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Center Column Archives
On Sunday, June 3rd, the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz presented the 38th annual Santa Cruz Pride event, which featured a march and rally with thousands of people on Pacific Avenue. Some of the many featured speakers and performers included representatives of the Diversity Center, John Laird, who was the first openly gay mayor when he took over the mayoralty of the city of Santa Cruz in 1983, and cheer squads from San Francisco, Sacramento and Folsom.
In a courtroom packed full of supporters at the Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland, California, all twelve defendants, known as both the "Davis Dozen" and the "Banker's Dozen", pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on May 10th. They also rejected a plea deal offered by the Assistant District, calling the charges against them "a sham." On Friday, June 1st, the Davis Dozen returned to the Yolo County Courthouse for a pre-trial conference. A June 1st pre-trial conference was brief, and a date was set for another pre-trial conference to file motions on Friday, June 22nd
On May 29th, community members involved with the Right to Vote on Desal petition drive rallied at City Hall and turned in 2,003 petitions with the signatures of 8,717 Santa Cruz water citizens to the City Clerk, who now has 30 days to complete the signature verification process. 5,500 verified signatures is the requirement to move forward, which is 15% of registered city voters, and if that number is reached, citizens will have a chance to decide if construction of the proposed desalination plant will proceed.
On Wednesday, June 6th
, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) is set to vote on one of two motions that would approve the expansion of UC Santa Cruz while imposing conditions on the availability of water service to the Upper Campus. Community members have planned for a 5-mile walk after the meeting to the UCSC administration, and then to the forest, if a decision is reached permitting development in the Upper Campus.
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a four-day War Dance (H’up Chonas in Winnemem) May 24-27
at the McCloud River site where they hold their Coming of Age ceremonies. The War Dance signifies the tribe’s spiritual commitment to defend at all costs the ceremony from heckling, flashing, and violating disruptions by recreational boaters that have occurred in previous years. More than 400 volunteers from throughout the country, native and non-native, are expected to converge upon the sacred sites to help the tribe close the river and protect the War Dance from interference by boaters.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed a brief as amicus curiae, on May 3rd, in support of Bradley Stuart Allen and Alex Darocy’s motion to dismiss, pursuant to Penal Code section 995, pending before the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Cruz. In the brief, ACLU of Northern California concludes, "The prosecution’s theories of liability for conspiracy to trespass and aiding and abetting trespass seek to punish Allen and Darocy for activity they engaged in that is protected by the First Amendment and the liberty of speech clause of the California Constitution."
On April 28th, hundreds of women and men gathered at the capitol building in Sacramento, held a two hour rally, then marched through the downtown district. Speakers said that California needs to be at the forefront to keep the tide from turning against abortion and other women's rights. Protesters insisted that the war on women is very real, and vowed to be heard in the legislature and on the streets.