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Center Column Archives
On August 24, supporters of GMO-Free Santa Cruz and Proposition 37 on the California ballot, marched and sang along Pacific Avenue to raise awareness about the proposition, and encourage people to vote in favor of it. Throughout the United States, people currently eat genetically engineered food, but they generally are not aware of it. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, Prop 37 on the November ballot, would simply require food sold in retail outlets in California, such as grocery stores, to be labeled if it is produced with genetic engineering.
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.
Joshua Hart reports:
"If the California Coastal Commission’s August 10 decision is any indication, no endangered species, viewshed, or habitat is safe from a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) 4G cell tower popping up right next door. It’s open season, as smart phone addictions drive a kind of selective blindness toward wireless damage to life itself. Those groups who are meant to protect remaining wilderness areas have grown silent, awkward, in denial. We cannot count on the traditional defenders of nature to protect us from the threats of the 21st century."
Residents of Santa Cruz County concerned about health, privacy, and the environment, as well as those who enjoy the beaches of the north coast free of cell towers and other industrial equipment, demonstrated in front of Verizon Wireless's retail store on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz on Saturday, July 21st. The protest raised awareness of the company's plans, along with NextG corporation, to install six new cell sites along Highway 1 and Swanton Road in the county's remote north coast region.
The Right to Vote on Desal Coalition's Charter Amendment initiative has secured a place on the November ballot. Voters will decide whether to amend the City Charter in order to guarantee that the people of Santa Cruz determine the future of desalination in the city. The City Charter can be amended only by a vote of the people, unlike an ordinance, which can be amended or repealed simply by a vote of the City Council.
On June 15th
, after the last day of school, Oakland parents and teachers will sit in at Lakeview Elementary demanding that the district keep all neighborhood schools open. Supporters
write: "We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support!"