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On January 14, California's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced new “recommended restrictions” on the use of chloropicrin, a cancer-causing pesticide used widely on California strawberries. Health, environmental and rural advocates say that DPR ignored its own scientists in developing the proposal, and that the recommended restrictions fall far short of protecting schoolchildren and rural residents from harmful exposures to the toxic pesticide.
In Oakland, hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings are organizing in response to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s call to come together for ninety-six hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend. The first action will be a protest inside Montgomery BART station in San Francisco at 7am on Friday. The weekend’s events culminate in a Jobs and Economy March for the People on Monday, January 19. Other groups are organizing more MLK-related events in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and throughout Northern California.
UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
Two-day strikes have started that effect nearly 20,000 registered nurses at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics, a Sutter hospital in Tracy, and Watsonville Community Hospital kicking off a wave of protests in 15 states and the District of Columbia over eroding patient care conditions symbolized by inadequate Ebola safeguards at most U.S. hospitals.
Kaiser RNs and nurse practitioners went on strike the morning of November 11 in Antioch, Fremont, Fresno, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, Roseville, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, South Sacramento, South San Francisco, Stockton, Vacaville, Vallejo, Walnut Creek. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
On November 12, California RNs will join with nurses and allies in 14 other states and the District of Columbia to step up the call for improved safeguards in the face of the deadly Ebola virus. For striking nurses, the failure to secure Ebola safeguards symbolizes what nurses see as a steady erosion in care standards that increasingly put patients as well as nurses and other frontline health workers at risk.
On November 4, Bay Area voters raised minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland. There were also successful campaigns to raise minimum wages in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. On November 6, workers at the San Francisco Whole Foods Market at 4th and Harrison Streets took the fight for fair wages to another level. Early that afternoon, a delegation of workers presented management with a demand for a $5-an-hour across-the-board wage increase for all employees and no retaliation for union organizing.
At the call of an air horn, a contingent of workers in the store stopped work and gathered at the café bar near the store’s entrance. Other Whole Foods workers, who were not on duty but who had infiltrated the store, joined them, along with a number of supporters. They then summoned the store manager. As workers and supporters gathered around, and customers looked on, long-time Whole Foods worker Nick announced to the assembled crowd, “We are the Industrial Workers of the World.” The workers ended the gathering with a demand for an answer by November 14, when their next paycheck is due. At that, on-the-clock workers returned to their jobs, while the other workers and their supporters exited the store, chanting “Si, Se Puede!”
On November 14
, organized workers at Whole Foods Market will rally with supporters and call on the Regional President to respond at the Northern California Regional Office in Emeryville.
Read More |
Whole Foods Workers Demand A Response From Regional Boss, November 14
On October 17, workers, union representatives, labor organizers, and community supporters returned to the Santa Cruz Dream Inn for a second rally in a month's time as workers at the hotel continue to demand a fair contract during negotiations. Management wants workers to take a three-year wage freeze, with raises limited to 1% and 2% in the fourth and fifth year. Dream Inn Workers have been negotiating with the Dream Inn for several months now and this offer continues to be unacceptable to them.
"We're here for the long haul. This employer doesn't want to give wage increases," said Cesar Lara, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council at the rally. The Monterey Bay Central Labor Council (MBCLC) is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). 65 labor unions are affiliated with the MBCLC, including Unite Here! Local 483, the union that represents Santa Cruz Dream Inn workers, as well as many other workers at hotel and restaurants in the Monterey Bay area.
Members of several different labor unions were present at the October 17 rally to support the Dream Inn workers, including SEIU 521, the Teamsters, the Teachers Union, and the California Nurses Association. "We're here to fight with you, we're here to support you," Lara said.
Read More with Photos and Video | Unite Here! Local 483
Previous Coverage: Santa Cruz Dream Inn Workers Rally for a Fair Contract
After successful blockades of Zim Line ships at the Port of Oakland in August and September, a third blockade was set to target the Zim ship Beijing before dawn on Saturday, October 25. The Beijing was rescheduled to dock the morning of Sunday, October 26, and then delayed indefinitely. Organizers — remaining vigilant for a potential docking at any time during the week — called for a solidarity march from West Oakland BART station on the afternoon of Sunday 26th, as a show of force to let Zim know that activists would be ready should the Beijing attempt to unload cargo in Oakland. The Beijing never docked at the port of Oakland and instead headed for other ports..
In announcing the action, organizers wrote:
Palestinians are unified in their call to people around the world to take action against Israel everywhere. Bay Area residents have the opportunity to up the ante and be leaders in the movement for justice in Palestine! We salute the longshoremen who stood with the Palestinian people by honoring our Block the Boat picket and refusing to unload Zim in August, and for doing so again during another successful picket in September. We will be asking workers to once again join with us in sending a message to the world that Zionism is not welcome at the Port of Oakland.
From Oakland to Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, New Orleans, and Tampa — turn the Israeli ship around!
Activists 'Block the Boat' to end Israeli Apartheid |
Zionist Organization of America head calls for arrest of Block the Boat protesters
California Leads the Way in the “Block the Boat” Movement
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Oakland Does It Again with Successful BDS Blockade at Port (2014) |
Historic Victory Against Israeli Apartheid at the Port of Oakland (2014) |
Anti-Apartheid Picket at Oakland Docks Stops Unloading of Israeli Zim Line Ship (2010)
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS
) activists in the San Francisco Bay Area came together again on September 27 and 28 to picket and blockade an Israeli Zim Line ship at the Port of Oakland. Organized by the Stop Zim Action Committee this time, Palestine solidarity activists dispersed across five entrances at the SSA terminal over multiple shifts, preventing longshore workers from unloading cargo for two days until the ship left port.
ILWU Local 10 longshore workers refused to work the Israeli Zim ship Shanghai during the picket. The ILWU Local 10 has been out of contract since July, which means workers will not get paid if they do not work a shift, regardless whether there is a picket line or a health and safety concern. But it also means union members do not have to defer to the port authority to determine whether or not they do cross a picket line. The ILWU has a long history of lending its union power in solidarity to outside causes.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services is Israel’s largest cargo shipping company and has become an increasingly popular target for BDS activists. In August, a Zim Line ship was effectively blocked in Oakland for four days, the longest blockade of its kind to date, kicking off similar actions up and down the West Coast. Oakland's Block the Boat coalition has called for yet another picket at the port on October 25
Bay Area activists again prevent unloading of Israeli ship |
Israeli Zim Shanghai At Standstill In Oakland By ILWU Action & Picket Line |
Liverpool Dockers Solidarity with ILWU Local 10 and Oakland Community Picket of ZIM Ships |
Stop ZIM Action Committee Thanks Supporters of Zim Shanghai Pickets and ILWU Local 10 |
Sustained Picket of Zim Ship in Oakland - End the Siege of Gaza:
Zim Blockade Continues - All Out to the Picket Line! |
Anti-Apartheid Group Announces Campaign to Block Zim Ships to Oakland
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Historic Victory Against Israeli Apartheid at the Port of Oakland
On September 26, workers held a rally at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn to demand a fair contract with meaningful wage increases. Dream Inn workers are presently without a contract and have been negotiating with the hotel for months. Owners are proposing they take a three-year wage freeze followed by 1% and 2% raises in the fourth and fifth years. "We can barely support ourselves now and the Dream Inn wants to make it worse over the next five years," read a flyer handed out to hotel guests at the rally.
Workers demanding a fair contract at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn include everyone from room cleaners to bell persons, as well as servers, cooks and banquet staff from Aquarius, the hotel's restaurant. Many of those participating in the rally did so on breaks from work and while still wearing their Dream Inn uniforms.
"In this community it is very hard to live over here without wages," said Sergio Rangel, an organizer with Unite Here! Local 483, the labor union that represents hotel, restaurant, and hospitality workers in the Monterey Bay area. Rangel said they would be back "again, again, and again," until the company's owners, "do the right thing." During contract negotiations held with the Dream Inn several years ago, workers had already agreed to take wage concessions because the economy was doing so poorly at the time. According to Unite Here! these are different times now, and business at the hotel has picked up. The workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, Rangel said.
Read More with Photos and Video | Unite Here! Local 483
In a major victory against the Israeli Zim Lines shipping company, their ship the Piraeus was forced to leave the Port of Oakland after a mass march, four days of picketing, and the refusal of ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 to work the ship despite attempts by the Oakland police department and Alameda County deputies to break up the ongoing pickets. A similar action was held in 2010 at the port
, but Zim was known to have unload all of their cargo eventually. This time, many believe the Zim ship unloaded only a portion of cargo before giving up and heading back out to sea. Oakland's "Block the Boat" victory represents a historic first for the worldwide Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS
The action was originally scheduled to target Zim Lines on August 2, during the height of Israel's recent devastating attacks on the people of Gaza, but was rescheduled for August 16. A massive march was planned for 5am from West Oakland BART to the port to block, but Zim delayed their ship's arrival to attempt to disrupt the "Block the Boat" action. Organizers from the Arab Resource & Organizing Committee (AROC
) and other anti-apartheid organizations put out last-minute word that the ship was delayed and those intending to blockade the boat were not deterred. At 3pm, two thousand or more people turned out for the march to the port. ILWU Locals refused to cross the massive picket and the ship did not dock, so no cargo was unloaded the first day.
The following day, August 17, AROC and other coalition organizations put out a call for further blockades of gates at the port. Turnout was smaller, but the contingent was strong enough that four gates were picketed while the Piraeus was moored at the port. Again, no cargo was unloaded when the ILWU refused to cross the lines. From there, autonomous activists kept up the pressure at the gates for another two days. Zim lines attempted to get tricky by leaving the port and heading out into the San Francisco Bay and past the Golden Gate bridge, to lull activists into prematurely believing their victory had been won, only to return to a different berth at the port to re-attempt to unload cargo. Activists were not dissuaded and continued to picket further shifts of dockworkers in order to prevent unloading of the Piraeus. On the evening of August 19, Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) moved workers who were already inside of gates working another ship to unload the Piraeus, and some cargo was unloaded for a few hours. Activists persevered, and maintained pickets past midnight to prevent port workers from returning from their lunch break to unload further cargo. Police and sheriff's deputies attempted to push and shove activists aside at several points, but were unsuccessful overall. Some have said all cargo with Oakland as its destination was unloaded overnight while others believe only perishables were unloaded. In the early morning hours of August 20, Zim Lines finally caved and the Piraeus left the port.
Inspired by the victory in Oakland, further "Block the Boat" actions are planned for the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Long Beach. Tacoma's "Block the Boat" is set for this Friday, August 22.
Read More with Photos:
ILWU Rank and File Back Picket Of Zim ship Piraeus At Port Of Oakland
United States Port Actions End Business as Usual For Israel
EASTWEST #3: An Anarchist Newspaper
Israeli Ship Blocked in Oakland
Longest Blockade of Israeli Ship in History - ZIM ship turned away from SSA in Oakland!
Major Victory Against Israel Apartheid Regime-Zim Lines Ship Piraeus Forced To Leave Port
Tokyo Japan Solidarity Action With Gaza-Protest At Zim Tokyo Offices
Israeli Ship Continues to be Successfully Blocked at the Port of Oakland
Keep The Israeli Zim Ship Stranded-Zim Ship Stuck In Port Of Oakand
Block The Boat - Join the Historic Blockade of the Israeli Apartheid Boat Day 4
Zim Ship Stranded In Oakland! The Labor Community Picket Against Zim Ship In The Port
Mass March & Picket At Oakland Port To Stop Israel's Zim Line Ship Piraeus To Protest Crimes In Gaza
KPFA: Protest Against Zim Line Ship In The Port Of Oakland
Block The Boat for Gaza at the Port of Oakland
Zim Ship Arrival Delayed: NOT 5am But 3pm
KPFA Pacifica to Cover Labor Community Picket At Port Of Oakland Against Zim Line
Stop The Israeli Massacre In Gaza-Full Support For Labor Community Mass Picket At Zim Line
CANCELLED: Block the Boat for Gaza! Shut Down the Israeli company ZIM Shipping @ the Port of Oakland
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural Unveiled on 26th Street
Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural Unveiling
Related Indybay Features:
The World Responds to Israel's Atrocities in Gaza: Hundreds of Palestinians, Including Whole Families, Have Been Killed in Gaza Since July 8
Labor and Community Picket Israeli Zim Line Ship: Anti-Apartheid Picket at Oakland Docks Stops Unloading of Israeli Zim Line Ship
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.