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Center Column Archives
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."
Program managers delivered a $114 million cost estimate for construction of the proposed desal plant to the members of the Desalination Task Force at their October 17 meeting in Santa Cruz. The $114 million figure is to be considered a range, representing a possible cost of between $97 million and $143 million for the plant, and it does not include the millions spent already during the early phase of planning and promotion of the proposed water project.
On October 10th, Homes Not Jails and their allies occupied a building in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco in solidarity with the 3rd annual World Homeless Action Day. The action began with a rally in Dolores Park, followed by a march to the occupation site. Homes Not Jails reclaimed the vacant space in an attempt to provide housing through direct action and protest the criminalization of homelessness. San Francisco police arrested twenty people on charges of burglary, conspiracy, and vandalism. Homes Not Jails intends to continue “to take to the streets to and take direct action” by occupying vacant buildings until their needs are met.
Following the lead of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy San Francisco, and other cities across the U.S., Occupy Oakland established itself on October 10th, 2011, with a large rally of thousands in the Frank Ogawa plaza in front of City Hall. Regular rallies, marches, workshops, and skillshares began to emanate from within the encampment. A second smaller camp was established in nearby Snow Park. Despite the encampments having been destroyed by police, and throughout numerous dramatic ups and downs, large and small, Occupy Oakland in various forms has persisted. Occupy Oakland celebrates its one-year anniversary at Snow Park on Lake Merritt at 5pm on Wednesday, October 10th
Over 350 people marched in the annual Peace and Unity March on the unusually hot Sunday afternoon of September 30, 2012 in downtown Watsonville, CA. This year's march was held to protest gang and domestic violence in the community of Watsonville, and was organized by the Watsonville Peace & Unity Coalition, which was initiated by the Watsonville Brown Berets. The turnout was significantly larger than previous years, due to recent violence, a larger coalition including the City of Watsonville, and well-organized outreach throughout Watsonville.
Over the last ten weeks, a series of raids targeting the homeless has been conducted as part of a coordinated effort by the Santa Cruz Police Department and the city's departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works. In response, community members who are hoping to form a new coalition with the intention of ending the criminalization of homelessness and sleep in Santa Cruz, held a candlelight "tent" vigil on September 9th.
Bradley Stuart Allen writes:
"On Wednesday, September 12, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Santa Cruz Police officers Travis Ahlers (Badge # 144) and Brian Warren (Badge # 154) parked the police car they were using on Soquel Avenue at Pacific Avenue. The officers recognized a homeless man who was on the Pacific Avenue sidewalk in front of New Leaf Market, while other people performed music. The man appeared to be walking south on the sidewalk when officer Warren called out "Frank" and told him to stop."