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On the afternoon of June 24, a group of activists set up tents and banners in front of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA, announcing their protest online at OccupyGoogle.org
. The protester’s demanded that Google engage in a conversation about what the company should be doing in the fight for Net Neutrality. The activists claim Google could be doing a lot more, and started the camp-out to apply pressure.
Here’s how Occupy Google explains their reasoning: Though Google and other major companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft have come out in support of preserving a free and open web, we believe much more can be done. Though many of us have concerns about the larger implications of Google’s effect on the world, as far as surveillance and ties to military technology, we are not here to protest Google. Google, with its immense power, has a social responsibility to uphold the values of the internet. We encourage Google to engage in a serious, honest dialogue on the issue of net neutrality and to stand with us in support of an internet that is free from censorship, discrimination, and access fees.
Late in the night, ten activists, including a journalist who was livestreaming the event, were arrested for trespassing.
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tires slashed on google shopping express truck in Mission District
Check this out, a Google GlassHole Party
On June 18, Tony Serrano stood before the Half Moon Bay City Council to demand justice for his sister, Yanira Serrano Garcia. Yanira was killed by San Mateo County Sheriff's deputy Menh Trieu on June 3 when she was having a health crisis outside of her home at the Moonridge housing complex. The Serrano family and their supporters are asking the Half Moon Bay City Council to support a number of resolutions, including one that calls for a transparent criminal investigation into the killing of the 18-year-old.
The family is also asking that June 3 be named "Yanira Serrano Garcia's Memorial Day" by official proclamation in Half Moon Bay, and that the council call for the establishment of a sub-committee to study the lack of social services devoted to Moonridge. Yanira's brother asked for those in the audience who support the resolutions to stand, and the majority of those in the public seating area quickly stood. "It is really overwhelming what is happening to the family," he said.
After the killing of Yanira there has been a number of vigils and demonstrations held in Half Moon Bay demanding justice. At the city council meeting, the Mayor of Half Moon Bay announced that on Thursday, June 26
there will be a community meeting at 6pm at the IDES Hall in Half Moon Bay to "further discuss the issues," he said.
June 26: Public Meeting to Discuss the Killing of Yanira Serrano Garcia
Read More with Video, Audio, and Photos | See Also: Family and Friends Bid Farewell to Yanira Serrano Garcia | Marching to the Sheriff's Station and City Hall for Justice for Yanira Serrano Garcia | Rosary and Vigil Held for Yanira Serrano-Garcia at Her Home in Half Moon Bay | San Mateo Sheriff Kills Special Needs Woman
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio visited Mountain View, CA on May 6 to speak to an ultra-conservative group. At one point Arpaio approached protesters, some of whom said to him, "we don't want your hate here."
The event was advertised as a chance to hear Arpaio's "successful strategies" for immigration control. However, a federal judge ruled in 2013 that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies had violated the constitutional rights of Latinos by targeting them during raids and traffic stops throughout Maricopa County, Arizona, and the U.S. District court recently found that Arpaio's department was guilty of racially profiling Latinos in his department's controversial immigration patrols.
Raging Grannies and friends impersonated the sheriff, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, and immigrants, portraying Arpaio's abusive tactics. María Marroquín, Executive Director of the Mountain View Day Workers who is also a Raging Granny, said that Arpaio denied that he uses racial profiling when speaking with demonstrators, despite the federal rulings.
President Obama was in Mountain View on May 9 to promote initiatives that expand solar energy use. He had special praise for Walmart because it uses some forms of alternative energy. Labor advocates protested outside the megastore where the president spoke, saying that Walmart is anti-union, keeps workers' wages low, and provides few benefits.
Demonstrators said the president's visit sends a terrible message to workers. They accused Walmart of using spin to promote the perception that it is a socially conscious company, when the exact opposite is the case. Walmart has been called the poster child for despicable behavior as thousands of civil lawsuits are filed every year against the retail giant.
National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws. The leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Danny Glover, write that they are appalled that despite Walmart’s and the Walton Family’s attempts to create an image of supporting civil rights and community and civic participation, both the retail giant and the foundation have given more than $1 million to politicians with close ties to ALEC and its agenda.
On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shaun McCutcheon et al in McCutcheon v Federal Elections Commission. Responding immediately, a crowd gathered at Palo Alto's City Hall to demonstrate against the decision, which clears the way for even more private money to enter the electoral system.
One SF Peninsula protester said, "If you thought Citizen's United was selling our democracy down the money pit, check out the McCutcheon vs. FEC ruling handed down today!"
Sally Lieber, former Speaker pro Tempore of the California State Assembly, Nancy Neff of the CA Clean Money Campaign, and others spoke in front of Palo Alto's City Hall. Al Mite TeDollar and a Supreme Court Justice shook hands as Al proffered cigars in mock celebration. Speakers in Palo Alto's King Hall Plaza said that the Court's ruling in favor of McCutcheon today is a giant blow to our electoral system. The event was organized by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.
Read More with Photos
The Center for Biological Diversity reached a settlement agreement on March 11 with the California Department of Parks and Recreation that will substantially increase protections in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird that nests in old-growth forests. The settlement requires the agency to reduce dangers posed by visitor trash, which harms murrelets by unnaturally increasing the abundance of predators that eat eggs and chicks.
In June 2013 the Center filed suit challenging the state’s inadequate protections for marbled murrelets under its new management plan for Big Basin Redwoods State Park, a heavily visited park that supports the largest remaining old-growth nesting habitat in the central coast region. Visitor garbage in campgrounds and picnic areas in Big Basin and two other redwood state parks has led to unnaturally high densities of ravens and Steller’s jays that eat murrelet eggs and chicks. Scientists have found that high nest predation is a primary factor driving the declines of murrelets in the region.
The new agreement requires comprehensive measures to protect marbled murrelets in Big Basin Redwoods, Portola and Butano state parks, including: Comprehensive trash management requiring animal-proof food-storage lockers at all campsites, installation of indoor dishwashing stations, and increased trash pickup to prevent dumpster overflow; extensive public outreach that makes the murrelet a focal point of the parks; and annual monitoring of marbled murrelet status and predator numbers and a comprehensive assessment every three years requiring further action if murrelet status does not improve.
Read More | Center for Biological Diversity
Previous Coverage: Lawsuit Filed to Protect Endangered Marbled Murrelet in Santa Cruz Mountains
In a victory for ocean wildlife, federal fishery managers in Sacramento on March 13 decided not to expand driftnet fishing into protected sea turtle habitat along the California coast because it would significantly raise the risk of capture and drowning of endangered whales, sea turtles and dolphins. But the Pacific Fishery Management Council failed to take direct action to remove driftnets from the California coast, though the gear is banned in Oregon and Washington.
On March 1, urban farmers demonstrated at Sprouts grocery chain locations in Petaluma, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. The farmers oppose plans to develop the Gill Tract. Boycott Sprouts is asking shoppers to patronize other stores until Sprouts backs away from the development deal. On March 5, the Albany City Council approved paving six acres of the Gill Tract. In response to the council's vote, Occupy the Farm has called for a rally on March 12
On February 26 in East Palo Alto, about 250 people marched through the intersection in front of IKEA. Seven activists risked arrest, locking arms and standing (sometimes sitting) in the middle of a major intersection. Union and immigrant rights activists called out Juvenal Chavez, owner of nearby Mi Pueblo, for betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots by participating in the Department of Homeland Security program E-Verify that screens the immigration status of new hires.
Latinos Unidos Por Una Nueva America (Latinos United for a New America) joined other immigrant rights groups and unions including SEIU and UFCW to bring about the action. Labor organizers have been trying to unionize Latino and Asian ethnic markets across the state and the Mi Pueblo grocery chain has been at the center of their attention due to particularly poor working conditions.
On February 18, demonstrators rallied on Google headquarters property, calling out the internet search giant for being a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a corporate lobby that writes right wing legislation, and is linked to climate change deniers and "Stand Your Ground" laws. ALEC says it "gives corporations a voice".
Common Cause has filed a whistle-blower complaint saying that ALEC is guilty of under-reporting its lobbying expenditures and claims to be a non-profit organization when it actually benefits large corporations.
Activists are pressuring corporations including Google, Facebook and Yelp to withdraw their membership in ALEC. The Raging Grannies riffed that Google should "use the withdrawal method" during the musical protest in Mountain View. Helen Grieco of Common Cause and Brant Olson of Forecast the Facts led a caravan that started in San Francisco and ended in Sunnyvale at Yahoo. They delivered letters to management as part of the campaign to get corporations, including Facebook, to break their affiliation with ALEC.
Common Cause | Forecast the Facts