San Francisco and Oakland residents are being evicted as a result of increasing housing costs caused in part by an influx of tech employees, many of whom are provided private buses by their employers to get to offices in the Silicon Valley. Activists first blocked a Google bus in the Mission District of San Francisco on December 9. On December 20, protesters blocked a Google bus at the MacArthur BART station and another at 7th and Adeline in West Oakland. In San Francisco, an Apple bus was blocked at 24th and Valencia Streets.
On December 25, Christmas Day, Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs served a free vegan holiday meal to hundreds of community members outside of the downtown post office. Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry helped organize the meal, and he has reported that many of FNB groups across the country would be sharing vegan meals during the holidays this year in response to an increased need due to new cuts in food stamps and an extreme reduction of access to food during the holiday season.
Food Not Bombs founder Keith McHenry was in Santa Cruz to give a presentation at Santa Cruz's Resource Center for Nonviolence. When he heard that no free Christmas meal was planned this year in downtown Santa Cruz, he decided to hang out and organize one. McHenry says they're planning on feeding up to one thousand people at the December 25th meal.
The Oakland City Council has agreed to settle Kayvan Sabeghi's federal civil rights lawsuit for $645,000. Sabeghi's spleen was lacerated during an Occupy Oakland demonstration on November 2, 2011, when he was beaten by Oakland Police Officer Frank Uu Uu, now retired, who was part of a tight-knit group of SWAT/"Tango team" officers at the heart of OPD's violent misconduct toward Occupy Oakland demonstrators.
Friends and family from coast to coast are mourning the loss of 28-year-old Anthony Messer, who died in Santa Cruz on the evening of December 2. Anthony was well known across California as a veteran of the U.S. military, a political activist, a traveler, and a generally friendly person who exuded positivity. Funeral services were held for him on December 9 in Chipley, Florida.
Gentrification is a growing issue in neighborhoods across the Bay Area. Many areas in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities look completely different now than even ten years ago, and the process appears to be accelerating. The East Bay Solidarity Network has produced a 79-page pamphlet entitled Evict This!
which breaks down the history of displacement in Oakland and the resources available to fight the ongoing gentrification.
Called organismo modificado genéticamente or organismo transgénico in Spanish, genetically modified organisms (GMO) were the topic of the day on October 12, in conjunction with a global day of action. Members of La Defensa del Maiz San José gathered in front of San Jose City Hall to protest Monsanto's corporate control of food.