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After six months of organizing rallies and actions behind the "redwood curtain" protesting CalTrans' plan to expand Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park, Richardson Grove Action Now took the fight to the state capital in Sacramento, where they carried out a flash mob action. The highway expansion plan threatens some of the last 2% remaining ancient redwoods on Earth.
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.
Activists in the Bay Area are shining a light on the connection between recently announced budget cuts and a corporate culture of tax evasion. Late last month, members of San Francisco's US Uncut movement held a sit-in at a Bank of America branch in the Mission District to call attention to the fact that the mega bank paid no federal taxes for years 2009 or 2010. As the April 18th tax filing deadline approaches, banks in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Oakland are protest targets.
Fifty members of the Bay Area human rights community protested the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco on February 27th, using chants, songs and street theater to highlight the IPO’s role in whitewashing Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. The orchestra’s performances are being met with protests in six of the seven cities on its US tour, including a protest at Carnegie Hall in New York and at Seattle’s Benaroya Opera House.
On February 12th, a benefit is being held for the Red Vic Movie House on Haight Street in San Francisco. Organizers state that "San Francisco is dangerously close to losing this 30-year old worker-owned community establishment. All the filmmakers and speakers in this series are donating 100% the box office revenue to the keep the Red Vic's doors open so they can continue to give voice to films like these that [the] mainstream does NOT want you you to see!" Lovers + Liberators is a fund-raising event for the Red Vic that brings together three films with the themes of liberation and domestic "terrorism".
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."
Last week Rainforest Action Network's Change Chevron team asked people to call Chevron CEO John Watson and congratulate him for being inducted into Corporate Accountability International's Corporate Hall of Shame. The same day, Rainforest Action Network activists teamed up with the Raging Grannies, boarding a biodiesel bus to deliver an enlarged Corporate Hall of Shame certificate to Watson at his home in Lafayette, California.

Arts + Action:   3