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Center Column Archives
On May 12th, Oakland Education Association (OEA) teachers and their supporters protested at the Wells Fargo bank on Broadway and 12th Street to demand that the bank use its wealth to stop the cuts in Oakland schools. Several staged a sit-in inside the bank branch and were arrested. In announcing their action, Oakland Teachers declared:
Oakland teachers are sick and tired that our schools suffer while the banks get a bailout, and we're fighting back.
Auctioned off in a foreclosure sale one year ago, San Francisco's Hotel Frank in Union Square is now being run by anti-union hotel management company Provenance Hotels. Provenance has not honored the existing union contract; amongst other things it does not to contribute to workers' medical care and pensions. The hotel is under boycott and workers are picketing the hotel regularly on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:30pm and Fridays from 1:00 to 5:30pm.
Around the world, workers united on May 1st for International Workers' Day — with marches and rallies. Across Northern California — from Berkeley to San Francisco, from Fresno to Sacramento — thousands of workers and supporters stood up for immigrant and labor rights on May Day 2011. Code Pink and others began an eight-day march from San Francisco to Sacramento to demand a just budget in California.
Supporters of International Longshore & Warehouse Union, Local 10 (S. F. Bay Area) rallied in downtown San Francisco on April 25th. The ILWU Local 10 had closed the ports of San Francisco and Oakland for twenty-four hours on April 4th, as part of a national day of action for solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states. The Pacific Maritime Association has filed a lawsuit against Local 10 for the April 4th closures. The PMA's suit seeks to prevent such future solidarity closures by the union.
The San Francisco Labor Council has called for the full support of ILWU Local 10 after it was sued by the Pacific Maritime Association for a "We Are One" solidarity action with Wisconsin workers which shut down the ports in Oakland and San Francisco on April 4, 2011. On April 12th, ILWU members and supporter held a sit-in at the offices of the PMA in Oakland. The first emergency defense meeting to organize for action will take place on Thursday, April 14th
On Monday, April 4th, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, local coalitions participated in nationwide actions to support Wisconsin workers, public services and the middle class. Organizers of the rally at the Santa Cruz County Government Center stated, "Dr. King was killed in Memphis, TN, where he had stood with sanitation workers who were struggling for the right to bargain collectively. The actions by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to eliminate collective bargaining – and the gradual eroding of the American middle class - only undermine that struggle."
On March 19th, thousands of people took to the streets to demand an end to U.S. war and military intervention abroad and funding for peoples' needs at home. Demonstrations took place in San Francisco, Fresno, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and many other cities across the United States and the world. At the opening rally in San Francisco, speakers condemned the launching of a new war against Libya, which had begun just hours before.