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Center Column Archives
The California coast, from Davenport south through Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Castroville, is Brussels sprouts country. Most of this vegetable in North America comes from these fields, although a growing harvest now takes place in Baja California, in northern Mexico. In both California and Baja California, the vast majority of the people who harvest Brussels sprouts, like those who pick other crops, are Mexican.
Hundreds of students and community activists held a rally at CSU-Fresno in support of the Dream Act. The rally was prompted by media reports that Associated Student president at CSUF, Pedro Ramirez, was undocumented. The news about Ramirez's immigration status was first reported in the CSUF Collegian newspaper and later on MSNBC, the BBC, and other national and international media outlets.
The California Nurses Association held a press conference August 19th accusing Sutter's California Pacific Medical Center, which operates St. Luke's Hospital, of discriminating against Filipino nurses. The nurses presented declarations from three former hospital managers documenting a policy of discrimination and data showing a precipitous decline in the number of Filipino nurses hired at St. Luke's. Union and community leaders suggested that the decline is related to Filipino nurses' leadership in the 2008 campaign to save the hospital.
Fuck ICE writes:
"On Friday evening, August 6, we gathered outside the Santa Cruz County Jail to demonstrate our solidarity with the people locked up inside and express our hatred of imprisonment. About 30-40 of us stood in the middle of Blaine Street, next to both the main County Jail (where 336 people are locked up) and the Women’s Facility (21 people). We banged on drums made from 55-gallon barrels with the intention of creating as much noise as possible to breach the prison walls."
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.
On July 29th, a diverse showing of Santa Cruz, California residents rallied and marched in protest of Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, a legislative act that is said to be the broadest and strictest anti-immigrant measure in decades. The demonstrators proclaimed solidarity with all communities resisting SB 1070, a law they say scapegoats migrants, and also voiced outrage to local police and sheriffs working with the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within Santa Cruz County neighborhoods and jails.
San José residents report that during Cinco de Mayo celebrations this year police conducted daytime checkpoints, issuing numerous citations and arresting Latino drivers. They diverted cars from the downtown area, effectively evacuating the city center and shutting down street celebrations for two nights. Many residents are wondering how the city can afford thousands of hours of police overtime pay for extreme enforcement actions on Cinco de Mayo while the city faces a budget crisis.