SONOMA COUNTY, Calif.: ‘Hell no we won’t go,’ say youth and students

With the Bush administration demanding personal information on high school students across the country to fill the ranks of the projected 100,000-troop army needed for an Iraq invasion, on Nov. 20 over 300 high school students walked out of classes and marched on the Santa Rosa Old Court House. Students marched into the military recruitment center and occupied the building for several hours. Students left without any arrests.

High school students from other Sonoma County high schools also answered the call from ‘Not in Our Name’, a national peace organization. They left their desks and took to the streets at Analy, Sebastopol and Petaluma high schools. Petaluma suspended 50 students.

At Sonoma State University, over 300 college students held similar protests the same day taking the ‘Pledge of Resistance,’ refusing to fight.

BURNS HARBOR, Ind.: Veteran steelworker killed in Bethlehem Mill

Randal E. Moehl, 47, husband and father, with 29 years service in the mill, was killed Nov. 29 in the hot metal area of the Basic Oxygen Furnace, the steelmaking department.

Moehl was scheduled to work 16 hours, a double shift. He was killed within the first two hours.

Paul Gipson, president of Unted Steelworkers of America Local 6787, said Moehl was working alone when the accident occurred. He said the accident happened in an area where they transport hot iron from the blast furnace to the basic oxygen furnace in enclosed oval-shaped railroad cars. The cars – called submarine cars – are guided by a remote-controlled switch engine, which Moehl was operating. There were no witnesses.

A President’s Investigation Committee, which includes representatives of the USWA and plant management, has been convened to investigate the accident. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the incident.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.: Wolverines say No to Iraq War

This city of 114,000 joined 21 other cities in approving a resolution opposing the Bush war on Iraq, Dec. 2.

In a 7 to 1 vote, the city council passed a resolution supporting Michigan’s members of congress who oppose the war, citing the potential Iraqi citizen deaths, detrimental impact on residents of Ann Arbor and other issues. Hundreds of residents displaying banners and hand-printed peace signs attended the meeting and testified on the record.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.: Workers and Ponca Nation unite for clean water

The Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) and the Ponca Indian Nation filed a lawsuit, Nov. 26, in federal court against the Houston-based Continental Carbon Company. The company is majority-owned by Taiwan-based China Synthetic Rubber Company and Taiwan Cement Corp.

With the Poncas’ drinking water at stake, the lawsuit charges Continental Carbon violations of federal water protection laws through the unsafe, improper and unauthorized operation of its Ponca City carbon black plant in Kay County, Okla.

Continental Carbon has been running the Oklahoma plant with scabs since May 21, 2001, when the corporation locked out 86 members of PACE 5-857.

‘This company treats the environment with the same disregard as [it does] its employees,’ said PACE member Todd Carlson.

‘This is environmental terrorism against Ponca tribal members who are concerned about the contamination of their land and water, and the health of their children and families,’ said Tom Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a national Indian environmental organization providing assistance.

According to David Frederick, an attorney representing PACE and the Poncas in this action, violations of the Clean Water Act can result in penalties of up to $25,000 per day, per violation.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.: UT staff says union yes

On Nov. 13, the United Campus Workers (UCW) and the Communications Workers of America signed an historic agreement making their union part of the 700,000-member CWA and the 13.5 million member AFL-CIO. With the backing of an international union the newly christened UCW-CWA Local 3865 will become an even stronger force on campus and in the state – fighting for the rights of campus staff and all public service workers in Tennessee.

Improving wages, ending discrimination and favoritism and improving work conditions will not happen just by increasing union membership. It takes solidarity, standing together, supporting and defending each other, said Sandy Hicks, president of the UCW.

The new local union passed three resolutions: Support UAW Local 1832 at Peterbilt in Madison, Tenn.; encourage UFCW organizing drive at Wal-Mart and endorse boycott of Taco Bell in solidarity with Immokale Workers of Florida.

Building unity in their new local union, UT staff joined a Nov. 9 march against racism in solidarity with the Knoxville African-American community.

Washington, DC – NOW Pleads for Women’s Safety Before High Court

On December 4, the National Organization for Women (NOW) presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court in defense of a landmark injunction that barred anti-abortion violence. NOW held a rally outside the Court before their lawyers, led by Fay Clayton, entered the chamber.

‘NOW filed this suit (NOW v. Scheidler) to protect women and clinic staff from a violent campaign to close abortion clinics nationwide,’ said NOW President Kim Gandy. ‘This determined effort was carried out by the Pro-Life Action Network, its leader Joe Scheidler, Operation Rescue and many others.’

The Court will review the district court’s issuance of an injunction forbidding Scheidler and the other defendants from further violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Despite news stories suggesting otherwise, the Court specifically declined to review the appellate court’s unanimous decision that campaigns of terror against abortion clinics are not protected by the First Amendment.

National Clips are complied by Denise Winebrenner Edwards. Paul Kaczocha, Paul Kaplan and Terrie Albano contributed to National Clips. If you have a clip, send it to