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Center Column Archives
Attorney David E. Mastagni of the Sacramento law firm Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller & Johnsen has demanded that the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) remove a post by Vallejo Copwatch. It is unclear on whose behalf the overly broad demand was made as it requests that Indybay "remove any and all information pertaining to public safety officers employed by the City of Vallejo." The specific Vallejo Copwatch post listed in the demand letter, though, identifies Vallejo police officer Dustin B. Joseph as the killer of Mario Romero on September 2nd of this year. The Indybay Collective has no intention of removing the post.
"The spectre of state repression has been growing over Bay Area radical milieus. Grand juries in the Pacific Northwest and in Santa Cruz, threats by police of using gang enhancements against activists, the recent string of mass arrests, the profusion of political divisions and threats, abundant conspiracy theories, surveillance of our social spaces, FOIA paperwork that references a confidential informer--The list goes on and on and on. Even though everything we hear cannot be entirely proven or disproven, recent events underscore the importance of preparing for a possible crackdown."
Around 500 peaceful but rowdy protesters came out on September 17th in San Francisco to mark the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The protest began with several separate actions around the Financial District, which coalesced in a rally in front of the Bank of America building. The protesters then marched to Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, filling more than two blocks with signs and banners, accompanied by the Brass Liberation Orchestra. Separately, similar anniversary events at Wall Street in New York City were met with a heavy police police presence followed by over 200 arrests.
Valerie Leveroni Corral writes:
"10 years ago at the break of dawn, awakened by the stomp of heavy booted agents, WAMM was raided by 30 DEA agents. Mike and I were taken into custody; chainsaw wielding agents cut the entire garden down, WAMM members blocked the gate, locking agents behind, and WAMM members and supporters bargaining for our release. What followed changed the course of medical marijuana, circumventing the government’s strategy to eliminate patient service organizations, legal under California state law. Santa Cruz City and County enjoined WAMM members in a lawsuit that resulted in a settlement, allowing WAMM to continue our service as the only collective sanctioned by the federal government."
The 2012 Republican National Convention was held in Tampa, Florida from August
28th through 30th. The entirety of downtown Tampa was within the RNC security zone. There were demonstrations, rallies, and marches happening throughout the week. Beforehand, hysterical corporate media reports — fed by releases from law enforcement authorities — warned of threats from "outlaws and anarchists." Local officials wrote a new-anti protest law, set up security cameras throughout the city, and set aside 1,700 beds at the local jail to handle "troublemakers", but the largest protest was only 1000 people strong and Tampa itself was largely a police state ghost town. There were just two arrests, both under the new city law. Indybay has reports, photos, and video from throughout, with more still coming in.
On August 16th, six veterans and activists in Oakland, CA, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
On July 25th, multiple homes were raided and grand jury subpoenas issued in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. Three homes were raided in Portland, by approximately 60-80 police, including FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force. Individuals at the homes say police used flash grenades during the raid. Grand jury subpoenas have been served to individuals in all three cities: two in Olympia, one in Seattle, and two in Portland. The grand jury is scheduled to convene on August 2nd at the federal courthouse in Seattle. No arrests have been made. In the Bay Area, solidarity actions have included banner drops and the vandalism of police cars and stations.