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Center Column Archives
On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shaun McCutcheon et al in McCutcheon v Federal Elections Commission. Responding immediately, a crowd gathered at Palo Alto's City Hall to demonstrate against the decision, which clears the way for even more private money to enter the electoral system. One SF Peninsula protester said, "If you thought Citizen's United was selling our democracy down the money pit, check out the McCutcheon vs. FEC ruling handed down today!"
On April Fool’s Day, protesters blocked an Apple bus attempting to cross the High Street bridge between Oakland and Alameda. On the same morning in San Francisco, a Google bus was surrounded at 24th and Valencia streets. On April 2, protesters disrupted the tech bus pick-up zone in front of the MacArthur BART station in Oakland. An Apple, Google, and Yahoo bus were all surrounded and blocked. On April 3, a Google bus was blocked at Center and 7th Street in West Oakland. On April 6, Google venture capitalist Kevin Rose's home was picketed in San Francisco.
The City of Oakland has agreed to pay Scott Olsen $4.5 million to compensate him for devastating brain injuries he suffered when an Oakland police officer shot him in the head with a “less lethal” munition on October 25, 2011, during a demonstration in support of Occupy Oakland. The lead filled “bean bag” round, fired from a 12 gauge shotgun, shattered Mr. Olsen’s skull and permanently destroyed part of his brain.
On March 7, the California Department of Corrections modified a San Francisco billboard to read, "HOW DO I FIND A TAX LOOPHOLE?" and "NO INCOME TAX FOR BOEING, GE and VERIZON." The billboard was modified one week after the Center for Tax Justice published a report comparing the profits and income taxes for Fortune 500 companies. Twenty-six, including Boeing, General Electric and Verizon, generated a combined total of $170 billion in profits, but maintained negative tax rates every year from 2008 to 2012.
Brigada Anti-Gentrification writes:
[O]n February 28th, the windows of Vanguard Properties in the Mission District were smashed out. Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to build some luxury condos on 24th.... Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to buy foreclosed houses in Oakland and flip them at a profit. We think it's more funny to bring the fight to the developers themselves.
On March 1, people from around the world in over 27 cities took to the streets in solidarity to participate in a global day of action, billed as the March Against Corruption. In San Francisco, over a hundred people came out to protest the corrupting influence of big money in politics. A number of local musicians and activists spoke out about a range of issues, from the global environmental crisis to the war in Iraq, "connecting the dots" between their own struggles and the underlying issue of government corruption by big money.
On February 18, Common Cause and Forecast the Facts spearheaded a demonstration on Google headquarters property in Mountain View, California. They were bolstered by the presence of activists including the Raging Grannies and members of Occupy Mountain View. The protesters called out Google for its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbying group linked to climate change denying legislation, "Stand Your Ground" laws, and other extreme right wing agenda items.