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Center Column Archives
April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse have filed tort claims against the City and County of San Francisco for police brutality that occurred when the Giants called in SFPD to eject Negrette and Bighorse from its June 23, 2014, “Native American Heritage Night” event and game. Ms. Negrette and Mr. Bighorse had peacefully confronted a group of inebriated men who were inappropriately and disrespectfully wearing a plastic counterfeit Native American-themed headdress. The Giants ordered the San Francisco Police to eject Negrette and Bighorse from the stadium, but not the drunken men, most of whom were white.
Claudia Tirado, a third grade teacher and tenant being evicted by Google's head of eDiscovery, Jack Halprin, queered her fight to remain in her home at the Folsom Street Fair on September 21. With other activists from Eviction Free San Francisco, Tirado handed out condoms for "eviction protection" at the annual kink and sex-positive SoMa fair. Eviction Free SF reported that many fair attendees agreed that housing is a queer issue and that it is unconscionable for Halprin to evict residents so that he can have a private mansion just three blocks from the Google bus stop at 18th and Dolores.
On September 8, 2014, Bay Area chapters of Code Pink and World Can’t Wait participated in a worldwide reading of texts by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: “With this worldwide reading, we call on the United States Government to recognize that Edward Snowden's revelations are of essential importance for the safeguarding of democracy in the digital age.... Washington should therefore immediately lift all legal charges and complaints against Snowden, so that he can return home safely as a free man.”
Following months of pressure by family members and the media, the Salinas Police Department announced that Brian Johnson and Scott Sutton were the officers that shot and killed Frank Alvarado on July 10. They were named in a press release that also listed the officers involved in the killing of three other Latino residents in East Salinas in 2014. Frank Alvarado's father and sister spoke out at a press conference held at City Hall on October 1, stating that justice would be served, if not in Salinas, then at the Supreme Court.
On October 9, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin is scheduled to speak on a panel titled “Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color” presented by the Center for Conflict Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Under Chief McMillin’s command, four unarmed Salinas community members — all Latino men — were shot and killed by officers in a span of four months. Sin Barras, a group that works to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, authored a letter to the hosts requesting that they ask Chief McMillin to step down as a participant.
Uniting students, workers, community members, and veterans of the Free Speech Movement, Cal Progressive Coalition (CPC) led a surprise sit-in at Capital Projects following the rally for the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement. Capital Projects is the real estate arm of the University of California Berkeley that is actively privatizing public resources, such as in their proposed commercial development of the historic Gill Tract Farm. The CPC action sparked dialogue across campus on how the UC continues to silence students through the privatization of the public university and increasingly militarized police violence.
Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.