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In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal of the U.S. District Court in San Jose ruled on March 31 that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold the leases without properly assessing the threat that fracking could pose to water, fish and wildlife. Some of these leases are within the Salinas River watershed, a habitat for endangered Central Coast steelhead.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the controversial, environmentally destructive process of injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals underground at high pressure in order to release and extract oil or gas. Many Delta advocates believe that the peripheral tunnels proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) will be used to deliver water to expand fracking operations in Kern County and coastal areas.
The ruling responded to a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club that challenged a September 2011 BLM decision to auction off about 2,500 acres of land in southern Monterey County to oil companies. “This important decision recognizes that fracking poses new, unique risks to California’s air, water and wildlife that government agencies can’t ignore,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. “This is a watershed moment — the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the monumental dangers of fracking.”
On February 17, individuals gathered in Monterey for an Idle No More flash mob held in solidarity with First Nations and Chief Theresa Spence. Organizers described the flash mob as an opportunity for "dance and prayer" and to educate the public. Groups represented at the gathering included the Ohlone and the Chumash, as well as a number of others.
The gathering resembled other Idle No More events and flash mobs where participants sing traditional songs and join together in round dancing. Isaac Orozco, who also dances with Amah-Ka-Tura
, an Ohlone group based out of the Pajaro Valley, sang traditional Ohlone songs. In addition to drumming, individuals played clap sticks, which are a traditional instrument of central Californian Indian groups.
The flash mob began in front of the Museum of Monterey, which is located at Custom House Plaza, and is part of Monterey State Historic Park. After a brush with rangers, the group moved in front of the "Old Customhouse" itself, which is the oldest colonial government building in California.
Read More with Photos and Videos |
Idle No More
In a narrow 6-5 vote on November 20, the Board of Supervisors voted to ban public nudity in the City of San Francisco. Community members have protested the legislation, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, for weeks, culminating when individuals stripped nude after the decision was made at the meeting. The ban will be put to a final vote by the Board on Tuesday, December 4th
All 11 San Francisco Supervisors are Democrats; the city ordinance was introduced by Scott Wiener and opposed by David Campos, Christina Olague, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim.
In anticipation of the vote, community members have been stripping nude and holding demonstrations downtown and in front of San Francisco City Hall since October, and more actions have been planned
leading up to the final vote.
Read More | Citizens Strip Naked At The Board Of Supervisors Hearing On November 20, 2012 | Power Play | See Also: Protest Against Nudity Ban In San Francisco - November 14
| Protest Against Nudity Ban In San Francisco - October 30
| Part 2
Surf City Locals write:
"Pamela Comstock is one of the only candidates to not accept voluntary campaign spending limits. She has raised more money than anyone in this city council race. Her money has paid for nice-looking glossy fliers, but they only tell half the story.
"Pamela Comstock is one of the founding members of Take Back Santa Cruz, a group that claims to advocate for public safety, but what has their role in the community really been? Take Back Santa Cruz has spread vicious lies about people with whom they disagree. Their lies have stirred up vigilantism and mob-mentality, and they have refused to work with anyone who has a difference of opinion.
"Take Back Santa Cruz has made their mission clear: to get rid of people they consider undesirable. They want wealthy property owners to 'take back' the town from folks who are somehow less deserving. When they first started, the ugly rhetoric on their Facebook page made this idea clear. Comments like 'we need to drive the undesirables out of town' and 'we should go downtown and start hitting all the undesirables with sticks' were prominent on their wall."
Read More | See Also: Take Back Santa Cruz Founded by a Corporate Criminal
|| Take Back Watsonville Founded on Racist Rhetoric
Program managers delivered a $114 million cost estimate for construction of the proposed desal plant to the members of the Desalination Task Force at their October 17 meeting in Santa Cruz. The $114 million figure is to be considered a range, representing a possible cost of between $97 million and $143 million for the plant, and it does not include the millions spent already during the early phase of planning and promotion of the proposed water project.
Following the lead of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy San Francisco, and other cities across the U.S., Occupy Oakland established itself on October 10th, 2011, with a large rally of thousands in the Frank Ogawa plaza in front of City Hall. Regular rallies, marches, workshops, and skillshares began to emanate from within the encampment. A second smaller camp was established in nearby Snow Park. Despite the encampments having been destroyed by police, and throughout numerous dramatic ups and downs, large and small, Occupy Oakland in various forms has persisted. Occupy Oakland celebrates its one-year anniversary at Snow Park on Lake Merritt at 5pm on Wednesday, October 10th
Darwin Bond-Graham writes:
"All summer long the slaying of teenager Alan Blueford by a police officer festered in the city of Oakland, a metropolis already stained by its troubled police department which for nearly ten years has been spiraling toward federal receivership due to its institutionalized culture of brutality and misconduct. It was no surprise then that the first meeting of the City Council [September 18], in its new session after the Summer recess, was met by over one hundred outraged protesters and the family of the young man whose death at the hands of OPD frustratingly remains a mystery, with all known facts indicating an unjustifiable murder."
Six months ago, local Occupy movements arrived at one of Monsanto corporation's Davis facilities at 6 a.m. Monsanto sent a message to their plant's workers to not come into work. The protest educated the public and initiated a conversation as a general assembly brainstormed solutions to Monsanto's corrupt ties with the government, unethical business practices, destruction of the environment, as well as the production of unhealthy food. Local activist groups plan to shutdown the Davis Monsanto plant once again on Monday, September 17th
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 August 24, supporters of GMO-Free Santa Cruz and Proposition 37 on the California ballot, marched and sang along Pacific Avenue to raise awareness about the proposition, and encourage people to vote in favor of it. Throughout the United States, people currently eat genetically engineered food, but they generally are not aware of it. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, Prop 37 on the November ballot, would simply require food sold in retail outlets in California, such as grocery stores, to be labeled if it is produced with genetic engineering.
If passed in November, Proposition 37 would require food sold in retail outlets such as grocery stores (not including restaurants) to be labeled if it is produced with genetic engineering. In addition to this disclosure, genetically engineered foods would be prohibited from being advertised as 'natural.' These foods, proven to be unsafe for humans, animals and the environment, are referred to as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs for short.
Read More and View Photos | Outreach for Yes on Prop 37 to Label GMOs at Wellness Fair in Santa Cruz
The 2012 Republican National Convention was held in Tampa, Florida from August
28th through 30th. The entirety of downtown Tampa is within the RNC security perimeter. There were demonstrations, rallies, and marches happening throughout the week, albeit relatively small in numbers. Hysterical corporate media reports prior to the RNC — fed by releases from law enforcement authorities — warned of threats from "outlaws and anarchists" possibly targeting the Tampa Bay area with IEDs. Local officials wrote a new anti-protest law, set up security cameras throughout the city, set aside 1,700 beds at the local jail, created a video court system for first hearings and put extra shifts of public defenders on call to quickly process "troublemakers", but the largest protest to date was only 1000 people strong, and that was in nearby St. Petersburg. Tampa officials provided up to 575 portable toilets, two misting stations, and bottled water for demonstrators suffering from Florida’s summer heat, but the city is largely a ghost town other than republican delegates and the police state apparatus. There were just two arrests all week, both under the new city law.
Indybay has reports, photos, and video from throughout, with additional posts still coming in.
In the evening, while Mitt Romney was giving his speech to close out this year's Republican National Convention, a protest march left Romneyville. Separately, on the last day of the RNC, a number of activists left Tampa, or finalized plans, to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for the following week, September 3rd-6th.
In the early afternoon, several Earth First! activists used lockboxes across the entrance to stop traffic into or out of one of the largest coal power plants in Florida, TECO's Big Bend power station. An anti-war demonstration was held near the gates of the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. That evening, protesters marched from Romneyville in a Silent FTP (Fuck the Police) march. Demonstrators carried trash bags and collected litter from downtown streets, but were stopped by police.
Earth First! Lockdown at Tampa's Big Bend Coal Plant
Planned Parenthood sponsored a rally for women's reproductive rights in the afternoon. Late in the day, labor organizers held a march throughout the downtown area near the "free speech zone" featuring skits that drew attention to republicans' anti-worker policies.
Photography Is Not A Crime (Interview with Carlos Miller)
The largest event of the day was the Rally and March Against Voter Suppression @ the RNC in Ybor City, inside the security "event zone." Code Pink attempted to make a citizen's arrest of Condoleezza Rice for "war crimes" at an event connected with the RNC. Also, on Tuesday were a "How Wall Street is Burning Democracy" workshop in Romneyville, a Really Really Free Market at Occupy Tampa's still-going Voice of Freedom Park encampment, and another evening RNC concert.
RNC 2012: Scare Tactics & Protester Perseverance
Protest highlights for the first scheduled day of the convention included the March on the RNC, the March for Our Lives, the parading of hundreds of police and deputies in riot gear, and an evening Roving Radical Dance Party. There was also an "Is This What Democracy Looks Like?" RNC discussion panel in St. Petersburg and a "Celebration of Resistance" musical show in the evening. The RNC itself was cancelled for the day due to the threat of then-Tropical Storm Isaac. The second arrest of the RNC was made after the March for Our Lives when one demonstrator refused to remove a mask, now illegal as per the new anti-protest law.
Churches Give Material Support to Police; Shun Protesters & Homeless
Roving Radical Dance Party: photos
March for Our Lives: video
March for Our Lives: photos
Videographers Detained: photos & video
March on the RNC: video
March on the RNC: photos
Welcome to the Ghost Town/Police State of Tampa
Videographers Get detained, RNC Police State Gets Rained Out
A27 RNC 2012 Photos & Video
Republican National Convention - Special KPFA-Pacifica Program
The first arrest of the RNC occured when police allegedly noticed a man with a machete inside of the RNC security "event zone," which is now illegal as per the new anti-protest law passed by Tampa politicians.
Eve of 2012 RNC: Disruptions and Marches Begin, Convention Delayed Due to Storm
RNC 2012: You Are On a Watch List
Corporate media reports flood the airwaves with fear-mongering, warning about "anarchists and law-breakers" disrupting the RNC, including with improvised explosive devices.
2012 RNC: Fear Mongering, Undercover Cops, and the Corporate Media
Lead-Up to 2012 RNC: Anarchists, IEDs, Guy Fawkes, Feces, Drones & a Tampa Police State
Press Release to Tampa RNC Law Enforcement
When Republicans, Hurricanes and Anarchists Collide: the coming tempest in Tampa Bay
RNC in Tampa: What not to bring!
Tampa prepares for best and worst
Tampa is watching you at the 2012 RNC
Occupy Tampa’s Official Statement Regarding the RNC
Earth First! group calls for eco-action during RNC in Tampa
Statement on the Police Misconduct in West Tampa on the Evening of 8/17/2012
If you have 2012 RNC or DNC reports, photos, audio and video, publish them on Indybay!
March on the RNC |
Occupy the RNC |
Occupy Tampa |
National Lawyers Guild in Tampa
Obama vs. Romney: a Close Election! You gotta be kidding!
How Ryan’s votes in Congress reveal likely Romney-Ryan policy direction
Previous Related Indybay Features:
2008 RNC |
On August 16th, six veterans and activists in Oakland, CA, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
Among the approximately 100 Oakland protesters was Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen
, who participated in the sit-in. He said, “We need more of this type of action if Bradley’s going to get the attention he deserves. We demonstrate for Bradley because he sacrificed for us, doing what was right despite potentially spending the rest of his life in jail.”
Protesters delivered a letter to campaign staff members, which they requested be sent to President Obama at the main campaign headquarters in Chicago. The letter demanded that President Obama pardon PFC Bradley Manning, accounting for both his abusive treatment in a Quantico prison cell and the president’s own unlawfully prejudicial remarks that Bradley “broke the law.”
Read More |
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Protest in Santa Cruz as Bradley Manning has Arraignment in Military Court in Maryland
|| Protests for Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks Around Bay Area
|| Supporters of Bradley Manning Demonstrate Outside Fort Meade
|| SF Rally and March for Accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning
|| SF Pride Contingent for Bradley Manning