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Thursday Jul 31
4PM END THE MASSACRE IN GAZA - Rally in Salinas
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
Tuesday Aug 19
8PM Monterey Anarchist Black Cross
More Events...

Die-in Staged in Santa Cruz to Protest Israel's Assault on Gaza A demonstration was held in downtown Santa Cruz on July 28 to protest Israel's continued assault on Gaza and the people of Palestine. After rallying at the Town Clock, where many of the names and ages of Palestinians killed were displayed on placards, community members marched to the Cooper House on Pacific Avenue where a die-in was staged. Individuals laid down on the sidewalk and their bodies were outlined in chalk as organizers read the names and ages of Palestinian children killed since the war began on July 8.

"The Santa Cruz community is calling for an end to the 7-year siege and Genocidal assault on Gaza by Israel's military, fully funded and supported by the U.S. president, congress and senate. Santa Cruz demands an end to ongoing U.S. covert operations in Iraq and Syria. More than 50% of the populations in these regions are children. War is being waged on children with our tax dollars,"a press release announcing the demonstration stated.

"Violence on this scale has forced us into a situation in which complacency and silence is an act of complicity in violence. Our small town joins thousands of others all across the United States and the Globe to reject the massacre in Gaza," said Kali Rubaii, a UCSC graduate student who attended the demonstration.

imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifRead More with Photos and Video

Previous Coverage: The World Responds to Israel's Atrocities in Gaza
California Court Rules Against Dangerous Oil Development Near Pinnacles National Park Citing concerns about water use and contamination, a Monterey County Superior Court judge has ruled that San Benito County unlawfully approved a dangerous new oil-development project near Pinnacles National Park that could result in hundreds of wells being drilled in important agricultural and wildlife habitat in the Salinas Valley watershed. As the judge’s ruling notes, “There are numerous opportunities for toxic spills to occur that the County has apparently not contemplated.”

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity challenging the Indian Wells project, which would use cyclic steam injection, a water-intensive and polluting form of oil extraction. The court agreed that San Benito County unlawfully failed to consider development of the oil field beyond the initial 15 “pilot” wells in the challenged approval as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The court also found that the county failed to properly analyze the huge water usage, water pollution risks, greenhouse gas emissions, and threats to the California condor — even from the initial 15 well approval.

The project site drains to the Salinas River, an important source of drinking and irrigation water for some of the world’s most productive farmland. The site is also important foraging habitat for the California condor, a critically imperiled species with a population of only about 430 individuals. “This legal victory helps protect California’s water, wildlife and climate from dangerous new oil development,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “It makes no sense to fast-track dirty and risky new oil projects when it’s painfully obvious we have to shift to clean energy sources to respond to the climate crisis.”

Read More | Center for Biological Diversity

Previous Coverage: Lawsuit Targets San Benito County's Approval of 15 Oil Wells in Endangered Condor Habitat || San Benito County Residents Reach Signature Goal for Fracking Ban Initiative
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 29, over 1100 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8. 47 Israeli soldiers, most of whom were invading Gaza at the time of their death, have been killed by Palestinian resistance, and two Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian shells.
In response to pressure from conservation groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced an area closure for the swordfish drift gillnet fishery in the Pacific Ocean off California from July 25 through August 31 to prevent entanglements and drownings of endangered loggerhead sea turtles. This year’s El Niño conditions, warmer than normal waters, attract the endangered loggerhead sea turtles to the nutrient-rich waters where the deadly fishery operates.
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
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
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Local ACLU Issues Resolution of Support for Santa Cruz 11 ACLU Santa Cruz County (1 comment)
Wednesday Jul 30th 7:49 PM
END THE MASSACRE IN GAZA - Rally in Salinas steph
Wednesday Jul 30th 4:09 PM
Santa Cruz Police Department Partners with 7-Eleven Stores to Indoctrinate Kids Santa Cruz Police News (3 comments)
Wednesday Jul 30th 1:57 AM
Die-in Staged in Santa Cruz to Protest Israel's Assault on Gaza Alex Darocy (1 comment)
Tuesday Jul 29th 2:20 AM
Justice for Salinas! Press Conf. in SF. Stop Killer Cops! John Burris via Bradley
Monday Jul 28th 4:53 PM
Protest Salinas police murder of Frank Alvarado (1 comment)
Friday Jul 25th 10:22 PM
Taking a Stab at Responding to Stab Santa Cruz Stacey Falls (8 comments)
Friday Jul 25th 12:39 PM
Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery Restricted to Protect Loggerhead Sea Turtles Joanna Nasar (3 comments)
Friday Jul 25th 11:29 AM
Sanctuary Village Presents 10 F.A.Q. to City Council Santa Cruz Sanctuary Village (7 comments)
Thursday Jul 24th 2:58 PM
California Court Rules Against Dangerous Oil Development Near Pinnacles National Park Center for Biological Diversity (3 comments)
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
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Sunday Jul 27th 10:06 AM
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Monday Jun 2nd 7:46 AM
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