The Cost of War: Iraq as of May 15th, 2005

On May 15, 2005, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) organized an anti-war informational walk down Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz. WILPF and supporters gathered at the Town Clock and walked down both sides of the Pacific Avenue sidewalks while handing out leaflets about The Cost of War.

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Informational Rally at Sunshine Villa is just the Beginning

On May 12, 2005, S.E.I.U. workers, students, labor organizers and other community members demonstrated outside Sunshine Villa Assisted Living on Beach Hill in Santa Cruz. Sunshine Villa is owned by Regent Assisted Living which is based in Portland, Oregon. The owner is very worried that if Sunshine Villa is unionized, then the many other assisted living facilities he owns in seven other states will become unionized as well.

You can hear some raw audio from the rally which includes the voices of Yolanda, Robert, Jeffrey Smedberg, Joe Keffer, Julian Posadas and Cerise Ortiz. I very much regret that I made a mistake and some of the audio I recorded has been lost, which included words from Tim Fitzmaurice and Yolanda, a worker recently fired from Sunshine Villa. I’ll learn from my mistake and like we told Sunshine Villa, “We’ll be back.”

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Anarchism Now Conference at UC Santa Cruz

On Saturday, May 7, 2005 the UCSC Anarchism Research Cluster and the Center for Cultural Studies hosted a one-day conference and conversation exploring and contextualizing contemporary anarchism. The conference took place from 9:30am – 6:00pm in Oakes 105.

Organizing questions included: How can we think adequately about anarchism’s place in current social justice movements? What resources does anarchism present us for addressing the current moment? What is it about this current conjuncture that resonates with anarchism? How might anarchism be a part of re-politicizing the academic left?

The conference included two panels with ample time for discussion, and an extended lunch discussion. Conference speakers include Iain Boal, Arif Dirlik, Carwil James, John Holloway, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barry Pateman, Roger White, and Eddie Yuen.

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May Day 2005 in Santa Cruz

On May Day 2005 in San Cruz, the Wobblies marched from the Tom Scribner statue to a rally at the Clock Tower. Rabble-rousers played guitar, sang and spoke about the past, present and future of the labor movement. Speakers and singers included Faith Petric, Fred Hirsch, Mark Levy, David Winters, Fellow Worker Will and Brian from the Santa Cruz General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Our march down Pacific Ave. gained the support of many people as we chanted, “We Don’t Need the Bosses, the Bosses Need Us!!!

For better or worse, there were more people that wanted to watch The Wobblies than could fit into the main dart room of the Poet & Patriot. Those of us that did not make it into the film screening celebrated 100 years of the IWW with a live performance of Rebel Girl by Phil Free and a birthday cake.

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Roger Mentch will Continue the Hemporium, LLC. a Professional Caregiving Service

Sentencing for local medical marijuana provider Roger Mentch, took place May 2, in the chambers of Superior Court Judge Samuel Stevens. Nearly two years ago, the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs drug task force raided the Felton home of Roger Mentch, managing director of the Hemporium, a medical marijuana consultant and delivery service, with about 20 clients.

The prosecutor who tried the case, Thanh Ngo, argued for a 150 day jail sentence and demanded the DA’s office retain all evidence, particularly the cash seized by Sherrie’s deputies. Judge Stevens handed down, a 5-day jail sentence, giving Mentch credit for time served, and summary probation for 3 years. He was also ordered to pay $220 in court costs. Throughout the hearing, Judge Stevens repeatedly stipulated Mentch could continue to operate his marijuana deliveries, saying, “If he wishes to conduct himself under the law, he will not be in violation of probation.”

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