Speaking Out

(Joseph Espiritu/LARIAT STAFF)

Joseph Espiritu

Students and faculty were treated to a screening of “The People Speak” presented by the Saddleback College Leftist Group, Thursday last week.

The film featured late historian Howard Zinn along with well-known actors, musicians and theatrical artists as they read prominent literary acts that helped define the course of American history.

Based on Zinn’s written works, A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States, the showing covered the topics of the Civil War, women’s suffrage, Vietnam War draft and other trials Americans faced during the last two centuries.  

“We planned on showing a movie and wanted it to insight good political discussions and be eye-opening,” said Leftist Group vice president Jon Raissi, 18, anthropology.  “It depicts all that is never really shown in typical textbooks and traditional classes.”

The presentation differed from other historical texts and cinematic in that it focuses on the actions of the common man.

“It was shocking to see that many of the bigger historical events were backed by the collective efforts of commoners,” said Justin Hollis, 21, undecided.  “We always hear and read about the big-shots and it was refreshing to see the work of an average citizen have so much impact on certain events.”

Being the group’s first official meeting, the turn out was decent with more than 10 attendees present.

“I’m glad I showed up because this seems like an enjoyable group to be a part of,” said Miriam Rodriguez, 19, political science.  “With my political views leaning towards the left, it’s a no-brainer that I should join and share my thoughts among individuals with the same beliefs.”

The group, which meets every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. in BGS 146 began last fall and is aimed at being an educational forum where members can freely discuss left-wing politics.  

“It’s about the unpopular protests – the events which made this country what is,” Raissi said after the screening.

Zinn, who died January this year, authored more that 20 books and was an active voice in the anti-war and civil liberties movements.