International Videoletters: Santa Cruz

This tape presents some of the Santa Cruz political / feminist groups speaking at New American Movement Symposium.

00:00Copy video clip URL A woman is at a desk writing. Soft piano music plays in the background. Behind her on the wall are various posters. They read: “Solidarity with the Women of Indochina.” “Teamsters No!” “International Women’s Day.”

01:11Copy video clip URL A woman holds up hand printed titles: “International Video Letters.” “Santa Cruz Women’s Media Collective.”

02:07Copy video clip URL Another woman sits on the floor with a dog. She says her name is Ann. The audio is quite low. She notes a group of people from the Women’s Media Collective have been taping a new series of lectures on politics in the United States. This video letter is part of lecture we taped last night, a survey of all the political video groups in the Santa Cruz area.

02:41Copy video clip URL Video cuts to a woman at a podium in mid-speech about posting bail. She says right now the group is making a statistical study of people in jail and how they can be removed, and establish a clearance procedure. Another project we have is court watching, where people are observing arraignments. This provides ourselves and others with information about who’s being arrested, who’s being detained, and who’s appearing and who’s not appearing. This allows us to offer realistic alternatives to county bureaucracy. She notes an atrocity they discovered in a court in Watsonville: the court there rarely has a public defender. She urges people to sit in the court there to “find out what’s going on.” She notes the group also has a project looking in to how alcoholism and juveniles are dealt with in the state and in the county. Hopefully this research will help establish new community programs. They’re releasing a newsletter to let other community groups know what they’re doing. She continues talking about various jail issues the group is addressing: how tax money is distributed, revenue-sharing projects, social value projects such as youth services.

07:20Copy video clip URL Susan Steinhorn talks about California Home Makers Association, an association of people in Santa Cruz doing domestic work and caring for the elderly. She notes the large population of elderly in Santa Cruz and the people that serve their needs in the home. But these domestic workers are not covered by labor laws. There is no minimum wage or social security benefits. We need help research on county issues, the agencies county is talking with, so we can improve conditions for caregivers and the elderly.

10:53Copy video clip URL Mark from the Tenants Union of Santa Cruz speaks. He argues that we move for reasons out of our control: an expensive housing market, housing falling apart. We’re trying to get people to have control over their homes through rent control and housing rights. We need your help. The housing shortage is acute–there is one percent vacancy rate. We want to see more low cost housing and present the city with our demands.

13:34Copy video clip URL Elaine Draper from a local chapter of the Union of Radical Political Economists and the Union of Marxist Social Scientists. She describes the history and mission of the unions, seeking political change for the public good and building a socialist movement. She mentions an upcoming conference over Memorial Day weekend in Nevada City, California, which has a goal of helping people to gain a better understanding of radical social change: racism, classism, sexism, elitism.

17:55Copy video clip URL Deanne from Santa Cruz Women Against Rape. Their agenda is to study how rape relates to capitalism, developing alternative ways to respond to rapists, and to educate the public on rape. They’ve also established a 24-hour support line for women who’ve been attacked.

19:52Copy video clip URL Patty from the Women’s Health Collective says that people’s basic needs can’t be met under capitalism. They seek a revolutionary transformation in society. They solicit public support to re-open their medical clinic which includes abortion services and “non-hierarchical health care.” They offer a medical library, a hotline, education programs, and counseling.

23:56Copy video clip URL Joan from the Socialist Feminist Union. It was formed earlier this year following a socialist feminist conference to form a basis for support and unity. Their goal is to develop theories and practice revolutionary social change. “Capitalism prevents real needs from being met and divides us around many lines. Therefore, we organize ourselves around combating sexism, racism, imperialism, capitalism, and other forms of oppression.” They are currently in a temporary structure and are seeking a permanent home. They are establishing their manifesto. They have already attended socialist/feminist conferences, steering committees, and coalitions. In the coming weeks they plan to speak out on “class, race, relationships between socialist feminists and the feminist movement, and our permanent structure… We invite all women to work with us.”

27:14Copy video clip URL END.



  1. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild says:

    wonderful document of the times and unfortunately so many of these issues still current. thanks!

  2. Susan Steinhorn Lowry says:

    This is amazing!!!!!!! Is there any way I can get a copy of this video?????

  3. Cara says:

    Thanks for this! Do you have any information about how and where this tape was circulated? Was it part of the larger serious of international feminist videoletters being circulated among feminist groups in the mid 1970s?

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