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Photograph by Stephen Laufer

My Amy Is True: Fans of Amy Goodman were undeterred by a bomb threat at the Rio Sunday. That's Rio owner Laurence Bedford on the left.

Nüz

The Show Goes On

Fans of Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman opened not only their hearts but also their bags in support of the progressive radio firebrand after a bomb threat against the sold-out Rio event was phoned in to neighboring Afghan restaurant Parwama on Sunday.

Goodman was in town promoting her new book, The Exception to the Rulers, with her co-author (and brother), David Goodman. Police inspected the building, a sign was posted at the door advising ticket-holders of the situation and bags were searched. But once the theater was declared safe, everyone involved--from the Goodmans themselves to the Rio staff to the Capitola Book Cafe and Bookshop Santa Cruz folks presenting the event on down to the capacity crowd--was determined not to let the event be sabotaged. In fact, the best part of the whole stupid distraction was seeing show-goers roll their eyes at the bomb threat.

"Typical," said one Democracy Now! fan in disgust as she scanned the sign on the way in. "They'll do anything to try to shut her up."

To the relief of all involved, the evening went off without a hitch. Those inspired by Goodman's no-nonsense discussion of the U.S. media's failures might want to check out the Rio's free (!) April 29 double offering of UnPrecedented: Election 2000, which dissects the battle for the 2000 presidential election, and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, an eyewitness account of the 2002 Venezuelan presidential coup, caught by a visiting Irish film crew. Showtime is 7pm at 1205 Soquel Ave. (426.9777).

Bake Back Your Country

Trading "Bush Is Nuts" brownies and "Condoleezza Rice Krispy" treats for donations to MoveOn.org's political action committee, supporters of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry raked in $250,000 with statewide April 17 bake sales. Holly Hess, who organized the bake sale outside O'Neill's, which raised $3,400, cited Iraq, the environment and women's rights as some of the many reasons why she wants to see Bush out of the White House.

Three days earlier, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom declared itself "outraged" by Bush's April 13 address, in which he justified his war on Iraq and Afghanistan by referring to the "work of a fanatical political ideology," the servants of which "seek to oppress and persecute women."

Pointing out that the Bush administration has pursued an agenda that puts women at risk around the world, WILPF said in a statement, "If the president is truly moved to be an advocate for women's rights, he could start by adhering to U.N. Resolution 1325 requiring women's participation in decision making. He could help secure adequate funding for health care and education. He could rescind the dangerous global gag rule that prohibits USAID funding for NGOs which use their own non-U.S. money to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion."

And now, 65 Santa Cruz County residents (and counting!), including Henny Van Ooy, Alison Harlow, Betsy McCarty, Gretchen Dokey, Brianna Goodman, Julianna Rousseau, Leslie Andrews, Anita Aguirre, Linda Brodman, Morgan McLoughlin and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte director and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Cynthia Mathews are joining thousands of people at the March for Women's Lives, April 25 in Washington, D.C., to oppose the Bush administration's war on choice.

"We've been through an extended campaign by the anti-choice movement, but particularly, the last four years have unleashed a war on women's right to choose," said Mathews, citing Bush's record of reduced access to family planning, the building of a platform to outlaw abortion, the redefinition of the legal status of the fetus, the packing of the courts to overturn Roe v. Wade, the replacement of science with right-wing ideology and the censoring of free speech. "So, we're trying to make people and in particular young women aware of just how close we are to losing many of the gains of the past 40 years, which many people now take for granted.

Recalling how it was illegal for married couples to buy and use birth control back in the mid-1960s, and that since then one restriction after another has fallen, Mathews warns that "this new wave of the anti-choice movement has been relentless. With the prospect of another four years of the Bush administration, the potential for wholesale loss of choice is very real."

For information on the march, which is co-sponsored by the ACLU, Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL pro-Choice America, Black Women's Health Imperative and the Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, visit www.marchforwomen.org.

Tragedy File

"We need a tragedy file," said Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), on learning that undocumented immigrant Rosaura Luna, who killed Sunnyvale resident David Berridge in a head-on collision last fall, was sentenced to two years in state prison on April 1--and will likely be deported to Mexico immediately upon her release.

Cedillo--who worked for five years to get driver's license legislation for undocumented workers, only to see it repealed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shortly before it was to kick in at the beginning of this year--does indeed have a host of similarly tragic stories, and he clearly believes that the possibility of saving even one life makes his legislation worthwhile.

It's been a tough battle, but he recently gained a completely unexpected ally. Cedillo says he was in Los Angeles when Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently announced he's in favor of giving licenses to undocumented workers.

"It was eerie, " recalls Cedillo. "I got calls from the press, who were playing Jeb's words to me and asking what I thought, and there was Jeb sounding just like us, talking about highway safety and tragedy."

That said, Cedillo, who has met with Arnie in the past few weeks, is staying on message and doing lots of research, "in the hope of emerging with a rush and blitzing a reformed bill through."

Berridge's fiancee, Sheree Kirkeby, who joined the Berridge clan in giving "hard-core emotional" testimony and listened to Luna's family attest that Rosaura is a wonderful mother, says, "I realize it's a tragedy on both ends, but when Luna gets out of prison, she'll be reunited with her family, while we're left with nothing."

To Be Young and Queer

April 21 is a national Day of Silence to mirror the silence queer youth are forced into when they don't feel safe to be "out." Check out Community TV's live broadcast of Youth Speak Out, 6-7pm, April 21, on Channel 27, as middle and high school students tell their stories and advocate for the enforcement of the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act. If you miss all that, you can still get involved by visiting www.diversitycenter.org/qytf/safeschools or calling 831.427.4004.


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From the April 21-28, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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