International Women’s Day March & San Antonio Free Speech Coalition v. San Antonio
Oral Argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals Set for April, 2010
by Amy Kastely
On March 6, thousands marched in solidarity with women whose lives and bodies are torn apart by weapons used to conquer the globe for predatory capitalism; with Hyatt housekeepers fighting for the livable wage we all were promised; with victims of official, domestic, and other misogynist violence; with children robbed of their education by the greed of bankers, developers, media conglomerates, global corporations, and the politicians who serve them; with lesbian and trans-women raped and tortured for the slights to patriarchy refracted in the minds of their attackers; and with women en la lucha throughout the world.
In the next few weeks, the City will send the International Women’s Day March Planning Committee a bill that SAPD has estimated will be somewhere between $1,500 and $7,500. Our fight against the City’s efforts to charge thousands of dollars for those street marches bearing messages challenging the City and others with power and influence continues. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals scheduled oral argument in the case of International Women’s Day March & S.A. Free Speech Coalition v. San Antonio.
As La Voz readers will recall, the City of San Antonio currently requires some marching permit applicants to pay thousands of dollars for traffic control while waiving all costs for permit holders whose messages are endorsed by City officials. The International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition brought a federal lawsuit against the City, alleging that this policy is unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Xavier Rodríguez initially enjoined the City from enforcing this policy, but in March 2009, Judge Fred Biery dissolved the injunction and in June, he entered Summary Judgment for the City, without addressing or deciding any of the legal issues raised by the lawsuit. The International Women’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition appealed the Summary Judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and oral argument on our appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeals during the week of April 26th.
It is good news that the Court set the case for oral argument, because the City opposed our oral argument request, and a case is set for oral argument only when the Court determines that the case presents substantial legal issues. Less than 20% of the cases filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are set for oral argument. This will be an important step towards winning this case. Join the struggle! ¡Adelante con la lucha! ¡Las calles no se callan!
(article originally published in La Voz de Esperanza, April 2010, Vol. 23 Issue 3)
MOCK (PRACTICE) ORAL ARGUMENT
SATURDAY, APRIL 17th @ 6:30pm
Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, 922 San Pedro, 78212
Oral Argument in 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Tuesday, April 27th
International Women’s Day March & San Antonio Free Speech Coalition v. San Antonio
The IWD Planning Committee would like to thank the following awesome people:
All the amazing mujeres & organizations that helped to plan, organize, outreach and make this march and rally happen for 2010!
Lisa Asvestos & everyone @ The Cove for supporting us & letting us use their space for the IWD After-Party Fundraiser
The following local artists & local businesses for donating to the IWD Raffle Fundraiser:
Norma Gomez aka Crafty Latina
Stitches by Sew & Sew
Blanca Rosa Braswell-Tucker, La Dama y La Nina
Green Vegetarian Cuisine
Pho Sure Vietnamese
Moxie Hair Salon
ELIZABETH (BETITA) MARTINEZ, Rally Speaker
A Chicana activist, author, and educator, Betita Martinez has published six books and many articles on social movement in the Americas. Her best-known works include 500 years of Chicano History in Pictures, a bilingual history that became the basis for the video she co-directed. Her collection of essays published by South End Press is entitled De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century. Other books include Letters from Mississippi and The Youngest Revolution: A Personal Report on Cuba. Her newest book, 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History, was published by Rutgers University Press.
After graduating from Swarthmore College, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in May 2000, she worked in the United Nations Secretariat as a researcher on colonialism in Africa, as an editor at Simon & Schuster; and as Books and Arts Editor of The Nation magazine. During the 1960s, she served fulltime in the Black civil rights movement with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the South and as a coordinator of its New York office. Later she joined the Chicano movement in New Mexico where she founded the bilingual movement newspaper El Grito del Norte (1968-1973) and co-founded the Chicano Communications Center , a barrio-based organizing and education project.
Since moving to the Bay Area in 1976, she has organized on Latino community issues, taught Women’s Studies part-time, conducted anti-racist training workshops, and worked with youth groups. She ran for governor of California on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket in 1982 and has received many awards from student, community, and academic organizations. In 1997, she founded the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, a resource center to help build alliances among peoples of color. Her daughter, Tessa, is an actress and co-founder of San Francisco’s Latina Theater Lab. - Courtesy South End Press
Pre-Rally @ the Grand Hyatt
MARICELA OLGUIN: PRE-RALLY & RALLY MC
Maricela Olguin is a community artista and escandalosa. The daughter of Aurora and Guadalupe Olguin, her roots and commitment to San Antonio community run deep en el Westside. A part of numerous organizations, Maricela brings people from all over together, she rocks the party and keeps it real.
KIAWITL XOCHITL: BLESSING & DANZA AZTECA
Kiawitl Xochitl Hip-hop graffiti artist, Chicana poet & vocalist. She covers social issues, maintains ancient traditions and calls for change in this world. http://www.myspace.com/kiawitlxochitl • http://www.facebook.com/kiawitl#!
PETRA MATA: FUERZA UNIDA
Petra Mata is one of the founders of Fuerza Unida, a sewing co-operative that is committed to social justice, especially various issues concerning women. She had worked for the Levi’s plant here in San Antonio for fourteen years when one day she was given notice that the plant would be closing and that she was without a job. An immigrant from Mexico, she did not speak English well. As she saw the injustices around her and the abuses to women workers, she, along with many other ex-Levi trabajadoras, decided to form the social justice organization, Fuerza Unida. Social justice for Mata is survival, as she notes, “The struggle is everyday.” For twenty years now Petra and the women of Fuerza Unida have been working on achieving social, economic, and environmental justice through education, organizing and advocacy. 2010 is the 20th anniversary of Fuerza Unida. Several events throughout the year will take place to celebrate the great achievements of this organization.
VIOLA CASAREZ: FUERZA UNIDA
Viola Casarez is one of the founders of Fuerza Unida, an organization advocating social and environmental justice locally as well as across national borders. Once called a “bunch of illiterate women,” Viola and the mujeres of Fuerza Unida have helped give their community a voice for twenty years. With little formal education, Viola has traveled widely advocating for workers’ and women’s rights. Fuerza Unida's vision is for workers and their families to actively participate in society by voicing their opinions and concerns while honoring their cultural traditions and values. She appreciates the space Fuerza Unida provides to the community, always taking time to answer questions and assist anyone that walks through their doors. It is also a space they created as women, “Here we talk about everything, we laugh, we cry…”
IOLA SCOTT: UNITE HERE
Iola Scott demands respect. She works in the laundry department in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Iola came to San Antonio in 2005 as a result of hurricane Katrina in her hometown of New Orleans. Under the employment of the Grand Hyatt she has witnessed and endured injuries that happened on the job. At 48 she is a mother of two and a grandmother of three, and joined the fight with UNITE HERE to stop the dehumanizing treatment of women in her workplace. Iola recognizes that most of the positions where much of the worst treatment occurs, are held by mostly women of color, “the young, to the middle aged, to the old.” She was involved with the Hope for Housekeepers campaign where workers throughout the U.S. assembled a quilt to raise awareness of the worker abuses occurring within the Hyatt Hotel corporation. “…Really, truly my fight with them is on respect”, Iola remarks. “It’s like they’ve gone back (to) slavery times.”
Rally @ the Plaza del Zacate
DANCE PERFORMANCE BY ORGANIX DANCE GROUP
SUZY BRAVO: RALLY PERFORMER
Suzy Bravo With her own raw rock and punk TACOLAND roots, Bravo leads local supergroup Suzy Bravy & the Soul Revue, paying tribute to soul, funk and blues.
MARISOL CORTEZ & MONICA RAMOS: Southwest Worker's Union, the People's Power Coalition
Marisol Cortez currently works as the climate justice organizer for the Southwest Workers' Union, where she helps lead a campaign calling for greener, more just energy policy in San Antonio. Born in Corpus Christi and raised in and around San Antonio, Marisol worked with local environmental and EJ networks around the PGA issue, which inspired her to study the intersections of environmental destruction and social justice issues as a graduate student at UC Davis. After completing her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at UC Davis, she returned to her home community of San Antonio to hopefully put her knowledge and passion to good use.
Monica Ramos is an active student leader at Edison High School as well as in her community. She is a member of the Youth Leadership Organization (YLO), which she joined to supplement her education on a greater scale and increase her participation in the community. Ramos, who is sixteen years old, is passionate about in the environmental justice, as demonstrated by helping to plant a community garden at her high school, assisting in a mural, as well as speaking at events and demonstrations against CPS’s proposed nuclear expansion. She will be attending the US Social Forum in Detroit this year, and is looking forward to learning more about environmental justice and community governance. A role model to her peers, she reflects: “My hope is for more kids to be interested and taking the time and effort to give back to help our community because it’s not just them in their own world, but it’s all of us in San Antonio.”
VERONICA CASTILLO: MUJERARTES
Veronica Castillo Maestra at Esperanza Center’s MujerArtes. Veronica’s work with the women of MujerArtes focuses on artistic expression through clay, storytelling and the meaning of working in a cooperativa.
AMANDA FLORES: PERFORMER
Amanda Flores, a recent graduate of Trinity University and frequent performer at the San Antonio Puro Slam, eats vowels for breakfast and crunches consonants for lunch.
LISA CALDERA: EDUCATOR
Lisa Caldera is a public school educator, at Roosevelt High School. She has taught 24 years in the Texas public school system. She has seen the effects of poverty on youth as they pursue their educational goals.
Kiawitl Xochitl Hip-hop graffiti artist, Chicana poet & vocalist. She covers social issues, maintains ancient traditions and calls for change in this world.
ANTONIA PADILLA -
SAN ANTONIO GENDER ASSOCIATION
Antonia Padilla works with and through various organizations on many issues, including transgender issues. She moved back to San Antonio in 2000 from Brownsville where she worked for many years as a photographer, and was unjustly fired, because of her queer gender identity. As a fifty year old transgender woman, she has experienced many years of discrimination and even assault. It is this personal experience she calls upon as a source of strength in her activism and in educating others about the transgender community. She has become a strong voice against violence: “As a news photographer on the Mexico/U.S. border, I got to see a lot of things that men do to women, men do to their environment, they do to their families, and it’s just incredibly wrong.” Antonia has lobbied at the 2007 and 2009 Texas Legislative session. She is a talented photographer, and has captured various Esperanza events, a space she felt “drawn to,” as a transgendered woman.
PATRICIA CASTILLO: P.E.A.C.E. INITIATIVE
Patricia Castillo Executive Director of P.E.A.C.E. Initiative. She has worked more than two decdes to end violence against women and children. She feels that what causes the most damage is when people hurt each other under the guises of loving each other. Abuse is a behavior that we pass on inter-generationally. Boys and girls are socialized to act in that support abusive behavior. Patricia wants violence against women to be “something we normanlly talk about just as it normally happens” so that we can address and stop it. This year PEACE Initiative turns 20 too!