attacks from armed thugs. Later they were appropriated by the people to create spaces of resistance—for kids to play soccer, for families to share meals and make music together; this in a culture with a tradition of “tequio” which requires every adult to perform some kind of ongoing community service as a contribution to the society. The zocalo was transformed into a performance space, featuring new videos of the recent events and struggles with the police and federal troops, music of the struggle, and people testifying about their lives and the troubles. These events were marked by a great outpouring of creativity and expression often by ordinary people, expressing joy, fear, and hope. The city of Oaxaca has been an intense dialectic of liberated zone and battleground. Each neighborhood, each union, each group of people engaged in the struggle runs their own process, controls their own barricades, creates their own ways of being. The central APPO represents and reflects the desires of these participating groups but the people themselves carry out the plan and create the details on the ground. The people are empowered by their own actions, communities and ideas. The progressive organizations and people all over Mexico are mobilized in support of the people of Oaxaca. Early in October, 3500 APPO activists marched over 600 kilometers to Mexico City; they were joined by activists from Guerrero who have similar demands to the APPO. They have a parallel organization (APPG) that leads their struggle. Along the long line of march, supporters provided food and housing to the demonstrators; when they arrived in Mexico City, a jubilant rally was held in support. Since the arrival of these Oaxaquenos, Mexico City itself has been transformed into a site of confrontation and support for their fellow Mexicans. Radio stations staffed by the people‟s organizations—Radio Planton (the teachers‟ union station), Radio Universidad, and Radio Nueve (a private station appropriated by APPO) have been consistently and violently attacked. Radio “Casserole” was a public radio station that was appropriated and defended by several hundred women activists taking over the station with pots and pans clanking away. These radio stations provide information and political analysis that serve the struggle on the ground. This past Tuesday, federal “preventive” forces violently attacked the Universidad Autonoma “Benito Juarez” de Oaxaca with the intent of cutting off their radio station, but they were repelled by students and faculty. The administration, specifically the rector (equivalent to a college president), supported the students and faculty, called for no police or federal troops in the university, and reasserted the autonomy of the university from government intervention, A battle ensued that looked exactly like a civil war or insurgency. Students, faculty and supporters used sticks, stones, and Molotov cocktails against the guns, pepper and tear gas of the federal forces. Eight APPO activists, including teachers, children, and unionists, were killed in that battle. While the people prevailed, many more battles are expected. And government violence continues. The Oaxaquenos do not relish this embattled state. They are weary and they are afraid. But they know that they cannot stand down now, that change will only come with their fortitude, courage and organization in the streets. This is not a time to give up the struggle. As the crisis continues it takes on a more fierce, complex, yet concerted focus. While the teachers of Oaxaca have been granted virtually all their demands, including for increased salaries, back pay and amnesty, the popular demands to remove Governor Ulises Ruiz and create a new state constitution remain squarely on the agenda. There is tension between many of the teachers who want to go back to work and accept this monetary package and other teachers and APPO activists who see this as a sellout of the broader demands of the coalition. But the various groups are still working together and we can expect this to be further played out both in APPO meetings and in the streets of Oaxaca. What is curious, though, is an apparent lack of specific demands that would begin to solve some of their more serious societal problems. With all their struggle and distain for electoral politics, why haven‟t the APPO activists developed a clearer set of demands to address the critical issues they face: poverty, unemployment, under-funded schools and social services? What if they are successful in removing Ruiz? Certainly they do not think that their problems will be solved by replacing one politico with another. Will a new state constitution alone create economic, social and political changes? How will they use their power to advance a program they think will address the changes needed? This remains to be seen. The Senate and Congress of Mexico have been forced by the APPO activists and their allies to vote to condemn Ulises Ruiz, but they have not voted to remove him from office. Unless that is accomplished, the struggle and civil unrest will continue. Some say that Ruiz, Calderon and Fox, as well as their various party comrades, fear the dangerous precedent of toppling a sitting governor; this would only encourage such militant actions in the future. Others say that Fox does not want to force Ruiz from office as his final presidential act; he wants Ruiz to resign instead. The conservative ruling forces are in disarray creating a larger social space for the peoples‟ power in the streets. Massive demonstrations all over Mexico have ensued in support of APPO. I attended a dynamic, spirited and large demonstration this week in Mexico City, with banners from the many supportive unions and peoples organizations, lots of red flags—unlikely to be found at a US demo. Huge groups of students were jubilantly marching and shouting out slogans. There are a number of semi-permanent encampments in Mexico City where organizations have set up shop for the duration—they form communities of struggle and support in the central city. Every so often, activists will surge toward the streets and stop traffic, extend their encampments, and retreat under pressure from the city police. The zocalo in Mexico City greets visitors with beautiful and fierce banners in support of APPO; Che, Lenin, and APPO t-shirt sales are brisk at all these places. Left groups publish their missives daily and provide displays for people to read and think about. This is a mobilized society. Meanwhile, the struggle and support for APPO expands throughout Mexico and the world, significantly lead by unionists. I attended a meeting of the coalition of unions and organizations of civil society in Mexico City to support the APPO. It took place in the headquarters of the Mexico City teachers‟ union local and was chaired by teacher and other unionists. In consultation with APPO, the people attending the meeting further developed a plan of action to involve a broad group of supporters and apply pressure on the Mexican government to oust Ulises Ruiz, stop the government-led violence, and end the crisis. They decided on the following actions to take place in the next two weeks: Press conferences and testimonies at the National Human Rights Commission; a caravan of people from Mexico City and elsewhere in Mexico to go to Oaxaca to observe, defend and support their struggle (seven buses left on Saturday, November 4th from Mexico City); a statewide mobilization in Oaxaca on Sunday, November 5, including those arriving in caravans from all over Mexico; a two-day national teachers' strike called by the CNTE (progressive) wing of the National Teachers Union/SNTE on November 9-10; a one-day Nationwide Civic Strike (Paro Civico Nacional) on Friday, November 10; a National March in Mexico City on Friday, November 10; a National and International Caravan to Oaxaca starting in Mexico City on November 8th to participate in an expanded Congress of APPO November 10th and 11th. After the initial presentation of the plan of action at the meeting, the debate was intense but agreements were made and people formed committees to work on all these actions. Greetings of solidarity from US and German organizations (including my presentation of the American Federation of Teachers‟ resolution in support of the Oaxaca teachers) were met with appreciation from the meeting participants. The appreciation, camaraderie, and friendship extended to me by activists, especially the teachers, was humbling. These activists are counting on support from abroad and pressure on the Mexican government, including the consulates and embassies all over the world, as a key part of their strategy. Sitting in that room, I felt the weight and importance of spreading the word and helping to bring as many people to support that strategy as possible. The various unions and organizations in the US and other nations continue to play a critical role in making visible and applying pressure to end the struggle triumphantly in Oaxaca in particular and Mexico in general. Labor unions and organizations in the U.S. such as United for Peace and Justice have begun to mobilize in support of the APPO; demonstrations have occurred in more than a dozen US cities; this must be sustained and increased for its influence to be felt. The next few days and weeks will define the future. Will the APPO activists develop new demands that push truly democratic government policies that will serve the poor? Will their movement be appropriated (and perhaps used) by the push for a more progressive electoral solution? How will these dynamics play out? The present crisis is testing the viability of the Mexican government to meet the demands of the people and to remove Governor Ulises Ruiz from office as a symbol of corruption and to stop the violence of a repressive government. Further, the crisis demands that the government begins to offer increased democratic practices that meet the needs of the people. The crisis continues to serve as an international beacon of hope for people, for poor people in particular, to organize, to unite, to assert their demands and to hold on to their hopes and dreams for a world with justice and respect for all peoples. This is a cause worthy of our every support. The Oaxaquenos and Mexicans do the work that so many of us fear to do ourselves in much more privileged situations. They set an example of what is possible in this difficult historical moment. Note: Many thanks go to the following people for their written and spoken reports, some published, some in personal communications, or for comments and suggestions that helped me to write this piece: Hugo Aboites, Mariluz Arriaga, Alan Benjamin, Michael Eisenscher, Tom Gogan, Tami Gold, Soledad Guzman Jimenez, Graciela Espinosa Martinez, Curtis Muhammad, and Gerardo Renique. Nancy Romer is professor of psychology at Brooklyn College and University-Wide Officer of the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334. LOVE:the only competent fascist By Jacoby Young "...being based upon the answer of Jesus to the Pharisees when Jesus said that he without sin should be the first to cast the stone, and upon the Sermon on the Mount which advises the return of good for evil and the turning of the other cheek. Therefore, when we take any part in government by voting for legislative, judicial, and executive officials, we make these men our arm by which we cast a stone and deny the Sermon on the Mount. "The dictionary definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ; kind, kindly, Christ- like. Anarchism is voluntary cooperation for good, with the right of secession. A Christian anarchist is therefore one who turns the other cheek, overturns the tables of the moneychangers, and does not need a cop to tell him how to behave. A Christian anarchist does not depend upon bullets or ballots to achieve his ideal; he achieves that ideal daily by the One-Man Revolution with which he faces a decadent, confused, and dying world". - Ammon Hennacy Christian anarchism. Two ugly words that don't just jump into conversations. You all know of the two things you aren't supposed to talk about in mixed company. Well, unfortunately they are mostly all I care about. You can start feeling uncomfortable now. Let's start with the first word. Christian. I figure most of you reading this may shudder. Thinking, "Ugh, this asshole is going to tell me I need to start praying and listening to Switchfoot." Trust me, I wouldn't wish that upon anyone. I simply want to define what the word christian means. As an adjective: 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith. And as a noun: 2. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian. An important and instructional chunk of Christ's teaching can be found in Matthew 5-7 with the Sermon on the Mount. This begins with The Beatitudes, in which Christ is claiming who will be blessed. Some of these include the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted(Mt. 5:3-10). Interesting that a perfect and holy Jesus Christ would not be blessing the rich, the downlookers, the oppressors, and the (just)warmakers. Silly me, I must be misreading something. Well let's venture further. Jesus continues his teachings with the metaphor of being salt and light. He says you are the light of the world(Mt. 5:14), and let your light shine before men(Mt. 5:16). He calls us to proclaim what we know is truth and to not let it be hidden. He says our good deeds should be seen in our quest for justice and righteousness. Continuing on in verses 17-20 he explains that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill them. Fulfilling law? You had me going for a second but now you lost me. How is this anarchy? He explains with this. He says, you were told not to murder. I'm going to take it one more further, I'm telling you not to even be angry, or hate, it will do everyone(yourself included) just as much damage. You have heard an "eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth," he says. "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you"(Mt. 5:39-42) How much more mutual aid and voluntary cooperation could you ask for? He continues with a call for nonviolent resistance with loving your enemies, and wishing to befriend them(I thought the Christian God told GWB to retaliate for 9/11). He says to treat your deadly adversaries just as anyone else who is broken or sick. Throughout the rest of the sermon there are calls of giving to the poor(making sure not to boast about it), not to worry, or to judge. There is wisdom shared on how to properly fast(but not for anyone but yourself and for God) and to keep no record of wrongs, forgiving your debtors. In the spiritual side of christian anarchism there isn't a specific denomination that must be accepted. The beliefs and interpretations are certainly diverse. Many christian anarchists separate themselves from church hierarchy as well such as Leo Tolstoy. However, Dorothy Day was baptized in a catholic church and believed in the institution. The general knowledge of Christ is shared. His call for pacifism, the golden rule, simple living, and freedom from earthly authority are universal truths. I reference these to explain a little further about the character of Christ. Don't get me wrong, I do have to wonder why he cursed a fig tree and sent many pigs to their demise, but one can't understand everything. His character was beautiful, his wisdom exceptional, and his response to governmental persecution remarkable. Which brings us to anarchism. Imagine a society where: 1. there is no “rich” or “poor”, but everyone‟s basic needs are met? 2. we reject the notion that one can "own" the land", that national borders and property lines are illusions we don‟t need? 3. instead of working for individual wealth, community members work collectively to serve the needs of the entire community. 4. we aren‟t told that “freedom” means ruthlessly competing with others? 5. we directly participate in making the decisions that affect our communities and our lives rather than letting corporate and governmental elites make them for us? 6. we treat animals and the earth with respect, rather than as commodities for consumption? 7. there is no such thing as money? 8. we share resources voluntarily and thus don‟t NEED a concept of private property (as in capitalism) or state property (as in Soviet-style “communism”)? 9. we settle our differences without violence or coercion? 10. we don‟t fear each other and don‟t need police, judges, or courts? 11. we embrace children‟s creativity and curiosity rather than stifling them in schools? 12. we aren‟t bombarded by advertisements telling us to buy crap we don‟t really need? 13. there are no nations to divide us, and no “leaders" fomenting ethic tensions to make us hate each other? 14. we don‟t have, want, or need a military? 15. we consider the impact of our actions on future generations, instead of on the bottom line in the next fiscal quarter? (taken from aforanarchy.com) I think that pretty well explains it. Anarchism is simply an ideal without a ruler. The basic belief that one should be free. Not freer, or freer than most, but free. Many anarchists be it christian or not share in numerous activities. Some of these include war protests, tax resistance, draft resistance, voluntary poverty, not voting, and upholding a communal/collectivist lifestyle. Many anarchists have an altruistic spirit, looking to seek a common good and show respect among all people. It is important to understand that anarchism is not nihilism or chaos by default but as a christian anarchist I do believe it could become that without one's adherence to God or Love, whatever you want to call it. Any allegiances that precede this are idolatrous. Anarchism and christianity share the call to first change one's self, thus realizing you can't change another. You can only influence. Only pain comes in trying to change another/forcing your beliefs on someone. This force is power and it is the weapon of the weak. Power can make an oppressor, as well as the oppressed, do many atrocious acts. It however can't make one love though. This has to come from the individual. So until we are all loving extravagantly we won't see our dream come true, our wish granted. More information can be found through The Catholic Worker Movement, Jesusradicals.com, Jacques Ellul, Henry David Thoreau, and many more. UPRISE Tour Comes to DePaul By: Raechel Tiffe On October 26th at about 10pm, a tiny, fair-haired elderly woman stood in front of a microphone in DePaul University‟s Atrium. No more than 5‟2”, she was adorned in all black clothes and pink-tinted bifocals. When she spoke, her voice skipped out like a soft rain, dainty against the walls of the Student Center. “First, I just want to say,” she began, “Fuck Bush!” The group of about one hundred DePaul students, other Chicagoans, and UPRISE organizers cheered wildly for the speaker, Mary Morello, who would go on to introduce her son, Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine). She, along with all the other performers and organizers of the UPRISE tour, were at DePaul that evening to promote the idea of counter-recruitment. Their message was a clear and urgent one: We cannot let more young people continue to fight and die for an unjust war. The UPRISE tour was the result of the hard work and determination of several people: Tariq Khan, a Georgetown student, and former member of the US Air Force; Ryan Harvey, a radical folk singer and activist of the Riot Folk collective; Kate Flanagan, a UC Santa Cruz student and activist; David Meieran, an activist currently involved with the Pittsburgh Organizing Group; and Tom Nomad, a Cleveland activist. The organizers filled the tour with concerts, workshops, protests, film screenings, and direct education and outreach focused not only counter-recruitment, but also the crushing ways in which the war affects local US communities. The tour started on September 23rd in Washington DC, and, after traveling through the Rust Belt, DePaul Students Against the War had the opportunity to host the culminating performance of the tour on October 26th; (there was a Finale Show Part II at UIC on the 27th). The energy in the Atrium that evening was one full of resistance and possibility. The members of DSAW agreed that they had never seen so many people come out to a event they‟d hosted, and later Ryan Harvey noted that it was the biggest turn-out the UPRISE organizers had seen on the whole tour. Everyone in the audience seemed extremely inspired by and receptive towards the musicians and speakers. In addition to Tom Morello, the evening also included the brilliant political rhymes of Son of Nun, the revolutionary hip-hop of Head-Roc War Machine, the spirited folk of Ryan Harvey, and poignant words from members of The Iraq Veterans Against the War. At midnight, when the music concluded, anyone who was in the audience that night left the DePaul Student Center with more knowledge, more conviction, and an unshakeable sense of community that seemed evident amongst the crowd. The next day DSAW and UPRISE screened the film “Sir, No Sir!”, a documentary about GI resistance during Vietnam. On my way to the film, I was struck by the scene in front of the Student Center. There on an affluent Chicago city street stood the Iraq Veterans Against the War bus. Taking up at least two parking spots on the Lincoln Park block, it was overt in disposition. An eyesore to some, a sign of hope to others, it stood proud and stationary amidst autumn trees and SUVs. I paused for a moment and tried to process this evidence of active resistance from a group of people all in their early 20s. How devastating it was that there was a need for a tour that responded to thousands of unjust Iraqi and American deaths; but how overwhelmingly beautiful it was that the UPRISE tour was proof of compassionate hearts, unstoppable voices, and radical dreams for a better world. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers Brings the Fight for Fair Food to Chicago By Dan LB The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a grassroots, worker-led organization of Latino, Haitian and Mayan Indian migrant farmworkers in southwest Florida. For more than a decade, the CIW has been organizing against the “sweatshops in the fields” of Florida agriculture. Years of community-based organizing followed by the 4-year Taco Bell boycott, culminating in a precedent-setting victory in 2005, brought a measure of economic justice for many workers. Yet the struggle continues, with Chicago as the backdrop for major actions this April. The CIW was born out of the miserable wages and conditions endured by workers in Florida agriculture, who labor from dawn to dusk for sub-poverty wages, without the right to organize, the right to overtime, or benefits of any kind. Workers earn 40-45 cents for every 32-lb. bucket of tomatoes that they pick. At this rate, a farmworker must pick nearly 2½ tons of tomatoes just to earn minimum wage for a typical 10-hour day. Within this context of “sweatshops in the fields,” caused largely by the massvolume, low-cost purchasing practices of giant corporations such as McDonald's (based in Chicago suburb Oak Brook), several cases of modern-day slavery have taken root. Rather than resulting from a “few bad apples,” modern-day slavery is almost the inevitable result when growers are squeezed more and more by corporate purchasers to provide cheaper and cheaper produce, and the only area in which they are able to reduce costs is in farmworker wages and conditions. The CIW‟s worker-led anti-slavery campaign has resulted in the uncovering of 6 separate cases since 1997, liberating over 1,000 enslaved agricultural workers. Since they started meeting and organizing over a decade ago, CIW member/leaders have used the tools of popular education and their shared reality of exploitation as well as the traditions of organizing in their home countries to develop unity and leadership across ethnic and linguistic lines among workers from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti. Their slogan became “Conciousness + Commitment = Change,” referring to the concientización central to their unique organizing style. Through a 30day hunger strike, community-wide work stoppages, a 230-mile march across Florida and other community-based organizing, the CIW was able to stop violence against workers in the fields and ended over twenty years of declining wages in the tomato industry. Yet Immokalee remained an isolated and forgotten corner of the world, and the CIW soon came to understand that the root of their problems as well as a sustainable solution for the entire community were located at a much higher level—the corporations who were buying the tomatoes they picked. In 2001, the CIW launched the first-ever farmworker boycott of a major fast-food company—the national boycott of Taco Bell—calling on the fast-food giant to take responsibility for human rights abuses in the fields where its produce is grown and picked. Throughout the boycott, the CIW strategically reached out across the country to form strong alliances with students and youth as well as communities of faith and other workers. These alliances helped to amplify the voice of the CIW and bring Immokalee out of the isolation and obscurity that the agricultural industry had helped to create. Such alliances will once again be crucial as the current campaign against McDOnald's continues to escalate. During the boycott, student activists organizing through the Student/Farmworker Alliance cut or blocked campus contracts with Taco Bell at 22 universities and high schools nationwide including high-profile victories at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame. From its beginnings as a few students in Florida who heard about the CIW in the year 2000, the SFA has grown into a national, decentralized network through which students and youth have organized autonomously in their communities in support of while taking leadership from and remaining accountable to the CIW. The SFA's concrete work and the contributions it has made to the broader movement's understanding of concepts such as “partnership” and “solidarity” has made it one of the more dynamic youth movements in the U.S. today. Today, much work remains to be done. The Taco Bell boycott victory set groundbreaking yet fragile precedents for worker participation, economic justice, and transparency in Florida agriculture, but it was only a first step. Today, the CIW and its allies are in the midst of an escalating campaign to pressure and demand that McDonald's take the steps necessary to stop the sweatshop conditions and human rights abuses in its tomato supply chain. Rather than work with the CIW, McDonald's has responded by trying to isolate the CIW from its allies and push workers away from the table where decisions are made about their lives. McDonald's has launched a series of well-funded, yet failed public relations maneuvers, and has responded to the conditions in the fields as a PR crisis rather than a human rights crisis. In this context, it's crucial now more than ever for CIW allies to put forth a clear, well-organized message that the CIW is not alone in this struggle. Now is the time for Chicago residents to step up and get involved in this campaign. One of the lessons of the Taco Bell victory was the importance of applying pressure on these corporations right in the backyard of their corporate headquarters. Chicago and its surrounding suburbs will be key battlegrounds in the months ahead as community members, students, youth, people of faith, and others come together in alliance with the CIW. There are many ways you can get involved and take action today- check out the CIW and SFA websites for starters. In the months ahead, CIW and SFA organizers will be spending considerable time in the Chicago area, building support for the campaign in McDonald's own backyard. There will be a Midwest Encuentro of student, youth, and community-based supporters of the CIW in Chicago during the weekend of February 24th. Most importantly, mark your calendars today for major actions in the Chicago area on April 13 and 14, 2007, when the CIW's 2007 Truth Tour culminates in historic mobilizations for farmworker justice. You won't want to miss these powerful actions which promise to herald in a turning point in this campaign. From Colombia to Chiapas, from Immokalee to Chicago, people are envisioning a different world. A world where humanity is valued over profits; a world where workers have a voice and their rights are respected. The CIW's struggle to fundamentally reform the agricultural and fast-food industries is but part of this struggle towards such a world. If successful, this would mean much more than extra wages in the pockets of workers. It would mean respect and dignity for workers in an industry with a history as brutal as the summer sun in Florida. Today, the CIW and its allies continue this struggle towards another world. One multinational fast-food corporation at a time. -Make plans today to attend major CIW actions in Oak Brook, Illinois, on Friday, April 13, 2007; and in Chicago on Saturday, April 14. -Contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. -Visit www.ciw-online.org, www.sfalliance.org and www.allianceforfairfood.org for breaking news, background info, and action ideas. Private Entities? The Anti-Gay Discrimination and Invalid Assumptions of the United States Supreme Court. Megan M. Discrimination against gay people has an extensive legal history. The U.S. Supreme Court cases titled San Francisco Arts and Athletics v. U.S. Olympic Committee (1987), Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group of Boston (1995), and Boy Scouts v. Dale (2000) exemplify a small piece of the pie of discrimination. The immediate issues in these three cases are the right to use the term „Olympic‟, the right to march in a parade, and the right to serve as a Boy Scouts leader. However, the cases carry broader implications regarding the rights of gay people within a legal context. There are basic similarities between SFAA, Hurley, and Boy Scouts, as all regard the first amendment and are anti-gay decisions. The SFAA, Hurley, and Boy Scouts decisions find discriminatory entities with government connections to be private, and formulate invalid assumptions: namely that being gay will negatively impact one‟s public life, and that the mere existence of an openly gay person is an expression or communication. The Court finds discriminatory entities to be private, despite governmental connections in the SFAA, Hurley, and Boy Scouts cases. In San Francisco Arts and Athletics (SFAA) v. U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the court finds the USOC to be a private entity. In the majority opinion Justice Powell writes, “Because the USOC is not a governmental actor…” (SFAA, p. 75). However, the U.S. Olympic Committee is actually incredibly connected to the U.S. government (Murdoch and Price, p. 369). Congress granted the USOC official authority regarding U.S. non-professional athletics in the Amateur Sports Act (ASA). Receiving government funds in addition to this authority, the committee is blatantly connected to the U.S. government (SFAA, p. 77).1 In Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group of Boston, the unanimous court describes the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council as „private organizers‟ and a „private speaker‟ (Hurley, p. 81 and 86). Indeed, Justice Souter does not consider how the Veterans Council is 1 Justice Brennan‟s dissent, which Justice Marshall joined, clearly demonstrates the nationalist nature and governmental connections of the USOC. associated with the Boston city government. However, the Boston City Counsel had previously supported St. Patrick‟s Day-Evacuation Day parades and other celebrations, which took place since the 18th century (Hurley, p. 81-82). Indeed, the city had officially sponsored the parade until 1993, when the city ceased official sponsorship for reasons relating to GLIB (Murdoch and Price, p. 429). In addition to the SFAA and Hurley cases, the Supreme Court also finds the Boy Scouts of America to be a private entity, in Boy Scouts v. Dale. For example, in the majority opinion Chief Justice Rehnquist declares, “The Boy Scouts is a private, not-for-profit organization…” (Boy Scouts, p. 102). Later in the opinion, the Chief Justice restates the sentence exactly (Boy Scouts, p. 104). However, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are actually incredibly linked to the U.S. government and government entities. For example, Boy Scout troops often hold meetings in public schools, without paying rent as other community organizations do. Indeed, the New Jersey Supreme Court found the BSA to be a public accommodation (Murdoch and Price, p. 500). These three cases are extremely significant because many state public accommodations laws, such as those citied in Boy Scouts, would find the discrimination illegal if carried out by a state entity (Boy Scouts, p. 107). However, as these three discriminatory entities are found to be private, their actions are not found to be illegal by the Supreme Court. In the SFAA, Hurley, and Boy Scouts rulings, the justices assume that being gay will negatively impact one‟s public life. Indeed, there is an idea that being gay is so different from a normative identity as to affect one‟s public conduct, abilities, or morality in non-sexual matters. Although this assumption is not directly named, it permeates throughout the anti-gay majority opinions for these cases. In SFAA v. USOC, the U.S. Olympic Commission specifically targets a gay group from using the term „Olympic‟, while allowing other groups to use the term (Murdoch and Price, p. 369). In doing so, there is an underlying assumption that the private lives of gay people have negative characteristics which affect their public life, hence justifying discrimination against gay people. However, the justices did not find any of this questionable in the majority opinion. Rather, in the justices‟ framework discrimination against gay people gives rise to little concern (Murdoch and Price, p. 375). In Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group of Boston, there is a deep underlying assumption that the private lives of the gay people in the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston (GLIB) negatively affect their public life. Indeed, this idea justifies discrimination against GLIB, as the Veterans Council openly acknowledged that they thought GLIB‟s message to be „morally objectionable‟ (Murdoch and Price, p. 431). These ideas are in turn supported by the Supreme Court‟s decision. The assumption that the private lives of gay people negatively impact one‟s public life is most prevalent in Boy Scouts v. Dale. Here, the justices in the majority opinion make an underlying assumption that James Dale‟s sexual orientation will affect his actions as a Boy Scout leader. For example, Chief Justice Rehnquist accepts that the Boy Scouts find the terms „morality straight‟ and „clean‟ to indicate an anti-gay stance (Boy Scouts, p. 105). These terms actually indicate other meanings, as Justice Stevens shows in the dissenting opinion (Boy Scouts, p. 109). By accepting the Boy Scout‟s anti-gay definition of „morally straight‟ and „clean‟, Rehnquist assumes the possibility of such a definition being sound and valid, and therefore demonstrates his underlying assumption. His underlying assumption is that gay people are immoral, which is built on the idea that gay people‟s private lives negatively impacts their public lives. The majority opinions also assume that the existence of an out gay person is an automatic expression or communication. Hence, the justices in the majority see gay people as not only representing, but also advocating for gay people and gay rights. Although this assumption is not clearly stated, it may be found by closely examining two of the three court decisions. There is a different situation in SFAA v. USOC from the other two cases. Unlike the other cases, the San Francisco Athletics Association, Inc. actually does wish to communicate a message in their Gay Olympic Games. In Hurley, the mere existence of an LGB Irish American group is considered to be a message (Murdoch and Price, p. 432). Indeed, the court holds that the mere presence of a gay group would alter the parade‟s expressive content (Hurley, 81). In Boy Scouts v. Dale, the justices in the majority clearly assume that the existence of James Dale as an out gay person is in itself an expression or communication. Chief Justice Rehnquist writes, “Dale‟s presence in the Boy Scouts would… force the organization to send a message, both to the youth members and the world, that the Boy Scouts accepts homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior (emphasis added).” (Boy Scouts, p. 106). The majority opinion argues that the existence and presence of a human being sends a message because of who that human being is, here as an out gay man. The justice‟s assumption in the majority opinions that being gay will negatively impact one‟s public life is invalid. Any person‟s private life may indeed affect one‟s public conduct, abilities, or morality in non-sexual matters. However, there is no one way that gay people‟s private lives, or the fact that they are gay, necessarily negatively affect‟s the public realm of one‟s life. In addition to the first assumption, the justices in the majority opinion assume that the mere existence of an openly gay person is an automatic expression or communication, which is invalid. This assumption is one of outstanding and very serious implications. The existence of a person is Not an expression or communication unless that person chooses to make it so. However, many misconstrue the existence of a person to be an expression or communication without said person‟s consent or encouragement. For example, the existence of an openly gay person is not in itself an expression or communication. An openly gay person may or may not choose to extend their identity as a gay person into an expression or communication. For example, an openly gay person might not express or communicate support for marriage equality. Certainly, many gay people, and people with various group identities of an oppressed status, do indeed use their identity to express or communicate various ideas. Many gay people specifically make use of identity politics, which can be very powerful and expressive. However, in order to formulate an expression or communication, one must choose to do so. It is vital to recognise that it is a choice to express or communicate oneself, in order to respect the expressions and communications of individuals. The SFAA, Hurley, and Boy Scouts decisions find discriminatory entities with government connections to be private, and formulate invalid assumptions: namely that being gay will negatively impact one‟s public life, and that the mere existence of an openly gay person is an expression or communication. Although invalid, these assumptions contribute to the justification of anti-gay court decisions. Perhaps most intriguing is the remarkable determination of the Supreme Court to ignore the governmental connections of the USOC, Veteran‟s Council, and Boy Scouts. Furthermore, the invalid assumptions of United States Supreme Court Justices may be an awakening to all Americans who care about equality and sexual justice. Indeed, more expansive education and understanding is necessary to achieve real gay equality under the law.