Established in 2000, Activist San Diego (ASD) describes itself as “a social justice organization” that promotes “social change” by serving as “the Activist Yellow Pages for the community of conscience.” Specifically, the organization helps left-wing activists “meet and mobilize with each other” via “cyber contact,” thereby “facilitat[ing] the development of an active, interrelated, progressive community in San Diego.”
The ASD website provides: (a) a community calendar of local events of interest to the political left, such as speeches and rallies; (b) a forum where “progressive organizations can get their fliers to their members in a timely fashion and not burn up gas or funds for postage”; (c) a “central clearinghouse for progressive organizations and activities [to make] base-building or coalition-building much more effective”; (d) outreach and recruitment tools targeting potential new members; (e) directories of left-wing activist organizations, designed to facilitate networking and coalition building; (f) an “emergency response” section that serves as “a central place to look for the latest news and information updates”; and (g) web pages (provided for a nominal fee) for smaller organizations that do not have their own websites.
Most of the on-the-ground events which ASD promotes take place in or near San Diego. In 2003, for instance, the organization enthusiastically supported local anti-war rallies sponsored by Code Pink for Peace, an organization co-founded by pro-Castro radical Medea Benjamin and communist activist Jodie Evans.
In July 2004, ASD urged locals to see The Corporation, an anti-corporate documentary film that was being shown at a San Diego-area movie theater. According to ASD, this production examined “the far-reaching repercussions of the corporation’s increasing preeminence”—and included “insight[s]” from such prominent leftists as Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Howard Zinn.
In February 2006, ASD promoted an upcoming speech titled “Women and Social Justice Movements: Then, Now, Tomorrow” by UC Santa Cruz professor (and lifelong communist) Angela Davis, whom the organization lauded for “her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad.”
That same month, ASD publicized a “Black Liberation and Socialism” event examining not only “the continued legacy of racism and poverty in our society,” but also the “contribution” that Marxism could make toward resolving those problems. Also in February 2006, the ASD website featured previews of an upcoming local appearance by Cindy Sheehan, the founder of Gold Star Families for Peace.
In 2013, ASD supported a Los Angeles-based Ecosocialist Conference organized and “inspired” by members of the Democratic Socialists of America, the Green Party, the International Socialist Organization, the Los Angeles Socialist Party USA, and the Valley College Socialists.
In July 2013, when allegations began to surface that San Diego mayor (and former congressman) Bob Filner had sexually harassed numerous women during his long tenure in political life, ASD promoted a pro-Filner event—titled “Standing W/Mayor Filner & Due Process”—which was slated to take place on August 19. In Filner’s defense, ASD quoted his supporters who: (a) lauded the Democratic mayor for having “stood side by side with many of our displaced communities for decades,” and (b) charged that the widespread calls for Filner’s resignation were being “motivated and orchestrated by the conservative elements in San Diego that fear the Mayor’s progressive agenda of including all people in the future direction of the city.”