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Center Column Archives
CODEPINK Activists confronted GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on his anti-gay and anti-reproductive rights stance at the annual America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference in San Francisco on June 16th. Showering the GOP presidential candidate with pink glitter and confetti, they shouted, "Where's your courage to stand up for gay and reproductive rights? Welcome to San Francisco, home of gay hero Harvey Milk!" Outside the Moscone center demonstrators rallied for a single payer healthcare system and satirical Billionaires for Wealthcare aped the wealthy who benefit from the insurance industry's huge profits.
After more than a decade of legal battles, a decision by a final court ruled against the group Friends of Juana Briones House. The oldest house in Palo Alto, named for its famous resident who was a latina pioneer, is being dismantled, piece by piece. Juana Briones healed the sick and cared for the poor. An elementary school and park in Palo Alto both bear her name. Her house, parts of which were built in 1844, is being destroyed by the current property owner.
On May 15th, Santa Cruz SlutWalk took the sidewalks to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights, to demand respect for all, and re-appropriate the term slut. The demonstration was one of many around the world sparked by a statement on January 24th from a representative of the Toronto Police to a group of students. The officer shared insight into the police force's view of sexual assault by stating, "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, the Global Women’s Strike held the 2nd Annual Mother's March on March 8th in San Francisco. The Mother's March also takes place in other parts of the state, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, as well as in Haiti, Guyana, India, Peru and the UK. In their call-out for the march, organizers wrote:
"Mothers produce/care for the world's people. Most women do caring work: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, partners. Unrecognized, unpaid or low-paid, women care for children, elders, people with disabilities, and each other."
On February 26th, more than a hundred people united energetically in Santa Cruz, along with cities across the nation, to demonstrate their disgust with systemic violence against women. At noon, people converged at the Clock Tower before marching down Pacific Avenue to Laurel St. People chanted "Not the Church, Not the State; Women must decide their fate" as they continued up Laurel St. and onto Mission St./Highway 1 where there was a brief occupation of the Mission and Bay intersection.
A lawsuit, filed in Fresno Superior Court on February 24, says that Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer's ringtone for Cynthia Sterling, an African-American former counsel member, is a slave song: "Mammy's little baby loves short'nin' bread." The lawsuit also alleges that Dyer mimics stereotypical slave dialect, making comments including "yessa massa, I is yo pet" and "Um hum, I'm the mayor's boy, I'm the mayor's boy, yes'um, I'm the mayor's boy."
San Francisco women's rights activists turned out some of their best street theater for an anti-abortion crowd of thousands that marched through the city on Saturday. Following an opening rally, which at least one anti-choice visitor tried to interrupt, women's rights demonstrators walked along the Embarcadero, shadowing the "Walk for Life" march. A couple performed racy dances at various spots alongside the anti-choice march, shocking their opponents. Pro-choice activists said that what is more shocking, however, is "the extremes to which the right wing will go to deny women health care."