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Center Column Archives
Roger Mentch, founding member of The Hemporium, a Santa Cruz County medical marijuana collective located in Felton, has been met with more resistance. Santa Clara County recently incarcerated Mentch, as well as Laura Eldridge, a disabled patient. Mentch spent five months behind bars at Elmwood Jail in Milpitas. He has been out of state custody since August 2009, and his next court date is scheduled on Friday, March 19th
in San Jose. Mentch argues that he has been the victim of entrapment by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Three pioneers of the Free Gaza Movement received city and congressional awards for their humanitarian work last month. The city of Milpitas, one of the country's largest locations of computer equipment manufacturing and software programming, was represented by Vice Mayor Pete McHugh. The public ceremony was sponsored by the San José Peace and Justice Center.
On Saturday, February 6
, a rally in support of the Iranian people and marking the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution will be held at 1pm at the Plaza De Cesar Chavez in San Jose. "The Iranian Revolution of 1979 stopped short of establishing a democratic government," say event organizers. "But today, after enduring more than three decades of renewed repression, Iranians are protesting once again to complete a mission that was left unfinished."
Raj Jayadev writes:
"On Oct. 24, the San Jose Mercury News released the video of a San Jose State math major getting beaten and tased by the San Jose Police Department in his home on Sept. 3, 2009. Police were called to the scene after 20-year-old Phuong Ho allegedly wielded a knife during an altercation with his roommate. All the viewer can hear, in between groaning cries of pain and calls for mercy, are the cracking sounds of the batons as they meet 20-year-old Phuong Ho’s head and body, and the torturous zapping of a Taser gun. It is, in a word, disturbing."
On September 17th, three CODEPINK activists confronted Condoleezza Rice at a speech inside the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA, calling her a war criminal, responsible for torture and lying the U.S. into a war of occupation in Iraq. They waited until her speech was finished before standing up with "bloody hands" to confront her loudly in front of about 1,000 audience members.
Author J. Patrick O'Connor was recently interviewed in San Francisco about his research into the case of San Quentin death row prisoner Kevin Cooper, whose appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court was recently denied, with Judge William Fletcher writing a stinging dissent, declaring that the "State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.” This fall, Cooper will be appealing to the US Supreme Court, which is last chance to avoid execution.
Angry "tea party" demonstrators were met by counter-protesters on August 15th, when US Senator Barbara Boxer (D) made an appearance at Barnes and Noble Booksellers to sign her new book. Activists for health care reform tried to calm the tenor of this, the third tea party gathering in San Jose, with anger management counseling offered from a booth they set up at the busy intersection in front of the store.