David Bacon

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Sun Dec 20 15:27:05 PST 1998

[This bounced as a nonmember submission. But since it comes from Michael Eisenscher, I thought it was worth forwarding.]

Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 13:36:33 -0800 To: meisenscher at igc.apc.org From: Michael Eisenscher <meisenscher at igc.org> Subject: AN URGENT APPEAL: Don't Let This Voice Be Silenced Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


December 20, 1998

Sisters & Brothers,

Most of you who have received E-Mail distributions from me have had the opportunity to read the work of David Bacon. Many of you have also seen David's articles and photos in The Nation, the Bay Guardian, LA Weekly, Labor Notes, In These Times, Z, the San Francisco Chronicle, and publications subscribing to Pacific New Service. He is also a familiar radio voice on developments in the labor movement on KPFA and KFCF, where he broadcasts weekly (greater Bay Area and Fresno, 94.1 FM, Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m.) and KPFK in Los Angeles, .

David is one of a small number of journalists around the country who write knowledgeably about the labor movement and the struggles of working people. He does more than record events. He is an advocate on behalf of workers whose voices are otherwise rarely heard. His years of participation in the labor movement as a worker, union member, organizer, and writer give insight to his reports about the lives of workers, immigrants, people of color, women, the poor, and others fighting for dignity and justice. He does not just report the "facts." He relates the human side of the struggles of working people.

David is more than a fine print journalist. He is also a talented photographer. His photos have been exhibited widely in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and elsewhere around the country. His work has appeared in many of the publications for which he writes, and particularly in union newspapers and magazines. For ten years he has been working on a photographic project documenting the way working people in the U.S., Mexico, the Philippines and other countries experience the global economy. Part of that project, documenting the working life of farm workers and the resurgence of the United Farm Workers, will be displayed at the Meany Center in Maryland in early 1999. Other parts of the project, documenting Mexican workers and life on the border, have been shown under the auspices of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Zellerbach Foundation.

Last week, David was on assignment in Tijuana, Mexico. While researching a story about maquiladora workers in one of the city's barrios, his car was broken into. He was robbed of all his cameras, lenses and other photographic equipment, his laptop computer, and tape recorder -- the tools of his trade -- in all, more than $9000 worth of equipment. He will be able to recover less than half the value of the stolen equipment from his insurance company.

This is a significant personal loss for David. But it should not be his alone, for David is a voice of our movement. He is a passionate partisan of the labor movement, one of the few journalists who consistently and fairly reports events from the point of view of workers and unions rather than employers and their political henchmen. He reports on community movements and movements for environmental justice from the perspective of their participants. He gives a voice to those who own no newspapers or radio stations, who have no advertising dollars with which to purchase the allegiance of media moguls. David's work is important to us. We need to help him continue making his contribution to our cause.

When I learned of this loss, I offered to help David raise the funds needed to replace the stolen equipment. When I've told friends in the labor movement what has happened, they unhesitatingly offered to contribute to this effort. I am writing to you now to appeal for your financial support. We need to raise $5000 to help replace the equipment David lost for which no reimbursement will be made by the insurance company.

I am asking every individual and local union who values the work that David does on behalf of our movement to donate whatever they can afford to help him replace the stolen equipment. In the spirit of solidarity and in this season of giving, I hope you will contribute generously so that David doesn't lose valuable time in covering what we do.

Send your contributions to: David Bacon Equipment Fund, c/o P.O. Box 12583, Berkeley, CA 94712. Make checks payable to: "David Bacon Solidarity."

If you would prefer to make an anonymous donation, make your check payable to Michael Eisenscher with a notation that the contribution is for David. I will deposit those checks and write a check to him for the total amount. Please include your return address and phone number (and email address, if you have one) so we can give you an accounting of the funds that are raised.

Thanks in advance for your generous response. David has offered to send donors of $50 or more an 8x10 print of an image from the current farm worker show.

In solidarity and with best wishes for greater justice and peace in the new year,

Michael Eisenscher 510-649-8626 510-649-7866 (fax) E-Mail: <meisenscher at igc.org> ---------------------------------------------------------------

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