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Center Column Archives
On July 31, community members in Santa Cruz marched to the county jail as part of "Hunger for Justice," an international day of protests and events held in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in state detention facilities across California since July 8. According to the organization Sin Barras, 37 prisoners in the Santa Cruz County Jail have also joined the hunger strike.
Wednesday, July 31st,
has been called for as an international day of action in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, Trayvon Martin, and the many Trayvons who have been killed by state and vigilante violence. In Santa Cruz, at least 37 prisoners have joined the statewide hunger strike to protest the horrendous conditions they are forced to live in. At least 5 people have died in the local jail since August 2012.
On July 27, the Canaan protest village was built for the fifth time on annexed Palestinian land in the middle of the illegal Gosh Ezion Colonial block next to the illegal settler colony of Migdal Oz. The nonviolent protesters stayed in the tent on their land for around an hour and a half before the Israeli occupation soldiers tore it down, violently repressing the demonstration. The tent village was built to remember the right of Palestinians to their land and to express solidarity with hunger strikers imprisoned for fighting for the Palestinian struggle.
Oakland City Council voted 6-0 to continue development of city-wide surveillance program.
The Domain Awareness Center started as a nationwide initiative to secure ports by networking sensors and cameras in and around the facilities. The Oakland DAC has ballooned into a surveillance program for the entire city. As planned, the center would integrate computer dispatch systems, gunshot detection microphones, license-plate readers, crime mapping software, stationary video cameras, private alarm detection programs, Twitter feeds, news feeds, other alerts, and eventually it could feature facial recognition. Civil liberties advocates intend to make a stand against the program at the Oakland City Council meeting on July 30.
Following the unauthorized release of information by Edward Snowden on June 7, the NSA has faced an unprecedented wave of public scrutiny. On July 23, the California Department of Corrections (CDC) "apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged" a billboard in San Francisco, one day before a U.S. House of Representatives vote that would have curtailed the NSA's surveillance inside the United States. On July 24th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would have eliminated funding for the agency’s vast phone data collection. The amendment was narrowly defeated by a margin of 205 to 217
On July 21, the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a march and rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other citizens subjected to racial profiling, and Shoot First and Stand Your Ground laws. On Pacific Avenue, marchers sang "We Shall Not Be Moved," and later chanted, "Stop Racial Profiling." At the Town Clock, the group chanted "Justice for Trayvon," and circled up and held hands.
Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, on July 13, hundreds took to the streets in Napa, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francsisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. At rallies, candle light vigils, and marches, community members have called for justice for Trayvon and an end to the racial profiling and police abuses that occur on a day-to-day basis across the country. Demonstrations for justice continue locally and nationally.