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Center Column Archives
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a four-day War Dance (H’up Chonas in Winnemem) May 24-27
at the McCloud River site where they hold their Coming of Age ceremonies. The War Dance signifies the tribe’s spiritual commitment to defend at all costs the ceremony from heckling, flashing, and violating disruptions by recreational boaters that have occurred in previous years. More than 400 volunteers from throughout the country, native and non-native, are expected to converge upon the sacred sites to help the tribe close the river and protect the War Dance from interference by boaters.
A Skyline High School senior is dead after Oakland police profiled and opened fire on him. The shooting death of 18-year-old Alan Dwayne Blueford occurred near 90th Avenue and Birch Street in Oakland, early in the morning on Sunday, May 6th. Alan and two friends were standing outside waiting for some female acquaintances to give them a ride. According to Oakland police, two of their officers believed one of the youth was carrying a gun. It is unclear how this was determined based on their looks.
Occupy Wall Street in New York called for a nationwide May Day General Strike. Cities and towns across the United States are heeding the call. Workers will be striking, students will be leaving classes, and banks and other large corporations will be forced to close for the day across the nation. May 1st
, 2012, promises to be the largest American May Day since the Immigrant Rights May Day in 2006 and probably the most widespread and furthest reaching in decades.
Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from northern California on Monday, April 16 challenged Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, at his Vallejo office to protect indigenous women from racial slurs and physical harm during coming of age ceremonies planned for this June. Although claiming to be unfamiliar with the issue, Moore promised to review the Winnemem's request to close 400 yards of the McCloud River arm of Shasta Reservoir for 4 days so that the Tribe can conduct the ceremony. Moore committed to respond to the Tribe's request by May 1, 2012. While closing the river will mean a lot to the Tribe, it will have no impact on the Forest Service, said Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader.
On February 26th, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead by self-styled vigilante George Zimmerman in Sandford, Florida. Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman for killing the unarmed teenager, nor even take physical evidence such as Zimmerman's clothing or the handgun he used that night. Police allowed Zimmerman to walk away without charges under the protection of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Rallies and marches have been held across the country for Trayvon, including at least three thus far in San Francisco and Oakland.
On January 9, the general assembly at Occupy Oakland passed a resolution calling on occupies across the country to support a national occupy day in support of prisoners. In the following month, over a dozen communities across the nation followed in planning local demonstrations, including those in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Portland. On February 20, hundreds of demonstrators marched to San Quentin Prison where a rally was held in solidarity with the National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.
The Kenneth Harding JR. Foundation and Bayview residents and allies call for support to surround Candlestick Stadium on Sunday, January 22nd
during the NFC Championship game in opposition to police brutality. A march to the stadium will begin at noon at 3rd St. and Oakdale in San Francisco and head via 3rd St. to Gilman and Jamestown. Kenneth Harding Jr. was murdered by the San Francisco police on July 16, 2011 for allegedly evading a two dollar Muni train fare. Event organizers ask that the community, "Join us in sending a message to the media and game attendees that the cops in the Bayview/Hunters Point Community are killing our children, violating our rights, and trying to silence the people for speaking out."