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Center Column Archives
On October 19th, in a federal court house in Los Angeles, Alex Sanchez was once again denied bail. Sanchez, a nationally recognized activist and peacemaker, is accused of maintaining ties to his former gang and participating in a conspiracy to murder. Bail was denied after Judge Real suppressed testimony from father Greg Boyle, an expert in Los Angeles gangs.
With Mexican flags and music, Cinco de Mayo was celebrated in San José on May 3rd with the usual pride and enthusiasm. People were just trying to have some safe fun driving slowly down Santa Clara Street, the main thoroughfare from Mexican Heritage Plaza and the east side of the city into downtown. The crowds were smaller than previous years, but that did not stop San José police from targeting Latinos.
Neighbors of a proposed new location for Mountain View's award-winning Day Worker Center have called in right-wing extremist group Judicial Watch to advise them on "protecting" their neighborhood. They threatened the city council on May 12, saying that by approving a conditional-use permit for the Center the city will face a lawsuit for using taxpayer funds to help what they refer to as "illegal" immigrants. The city council, however, has remained unconvinced by the NIMBY group's arguments.
On Wednesday, April 29th, UC Berkeley Police, apparently acting on behalf of ICE and introducing themselves as ICE agents, arrested Jesús Gutiérrez, a worker at the Clark Kerr Campus Dining Commons and a union activist in AFSCME Local 3299. Gutierrez remains in Santa Rita Jail. On Wednesday, May 13th, a rally and a march was held at Sproul Plaza, UC-Berkeley, to demand the release of Jesús Gutiérrez from ICE custody.
On May 1st, International Workers Day, rallies and marches were held in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz County, and the Central Valley. Demonstrators called for action in defense of jobs, families, immigrants, and unions.
On Friday, May 1st
from 4:00 - 9:00pm there will be May Day activities in the Watsonville Plaza, including speakers, free consultations with lawyers, films, and more. At 6:00pm, people throughout the Monterey Bay Area will rally and march to demand justice, human rights, and comprehensive immigration reform with pathways to citizenship.
Anti-tax "Tea Party" rallies held in San Jose and San Francisco on April 15 brought out about 500 conservative activists in each city. Although the majority of participants appeared to be white Republicans, contingents of Libertarians and members of the vigilante Minuteman organization also displayed signs. In San Jose about 50 anti-war/anti-racism demonstrators countered the right wing demonstrators. A heavy police presence utilized batons to keep the two groups apart as the two sides faced off.