Santa Cruz
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WeCopwatch writes: Our lives changed on July 17, 2014 as images were broadcast across the globe of Staten Island plain clothes officers choking Eric Garner to death. For Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed the killing, it would start a cycle of state sponsored repression that continues to this very day. Ramsey has been in solitary confinement at Midstate Correctional Facility since the [COVID-19] outbreak. We are concerned that the NYDOCC will take this opportunity to allow Ramsey to die so they can be done with him once and for all.
On April 3, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and after a nine-month moratorium on new fracking operations, California's Department of Conservation approved 24 new fracking permits in Kern County, the center of the oil industry in California. Fracking opponents strongly condemned the approval of new fracking permits at a time that the state is virtually shut down, and people are dying everyday from the COVID-19 virus.
While hundreds of advocates have been desperately contacting Mayor London Breed imploring her to place homeless people in hotel rooms and vacant units, it seems she has her own plan for addressing poverty during the pandemic: opening indoor camps to further concentrate vulnerable people. The Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco opened its doors on Thursday and already has dozens of people sleeping inside it.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the nation, activists are demonstrating urgently against the continuing detention of immigrants by ICE. The agency's detention centers are hotbeds for the spread of deadly disease to prisoners and personnel, potentially killing thousands. On March 31, protestors in California did their best to follow shelter-in-place rules by protesting in caravans, and covering their cars with banners and messages for Governor Gavin Newsom.
Mon Mar 30 2020 (Updated 03/31/20)
Instacart Strikers Demand Proper Safety Precautions
On March 30, Instacart workers, known as "Shoppers," disconnected from their app-based gig economy jobs and vowed not to return to work until Instacart meets their demands. The list of demands include safety precautions at no cost to workers, hazard pay, and an extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19. The striking workers state, "They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal."
Sun Mar 29 2020 (Updated 04/04/20)
Bay Area Rent Strike
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Tenant and Neighborhood Councils, and other Bay Area folks are producing and sharing information on how to organize a rent strike. They write: We can work together to prevent eviction and foreclosure. We can keep each other housed and fed. We must demand an immediate suspension of rent and mortgage payments for everyone. And if this demand is not met, we must refuse to pay our rents and our mortgages, together.
While the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates public health measures to reduce the impact of the virus on our communities and health care systems, the National Lawyers Guild urges vigilance and resistance to authoritarian and violent tendencies. Emergency powers often criminalize movement, freedom of expression, protest, and oppressed communities. Even though the state has severely restricted the right to assemble, people still find creative ways to protest.
anonymous writes: As coronavirus spreads and the death toll begins to climb, our most immediate concern is (and should remain) staying healthy and supporting our communities through the immediate crisis. As radicals, however, we must also begin to strategize how we will respond to the economic collapse that will continue to affect our lives long after a vaccine or herd immunity render the virus itself a past issue. Looking back to our local history, we can learn a great deal from Great Depression era worker self-organizing and mutual aid.
While California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered residents to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 virus, local Bay Area law enforcement agencies are continuing to expand their powers and resources. On March 24, the Vallejo City Council voted unanimously to purchase a cell site simulator for the Vallejo Police Department. On Tuesday, March 31, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to vote on a surprise $85 million additional budget allocation for Sheriff Department staff at Santa Rita Jail.
Demanding action for homeless families at higher risk from coronavirus, homeless and housing insecure families successfully moved into six vacant, state-owned properties in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 14, with scores of community supporters coming out in support. In the next few days, similar families reclaimed more houses, with thirteen providing shelter now. CalTrans owns the houses, and activists estimate that nearly 200 sit vacant.
Sat Mar 21 2020 (Updated 03/26/20)
California on Coronavirus Lockdown
California residents have been ordered to "stay at home" to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Stringent mitigation measures mean millions are without an income. Students face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities and incarcerated persons are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and isolation of the pandemic take a toll on mental health. Not waiting for government action, people are stepping up with mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need.
On March 20, Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills and a dozen or more cops and park rangers evicted an encampment of unhoused people along Water Street near the post office. Mills gave people the choice of moving into fenced areas in the city or facing arrest and property confiscation. Robert Norse states, "This 'out of sight / out of town' policy, while claiming a public health rationale, rings false given the lack of protected indoor shelter being offered."
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04/08/20 Ramsey Orta Denied Basic Safety Measures in Solitary Confinement as COVID-19 Spreads frontpage | police | race | health-housing | us04/08/20 COVID-19 Targets Communities with Respiratory Illnesses from Air Pollution frontpage | environment | health-housing | central-valley | government04/05/20 While 30,000 Hotel Rooms Vacant, Unhoused People to Be Packed into Moscone Center frontpage | health-housing | sf04/02/20 Creative Car Rallies in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles frontpage | central-valley | sf | california | immigrant03/30/20 List of Demands Includes Hazard Pay and Improved Working Conditions frontpage | labor | sf | us03/29/20 We're Not Paying: Keep Your Rent on April 1 frontpage | health-housing | global-justice | sf | east-bay | california | santa-cruz03/29/20 Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future in the Age of Coronavirus frontpage | health-housing | global-justice | east-bay | california03/29/20 People Find Creative Ways to Protest While State Restricts Right To Assemble frontpage | police | health-housing | sf | peninsula | us | government | immigrant03/28/20 Vallejo PD And Alameda County Sheriff Request Major New Spending During Lockdown frontpage | police | race | health-housing | east-bay | north-bay | government03/24/20 Los Angeles Families Reclaim Empty Houses Owned by CalTrans During Pandemic frontpage | race | health-housing | global-justice | womyn | california | government03/21/20 Mutual Aid Efforts to Assist Those Most at Risk Increase as COVID-19 Spreads frontpage | police | health-housing | labor | global-justice | education | arts | sf | east-bay | california | us | government | santa-cruz
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Man Shot with Less Lethal Munition at Close Range by Berkeley Police Berkeley Copwatch (1 comment) Wed Apr 8th 7:48pm
Noisy "OUTNOW! Tuesday" in SF Bay Area Trump/Pence Must Be Removed Wed Apr 8th 5:04am
An Immodest and Long Overdue Proposal Robert Norse (1 comment) Tue Apr 7th 8:45am
Lobby for your Life: Suggestions from Laura (posted by) Norse (1 comment) Mon Apr 6th 2:42pm
San Francisco: Mayor Breed Opts for Mass Indoor Camps Quiver Watts, Street Sheet (2 comments) Sun Apr 5th 9:03pm
Correcting the Sentinel's Latest Errors Robert Norse & Keith McHenry Sun Apr 5th 3:41pm
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