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Center Column Archives
David Morse, a long-time member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center has settled his lawsuit over the University of California - Berkeley Police Department’s improper arrest, imprisonment, and seizure of journalistic materials during a student demonstration he was covering as a journalist. In exchange for Mr. Morse’s agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, UC Regents have paid $162,500 and have agreed to modify UCBPD policies and procedures and to conduct extensive training sessions for UCBPD officers regarding protections for journalists under federal and state law.
On June 15th
, after the last day of school, Oakland parents and teachers will sit in at Lakeview Elementary demanding that the district keep all neighborhood schools open. Supporters
write: "We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support!"
On June 8th, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District in San Francisco, ruled that Mehserle's conviction should not be overturned. While the Involuntary Manslaughter conviction was considered grossly unjust, far too lenient and an affront to East Bay residents all too familiar with police violence against communities of color, the denial of Mehserle's appeal comes as something of a relief for Oscar Grant's family and the Oakland community. The conviction prevents Mehserle from ever wearing a badge and a gun again.
Chris Morland of Occupy Oakland's Tactical Action Committee has been repeatedly targeted by police for his outspokenness on issues of economic injustices. He has helped to organize numerous actions around foreclosures and homelessness in Oakland. After a May 23rd "community meeting" called by Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Police Department to address the recent police murder of high school senior Alan Blueford, Chris was arrested and charged with felony assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, the weapon being the bullhorn he was speaking through.
The students of Quebec have taken a struggle against tuition hikes and mobilized hundreds of thousands against austerity and state repression. What began as a one-week university student strike has widened into an anti-capitalist revolt against universities, banks and police in what many are calling a general and indefinite social strike. In the face of state repression, the students of Montreal have returned to the streets night after night for over 100 days. On June 1st, an evening march was held in Oakland to show solidarity with the student struggle to the north.
At least two individuals have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury that appears to be investigating a fire set at the home of a UC Santa Cruz animal researcher in 2008. There was no claim of responsibility for the fire, and there is no evidence activists were responsible. Nonetheless, the incident became the impetus for the "AETA 4" case, which saw the indictment of four Bay Area activists before charges were dismissed in 2010.
A Skyline High School senior is dead after Oakland police profiled and opened fire on him. The shooting death of 18-year-old Alan Dwayne Blueford occurred near 90th Avenue and Birch Street in Oakland, early in the morning on Sunday, May 6th. Alan and two friends were standing outside waiting for some female acquaintances to give them a ride. According to Oakland police, two of their officers believed one of the youth was carrying a gun. It is unclear how this was determined based on their looks.