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On March 5, students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Hahn building in an ongoing resistance to the appointment of Janet Napolitano as president of the University of California system. The occupation follows a march to Kerr Hall on February 26, when students attempted to enter the offices of UCSC's Chancellor. Support for UC workers is central to the demands of student demonstrators, and over the course of the recent protests, labor victories have been gained as the university has given into demands by Graduate Student Workers and AFSCME Workers in separate negotiations.
At some point late in the night after the Oakland City Council voted to continue with the Domain Awareness Center on March 5 — albeit a significantly scaled-down Port-only version of the surveillance center — a group calling themselves the Technophobic Women's Action Team (T.W.A.T.) staged camover actions against stoplight cameras at two intersections in West Oakland.
On March 1, people from around the world in over 27 cities took to the streets in solidarity to participate in a global day of action, billed as the March Against Corruption. In San Francisco, over a hundred people came out to protest the corrupting influence of big money in politics. A number of local musicians and activists spoke out about a range of issues, from the global environmental crisis to the war in Iraq, "connecting the dots" between their own struggles and the underlying issue of government corruption by big money.
On March 1, urban farmers demonstrated at Sprouts grocery chain locations in Petaluma, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. The farmers oppose plans to develop the Gill Tract. Boycott Sprouts is asking shoppers to patronize other stores until Sprouts backs away from the development deal. On March 5, the Albany City Council approved paving six acres of the Gill Tract. In response to the council's vote, Occupy the Farm has called for a rally on March 12
Brigada Anti-Gentrification writes:
[O]n February 28th, the windows of Vanguard Properties in the Mission District were smashed out. Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to build some luxury condos on 24th.... Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to buy foreclosed houses in Oakland and flip them at a profit. We think it's more funny to bring the fight to the developers themselves.
On February 26 in East Palo Alto, about 250 people marched through the intersection in front of IKEA. Seven activists risked arrest, locking arms and standing (sometimes sitting) in the middle of a major intersection. Union and immigrant rights activists called out Juvenal Chavez, owner of nearby Mi Pueblo, for betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots by participating in the Department of Homeland Security program E-Verify that screens the immigration status of new hires.
On February 26, about 150 tenants and community supporters, including Eviction Free San Francisco, rallied at 24th/Mission BART Plaza for a “March On Greed” to the office of serial evictor Kaushik Dattani. The rally, march, and protest was the latest in a growing number of grassroots events responding to the rapid pace of evictions and gentrification during this latest real estate boom. Eviction Free San Francisco is an entirely volunteer organization of tenants and their supporters using mutual aid and direct action to resist evictions and preserve our homes.
A new state bill that would impose a moratorium on fracking has been introduced as California reels from a record drought. The intention of the bill is to protect California’s air and water from pollution caused by this form of oil and gas extraction. SB 1132 calls for a moratorium on all forms of "extreme well stimulation," including hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and acidization until a comprehensive, independent and multi-agency review exploring the economic, environmental and public health impacts is complete.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced on February 7 its decision to maintain the classification of the Light Brown Apple Moth as a quarantine-significant pest. Eradication programs relating to the moth have been of particular concern to those in California, where large residential areas in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties were sprayed aerially with pesticides in 2007.
On February 18, Common Cause and Forecast the Facts spearheaded a demonstration on Google headquarters property in Mountain View, California. They were bolstered by the presence of activists including the Raging Grannies and members of Occupy Mountain View. The protesters called out Google for its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbying group linked to climate change denying legislation, "Stand Your Ground" laws, and other extreme right wing agenda items.
On February 12, SEIU 1021 city workers marched and protested at Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Service Employees International Union workers demanded an end to tax subsidies and the defense of their healthcare benefits. Many in the SEIU are angry about their declining income while Mayor Ed Lee is giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies to billionaires and their tech corporations and $11.5 million to Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison's Americas Cup.
On February 18, The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, announced he will no longer be performing in downtown Santa Cruz "due to the recent strict enforcement of current ordinances" passed by the Santa Cruz City Council. Lima is a longtime street performer and performance artist from Santa Cruz, recognized as one of city's most interesting characters. He plays the accordion and dresses in homemade, seasonally relevant costumes which sometimes take up to 100 hours of work to create.
Fearing open rebellion in the wake of the Oscar Grant, Occupy, and Trayvon revolts, those in power in Oakland have pushed for the Domain Awareness Center (DAC) to become a central hub for citywide surveillance. The system is not yet fully functional and local privacy advocates continue to fight to stop the DAC. The Oakland City Council discussed the DAC on February 18, appearing to swing against it with proposals to limit implementation to the Port of Oakland, rather than citywide, but put off a vote on this new scaled-back version until March 4
On February 11, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled that Indybay reporter David Morse should take his civil rights lawsuit against BART police to trial. Morse was arrested while covering a "No Justice No BART" protest on September 8, 2011. Prior to the demonstration, BART police commanders commissioned an intelligence officer to profile Morse, publish his photograph, and prepare officers to make his arrest. The Magistrate has now ruled that Morse has sufficient evidence to pursue his First Amendment claim against BART for arresting him in retaliation for his extensive and critical reporting on BART's police department.
People gathered at 16th and Mission streets on the afternoon of February 1 to oppose the development of highrise condos at 1979 Mission Street. The proposed development, by another faceless corporation, Maximus, would construct two 10-story towers of 351 "market rate" condominiums at $3,500 per month each, while displacing low income tenants and small business owners, and further marginalizing homeless people. The bilingual rally was organized by La Playa 16 Coalition/The Plaza 16 Coalition.
H.H. Bhojani reports at AlterNet that about 10pm on January 29, Robert Asberry got on a train around Glen Park. A police officer got onto the car at the San Bruno station. He approached Robert and asked him to get off the train. Robert refused to obey the cop’s orders. After a brief back and forth, the police officer tases him. Other policemen file into the car, and while Robert is on the floor, restrained and posing no real threat, he is again tased. Police officers later carry Robert out of the BART car.
On the evening of February 12, a small crowd gathered in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley PD in early 2013. When the speakers concluded, about forty people marched to the Berkeley Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” The Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
The California Department of Corrections (CDC), which practices culture jamming by "altering California's most criminal advertising", has unveiled a new campaign of bus shelter ads to confront San Francisco’s eviction crisis. On February 11, the CDC successfully apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged bus shelter advertisements in city districts with historically high rates of tenant displacement, including the Fillmore, the Mission and South of Market. According to a report from the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst, all types of evictions increased 38% over the past three years with a 170% spike in Ellis Act evictions over the same period.
On February 14, protesters gathered outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco to protest the brutal slaughter of dolphins. Approximately 30 people held signs and handed out literature to people in the financial district to raise awareness of the Japanese practice of slaughtering dolphins. Activists from Sea Shepherd and In Defense of Animals organized World Love for Dolphins Day
demonstrations on Valentine's Day at Japanese consulates in major cities across the United States.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
On February 13, UC Berkeley students took over the Blum Center in protest of the appointment of Janet Napolitano as President of the UC system, as well as the UC regents privatization of California higher education. The day began with a rally and march to mark the arrival of Napolitano, with the march ending at the Blum Center, where students occupied the building and remained in protest of both Richard Blum as regent and Napolitano as president. Occupiers left the building on their own the following day.
Homeless advocates involved in establishing Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp embarked on a tour of Oregon and Washington State’s “sanctuary type” homeless camps and villages as a research investigation. After touring the northwest interviewing the creators, inhabitants, and neighbors of these camps, a video documentary was produced that chronicles their trip and showcases the new paradigm of citizen organized, community sanctioned homeless communities.
On February 4, the ACLU of Northern California and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) filed a lawsuit charging the state with unconstitutionally stripping tens of thousands of people of their right to vote. According to the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the state’s actions clearly violated state law when the secretary of state issued a directive to local elections officials in December 2011 asserting that people are ineligible to vote if they are on post-release community supervision or mandatory supervision.
Supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven rallied for an afternoon parade through town on February 11 in support of the final four SC11 defendants, whose trial begins on March 3. They still face charges in association with the 2011 occupation of the vacant bank building located at 75 River Street, which occurred during the height of the Occupy movement.
On January 31, as part of an "International Day of Action" against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), protesters rallied in front of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office in San Francisco's Federal Building and marched on Market Street. Nancy Pelosi has said publicly that she has concerns about the TPP but she continues to avoid taking a bold stance against Fast Track and TPP that might make a difference in the legislation's chances.
In the early morning on January 21, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers killed Antonio Mestas in Oakland. At about 9pm that evening, another CHP officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jose Munguia near 54th and Wentworth Avenues. A police K-9 was also shot during the incident and was rushed to a veterinarian. In reaction, vandals defaced the front of the CHP station at 3601 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. On January 24, family and friends of Antonio Mestas held a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral.
Workers and activists in support of the Korean Railway Workers Union and its jailed leaders rallied on January 17 at the San Francisco Korean Consulate. The government mobilized a counter-demonstration of retired Korean military veterans and elderly pro-government women to harass and attack the solidarity rally. They failed and the rally took place. Another solidarity action was held at the consulate on February 25.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced the settlement of a false-advertising lawsuit against defendant Steven Mahrt, doing business as Petaluma Farms and owner of Judy’s Family Farm Organic Eggs (“Judy’s Eggs”). The lawsuit alleges that imagery and statements used on Judy’s Eggs packaging led consumers to mistakenly believe the eggs came from hens with significant outdoor access. The lawsuit also alleges that consumers bought Judy’s Eggs because of these representations.
03/07/14 In Opposition to Napolitano and in Support of Workers, Students Keep Pressure On UC education | santacruz
03/06/14 Camover Actions on Stoplight Cameras in Oakland After Council Approves Continuation of DAC police | poverty
03/06/14 Two Windows Broken at Realtor and Property Manager Vanguard Properties poverty | globalization
03/05/14 Labor Action Promotes Unions and Protests Department of Homeland Security E-Verify Program labor | peninsula | immigrant
03/05/14 Global Day of Action Protests Corrupting Influence of Big Money in Politics globalization | government
03/05/14 Tenants and Community Confront Kaushik Dattani Over Serial Ellis Act Evictions poverty
03/05/14 "Boycott Sprouts" Actions Across Bay Area Before Albany City Council Vote environment | education
03/04/14 California State Senators Mitchell and Leno Introduce Fracking Moratorium Bill environment | california
03/01/14 Reclaiming the Commons: Uniting for Our Shared Future poverty | education | santacruz
02/26/14 USDA Maintains Classification of Light Brown Apple Moth as Actionable Quarantine Pest environment | santacruz
02/22/14 Google, Facebook, and Yahoo Membership in American Legislative Exchange Council Under Fire race | globalization | peninsula