$0.00 donated in past month
Center Column Archives
Twelve people injured by the Oakland police department during Occupy Oakland demonstrations have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit with the city of Oakland for a total of $1.17 million. The injuries came as a result of OPD's violent response to Occupy Oakland on October 25 and November 2, 2011. Injured plaintiffs include long-time Indybay journalist David Morse. OPD has agreed to allow the federal court to enforce its compliance with its own crowd control policy, which prohibits police from shooting "less lethal" impact munitions or tossing explosive teargas grenades into crowds, and prohibits mass arrests without warning or opportunity to disperse.
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.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers began to strike on July 1. They have been joined by other transit workers and supporters across the Bay Area to protest the attacks on their wages and health care and pension benefits forced on them by management after previous concessions, which already included a five year wage freeze. UPDATE: BART workers agreed to return to work on July 5 under their current contract for a 30-day negotiating period. Another strike remains possible.
On November 5th, 2010, hundreds of demonstrators protested the light sentence given to Johannes Mehserle for killing Oscar Grant. Marchers took to the streets and headed toward the Fruitvale BART station, but Oakland police had other plans. One hundred and fifty demonstrators were detained and arrested, forced to spend up to twenty-four hours in police custody under inhumane conditions. In a class action settlement reached by the National Lawyers Guild, the city has not only acknowledged that the arrests were illegal but has agreed to pay $1.025 million and abide by a revised crowd control policy.
On May Day 2013, the fight for a $15 'Livable Wage' came to Oakland. A rally at Oscar Grant Plaza was followed by a noise demonstration through the streets of Oakland to raise awareness about the campaign. The noise march in Oakland followed a Sin Fronteras march from Fruitvale BART station earlier in the day. Immigrant rights and labor actions took place in many Bay Area and Northern California cities on May Day including San Francisco, San Jose, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz.
The family, friends, co-workers, and congregation of Amos G. Smith gathered in Union City on April 13 for a candlelight vigil to honor the 26-year-old man who was shot and killed on March 2 by officers with the Union City Police Department. Yolanda Smith, Amos' mother, stood with a sign that read "Union City Police Dept. Murders." She said that officers with the Union City Police Department told her very little about what had occurred that night, only that her son pointed a gun at them and that the two officers involved wound up shooting him eight times in the back of the head.
Last year on May Day, a boisterous but mostly peaceful demonstration promoted by Occupy Oakland and other groups, was attacked by an OPD assault force. In the ensuing confusion, Oakland police targeted several individuals. Like so many arrested during actions of civil disobedience and protest, the district attorney has stacked charges on top of the initial ones, and failed to notify the accused of his arraignments. On March 19th, the Oakland Police Department sent ten officers to Prince’s home to make good on their warrant. Prince was being held at Santa Rita jail on $25,000 bail, but all charges were dropped except for one on March 21 and supporters were able to pay the bond for his release.