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Over 2000 protesters from many different Indian American communities joined together outside the SAP Center in San Jose on September 27 to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "Digital India" and Hindutva. They raised many issues with Modi's leadership, ranging from forced conversions to Hinduism, Internet surveillance, arrest of political bloggers, harassment of human rights activists, blind eye to rapes, dispossession of small farmers, rewriting of Indian history, and the 2002 Gujarat massacre.
Despite widespread objections, Junipero Serra was canonized on September 23 at the National Shrine in Washington DC by Pope Francis during his US visit. On September 27, as a parish celebration of the sainthood of Junipero Serra was scheduled to take place at the Carmel Mission Basilica, a statue of Serra was toppled over and paint was smeared on two grave sites, as well as on signs with the name of Serra, and on the doors of the mission. One mission artifact was inscribed with the statement, "Saint of Genocide".
On September 17, the first move-in day for Fall quarter at UC Santa Cruz, students and community members at the main entrance of campus displayed signs opposing Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 (SCR 35), which was introduced this year in the California Senate. On its surface SCR 35 is legislation that addresses anti-Semitism on the University of California campuses, but critics caution the measure has the potential to limit the free speech activities of those seeking justice for Palestine.
On September 12, about 60 people showed up outside Uncle Sam's Liquors in Richmond to remember Pedie Perez who was shot dead at that location on September 14, 2014 by Richmond police officer Wallace Jensen. Although Jensen claims that Pedie had tried to take his gun, witnesses dispute this and the store's surveillance video shows that after a struggle on the ground Jensen got up and backed away with his gun still holstered. He then shot Pedie from about six feet away.
September 22nd was the Pope's first day of a historic visit to the United States. Placards calling upon the religious leader to "stand with us for workers' rights" were amongst those carried by protesters at the Hyatt Santa Clara, which is adjacent to Tech Mart. Hyatt's aggressive use of subcontractors allows it to pay poverty wages to workers.
In the classic movie Chinatown the villain and the head of the water district played by the late John Huston says, "Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water". In a scenario eerily reminiscent of a scene in the film, when the LA Department of Power and Water buys up land in the Owens Valley in order to seize Owens River water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is considering purchasing land in the imperiled Delta to "bring L.A. to the water".
Dan Rush, a former union organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, was recently named in a federal arrest warrant that alleges he engaged in bad-faith negotiations with cannabis dispensary owners while acting in his capacity as a union official. Rush is also accused of holding a private financial interest in a medical cannabis company seeking a dispensary permit in Oakland in 2010.
For three Fridays in a row, boisterous members and allies of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition marched passed City Hall to the busy intersection at El Camino Real to push for a moratorium on rent increases. Inspired by the recent success of the East Bay city of Richmond, Mountain View residents are hoping to gain some legal protection for renters in one of the Bay Area's most costly cities, home to hi tech giants including Google.
Despite a record drought in California, agribusiness tycoons Stewart and Lynda Resnick are pushing a controversial tunnel plan to benefit their almond and cash crop empire. The plan, called the "California Water Fix" and formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, would imperil northern California fish populations. The average California household could be charged as much as $5000 to pay for the project, according to Food and Water Watch. On August 19, protesters took their complaints to the street, demonstrating in front of the Resnick's agribusiness headquarters in Los Angeles.
The Richmond Progressive Alliance sent out the following notice on August 27: We are reaching out to notify you of a misleading petition to repeal the new rent control ordinance in Richmond, CA. [W]e have received dozens of reports from residents and have cause to believe that up to half of their signatures are from supporters who have been otherwise fooled. This petition if validated will SUSPEND the ordinance for up to Nov. 2016, during which landlords will be free to unfairly raise rents and evict tenants without just cause.
A third complaint was filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT) on August 7 for a violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA's ongoing case against SCBT, one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, was heard by an administrative law judge from August 18-21.
More than 60 people gathered at Santa Cruz City Hall on August 18 for the latest in a series of community campouts organized to protest local laws that ban sleeping in public. It was the sixth held at City Hall since July, and was attended by approximately twice as many sleepers as the previous campouts.
Defend Knowland Park issued a call-out for direct action in the Oakland hills: "As we have stated before, we need to resist the destructive and gentrifying Zoo development to protect the animals, land, and neighborhood. We invite everyone who feels compassionate about environmental justice, animal rights, and tenant rights to join us, organize, and take direct action." On Friday, August 21, a Knowland Park Defence Convergence Festival and Campout is scheduled with bands, workshops, films, and more.
On the morning of Friday, August 14, dozens of residents of Boulder Creek gathered in a downtown coffeeshop in response to police raids of medical cannabis gardens the day before. People took turns explaining what they experienced when members of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office’s newly formed Marijuana Compliance Team visited their homes and gardens.
In 2015, Oakland Police have already been involved in three fatal shootings, as well as a mysterious death where a man died while trapped between two houses following a chase. On the afternoon of August 12, Nathaniel Wilks, 27, born August 26 in New York City and father to a tiny baby girl named Kai’lei, was fatally shot as he slowed down after a car and foot chase by police, saying, “Ok, Ok, Ok,” shortly before he was shot.
Wildfires are a natural and regular occurrence during the dry season in California. After four years of drought, the situation this year is especially dire with huge numbers of large fires breaking out all over the state. The Rocky Fire was only contained within the last several days after burning for more than a month, consuming 70,000 acres in total. D. Boyer shared a thorough report from the scene of the Rocky Fire.
Tue Aug 11 2015 (Updated 08/12/15) Community Members Challenge Sit-Lie Law by Breaking It
While restaurant owners are legally expanding their business operations on to the sidewalk of downtown Monterey by creating outdoor dining areas, a small group of community members are using civil disobedience to reclaim the right to sit in public downtown. The city has removed benches and enacted a new sit-lie law in an effort to rid the downtown of homeless people and travelers. On August 7, community members organized the latest in a series of sit-ins held on the sidewalk of Alvarado Street to directly oppose the law by breaking it.
On August 2, community members in Santa Cruz came together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Let us recommit ourselves to a world without nuclear weapons and without war," an announcement for the gathering read. The evening began with musicians playing in front of the Collateral Damage statue, which was installed next to the Town Clock on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings as a memorial to all civilian casualties of war.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has long been crafting a comprehensive overhaul of the Muni system now known as Muni Forward. Some riders are questioning the plan, particularly in connection with a line that serves the county hospital. Patients and staff at San Francisco General Hospital, neighbors, and advocates for senior and disabled Muni riders have all voiced objections to the planed reroute of the #33 line no longer serving SFGH.
A U.S. District Court has struck down Idaho’s “ag-gag” law as an unconstitutional attempt by the agriculture industry to silence journalists, animal advocates, and whistleblowers who expose cruel farming practices. The ruling — the first of its kind — spells trouble for the agriculture industry’s attempts in other states to outlaw photography and video recordings of animal welfare, workers’ rights, and environmental violations. The lawsuit was brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA, with support from a wide-range of organizations.
In Mexico City on Tuesday, July 28, speakers demanded the repeal of an order for the expropriation of the ancestral lands of the Otomí-Ñatho communities of Xochicuautla in Mexico State and an end to the war against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán.
On July 29, Greenpeace and Rising Tide protesters used ropes with linked lines to hang below Portland's St. John's bridge for more than twenty-eight hours. Their goal was to block passage of an ice-breaker headed to bring parts for Arctic oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea. The activists dangled from the bridge successfully delaying the Finnish ship hired by Shell Oil before police cut the tag lines between protestors.
Salinas police shot and killed Frank Alvarado one year ago. On July 10 at a memorial held outdoors near the location where he was shot, Frank's family members vowed to continue their fight for justice. Signs held at the memorial communicated supporters' lack of trust in the Salinas police, and some contained direct allegations of widespread departmental corruption.
Community members protesting local laws that criminalize homelessness held their third group campout at Santa Cruz City Hall on July 26. Several dozen people slept in the City Hall courtyard from sunset until the following morning, when they were greeted with a large buffet-style breakfast served by a fresh-faced group. Organizers have more sleep-ins planned for the future, with the next confirmed for Sunday, August 2, again at Santa Cruz City Hall.
The Humanist Hall is being attacked by newcomers who live in condos built right next door only about ten years ago. The Humanist Hall has opened its doors for countless radical and under-served organizations over the past 75 years, yet now it is being labelled a public nuisance by the City of Oakland due to complaints from the new neighbors. An online petition calls on Mayor Schaaf to “encourage condo owners and renters to respect the social norms of the neighborhood – our neighborhood – that they have moved into.."

10/04/15 Winnemem Wintu Chief Leads 'Water. Every Drop Is Sacred' Rally and March     environment | northcoast | california
10/03/15 Serra Statue Toppled, "Saint of Genocide" Message Left at Mission Carmel Cemetery     race | santacruz
10/03/15 State Resolution Could Limit Free Speech for those Seeking Justice for Palestine     race | palestine | santacruz
10/03/15 Indian Prime Minister Protested for Poor Record on Religious and Women's Rights     southbay | government
09/24/15 Shades of Owens Valley: Metropolitan Water District May Buy Delta Land     environment | poverty | centralvalley | california
09/24/15 Family, Friends and Supporters of Pedie Perez Continue Fighting for Justice     police | poverty
09/23/15 On Pope's First Day in U.S., Silicon Valley Low Wage Workers Call for Economic Equality     labor | southbay
09/08/15 Arrest of Dan Rush Raises Questions on Efforts to Unionize Cannabis Workers     drugwar | california | government
09/02/15 Friday Rallies Lead Up to Planned Demonstration at City Council Meeting     poverty | peninsula
09/02/15 Third March for Rent Control in Mountain View     poverty | peninsula
09/01/15 California Democratic Party Resolution Opposes Fracking in Los Padres National Forest     environment | california
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