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As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.
Shortly before the Fall 2014 quarter was to commence at the University of California Santa Cruz, undergraduate student Marjorie Langdon decided to take a leave of absence from her studies. In a letter to administrators explaining the decision, Marjorie strongly denounced the UC system's connections to the military industrial complex.
A petition started by a student at UC Santa Cruz is calling for Chancellor Blumenthal to take the necessary steps to provide adequate housing and transportation on the campus. The petition also calls out the university's plans for expansion, stating, "we also believe that building into Upper Campus is NOT an adequate solution to this problem and will only add to the over-enrollment issue."
On September 24, the Surfrider Foundation scored a huge victory in its protracted legal battle against billionaire and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla to restore beach access at Martin’s Beach in San Mateo County, California. In 2010, Khosla had locked gates that provided the only public access to the beach. “Today’s court decision upholding the Coastal Act is an important victory for Martin’s Beach and ultimately strengthens the public's right to beach access in California,” says Angela Howe, Legal Director for the Surfrider Foundation.
On October 6, the Department of the Interior and the Drakes Bay Oyster Company announced a settlement agreement that will dismiss the oyster company’s failed litigation and assign clean-up costs for the mess caused by the company’s non-native oyster cultivation. The settlement agreement follows four consecutive Federal court decisions that upheld DOI’s November 12 decision to let Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s lease expire as long planned, thereby protecting the West Coast’s first marine wilderness at Drakes Estero within Point Reyes National Seashore.
A petition has been circulated and community members are planning to attend the October 14 Watsonville City Council meeting to show their disdain for the approval of a new McDonald's restaurant in the historic downtown area of the city. "We can stop this from happening. Our children deserve better. Watsonville has moved forward, a McDonald's would be a huge step back," the petition states.
At a rally in Palo Alto on October 5th, speakers Mary Kay Raftery and Chris Walker said that there is no such thing as the "closure" that death penalty advocates promote. Mary Kay's son was murdered; Chris spoke of his experience as an innocent man in Pelican Bay prison. Long time Amnesty International member Terry McCaffrey said it is clear that support for the death penalty is in decline, but "we must not let up on our struggle to put an end to capital punishment".
April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse have filed tort claims against the City and County of San Francisco for police brutality that occurred when the Giants called in SFPD to eject Negrette and Bighorse from its June 23, 2014, “Native American Heritage Night” event and game. Ms. Negrette and Mr. Bighorse had peacefully confronted a group of inebriated men who were inappropriately and disrespectfully wearing a plastic counterfeit Native American-themed headdress. The Giants ordered the San Francisco Police to eject Negrette and Bighorse from the stadium, but not the drunken men, most of whom were white.
Claudia Tirado, a third grade teacher and tenant being evicted by Google's head of eDiscovery, Jack Halprin, queered her fight to remain in her home at the Folsom Street Fair on September 21. With other activists from Eviction Free San Francisco, Tirado handed out condoms for "eviction protection" at the annual kink and sex-positive SoMa fair. Eviction Free SF reported that many fair attendees agreed that housing is a queer issue and that it is unconscionable for Halprin to evict residents so that he can have a private mansion just three blocks from the Google bus stop at 18th and Dolores.
Following months of pressure by family members and the media, the Salinas Police Department announced that Brian Johnson and Scott Sutton were the officers that shot and killed Frank Alvarado on July 10. They were named in a press release that also listed the officers involved in the killing of three other Latino residents in East Salinas in 2014. Frank Alvarado's father and sister spoke out at a press conference held at City Hall on October 1, stating that justice would be served, if not in Salinas, then at the Supreme Court.
On October 9, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin is scheduled to speak on a panel titled “Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color” presented by the Center for Conflict Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Under Chief McMillin’s command, four unarmed Salinas community members — all Latino men — were shot and killed by officers in a span of four months. Sin Barras, a group that works to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, authored a letter to the hosts requesting that they ask Chief McMillin to step down as a participant.
Uniting students, workers, community members, and veterans of the Free Speech Movement, Cal Progressive Coalition (CPC) led a surprise sit-in at Capital Projects following the rally for the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement. Capital Projects is the real estate arm of the University of California Berkeley that is actively privatizing public resources, such as in their proposed commercial development of the historic Gill Tract Farm. The CPC action sparked dialogue across campus on how the UC continues to silence students through the privatization of the public university and increasingly militarized police violence.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) activists in the San Francisco Bay Area came together again on September 27 and 28 to picket and blockade an Israeli Zim Line ship at the Port of Oakland. Organized by the Stop Zim Action Committee this time, Palestine solidarity activists dispersed across five entrances at the SSA terminal over multiple shifts, preventing longshore workers from unloading cargo for two days until the ship left port.
Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.
Sun Sep 28 2014 (Updated 10/01/14) No More Sweetheart Water Deals for Billionaire Farmers
Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations, as well as to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels. One of the largest private water brokers in the U.S., the Resnick holding company Roll International makes millions of dollars in profits off marketing subsidized public water back to the public.
After a lively debate, Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) voted to endorse a "mellow" but visible presence on the corner of Laurel and Center Streets in front of the Santa Cruz Police Department parking lot. Since 2013, HUFF has received complaints about officer Barnett of the SCPD targeting homeless residents for minor offenses, and the organization pressed the department to release the citations he has issued.
On September 23, Native American Tribal members joined environmental groups in a protest on the north end of the Willits Bypass highway project. Protestors entered the construction zone north of town in the early morning hours, stopping the fast and furious flow of dirt-filled, double-belly dump trucks that have been working from dawn to dusk to cover the wetlands and archeological sites the activists seek to protect.
On the evening of September 23, the airwaves were filled with reports of strikes by the United States and its allies against targets in Syria. Quick response in Palo Alto by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center called on SF Peninsula residents to gather and protest. Demonstrations were held in San Francisco and San José as well.
On August 29, the California Coastal Commission on August 29 sent a letter to the developer of the Monterey Bay Shores Resort, Ed Ghandour, informing him his response to the requirements of the conditional Coastal Development Permit (CDP) was deficient. The Coastal Commission tentatively approved the development in April, after years of opposition from environmental groups. Monterey Bay Shores is planned to be built along a pristine stretch of coastal dunes in Sand City, and at risk is a population of Western snowy plovers, a federally threatened species who nest and raise their broods in the footprint of the proposed resort.
On September 26, workers held a rally at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn to demand a fair contract with meaningful wage increases. Dream Inn workers are presently without a contract and have been negotiating with the hotel for months. Owners are proposing they take a three-year wage freeze followed by 1% and 2% raises in the fourth and fifth years. "We can barely support ourselves now and the Dream Inn wants to make it worse over the next five years," read a flyer handed out to hotel guests at the rally.
On September 22, former BART Police Deputy Chief Dan Hartwig will be called to account in federal court for his role in targeting and arresting independent journalist David Morse during a “No Justice No BART” protest at the Powell Street BART station three years ago. Morse was the only credentialed journalist who was handcuffed, arrested, and held in police custody for several hours, while other reporters with and without credentials were all released without citation from a police encirclement.

UPDATE: Verdict in BART PD Trial, September 29: The jury in US District Court found that — despite BART Deputy Chief Fairow ordering a flier be created identifying Dave Id as a subject for police focus during the 9/8/11 Powell Street station protest, despite BART police discussing arresting Dave Id at a planning meeting prior to the protest (even though all officers who testified said Dave Id had never committed a crime at a previous protest), and despite Deputy Chief Hartwig choosing Dave Id to be very first person arrested when all other journalists were released from a police kettle — Deputy Chief Hartwig did not retaliate against Dave Id for his hundreds of critical reports on BART police. Dave Id and Indybay strongly disagree.
On September 8, 2014, Bay Area chapters of Code Pink and World Can’t Wait participated in a worldwide reading of texts by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: “With this worldwide reading, we call on the United States Government to recognize that Edward Snowden's revelations are of essential importance for the safeguarding of democracy in the digital age.... Washington should therefore immediately lift all legal charges and complaints against Snowden, so that he can return home safely as a free man.”
On September 9, the family of Yanira Serrano Garcia announced they filed a civil rights lawsuit against San Mateo County and San Mateo Sheriff's Deputy Menh Trieu in Federal District Court in San Francisco for the June 3 killing of Yanira at her home in Half Moon Bay. On August 18, San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen M. Wagstaffe announced charges would not be filed against Deputy Trieu for the killing.
Israel's Ministry of Justice has filed an indictment against a border policeman for assaulting and injuring 15-year-old Tarek Abu Khdeir, cousin to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was burned to death by Israeli settlers, in July. According to reports, the officer, whose name remains under gag order, was indicted at the Jerusalem magistrate court on September 10, for using "excessive force" that could not be justified.
To send a strong message that "killer cops" are not welcome in Santa Cruz, community members gathered on August 26 to protest a speaking engagement at Bookshop Santa Cruz featuring Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin. "We are creating a public presence to say loud and clear that the Salinas police chief who oversaw the killings of four Latino men in four months is not welcome in our community," read a flyer provided by Sin Barras, the Santa Cruz-based organization that called for the demonstration.
On August 27, over 200 Tribal Members and Leaders, river advocates and politicians attended a day of celebration on the Trinity River below Lewiston Dam. It was a day that the Bureau of Reclamation designated as a “Multicultural Day,“ so the Hoopa Valley Tribe organized an event to demonstrate the impacts of water diversion on their culture and the river communities.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released new data showing that the California-based drift gillnet fishery targeting swordfish killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014. Fishery observers monitored 34 percent of the drift gillnet sets made last year; they documented that the fishery killed an estimated three California gray whales, six short-finned pilot whales, nine northern right whale dolphins, nine California sea lions and 26 short-beaked common dolphins.

10/15/14 Massive Pollution of Water Supply Shows Big Oil's Power in California     environment | centralvalley
10/15/14 UCSC Student Withdraws from University Citing UC's Connection to War Profiteering     education | santacruz
10/14/14 Petition Initiated at UCSC Due to Inadequate Housing Also Opposes Upper Campus Expansion     education | santacruz
10/07/14 Community Members Oppose Construction of New McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville     poverty | santacruz
10/07/14 Legal Settlement Allows Park Service Marine Wilderness Restoration to Begin at Point Reyes     environment | northbay
10/06/14 Pomo Leaders, AIM Elders and Environmental Activists Shut Down Caltrans Construction     environment | race | northcoast | california
10/06/14 Movement to End Capital Punishment Growing     police | peninsula
10/05/14 Police Brutality Victims Demand San Francisco Giants Take Stand on Cultural Appropriation     police | race
10/05/14 Tenant Facing Eviction Hands Out "Eviction Protection" Condoms at Folsom Street Fair     poverty | lgbtqi | arts
10/04/14 Salinas Police Release Names of Officers Who Killed Residents in 2014     police | santacruz
10/04/14 Sin Barras letter to Center for Conflict Studies challenges legitimacy of Police Chief     police | race
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Lawsuit to Protect Pinto Abalone From Ocean Acidification, Climate Change and Poaching Center for Biological Diversity
Monday Oct 20th 4:27 PM
Petition and Flyers Opposing the Anti-Homeless Stay Away Orders Ordinance Robert Norse (1 comment)
Sunday Oct 19th 8:50 PM
Will the Real Progressive Please Stand Up Mike Rhodes
Sunday Oct 19th 3:44 PM
2.5 weeks before 11/4/14 Election: SF Muni Police & Driver Terrorize 30 Stockton Bus Abolish the Military (1 comment)
Saturday Oct 18th 5:00 PM
California Leads the Way in the “Block the Boat” Movement Ben Norton, Counterpunch (2 comments)
Friday Oct 17th 1:27 PM
EASTWEST #5: An Anarchist Newspaper EASTWEST
Friday Oct 17th 2:11 AM
Block The Boat for Gaza @BlockTheBoat
Thursday Oct 16th 6:42 PM
Kobanê Solidarity Graffiti in West Oakland anonymous (1 comment)
Wednesday Oct 15th 9:29 PM
Oct. 15th is Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day Joanna Nasar
Wednesday Oct 15th 12:05 PM
Brown Regime Gets Ugly Over State Water Project Contract Extension Dan Bacher (1 comment)
Tuesday Oct 14th 11:12 PM
Andy Lopez - One Year Anniversary Calendar of Events Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez
Monday Oct 13th 6:43 PM
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Shoot the Messenger: Blame the Victim Seana Sperling
Saturday Oct 18th 3:10 PM
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Friday Oct 17th 6:15 AM
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Wednesday Oct 15th 8:19 PM
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Wednesday Oct 15th 6:20 AM
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Tuesday Oct 14th 12:46 AM
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Monday Oct 20th 8:32 PM
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Whitewashing Kiev Mass Murder Stephen Lendman
Monday Oct 20th 9:39 AM
Ukrainian-Style Democracy Stephen Lendman
Monday Oct 20th 3:44 AM
FBI visits in Berkeley CLDC
Sunday Oct 19th 4:28 PM
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Sunday Oct 19th 1:23 PM
SF Labor Officials Welcome Bernie Sanders In San Francisco Labor Video Project
Sunday Oct 19th 11:06 AM
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Sunday Oct 19th 4:51 AM
Call to Donate Medical Aid to Kobane M
Sunday Oct 19th 4:14 AM
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