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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.
The sit-in lasted through six hours of negotiation amidst speeches and chants that could be heard across central campus. Students, community members, and FSM veterans emerged from Capital Projects around 7pm calling victory on their first two short-term demands: a meeting with Chancellor Dirks and a signed commitment for documents that Capital Projects promised to share in May.
Mario Savio's Historic Call to Action in Berkeley, December 2nd, 1964
On August 22, another energetic parade was held in support of the final four Santa Cruz Eleven defendants, who are still facing criminal charges in relation to the 2011 occupation of the vacant bank building located at 75 River Street. Wells Fargo is the so-called plaintiff in the case. Though defendants argued in court District Attorney Bob Lee should be recused from the case, due to his financial relationship with the bank, Santa Cruz judge Stephen Seigel on August 27 denied their motions and set a new trial date of July 27, 2015.
The Santa Cruz Police Department announced they will be partnering with 7-Eleven stores to launch "Operation Chill," which is code for a program that attempts to affect the behavior of kids, and change their perception of the police department, by bribing them with coupons for free slurpees. According to police, since its inception in 1995, police departments have issued more than 12.5 million coupons,or “tickets” to kids in communities throughout the country.
Seniors, union workers and community supporters stopped tech company buses on August 1 at 24th and Valencia Streets to protest the epidemic of evictions caused by the City of San Francisco, which has allowed tech buses to bring thousands of Silicon Valley workers to the City, pushing up prices and evictions.
On the afternoon of June 24, a group of activists set up tents and banners in front of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA, announcing their protest online at OccupyGoogle.org
. The protester’s demanded that Google engage in a conversation about what the company should be doing in the fight for Net Neutrality. The activists claim Google could be doing a lot more, and started the camp-out to apply pressure.
Here’s how Occupy Google explains their reasoning: Though Google and other major companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft have come out in support of preserving a free and open web, we believe much more can be done. Though many of us have concerns about the larger implications of Google’s effect on the world, as far as surveillance and ties to military technology, we are not here to protest Google. Google, with its immense power, has a social responsibility to uphold the values of the internet. We encourage Google to engage in a serious, honest dialogue on the issue of net neutrality and to stand with us in support of an internet that is free from censorship, discrimination, and access fees.
Late in the night, ten activists, including a journalist who was livestreaming the event, were arrested for trespassing.
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tires slashed on google shopping express truck in Mission District
Check this out, a Google GlassHole Party
After a court hearing on June 3, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office faces disqualification and the remaining four Santa Cruz Eleven defendants are left without a trial date. The case continues to cost tax payers thousands, and the defendants continue to fight the charges. Their attorneys have filed a motion to recuse the Santa Cruz District Attorney's office from the case based on bias stemming from DA Bob Lee's financial relationship to the "victim" of the case Wells Fargo.
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.
President Obama was in Mountain View on May 9 to promote initiatives that expand solar energy use. He had special praise for Walmart because it uses some forms of alternative energy. Labor advocates protested outside the megastore where the president spoke, saying that Walmart is anti-union, keeps workers' wages low, and provides few benefits.
Demonstrators said the president's visit sends a terrible message to workers. They accused Walmart of using spin to promote the perception that it is a socially conscious company, when the exact opposite is the case. Walmart has been called the poster child for despicable behavior as thousands of civil lawsuits are filed every year against the retail giant.
National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws. The leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Danny Glover, write that they are appalled that despite Walmart’s and the Walton Family’s attempts to create an image of supporting civil rights and community and civic participation, both the retail giant and the foundation have given more than $1 million to politicians with close ties to ALEC and its agenda.
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.
At least a dozen other people were injured by so-called "less lethal" weapons at the Occupy demonstrations, even though OPD's own policies and federal court orders specify that these weapons may not be fired into crowds. As a result, the City of Oakland has had to pay out more than $7 million in legal settlements to people who have suffered serious injuries from SIM or CS Blasts, including burns, hearing loss, fractures, crushed nerves and scarring.
A new petition demands that OPD be prohibited from using SIMs and CS Blast grenades at demonstrations and other crowd events. The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay.org) is supporting this petition. Indybay reporters are sick and tired of getting shot and gassed by OPD while covering protests in Oakland, a gross violation of freedom of the press and basic human rights.
Read More |
Campaign Video |
Sign the Petition
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Oakland to Pay Big for OPD Shooting Scott Olsen in the Face |
Costs of OPD's Violence Against Protesters Mount: Settlement in the Kayvan Sabeghi Beating |
NLG Obtains $1.17M and OPD Reforms for Injured Occupy Oakland Protesters and Journalists |
Oakland Occupiers Defiant After Police Raid, Mass Arrests, and Tear Gas/Projectile Attacks |
March 7th Rally to Protest April 7, 2003 Police Attack at Docks |
Oakland Rally Questions 2003 Attack on Protesters |
Remember the Shots! Return to the Docks! |
Port Of Oakland Shut Down: Police Fire Concussion Grenades and Wooden Bullets at Protesters and Dock Workers
Jonathan Nack reports from Havana:
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans demonstrated unmistakeable enthusiasm while marching in the Cuban capitol on May Day – International Workers Day. Marchers chanted, danced, sang songs, and blew horns throughout the festive march. It was a clear statement of support for the Cuban government. CBS News reported an estimated 600,000 participated. Trade unionists, community groups, members of cooperatives, and even unions of small businesses demonstrated their support for the Cuban Revolution.
The main slogan for this year's May Day mobilization was, “the unity of the workers is the guarantee of the revolution.” Another prominent slogan urged the building of a more efficient and prosperous socialism. The march was organized by the government, but had a largely informal character. Most of the signs, banners, and numerous giant puppets appeared to be homemade. The march began in the early morning, no doubt to avoid the midday heat. It was basically completed by noon. Cuban President Raul Castro presided over the event, waiving to the marchers from the reviewing stand.
International supporters of the revolution who came from many countries were quite visible. Latin American international contingents were the most prominent, particularly from Colombia, Venezuela and Honduras. Images of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and, of course, that of Ché Guevara, were emblazoned on the t-shirts of many of the marchers.
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. We added a new heavy-duty lock to their security gate and hit their facade with paint. this was just one small act of hostility in what will hopefully soon be a storm. We did this because they make a mockery of life. Despite their name, they offer only death with the mask of life. These developments, and all the others, deserve much more. We welcome further creative contributions. it is easy to attack! down with gentrification! life is revolt!
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. The walls of Dogtown Development were painted to read: "Your Progress Reeks of Death." The coffee shop was painted to read "Yuppies Eat Shit." Fuck the developers. Fuck development. Attack.
Oakland: Vandalism of Developer's Office, Fancy Coffee Shop |
San Francisco: Attack against VIDA Condo Sales Office in the Mission
The private buses that shuttle tech workers to and from offices outside of San Francisco currently pay nothing for the use of Muni bus stops. The private shuttles block public buses from using the bus stops and have come to symbolize the increasing hegemony of San Francisco, complete with unaffordable rents and rampant evictions. In protest, demonstrators have repeatedly blocked the buses. The City's response to protesters' objections has been to propose that the Google buses start paying a fee of $1 per stop in a limited number of bus stops.
On May 1, however, a coalition of environmental, labor, and tenants' rights groups filed suit in San Francisco, declaring that the City's "Commuter Bus Program," aka the "Google Bus Giveaway," is illegal and should be set aside. The suit contends that it is against state law for private buses to use the public bus stops. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are The Coalition for Fair, Legal, and Environmental Transit; Sara Shortt of the tenants rights group Housing Rights Committee
; and Alysabeth Alexander Vice President of Politics for SEIU 1021
. Defendants include the City and County of San Francisco; Mayor Ed Lee; the SF Board of Supervisors; Muni; and Google, Apple and Genentech.
"We know that these buses are having a devastating impact on our neighborhoods," said Sara Shortt," driving up rents and evictions of long-time SF residents. We've protested in the streets and taken our plea to City Hall to no avail. We hope to finally receive justice in a court of law."
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Fighting Back Against the "Tech Takeover": Impact of Tech Industry Protested with Apple, Google, & Yahoo Bus Blockades and Home Demo
San Francisco has seen a 178% increase in Ellis Act evictions over the last 3 years. A group of seniors, people with disabilities, supporters, and co-sponsors confronted the San Francisco Association of Realtors on April 22. The San Francisco Board of realtors has opposed legislation beneficial to tenants in the past. The activists delivered a letter of demands and then held a rally and press conference with testimonies from seniors and people with disabilities.
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.
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. We offer this critique and brief thoughts on strategy in order to support the ongoing work of combating displacement and gentrification that has been hitting the Bay Area for a long time.
We find ourselves in a city that’s clearly at the crosshairs of the system’s plans for intentional development and displacement: highly concentrated capital in the Bay Area and projections of millions of jobs being created in the next 10 years; a strategic plan by city politicians across the Bay to house these new high wage workers within its multiple cities; and the ongoing displacement of low wage workers and unemployed people. This is the situation Oakland Mayor Jean Quan references when she states that she’s seeking to bring in 10,000 new residents to Oakland while saying nothing about keeping long term residents and working class people in Oakland.
What does this growth look like? A glance at the video accompanying the presentation of the WOSP to the Oakland Planning Commission featured the familiar architecture and spatial layout of Emeryville mixed in with your typical Whole Foods store. 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.
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West Oakland Specific Plan: documents and
On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shaun McCutcheon et al in McCutcheon v Federal Elections Commission. Responding immediately, a crowd gathered at Palo Alto's City Hall to demonstrate against the decision, which clears the way for even more private money to enter the electoral system.
One SF Peninsula protester said, "If you thought Citizen's United was selling our democracy down the money pit, check out the McCutcheon vs. FEC ruling handed down today!"
Sally Lieber, former Speaker pro Tempore of the California State Assembly, Nancy Neff of the CA Clean Money Campaign, and others spoke in front of Palo Alto's City Hall. Al Mite TeDollar and a Supreme Court Justice shook hands as Al proffered cigars in mock celebration. Speakers in Palo Alto's King Hall Plaza said that the Court's ruling in favor of McCutcheon today is a giant blow to our electoral system. The event was organized by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.
Read More with Photos