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Center Column Archives
Salinas police shot and killed Frank Alvarado one year ago. On July 10 at a memorial held outdoors near the location where he was shot, Frank's family members vowed to continue their fight for justice. Signs held at the memorial communicated supporters' lack of trust in the Salinas police, and some contained direct allegations of widespread departmental corruption.
The Humanist Hall is being attacked by newcomers who live in condos built right next door only about ten years ago. The Humanist Hall has opened its doors for countless radical and under-served organizations over the past 75 years, yet now it is being labelled a public nuisance by the City of Oakland due to complaints from the new neighbors. An online petition calls on Mayor Schaaf to “encourage condo owners and renters to respect the social norms of the neighborhood – our neighborhood – that they have moved into.."
For two months, the Muwekma Farm thrived at its location on the corner of 31st Avenue and International Blvd in Oakland. On July 9, however, the City of Oakland and OPD destroyed every single plant, raised bed, and bench. Muwekma Farm writes:
We have no specific date for retaking the land, but when we do there will be another announcement. To those who desire a world free of environmental destruction and economic slavery, we would like to remind you that there is an inordinate amount of vacant land in the City of Oakland.
On June 16, 2014, during a protest against police brutality and recent police shootings in Fresno, Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial, writing phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” He was arrested. On July 17, 2015, Brian was found guilty of vandalism and later sentenced to one year of informal probation, 50 hours of community service, and $250 in court fees and restitution. Brian says he plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson of Los Angeles recently pled guilty and currently await sentencing for a related charge of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). On July 24, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA for 2013 actions. At a court hearing on July 28, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring.
Founding member of the First Friday Oakland Art Murmur, Rock Paper Scissors Collective writes:
With a little volunteer elbow-grease and fundraising effort, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC) was born — a destination where the community could come together, organize, share skills, knowledge and create. Now, we are being forced out of our space. The Collective’s long time landlord plans to charge market value for the space, well beyond what we can afford as an all-volunteer run nonprofit. As of August 31st, RPS will be without a home.
The United States Social Forum 2015 was held June 24-28 in San José. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change. Food Sovereignty, Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley, Taking our Health Back, Crisis of the California Water Commons, No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization, Cooperative Economics, and Movements Making Media were just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed.