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Center Column Archives
In the early morning on January 21, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers killed Antonio Mestas in Oakland. At about 9pm that evening, another CHP officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jose Munguia near 54th and Wentworth Avenues. A police K-9 was also shot during the incident and was rushed to a veterinarian. In reaction, vandals defaced the front of the CHP station at 3601 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. On January 24, family and friends of Antonio Mestas held a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
On February 13, UC Berkeley students took over the Blum Center in protest of the appointment of Janet Napolitano as President of the UC system, as well as the UC regents privatization of California higher education. The day began with a rally and march to mark the arrival of Napolitano, with the march ending at the Blum Center, where students occupied the building and remained in protest of both Richard Blum as regent and Napolitano as president. Occupiers left the building on their own the following day.
According to an article published on Indybay's newswire, at 7am on January 21, a group went to the home of Anthony Levandowski, a Google X developer. After ringing his doorbell to alert him of the protest, a banner was held in front of his house that read "Google's Future Stops Here" and fliers about him were distributed around the neighborhood. The fliers detail his work with the defense industry and his plans to develop luxury condos in Berkeley. After blocking his driveway for approximately 45 minutes, the group blocked a Google bus at Ashby BART.
Civil rights attorney Dan Siegel announced his candidacy for mayor of Oakland on January 9. Siegel spelled out an ambitious agenda focused on social and economic justice which includes a $15 minimum wage, public schools to develop into community centers, neighborhood gardens to flourish throughout the city, Oakland police to stop abusing citizens, and the Domain Awareness Center to be shut down.
On January 1, 2014, hundreds of people marked five years of struggle for justice for Oscar Grant at a vigil at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland. That evening, a panel examined various aspects of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement, its legacy, and how it continues to shape current events in Oakland. The evening event was a "friendraiser" for the forthcoming documentary "Oscar Grant: The Rest of the Story".
The City of Richmond, California voted to continue its groundbreaking effort to save resident homeowners from foreclosure on December 17, 2013. The City Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of moving forward with its plan to use its right of eminent domain to protect homeowners and to "prioritize those neighborhoods that have been particularly hard hit by the housing crisis." Before the meeting began, approximately seventy-five supporters of Richmond's initiative rallied in front of Richmond City Hall.