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Center Column Archives
An abandoned historic building in Oakland was unveiled on the morning of August 13th as the Victor Martinez Community Library. The building was one of seven library branch casualties of budget cuts in the late seventies, and since then it has mostly sat empty. On the first day of the re-opening, donations of books poured in and area children helped to start a community garden in a side lot. In less than 15 hours, however, OPD raided the Community Library. The next morning, activists re-opened the library on the sidewalk in front of the building and it has been growing since.
On July 13th, the legal team for the Davis Dozen, students and faculty of UC Davis who allegedly blockaded a corporate bank that appeared on their campus last Fall, filed a Pitchess Motion which alleges that the officers in the case used excessive force or lied about the events surrounding the defendants' arrest. This will provide the court access to the officers' records, allowing confirmation of past use of excessive force against the defendants. Their next court date has been set for Friday, August 24th
David Morse, a long-time member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center has settled his lawsuit over the University of California - Berkeley Police Department’s improper arrest, imprisonment, and seizure of journalistic materials during a student demonstration he was covering as a journalist. In exchange for Mr. Morse’s agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, UC Regents have paid $162,500 and have agreed to modify UCBPD policies and procedures and to conduct extensive training sessions for UCBPD officers regarding protections for journalists under federal and state law.
It was standing room only in the county government center for the Santa Cruz LAFCO meeting on June 6th, where over 50 community members spoke before the commission in support of protecting the forest and open space of the UC Santa Cruz upper campus from future development. LAFCO decided the next vote on the matter would be held in October.
On June 15th
, after the last day of school, Oakland parents and teachers will sit in at Lakeview Elementary demanding that the district keep all neighborhood schools open. Supporters
write: "We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support!"
In a courtroom packed full of supporters at the Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland, California, all twelve defendants, known as both the "Davis Dozen" and the "Banker's Dozen", pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on May 10th. They also rejected a plea deal offered by the Assistant District, calling the charges against them "a sham." On Friday, June 1st, the Davis Dozen returned to the Yolo County Courthouse for a pre-trial conference. A June 1st pre-trial conference was brief, and a date was set for another pre-trial conference to file motions on Friday, June 22nd
The students of Quebec have taken a struggle against tuition hikes and mobilized hundreds of thousands against austerity and state repression. What began as a one-week university student strike has widened into an anti-capitalist revolt against universities, banks and police in what many are calling a general and indefinite social strike. In the face of state repression, the students of Montreal have returned to the streets night after night for over 100 days. On June 1st, an evening march was held in Oakland to show solidarity with the student struggle to the north.