Thursday, September 23, 2004

Orcinus in SoCal

Man! The rain hit early in Seattle this summer. My house-painting project remains on hold until I can get a few consecutive days of sun.

Which is why I'm especially glad to be heading to San Diego this weekend.

Aside from taking in the sun and the kind of tourism things 3-year-olds love (zoo, Sea World, etc.), I'll be on business a bit too.

Friday evening at 7 p.m. I'll be giving a talk to Peace Works! in Temecula Valley, addressing the subject of hate groups and hate crimes and the recent problems in the area, especially the growth of white-supremacist activity among young people in the area.

The meeting will be held at the Temecula United Methodist Church, and is a free event which is open to the public. The address is 42690 Margarita Road, Temecula, in meeting room #1.

It's worth noting that a recent gathering of Peace Works! observing the United Nations International Day of Peace attracted a group of right-wing "Protest Warriors".

Kynn Bartlett, my host for the talk (and the author of the estimable Inland Anti-Empire blog, whose work I've mentioned previously) was one of the people who got to deal with them:
Kynn Bartlett has been working with PeaceWorks since its inception nearly two years ago. He said that Tuesday's event had been organized to promote "peace, not just as the absence of war, but peace as a way of reconciliation, of living together with people in our community."

Turning to the group of protestors, Bartlett said that sometimes coping with people in his community is a challenge.

"When they walked up, the fellow with the anti-U.N. flag said, 'This is a special treat just for Kynn,'" Bartlett said. "They follow my Web site and are aware of the fact that I'm moving away.

"It's a lot like being stalked, really. For some reason, the same group of people shows up every time we have a public gathering in the park. I don't know why they're protesting against peace."

Protestor Freeman Sawyer was one of those picketing Tuesday. He said, in his view, the protest had mostly to do with the event's affiliation with the U.N.

"It's difficult for me to understand how any American citizen who every day benefits from the patriots and soldiers who helped establish our way of life could have anything to do with the United Nations," Sawyer said. "In my opinion, it's one of the worst organizations that has ever been developed."

The organizer of Tuesday's protest, Rick Reiss, cited his distaste for the U.N. as his reason for showing up.

"We believe the U.N. is basically a corrupt organization," Reiss said. "They're out here celebrating a United Nations day of peace, so we want to come out to serve a little balance."

These folks sound like John Trochmann's kind of people.

Anyway, in addition to the Friday evening talk, I'll be making media appearances promoting my new book, Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America:

-- Sunday at noon on Los Angeles' Pacifica station, KPFK-FM, I'll be on for an hour-long interview with Ian Masters. Click here for the live feed.

-- Monday morning at 7 a.m. (or thereabouts) I'll be doing a brief appearance on the San Diego Fox TV affiliate, XETV-6, for the Fox News in the Morning program.

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