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Center Column Archives
Occupy Wall Street in New York called for a nationwide May Day General Strike. Cities and towns across the United States are heeding the call. Workers will be striking, students will be leaving classes, and banks and other large corporations will be forced to close for the day across the nation. May 1st
, 2012, promises to be the largest American May Day since the Immigrant Rights May Day in 2006 and probably the most widespread and furthest reaching in decades.
Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from northern California on Monday, April 16 challenged Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, at his Vallejo office to protect indigenous women from racial slurs and physical harm during coming of age ceremonies planned for this June. Although claiming to be unfamiliar with the issue, Moore promised to review the Winnemem's request to close 400 yards of the McCloud River arm of Shasta Reservoir for 4 days so that the Tribe can conduct the ceremony. Moore committed to respond to the Tribe's request by May 1, 2012. While closing the river will mean a lot to the Tribe, it will have no impact on the Forest Service, said Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader.
Just months after UC Davis police pepper sprayed seated students in the face during a protest against university privatization and police brutality, Chancellor Linda Katehi's administration is trying to send some of the same students to prison for their alleged role in protests that led to the closure of a US Bank branch on campus. On March 29th, weeks after an anti-privatization action against the US Bank branch, 11 UC Davis students and one professor received orders to appear at Yolo County Superior Court. District Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging campus protesters with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place and one count of conspiracy. Support has been requested for their arraignment, which has been rescheduled to May 10th
Monsanto closed its facility in Davis, California on March 16th after 150 occupiers from throughout the state blocked the entrances to their Davis facility at 1910 5th Street. The occupiers reported that they shut down operations at the corporate giant, which produces genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and is notorious for its inordinate influence over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Students, educators, workers, and supporters of the Occupy movement, converged in the thousands on the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 5th. They were there to demand that the government fund education and social services. In the morning, a march left Sacramento's Southside Park headed for the Capitol. There they were joined by thousands of other protesters.
They came from across the state.
On the afternoon of Friday, November 18th, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi ordered the UC Davis police to clear student protesters from the main quad on campus. In a gesture of solidarity with UC Berkeley students and faculty, and the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis had set up tents on the main quad. Police in riot gear arrived to remove the tents, and students responded by sitting in a circle and linking arms around the tents. Without provocation, police pepper-sprayed the students. UC Davis students, alumni and others will converge on Monday, November 21st
at noon on the quad to show solidarity and support for the students who were beaten and pepper-sprayed, and for a conversation about the university’s future.
On Saturday, October 22nd, over a hundred people from across the Central Valley participated in the Caravan of Resistance against police brutality both inside local jails and on the streets. Participants from Modesto, Stockton, Manteca, Davis, Sacramento, and Merced all converged to participate in a string of actions in a total of three cities. The Caravan brought together over a hundred people: blacks, Chicanos, and working class whites joined with victims' families to protest murder and brutality at the hands of the police.