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Center Column Archives
On November 29, Black Friday 2013, Walmart employees, family members, and allies protested at hundreds of Walmart stores across the U.S. to demand improved working conditions, including increased wages, full-time jobs, and an end to retaliatory practices against those who stand up for workers' rights. Among other Northern California outlets of the retail giant that were targeted, demonstrations were held in San Leandro, Roseville, and Fresno/Clovis. Fifteen people in Roseville and five people in San Leandro were arrested for civil disobedience.
Friends and family from coast to coast are mourning the loss of 28-year-old Anthony Messer, who died in Santa Cruz on the evening of December 2. Anthony was well known across California as a veteran of the U.S. military, a political activist, a traveler, and a generally friendly person who exuded positivity. Funeral services were held for him on December 9 in Chipley, Florida.
On the morning of October 22nd
, supporters and members of some 50 families of those executed by California police will converge on Sacramento as part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. They will demand proper investigations into their loved ones' deaths — not whitewashes by police and District Attorneys refusing to thoroughly investigate. After the rally In Sacramento, there will be two more rallies in Oakland along with events held in Fresno, Hayward, Redding, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other cities in California and across the United States.
As the U.S. government marched towards war with Syria in late August, anti-war groups and activists across the state responded with two weeks of emergency demonstrations. The ANSWER Coalition organized a series of protests, and actions were planned for the offices of Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Events were also held at well known anti-war protest locations such as Peace Crossroads in San Jose and on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz.
After two days of destroying property, the City of Fresno completely dismantled and removed the homeless from several of the largest encampments in downtown Fresno on August 27. Much of the homeless people’s property was put in roll off dumpsters by city workers where they say it can be "reclaimed." All of the Golden State off ramp encampment, Santa Clara street, F street, and G street south of the Rescue Mission are now gone. Nearly two hundred people have moved to other encampments or they are planning on returning once the dust settles.
The federal government announced on August 2 the start of two new analyses of fracking risks to California public lands. The Bureau of Land Management will begin developing a new “environmental impact statement” for fracking in Central California, along with a statewide independent scientific assessment of the dangerous oil extraction process. Completion of the environmental impact statement and scientific review are likely to take more than a year.
Governor Brown has proposed building two massive $50 billion water tunnels to divert the Sacramento River to corporate interests in the Central Valley. Fracking opponents say the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta could play a role in increasing fracking in California, so that oil companies and huge agribusinesses can make even more profits.