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by camille t. taiara

Prisons and profits

Thursday, March 14, James Austin, director of George Washington University's Institute on Crime, Justice, and Corrections, UC Berkeley professor and renowned prison activist Ruthie Gilmore, and Deborah Vargas of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice speak at "The Prison Business: Who Pays? Who Profits?," a panel moderated by author and ex-con John Irwin. 5:30-7:30 p.m., Delancey Street Foundation, 600 Embarcadero, S.F. Free. (415) 753-6602.

Public health care

Thursday, March 14, Health Care for All hosts a talk by UC San Francisco professor and former Senate health-policy adviser Ellen Shaffer about S.B. 480, which would bring public, universal health care to California. 7 p.m., 626 Pacheco, S.F. Free. (415) 695-7891.

'Build the Power'

Friday, March 15, the Arizona-based Rukus collective's "Fight the Power, Build the Power" speaking tour hits the Bay Area with Alan Rausch of Black Cross Health Collective, Traci Harris and Heather Ajani of Phoenix Copwatch, and Ernesto Aguilar of Anarchist People of Color. 7 p.m., AK Press, 674A 23rd St., Oakl. Free. (510) 208-1700.

Buying democracy

Friday, March 15, Gregory Palast, investigative reporter for the London Observer and the U.K. Guardian, presents his new book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Proceeds benefit KPFA-FM's Flashpoints. 8-10 p.m., St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison, Berk. $12. (415) 864-6198.

Women and violence

Friday, March 15, Bianca Ramirez, director of the San Francisco Sheriff's Office Stop the Violence Project, speaks about violence against women, how victims can be emotionally rehabilitated, and how victimizers can be helped, at an engagement followed by a performance by previously abused women. 6-8 p.m., University of San Francisco, Cowell Hall, Room 113, S.F. Free. (415) 422-5141.

FOI conference and awards

Friday, March 15-Sunday, March 17, the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, holds its annual conference and Freedom of Information awards ceremony. Young Bay Area media makers and spoken word artists from KQED's Youth Media Corps, Silicon Valley De-Bug, YO! Youth Outlook, and others read at a kickoff mixer at Backflip Fri/15. The conference itself, this year called "Journalism in the Aftermath: Writing and Reporting after Sept. 11," features special guests 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner and Rutland, Vt., Herald editor David Moats, Pacific News Service founder Sandy Close, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education president Dori Maynard, and hip-hop journalist Davey D, along with two days' worth of panels and workshops and an awards dinner. Kickoff mixer: Fri/15, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Backflip, 601 Eddy, S.F. Free. (650) 728-8211. Conference: Sat/16, registration 8 a.m.-3 p.m., program 8:30 a.m.-6:15 p.m.; Sun/17, registration 8-10:30 a.m., program 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, 1500 Van Ness, S.F. $115, $105 in advance, discounts available for students and SPJ members registering in advance. (415) 338-7434, www.spj.org/workshop_sanfran.asp. Awards dinner: Sat/16, no-host bar 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Golden Gateway. $55, $45 for SPS members, $40 for students. To RSVP call (415) 487-2589.

Save the whales

Saturday, March 16, help organize resistance to the Navy's deployment of Low Frequency Active Sonar in our oceans, which, environmentalists say, causes hemorrhaging of whales' and dolphins' eyes, ears, and brains, at a meeting held by Earth Island Institute and Seaflow. 1-5 p.m., Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Gallery, 1466 66th St., Emeryville. Free. (415) 258-4877.

'War and Resistance'

Saturday, March 16, the Center for Economic Research and Social Change sponsors a Northern California Socialist Conference featuring International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki, Laura Flanders of Working Assets Radio, London Observer and U.K Guardian journalist Gregory Palast, media critic Norman Solomon, hip-hop artist Boots Riley, Todd Chretien of the International Socialist Organization, and workshops on U.S. imperialism, the crisis in Argentina, Bay Area labor struggles, the death penalty, and more. Child care available. Registration noon-12:30 p.m., program 1-9 p.m., UC Berkeley, Valley Life Sciences Building, Berk. $5-$50 donation. (510) 333-4604.

Reconciliation struggles

Monday, March 18, former Human Rights Watch researcher and expert witness for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Alison Des Forges, East Timor scholar Joseph Nevins of La'o Hamutuk, and author and former United Nations international observer in Cambodia's 1998 elections Carol Wagner speak at "Issues of Environment in the Context of Reconciliation: Rwanda, East Timor, and Cambodia." 3-5:30 p.m., UC Berkeley, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Sixth floor, 2223 Fulton, Berk. Free. (510) 642-3609.

'Industry of Genocide'

Tuesday, March 19, native Hawaiian activist Haunani-Kay Trask, Navajo (Dine) activist Tom Bedonie, and Native American scholar Reid Gómez speak at "The Destruction of Land and People: The Industry of Genocide," the second annual Breaking the Cycle, Mending the Circle conference. 6-8 p.m., UC Berkeley, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Fifth floor, Tilden Room, Berk. Free. (510) 642-4270.

Citywide energy plan

Tuesday, March 19-Wednesday, March 20, help shape San Francisco's energy policies and practices at a series of meetings held by the Department of Environment and the Public Utilities Commission to garner public input on their draft energy plan. Tues/19, 6-8 p.m., Grace Cathedral Church, Gresham Hall, 1100 California, S.F. Free. (415) 355-3754. Wed/20, 6-8 p.m., Ingleside Police Station community room, 1 John Young Lane, S.F. Free. (415) 355-3754.

Indigenous women unite

Tuesday, March 19-Wednesday, March 20, Nellys Palomo of K'inal Antsetik (Chiapas) and Martha Sánchez of 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance (Guerrero) – both members of the Coordinadora Nacional de Mujeres Indigenas, the first independent, national indigenous women's organization in Mexico – provide an update on indigenous struggles in Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca and CNMI organizing against efforts to extend free trade agreements from Puebla to Panama. Tues/19, 4-6 p.m., UC Berkeley, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Third floor, Stephens Lounge, Berk. Wed/20, 7-9 p.m., San Francisco Women's Building, 3543 18th St., S.F. $5-$10 donation. (415) 546-6334, ext. 310.

Stop the genocide

Wednesday, March 13, join the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in an emergency silent candlelight march and vigil opposing Israeli aggression against Palestinian civilians and medical workers. Wear medical coats, traditional Palestinian clothing, or black. Gather 5:30 p.m., Powell and Market, S.F. March 6:15 p.m. Vigil 7 p.m., Washington Square, Union between Columbus and Stockton, S.F. (415) 861-7444.

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.