Austin Calendar of Events

    When Communications Are Continually Delayed...

There are reports from many activist organizations that indicate both snail mail
and e-mail are continually late, often arriving after the planned meeting or rally.
A good alternative is to have a calendar on the web so those wanting to participate
in the political process may do so without Cointelpro interference....

This page is updated continually, so be sure to click the RELOAD button
on your browser.
 

Every Monday in August:  August 4, 11, 18, and 25, at 8 p.m.
Beyond the Bars: Local Struggles Against the Prison Industrial Complex
MonkeyWrench Books will be hosting a series of prison-related events every Monday in August, featuring films, local organizations, and individuals directly affected by the Prison Industrial Complex. The series is a prelude to Critical Resistance 10 - www.criticalresistance.org -  happening on September 26-28 in Oakland, California, which will celebrate a decade of struggle against the Prison Industrial Complex, and of carving out a path toward "genuinely safe, healthy communities that respond to harm without relying on prisons and punishment."
The series schedule is:
Monday, August 4: Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Family members of death row inmates tell their stories about the criminal injustice system. Featuring Sandra Reed, mother of Rodney Reed, innocent on death row; Lawrence Foster, grandfather of Kenneth Foster Jr., who came within hours of an execution before winning a commutation of his sentence; Jeannine Scott, wife of wrongly convicted Yogurt Shop defendant, Michael Scott; and Delia Perez Meyer, sister of falsely accused death row inmate, Louis Castro Perez.
Monday, August 11: Immigration, Detention, and Deportation
Film screening of Hutto: America's Family Prison with filmmaker Matthew Gossage; Organizers from Grassroots Leadership will speak about organizing against private immigrant detention centers. Also, members of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition will speak on the issue of ICE in the Travis County Jail.
Monday, August 18: Juvenile Justice
PODER, the east Austin environmental and economic justice organization, will address the issue of juvenile justice and current efforts to reform the Texas Youth Commission's youth prisons.
Monday, August 25: Abolitionism, Post-Racial Racism and Moving Beyond the Prison-Industrial Complex
A discussion with Joy James, visiting Professor at UT's Center for African and African American Studies. James is the editor of several anthologies by incarcerated activists and authors, including The New Abolitionists and Warfare in the American Homeland.
Location: MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop.



August 16, 17, 9:00am-6:00pm
SAXET GUN SHOW! 
Your one-stop shop for guns, ammo, knives, books,
hunting, fishing, & camping gear, water filters, soap, vitamins,
motor oil, survival tools and info, security cameras, alarms,
western collectables, and lots more!  Shop 'til 6:00 on Saturday.
Come on out for a look-see, and network with some interesting folks.
Location: NEW Crocket Center
10601 North Lamar (between Rundberg and Braker)
More info: http://saxetshows.com/
For additional information contact SAXET.
Phone: 361-289-2256, Fax: 361-289-2359

August 26 8:15am
Hearing on Voting machines!

Vote Rescue is calling all Travis County citizens who do not want their vote secretly counted this November on voting machines that are insecure and vulnerable to fraud!!

Your help is needed at the Travis County Commissioners Court this Tuesday, August 26, during the Citizen Communication time which starts immediately after the Court begins at 9 AM. You may sign up to make a brief statement or simply come to support and show the Commissioners that Travis County voters do NOT want to spend tax dollars on more machines or vote on machines any longer, but want to vote on paper ballots that are hand counted in public view. Please arrive by 8:45 am to sign up to speak and get a seat inside the room. Bring signs if you would like. (The Court’s location is described in #2 below.)

If you are NOT able to come on Tuesday, it is VERY IMPORTANT that your position of “MACHINES-NO – PAPER-YES” is received by the County Judge and all four Commissioners by phone, fax or email BEFORE TUESDAY. (Their contact info is listed in #9 below.)

This coming Tuesday, August 26th, the five members of the Commissioners Court will be voting on Agenda Item #35 to allot $162,000 to the County Clerk who wishes to PURCHASE MORE VOTING MACHINES because of the record turnout expected in November. These additional machines will be used in the two new “Super Polls” that the County Clerk has decided to set up during Early Voting.

Even though VoteRescue and other groups and individuals have been telling the County Clerk, the County Commissioners, the Secretary of State, the State Legislature and our members of Congress for years that secret vote counting is wrong and that the machines are not secure, no one has listened. Instead, they want us to simply TRUST that our votes are counted correctly. They refuse to acknowledge our demand to KNOW that our votes are counted correctly which is essential to our Right to Vote.

As many of you are already aware, the only way to KNOW that the count is honest and accurate is to keep every step of the process (after privately marking one’s ballot) in full public view at the polling place. It is only after the results of the hand-counted paper ballots are publicly posted at the polling place that the ballots should be transported to the county’s secure storage location where they are kept for the length of time required by law.

We were told last week by Judge Biscoe, who heads the Commissioners Court, that the Clerk’s request for money to buy more voting machines would most likely be approved and that the election in November would proceed as planned – with machines.  “You have an uphill battle”, the Judge told us. And even though he said that bringing in more people “would not help”, WE know that a public outcry is now the only way to get our so-called “public servants” to stop and finally listen to what WE, the people, want and not what THEIR fellow county officials want just because it’s easier and they can go home earlier on election night. Is voting about convenience or accuracy?

Now for some encouraging news: One of the Commissioners – Gerald Daugherty of Precinct 3 - has told us that he will NOT support spending more money for new machines because he realizes what we and others have been saying about the machines is true. – It’s in all our hands now to get the rest of the Commissioners Court “to wake up and smell the coffee” with a public outcry they’ve yet to see!

Here’s what you need to know:

1. You must be a current resident of Travis County to speak to the Commissioners on this issue.

2. The Travis County Commissioners Court is located at 314 W. 11th St at the corner of 11th and Guadalupe. The room where they meet is on the first floor just past the elevators on your right. Parking at meters in the area typically isn’t too bad, but since we are planning on a big crowd, you might have to park a little farther away or use one of the garages nearby.

3. When you come into the Courtroom, you will find Citizen Communication forms on a table to your right which you MUST fill out if you intend to speak. Vote Rescue volunteers will be there to help you. You should then hand it to the clerk who sits near the table. She hands all the forms over to the Judge who will then call people two at a time to sit at the speaker’s table.

4. Though each person can speak up to 3 minutes, it is not necessary to take up the entire time slot - a brief statement is fine.  Remember to speak from the heart to make your point and keep a respectful tone. Anger does not play well in these circumstances. There is a microphone for each speaker – just remember to position it close enough so that you are talking right into it. This is how the folks at home can hear all your wise words as they watch on their TVs!

5. A few Talking Points.
So that we don't have "canned"-sounding statements being said over and over, here are a few ideas to choose one or two from for your message to the Commissioners Court. (VoteRescue volunteers will have copies of these talking points for speakers on Tuesday.)

A. You are requesting that the Court refuse to fund the purchase of any new voting machines for the County because they've been demonstrated by computer experts to be easy to hack without detection.

B. You don't trust electronic voting machines because their use amounts to "secret vote counting" which is wrong.

C. As a taxpayer, you want the Commissioners to demand your money back from the vendors for breach of contract.

D. You support a return to hand-counted paper ballot elections with citizens counting the votes and totals posted at the precinct level.

E. You are tired of having corporations in charge of our elections because it is their trade-secret software that counts our votes.

F. You are just plain fed up with being told to trust that the machines are properly counting our votes. There is no way of proving this!

G. You would like to know why Travis County is still using screen-type machines, when many other states are now decertifying theirs and actually throwing them away because they are worthless?

6. Your Wrap up:
In order to achieve true voting transparency, we, the citizens, must want to be in charge of our elections and step up to the plate to oversee the entire process. Recruiting poll workers is difficult because elections are typically held during the work day and there are folks trying to change this. However, counting the ballots happens after work is over, so millions in precincts all over our country ARE available to help with this critical civic task. So, to help sway the naysayers of public hand counts, please tell the Commissioners that you are willing and honored to help count the paper ballots on Election Night.

7. If you have any questions:
Please e-mail Karen Renick at karen@voterescue.org

8. Please forward this message widely to other Travis County residents.

9. If you can’t come Tuesday, here is the contact info for the Judge and the four Commissioners:

County Judge
Samuel T. Biscoe
314 W. 11th St., #520
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 854-9555
Fax: (512) 854-9535
sam.biscoe@co.travis.tx.us

Commissioner, Precinct 1
Ron Davis
314 W. 11th St., #510
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 854-9111
Fax: (512) 854-4897
ron.davis@co.travis.tx.us

Commissioner, Precinct 2
Sarah Eckhardt
314 W. 11th St., #530
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 854-9222
Fax: (512) 854-6446
Sarah.Eckhardt@co.travis.tx.us

Commissioner, Precinct 3
Gerald Daugherty
314 W. 11th St., #500
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 854-9333
Fax: (512) 854-9376
gerald.daugherty@co.travis.tx.us

Commissioner, Precinct 4
Margaret Gómez
314 W. 11th St., #525
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 854-9444
Fax: (512) 854-9535
commissioner.gomez@co.travis.tx.us

To find out who YOUR County Commissioner is, you must know your voting precinct number. The first digit of your voting precinct is the number of one of the four (4) Travis County Commissioner Precincts.  For example, if your voting precinct is 256, then your County Commissioner is Sarah Eckhardt because she is Commissioner of County Commissioner Precinct 2.

To find out your voting precinct number in Travis County, go to:
http://www.traviscountytax.org/showVoterNameSearch.do
VoteRescue THANKS YOU IN ADVANCE FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR TUES. MORNING TO HELP THE CAUSE OF ELECTION INTEGRITY IN TRAVIS COUNTY! Together, we will take our elections back.



Wednesday, August 27, 7 p.m.    Third Coast Film Night:
"The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality and Relationships"
The critics of pornography have observed that in recent years, there are two trends occurring simultaneously: on the one hand, pornography has become more and more mainstream and accepted; on the other hand, newer, harsher and more degrading treatments of women are constantly being developed and quickly gain popularity, so the average content has become more and more extreme. Why?
To answer this question, The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality and Relationships investigates the three independent yet interconnected aspects of the pornography industry - production, content and consumption - in order to help the audience gain a holistic understanding. It focuses on this central question: how does pornography help shape our gender and sexual identities, and our relationships?
This film includes interviews of pornographers, porn performers, and scholars in psychology, media, economics and popular culture. Most importantly, men and women candidly discuss how their or their partners' use of pornography has affected them. The film provides not only analysis that debunk the myths and stories about abuse and alienation, but also revelations of pleasure, desire and humanity. Moreover, the film examines pornography's effects on the performers and audience beyond the liberal celebrations as well as the conservative / moral denunciations; it engages a nuanced discussion of desire and harm, choice and system constraint, liberty and responsibility.
The 52 minute documentary will be followed by a Q&A with UT Journalism Professor Robert Jensen, the author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.
Location:  Alamo Drafthouse Lamar, 1120 South Lamar Blvd. Tickets - $8.25 general / $6 student, senior - are available at the door or online at http://www.originalalamo.com
This event is a benefit for Open Lens Media.

Wednesday, August 27, 8 p.m.
Documentary at MonkeyWrench Books: "Live Nude Girls Unite!"
This first person documentary follows Julia Query, lesbian/stand-up comedian/peepshow-stripper, and daughter of a feminist activist, on her raucous journey to help organize the only union of strippers in the United States. Shot on a variety of formats, Live Nude Girls Unite! weaves backstage and dancing footage with labor organizing, street protests, stand-up comedy and comic-book style "animation" making an intelligent and dramatic cutting-edge film.
Location: MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop.


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08-25-08