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All around the world May Day has been a day for labor solidarity, immigrant rights, direct action, reclaiming the streets, and speaking out against injustice. May Day 2015 in the Northern California was a busy day for actions from San Francisco and Oakland to San Jose and Mountain View to Santa Cruz and Fresno. Call-outs went out for rallies, marches, flying pickets, the shutdown of the Port of Oakland, a tech commute blockade, and an anti-capitalist/Baltimore solidarity march.
On April 12, the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), in conjunction with Yuvette Henderson’s family, held a vigil and caravan in the name of Yuvette, killed with an AR-15 by Emeryville police. Numerous other demonstrations have been held to demand justice for Yuvette as well. On April 21st, the Oakland police department conceded to community pressure and allowed the brother and sister of Yuvette to view the videos leading up to her murder, which is rare after a police killing, but her family was told that the two most critical events of the day were not available for review.
A group of about 100 homeless people and their supporters attended the Tulare City Council meeting on April 21 calling for specific changes in public policy. The group, which delivered a petition signed by over 1,000 residents, called for improvements in the way homeless people are treated by the police, a safe place to sleep and equal rights. The Union of Hope in Tulare filled the City Council chambers with an overflow crowd.
A coalition of environmentalists on April 20 blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent. At this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms, Resnick revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond, and walnut acreage during a record drought.
Suppliers of Driscoll’s, which may be the U.S.’s most recognizable brand name on strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry cartons, are coming under fire for allegedly abusing workers, in the U.S. and Mexico. One Driscoll’s grower has spent weeks embroiled in a major farmworker protest, while a nearly two-year boycott against another grower recently intensified. Workers in both disputes have called for a boycott against the company.
The National Park Service has acknowledged that that more than 250 tule elk died inside the fenced Pierce Point Elk Preserve at California’s Point Reyes National Seashore from 2012 to 2014, likely due to lack of access to year-round water. While nearly half the elk inside the fenced area died, free-roaming Point Reyes elk herds with access to water increased by nearly a third during the same period.
Activists in Oakland came out in the hundreds to rally and march for a $15 minimum wage on April 15, tax day. They started their protests by shutting down all thirteen McDonald's restaurants in Oakland with chanting, flash mobs and and banners. Later in the day, over one thousand participants from Fight for $15 actions all over the San Francisco Bay area converged at Sproul Plaza in UC Berkeley. Protesters then marched through Berkeley main streets, snarling traffic, and stopping at the downtown McDonald's.
On April 15, urban farmers from the UC Gill Tract Community Farm, Occupy the Farm, other food and climate justice communities, and fast food workers joined together at an Oakland McDonalds for Fight for Fifteen protest. By noon, fast food workers and Gill Tract farmers joined for a Boycott Sprouts action at the grand opening of a Sprouts “Farmers Market” in San Rafael to protest the supermarket’s plans to pave the historic Gill Tract Farm in Albany. The action at the San Rafael Sprouts is the third in the last month.
Sheriff Jim Hart is making an emergency requisition to install and iron fence in order to close off the area of the Santa Cruz County Main Jail's parking lot that is most commonly used by community members for public assembly and political demonstrations. Hart has specifically stated that recent political demonstrations held at the jail are the reason for building the new fence. In response, activists are calling for the community to pack the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 21 when the proposal will be voted on.
On April 14, a call to end business as usual to stop police killings brought demonstrations and protests from coast to coast. In San Francisco protesters took to the streets in La Mission and on the steps of City Hall. At least two hundred protesters went to City Hall and disrupted the Board of Supervisors meeting, chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police." Simultaneous actions took place in Oakland and Stockton, too.
On April 14, the Salinas City Council voted to approve the purchase of enough body cameras to outfit every officer in the Salinas Police Department. On April 9, the Capitola City Council unanimously voted to approve a request from their police department to use $100,501.31 in Supplemental Law Enforcement State Funds (SLESF) to purchase a dual video system for police vehicles and body cameras. The National Lawyers Guild and other groups caution that there are many unresolved legal and civil rights issues regarding the police use of Personal Digital Recording Devices (PDRDs).
On April 13, a group gathered at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse in support of Alix Tichelman, the woman charged with killing a Google executive named Forrest Hayes in 2013. Dozens of pamphlets were handed out in front of the courthouse detailing the case against Alix. Her parents personally thanked the group for their presence. Free Alix! writes: She is being unfairly railroaded into jail for an accident that was not her fault.
According to the environmental group EcoRights, polluted industrial drainage water is entering into Elkhorn Slough from the Pick-n-Pull auto-wrecking yard in Moss Landing. In response, the group has initiated a petition calling on the County of Monterey to require a Environmental Impacts analysis, and to require the business to relocate if it cannot operate without polluting the Slough and harming resident species.
The annual Walk to Stop the Silence was launched nine years ago in order to break through the silence surrounding the issue of sexual abuse and provide a healing space for survivors. The event is always well-attended, but this year, on April 11, the crowd was noticeably packed with families and young people whose energy led the walk with chants such as, "Walk to Stop the Silence!" and "Sí se puede!"
In response to a 2012 petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and several renowned scientists and herpetologists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on April 9 that Endangered Species Act protection may be warranted for the western pond turtle. The agency will now conduct a one-year status review on the turtle, which faces declines of up to 99 percent in some areas. “Threats like habitat destruction from urbanization and agriculture are driving western pond turtles toward extinction,” said Collette Adkins, a Center biologist and lawyer.
As soon as April 16, the East Bay Zoological Society can begin sectioning off the combined seventy-seven acre “California Trail” and mitigation sites from public access behind an 8-foot chain-link barbed wire fence. On March 27, fifty people assembled to inaugurate a direct action campaign against the “California Trail” project that would expand the Oakland Zoo into the undeveloped 400-acre region known as Huchiun to Ohlone people, commonly referred to as Knowland Park.
On March 9, U.S. Marshals chased the wrong man, leading to Jabari Shaw, a friend, and his daughter getting into a car crash in East Oakland. All three were hospitalized. Initial media reports labeled the “suspect” as a “violent fugitive.” Activists quickly mobilized to counter that story when the man turned out to be Jabari Shaw, a college student, father, and well known anti-police brutality activist. With hospital bills mounting, friends and supporters held a fundraiser at East Side Cultural Center on March 29.
The six UCSC students arrested in association with the March 3 blockade of Highway 1 where it meets Highway 17 in Santa Cruz returned to court on April 8. A prosecutor indicated the District Attorney's office will not offer them a plea deal to reduce misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and creating a public nuisance. The Santa Cruz DA also desires a restitution amount of $19,000 be paid. Additionally, UCSC has suspended the students until the Spring of 2016.
A new report released by Californians for Pesticide Reform asserts that fumigant pesticides are an outdated, toxic technology that undermines soil health, and safe replacements are needed to grow food on the Central Coast of California. The report examines data that revealed cancer-causing chloropicrin is in the air where Monterey County children live and play, and shares monitoring results that confirm chloropicrin in the city of Watsonville’s air poses an increased cancer risk, despite state required “safer tarps” and "buffer zones".
Afrika Town is a community garden in what was long a vacant lot in Oakland next to the Qilombo social center. On March 26, the landowner came with a bulldozer to raze the garden, backed up by Oakland police officers. Activists quickly gathered and were able to convince the landowner to return a week later. On April 3, dozens of community members turned out to defend the garden. The owner backed down, giving Afrika Town the opportunity to buy the land. Afrika Town is now in dire need of funds to survive.
On March 30, Mumia Abu-Jamal collapsed in the prison infirmary at SCI Mahanoy from diabetic shock before being hospitalized in the ICU at Schuylkill Medical Center. Despite his serious condition, he was transferred back to the prison just two days later. The National Lawyers Guild is calling for immediate and independent medical attention for him, and on Friday, April 10, community members in Oakland will participate in a National Day to "Stand Up for Mumia" at the Federal Building.
The only oil company to sue San Benito County over a local ban on fracking and other high-intensity petroleum operations announced on April 6 it has dropped its lawsuit, leaving the voter-approved ordinance in place. Citadel Exploration’s decision to dismiss its own case means that local fracking bans in California face no remaining active legal challenges, despite threats from the oil industry.
Community members opposing the City of Monterey's new sit-lie ban held their third sit-in on Alvarado Street on April 3. Individuals with Direct Action Monterey Network (DAMN) and other supporters returned to the same location of the previous two demonstrations and faced increased pressure from business owners, who expressed more aggressively their desire for the group to either move the location of their gathering, or leave the downtown area altogether and stop protesting.
Holding plastic “torches” and “pitchforks,” activists formed human barricades at both entrances to the Nestlé Waters bottling plant in Sacramento at 5:00 a.m. on March 20, effectively shutting down the company's operations for the day. Members of the “Crunch Nestlé Alliance" shouted out a number of chants, including ”We got to fight for our right to water,” “Nestlé, Stop It, Water Not For Profit," and “¿Agua Para Quien? Para Nuestra Gente.” The protesters stayed until about 1 pm, but there were no arrests.
On the grassy lawn in front of Hewlett Packard headquarters, demonstrators held a "virtual" meeting dubbed "The People's Shareholders Meeting" on March 18. Board members in silk-screened HP insignia ties joined a Meg Whitman character in blonde wig. CEO Whitman fielded questions about the company's complicity in Israel's oppression of Palestine from a group on lawn chairs portraying shareholders. Testifiers, including two Israeli citizens, spoke to the shareholders from a mock podium.
On March 28 in Monterey, about 75 people joined a broad coalition of activists in a rally and march starting at the Monterey Wharf to protest white supremacist police brutality in Salinas and nationwide. Thirty protesters marched to Highway One, blocked all four southbound lanes, and closed the highway for 45 minutes. Eight people in total were arrested. The action was organized in the context of the killing of five unarmed Latino men since March 2014 by white Salinas police officers: Angel Ruiz; Osman Hernandez; Carlos Mejia; Frank Alvarado, Jr.; and Jaime Garcia.

05/01/15 May Day Includes Labor, Immigrant Rights, Anti-Police-Terror, Anti-Gentrification Actions     labor
04/30/15 Police Allow Yuvette Henderson's Family to View Video, But Critical Moments Not Available     police | race | womyn
04/23/15 After Three Deaths, Assaults and Thefts, New Group Presses Tulare Council to Take Action     police | poverty | centralvalley | government
04/23/15 Paramount Farms Uses as Much Water for Almonds as 38M Californians Required to Conserve     environment | centralvalley | california | government
04/22/15 Workers Employed by Driscoll's Suppliers Demand Higher Wages and Legally Required Benefits     labor | international | santacruz
04/22/15 Community Raises Funds for Long-time Oakland Anti-Police Brutality Activist Jabari Shaw     police | race
04/20/15 Park Service Considering Ranch Plan to Remove Free-Roaming Tule Elk Herds     northbay | animalliberation
04/19/15 Gill Tract, Occupy the Farm Activists Continue Campaign to Stop Sprouts from Paving Land     environment | labor | education | northbay
04/19/15 Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Marin Workers, Unions, and Allies Demand $15 Minimum Wage     labor | southbay | northbay
04/18/15 Sheriff Hart Requests $47,925 to Fence Out Protesters from Santa Cruz County Jail     police | santacruz
04/18/15 Community Members Reach Out to Those Victimized by Childhood Sexual Abuse     poverty | santacruz
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May Day 2015 in San Francisco HANNA QUEVEDO
Tuesday May 5th 12:31 AM
Rally to #SaveE12th - Public Land for Public Good! Eastlake United for Justice (1 comment)
Tuesday May 5th 12:13 AM
Demonstration at Mission Dolores Opposes Sainthood for Junipero Serra Alex Darocy (1 comment)
Monday May 4th 10:06 PM
EPA Cites Bakersfield Oil Train Terminal for Clean Air Act Violations Center for Biological Diversity
Monday May 4th 5:20 PM
The Tech Commute Did Not Take Place Fireworks
Monday May 4th 2:51 PM
Budget Cut Impact Survey Assesses Effects on Education at UCSC via UCSC Faculty Association
Monday May 4th 2:10 PM
Stealing Parking Spaces From the Homeless Robert Norse (1 comment)
Monday May 4th 1:08 PM
Hwy 6 court appearance. Tuesday Apr 28th, 2015 Brent Adams (2 comments)
Monday May 4th 3:05 AM
2015 SF Tenant Rights Fair – Tenants speak out on eviction fights Rubble (1 comment)
Sunday May 3rd 10:59 AM
Scenes from ILWU Led May Day in Oakland Jonathan Nack (1 comment)
Saturday May 2nd 4:40 PM
May 1st March and Rally: Timely Topics in Mountain View R. Robertson
Saturday May 2nd 1:42 AM
No Keystone XL: Hillary's Donor Dinner Demo Amy Allen
Saturday May 2nd 12:29 AM
Native Lives Matter Banner Drop at Mission Dolores #NoSainthoodforSerra
Friday May 1st 11:45 PM
May Day 2015 in Fresno Mike Rhodes
Friday May 1st 10:04 PM
Tech Commute Shut Down at MacArthur BART! Invisible Committee (4 comments)
Friday May 1st 3:55 PM
More Local News...
On the End of Capitalism Ulrike Herrmann
Monday May 4th 8:37 AM
Mideast Migraines - Science Can Now Spot Trolls Ren Tawil
Sunday May 3rd 3:28 PM
This Week in Palestine, May 1st, 2015 IMEMC
Saturday May 2nd 1:00 PM
Mideast Migraines - Interview with Bruce Gould Ren Tawil
Saturday May 2nd 10:47 AM
Court Challenge Filed to Stop Uranium Mining Next to Grand Canyon National Park Center for Biological Diversity
Thursday Apr 30th 11:38 PM
World Bank and IMF Announce $1.1 Billion in Debt Relief for Chad Sophia Har, Jubilee USA Network
Thursday Apr 30th 8:54 AM
Myths of Free Trade: Attac Refutes TTIP Arguments Attac.de (1 comment)
Wednesday Apr 29th 2:57 PM
Chumash Nation Honors Mission Ancestors and Opposes Serra Sainthood via AIM Southern California (1 comment)
Wednesday Apr 29th 2:01 PM
This Week in Palestine, April 24th, 2015 IMEMC
Sunday Apr 26th 11:38 AM
Federal Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Slaughter of American Horses via Animal Welfare Institute
Saturday Apr 25th 11:48 PM
More Global News...
Press Freedom Banned in Ukraine Stephen Lendman
Tuesday May 5th 12:29 PM
Israeli Soldiers Break the Silence on Gaza War Stephen Lendman
Tuesday May 5th 3:42 AM
Leon Panetta Linked to Corinthian "Colleges" Bankruptcy George Washington (2 comments)
Monday May 4th 11:06 PM
Mideast Migraines - WP, Twisted Easter-Egg Hunt Ren Tawil
Monday May 4th 2:52 PM
Know The Brand Names of Water Thief Nestle's Luminescent
Monday May 4th 2:50 PM
US-Dominated NATO Readying for War on Russia? Stephen Lendman
Monday May 4th 11:57 AM
US Wars Kill Mostly Civilians Stephen Lendman
Monday May 4th 4:01 AM
Racist Israeli Policies Target Arabs and Ethiopian Jews Stephen Lendman
Monday May 4th 3:44 AM
Mideast Migraines - WP, From Jericho To Hebron Ren Tawil
Sunday May 3rd 3:15 PM
Vietnam suffered so much Ted Rudow III, MA
Sunday May 3rd 1:41 PM
Sí hay salida Carlos Ortiz de Zárate
Sunday May 3rd 10:09 AM
Jimmy Carter Calls Gaza Conditions "Intolerable" Stephen Lendman
Sunday May 3rd 5:37 AM
Ukraine: A US-Supported Fascist Cancer in Europe's Heartland Stephen Lendman
Sunday May 3rd 4:55 AM
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