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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's new lobbying group has spent big money on ads to advocate for the Keystone XL pipeline, riling Bay Area environmentalists. Activists rallied near the CEO's San Francisco home on June 1st. Members of the Keystone XL Action Council previously spearheaded an action on May 1st at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park.
Demonstrators say they are appalled that political group FWD.US, co-founded by Zuckerberg and others in the tech industry, bills itself as a bipartisan entity dedicated to passing immigration reform, but has spent considerable resources on ads advocating anti-environmental causes including promoting construction of the the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Last month protesters built a mock pipeline in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park and posed in front of the famous "thumbs up" signage on the company's lawn with their own thumbs down. Then on June 1st, activists marched in hazmat costumes and carried their pipeline up the street in Mr. Zuckerberg's San Francisco neighborhood. They projected a giant outdoor film screening about the dangers of the Keystone XL against a wall near his new home.
Demonstration at Facebook HQ |
Guerilla Action in Mark Zuckerberg's SF Neighborhood | See Also: Fight for Women's Rights in Front of Facebook CEO Home
Protesters mobilized to greet President Barack Obama who was in town for a series of fundraisers in San Francisco and Atherton on April 3 and 4. Approximately 1,000 demonstrators opposing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would extend from Canada to Texas, gathered outside the mansion of Ann and Gordon Getty in San Francisco the evening of April 3. The next day about 100 environmentalists, including many elderly, lay in wait along the President's route after a fundraiser in Atherton.
Rain meant the deployment of dozens of umbrellas in the tiny town on the San Francisco peninsula. President Obama's arrival in Atherton via military helicopter created disappointment among the demonstrators, some of whom had arrived before 8am. After two hours of waiting in rain, however, the protesters found out that the President would leave the fundraiser via motorcade. They were able to make their protest known as the State Department vehicle carrying the President passed directly along the route where demonstrators held their placards high.
Environmentalists are worried that the XL pipeline's existence would contribute to global warming because of greenhouse gas emissions from the process of extracting bitumen from Canadian tar sands. Many said they have not forgotten the President's inaugural promise to fight climate change and insist that he should follow through on that promise by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Protest turns up heat on Keystone tar sands pipeline at Obama dinner |
"No XL Pipeline" Protest Near Obama Fundraiser on the Peninsula
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Bay Area Activists Prepare for Direct Action to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline
On February 22, rally participants in Palo Alto's Lytton Plaza gathered to demand that measures proposed in Congress to ban semi-automatic and military-style firearms be debated and votes taken. They said that unfortunately supporters of the National Rifle Association's position will oppose reasonable legislation.
Community members raised candles, and then cell phones, to tell House Speaker Boehner that although Republicans may oppose some of the measures, he must allow them to come to a vote. Demonstrators said no member of Congress should oppose universal background checks for people attempting to buy guns.
Participants said they stand for tougher penalties for illegal purchases, and they want more funding to help states deal with mentally challenged persons. They asked "who would wonder why?" when our media is full of gun violence, and shooting people is glorified in TV and movies.
Read More with Photos |
Gun Buy-Back Program on the SF Peninsula
Justin Herman Plaza was the site of several feminist actions on Saturday, January 26th, as this week marks 40 years since the passage of Roe v. Wade. A Celebration of Women, Life and Liberty
began at 10 am with speakers including the famously Limbaugh-bashed birth control champion Sandra Fluke and a myriad of children's activities.
The celebration continued with a flash mob dance ritual
at 11:30 am to break the chain of violence against women and girls. From noon to 2pm Radical Women and supporters of women's rights gathered on Market St. at Justin Herman Plaza with signs to protest
the Walk for Life anti-abortion demonstrators as they marched through downtown San Francisco.
On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, several groups sponsored a pro-choice march through downtown Los Altos
San Francisco Photos
On January 10th, demonstrators protested in Menlo Park in front of a $4.1 million Dream House that is being raffled off to benefit the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. They explained their objection to the Dream House model of fundraising saying that arts organizations should receive public funds from taxes paid by corporations instead of a raffle that is essentially "a tax on the people".
Speakers who stood in front of the house said there is a need to restore funding to public institutions like libraries, universities, and the arts so that the reliance on risky dream house style raffles are no longer needed.
Representatives of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Occupy Bay Area United and other social justice groups held the speak-out in front of the mansion to publicize their outrage that nonprofits are used by banks and other corporations for public relations subterfuges. They argued that corporations create the illusion of helping good causes while at the same time using tax loopholes and creating profits on the back of the 99%.
Occupy Bay Area United | Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
January 11th, 2013, marked the day the unlawful prison Guantánamo opened 11 years ago. A protest organized by Amnesty International 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.
On December 12th, dozens of protesters rallied outside a federal auction in Sacramento against plans to lease more than 17,000 acres of California public land to oil companies for drilling and fracking. Demonstrators fear that opening up thousands of acres of public land to oil and gas exploration would directly undercut the state's commitment to clean and renewable energy and endanger an already threatened water supply. Land spanning Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties lies on what is known as the Monterey Shale, a formation of underground minerals. Oil and gas companies are targeting this expanse for hydraulic drilling.
On October 30, the family of Derrick Gaines, the 15 year old who was shot and killed by South San Francisco Police Department officer Joshua Cabillo, filed a federal civil rights action against the City of South San Francisco. Family members, who are seeking $10 million in damages, hired Attorney John Burris to represent them in the wrongful death action. Burris says, "This is a clear case of racial profiling that lead to disastrous results."
Around 500 peaceful but rowdy protesters came out on September 17th in San Francisco to mark the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The protest began with several separate actions around the Financial District, which coalesced in a rally in front of the Bank of America building. The protesters then marched to Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, filling more than two blocks with signs and banners, accompanied by the Brass Liberation Orchestra. Separately, similar anniversary events at Wall Street in New York City were met with a heavy police police presence followed by over 200 arrests.
Occupy Redwood City responded with a protest on Saturday, July 14th, within days of a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new prison in San Mateo County. Occupy members, along with a coalition of organizations all concerned about the increase in prison building, rallied across the street from the Redwood City police station. Former Assembly candidate Joseph Rosas of Occupy San Jose spoke at the rally about San Mateo County's practice of referring juveniles to ICE for potential transfer to detention centers and then deportation.
The first recorded Father's Day commemoration was in remembrance of a mining disaster that brought attention to the plight of working people and unsafe working conditions across the US, when hundreds of fathers died in a mine in West Virginia in 1908. With the holiday's origins in mind, members of the San Jose and Redwood City Occupy groups performed mic check demonstrations at branches of various corporate entities on the San Francisco Peninsula that have a record of anti-labor practices.
10AM Saturday Jun 29