RBO is a great site. A must visit and I pulled this info from this blog. The site has much more info but I wanted to have this posted again as I only found out about it on Glenn Beck.
April 9, 2009 by Procrustes
Also see related articles: Trevor Loudon’s Obama Appoints ‘Former’ Communist To White House ‘Green Job’ and RBO’s California community activist Adam Gold and More STORM Stories.
There’s a reliable saying, “you are known by the company you keep.” If you were paying attention — and you should have been — no doubt you heard it any number of times throughout Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
We don’t need to list names, as the list appears to be endless. You know of whom we speak.
But then, as always, there’s much much more.
A case in point originated with research for RBO’s April 6 article on California community activist Adam Gold.
Gold is a cohort to Anthony (Van) Jones (left), the San Francisco Bay Area radical agitator and committed Marxist-Leninist-Maoist chosen March 10 to serve as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). In fact, this thread started with Trevor Loudon’s April 6 Obama appoints former Communist to White House ‘Green Job’. It was the simple matter of looking online for a picture of Adam Gold that led to many new avenues of discovery — and disquiet.
The Spring 2004 publication Reclaiming Revolution, which details the “history, summation & lessons” realized by the then-dissolved Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), is one excellent example.
As Loudon pointed out, both Jones and Gold were members of STORM. Their STORM activity, of course, could have occurred anytime between when it came into existence, in November 1994, and the approximate date of its dissolution, in December 2002. However, the digging about revealed that the involvement was not only long in time but wide in breadth.
A key factor is that, as STORM members, they would clearly have had to subscibe to STORM’s admitted Marxist ideals and shared willfully in STORM’s Marxist philosophy. Reclaiming Revolution states (p51):
STORM was never formally a “Marxist-Leninist” organization, and we never had a systematic Marxist theoretical framework. But we did have a political commitment to the fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism. We upheld the Marxist critique of capitalist exploitation. We agreed with Lenin’s analysis of the state and the party. And we found inspiration and guidance in the insurgent revolutionary strategies developed in Third World revolutionaries like Mao Tse-tung and Amilcar Cabral.
We placed ourselves in the Marxist tradition, we also tried to critique that tradition and innovate within it. [...]
We also saw our brand of Marxism as, in some ways, a reclamation. In the face of the stereotype of Marxism that racialized it as white, we wanted to reclaim the history of Third World communist struggle. After all, such struggles have made up the overwhelming majority of communist movements worldwide.
But if we were firmly within the Marxist tradition, we were not bound very tightly to any camp within it. [...]
In his November 11, 2007, evaluation of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s (FRSO) publication Which Way Is Left?, adamfreedom at Machete408 writes of SOUL:
While there have been perhaps other very small and lesser known efforts of local level groups, the only one that has managed to have made a splash and left a legacy was Bay Area based STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement). Their politics were never very clearly defined, but drew heavily on Marxism and especially Mao, along with ideas popular during the NCM [New Communist Movement], including third world Marxism and elements of revolutionary nationalism. In their early years, the group even included a few anarchists, but became decisively third world Marxist in their later years. One of the more frustrating aspects of their politics was their tendency to fall into very vulgar and crude uses of Marxist analysis and theory (often justified as making Marxism accessible and of course laden with the assumption that oppressed people cannot think deeply) which coupled with overconfidence and leading roles in movements such a Proposition 98, led to conflict and distrust with other organizers.
As members of STORM and its Marxist-based philosophy, Jones and Gold did not function alone. They were in the company of a small group of like-minded fellow travellers.
Although Reclaiming Revolution talks strictly in terms of organizations and programs and concepts — and carefully avoids naming names — it is possible to identify some individuals from the text by their affiliations.
Before we talk about whom those might be, it’s significant that we can identify some STORM members mentioned elsewhere in contemporary sources. At least three members of STORM were identified as delivering classes at the Center for Political Action. In 1998 Cindy Wiesner, described as “organizer, H.E.R.E. local 2850, and STORM member”, presented “From Rank-and-File to Leadership: Women of Color and Unions.” A 2005 class (Reclaiming Revolution: Evaluating the Experience of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)) was given by “former STORM members Harmony Goldberg, Raquel Lavina.” Two more STORM members’ names emerge in 2005 from a similar presentation on Reclaiming Revolution for the Catalyst Project — Maria Poblet and Jason Negron-Gonzalez. More on these fine folks below.
Adamfreedom at Machete408 comments March 23 he believes “the classic piece ‘Where was the color in Seattle?: Looking for reasons why the Great Battle was so white,’ originally published in ColorLines (Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2000) where Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez interviews Van Jones [... is] the only public reference to Van Jones’ membership in STORM.” ColorLines is a publication of the activist institute, the Applied Research Center.
As you will soon see, there are more.
Reclaiming Revolution states (p21) that, in 1998:
STORM members were building organizations that were growing and becoming important forces in the movement in their own right. STORM never organizationally directed or intervened in the work of these organizations. But, because STORM members founded and led them, they came to be seen as “STORM-affiliated.” Furthermore, these projects promoted politics quite similar to — indeed, at times indistinguishable from — STORM’s.
For example, Bay Area Police Watch was expanding to become the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC). EBC would go on to sponsor some of the Bay Area’s most important projects fighting against state oppression.
The references here to Bay Area PoliceWatch and the Ella Baker Center are clearly to Van Jones.
The Bay Area PoliceWatch Team is part of the Ella Baker Center co-founded by Jones, who is board president, and Diana Frappier, now a board member.
Trevor Loudon wrote April 8 about Diana Frappier (left) in “Weather Alert! Obama’s ‘Green Jobs Czar’ linked to Former Terrorist Supporters.” The “former terrorist supporters” are Jon and Nancy Frappier, whom the FBI identified as affiliated with Students for a Democratic Society and members of the Weather Underground and whom Trevor guesstimates are Diana’s parents. More about Diana Frappier below.
The other two board members are Belvie Rooks, Vice President of Special Projects at Carrie Productions, and independent public policy researcher and consultant, Glenn Backes, who previously served as Director of the Soros Foundation’s International Harm Reduction Development Program for which he helped “establish drug treatment and HIV prevention projects throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.”
Then, regarding STORM’s Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) Work Group (not to be confused with the RYM wing of Students for a Democratic Society), dedicated to the “development of a revolutionary internationalist trend of youth organizations in the Bay [Area]“, Reclaiming Revolution states:
RYM was STORM’s largest Work Group, including more than half of all members. Most STORM members had been engaged and playing leading roles in the Bay Area youth movement when they joined the organization.
RYM members were involved in Youth Force Coalition, the People of Color Task Force to Free Mumia (later known as the Third Eye Movement 510), Third Eye Movement 415, PENCIL (Progressive Educators Network Creating International Liberation), and SOUL (the School Of Unity & Liberation). Indeed, STORM members founded or co-founded all of these organizations. And each played a leading role in the youth and student movement.
Again commenting on Which Way Is Left?, adamfreedom at Machete408 writes (emphasis added):
Although never reaching more than 20 members, the group at their height in the late 90’s had tremendous influence as nearly every member was a non-profit staff organizer for various groups. They had direct or indirect influence over a near empire of non-profit movement groups. [...] a large number of [former STORM] activists are currently engaged in study groups on revolutionary organization in the Bay Area and NYC with partly initiated by some of their former members and those close to them. [...]
What is most interesting about STORM is that nearly all members had never been part of a previous revolutionary organization and the group maintained quotas of 60% women and 75% people of color, though many were non-natives to the Bay Are drawn to the regions top schools such as Stanford and University of California Berkeley. But undoubtedly STORM has left a legacy in the Bay Area of a largely people of color oriented brand of third world Marxism.
As discussed in RBO’s April 6 post on Adam Gold (right), the Youth Force Coalition (YFC) was a project of the Youth Empowerment Center (YEC), which was co-founded by Gold, YEC’s executive director and treasurer.
Other YEC directors included Van Jones and Harmony Goldberg (left), who served as the board’s president. Although Goldberg was identified by our source, Ron Arnold of Undue Influence, as executive director of SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation), Goldberg is also SOUL’s co-founder and co-director.
Note both YFC and SOUL are organizations listed above as “founded or co-founded” by STORM RYM members. Also note that YEC was both YFC’s and SOUL’s fiscal sponsor. Is this not looking a whole lot like the ACORN, SEIU expansive network?
Unquestionably, STORM, YEC/YFC and SOUL operated interdependently up until STORM’s dissolution in December 2002. The YEC administration was closed down as of December 31, 2004.
In a lengthy October 16, 2002, San Francisco Weekly profile, Peter Byrne wrote about SOUL, co-founded in 1996 by Goldberg and fellow UC Berkeley student, Rona Fernandez:
Like the radical left itself, SOUL is a study in contradiction.
Borrowing techniques and language from the corporate business world, SOUL hires itself out as a consultant to left-leaning groups, teaching them how to incorporate as nonprofits and how to seek grants from major philanthropic foundations. In a few short years, the school’s staff, and its graduates, have become a force in the arena of leftist politics in the Bay Area, leading activist groups working for welfare and immigrant rights, prison and police reform, tenant protection, affordable housing, and a cleaner environment.
But there is irony to spare in the funding sources that have made those inroads possible: A score of gold-plated, capitalist foundations regularly pump large sums of money into Mandela Village, even though SOUL promotes anti-capitalist ideas — including redistribution of the world’s wealth to the poor — that, if made real, would mean the end of private property, not to mention philanthropic foundations.
Byrne writes Mandela Village “houses what can aptly be described as a school of rebellion.”
Behind the irony lies the fundamental question: Is SOUL using capitalists to undermine capitalism, or are the agents of Mammon simply paying a new generation of leftists to join, rather than smash, The System? [...]
Note: Ponder this question for a moment before moving on. What do you think?
As SOUL grew, Goldberg became a fund-raiser extraordinaire. She quickly linked up with a national network of nonprofits that pursue environmental and political reforms far to the left of, say, the Democratic Party platform. America’s newest generation of social radicals is supported by private foundations — the Vanguard Public Foundation, Resist Inc., the Tides Foundation, and the Active Element Foundation — that are, in turn, funded by donations from wealthy families and individuals. SOUL also takes money from the Zellerbach Foundation, capitalized originally by profits made in the paper and pulp industry, and from the Levi Strauss Foundation, operated by Levi Strauss & Co., a multinational garment-manufacturing firm. SOUL’s board of directors draws the line at applying for government grants.
A broader historical background for SOUL comes from a 1998 Clinton administration One America Initiatives file which states:
The Summer Of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) grew out of the 1995 student movement at the University of California-Berkeley to support affirmative action. Modeled after the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), SOUL was founded by four women–Rona Fernandez, Harmony Goldberg, Tho Vinh Banh and Amanda Enoch–who were directly involved in the Berkeley campus organizing. [...]
SOUL began as a summer training program in 1996. The first summer program focused on organizing to support affirmative action in the University of California system. The second summer focused on welfare and economic justice organizing. [...]
Rona Fernandez and Harmony Goldberg are now extending SOUL into a year-round political education and organizer-training program for young people in the Bay Area.
It would appear that Tho Vinh Banh, listed since 2002 as a California attorney and currently with Disability Rights California, and Amanda Enoch, whereabouts unknown, left SOUL prior to Byrne’s 2002 article.
Byrne continues, with more information about the SOUL/Youth Empowerment Center relationship:
According to public records, SOUL’s fiscal sponsor, the Youth Empowerment Center Inc., a kind of nonprofit holding company headed by Goldberg, raised a total of $1.4 million in 2000 and 2001 from private foundations. [...]
The school’s share of the Youth Empowerment Center’s take [in 2001/2] was about a quarter-million dollars. SOUL’s six staff members receive salaries of $27,000, health insurance, and paid sick days and annual vacation time. The balance of the center’s money went to funding four artistic and community organizing groups that share SOUL’s political goals and office space, and into a hefty savings account.
Keep in mind, the Youth Empowerment Center board of directors, which included Van Jones and Adam Gold, led by its president, Harmony Goldberg, controlled the purse strings for activist groups C-Beyond, Youth Force Coalition, SOUL, the Underground Railroad, STARC (Students Transforming and Resisting Corporations), and RESYST (Resources for Youth Students and Trainers).
Byrne also interviewed Gold, who currently serves on SOUL’s board of directors, for the article:
A few years ago, Adam Gold received technical assistance from SOUL when he founded a white youth group to combat racism in Contra Costa County. Later, he went to work as a fund-raiser for the Youth Empowerment Center and was elected treasurer of its board of directors.
The “white youth group” to which Gold referred is most likely “Concord-and Beyond (C-Beyond), based in conservative, mostly white Contra Costa County north of San Francisco,” thusly described by another Van Jones-Adam Gold associate, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez in the May 2000 issue of Z Magazine.
Martinez, the co-founder of the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, was profiled October 4, 2005, by ABC News San Francisco:
After graduating from Swarthmore College, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2000, she worked as a United Nations researcher on colonialism in Africa, an editor at Simon & Schuster; and Books and Art Editor of The Nation. During the 1960s she served fulltime in the Black civil rights movement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1968 she joined the Chicano movement in New Mexico, where she edited the newspaper El Grito del Norte and co-founded the Chicano Communications Center, a barrio-based organization. As an anti-war activist, she traveled to North Vietnam in 1970.
Since moving to the Bay Area in 1976, she has taught Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies in the California State University system, conducted anti-racist training workshops, and worked on Latino community issues. She ran for Governor of California on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket in 1982. She has spoken to hundreds of academic, student and community groups and received many awards.
In 1997 she co-founded and currently directs the Institute for MultiRacial Justice in San Francisco, a resource center that aims to help build alliances between peoples of color and combat divisions. She served as an editor of the national bilingual newspaper War Times/Tiempo de Guerras.
Another profile on Martinez, “Towards Social Justice: Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez and the Institute for MultiRacial Justice” by Chris Crass, was published by Colours of Resistance, self-described as a “multi-racial, anti-global capitalist working group.”
Trevor Loudon wrote in his article on Van Jones that Jones, Gold and Martinez worked together on the organizing committee for the anti Iraq War newspaper WAR TIMES.
Returning to Harmony Goldberg, in his Undue Influence profile on the Youth Empowerment Center, Ron Arnold provides a brief bio for her:
YEC President 1999-2001
Executive director, SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation), Oakland, CA
August, 2002: as member of [the anti-Israel group] Jews for a Free Palestine visited Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Gaza. (See Janelle Brown, Over my dead body. Activists are flocking to the West Bank to serve as human shields, protecting Palestinians and protesting the Israeli occupation. Are they part of the solution — or part of the problem?, Salon, January 15, 2003.)
July 2001: jailed for unlawful assembly after disrupting Alameda County (CA) Board of Supervisors meeting
1998: Critical Resistance conference: panelist on “Developing Revolutionary Strategies”
May 1997: graduated, University of California at Berkeley
Organizer, “Californians for Justice” and Students Against Proposition 209 (See Harmony Goldberg’s The Abolition of Affirmative Action at UC Berkeley published in ATC 71, November-December 1997.)
1995, leader of UC-Berkeley’s Diversity in Action coalition
Note that Goldberg’s SOUL co-founder, Rona Fernandez, “leads fundraising and fundraising strategy” at Californians for Justice in Oakland; she has been involved with CFJ since 1995 when it was founded “as a statewide campaign to defend affirmative action in California.”
More recently, Goldberg was a signatory to the August 2006 Petition for U.S. Jewish Solidarity with Muslim and Arab Peoples of the Middle East and, in January 2008, Goldberg, “whose activist work includes involvement with Domestic Workers United,” participated in Solidarity’s Socialist Feminist Retreat.
Although there is not a lot more that can be said about former STORM member Diana Frappier, trainer and speaker profiles for the 1999 Western States Center Community Strategic Training Initiative includes her:
DIANA FRAPPIER is the Legal Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which fights human rights abuses on several levels, including operating a lawyer referral service for victims of police misconduct, community organizing and training. Diana has facilitated numerous know-your-rights trainings with the Third Eye Movement and numerous legal trainings for attorneys who practice in the area of police misconduct litigation.
Third Eye Movement 510 (formerly People of Color Task Force to Free Mumia) and Third Eye Movement 415
STORM’s 2004 publication Reclaiming Revolution provides a pedigree of sorts for the Third Eye Movement. Note again that throughout the publication, STORM member names are not named. On p31 we find:
And it was the Third Eye Movement that played a key role in STORM’s dissolution. Again, posting from Reclaiming Revolution (p32), we find:
Note: It took awhile before the significance of Third Eye Movement 510 and Third Eye Movement 415 sunk it. The numbers belong to telephone area codes. 510 is Oakland; 415 is San Francisco as well as portions of neighboring Brisbane and Daly City; and Marin County (across the Golden Gate Bridge to the north).
Robin Templeton wrote in the April 2000 issue of Peacework Magazine:
“The by-product of the passage of Prop 21 is that we now have a stronger youth movement,” says Pecolia Manigo, a 17-year-old student organizer. “We’ll keep rising up until we overthrow the system that funds prisons instead of our schools.” Manigo’s organization, the Third Eye Movement, is part of Critical Resistance Youth Force, a northern California coalition that has swelled to include 38 youth groups united to fight Prop 21.
At least one STORM member’s name comes from a book by authors Murray Forman and Mark Anthony Neal, who write in That’s The Joint! The Hip-Hop Studies Reader:
Unsurprisingly, the Third Eye Movement is another “project” involving STORM member Van Jones / Ella Baker Center.
Note that Jones, identified as a “principal” in Third Eye, said “We’re willing to take issues into our hands if the system won’t work” and that the civil rights movement had “become ‘too tame and too tired’.” This was not Jones speaking in 1999 or 2000 but Jones talking to the authors prior to the book’s September 2004 publication.
Also note that both Third Eye and STORM were co-sponsors of the pro-Abu Jamal rally.
The Center’s “Brief History” explains:
1999-2000 — Third Eye Movement. The group spent a couple of years working on various local issues, including the well-publicized police murder of Sheila Detoy. But it really came into its own when Proposition 21, a draconian initiative to put 14 year-olds in adult courts and 16 year-olds in adult prisons, made it onto the California ballot. Third Eye Movement, now with chapters in San Francisco and Oakland, helped lead a broad network of youth organizations fighting against Proposition 21 in the Bay Area. With innovative, militant, non-violent direct action, Third Eye Movement became a national example of a new generation of “hip-hop activism.” Thousands of young people got involved in politics for the first time, and it was beautiful. Thanks to the youth and student movement, the five Bay Area counties were the only ones in the state to reject Proposition 21 in March 2000.
On April 6, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Mumia Abu-Jamal’s (right) original conviction 28 years ago would stand.
A former Black Panther activist, Mumia Abu-Jamal was “convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner.” (Also see the Discover The Networks article.)
On May 10, 1999, contact Kiilu Nyasha messaged on behalf of a group desiring “to build a democraticcoalition that embraces all organizations and individuals moving to free Mumia Abu-Jamal.”
To date, a number of organizations have been working to free Mumia, including the Black Radical Congress; Jericho; the Mobilization to Free Mumia; the National Peoples Campaign; the People of Color Task Force to Free Mumia; Refuse and Resist; the Santa Cruz Coalition to Free Mumia and many others.
Now is the time for all of us to come together to share our strength, resources, and ideas in order to create a powerful movement that functions on principles of unity.
The message was sent out via the Black Radical Congress, which Trevor Loudon wrote about in some detail October 4, 2008. The BRC was formed in June 1998 and the membership includes several avid Obama supporters. Trevor wrote:
Manning Marable, Bill Fletcher Jr. and Cornel West were all leaders of the New Party. Manning Marable was elected MDS [Movement for a Democratic Society] chairman in February 2007.
Bill Fletcher Jr., Robin D.G. Kelley, Gerald Horne, Charlence Mitchell, Angela Y. Davis and Akbar Muhammad Ahmed have all served on the board of Movement for a Democratic Society.
Bill Fletcher Jr. was the initiator of Progressives for Obama, while Robin D.G. Kelley, Cornel West and James Campbell are endorsers of the organisation. Prexy Nesbitt is a signatory of P4O’s online petition.
Many of those listed have been busily supporting Obama, directly or indirectly.
Amiri Baraka doesn’t like Obama-haters.
Michael Dawson spoke with Obama at a 1996 forum on Economic Insecurity sponsored by the University of Chicago DSA Youth Section, Chicago DSA and University Democrats.
Gerald Horne, who has studied the Communist Party in Hawaii was the first to publicly link Barack Obama with his boyhood mentor, long time CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis in the CPUSA journal Political Affairs.
Gerry Hudson is now a senior official of the Service Employees International Union, which endorsed Barack Obama
Robin D.G. Kelley will deliver Hampshire College’s eleventh annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture on October 15th in the Robert Crown Center. His talk will be titled “Confronting Obama: A Primer on Race and Empire for the New U.S. President.”
Manning Marable strongly endorsed Obama in a January 2008 article entitled “Barack Obama’s Problem – And Ours”
Dee Myles penned this pro-Obama piece for the Illinois Communist blog.
Leith Mullings is a signatory of the February 2008 Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama petition
Salim Muwakkil is a prominent propagandist for Barack Obama.
Barbara Ransby spoke at this forum in Chicago at The Center for Public Intellectuals & The University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) April 19-20, 2002 with Bill Ayers, Salim Muwakkil and Barack Obama.
In an October 4, 1999 communication that former radio reporter Abu-Jamal’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court had been denied, and that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge would be issuing a new death warrant within the next 30 days, the Third Eye Movement (formerly the People of Color Task Force to Free Mumia formed in May 1999) called for a general organizational meeting in the San Franciso Bay Area:
It’s time to turn on our emergency response networks. HOOK UP WITH YOUR LOCAL FOLKS QUICK!! DON’T WAIT FOR THE WARRANT TO BE SIGNED TO ACT!!! GET WORD OUT – THIS IS IT…………..
A 2002 Youth Media Council and the non-profit We Interrupt This Message publication, “Speaking for Ourselves,” describes Third Eye Movement 510 as a “project” of the Ella Baker Center:
Let’s Get Free, formerly known as Third Eye Movement 510, is organizing Bay Area high-school youth against police brutality, and is currently leading a campaign to stop Alameda County from building the largest per capita juvenile hall in the country. A project of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, LGF is a primary partner in the Youth Media Council.
Raquel Laviña and Cindy Wiesner
Betita Martinez, writing September 1996 in Z Magazine, said Raquel Laviña, a “Chicana-Filipina who has been active since age 15″, was “now in Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM).”
STORM members Raquel Laviña and frequent fellow traveller, Cindy Wiesner, were involved with the creation of Generation Five, founded 1995 in the Bay Area “to do direct action on child sexual abuse.”
Cindy Wiesner (left) is described as an early staff member who brought “experience with independent labor, anti-imperialist and anti-racist organizing [which were] deeply reflected in g5’s analysis and programs.” Raquel Laviña’s “contributions” are acknowledged but not enumerated. In 2004 Wiesner is described as a “community organizer” at G5.
Cindy Wiesner’s ZoomInfo.com profile states her employment history as:
Organizing Director, POWER
United States Social Forum (USSF) Coordinator, Miami Workers Center
Co-Organizing Director, Miami Workers Center
Organizer, Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union
Organizer, Common Counsel Foundation
Wiesner is named by ZoomInfo.com as a Women of Color Resource Center board member. She was also a Youth Empowerment Center board member. Ron Arnold writes at Undue Influence that Wiesner was both a YEC director and an organizer with POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) in San Francisco, where she worked “for four years and developed the group’s political education curriculum.”
In October 1999 Raquel Laviña was a member of the Critical Resistance Youth Force, a “group that advocates spending money to improve education in place of building more prisons.” She said California’s Proposition 21, one of several “drafted in response to the Columbine High School shootings,” “would redefine a gang as any group of three or more people with an informal association, and that this new definition would increase the power that police have over juveniles.”
In February 2000 Laviña was the East Bay organizer for No on 21.
Of Proposition 21, Aaron Shuman wrote February 22, 2000, in Bad Subjects:
While Prop 21 is titled the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act, it contains none of the peer mentorship, education, or afterschool programs commonly known as violence prevention. Instead, it is a 45-page rewrite of the juvenile crime code, that among other things would unseal juvenile court records while creating an extremely loose definition of a “gang.” Police would be required to register “gang” members; prosecutors could pursue far harsher sentences for crimes committed by them; and the reclassification of a host of misdemeanors as felonies-including graffiti that causes $400 in property damage-would put more convicted felons on the books. Opponents fear the sort of prejudicial policing that former Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner disclosed, when he noted in the early nineties that nearly half the city’s Black men were listed as gang members in LAPD files. At the very least, your court record from juvie could register you as a criminal for life, in the eyes of educators and employers.
Also devestating is the effect Prop 21 would have on California’s budget. According to the state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst, Prop 21 would require a one-time outlay of close to a billion dollars and ongoing costs of $430 million/year to build and maintain the facilities to house more juveniles doing more time. Because Prop 21 proposes no new sources of funding, opponents say prevention programs would take the hit, with prisonbuilders eyeing the state education budget. California ranks first nationally in prison spending, forty-first in education.
Shuman also described Laviña thusly:
Laviña is hesitant to give her age, laughing that when high school students walked out of classes last year to protest school conditions, police threatened to book adults with them on the charge of corrupting minors. Laviña and all of No on 21’s paid staff are in their mid-twenties.
Raquel Laviña was working at Van Jones’s Ella Baker Center in 2001. The ZoomInfo.com cache file of her Center profile has been removed. However, she did represent the Center in May 2001 and, in November 2002, she was the Center’s program director and her name was found as a Center contact in late 2003. Her name is no longer listed as being with the Center.
In 2002 Laviña was also a member of Racial Justice 911’s interim steering committee.
In February 2004, Laviña was an INCITE! Women of Color Community Accountability in Organizations working group member and, in September 2004, she was identified as a protest organizer with A31 in New York City.
Laviña is named in 2006 as coordinator for California Fund for Youth Organizing, a “collaborative, community-based renewal grantmaking vehicle that promotes the civic engagement of youth in issues that impact them the most”, as recipient of a $35,000 grant, and again Fall 2007 for a $25,000 grant from the Hill-Snowdon Foundation.
In October 2008 Cindy Wiesner was listed as a co-coordinator with Michael Leon Guerrero of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance/Alianza Popular por la Justicia Global (GGJ). Wiesner was a member of the National Planning Committee/outreach organizer for the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta in June 2007 and is one of the coordinators for the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.
Cindy Wiesner’s name heads the list of United Against Racism Coalition’s adhoc coordinating committee for signatures to an “Open Letter to the Obama Administration [as an allied call to end the US boycott; to] Attend the United Nations Durban Review Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance.” The letter urges “United States participation in the upcoming United Nations Durban Review of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), to be held in Geneva, Switzerland April 20 – 24.”
Maria Poblet, “Storm Organizer/Revolutionary Voices Poet”, performed March 31, 2001, at what was described by SFINX as a “fierce inaugural show of San Francisco in Exile Live at the Jon Sims Center, featuring local queer performers and exiles.”
On September 15, 2001, Poblet was again publicly identified as a STORM member at an anti-Israel rally:
Hundreds of peace activists rallied late Wednesday to condemn a growing tide of anti-Arab and Muslim sentiments, as well as what they call a media-driven frenzy that may fuel a military response to this week’s acts of terrorism on the East Coast. “We are not anti-American” said Maria Poblet, on the organizers of the gathering that attracted 500 to Snow Park near Lake Merritt. “War is a bad idea.” Poblet is a member of STORM – Standing Together To Organize a Revolutionary Movement. Dozens of people held lit candles and listened to speakers who said U.S. foreign policies and support for Israel has led to many deaths in the Middle East and in other Third World countries.
On January 16, 2009, former STORM member Maria Poblet (right) of Berkeley, described as “a Latina immigrant rights organizer and poet who grew up in Argentina”, was one of nine activists who “blocked the entrance of the Israeli Consulate, in nonviolent protest of [alleged] Israeli apartheid and its current attacks on Gaza.”
In August 2005, Poblet was “spokesperson for St. Peter’s Housing Committee, an immigrant rights advocacy organization in San Francisco.”
An undated speaker’s profile for Poblet for Generation M states:
María Teresa Poblet is an immigrant of Mexican and Argentine descent, who has been organizing for more than seven years with the St. Peter’s Housing Committee in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. St. Peter’s Housing Committee does housing rights advocacy and community organizing with low income tenants and immigrant Latinos, with the goal of building a broader, multi racial movement for social justice. María was instrumental in transforming St. Peter’s from a legal clinic into a grassroots social justice organization. She is a founding member of the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition, which fights for community based urban planning and development, and of Deporten a la Migra (Deport the Immigration Authorities) Coalition, which has been a key force in this year’s historic mobilizations for immigrant rights. She plays a lead role in local efforts towards building unity and strategic alliances among oppressed communities.
According to Generation M’s About Us page, it is:
[...] a grassroots youth organization committed to engaging Muslims within a community dialogue. The main objective of Generation M is to promote social and religious tolerance by gathering students of all ages for annual conferences and monthly Unity Halaqas to encourage community involvement.
The February 10, 2008, issue of In Motion Magazine provides another profile for Poblet:
María Poblet is a queer Latina poet. She has studied poetry under the direction of June Jordan and Martín Espada. She served as Artistic Director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and taught poetry workshops at Mission Cultural Center, FCI Dublin Women’s Prison, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her work has been featured in the SF Weekly, Revolutionary Voices, and the Street Sheet. She has been a community organizer in San Francisco’s mission district since 1999, fighting for immigrant Latino tenants’ rights. She agrees with Cape Verdian revolutionary Amilcar Cabral that culture is a weapon in the fight for freedom, and can often be found reading poetry through a bullhorn.
Poblet currently serves as a member of SOUL’s (School of Unity and Liberation) board of directors.
As we stated above, former STORM member Jason Negrón-Gonzales (left) (also found as Jason Negrón-Gonzalez) was one of three STORM members (with Harmony Goldberg and Maria Poblet) who gave a presentation about STORM’s 2004 publication, Reclaiming Revolution at the Catalyst Project.
In 2006 Negrón-Gonzales was one of three authors who delivered the presentation “Towards Land, Work, and Power: A study with organizers from POWER [People Organized to Win Employment Rights],” regarding their new book, Towards Land, Work, & Power: Charting A Path Of Resistance To U.S.-led Imperialism, which “looks] at the political economy of the Bay Area and building an anti-imperialist movement based in working class communities of color.” Presenters included Negron-Gonzalez, Marisa Franco, and Jaron Browne; a fourth author, Steve Williams, was not present.
Negrón-Gonzales is the former Director of Movement Generation, and a co-founder of the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project:
He began his political work organizing as a student around Puerto Rican community issues. In 1998, Jason received a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from U.C. Berkeley. As a student at UC Berkeley he was involved in building multi-racial student alliances and worked against the ending of affirmative action and the cutting back of ethnic studies. After graduating he began working with People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), a membership based community/labor organization in San Francisco. In his time at POWER Jason served as Organizer, Campaign Director, and Education Director as well as in alliance building work locally and nationally.
Both Negrón-Gonzales and Van Jones participated as speakers at the Tides Foundation’s Momentum Conference 2006.
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales is a former co-director of SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation) and serves on SOUL’s board of directors. Currently, she is IDEAL Student Services Coordinator for the Level Playing Field Institute. Her relationship to Jason is unknown.
Unfortunately, this article ends on an empty note as little could be found about PENCIL (Progressive Educators Network Creating International Liberation) founded in 1995.
Current president, Michael Haberman, has only been with PENCIL since January 2007.
For all that we do know about STORM, there is so much more that we don’t and most likely won’t.
As much as they were community activists, their focus was Alinskyesque in that they were — and most remain — all about two things: 1. Training activists in the Marxist mold and 2. Training activists how to raise lots of money.
Unlike a lot of other groups professing to be for the working man/woman or elevating the masses, STORM had a very clear structured plan to train activists to go out and create or work for non-governmental organizations while using the resources of well-to-do “establishment” funders.
STORM’s mandate was about social justice, educational justice, and economic justice, a theme we as American citizens are now having foisted upon us.
STORM and all the organizations which it has spawned continues through the “students” it taught and continues to teach through those it trained. One thing STORM has in common with the Obama operation (including Obama’s Hopefund “Camp Obama” in 2005 and subsequent versions) is that it preyed upon the naive and uninformed and idealistic concentrated on college campuses, starting at UC-Berkeley in the mid 1990s.
How many more of these activist “cells” existed throughout the U.S. that we are yet to learn about? Here we have Barack Obama connected in so many directions with the Communist Party USA, the New Party, and a plethora of Marxist/Leninist/Socialist actors and “Green Czar” Van Jones who was deeply involved with STORM and all the intertwined groups with their tentacles reaching out from Oakland and UC-Berkeley. It is almost, as Trevor Loudon voiced, as if both of them had been snatched up from the streets and groomed for their current roles.
See next page for cache file profile of the Youth Empowerment Center.
reclaiming revolution storm on revolutionariespage 51
congressmen Acorn rep darrell Issa oversight acorn operating criminally
" Believe here's Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is gonna help us out a little bit more. On this book that I read. Two weeks ago it is called reclaiming a revolution. It's is terrifying Michelle and it's not an ancient book can you tell me a little bit about it."
"Well it's very creepy and what it is essentially is a case self published. History of this group. Standing together to organize a revolutionary Movement. What this group did how it splintered. And how -- essentially disbanded and yet grew it's revolutionary cadre that's out there working today.
It's important connecting the dots and following the money as Pat Caddell said on your show yesterday that's what culture of corruption my book is all about. And that's really what needs to be done here. Because in fact we don't know who they shadowy fund aware funders of the storm -- but we do know some of the funders of some of their outlined group."
Who is ColorofChange.org? Facebook16 posts - 5 authors - Last post: 10 hours ago"Reclaiming Revolution," STORM, RAW, (Roots Against War,") Ella Baker Foundation, ... one of the founders AND members of the radical Weather Underground, ...