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Center Column Archives
On August 19th, the Idriss Stelley Foundation (ISF) and the Kenneth Harding Jr. Foundation teamed up with POOR Magazine and Peoples Community Medics for a day of solidarity in Bayview/Hunter's Point in order to bring attention to the police accountability movement. Idriss Stelley was murdered by the SFPD at the Sony Metreon Theater on June 12th, 2001 at only 23-years-old. Stelley's mother, Mesha Monge-Irizarry, an activist before her son's killing, has become one of the leading figures in the police accountability movement.
According to Anna Bakalis from SEIU 1021, the management at the de Young museum is intimidating and using “anti-worker tactics” to make cuts to the salaries of the “least paid workers” employed there. On Friday, September 7th, members from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021 blocked the entrance to the de Young art museum in San Francisco. Nineteen people were arrested, and the attendees at the museum's “Friday Nights at the Museum” event were greeted with loud chants, singing, and civil disobedience.
A well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" began running Islamophobic ads on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, local artists took matters into their own hands and began modifiying the ads. Several now read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."
On Saturday, July 21st, Anaheim police shot and killed 25-year-old Manuel Diaz by shooting him in the back and head. Police then opened fire on protestors with beanbags and pepper spray, and also released a dog which attacked demonstrators. The next day, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo. On July 26th and July 27th, marches were held in San Francisco and Oakland in solidarity with the people of Anaheim. In Oakland, protesters marched to OPD headquarters and windows were smashed at the Warehouse Bar & Grill, a local bar frequented by Oakland police.
On June 12th, family members held a memorial for Derrick Gaines, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed by an officer with the South San Francisco Police Department on the evening of June 5th. Police claim that Gaines, who was walking with a friend near an Arco gas station, was engaging in "suspicious behavior".
On September 8th, 2011, BART police mass arrested close to thirty people, including Indybay reporter Dave Id, inside the Powell Street BART station during a protest against BART police. Protesters and journalists alike were handcuffed for hours and charged with violating California Penal Code Section 369i. On June 4th, the case was heard in open court and charges were dismissed against fourteen defendants represented by the NLG. It is unknown if other arrestees sought independent counsel, paid a fine for the infraction, had their charges dismissed, or if their charges remain pending.
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.