On Tuesday, February 11
, a Parade in support and solidarity with the Santa Cruz Eleven will be held in downtown Santa Cruz. The 11th for the 11! Seven of the Eleven have had their charges dropped, however the city continues to spend thousands of dollars prosecuting the remaining four. After two years, their trial is scheduled to begin March 3.
On February 3, protest vigils were held across the country following the State Department’s release of the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL pipeline. The protests included thousands of demonstrators urging the president to keep his word in the fight against climate change and reject the controversial pipeline. In the Bay Area rallies were held in many cities, including Oakland, Palo Alto, and Santa Cruz.
David Hayden, a frontline activist and advocate for animal and human rights, passed away on January 31. He was the primary driving force at No Compromise magazine and an S.F. Grand Jury resister. David lived in Santa Cruz and worked at UCSC. A memorial in the Talon Conspiracy describes David's passing as, "a reminder that the best fighters are also the best people: kindhearted, soft spoken, humble, and ready to raise hell when injustice rears its ugly head."
Santa Cruz deputy harbormaster Timothy James Anderson is scheduled to be back in court in Napa County on March 4 to face battery charges stemming from an incident that occurred on August 13, 2013 near Lake Berryessa. Anderson and his friend Steven Belmont were arrested in Napa County after the incident, and Belmont has been ordered to stand trial on attempted murder charges for allegedly attacking Berryessa resident Roy Powell with a pitch fork.
In January 2013, Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of the organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now, using the California state anti-cruelty code against an animal testing facility known as Santa Cruz Biotechnology. The company “harvests” blood from tens of thousands of animals, including goats and rabbits, and the case is currently on appeal. Last week, the Court denied a motion filed by Santa Cruz Biotech to keep secret the names of those who have a financial interest in the outcome of the animal cruelty lawsuit.
Animal rights activists demonstrated at the Chipotle Restaurant in Santa Cruz on January 24 as part of an international series of actions organized by Direct Action Everywhere. A letter was delivered to the manager reminding the company of the abuses animals farmed for food experience. It was a public delivery for patrons to witness, conveying the message, "It's not food. It's violence."
On January 16, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) officially recommended Santa Cruz County to receive $25 million it requested for jail expansion at Rountree Detention Center in Watsonville. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors now has 90 days to approve or reject the jail expansion proposal from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. In response to the BSCC's recommendation, Sin Barras and other community members demonstrated later that day at the Clock Tower in downtown Santa Cruz to say, "NO MORE MONEY FOR JAILS!"