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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.
Mon Feb 13 2017 (Updated 02/14/17)
Marchers in Palo Alto Demand Banks Defund DAPL
Hundreds of demonstrators took their Rolling March and Rally through downtown Palo Alto on February 11. They hit up eight banks that are responsible for helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. Things got started in front of City Hall with a rally featuring indigenous speakers Dr. Maria Michael, Hartman Deetz, and Delphine Red Shirt amongst others. Marchers then made their way to Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Comerica, Bank of America, Union Bank, HSBC, Wells Fargo, and Chase banks. To the end demonstrators cried out "Mni Wiconi - Water is Life!"
Water from Lake Oroville flowed over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time in the reservoir's 48-year history after the water level exceeded 901 feet in elevation on February 11. The water slowly began to flow over the concrete weir of the auxiliary spillway, down a hillside and into the Feather River. After saying the situation was stable and public safety was not threatened, state officials reversed course and issued evacuation orders late in the afternoon of February 12. On February 13, state officials would give no timeline on when the 188,000 evacuees can return to their homes.
Thu Feb 9 2017 (Updated 02/24/17)
A Public Bank for Oakland
Emily Wheeler of the Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland writes: A thriving local economy is something we all want to see—no controversy there. But we’ve been too quick to accept the prevailing notion that there is a trade-off between that and providing ourselves with adequate housing, health care, or education programs. It’s time to align our fiscal practices with our social ideals. It’s time for the Public Bank of Oakland. On February 9, the City of Oakland hosted a public forum on the potential of the Public Bank of Oakland.
03/20/17 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 | santacruz03/02/17 Youth Rise Up in Protest for Young Man Assaulted by LAPD Officer frontpage | police | race | education | california03/02/17 Bay Area Air Quality Mngmt District Employees Fired For Exposing Destruction of Records frontpage | environment | labor | eastbay
Remembering Michael Randell Mears Keith McHenry Friday Mar 24th 6:59 PM
City of Santa Cruz: Ban Gas-powered and High Noise Leaf Blowers Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (1 comment) Thursday Mar 23rd 5:37 PM
Nazi Flyers Posted in Downtown Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Antifa (1 comment) Wednesday Mar 22nd 10:24 PM
Remembering Michael Mears Steve Pleich (2 comments) Wednesday Mar 22nd 12:14 PM
Court Support for Dejuan Hall - Brutally Beaten by Vallejo Police Anti Police-Terror Project (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 21st 11:33 PM
Judge Halts California Plan to Stop Oil Waste Injections Into Protected Aquifers Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Mar 21st 5:15 PM
Faith Resistance: Divest from the Pipeline David Brazil Sunday Mar 19th 2:29 PM
Berkeley: Violent Trump Supporters Are Merging with the Alt-Right Northern California Anti-Racist Action NoCARA (5 comments) Friday Mar 17th 5:06 PM
California regulators weaken proposed rules for pesticide use near schools via Californians for Pesticide Reform Friday Mar 17th 4:54 PM
Brytanee Brown on Housing and Urban Displacement: Oakland and New Orleans WTUL New Orleans 9.15 News & Views Thursday Mar 16th 10:21 AM
Candlelight Vigil and March for Jesús Alberto Geney Montes Family of Jesús Wednesday Mar 15th 11:28 PM
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Standing Rock Sioux Chairman responds to Keystone Pipeline permit approval via Standing Rock Sioux Tribe 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
Approval of Disastrous Keystone XL Pipeline Imminent Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Mar 23rd 4:59 PM
Stephanie Jackson: Community Organizer for Ride New Orleans on Making Riders' Needs Heard WTUL New Orleans 9.15 News & Views Wednesday Mar 22nd 1:43 PM
For a Positive Narrative of the Left Michael Brie Wednesday Mar 22nd 6:53 AM
In His Own Words: Albert Woodfox interviewed by Amnesty Intl. UK Amnesty UK quotes Albert Woodfox Monday Mar 20th 3:35 PM
For an Unconditional Basic Income Thomas Straubhaar Monday Mar 20th 4:05 AM
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Alternating Magnetic Field NS SN – Dynamic Earth Message Zbigniew Charnas Saturday Mar 25th 1:14 AM
Kathy Carroll's Rap On Public Education Labor Video Project Friday Mar 24th 1:17 PM
UCSF Outsourcing Tech Jobs And Brazilian Labor Struggles KPFA WorkWeek Radio Thursday Mar 23rd 10:15 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
Proof. Germany tried to overthrow Erdogan Arda Demirci Wednesday Mar 22nd 12:50 AM
NATO target lawyer Lynne Stewart, RIP...3-21-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 21st 2:59 PM
Korean Labor And The Impeachment & BAAQMD Retaliation And Document Destruction KPFA Pacifica WorkWeek Radio Monday Mar 20th 5:07 PM
Bloody polonization of West Ukraine Bogdan Dragun Monday Mar 20th 1:30 AM
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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