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.
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
Attorney David E. Mastagni of the Sacramento law firm Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller & Johnsen has demanded that the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) remove a post by Vallejo Copwatch. It is unclear on whose behalf the overly broad demand was made as it requests that Indybay "remove any and all information pertaining to public safety officers employed by the City of Vallejo." The specific Vallejo Copwatch post listed in the demand letter, though, identifies Vallejo police officer Dustin B. Joseph as the killer of Mario Romero on September 2nd of this year. The Indybay Collective has no intention of removing the post.
On October 30, the family of Derrick Gaines, the 15 year old who was shot and killed by South San Francisco Police Department officer Joshua Cabillo, filed a federal civil rights action against the City of South San Francisco. Family members, who are seeking $10 million in damages, hired Attorney John Burris to represent them in the wrongful death action. Burris says, "This is a clear case of racial profiling that lead to disastrous results."