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Center Column Archives
Assembly member Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) and eight other California lawmakers are calling on the Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency to investigate reports of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) beneath the seabed floor off the California Coast. Assembly members Mark Stone, Marc Levine, Richard Bloom, Adrin Nazarian, Bob Wieckowski and Senators Fran Pavley, Noreen Evans and Hannah-Beth Jackson have signed on in support of Williams' letter to federal regulators.
On July 31, community members in Santa Cruz marched to the county jail as part of "Hunger for Justice," an international day of protests and events held in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in state detention facilities across California since July 8. According to the organization Sin Barras, 37 prisoners in the Santa Cruz County Jail have also joined the hunger strike.
The federal government announced on August 2 the start of two new analyses of fracking risks to California public lands. The Bureau of Land Management will begin developing a new “environmental impact statement” for fracking in Central California, along with a statewide independent scientific assessment of the dangerous oil extraction process. Completion of the environmental impact statement and scientific review are likely to take more than a year.
Wednesday, July 31st,
has been called for as an international day of action in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, Trayvon Martin, and the many Trayvons who have been killed by state and vigilante violence. In Santa Cruz, at least 37 prisoners have joined the statewide hunger strike to protest the horrendous conditions they are forced to live in. At least 5 people have died in the local jail since August 2012.
Steve Schlicht, a member of the City of Santa Cruz's Public Safety Task Force and the director of marketing communications and information technology for Take Back Santa Cruz, posted on Facebook that he is "fine with junkies dying somewhere else. Outside the county is fine by me." The City's website describes the task force: "The Santa Cruz City Council created the Public Safety Citizen Task Force to provide a platform for the community to come together to better understand our current public safety concerns and recommend actions we take to improve the quality of life in Santa Cruz."
On July 21, the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a march and rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other citizens subjected to racial profiling, and Shoot First and Stand Your Ground laws. On Pacific Avenue, marchers sang "We Shall Not Be Moved," and later chanted, "Stop Racial Profiling." At the Town Clock, the group chanted "Justice for Trayvon," and circled up and held hands.
Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, on July 13, hundreds took to the streets in Napa, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francsisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. At rallies, candle light vigils, and marches, community members have called for justice for Trayvon and an end to the racial profiling and police abuses that occur on a day-to-day basis across the country. Demonstrations for justice continue locally and nationally.