Sunday, April 18, 2010

IMPACT! Steps It Up In March!

IMPACT! in March!

March was one of the busiest months in recent memory for the dedicated members of IMPACT! Here is a brief summary of what our members have been up to these last 31 days.

First off, we attended and/or organized 20 meetings, to support projects and organizations such as: Free Mind Media, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan), the Peace and Justice Center, The Phoenix Theater Rooftop Garden, the Youth Organizing Institute, The Committee for Immigrants’ Rights of Sonoma County, the North Bay Sponsoring Committee, the Zero Campaign, the white anti-racist allies of Sonoma County, and of course, IMPACT!

We held two Womyn’s caucuses, for the young womyn of the group, as well as one Men’s allies caucus. We held four successful free art workshops at the Phoenix Theater. We held a people of color caucus, as well as two white anti-racist allies caucuses (one for IMPACT! members, and one that was open to all of Sonoma County activists and allies). We baked vegan treats to support the Zero Campaign’s (anti-sexual assault group) bake sale to raise funds for their upcoming “Take Back the Night” march in October, which will be protesting violence against women. We helped to plan a successful fundraiser for the local Needle Exchange, which brought in $1,300! Furthermore, we helped raise funds to support Free Mind Media, a local community center and infoshop in Santa Rosa.

We gave presentations to several high school and college classrooms, as well as to a group of Unitarian Universalists in Santa Rosa. We tabled at this year’s production of the Vagina Monologues and distributed lots of good information. We attended a Harm Reduction Conference in the East Bay and a conference in Sacramento for the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.
We attended both days of the annual Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco and made dozens of new friends. We appeared on KPFA, on La Onda Bajita, as part of the Mentes Mechistas segment. And we hosted two activist gatherings/parties, to build relationships with fellow youth activists and to…well…party.

Most excitingly, March was a month of renewed mass protests in our region, and we were excited to take part. On March 4th, we joined tens of thousands of students, teachers, and workers in a statewide strike to defend public education. We marched from UC Berkeley all the way to downtown Oakland in an 8 mile march. Then we headed to San Francisco, where 10,000 people rallied at City Hall. On March 21st, we participated in a massive march in Santa Rosa to celebrate Cesar Chavez and to call for comprehensive immigration reform. We joined nearly 7,000 people (one of the biggest demonstrations in years!) marching from Roseland to downtown Santa Rosa. The very next day, we traveled to Sacramento for the “March in March,” another statewide student protest against cuts to education. Over 15,000 converged on the capitol, and we made many new contacts with students in our region. Just two days later, we took a bus with 100 other Sonoma County residents, many from the Committee for Immigrants’ Rights and the RIFA campaign (Reform Immigration For America), to a protest of 2,000 people for immigrants’ rights in San Francisco.

You can be certain that this is only the beginning. And that as the weather heats up, so will our desires for a new world. April is already full with protests, mass meetings, fundraising, workshops, and hijinx.

If you want to join in the fun, contact IMPACT! at impactpetaluma@gmail.com. And check out our website, www.impactpetaluma.org, or our blog, impactpetaluma.blogspot.com

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