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Brigada Anti-Gentrification writes:
Viva. Last night, on February 28th, the windows of Vanguard Properties in the Mission District were smashed out. Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to build some luxury condos on 24th, but we thought it was more funny for their property to get smashed. Vanguard thought it was pretty funny to buy foreclosed houses in Oakland and flip them at a profit. We think it's more funny to bring the fight to the developers themselves. Greetings to everyone fighting the good fight. LA LUCHA SIGUE.
On March 1, people from around the world in over 27 cities took to the streets in solidarity to participate in a global day of action, billed as the March Against Corruption. In San Francisco, over a hundred people came out to protest the corrupting influence of big money in politics. Protesters rallied at Chelsea Manning plaza, where they heard from a number of local musicians and activists speaking out about a range of issues, from the global environmental crisis to the war in Iraq, "connecting the dots" between their own struggles and the underlying issue of government corruption by big money. The event ended at Union Square where march participants were greeted with a politically charged hip-hop performance and additional speakers tying their fights to the democracy-destroying reality of money in politics.
99Rise Bay Area, who initiated organizing for the march, pulled together a coalition of organizers and speakers from a number groups including MoveOn, Global Exchange, $$$ Out! People In!, Occupy SF, Code Pink, Project Censored, and other local grassroots organizations in the struggle to reclaim democracy for the 99%.
Read More |
March Against Corruption San Francisco 2014
On February 18, demonstrators rallied on Google headquarters property, calling out the internet search giant for being a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a corporate lobby that writes right wing legislation, and is linked to climate change deniers and "Stand Your Ground" laws. ALEC says it "gives corporations a voice".
Common Cause has filed a whistle-blower complaint saying that ALEC is guilty of under-reporting its lobbying expenditures and claims to be a non-profit organization when it actually benefits large corporations.
Activists are pressuring corporations including Google, Facebook and Yelp to withdraw their membership in ALEC. The Raging Grannies riffed that Google should "use the withdrawal method" during the musical protest in Mountain View. Helen Grieco of Common Cause and Brant Olson of Forecast the Facts led a caravan that started in San Francisco and ended in Sunnyvale at Yahoo. They delivered letters to management as part of the campaign to get corporations, including Facebook, to break their affiliation with ALEC.
Common Cause | Forecast the Facts
On February 12, SEIU 1021 city workers marched and protested at Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Service Employees International Union workers demanded an end to tax subsidies and the defense of their healthcare benefits. Many in the SEIU are angry about their declining income while Mayor Ed Lee is giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies to billionaires and their tech corporations and $11.5 million to Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison's Americas Cup.
Supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven rallied for an afternoon parade through town on February 11 in support of the final four SC11 defendants, whose trial begins on March 3. They still face charges in association with the 2011 occupation of the vacant bank building located at 75 River Street, which occurred during the height of the Occupy movement.
On January 31, as part of an "International Day of Action" against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), protesters rallied in front of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office in San Francisco's Federal Building and marched on Market Street. Protester numbers swelled during the march down Market Street, eventually reaching an estimated 500. Nancy Pelosi has said publicly that she has concerns about the TPP but she continues to avoid taking a bold stance against Fast Track and TPP that might make a difference in the legislation's chances.
Speakers from Food and Water Watch, Idle no More, and labor groups addressed demonstrators. Maira Sutton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explained how the TPP endangers internet freedom and expands copyright penalties. For one thing the TPP, as drafted, regulates temporary copies. It treats temporary reproductions of copyrighted works as copyright infringement.
Read More |
FLUSH THE TPP! Or, How I Came To Hate The Trans Pacific Partnership Deal
January is STOP The TPP Fast Track "TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) Month"
Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Environment Chapter
Call congress to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP or TPPA
Wikileaks releases Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
Tell Nancy Pelosi - NO to "Fast Tracking" the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
(Jan 2014) |
Stop the Biggest Corporate Takeover Ever! Stop the TPP!
(Dec 2013) |
Flush The TPP - Part 2
(Nov 2013) |
Presentation About the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
(Nov 2013) |
Expose The TPP
(Oct 2013) |
Not the End Game: Sierra Club Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership
Fight the TPP, NAFTA-on-Steroids, Being Fast-Tracked in Congress
(Oct 2013) |
Monsanto's Dirty Secret: TPP
OccupyForum Presents: "The TransPacific Partnership (TPP): How Do We #StopTPP?"
(Mar 2013) |
TPP: A Trade Deal from Hell
According to an article published on Indybay's newswire, at 7am on January 21, a group of people went to the home of Anthony Levandowski, a Google X
developer. After ringing his doorbell to alert him of the protest, a banner was held in front of his house that read "Google's Future Stops Here" and fliers about him were distributed around the neighborhood. The fliers
detail his work with the defense industry and his plans to develop luxury condos in Berkeley.
After fliering his neighborhood and blocking his driveway for approximately 45 minutes, the group blocked a Google bus at Ashby BART. This blockade lasted about 30 minutes and dispersed when the Berkeley Police Department arrived. Several conversations took place with Google employees.
the counterforce writes:
After previous actions against the Google buses, many critics insisted that the individual Google employees are not to blame. Taking this deeply to heart, we chose to block Anthony Levandowski's personal commute. We also respectfully disagree with this criticism: We don't see one action as better than the other. All of Google's employees should be prevented from getting to work. All surveillance infrastructure should be destroyed. No luxury condos should be built. No one should be displaced.
Read More | French Translation: Manifestation devant la maison d’un développeur de Google X
Previous Indybay Coverage: Anti-Gentrification Bus Blockades Spread to Both Sides of the Bay
San Francisco and Oakland residents are being evicted as a result of increasing housing costs caused in part by an influx of tech employees, many of whom are provided private buses by their employers to get to offices in the Silicon Valley. In protest of the rising cost of living and the ongoing displacement of long time residents, anti-gentrification activists first blocked a Google bus in the Mission District of San Francisco on December 9. On December 20, bus blockades spread to both sides of the Bay. Protesters blocked one Google bus at the MacArthur BART station and another on 7th and Adeline in West Oakland. On the same morning in San Francisco, an Apple bus was blocked at 24th and Valencia Streets.
Labor Video Project writes of the December 20 blockade in San Francisco
: people threatened with evictions and community and labor activists stopped an Apple bus on 24th St. and Valencia. The police removed the protesters and they then marched to 24th and Mission. This is the second blockade of tech buses that are bringing thousands of new workers into San Francisco.... San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors have given tax subsidies to tech companies such as Twitter and have allowed the use of the MTA Muni bus stops for these tech corporation buses with no enforcement of traffic regulations and fines for illegal use.
Anti-Cyborg Conglomerate writes of the same-day blockades in Oakland
: a small group of people met at 7th and Adeline in West Oakland. Down the street, over 20 employees of Google were queued up, waiting for their giant white bus to take them to their Mountain View headquarters.... While they took their seats, several people unfurled two giant banners reading “TECHIES: Your World Is Not Welcome Here” and “FUCK OFF GOOGLE.” ... [One] person appeared from behind the bus and quickly smashed the whole of the rear window.... The Google bus was an obvious target, but obviously the situation is more complex than one corporation and its specific employees. Gentrification is a dynamic and nuanced problem that is only beginning to be addressed and alleviated. It has many layers, players, and levels which undoubtedly will be exposed and elucidated in the near future by numerous individuals and groups.
Google Bus blocked and disrupted in West Oakland |
Video of West Oakland Google Bus Disruption |
Apple Bus Blockaded In SF Protest Against Tech Owners, Speculators And Evictions
On December 25, Christmas Day, Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs served a free vegan holiday meal to hundreds of community members outside of the downtown post office. Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry helped organize the meal, and he has reported that many of FNB groups across the country would be sharing vegan meals during the holidays this year in response to an increased need due to new cuts in food stamps and an extreme reduction of access to food during the holiday season.
The Oakland City Council has agreed to settle Kayvan Sabeghi's federal civil rights lawsuit for $645,000. Sabeghi's spleen was lacerated during an Occupy Oakland demonstration on November 2, 2011, when he was beaten by Oakland Police Officer Frank Uu Uu, now retired, who was part of a tight-knit group of SWAT/"Tango team" officers at the heart of OPD's violent misconduct toward Occupy Oakland demonstrators. Uu's immediate supervisor at the time of this incident was Sgt. Patrick Gonzales, who has been involved in multiple shooting deaths.
The Sabeghi settlement comes just months after more than $2 million in total settlements by the city in two other cases involving OPD's violent repression of Occupy Oakland and mass arrest of Justice for Oscar Grant demonstrators. As part of those settlements, the City of Oakland and OPD agreed to abide by and to allow the court to enforce a crowd control policy setting strict guidelines for the use of force at demonstrations and other crowd situations. However, OPD has refused to forgo use of so-called "less lethal" weapons such as explosive chemical agent grenades and lead shot filled impact munitions in crowd situations, despite serious injuries such as that of twenty-four-year-old Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head at close range with a "bean bag" round on October 25, 2011. Olsen's civil suit against OPD is still unresolved.
Kayvan Sabeghi Video
Previous Related Indybay Features:
NLG Obtains $1.17M and OPD Reforms for Injured Occupy Oakland Protesters and Journalists |
NLG Wins $1 Million & Reforms for OPD's Illegal Mass Arrest of Oscar Grant Protesters on Nov 5, 2010
Friends and family from coast to coast are mourning the loss of 28-year-old Anthony Messer, who died in Santa Cruz on the evening of December 2. Anthony was well known across California as a veteran of the U.S. military, a political activist, a traveler, and a generally friendly person who exuded positivity. Funeral services were held for him on December 9 in Chipley, Florida.
Anthony made a big splash in the Occupy movement after having first participated in Occupy Sacramento. After leaving Sacramento, he traveled to Santa Cruz in February of 2012 with a strong desire to revive the Occupy Santa Cruz occupation of the court house steps. Anthony embarked on a one person demonstration of that location dubbed "Re-Occupy," where he held teach-ins and attempted to maintain a 24/7 presence. During that occupation, Anthony created several political signs, and one read: "Cruel Broad Laws Are Not A Good Answer. Better Lighting, More Patrols, Real Shelter Solutions, Public Education + Real Deliberation."
Anthony actively organized events with Occupy Santa Cruz, and he contributed several articles to the OSC website. He produced a number of video blogs about his activism, and he developed websites that culled together his political experiences, along with many of his thoughts and ideas, and photos of demonstrations in which he participated. He also traveled to many of the larger Bay Area and Northern California events that occurred during the Occupy movement.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Vigil Held for Ed Frey, Community Members Call for End to the Ban on Sleep in Santa Cruz
| Occupy Santa Cruz Marches to Protest Repression of the Occupy Movement
| The City of Santa Cruz Wages Campaign Attacking Homeless Camps
Gentrification is a growing issue in neighborhoods across the Bay Area. Many areas in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities look completely different now than even ten years ago, and the process appears to be accelerating. Economic and political forces set the stage for large numbers of new residents to migrate to areas where long-time residents have fallen victim to evictions, foreclosures, and the rising cost of living.
The East Bay Solidarity Network is a community group made up of volunteers living mostly in West Oakland who believe gentrification is a deliberate, engineered process that benefits only a few and hurts many. They’ve spent months base-building in West Oakland by hosting monthly tenants’ rights meetings, door knocking to neighbors, and flyering around liquor stores, laundromats and dollar stores, in addition to organizing neighborhood BBQ’s. "East Bay Sol" has produced a 79-page pamphlet entitled Evict This! The Landscape, History and the Battle Against Evictions in West Oakland
which breaks down the history of displacement in Oakland and the resources available to fight the ongoing gentrification. Evict This!
chapters include: You Are Not Alone, How Did We Get Here, Legal Resources, and Fighting Back.
Read More |
Evict This! The Landscape, History and the Battle Against Evictions in West Oakland
(5mb PDF) |
East Bay Solidarity Network
Called organismo modificado genéticamente or organismo transgénico in Spanish, genetically modified organisms (GMO) were the topic of the day on October 12, in conjunction with a global day of action. Members of La Defensa del Maiz San José gathered in front of San Jose City Hall to protest Monsanto's corporate control of food.
The National Lawyers Guild and Prison Radio will present two films on repression and resistance on Saturday, October 19
at the The New Parkway Theater in Oakland. The Battle for Oscar Grant Plaza
is a short documentary about how the City of Oakland and its police tried to shut down the budding "Occupy Wall Street" movement, turning downtown Oakland into a teargas-filled war zone and injuring numerous people. Manufacturing Guilt
takes on Abu-Jamal's contentious case, distilling a mountain of evidence and years of oft-repeated falsehoods which illustrate a clear and conscious effort to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal for murder.