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Center Column Archives
On February 11th, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Republican state legislators introduced legislation to end collective bargaining for public employees on the premise that the attack on unions was motivated by budgetary concerns. Within a week, tens of thousands of public employees and labor supporters were demonstrating daily in the capital of Madison. Protests and solidarity rallies have since spread across the U.S. On February 26th, rallies were held in over 50 U.S. cities as part of a national day of action to demand an end to the attacks on workers' rights and public services across the country.
After web host Amazon and DNS host Dyn Inc. terminated service to WikiLeaks.org earlier this week, San Jose-based PayPal announced late last night that it has "permanently restricted" WikiLeaks' account. In a statement released on its blog, PayPal accused WikiLeaks of violating its acceptable use policy by "encourag[ing], promot[ing], facilitat[ing] or instruct[ing] others to engage in illegal activity." WikiLeaks has struggled to stay online after initiating the slow release of over 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables known as Cablegate, and is now available on several mirrors such as wikileaks.indymedia.org.
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America
and Food Revolution
, says the film Bold Native
"is the controversial story of young adults who just can’t sit by and stay silent in the face of massive cruelty to animals. Unwilling to passively succumb to resignation and despair, they take a stand, not just with their words, but with their actions. Some might see them as threats to society, others might admire them as self-sacrificing heroes, but no one could see this remarkable film and not gain a greater understanding of what courage really means.”
Marc Sapir writes
, "The core paid staff (representing perhaps 30-50 staff people at KPFA) essentially seized control of KPFA this morning [November 9th] to rally their listener base to resist efforts that could restore KPFA to financial solvency for the first time in 2 years, and bring it back from the brink of collapse (KPFA does not now have cash income to pay the staff regularly). What goes unstated is that the majority of staff at KPFA—over 150 programmers and producers--the people who keep the station on air 24/7 are volunteers are not represented in these antics."
Environmental activists at San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network (R.A.N.) pulled off an elaborate hoax on San Ramon-headquartered Chevron on Monday. Together with spoof specialists The Yes Men, R.A.N. created a look alike web site mocking Chevron's new “We Agree” advertising campaign. The political prank included phony press releases and a slogan attributed to Chevron “We Agree: Oil companies should clean up their messes."
On the morning of September 24th, FBI agents served grand jury subpoenas and raided the homes of several anti-war and social justice activists in Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. The federal law cited in the search warrants prohibits, "providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations." The Supreme Court recently rejected a free speech challenge to the material support law from humanitarian aid groups.
A protest took place in San Francisco on Tuesday, September 28th at the Federal Building at 7th St. and Mission St.
On September 15th, protesters gathered in front of Senator Feinstein's office in downtown San Francisco to demand full and fair employment. Federal economic stimulus funding passed by Congress last year created jobs in non-profit organizations to provide services to the community in the Jobs Now and Community Jobs Program. That funding ends September 30, 2010, and so do those jobs.