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On November 20, students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Humanities and Social Sciences building and plan to stay inside until the UC Regents roll back the tuition increases they approved this week. Student fees across the University of California system will raise by at least 5% a year for the next five years if the Regents' plan is instituted.
Occupy Our Education writes:
"The University of California was once a tuition-free and public institution. Now the students are facing yet another tuition hike. The most recent attempt to raise tuition in 2009 was successfully frozen by the courageous and necessary action of students, yet this week, the UC Regents have approved a 5% tuition increase each year for the next five years. This is in addition to the numerous increases that have occurred since the new millennium which amount to what will now be a 500% increase by 2020. Governors and legislatures have come and gone, and have continually spouted rhetoric without taking any action."
"In addition to tuition increases, students face larger class sizes, fewer classes, cuts to student services, and ultimately, are paying more for less education. Of course, these measures disproportionately affects those already marginalized--women, students of color, queer students, and many more. A private business parades in the mask of a public university."
Photos | Video: Cornel West Speaks at UC Santa Cruz Occupation | A Communiqué from the UCSC Occupation of Humanities 2
See Also: Actions Opposing Proposed Tuition Increases Begin at UC Santa Cruz
| UC Regents Committee Passes Plan to Increase Tuition; Student Regent Voted 'NO'
| CUCFA statement on UC’s planned tuition increases
| They want to raise tuition again
| AFSCME 3299 Blasts UC Tuition Hike Threat
| University of California Student Association Rejects New UC Tuition Plan
On November 10, peace activists in Santa Cruz protested a book signing appearance by Leon Panetta, the one-time Secretary of Defense and CIA Director. Panetta is currently on a book tour promoting the release of "Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace."
Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted the event, which was held in the sanctuary at Peace United Church of Christ, with a crowd of hundreds in attendance. By the end of the evening, five individuals were "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz, in retaliation for activities related to the evening's peaceful protest.
After the talk began, and Panetta was speaking in the Sanctuary, a group of four individuals dressed in white in the audience stood up and unfurled a long banner that read "Stand For Peace." The activists left, and when outside of the sanctuary, all four of them reported they had been "banned for life" from Bookshop Santa Cruz.
Additionally, Indybay journalist Alex Darocy was assaulted by a member of Panetta's security team while documenting the event. When Bookshop Santa Cruz manager Casey Coonerty-Protti witnessed the reporter's reaction to the assault, she banned him "for life" from the book store as well.
Peace Activists 'Banned for Life' from Bookshop Santa Cruz for Protesting Leon Panetta | Indybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security at Bookshop Santa Cruz Event
Previous Coverage: Protest Against Leon Panetta for War Crimes
On November 4, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a second complaint against one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT). It alleges violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from September 26, 2012, through April 22, 2014. Importantly, the complaint also requests the suspension or revocation of SCBT’s dealer license, a serious potential consequence given that USDA policy requires both a research registration and a dealer license for such labs to sell animal-derived antibodies.
The additional violations outlined in the complaint include repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care — resulting in needless animal suffering — and repeated research oversight violations. The citations also include failure to provide fresh, nutritive food and ensure that procedures avoid or minimize animal pain and distress.
At the heart of USDA’s latest complaint is the grave charge that SCBT willfully refused to allow USDA inspectors access to an entire site housing over 800 goats “from at least March 6, 2012, through October 30, 2012.” When USDA inspectors were finally allowed access to the site, they reported finding goats suffering and in need of veterinary care. The inspection report from October 31, 2012, states that “[t]he existence of the site was denied even when directly asked” during multiple prior inspections.
Previous Coverage: ALDF Lawsuit Against Santa Cruz Biotechnology Animal Testing Facility Gains Support
|| Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals at Santa Cruz Biotechnology
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."
Sin Barras writes:
"There is undoubtedly something suspicious about six deaths occurring in a jail within two years, especially in light of the recent Grand Jury investigation, which found most of the deaths to be preventable. Our jail is overcrowded with people who have not been convicted of crimes, but simply cannot afford to pay bail. Our jail is overcrowded with people who need drug treatment and affordable housing. These deaths were preventable in more ways than one. Do we need another investigation to confirm this?"
Read More with PDF | Sin Barras
Previous Coverage: Grand Jury Report on Jail Deaths Only a Snapshot of the Larger Picture
|| Sin Barras Rally at SC County Jail Held in Response to Recent Deaths at Facility
UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
On November 11, two-day strikes 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. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
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.
Speaking confidentially during the march, multiple organizers stated that the Watsonville Police Department imposed changes shortly before the event, which altered the planned route, thus eliminating many traditional stopping points and neighborhoods with historical significance to the march. One organizer, speaking confidentially, said he was disappointed with the Watsonville Police Department's orchestration of events leading up to and during the march. Many people who attended the march were receptive to the police presence.
Most participants in the march advocated for peace without presenting any solutions, demands, or critiques, but some marchers displayed messages critical of police and prisons. Sin Barras
, a community-based group out of Santa Cruz that works to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, carried a large banner calling for "Peace Without Police."
Read More with Photos
Previous coverage of the Peace and Unity March in Watsonville: 2005
Salinas Police have reported that Jaime Garcia, age 35, died after one of their officers tased him during an attempted arrest on Halloween. According to an SPD press release, the five officers involved in the incident were put on administrative leave during the "initital stages" of the investigation. The death of Garcia is the fifth death to occur at the hands of Salinas Police in 2014.
"During the struggle with Officers it became readily apparent that Garcia was going into medical distress. Paramedics, who were staged nearby, were immediately summoned to the scene where Garcia was quickly transported to a local hospital with CPR in progress. Efforts by paramedics to revive Garcia were not successful and he was pronounced deceased at the hospital," the SPD press release stated.
Officers with the Salinas Police Department killed four other Latino males in 2014: Angel Ruiz was killed on March 20 by Sergeant Mark Lazzarini, Officer Daniel DeBorde, and Officer William Yetter; Osman Hernandez was killed on May 9 by Sergeant George Lauricella and Officer Derek Gibson; Carlos Mejia-Gomez was killed on May 20 by Sergeant Danny Warner and Officer Josh Lynd; and Frank Alvarado was killed on July 10 by Sergeant Brian Johnson and Officer Scott Sutton.
Previous Coverage: Police Officers Kill Fourth Person in East Salinas: Frank Alvarado
|| Salinas Police Kill Three People in Last Three Months
|| SPD Releases Use of Force 'Policy Manual'
|| 2014 Monterey County Law Enforcement Misconduct Timeline
|| Salinas Police Procedures and Killings Challenged by Citizens of Salinas
Proposition 14 in California effectively excluded third parties from statewide general elections. Only the top two vote getters in statewide primaries now advance to the general election. Prop. 14 also removed the possibility of the write-in option. The Green Party of Alameda County recommends that voters boycott the statewide partisan contests in the November election — specifically the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner — and also most of the other partisan offices, while still voting locally and for statewide propositions.