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Center Column Archives
Four years ago, Tristan Anderson, an Oakland-based human rights activist, was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli military police. On March 13th, on the anniversary of Tristan's injury, dozens gathered in Oscar Grant Plaza to celebrate Global Resistance Day. Global Resistance Day honors Tristan and all who have transcended borders and risked their lives to resist tyranny. Friends and family of Tristan Anderson announced that they will soon go to Israel to press charges against the Israeli police on Tristan's behalf.
On February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered. On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
On March 5, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet (GP), co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. Police claimed he was in violation of his parole, but GP has been off of parole since August 2012. Supporters believe this is a political attack because earlier that same day, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally. As of March 16, Ghetto Prophet is still being held at Santa Rita jail and supporters are asking for donations to help support his family.
On Wednesday, February 13th at 7pm, the Berkeley Police Review Commission will hold a hearing to discuss a possible drone policy for the city of Berkeley. On Thursday, February 14th at 1pm, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors' Public Protection Committee will hold a hearing on the Alameda County Sheriff's plan to purchase and deploy a drone. The Sheriff's office has stated it wanted to use the drone for "suspicious persons" and "large crowd control disturbances."
Two squats located in Oakland are facing eviction in the coming weeks. The Stayaway, located in the Highland neighborhood of East Oakland, received a "Notice to Vacate" for this Wednesday, February 13th. The RCA/Hot Mess compound, located in North Oakland, has been fighting eviction through court proceedings, but organizers believe eviction orders will be coming in the next week. Many of those organizing defense for the squats believe that "both spaces could face raids on or before Valentine's Day."
On January 10th, IWW members and community allies staged an informational picket and rally to build energy towards what organizers think will be a protracted contract negotiation with Berkeley's Ecology Center. Management at the non-profit recycling center is looking to offer minor wage increases over the next two years, impose a wage freeze for the remaining three years of the new contract, and remove any employer-related benefit contributions. Workers have vowed to continue fighting against any and all concessions proposed by management of the company.
On Tuesday, January 15th
, hundreds of community activists from groups including Stop the Injunctions Coalition and Justice for Alan Blueford gathered at Oakland's City Council Public Safety Committee meeting to protest Oakland's plans to hire former NYPD and LAPD police chief William Bratton as a consultant to the OPD. Bratton is well known for the implementation of aggressive policing tactics known as "zero tolerance" policy which applies aggressive policing tactics such as New York's infamous "stop and frisk" to target minor infractions within the city. Even though the public safety meeting was well attended by those opposed to the contract, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the city council vote on the proposal.