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Salinas police shot and killed Frank Alvarado one year ago. On July 10 at a memorial held outdoors near the location where he was shot, Frank's family members vowed to continue their fight for justice. Signs held at the memorial communicated supporters' lack of trust in the Salinas police, and some contained direct allegations of widespread departmental corruption.
On June 27, friends, family, and supporters of Richard "Pedie" Perez, killed by Richmond police, took the streets downtown. The diverse group chanted, held signs, and distributed flyers. The march, which followed a rally outside of the Richmond BART station, came after a recent decision by the District Attorney which ruled the police killing of Perez was justifiable. Rich Perez, Pedie's father, stated in the local media: “All of our witnesses dispute the claim that our son was reaching for (the officer’s) weapon. It’s like a cover up or just being blind to the fact that cops can do wrong.”
Richard “Pedie” Perez was shot and killed by officer Wallace Jensen outside of a liquor store on Cutting and Carlson Avenues in Richmond on September 14, 2014. Like almost all killings of civilians by law enforcement, the media first presented the police side of the story, alleging that Pedie was violent and attempted to grab Jensen’s firearm. However, through the work of the Oscar Grant Committee (OGC) and community members, the Perez family was able to talk to witnesses and workers at the liquor store where Pedie was shot, presenting a much different story.
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other tribal representatives and their allies rallied, chanted, sang and waved signs on the sidewalk in front of Westin Hotel on June 29 and 30 outside the Second California Water Summit in Sacramento. They were there to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California Tribes, environmentalists, fishermen and other key stakeholders in the public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects proposed under Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond.
The six UCSC students charged in association with the March 3 blockade of Highway 17, where it meets Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, will be back in court on Monday, June 29
and Tuesday, June 30
. On June 29 at 10:00am, there will be a hearing in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to finalize their sentence, and on June 30 at 1:30pm there will be a restitution hearing. The students are calling for court support.
On June 19, Bay Area community groups CodePink, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Occupy SF Action Council, Anti Police-Terror Project, Jewitch Camp, the Green Party, and World Can’t Wait gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco to protest the presence of police chiefs from around the country during San Francisco’s Conference for Mayors. Many events were planned during the 4-day conference and protests were held at all of them.
On June 18, Jose Velasco filed a legal claim for damages against the City of Salinas and the Salinas Police Department for the injuries he suffered after officers with the SPD violently arrested him on June 5. The claim alleges, "assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring," on the part of the city and the police department.
The farm worker movement mourns the passing on June 7, 2015, of Rev. Deacon Sal Alvarez, who played a key role with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the farm worker movement and on behalf of many other worthy causes over seven decades. Sal was motivated by deep faith in a movement grounded in the Catholic Church’s social justice teachings and dedication to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Demouria Hogg, a 30-year-old father of three, was killed by Oakland police on June 6 at the intersection of Lakeshore and Lake Park avenues in Oakland. Mr. Hogg was asleep, or unconscious, in his car at the intersections when paramedics were called, but when they arrived and saw a gun on the passenger seat, they called the police instead of helping. OPD tried to wake Mr. Hogg up for about 1.5 hours, and ultimately shot and killed him within 1 minute of "making contact" with him.
Local residents rallied in Santa Cruz on June 14 to oppose the Catholic Church's plans to canonize Junipero Serra this September, which was approved by Pope Francis. Serra presided over the brutal California mission system during its founding in the 18th century. The purpose of the rally was to educate the public about the Native American lives that were lost at the missions and the torturous conditions that were imposed there, as well as to encourage community members to contact Priests and other religious and spiritual leaders, including the Pope, in order to attempt to change his mind about granting Serra sainthood.
The rally was held in front of the Catholic Shrine for St. Joseph located on West Cliff Drive. Individuals held signs and distributed fliers containing information about Serra's rule and accounts of the conditions endured by those in the missions. One of the fliers described how Indigenous people hated Father Quintana of Mission Santa Cruz because of his penchant for flogging them "freely." "He fashioned a horsewhip tipped with iron barbs to use against the Indians," the flier read.
"Junipero Serra, the father of the California Missions, insisted that kidnapping, slavery and torture be used to forward his radical evangelical movement. Now the Catholic Church wants to cover up it's crimes against humanity in a shroud of Sainthood - but not before we help tell the real story - not before we stand tall with our indigenous neighbors in opposition," read an event announcement released before the rally which described the intentions of the participants.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Amah Mutsun Letter to Pope Francis Regarding the Canonization of Junipero Serra
| Petition: Urge Pope Francis to abandon his decision to canonize Junipero Serra
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence took the lead in organizing a protest held in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California on June 1. Sister Roma said that it's time Mark Zuckerberg realized that identity is fluid. She and about 100 others traveled from San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area to Silicon Valley to demand that the social media company remove the fake-name reporting option and stop asking users for government IDs.
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
4PM Saturday Aug 8