San Jose Peace & Justice Center


A large number of South Bay groups and individuals will gather in San Jose on the eve of Superbowl 50 to protest inequality.

WHEN: Saturday, February 6 at 7pm

WHERE: Plaza de Cesar Chavez

WHY: highlight the socioeconomic issues stemming from income inequality in the Bay Area; which is compounded and emphasized with the arrival of Super Bowl 50. To create and implement solutions to fundamentally address the variety of issues (racial inequality, homelessness, lack of affordable housing, gender bias, low wage jobs, disability access, etc...) pertaining to income inequality.

Attorneys supporting this demonstration will be present to protect our first amendment rights.

Please note, no signage on sticks or poles and try to correlate messages to income inequality.

contact for more info:



On September 27, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, will be welcomed at SAP Center in San Jose, California, as part of his global PR campaign. Join us at the event on September 27, in safe permitted free speech areas, to tell the other side of the story.

 Read the Indybay article about Sunday's protest

Read the ANHAD report: 365 Days: Democracy and Secularism Under the Modi Regime.



By Sharat G. Lin
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Another World is Possible! The United States Social Forum 2015 was held in San José at the end of June. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change.

"Food Sovereignty." "Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley." "Taking our Health Back." "Crisis of the California Water Commons." "No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization." "Cooperative Economics." "Movements Making Media." These are just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed at the United States Social Forum held in San José during June 24-28, 2015. 

Featuring some 150 workshops, assemblies, film festivals, cultural events, exhibits, tours, and communities gardening events, the U.S. Social Forum not only informed attendees about social issues, but engaged participants in collective discussion about solutions and organizing to create alternatives. The larger People's Movement Assemblies (PMAs) were collaborations among several different grassroots organizations seeking to build alliances across traditional boundaries of community, geography, and issues. A thousand participants came from throughout California and nearly every western state of the United States.

Recognizing that human rights, social justice, and climate justice are connected on a global scale the movement for the World Social Forum was born in Brasil to provide a people's alternative to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. The first World Social Forum was held in Porte Alegre, Brasil in January 2001 because of the initiative and mass support of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST or Landless Workers' Movement). A total of 14 World Social Forums have been held in different cities in South America, Asia, and Africa. 

In 2007, the first regional social forum for the United States was held in Atlanta. This was followed by the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in 2010, and the bicentric U.S. Social Forum in San José and Philadelphia in June 2015. The Forum in San José took place in numerous venues centered around downtown -- youth and community centers, churches, union halls, and San José State University. 

According to Shamako Noble, a national coordinator for the U.S. Social Forum, San José was chosen as a venue because it symbolizes the social contradiction between Silicon Valley's immense high-tech wealth and one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. 
Keynote speaker, Dolores Huerta, acknowledged that when it comes to women's rights and workers' rights, we [the United States] are so far behind the rest of the world. 
Many attendees admitted that the U.S. Social Forum in San José was "disorganized" and "chaotic" owing to the inadequacy of organizational infrastructure and widely dispersed venues. 

Both San José City Councilman Ash Kalra, who spoke at the opening ceremony, and Dolores Huerta admitted that there are huge challenges ahead to organize locally and nationally. 
According to one statement of purpose, "The U.S. Social Forum seeks to collectively develop people's solutions to the economic, political, and ecological crises. It is committed to the struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and creates a new world -- a world that ensures basic human rights and needs for all people." 

From the first World Social Forum in 2001 to the U.S. Social Forum in San José in 2015, the call is for "Another world is possible!" 

As I stepped out from the last day of the U.S. Social Forum, I stumbled upon a new homeless encampment under the I-280 Freeway on the banks of the Guadalupe River. This is a direct consequence of the City of San José's bulldozing of the city's largest homeless encampment, "The Jungle," on December 4, 2014 without providing any meaningful solution for homeless people or to the problem of housing gentrification. And so I was reminded of the second part of the World Social Forum slogan: "Another system is necessary!"

Read the article complete with photos on IndyBay.
Visit the San José U.S. Social Forum website.


by Sharat Lin

The World Social Forum in Tunis (24-28 March 2015) closes with resounding unity against global warming, neoliberalism, militarism, terrorism, and for the increasingly important role of women in making another world possible.

The opening march of the World Social Forum in Tunis on 24 March 2015 was from the Saadoun Gate of the old city (Medina) to the Bardo Museum where barely a week earlier Islamic State terrorists had shot their way into this most important museum of Tunisian history, killing 21 foreign tourists and one member of the Tunisian anti-terrorism brigade. Two of the terrorists were also killed by police. The march was together with thousands of Tunisians from all walks of life gathering to say, “Non à la violence!”

The closing march on 28 March 2015 was along Avenue Habib Bourguiba to the Place du 14 Janvier (date of the Tunisian revolution overthrowing Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011) included a particular emphasis on solidarity with Palestine.

But many World Social Forum participants joined yet another larger march against terrorism the next day where over 100,000 people marched from the Saadoun Gate to Bardo National Museum. Among the many chants and slogans was “Je suis Bardo,” mirroring the response in France to the recent terrorist attack on the offices of the journal Charlie Hebdo.

While the global Left generally focuses its opposition to foreign military interventions and social inequality, this World Social Forum has identified the dual right-wing dangers of Western military aggression and Islamist terrorism as threats to social progress and creating an alternative world.

An estimated 40,000 people from all continents -- but with a high participation from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East -- gathered at the El-Manar campus of the University of Tunis to discuss alternatives to neoliberalism, free trade, terrorism, global warming, among many other issues. The one uprising of the Arab Spring that has advanced socio-political democracy, even if only a little, has created a space to host the World Social Forum at an otherwise very unsettling time for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The venue gave this World Social Forum a heavy focus on Northern Africa (Tunisia, Western Sahara, Morocco, and trans-Mediterranean migrations, but less about Algeria, Libya, or Egypt) and the Middle East (especially Palestine, and struggles in Syria, Bahrain, and the Kurdish region). Sometimes controversies erupted as between Moroccans and participants from the Western Sahara, or between different groups of Syrians -- one favoring unity to fight ISIS and another to support the Syrian revolution. While Tunisian grassroots organizations were many, European NGO money was much in evidence. The WSF is staunchly secular left, yet the Islamic Republic of Iran had a booth here. While U.S. participation was almost invisible, there was a workshop here on “From Ferguson to Palestine”.

Most impressive was the sheer magnitude of the organization -- greeters at the airport, taking virtual possession of a major university campus during a break period, hundreds of local student volunteers, a sea of exhibit tents, an exhibition of political caricatures, free travel on the tram lines, and the confluence of so many peoples, cultures, and differences in political perspectives within the Left.


Greetings from the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunis.
An estimated 70,000 people from all continents -- but with a high participation from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East -- have gathered at the El-Manar campus of the University of Tunis to discuss alternatives to neoliberalism, free trade, terrorism, global warming, among many other issues.  The one uprising of the Arab Spring that has advanced socio-political democracy, even if only a little, has created a space to host the World Social Forum at an otherwise very unsettling time for the region.

The venue gives this WSF / FSM a heavy focus on Northern Africa (Tunisia, Western Sahara, and trans-Mediterranean migrations, but not Algeria, Libya, or Egypt) and the Middle East (especially Palestine, and a little on struggles in Syria, Bahrain, and the Kurdish region).  While Tunisian grassroots organizations are many, European NGO money is much in evidence.  The WSF is staunchly secular left, yet the Islamic Republic of Iran has a booth here.  While U.S. participation is almost invisible, there is a workshop here on "From Ferguson to Palestine".
Most impressive is the sheer magnitude of the organization -- greeters at the airport, taking virtual possession of a major university campus during a break period, hundreds of volontaires, a sea of exhibit tents, an exhibition of political caricatures, free travel on the tram lines, etc.


Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Prop 8 was not valid. DOMA went down!California will have to recognize same-sex marriages. Congrats to the LGBT community and hooray for marriage equality!

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ICAN Won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

By Sam, a San Jose Peace & Justice Center Intern

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, commemorating their widespread involvement surrounding the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This agreement is an incredible step towards disarmament; it clearly “outlaws the worst weapons of mass destruction and establishes a clear pathway to their total elimination.” It was signed by 122 nations. The US, however, is unsurprisingly absent from the list.

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Referendums Refuted

by Cameron, a Peace & Justice Center intern

refWorld maps may seem different in a few years, adding more national identities and differing country borders to the existing diagrams. Many movements for national sovereignty have surged within the past few months, especially in Iraq, Cameroon, and Spain.

    While the call for an independent Kurdistan has been apparent for over a decade with a referendum taking place in 2005, Israel has just recently openly supported the idea, legitimizing its plea for independence. Even though 92.7% of voters within the Kurdish northern region of Iraq supported annexation, the rest of the Middle East opposes an independent Kurdistan, especially to those nations with a large Kurdish population, including Turkey, Iran, Armenia, and Syria. The majority of opposition relates to a concern of the large oil deposits where Kurdistan would be located. Additionally, validating Kurdistan in Iraq allows for other Kurds to substantiate secession from their respective countries. Facing extreme opposition, the future of an independent Kurdish nation looks wary; however the resilient will of the Kurdish people shines brighter with hope than it ever has. 

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Take a Knee

By Sam, a San Jose Peace & Justice Center Intern

 Last September, quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem. Amid a flurry of criticisms asserting that his action was un-American, he stated that he could not "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." (CNN) He specifically cited the issue of police brutality as a prominent motivation for his action.

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Genocide of the Rohingya People

 By Cameron, a San Jose Peace and Justice Center Intern


In wake of the recent catastrophes occurring in and around the Gulf of Mexico (including Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, Katia, AND Jose; both earthquakes within Oaxaca and Puebla; and the United States' political controversy of North Korean engagement) the attention of the United States media has retracted from the genocide of the Rohingya, which continues to this day.  

The Rohingya, a Muslim-majority group of people situated in the north-west of Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh, have faced wave after wave of violence over the past half-century. For many years, the Myanmar government has consistently been placing pressure upon the Rohingya to evacuate. The government has restricted their rights to work and travel, and only limited numbers can enter certain professions like law and politics.

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Dance of Peace Celebrates the Total Eclipse


eclipseKhalilah Ramirez and Sharat Lin brought the Dance of Peace and music to crowds gathered to view the total solar eclipse in Stayton, Oregon on August 21, 2017.  

People from across the country and many foreign visitors were awed by the moment of totality which takes only a few seconds to transition from reduced sunlight to complete shadow.  Viewing parties in public parks and open spaces unified all people for the unmatched experience of viewing a total solar eclipse in person.  There are no words to fully describe we saw in the sky!  The Dance of Peace reached out to reaffirm that all people can find peace in humanity and peace with nature.


Dancing for Peace

Peace Dancer Khalilah Ramirez on the Art is Power video blog:


Carpenter Mayfield Law Firm Honored

lawfirmAt the annual testimonial dinner of the National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Chapter on April 29, 2017, the Carpenter Mayfield law firm was honored as "Champions of Justice".

Dan Mayfield is president and Jeff Lake is a Board member of the Collins Foundation, the fiscal sponsor of the Peace & Justice Center and responsible for the Collins House.

Photo shows Constance Carpenter, Dan Mayfield, Jeff Lake

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Palo Alto Firm Helps ICE Target "Bad Hombres"


Thiel protestA report published earlier this month in The Intercept revealed that Palo Alto-based Palantir, the $20 billion data-mining firm founded by Trump pal Peter Thiel, "provides the engine for Trump's deportation machine". A software program known as Investigative Case Management (I.C.M.), developed by Palantir Technologies for the Department of Homeland Security, will now also be used to facilitate and expedite the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).

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SJPD Crush Youth Protest on J20

SJPDby Sharat Lin...Three mass actions of nonviolent resistance to newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump in San José, California brought about very different police responses. The Riseup for Justice march on January 20, 2017 (nearly a thousand participants) and the Women's March on January 21, 2017 (estimated at 30,000) proceeded completely peacefully. However, the Disrupt J20 march by youths on January 20 (fifty participants) was met without warning by brutal police force resulting in three arrests and dispersal of the crowd.

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We Rose Up for Justice on Inauguration Day


The Rise Up for Justice march and rally organized by a broad coalition of 50 local organization took to the streets of San Jose on January 20, surrounding the Federal Buildling and hosting speakers at the start and end of the march.

The following is the speech by SJPJC Coordinator Michele Mashburn at Rise Up for Justice rally at San Jose City Hall on January 20, 2017.....

    Two in 10 people are disabled in the US. The hardest part is that disability transcends class, age, gender, and race. Disability Rights include issues of accessibility and safety in transportation, architecture, and the    physical environment; equal opportunities to live independently, employment equity, education and housing; and freedom from discrimination, abuse, neglect.

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Every Friday @ 10am -- Learn the Dance of Peace


Join us for a dance class like no other! Here you will fully engage your body while learning to turn your awareness toward peace.

The Dance of Peace classes will elevate your heart rate, happiness, strength and overall sense of well being! No experience or special equipment is needed. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to enjoy yourself!

About the instructor: Khalilah Ramirez is a peace dancer, author and educator here in San Jose. She is versed in the art of creating peace through communication and dance.

Every Friday morning at 10am at the Peace & Justice Center.

Articles by Khalilah Ramirez

More about the Dance of Peace


Convergence at the Border

October 9 2016, by Sharat Lin...SOAW (School of the Americas Watch) Border Convergence brought together 800 social justice activists to the first cross-border conference in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora.

Founded with the goal of exposing the U.S. government's School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, SOAW has been demanding the closing of the "School of the Assassins" as it is known throughout Latin America.

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SJPD Spying on Social Media

sjpdAccording to an article published in April in the East Bay Express, the San Jose Police Department is using a software surveillance tool that monitors social media posts in real time. “Geofeedia software allows the police to search Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr and Weibo for key words in real-time, geographically locating people as they communicate with each other on the go, reading their posts, viewing their pictures and videos, and tracking who they interact with.”

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San Jose May Day 2016


 May 1, 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of the great immigration rights marches of 2006 when over 250,000 people marched in San José for comprehensive immigration reform and against the Sensenbrenner Bill that would have criminalized undocumented immigrants in the U.S. They also marched to celebrate the 130th anniversary of International Workers' Day when 80,000 mostly-immigrant workers went on general strike in Chicago for the 8-hour working day.

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Super Bowl 50: Super Militarization and Super Inequality

The most expensive single sports game on Earth kicked off under unprecedented militarization of the police and the highest levels of inequality since the Great Depression.

by Sharat G. Lin

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Artist's Quilts Feature Women VIctims of War

The artist known as Bulbul (Genny Guracar) has created a number of beautiful quilts featuring women victims of war. If you know of a location where the quilts can be exhibited, contact the Peace & Justice Center (408-297-2299) or email Quilt at

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Victory for the Homeless

by Sandy Perry


At about 9 pm on December 1, San Jose City Council voted 9 to 1 to accept a memo by Councilmembers Chappie Jones, Magdalena Carrasco, Tam Nguyen, and Don Rocha to immediately explore a pilot sanctioned encampment for the homeless somewhere on City or County property. This was an outstanding victory for the homeless and their fellow-advocates, including church, community, and housing organizations that had proposed and fought for this plan for two years. It marked a dramatic shift from the position of the old City Council majority, which gained international notoriety with its ruthless destruction of the "Jungle" encampment in December 2014.

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Disability Unity Festival -- Watch the Video!

On Saturday, September 26th, the Santa Clara County Single Payer Healthcare Coalition and the Low-Income Self-Help Center shared a table at the Disability Unity Festival at Civic Center in San Francisco.
The theme of the event was a celebration of 25 years of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

As you can see from the video, it was a very high energy event with lots of great music and another great opportunity to connect with people and organizations and share information.


Free Workshop Helps Undocumented Youth become DACA-mented

by Sharat G, Lin Friday, Dec. 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM
San José, CA
The San José Peace and Justice Center and the Justice Studies Program at San José State University held a free workshop to assist undocumented youths in filling out the complex applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
For more than four hours students in the Justice Studies Program at San José State University (SJSU) filled out forms for young undocumented immigrants applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at the San José Peace and Justice Center. They diligently typed information from applicants into laptop computers and printed the filled forms on the spot. A lawyer from the Asian Law Alliance checked the filled forms for completeness. The first “form fill-in day” was held on November 23, 2013 and, given its success, more are planned.
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