Four people were arrested and one was tased by sheriff's deputies after protesters became boisterous in an Alameda County Wiley Manuel courtroom on January 8th. Of the courthouse disruption, Bay of Rage writes
: nearly 100 people gathered at Oscar Grant Plaza to say goodbye to Jack. Jack was arrested on January 7, 2012 during the very first FTP march in downtown Oakland.... Together with our comrade and his family leading the way we walked quietly in the street some eight blocks to the court house. About 50 of us somberly filed into the courtroom.
January 11th, 2013, marked the day the unlawful prison Guantánamo opened 11 years ago. A protest organized by Amnesty International was held in Palo Alto's Lytton Plaza. Protesters demonstrated to remind President Obama of his promise to shut down Guantánamo prison and uphold human rights. Participants from many groups gathered in busy downtown Palo Alto to gather signatures and draw attention to the human rights abuses that continue in Guantánamo.
At a preliminary hearing on January 8, all charges against Desiree Foster, Robert Norse, and Becky Johnson in association with the occupation of a vacant bank building in 2011 were dismissed by Santa Cruz Judge Paul P. Burdick. Charges still remain in effect for four defendants, though Burdick removed conspiracy from the counts they face. Additionally, the judge sanctioned District Attorney Rebekah Young with a $500 fine for the violation of a discovery order, saying that he had never imposed a sanction like this on the District Attorney's office before.
For the second New Year's Eve in a row, nearly two hundred people chose to forgo traditional evening indoor parties and instead demonstrated in the streets of Oakland against the racist prison industrial complex. After a noisy march with a sound system, a symbolic attack was made against the North County jail by a barrage of fireworks shot high into the air towards the jailhouse walls. Participants marched back to the plaza in time for the midnight count down to 2013, right in the middle of the intersection of 14th & Broadway.
Family and friends remembered Oscar Grant during a January 1st, 2013 vigil at the Fruitvale BART Station where his life was taken New Year's Day 2009. Four years after his murder by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, Oakland has not forgotten Grant. Over 150 people came out in Grant's memory.
As the holiday season hit full force at the shopping/vacation destination of Carmel by the Sea, former La Playa Hotel workers continued to remain hopeful that some of those in attendance at a labor rally at the hotel on December 20th would receive back the jobs that they lost over a year ago. Since the hotel re-opened over the summer, only three of the former 113 workers have been re-hired.
Saying that Wells Fargo has "case after case of folks who are in foreclosure, forced out of homes they have lived in for decades," protesters portrayed the mega bank as "the Grinch that stole Christmas" on December 18th. Two senior citizen organizations took their money out of Wells Fargo and joined a protest rally outside at Grant and Market in San Francisco.