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Center Column Archives
For several years, Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) activists in Northern California and across the globe have pressured retailers to stop selling SodaStream products in their stores. On October 29, amid ongoing boycott pressure from the international community, Israeli beverage firm SodaStream announced that it was closing a controversial factory located in an occupied West Bank settlement. SodaStream said that it would relocate the factory by the end of 2015.
A Beehive Collective presentation originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm was shut down by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources. Lindow claimed that the art show was “not relevant to the research at the community farm." Determined not to be silenced, students at UC Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective’s art project on drought and Proposition 1 to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials, kicking off the Free Speech Movement.
On October 28, father and daughter Mauro Oliveira (Red Sun) and Mahai'a Sol helped blockade Beale Air Force base, which is east of Sacramento. They are free now, but they face Federal charges. Mauro Oliveira writes:
We want drones to end and until THAT day, my family wants it to be clear to the victims of drone strikes and to the entire world, that we believe in Peace, not war and consider drone strikes as a war crime against humanity and an act against the Creators greatest gift, the Children of the world, of which we all are.
As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.
Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations, as well as to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels. One of the largest private water brokers in the U.S., the Resnick holding company Roll International makes millions of dollars in profits off marketing subsidized public water back to the public.
On August 27, over 200 Tribal Members and Leaders, river advocates and politicians attended a day of celebration on the Trinity River below Lewiston Dam. It was a day that the Bureau of Reclamation designated as a “Multicultural Day,“ so the Hoopa Valley Tribe organized an event to demonstrate the impacts of water diversion on their culture and the river communities.
On August 21, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announced a settlement on behalf of plaintiffs Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in the animal groups’ lawsuit against egg industry defendants Andy Cheung and Lien Diep. The defendants abandoned 50,000 hens without food at a facility near Turlock, which led to the largest farmed animal rescue in California history.