Archive for the ‘Don White’ Category

For the last three years I have been documenting a series of events within United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), around disability rights, Palestinian rights, union democracy and blacklisting, which started as a strange power play within the Human Rights Committee apparently around disability rights, but in my estimation, may have merely been the utilization of (my) disability as the socially acceptable way of attacking when no legitimate means was available. 

Just as that controversy seemed to be resolving itself,  the Jewish Zionist Establishment (the ADL, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish National Congress, Stand With Us, the Progressive Jewish Alliance–them too!, as well as others) launched a campaign against the Union, the Human Rights Committee, the AFSC, Café Intifada, and….. me, focusing particularly on an upcoming meeting to discuss boycotts, sanctions and divestiture (BDS) from Israel.  Thisresulted in an unholy alliance between the Zionist lobby, the “progressive” UTLA leadership, bent on protecting themselves and their positions, and the members of the Committee who now had a (pro-imperialist) arsenal of accusations to use against me, resulting in my removal from any position of leadership within the Committee and the destruction of the Committee infrastructure I had played a  large role in creating. 

Due to the (ongoing)  blacklisting, death threats, personal attacks, humiliations and the limitations of my health,  as well as, more recently a “tip” to a hot line,  an early morning service of a search warrant  of our home, complete with 14 armed police officers, a news camera, the seizure of our property, which included a thorough three month investigation  of every computer,  hard drive, zip drive, digital camera, thumb drive, back up disc and memory card, the result of which determined NO EVIDENCE OF CRIMINALITY  (no arrests, no charges, case closed!.  All of this, leaving us with  legal bills and other expenses,  PTSD (!) and (for all teachers under police investigation) the removal of my partner from the classroom.    (More on the police action later. )

Over the course of this time,  I retreated into a period of deep self reflection, depression, study and creativity. I sold my house, moved in with my partner and fellow activist, went back to school to learn new skills and  with him, bought and restored  an old house that promises to be a vehicle for our vision of local and global struggles for social justice.   The pressure on our marriage has been considerable as we have both needed to take time to work on our most basic support system: each other.  Only now am I  attempting to emerge, increasing my personal security, finding out who my real allies are, breaking the silence, speaking out,  healing deep wounds, initiating new dialogue with some of those who committed betrayals of silence, and enjoying the emergence of new, younger movements for social justice within Los Angeles. 

In the interest of disclosure:  During this same span of time the original home of my blogs shut down, so I had to repost each blog entry piece by piece, photo by photo to the new server. Emotionally, there were periods where I couldn’t look at this any more.  It just hurt too much.  And life had its own demands.  Our  larger adversaries are paid to bring us down.  We must work for justice in our spare time.  Emergencies come up, work gets put to the side. So, I have contributed to this thread on and off,  and while material is provided in chronological order, some of the entries have recently been updated or contextualized, drafts written at the time may have been recently completed and posted.  

And I doubt we have seen the end of this.  I invite my detractors to feel free to post comments as they see fit.  If their positions have the validity they claim, there should be no reason for their ongoing anonymity and stealth.  As long as they don’t obscure their identity, I will approve their posts. And it is quite possible that some events have been misrepresented.  I am open to critique and will be issuing corrections in that event. 

Finally, a word about my union ( UTLA), and the progressive slate, whose members include activists with whom I have worked for decades.  I submit this documentation, in the spirit of critical support.  I believe that dissent is essential for the life of this organization that I first joined over 25 years ago.  I was involved in the early recruiting campaign that brought UTLA membership from  30% of teachers and support staff,  to greater than 90% going into the 89 strike. I was active in the fight for bi-lingual education and against the English only movement. I was a cluster leader during the 1989 strike, rising at 4 am and not getting home until after 9:30, all the time carrying my 2 month old son.  (nicknamed “el huelgito)! I have helped plan several conferences, served on the House of Representatives, participated in the School Community Relations Committee, the Human Rights Committee and the Chicano Latino Education Committee.  I have been a delegate to the NEA RA, served as a Chapter Chair (shop steward) before I had permanent status, and filed and won over 30 grievances.   I chose at several junctures not to file harassment or discrimination lawsuits against the union, though I would have been in very good standing, especially when targeted by a member of the Board of Directors and Vice Presidents.  I also chose at the time of the entire controversy regarding BDS, not to present the matter as a an attack on my person, or use the matter to promote my own agenda within the larger community. While the L.A. Times originally accused us of planning for a rally inside (!?)  of UTLA , we very well could have, without union permission, held a protest outside the hall on the day of and at the time the canceled meeting was to be held.  We did not.  We attempted to address these matters internally, except for a call for letters to the broader community when President Duffy made a similar request to only members of the Jewish community.  It is only with considered reflection and after years of continued marginalization, harassment, innuendo and humiliation  along with increase attacks on other activists by these same forces,  that I have decided to fully address myself to this compilation and  broadcast these events more publicly.   

 To follow the complete dialogue on the issue,  please start by reading the statement:Enough is Enough- Who’s Who and Why it Matters, where  I provide a summary of events and  list the real names of the people (formerly given pseudonyms)  who have carried out this campaign against me within the Union.  As I make changes, adjustments or additions, I will post updates and links.  For those who chose to follow this closely, you may subscribe to the blog and will be alerted to newer posts.


The beginning of the thread, regarding disability discrimination is chronicled on my blog:  In Bed With Frida Kahlo- daily indignities, small insurrections and honest musings for a life of infirmity and rebellion 

The documentation pertaining to the Zionist lobby continues on my other blog: Cafe Intifada which is the web page of the organization of the same name.  

1. Go to: Enough is Enough: Who’s Who and Why it Matters:   http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/enough-is-enough-who’s-who-and-why-it-matters/  (If that doesn’t work, try cutting and pasting.  I don’t understand it, all the other links i post, seem to work!) 

2, Then start the thread at the beginning at: http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/category/utla-human-rights-committee/page/4/    and read the posts in reverse chronological order, starting with the link at the bottom of each page.  

3From there, within the thread,  you should be directed back to this blog; Cafe Intifada, but should that link fail, return to this page, and follow this link to the continued thread:

 https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/category/anatomy-of-a-blacklisting/page/3/   and read the posts in reverse chronological order, starting with the link at the bottom of each page.)

Peace with Justice, 

Emma Rosenthal

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“”An activist I believe has to be one who moves away from narrow single issue focus and links up with other people in a larger struggle. Th challenge to poor people, working people, immigrant people, people of color, the challenge against youth, the challenge against gays and lesbians, is not a single issue any more but it’s part of a cosmic challenge.”  -Don White

Thousands of people came to pay respect and celebrate the life of Los Angeles activist, Don White. Don was very supportive of Cafe Intifada along with all of the causes and organizations that he supported and worked with.

We will miss him very much.

Here are a few images from the gathering.

(All images are the exclusive property of Cafe Intifada and Emma Rosenthal. For information about printing, publishing or circulating images, please email cafeintifada@earthlink.net.© 2008 emma rosenthal all rights reserved.)
Sonali Kolhatkar, Jim Ingalls and Neal Kolhatkar

Sonali Kolhatkar, Jim Ingalls and Neal Kolhatkar

Inside the sanctuary 1

Inside the sanctuary 1

Inside the sanctuary 2

Inside the sanctuary 2



Aztec dancers opening the program

Aztec dancers opening the program

Lead aztec dancer addresses the community

Lead aztec dancer addresses the community

Activist Margaret Prescod

Activist Margaret Prescod

Singer, Song fighter, Ross Altman

Singer, Song fighter, Ross Altman

Image from the film "Companero" by film makers Sally Marr and Peter Dudar

Image from the film “Companero” by Sally Marr and Peter Dudar
Maria Armoudian and Dennis Davis

Maria Armoudian and Dennis Davis

Jose Luis Orozco and child in bare feet                  Francisco Mayorga                Berny Lobeth Motto
Jose Luis Orozco and child in bare feet    Francisco Mayorga                 Berny Lobeth Motto
Rosemary Lee                          Frank Dorrel
Rosemary Lee                                                              Frank Dorrel                                                                                                                                     Blase Bompane, Theresa Bompane and Jim Lafferty
Blase Bompane, Theresa Bompane and Jim Lafferty










Maria Guardado and Jeff Nuff

Maria Guardado and Jeff Nuff







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An Evening to Celebrate the Life of Our

Compañero Don White


Sunday, August 10th

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Immanuel Presbyterian Church

3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010
Corner of Berendo Street, 2 blocks west of Vermont Avenue)


Dennis White, Sonali Kolhatkar, Blase & Theresa Bonpane, Margaret Prescod, Jim Lafferty,

Mimi Kennedy, Maria Armoudian, Carlos Escorcia, Angela Sanbrano, Ross Altman,

Aris Anagnos, Carlos Jiménez, Francisco Martinez, Cole Miller, Jose-Luis Orozco,

Frank Dorrel, Sabina Virgo, Dennis Davis, Berny Moto, Mario Avila & others.


A Film about Don in His Own Words ~

By Peter Dudar & Sally Marr

PARKING: Available across the street at the United Teachers Los Angeles Union Hall
Vermont & Wilshire Red Line Stop
ORGANIZED BY: El Comité de Companeros de Don ‘Blanco’

Beloved by Everyone in the Peace & Justice Community of Los Angeles ~

April 18th, 1937 ~ June 19th, 2008

More Information Call: 310-838-8131

Don White           Photo by emma rosenthal

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Don White Film Tribute

Don’s contribution to the Human Rights Movement was so far reaching that we are creating a 10minute film called 
For Don’s August 10th Memorial we’re collecting visuals of Don from everyone, editing footage, 
and adding Spanish subtitles.
Could you please donate to the budget for his film?
Don raised so much money for all of us over the years, this tribute is a wonderful way of saying, “THANK YOU!”
Your name will be listed in the credits under COMPANEROS!

Peter Dudar & Sally Marr 
Email: mail@arlingtonwestfilm.com – Phone: (323) 650-8166

Please make checks payable to:
Peter Dudar
1302 N. Sweetzer Ave. Flat 203
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Donations over $100 can be tax deductible. Write check to: IDA (Int. Documentary Assoc.)
Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.


An Evening to Celebrate the Life of Our

Companero Don White

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th ~ 6:00 PM

Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010
(@Berendo Street, 2 blocks west of Vermont Ave.)

MC’s Will Be
Theresa Bonpane, Jim Lafferty, Sonali Kolhatkar,
Angela Sanbrano, Mimi Kennedy & Carlos Escorcia
PARKING:  Available across the street at the United Teachers Los Angeles Union Hall
PUBLIC TRANSIT: Vermont & Wilshire Red Line Stop
ORGANIZIED BY: El Comité de Companeros de Don ‘Blanco’

Our Beloved DON WHITE ~ Has Passed On ~ PRESENTE

Senor Don Blanco

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What follows are two statements from the General Coordinator (initials A.I.) of CAMS,  sent to two different lists, two days apart.  Please Note the contradictions.  

(CAMS statement in green.  CAFE Intifada commentary in black.)


CAMS statement to the CAMS list.

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 00:02:15 

Dear CAMS,

Since Michael Novick * posted to our military free schools list serve, making some statements about our position without the context, I feel it necessary to clarify the issues.  

It has been misrepresented in the Los Angeles Times  that the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) agreed to host a meeting at UTLA  sponsored by the Movement for a Democratic Society.  And then the  leadership of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) has buckled to Zionist  pressure by canceling its Human Rights Committee’s forum in support of  Palestinian rights.  Apparently based on a flier of MDS it further states that UTLA was co-hosting a rally…and supporting a boycott against Israel.” 

This is totally false!

(indeed it is false.  The MDS never circulated a flier and never called for a rally.  Though the leadership of UTLA most clearly DID  capitulate to Zionist pressure of a meeting that the HRC of UTLA did agree to host.  In his first statement, Duffy maintains the autonomy of committees and free speech within the union.  Then in a later communication explains that he canceled the meeting specifically because of the pressure placed on him by those opposing the discussion of BDS.)  

When the request was made for a meeting space for a student group  at  our Human Rights Committee meeting, we thought it was nothing more.  (Why would the Human Rights Committee host a meeting without first acertaining the nature of the event?) This is a common request, and the request was for a meeting space of no more than 30  persons.  Andy Griggs stated that he knew the group and had previously  worked with them.  There was no other discussion and we agreed to this  request.  It was later that we saw the MDS flier which stated that “UTLA  was co-hosting a rally….and in support of a boycott against Israel.” As  you can imagine, we were shocked. (emphasis  Café Intifada.)

(As previously demonstrated on this blog, the matter of the MDS meeting was actually never discussed at a HRC meeting.  It was discussed  and decided on the HRC listserve and the A.I. voted in favor of holding the meeting.  There was NEVER  a flier,  BUT NOTE THAT IN THIS EMAIL, THE A.I. OF CAMS CLAIMS TO HAVE SEEN THIS FLIER!!!!  Both the original inquiry by MDS and the email announcement of the meeting clearly stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss boycott divestiture and sanctions against Israel. **  There was no reason to be shocked and MDS did not misrepresent the nature of the meeting, at any point in time.  There was no flier nor email that called for a rally, though here the A.I. of CAMS claims to have read a flier with that exact information) There is a protocol for UTLA in the case  that they choose to support a boycott and take such action  which includes  a discussion and approval by the membership and leadership body.  (The HRC never made a  decision to support the boycott, only to allow for a room to discuss BDS.  Before the leadership of UTLA can take any position, factions and committees would necessarily need to be able to host such forums and discussions.) As the HRC  chair states, “When the purpose of the meeting came to light, both UTLA and the  Human Rights Committee canceled permission to meet at UTLA.” Duffy (UTLA  President)  began receiving the hate calls and mail, consulted with a  majority of members on the committee including the chair Steven Seal, before  canceling the meeting.  (Duffy, by his own admission, spoke to fewer than half of the members of the Committee.) Unfortunately, a handful of HRC  members have taken the position that Duffy was wrong, and anyone who agrees  with him is equally guilty of being “pro-Israel” and without backbone.   Unfortunately they continue to ask individuals and groups to send Duffy letters  criticizing him, and requesting the MDS meeting to take place (without  telling these people the full context of the controversy).  (What aspect of the controversy has been excluded?  It has been the intention of this blog and Café Intifada to provide information that we feel has NOT been illuminated– under great pressure, we might add!

Café Intifada invites CAMS and anyone else involved in the controversy within the HRC to post any differing point of view.  We have even posted the comments of leaders of the Zionist groups that launched this campaign.  What list serves do we have access to, that CAMS does not?  By putting out a call for letters, we simply hoped to provide a balanced representation of public opinion for the President of UTLA to consider when making his decision.  Why condemn members of the Committee for defending the rights of the Committee and its only democratically determined position on hosting the meeting?)

As you know, CAMS has been supported by the HRC, and have (sic) always had a very  clear mission to demilitarize schools and present alternatives.  We have been working together very closely with many HRC members and the chair on  our co-sponsored  conference EDUCATION NOT MILTARIZATION.  We feel that it is timely and will be a powerful conference, largely because of the  support we have from so many of you, and the incredible work done over the past  years.  Greg and I as teachers and members of the HRC, are united in our  desire to do what is best for CAMS.  We also will not be engaged in a  political discussion that detracts us from our purpose.  (Please note that below, A.I. attacks those who continued to support the BDS meeting as being “single issue”  and forcing that issue on the Committee, yet here she gracefully states her case for imposing CAMS agenda and interests on the HRC and while her decision to stay within her narrow focus is certainly understandable, to insist that it is irresponsible to call for greater debate and dialogue on other issues, within a committee dedicated to global human rights, is not.)  I hope this  clarifies where we are.  It will also be the last posting that I will make,  regardless of further attacks and criticism.  Our energy and work will be  invested in opposing the militarization of our schools, and presenting the  alternatives of working together for peace. 

A.  I. and G.S.  CAMS


Email sent from CAMS General Coordinator A.I.  to the HRC listserve.  CAMS statement in green. Cafe Intifada commentary in black

October 13. 2006

As you can see below, this** is dated AFTER the HRC meeting on Sept 27th, when all we knew was that a meeting room was requested at UTLA (not about the specifics of the meeting)

(Here A.I. refers to the email ** sent out on September 29 and October 1,  to several lists, announcing the meeting.  Information about the specific meeting was contained in the original email submitted to the HRC listserve where A.I. voted along with other members of the Committee, to host the meeting.  The BDS meeting was not discussed at the September 27 HRC meeting because all logistics had already been determined on the list, and unless there was opposition, there was no need to discuss it further..) 

There is further information here that wasn’t stated at the HRC meeting when it was approved.  Here it talks about a boycott and divestment, which would have caused us to find out more, and possibly make another decision.  A rally and boycott is not mentioned here, but was an untruth stated in the LA Times. (Emphasis, Café Intifada.- note that here, one day later, A.I. now states that it was the L.A. Times that first declared the event was to be a rally.  In the previous email she claimed to have read it in the flier.  At the meeting held on the day following this email, she exclaimed “there wasn’t even a flier!”  — Will the real A.I. please stand up?)

What should be of concern here is that Larry Lambert DID NOT honor his word by stating in this flyer/email that this event is NOT sponsored by UTLA, as he originally said in a prior email to us.

(The wording was determined in dialogue with members of the HRC and MDS, that the term “hosted” would be used, to differentiate between a sponsored event and an event in which the HRC simply hosts the space.  This has been the lexicon used for previous events for which the HRC obtained meeting space for other groups’ events. )

Everyone has a right to their own opinion.  (as long as it isn’t stated publicly?) But what should be equally of concern is the undermining of the chair of the HRC and president of UTLA, as they have tried to address this situation and think of the larger context. but I find it troubling when two people who control the list serve, rally individuals and groups to their single issue position, (Emphasis Café Intifada.)  while not giving the facts of the situation and the differing perspectives around it.  It is also interesting that they have chosen to make this a central issue not only of the HRC but of UTLA, when it WAS NOT stated as a priority at our HRC retreat. 

  A. I., HRC member who was at the retreat and last meeting

(This last comment is a rather crude and mean spirited reference to the HRC retreat, which Emma Rosenthal and Andy Griggs attended but were forced to leave early, upon repeated ridicule and refusal to provide the most minimal accommodations for dis-ability inclusion.***    

 Andy Griggs, past chair of the Human Rights Committee, and UTLA Board Member, Emma Rosenthal, both of Cafe Intifada, put out a call along with Don White, Charter member of both UTLA and HRC, put out a call for people supportive of the autonomy of the Committee and  the holding of the BDS meeting, for letters. in response to President Duffy’s call for Jewish organizations to contact him and  Steve Seal. To accuse any of us of being single issue is contemptible .  Our political histories of support of a number of causes, including CAMS, makes this statement so outrageous.  Furthermore,  there were three moderators of the listserve, Emma Rosenthal, who set up the list at the direction of the Committee, Andy Griggs, who had been Chair of the Committee at the time the list was established, and Steve Seal, the Committee Chair , added when he was elected.   At no time were any posts censored or rejected. )

*Michael Novick’s commentary can be found on this blog: https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2006/10/18/cams-capitulation-to-zionist-pressure/

**This email references two emails  re the BDS meeting.

  1. the initial request for a room, which was posted to the listserve for Committee approval which can be found at: https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2006/10/15/emergency-huma…mittee-meeting, at the bottom of the post.


  1. the email announcing the meeting, which can be found at: https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2006/10/01//

*** For more information go to Emma’s blog; In Bed with Frida Kahlo,   a blog she maintains, to advocate for disability rights and to  illuminate common indignities and humiliations endured by PWDS.  http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/category/utla-human-rights-committee/  scroll to last page of the thread, to read in chronological order.)

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“Not at this time.  Not in this place.”  AJ Duffy, regarding the discussion of Palestinian Human Rights.  10/13/06


Duffy called an emergency Human Rights Committee meeting, for October 13.  Before the meeting,  several activists, including Human Rights Committee member, David Rapkin, and founding Committee member and UTLA Charter member, Don White, were turned away and told that they were not qualified to be in attendance.  Other UTLA members who were not Committee members, were allowed into the meeting, under the pretext of leadership roles within the Union, or because they had relevant information, or were personally affected by the decision.  At the meeting, it was asserted that MDS/SDS had betrayed the Committee by circulating a leaflet calling for a rally, and for obscuring the intention of the meeting https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2006/10/12/three-letters-steve-seal-public-and-private/.  It was further asserted that Café Intifada founder, Emma Rosenthal, had obstructed democratic process by posting information to the listserve  that provided members with information related to decisions, and Committee housekeeping, for not editing post content of members, and for posting more than anyone else.  (No guidelines for moderation, had ever been established, except that the list was for discussing HRC business, and not for posting articles or events, except as they informed HRC decisions.) Newly named, Director of Communications, Dan Barnhart,  in stark contrast to his previously stated positions in support of the meeting, list and web page, as well as the HRC’s support of Palestinian solidarity, presented a detailed graph of the  number of posts by members of the Committee.  He was critical of the use of the rise-up listserve because of its radical affiliations. It should be noted that the listserve had three moderators: Emma Rosenthal, who, under the direction of the Committee, founded the list,  Steve Seal, Committee Chair, and Andy Griggs, past Chair.  Nonetheless, the list itself,  was blamed for the decision taken, and Emma was blamed for the list. All posts by list moderators were attributed to her, and not to either of the two men, who were also moderators. 

One of the issues raised by the Zionist organizations was a link to “extremist groups” on the Human Rights Committee web page.  Rosenthal had recently updated the web page, including links to human rights organizations, particularly those who had worked with the Human Rights Committee, including Cafe Intifada, which had been repeatedly targeted during this campaign.  Upon updating the webpage, she had posted the link to the listserve for group input and approval.  Suggestions for additional material and links were made, as were some orthographic improvements, including linking to sister organizations, such as Cafe Intifada and CAMS.  

It was decided at the meeting, to destroy the list, along with the public announcement list, and the web page;  all of which were associated with Rosenthal’s  initiative and based in Committee approval.   The Committee did agree to the following statement, to be posted on the webpage.

The Human Rights Committee of UTLA is in the process of reviewing our structure and function to better implement our mission statement. The website is temporarily unavailable. Your understanding is appreciated.”

 It is quite clear to Cafe Intifada, that in addition to providing President Duffy with the face saving statement (above), the purpose of the meeting was the destruction of any of the contribution over the years of Emma Rosenthal,  and to assure that she would have no place in the leadership of the Committee in the future. (Despite Rosenthal’s activism within the Committee, she was one of the few members of the Committee NOT contacted by Duffy prior to his decision to cancel the meeting.)     As activist, Linda Baughn, stated afterward, “the unifying principle at work was opportunism.”  Activists within the Committee who had initially voted to hold the BDS meeting, vying for power within the Committee, having waged a brutal campaign against Emma on the issue of disability rights,  opportunistically sided with the UTLA “progressive” leadership,  who, in a desperate attempt to save their popularity within the Union, under pressure from a well orchestrated and well funded campaign by the Jewish Zionist establishment,  joined ranks,  in shutting down the meeting, dismantling the Committee infrastructure and blacklisting Rosenthal.   Had this been simply the matter of an ill advised meeting, then simple cancelation would have been sufficient, not the destruction of the entire infrastructure of the committee, including the archive of communication on the listserves.  Of important note, prior to the cancelation of the meeting by Duffy, efforts were being made to have the meeting canceled by MDS and Cafe Intifada for security reasons.  This would have allowed for the cancelation of the meeting without casting any slanderous attacks on individuals or groups, without blacklisting, without character assassination, without shutting down an entire committee, without destroying union democracy, without throwing around terms like “extremist” or “fringe”.  When Board Member Andy Griggs alerted Duffy to this development Duffy’s response was that he wasn’t willing to wait.  Before Rosenthal could contact MDS and get confirmation (a process that took less than an hour) the decision had been made and accusatory press releases had been issued.  

During the meeting, President Duffy, repeatedly referenced emails and letters from hundreds of teachers, and offered to allow any of the Committee members access to the letters. 

The following chronology, taken from the dialogue on the listserve, was presented by Emma Rosenthal,  at the meeting, where she specifically asked if there were any differences of opinion to that  account of the chronology and there was none. The original chronology included the first name, of all committee members.  Café Intifada has replaced some of the names with initials. Names of people who have provided consent, as well as Committee Chair, Steve Seal, UTLA Board Members, and UTLA Officers, remain, as identified.  

During the meeting, Rosenthal also provided the Committee with information regarding some of the Zionist groups who had waged this campaign of letters, meetings and emails, including Stand With Us, and their black list, secret dossier on individual activist.  Presenting Rosenthal’s  Stand With Us dossier,  which prints out to 62 pages,  she demonstrated the degree of privatized espionage that these groups carry out in singling out activists critical of Israeli policy.  (Stand With Us’ blacklist is not available to the public.  One must apply for a special password to gain access.  It was a rare opportunity that allowed Rosenthal to get ahold of the materials  about her, The dossier is available to select student groups, and the press,)   http://www.stand4facts.org/

For information on the campaign within the Committee, against Rosenthal,  due to her assertion of disability rights, go to: http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/category/utla-human-rights-committee/

  When activists turn on each other, especially in the face of death threats and blacklisting, the results can be devastating.  This lack of discipline (revolutionary discipline- the discipline necessary to really confront the vast machine that leftist activists claim they want to disassemble,) can have horrible results.  These actions put people in real danger.  These are not simply school yard pranks, which, though considered innocent, have other devastating consequences.  These are real purges in a very real world, that leave real people in very real danger.

Especially distressing is the deafening silence.  The acts of voiceless complicity, the attempts to protect one’s own program, agenda, image, at all cost.  So many activists quietly voiced support, in private, but made no public statements of support or principle. 

The brutal campaign launched by a mighty, external establishment, wrapped in the language of human rights, but brazenly out to control the narrative on the Middle East, limit academic freedom and free speech, and isolate activists, is part of a larger political agenda, reaching well beyond the walls of UTLA. It isn’t as simple as Steve Seal might suggest: that we pick our battles.  This battle picked us.  And we responded terribly.

No doubt, Cafe Intifada will need to find other venues to fight for justice, and in the present climate, between the attacks on Emma Rosenthal on this issue and the issue of disability rights, there  may require time for reflection and retreat.  There is much work to do;  if nothing else, at the very least, there is study; an important activity; study, gaining new insights or new skills.  Let’s see where we go from here.

Café Intifada


Chronology to a Decision:
  1. Sept 14, Steve posts to the list, Larry Lambert’s request for a meeting room.*   Steve asks the members: Is this something we  want to do?

                Andy posts:  I support this.

                Emma posts:  yes

               R.L. writes: I think so

                Linda Baughn writes: Does anybody know these people?

                Andy posts: Yes–I have worked with many of the members of SDS-MDS over the years–the only reason I am not involved now is the lack of  time.

                Emma Writes:  yes, i plan to be involved in this, as part of the l.a. palestine labor solidarity committee.  i referred them to steve.

                Linda writes : cool

                Emma writes: Wow, I always wanted to be cool.

                A. I.  posts:  Yes, however one reality is that UTLA is pretty booked up in October.  I know that Sat. Oct. 7th is booked, and  Evy said October is very  full.

                   Emma posts: good point.  they only need one room, and they’re pretty flexible about the time.  there’s a room near L.T.’s office that isn’t used much. i don’t know the room number, but she does.

Sept 15    Steve posts in an email on the agenda for the upcoming meeting:

                I will be out of town next week for a few days so if anyone can work on the room for SDS It would be appreciated by them and me.

                Emma Posts: I can take care of the  room for SDS. 

Sept 16

                M. R.  posts: I vote yes

There is no further discussion on list about this meeting, though during this entire period several people post on other issues and no dissenting positions are expressed at the meeting on Sept. 27.  Andy and I work on getting a room.  There is some discussion between me, Andy and Larry regarding the wording of UTLA HRC’s role in the meeting.  Based on past precedent when hosting a meeting that we are not producing (see below!) we decide to state that the meeting is hosted by the HRC.

Sept 29   Steve posts, including the email announcement of the meeting, ** which clearly states that HRC is hosting the meeting:

I hope people in our committee are planning on being there for this to assist in logistics and to make sure it runs smoothly since we are listed as a “meeting host”  I will not be there due to prior commitments.

Emma posts   i’m on it!  i encouraged others to attend as well.

Oct 1: The announcement is made on several progressive  listserves.

Oct 3: Duffy cuts the link from the UTLA page to the HRC page and posts a public letter stating that he will not censor a committee.  Carolina from communications contacts me telling me to post it to the HRC page and that I am to remove all links to other organizations.  I tell her that I can’t do anything without the direction of the Committee.  I forward her email to the committee and ask for suggestions.

Oct. 4

          Steve posts:  Hello all,  <>Just wanted to let you know that there is some controversy brewing around our “hosting” of the meeting on the MDS/SDS thing on the 14th of this month.  There has been pressure on the union to not have the meeting at UTLA and to not have the HRC host it.  Since this is not being run by our committee directly I feel it is probably in our interests to pick our battles and possibly pull our hosting.  This has turned into more work for us than it should be.  Duffy wants to have a meeting to discuss this issue soon.<> I will keep you informed.

Over the next few days the following people weigh in (some of the responses are quite lengthy and are available on our archive.)

Agree to cancel:  R. L. R. U.

Don’t agree: Emma, Andy, Michael, Dan (Barnhart), Linda,  M.R.

A.I. writes “I’d like to do that.”  Which I think means she wanted to cancel the meeting.

In a conversation with Andy, on  October 5, the day he decided to cancel the meeting, Duffy reports that he spoke with 10 members of the Committee and that not all agreed with him.  There are 26 members on the Committee.

And here we are!



—– Original Message —–

  From: steve seal

  To: hrc-disc

  Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:03 PM

  Subject: [utla-hrc-discussion] Fw: [Al-Awda-Los-Angeles] Fw: BDS CAMPAIGN IN LOS ANGELES AREA

  Hello all,

  Does this look like something we should do for the group?  Let me know what you think.


  —– Original Message —–

  From: larrylambert

 To: larry lambert

  Cc: Steve Seal

  Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 8:24 PM

  Subject: Re: [Al-Awda-Los-Angeles] Fw: BDS CAMPAIGN IN LOS ANGELES AREA

  Hi, Steve —–

  I’m  a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) , the non-student affiliate of Students for a Democratic Society  We are looking for a venue for a meeting we are having to plan a Boycott, Divestment , Sanctions campaign against Israel anytime  between Oct 2- 6th or Oct 9-13th( in the evening from 8 -9:30 PM ) or at 1 or 2 PM to 4 PM on Saturday, Oct 7th or Saturday, Oct 14th. Please let me know if you could donate the use of a meeting room at UTLA headquarters to accommodate 20-30 persons on one of the above dates. Of course, should you be willing to donate meeting space to us, we will specify in our publicity and announcements  that our meeting is not endorsed or sponsored by your organization

  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide —

  Larry Lambert

  SoCal MDS



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