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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.."
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson of Los Angeles recently pled guilty and currently await sentencing for a related charge of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). On July 24, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA for 2013 actions. At a court hearing on July 28, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring.
On June 16, 2014, during a protest against police brutality and recent police shootings in Fresno, Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial, writing phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” He was arrested. On July 17, 2015, Brian was found guilty of vandalism and later sentenced to one year of informal probation, 50 hours of community service, and $250 in court fees and restitution. Brian says he plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.
For two months, the Muwekma Farm thrived at its location on the corner of 31st Avenue and International Blvd in Oakland. On July 9, however, the City of Oakland and OPD destroyed every single plant, raised bed, and bench. Muwekma Farm writes: We have no specific date for retaking the land, but when we do there will be another announcement. To those who desire a world free of environmental destruction and economic slavery, we would like to remind you that there is an inordinate amount of vacant land in the City of Oakland.
Donations are being sought to support the family of 17-year-old Cyrus Hurtado, who was shot and killed by two Santa Cruz sheriff's deputies in Boulder Creek on July 9. Hurtado, who reportedly suffered from mental issues, was killed after a family dispute at his grandparents' house where he lived, and their home and possessions were severely damaged by the deputies' gunfire.
Founding member of the First Friday Oakland Art Murmur, Rock Paper Scissors Collective writes: With a little volunteer elbow-grease and fundraising effort, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC) was born — a destination where the community could come together, organize, share skills, knowledge and create. Now, we are being forced out of our space. The Collective’s long time landlord plans to charge market value for the space, well beyond what we can afford as an all-volunteer run nonprofit. As of August 31st, RPS will be without a home.
On July 14, three of the remaining Santa Cruz Eleven defendants agreed to a plea deal with the prosecution, and the last remaining member of the group followed suit at his hearing on July 22, bringing to a close the Occupy-era case that has been slowly moving along since 2011. Defendants entered pleas of “no contest” to a charge of misdemeanor trespass. The felony vandalism charge was dropped.
The United States Social Forum 2015 was held June 24-28 in San José. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change. Food Sovereignty, Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley, Taking our Health Back, Crisis of the California Water Commons, No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization, Cooperative Economics, and Movements Making Media were just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed.
Conservation groups have reached an agreement with First Solar, Inc. to provide additional conservation protections to wild lands and wildlife as part of construction of the California Flats Solar Project, a proposed 280-megawatt solar energy project in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. It will affect 2,720 acres of important habitat for a number of rare and sensitive plants and animals. The project site is currently part of the 72,000-acre “Jack Ranch,” which is owned by the Hearst Corporation and currently operated as a cattle ranch.
On June 27, friends, family, and supporters of Richard "Pedie" Perez, killed by Richmond police, took the streets downtown. The diverse group chanted, held signs, and distributed flyers. The march, which followed a rally outside of the Richmond BART station, came after a recent decision by the District Attorney which ruled the police killing of Perez was justifiable. Richard “Pedie” Perez was shot and killed by officer Wallace Jensen outside of a liquor store in Richmond on September 14, 2014.
The California Rodeo Salinas is scheduled to start on July 16, yet the rodeo refuses to change its illegal practice of hiding injuries to animals. In December 2014, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the animal rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) against the rodeo for failing to report animal injuries to the state veterinary medical board, as required under California law.
On July 4, community members in Santa Cruz held a public campout at Santa Cruz City Hall, but it was quickly cut short by police at about 1am. The campout was organized in response to the recent reduction of services at the Homeless Services Center that occurred due to a funding deficit, as well as to protest local laws that criminalize sleeping outdoors. At least eight individuals were issued infraction citations for refusing to leave City Hall.
On July 1, hundreds came together in spirit, unity, and love to transform the unacceptable destruction of the mural on the outside wall of Galeria de La Raza in the Mission District of San Francisco. The mural installed by the Los Angeles Maricon Collective is a celebration of LGBTQ people, and accompanies the presentation in the Galeria, The Q-Sides. Speakers emphasized that unity must be maintained in the Mission, healing with love not revenge, even though the vandalism was a hate crime

08/22/15 Despite Stay Away Orders and Arrest, Community Members Sleep at Santa Cruz City Hall     poverty | santacruz
08/21/15 Extreme Suffering of Animals Documented at Anitbody Supplier's Facility     animalliberation | santacruz
08/19/15 Defend Knowland Park Calls for Direct Action and Campout to Resist Oakland Zoo Expansion     environment | poverty
08/18/15 Nate Wilks Shot and Killed by Oakland Police for Running While Black     police | race
08/17/15 First-Hand Report from the Massive Rocky Fire East of Clear Lake     environment | centralvalley | northcoast | california
08/17/15 Marijuana Compliance Team Disregards Santa Cruz County Cannabis Cultivation Laws     drugwar | santacruz
08/11/15 Community Members Challenge Sit-Lie Law by Breaking It     poverty | santacruz
08/09/15 Santa Cruz Residents Continue to Work for a World Without Nuclear Weapons     antiwar | santacruz
08/04/15 Judge Declares AgGag Law Unconstitutional Attempt to Silence Critics, Whistleblowers     animalliberation
08/03/15 San Francisco General Users Urge SFMuni to Keep the #33 Line to the County Hospital     poverty
08/03/15 Marcha solidaria con las comunidades de San Francisco Xochicuautla y Santa María Ostula     espanol
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Voters Strongly Support Public Access to Police Misconduct Reports, Body Cam Footage ACLU of Northern California
Thursday Aug 27th 5:30 PM
Notice to Richmond Voters: Fraudulent Petition Circulating Posted By Lynda Carson
Thursday Aug 27th 5:12 PM
State maintains loophole for cancer-causing pesticides via Californians for Pesticide Reform
Thursday Aug 27th 3:02 PM
Two more arrests at Community Sleepout event in front of Santa Cruz city hall Zav H + Sarah W (7 comments)
Wednesday Aug 26th 1:09 AM
Local ACLU Issues Statement of Support for the Freedom Sleepers ACLU Santa Cruz County (1 comment)
Tuesday Aug 25th 10:39 AM
Unpermitted Blue Boxes Appear Overnight on Pacific Avenue Bradley Allen (4 comments)
Monday Aug 24th 10:39 PM
Protesters slam LA funding of Delta tunnels for Big Ag tycoons Dan Bacher (3 comments)
Monday Aug 24th 8:15 AM
Artists Return After Arrest Free Speech Matters (9 comments)
Sunday Aug 23rd 3:34 PM
Mountain View Tenants Call for Rent Increase Moratorium Ruth Robertson
Saturday Aug 22nd 2:49 AM
Attendance Doubles at Sixth City Hall Sleepout Alex Darocy (2 comments)
Friday Aug 21st 6:32 PM
Residents Plan For New E 12th Development Monica Garcia
Friday Aug 21st 4:13 PM
Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan Set for Two Unique Bay Area Plants Center for Biological Diversity
Friday Aug 21st 2:57 PM
Fundraiser for Independent Autopsy for Nate Wilks APTP
Thursday Aug 20th 4:25 PM
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