Fri May 10 2019 (Updated 05/14/19)Victory After Years of Struggle Against Twin Delta Tunnels
The Newsom administration on May 2 shelved the plan to build twin Delta Tunnels — and announced it will start a renewed environmental review for a single Delta Tunnel to facilitate the export of northern California water to San Joaquin agribusiness and Southern California Water agencies. The announcement marks the end of the twin tunnels project that Arnold Schwarzenegger began in 2007, itself a revival of the peripheral canal plan that the voters overwhelmingly rejected in the November 1982 election. After beginning his third term as Governor, Jerry Brown continued to pursue the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as it was called, until it was renamed the California WaterFix in 2015.
Fri May 10 2019 (Updated 05/12/19)Protest Pushes Retailer as California Considers Fur Ban
Activists with animal rights groups Direct Action Everywhere and In Defense of Animals staged a visual demonstration against fur at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on April 28. The “Bloody Fashion Show” included a commentator, models, cages, fake blood, and even a red carpet. After the fashion show, activists entered Nieman Marcus and spoke out about the cruelty behind the fur products being sold there. The action comes on the heels of fur bans in West Hollywood, San Francisco and Los Angeles. A bill to ban fur sales statewide is being considered in the California assembly (AB 44).
Thu May 9 2019 (Updated 05/11/19)Billionaire John Fisher's New Baseball Stadium: "It's Insane!"
ILWU longshore workers, truckers, and companies at the Port of Oakland held a press conference in front of City Hall on April 18 to oppose Oakland A's billionaire owner John Fisher's plan to build a new baseball stadium and 4,000 condos costing more than $1 million each on the Howard Terminal. Speakers talked about the displacement of African Americans in East Oakland when the Oakland coliseum was built and the gentrification now in West Oakland where an African American community has lived for decades. ILWU Local 10 business agent Aaron Wright called it an "insane" idea since there is no infrastructure for the new stadium and it would disrupt the longshore and trucking jobs along with the community.
Mon May 6 2019 (Updated 05/09/19)Support Grows for the California Act to Save Lives
Hundreds of police accountability activists and family members who have lost loved ones to police violence traveled to the Capitol Building in Sacramento on April 9 to show their support for AB392. In a huge milestone for limiting the ability of police to kill at will, the California Act to Save Lives (AB 392) passed in the State Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 5-2 vote. The bill heads to the Rules Committee and then a full Assembly vote. On May 7, the Oakland City Council approved a resolution in support of AB 392.
Sun May 5 2019District Attorney of Sacramento's Record of Police Impunity
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Schubert announced that she will not pursue criminal charges against the murderers of Stephon Clark on March 2. Outraged by the decision to not hold accountable Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal, the community protested and police mass arrested 84 people. But Stephon Clark is the name you know. There are at least ten other black and brown men that have been murdered by deputies and police under District Attorney Schubert's watch.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Fish Conservancy sued the Trump administration in April for mismanaging West Coast salmon fisheries and harming critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. That orca population has dropped to just 75 individuals, mostly because declining salmon runs have left them without enough to eat. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded by committing to expanded designation of critical habitat off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.
Oakland’s Police Commission unanimously passed a new policy which requires that police officers have an actual reason to search a person on probation or parole for a non-violent offense. The Police Commission will consider comments from OPD until May 9 before submitting the new policy to the Public Safety Committee and then to the full City Council. Unless the council votes to reject it, the policy will go into effect. John Jones III says, “This policy will make a real difference for people on probation and parole trying to rebuild their lives."
Sun Apr 28 2019 (Updated 05/04/19)Earth Day in California Site of Creative Protests
A week before Earth Day was not too early for San Francisco activists with Extinction Rebellion who staged direct action designed to draw attention to the planet's peril. On April 15, they led a march and rally, shutting down 7th Street for close to two hours. Elsewhere in California there were Earth Day die-ins, dance demonstrations, and invitations to rethink waste and save trees. In Los Angeles protesters scaled the iconic globe outside Universal Studios; four people were charged with felonies.
Fri Apr 12 2019 (Updated 04/27/19)People’s Park 50th Anniversary
People’s Park has been the site of continual struggle for decades. Students and demonstrators took over the park from UC Berkeley in 1969 as a staging ground for activism and protests. In the following decades, the university has tried again on numerous occasions to develop the park, but People’s Park continues to be a rallying point for community activists. In honor of the People’s resistance, two weeks of events with music, tree planting, spoken word, and activist speakers will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of People's Park. A free concert kicks off the celebration on April 13 and events run through April 28. On May 1, a "Hold the Land" demonstration kicks off.
Mon Apr 1 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)Use of Word 'Dindunuffin' by Police Officer Triggers Investigation
The Santa Cruz Police Department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of Officer Chris Galli, who in January referred to a man he had previously arrested as a "dindunuffin" on social media. Galli, posting as "Chris Meriekuh", made the comment about the individual, who is African American and homeless. A screen capture of the comment was posted in an Indybay article, helping to raise awareness concerning the racist nature of the term, which originated among law enforcement officers to mock activists participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement during its initial rise in 2014 and 2015.
The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Bureau of Land Management over its refusal to provide public records of its plans new oil drilling and fracking along California’s Central Coast and in the Bay Area. The BLM has yet to publicly release the final plans, but earmarked for leasing are lands in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties. The Trump administration’s plans would end a six-year moratorium on leasing federal public land and mineral estate in California to oil companies.
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/05/19)What the Boycott of Manny’s in San Francisco's Mission Is All About
Margot Goldstein and Rachel Lederman write: Our community institutions should create venues for genuine discussions about how to confront oppression. Manny’s does not accomplish the goal of “civic discourse” on social justice because it contributes to racist gentrification and supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The boycott of Manny’s is the community standing up to Yekutiel’s opportunistic attempt to exploit social justice for profit while perpetuating and supporting the destructive politics of gentrification and Zionism.
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)Governor Newsom Suspends Death Penalty in California
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order on March 13 putting a moratorium on California's death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, which they narrowly rejected at the ballot in 2016. Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state's execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.
Wed Mar 13 2019 (Updated 03/25/19)Protesters Seize Block in Front of Wells Fargo Global Headquarters
On March 18, climate activists targeted the nation's fourth largest bank for protest, just in time to crash its annual founding day celebration. They seized the entire block of California Street between Montgomery and Sansome for three hours, shutting down a major entrance at Wells Fargo headquarters during that time. The action was the culmination of the March for Fossil Fuel Freedom that started in Palo Alto days earlier, a trek of hundreds forming a human billboard to demand Wells Fargo stop funding the fossil-fuel industry.