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By Angelo Lopez on April 30, 2008

I’ve worked in the Sunnyvale Library since I graduated from high school in 1985, and over the years I’ve noticed that many of my coworkers are aspiring writers, musicians, and artists. One of those coworkers has been working especially hard at writing novels and organizing his coworkers into an effective union. Two years ago, Bob Balmanno published September Snow, a wonderful science fiction book that combines the qualities that I admire in Bob as a person: a strong sense of storytelling and a passionate social conscience.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 15, 2008

A lot of the great progressive movements of the past were led by Christians of various different denominations who had different interpretations of the Bible. In the 1500s in Santo Domingo, a Dominican named Antonio de Montesinos, preached a sermon to Spanish squires and officers against slavery: “Are they not human beings? Have they not souls? Are you not bound to love them as yourselves?” Another Dominican, Las Casas, was inspired by Montesinos and took up the cause of helping the Indians. This lead Pope Paul III to write the bull Sublimis Deus in 1537, which stated that all peoples on Earth are human and have a right to freedom and must not be robbed or made into slaves. It didn’t have an effect on the oppressed peoples of the time, but it planted a seed that grew later.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 12, 2008

Sunnyvale is a mid sized city in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 50 miles from San Francisco. We have our high tech firms and a diverse ethnic population that has worked hard and achieved a lot of things in many fields, but “The City”, as we call San Francisco, still holds a large place in our hearts. Last week, at my work in the Sunnyvale Public Library, all the talk was about the Olympic relay event in San Francisco and the protests that accompanied the relays. On Thursday, coworkers would stop each other to see the latest news and to pipe in on their opinions of the rightness or wrongness of the demonstrations.

The consensus of the opinions that I heard was that my coworkers had mixed feelings about the protests. On the one hand, they felt that the Tibetans had every right to protest. On the other hand, they felt the protesters shouldn’t be physically manhandling the Olympic relay runners, who had nothing to do with China’s record of human rights abuses, and that the Olympics in general should stay away from politics.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 10, 2008

In September of last year, I went to the San Jose Museum of Art and saw a wonderful exhibit of eery cartoony art. The art exhibit was called “Tragic Kingdom: The Art of Camille Rose Garcia” and it featured a style of artwork that was seemingly influenced by 1930s Disney cartoons as seen through the eyes of the Addams Family. Look here. This exhibit was Garcia’s first exhibit outside of Southern California, where she emerged from a thriving Los Angeles underground scene called “Pop Surrealism”. What I like about her art is the combination of a dark Grimm’s Brother fairy tale feel with a strong political consciousness.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 6, 2008

I’m not sure what it says about a person whose politics is shaped by a comic strip. The first political influence in my life was during my Junior High years, when I first started reading Doonesbury. Doonesbury, and later Bloom County, made me laugh at the politics of the time, and it gave me my first exposure to alternative views of the world other than those of the front pages of the newspaper.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 4, 2008

I was one year old when Martin Luther King Jr. died, so I can’t really say that I knew him when. Growing up as a Filipino American in the America of the 1970s and 1980s, though, he was still a presence in my life. I saw a lot of excerpts of his “I Have a Dream” speech playing on t.v. and his words gave me this feeling that this was a man to be respected and admired. Spending my early childhood in military bases, where I played with kids of many different races and religions, I never experienced any racism or prejudice, so the injustices that King talked about seemed like something from long ago. It wasn’t until my Dad retired in 1979 and we had to live outside the base that I encountered racism of any sort and it was a shock to me. When I heard the “I Had A Dream” excerpts on t.v. that year, it gave me the first appreciation of what King was fighting against.

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By Angelo Lopez on April 1, 2008

Today, on my first work day back from vacation, I ran into a great PBS documentary series that is now out on DVD. The documentary is called Eyes On The Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement and it chronicles the landmark civil rights events from 1954 to 1985 in the eyes of the participants of the events. I watched this documentary series during the 1980s, and it had a profound effect on the way I thought and saw the world. I learned a lot about the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis and the whole breadth of leaders and the unknown individuals who made up the movement. This American Experience series was produced by Blackside, and its creator, Henry Hampton, is recognized as one of the world's most acclaimed documentary filmmakers. This series was my first exposure to the intricacies of popular movements of change, and it cemented my liberal political point of view. I highly recommend this series to anyone interested in the civil rights movement and in movements of social change.

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Want to read more pieces written by Angelo Lopez? We have more here! This page you are on right now is an archive of entries written by Angelo Lopez in April 2008. This author's preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: March 2008.

The next monthly archive, after this one, is Angelo Lopez: May 2008.

To see all entries ever written by Angelo Lopez, see the complete blog archives for Angelo Lopez.

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This is an archive of blog entries written by Angelo Lopez in April 2008.

The preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: March 2008.

The next one in chronological order is Angelo Lopez: May 2008.

If you'd like to see all the blog entries by this author, you can go to the Complete Archives for Angelo Lopez here.

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