For 125 years, ever since 80,000 people marched down Chicago's Michigan Avenue to demand the eight-hour work day, May Day has been the American labor movement's day of action, protest and celebration. This year's North Bay activities include Santa Rosa's International Workers Day March, co-sponsored by a coalition of 14 local organizations, including the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, North Bay Labor Center, Petaluma Progressives, Committee for Immigrant Rights and the Green Party.
Workers Day March begins with a rally at the old Albertson's parking lot. Coalition members plan to distribute information on a range of causes to those gathered. This year's highlighted issues include the drive for universal healthcare, the right to organize, living wage legislation and education. Particular focus will be paid to racial profiling, particularly in regards to ICE raids and collaborations by county authorities with federal immigration authorities.
Workers and their supporters will march from Roseland to Court House Square in Santa Rosa. Festivities on tap at the court house include live music. Everyone, including children, is invited and encouraged to join in.
The rally starts at 665 Sebastopol Road, the Roseland area of Santa Rosa, at 3pm, on Friday, May 1.
For the past 12 years, the Community Media Center of Santa Rosa has provided community access television on four different Comcast cable channels to viewers in Santa Rosa city proper. According to executive director Dan Villalva, plans are afoot to expand access and volunteer opportunities to include all of Sonoma County some time soon.
But for now, anyone with an internet hookup can view three short proto-pieces for the center's brand-new project called Community Reports. The new programming provides county residents the straight dope on an ever-expanding range of local news-related items, while providing volunteer citizen journalists a forum for their work.
Community Reports is the brainchild of Sonoma County resident Charlie Woods. Woods, who works locally in the real estate industry, created the first three-minute-long reports, all of which focus on how the still unfolding mortgage crisis has affected the North Bay. Unlike YouTube's citizen journalist offerings, these segments are well-produced, include professional graphics and even aerial footage of the region.
To watch Community Reports online, go to www.communitymedia.org and scroll down to the photo of Woods, microphone in hand, or tune to Comcast Cable channel 26 or to the AT&T U-verse system channel 99 under "Santa Rosa Community Channels."