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* Sixto Tarango (1957 – 1987), former student body president Cal State L.A., never finished his history degree. Worked 2 jobs raising his kids, putting his wife thru pharmacy school, now his son David must be older than Sixto was when he died. His kids were too small to know their dad well—he grew up fatherless, mostly on his own all the time, in City Terrace, East L.A. One Christmas day when we were teens, Sixto and I walked the neighborhood together because all our other friends had family to hang out with; we shot baskets at Cal State that hot L.A. Christmas day till we were soaked in sweat, then bought some sodas and drank them in the parking lot of Valley Liquors. He wanted to give his children the kind of childhood he never had.

* Dennis Brutus (1924 – 2009), banned and imprisoned by the apartheid regime in South Africa, shot by SA police in 1963 and imprisoned again, exiled in 1966, I met Dennis Brutus at anti-war events in Los Angeles in the 1980s, and last saw him on a bus in Managua, Nicaragua in 1989; he was a staunch and tireless anti-imperialist.

* Don White (1937 – 2008) charter founder of United Teachers of Los Angeles and leader of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Don put decade after decade into peace and solidarity work in Los Angeles.

* Michael Zinzun (1949 – 2006) former Black Panther (’70 – ’72), cofounder of the Coalition Against Police Abuse, gang truce and youth intervention activist, lost the sight in one eye in a police confrontation in 1982, he hosted a cable access TV show in the 1990s and died in his sleep, at home.

* Reine Moffett (died 1997), activist with Women of All Red Nations, she fought cancer repeatedly for ten or fifteen years while we knew her. She fought hard to be there for her family. She had worked with the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Committee; she was always looking into what was going on in the local schools and the local community. When our kids were very small, we all picked huckleberries in the Cascades, and washed volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens off them.

May 2010
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