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Sunday Jul 27
10AM 5th Annual Festival del Nopal
7PM Watsonville Vigil for Children at the Border
Tuesday Jul 29
2PM Protest Salinas police murder of Frank Alvarado
7PM Sanctuary Village TOWN HALL MEETING
Friday Aug 1
6:30PM Standing on Sacred Ground: Santa Cruz premiere w/...
Saturday Aug 9
2PM SF Mime Troupe In RIPPLE EFFECT - Santa Cruz Show
Sunday Aug 10
2PM SF Mime Troupe In RIPPLE EFFECT - Santa Cruz Show
More Events...

Santa Cruz Rally for California Hunger Strike Anniversary On July 8, community members in Santa Cruz and around the state gathered to commemorate the one year anniversary of the California Hunger Strike. Sin Barras writes: "July 8, 2013 is a day we remember to never forget the torture the state of California willingly inflicts on human lives. On that day, 30,000 prisoners followed the lead of their fellow prisoners locked in solitary confinement and refused to eat. By one account, close to 100 people went without eating for 59 days before agreeing to eat in exchange for serious concessions from the California Department of Corrections."

"In Santa Cruz, at least 37 prisoners joined the statewide strike to protest the inhumane conditions they are forced to live in. At least 5 people have died in the local jail since August, and according to the recently released Grand Jury report, these deaths were preventable. We join this day of action to amplify the voices of those inside and continue organizing & educating with our community to end the violence of imprisonment.

"While certain changes have been made, we must carry forward the fight of the courageous hunger strikers until long-term solitary confinement is abolished in Santa Cruz and California."

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos | Sin Barras

Previous Coverage: Supporting California and Santa Cruz Prison Hunger Strikers at 'Hunger for Justice' || Rallies and Demos Begin in Support of 2013 California Hunger Strikers
Rallies have been held around the world in opposition to Israel's recent air strikes on Gaza and the collective punishment carried out against the Palestinian people living there and in the West Bank. In Northern California, demonstrations have been held in Fresno, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Salinas, and Santa Cruz. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), as of July 25, 757 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8. Ten Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian resistance, and one Israeli civilian was killed by a Palestinian shell.
Rally in Salinas Demands Justice for Frank Alvarado, Killed by Salinas Police In response to the killing of Frank Alvarado, the Direct Action Monterey Network called for a rally on July 12 at the corner of South Sanborn Rd. and Fairview Ave. in East Salinas against police violence. Frank's sister Angélica Garza spoke, saying she wanted justice for "Frankie" and "he had a big heart." For the duration of the rally, Frank's niece held a sign that read "Stop Police Brutality. Justice For My Uncle!"

Frank's niece Natalie Mendoza also spoke at the rally, as did Courtney Hanson and Tash Nguyen of Sin Barras, a prison abolition group based in Santa Cruz, of which Frank was a member. "Frank was an extraordinary person with a big and loving heart," Sin Barras has stated. "His contagious spirit, candid perspective, resilience, and compassion for those who are struggling inspired community-building and understanding around him."

Natalie was calm, sad, well-spoken, and angry when she spoke. She righteously proclaimed, "It's not right. I've never had this much hate in my life for anything else. I'm sad, but I'm more angry than anything else because of how he was gunned down. There was no reason for how he was killed; no way to justify their actions. He wasn't even armed. We just need justice for him, and everybody else, all the other cases that have gone like this. There needs to be justice, and SPD needs to have a taste of their own medicine."

imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifRead More with Photos and Video | imc_photo.gifRally in Salinas Demands Justice for Frank Alvarado, Killed by Salinas Police | Sin Barras: In Memory of Frank Alvarado // En memoria de Frank Alvarado

Previous Coverage: Police Officers Kill Fourth Person in East Salinas: Frank Alvarado || Families, Residents and Statewide Supporters Fight for Justice in Salinas
Police Officers Kill Fourth Person in East Salinas: Frank Alvarado On July 10 at around 5am, two officers with the Salinas Police Department shot and killed Frank Alvarado at a private home in Salinas. Frank was well known in Santa Cruz, where he recently spoke out against California prison expansion at a rally in May. His killing was the fourth use of lethal force since March 21 by officers with the SPD, and all of the killings have occurred in East Salinas neighborhoods.

At the May 14 rally in Santa Cruz, Frank spoke about prison reform. The rally was organized for community members to voice their opposition to the Governor's May revise budget, which called for an increase in spending for jail and prison expansion. Frank spoke strongly about the importance of budgeting state money for social programs instead of prison expansion, and he shared his personal experience of incarceration, describing his release from prison in July of 2013. He cautioned that building more prisons at the sacrifice of schools and parks would lead to devastating results for California. "You will have your hell if you build those prisons," he said.

Community members have gathered in the Salinas neighborhood where Frank was killed on July 10 and 11 to protest his and the other three SPD killings, and a rally has been planned for Saturday, July 12 at 6pm at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Sanborn Road in Salinas.

Saturday, July 12: imc_calendar.gifSalinas Rally Against Police Violence -Demonstrasion Encontra La Violencia Policiaca

Read More with Video: imc_video.gifFrank Alvarado, Fourth Person Killed by SPD, Spoke in Santa Cruz Against Prison Expansion | Salinas Police Silent After Fourth Officer Involved Killing

Previous Related Indybay Coverage: Fight Against Prison Expansion Continues at Statewide Actions Opposing Gov's Budget Revise || Salinas Police Kill Three People in Last Three Months || Families, Residents and Statewide Supporters Fight for Justice in Salinas
Monterey Chapter of Anarchist Black Cross to Launch on Bastille Day Direct Action Monterey Network has announced the group will be celebrating Bastille Day and launching the Monterey chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross. On Monday, July 14 a launch party will be held on Del Monte Beach in Monterey, and on Tuesday, July 15 a letter writing party will be held to support political prisoners in California's jail and prison systems.

Direct Action Monterey Network writes: "Since the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), has been on the frontline in supporting those imprisoned for struggling for freedom and liberty. Until recently, the history of the ABC movement has been lost to the pages of time. The present generation of ABC collectives were left rootless with little known information about this organization. Now, specific questions regarding our origin can now be put to rest. We have now begun to rediscover our roots."

"The [ABC] also works to build alliances with the communities and the movements the prisoners participated in prior to their incarceration. Through these alliances, we work toward increasing the awareness about various liberation movements and the political prisoners associated with the movements. It is through these coalitions that we continue to ensure that imprisoned comrades are not forgotten by their movements or our own."

Monthly letter writing session for political prisoners, with an emphasis on political prisoners in California's jails and prisons, will be held on the third Tuesday of each month at 8pm at Old Capitol Books in downtown Monterey.

imc_calendar.gifEvent Details | Direct Action Monterey Network
Greeting Tourists with Peace Signs on the Fourth of July Community members in Santa Cruz gathered once again along busy Ocean Street to greet this year's Independence Day beach tourists with a message of peace as they drove into town. The weather was warm and traffic was bumper to bumper as long-time anti-war activists lined the streets holding signs and greeting people. The rally is an annual event in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz area veterans were in attendance representing VFW Post 5888, and they held their large "Wage Peace" banner. The Raging Grannies sang, and members of Food Not Bombs Santa Cruz held their "three lane" banner, which is so wide it spans three lanes of traffic when stretched out fully. The rally was co-sponsored by People United for Peace of SC County, SC Coalition to Bring the Troops Home Now, CodePink SC, Santa Cruz Against Drones, the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz Quaker Meeting, Raging Grannies SC, Women in Black SC, SC Branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace SC, United Nations Association SC, and SC Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

imc_photo.gifRead More with Photos

Previous Coverage: 2013: On Independence Day, Santa Cruzans Demand Freedom from the Security State
La Playa Carmel and the Enduring Picket Line After two and a half years of protests at La Playa Carmel, former workers who lost their jobs in 2011 continue to return to the hotel to walk the picket line and protest. At a rally held at the expensive, Carmel-by-the-Sea area hotel on June 20, two of those in attendance were former workers who had each been employed at La Playa for over 20 years before losing their jobs. "We continue to fight La Playa to make sure that employers around this area don't try to hurt us," union organizer Hector Azpilcueta said.

"When La Playa decided to let go 113 workers, they never thought about us staying here after two years. They thought we were just going to pick up and leave," said Azpilcueta, who is with Unite Here Local 483, the labor union that represents hotel, restaurant, and other hospitality workers in the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas.

Demonstrations continue to be held as a vehicle for obtaining justice for the former workers, but the union primarily measures the success of the actions at La Playa in terms of the contract victories gained at other establishments in the Monterey Bay area. In 2012 and 2013 Unite Here won contract victories with Monterey Beach Resort, Old Capital Club, and Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. Later in 2013, the union negotiated the first ever labor contract for restaurant workers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Currently, the union is in negotiations in Santa Cruz with an unnamed business that has agreed to health care for workers in a recent bargaining session.

imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifRead More with Photos and Video | La Playa Hotel Unfair | See Also: La Playa Carmel Demonstrations Continue in 2014

Previous Coverage: La Playa Carmel Holiday Rally Becomes Annual Tradition at Hotel
Santa Cruz Community Vigil for Iraq and Iraqis In response to the recent threat of U.S. military attacks in Iraq, community members in Santa Cruz held a vigil for the Iraqi people on June 23 at the Town Clock. Those who participated in the vigil are calling for nonviolent diplomacy, reparation and repairs, no military intervention in Iraq, and an end to weapons sales in the Middle East. "We are sick and tired of violence being thought of as a way to prevent violence," Marjorie Langdon said at the vigil.

Langdon was one of a number of UC Santa Cruz students present at the vigil who were protesting the connection between the University of California system and war profiteering. "At UCSC we are supposed to be a very diverse, engaged, and active community, but being up there I realize that most students don't realize we are this involved," she said. "The UC system invests in bomb labs and is profiteering from going to war. The UC is getting money this way, and that's not OK."

Other supporters at the vigil included individuals from the Faith communities of Santa Cruz, WILPF SC, the Palestine-Israel Action Committee of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and Jewish Voice for Peace SC. Organizers say they will be holding similar vigils at the Town Clock in support of the people of Iraq in the near future.

imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifRead More with Photos and Video
The Show Goes On and On for the Santa Cruz Eleven After a court hearing on June 3, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office faces disqualification and the remaining four Santa Cruz Eleven defendants are left without a trial date. Judge Burdick is still in place presiding over the case after the DA's office attempt to recuse him, and the case continues to cost tax payers thousands as the defendants continue to fight their charges. Their attorneys have filed a motion to recuse the Santa Cruz District Attorney's office from the case based on bias stemming from DA Bob Lee's financial relationship to the "victim" of the case Wells Fargo.

Friends of the SC11 writes: "The motion casts doubt as to whether or not it is fair for the DA's office to be hearing the case and delays the trial again as the motion is dealt with. It is likely that the DA's office will request a specific hearing challenging the validity of the claim as it would look pretty darn bad on mister Bob Lee's report card to have this claim on public record. Perhaps this move will motivate him to either get involved with the case and authorize a reasonable solution, or at the very least detach himself from the case and give prosecutor Greg Peinado the ability to move the case along."

Due to the lack of clarity as to who will be trying to the case in trial, a trial date was not set. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for August 27, where the motions will be heard. There are also earlier dates scheduled to address motions filed by individual attorneys. Besides the main recusal motion aforementioned there are numerous other motions on the table from the defense including a separate motion to recuse the DA's office for their poor handling of the case.

Read More | Support the Santa Cruz 11 | See Also: A Week Later The Sentinel Does Drive-By Coverage of the Santa Cruz Eleven

Previous Coverage: Parading through Town in Support of the Santa Cruz Eleven
Grand Jury Report on Jail Deaths Only a Snapshot of the Larger Picture Following the release in May of the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury report on jail medical care and conditions, one juror reported he was “shocked” at the lax oversight and poor communication between jail staff and medical personnel that led to five deaths in the facility during the past 11 months. While the "normal" mortality rate is around 125 per 100,000 inmates, Santa Cruz County's rate was 10 times that number during that period.

Activists say they are alarmed that these deaths came as the county outsourced jail medical treatment to private Monterey-based California Forensic Medical Group, a decision that effectively placed medical care for jail inmates beyond local control or accountability.

Steve Pleich writes: "In my view, these deaths are a tragic and unacceptable symptom of a disease. But the real disease is mass incarceration driven by the prison/industrial complex and fueled by institutional racism. Mainstream society seems comfortable with the policy of separating whole segments of our population from their liberty and in supporting a prison/industrial complex that is building new jail and prison cells at an unprecedented rate. So what questions do we need to ask to at least begin to understand and address the grave social issues that this current state of affairs represents?"

Read More | See Also: pdfSanta Cruz Grand Jury Releases Reports on Jail Deaths and Juvenile Hall Meals | pdfGrand Jury Report Highlights Overcrowding at Santa Cruz Main Jail
iCal feed From the Calendar:
10AM Sunday Jul 27 5th Annual Festival del Nopal
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Taking a Stab at Responding to Stab Santa Cruz Stacey Falls (3 comments)
Friday Jul 25th 12:39 PM
Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery Restricted to Protect Loggerhead Sea Turtles Joanna Nasar (1 comment)
Friday Jul 25th 11:29 AM
Sanctuary Village Presents 10 F.A.Q. to City Council Santa Cruz Sanctuary Village (6 comments)
Thursday Jul 24th 2:58 PM
California Court Rules Against Dangerous Oil Development Near Pinnacles National Park Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment)
Wednesday Jul 23rd 10:35 PM
American Civil Liberties Union Santa Cruz County: License Plate Readers? Not Here! ACLU Santa Cruz (4 comments)
Wednesday Jul 23rd 1:50 PM
Watsonville Vigil for Children at the Border
Wednesday Jul 23rd 12:42 PM
Gilroy Garlic Festival: No More Frog Legs! via Save the Frogs (3 comments)
Wednesday Jul 23rd 10:17 AM
Protests Opposing Israel's War on Gaza Continue in Santa Cruz Alex Darocy (1 comment)
Monday Jul 21st 1:42 PM
Updated List of Santa Cruz Police Department Personnel SCPD (posted by Norse) (4 comments)
Monday Jul 21st 12:18 PM
Occupy Santa Cruz to Mark Third Anniversary One Occupier (1 comment)
Monday Jul 21st 11:22 AM
Department of Conservation stops injection of fracking waste Dan Bacher (2 comments)
Sunday Jul 20th 4:51 PM
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Thursday Jul 3rd 11:31 AM
Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Tries to Spin CA Condor Lead Poisonings as "Success Story" Center for Biological Diversity (2 comments)
Wednesday Jul 2nd 7:20 PM
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Thursday Jul 10th 9:23 AM
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Monday Jun 2nd 8:07 PM
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Monday Jun 2nd 7:46 AM
Latino Group Urges CA Senate to Pass Moratorium on Fracking Presente.org
Wednesday May 28th 5:04 PM
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Monday May 5th 1:32 PM
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Saturday May 3rd 9:16 AM
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Thursday May 1st 12:50 PM
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Tuesday Apr 8th 10:04 AM
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