OAKLAND, Calif. — “United We Fight Back!” will be the theme as Northern California supporters of the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo gather here on Sunday, Dec. 3, to honor area organizations and leaders working to defeat the far-right Republican agenda and win peace, democracy, equality, immigrant rights and opportunities for young people.

Featured speaker will be Navy resister Pablo Paredes, who made national headlines two years ago when he refused to board ship in San Diego. Paredes was recently named GI Rights Coordinator by the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. He began counseling other military resisters as he awaited court martial proceedings. In those proceedings, the military judge acknowledged that there is reason to believe the Iraq war is illegal. Paredes is now based in CCCO’s Oakland office.

Joining him on the platform will be Kenneth Hayes, recent high school graduate and anti-youth-violence activist, who will share his thoughts about ways to overcome the violence now tragically affecting youth around the country.

Among this year’s honored guests will be Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the anti-nuclear-weapons organization Western States Legal Foundation. Cabasso, a member of the national steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, is also a leader in international efforts for complete nuclear disarmament.

Also honored will be Lester Rodney, sports editor for the PWW’s predecessor paper, The Daily Worker, from 1936 to 1958, who helped lead the campaign to end segregation in major league baseball. Rodney’s work has been featured in recent books including Irwin Silber’s “Press Box Red.”

Banquet-goers will also salute the campaign of the Blue Diamond Workers Organizing Committee to win union rights for hundreds of almond processing workers at Blue Diamond Growers. Besides taking their campaign for a neutrality agreement and card-check system throughout California, the workers have traveled to Japan and South Korea, gaining union and community support wherever they go.

Honored organizations will include the Campaign against Unjust Immigration Laws and Coalition for Justice for Immigrants, two coalitions that have been instrumental in mobilizing for the mass immigrant rights actions in Sacramento this year as well as playing leading roles in community outreach and education for full rights for all immigrants.

Performing at the event will be Emily Baloney, Bay Area vocalist who is a cast member of the long-running musical “Beach Blanket Babylon.” Also appearing will be the BodiRock Culture Dance Company, whose members perform in a variety of dance styles including hip-hop, jazz and hula, besides holding workshops to promote dance as healthy exercise.

Participants will be treated to a delicious Caribbean-style feast with all the trimmings.

The banquet, on Sunday, Dec. 3 — dinner at 2 p.m., program at 3 p.m. — will be held at the Snow Building, 9777 Golf Links Road (Oakland Zoo entrance). Reservations are $40. Proceeds will benefit the PWW. For information call (510) 251-1050.

mbechtel@pww.org

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