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Center Column Archives
After more than a dozen labor demonstrations at La Playa Carmel this summer which followed the announcement of a boycott of the hotel, community members had new answers to the question, "Is this working?" At a rally at the hotel held on September 28, Mark Weller of UNITE HERE Local 483, the hospitality union that represents workers in the Monterey Bay area, cited the recent contract approval negotiated for workers at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley as a victory for La Playa workers also.
Over 350 people marched in the annual Peace and Unity March on the unusually hot Sunday afternoon of September 30, 2012 in downtown Watsonville, CA. This year's march was held to protest gang and domestic violence in the community of Watsonville, and was organized by the Watsonville Peace & Unity Coalition, which was initiated by the Watsonville Brown Berets. The turnout was significantly larger than previous years, due to recent violence, a larger coalition including the City of Watsonville, and well-organized outreach throughout Watsonville.
Over the last ten weeks, a series of raids targeting the homeless has been conducted as part of a coordinated effort by the Santa Cruz Police Department and the city's departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works. In response, community members who are hoping to form a new coalition with the intention of ending the criminalization of homelessness and sleep in Santa Cruz, held a candlelight "tent" vigil on September 9th.
Bradley Stuart Allen writes:
"On Wednesday, September 12, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Santa Cruz Police officers Travis Ahlers (Badge # 144) and Brian Warren (Badge # 154) parked the police car they were using on Soquel Avenue at Pacific Avenue. The officers recognized a homeless man who was on the Pacific Avenue sidewalk in front of New Leaf Market, while other people performed music. The man appeared to be walking south on the sidewalk when officer Warren called out "Frank" and told him to stop."
Valerie Leveroni Corral writes:
"10 years ago at the break of dawn, awakened by the stomp of heavy booted agents, WAMM was raided by 30 DEA agents. Mike and I were taken into custody; chainsaw wielding agents cut the entire garden down, WAMM members blocked the gate, locking agents behind, and WAMM members and supporters bargaining for our release. What followed changed the course of medical marijuana, circumventing the government’s strategy to eliminate patient service organizations, legal under California state law. Santa Cruz City and County enjoined WAMM members in a lawsuit that resulted in a settlement, allowing WAMM to continue our service as the only collective sanctioned by the federal government."
John E. Colby reports:
"On July 30, the Homeless Services Center (HSC) in Santa Cruz threw Megan Andrea Morgan — a severely disabled woman who suffers from anemia and other disabilities which cause her severe fatigue and exhaustion — onto the street, denying her access to the HSC campus where she was receiving shelter at the Paul Lee Loft. Ms. Morgan has trouble standing without her walker — she is five feet one inch tall.
On Friday, August 24th, Gary Johnson was ordered by Judge John Gallagher to report to the Santa Cruz County Jail at 3 p.m. The jail refused to accept Johnson, ordering him to return on Monday at 8 a.m. Johnson was frustrated with this and returned to the Santa Cruz Courthouse. Upon entering the Courthouse, Johnson was immediately arrested by a sheriff's deputy.