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On November 12, activists with the Bay Area Rasmea Defense Committee chained themselves to doors of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland to protest the conviction and imprisonment of 67-year-old Palestinian community organizer Rasmea Odeh. Odeh was convicted on Monday, November 10th in a Detroit federal court of knowingly lying on her immigration application. Hundreds were present in court to support Odeh over the course of her trial in Detroit and across the country solidarity demonstrations have been held demanding that she be freed.
UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
On November 11, two-day strikes started that effect nearly 20,000 registered nurses at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics, a Sutter hospital in Tracy, and Watsonville Community Hospital kicking off a wave of protests in 15 states and the District of Columbia over eroding patient care conditions symbolized by inadequate Ebola safeguards at most U.S. hospitals. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
On November 4, Bay Area voters raised minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland. On November 6, workers at the San Francisco Whole Foods Market at 4th and Harrison Streets took the fight for fair wages to another level by presenting management with a demand for a $5-an-hour across-the-board wage increase for all employees. On November 14
, organized workers at Whole Foods Market will rally with supporters and call on the Regional President to respond at the Northern California Office in Emeryville.
Proposition 14 in California effectively excluded third parties from statewide general elections. Only the top two vote getters in statewide primaries now advance to the general election. Prop. 14 also removed the possibility of the write-in option. The Green Party of Alameda County recommends that voters boycott the statewide partisan contests in the November election — specifically the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner — and also most of the other partisan offices, while still voting locally and for statewide propositions.
The Committee for Responsible and Accurate Posters (CRAP) writes:
Chevron, in exercising their completely hard-fought right to defecate unlimited cash into a small-town election (thanks, Citizens United), has flooded Richmond with $3 million in propaganda both to support their own prop candidates and to shamelessly attack Team Richmond.... Richmond residents should know that Nat Bates isn’t running for Richmond’s mayor, he’s running to be Chevron’s puppet. And so are city council candidates Donna Powers, Charles Ramsey, and Al Martinez. Sorry Chevron, but Richmond’s election is not for sale.
A Beehive Collective presentation originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm was shut down by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources. Lindow claimed that the art show was “not relevant to the research at the community farm." Determined not to be silenced, students at UC Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective’s art project on drought and Proposition 1 to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials, kicking off the Free Speech Movement.
After successful blockades of Zim Line ships at the Port of Oakland in August and September, a third blockade was set to target the Zim ship Beijing on Saturday, October 25. The Beijing was rescheduled to dock Sunday, October 26, and then delayed indefinitely. Organizers — remaining vigilant for a potential docking at any time during the week — called for a solidarity march from West Oakland BART station on the afternoon of Sunday 26th, as a show of force to let Zim know that activists would be ready should the Beijing attempt to unload cargo in Oakland. The Beijing never docked at the port of Oakland and instead headed for other ports.
Hannibal Abdul Shakur and Tanzeen Doha were arrested during protests during the summer of 2013 in downtown Oakland, after the George Zimmerman verdict was announced, where he was acquitted for the February 26, 2012, murder of Trayvon Martin. At an October 10 pre-trial readiness conference, the Oakland prosecutor finally admitted that they had “insufficient evidence” to go to trial, putting forth a motion to drop the remaining charges.
Just so you don’t get it twisted, we want to let you know the facts about the new Colosseum Area Specific Plan. It is being financed with money from HayaH Holdings in Dubai and Colony Capital LLC in Los Angeles.... With help from Mayor Quan and the other good old boys, this development promises to completely transform East Oakland and start a process of gentrification worse than anything seen in West Oakland. They wish to call their new development Colosseum City.
Members of the Kurdish diaspora in the Bay Area joined local anarchists on October 11 for a demonstration in solidarity with the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish resistance in Kobane. Over 50 people took over Powell and Market in San Francisco withbanners and thousands of leaflets throughout the afternoon. Kurdish fighters part of the YPG and the all women YPJ units have managed to hold their own during a month-long siege despite suffering heavy casualties and fighting with outdated weapons compared with the advanced US-made weapons used by ISIS.
Uniting students, workers, community members, and veterans of the Free Speech Movement, Cal Progressive Coalition (CPC) led a surprise sit-in at Capital Projects following the rally for the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement. Capital Projects is the real estate arm of the University of California Berkeley that is actively privatizing public resources, such as in their proposed commercial development of the historic Gill Tract Farm. The CPC action sparked dialogue across campus on how the UC continues to silence students through the privatization of the public university and increasingly militarized police violence.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) activists in the San Francisco Bay Area came together again on September 27 and 28 to picket and blockade an Israeli Zim Line ship at the Port of Oakland. Organized by the Stop Zim Action Committee this time, Palestine solidarity activists dispersed across five entrances at the SSA terminal over multiple shifts, preventing longshore workers from unloading cargo for two days until the ship left port.
In a major victory against the Israeli Zim Lines shipping company, their ship the Piraeus was forced to leave the Port of Oakland after a mass march, four days of picketing, and the refusal of ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 to work the ship despite attempts by the Oakland police department and Alameda County deputies to break up the ongoing pickets. The Zim ship is believed by some to have unloaded only a portion of cargo before giving up and heading back out to sea. Oakland's "Block the Boat" victory represents a historic first for the worldwide Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement.
Rallies have been held around the world in opposition to Israel's recent air strikes on Gaza and the collective punishment carried out against the Palestinian people living there and in the West Bank. In Northern California, demonstrations have been held in Fresno, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Salinas, and Santa Cruz. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), as of August 17, approximately 1939 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8. A total of 9886 Palestinians, including 2878 children, 1854 women, and 374 elderly, have been injured. 47 Israeli soldiers, most of whom were invading Gaza at the time of their death, have been killed by Palestinian resistance, and two Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian shells.
Seconds after an Oakland police officer shattered Scott Olsen’s skull with a lead-filled munition on October 25, 2011, officer Robert Roche threw an explosive teargas grenade at persons who were attempting to come to Olsen’s aid as he lay critically injured on the ground in clear view of the police. Roche was subsequently fired, but on July 30, 2014, an arbitrator overturned the termination and reinstated him with full back pay. Roche officially returned to work at OPD on Monday, August 4.
In Solidarity with People whose homes are threatened, In Honor of unpermitted public Art, In Defense of spaces free and wild everywhere, To Keep the Albany Bulb Natural and unlandscaped, To Preserve Habitat for Birds, Insects, and other migratory Animals, including Humans, We Declare the Bulb an Autonomous Zone , a space where Art and Music continue to flourish, where People assemble Freely, where Dogs run unleashed, and where long-term Residents can continue to maintain and improve their Homesteads.
Scott Olsen's skull was shattered and part of his brain destroyed when an OPD officer shot him in the head with a Specialty Impact Munition (SIM) at a 2011 Occupy Oakland demonstration. As he lay critically injured on the pavement, an OPD officer threw a CS Blast grenade onto him — a teargas device that explodes with a flash of light and loud bang. A new petition demands that OPD be prohibited from using SIMs and CS Blast grenades at demonstrations and other crowd events.
Terri Kay of Workers World writes:
The Bay Area Rapid Transit police have achieved notoriety once again, this time with the brutalization of Nubia Bowe, a diminutive 19-year-old Black woman. The brutality continued at the hands of Alameda County sheriff deputies once Bowe arrived at the Santa Rita, Calif., jail. Workers World interviewed Bowe and her godmother, Carroll Fife, about Bowe’s ordeal at the hands of police.
On May 5, sign language interpreters who work at Purple Communications in Oakland went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike in Oakland. They were joined in the strike by workers in San Diego; Denver, Colorado; and Tempe, Arizona. “This is about safety and health care,” said Carol Day, a veteran ASL interpreter who was picketing and handing out leaflets in downtown Oakland.
Two communiqués posted to Indybay claimed credit for attacks on three different gentrifying businesses in Oakland and San Francisco on April 28.
Of the San Francisco action, "anarchists
" write: "Last night we attacked the Sales office for the in-construction Vida Condos on Mission St." Of the Oakland action, "vandalists
" write: "Early on Monday morning, locks were glued at Dogtown Development and at a new fancy coffee shop in the lower bottoms."
On April 17, International Day of Peasant Resistance, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Movimento Sem Terra (Landless Workers Movement) in Brazil, Bay Area delegates from the 6th MST Congress presented a report on what they had experienced and learned during their trip. The presentation at La Peña in Berkeley took a look at many aspects of the MST and the difficult and sometimes deadly struggle for poverty reduction and agrarian reform in Brazil.
JP Massar writes:
On April 17th, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation issued its Preserving Historic Post Offices report to Congress "on compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for the closure and disposal of its historic postal facilities." This report was requested by legislation initiated by Berkeley's United States Representative in Congress, Barbara Lee. On April 24, postal workers protested USPS privatization at a Staples store in San Francisco.
A unique partnership between community members, UC Berkeley students, academics and staff has been working toward creation of a 1.5 acre urban farm, education and research center on the Gill Tract in Albany. The Gill Tract Farm Coalition has invited members of the public to "Come join us for a Spring Planting Celebration on Saturday, April 26, as we celebrate this new joint venture by planting, learning, playing, and eating together!"
Advance the Struggle writes:
What follows is a critique of the West Oakland Specific Plan – WOSP – which the city of Oakland hopes will help in “developing” West Oakland and is attempting to pass in the coming weeks. The development that’s presented is about attracting an influx of capital investment – retail, industrial, and high wage residents – and transforming West Oakland into a center of commerce for a new set of residents. New growth is about raising property values and attracting new residents and businesses, not improving the situations of those who already live there.
Modeled after the Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol), EBSN is a group of workers and tenants who use direct action to fight landlords and bosses. Working against both wage theft at workplaces, despicable conditions in housing complexes, as well as against foreclosures, EBSN has worked to combat abuses and build power among workers and tenants. FireWorks through email reached out to the group to get more information on them and what it is they do in the East Bay.
On April 23, UC Berkeley removed all of the redwoods
behind Soda Hall, despite assurances some would stay.
On April 6, University of California Berkeley cut down the support foliage at the redwood grove behind Soda Hall. Larger redwoods have been severely pruned and smaller redwoods have been removed entirely. Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm wants the lot for a $20,000,000 privatized tech design institute, named after himself. The UC intends to cut down all the trees in the grove. Save the Ridge Redwoods has called for a "wave of action" protest to defend the trees at Ridge Road and Le Roy Avenue in Berkeley. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 12.
On April Fool’s Day, protesters blocked an Apple bus attempting to cross the High Street bridge between Oakland and Alameda. On the same morning in San Francisco, a Google bus was surrounded at 24th and Valencia streets. On April 2, protesters disrupted the tech bus pick-up zone in front of the MacArthur BART station in Oakland. An Apple, Google, and Yahoo bus were all surrounded and blocked. On April 3, a Google bus was blocked at Center and 7th Street in West Oakland. On April 6, Google venture capitalist Kevin Rose's home was picketed in San Francisco.
The City of Oakland has agreed to pay Scott Olsen $4.5 million to compensate him for devastating brain injuries he suffered when an Oakland police officer shot him in the head with a “less lethal” munition on October 25, 2011, during a demonstration in support of Occupy Oakland. The lead filled “bean bag” round, fired from a 12 gauge shotgun, shattered Mr. Olsen’s skull and permanently destroyed part of his brain.
In his quarterly report for January 2014, the court appointed Independent Monitor of the OPD found that “[t]he matter of the proper use of the Department’s PDRDs remains a concern.... [R]ecent assessments of force cases revealed several serious incidents in which officers — who were in a position to obtain evidence of the facts and circumstances surrounding the use of force — did not have or activate their PDRDs.”
The new documentary "The Ghosts Of March 21" focuses on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between Lovelle Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon and four police officers. The documentary examines the encounter’s underlying contradictions and challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation. The film opened in Oakland and Berkeley on March 20 and 21, San Francisco on March 22, and Santa Rosa on March 23.
At some point late in the night after the Oakland City Council voted to continue with the Domain Awareness Center on March 5 — albeit a significantly scaled-down Port-only version of the surveillance center — a group calling themselves the Technophobic Women's Action Team (T.W.A.T.) staged camover actions against stoplight cameras at two intersections in West Oakland.
On March 4, one hundred and forty-nine public speaker's cards were turned in prior to the Oakland City Council meeting. Public comment was unanimous against a city-wide Domain Awareness Center. Nevertheless, council members passed a resolution at about 1am on March 5 to proceed with a scaled-down Port-only version of the DAC. From the public galleries in council chambers, calls of "shame, shame, shame" rang out after the vote to continue development of the DAC.
On March 1, urban farmers demonstrated at Sprouts grocery chain locations in Petaluma, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. The farmers oppose plans to develop the Gill Tract. Boycott Sprouts is asking shoppers to patronize other stores until Sprouts backs away from the development deal. On March 5, the Albany City Council approved paving six acres of the Gill Tract. In response to the council's vote, Occupy the Farm has called for a rally on March 12
Fearing open rebellion in the wake of the Oscar Grant, Occupy, and Trayvon revolts, those in power in Oakland have pushed for the Domain Awareness Center (DAC) to become a central hub for citywide surveillance. The system is not yet fully functional and local privacy advocates continue to fight to stop the DAC. The Oakland City Council discussed the DAC on February 18, appearing to swing against it with proposals to limit implementation to the Port of Oakland, rather than citywide, but put off a vote on this new scaled-back version until March 4
On the evening of February 12, a small crowd gathered in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley PD in early 2013. When the speakers concluded, about forty people marched to the Berkeley Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” The Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
6:30PM Thursday Dec 4
Screening of : Happy