$32.00 donated in past month
Center Column Archives
Newly elected Governor Jerry Brown’s 2011–2012 budget proposal slashes $12.5 billion dollars from essential health and human services. Brown himself characterized his new budget as "draconian." Immediately following the January 10th announcement of Brown’s new budget, health service agencies held a press conference in the Sacramento State House denouncing the proposal. Statewide actions included similar press conferences and rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and Fresno.
Hundreds of students and community activists held a rally at CSU-Fresno in support of the Dream Act. The rally was prompted by media reports that Associated Student president at CSUF, Pedro Ramirez, was undocumented. The news about Ramirez's immigration status was first reported in the CSUF Collegian newspaper and later on MSNBC, the BBC, and other national and international media outlets.
In a dramatic "October Surprise" that community activists say is certain to decrease voter turnout in Fresno County, 200 out of the normal 400 polling places have been closed. Hardest hit is southwest Fresno, which is predominantly African American and Latino, where activists say that 75% of polling places have been eliminated. Sabina Gonzalez, who is the campaign director for Communities for a New California, says some residents in SW Fresno will be forced to walk over 2 miles to find a polling place that is open.
This year was the 15th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. Throughout Northern California marches, rallies and vigils were held on October 22nd and 23rd to mark the days of action against police brutality. On October 23rd, the ILWU and other unions shut down Bay Area ports to join a Justice for Oscar Grant Rally in downtown Oakland. In Eureka, organizers announced two days of marches and rallies. Vigils and marches were held in Fresno and Modesto.
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."
On Thursday, August 19th
at 8:30am the Fresno Brown Berets and CA Prison Moratorium Project will present a petition to the Fresno City Council demanding Police Chief Jerry Dyer be fired and that reforms be made like drug testing the cops. You are encouraged to attend and share your own story.