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The newly revived ACT UP/San Francisco celebrated their one year anniversary with a demonstration for affordable housing on April 20. The event was aimed at drawing attention to the impact of increasing evictions and rental price increases in San Francisco on people living with HIV/AIDS. The group, and a coalition of supporting LGBT and housing rights organizations, began at 16th and Mission Street and worked their way up to Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro. The marchers, who took to the streets chanting 'Housing is a right, housing is a right, ACT UP!' and 'Housing equals healthcare and eviction equals death!', made multiple stops along the way.
ACT UP offered a critique of San Francisco's City government, especially District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, a gay man who the group feels has turned a blind eye to evictions in his neighborhood. Featured speakers called on San Francisco's elected officials to move towards a moratorium on evictions where just cause is not proven, while looking towards curtailing market rate housing development in order to even out the market.
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". This raises the question of whether or not law enforcement (which will have some oversight role in the revised program) will be able to access this information should they deem it in the interest of public safety.
Anonymity is fundamental to a successful exchange. Clients need to know and believe that their personal information will not be used for any purpose other than statistical compilation or accountancy. Additionally, although the previous exchange, Street Outreach Supporters (SOS)
, will evidently retain their role with respect to home delivery, those deliveries will be logged by and through County Health Services; creating a further possibility of uses other than statistical. One other concern is that pharmacies may elect to "opt out" of non-prescription syringe sales now permitted by state law. This would have the effect of further reducing opportunities for legal, regulated distribution and exchange.
Read More | Street Outreach Supporters
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
Students and workers gathered outside the Cowell Student Health Center on the UC Santa Cruz campus on February 13th in response to news that the UC system is planning to "exploit an Obamacare loophole" and cap student insurance coverage. The proposed plan would also increase Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) fees by 25% ($600). Rally organizers called the changes "financial mismanagement" on the part of UC administrators.
Organizers of the rally handed out crutches, walkers, and surgical masks to members of the crowd to be used as props to symbolize the effects on student health the proposals would have.
Sporadically throughout the rally, demonstrators moved slowly through the McLaughlin Drive crosswalk in front of the health center, partly to pantomime a deteriorating metaphoric health, and partly to slow vehicular traffic as a statement to the university powers that be. Traffic was never delayed for more than a minute or so, and demonstrators received a significant amount of positive feedback from bus and service vehicle drivers.
Read More with Photos | University of California Management's Backup Plans
An eviction of a significant number of homeless people at a downtown encampment in Fresno was expected to take place on February 14th. According to residents of the homeless encampment, located near Monterey and E street, they were told by the owner of the property they are living on that they had until that day to “move on.” The owner of the lot was accompanied by several officers from the Fresno Police Department and a truck & crew from the Fire Department. One homeless man said that the owner of the property threatened to bulldoze the vacant lot and destroy everything. The landlord said to "get the fuck out of here."
The eviction by the owner did not happen. This is not unusual and has become a pattern in Fresno. What usually happens is that a property owner may or may not care that homeless people are living on his property. He or she is contacted by someone from the City of Fresno (usually code enforcement or the police) and they are told they have to do something about the homeless encampment on their property. The threat of sending in a bulldozer created enough anxiety among the homeless that at least half of them moved away, which was the desired result. If the city and property owner can get the homeless to leave, without bringing out the bulldozer, that is a win for them. A fire of unknown origin in the encampment on the morning of February 14th cleared the remaining people from the area.
Fresno has no Heart - Will Evict the Homeless on Valentines Day |
Burning the Homeless out
Two squats located in Oakland are facing eviction in the coming weeks. The Stayaway, located in the Highland neighborhood of East Oakland, received a "Notice to Vacate" for this Wednesday, February 13th. The RCA/Hot Mess compound, located in North Oakland, has been fighting eviction through court proceedings, but organizers believe eviction orders will be coming in the next week. Many of those organizing defense for the squats believe that "both spaces could face raids on or before Valentine's Day."
Some Oakland Anarchists write
: "And once again, the need for action and for offense rises in our hearts. The calls for passivity and obedience ring hollower each day, as building by building our autonomous experiments collapse at the intervention of the Police or the County Pigs. We are forced to look at the escalating repression of squatters and autonomous spaces from within the situation, as new partisans in a social war of evolving terrain....
"The forces of Capital and Order have been chopping the Bay up like a pie, each slice more lucrative than the next. Hot Mess/RCA stands as a bulwark of autonomy amidst a West Oakland landscape that is rapidly transforming into posh condos and shops for the petit-bourgoise of San Francisco's commuter class."
Communiqué on The Squatting Struggle in Oakland
On December 6, 2012, a jury found Linda Lemaster guilty of "unlawful lodging" during Peacecamp 2010 in Santa Cruz
, and she was sentenced to community service and probation by Judge Rebecca Connolly. Lemaster believes now, even more than when she left the trial, that her being cited for lodging was about breaking up a political protest that relied on a law enforcement strategy that is anti-homeless and has a homeland security agenda. "I don't think that trial had much if anything to do with justice," Lemaster said.
"One of my goals is to get rid of this law," she said, referring to California Penal Code 647(e), or unlawful lodging. "The law seems to be used entirely against homeless people and demonstrators right now in California. We haven't been able to find another recent example of its use."
Now that her trial is over, Lemaster plans to continue raising awareness about the laws that outlaw sleep in Santa Cruz. In addition to filing an appeal in her case, she wants to make a presentation before the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors that outlines "missteps" on the county's part in relation to how sheriff's dealt with Peacecamp 2010. She also plans to begin a campaign that she hopes will achieve statewide participation of "homeless friendly" groups and supporters to, "take the lodging law 647(e) off the books."
Read More and View Photos | On Dreams of Sleep and Linda Lemaster: A Short Essay | Appeals Judge Upholds Anti-Homeless "Lodging" Law Against "Lighthouse" Linda Lemaster | Linda's Hearth | See Also:Linda Lemaster, City Hall
Saying that Wells Fargo has "case after case of folks who are in foreclosure, forced out of homes they have lived in for decades," protesters portrayed the mega bank as "the Grinch that stole Christmas" on December 18th. Two senior citizen organizations took their money out of Wells Fargo and joined a protest rally outside at Grant and Market in San Francisco.
James Chionsini of Senior and Disability Action and Michael Lyon of the Gray Panthers addressed the rally after they had closed their organizations’ accounts and called on other organizations to also take their money out of predatory banks. All morning Wells Fargo customers had to show ID and Wells ATM cards before guards would allow them into the bank.
Archbishop Franzo King of St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church and the NAACP addressed the rally saying that Wells Fargo made money off trading slaves and now it is foreclosing on the African American decedents of slaves. Protesters raised voices in agreement with the Archbishop when he said that the banks have no morality if they continue to put seniors and poor people out of their homes and on to the streets.
Read More with Photos
Senior and Disability Action |
In a narrow 6-5 vote on November 20, the Board of Supervisors voted to ban public nudity in the City of San Francisco. Community members have protested the legislation, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, for weeks, culminating when individuals stripped nude after the decision was made at the meeting. The ban will be put to a final vote by the Board on Tuesday, December 4th
On Wednesday, December 5th
, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will reconvene for what may be the final hearing concerning the request by UC Santa Cruz to extend the water service needed to develop 240 acres of Upper Campus natural habitat, which would require over 250 million additional gallons of water per year from the Santa Cruz water supply.
Occupy the Farm writes
: "On Friday November 16, 2012, the University of California (UC) razed all of the publicly planted crops on the Gill Tract. Occupy the Farm is disappointed that the UC has unnecessarily destroyed the hard work of the community and food that could have fed it. The weekly distribution and harvest events could have continued that, over the course of the summer and early fall, have yielded over one ton of food from the crops planted during the occupation last Spring.
1PM Thursday Jun 13
CARA SF CAT meeting