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Center Column Archives
The new documentary "The Ghosts Of March 21" focuses on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between Lovelle Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon and four police officers. The documentary examines the encounter’s underlying contradictions and challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation. The film opened in Oakland and Berkeley on March 20 and 21, San Francisco on March 22, and Santa Rosa on March 23.
At some point late in the night after the Oakland City Council voted to continue with the Domain Awareness Center on March 5 — albeit a significantly scaled-down Port-only version of the surveillance center — a group calling themselves the Technophobic Women's Action Team (T.W.A.T.) staged camover actions against stoplight cameras at two intersections in West Oakland.
On March 1, urban farmers demonstrated at Sprouts grocery chain locations in Petaluma, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. The farmers oppose plans to develop the Gill Tract. Boycott Sprouts is asking shoppers to patronize other stores until Sprouts backs away from the development deal. On March 5, the Albany City Council approved paving six acres of the Gill Tract. In response to the council's vote, Occupy the Farm has called for a rally on March 12
Fearing open rebellion in the wake of the Oscar Grant, Occupy, and Trayvon revolts, those in power in Oakland have pushed for the Domain Awareness Center (DAC) to become a central hub for citywide surveillance. The system is not yet fully functional and local privacy advocates continue to fight to stop the DAC. The Oakland City Council discussed the DAC on February 18, appearing to swing against it with proposals to limit implementation to the Port of Oakland, rather than citywide, but put off a vote on this new scaled-back version until March 4
On the evening of February 12, a small crowd gathered in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley PD in early 2013. When the speakers concluded, about forty people marched to the Berkeley Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” The Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
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.