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Center Column Archives
On December 12th, dozens of protesters rallied outside a federal auction in Sacramento against plans to lease more than 17,000 acres of California public land to oil companies for drilling and fracking. Demonstrators fear that opening up thousands of acres of public land to oil and gas exploration would directly undercut the state's commitment to clean and renewable energy and endanger an already threatened water supply. Land spanning Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties lies on what is known as the Monterey Shale, a formation of underground minerals. Oil and gas companies are targeting this expanse for hydraulic drilling.
A forum on the UC Berkeley campus called “We Witness: A Panel on Digital Video, Social Media, & Political Protest,” was held on Monday, December 10, and presented by the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative. It featured Witness, an NGO documenting human rights violations, The New Media Advocacy Project, and Ustream, a commercial service for live video streaming.
In a narrow 6-5 vote on November 20, the Board of Supervisors voted to ban public nudity in the City of San Francisco. Community members have protested the legislation, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, for weeks, culminating when individuals stripped nude after the decision was made at the meeting. The ban will be put to a final vote by the Board on Tuesday, December 4th
On Wednesday, December 5th
, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will reconvene for what may be the final hearing concerning the request by UC Santa Cruz to extend the water service needed to develop 240 acres of Upper Campus natural habitat, which would require over 250 million additional gallons of water per year from the Santa Cruz water supply.
On November 22nd & 23rd, Walmart workers and supporters demonstrated at the Richmond and San Leandro Walmarts as part of the national Black Friday protests against the nation's largest retailer. In San Leandro on November 22nd, Walmart threatened the use of the police to remove the protesters, including their own workers. On November 23rd, demonstrations were held in San Leandro and Richmond. Walmart workers spoke about the intimidation and terrorism on the job to silence them from speaking out and organizing.
Occupy the Farm writes
: "On Friday November 16, 2012, the University of California (UC) razed all of the publicly planted crops on the Gill Tract. Occupy the Farm is disappointed that the UC has unnecessarily destroyed the hard work of the community and food that could have fed it. The weekly distribution and harvest events could have continued that, over the course of the summer and early fall, have yielded over one ton of food from the crops planted during the occupation last Spring.
For a few hours on November 17th in San Francisco, a Wells Fargo Home loan bank branch was turned into a homeless shelter and soup kitchen to highlight the harm caused by the bank to numerous communities across the U.S. The action was "Brought to you by Occupy Bernal, ACCE-SF, Occupy Direct Action Workgroup, Occupy Action Council of SF, Occupy SF Environmental Justice Workgroup, Community Not Commodity, Occupy Noe, San Francisco Tenants Union, Senior and Disability Action, Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Communities United in Defense of Olmsted."