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Center Column Archives
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.
On a small hill next to Deer Hill Road in the City of Lafayette, over 6,000 crosses have been erected and displayed as an on-going tribute, and to memorialize the soldiers, who have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The hillside has been marked with controversy, and has sparked anger and even attracted counter protests to its existence.
Decolonize the New World 2012 writes:
"Columbus Day 2012 marks the 520 year anniversary of the genocidal and ecocidal project of Empire building and colonial expansion that began with the conquistador invasion of this continent and continues to this day through the daily violence and exploitation of global capitalism. This year during Columbus Day weekend, a West Coast Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist convergence is being organized in San Francisco." Scheduled are a Day Of Action Against Mexican, US & Canadian Consulates; a West Coast Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist March; and a protest on the 11th Anniversary of the US/NATO War in Afghanistan.
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.
A well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" began running Islamophobic ads on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, local artists took matters into their own hands and began modifiying the ads. Several now read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."
On August 16th, six veterans and activists in Oakland, CA, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
On July 20th, George Cadman interviewed Medea Benjamin about her new book "Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control," which is "a comprehensive look at the growing menace of robotic warfare, with an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who 'pilots' these unmanned planes, who the victims are and what some of the legal and moral implications are." Benjamin's book also looks at what activists, lawyers and scientists are doing to ground the drones, and ways to move forward. Medea Benjamin spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Monday, July 23th.