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Streets Blocked in Santa Cruz, Die-In Staged during Day of Protest Against Police Violence On December 13, community members in Santa Cruz joined people across the country for a national day of protest against police violence. The focus of the protests have primarily been on the police killings of three black individuals, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, which all came to national attention in 2014.

After a rally at the Town Clock, demonstrators marched down Pacific Avenue to the corner of Cooper Street where a die-in was held for 4 1/2 minutes, which represented the 4 1/2 hours that Michael Brown's body lay dead in the street after he was killed by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson in August. As people laid down on Pacific Avenue, a large crowd formed, speakers were heard, and traffic was stopped. Demonstrators also stopped traffic during a short rally at the corner of Pacific and Soquel Avenue, and then again on Ocean Street in front of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), which was the ultimate destination of the march.

Rallies for justice for Michael Brown, and in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Mo., were held in Santa Cruz in August after Brown's killing, as well as on November 24 and 25, following the Missouri Grand Jury's decision not to recommend the indictment of officer Wilson.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos | See Also: imc_photo.gifSanta Cruz Takes it to the Streets for Mike Brown | imc_photo.gifimc_video.gifFerguson "Day After" Gathering in Santa Cruz

Previous Coverage: Protests in Support of Justice for Michael Brown Erupt All Over the World
Berkeley Rises Up Against Police Violence On the heels of nearly two weeks of protests in the East Bay and San Francisco spurred by the Ferguson grand jury decision, demonstrations escalated when the Eric Garner grand jury decision was announced on December 3 in New York City. Nightly since December 6, hundreds have taken to the streets of Berkeley to protest for justice, shutting down highways along the way, with marches reaching through Oakland and Emeryville as well. California Highway Patrol and Berkeley police have responded aggressively, with hundreds of demonstrators arrested, beaten, and/or injured.

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLGSF) notes that resources for law enforcement have greatly increased over the past few decades, while accountability and transparency have decreased. The group says justice has been sorely lacking for a string of killings and assaults by police in the Bay Area and beyond, and the impact has been greatest in ​the black community and other ​communities of color.

"There is genuine anger about ​systemic racism and ​a crisis of accountability among law enforcement," said NLGSF Executive Director Carlos Villarreal. "District Attorneys should not waste resources prosecuting protesters while police who kill are left to roam our streets."

NLG Supports Ongoing Racial Justice Protests, Decries Lack of Police Accountability | imc_photo.gifBerkeley: How We Shut Down Peter Thiel And Ended Up With Guns In Our Faces | Social Unrest in the SF Bay Area | imc_photo.gifMore Photos from the Ongoing Anti Police Movement 12.09.14 | imc_photo.gifPhotos from the Anti Police March 12/8/14 | An open letter to the City Council of Berkeley in response to Councilmember Linda Maio | SPJ NorCal Responds to Reports of Police Force Used on Journalists in Berkeley | imc_photo.gifGroup Raising Funds to Repair Windows of Small Businesses in East Bay | imc_photo.gifPhotos from Anti Cop march in Berkeley 12.7.14 | Arrest And Court Support Updates From Ferguson Protests In The Bay Area! | Saturday night in Berkeley

Previous Coverage: Bay Area Shuts It Down for Mike Brown After No Indictment for Darren Wilson
Protesters Shut Down City Council Meeting after Purchase of Armored Vehicle Approved On December 9, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 6-1 to approve the purchase of a $250,000 armored emergency response and "rescue" vehicle. The proposed purchase was placed on the council's consent agenda and was announced with very little notice, but the public quickly mobilized to protest. In response to the city council’s vote, members of the public broke out into chants of, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and Mayor Lynn Robinson then had the chambers cleared by the police.

Robert Norse writes: "Every single speaker opposed the acquisition of a new armored police vehicle at the afternoon City Council meeting. When two speakers turned their backs on the Council, outgoing Mayor Robinson made arrest threats, further heightening the tension in the room. At one point the Council left the room, leaving the community to organize its own meeting. They shortly returned, quickly voted in the police vehicle, without giving clear answers to questions about the deadline requirement, additional costs, and the potential for further militarizing the police force. Speakers began shouting "shame" from the floor. Police "escorted" one out; others raised the cry; police then cleared the chambers and the Council met (illegally) behind locked doors and drawn shades."

Read More | Protest Shuts Down City Council, Urban Assault Vehicle Approved, Anti-Homeless Law Delayed | Stay Away Stupidity, Oppose Police Violence & Chomp Coronation Treats! | Santa Cruz Police to Procure $250K 'Rescue Vehicle'
Bay Area Shuts It Down for Mike Brown After No Indictment for Darren Wilson As expected, the grand jury tasked with determining if there was enough evidence for charging Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown determined that there wasn’t probable cause. That night, on November 24, people in Ferguson and across the country began to rise up for Mike Brown and shut down freeways, city streets, and more. Protests continued throughout the week, culminating on the annual Black Friday shopping day and continuing into the weekend.

In Ferguson on the first night after the verdict was announced, two police cars were burned as well as a number of local businesses. Major protests demanding justice and shutting down interstate freeways were held that night and throughout the week in Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Miami, and numerous other cities across the U.S.

Oakland: On the first night, over 1000 people marched from Oscar Grant plaza at 14th & Broadway. The I-580 freeway was shut down for over two hours and rowdy protests continued downtown late into the night, with fires set in the streets and several businesses broken into. Street protests in Oakland continued over the next several days, with Oakland police headquarters targeted several times, with one march making its way to the edge of Berkeley and Emeryville. Over 150 people have been arrested. On Black Friday, activists locked themselves to each other and a BART train, effectively blocking all BART trains from transporting consumers to San Francisco. Fourteen people were arrested and released later in the day.
calendarDec 5: March and Noise Demo to Support the Revolt! FTP! | calendarDec 1: Court Support & Picket for Brave Fighters Who Shut Down BART and Freeways | photoBlackout Collective Shuts Down Black Friday BART Trains to San Francisco | photoBlack Lives Matter! BART Shut Down On Black Friday To Protest Brown Murder & Gentrification | calendarNext Day After Ferguson Demonstratration! | videoOakland stands in solidarity with Ferguson | photoOakland Stands Up for Mike Brown | photoLove 4 Ferguson/Fuck the Police on RCA squat in Oakland | photoOakland Shuts It Down for Mike Brown After No Indictment for Darren Wilson | calendarFuck The Police: Oakland Demonstration After Darren Wilson Verdict

San Francisco: Protests happened throughout the week, with the first in the Mission District on November 24 and the largest on November 28, Black Friday, disrupting downtown shopping areas such as Westfield Centre, Union Square, and multiple stores as the march passed. Nearly 70 people were arrested.
calendarDec 6: SF Town Hall Meeting-From Ferguson to San Francisco: The "Militarization of the Police” | Downtown SF Largely Shut Down on Black Friday Night | photoBlack Friday march in SF shuts down Union Square | “video”Traffic barricade to the face | calendarSF Black Friday March for Michael Brown & Alex Nieto | photoPics from protest over Racist Cops in SF | SF Takes to the Streets To Protest Racist Murders | calendarProtest: Another killer cop walks free! Justice for Mike Brown!

Santa Cruz: On November 25, a wide variety of community members in Santa Cruz came together at the Town Clock and marched to the Santa Cruz Police Department. “video”photoFerguson "Day After" Gathering in Santa Cruz

San Jose: On November 30, a demonstration shut down traffic in and around "Christmas in the Park" in the downtown area. photoFrom Palestine to Ferguson

Berkeley: calendarDec 6: From Ferguson To Ayotzinapa: March Against State Violence

See Also: photoCamover Attack in West Oakland | photoFerguson Photos By Jessie S.with Interview | Details Murky in Officer Involved Shooting in Seaside | calendarMike Brown's Murder Subject of This Week's PEACE Vigil

Previous Related Indybay Features: Protests in Support of Justice for Michael Brown Erupt All Over the World | Rebellion in Ferguson Over Murder of Michael Brown
On November 10, peace activists in Santa Cruz protested a book signing appearance by Leon Panetta, the one-time Secretary of Defense and CIA Director. Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted the event with a crowd of hundreds in attendance. By the end of the evening, five individuals were "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz, in retaliation for activities related to the evening's peaceful protest. Additionally, Panetta's security assaulted an Indybay journalist who was documenting the event.
Lockdown at U.S. Federal Court to Free Palestinian Community Organizer Rasmea Odeh On November 12, activists with the Bay Area Rasmea Defense Committee chained themselves to doors of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland to protest the conviction and imprisonment of 67-year-old Palestinian community organizer Rasmea Odeh. Other supporters rallied in front of the federal building, condemning what they call a politically motivated trial targeting Odeh because of her role as an outspoken Palestinian leader and activist. Odeh was convicted on Monday, November 10th in a Detroit federal court of knowingly lying on her immigration application.

Hundreds were present in court to support Odeh over the course of her trial in Detroit, and many more across the country have held solidarity demonstrations demanding that she be freed. Activists in the Bay Area vow to continue to protest to intensify their efforts until Odeh is released.

photoRead More | calendarFree Rasmea Odeh Now! Oakland Solidarity Rally | calendarFree Rasmea Odeh Now! Oakland Solidarity Night of Music and Food (Nov 14)
On November 8, Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs shared food in solidarity with those who have been arrested for serving food in public in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Volunteers with Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs have been serving food continuously to the hungry and homeless at the same location, the Santa Cruz downtown post office, for several years now. An event announcement for the solidarity event stated, "No one should be arrested for helping the community. Sharing food is an unregulated act of compassion." Events have been held worldwide in support of those being arrested in Fort Lauderdale.
On November 5, a woman died in the Santa Cruz County Jail. The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department immediately claimed there was nothing suspicious about the death, calling it a “medical event.” Sin Barras, a Santa Cruz-based prison abolition organization, has said the deaths were, "preventable in more ways than one."
The annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March took place on November 1. This year, for the first time since the initial event in 1994, the Watsonville Police Department was given a large role in determining the route of the march. The event was originally founded by the Watsonville Brown Berets, and the group remained primary organizers of the march from the beginning through 2011, but in 2014 organization of the event became professionalized.
Salinas Police have reported that Jaime Garcia, age 35, died after one of their officers tased him during an attempted arrest on Halloween. According to an SPD press release, the five officers involved in the incident were put on administrative leave during the "initital stages" of the investigation. The death of Garcia is the fifth death to occur at the hands of Salinas Police in 2014.
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Cannabis Advocates Alliance meeting
Wednesday Dec 24th 9:02 PM
Pics from LGBT Community #BlackLivesMatter protest in SF. D. Boyer
Wednesday Dec 24th 9:37 AM
The System is Rotten to the Core. Mike Wilson and others
Tuesday Dec 23rd 4:59 PM
San Francisco: Solidarity Action At Spanish Consulate anarchists (1 comment)
Monday Dec 22nd 4:21 PM
"Homeless People Matter" Protest Gets Honks, Volunteers, at Cop Corner Robert Norse (3 comments)
Monday Dec 22nd 12:57 PM
No New Year Under This Old System! We Can't Breathe! Bay Area Stop Mass Incarceration Network (1 comment)
Sunday Dec 21st 5:33 PM
Some Thoughts on OPD Operations babiesatemydingo (1 comment)
Friday Dec 19th 5:14 PM
Oakland Police Memorial Vandalized anonymous (1 comment)
Friday Dec 19th 4:34 PM
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Israeli Counterterrorism Bill Bans Palestinian Flag Stephen Lendman (1 comment)
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