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In Mexico and Central America, a tianguis is traditionally thought of as an open-air market where merchandise is sold. The word tianguis is derived from the Aztec language, and the cultural tradition has been practiced by Indigenous peoples since before colonial contact. To create a space where community organizing skills can be shared, the concept of a "community action" tianguis was created by individuals in the Mayfair community of San José. The first such tianguis was held at Lee Mathson Middle School (MIT) on November 15, and featured participation from a wide range of organizations working in the areas of health, education, labor, food safety, immigration, and legal defense.
Visually, the Community Action Tianguis held at MIT resembled a traditional tianguis, however no merchandise was sold. Instead, individuals representing community organizations spoke, tabled and shared information, and a variety of goods and services were available at no cost. Hair stylists offered young people free haircuts. Community members cooked hot dogs which were distributed for free, and fresh produce was given out by Good. To Go., which displayed a box full of huge, organic pomegranates in front of a neatly arranged produce cart.
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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.
A new law that bans the sharing of food in public in Fort Lauderdale was officially approved on October 22 and went into effect on October 31. The measure requires feeding sites to be at least 500 feet away from each other, and 500 feet from residential properties. Additionally, sharing food in public is now limited to one group per city block. The issue received national attention when 90-year-old Arnold Abbott received arrest citations from authorities on two different days for serving food in Stranahan Park, which is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
At the November 8 event in Santa Cruz, Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry estimated that he has been arrested nearly 100 times for serving food to hungry people in various locations around the United States. Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs shares food every Saturday and Sunday at 4pm at the downtown post office. The Santa Cruz group had some brushes with authorities when first serving at that location, but since moving their serving location a bit, volunteers have operated without any further problems.
Read More with Photos | Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs | See Also: Dennis J Bernstein Interviews Keith McHenry, Founder of Food Not Bombs
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."
UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
Two-day strikes have started that effect nearly 20,000 registered nurses at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics, a Sutter hospital in Tracy, and Watsonville Community Hospital kicking off a wave of protests in 15 states and the District of Columbia over eroding patient care conditions symbolized by inadequate Ebola safeguards at most U.S. hospitals.
Kaiser RNs and nurse practitioners went on strike the morning of November 11 in Antioch, Fremont, Fresno, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, Roseville, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, South Sacramento, South San Francisco, Stockton, Vacaville, Vallejo, Walnut Creek. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
On November 12, California RNs will join with nurses and allies in 14 other states and the District of Columbia to step up the call for improved safeguards in the face of the deadly Ebola virus. For striking nurses, the failure to secure Ebola safeguards symbolizes what nurses see as a steady erosion in care standards that increasingly put patients as well as nurses and other frontline health workers at risk.
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.
Shortly before the October 28 City Council session, it was announced that the second reading of Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 13.08.100, pertaining to orders to vacate park property, had been pulled from the meeting agenda. Civil rights groups have voiced strong opposition to the ordinance and called into question the constitutional sufficiency of the amendment.
On October 22, Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) participated in the 19th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and Criminalization with a demonstration in front of the Santa Cruz Police Department. This week, HUFF announced that after analyzing the citation records of SCPD Community Service Officer B. Barnett, they have found that he has disproportionately targeted homeless people and African-Americans.
Just so you don’t get it twisted, we want to let you know the facts about the new Colosseum Area Specific Plan. It is being financed with money from HayaH Holdings in Dubai and Colony Capital LLC in Los Angeles. Both of these groups tried unsuccessfully to buy out the Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the entertainment complex around the LA Staples Center. Now, these groups are able to bring that same vision to Oakland. With help from Mayor Quan and the other good old boys, this development promises to completely transform East Oakland and start a process of gentrification worse than anything seen in West Oakland. They wish to call their new development Colosseum City.
Rashid al Malik, the CEO of HayaH Holding, summed up the vision of this project very simply for the press. He told them: “We share the city of Oakland’s and Mayor Quan’s long-stated vision to transform the Coliseum site and create a larger district surrounding it with a new economic base.” This is what they mean to do, in their own words. And based on the existing plan diagrams, it appears that this new economic base will be created out of tech company offices and their corresponding luxury housing. Just as it has happened in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and San Francisco, this entire area will become the exclusive domain of an imported tech-worker population. A minority of the housing in this new district will be low income, and any improvement of the nearby transit hubs will be for the new residents.
Because most of this land is on the western side of the 880 freeway, it is sealed off from the rest of the Deep East by the Colosseum parking lot and the warehouses surrounding Walmart. The BART station will be the center of activity for most of the new housing, but an exclusive minority of this housing will be built along the Lion Creek estuary. With its grand views of the bay, this luxury housing will cater to millionaires and the super-rich.
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Oakland's Proposal for Massive Influx of New West Oakland Residents
On October 18, Eviction Free San Francisco and community advocates marched to the home of Mayor Ed Lee in Glenn Park, and demanded that he intervene in the eviction crisis in San Francisco. As long-term tenants, communities of color, seniors and disabled people are displaced at a rapid rate, new luxury condominiums pop up on every corner, making the city even less affordable and motivating speculators to continue to evict for a profit.
The demonstration follows more than a year’s worth of protests by Eviction Free San Francisco, primarily targeting speculators and landlords responsible for evicting tenants for a profit. Says Tom Rapp, an Eviction Free San Francisco organizer, "The Mayor has publicly committed to protecting those who are being displaced and making San Francisco more affordable, but continues to sell the city to real estate developers and speculators."
Numerous tenants currently facing eviction spoke out, sharing their stories of eviction and disgrace at the Mayor for not intervening in an effective way. Tenants demanded that instead of continuing to privilege tech and real estate at the expense of tenants, that Mayor Ed Lee steps up and honors the renters that make up the majority of the city. Tenants demanded Tenants' Tuesday instead of Tech Tuesday. Claudia Tirado, a 3rd grade teacher currently being evicted by Google's head of e-Discovery, also demanded Teachers' Tuesday.
Read More with Photos | Eviction Free San Francisco
A petition started by a student at UC Santa Cruz is calling for Chancellor Blumenthal to take the necessary steps to provide adequate housing and transportation on the campus. The petition also calls out the university's plans for expansion, stating, "we also believe that building into Upper Campus is NOT an adequate solution to this problem and will only add to the over-enrollment issue."
A petition has been circulated and community members are planning to attend the October 14 Watsonville City Council meeting to show their disdain for the approval of a new McDonald's restaurant in the historic downtown area of the city. "We can stop this from happening. Our children deserve better. Watsonville has moved forward, a McDonald's would be a huge step back," the petition states.
The Watsonville City Council voted on September 23 to approve the construction of the McDonald's, as well as the rezoning of the parcel to allow the new restaurant to operate a drive-through window 24-hours a day. Watsonville already has two McDonald's restaurants, and the area has struggled with higher than average obesity rates among its youth.
Organizers are encouraging people to bring posters, handouts, fact sheets, and whatever else will help convince council members that another McDonald's restaurant will in no way benefit the residents of Watsonville.
Tuesday, October 14: Watsonville City Council Meeting: No to McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville
Sign the Petition: No to McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville
Claudia Tirado, a third grade teacher and tenant being evicted by Google's head of eDiscovery, Jack Halprin, queered her fight to remain in her home at the Folsom Street Fair on September 21. With other activists from Eviction Free San Francisco, Tirado handed out condoms for "eviction protection" at the annual kink and sex-positive SoMa fair in front of the Powerhouse bar. Halprin is active in the Powerhouse and leather community, and was part of the Powerhouse contingent during the 2014 Pride Parade. Eviction Free SF reported that many fair attendees agreed that housing is a queer issue and that it is unconscionable for Halprin to evict residents so that he can have a private mansion just three blocks from the Google bus stop at 18th and Dolores.
Halprin bought the 7-unit 812 Guerrero in 2012, and then illegally Owner-Move-In evicted one tenant, Susan, only days after her sister passed away. She filed a lawsuit against him, and won. In retaliation, he then proceeded to issue Ellis Act eviction notices to the other tenants in four other units in the building, including the unit where Claudia and her three-year-old son Valentino reside. Eviction Free SF has been demanding that Google pressure Halprin to rescind the eviction, utilizing tactics from bus blockades to demonstrations in Mountain View.
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Eviction Free San Francisco