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Center Column Archives
The first recorded Father's Day commemoration was in remembrance of a mining disaster that brought attention to the plight of working people and unsafe working conditions across the US, when hundreds of fathers died in a mine in West Virginia in 1908. With the holiday's origins in mind, members of the San Jose and Redwood City Occupy groups performed mic check demonstrations at branches of various corporate entities on the San Francisco Peninsula that have a record of anti-labor practices.
Hotel workers, community members, and friends gathered on June 7th for the "Carmel Hotel Workers Rising March" which was organized by Unite Here! Local 483, and focused on La Playa Hotel and the Pine Inn in Carmel. Community members have held a number of demonstrations protesting the Pine Inn's elimination of all dependents (42 people) from medical insurance coverage, as well as La Playa Hotel's refusal to commit to re-hire workers who lost their jobs when the hotel recently changed ownership.
May Day in downtown Santa Cruz this year saw a wide variety of community members coming together and rallying to honor the global struggles of the worker. On the morning of May 1st, students at UC Santa Cruz supported AFSCME local 3299 union members at the university, and then later in the day marched downtown where a group of community members, populated largely with people active with Occupy Santa Cruz, met them on Mission Street after themselves marching up Pacific Avenue.
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.
Thousands of angry homeowners, immigrants, union members, Occupiers and community groups converged on the annual shareholders meeting of Wells Fargo Bank on April 24th. In a carefully choreographed protest, simultaneous marches left Justin Herman Plaza on the city's waterfront, site of the Occupy San Francisco encampment last fall. Demonstrators walked up parallel streets into the financial district, where they encircled the block in which the meeting was set to take place, in the Julia Morgan ballroom of the Merchant's Exchange Building.
On April 18th, in one of the largest rallies in SEIU 1021's history, 23 members were arrested in front of Bank of America Wednesday for taking a stand against mega banks and corporations who have been cheating San Francisco residents for over a decade. More than 1,300 people were chanting “Let the People Go, Arrest the CEOs,” as 23 protesters were handcuffed and put into the back of SFPD vans. On the front and back of each protester were large stickers that read “It’s time to draw the line: downtown greed or the city we need.”
An assembly of UC Santa Cruz students, workers and community members have planned a day of action in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street's call for a worldwide general strike and the historical significance of May 1st, International Workers Day
. This day of events will include rallies, poetry, performance, art, and education around the struggle of the 99% and the collective potential for social transformation. The action will begin with a kick-off rally at the Quarry Plaza on UCSC campus at 11:30 AM which will culminate in a late afternoon march to the downtown post office.