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More than 60 people gathered at Santa Cruz City Hall on August 18 for the latest in a series of community campouts organized to protest local laws that ban sleeping in public. It was the sixth held at City Hall since July, and was attended by approximately twice as many sleepers as the previous campouts.
In 2015, Oakland Police have already been involved in three fatal shootings, as well as a mysterious death where a man died while trapped between two houses following a chase. On the afternoon of August 12, Nathaniel Wilks, 27, born August 26 in New York City and father to a tiny baby girl named Kai’lei, was fatally shot as he slowed down after a car and foot chase by police, saying, “Ok, Ok, Ok,” shortly before he was shot. His girlfriend’s family and community resides in the Hunters Point district of San Francisco.
On the evening of the shooting, around 100 people gathered in the intersection of MLK and 27th Street before marching downtown to police headquarters on 7th Street. Once back at the scene of the shooting, protesters blocked I-980 and its 27th Street off-ramp for nearly a half hour. Two evenings later, on August 14, a vigil was held for Nate Wilks at the location where he was killed. Nate's family is currently raising funds
in order to conduct an independent autopsy.
Nate Wilks, 27, murdered by Oakland PD for running while Black |
Oakland Police Kill Again |
Cat Brooks on OPD Shooting |
Anti Police-Terror Project statement on August 12th murder by Oakland police |
Nathaniel Wilks' family fundraising campaign for independent autopsy, legal costs, funeral arrangements |
Fundraiser for Independent Autopsy for Nate Wilks
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Demouria Hogg Shot and Killed by OPD for Sleeping in His Car
OPD Bows to Pressure, Releasing Video Related to Killing of Yuvette Henderson
Emeryville Home Depot Shut Down for Yuvette Henderson
Yuvette Henderson Gunned Down by Emeryville Police in Oakland
While restaurant owners are legally expanding their business operations on to the sidewalk of downtown Monterey by creating outdoor dining areas, a small group of community members are using civil disobedience to reclaim the right to sit in public downtown. The city has removed benches and enacted a new sit-lie law in an effort to rid the downtown of homeless people and travelers. On August 7, community members organized the latest in a series of sit-ins held on the sidewalk of Alvarado Street to directly oppose the law by breaking it.
A U.S. District Court has struck down Idaho’s “ag-gag” law as an unconstitutional attempt by the agriculture industry to silence journalists, animal advocates, and whistleblowers who expose cruel farming practices. The ruling — the first of its kind — spells trouble for the agriculture industry’s attempts in other states to outlaw photography and video recordings of animal welfare, workers’ rights, and environmental violations. The lawsuit was brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA, with support from a wide-range of organizations.
Con una ceremonia sagrada, las autoridades del Consejo Supremo Indígena de Xochicuautla iniciaron una marcha desde la Estela de Luz hasta la Secretaría de Gobernación en el Distrito Federal el martes 28 de julio. Ahí los manifestantes exigieron la derogación de un decreto expropiatorio de las tierras ancestrales de las comunidades otomí-ñathó de Xochicuautla en el Estado de México y un alto a la guerra contra la comunidad nahua de Santa María Ostula en Michoacán.
A sacred ceremony performed by the authorities of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla set the tone for a march to the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico City on Tuesday, July 28. There, speakers demanded the repeal of an order for the expropriation of the ancestral lands of the Otomí-Ñatho communities of Xochicuautla in Mexico State and an end to the war against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán.
Demonstrators also demanded freedom for Cemeí Verdía ––the Commander of the Ostula Community Police and Coordinator of the Self-Defense Groups of Aquila, Coahuayana and Chiniquila, Michoacán–– and punishment for those responsible for the murder of 12-year-old Hidelberto Reyes in Ostula territory.
Marcha Solidaria con Xochicuautla y Ostula |
Xochicuautla and Ostula Solidarity March
Salinas police shot and killed Frank Alvarado one year ago. On July 10 at a memorial held outdoors near the location where he was shot, Frank's family members vowed to continue their fight for justice.
Both his father, Frank Alvarado Sr., and his sister, Angelica Garza, spoke about their fight for justice for Frank since his killing, which has included networking with other family members of those killed by police in Salinas as well as the greater Bay Area and Northern California. Frank's family has strongly condemned the Salinas Police Department in the wake of Frank's killing. They have also been frustrated with the United States Department of Justice, which has not discussed with the public what they have learned about the Salinas Police Department, and instead has been hosting public "listening" sessions in Salinas.
Signs held at the memorial communicated supporters' lack of trust in the Salinas police, and some contained direct allegations of widespread departmental corruption. "SPD Gives False Info and Attempts to Bolster Cops Image," read one sign. "SPD Encourages Code of Silence to Cover Killer Cops," read another.
Read More with Photos
Previous Coverage: Series of Vigils in Salinas Honors Victims of Police Violence in 2014
|| National Police Brutality Day in Salinas
|| Frank Alvarado Sr. Speaks Out Against Salinas Police, Declares There Will Be Justice
|| Protesters Confront Salinas Police Chief at Bookstore Appearance in Santa Cruz
|| Rally in Salinas Demands Justice for Frank Alvarado, Killed by Salinas Police
|| Police Officers Kill Fourth Person in East Salinas: Frank Alvarado
|| Fight Against Prison Expansion Continues at Statewide Actions Opposing Gov's Budget Revise
On June 16, 2014, during a protest against police brutality and recent police shootings in Fresno, Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial. Phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” were written in an attempt to call attention to the issue. Brian was arrested with one other individual, and charged with vandalism of less than $400.
During trial, Judge Hilary Chittick said that the chalk being washable was not a defense nor was free speech. The prosecuting District Attorney called only three witnesses, police officers who said they were offended by the chalk writings. On July 17, 2015, Brian was found guilty of vandalism by a jury in Fresno. He faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. At his sentencing on July 23, the judge lectured Brian about fascism before he was sentenced to one year of informal probation, 50 hours of community service, and $250 in court fees and restitution. Brian says he plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Interview with Brian Sumner on Filming the Police and Police Accountability
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Family of Fresno Police Victim Attempts to Visit Mayor, Then Marches to Jail and Police HQ
The Muwekma Farm thrived at the corner of 31st and International, across the street from the Native American Health Center. For two months, various supporters planted over 50 plants, including squash, tomatoes, jalapeños, kale, huckleberry, oregano, and arugula. On July 9, however, the City of Oakland and OPD descended on the farm and destroyed every single plant, raised bed, and bench. They even destroyed the few plants that remained along the edges of the land. The farm was located on 1.5 acres of unused land owned by the City of Oakland. Despite the support of the neighborhood, the city decided it did not want fresh fruit and vegetables growing at that location on International Blvd.
Muwekma Farm writes:
We have no specific date for retaking the land, but when we do there will be another announcement. But to those who would like to support the farm in the future, our main request is to start as much organic corn seeds as possible right now. Our next event was going to be the planting of corn, but obviously our plans have changed. To those who desire a world free of environmental destruction and economic slavery, we would like to remind you that there is an inordinate amount of vacant land in the City of Oakland.
Muwekma Farm Destoyed by City of Oakland and OPD |
Video of Muwekma Farm and Call for Future Support |
Muwekma Garden work party
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. That September, Los Angeles animal activists Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson
were arrested in rural Illinois, charged with felony "possession of burglary tools." Tyler served four months and was released. Kevin was sentenced to thirty months in jail and remains behind bars. In July 2014, both were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a 2006 law that reclassified a wide range of petty criminal activity as “terrorism” if done in the name of harming the profits of animal enterprises. In June and July of 2015, Kevin and then Tyler pled guilty and currently await sentencing. SupportKevinandTyler.com
On July 24, 2015, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists for allegedly freeing mink and other animals from fur farms, and vandalizing the property of animal-abusing businesses. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA. The government alleges that since the summer of 2013 the two caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to corporations that they viewed as being cruel to animals. They are alleged to have freed 6,000 animals, including mink and bobcat, from fur farms in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They’re also alleged to have traveled the west coast of the U.S. and used super glue and glass etching fluid to vandalize the property of fur retailers in San Francisco, San Diego, and Minneapolis.
In 2009, Joseph Buddenburg was one of the first four people ever arrested under AETA, largely related to to free speech activism targeting animal research at the University of California. A year later, charges against the "AETA4" were dismissed.
A call-out for support for Joseph and Nicole went out for their court appearance on July 28 at the Oakland Federal Courthouse. At the hearing, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring and allowed her to travel but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring. Their next scheduled court date is September 9 in San Diego.
Court Support for Nicole and Joseph |
Two Oakland Activists Accused of Freeing Animals Are Charged as Terrorists |
DOJ Press Release and Indictment |
Oakland animal advocates accused of vandalism spree against fur industry |
Unlike the So-Called Left, Government and Industry Really Get Animal Rights |
Crime and Punishment: Ben Rosenfeld & Animal Industry Lobbyist Debate Oakland AETA Arrests |
San Francisco fur shop vandalized |
New list of 92 fox farm addresses released by the Fur Farm Intelligence Unit
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Over 10,000 Animals Released in Total Since July in Massive ALF Fur Farm Campaign
Interview with Joseph Buddenberg of the AETA 4
AETA 4 Case Dismissed, But Re-Indictment Possible
Rights Attorneys Argue Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Is an Unconstitutionally Vague Law
Federal Authorities Arrest Four Bay Area Animal Protesters