Monday, November 02, 2009

Truth In San Rafael

The San Rafael Art Commission has accepted the "Truth Sign" for its January 2010 Courthouse Square showing on 4th Ave, downtown San Rafael, CA

More on this item forthcoming...

photo credit courtesy of

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

San Francisco General Strike of 1934 Commemorations

The San Francisco general strike and West Coast maritime strike in 1934 was one of the most important and successful strikes in the history of the United States. This strike along with the Minneapolis Teamsters strike and Toledo strike were high points for the American labor movement. In the San Francisco general strike, Bloody Thursday was on July 5, 1934 when strikers Nick Bordoise and Howard Sperry were killed and 109 people were wounded as a result of the police attack on strikers and their supporters. Despite the calling of the National Guard and the violent attack on unions and workers in San Francisco this strike was won.

These powerful militant worker strikes also set the stage for millions of US workers to join unions and eventually break the back of the employers union busting efforts to destroy the labor movement.

The backbone of the San Francisco longshore strike was a militant new democratic union that elected all of its leaders including the strike chair Harry Bridges. It was formed in struggle against corrupt unionism and it showed that workers had the ability to organize, educate and train their members to defend their unions and all working people. The slogan an injury to one is an injury to all was and is still the motto of the ILWU. Today with millions of workers losing their jobs, their homes and their healthcare the issues that brought that strike are again extremely relevant. Tens of thousands of workers have been fired in the United States simply for trying to organize a union.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Save Bill's Trail

Bill’s Trail, in a steep, remote section of Samuel Taylor State Park is under assault by IMBA, the International Mountain Bike Association, and other local mountain bike proponents. This well funded and determined lobby has managed to convince State Park staff, that opening the fragile, narrow, fern lined trail to aggressive downhill mountain biking is within the definitions of state park shared use trails. IMBA maps of the trail depict only a few hairpin turns when in fact there are up to 40 such switchbacks. The trail is accessible by an arduous climb to about the 850’ elevation of Barnaby Mountain and would provide a mostly moderately steep downhill ride (7-8% grade) for bike users.

Mountain bikers have proved on numerous occasions to be poor stewards of the trail systems in Marin and Sonoma counties. Bikers in Marin, have been arrested for building illegal trails in sensitive wildlife habitats on numerous occasions, threatened local residents who report or encounter them on illegal trails, destroy private property, cut down redwood and other trees and continue to build downhill ramps and jump courses in off limits county open spaces. Their tire tracks leave deep erosive ruts in healthy trails especially during the rain season. Recently, an injured mountain biker had to be air lifted out of nearby Annadel State Park. The remoteness of Bill’s Trail poses significant problems for state park resources in both maintenance and monitoring in an economic climate that is in serious decline. Endangered Coho salmon spawn in a creek at the base of the trail. The impacts of substantial bike traffic near this creek have not been studied. When over a hundred miles of legal trails remain open to them in Sonoma and Marin, one wonders what the feverish urgency is in opening up more trails. The answer is that the mountain bike industry is a billion dollar commercial enterprise that must sell products. IMBA takes its marching orders from corporate giants. This is not care for the wilderness but yet another exploitative grab of traditional wilderness and open space for basic thrill seeking.

Voice your opposition to the plan by June 26, 2009. Demand a full CEQA review from state authorities. Call or email staff head, Roy McNamee
707- 769-5665 ex 226