News in Brief: Rally Criticizes Exclusion of Nader From Recent Debates

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Student and community Green Party supporters rallied on Upper Sproul Plaza yesterday to protest presidential candidate Ralph Nader's exclusion from the debates last night.

Speakers included several Green Party candidates and representatives from on-campus student organizations who support third party inclusion in election debates.

"We don't endorse the Green Party but we support third party candidates like Nader participating in debates because, otherwise, drug policy doesn't get talked about," said Scarlett Swerdlow, a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Many of the speakers, including Berkeley City Councilmember Dona Spring, encouraged students to vote in the November elections.

"Greens is a youth movement," Spring said. "There are a lot of people signing up Green on college campuses."

Rebecca Kaplan, Green Party candidate for the Oakland City Council, said her campaign plans to talk to every voter in Oakland.

"I actually got to be in the debates in Oakland," she said. "They haven't been able to shut out the Green Party (there)."

John Selawsky, a candidate for the Berkeley Board of Education, spoke against Proposition 38, which would use public funds for school vouchers.

"For those of us who support public schools, it's important that we don't just support mediocrity," he said. "We need to improve our schools for all our kids."

Other speakers included

members of the Coalition of University Employees, Students for Free Tibet, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary, Students for Nader and Medea, CalPIRG, Campus Green Party and Solidarity, a student socialist organization.


Forum to Discuss

Trafficking of Women

A public forum on the domestic and international trafficking of women will be held tonight at the North Berkeley Senior Center as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The forum will center on contemporary domestic and global concerns of women, as presented by several panelists knowledgeable on womens' rights. Both Manuela Albuquerque, Berkeley's city attorney, and Amelia Wu, who works with the Global Fund for Women, will be speaking at the event.

"The trafficking of women is regarding the use of women's bodies for labor, sex marketing, exploitation and violence," said Susan Sung, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, who will moderate the event. "The body has been used as a commodity to degrade (women)."

Albuquerque said she learned a lot about injustices to women through her role in the U.S. prosecution of Berkeley landlord Lakireddy Bali Reddy for the illegal importation of Indian women.

"Violence against women crosses all borders," said Albuquerque, who also co-founded Narika, a support group for Southeast Asian women who are victims of domestic violence.

A film and discussion will follow the speakers.



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