$22.00 donated in past month
On May 12, writer Jeremy Leonard re-posted a video to YouTube of a member of the Clean Team threatening and harassing a homeless camper in Santa Cruz as he and others did one of their regular "clean-ups." The video and a long interview Leonard did with former Clean Team founder T.J. Magallanes was only up very briefly on the internet before it was taken down, as reportedly there were numerous threats made against Leonard.
The family, friends, co-workers, and congregation of Amos G. Smith gathered in Union City on April 13 for a candlelight vigil to honor the 26-year-old man who was shot and killed on March 2 by officers with the Union City Police Department. Yolanda Smith, Amos' mother, stood with a sign that read "Union City Police Dept. Murders." She said that officers with the Union City Police Department told her very little about what had occurred that night, only that her son pointed a gun at them and that the two officers involved wound up shooting him eight times in the back of the head.
Family and friends at the vigil held signs for Smith including those that read, "Amos Suffered A Cruel Death," "How Do You Explain the Life You Claim," "Shoot to Yield, Not to Kill," "We Need Answers," and "Union City PD Oath...'Serve and Protect' Not Murder!!"
"We as a community are entitled, and deserve to know how this young man met his death far too early, far too soon, and this is something that is repeated far too often," attorney Adante Porter, who is assisting the Smith family, told those at the vigil.
Read More with Photos and Video
On April 6 the organization Sin Barras, which means "without prison bars" in Spanish, held a rally and march to the Santa Cruz County Jail in response to the four recent deaths of individuals while in custody at the facility. Organizers announced they had gotten word that inmates were aware of the demonstration and were excited to hear it from inside. This was confirmed as marchers neared the women's wing of the facility, and individuals inside banged on the walls and flashed lights through the opaque windows.
"Our jail is seen as a model county that a lot of other sheriff's departments are looking at," Tash Nguyen of Sin Barras
stated, pointing to the broader implications of conditions at the facility. According to the Sin Barras press release, those conditions inside the Santa Cruz County Jail amount to "torture."
"We demand that county officials provide real health care for those inside, eliminate pretrial detention, and fund homeless service programs and drug treatment centers outside of jail walls," the press release further stated.
Read More with Videos | Photos | Community Forum on Thursday, April 25
Previous Coverage: Sin Barras Speakout and March on April 6 in Solidarity with Prisoners
A vigil was held in San Francisco on April 7 in solidarity with the 130 detainees out of 166 in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility that are on hunger strike, who have been refusing food as a protest against their brutal detention conditions. A number of detainees are being force fed, in which they are shackled to metal chairs and a feeding tube is forced down their esophagus through the nostrils. The detainees have not been charged with any crimes and are being held indefinitely, most of them over ten years.
About 50 demonstrators, many from the Muslim community, were joined by passersby as a small contingent of activists dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods decided to occupy the middle of Market Street in an act of civil disobedience to raise awareness of the hunger striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The demonstrators in prison garb wore black hoods over there heads and knelt down on the ground, while Hijab wearing Muslim women joined them, prompting others to swell into the street to protect the mock detainees from arrest. As the demonstration began to march down Market Street, police gathered and charged at the demonstrators, pushing protesters and threatening to attack them with batons while demanding the march move out of the street. One woman was targeted by a snatch and grab tactic, and was brutally brought to the ground and arrested. Crowds gathered and passersby joined in the chant, "Let her go! Let her go!" as she was whisked away in a police cruiser.
Solidarity protests have been spreading. Demonstrations have been held in Kuwait, Yemen, New York and Washington DC, and more were organized across the U.S. for a day of action on April 11, including in San Francisco and Oakland.
Read More |
Support the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers in SF, April 11 |
Corrected Billboard Supports U.S. Military at Guantanamo Bay
Steve Pleich writes:
The "revised" needle exchange will be operated by the County of Santa Cruz which can only provide services to county residents. As a practical matter, anyone requesting these services would be required to provide their name, address and some form of identification verifying this information. That's at least three (3) items of personal information which will then be in the hands of a governmental agency. While this information will likely be "confidential", it will not be "anonymous".
Bradley Allen went to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse steps with his camera on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, to cover a demonstration for Santa Cruz Indymedia, part of Indybay, at a time the Occupy movement was at its height. He assumed it would be similar to others he had recently been to, where people had rallied, marched, and picketed banks.
In the back of his mind was a thought—not necessarily bothering him at that moment, but there nonetheless—that one day he might become a target of repression for his reporting, and for his work in helping create Santa Cruz Indymedia, an internet platform for community issues that has not shied away from exposing wrongdoing by the police.
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Bradley's story in 2009 |
Photo Showing at People Power! Friday, April 5th
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
All Charges Dismissed Against Indybay Photojournalists Bradley and Alex
Last year on May Day, a boisterous but mostly peaceful demonstration promoted by Occupy Oakland and other groups, was attacked by an OPD assault force. As the march, which had surged around the city center and lake, came back to Oscar Grant Plaza to plug back into the rest of the day’s events at around mid-day, the police suddenly rushed the crowd from behind, causing panic. In the ensuing confusion, Oakland police targeted several individuals. In the case of Prince alone, they went the extra step of tasing him.
Now, nearly a year later, Prince has been picked up on a warrant for a charge generated by the arrest. Like so many arrested during actions of civil disobedience and protest, the district attorney has stacked charges on top of the initial ones, and failed to notify the accused of his arraignments. On Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 the Oakland Police Department sent ten officers to Prince’s home to make good on their warrant. With their rifles drawn, the officers surrounded his home before entering and removing him from his bedroom in handcuffs. He was charged with battery on an officer, robbery of an officer, felony obstruction & resisting, and misdemeanor obstruction.
Prince was being held at Santa Rita jail on $25,000 bail. All charges except for the felony obstruction & resisting were dropped at his arraignment on March 21st and supporters were able to raise the bond to free him. With his first child expected to be born within the month, Prince can now be present for the birth.
Read More |
Indybay's Coverage of Occupy Oakland
Motions to dismiss trespass and felony vandalism charges against four individuals charged in association with the 75 River Street bank occupation in Santa Cruz were denied by Judge Timothy Volkmann on March 11. Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Franklin Alcantara, Brent Adams, and Cameron Laurendau have a trial date set for May, but that date will most likely be changed due to a case conflict with one of the defense attorneys.
Judge Volkmann agreed with the previous ruling by Judge Burdick in January that there was enough evidence to hold the four for trial on trespass charges, stressing there was a, "relatively low threshold for holding an individual over for trial."
"I don't see direct evidence of vandalism," Volkmann stated, but he agreed with Burdick that the four were still to be held accountable for felony vandalism charges under an aiding and abetting legal theory that maintains the damage to the building was a reasonably foreseeable result of the trespass.
Read More and View Photos | Santa Cruz Eleven: The Final Four Demand Dismissal of Charges | Support the Santa Cruz Eleven
Previous Coverage: Santa Cruz Eleven Down to Four
| Vacant Bank Occupied in Santa Cruz
On February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." Berkeley Copwatch writes:
"One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered... Unfortunately Kayla's death is not an anomaly. [On the weekend of March 2 and 3,] Bay Area Police have murdered four people and watched one woman bleed to death after she was attacked by her abusive ex-husband. San Francisco Police murdered Aaron Sawyer (23) after he allegedly stole a car on Saturday morning. San Jose Police murdered a man yet to be identified after they deemed him to be "suspicious." Union City Police shot an unidentified man to death after they pulled him over for an unstated reason. Hayward Police murdered an unidentified man after his car crashed into one of their police cruisers. In the case of Kayla Moore, whether by neglect or intent the result is the same. Kayla Moore is dead. The Berkeley Police killed Kayla Moore."
On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
Video: March for Kayla Moore |
Answers! Not Undercovers! Berkeley Police and the Kayla Moore coverup |
Event Announcement |
On March 5, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet (GP), co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. Police claimed he was in violation of his parole, but GP has been off of parole since August 2012. At no point since then has the state called him, sent him mail or shown up at his door to let him know he failed to report (which according to the parole office is mandatory and common practice before an arrest warrant can be served).
Supporters believe this is a political attack. Earlier in the day on March 5, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally at the Alameda County Courthouse. He had at least two verbal altercations with police and gave a fiery speech condemning them. It is also public knowledge that ONYX is launching a strategic and sustainable campaign against police brutality, with plans to launch a literacy program on April 3.
Given his penchant for leadership and his past record, Comrade GP would be viewed as and important (and easy) member of ONYX to attack. As of March 16, Ghetto Prophet is still being held at Santa Rita jail and supporters are asking for donations to help support his family.
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ONYX Organizing Committee
7PM Saturday Jun 22
Hella Heart Gezi