OAKLAND, Calif. — A political, cultural and culinary feast is in store at the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo banquet here on Saturday evening, Nov. 5.

Bringing to life the theme, “Connecting the dots … from California’s Special Election … to the Gulf Coast … to Iraq,” will be leaders in the movements to bring our troops and tax dollars home now, and end the Schwarzenegger-Bush war on the American people.

Speaking from the heart about the urgency of ending the war will be Anne Roesler of Military Families Speak Out and Ramon Leal of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Roesler’s son is now serving his third deployment in Iraq. Leal was deployed to Iraq with his Army reserve unit in June 2003.

Roesler, a community public health educator and assistant professor at San Jose State University, has been a featured speaker at many antiwar events. Leal, a communications specialist and military policeman while in the Army, is now a college political science major.

Sharon Cornu, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, will share her thoughts about dealing a decisive defeat to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s anti-people ballot measures on Nov. 8. A former communications director for the California Labor Federation, Cornu is a member of the AFL-CIO’s national advisory committee on labor councils.

A lively cultural program will be headlined by vocalist Emily Baloney of the cast of the long running musical “Beach Blanket Babylon.” Wavy Gravy, an acclaimed activist clown and a “Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor,” whose motto is “Peace is Patriotic,” will also perform. Joining Baloney and will be the hip-hop dance troupe Bodirock and the East Bay Raging Grannies.

The Alliance for a Better California, which is leading the fight against Schwarzenegger’s pro-corporate ballot measures, is among organizations to be honored. The Alliance, a coalition of nearly 2.5 million teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public workers, will be represented by Pixie Hayward Schickele, a member of the California Teachers Association executive board.

Another honoree, the California Alliance for Retired Americans, has spearheaded work in California to preserve Social Security. Director Jodi Reid and Vice President Andy Barnes will represent CARA. Reid has worked for over 25 years to help senior, health, housing and neighborhood organizations develop into strong, successful grassroots advocacy organizations, while Barnes, a retired international representative for the Machinists union, was a leader in the Congress of California Seniors before helping to found CARA in 2003.

Lateshya Johnson will represent Oakland’s Mosswood Park Recreation Center. Johnson has been part of the Mosswood family since age 12 when she joined former Mayor Elihu Harris’ youth leadership program. Now she is responsible for day camp and holiday camp programs, and teaches jazz dance, cheerleading and other activities.

The banquet, on Saturday, Nov. 5 — dinner at 6 p.m. and program at 7 p.m. — will be held at the Snow Building, 9777 Golf Links Rd. (Oakland Zoo entrance). Reservations are $40. Proceeds will benefit the PWW. For information, call (510) 251-1050.

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