Counting Lives Lost, Making Tangible an Abstract Measure of Grief

While traveling through Watsonville on June 1st, I came across a grid of four inch figures representing “every person who has died in Iraq since we invaded.” The exhibition is at Sierra Azul Nursery and Gardens and is part of the Pajaro Valley Arts Council exhibit, Sculpture IS, which is showing June 2nd through July 30th. Thirty-nine regional artists are showing over seventy pieces of work ranging from installation and performance art to a variety of sculptures that are kinetic, functional, traditional and collaborative.

“Counting Lives Lost, Making Tangible an Abstract Measure of Grief” was installed by a volunteer group of artists over Memorial Day weekend. Two tons (four thousands pounds!) of clay were reportedly used so far to make the figures and I believe there are plans to continue adding new figures as more Americans and Iraqis continue to die in the Iraqi War. Only American and Iraqi deaths are being represented, but installation artist Kathleen Crocetti is well aware that people from other parts of the world are also dying in the Iraqi War.

Continue reading “Counting Lives Lost, Making Tangible an Abstract Measure of Grief”

May Critical Mass in Santa Cruz and a Look Back

Critical Mass is a monthly, community bike ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists’ right to the road. Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization, it’s an unorganized coincidence. A movement of bicycles in the streets. Show up to the clocktower in downtown Santa Cruz the last Friday of each month at 5pm with your favorite human powered transportation for a celebration of life and bicycles! Bring all of your friends and family for a wonderful ride around Santa Cruz. Critical Mass leaves at 5:30pm.

The Santa Cruz Critical Mass Bike Ride on May 26th included riding on West Cliff, through the Beach Flats and past the guarded Boardwalk.

Continue reading “May Critical Mass in Santa Cruz and a Look Back”

Circus Gatti Comes to Watsonville to Benefit the Police

Activists were able to outreach to almost everyone in attendance. Most people were very receptive to learning about the lifestyles and living conditions of circus animals.

MJG Entertainment, Inc’s Circus Gatti, based in Hemet, California, operates approximately 450 circuses in 150 towns each year. The performances include acrobats, jugglers, a high-wire act and captive wildlife such as horses, tigers and elephants which are trained to entertain young children and their adults. On May 20th and 21st, Circus Gatti brought their show to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds for a Watsonville Police benefit.

Animal rights activists were at the County Fairgrounds in Watsonville holding signs, passing out flyers in English and Spanish and speaking with circus-goers about the sad life of circus animals. On May 21st, activists were able to outreach to almost everyone in attendance. Most people were very receptive to learning about the lifestyles and living conditions of circus animals. Many people said they were sorry they decided to go to the circus, they would not have gone if they had known about the animals and they would not return next year.

Continue reading “Circus Gatti Comes to Watsonville to Benefit the Police”

Cinco de Mayo Anti-Immigrant Rallies in Santa Clara

According to Illegal Immigrant Protest dot com, May 5th and 6th were a “National Illegal Immigrant Protest Rally Days.” Destroy the Border Coalition called for people to go out and counter the racist message of the rallies, saying, “The people who do the work in a community are entitled to live with dignity and without fear of violence and deportation. Undocumented workers are economic refugees from the countries that the U.S. has been exploiting for hundreds of years.”

On May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) several dozen flag waving americans lined a short stretch of Kiely Blvd in front of Central Park in Santa Clara. The american flag wavers were holding an, “anti-illegal immigrant protest calling for secure borders, decreased migration to the US and no amnesty for illegal immigrants.” In response to the nationwide call for “anti-illegal immigrant protests” the Destroy the Border Coalition called for people to counter-demonstrate against the racist message of the rallies in Santa Clara and says, “the people who do the work in a community are entitled to live with dignity and without fear.”

Continue reading “Cinco de Mayo Anti-Immigrant Rallies in Santa Clara”

May Day 2006 Rocks Santa Cruz County

On Monday, May 1st, International Workers Day, students and workers at UC Santa Cruz walked picket lines at the base of campus and west entrance to support the rights of immigrants and all people. In the United States, grassroots organizers of May Day 2006 called for a day of, “No Work, No School, No Buying, No Selling” to help illustrate the critical role that migrants play in the United States and global economy.

Thousands of Santa Cruz residents marched from the Beach Flats to the town clock and on to San Lorenzo Park. At the town clock, the march from the Beach Flats met up with thousands of people who marched from the base of the UCSC campus.

An estimated 10,000 (or 12,000+) people marched through the streets of Watsonville to support the rights of immigrants and all people. From the Watsonville Plaza, people marched over the bridge to Pajaro and then up Main Street to Highway 152. The march then went through neighborhoods in the east side of Watsonville before returning to the Plaza.

Continue reading “May Day 2006 Rocks Santa Cruz County”