Swords to Plowshares at the national weapons labs: Late 70’s/early 80’s

Poster from July 1979 protest at University of California Regents meeting
Poster from July 1979 protest at University of California Regents meeting

In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, I was part of a movement to convert the nation’s premier nuclear weapons developing labs (Lawrence Livermore in California, and Los Alamos in New Mexico) from labs that primarily focused on research in nuclear weapons to ones that focused on human needs.

The UC Nuclear Weapons Labs Conversion Project (UCNWLCP) was born as a coalition of Berkeley Students for Peace, the Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC, and the War Resisters League West.  Livermore and Los Alamos were managed by the University of California (and still are). Our goal was to use the university’s management influence to press for “swords to plowshares.” We lead teach-ins, held direct actions, brought petitions to the Regents, and build coalitions with University and lab employees and scientists. Continue reading “Swords to Plowshares at the national weapons labs: Late 70’s/early 80’s”

Berkeley Student Food Collective now open

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A new food cooperative opened on November 15 in Berkeley. The Berkeley Student Food Collective is open to anyone, student or not. Both members and non-members can shop, members receive a discount in exchange for work hours. I’ve shopped there a couple times, and the store is quite well stocked. It’s just a small storefront, so don’t expect to get eight types of rice and thirty varieties of coffee, but they do have a fairly decent selection of produce, bulk, packaged, and refrigerated items.Stop by the store, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA.

In the early 80’s I was a member of Cooperative Connections at UC Berkeley, another small cooperative. We were in the basement of the student union, so we had a bit less public exposure. I wish them well, and encourage Berkeley folks to shop there, student or not.

Here’s an animated logo I created, showing the ’80’s and ’10’s logos morphing:

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Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book

Update: December 2010: I have created a web site, uprisingsbakersbook.org, where I’m adding recipes and other pages from the book. I’m working on permissions from the publisher and bakeries, so I’m starting with bakeries that are closed. Look for weekly updates.

In 1983, the Cooperative Whole Grain Educational Association published Uprisings; The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book. The Foreword of the book is at the bottom of this page.

As a former collective member of Uprisings Baking Collective in Berkeley (one of the contributors to the book), I didn’t want this book and organization to just fade away. There were 32 collective/cooperative bakeries who contributed to the book, many of which are still in business. Collected below are a list of links to the bakeries that are still operating. If I missed any, please fill in the form at the bottom so I can update the page.

The book is a valuable resource for bakers and wannabe bakers. One of its strengths is the index—including the traditional categories of major ingredients and types of foods, but also including a special section on Recipes by Special Dietary Characteristics such as No Eggs or Dairy; No Dairy (but contains Eggs); No Eggs (but contains Dairy); No Wheat; No Sweetener, or Fruit-sweetened; No Added Oils or Fats (may contain high-fat ingredients); No Baking; and No Salt, or Optional Salt.

While Uprisings is out of print, many used copies are available. If you can’t find it at your local bookstore, try abebooks.com using the search box here. abebooks.com is a network of independent bookstores around the country, your independent alternative to Amazon.com.

Click this link to search for Uprisings on AbeBooks:0938432125

There is another book out there with the exact same name, but a different author. If abebooks doesn’t return any books using the ISBN number provided here, try a search for the title Uprisings Bakers to get the other book. I’m not sure if this is the same book, re-published by a new group of authors. If anyone knows about this, please let me know.

Map of Bakeries

View Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book in a larger map

Bakeries in Uprisings

Alvarado Street Bakery(707) 585-3293500 Martin Avenue; Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Arcata Coop Bakery(707) 822-5947811 I St.; Arcata, CA
The Bakery CafeClosed ??Albuquerque, MN
Blue Heron Bakery(360) 866-BAKE4935 Mud Rd.; Olympia, WA
Blue Mango RestaurantClosedDavis, CA (history)
Dharma Crumbs BakeryClosedColville, WA
Good Bread BakeryClosed ??Jacksonville, OR
Honey Bear BakeryClosedKalispell, MT
Little Bread Company(206) 365-719211740 15th Ave NE; Seattle, WA
Manna BakeryClosed ??Amsterdam, Netherlands
Millstone BakeryClosed ??Washburn, WI
Nature’s Bakery(608) 257-36491019 Williamson St.; Madison, WI 53703
On The Rise BakeryClosed late 90’s ??Syracuse, NY
Open Harvest Bakery(402) 475-90691618 South St; Lincoln, NB
People’s BakeryClosedSan Francisco, CA Cool photo
People’s Baking Company(612) 721-72051534 East Lake St.; Minneapolis, MN 55407
Rebel BakersClosedSan Diego, CA
Rising Star BakeryOpen, no longer a collective; 1-250-360-00914-956 Devonshire Rd / Victoria, BC, Canada
Slice of Life BakeryClosed 1984Cambridge, MA
Small Planet Bakery(520) 884-9313411 N 7th Ave; Tucson, AZ 85705
Solstice BakeryClosed 1999 ?Eugene, OR
Somadhara Bakery(607) 273-8213215 N. Cayuga St.; Ithica, NY
Summercorn Bakery(501) 521-93381410 Cato Springs Rd.; Fayetteville, AR 72701
Sunflour BakeryClosed ??Bloomington, IN
Sunrise BakeryClosedTallahassee, FL
Sweet Life BakeryClosedSt. Cloud, MN
Uprisings Baking CollectiveClosedBerkeley, CA (Some old Uprising’s bakers are now baking at Nabolom Bakery.)
Wildflour Community Bakery CoopClosed sometime 2000 (see comment below)See also: www.ypsifoodcoop.org. Ann Arbor, MI A screenplay including Wildflour.
Wolfmoon Coop BakeryClosedEast Lansing, MI
Women’s Community BakeryOpen in 1997, currently ?Washington, DC
Yeast West BakeryClosed in 1995Buffalo, NY

Other Collective/Cooperative Bakeries

Black Bear Bakery314-771-22362639 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO

Foreword from Uprisings

Welcome to Uprisings, the whole grain bakers’ book. Uprisings has been collectively compiled by experienced bakers from many small independent bakeries. If draws its inspiration from a number of uprisings—of grain, of bread, and of people. The most basic of these is the grain growing from the earth, nourished by the rain and sun. Wheat, rye, corn, barley, buckwheat, millet, rice—these are the fundamental ingredients of whole grain baked goods. Bakers, with a little help from yeast and other leaveners, create another uprising, as dough rises to produce fresh-baked loaves, filling our senses. The third uprising is the cooperative ethic of the bakeries we work in. There are no bosses, no employees. Instead we all do the work together, sharing the responsibilities and the rewards. Our businesses put priority on serving the needs of the community, not on making profits for a select few.
We think it’s a great loss that so many of us are unfamiliar with these uprisings. Few people enjoy the delights of eating fresh whole grain bread, let alone those of making it themselves. It’s also a loss that so few people have the satisfaction of helping to run their own workplaces, doing interesting work that meets real needs. Cooperative whole grain bakeries are part of a rising tide of people taking more responsibility for what goes on in our lives. We want more and more of us to regain power over our food, our work, our health and well-being—in short, our personal, social, and economic existence. To achieve this, we heartily encourage these and other kinds of uprisings in all areas or our lives.

Published 1983

Berkeley Traffic Circles – Share the Lane

No passing in circle
No passing in circle

The traffic circles in Berkeley neighborhoods have created confusion for many car drivers. One of the difficulties is knowing how to interact with bicycles. The Bike Friendly Berkeley Coalition’s email chat list has been discussiong what signage could be placed at the circles to help drivers understand how the circles work. One of the main concerns is to let drivers understand that they cannot pass bicycles in the circles (there’s just not enough space). I developed the sign on the right as a draft sign to provide an image of what a sign could look like. Click on the image to see it larger.

And here’s a second version, including a pedestrian:

Traffic circle sign #2
Traffic circle sign #2

It was interesting to discover that in the US, it seems that all pedestrian sign icons show the pedestrian walking from one side to the other. I found a pedestrian walking forward on a German sign.

I’m sure that if either of these gets selected by the city, professional graphic artists will modify them using standard images and font (mine approximate standards).

The 15th Annual Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The San Francisco Bay Area’s 15th Annual Bike to Work Day will take place on Thursday, May 14, 2009. Bike to Work Day is the premier bicycling event taking place in all of Northern California with all nine Bay Area counties participating in the celebration. The event is just one day of many events taking place in May as part of National Bike Month.

Complete details here: http://btwd.bayareabikes.org/

Berkeley Citizens Action May 19th Statewide Special Election Discussion

BCA is holding a Statewide Special Election Discussion on Sunday May 3, 2009 from 4:00 t0 6:00 pm.

Invited speakers

  • State Senator Loni Hancock
  • State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner
  • State Assemblymember Sandre Swanson

North Berkeley Senior Center, MLK at Hearst (map).

For more information, call 510-54-0816. BCA; PO Box 9932; Berkeley, CA 94709

Information on the May 19th Statewide election:

Find your polling place here: http://smartvoter.org/

Positions of Selected Left/Liberal/Progressive Organizations:

“Day lighting” or “Peek a boo”: pedestrian safety at intersections

From Eric McCaughrin at East Bay Bicycle Coalition:

Another great clip from Streetfilms. This time, they show how removing parking spaces around intersections (“Daylighting”) can greatly increase visibility for pedestrians and cyclists. Even better: the reclaimed space can be used for low-cost bike parking.

In Berkeley and other Bay Area communities, similar kinds of treatment have been done with pedestrian bulb-outs. These bulb-outs are hideously expensive (particularly when there are drainage issues). Simply plopping bike racks in that space accomplishes the same thing, without the huge cost.

If the video doesn’t show up above, you can see it at StreetFilms website here:


Memorial Service for Diane Thomas January 17th 2009

Diane Thomas died December 1st at her Berkeley home after a long struggle with cancer. The celebration of Diane’s life will be held on Saturday, January 17th at 10 a.m. at Pacific School of Religion (MAP), where she was on staff for nine years. The public is invited.

I worked with Diane in the UC Nuclear Weapons Conversion Project and other peace groups in the late 70’s, and continued to see her over the years, including a few times at parent nights when her kids where at Berkeley High School during the years I was teaching there.

“Diane was a shining person. She was loving and loveable, fully committed and conscientious in her activism, and dedicated to helping make a better life for all people. Those who knew her thought of her as one of the best human beings any of us had ever encountered. She was one of my heroes.”
-Daniel Ellsberg, anti-war activist and long-time friend of Diane Thomas.

Donations can be made in Diane’s name to the Iraq Initiatives Project, a major new effort for peace in Iraq that Diane supported and helped start in the last year of her life. Visit the Ecumenical Peace Institute web site to donate.

Jesse Arreguin for Berkeley City Council, District 4

Well, it’s “almost” November of an even year, which means it’s time for Berkeley City Council elections. I’m endorsing Jesse Arreguin, and helping his campaign by weaving his web site, jessearreguin.com.

If you live in District 4 (Dona Spring’s district), I hope you will support and vote for Jesse. If you have any questions, please email me or visit his web site (the web site is still in the infancy state, but should be much fuller by the end of the weekend).