[Marxism] Don White, 71; social activist on human rights in Central America

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 2 11:09:12 MDT 2008

A collection of photos and comments by many
of Don't activist friends over the years:

>From the Los Angeles Times
Donald White, 71; social activist on human rights in Central America
By Mary Rourke
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 2, 2008

Donald White, a former schoolteacher and social activist who helped
organize and coordinate dozens of initiatives involving human rights
in Central America and antiwar efforts around the world, has died. 
He was 71.

He died of an apparent heart attack June 19 at his home in Los
Angeles, said Blase Bonpane, a longtime friend.

White, who was born in 1937 in Mount Vernon, Wash., studied political
science at the University of the Pacific in Tacoma, Wash.

In the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he began a 30-year
career as a history teacher at Washington Irving Middle School.

White was a charter member of United Teachers Los Angeles, the union
representing public schoolteachers, and was active in union politics
until he retired from teaching in 1997.

A trip to Guatemala with relief workers after a 1976 earthquake led
White to an ongoing involvement with Central America.

In the early 1980s, he helped organize a Los Angeles chapter of the
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, whose goal
was to end U.S. involvement in the civil war there. White coordinated
rallies, spoke at demonstrations, led teach-ins and lobbied Congress.

White also helped organize protest rallies calling for the closing of
the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly
called the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Ga., a U.S. Army
training center for Latin American soldiers. Antiwar activists
contend that the school teaches torture tactics.

In Los Angeles, White joined the "sanctuary movement" of the 1980s.
Although it was against the law, local churches gave refuge to
undocumented immigrants from Central America who fled civil war in
their homelands.

"Peace-making in El Salvador was Don's main work," said Bonpane,
director of the Office of the Americas in Los Angeles, which offers
educational programs on American foreign policy.

White was a supporter of public radio and was on the board of KPFK-FM
(90.7), the local Pacifica Network station that features news not
necessarily emphasized in mainstream media. He served as chairman of
the KPFK board in the early 2000s.

"Human rights, peace and justice were so important to Don," said
Maria Amoudian, a KPFK producer and on-air host. "He wanted to find
the root cause of violence."

White never married and had no children, said his brother, Dennis,
who survives him.

A memorial service is planned at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at Immanuel
Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

mary.rourke at latimes.com

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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