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Center Column Archives
On September 16th, Daniel Ellsberg, US Army Col. and diplomat Ann Wright (ret.), senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern (ret.), and KPFA morning host Aimee Allison spoke in Oakland to kick off a nationwide campaign to free alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning, accused of leaking thousands of documents and combat video showing the gunning down of Iraqi civilians and journalists. The event was be streamed live on Indybay as well as Michael Moore's website.
The Bay Area is commemorating the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage this week with speakers, films, costumes, and concerns. Members of the national organization Radical Women put out a call on the occasion of Women's Equality Day this year saying, "It's time to reclaim and re-energize a fighting, militant feminist movement!" In San Mateo, US Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo warned that women's reproductive rights continue to be threatened.
Protests took place on July 29th throughout Arizona, and around the U.S. and Mexico, against attacks on immigrants. These protests happened the day that Arizona's anti-immigrant law, SB1070, went into effect. There were actions in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities throughout the Bay Area and beyond. The day before, federal judge Bolton blocked several of the most controversial aspects of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect.
For weeks, as the trial of Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant has progressed, city leaders have been stirring up fears of "outside agitators" bringing trouble to Oakland should Mehserle be acquitted or found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter rather than the maximum now available, second degree murder. Corporate television stations have been running near daily coverage of Oakland police preparing to quell riots, while local non-profits have been disseminating talking points geared toward "inoculating" Oakland youth from their own feelings of anger. In Oakland, a community gathering has been called for 14th Street and Broadway at 6pm the day the verdict is announced. For further updates, see the next related Indybay feature
Northern California’s status as the home of high-quality marijuana didn’t need much reinforcement, but the region dominated the competition at the first High Times Medical Cannabis Cup on June 19th and 20th in San Francisco. The event featured a presentation by internationally renowned, best-selling author Jorge Cervantes during his first U.S. appearance. There was also an expo, cultivation seminars, an activism session with leaders of the medical marijuana movement and much more.
Arab Queers write:
"We, the undersigned queer Arab organizations, are appalled by the US Social Forum’s decision to allow Stand with Us to utilize the event as a platform to pinkwash Israel’s crimes in the region. Stand with Us is cynically manipulating the struggle of queer people in the Middle East through its workshop entitled LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East
On June 23rd,
the leadership of the US Social Forum voted to cancel the workshop in question for "being in violation of the anti-racist principles central to the US Social Forum."
On Sunday, May 23rd, community members held a vigil from 11am to 1pm in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza to mourn the death of Aiyana Jones and all victims of police violence. Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was shot and killed by police on May 16th during a no-knock raid on her family's Detroit home. The incident was filmed by the crew of the reality TV cop show The First 48
, which had been following the Detroit Police Department. A lawyer for the Jones family claims that the footage contradicts the police account of the incident.