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Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Driscoll’s Boycott in Full Force
Labor groups have issued a statement clarifying the Driscoll's berries boycott is still in full effect and farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico continue to work for the recognition of their union in order to negotiate the signing of a collective bargaining agreement. In Washington State, the results of an election on September 12 confirmed the independent union Familias Unidas por la Justicia as the formal representatives of farm workers at Sakuma Brothers Farm, a supplier to Driscoll’s. A rally and protest will be held at the Driscoll's distribution center in Aromas on October 15.
On September 10, over 300 people took part in a march, rally, and demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing Prison Strike happening across US prisons, jails, and detention facilities. People gathered at Latham Square in downtown Oakland where several speakers addressed the crowd. Grabbing banners, flags, and signs, people then took to the streets and marched to several corporations that profit from prison labor. AT&T, UPS, and Bank of America were called out for their use of prison labor.
On September 9, activists chained themselves to the entrances of the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton to protest Urban Shield, the SWAT training and weapons expo hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Hundreds of community members from cities across California, including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, marched and rallied. Twenty-three activists were arrested, cited, and released.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 09/11/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion on September 4 for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by the Dakota Access Pipeline. On the previous day, Water protectors clashed with security to successfully stop pipeline construction and some were viciously attacked by guard dogs. Protest camps have issued a global call for solidarity actions to be held September 3-17. In the Bay Area, solidarity actions will take place in Sacramento on September 7 and San Francisco on September 8.
The National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement passed a resolution in solidarity with farmworkers at the 21st LCLAA National Membership Convention held August 18-20 in Orlando, Florida. In the resolution, the Sacramento LCLAA Chapter went on record in support of "the struggle of the 70,000 farmworkers in San Quintin and the 468 farmworkers in Skagit County, Washington, for better wages, working conditions, and the recognition of their fighting unions..."
Sat Aug 20 2016 (Updated 09/05/16)
No Dakota Access Pipeline
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation is calling out to all indigenous nations of the world to stand in solidarity with them as they fight yet another pipeline on tribal lands. Some 250 supporters are camped along the reservation border, tribal youth have completed a run to Washington with petitions against the pipeline, and the battle against Bakken Oil has drawn the attention of environmental groups, tribal people and individuals from across the country. In California, the Winnemem Wintu, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes issued letters of support for the Standing Rock Protectors, and a demonstration of solidarity took place in San Francisco on August 24.
Sat Aug 20 2016 (Updated 09/21/16)
A Call to Action Against Slavery in America
Prisoners across the United States, including in Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia, and elsewhere, are calling for a strike on September 9. Their call to action states: On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.
Davey D writes: I was alerted to an inflammatory story from Bay Area ABC news reporter Dan Noyes that basically sought to disparage the Black August celebrations. The story noted that "police sources" had leaked a memo to him stating that prison guards and police were gonna be attacked by members of the Black Guerilla Family in celebration of Black August. Many found the allegations to be outlandish.
Thu Aug 4 2016 (Updated 08/14/16)
Boycott Driscoll's Won't Stop
On August 6 and 7, 2016, local activists engaged thousands of people at the 22nd Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival to raise awareness about the Driscoll's Boycott and the harsh realities of farmworkers who pick the precious berries. A banner declaring "No More Blood Berries" was displayed from the third-story of the Lettunich Building on Saturday and from the roof of the Mansion House on Sunday while shouting, "Boycott Driscoll's" and "No More Blood Berries." The buildings are the most iconic structures in downtown Watsonville and stand as subtle reminders of the apple growing, packing, and export industry in the Pájaro Valley. Both buildings are Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmarks on Main Street and overlook the Watsonville Strawberry Festival.
A call went out for Freedom Now protests on July 21 targeting the support infrastructure for police oppression, especially police "unions" for their defense of cops accused of brutality. Lockdowns and demonstrations were held in cities across the country. In Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer's Association were shut down and an entrance to Oakland police headquarters was locked down. A Black Lives Matter educational event for children was held in Oscar Grant plaza, followed by a march down Broadway.
Thousands are marching for Bernie Sanders' platform at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia. On July 24, San Francisco activists held a protest in solidarity with demonstrators at the DNC as part of a national day of action, "March for Bernie USA." Marchers gathered in the Mission district cheered and shouted when they heard breaking news from one of the rally leaders that Wasserman Schultz would be resigning as party leader. Bernie Sanders and supporters have long been critical of Wasserman Schultz for not playing a neutral role during the Democratic primaries.
Tue Jul 12 2016 (Updated 07/18/16)
New Wave of Black Lives Matter Protests Nationwide
The back to back caught-on-video police murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5 and Philando Castile in St. Paul on July 6 kicked off a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country. The people of Baton Rouge and St. Paul have been protesting daily since the killings. Solidarity actions have been held in cities across the country and internationally. Communities have staged rallies, marches, and vigils across Northern California as well. Multiple demonstrations have been held in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Watsonville.
The Watsonville Brown Berets are keeping the pressure on Driscoll's, the world's largest distributor of fresh berries, who are headquartered in Watsonville, California. On July 2, the Saturday before July 4th BBQs, the Brown Berets and other community members demonstrated in front of the Safeway on Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville to raise awareness and show solidarity with farmworkers in Washington state and Baja California leading the worldwide boycott of Driscoll's berries, including all products made with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries sold by Driscoll's.
Thu Jun 16 2016 (Updated 06/17/16)
Historic Court Ruling for Net Neutrality
It’s being called one of the most important moments in the history of the internet and a First Amendment for the internet. A federal appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled this week that internet service providers must offer essentially the same protections to users that are required of phone companies. Digital activists are gleefully celebrating one of the most significant parts of the ruling: the FCC can apply its net neutrality rules to cellphone data as well as home broadband.
On June 15, law enforcement officers raided Care By Design and CBD Guild, a medical cannabis grower and manufacturer that tens of thousands of patients depend on across the state. The enforcement comes just days after the company hosted local and state public officials and regulators for a walk-through of their new facilities and to discuss regulations for the emerging industry resulting from the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed by the California legislature last fall.
Wed Jun 15 2016 (Updated 06/16/16)
Love and Solidarity from Watsonville to Orlando
SOMOS LGBT, a community organization raising awareness on equality and acceptance for all, began in Watsonville nine years ago. On the evening of June 13, SOMOS LGBT held a vigil at Watsonville Plaza to "remember one of the most horrific tragedies committed against the LGBT community." The day before, a mass shooting occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, resulting in 53 wounded and 50 dead, including the gunman. SOMOS LGBT will hold a vigil in the Plaza every day until Sunday from 6:30 to 7:30.
On May 31, students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA voted overwhelmingly to endorse resolutions expressing support for freedom and equality for Palestinians and labor justice for migrant workers at Sakuma Bros farm in northern Washington. The three resolutions asked students to condemn the presence of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus, to de-shelve Sabra hummus, and prohibit the use of Sakuma Bros berries from campus dining services.
On June 9, hundreds of New Yorkers demonstrated outside Governor Andrew Cuomo's offices, outraged by his executive order requiring the state to create a blacklist of corporations and institutions that support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. On the west coast, the California Assembly voted unanimously on June 3 to pass AB 2844, yet another in a string of state-sponsored anti-BDS efforts currently moving forward across the country.
Why won't the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) support the Driscoll's Boycott? That's one of the questions UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas would not answer after he spoke at Hillary Clinton's rally in Salinas on May 25. The UFW will not reveal when their friendship with Driscoll's began. However, a photograph from May 2013 reveals their relationship with Reiter Affiliated Companies, an Oxnard-based subsidiary of Driscoll's.
Mon Jun 6 2016 (Updated 06/08/16)
California Almost Mattered This Time, Sort Of
California is the most populous state in the nation, yet the state votes last in the presidental primary process. Major party nominees are usually declared before voters in the state get their say. This year promised to be different, with Bernie Sanders barnstorming across the state, bringing a more competitive race than is typical. On the eve of the California primary, though, corporate media outlets called the Democratic race for Hillary Clinton. Still there are a number of statewide and local candidates and issues to be decided on June 7.
Leading fair trade advocacy organization Fair World Project joined over thirty other organizations in signing a letter asking Driscoll’s, the largest distributor of berries in the world, to make good on its commitment to enforcing the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. At Sakuma Brothers Farm, a Washington farm that grows blueberries and blackberries for Driscoll’s, management has refused to negotiate a contract with Familias Unidas por la Justicia.
New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
ACLU: Charlotte Police Must Release All Footage of Keith Lamont Scott Shooting American Civil Liberties Union Monday Sep 26th 4:13 PM
Rally and Protest at Driscoll's Berry Store and Distribution Center Boycott Driscoll's San Quintín Sindja Saturday Sep 24th 10:25 PM
Chelsea Manning Punishment for Suicide Attempt is Cruel and Inhumane Amnesty International Saturday Sep 24th 12:46 PM
United Nations Expert Validates Standing Rock Sioux Opposition To Dakota Access Pipeline via Indigenous Environmental Network Saturday Sep 24th 12:39 PM
ACLU Stands with Standing Rock ACLU of Northern California Friday Sep 23rd 11:39 PM
Flashback Friday: May 1984 - Raid on the University of PA Head Injury Lab Animal Liberation Press Office Friday Sep 23rd 1:05 PM
Archaeologists & Museums Denounce Destruction of Standing Rock Sioux Burial Grounds via The Natural History Museum Thursday Sep 22nd 5:08 PM
Leonard Peltier on Solidarity with Standing Rock Leonard Peltier Thursday Sep 22nd 4:59 PM
Over 700,000 People Tell Government to Block Seed Mergers Center for Food Safety Thursday Sep 22nd 4:54 PM
Benecia, California Votes Unanimously to Deny Crude by Rail Facility via Sierra Club (1 comment) Thursday Sep 22nd 4:50 PM
Power Elites: On the Great illusion of Pluralist Liberalism Marcus Kloeckner Wednesday Sep 21st 5:10 AM
No DAPL Call for Support! Help Luta today! via SSPRIT Tuesday Sep 20th 5:19 PM
We Clarify and Reiterate the Driscoll’s Boycott is in Full Force El Enemigo Común Tuesday Sep 20th 12:30 PM
We Stand with Standing Rock 9-18-2016 AutumnSun Tuesday Sep 20th 10:51 AM
Federal Judge Dissolves DAPL's Injunction Against Water Protectors via National Lawyers Guild (1 comment) Friday Sep 16th 11:53 PM
Santa Cruz Residents Rally to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline Alex Darocy (1 comment) Friday Sep 16th 5:29 PM
Solidarity with Standing Rock from New Orleans Sarah Holtz for WTUL News Friday Sep 16th 9:28 AM
Pennsylvanians: No Tax Dollars for Dakota Access Pipeline Food & Water Watch Thursday Sep 15th 6:13 PM
Activists Lock Down Entrances to 'Urban Shield' on its 10th Anniversary, 23 Arrested Stop Urban Shield Coalition Wednesday Sep 14th 9:48 AM
Urban Shield: Abandoning Hope, Not Building Hope Stop Urban Shield Coalition Wednesday Sep 14th 9:30 AM
Riot Police Begin Mass-Arrests at Dakota Access Pipeline, FB Censors Video Nick Bernabe, Anti-Media Tuesday Sep 13th 11:54 PM
CFA Stands in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Protestors via California Faculty Association Tuesday Sep 13th 11:39 PM
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Responds to Oil Pipeline Builders Rallies locally and nationwide Tuesday Sep 13th 8:57 PM
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