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Miguel Masso was hired by the Oakland Police after leaving his job in New York City in 2007 in the wake of a torture lawsuit. After killing Alan Blueford in 2012, Masso resigned from the Oakland Police Department in late spring of 2014 in the aftermath of the lawsuit brought by the Blueford family against the City of Oakland. He quickly found another job with the Hollister Police Department in August of 2014. Now, after being pulled over by Masso on January 27, 2017, Hollister resident Earl Malanado was physically and verbally abused by Masso. Malanado believes he barely escaped with his life.
Mike Zint & JP Massar write: What does it take to get off the streets? Money? Affordable housing? Employment? Of course the answer is yes, but none of those things is the first step. The first step is stability. Stability that the housed take for granted. A lack of stability means the homeless barely survive. Figuring out how to exist with no sense of safety and security and nowhere to go, worrying about the police yet having committed no crime, takes all that someone has. Sometimes it’s too much and a short note appears in a local paper.
In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. The widespread decline of European honeybees has been well documented in recent years, but until now much less has been revealed about the 4,337 native bee species in North America and Hawaii. The new analysis reveals that more than 700 species are in trouble from a range of serious threats.
The YARR (Your Allied Rapid Response) Open House and Legal Observer Training on March 11 attracted a crowd of nearly 150 people to hear about how they could be part of the Rapid Response Team of Sanctuary Santa Cruz, supporting community members who are targets of an ICE raid or other forms of harassment or bullying. Three attorneys from the Immigrant Liberation Movement (ILM) conducted a training based on their work in three Bay Area Counties now networked in a Rapid Response System. YARR was formed in December 2016 shortly after the election cycle as an outgrowth of Sanctuary Santa Cruz.
Left wing activists, in partnership with tech employees, staged a rally against White House policies on March 14 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in Palo Alto. The demonstration was attended by hundreds of people. Speakers at the four hour "Tech Stands Up" rally called for inclusion, diversity, and civil liberties. Tech Stands Up is an organization of people in the tech world who object to the Trump administration’s alt-right policies, and wants tech company leaders to speak out against the White House's discriminatory actions.
On March 13, a judge in the US District Court in Oakland denied a motion to dismiss charges in the case of Yuvette Henderson, a 38-year-old woman killed by Emeryville police on February 3, 2015. Henderson’s family is seeking damages from the Emeryville police department for wrongful death, as well as changes to city policies on police use of force. The motion filed by the Emeryville police department claimed there was nothing for a jury to decide in the lawsuit, because officers Michelle Shepard and Warren Williams had a reasonable fear for their safety. Monday’s ruling means the lawsuit will go forward.
Anti-homeless architecture is common in Santa Cruz, including hi-frequency Mosquito Boxes in parks, removing planter boxes and free speech zones on Pacific, replacing the City Hall lawn with gravel and rocks, and now the ugly chain link fencing at the historic downtown post office. On March 11 and 12, Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs decorated the anti-homeless fence at the post office to make it more attractive. Signs, toys, toothpaste and toothbrushes, socks, soap, clothes, shoes, flowers, and strips of fabric were weaved through the links of the fence.
On March 8, striking community members marched through downtown Santa Cruz in solidarity with Women's Strikes organized around the world on International Women's Day as a follow up to the massive Women's Marches held on January 21, 2017, the day after the Inauguration of Trump. One group participating in the March 8 demonstration was the UCSC March Collective, who invited people of all genders to join the action, stating, "We strike because we can't afford not to care."
On March 11, 2017, videos were uploaded to social media showing police in Vallejo, California brutalizing an individual who may have been experiencing mental health issues. The incident took place Friday, March 10 on Fairgrounds Drive in front of the Valero gas station. The Vallejo police officer captured on video punching and bashing with a flashlight has been identified as Spencer Bottomley, an ex-Marine. Bottomley was named in a strikingly similar brutality case, Derrick Lamoris Shields vs. City of Vallejo, for an incident on the night of April 11, 2016. According to the statement of claims, five Vallejo police officers "violated Plaintiff's rights [...] when they subjected Plaintiff to excessive and/deadly force and assault and battery."
Fri Mar 10 2017 (Updated 03/12/17)
Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference
ROAR, aka the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference, is a free two-day event, organized by Northern California Anti-Racist Action, that will be held on Ohlone Territory March 11 at OMNI Commons in Oakland and March 12th at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Organizers write: During these times more and more attention is being paid to those of us who use direct action and hold liberatory and revolutionary politics. We can use this moment not only to inspire others through our actions, but to also inspire with our ideas.
On March 8, International Women's Day events are scheduled for Berkeley/Albany, Oakland, San Francisco, Cupertino, Santa Cruz and throughout Northern California. A diverse group of radical feminists issuing a call-out for an international women's strike write: In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights. Let us use the occasion to build a feminism for the 99%, a grassroots, anti-capitalist feminism – a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families and their allies throughout the world.
Keith McHenry writes: The most common government response to the suffering of those being forced into homelessness is the passage of laws against being homeless. Laws against sleeping, sitting, asking for money, living outside, or what officials call “quality of life crimes” make this bad situation even worse, and make the lives of homeless men, women, and children even more miserable. Another aspect of this punitive response to homelessness is passage of laws prohibiting the public sharing of meals with the hungry. The hope is that hiding from public view the problem of homelessness will make it go away.
Two Bay Area Air Quality Management District employees charge in a new lawsuit that they were bullied, retaliated against, and fired for exposing the illegal destruction of agency documents that are required to be maintained for a record of the violations of air pollution laws by corporations. They say they had tried to stop the destruction of the documents but that the agency's top managers continued to engage in destroying citations, compliance records, and settlement agreements for air pollution control violations by major companies like Chevron, Shell, Tosco, Pacific Steel Casting, and many other companies.
Thu Mar 2 2017 (Updated 03/06/17)
Anaheim Erupts After Off-Duty Cop Shoots at Students
The city of Anaheim in Southern California erupted in youth protest on February 22 after Kevin Ferguson, an off-duty LAPD police officer detained a 13-year-old male, dragging him by the collar across a yard, and pulling him over hedges in front of the police officer’s home, before pulling out a gun and firing it into a crowd of students. Soon after the shooting happened, a crowd gathered outside of the officer’s home, taking to the streets while riot police were stationed around the home in order to protect the officer who was inside.
Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary City. Following the DHS/ICE raids in Santa Cruz on February 13, SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel claimed the department cooperated with DHS only because they thought the raids were to target violent gang members, and that DHS lied about their intention to detain non-criminal undocumented individuals. During deliberations to strengthen the status of Santa Cruz as a Sanctuary City at the February 28 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, however, members of the public pressured Vogel to admit that an ICE/DHS agent has not only been working closely with, but even given office space by the Santa Cruz Police Department since 2009, and was involved in the recent raids in some capacity.
A coalition of social justice activists demonstrated with signs, banners, and flyers outside the annual RSA cyber-security conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco on February 14 and 15, educating attendees and the public about how Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) enables and profits from Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, and from racist immigration and incarceration policies in the United States. HPE is a platinum sponsor and participant in the annual RSA Conference. The protests followed last month’s Global Day of Action against HP, with over 150 demonstrations in over 60 countries around the world
About 500 people participated in the Sanctuary for All march in downtown Fresno on February 18. In their call out for the march, organizers wrote: This is the first of many responses to our Mayor’s press conference. Our undocumented community is telling us that they DO NOT feel safe after the press conference. Our county Sheriff continues a close partnership with ICE. We are committed to a Fresno culture that emphasizes the dignity and safety of every Fresnan. We will show that Fresno is a sanctuary community, and communicate to our elected officials that we expect policies and structures that represent our values!
White nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on the first day of Black history month in a building named after Martin Luther King, Jr. The event on February 1 was cancelled after a large protest erupted outside the Student Union where he was set to speak. Within weeks, a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos spoke favorably of men having sex with boys and against the concept of consent. Now, Yiannopoulos is facing widespread backlash, leading to the cancellation of upcoming speaking gigs and the publication of his book. Yiannopoulos also resigned his position as an editor at Breitbart News.
On February 16, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced his office will not file charges against Erik Bailey, the Santa Cruz Police Department officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Sean Smith-Arlt on October 16, 2016. SCPD Officers Erik Bailey and Adam Baker were the first officers to be dispatched to a house on Chase Street that evening after residents called to report a disturbance at the home. When police arrived they say they confronted Sean, who was advancing towards them with a gardening rake. Within 20 seconds they deemed him a threat and opened fire on him.
What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
Wed Feb 15 2017 (Updated 03/21/17)
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One Third
The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released on February 9 confirms Monarch numbers fell by nearly one-third from last year’s count, indicating an ongoing risk of extinction for America’s most well-known butterfly. Scientists report that this year’s population is down by 27 percent from last year’s count, and down by more than 80 percent from the mid-1990s. A survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in California shows that the Western population has not rebounded. On the West Coast of California, key sites such as Pismo Beach and Natural Bridges saw lower populations this year than in the prior year.
On January 26, Fordham University reaffirmed its ban on Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In a letter to civil rights groups, Fordham stated its decision to ban SJP was made because the group had a “singular focus of which is the political agenda of one nation,” “is more akin to a lobbying organization,” and that SJPs on other campuses were “disruptive.” Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) wrote Fordham, stating the university “misconstrues the facts, misunderstands the law, and ignores Fordham’s contractual obligations to respect students’ freedom of expression.”
The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers in California's Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approval of these "aquifer exemption" applications by the Environmental Protection Agency gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies. California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.
03/27/17 After Being Arrested by Miguel Masso, Hollister Man Feels He Barely Escaped with His Life frontpage | police | race | southbay | eastbay | california | santacruz03/27/17 First They Came for the Homeless Calls Attention to the Plight of the Homeless frontpage | police | healthhousing | eastbay03/20/17 YARR Training Attracts Crowd of Santa Cruz Supporters for Rapid Response System frontpage | immigrant | santacruz03/20/17 "Tech Stands Up" Rally Calls on Company Leaders to Speak Out for Diversity & Civil Rights frontpage | labor | peninsula | government03/20/17 Threats to Native Bees Include Severe Habitat Loss and Escalating Pesticide Use frontpage | environment | california | us03/20/17 Community Support Remains Strong as Yuvette Henderson Lawsuit Goes Forward frontpage | police | race | eastbay03/14/17 Anti-Homeless Architecture is Widespread in Downtown Santa Cruz frontpage | healthhousing | santacruz03/13/17 Gender Strikes Organized Internationally as Follow-Up to Women's Marches frontpage | labor | globaljustice | lgbtqi | womyn | santacruz03/12/17 Vallejo Cop Spencer Bottomley Assaults Person Who Had Sat Down and Surrendered frontpage | police | northbay03/10/17 Conference Aims to Build Anti-Racist Front Against Oppression and Capitalism in Bay Area frontpage | police | race | globaljustice | lgbtqi | womyn | sf | eastbay | immigrant03/03/17 Janet Fardette of Leveelies Pushes the Idea that “Street Feeding” Keeps People Homeless frontpage | healthhousing | globaljustice | santacruz
Good Friday Witness Ecumenical Peace Institute and LCP Wednesday Mar 29th 8:49 PM
How Battles Over Sacred Sites Have Revived Ohlone Culture East Bay Yesterday Wednesday Mar 29th 7:33 PM
California Dungeness Crab Fishery Catches Record Number of Whales Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Mar 29th 1:44 PM
Four people died at Oakland housing deathtrap run by nonprofit organizations Lynda Carson (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 28th 6:18 PM
Eviction Defense! in East Oakland ACCE (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 28th 4:32 PM
Court Overturns Government Refusal to Protect Rare Coastal Marten Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Mar 28th 1:07 PM
Fire Relief Benefit for 2551 San Pablo in Oakland via Jonah Strauss Monday Mar 27th 8:59 PM
Boycott Granite Watsonville Brown Berets (1 comment) Monday Mar 27th 6:21 PM
Miguel Masso Strikes Again JP Massar (8 comments) Sunday Mar 26th 7:02 PM
Cesar Chavez March - Santa Rosa Elizabeth Montgomery Sunday Mar 26th 9:06 AM
Remembering Michael Randell Mears Keith McHenry (1 comment) Friday Mar 24th 6:59 PM
UCSF Outsourcing Tech Jobs And Brazilian Labor Struggles KPFA WorkWeek Radio Thursday Mar 23rd 10:15 PM
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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman responds to oil in DAPL via Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wednesday Mar 29th 2:11 PM
No Funds for Border Wall in FY 2017? – Fight Shifts to FY 2018 via Earthjustice Wednesday Mar 29th 2:04 PM
Animal Legal Defense Fund Files Motion to Restore USDA Animal Welfare Documents via Animal Legal Defense Fund Wednesday Mar 29th 1:55 PM
House Republicans Launch Effort to Repeal Endangered Species Act Center for Biological Diversity Monday Mar 27th 6:17 PM
San Quintín Farmworkers Take Demands to Mexico City El Enemigo Común Monday Mar 27th 2:14 PM
Jornaleros de San Quintín llevan demandas a la Ciudad de México El Enemigo Común Monday Mar 27th 2:10 PM
This Week in Palestine, March 24, 2017 IMEMC Monday Mar 27th 10:49 AM
Charter Schools: A Cancer Destroying Our Public School System Francisco Martinez Monday Mar 27th 8:16 AM
Getting Into Trouble with Franklin Lopez of SubMedia It's Going Down Sunday Mar 26th 1:19 PM
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman responds to Keystone Pipeline permit approval via Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (1 comment) Friday Mar 24th 5:02 PM
Trump Approves Disastrous Keystone XL Pipeline Center for Biological Diversity Friday Mar 24th 4:32 PM
House Rejects Puerto Rico Healthcare Amendment Greg Williams Friday Mar 24th 6:59 AM
An Historic Day: Protection for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee via The Xerces Society Thursday Mar 23rd 5:12 PM
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Slain SEAL's Father Calls for Expanded Investigation of Yemen Raid Richard Sisk (02/28/17) Thursday Mar 30th 7:16 AM
London Gladio B Op & SF's Frankenstein Mayor DJ Mouse Tuesday Mar 28th 2:58 PM
Scalia: Mentor To Gorsuch Abolition 9 Tuesday Mar 28th 11:38 AM
Trumponomics: causes and prospects L. Randall Wray Tuesday Mar 28th 10:46 AM
GCR Follow-Up on Double Revenge Case Blackwater/Miller Noel FieldNoel Field Tuesday Mar 28th 10:25 AM
Call Congress Today to stop the undermining of our online security! Electronic Frontier Foundation Tuesday Mar 28th 8:39 AM
Poll: Most Americans don't support the AIPAC agenda Grant F. Smith (1 comment) Sunday Mar 26th 1:48 PM
The Shortwave Report 03/24/17 Listen Globally! Dan Roberts Thursday Mar 23rd 4:53 PM
3/16/68 My Lai Massacre & The Killing Never Stops Register Peace & Freedom or Green Wednesday Mar 22nd 9:00 PM
NATO target lawyer Lynne Stewart, RIP...3-21-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 21st 2:59 PM
Californians Against Fracking Responds to EPA’s Methane Regulation Announcement via Californians Against Fracking Friday Mar 17th 6:01 PM
The Shortwave Report 03/17/17 Listen Globally! Dan Roberts Thursday Mar 16th 4:47 PM
World Premiere of Donal O'Kelly's The Memory Stick San Jose Stage Company Thursday Mar 16th 3:25 PM
Hawaii Judge Tosses 2d Muslim Travel Ban Solidarity Forever (1 comment) Wednesday Mar 15th 7:24 PM
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