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Center Column Archives
Since October 2013, DxE has held monthly protests against Chipotle as part of the group’s “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign. On March 29, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed a San Francisco restaurant in response to protests by animal rights activists. Demonstrators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) arrived to protest against the restaurant, surprised to find it closed. It remained closed and empty of customers for the duration of DxE’s two-hour protest.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report on March 31 highlights the increasing threat from rising global meat and dairy consumption to limiting global warming, especially as the world population continues to grow. By 2050, estimates indicate, beef and lamb will account for half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Cheese and other dairy products will account for about one quarter of total agricultural climate pollution.
Homeless people in downtown Fresno can no longer set up encampments. They must put up a tent in the evening and take it down early in the morning. During the day, they have to stay with their property or it will be taken and put into storage. On March 6, the Fresno City Council passed an ordinance that makes it easier for the police to remove shopping carts from the homeless. These “quality of life” ordinances add pressure to be constantly on the move and never have a place to stay that is safe and secure.
On March 24, the California Department of Corrections, which practices culture jamming by "correcting" commercial advertisements, successfully modified a billboard in San Francisco to read, PAIN ISN'T ALWAYS OBVIOUS. LEARN THE SIGNS AT GUANTANAMO BAY. The ad comes two weeks after a landmark lawsuit, Hassan v. Obama, was brought before U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to end force-feeding at Guantanamo Bay. Hassan has been on hunger strike since 2005 and has allegedly experienced over 5,000 forced-feedings.
On April Fool’s Day, protesters blocked an Apple bus attempting to cross the High Street bridge between Oakland and Alameda. On the same morning in San Francisco, a Google bus was surrounded at 24th and Valencia streets. On April 2, protesters disrupted the tech bus pick-up zone in front of the MacArthur BART station in Oakland. An Apple, Google, and Yahoo bus were all surrounded and blocked. On April 3, a Google bus was blocked at Center and 7th Street in West Oakland. On April 6, Google venture capitalist Kevin Rose's home was picketed in San Francisco.
20 graduate and undergraduate students were arrested at UC Santa Cruz on April 2, and two more were arrested on April 3. UAW 2865, the union representing Teaching Assistants throughout the University of California system, called for a peaceful, legal strike in protest of management’s unlawful intimidation of student-workers, but were met with more of the same intimidation.
On March 21, 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto was in Bernal Hill Park, before leaving for his night job as a security guard. The job required that Nieto carry a Taser. A jogger who reportedly called the police told 911, “A Latin male in a bright red jacket is pacing near a fence.” When police arrived, they shot Nieto 14 times. After an FTP march that night in SF, a vigil with family and friends on March 24, and an SFPD town hall on March 26, hundreds of people marched to the top of Bernal Hill on March 29 to protest the murder by police of CCSF student Alejandro Nieto.