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Center Column Archives
Fearing open rebellion in the wake of the Oscar Grant, Occupy, and Trayvon revolts, those in power in Oakland have pushed for the Domain Awareness Center (DAC) to become a central hub for citywide surveillance. The system is not yet fully functional and local privacy advocates continue to fight to stop the DAC. The Oakland City Council discussed the DAC on February 18, appearing to swing against it with proposals to limit implementation to the Port of Oakland, rather than citywide, but put off a vote on this new scaled-back version until March 4
On February 4, the ACLU of Northern California and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) filed a lawsuit charging the state with unconstitutionally stripping tens of thousands of people of their right to vote. According to the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the state’s actions clearly violated state law when the secretary of state issued a directive to local elections officials in December 2011 asserting that people are ineligible to vote if they are on post-release community supervision or mandatory supervision.
On January 31, as part of an "International Day of Action" against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), protesters rallied in front of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office in San Francisco's Federal Building and marched on Market Street. Nancy Pelosi has said publicly that she has concerns about the TPP but she continues to avoid taking a bold stance against Fast Track and TPP that might make a difference in the legislation's chances.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
Civil rights attorney Dan Siegel announced his candidacy for mayor of Oakland on January 9. Siegel spelled out an ambitious agenda focused on social and economic justice which includes a $15 minimum wage, public schools to develop into community centers, neighborhood gardens to flourish throughout the city, Oakland police to stop abusing citizens, and the Domain Awareness Center to be shut down.
The City of Richmond, California voted to continue its groundbreaking effort to save resident homeowners from foreclosure on December 17, 2013. The City Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of moving forward with its plan to use its right of eminent domain to protect homeowners and to "prioritize those neighborhoods that have been particularly hard hit by the housing crisis." Before the meeting began, approximately seventy-five supporters of Richmond's initiative rallied in front of Richmond City Hall.
Over 400 people organized by Californians for a Fair Water Policy, a statewide coalition opposing Gov. Brown’s massive water export tunnels, attended a rally on December 13 at the State Capitol protesting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as the 120 day comment period for the BDCP and environmental documents began. Tunnel opponents pointed out “fatal flaws” of the tunnels they said would be too costly, create no new water and do nothing to increase regional water self-reliance.