The team spent most of the day at San Francisco’s Veterans’ Community Media Center, an important hub for veterans and employers, artists and media savvy types to connect and share services, as well as provide an alternative space for veterans to meet while the community scrambles for some permanent solution to the lack of affordable, available space.
A little back story is in order here.
When the shitty (excuse me, ahem) THE CITY pulled the rug out from under the entire veteran’s community last year by “expanding our administrative operations”, they used the old ruse of “earthquake retrofitting” and kicked all the groups out. “Sure”, they said, “ we’ll give you less space back at a higher cost.” Yeah right, this place was built for and given to the veterans by the City as a token of the City’s appreciation for the sacrifices of World War One. “Oh yeah,” they added, “you need to wait a couple years”.
This grand old dame of ancient granite is nearly 100 years old, and pardon my pun, but the place is rock solid. The city and the developers they sleep with use this gimmick to basically grab up properties, and in the case of this “gift” to the veterans they so clamor to “honor”, it amounts to nothing less than good ol’ shameful “Indian giving”. And this from a so-called “sanctuary city”, where homeless vets aren’t even allowed to sleep in their cars. And Scott Weiner has the nerve to “march with us” (in his car) during the Veterans Day Parade. This is the asshat who closed our parks at midnight and made it illegal to sleep in YOUR OWN car.
Another interesting digression I am sure, but I stray from the point.
That night we had a nice send off from the VfP 69, and after the meeting several members signed the flag that we are bringing to Scot Camil for his birthday in May (the 19th). We spent the night at one of Anonymous’ houses in the Bay Region wherein we discussed plans for the global dominance of peace and fun. After a carousing, yet ultimately restful night, we departed for San Jose, in a mood of political adventurism.
We arrived in the early evening after the rain had stopped. The driver was instructed to drop us off at the local Veterans’ Memorial, always the LZ for an OVSF away team. San Jose has a really neat memorial, for being the CAPITOL OF SILICON VALLEY, they did a nice job. There are 50 or so white flags in neat rows, average flag pole configuration with large flags, set in a river side park in the Civic Center.
The field of flags has a glass wall on the street side with frosted images and screens of men and women soldiers from all the different adventures, accompanied by excerpts from letters written to the home front, ranging from captured pilots to medics’ letters to their buddy’s parents. This author was moderately overcome by emotion, and it could’ve been worse, were it not for the fact that it seemed singularly ironic given the memorials’ location in the middle of a defense industry outpost.
That night we camped out quite peacefully by the river, and were awakened by ducks early the next morning.
We prepared a liquid breakfast and made with haste to the San Jose State University campus where we had hoped to discover a student reaction to the recent disclosure of racial discrimination in the dormitories (you know “tech” is only for certain minorities, right?) and we were not unsurprised that indeed, a storm was brewing.
When we entered the campus, our attention was captured by a small group of Pilipino students who were fund raising for the victims of the recent devastating hurricanes over there in the Phillipine Islands where many of their families remained, and incidentally, where the US military SHOULD be, doing real work, instead of its’ usual job of fucking up other countries. These passionate and dedicated students allowed One Liberty to get off some nice warm up shots of their booth while I gathered the details regarding the upcoming actions to be held that day, beginning at noon.
We immediately linked up with the organizers, and offered our services, whichwere gratefully accepted, after all, who wouldn’t want two bad-ass activists to support them? The poor things had so little time to organize, they did not have any banners, and only a handful of hastily created signs, so it was decided that to avoid mixed messages, VFP Nomads would guide the tail of the march, sans amplification (drats!) but to try to have the flag in as many photos as possible (cool!). Of course, we absolutely support the struggle against racism, and wholeheartedly encourage direct action and student activism.
The demonstrations were peacefully pissed off, and the shouting angry mob of well heeled and fashionable youth were accompanied by no more than 6 cops, who respectfully kept their distance, and exhibited professionalism and (yawn) boredom. Well done, chaps! After we concluded our end of the deal, we grabbed a bite to eat and went to see the sights of AWESOME SAN JOSE.
Uhh, yeah. Place is dead. However, San Jose boasts the largest homeless population in the US and is home to Americas’ largest tent city! (Yay! 7,000 bums in the heart of AWESOME SAN JOSE).
Later that evening we attended the local meeting of the Green Party held at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center, where we hung out and were pleased to find much that appealed to us concerning Veterans For Peace (Chapters 69 and 101 are tight, yo!) Courage to Resist, and all the other groups working for peace… and… you get the picture.
Perry Sandy (this author had previously met Perry Sandy with Jill Stein in SF) introduced us to the group quite eloquently, as he is the man who had our article, A Program to Eliminate Veterans’ Homelessness headline the Green Shadow Cabinet website this very week. We are keen to work with the GSC and Jill Stein ( who ran as the Greens’ presidential candidate, she usually does, and one of these years she’ll win, by gum!) to produce content for them, indeed, for any entity working for global justice and a healthier environment. Yeah, greened vets is what we is, baby.
Mr.Perry is a really sweet guy on a mission to house humanity, and I gotta say the man has a plan. It starts here in America, and we are absolutely in agreement and will provide all possible support. VfP Nomad copy writing teams are in position to provide detailed analysis and entertaining fluff to support Mr. Perry’s program, and he will in turn provide OVSF with open political support of our programs as well, even though they may be of varying degrees of legality.
The team returned to base camp, and slept the sleep of two giddy kids on a journey that will take them from the violent streets of San Francisco to the sun drenched waves of San Diego, but first they must venture to the land of giants, Santa Cruz.
See more photos at #ICM3 - Independent Citizen Media (http://independentcitizenmedia.weebly.com/photos.html)