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On May 23, families and loved ones of people in solitary confinement, and advocates from community organizations, held the third Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California. In Santa Cruz, about 25 people rallied at the entrance to the Municipal Wharf, where locals and tourists found two large banners, storyboards exposing the realities of solitary confinement, signs, and educational literature about solitary confinement in Santa Cruz and California.
Community members in East Salinas held a vigil on May 9 to mark the day 26-year-old Osmar Hernandez was killed by Salinas Police in 2014. Osmar's family members were in attendance; Maria Guardado-Hernandez spoke, and Asuncion Guardado stood by solemnly while holding a lit votive candle. Also in attendance were the family members of two other men killed by Salinas Police in 2014, Frank Alvarado and Angel Ruiz.
On May 2, Native American community members and Interfaith supporters, including clergy leaders, demonstrated outside of Mission Dolores in San Francisco to oppose the impending canonization of Junipero Serra by the Catholic church. Pope Francis has reaffirmed his decision to name Junipero Serra a saint, despite strong opposition from Native Americans who say the man is responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people when he helped to establish and then presided over the California mission system in the 1700s.
"My ancestors were directly enslaved at Mission Dolores here, and at Mission San Jose in Fremont, and I want to make sure that the Vatican knows that we, and Native people allies, do not agree with the canonization of Junipero Serra," said Corrina Gould, who is of Karkin and Chochenyo Ohlone ancestry. Individuals of Coastal Miwok and Chumash ancestry, two other Californian tribal groups gravely affected by the establishment of the mission system, also spoke at the demonstration. The event was part of an "International Day of Mourning" which was organized to coincide with the Catholic church's celebration to honor Juipero Serra in Rome and at the American seminary in Los Angeles on May 2.
"Today we stand together in solidarity to say: No sainthood for Junipero Serra. No sainthood for genocide. No sainthood for murderers and rapers. We are saying this in a loud and proud way," Corrina Gould said in her introductory remarks.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Petition: Urge Pope Francis to abandon his decision to canonize Junipero Serra
All around the world May Day has been a day for labor solidarity, immigrant rights, direct action, reclaiming the streets, and speaking out against injustice. May Day 2015 in the Northern California was a busy day for actions from San Francisco and Oakland to San Jose and Mountain View to Santa Cruz and Fresno. Call-outs went out for rallies, marches, flying pickets, the shutdown of the Port of Oakland, a tech commute blockade, and an anti-capitalist/Baltimore solidarity march.
Women of color are often the invisible victims of police terror. On April 12, the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), in conjunction with Yuvette Henderson’s family and a handful of other organizations, held a vigil and caravan in the name of Yuvette. The mother of two was killed feet away from an ExtraSpace Storage surveillance camera, yet both the storage facility and the police have refused to release those tapes. Yuvette suffered a head-wound at the hands of Home Depot security, paramedics were called, yet tapes of this encounter not released Yuvette’s family either. The vigil and caravan were held on the corner of 34th and Hollis street in Emeryville, half a block away from where Yuvette was killed. Numerous other demonstrations have been held to demand justice for Yuvette as well.
On April 21, the Oakland Police Department conceded to community pressure and allowed the brother and sister of Yuvette Henderson to review the videos leading up to her murder by Emervyille police, which is rare after a police killing. The family left that meeting disappointed. Upon arrival, they were told that there was no video of Yuvette's assault inside of Home Depot and that the DVD controlling the video at ExtraSpace Storage — where she was killed — was broken that day. So the two most critical events of the day Yuvette was killed are not available for review.
Oakland Police Release (Some) Video to Family of Yuvette Henderson After Community Pressure |
OPD to Reveal Surveillance Video to Yuvette Henderson's Family After Community Pressure |
Vigil, Caravan Demands Justice in the State-Sponsored Killing of Yuvette Henderson |
Anti Police-Terror Project hosts vigil for Yuvette Hendersen and delivers demands to OPD |
Anti Police-Terror Project returns with demands to Home Depot and OPD
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Emeryville Home Depot Shut Down for Yuvette Henderson
Yuvette Henderson Gunned Down by Emeryville Police in Oakland
Suppliers of Driscoll’s, which may be the U.S.’s most recognizable brand name on strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry cartons, are coming under fire for allegedly abusing workers, in the U.S. and Mexico. One Driscoll’s grower has spent weeks embroiled in a major farmworker protest, while a nearly two-year boycott against another grower recently intensified. Workers in both disputes have called for a boycott against the company.
On March 9, U.S. Marshals chased the wrong man in Oakland, leading to activist Jabari Shaw, a friend, and his daughter getting into a car crash in East Oakland. Initial media reports labeled the “suspect” as a “violent fugitive.” Activists quickly mobilized and used social media to counter that story when the man turned out to be Jabari Shaw, a college student, father, and well known Oakland anti-police brutality activist. Community Ready Corps
(C.R.C.) is raising questions about the surveillance of community organizers by the Oakland Police Department and U.S. Marshalls.
Plainclothes marshals conducting surveillance had mistaken Shaw. Using unmarked cars, they surrounded the car he was in, drew their weapons, and even blocked a car door, according to Shaw. In fear, the driver, Mary Valencourt, sped off with Shaw and his four-year-old daughter, Anniya, in the backseat. All three were hospitalized.
Shaw, who was not charged with a crime, limped out of Highland Hospital on March 9. He has returned several times due to ongoing pain, which includes pain in his ribs and his arm. He also feels traumatized each time he sees police. Doctors told Shaw that Valencourt might not walk again. Shaw’s greatest concern is his daughter, whose leg was broken and who is now afraid to leave their home. With his hospital bills mounting, friends and supporters held a fundraiser at East Side Cultural Center on March 29.
Community raises funds for Oakland activist Jabari Shaw |
Attack on Jabari Shaw, daughter, & Mary Carmen Valencourt by US Marshals, FBI, and OPD |
Justice 4 Jabari, Anniyah, & Mary || See Also:
Black Community Control of the Police |
US Marshal's can be SO rude!
As soon as April 16, the East Bay Zoological Society can begin sectioning off the combined seventy-seven acre “California Trail” and mitigation sites from public access behind an 8-foot chain-link barbed wire fence. On March 27, fifty people assembled to inaugurate a direct action campaign against the “California Trail” project that would expand the Oakland Zoo into the undeveloped 400-acre region known as Huchiun to Ohlone people, commonly referred to as Knowland Park.
On April 14, a call to end business as usual to stop police killings brought demonstrations and protests from coast to coast. In San Francisco protesters took to the streets in La Mission and on the steps of City Hall. At least two hundred protesters went to City Hall and disrupted the Board of Supervisors meeting, chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police." Simultaneous actions took place in Oakland and Stockton, too.
Afrika Town is a community garden in what was long a vacant lot in Oakland next to the Qilombo social center. On March 26, the landowner came with a bulldozer to raze the garden, backed up by Oakland police officers. Activists quickly gathered and were able to convince the landowner to return a week later. On April 3, dozens of community members turned out to defend the garden. The owner backed down, giving Afrika Town the opportunity to buy the land. Afrika Town is now in dire need of funds to survive.
On March 30, Mumia Abu-Jamal collapsed in the prison infirmary at SCI Mahanoy from diabetic shock before being hospitalized in the ICU at Schuylkill Medical Center. Despite his serious condition, he was transferred back to the prison just two days later. The National Lawyers Guild is calling for immediate and independent medical attention for him, and on Friday, April 10
, community members in Oakland will participate in a National Day to "Stand Up for Mumia" at the Federal Building.
As community members mark the one-year anniversary of the police killing of Alex Nieto, none of the four San Francisco police officers involved in Alex’s death face any charges. In response, Stop Police Impunity held a peoples’ court in front of the SFPD's Mission District station on March 23. This trial complete with a peoples’ judge, jury, and prosecutor found all four officers guilty. Demonstrators locked themselves together, and the entire block of Valencia in front of the police station was blocked for four hours.
On March 28 in Monterey, about 75 people joined a broad coalition of activists in a rally and march starting at the Monterey Wharf to protest white supremacist police brutality in Salinas and nationwide. Thirty protesters marched to Highway One, blocked all four southbound lanes, and closed the highway for 45 minutes. Eight people in total were arrested. The action was organized in the context of the killing of five unarmed Latino men since March 2014 by white Salinas police officers: Angel Ruiz; Osman Hernandez; Carlos Mejia; Frank Alvarado, Jr.; and Jaime Garcia.
Autonomous Students UCSC write:
Before dawn on March 3, a group of six students at the University of California Santa Cruz went to the fishhook connecting Highways 1 to 17. Evoking the practice of highway blockades popularized during the Black Lives Matter movement, they chained themselves to aluminum trashcans filled with cement and blocked traffic for nearly five hours. The traffic jam this caused stretched over the hill to snarl Silicon Valley commutes, an act of peaceful civil disobedience that has since become the most controversial of the “96 Hours of Action” declared across the UC system for the first week of March, in protest against tuition hikes and police violence.
On March 23, coordinated actions were held statewide in California to oppose the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails. Protests were planned for Eureka, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. In Santa Cruz, community members gathered on West Cliff Drive for a rally and candlelight vigil. Organizers say future actions will continue to be held statewide on the 23rd of each month to symbolize the 23 hours per day prisoners in solitary are held in the "complete isolation" of their cells.
On March 12, the Pit River Tribe and their Native American and environmental allies optimistically left the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco following oral arguments in their long legal battle to protect the Medicine Lake Highlands from geothermal destruction and desecration. The Pit River people, the lead defendants in the case, are fighting in court to defend the Highlands, known to them as “Saht Tit Lah," an area that has been used for healing, religious ceremonies and tribal gatherings for thousands of years.
Students at UC Santa Cruz concluded four days of protests against tuition and fee increases with a campus-wide strike and shut down on March 5. Dubbed "96 Hours of Action," demonstrations were held March 2 to 5 at schools across California to highlight the relationship of racist mass incarceration to the privatization of education. Thousands of people in Santa Cruz were affected on March 3 when six students locked themselves together to block highway traffic.
Amilcar Perez-Lopez was a 21-year-old man from Guatemala, living and working in the Mission District. Amilcar and his household were facing eviction at the end of March. On February 26, plain clothes SFPD officers Craig Tiffe and Eric Reboli shot and killed Amilcar between two parked cars. In their public campaign to justify the death of Amilcar, the police have stated he was in the process of stealing a bicycle. This claim is called into question by a number of witnesses, some who say the cyclist had stolen Amilcar's phone. Witnesses have reported being intimidated and bullied by SFPD since Amilcar's murder.
Friends, neighbors, and community members held a vigil for Amilcar on March 1. Side by side with praise of Amilcar from his friends and neighbors were calls for justice in his death. Speaker after speaker connected the dots between anti-immigrant racism and the killing of Amilcar. Community members spoke of the inability of San Francisco police to work with Spanish speakers. Amilcar was not an English speaker. A number of the witnesses are also facing eviction.
Neighbors for Justice for Amilcar Perez-Lopez issue a press release on March 2 to denounce a SFPD townhall meeting and demand justice for Amilcar. The night of the killing neighbors were not allowed to leave their homes and witness the aftermath. They were told things like "lock your doors" and "get away from the windows" by the plainclothes officers. Amilcar bled to death in the street, rather than being raced to SF General's Trauma Unit just blocks away.
On March 7, people gathered at 16th and Mission and marched throughout the Mission District to protest the police killing. A banner in front of the march read, “It’s Always Justice When Police Kill.” A chant went out: "¿Qué queremos? ¡Justicia! ¿Cuando? ¡Ahora! What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Mission Protest of Cop Killing in SF |
Fight For Amilcar Perez-Lopez |
Neighbors For Justice 4 Amilcar Perez-lopez |
Sunset Vigil Held for Amilcar Perez-Lopez in The Mission |
March Against Police Violence! No One Should Die Over a Bike!
Broken System: A response to non-indictment of Alex Nieto’s killers
A group of sixty graduate students led a teach-in and mediation at UC Berkeley’s School of Welfare on February 24 in response to racist comments made by tenured professor Steven Segal. The action was organized in support of twenty-five graduate students enrolled in Segal’s Mental Health Policy course. During class on February 10, Segal shared statistics citing Black-on-Black crime as the real cause of harm to the Black community. He then encouraged the class to join him in a rap, with lyrics that stated the movement “needed to stop scapegoating the cops.”