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Center Column Archives
On September 27th, thousands of members of the four employee unions of the United States Postal Service joined forces with allies and community members to send a message to the nation and its Congress. All around the country, protesters demonstrated against proposals to close thousands of post offices, eliminate Saturday deliveries, lay off workers, cut postal workers’ pay, and end collective bargaining rights.
“Don’t Sell To Zell!” shouted East Palo Alto tenants and supporters, as they rallied on August 22nd in front of a Wells Fargo branch in downtown Palo Alto. The demonstrators protested Wells Fargo’s pending arrangement with investment group Equity Residential, of which Sam Zell is the founder and chairman. The proposed sale would transfer ownership of more than half of the rent-controlled housing in East Palo Alto.
After more than a decade of legal battles, a decision by a final court ruled against the group Friends of Juana Briones House. The oldest house in Palo Alto, named for its famous resident who was a latina pioneer, is being dismantled, piece by piece. Juana Briones healed the sick and cared for the poor. An elementary school and park in Palo Alto both bear her name. Her house, parts of which were built in 1844, is being destroyed by the current property owner.
A spike in the level of radioactive iodine from Japan's Fukushima Daichii plant was discovered in milk samples in California's San Luis Obispo County in late March. On April 2nd, the EPA issued a press release stating that radioactive material in California's rainwater is the result of the nuclear disaster in Japan. While health officials assure the public that the increases present no danger, Californians are expressing deep concern about nuclear reactors that are poised near earthquake faults on the coast. Scheduled protests include in San Francisco on April 14th
, Avila Beach, California, near Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, on April 16th
, and Menlo Park on April 26th
On Monday, April 4th, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, local coalitions participated in nationwide actions to support Wisconsin workers, public services and the middle class. Organizers of the rally at the Santa Cruz County Government Center stated, "Dr. King was killed in Memphis, TN, where he had stood with sanitation workers who were struggling for the right to bargain collectively. The actions by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to eliminate collective bargaining – and the gradual eroding of the American middle class - only undermine that struggle."
Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) is an Israeli direct action group established in 2003 to resist the Annexation Wall being built by Israel on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank. They support Palestinian civilian resistance to massive confiscation of land and denial of freedom of movement caused by construction of the Wall. AATW activists have joined thousands of demonstrations against the Wall and against the Occupation in dozens of villages throughout the West Bank. They are currently touring in the US, including giving several presentations in Northern California.
Nurses, teachers, and union members lined the Bayshore Freeway in front of the San Francisco Airport Hyatt-Regency on September 21st to protest a Meg Whitman fundraising event. Anti-war activists were also on hand to demonstrate against former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who endorsed Whitman for Governor in a speech at the hotel.