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Center Column Archives
Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
On May 29th, community members involved with the Right to Vote on Desal petition drive rallied at City Hall and turned in 2,003 petitions with the signatures of 8,717 Santa Cruz water citizens to the City Clerk, who now has 30 days to complete the signature verification process. 5,500 verified signatures is the requirement to move forward, which is 15% of registered city voters, and if that number is reached, citizens will have a chance to decide if construction of the proposed desalination plant will proceed.
On Tuesday, May 29th
, the Right To Vote on Desal (RTVOD) Coalition will rally at Santa Cruz City Hall and turn in over 8,000 petition signatures to City officials to tabulate and certify. The event will highlight the unprecedented level of citizen and water ratepayer support to place the historic measure on the November ballot, which would require voter approval for the construction of a desalination plant. Despite high-visibility attempts by both desalination backers and political insiders to defeat the community-driven petition campaign, the RTVOD Coalition surpassed the required number of signatures in less than four months.
On April 28th, hundreds of women and men gathered at the capitol building in Sacramento, held a two hour rally, then marched through the downtown district. Speakers said that California needs to be at the forefront to keep the tide from turning against abortion and other women's rights. Protesters insisted that the war on women is very real, and vowed to be heard in the legislature and on the streets.
Congress is currently considering HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bill that purports to protect the United States from “cyber threats”. This legislation would create a gaping loophole in all existing privacy laws. If CISPA, as the bill is called, passes, companies could vacuum up huge swaths of data on everyday internet users and share it with government agencies without a court order. Internet privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Free Press say that CISPA uses dangerously vague language to define the breadth of data that can be shared with the government.
Demonstrators shut down the entrance of the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a fundraising dinner on March 26th. Several protest groups coordinated to produce a show of anger aimed at the presidential hopeful and wealthy attendees of the event. One group erected a giant Etch A Sketch outside the hotel entrance, making light of a recent Romney aide's gaffe; others mocked billionaire supporters of his campaign by wearing faux fur and pearls and lifting glasses of champagne.
On December 31st, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield.