Category Archives: Environmental Justice

11/9/17

Tonight, we chat in studio with community leader Alvina Wong, about a coalition working to prevent the Oakland A’s from building a new ballpark next to Oakland Chinatown. And we hear from the survivors of the Gwangju Uprising and how this movement changed the course of Korean history in a piece by APEX producer Marie Choi. Peppered throughout the show, we hear from Tony Robles, an SF native and housing activist, who shares poems from his new book, Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike.

Alvina Wong from APEN and the Stay the Right Way coalition speak out against the proposed Oakland A’s stadium in Chinatown.

Joining us in studio is Oakland Organizing Director Alvina Wong from Asian Pacific Environmental Network, who is working to stop the proposed development of a new Oakland A’s stadium near Oakland Chinatown and Laney College. Alvina and the Stay the Right Way coalition organized and delivered a petition with 1,700 signatures opposing the development.

We also play Marie Choi’s powerful piece about the Gwangju Uprising, a pro-democracy uprising against the U.S. imposed military dictatorship in South Korea. This piece was produced by Marie Choi for Making Contact.

And we have poetry by Tony Robles. In 2016, a group of five San Francisco activists held a hunger strike to protest the racist killings committed by SFPD earlier that year. The 16-day strike inspired poet and housing activist Tony Robles to write “Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike.” Fingerprints is a collection of poems about displacement, police brutality, and resistance in the city that he loves.

Community Calendar

November 10th – The Center for Political Education, Women Cross DMZ, HOBAK, and Catalyst Project are hosting a panel on Averting US War on North Korea: What Progressive Must Know and Do. It’ll be 7-9PM at First Congregational Church of Oakland.

November 18th – Greg Watanabe will be telling the story of Gordon Hirabayashi and his impact on civil rights through a dramatic concert reading of “Hold These Truths” by playwright Jeanne Sakata. Tickets are available at fortmason.org and proceeds will go to San Francisco JACL’s Arts and Activism program.

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8/31/17 Back to School

Tonight, we head back to school and look at some amazing programs preparing young people to engage in the fight for justice.

  • First we hear from high school teachers Rachelle Urzua and Jody DeAraujo. They work with the Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative, a small learning community that teaches high school curriculum through a lens of environmental stewardship.
  • Then we speak with Sammie Ablaza Wills from API Equality- Northern California, an API LGBTQ organization in San Francisco training and building a youth-led movement.
  • And we’ll hear from Medha Asthana with ACT4CUSD who is working to make sure public schools in the South Bay have comprehensive sex education that covers important things like consent and uses inclusive language around gender expression and sexual orientations.

Community Calendar

  • On Labor Day, there’s a strike and march in Oakland in support of organized labor. Fast food workers in 300 cities and in the UK will be on strike to demand a liveable wage. Meet at 1330 Jackson St, Oakland Monday morning.  
  • On Tuesday, the Parkway Theater screens “And Then They Came for Us.” The documentary features actor and activist, George Takei and many other Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War 2. This screening includes a post-show discussion. 


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12/1/16 Know Your Rights with Asian Law Caucus and Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership at Standing Rock


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Saira Hussein with Asian Law Caucus

Saira Hussein with Asian Law Caucus

Tonight on APEX Express, Saira Hussein, a staff attorney at Asian Law Caucus, talks about how we prepare for a Trump administration. She goes over special registration for Muslims, what to do if ICE shows up at your door, and what we can do to protect the Dreamers who came out as undocumented to take advantage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

After our interview, Saira added: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee drafted a letter that 199 organizations (including ALC) signed on to asking President Obama to rescind the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) or special registration that was enacted after 9/11. Moreover, folks can sign on to petition likes this one at MoveOn asking for the dismantling of NSEERS.

In addition, there has recently been increased reporting of FBI visits to Muslim community members. We recommend that people call ALC or the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and seek an attorney before speaking with the FBI.

Tyson Walker, 2nd year UCSF Pharmacy student and citizen of the White Mountain Apache Tribe

Tyson Walker, 2nd year UCSF Pharmacy student and citizen of the White Mountain Apache Tribe

We also talk with Punjabi American Rupa Marya with the Do No Harm Coalition and Tyson Walker, second year Pharmacy student at UCSF who is White Mountain Apache. They are working together and with a consortium of UCSF providers and students, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe traditional healers, National Nurses United, Changing Woman Initiative (indigenous midwifery group) and Global Health Care Alternative Project to provide free care to all people on tribal land in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

If you’d like to donate to the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic, follow this link.

Food, farming, and community with Aileen Suzara

Tonight, we think about the things we are thankful for.

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Aileen Suzara preparing taro leaves

Aileen Suzara preparing taro leaves

We talk with writer, chef, and environmental activist, Aileen Suzara. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas I. Yamashita Prize, which goes to a social change activist/scholar whose work serves as a bridge between the academy and the community. 

Collaborating with Filipino Advocates for Justice, Aileen supported the launch of Bahay Kubo. Bahay Kubo is a garden in Union City where youth have hands-on experiences in growing and sharing healthy Filipino food. She is an advisory member to FACES, the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, and an eco-culinary educator with Sama Sama Cooperative, which works to “reclaim language, culture, and land-based traditions.” She is hard at work on Sariwa, a sustainable Filipino foods business that connects traditionally-inspired diets and entrepreneurship as a tool for change.

We also give thanks to the cultural workers out there and feature music from our community. We’ll play tracks from the 18 Million Rising Voices of Our Vote compilation. It features 32 politically empowering tracks by an eclectic mix of Asian American musicians. We also play songs off of Anakbayan Long Beach’s May Day Mixtape fueled by hip-hop.

Allies to the Water Protectors #NODAPL

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The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile conduit which will carry crude oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux, a Native group whose source of drinking water will be crossed multiple times by the pipeline filed a lawsuit to block construction this summer. A spirit ride on the Standing Rock Reservation launched the protest against the pipeline in April. Since then, thousands of allies from other tribes and communities from across the country and internationally have arrived at Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

As the water protectors put their bodies on the line in direct action to pipeline construction, response from private security, Morton County Sheriffs, and other law enforcement agencies called in from other counties, escalated to use of dogs, tanks of pepper spray, and rubber bullets.

Before many people made it to the polls on Tuesday, allies of the water protectors blocked traffic at a major intersection in San Francisco. Banners read, “What they do to the water, they do to us,” which is just one of the messages allies brought back from Standing Rock. vanness

Two women who journeyed to Standing Rock, joined me in studio: Pam Tau Lee, and Cece Carpio. Pam visited STanding Rock in late September, Cece in late October, and Barbara will be heading out there next week. Also joining us is Barbara Mumby who will be heading out to Standing Rock with her daughter next week.

jesseThere are many ways for you to engage with this struggle. As Pam mentioned, it’s getting cold out there and winter gear is needed. Also, word about an anonymous donor contributing funds to bail out the water protectors is simply not true and funds re still needed for the legal defense.

There’s also a phone calling, email letter writing campaign on November 14. Gather in community and hold letter-writing, emailing, and calling parties to urge the immediate END of DAPL.

For those who want to get involved more directly, there’s a national day of action on Tuesday, November 15. The Bay Area action starts at 6:30 a.m. at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. This sunrise ceremony and mass nonviolent direct action is to stand together in the BAY AREA in solidarity with the peoples of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The demands to the  US Army Corps of Engineers are to 1) Deny Permit to Bore Under the Missouri River, and 2) complete a Full Environmental Impact Statement. 

10/15/15 Defending Mauna Kea, 3rd i South Asian Film Festival Spotlight, and more

Tune into APEX Express on KPFA  every Thursday at 7 pm. On Thursday, October 15 we talk with community advocate Davis Price about the ongoing resistance to defend the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Then, we continue our coverage on the Syrian refugee crisis in conversation with Southeast Asian refugees. We go to Kashmir—the most densely militarized land on earth–and talk with advocates about recent police brutality and allegations of sexual violence perpetrated by the police in the city of Poonch. Plus find out about exciting feminist films at this year’s 3rd i South Asian Film Festival happening in San Francisco from Oct 22-25 and in Palo Alto on Nov 1. We have all that and more—tune in to APEX Express on KPFA, bringing you an Asian and Asian American view from the bay and around the world. This week’s show was hosted and produced by Tara Dorabji, Momo Chang and Preeti Shekar.

Tay Hoang

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8/6/2015 Special Focus: 70th Anniversary of US Bombing of Hiroshima


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Chizu Hamada with the No Nukes Action speaks at today's protest on the 708th anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bomb over Hiroshima

Chizu Hamada with the No Nukes Action speaks at today’s protest on the 708th anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bomb over Hiroshima

Tonight, we mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima. We bring you interviews and sound from a demonstration that took place at the gates of the Livermore nuclear weapons lab, one of the world’s primary design labs for nuclear weapons, where the U.S. is presently spending billions of dollars to create new and modified nuclear weapons.

We will hear from rally speakers including, an atomic bomb survivor, Takashi Tanemori and activist Chizu Hamada, a member of No Nukes Action, formed after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown disaster to protest Japanese and U.S. government nuclear policy.