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Center Column Archives
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.
On February 18, The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, announced he will no longer be performing in downtown Santa Cruz "due to the recent strict enforcement of current ordinances" passed by the Santa Cruz City Council. Lima is a longtime street performer and performance artist from Santa Cruz, recognized as one of city's most interesting characters. He plays the accordion and dresses in homemade, seasonally relevant costumes which sometimes take up to 100 hours of work to create.
The California Department of Corrections (CDC), which practices culture jamming by "altering California's most criminal advertising", has unveiled a new campaign of bus shelter ads to confront San Francisco’s eviction crisis. On February 11, the CDC successfully apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged bus shelter advertisements in city districts with historically high rates of tenant displacement, including the Fillmore, the Mission and South of Market. According to a report from the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst, all types of evictions increased 38% over the past three years with a 170% spike in Ellis Act evictions over the same period.
The National Lawyers Guild and Prison Radio will present two films on repression and resistance on Saturday, October 19
at the The New Parkway Theater in Oakland. The Battle for Oscar Grant Plaza
is a short documentary about how the City of Oakland and its police tried to shut down the budding "Occupy Wall Street" movement, turning downtown Oakland into a teargas-filled war zone and injuring numerous people. Manufacturing Guilt
takes on Abu-Jamal's contentious case, distilling a mountain of evidence and years of oft-repeated falsehoods which illustrate a clear and conscious effort to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal for murder.
After the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History altered its mission statement following the appointment of director Nina Simon two years ago, one critic says the institution has sacrificed the experience of art and history to become a "second community center." In a recent column, Bruce Bratton cites a report that details how museums across the country have been seeking to increase attendance numbers as proof to justify grants and larger sums of monies to subsidize programs.
Following the unauthorized release of information by Edward Snowden on June 7, the NSA has faced an unprecedented wave of public scrutiny. On July 23, the California Department of Corrections (CDC) "apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged" a billboard in San Francisco, one day before a U.S. House of Representatives vote that would have curtailed the NSA's surveillance inside the United States. On July 24th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would have eliminated funding for the agency’s vast phone data collection. The amendment was narrowly defeated by a margin of 205 to 217
Interrupting the normalization of anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions, Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred continue to alter the latest anti-Islamic ads posted by Pamela Geller's "American Freedom Defense Initiative" on San Francisco MUNI buses. In these remakes, Geller acknowledges that her struggle (jihad) is overcoming her virulent Islamophobia and racism. Geller's original ad was modified to read: "I'm Pamela Geller and I spread Islamophobia. I don't know why, but it's a struggle for me not to."