CLMP Annual Forum...


The Civil Liberties Monitoring Project Annual Community Forum, "Democracy: Under Siege from Within" will be held at on Saturday, November 1 at the Mateel Community Center in Redway. Doors will open at 6:30 pm with drinks and snacks served. The panel will begin at 7 pm, with introductory remarks from emcee Fred-in-the-Hills.

The evening's keynote speaker will be Sheldon Wolin, professor emeritus of Princeton University and a distinguished writer on contemporary politics. Born in 1922, Wolin was a bomber pilot in WWII and received a doctorate from Harvard University in 1950. After teaching briefly at Oberlin College, Wolin taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1954-1970 and was an influential figure in the Free Speech Movement there. From 1973 through 1987 Wolin was Professor of Politics at Princeton University where he mentored many students who have subsequently become leading figures in contemporary political theory, including Kirstie McClure (UCLA) and Cornel West (Princeton).

Wolin has also taught at UC Santa Cruz, Cornell University, and Oxford. His books include Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (Princeton 1960); The Berkeley Rebellion and Beyond: Essays on Politics & Education in the Technological Society, with John H. Schaar (1970); and Presence of the Past: Essays on the State and the Constitution (1989). His new book, which he will have with him at the forum, is Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press, 2008).

Also appearing on the panel will be:

-William Panzer, a New York native who has practiced criminal law in Oakland, California for over 20 years. He is a past President of California F.E.A.R. (Forfeiture Endangers American Rights), in which capacity he helped lobby for California's reform of state civil forfeiture laws and was featured in U.S.A. Today's groundbreaking expose of federal civil forfeiture law.

-Dan Taranto, one of the founding members of Humboldt United Stand, a local citizens' grass roots organization that was formed in the 1970s to address Humboldt County's code enforcement practices. In 2008 Taranto served as vice chair of the county Code Enforcement Task Force. He has an M.S. in Botany from HSU and built his home in Humboldt in 1971.

-Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, the Director of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, speaking on legal challenges to Measure T, the Ordinance to Protect Our Right to Fair Elections and Local Democracy. Sopoci-Belknap served as a member of the national Leadership Team of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's campaign to Challenge Corporate Power and is also a Principal with Program on Corporations Law and Democracy and a Fellow for Liberty Tree: Foundation for the Democratic Revolution. In November 2004 she was elected to serve on the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board, the youngest member to hold this position, as well as the first woman to take this office.

-Dale Gieringer, state coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Gieringer also serves on the City of Oakland Measure Z Cannabis Oversight Commission, and in 2008 testified before the United Nations NGO Consultation on Narcotic Drugs and to the California Board of Equalization on sales tax benefits of legal medical cannabis dispensaries. His book Marijuana Medical Handbook, co-authored by Ed Rosenthal and Dr. Tod Mikuriya, has just been issued in a second, updated edition. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

-Robie Tenorio, a local resident who spearheaded a GI Rights Hotline in Garberville. The GI Rights Hotline is answered by a coalition of nonprofit, non-governmental organizations who provide information to members of the military about discharges, grievance and complaint procedures, and other civil rights.

Speakers will take questions from the crowd at the conclusion of the panel. During the course of the enlightening and enjoyable evening, the CLMP Win-A-Trip raffle winner will be selected and the Bonnie Blackberry Civil Liberties Award winner will be announced. The event is free to the public; donations are appreciated. For more information, contact CLMP at 923-4646 or visit