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Sunday Aug 2
3PM LMNOP Weekly Peace Walk
6PM Come Together to Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Monday Aug 3
6PM Occupy Forum: Crisis in Ukraine: Prologue to...
Tuesday Aug 4
7PM Other Voices: 70 Years After Hiroshima
Thursday Aug 6
8AM 70 Years of Nuclear Weapons - At What Cost?
Sunday Aug 9
10:30AM “Dangerous Circumstances:” The CFR Proposes a...
Thursday Aug 13
7PM Conscientious Projectors Film Series: Standing...
More Events...

Peace and Justice Community Returns to Ocean Street for Annual 4th of July Rally On the 4th of July, community members in Santa Cruz brought messages of peace, justice, and equality to Ocean Street as they greeted visitors entering town for the busy holiday. Every year a variety of groups working on peace and justice issues rally along Ocean Street as thousands of people make their way to the beach and the Boardwalk.

Although some very serious statements were communicated by those holding signs at the rally, the atmosphere was generally fun and festive, and the tourists showed a lot of support for what they saw as they rolled by. Some of the topics communicated at this year's rally included support for the Highway 17 Six, ending solitary confinement in prison, ending U.S. military involvement in Syria and the Ukraine, ending sexual violence, ending the killing of children and adults by U.S drone warfare, and ending the war on Gaza.

One individual at the rally wore like a necklace a set of signs that were tied together and inscribed with the names of four sisters killed in an American drone strike in Yemen. They were members of the Ali Mohammed Nasser family. Afrah was 9 years old, Zayda was 7 years old, Hoda was 5 years old, and Sheika was 4 years old when they were all killed in the attack.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos

Previous Coverage: 2013 | 2014
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.
February 10 marked the fourth consecutive Santa Cruz City Council meeting where residents have protested the police purchase of a $250,000 BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) funded by two Department of Homeland Security grants. As with the previous protests, community members again rallied in the City Hall courtyard and entered the council meeting as a group to speak out against the purchase of the armored attack-style vehicle during the open communications period.
Members of Youth Alliance for Justice rallied in front of Mountain View City Hall on January 28th with the faces of victims on placards, asking that they not be forgotten. All the images were of people who were killed, seriously injured, or "disappeared" due to racism or human rights violations.
On January 13, hundreds of residents attempted to attend the Santa Cruz City Council meeting to oppose the council's December decision which approved a police department request to accept Homeland Security grants totaling more than $250,000 earmarked for the purchase of an armored attack vehicle. When residents first found out in early December about the proposed purchase, police described it as an "emergency response and rescue vehicle."
Peace Activists 'Banned for Life' from Bookshop Santa Cruz for Protesting Leon Panetta On November 10, peace activists in Santa Cruz protested a book signing appearance by Leon Panetta, the one-time Secretary of Defense and CIA Director. Panetta is currently on a book tour promoting the release of "Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace." Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted the event, which was held in the sanctuary at Peace United Church of Christ, with a crowd of hundreds in attendance. By the end of the evening, five individuals were "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz, in retaliation for activities related to the evening's peaceful protest.

After the talk began, and Panetta was speaking in the Sanctuary, a group of four individuals dressed in white in the audience stood up and unfurled a long banner that read "Stand For Peace." The activists left, and when outside of the sanctuary, all four of them reported they had been "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Additionally, Indybay journalist Alex Darocy was assaulted by a member of Panetta's security team while documenting the event. When Bookshop Santa Cruz manager Casey Coonerty-Protti witnessed the reporter's reaction to the assault, she banned him "for life" from the book store as well.

imc_photo.gifPeace Activists 'Banned for Life' from Bookshop Santa Cruz for Protesting Leon Panetta | imc_photo.gifIndybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security at Bookshop Santa Cruz Event

Previous Coverage: Protest Against Leon Panetta for War Crimes
My Daughter and I Were Arrested Today by Military Police Guarding Worlds Most Hated Weapon On October 28, father and a daughter Mauro Oliveira (Red Sun) and Mahai'a Sol helped blockade Beale Air Force base, which is east of Sacramento. They are free now, but they face Federal charges. For months, an affinity group of mostly Elder citizens has been setting up information outlets, banners, signage and even blockading the entrance to the base and triggering arrests, as part of Occupy Beale Air Force Base.

Mauro Oliveira writes:Before the sun rose our banners greeted the rapid flow of vehicles, including drone pilots, entering the base. We sang spirited songs as wild horses ran ecstatically in the distance. We then all moved into the road and blockaded the entrance and exit. State Highway moved in and huddled with the base MPs.

My daughter has stood against war all her life and today was no different. As the guards attempted to avert an arrest and close the gate, effectively completing our blockade, my daughter and I slid thru and triggered our military arrest. We want drones to end and until THAT day, my family wants it to be clear to the victims of drone strikes and to the entire world, that we believe in Peace, not war and consider drone strikes as a war crime against humanity and an act against the Creators greatest gift, the Children of the world, of which we all are.

Read More | Occupy Beale Air Force Base
SF Demonstration in Solidarity with Kobane and Rojava Revolution Members of the Kurdish diaspora in the Bay Area joined local anarchists on October 11 for a demonstration in solidarity with the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish resistance in Kobane fighting off a brutal siege by ISIS. Over 50 people took over Powell and Market in San Francisco with banners and thousands of leaflets throughout the afternoon.

Kurdish fighters part of the YPG and the all women YPJ units have managed to hold their own during a month-long siege despite suffering heavy casualties and fighting with outdated weapons compared with the advanced US-made weapons used by ISIS. They are calling for the border with Turkey to be opened so that they can resupply and re arm to effectively fight off ISIS and defend their revolution. The Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria has created an autonomous multi-ethnic enclave in Northern Syria founded on anti-state, anti-patriarchal and ecological principles. It is now under attack from many sides by ISIS and the fight for the border town of Kobane has become a crucial battle.

The Turkish state has been allowing ISIS to cross it’s borders freely and has helped them resupply and rearm for numerous years. Yet it is threatened by the prospects of the Rojava Revolution expanding and is thus preventing the YPG and YPJ from doing the same. Much of Turkey’s south east is now in open insurrection against the Turkish state and in support of the Kobane resistance. Anarchists and other radicals have joined this struggle spreading it to the streets of Istanbul and beyond.

photoRead More | photoKobanê Solidarity Graffiti in West Oakland | calendarDefend the Kobanê Resistance! announcment

See Also: Turkey agrees to allow Peshmerga from Iraq into Kobane | DAF Anarchists report from Kobane (Oct 9) after 24 days of ISIS attacks | Call to Donate Medical Aid to Kobane | ISIS using captured Iraqi chemical weapons on Kobani in its desperation to take the town | ISIS: Genocidal Jihad Made in the USA; U.S. Out of Syria and Iraq! | David Graeber on Rojava Revolution - Spanish Civil War of our age? | In the Rubble of US Imperialism: Why the US isn't helping Syrian kurds | Turkish anarchists join the fight to save Kobane from ISIS; updates from Kobane
We Are Not World Cops On the evening of September 23, the airwaves were filled with reports of strikes by the United States and its allies against targets in Syria. Rapid response in Palo Alto by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center brought out Peninsula residents in protest.

Demonstrators in San Francisco and San José took the streets as well. The real objective of this war, said protesters, is to locate permanent Pentagon military bases in Iraq, Syria and the entire resource rich region of the Middle East. Endless war in the Middle East with the US leading the pack is to gain permanent imperial power and domination in a region that contains much of the world's oil reserves.

Palo Alto: photoPhotos
San Francisco: calendarEmergency Protest "Stop the U.S. bombing of Syria!"
Israeli Officer Charged with Assault on Palestinian-American Israel's Ministry of Justice has filed an indictment against a border policeman for assaulting and injuring 15-year-old Tarek Abu Khdeir, cousin to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was burned to death by Israeli settlers, in July. According to reports, the officer, whose name remains under gag order, was indicted at the Jerusalem magistrate court on September 10, for using "excessive force" that could not be justified.

The incident took place at a July 3 demonstration, in the Shu'fat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, just a day after the abduction, torture and burning of 16-year-old Muhammad. A ministry statement read: "...evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes, committed after the arrest of the minor, who was handcuffed at the time". Tarek has denied taking part in the demonstration, saying he was only an observer but fled when police began chasing suspects, as Israeli police are well-known for their inhumane treatment of Palestinians.

An uncle of Tariq, who has since returned home to Florida, called the indictment a "cover up" of the beating, and an Israeli attempt to appease the United States, AFP further reports: "If Tariq wasn't an American citizen we would have never seen an investigation," Yassin Abu Khdeir declared, noting that his nephew was attacked by a "group" of policemen who had also "attacked dozens of other kids". "But we won't see any further indictment because those kids are not American citizens," he added.

Read More | See Also: Signatories Call on White House to Investigate Beating and Detention of Tariq Abu Khdeir

Related Indybay Coverage: The World Responds to Israel's Atrocities in Gaza
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 Fresno, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Salinas, and Santa Cruz. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), as of August 17, approximately 1939 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8. A total of 9886 Palestinians, including 2878 children, 1854 women, and 374 elderly, have been injured. 47 Israeli soldiers, most of whom were invading Gaza at the time of their death, have been killed by Palestinian resistance, and two Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian shells.
Latino activists in solidarity with Palestinians marched down Market Street in San Francisco on August 2 in a unity call for saving the children of Central America who are languishing at the US-Mexican border, as well as the children dying in Gaza. Movimiento por la Reunifacacion Familiar organizers reached out to everyone to join together in a march chanting, “No mas ninos deportados nuestros ninos son sagrados!” “No more children deported; our children are sacred.”
On August 4, activists in downtown Santa Cruz staged a second die-in as part of their ongoing protest of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Like the July 28 die-in, a rally was held first at the Town Clock, where many of the names and ages of Palestinians killed were displayed on name cards. Community members then marched to the Cooper House on Pacific Avenue where the die-in was staged. Individuals laid down on the sidewalk and their bodies were outlined in chalk as organizers read the names and ages of Palestinian children killed since the war began on July 8.
Greeting Tourists with Peace Signs on the Fourth of July 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.

Santa Cruz area veterans were in attendance representing VFW Post 5888, and they held their large "Wage Peace" banner. The Raging Grannies sang, and members of Food Not Bombs Santa Cruz held their "three lane" banner, which is so wide it spans three lanes of traffic when stretched out fully. The rally was co-sponsored by People United for Peace of SC County, SC Coalition to Bring the Troops Home Now, CodePink SC, Santa Cruz Against Drones, the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz Quaker Meeting, Raging Grannies SC, Women in Black SC, SC Branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace SC, United Nations Association SC, and SC Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos

Previous Coverage: 2013: On Independence Day, Santa Cruzans Demand Freedom from the Security State
Santa Cruz Community Vigil for Iraq and Iraqis 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," a UCSC student said at the vigil.

The student was one of a number of UC Santa Cruz students present at the vigil who were protesting the connection between the University of California system and war profiteering. "At UCSC we are supposed to be a very diverse, engaged, and active community, but being up there I realize that most students don't realize we are this involved," she said. "The UC system invests in bomb labs and is profiteering from going to war. The UC is getting money this way, and that's not OK."

Other supporters at the vigil included individuals from the Faith communities of Santa Cruz, WILPF SC, the Palestine-Israel Action Committee of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and Jewish Voice for Peace SC. Organizers say they will be holding similar vigils at the Town Clock in support of the people of Iraq in the near future.

imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifRead More with Photos and Video
Petition Demands OPD Be Prohibited from Using SIM & CS Blast Grenades on Crowds 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.

At least a dozen other people were injured by so-called "less lethal" weapons at the Occupy demonstrations, even though OPD's own policies and federal court orders specify that these weapons may not be fired into crowds. As a result, the City of Oakland has had to pay out more than $7 million in legal settlements to people who have suffered serious injuries from SIM or CS Blasts, including burns, hearing loss, fractures, crushed nerves and scarring.

A new petition demands that OPD be prohibited from using SIMs and CS Blast grenades at demonstrations and other crowd events. The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay.org) is supporting this petition. Indybay reporters are sick and tired of getting shot and gassed by OPD while covering protests in Oakland, a gross violation of freedom of the press and basic human rights.

photoRead More | videoCampaign Video | Sign the Petition

Previous Related Indybay Features: Oakland to Pay Big for OPD Shooting Scott Olsen in the Face | Costs of OPD's Violence Against Protesters Mount: Settlement in the Kayvan Sabeghi Beating | NLG Obtains $1.17M and OPD Reforms for Injured Occupy Oakland Protesters and Journalists | Oakland Occupiers Defiant After Police Raid, Mass Arrests, and Tear Gas/Projectile Attacks | March 7th Rally to Protest April 7, 2003 Police Attack at Docks | Oakland Rally Questions 2003 Attack on Protesters | Remember the Shots! Return to the Docks! | Port Of Oakland Shut Down: Police Fire Concussion Grenades and Wooden Bullets at Protesters and Dock Workers
iCal feed From the Calendar:
3PM Sunday Aug 2 LMNOP Weekly Peace Walk
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70 Years of Nuclear Weapons - At What Cost? Stephen McNeil
Tuesday Jul 14th 10:54 PM
Gaza Not Forgotten: A Jewish Ritual of Mourning and Solidarity Susannah Nachenberg (1 comment)
Tuesday Jul 7th 11:55 AM
Chelsea Manning Contingent in the SF Pride Parade Daniel Borgström
Friday Jul 3rd 1:04 AM
Centennial of the Armenian Genocide BALB
Thursday Apr 23rd 10:38 PM
Wave Goodbye to Nukes sacpeace
Monday Apr 20th 11:55 PM
Tax Day Protest in Fresno Mike Rhodes
Wednesday Apr 15th 4:57 PM
Santa Cruz City Council Session on the BearCat via SCRAM! (12 comments)
Monday Mar 23rd 3:03 PM
Santa Cruz City Council to Revisit Issues Surrounding BearCat Purchase Alex Darocy (3 comments)
Monday Mar 23rd 12:28 PM
This is the Moment We Have All Been Waiting For Steve Pleich for SCRAM! (9 comments)
Saturday Mar 21st 6:30 PM
Tell Santa Cruz City Council To "Send Back the BEARCAT!" Steve Pleich for SCRAM (2 comments)
Thursday Mar 12th 4:57 PM
SCRAM! Statement of Support Issued by Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project Steve Pleich (7 comments)
Wednesday Mar 11th 12:05 PM
Congressman Farr releases letter questioning Santa Cruz City process re: BearCat purchase via Sherry Conable of SCRAM! (1 comment)
Tuesday Mar 10th 12:58 PM
More Local News...
Rwandan spy chief arrested in UK KPFA Weekend News/Ann Garrison
Wednesday Jul 8th 9:29 PM
Romero Institute Calls for Pope Francis to Revoke the Doctrine of Discovery via The Romero Institute (1 comment)
Monday Jun 22nd 12:16 PM
Cindy Sheehan On The Point Of Global Solidarity repost
Monday Jun 22nd 7:09 AM
MANILA – ‘Morong 43’ arrest, detention illegal — CHR Janess Ann Ellao
Monday Jun 22nd 6:21 AM
Various Groups in the Philippines Conduct a Peace March Akbayan (Citizens Action Party)
Friday Jun 5th 6:21 AM
Russia: Making troop deaths a secret ‘attacks freedom of expression’ Amnesty International (1 comment)
Thursday May 28th 4:05 PM
Breaking Bodies: Torture and Summary Killings in Eastern Ukraine Amnesty International
Friday May 22nd 6:26 PM
Kiev Heads Closer to Resuming Full-Scale War on Donbass Stephen Lendman
Friday May 15th 8:58 AM
Initiate a World Peace Conference - To Mikhail Gorbachev World Beyond War
Saturday Apr 11th 7:14 AM
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Thursday Jul 30th 5:09 PM
Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Blitzkrieg in Full Swing Stephen Lendman
Thursday Jul 30th 11:38 AM
US Wants Enhanced UN Peacekeepers Serving US Interests Stephen Lendman
Wednesday Jul 29th 11:53 AM
Russia to Veto UN Resolution for US-Controlled MH17 Tribunal Stephen Lendman
Wednesday Jul 29th 10:59 AM
7-28-15 Mouse Report DJ Mouse
Tuesday Jul 28th 2:57 PM
Balkanizing Syria Planned Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Jul 28th 4:03 AM
Assad Vows to Defend Syria's Homeland Stephen Lendman
Monday Jul 27th 11:17 AM
Saudis Keep Bombing Yemen After Declaring 5-Day Halt Stephen Lendman
Monday Jul 27th 6:37 AM
Unprecedented Human Suffering in Yemen Stephen Lendman
Sunday Jul 26th 5:53 AM
Jonathan Pollard's Release Imminent? Stephen Lendman
Saturday Jul 25th 8:27 AM
Iran's Longstanding US-Inflicted Nightmare Stephen Lendman
Friday Jul 24th 5:02 AM
Phony Claims About Syria Retaining Chemical Weapons Stephen Lendman
Friday Jul 24th 3:49 AM
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