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Center Column Archives
Following the unauthorized release of information by Edward Snowden on June 7, the NSA has faced an unprecedented wave of public scrutiny. On July 23, the California Department of Corrections (CDC) "apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged" a billboard in San Francisco, one day before a U.S. House of Representatives vote that would have curtailed the NSA's surveillance inside the United States. On July 24th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would have eliminated funding for the agency’s vast phone data collection. The amendment was narrowly defeated by a margin of 205 to 217
At the UC Regents meeting on July 18 at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, students and workers protested the appointment of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napaolitano as the president of the UC education system because of her role in targeting immigrant youth and immigrant workers.
Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, on July 13, hundreds took to the streets in Napa, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francsisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. At rallies, candle light vigils, and marches, community members have called for justice for Trayvon and an end to the racial profiling and police abuses that occur on a day-to-day basis across the country. Demonstrations for justice continue locally and nationally.
On July 9, thousands marched down Market Street in San Francisco to the Department of Education to protest the privately run Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' (ACCJC) revelation that they aim to terminate City College of San Francisco’s accreditation. Thousands of students could be cut off from this educational resource by 2014.
Hundreds gathered at the Federal Building in San Francisco on July 2 to protest the proposed Chained CPI, and to send a strong message to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi “Do Not Mess with Our Social Security, and Expand Medicare for All!” After surrounding the Federal Building, demonstrators covered blocks as they marched to Post & Market Street. In 50 cities around the country, similar demonstrations took place and fired up the fight.
US Supreme Court decisions making gay marriage legal in California and striking down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act came just days before Pride weekend in San Francisco. On June 28th, anarchists participating in the annual Trans March hoisted a banner with the slogan "No Pride in Assimilation/No Future in Capitalism". Two days later a Bradley Manning contingent marched at Pride Sunday then encircled a National Guard booth in protest of military recruiting.
Protests in Turkey began May 28 at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park, against plans to turn the loved and historic city park into a shopping mall. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan brutally attacked the peaceful demonstrators. As daily anti-government protests rocked Istanbul, demonstrators in the Bay Area showed solidarity against Turkish state repression with protests in Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and Oakland, in addition to the establishment of Gezi Gardens in San Francisco.