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by camille t. taiara

City funding for children

Wednesday, Jan. 16, the Children's Fund Citizens' Advisory Committee – appointed by the mayor to provide community oversight of the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families – holds a public forum featuring an update on related budget issues. 5:50 p.m., City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., Room 201, S.F. (415) 554-8415.

Third Street rail construction

Wednesday, Jan. 16, Muni's Third Street Light Rail Project holds a community meeting to discuss the construction of the Islais Creek bridge, parking, lane closures, job programs, and business concerns associated with the project. The Islais Creek bridge plans have been an issue of particular contention in the neighborhood, whose residents worry the bridge's construction will lead to negligent industrial development, increased traffic congestion and toxic emissions, environmental destruction, and the displacement of local arts and machinist communities. See "A Bridge Too Near (If Not Too Far)," 12/26/01. 6:30 p.m., Southeast Community Facility, 1800 Oakdale, S.F. (415) 703-6655.

Civil liberties under fire

Thursday, Jan. 17, find out about the repercussions of the USA PATRIOT Act on civil liberties at a community discussion presented by the African People's Education and Defense Fund. Featured speakers include Khari Tillery of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, Jess Ghannam of Al-Awda S.F. and the Palestine Right of Return Coalition, representatives of the Barrio Defense Committee, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, and the African People's Solidarity Committee, and freelance journalist Alison Weir. 7 p.m., Fellowship Hall, 390 27th St., Oakl. Free. (510) 763-3342.

Blankets for Afghanistan

Thursday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 19, help the American Friends Service Committee pack blankets for Afghan refugees facing a harsh winter. Call ahead to volunteer. Thurs/17, 3:30-9 p.m.; Sat/19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Quaker Meeting House, 65 Ninth St., S.F. (415) 565-0201, ext. 12.

Wen Ho Lee speaks

Friday, Jan. 18, Wen Ho Lee, the Los Alamos scientist falsely accused of espionage by the U.S. government three years ago and imprisoned for nine months, speaks about his experiences for the first time since his release, as well as the associated themes of "national security" and racial profiling. Lee is joined by author and journalist Helen Zia. Call ahead to RSVP. Registration 11:30 a.m., program noon, World Affairs Council of Northern California, 312 Sutter, Suite 200, S.F. $12 ($5 students, free for members). (415) 293-4600.

Revisiting Desert Storm

Saturday, Jan. 19, attend a screening of Gerard Ungerman's Hidden Wars of Desert Storm, a documentary on events leading up to the U.S. war against Iraq, the real purpose behind the embargo, the mysterious Gulf War Syndrome, and more. The movie is based on a two-year investigation and features archival footage, recent images, and interviews with Desert Storm commander general Norman Schwarzkopf, former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, former U.N. Iraq program director Denis Halliday, and others. 8 p.m., Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. $5. (415) 824-3890.

'Take Back the Dream!'

Sunday, Jan. 20, the Vanguard Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, California Peace Action, and various other groups and individuals hold an interfaith gathering to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featuring Ron Daniels of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rev. J. Alfred Smith, King colleague Rev. James Lawson, Rabbi David Cooper, Western Shoshone spiritual leader Corbin Harney, Buddhist author Joanna Macy, the Vocolot singing group, and others. 2:30-5 p.m., Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8501 International Blvd., Oakl. Free. (510) 654-6966.

'The Crisis in Labor'

Sunday, Jan. 20, the Bay Area Workers Democracy Network presents "The Crisis in Labor: The AFL-CIO Convention and Rank and File," a forum and video screening addressing the struggle between AFL-CIO leaders and rank-and-file unionists on "the growing corporatization of the AFL-CIO," union president Jim Sweeney's support for the war, and the future of the labor movement. 3 p.m., Fellowship of Humanity Hall, 390 27th St., Oakl. $3 donation. (415) 641-4440 or (510) 261-4269.

Celebrate MLK

Monday, Jan. 21, the University of Creation Spirituality holds its fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, "Awakening the Soul of a Nation," including former Berkeley mayor Gus Newport, Barbara Lubin of the Middle East Children's Alliance, Elias Rashawi of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Mobin Akhunzada of the Afghan Muslim Association, radio journalist Davey D, and others, along with live drumming and jazz and an award presentation to Rep. Barbara Lee. 10 a.m.-noon, Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, 1188 12th St., Oakl. Free. (510) 835-4827, ext. 31.

Bring on the sun

Tuesday, Jan. 22 is as good a time as any to attend a meeting of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, a committee dedicated to ensuring that local government meetings and records remain open and available to the public. Several seats on the task force will become available over the next few months, including one for a disabled person on Feb. 1. 4 p.m., City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., Room 408, S.F. (415) 554-7724.

Environmentalism in action

Tuesday, Jan. 22, help design a solar classroom and greenhouse for Heron's Head Park that will serve as a base for programs in wetland ecology, sustainability, and clean energy, at a design workshop offered by Literacy for Environmental Justice and Van der Ryn Architects. 1:45 p.m. youth, 3:30 p.m. teachers and adult community members, Thurgood Marshall High School Media Center, 45 Conkling, S.F. Free. (415) 508-0575.

'The Face of Occupation'

Wednesday, Jan. 23, Penny Rosenwasser of the Middle East Children's Alliance, Bay Area Women in Black, and A Jewish Voice for Peace presents "The Face of Occupation," a slide show on her trip to Israel and Palestine last summer, during which she participated in solidarity actions with local peace activists, removing roadblocks, monitoring checkpoints, protesting prison conditions, witnessing the aftermath of housing demolition in the Occupied Territories, and interrupting Ariel Sharon's speech at the Jewish Olympics. 7 p.m., 225 Potrero, S.F. Free. (415) 282-6580.

Mail items for Alerts to the Bay Guardian, 520 Hampshire, S.F., CA 94110; fax to (415) 255-8762; or e-mail camille@sfbg.com. Please include a contact telephone number. Items must be received at least one week prior to publication date. Call (415) 255-3100, ext. 545, for more information. For more events, see the Benefits listings in the Calendar section or visit the Bay Guardian Action Network on the Web at www.sfbg.com/action.