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Center Column Archives
New Leaf, a 35-year-old San Francisco center that offered mental health and substance abuse services for low-income, queer, and trans folks, has closed. Gay Shame organized a protest in front of the Department of Public Health and dramatized their frustration with the department's lack of support for New Leaf with street theater.
Recently in West Side Modesto, about 100 people gathered in protest against the police killings of Francisco Moran in early September 2010, and the recent murder of Rita Elias by a Stanislaus County Sheriff. Banners read, "RIP Francisco Moran, RIP Rita Elias," "DISARM MPD," and "From LA to Oakland to Modesto, Resist Police Terror, 209 RISE UP!" Family members and friends of Elias wore shirts with her image, and earlier that day they had helped fundraise for her funeral expenses and for her three children that she leaves behind.
George “Elfie” Ballis, photographer, Indybay contributor, organizer, and chronicler of Fresno’s progressive movement died Friday, September 24. He was 85. In recent years George “Elfie” Ballis spent much of his time producing video documentaries of the progressive movement in Fresno and the Central Valley. Some of his footage about Peace Fresno’s infiltration by the sheriff’s department ended up in Michael Moore’s 2004 hit movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Anarchist activist and former parade organizer Wes Modes was found guilty on August 16th of walking in the DIY New Year's parade on December 31, 2009. Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist rejected arguments that the citation was discriminatory and that the city's permit requirements were unconstitutional. Almquist also denied a lengthy challenge to the City's permit requirements without addressing all of the points it brought up.
Lawyers for Wes Modes, charged with participating in the 2009 Last Night DIY New Year's Parade, filed a brief with the court that challenges the constitutionality of City of Santa Cruz rules that require permits for first amendment activities, including parades. In the brief, Modes' attorney Jonathan Gettleman argues that the Santa Cruz City law requiring a permit for parade and protests is "an overbroad delegation of authority to government officials to control free speech and assembly."
Wes Modes returned to Santa Cruz County Court on July 16th. This high-profile infraction case, claimed by supporters as harassment of Modes, a well-known anarchist activist, stems from his alleged participation in the Last Night DIY New Year's parade on December 31st, 2009, as well as a knowledge that the 2009 parade did not receive a permit. A ruling in the case is expected shortly after August 9th.
On Sunday, June 27, Yonatan Shapira, an Israeli military refusenik, and Eaw Jasiewicz, a Polish activist sprayed "Liberate All Ghettos" in Hebrew, followed by "Free Gaza and Palestine" in English on a wall of an original block in the Warsaw Ghetto. In an interview with an Indybay reporter, Shapira states, "In our act we tried to separate between the actions of the Israeli Government and Jews.... the lesson that should be learned from the holocaust are resistance to any form of racism and ethnic cleansing."