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Center Column Archives
The newly revived ACT UP/San Francisco celebrated their one year anniversary with a demonstration for affordable housing on April 20. The event was aimed at drawing attention to the impact of increasing evictions and rental price increases in San Francisco on people living with HIV/AIDS. Featured speakers called on San Francisco's elected officials to move towards a moratorium on evictions where just cause is not proven, while looking towards curtailing market rate housing development in order to even out the market.
A vigil was held in San Francisco on April 7 in solidarity with the 130 detainees out of 166 in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility that are on hunger strike, who have been refusing food as a protest against their brutal detention conditions. Demonstrators, many from the Muslim community, were joined by passersby as a small contingent of activists dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods decided to occupy the middle of Market Street in an act of civil disobedience. Solidarity protests have been spreading. Demonstrations have been held in Kuwait, Yemen, New York and Washington DC, and more were organized across the U.S. for a day of action on April 11, including in San Francisco and Oakland.
Protesters mobilized to greet President Barack Obama who was in town for a series of fundraisers in San Francisco and Atherton on April 3 and 4. Approximately 1,000 demonstrators opposing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would extend from Canada to Texas, gathered outside the mansion of Ann and Gordon Getty in San Francisco the evening of April 3. The next day about 100 environmentalists lay in wait along the President's route after a fundraiser in Atherton.
On March 23, activists from across the Bay Area who want to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline converged on the Federal Building in San Francisco to hold group civil disobedience training exercises. The day began with an Idle No More Round Dance. Later individuals prepared for close contact with the police and practiced interlocking arms as a method of holding physical ground.
Interrupting the normalization of anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions, Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred continue to alter the latest anti-Islamic ads posted by Pamela Geller's "American Freedom Defense Initiative" on San Francisco MUNI buses. In these remakes, Geller acknowledges that her struggle (jihad) is overcoming her virulent Islamophobia and racism. Geller's original ad was modified to read: "I'm Pamela Geller and I spread Islamophobia. I don't know why, but it's a struggle for me not to."
Ten years ago on March 19, the U.S. bombing, invasion, and long-term occupation of Iraq began by order of George W Bush with the consent of the over 70% of Americans. Ten years ago on March 20, those opposed to U.S. military action rose up to protest en masse by shutting down downtown San Francisco in perhaps one of the largest collective acts of civil disobedience ever seen in the area. On the first day alone, nearly 1,500 people were arrested by SFPD.
On February 21st, over 100 CCSF students, faculty, and supporters marched, rallied, and occupied to demand an end to the cutbacks and the privatization of the college. The administration building was occupied overnight by about three dozen students. When the Chancellor agreed to meet with students on February 25th and explore their demands including regular open town hall meetings, protesters dispersed of their own accord without incident or arrest.