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On November 20, students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Humanities and Social Sciences building and plan to stay inside until the UC Regents roll back the tuition increases they approved this week. Student fees across the University of California system will raise by at least 5% a year for the next five years if the Regents' plan is instituted.
On November 10, peace activists in Santa Cruz protested a book signing appearance by Leon Panetta, the one-time Secretary of Defense and CIA Director. Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted the event with a crowd of hundreds in attendance. By the end of the evening, five individuals were "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz, in retaliation for activities related to the evening's peaceful protest. Additionally, Panetta's security assaulted an Indybay journalist who was documenting the event.
On November 4, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a second complaint against one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT). It alleges violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from September 26, 2012, through April 22, 2014. The additional violations outlined in the complaint include repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care — resulting in needless animal suffering — and repeated research oversight violations.
On November 12, activists with the Bay Area Rasmea Defense Committee chained themselves to doors of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland to protest the conviction and imprisonment of 67-year-old Palestinian community organizer Rasmea Odeh. Odeh was convicted on Monday, November 10th in a Detroit federal court of knowingly lying on her immigration application. Hundreds were present in court to support Odeh over the course of her trial in Detroit and across the country solidarity demonstrations have been held demanding that she be freed.
On November 5, a woman died in the Santa Cruz County Jail. The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department immediately claimed there was nothing suspicious about the death, calling it a “medical event.” Sin Barras, a Santa Cruz-based prison abolition organization, has said the deaths were, "preventable in more ways than one."
On November 8, Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs shared food in solidarity with those who have been arrested for serving food in public in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Volunteers with Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs have been serving food continuously to the hungry and homeless at the same location, the Santa Cruz downtown post office, for several years now. An event announcement for the solidarity event stated, "No one should be arrested for helping the community. Sharing food is an unregulated act of compassion." Events have been held worldwide in support of those being arrested in Fort Lauderdale.
UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
On November 11, two-day strikes started that effect nearly 20,000 registered nurses at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics, a Sutter hospital in Tracy, and Watsonville Community Hospital kicking off a wave of protests in 15 states and the District of Columbia over eroding patient care conditions symbolized by inadequate Ebola safeguards at most U.S. hospitals. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
On November 3, United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar awarded legal fees of over $87,000 to the open-publishing news website Indybay and internet service provider Layer42 after dismissing an "objectively baseless" lawsuit filed by Bay Area attorney Dionne Choyce. Indybay is represented pro bono by Roger R. Myers, Leila C. Knox and Jessica Mar of Bryan Cave LLP, who will be redistributing any and all fee payment made by Dionne Choyce to 501(c)(3) organizations.
On November 4, Bay Area voters raised minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland. On November 6, workers at the San Francisco Whole Foods Market at 4th and Harrison Streets took the fight for fair wages to another level by presenting management with a demand for a $5-an-hour across-the-board wage increase for all employees. On November 14, organized workers at Whole Foods Market will rally with supporters and call on the Regional President to respond at the Northern California Office in Emeryville.
Voters in two California counties were able to overcome the oil industry and pass fracking bans by wide margins. Measure J in San Benito County passed with 57% of the vote, and Measure S in Mendocino County passed with 67%.
The annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March took place on November 1. This year, for the first time since the initial event in 1994, the Watsonville Police Department was given a large role in determining the route of the march. The event was originally founded by the Watsonville Brown Berets, and the group remained primary organizers of the march from the beginning through 2011, but in 2014 organization of the event became professionalized.
Salinas Police have reported that Jaime Garcia, age 35, died after one of their officers tased him during an attempted arrest on Halloween. According to an SPD press release, the five officers involved in the incident were put on administrative leave during the "initital stages" of the investigation. The death of Garcia is the fifth death to occur at the hands of Salinas Police in 2014.
Proposition 14 in California effectively excluded third parties from statewide general elections. Only the top two vote getters in statewide primaries now advance to the general election. Prop. 14 also removed the possibility of the write-in option. The Green Party of Alameda County recommends that voters boycott the statewide partisan contests in the November election — specifically the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner — and also most of the other partisan offices, while still voting locally and for statewide propositions.
The Committee for Responsible and Accurate Posters (CRAP) writes: Chevron, in exercising their completely hard-fought right to defecate unlimited cash into a small-town election (thanks, Citizens United), has flooded Richmond with $3 million in propaganda both to support their own prop candidates and to shamelessly attack Team Richmond.... Richmond residents should know that Nat Bates isn’t running for Richmond’s mayor, he’s running to be Chevron’s puppet. And so are city council candidates Donna Powers, Charles Ramsey, and Al Martinez. Sorry Chevron, but Richmond’s election is not for sale.
On October 28, father and daughter Mauro Oliveira (Red Sun) and Mahai'a Sol helped blockade Beale Air Force base, which is east of Sacramento. They are free now, but they face Federal charges. Mauro Oliveira writes: We want drones to end and until THAT day, my family wants it to be clear to the victims of drone strikes and to the entire world, that we believe in Peace, not war and consider drone strikes as a war crime against humanity and an act against the Creators greatest gift, the Children of the world, of which we all are.
For several years, Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) activists in Northern California and across the globe have pressured retailers to stop selling SodaStream products in their stores. On October 29, amid ongoing boycott pressure from the international community, Israeli beverage firm SodaStream announced that it was closing a controversial factory located in an occupied West Bank settlement. SodaStream said that it would relocate the factory by the end of 2015.
The family of Frank Alvarado was joined by community supporters for a protest at the Salinas Police Department on October 22, which is National Police Brutality Day. Frank Alvarado was killed by Brian Johnson and Scott Sutton of the Salinas Police department on July 10 of this year. Officers with the Salinas Police Department killed four people in 2014. In addition to Frank, they killed Angel Ruiz on March 20, Osman Hernandez on May 9, and Carlos Mejia on May 20.
A Beehive Collective presentation originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm was shut down by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources. Lindow claimed that the art show was “not relevant to the research at the community farm." Determined not to be silenced, students at UC Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective’s art project on drought and Proposition 1 to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials, kicking off the Free Speech Movement.
Shortly before the October 28 City Council session, it was announced that the second reading of Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 13.08.100, pertaining to orders to vacate park property, had been pulled from the meeting agenda. Civil rights groups have voiced strong opposition to the ordinance and called into question the constitutional sufficiency of the amendment.
On October 17, workers, union representatives, labor organizers, and community supporters returned to the Santa Cruz Dream Inn for a second rally in a month's time as workers at the hotel continue to demand a fair contract during negotiations. Management wants workers to take a three-year wage freeze, with raises limited to 1% and 2% in the fourth and fifth year. Dream Inn Workers have been negotiating with the Dream Inn for several months now and this offer continues to be unacceptable to them.
UPDATE 10/27: After successful blockades of Zim Line ships at the Port of Oakland in August and September, a third blockade was set to target the Zim ship Beijing on Saturday, October 25. The Beijing was rescheduled to dock Sunday, October 26, and then delayed indefinitely. Organizers — remaining vigilant for a potential docking at any time during the week — called for a solidarity march from West Oakland BART station on the afternoon of Sunday 26th, as a show of force to let Zim know that activists would be ready should the Beijing attempt to unload cargo in Oakland. The Beijing never docked at the port of Oakland and instead headed for other ports.
Hannibal Abdul Shakur and Tanzeen Doha were arrested during protests during the summer of 2013 in downtown Oakland, after the George Zimmerman verdict was announced, where he was acquitted for the February 26, 2012, murder of Trayvon Martin. At an October 10 pre-trial readiness conference, the Oakland prosecutor finally admitted that they had “insufficient evidence” to go to trial, putting forth a motion to drop the remaining charges.
On October 22, Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) participated in the 19th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and Criminalization with a demonstration in front of the Santa Cruz Police Department. This week, HUFF announced that after analyzing the citation records of SCPD Community Service Officer B. Barnett, they have found that he has disproportionately targeted homeless people and African-Americans.
Conservation groups notified the National Marine Fisheries Service of their intent to sue the agency for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the pinto abalone, an approximately six-inch snail with an iridescent inner shell that was once common in rocky, intertidal coasts from Alaska to Baja California.
Members of the Kurdish diaspora in the Bay Area joined local anarchists on October 11 for a demonstration in solidarity with the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish resistance in Kobane. Over 50 people took over Powell and Market in San Francisco withbanners and thousands of leaflets throughout the afternoon. Kurdish fighters part of the YPG and the all women YPJ units have managed to hold their own during a month-long siege despite suffering heavy casualties and fighting with outdated weapons compared with the advanced US-made weapons used by ISIS.
Santa Cruz City Council Member Micah Posner writes: Deputy Chief Steve Clark labeled Santa Cruz City Council candidate Leonie Sherman an "anarchist" on the evening news due to the fact that she hung a banner at the WTO protest 15 years ago. The courage and conviction that she displayed as part of this non-violent protest are just some of the reasons why Sherman will be an excellent City Councilmember.
EastWest writes: Just so you don’t get it twisted, we want to let you know the facts about the new Colosseum Area Specific Plan. It is being financed with money from HayaH Holdings in Dubai and Colony Capital LLC in Los Angeles.... With help from Mayor Quan and the other good old boys, this development promises to completely transform East Oakland and start a process of gentrification worse than anything seen in West Oakland. They wish to call their new development Colosseum City.
Witnesses to the recent tasing and arrest of a man in Santa Cruz describe the incident differently from the account communicated by police through the reporting of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Individuals on the scene report excessive force was used when officers with the SCPD arrested Oliver Howard near the Court House on Water Street on the afternoon of October 13. They say officers struck Howard with a baton, tased his bare body, piled on top of him, wrenched and twisted his limbs, and grinded his face and body into the ground, all unnecessarily.
On October 18, Eviction Free San Francisco and community advocates marched to the home of Mayor Ed Lee in Glenn Park, and demanded that he intervene in the eviction crisis in San Francisco. As long-term tenants, communities of color, seniors and disabled people are displaced at a rapid rate, new luxury condominiums pop up on every corner, making the city even less affordable and motivating speculators to continue to evict for a profit.

11/21/14 Students Protest Tuition Increases, Class Size, Fewer Classes, Cuts to Services     education | santacruz
11/18/14 Indybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security; Protesters Banned from Bookstore     antiwar | santacruz
11/18/14 Santa Cruz Biotechnology Charged Again with Violating Animal Welfare Act     animalliberation | santacruz
11/14/14 Rasmea Odeh Conviction Protested Across U.S. by Supporters and Human Rights Activists     police | race | palestine | immigrant
11/13/14 Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs Shares in Solidarity with Those Being Arrested in Florida     poverty | santacruz
11/13/14 Grand Jury Investigation Found Recent Jail Deaths Were Preventable     police | santacruz
11/12/14 Strikes by California RNs Kick Off Actions for Patient Safety and Ebola Precautions     poverty | labor | california
11/11/14 Whole Foods Workers Demand $5-An-Hour Across-the-Board Wage Increase in SF and East Bay     labor
11/05/14 Californians Win Victories on Fracking Despite Deluge of Oil Industry Cash     environment | santacruz
11/05/14 Police Take Leadership Role in 2014 Peace and Unity March     police | santacruz
11/04/14 Fifth Man Killed at the Hands of Salinas Police in 2014: Jaime Garcia     police | santacruz
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SF Takes to the Streets To Protest Racist Murders Michael Steinberg
Wednesday Nov 26th 12:19 AM
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Tuesday Nov 25th 2:50 PM
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Fuck the Regents and Fuck Jerry Brown Too via Education Should Be Free! (1 comment)
Monday Nov 24th 2:57 PM
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Monday Nov 24th 12:49 PM
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The Open UC - Student walkout against fee hikes The Open UC
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Sunday Nov 23rd 3:49 AM
From Cairo: Letter of Solidarity with the Occupations at Santa Cruz and Berkeley! Students and Faculty of Cairo’s Universities (1 comment)
Sunday Nov 23rd 1:05 AM
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