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Food Not Bombs founder Keith McHenry was in Santa Cruz to give a presentation at Santa Cruz's Resource Center for Nonviolence. When he heard that no free Christmas meal was planned this year in downtown Santa Cruz, he decided to hang out and organize one. McHenry says they're planning on feeding up to one thousand people at the December 25th meal. "The enthusiasm of everybody who wants to contribute is just beyond comprehension," he said.
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.
The Gill Tract in Albany has been a battleground in recent years as the University of California's development plans have met repeated resistance from Occupy the Farm and others fighting for land sovereignty. The tract was first occupied and farmed in 2012, providing hundreds of pounds of free produce to local communities. This year, in the space of nine days in May, occupiers broke ground, establishing a new urban farm, and replanted the field twice. Each time the UC police ploughed over the seedlings. Currently, Occupy the Farm is launching a pressure campaign against Sprouts Farmers Market, a supermarket chain looking to build on the land.
Exploding corrections budgets have forced states to enact bi-partisan criminal justice reforms to reduce their prison populations. The U.S. prison population peaked in 2009. Since then, states across the country have closed prisons due to excess capacity and generational low crime rates.
Faced with empty beds, demand concerns, and a bleak outlook, a report released by Anonymous on July 9 details why the hactivist group expects Corrections Corporation of America’s earnings to get smacked under the weight of current and future contract losses. CCA is a publicly-traded prison operator with a history of horrendous prison conditions and human rights abuses.
"The damage these reforms are causing CCA is obvious. For example, CCA has halted a major construction project, is experiencing a glut of empty beds, and is expected to report its first-ever annual revenue decline this year. In fact, a number of CCA’s customers are terminating some or all of their contracts with the Company. Notably, California which represents 12.2% of CCA’s revenue base is expected to cancel all its contracts with the Company in the next few years."
Read More with a PDF of the Report
Since early November 2012, foreclosure defense activists have worked to protect Jodie Randolph from being evicted by Morgan-Stanley, keeping Jodie in her Alameda home by maintaining a vigil on the premises and demonstrating at Morgan-Stanley's San Francisco offices.
The Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group writes:
Our member and friend, Jodie Randolph has won one battle and lost another. As many of you know, Jodie was not only fighting for her home but fighting against cancer. Early Saturday morning that fight ended when Jodie passed away. We will announce details for the memorial service as we get them.
But in these last months, she knew though that together we had won the fight for her home. After 8 months of defending the home and fighting Morgan-Stanley, we have won on every demand and have signed paperwork securing the house. Even though the home now passes to her family, the deal stands … and indeed stands as testament to her fierce fighting spirit.
Read More |
Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group
Movie Night at #defendjodie's. Support Eviction Defense!
Day 100! And Jodie is Still In Her House!
#DefendJodie. “A Terrific Initial Victory for People’s Action.”
Foreclosure Defense Movie Night: Cinema Paradiso
#defendJodie: Canvass, Movie Night, Upcoming Phone Blast
DefendJodie, Week 4
DefendJodie Day 18
Who Shut Down the Skyscraper? We Shut Down the Skyscraper!
#defendjodie day 13
Jodie Randolph Home Defense Day 12
Jodie Randolph Home Defense Day 11
Movie Night/Support Jodie Randolph's Home Defense
Defending Jodie Randolph's home; latest update
Foreclosure Eviction Defense
Twelve people injured by the Oakland police department during Occupy Oakland demonstrations have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit with the city of Oakland for a total of $1.17 million. The physical injuries came as a result of OPD's violent response to Occupy Oakland on October 25 and November 2, 2011. Plaintiffs to receive compensation for injuries include David Morse, a long-time member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay).
The settlement in the Campbell vs. City of Oakland case comes on the heals of another $1 million settlement still pending final approval, Spalding vs. City of Oakland
. As a result of both cases, OPD has agreed to allow the federal court to enforce OPD's compliance with its own crowd control policy and to negotiate with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) before making any changes to the policy. The control policy prohibits police from shooting "less lethal" impact munitions or tossing explosive teargas grenades into crowds, and prohibits mass arrests without warning or opportunity to disperse.
"These settlements are an important victory for democracy,” said Bobbie Stein, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys. ”We are hopeful that with these settlements, and the reform process under the watch of the new Compliance Director, we will achieve a culture shift in the Oakland Police Department and end the brutalization and wrongful arrests of activists and people of color in Oakland. While we remain optimistic, we are mindful of the 10-year history of broken promises, and we will be watching carefully and ready to take further action if necessary."
Videos of OPD Violence Reveal Serious Problems that Led to $1 Million Occupy Oakland Settlement |
National Lawyers Guild press release |
The Stories of the Twelve Campbell Plaintiffs in the NLG's Occupy Oakland Civil Rights Lawsuit
Previous Related Indybay Features:
ACLU and National Lawyers Guild File Suit Against Oakland Police Department |
Indybay Coverage of Occupy Oakland
As daily anti-government protests rocked Istanbul, demonstrators in the Bay Area showed solidarity against Turkish state repression with protests in Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and Oakland, in addition to the establishment of Gezi Gardens in San Francisco.
The protests in Turkey began May 28 at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park, against plans to turn the loved and historic city park into a shopping mall. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan brutally attacked the peaceful demonstrators. Protests then erupted in opposition to Erdogan's crackdowns on political freedom, and moves by Erdogan's semi-Islamist government to limit alcohol sales and to outlaw signs of affection in public. The subsequent police violence against the people of Turkey has resulted in a number of casualties and injured thousands.
Organizers of the upcoming Rally for Rights in Santa Cruz state: "It doesn't matter whether the government is led by reactionary Islamists in Turkey, secular social democrats in Brazil, or conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats in the U.S., the systems they rule over are the same, and serve only the interests of the 1%."
Berkeley: Stop The Attacks On The People Of Turkey-SF/Berkeley Rallies Against Gov Repression
| Occupy GeziParki Turkey (Solidarity with Turkey)
Occupy Gezi Gardens, San Francisco: San Francisco Police Swarm Gezi Gardens to Prevent Re-Occupation
| Neighbors in San Francisco's D11 join the battle for green space and community
| Hayes Valley Farm Raided by Police (with photo essay)
| Riot Police Raid Gezi Gardens and Evict Tree-Sit; People Prepare to Re-Occupy on Friday
| Gardens being demolished in SF
| Occupation of Gezi Gardens Continues as Hundreds Attend Saturday Event
| Statement of Solidarity of Gezi Gardens and March with the people of Istanbul and Turkey
| Tree Sitters Successfully Turn Away Workers Sent to Cut Trees at former Hayes Valley Farm
| Gezi Gardens Issued Eviction Notice! All Out to Defend Farm for June 8th Festival
| Interview with Ryan Rising at Liberate the Land Occupation in SF
| First Day of Land Liberation Action in San Francisco at new #GeziGardens
Santa Cruz: Confronting Uncle Sam at Rally for Rights
| Rally For Rights followed by Candlelight Vigil
Oakland:Hella Heart Gezi
San Francisco: SF Action To Protest Attack By Turkey's Government On Istanbul's Gezi Park
Palo Alto: Palo Alto No Keystone Project with Occupy Gezi (Solidarity with Turkey)
Statements of Solidarity with the People of Turkey: San Francisco Labor Council Calls For Defense of Labor & the Working People Of Turkey
| Solidarity with #direngeziparki and the people of Turkey
| Anonymous Operation Turkey
Read More on Turkey: Turkey: Epicenter of Police State Violence
| Despite Brutal Crackdown, Protesters Continue to Hold Gezi Park
| Brutal Police Action Takes Taksim Square By Force
| Turkey: Workers Begin General Strike as Protests and Government Repression Continue
| Photographic Evidence: Turkish police are hiding the bodies of their dead victims
| Anti-Government Protests Rock Turkey
| Turkey, Casualties Mount as Corporate Media Blackout Continues
| Despite Brutal Crackdown, Uprising in Turkey Continues
Since 1996 the City of Santa Cruz has distributed unclaimed bicycles to youth in need through nonprofits such as the Bike Church
and Barrios Unidos. Early last year they abruptly ended this program and have given bikes instead to a for-profit business called the Bike Dojo, which should not even be allowed under city code to participate in the program, and which has sold many of the bicycles, also in violation of the Municipal Code. Despite admitting these problems, the city continues to distribute bikes to the Bike Dojo while denying access to the nonprofits that used to participate.
The City began distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in 1996. For years the program was administered by the Santa Cruz Police Department, sometimes very successfully, while other times only intermittently or not at all. In 2008 distributions had stopped entirely and usable bikes were being sent instead to the landfill. At that time the Bike Church—a nonprofit repair shop and recycling center—stepped in, offering to help manage the program. Under the Bike Church's management and for all years prior, City bicycle distributions were open to all interested nonprofits and public agencies.
Youth and bicycle advocates are calling on the City to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles for free to youth through partnerships with nonprofit agencies, as required by the Municipal Code.
Read More | From 2012: City Ends Successful Bicycle Distribution Program in Secret Back-Room Deal
Four years ago, Tristan Anderson, an Oakland-based human rights activist, was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli military police. On March 13th, on the anniversary of Tristan's injury, dozens gathered in Oscar Grant Plaza to celebrate Global Resistance Day. Global Resistance Day honors Tristan and all who have transcended borders and risked their lives to resist tyranny.
As part of the festivities, a cardboard effigy symbolizing the walls and fences of Israeli Apartheid was ripped apart by the crowd. Later, Tristan and some friends sang "The Flag is Just a Rag," an anthem of Global Resistance Day. Sarah Shourd, one of the three hikers held hostage in Iran from 2009-2011, spoke about her experience living with Palestinian refugees in Syria. Food Not Bombs brought a feast of freegan treats and footage was shown from resistance movements around the world.
Friends and family of Tristan Anderson announced that they will soon go to Israel to press charges against the Israeli police on Tristan's behalf.
Related Indybay Features: Tristan Anderson Challenges Israeli Military in Jerusalem Court for 2009 Attack in Ni'ilin |
Oakland CA Resident Tristan Anderson Critically Injured by IDF Tear Gas Canister in Ni'lin