Mark Hawthorne writes:
One of the most exciting results of Proposition 2 — California’s successful campaign to ban battery cages for hens, gestation crates pigs and veal crates for calves — is that it energized activists across the United States, introducing a new generation of animal advocates to the horrors of factory farming. Many of these people had known little, if anything, about agribusiness practices. But they literally took up the Prop 2 banner, getting involved in the fight to end the use of intensive-confinement devices in California.
Copwatcher and member of the Free Mind Media Center (a Santa Rosa based radical infoshop and bookstore) Ben Saari, was arrested on May Day while doing Copwatch and has charges pending against him.
On May 31st, nearly a thousand protesters marched across the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the proposed spraying of the Bay Area for light brown apple moths.
Groups gathered on both sides of the bridge and marched to the middle carrying signs protesting the proposed aerial spraying of a moth pheromone as part of a statewide campaign to wipe out the moth.
On January 24th, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Chuck Conner announced the availability of $74.5 million in emergency funding to combat the light brown apple moth (LBAM) "infestation" in California. President Bush's recent budget proposal sent to Congress sets aside $330 Million to eradicate plant pests, like the LBAM. It is unprecedented to design a long term plan to spray chemicals on people, which are untested for safety.
Aerial spraying of pesticides in Monterey and Santa Cruz is set to continue and soon will come to the Bay Area. Pesticide opponents say, "This supposed 'emergency' is the presence of the light brown apple moth in Bay Area counties, but like all toxic dumping by the agriculture industry, it is likely more about industry profits." While pro-environment organizations are calling on officials to use sticky traps instead of sprays, aerial treatments are scheduled to begin June 1st in the infested areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, with subsequent aerial treatments expected to begin August 1st in San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Tiburon and Belvedere.
The November 7th
spill of bunker fuel from the Cosco Busan, South Korea-bound container ship, is shaping up to be much more serious than early reports indicated and appears to be the worst ship-related spill in more than a decade. The Coast Guard estimates that over 58,000 gallons of fuel were spilled from the accident. Only a fraction of those gallons of fuel have been contained thus far. San Francisco Baykeeper is investigating why initial reports underestimated the size of the spill and why the Coast Guard failed to immediately coordinate its response with the Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
On Monday, Oct. 22nd
, Sonoma County residents will wear black and march through Santa Rosa neighborhoods to protest 9 local killings by local law enforcement. The march begins at 4:00pm in Southwest Community Park, with a 5pm feeder march from Sebastopol Rd. and West Ave, and followed by a 6pm rally in Old Courthouse Square. There will be an open microphone at the rally. Speakers will likely include surviving loved ones of people who died at the hands of law enforcement, and people who have suffered from past and present police abuses.