In This Issue

SG To Be:  Votes for Pre-Born
Global Warming and the Greening-washing of Nuclear Power: A Queer Perspective
The Bubble
Free Speech Victory or Revolutionary Fervor Envelops the Parade Committee
In Defense of Gay (and Lesbian)
Moscow Stonewall’s City’s Pride
Tell Frameline: No Pride In Apartheid
Still Looking for Free Speech (in all the wrong places)
Think Before You Pink
The MOCHA Column
Saving Single Payer: Enter Michael Moore

SF To Be:  Votes for Pre-Born

James Holsinger, the founder of the ex-gay ministry “Hope Springs,” and President Bush’s new nominee for Surgeon General, announced today that he was looking forward to working with the “popular and creative” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to “secure the medico-legal voting rights of the pre-born.”

“We will also provide a Christian Scientific justification of the rights of the born-again and the ex-dead communities,” Holsinger continued. “We are going to prove, with the help of a god-guided court system, that the righteous ex-dead – the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sen. Strom Thurmond and Mayor Gavin Newsom are still with us.”

“I will use this office to promote the power of prayer as an effective alternative to conventional medical treatment,” he said. “This will free up resources to study ways to provide born-again Christians with an additional vote in all elections, in order to reflect the presence of the holy spirit.”

Dr. Holsinger’s resume includes a stint on the board of health care giant Pink ShieldTM. His expertise from ex gay ministries led the gay-oriented HMO to conclude that fewer gays means that less money needs to be wasted on the health care of queers.

Reproductive rights activists denounced the nominee’s fetal position. “He is seeking to take away the post-born mother of the pre-born’s right to choose her next president,” said Minnie Appolis, president of Optimizing Options for Post-born Sentients (OOPS).

Global Warming and the Greening-washing of Nuclear Power: A Queer Perspective

by Lisa

As regular readers of Ultraviolet know, nuclear power isn’t just about the reactors sitting on the shore in Diablo Canyon, San Onofre, or Humboldt Bay. Nor is it just about the spent fuel rods sitting in “ponds” next to those and other reactors waiting for a place to be interred for the next 10,000 years. It is also about the mining and milling and transportation of uranium ore—the vase majority of which is done on native lands (in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Africa, and elsewhere).  

In the last few years, as the skeptics have finally had to admit that Global Warming is a real threat, the nuclear industry has tried to re-assert its old mantra of nuclear power as “clean” energy.  This is a LIE on many levels.

First, in order to even begin the process of producing nuclear power the industry relies on other fossil fuels for mining, milling, enriching and transportation of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.  As Dr. Helen Caldicott notes “the enrichment facility at Paducah, Kentucky, requires the electrical output of two 1000-megawatt coal-fired plants, which emit large quantities of carbon dioxide, the gas responsible for 50per cent of global warming.” (For more information, check out her book “Nuclear Power is Not the Answer: to global warming or anything else.”)  Fossil fuels are also used in the construction process of the plants, for workers going to and from the plants, and these plants can only produce power for 40-50 years before the buildings themselves become too brittle and contaminated and should be torn down and treated as more nuclear waste.

Second, nuclear mining and milling has killed miners throughout the world and caused cancer and other diseases throughout nearby communities.  Nuclear material has also caused genetic changes in plants and animals that are largely unstudied and are thus “invisible” victims of the nuclear cycle.

Third, nuclear waste is forever, or nearly so on a human time-scale. High-level nuclear waste is a mixture of elements including some with a half-life of over 10,000 years – a HALF-life. It remains dangerous to biological cells of all types—plant, animal, or even fungus—for at least 10,000 years.  It must be isolated for at least that long to protect human life and other life forms.  Designing and building places to isolate this waste (like the planed site at Yucca Mountain), tending it, and ensuring that it does not “overheat” or come together in large enough amounts to go critical and explode will also take large amounts of fossil fuels.

These are just a few of the “carbon costs” of nuclear power.  In sum, nuclear power is not now, never has been, and never will be “clean energy.”

This is just another big lie from big business.

If we want to reduce our carbon footprint and help stem the tide of global warming we must go back to the old adage (really just from the 60’s but that seems old these days)—reduce-reuse-recycle. 

It is nearly impossible to be perfectly “green” in our current society but we should all try to do what we can—it may take some getting used to but LGBTQQ folks certainly know how to change.  Here are a few ideas.

Reduce our use of plastics of all kinds. Bring a cloth shopping bag to the store every time.  This is a great untapped area for new fashion statements and a great space for QUEER propaganda?

Stop buying bottled water (most of it is not better than or even worse than municipal tap water in the Bay Area and most US cities).  Get a water filter for your home if you want even cleaner water. Find a few nice bottles and refill them to take with you during the day.  Glass or stainless steel is far healthier than plastic bottles. The stainless steel bottles are a bit pricey but pretty light, wash out clean, and are basically indestructible.

Reduce our use of fossil fuels for transportation by driving less, diving more energy efficient cars, taking public transit, bicycling, or walking.  Other ways to reduce transportation impacts include working from home one day a week where possible, car pooling, and flying less (and not at night which has a greater impact).  Or convert your car to run on biodiesel—best is all old cooking oil but even the newer commercial biodiesel is an improvement.

If you need to buy plastic items look for recycled ones, if you are remodeling there are now lots of outlets for reused wood, cabinets, and other items; counters and flooring (even carpets) made from recycled materials. 

Home heating and cooling is another big use of energy, try to heat only the rooms you are actually in rather than the whole house (this is easy for me since I live in a very small apartment but it is very important savings for those who have larger houses), add insulation if possible (most houses in San Francisco for instance have none). If you are remodeling use double pane windows (now there is even triple-pane), an enormous amount (approximately 50%) of heating and cooling energy goes right out the window if you have single pane and don’t have curtains or other coverings over the windows.  For those who own houses, solar hot water pays for itself in just 3-5 years and solar electric, with the current rebates, pays for itself in 5-12 years. These investments really pay off if you plan on living in the same house for that amount of time or longer – you would actually be saving for your own future and supporting the roof-top solar industry instead of energy companies that try to greenwash all of their highly polluting coal and gas energy plants with a few token wind or solar developments.

Why should LGBTQQ folks care about global warming? We have fought, and continue to fight, to claim our rightful place as equal citizens of the world, as such we must take equal responsibility for the impact that our lifestyles have on the ecosystem. No matter who we love or have sex with or what gender we were born into or identify with, our daily lives have an impact on this planet. We refuse to ignore those facts just as we refuse to let others ignore our rights, we must stand up for the rights of all living things on this planet to survive the onslaught and the impacts of human society.

The Bubble

by Deni with input from QUIT comrades

This film, by Israeli director Eytan Fox (of “Yossi and Jagger” infamy), is the “centerpiece” of the upcoming LGBT film festival. Apparently “the bubble” is a phrase Israelis use to describe life in Tel Aviv where the story primarily takes place. Some of us in QUIT had the misfortune to see it early, but hopefully we can spare you the outrage, annoyance, boredom, and disgust.

The face of the occupation is primarily portrayed at a checkpoint (where a humanitarian Israeli doctor arrives quickly in an ambulances and tries to save a pregnant Palestinian woman’s baby – what, you’ve heard it doesn’t happen quite that way?) The very fact of opening the movie at a checkpoint is an interesting choice: this frames the film at an Israeli point of power and defines Palestinians as victims. Had the film started in the lands and villages of Palestine, showing people’s lives as they resist the massive effects of occupation/apartheid on a daily level, this might have indicated the filmmaker had a clearer understanding of how to be an ally to the Palestinians.

The filmmaker has been critical of the occupation and the film purports to be a leftish critique of it, but in speaking of how wonderful Tel Aviv is, the main Israeli characters (kind of a ‘Friends Gets Political’ crew) say “if only we could make all the politics disappear.” Not the occupation, not apartheid, not the wall (non-existent – never even mentioned) but the politics – which is sort of an entity unto itself that is amorphous and does not deal with the issue of Israel as the oppressor, not just a partner in the messy “politics.” The “friends” organize a “rave against the occupation” which seems to have absolutely no political content other than its name.

Wait, wait – I haven’t mentioned Ashraf, the “friends” gay Palestinian! In the director’s words, “There are three characters, a young woman and two men and a Palestinian comes into their life … and they play a game with him.” Noam – the gay Israeli soldier – gets  involved with Ashraf after they meet at the checkpoint; however, being gay in Palestine is presented as being harder than being Palestinian in Israel. Ashraf’s story about his childhood home being demolished is told in gritty flashback, not like something occurring daily in Palestine. Ok, perhaps you are getting the picture that Ashraf exists to serve an Israeli agenda and the film’s unfolding events only make this more true: anti-gay Palestinians commit bombings in Tel Aviv, Ashraf’s sister is killed as the Israeli’s are forced to seek out the terrorists, all ending with predictably disastrous results.

I think the movie leaves viewers with the old tired myth that “it’s just such a mess over there – what can anyone do?” For example, a blogger in writes: “Of course, as the title implies, the bubble does eventually burst. This is, after all, Israel and Palestine, and like all Romeo and Juliet stories, it was never going to have a happy ending.” If only those Palestinians weren’t so violent, things might work out ok.  Hardly an intelligent analysis of the occupation – and hey, I didn’t even go into the sappy music. In actuality, there’s not just a “legacy of conflict” but an ongoing occupation with continuing resistance. We need cultural portrayals that help build this resistance, rather than muddy the waters with distorted queer drivel.

Free Speech Victory
or Revolutionary Fervor Envelops the Parade Committee

By Deni

Last year at Pride (sic), free speech was dealt a crushing blow when dedicated members of the Estée Slaughter campaign were forbidden by parade monitors and cops to hand out our fabulous Realityfold Sleep Masks. Made for queers who were planning to go to World Pride (sic) Jerusalem despite the boycott, the masks could be used to “protect you from the harsh glow of occupation” and make the occupation disappear. In handing out the masks, we were obviously performing a public service for the queer community, but some zealous security monitors “misunderstood” and stopped our action with help from the sfpd. We were told we could go to the “free speech area;” when we questioned other “authority figures” about where that might be, some cops gestured and said “everywhere.” How fun discovering the sfpd has a more progressive free speech stance than our queer leaders…

Honoring the memory of Stonewall and the Bill of Rights, we pursued this outrageous incident by meeting with Lindsey and Aidan of the Parade Committee (PC) in October. We asked for their written policy about handing things out at the parade and the festival. Among other things, we were told that there wasn’t a written policy, that the monitors who harassed us were part of the “non-licensed vendor squad,” that the PC had reports we were “impeding pedestrian traffic” (ah yes, that fast-moving pedestrian traffic as people came in from the parade), that they would have a meeting about the incident, report to the executive committee, workshop the matter, and send it to the policy and procedure committee. Shades of radical queer activism, we could tell this was our kind of process! We asked them to issue a public statement to clarify their free speech policies, since we weren’t sure they were the same as the general ones remaining in this country.

Days, weeks, and months went by. We were sent info about registering for an overpriced booth, but nothing else. And nowhere on the website was there anything about their free speech policy. The workshopping seemed to be taking a very long time. Or possibly it was held up in “policy and procedures?” In April, they were still “working on it in committees,” though it turned out Aidan had left the organization, taking the meeting notes with him. By May, with no policy anywhere to be found, we let the PC know we’d be back exercising our free speech rights again in ’07.

Then, at the end of May, we received the Parade Committee’s “free speech and flyer distribution policies.” It states that there will once again be “free speech areas” whose purpose is “to allow those who wish to speak on any issue to do so.” [We do understand that this can assist in the sequestering of anti-gay speakers.] “Performance artists may perform anywhere on the site as long as they do not obstruct the flow of the crowd…” And, in a final note of revolutionary fervor, the PC says that “all non-commercial and event flyers will be allowed to be handed out.” Who says there’s no cause for optimism when we can achieve mighty victories like this one? (Though I must admit, the wording of the above makes me wonder if one is permitted to say anything while handing out a flyer or must do it in silence; will uttering words be cause for escorting you to the “free speech area?”)

LAGAI (performing as PinkShield™ and QUIT! will be back this year to push the limits of this bold new policy!


In Defense of Gay (and Lesbian)

by Kate

As “gays” have become more and more accepted and acceptable in the u.s. mainstream, what with niche marketing, sitcoms, soap opera plots and elected officials, radical queer discourse has become disturbingly anti-gay.  Gay is bad, gay is assimilationist, gay is sell-out, gay is breeders, gay is gentrification.  Lesbian is (as ever) invisible and irrelevant.

Groups with names like “Gay Shame” call for “a new queer activism that foregrounds race, class, gender and sexuality, to counter the self-serving ‘values’ of gay consumerism and the increasingly hypocritical left.”

A recent issue of LiP magazine featured an article by queer left pundit Mattilda aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore (one of the founders of Gay Shame) entitled “Sweatshop-Produced Rainbow Flags and Participatory Patriarchy: Why the Gay Rights Movement Is a Sham.”  His very well written chronicle of the San Francisco gay establishment argues that “… members of the gaysbian elite use their newfound influence to oppress less privileged queers in order to secure their status within the status quo. This pattern occurs nationwide, but San Francisco is the place where the violence of this assimilation is most palpable….Homo now stands more for homogenous than any type of sexuality aside from buy buy buy.”

We completely agree with these critiques of mainstream gay culture and politics.  Of course we do, we said it long ago (and we were far from the first to say it).  In 1987, in preparation for the second big LGBT march on Washington, we coauthored with groups in Los Angeles and New York a paper called “Gay Liberation, Not Just Gay Rights.”  That paper stated, among other things, “The struggle for democratic or civil rights assumes that the system is basically okay, and that its flaws can be corrected through legal reform….Rather than an isolated struggle for gay rights, we will participate as whole human beings in a process with other oppressed peoples to restructure the world.”

But we do not agree that the “gaysbian elite” IS the gay movement, any more than Bill Cosby is the African American/Black movement or Andy Stern is the Labor movement.  Trans and gender queer activism has revolutionized our own thinking about gender and sexuality in the last ten years, and we gratefully acknowledge that.  At the same time, as people who identify as gay men and lesbians (and some of us are also trans), we assert that we are still relevant to the queer movement, we still have a place in that movement, and we are unwilling to cede the LGBT movement to the mainstream.  We also insist that lesbian separatism, which has nearly vanished from the queer landscape, is a valid and important part of our movement.

1.  The conflict between narrow civil rights agendas and analyses that locate queer liberation within a politics of total liberation is as old as the oldest homophile organizations.  The Mattachine Society, which was founded in 1950 by Harry Hay and others affiliated with the Communist Party, kicked out its Communist founders later in the decade, in response to McCarthyism.  The Society for Individual Rights (SIR) was formed in 1964 as a more militant alternative to Mattachine and Daughters of Bilitis (though the name would seem to discourage involvement of women) but some of SIR’s more radical members split off in 1969, just before Stonewall, to form the Committee for Homosexual Freedom, which became known for “Gay Guerrilla” street actions.  In the aftermath of Stonewall, Mattachine tried to capitalize on the riots while promoting a reformist ideology.  The Gay Liberation Front began as the Action Committee of Mattachine, but was quickly spun off as it proclaimed via manifesto, “We are a revolutionary group of men and women formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation for all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished.”  The Gay Activist Alliance sprang up a little later as a “middle way”, a single-issue alternative to GLF for people who still found Mattachine too conservative. The first annual Stonewall commemoration marches in New York had conflicts over whether people should be allowed to touch each other and what constituted “proper attire.”

2.  Every social movement in this country has had its reformist and its revolutionary tendencies.  And in general, if not every time, the reformists have always claimed to be the movement, and succeeded in marginalizing the revolutionaries.  In those cases where they haven’t succeeded in doing that, the state generally steps in to wipe out the competition for them, as they did with the IWW (that’s the International Workers of the World) and the Black Panthers.

The queer/LGBT movement, like the women’s movement, by definition encompasses a much wider spectrum of privilege and power than movements based on race or class identities.  This means that state repression is mostly not needed to prevent the radicals from controlling the movement, because the small minority within the movement whose only concern is eliminating the discrimination that prevents them from getting what they see as the rightful rewards of their race and class have the resources to make the vast majority of us invisible and ineffective.  They can set up nonprofits and hobnob with politicians, while we have only our superior wit and daring.  Moreover, in the case of the gay movement, the AIDS epidemic, like Katrina a government-fueled unnatural disaster, did a lot of the dirty work, attacking the poorest and wildest first and hardest, wiping out much of the radical fringe, exhausting others, and giving some of those who were left cushy jobs in a new industry.

But, the radical women’s movement never made the mistake of thinking that the sleaziness of the NOW leadership somehow proved the inherent sleaziness of women.  Gayness does not cause gentrification.  Capitalism does.  Gay people are no more likely to be petty tyrants of cleanliness than straight people are.  As far as we know Gideon Kramer, San Francisco’s anti-postering czar (see “Brave New Repression,” UV September 2006), is not gay.  Neither is Frank Jordan (the hot tub scene notwithstanding) or Gavin Newsom (gay marriages and tawdry girlfriend scandals notwithstanding), who both launched vicious anti-homeless crusades during their mayoralties.

3.  Social movements are products of their times.  As Michael Bronski pointed out in a talk called “Gay Liberation: Back to the Future” at the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall, “[T]he Stonewall Riots and the Gay Liberation Front would not have happened were it not for the enormous social vitality of the times--the Black Power movement, the second wave of feminism, the youth culture, the civil rights movement, the drug culture, the hippies, yippies and rock and roll. Without them, the raid on the Stonewall Inn would have been one more petty police harassment against one more mob-owned drinking hole that imprisoned another dozen queens.… The Gay Liberation Front talked a lot about racism. We understood that racism was about the lives of all U.S. citizens black or white. Even our name reflected anti-racism battles: the National Liberation Front of Vietnam and the Algerian Liberation Front. We understood that the Black Panthers had a political force and a vision that made sense in our times.”

Right now, we are living in a very regressive time.  Every progressive movement is embattled by the triumph of right-wing forces undreamed of fifteen years ago.  (And those were the days of bush the first and the Kontract On Amerikka!)

Attacking sex, and especially women who have sex for pleasure, is the cornerstone of the right wing’s program.  Punishing women for having sex is the agenda behind the destruction of welfare, the push to imprison addicted mothers, the fixation on abstinence-only education, the war against abortion, blocking the vaccine for human papilloma virus and access to emergency contraceptives, and denying student loans to women who have children “out of wedlock.”

Women (queer and straight) are the first front in this war on pleasure, and queers of all types are the second.  The war against “The Gay Agenda” is part and parcel of the backlash that has made Feminism the unsayable “F” word even in so-called progressive women’s circles.  (A friend who recently interviewed for a job at the San Francisco Women’s Foundation reported that they told her, “We do not use the word feminism, though we are feminists.”)  It’s not that the right wing has no other priorities, it’s just that they recognize that sex is a sure way to get and keep people’s attention.  Through attacks on sex, they attack everyone who is not them.  We see that in the intentional use of homophobic and anti-woman epithets in military training and the campaign against conjugal visits for gay prisoners (“‘The whole concept of these conjugal visits is ludicrous,’ said Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, a Republican leader on prison issues. ‘It's prison. I don't care whether it's a spouse or a domestic partner, I don't think it should be allowed at all.’”—SF Chronicle, June 1, 2007).

As people who have sex only for pleasure (we hope), lesbians and gay men threaten social institutions based on sex-only-for-reproduction.  We are not the only people who exist outside of the heterosexual nuclear family model, but we are the only people who by definition exist outside of it.  As such, we are an intrinsically revolutionary force against those who are trying to impose that model on the whole world.  That doesn’t mean that all lesbian and gay people see themselves as revolutionaries.  As evidenced by the “If you let us get married, we’ll be just like you” movement, many gay people spend their lives trying to fit into this society.  But again, that is not unique to us.  All oppressed people are increasingly pressured to fit into the repressive norms of this society, as the cost of disobedience gets higher and higher.

It is our job, as lesbian and gay queer revolutionaries, to awaken the revolutionary that lives inside every lesbian and gay person.  And all queer revolutionaries, regardless of their sexual identities, must band together to do that.  “Queer activism that foregrounds race, class, gender and sexuality, to counter the self-serving ‘values’ of gay consumerism”?  YES!  Is it “new”?  NO!



by Deeg

I am butch. I was butch when I was 8 in 1959 and for some reason I was able to convince my parents to buy me jeans at the husky boys department, and I was butch when I came out a decade later.

For the first 20 years of the post Stonewall movement, we trans people were struggling with the assimilationists to be allowed to stay in the lesbian and gay movement, particularly in its public image which was increasingly dominated by cute blonde boys and girls with good haircuts. Never mind that queens, particularly Black and Puerto Rican queens, had started and sustained the riot at Stonewall. Never mind that butches as the visible face of both lesbian and women’s liberation were constant targets of violence. Throughout those years, some butches transitioned to live as  men. Some of them, and others who didn’t transition created and lived a gender identity between male and female. We work(ed) at stereotypic butch jobs – as cab drivers, car mechanics, or construction workers – and at the same time as some of us didn’t perceive ourselves as women, we (ironically) ended up carrying the burden of being the “first women” in the trades.

Some trans people never had a homosexual identity. But for many of us, gender and sexual identity are not separated. It was true for Beebo Brinker (butch hero of 1950's pulp fiction), and it is true for me, that however much I may not identify as a woman, I sure as hell am oppressed as one.

Free access to hormones and other medical and surgical interventions was a demand of the early gay liberation movement, but transition was not that common among butches until the late 1980's. Now many young queer people consider themselves trans, with or without medical intervention, and many older butches are confronting new options. Some take them, some don’t.

Similar to the gay marrieds, individual trans people may seek only to normalize their own status and fit into this wretched society. That doesn’t change the fact that transpeople of all labels are inherently revolutionary as we challenge the artificial construction of immutable binary gender.

There are many contributors to the divide between the trans, bisexual, and homosexual movements – the willingness by some in each group to compete for the crumbs from the hetero/gender normative family table, the complexity of lesbian identity and lesbian space in this sexist world, the inability or unwillingness of some lesbians to perceive and honor the gender identity of transwomen, and most particularly, the arrogance of white straight middle and upper class men whose system it has been and whose system it remains.

Moscow Stonewall’s City’s Pride

In may Christian heterosexual supremacists with the support of uniformed and plainclothes cops physically and brutally assaulted the city of Moscow’s second public queer pride celebration.

The viciously antiqueer mayor had refused to issue a permit for the public event, referring to it as satanic. Despite this government sanctioned condemnation participants went ahead with the event, locating it in a public square opposite moscow’s city hall.

Cops not only allowed straight protesters to attack celebrants, they took part in the attacks. About 30 people were arrested and jailed, the vast majority pride celebrants.

Despite the huge Russian consulate in san Francisco, there have been no demonstrations against this government supported antiqueer riot. The straight us left are no doubt busy planning our weddings at the upcoming u.s. social forum for them to do or say anything. But they never have.

These attacks are to be hated and condemned no matter where they take place: in the military, Jerusalem, san Francisco.  The straights might think queers are the problem, we will not be their solution.

If you think that human rights are for everyone and want to protest this assault on our pride, email lagai-queer insurrection at


Tell Frameline: No Pride In Apartheid

In our last issue, we included the text of an open letter to Frameline, urging them to stop accepting money from the Israeli Consulate General. Over 100 people, including film makers and Frameline members and donors, signed the letter, which was initiated by QUIT! and members of Bay Area SWANA (SouthWest Asian and North African) Queer communities. The letter included a request to Frameline to meet about this issue.

Initially, Frameline responded with an e-mail, saying that they would not change their policy, and didn’t respond to the request for a meeting. After an article in the Bay Area Reporter about the controversy, Frameline suddenly requested a meeting in early June. At that meeting, Frameline directors Michael Lumpkin and Matt Westendorf stated that they had received more e-mails supporting their current policy than opposing it, that they didn’t agree with turning down sponsorship from anyone, and that they wanted the festival to include everyone. They further stated that they didn’t see why Israel should be singled out.  The QUIT! and SWANA representatives pointed out that there is an active cultural boycott of Israel, and that including the israeli government is alienating to Palestinians and other queers oppressed by israel. This year, the israeli consulate gave Frameline $1100 to bring the director of the film “The Bubble.” The consulate is copresenting that film along with the LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Community Federation.  (See the MOCHA column for a review.)

QUIT! and other activists will be leafleting various shows at the film festival to raise awareness of this issue. Michael Lumpkin and Matt Westendorf really need to hear from all of you who want to see the israeli consulate out of our festival.   Email, (please copy, call 415-703-8650 or fax 415-861-1404.  For more information go to


Still Looking for Free Speech (in all the wrong places)

by Kate

In late April a friend and I went to a program about the embattled queer movement in Serbia.  It was really interesting, and disturbing.  It was held at the LGBTQ Center, a big, beautiful, five-year-old property on the edge of the Castro.  My friend and I commented that we had only been inside the building once or twice before.  I had been outside the Center a few months ago to leaflet people going to a reading sponsored by the Israeli Consulate.

On our way out after the program, we decided it would be good to leave some fliers about some of our current campaigns on the literature racks.  We went to see where we could do that, and encountered big signs announcing that any literature not approved by the front desk would be removed.  We went to the front desk and I told the young man there, presumably a volunteer, what we wanted.  I handed him one of our fliers, asking people to pressure Frameline, presenter of the San Francisco LGBT film festival, to stop taking sponsorship from the Israeli Consulate until Israel stops violating international law.

The young man looked at the flier and shook his head.

"It's political," he said.  "We can't put up anything political, unless it's about gay marriage."

His face was deadpan, but I thought he was kidding.  He wasn't.

"We can't have anything about protest, nothing against the Bush administration," he said.

"You're not serious!" I burst out, and he mumbled "Our nonprofit status."

"It's not electoral," I said.  "It's just asking people to pressure our queer institutions …"

"Where is this policy written?" my friend asked.

"I don't know," he said.  "But it's what I was told.  Nothing about protest, nothing political, unless it's supporting gay marriage, because that's something that presumably the queer community all agrees on."

Well that's actually a big presumption, since we are queers who are not in favor of marriage in any form.  But we didn't bring that up.

When I kept arguing, he said, "Well, we'll try it," and took a few of the fliers.  I am quite sure they will never see the light of day.

Now this is patently absurd.  First, no community center's nonprofit status is threatened by allowing free exchange of ideas, political or otherwise, within its premises.  The Women's Building has been a community institution for over 25 years, and you can put anything you want on their shelves, to be ignored by everyone who comes there for Rhythm & Motion, AA meetings, poetry readings or whatever.  When I went to the Embarcadero YMCA, there was a bulletin board where you could post pretty much anything.  The Center is not being asked to put its name on the flier.  In fact, by having a policy that literature has to be approved by them, they slightly increase their liability for its content; if they would just allow free for all, there would be absolutely no problem.

But if there were any validity to their concern about their nonprofit status, then why the gay marriage exception?  Because lobbying for gay marriage is still lobbying.  So it seems like the intent is more to avoid "controversy" than to shun everything political.

Finally, as I previously mentioned, they have hosted events sponsored by the Israeli consulate.  They presented an event with Irshad Manji, a spokesperson for anti-Arab and anti-Islamic forces that many queers find highly offensive.  These are just a couple things I happen to know about, but doubtless, they have also hosted any number of both left- and right-wing events, and many in between.  And though I wish they would NOT cosponsor programs with the Israeli consulate, and was there urging others to tell them the same, in general I think it is good for the LGBTQ Center to provide space for the range of opinions and interests within our communities.

I spend a lot of time being depressed these days.  There's a lot to be depressed about:  The war in Iraq, the fact that there seems to be no way to end it, the fact that the enormous death toll has become so normal that even those of us opposed to it don't really think about it, the fact that immigrant children are being kept in prison, wearing little prison clothes and being threatened with isolation if they "misbehave."  The ongoing disgrace of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the new humongous detention facilities in Iraq which are presumably being filled with the victims of all those house-to-house searches that were the basis of the "troop surge", and the fact that we haven't heard a word about them in months.  The fact that in the endless media discussion of the various bad proposals for "health care reform" in California, it is NEVER mentioned that a single-payer universal health care bill passed both houses of the legislature more than a year ago, and was vetoed by the governator, who is now promoting a plan that will force low-wage workers without employer-provided health benefits to pay insurance companies for policies that won't actually cover their health needs.

Then on the personal front, there's the fact that I have breast cancer and am about to flood my body with carcinogens to hopefully prevent a recurrence that might not happen anyway.  Add to that the fact that my insurance is for some reason rejecting my lab bills, and I'm getting incomprehensible bills from the anesthesiologists.

Compared to all these issues, the fact that we can't put out our fliers at the LGBTQ Center might seem pretty trivial.  After all, it's unlikely that anyone who goes to the Center would even be interested in helping us get the Israeli government out of our film festival.  But in fact, none of the other issues hit me as hard as this one, because it signals that an identity that is core to who I am, that informs all the other political work I've done for the last 25 years, has been stolen.  Yes, stolen.

We cannot afford to be silent about this.  We cannot afford to just shrug, like Gay Shame and some other anti-gay queer groups do, and say, well of course, the Center is just bourgeois, it doesn't represent us, gay people are sell-out, forget them.

In the late 1980s, when ACT UP, Queer Nation, Stop AIDS Now Or Else, Men of All Colors Together, Let It All Hang Out, Lesbian Avengers and other grassroots queer groups were organizing active resistance, we waged a big struggle in the community around postering.  There was a group called Golden Broom, that was going around tearing down the posters that groups would put up to let people know about actions and meetings, and they had the support of the police, and we fought for the right to use the utility poles and trash cans in queer neighborhoods to communicate with each other in an unmediated way.  We lost.

Now, we've even lost the right to communicate with each other in mediated ways.  To be told what queer literature can and can't be distributed inside the queer Center, or at the queer Parade, is to lose our community.  What are we to do?  Ordinary queers have limited access to the queer press, we have no access to queer streets, we can't afford billboards – in fact, we can't even afford to rent meeting rooms in the Center.  How do we engage with each other on political issues?  The answer is we don't.

Among the objectives listed in the Center's mission statement are:

"- unite our community across lines of age, race, gender and economics
- give visibility to the history, culture and diversity of our community
- organize and plan our political and cultural future"

So they are going to organize and plan our political and cultural future without even giving us the opportunity to weigh in on what our political priorities are?  By what right do they determine that gay marriage is an important issue to queers but where our queer institutions get their money is not?

"Our" queer institutions – the Center, Frameline, NGLTF, HRC, GLAAD, and every other nonprofit with an acronym or innocuous name take enormous resources from our communities.  They get all the grant money, they get all the bequests, they get your $5 guilt money at the entrance to the Pride Festival and the Folsom Street Fair, and they use a lot of volunteers.  According to the Center's website, its budget for 2006/07 is $2 million, of which 32% comes from the government, 24% from foundation grants and 16% individual donations.

When they take all that and then deliberately exclude all of us whose priority is not gay marriage, they are basically stealing from our community.  We (the radical fringe, the people who don't give a s___ about gay marriage) are never going to get our fair "share," but if we don't fight for our right to at least be a little visible, we are giving them permission to steal.

Free speech is a really scarce commodity these days, as a lot of articles in previous newsletters and in this one have documented.  But if we can't even win it from our LGBTQ institutions, what chance do we have against homeland security?


Think Before You Pink

July 7-8 San Francisco will be awash in pink, as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer comes to town.  Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots organization which “carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic,” urges people to question this kind of corporate fundraising with its “Think Before You Pink” campaign.  The following is quoted from their excellent website,

With increasing awareness of the most common cancer in women, many millions of dollars are now raised each year to advance "the fight against breast cancer." Both non-profit agencies and corporations raise funds through a variety of vehicles, including walks, runs, and mountain climbs. The general public is asked to support these efforts either by participating directly or by supporting their friends and acquaintances who are walking, running, or climbing. In some cases, a for-profit firm produces the fundraising event, charging a fee to the company or agency that is sponsoring the event.

Currently, the largest of these events are the Avon Walks for Breast Cancer. Sponsored in a number of regions throughout the United States, the walk is produced by a private, for-profit company. Walkers must raise or contribute at least $1750 to participate, and they must have health insurance. The walks have raised up to $12 million each, but the costs associated with producing and advertising the walk are taken from the funds raised by the walkers. As a result more than a third of the money raised from each walk has gone toward covering administrative and marketing expenses. Of the money that does make it to breast cancer programs, the vast majority is unlikely to bring about changes that will stem ever-increasing breast cancer rates. Furthermore, most of the funding directed to research is granted to large cancer centers that already have access to ample funds through the government and pharmaceutical companies.

Critical Questions to Ask

Companies are increasingly using breast cancer cause marketing to reinforce their brand image and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Navigating the expanding sea of pink ribbon promotions requires consumers to ask a few critical questions:

How much money from each product sold actually goes toward breast cancer?

For example, Yoplait donates ten cents for every pink yogurt lid mailed back to the company—it would take 4 lids just to make up for the price of the stamp. If a company is not giving as much as you think it should, you might choose to give directly to an organization or charity instead.

What percentage of the purchase price does this represent?

Many companies are ambiguous about the amount they donate from each purchase. For example, Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Products range in price from $10 to $598, yet the only information given to consumers is that “a portion of the proceeds from Pink Pony products benefits the Pink Pony Fund for Cancer Care and Prevention.” The consumer has no way of knowing how much money from each product is actually being donated.

What is the maximum amount that will be donated?

Some companies place a cap on the amount they will donate, meaning that if you happen to buy the product after the cap is reached, your dollars will not go towards the charity. In 2005, Cartier’s Roadster Watch promised to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Although each watch cost $3,900.00, the maximum amount Cartier donated from the total sales was $30,000.00. That’s less than the price of 8 watches.

How much money was spent marketing the product?

In a 2005 PR Week article, 3M touted that its 2004 breast cancer awareness effort, involving a 70-foot-tall ribbon made of Post-it Notes in Times Square, reached more than 3 million people and increased sales 80% over expectations. The article reports that 3M spent $500,000 on the marketing campaign (no actual numbers on profits were released), but only gave a little over half of that amount ($300,000) to the cause.

To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?

If research, what kind? Is it the same type of studies we’ve been doing for decades that already gets enormous financial support, or is it innovative research into the causes of breast cancer that always struggles for funds?

If services, is it reaching the people who need it most? Campaigns that are not locally focused may siphon funds away from the community and give them to larger programs that are already well funded.

If advocacy and education, do the programs make steps towards ending the epidemic? Programs supporting “breast health awareness” ignore that we are already well aware that cancer is a problem and it’s time to move from awareness to action.

What is the company doing to assure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

Many companies that raise funds for breast cancer also make products that may be contributing to the epidemic. Is the promotion a golf tournament on a golf course sprayed with pesticides? Is $1 being given each time you test-drive a polluting car, as in BMW’s Ultimate Drive Campaign? Are the products being sold cosmetics containing chemicals linked to breast cancer?

Far too many marketing campaigns exist for it to be possible to trace the threads of profit for each, and it’s difficult to verify whether or not a promotion is legitimate while you’re standing in the store. Make the best choice you can with the information you have. If you have trouble getting answers or if you feel that a promotion is questionable, write to the company responsible, consider buying a different product, tell your friends, and/or contact BCA.


The MOCHA Column

By Chaya and Deni with waggles from Sparky

Reader Advisory: This column may contain explicit negative attitudes. Consider yourself warned! (Ok, who are we trying to fool, no doubt some movie reviews will be very negative. Rebuttals are always welcome, email us at


After the Wedding (reviewed by Deni)

I like soap operas but this was one bad movie. Danish white man committed to helping the poor orphans in India abandons it all to move into a rich home and upper class life with a former flame and the child he never knew he had in Denmark. Annoying people with stupid plot twists and moral choices with nauseating decisions, this film got more interminable as it progressed. Started out with some class awareness and reflection but quickly gave that up in favor of overdone melodrama. I liked the statement from another film critic Jay Antani ( who said: “…western filmmakers who have and will use India as a moral panacea so that their white characters can feel better about themselves. While I'm at it and for what it's worth, I hereby declare a moratorium on any such filmmakers entering India (or any Third World country, for that matter) in hopes of preventing any further culturally condescending journeys into the white man's heart of darkness.” Second that moratorium and skip this movie.

Waitress (reviewed by Chaya and Deni)

Keri Russell stars as a waitress in a pie diner. She shares comraderie and humor with her waitress friends but is stuck with a controlling, abusive husband with whom she accidentally becomes pregnant, much to her dismay. How does the movie treat the subject of abortion? With so much horror they can’t even utter the word. Is this a “delicious, sweet comedy” as hailed by the press? We think not when you analyze the messages: working class heterosexual women are stuck in bad/abusive relationships but might be able to get out if they’re lucky enough to be nice to a benefactor; women readily accept their lot in life; and ultimately, motherhood conquers all. Sure, the pies looked good but the best part of the movie was our conversation afterwards in the theater’s bathroom with other women who had just seen it, and were also troubled by it. The consensus: like a throwback to the 1950’s and not a pro-woman film.

  Away From Her (reviewed by Chaya)

I’ve always loved Julie Christie, I must have seen “Darling” a zillion times way back in the 60’s. She hasn’t been in many movies lately. So it’s fascinating to me that Christie -- who enjoyed such looks privilege -- has clearly not had plastic surgery (oops, what do they say now, “work done”), and feels perfectly fine about playing a character her own age (mid-60’s) with Alzheimer’s no less. Christie is expressive as ever, and all the acting is excellent (with Olympia Dukakis, Gordon Pinsent and Kristen Thomson in a supporting role). Canadian actress Sarah Polley, a friend of Christie’s, wrote the screenplay (based on a short story by Alice Munro) with Christie in mind. The film (Polley’s directorial debut) has no trace of sappiness, and would never have been made in the US. The story is not so much about a woman with Alzheimer’s but what it means to her husband and their relationship. As our little group watched it, I think we were all wondering “what would I do if that were me?” But despite the high production values and the message of hope -- that nothing is certain and you may need to choose to be happy and make decisions based on that -- the movie was not easy to sit through. We both felt that the film didn’t have a realistic portrayal of Alzheimer’s, and even for Canada with its nationalized healthcare system, the social class aspects of long term care were underexplored.  

Bamako (reviewed by Deni)

An important, beautifully filmed movie by Mauritian writer-director Abderrahmane Sissako about the criminal actions of the World Bank and the IMF, and their effect on the country and people of Africa. Set in Bamako, the capital of Mali, most of the action takes place in a communal courtyard where the savage effects of capitalism and globalization are on trial with ‘Africa’ as the plaintiff. As impassioned witnesses describe the effects of this reality with statistics and stories, local people’s lives are shown in their homes and work. A sick child’s lethargy is heightened by the contrasting discussion of the devastating privatization of health care. The testimony ranges from complex verbal analysis to an elderly witness - who’d previously been told it wasn’t his time to speak - returning to belt out a piercing song as his testimony, a powerful statement without being translated.

Within the film is a satirical old-west movie - “Death in Timbuktu” – in which six cowboys, among them Danny Glover and the Palestinian director Elia Suleiman (maker of the excellent film “Divine Intervention”), shoot each other and local villagers with guffawing laughter while young children watching the spaghetti-western violence laugh along with the cowboys. The connections of this to the globalization trial (western cultural domination and violence?) are open to interpretation and thought provoking in a way that’s rare in a film. The movie has some problems -  the film’s narrative is occasionally confusing (or perhaps deliberately vague), the western goes on too long. But these are minor compared to the powerful images and information and magnificent music. Hopefully it will still be playing somewhere – seek it out and see it.    


It’s Tough Being the Army: Because “recruiting has been hampered by the war in Iraq,” according to the US Army’s top personnel officer Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, the Army changed its advertising slogan from “An Army of One” to “Army Strong.” The new ad campaign is part of a 5-year, $1 billion contract with the McCann Worldgroup ad agency. To make recruitment tastier, the Army is also giving a $2,000 bonus to active or retired Army personnel if they can persuade a non-family member to enlist. Retired Lt. Col. Ann Wansley of San Francisco doesn’t like that strategy: “They want me to con some innocent young person into signing up for an occupation which promises to put him or her in danger of death or severe, long-lasting mental or physical harm, and for this I am to cheerfully accept payment? What kind of a person do they think I am?” Hey Ann, let us know if you want a subscription to UltraViolet.

And Speaking of the Army: You probably read last month of the Army’s survey of 1,320 soldiers and 447 marines in Iraq. More than 40% reported that torture should be allowed to save the life of a fellow soldier or marine. Also, 10% of soldiers surveyed reported mistreating non-combatants or damaging their property unnecessarily, less than half surveyed would report a team member for unethical behavior, and 17% said all non-combatants should be treated as insurgents. To improve morale, ethics and suicide rates, the Army mental health advisory team that conducted the study recommended that the army’s year-long tours in Iraq be shortened, or that soldiers be given 18 to 36 months between deployment to recover. Instead, Bush and the Army have done the opposite by extending tours and shortening time at home between deployments. Gosh, couldn’t the US just get the hell out?

No Child Left Behind or Unscarred: In May, staff members from an elementary school in Tennessee staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling the 6th graders it wasn’t a drill as the kids cried and hid under tables. The Assistant Principal Don Bartch who led the trip said it was intended as a learning experience. Yeah, yeah, he’s probably just trying to make the kids grateful for standardized tests… Time for vacation!

Summer Vacation Planning: According to Gerry Gaumer of the National Park Service, many improvements are in place at national parks to enhance the experience of Americans on vacation. For the first time, visitors will be able to drive right up to a missile silo at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota. The Park Service explains: “Here you will find remnants of the Cold War, including an underground launch control center and a missile silo.” (Gosh, most of us have already seen it in the fun movie Wargames.) “Minuteman missiles held the destructive power to destroy civilization as we know it.” (Wait, is that a negative?) “Yet the same destructive force acted as a deterrent which kept the peace for three decades.” (Let’s see, that would be through the peaceful Vietnam War, countless US coups and invasions, etc.) “The Minuteman Missile makes it possible to revisit a time when the threat of nuclear war haunted the world.” (Reminiscing sure is grand, but Bush’s threats to Iran and Korea are haunting us now.)

Our travel advice: make sure to reserve in advance if you want a special tour of the underground launch control center. Space is limited! (Wait, we thought space was the final frontier…)

Disney Explains Silence Over Mouse: The Associated Press reports that “The Walt Disney Co. didn’t speak out when Hamas militants used a Mickey Mouse look-alike to preach Islamic domination because the company felt it would be ineffective.” (We understand Mickey is suing for slander.) A Hamas television show for children featured a large black and white rodent named “Farfour” dressed in what looked like a Mickey Mouse costume, “railing against Israel and the United States in a high-pitched cartoonish voice.” The program was taken off the Al-Aqsa t.v. station after Palestinian Information Minister Barghouti said the character represented a ‘mistaken approach’ to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation.” Disney CEO Robert Iger said Disney had nothing to do with the program’s removal, but had spoken with “several government officials.” We wish we could make up stuff this good.

Arabic Films in a Plain Brown Wrapper: We don’t have Netflix (though some of our best friends do) and are not pushing it, but we understand finding Arabic films on it is quite a challenge. When you browse the “Middle East” foreign language film section, you will find numerous Hebrew and Farsi language films, but no Arabic language movies. It’s not that Netflix doesn’t stock films in Arabic; on the contrary, they have many Arabic language films from all over the Middle East and North Africa but only randomly within their “Foreign Film” section. When the mood strikes, you can’t just search for an Arabic film – you have to know a specific title. A few messages questioning this format were sent to Netflix but have only elicited a “thank you for your comment” reply. We suggest that those of you with NF let them know what you think about their discriminatory policies.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction in Israel: The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has issued a call to the Rolling Stones in response to media reports on the band’s plan to perform for the Israeli music circus in autumn. The concert is one of the biggest events scheduled for Israel this year and is to compensate producer Shuki Weiss for the money he lost because of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon last summer. (Darn that invasion...) Palestinian artists, individuals and organizations have called on the Rolling Stones to confirm the media reports and have asked them to support the cultural boycott of apartheid Israel. The Stones didn’t play Sun City in South Africa; help them see the connection to Israel. To read the letter to the Stones, go to To sign on to the letter, email: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime… (Hey, you didn’t expect us to quote “Under My Thumb,” did you?)

Checking the blogs: Lots on line about the recent firing of Isaiah Washington from Grey’s Anatomy for anti-gay slurs. Before the firing, Jasmyne Cannick, a black lesbian, blogged that Washington was treated unfairly in this incident because he’s black. In response to her blog, ‘akaison’ says on “…I know in this day and age I must prove my bona fides, so let me just say that I am black and gay. It doesn't matter how many times she (Cannick) brings up racism, it will never justify homophobia. It doesn't matter how many times people want to bring up homophobia, it doesn't justify racism. But, Mr. Washington isn't facing someone calling him the n word, he is facing people who he called the f word. The difference is that he is acting as the oppressor here. Justifying one form of oppression, by saying that you are oppressed by another form of oppression is the lowest form of discourse.” We wish Grey’s Anatomy was as interesting as this discourse.

  Court Affirms the Rights of Bears: A California appeals court ruled that Rohnert Park, CA police acted illegally when they searched a teddy bear and found marijuana inside it (her?). The bear was inside a package sent through the US mail to a fictitious person. The court upheld a lower court ruling that police had no justification for opening and searching the bear without a warrant, and ruled the evidence inadmissible. The bear was too stoned to comment. 


Saving Single Payer: Enter Michael Moore

by Tory

Until a recent turn of events, the media coverage of what is loosely called “Health Care Reform” has been dismal, doing nothing to address the health care catastrophe in California.  There have been long discussions of the various aspects of the draconian proposals promoted by don perata and arnold schwarzenegger pushing to mandate ( force) health insurance on the public.  Both proposals promote “pay-or-play” plans with high deductibles for piss-poor coverage for those who do not have insurance through a job; the net result is ever more money being funneled into the insurance company coffers.  Sheila Kuehl’s’s single payer universal health care bill is rarely mentioned if it is it is dismissed as unrealistic and impossible to win.   One hears the predicable “I won’t be able to chose my own doctor” complaints as though anyone in this modern era with kaiser or a PPO can really CHOOSE a doctor The discussion has rather rapidly changed with Michael Moore’s seemingly miraculously entrance int the fray with his new movie SiCKO.

SiCKO opened in mid May at the  Cannes film festival to much controversy.  Rose Anne DeMoro executive director of California Nurses Association (CNA) was in NYC a few days before to lend support amid reports that the treasury department was investigating him breaking the embargo on Cuba by seeking health care for 9/11 rescue workers dumped by the “stellar” u.s. medical system.  Suddenly the subject of single-payer health care is on everyone’s lips. The plight of the 47 million uninsured americans, not to mention the problems of the 250 million with some form of health insurance, has made it to the big screen!  It makes the heart of this health care activist roar with hope!  Michael Moore has been interviewed by Bill Maher and most recently by Oprah Winfrey.  It was a peak moment when Michael Moore blasted the insurance companies and explained the true value of  a single payer universal health care system on Oprah Winfrey with his sly chuckling humor and a sprinkling of pseudo patriotism, for all the world to see.  He said getting in the last word on the Oprah show, “ We need health care guaranteed for every american, remove the profit from the system and regulate the pharmaceutical companies.”  How often does an issue that one has loved, hoped for, worked so long and hard for suddenly get national attention?

The fight for single-payer in California also has taken root with the help of California Nurses’ Association (CNA),which has put the campaign for Sheila Kuehl’s SB 840 front and center.  In fact that when CNA joined the AFL-CIO they made support for single-payer universal health care a prerequisite for their joining.  This is contrasted by the equivocal support given to a single payer plan by SEIU.  While Sal Roselli, president of United Healthcare Workers West has said that he supports SB 840 and attended the April 18th press conference in Sacramento, SEIU and Health Access have convened a coalition called “It’s Our Healthcare” to bring pressure on the legislature primarily about the various incremental bills and have purposefully dismissed lobbying for SB 840.  Phil Hayes, guest speaking and representing SEIU at a recent Vote Health meeting said the Sheila Kuehl bill was “unwinnable” and that this was why SEIU was not focusing on SB 840.  Vote Health had sent two members to observe a coalition meeting, but was not invited back, because of Vote Health’s commitment to single-payer health care reform.  The California School Employees Association have withdrawn from this coalition because they were not allowed to discuss single -payer and SB 840.

Excitement grows as SB 840 continues through the legislature.  It passed the state senate on June 6.  The hope is that its counterpart bill will pass the assembly - again.  Don’t forget this is the second time through the california legislature for single payer. The last time it passed both houses, only to be flippantly vetoed by the governor, which he will no doubt do again.  The companion financing bill, SB1014, is wending its way through committees and is currently in the revenue and taxation committee.  SB 840 is a two year bill, the main purpose of which is education.  Sheila Kuehl strategically hopes that this round of legislative work will set the stage for another ballot initiative.  In a recent interview in the SF Chronicle she said “Ballot initiatives should be brought only when the tipping point is reached.  I think a lot more education has to be done so that people understand why this bill is the gold standard for health care”.

Tuesday June 12, Michael Moore will testify at a Sacramento legislative briefing sponsored by Kuehl.  The briefing will be followed by a rally with Michael Moore, CNA, and Physicians for a National Health Program.  SiCKO will open June 29th nationally, including at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.  Health Care activists will be out in force, including LAGAI- Queer Insurrection who will be pushing our new PinkShield HMO - “the best care is no care”.   Even the Dyke march this year has chosen “ Health Care for All” as their theme with a lovely T-shirt sporting flames, naked women and the slogan!

The battle is on!  Money is made every day in myriad ways from the suffering of sick people, the drugs, the medical devices, the hospital corporations, the insurance companies.  They will not give up their profit easily.  A huge grassroots movement demanding single-payer universal health care as the only viable answer to the disaster of profit driven health care, is the only way to win against the enormous money and propaganda of the insurance companies.




The best care is no care

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