Friday, January 18, 2013

Voice of the past: Huey P. Long [Gov. Louisiana] - "Share the Wealth" [1934]


Bay Area New Priorities Campaign

Ask them to sign the petition at [].
140 organizations have endorsed.  25,000 have signed this petition with another 15,000 having signed the same petition at RootsAction.  Help reach the goal of 50,000 signers by mid-February.

Next Gathering for the "New Priorities Campaign":
SUNDAY, Feb. 3rd
1:30pm - 3:30pm
[Bring a Friend]
Lots of important things are happening, so we've got a lot to talk about. 
Please attend and bring others who want to learn the latest on what's happening in DC "Fiscal Blackmail" negotiations between the Congressional leaders and the President  -- and what we can do to affect the outcome.
Learn how you can become involved in getting new priorities resolutions adopted in your community - and once adopted, how to followup.  Next up is Oakland, so those who want to work on this should attend.
at CA Nurses Association HQ [2000 Franklin St.], Oakland (two blocks from 19th St. BART Station)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Human Rights: Pass the Equal Rights Amendment NOW!

2013-01-16 "Sandy Oestreich of '' says, 'Seize the Moment'" message from Helene Swanson of "": My friend, Sandy Oestreich, of "", sent me the following message and I am passing it on to you.  I ask that you make a few phone calls and that you pass this message on to your networks, asking that they do the same. Please speak for yourselves each phone call from an individual counts as one contact.  Let them know that you support Sandy's work and the work of many other groups that are working on the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and that you heard of this through Katrina's Dream.
And I will be walking across America leaving on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013,  from the UN Plaza in San Francisco covering all 15 unratified states. 
And I say, "Let's Pass the ERA!. United we stand, divided we fall. NOW is the time for 'All for All'."
Love and Light in Christ, Helene Swanson, Founder of ""
message from
Sandy Oestreich []:
SandyO of "" here, asking YOU to SEIZE THE MOMENT to make this the Year for Florida's ERA! Finally, we now have a HOUSE Committee Chair to call to ask courteously to HOLD "H-8001" HEARINGS!
PLEASE CALL Representative Eddy Gonzales, THE all-important Chair of Local and Federal Affairs Committee, NOW to urge him to HOLD HEARINGS on "H-8001", Rep. Gonzales' District phone number: [305 364-3066].
Since this is a Federal bill, everyone in USA is a welcomed VIP volunteer. He's already heard our Legislative Delegation 2013 speech.  HE HOLDS THE POWER TO MOVE OR STALL ERA THIS YEAR!  That's because he gets to decide which House bills WILL GET A HEARING IN MARCH!  If he doesn't schedule one, it doesn't matter whether Senator Tom Lee does; ERA will Stall for ANOTHER YEAR, the 14th year! aaaaaarrrgh!!!
SAY something like: "Please HOLD HEARINGS ON HOUSE BILL 8001.  This being the 13th year this has been before the House without ever having a HEARING! UP or DOWN, ERA deserves a fair hearing, say constituents."  
They never ask questions, so you probably won't be asked, but you can respond that "ERA is a Constitutional amendment and so affects Everyone."
 National ERA Alliance is happy to welcome you to the effort that will change America's landscape for women, and men as well. When ERA is passed, it's the best legacy you can leave especially your female family members and friends: full rights to personhood and self-determination, and protection against sex discrimination in many cases. Like never before.
 Thank YOU for doing your civic duty by giving Rep. Gonzales' office your input on ERA. You make us Proud! cheers!
Want more ERA info/background for yourself?  You are warmly welcomed to tour [].

Please send an email to to be sent future messages.Walk4ERA: Let's Pass the Equal Rights Amendment NOW!
Message sent 2012-08-01 from Helene de Boissiere-Swanson
 Dearest Friends,
On Thursday July 19, I started on my 500+ mile walk from Seneca Falls, NY to the White House to bring attention to Equal Rights Amendment resolutions moving through the House and Senate. 
Our Press Release got picked up by over 140 journalist/sites for example, please see:
I ask you to LIKE on our FaceBook page as well as JOIN our event page to show your support in spirit and keep up with my travels as I make my way to Washington DC, our nation’s Capitol.
Facebook Page: []
Facebook Event Page: []
You can also Tweet about the walk, our hashtag is #WALKTHETALK.  But don’t stop there.  We must all call our Representatives and Senators at the Capitol and we must all call upon our President for his support in getting the word out.  We must make Women's Rights and LBGTQ Rights a focus in this election.  We must demand that Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that 51% (women) of America population is not receiving their fair shake in matters big and small and that those in the LBGTQ community are marginalized who need the ERA too.  I also ask that you write your local newspapers, call your local television station, call talk shows.  Let’s get everyone talking about Equality.  In short, LET’S PASS THE ERA!
Let us all pull together for "UNITED WE STAND. DIVIDED WE FALL.  ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL!"  We can make a difference and we can demand CHANGE NOW!
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and for taking the time to make the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT a reality in our lifetime.  Remember all the ERA needs is 3 states, 2 years and 1 good president.  And the ERA is a go!
Love and Light,
Helene of "Katrina's Dream"

About "Katrina's Dream":
[] [PO Box 749, Sausalito, California 94966]
Founded in the memory of the Rev. Katrina Swanson. Mission is the full inclusion of women in society, particularly the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Projects include Torture No Prisoners, & Think Tank Thuto. Katrina's Dream is a seed organization that promotes many organizations and their work here and abroad. Currently working on the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment here in the United States of America.

About Helene de Boissiere-Swanson:
[william (@)] []
I am a disciple of Christ, I follow the path of many prophets from many faith groups, and I call out to you in the name of the one, to stand ground in these trying times and to pray to God for guidance and to follow your heart in the days and months to come.

In the news: []

You, too, can advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment!
Helene de Boissiere-Swanson asks that you help make Women Rights and equality for all genders a cause that is placed front and center on the agenda in the years to come.
All you need to do is take 30 minutes of your time to do the following:

1.    Call your Representative and Senators and demand they they make the Equal Rights Amendment a priority and support all ERA resolutions moving through the House and Senate.  FYI Petitions only count as one no matter how many people sign so we must make our voices heard.  Please call at least one office everyday to send our message loud and clear. Here is a sample script:
“I am calling today to ask that (Senator/Representative) ________________ give his/her support to resolutions moving through the House and Senate that call for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, Many organizations have been working on this since it was first introduced in the 1920's by suffragist Alice Paul.  I feel that the Equal Rights Amendment is important issue in this coming election and is bi-partisan.  There is no excuse for it not to be enacted in my lifetime.  I want to see my friends and families be treated more fairly in the courts than the women who work for WalMart and were denied by the Supreme Court last year and having observed how some of our elected officials treated Women’s Rights in regard to Health Care Reform this past year, I am demanding that you stand up and fight for our rights. I hope I can count on (Senator/Representative)___________’s support on this issue.
Thank you.”
Click this link to find out who is your Representative [] []
Click this link to find out who is your Senator [] []
US CAPITOL Switchboard Toll-free Numbers
WHITE HOUSE Swithboard
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitor's Office: 202-456-2121

2.    If you are social network friendly then post on your Facebook account, your Twitter account that you love your mother and sisters and daughters and you are going to put them first and that you want the Equal Rights AMendmet in your lifetime.  To follow my walk to our Washington DC  Please see:


3.    You will forward this message as if it was a goodluck chainmail to all your friends and ask that they do the same.  If each of you can get just 10 people in your group of friends and family who will commit to the same then we as Americans can follow the example of those who have come before us , that while I believe “All for One and One for All, United We Stand, Devided We Fall”  I also believe that it is “All for All” That I do not know one person that has gotten by without a little help for their friends.

4.     Support the people working to uphold Human Rights & Gender Equality!  
Check out Zoe Nicolson's page! She is a dedicated Activist, who is an inspiration to many.  Please see: []
Also check out organizations like Emerge America, ERA for Once and For All, United 4 Equality, National Organization for Women, and websites such as There are alot of organzations out their who have been dedicated to women's rights issues, so don't stop at just the ones I mention here.

5.     Reach out to organizations of Faith!

If you are an Episcopalian like me there is: Episcopal Women's Caucus, Anglican Women's Empowerment, Daughter's of the King, and Episcopal Church Women.  And there are many organizations working on social justice issue under the umbrella of THE CONSULTATION (Episcopal Social Justice Action Network) check these out as well.

2012-07-19 "Helene Swanson to Walk 500+ Miles to the White House":
SENECA FALLS, N.Y., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Helene Swanson, an evangelical Episcopalian, whose activism is an expression of her faith, started her 500+ mile walk from the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, on July 19, 2012.  She plans on arriving in Washington DC on August 26, 2012, the 92nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment - the right for women to vote, the only right guaranteed women by the United States Constitution. Swanson is walking from parish to parish, as an expression of her faith, to bring attention to the need for an Equal Rights Amendment for the full inclusion of women in society and for LBGTQ Rights.
Seneca Falls has nourished abolitionism and feminism since the 1840s. Abolitionist Abby Kelly spoke against slavery at an outdoor rally there in 1843. One of her followers was later convicted of "disorderly and unchristian conduct" for arguing with the local Presbyterian minister about abolition. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Coffin Mott helped organize the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848. Frederick Douglas' impassioned support helped the convention pass the Declaration of Sentiments, which proclaimed: "All men and women are created equal." In 1923 the National Women's Rights party celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 1848 convention. Alice Paul, imprisoned, beaten, and force fed for protesting President Wilson's not supporting women's rights, proposed the Equal Rights Amendment at the 1923 meeting in Seneca Falls.
Swanson founded Katrina's Dream in memory of her late mother-in-law, the Rev. Katrina Swanson, who was one of the "Philadelphia Eleven", who were irregularly ordained in 1974, making them the first women to be ordained priest in the Episcopal Church.
When the ERA was voted down in the United States, Katrina would say the Pledge of Allegiance, "with Liberty and Justice for SOME!" When questioned, "Why 'some'?" she would say, "Because the ERA was voted down retired women are more likely to live in poverty than men."  Swanson is dedicating this walk to her mother who was left to die in a hallway of an emergency room, as she was deemed too poor to save.
Katrina's Dream is active in Prison Law Reform, education in Botswana, Africa, and the full inclusion of women in all areas of life. Working with local California communities and collaborated with national organizations.
In July 2007, a team was sent to the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury England where they distributed label pins to the attending Bishops and their spouses bearing the saying, "God is Beyond Gender" to show their support for women's rights and the LBGTQ community.
The Archbishop of Canterbury sought out and engaged Helene Swanson regarding her work on women's issues at the 76th General Convention in Anaheim, California, where Katrina's Dream was instrumental in the passage of Resolution 2009-D042, which called for the Episcopal Church of the United States of America to renew its historic support of passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. []
On March 8, 2011, citing support from Katrina's Dream, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) chose International Women's Day to introduce legislation to speed ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. []
On July 29th all are most welcome to attend the celebration of the 38th anniversary of the ordination of the 'Philadelphia Eleven' along with the ordination of Rev. Robert Coolidge who is believed to be the first deacon to serve a woman priest in the sacrament of communion. We will celebrate at 9:00 a.m. at St. George's Episcopal Church, Schenectady, NY, which is one of the many churches Helene Swanson will be staying on her pilgrimage for the passage of the ERA to the Capitol.
People reading this are invited to contact their Senators and Representatives to urge them to co-sponsor the Equal Rights Amendment resolutions currently moving though the House and Senate to help all Americans have equal rights.  They are also being asked to call the White House and ask for the President's support in the passage of resolutions moving through Capitol Hill.
Support is welcomed for Walk the Talk: A Sentimental Journey to Promote the Equal Rights Amendment on Facebook. []
Helene invites people to contact her at 415.233.2049 or by email at and visit the website

"What you can do for your Country - Help Pass the Equal Rights Amendment"
message sent 2012-08-13 from Helene de Boissiere-Swanson:
 Just the other day I passed through my old childhood stomping grounds.  It was not on my route ( but I just couldn't pass through the area without going by my old grammar school.  It is said to be the oldest Jesuit school in the country.  I was known for debating in Religion class.
As I passed by the Square, I stared up as the Jersey Jurnal building and decided to give them a call to see if they wanted to do a piece on my walk to the White House.  They did. (
Just the night before President Obama came out in support of Women's Health Care saying that we were a priority.  it was reassuring to know.  I have watched him fight for Health Care.  Knowing that he was not forgetting "the ladies" made my heart a little lighter and the walk a little easier.
Now more dedicated than ever I plan on knocking on a lot of doors when I get to the Capitol.  And I am praying that you will do your bit too.  President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?"  I ask you to take our country into the 21st century and not leave anyone behind. I ask that you help us make Women Rights and the LBGTQ community needs front and center in this election in the Presidential Campaign and in every campaign across this nation.  We need Representative and Senators that care about people.  We need the right person in the White House.  Thank President Obama for coming out in support of Women's Health Care and ask him to support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. And get out and vote this November!
Zoe Nicolson is truly a dedicated feminist who along with several other women fasted back in 1982 when time was thought to be running out for the Equal Rights Amendment. With a 2007 Supreme Court Ruling that has changed.  So Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin wrote a resolution that calls for the removal of the time bar now know as the “Three State Strategy”, and we also have Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's resolution which is known as the "Start Over".  We need to demand that our Representatives support both resolutions and their corresponding Senate resolutions.

Message #4: "Walk the Talk"
sent 2012-08-14
from Helene de Boissiere-Swanson: Today I write you ‘One From The Heart’, the last few years I have heard over and over again, that I have married well.  This is always painful, like a knife to the heart, as if all that I am and where I come from has no value means nothing, marrying into a privileged white Blue Blood family is something remarkable.  I did not marry for fame or for glory I married because I fell in love with my partners soul.  Because I good see that he was a good person.  That he could see me for all that I am and all that I want to be.  That somewhere somehow how are worlds collided and we became one.
You might ask, why am I sharing this with you, well please take the time to read this, then follow your heart, open you mind to your God, and follow your conscious not your wallet in this coming election because more than the world markets and economic growth depend on it.  The lives of your mother, your sisters, your daughters depend on it.  The lives of your friends who live in closet and those who are out in the LBGTQ community need to know that they to are worthy of God unending love for all.
The last few days have been quite harrowing.  It started with a church who had offered to house me but upon my arrival informed me that the party in charge did not feel comfortable meeting me outside the church despite a bazaar taking place at the church just a mere block away.  That they expected me to walk back through the area I just passed to meet me at a restaurant to see if I meet there approval.  After asking did they not have a place for Elijah at the table, my emotions got the best of me and I choked up while speaking to them and begged off the phone call and opted to walk all night to the next church enroute.  By the time I got there it was so late that I decided to not disturb the good priest who was preparing for Sundays sermon and slept on the grounds under the tree and stars.  Alas I was not destined to get a good night’s rest for a raccoon, yes a raccoon came by to let me know that I was on it’s turf and not wanted.  This was his tree and it was time for me to go.  So I packed my belongs and headed off for the long haul to NYC.  I was fortunate that the party who was kind enough to offer me housing could accommodate me on such short notice.  We had a delightful time exchanging concepts on what it would truly take to get this country back on its’ feet.  They understood that all if for naught if women and gays are not treated as equals under the law.  So I left bright and early the next morning for the national network shows.  I was fortunate when George Stanpolus accepted my postcard to the president and kept it in his hands the whole time his segment aired.  What I did not know or should I say I was willing to accept was just how close the calls have been for me as I made my way through what I now call where three cars came at full speed attempting to run me over.  Then while I was hanging out with production team who were shooting a commercial for the CBS late night national news broadcast, my Facebook account was hacked into as well as my gmail.  This is not the first time.  In fact several months ago this happened and our website was hacked into too.  And the server shut us down for a few days.  Now I have found out that my iphone is missing “locators” so it is  next to impossible for me to use the map app and my messages are sounding garbled so know one knows what I am saying when I leave messages and when they call me I do not get the calls.
Why is this happening, you might ask.  Well it is not big brother, I can tell you that.  President Obama came out in support of Women’s Health care in Colorado while Romney is known for closing down business allowing them to go into bankruptcy so that the pension funds can be raided.  I cannot tell you who to vote for, but I can ask you to do the math.
What I am asking is that you help us make Women Rights and the LBGTQ community needs front and center in the years to come.  And that in order for that to take place we need the right man in the White House. 
Love and Light in Christ, Helene

Monday, January 14, 2013

Peace and Freedom party in history: Occupation of Alcatraz, 1970

During 1970, members of the Peace and Freedom Party took part in organizing solidarity for captive nations within the USA who struggle for freedom, including an "Occupation of Alcatraz" conducted by indigenous nations. A memento of this action shows recognition of the role played by the Party:

2013-01-14 "Alcatraz pays tribute to Indian occupation; American Indians Activists' painted statement is emblazoned on tower once more" by Carl Nolte from "San Francisco Chronicle"
The National Park Service does not usually approve of graffiti. "It's a federal offense," said Marcus Koenen, site supervisor for Alcatraz, the former prison that is now part of a national park.
However, the government has made an exception for graffiti left behind during the Indian occupation of the island - and it helped restore signs painted by hand on a landmark water tower.
 "PEACE AND FREEDOM; WELCOME HOME OF THE FREE INDIAN LAND," the writing says in red letters 4 and 5 feet high.
 "We restored it because it has a social significance," Koenen said recently. "It is part of what this park is all about."
 Most of the 1.5 million people who visit Alcatraz are drawn to the island by tales of its dark past as America's most feared prison, the dead end of the American justice system.
 But Alcatraz has more than one story - and one part of its history is the Indian occupation from the winter of 1969 to the spring of 1971, when a band of American Indians seized the island after the prison closed. They hoped to turn it into an Indian cultural center, or perhaps a small university devoted to native studies.
"It would be fitting and symbolic," in the words of the Alcatraz Island Proclamation that the occupiers issued in 1969, "that ships from all over the world entering the Golden Gate would first see Indian land and thus be reminded of the true history of this nation."
 The dream faded, and so did the political messages that the Indians left behind: "This is Indian land," one piece of graffiti painted in the main cell block said. "Custer had it coming" was written on another wall.
 But the most visible signs of Indian presence were painted on the huge water tank, as tall as a 10-story building, that towers over the northern end of the island.
 The tank and the steel tower that supports it had deteriorated and rusted badly since they were last refurbished more than 50 years ago. And the signs the Indians had left behind had faded so that they were barely legible.
 The Park Service decided to rehabilitate the tank, which is one of the most visible structures on the island. The project took nearly a year and cost $1.5 million. The Park Service had traced the outlines of the original signs, and consulted with the American Indian Movement and the Indian Treaty Council.
 The Park Service signed off on restoring the water tank signs. "We all agreed we were doing the right thing. We were honoring an important part of the island's history," said David Dusterhoff, project manager for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
 The signs were restored six weeks ago by Eloy Martinez, a Ute Indian who lives in Oakland. Martinez lived on Alcatraz during the occupation. The painters who worked on the reborn graffiti included Fawn Oakes and Elijah Oakes, both descendants of occupation leader Richard Oakes, who died in 1972 at the age of 30.
 The Indian occupation attracted international attention and considerable support in its first months. The government negotiated with the Indians, and it looked for a time as if the occupiers might prevail. But support waned, and most of the original occupiers left the island.
Only 15 people were left on Alcatraz when the government retook the island and evicted them in June 1971.
 However, the Alcatraz occupation had long-term effects. A new sense of activism among Indians helped force the government to abandon its policy of termination of Indian tribes, and Congress passed the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975.
 On Alcatraz, meanwhile, the Park Service, which became steward of the island in 1972, has opened new displays about the Indian occupation. But the biggest reminder is the graffiti on the water tank: INDIAN LAND.
 "It is not something that people expect to see," said Koenen. "When you see this graffiti when you walk off the boat, it opens your eyes to the Indian story of the island."

The National Park service has restored the grafitti the American Indians had placed on the landmark water tank on Alcatraz during their occupation in the sixties.
 Photo: Liz Hafalia, Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle