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On September 18, to protest against Arctic oil drilling, four inflatable dinghies left the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise and headed toward a Gazprom company oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya. Activists attempted to climb and establish themselves on the outside structure of the platform to protest against imminent drilling. The Prirazlomnaya is the first oil rig to start oil production in the ice-filled waters of the Arctic. A nearby Russian Coast Guard ship responded by launching inflatables manned with agents masked in balaclavas. They proceeded to ram and slash the Greenpeace inflatables, threatened activists at gun and knife point, and fired warning shots from automatic weapons. Further, the remaining crew onboard the Arctic Sunrise counted 11 shots fired across the bow from the Coast Guard vessel’s artillery cannon. The two Greenpeace activists who had attempted to board the oil rig were arrested at the scene. Remaining activists returned to the Arctic Sunrise
The following day, the Russian Coast Guard seized control of the Arctic Sunrise and all who were aboard. The ship was directed to Murmansk, Russia. The activists were held without bail and told that Russia was investigating those involved in the protest for piracy, which carries a potential 15-year jail sentence. A Russian court has now charged twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance videographer and photographer, with the crime of piracy.
A global day of solidarity with the jailed activists was held on October 5. Tens of thousands of people participated in more than 200 events held in 49 countries throughout the world. In San Francisco, a vigil was held on the waterfront on the bay. Local supporters told stories about their involvement with Greenpeace and their relationships to those arrested in Russia. The names of all of those arrested were read.
Save The Arctic 30 Protest San Francisco |
'Arctic 30' Global Day of Solidarity |
Timeline: Arctic Sunrise activists charged with piracy in Russia |
Protest or Piracy? Greenpeace Activists Remain Jailed in Russia |
Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign
As the U.S. government marched towards war with Syria in late August, anti-war groups and activists across the state responded with two weeks of emergency demonstrations. The ANSWER Coalition organized a series of protests, and actions were planned for the offices of Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Events were also held at well known anti-war protest locations such as Peace Crossroads in San Jose and on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz.
On July 27, the Canaan protest village was built for the fifth time on annexed Palestinian land in the middle of the illegal Gosh Ezion Colonial block next to the illegal settler colony of Migdal Oz. The nonviolent protesters stayed in the tent on their land for around an hour and a half before the Israeli occupation soldiers tore it down, violently repressing the demonstration.
The tent village was built to remember the right of Palestinians to their land and to express solidarity with hunger strikers imprisoned for fighting for the Palestinian struggle. In statements, Palestinians taking part in the tent village have expressed their general support for negotiations to end the occupation, but condemned the current round of false negotiations that have been going on for years while Israel continues to build colonies and colonize Palestinian land.
There have been four previous incarnations of the Canaan village, all of which have reclaimed Palestinian land while protesting the illegal colonial annexation. The previous tent villages have been built by the South West Bank Popular Committee in the south of the West Bank and have all been violently dismantled by the Israeli occupation military, with arrests of nonviolent demonstrators.
Read More with Photos
On the morning of June 22, Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched to the Israeli occupation military checkpoint blocking the West Bank from Jerusalem. There they were stopped by soldiers who violently prevented them from passing through. In reaction, the Palestinian activists prayed at the checkpoint, demonstrating their right to both freedom of movement within their own land, and freedom to worship in Jerusalem. Following the prayer, the activists stated that they were leaving, but that they would return soon and that the next time they prayed it would be in Jerusalem.
This demonstration aimed to highlight the human rights abuses that the Palestinian people are subjected to every day because of the occupation. Restriction of movement is widespread across the West Bank, with permission from the Israeli occupation authorities demanded of Palestinians in order to travel within their own land. This permission is granted very rarely, and usually excludes people aged 18-45.
In Islam and Christianity, Jerusalem is one of the primary religious sites. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This human right is blatantly denied through acts committed by the Israeli occupation authorities and military every day.
Read More with Photos
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
January 11th, 2013, marked the day the unlawful prison Guantánamo opened 11 years ago. A protest organized by Amnesty International Chapter 19 was held in Palo Alto's Lytton Plaza. Protesters demonstrated to remind President Obama of his promise to shut down Guantánamo prison and uphold human rights. Participants from many groups gathered in busy downtown Palo Alto to gather signatures and draw attention to the human rights abuses that continue in Guantánamo. Amongst the demonstrators were members of high school chapters of Amnesty International at Lynbrook and Mountain View High Schools and members of the San Jose and Palo Alto Peace and Justice Centers. Eight Raging Grannies armed with an amplifier emceed the event and led singing. Amnesty International's Chapter 19 organized the protest, erecting a "cage" and supplying the orange jumpsuits to create the visual for the demonstration.
Together the groups publicized their demands:
· All detained people must either be charged & fairly tried, or be released
· The cases of the publicly cleared detainees, including Shaker Aamer & Djamel Ameziane must be resolved
· End indefinite detention & remove detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act
· End unlawful killings with drones and other weapons
· Ensure accountability for torture, unlawful killings & other abuses
A well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" began running Islamophobic ads on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, local artists took matters into their own hands and began modifiying the ads. Several now read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Palestinian Cultural Day at its regular meeting in the Alameda County Administration Building in Oakland on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. Board President Nate Miley and Supervisor Wilma Chan awarded the Proclamation to representatives of the Palestinian community: Fouad Atieh, Sandra Nasser, Nabil Wahbeh, and Loubna Qutami.
The proclamation is a victory for Palestinian residents who have long sought recognition as a community despite sometimes fierce opposition. It recognizes Palestinians as a people who “trace their roots back to this historic land of Palestine” and that “Palestinian residents of Alameda County now number approximately 20,000 and continue to make major contributions to the County.”
Alameda County becomes the second in California to officially recognize Palestinian Cultural Day, following the lead of Santa Clara County which issued its first proclamation in 2002. But getting started ten years ago was very challenging because of fierce opposition from supporters of Israel who feared the proclamations would erode Israel’s image by raising public awareness of recent Palestinian history.
Read More and View Photos
Related Articles: Palestinian Culture and Catastrophe Recognized by Santa Clara County
|| Palestinian Cultural Mural Unveiled After Turbulent Struggle
|| Santa Clara County marks Palestinian Culture Day on 60th Anniversary of al-Nakbah
|| Silicon Valley Proclaims May 15th Palestinian Cultural Day
On July 20th, George Cadman interviewed Medea Benjamin about her new book "Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control," which is "a comprehensive look at the growing menace of robotic warfare, with an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who 'pilots' these unmanned planes, who the victims are and what some of the legal and moral implications are." Benjamin's book also looks at what activists, lawyers and scientists are doing to ground the drones, and ways to move forward. Medea Benjamin spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Monday, July 23th.
Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
The Montreal student strike began in February when most of the cégeps
in the province of Québec, as well as two of the largest universities, voted to protest new austerity measures. For some of the schools, continuing the strike has been a week-to-week re-negotiation while others voted right from the beginning to participate in an unlimited general strike, and still others voted to strike until all education was free. On May 18th, two new laws came into effect in Montréal: one, a municipal by-law, aims to discourage people from wearing masks at demonstrations by threatening them with fines from $1000 to $5000; the other, a provincial Special Law which demands that demonstrators, anywhere in Québec, submit to the local police a start time and a complete route at least eight hours in advance. The provincial law also declares that there can be no demonstrations on the grounds of academic institutions, with organizers risking fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The students of Quebec have taken a struggle against tuition hikes and mobilized hundreds of thousands against austerity and state repression. What began as a one-week university student strike has widened into an anti-capitalist revolt against universities, banks and police in what many are calling a general and indefinite social strike. In the face of state repression, including Law 78 more or less banning protest, court injunctions against university picket lines, and mass arrests, the students of Montreal have returned to the streets night after night for over 100 days.
On June 1st, an evening march was held in Oakland to show solidarity with the students to the north.
Video of Oakland's March |
Oakland Event Announcement |
Over 100,000 protesters commit civil disobedience in Montreal |
Solidarity Means Attack - Call For Support From Montréal!
On April 18th, U.S. Federal authorities removed a server from a colocation facility shared by Riseup Networks and May First/People Link in New York City. The seized server was operated by the European Counter Network (“ECN”), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, who, among many other things, provided an anonymous remailer service, Mixmaster, that was the target of an FBI investigation into a series of bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh.
“The company running the facility has confirmed that the server was removed in conjunction with a search warrant issued by the FBI,” said May First/People Link director Jamie McClelland. “The server seizure is not only an attack against us, but an attack against all users of the Internet who depend on anonymous communication.”
Disrupted in this seizure were academics, artists, historians, feminist groups, gay rights groups, community centers, documentation and software archives and free speech groups. The server included the mailing list “cyber rights” (the oldest discussion list in Italy to discuss this topic), a Mexican migrant solidarity group, and other groups working to support indigenous groups and workers in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. In total, over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists, and several other websites have been taken off the Internet by this action. None are alleged to be involved in the anonymous bomb threats.
“The FBI is using a sledgehammer approach, shutting down service to hundreds of users due to the actions of one anonymous person,” said Devin Theriot-Orr, a spokesperson for Riseup. “This is particularly misguided because there is unlikely to be any information on the server regarding the source of the threatening emails.”