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Rallies have been held around the world in opposition to Israel's recent air strikes on Gaza and the collective punishment carried out against the Palestinian people living there and in the West Bank. In Northern California, demonstrations have been held in San Francisco, Salinas, and Santa Cruz. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), as of July 20, 460 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8.
In response to the killing of Frank Alvarado, the Direct Action Monterey Network called for a rally on July 12 in East Salinas against police violence. Frank's sister Angélica Garza spoke, saying she wanted justice for "Frankie" and "he had a big heart." For the duration of the rally, Frank's niece held a sign that read "Stop Police Brutality. Justice For My Uncle!"
On July 10 at around 5am, two officers with the Salinas Police Department shot and killed Frank Alvarado at a private home in Salinas. Frank was well known in Santa Cruz, where he recently spoke out against California prison expansion at a rally in May. His killing was the fourth use of lethal force since March 21 by officers with the SPD, and all of the killings have occurred in East Salinas neighborhoods.
Direct Action Monterey Network has announced the group will be celebrating Bastille Day and launching the Monterey chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross. On Monday, July 14 a launch party will be held on Del Monte Beach in Monterey, and on Tuesday, July 15 a letter writing party will be held to support political prisoners in California's jail and prison systems.
Community members in Santa Cruz gathered once again along busy Ocean Street to greet this year's Independence Day beach tourists with a message of peace as they drove into town. The weather was warm and traffic was bumper to bumper as long-time anti-war activists lined the streets holding signs and greeting people. The rally is an annual event in Santa Cruz.
In solidarity with Brazilians protesting the FIFA Would Cup, on June 29 a group of 12 queer radicals blockaded the Google FIFA Float at the San Francisco Pride Parade. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to connect issues of gentrification and evictions in the Bay Area with the violent displacement of Brazilians who live in the Favelas. The Google/FIFA float was a perfect target for direct action to raise awareness about these issues!" A further solidarity demonstration is set for Thursday, July 3 at the Brazilian Counsulate.
On June 28, Kink.com sponsored an official San Francisco Pride event called “Pride at the Armory." It was a prison-themed dance party that invited attendees to “get incarcerated.” Gay Shame and LAGAI – Queer Insurrection called for a march to disrupt and shut down Pride at the Armory. After the Kink protest, at least seven people were arrested, including a National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer at 16th and Mission streets. Several protesters were tackled, beaten, and bloodied by SFPD.
The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to log 661 million board feet of timber in the area burned by the Rim fire last summer in California’s Stanislaus National Forest. The new proposal would sell almost four times the timber volume sold by the Forest Service in the entire state of California in 2013. It would ignore longstanding rules protecting old-growth trees and destroy habitat for roughly 60 percent of imperiled black-backed woodpeckers.
After two and a half years of protests at La Playa Carmel, former workers who lost their jobs in 2011 continue to return to the hotel to walk the picket line and protest. At a rally held at the expensive, Carmel-by-the-Sea area hotel on June 20, two of those in attendance were former workers who had each been employed at La Playa for over 20 years before losing their jobs. "We continue to fight La Playa to make sure that employers around this area don't try to hurt us," union organizer Hector Azpilcueta said.
On the afternoon of June 24, a group of activists set up tents and banners in front of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The protester’s demanded that Google engage in a conversation about what the company should be doing in the fight for Net Neutrality. The activists claim Google could be doing a lot more, and started the camp-out to apply pressure. Late in the night, ten activists, including a journalist who was livestreaming the event, were arrested for trespassing.
In a move that stunned but was welcomed by long-time opponents, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) suspended the permit for the Caltrans Willits Bypass on Friday, June 20. The project has been highly contested, with Native American involvement and over 50 arrests last year. “This appears to be the first time ACE has ever pulled a permit on an approved project under construction,” said Ellen Drell, co-founder of the Willits Environmental Center, one of the project’s opponents.
On June 10, activists rallied in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San José to protest the unjust prosecution of 66-year-old Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh. Last October, Homeland Security agents arrested Odeh after the Department of Justice charged her with “unlawful procurement of naturalization.” The Obama administration’s filing of these charges could result in her being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported.
An energetic life celebration and march through Santa Rosa was held on June 7 for Andy Lopez, who would have celebrated his 14th birthday earlier in the week if he had not been shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22. Young people were abundant at the birthday celebration. Some who appeared to be not much more than elementary school age could be seen helping organize the proceedings, with many guardians simply watching and playing more of a background role.
A large and militant protest was held in Fresno on June 16 after a young man was shot 17 times by two Fresno Police officers on June 11. 100 people protesting the shooting held a rally, attempted to see mayor Ashley Swearengin, and then marched to police headquarters. It was a spirited event, which included several of the family members of the man who was shot 17 times. The protesters demanded changes at the Fresno Police Department (FPD) that would lead to fewer officer involved shootings (OIS).
In response to the recent threat of U.S. military attacks in Iraq, community members in Santa Cruz held a vigil for the Iraqi people on June 23 at the Town Clock. Those who participated in the vigil are calling for nonviolent diplomacy, reparation and repairs, no military intervention in Iraq, and an end to weapons sales in the Middle East. "We are sick and tired of violence being thought of as a way to prevent violence," Marjorie Langdon said at the vigil.
After a court hearing on June 3, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office faces disqualification and the remaining four Santa Cruz Eleven defendants are left without a trial date. The case continues to cost tax payers thousands, and the defendants continue to fight the charges. Their attorneys have filed a motion to recuse the Santa Cruz District Attorney's office from the case based on bias stemming from DA Bob Lee's financial relationship to the "victim" of the case Wells Fargo.
California is experiencing a serious drought and the corporate media is filled with recommendations on how to save water: Switch to dry landscaping; don't run water when you are shaving or brushing your teeth; install low­-flow shower­heads; and don't wash your car. All those ideas would help, but much less than people think. An astounding 93% of California's water goes to agriculture.
On June 18, Tony Serrano stood before the Half Moon Bay City Council to demand justice for his sister, Yanira Serrano Garcia. Yanira was killed by San Mateo County Sheriff's deputy Menh Trieu on June 3 when she was having a health crisis outside of her home at the Moonridge housing complex. The Serrano family and their supporters are asking the Half Moon Bay City Council to support a number of resolutions, including one that calls for a transparent criminal investigation into the killing of the 18-year-old.
Following the release in May of the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury report on jail medical care and conditions, one juror reported he was “shocked” at the lax oversight and poor communication between jail staff and medical personnel that led to five deaths in the facility during the past 11 months. While the "normal" mortality rate is around 125 per 100,000 inmates, Santa Cruz County's rate was 10 times that number during that period.
AshEl writes, "The movement to create healthy communities begins with appreciation. We want to create a day where we not only express gratitude to the hardworking people who put food on our plates, but also educate the community about the connections between food, climate change, and health. Farmworker Appreciation Day will be held on Sunday, June 15, (Father’s Day) at Closter Park in Salinas, from 11 - 3pm."
Following the SPD killing of Carlos Mejia on May 20, residents have struggled against the powers that be in Salinas. On May 25, local politicians and non-profit groups worked to quiet anti-police sentiment at the large march and statewide mobilization against police brutality held in East Salinas. On May 27, the family of Mejia filed a wrongful death legal claim against the City of Salinas, and a May 31 counter-protest was held at a pro-police rally organized by retired SPD officers and law enforcement families.
Recently, students at UC Santa Cruz reported to the NAACP that two incidents of "serious racial bullying" had occurred on the university's campus. In response, the Santa Cruz Branch of the NAACP together with the UCSC Women's Center organized a "March and Prayer Vigil to Stop Hate Crimes and Racial Bullying in Our Community" on May 29. Community members, including students from UCSC, marched down Pacific Avenue and to the Town Clock where songs were sung and a prayer vigil was held.
At approximately 2:45am on May 28, the University of California, Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly (SUA) passed a resolution calling for divestment from companies that profit from Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians with a majority vote of 22-14. While official discussion of the Divestment Bill was scheduled at 11pm, a SUA member motioned at approximately 8:15 to indefinitely table the bill. The motion failed, and the Divestment testimonials were initiated at 11:30pm.
On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.
On May 20, officers with the Salinas Police Department shot and killed Carlos Mejia outside of a bakery at the corner of Del Monte and Sanborn. They said he posed a threat because he was carrying garden shears. The killing was preceded by the SPD killing of Osman Hernandez at Mi Pueblo Market on May 9, and Angel Ruiz on March 20. Angel was shot by three Salinas Police Officers simultaneously in a Wing Stop parking lot. A video of the Carlos Mejia killing went viral, and on May 21 hundreds of people took to the streets of Salinas in response.
DefendTheBulb writes: In Solidarity with People whose homes are threatened, In Honor of unpermitted public Art, In Defense of spaces free and wild everywhere, To Keep the Albany Bulb Natural and unlandscaped, To Preserve Habitat for Birds, Insects, and other migratory Animals, including Humans, We Declare the Bulb an Autonomous Zone , a space where Art and Music continue to flourish, where People assemble Freely, where Dogs run unleashed, and where long-term Residents can continue to maintain and improve their Homesteads.
Residents and representatives of community organizations in Santa Cruz rallied outside of the court house on May 14 to voice their strong opposition to the Governor's May revise budget, which calls for an increase in spending for jail and prison expansion. According to Californians United for A Responsible Budget (CURB), spending on corrections in the state will rise 2.9%, and total spending on prisons will top $12 billion if the budget revision is adopted. Similar rallies were also held in San Francisco, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio visited Mountain View, CA on May 6 to speak to an ultra-conservative group. At one point Arpaio approached protesters, some of whom said to him, "we don't want your hate here." Street theater demonstrators impersonated the sheriff and ICE federal agents in a skit near the entrance to the hall where the sheriff spoke.
Scott Olsen's skull was shattered and part of his brain destroyed when an OPD officer shot him in the head with a Specialty Impact Munition (SIM) at a 2011 Occupy Oakland demonstration. As he lay critically injured on the pavement, an OPD officer threw a CS Blast grenade onto him — a teargas device that explodes with a flash of light and loud bang. A new petition demands that OPD be prohibited from using SIMs and CS Blast grenades at demonstrations and other crowd events.
Terri Kay of Workers World writes: The Bay Area Rapid Transit police have achieved notoriety once again, this time with the brutalization of Nubia Bowe, a diminutive 19-year-old Black woman. The brutality continued at the hands of Alameda County sheriff deputies once Bowe arrived at the Santa Rita, Calif., jail. Workers World interviewed Bowe and her godmother, Carroll Fife, about Bowe’s ordeal at the hands of police.
President Obama was in Mountain View on May 9 to promote initiatives that expand solar energy use. He had special praise for Walmart because it uses some forms of alternative energy. Labor advocates protested outside the megastore where the president spoke, saying that Walmart is anti-union, keeps workers' wages low, and provides few benefits.

07/16/14 Protests in East Salinas Resume Following Fourth Police Killing     police | santacruz
07/16/14 Hundreds of Palestinians, Including Whole Families, Have Been Killed in Gaza Since July 8     palestine
07/11/14 Frank Alvarado, Killed by SPD, Spoke in Santa Cruz Against Prison Expansion     police | santacruz
07/07/14 Letter Writing Group to Focus on Political Prisoners in the California Prison System     police | santacruz
07/07/14 Santa Cruz Anti-War Community Returns to Ocean Street for Annual Independence Day Rally     antiwar | santacruz
07/02/14 SF Queer Anarchists Blockade the Google/FIFA Pride Float In Solidarity with Brazilians     poverty | lgbtqi | international
07/01/14 Carmel Demonstrations Help Labor Union Achieve Victories Across the Monterey Bay     labor | santacruz
07/01/14 Activists Look to DOI to Set Timeline for Business to Remove Operations from Drakes Estero     environment | northbay
06/30/14 Protest of Kink.com Prison-Themed Dance Party Leads to Violence and Arrests by SFPD     lgbtqi
06/30/14 Forest Service Proposes Massive Salvage Logging Project in California's Rim Fire Area     environment | california
06/29/14 Ten Arrested at Google Headquarters Asking for Dialogue in Battle for Net Neutrality     globalization | peninsula
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"Free Palestine" rally in Fresno, CA Dylan Donnelly
Monday Jul 21st 4:43 PM
Protestors Block Freeway 101 Demanding Justice for Andy Lopez Dylan Donnelly
Monday Jul 21st 4:04 PM
Updated List of Santa Cruz Police Department Personnel SCPD (posted by Norse) (1 comment)
Monday Jul 21st 12:18 PM
Free Palestine Rally in San Francisco - Part 2 Bill Carpenter
Monday Jul 21st 11:53 AM
Occupy Santa Cruz to Mark Third Anniversary One Occupier (1 comment)
Monday Jul 21st 11:22 AM
Department of Conservation stops injection of fracking waste Dan Bacher (2 comments)
Sunday Jul 20th 4:51 PM
Protest at Whole Foods in Palo Alto: Boycott Eden Foods Raging Grannies Action League
Saturday Jul 19th 7:06 PM
Section 8 tenants are guinea pigs for Oakland nonprofit, in rent reform study Lynda Carson (1 comment)
Saturday Jul 19th 6:59 AM
Boycott Israel Protesters die-in at HP Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto BDS Now (1 comment)
Friday Jul 18th 9:18 PM
Affordable Housing eric
Friday Jul 18th 2:07 PM
Frivolous Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Company Amy Trainer (1 comment)
Friday Jul 18th 1:02 PM
Protest US/Israel Invasion & Massacre of Gaza (1 comment)
Thursday Jul 17th 8:37 PM
Shasta County Board votes to Investigate "Chemtrails" Beeline (1 comment)
Thursday Jul 17th 6:45 PM
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Monday Jul 21st 2:48 PM
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Monday Jul 21st 11:31 AM
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Sunday Jul 20th 8:07 PM
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Saturday Jul 19th 2:55 PM
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Saturday Jul 19th 4:26 AM
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Friday Jul 18th 7:51 PM
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Friday Jul 18th 7:12 AM
Human shield reports from El-Wafa Hospital in Gaza Indyradio (9 comments)
Wednesday Jul 16th 1:50 AM
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Monday Jul 21st 7:59 PM
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Monday Jul 21st 5:02 PM
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Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer's patrol car set on fire BoNhia Lee
Monday Jul 21st 8:45 AM
The Abiding Economics of John Kenneth Galbraith Marc Lee and James Galbraith
Saturday Jul 19th 3:22 PM
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Friday Jul 18th 11:36 AM
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Friday Jul 18th 9:31 AM
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Thursday Jul 17th 11:14 PM
The Shortwave Report 07/18/14 Listen Globally! Dan Roberts
Thursday Jul 17th 2:57 PM
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Thursday Jul 17th 1:24 PM
Israelis Watch as Gaza is Bombed KL
Wednesday Jul 16th 8:31 PM
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Monday Jul 14th 5:30 PM
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