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The state agency charged with regulating California’s pesticide industry allows manufacturers to make up their own usage rules, continues to allow a brain-damaging chemical to be used on food crops, is slow to hold applicators accountable when workers are poisoned, and routinely ignores community input in its rulemaking process. That’s according to the California Environmental Justice Alliance’s 2017 Environmental Justice Agency Assessment.
May 14 marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Palestine. Senior members of the Trump administration gathered for the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, sparking massive protests across Palestine. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into a crowd who gathered in Gaza, killing 58 and injuring 2,771. The following day, over 1,000 Palestine supporters showed up in San Francisco, San José, and Santa Cruz.
Wed May 16 2018
Kiilu Nyasha, Rest In Power
Kiilu Nyasha was loved and cherished around the world. She was a San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Kiilu, 78, passed away on April 10. A memorial service is being organized by Kiilu’s close family and friends for Sunday, May 20. Beloved friends, family, comrades, and admirers of Kiilu are welcome to a community gathering that celebrates Kiilu’s life and principled pursuit of liberation for all oppressed peoples.
Tue May 15 2018 (Updated 05/16/18)
California Communities Demand "Rent Control Now!"
Efforts to stabilize communities in California with with much needed rent control measures and just cause eviction protections are presently occurring in ten cities throughout California, including Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Ana, Sacramento, Pomona, Pasadena, National City, Long Beach, Inglewood, and Glendale. Big money is gearing up in opposition to the statewide effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
California lawmakers have introduced a measure that would alter the standard for when law enforcement officers can use deadly force. The Police Accountability and Community Protection Act (AB 931) would change the standard of firearm use from "reasonable use" to "necessary force." SB 1421 will give the public access to police records related to use-of-force investigations and complaints against officers for sexual assault or other serious job-related dishonesty.
Justice Teams Network launched on May 2 to build power against systemic State Violence in all its forms. The Network is a statewide coalition of rapid response organizations across the state of California that will mobilize communities to respond radically to state violence. The Network will focus heavily on legislation as well as a public information campaign around the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, the single largest obstacle to police accountability.
May 1, 2018, was a global day of action against Samsung as well as being International Workers Day. In the South Bay, Samsung protesters joined May Day demonstrators starting at Roosevelt Park in San José and marched to City Hall for a rally attended by members of local, national, and international unions, immigrant rights advocates, affordable housing activists, and Filipino justice campaigners, amongst others.
Park Advocate reports: The foliage in People's Park is thinner this year. Another tree is gone, and various bushes and shrubs have disappeared. UC Berkeley has further whittled away at the park, and a new press release states that development plans are to be revealed after this academic year ends. The University of California is well aware that as the 49th anniversary of People's Park has passed, eligibility for historical protection is right around the corner.
Agricultural pesticide use in California remains at a near-record high, according to data released by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. DPR's latest numbers paint a grim picture of the state’s continued reliance on vast quantities of agricultural pesticides — 209 million pounds in 2016. That’s the third highest since reporting began in 1990. The greatest burden continues to be borne by the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast.
Wed Apr 25 2018 (Updated 04/26/18)
Urban Shield As We Know It Ends After 2018
At the March 27 Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting, five-plus hours of discussion ended with a decision that Urban Shield as currently constituted would end after the 2018 war games and exposition. The vote left open-ended what Alameda County’s regional disaster preparedness activities would be in future years, but the Supervisors were decisive that it would not be the Urban Shield event, which began in 2007.
Sat Apr 21 2018 (Updated 04/23/18)
Governor Brown, Please Step Up
A broad coalition kicked off a campaign urging Governor Jerry Brown to stop the build-out of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure, keep oil and gas in the ground and take immediate action to protect those most vulnerable to climate change. If Brown doesn’t act, the groups say, the governor will lose their support for the global climate action summit that he will host five months from now in San Francisco.
Sat Apr 21 2018 (Updated 05/07/18)
Community Control Over Police Surveillance Spreads
Update: Oakland passes strongest community control of surveillance in the nation on May Day.

Davis and Berkeley have adopted the new law that mandates public transparency, vetted use policies, and annual reporting to protect human rights and reins in secret, unfettered surveillance by local law enforcement. Oakland is in the final stages of the adoption process. A California surveillance transparency law (SB 1186) passed through its first policy committee on April 5 at the State Senate Public Safety committee.
Thu Apr 19 2018 (Updated 05/01/18)
Hunger Strike Underway at Santa Clara County Jails
On April 15, Prisoners United of Silicon Valley started a peaceful protest to demand humane treatment in the jails. Their hunger strike is the third in two years to protest substandard jail conditions and a lack of opportunity to move out of isolation. Over 70% of Santa Clara County’s jail population are pretrial detainees, many of whom remain fighting their cases for five years or more because they can’t afford bail.
On April 13, the United States, together with its British and French allies, launched one hundred and five cruise missiles from sea and air striking three alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria.  Anti-war protesters CodePink Women for Peace responded immediately with actions the following day in front of the Pacific Heights homes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Later in the afternoon of April 14, an emergency demonstration at Market and Powell in San Francisco demanded an end to the bombings.
Mon Apr 16 2018 (Updated 04/17/18)
Science Supporters Gather in Oakland
On April 14, the second annual March for Science Bay Area included a walk around the Lake Merritt path, speakers, and live music. The sunny day event also featured information booths and hands-on demonstrations, speakers, live music and activities for children. Organizers explained they want robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.
Sun Apr 8 2018 (Updated 04/17/18)
Facebook CEO Faces Government/Public Scrutiny
When Facebook security tried to shut them down, protesters at the social media giant used their best delaying tactics and continued shouting and singing in front of the "Like" sign at the entrance of the corporate campus on April 5. Under pressure from lawmakers, the media, and the public, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress about Cambridge Analytica’s breach of Facebook data. Meawnwhile, buried in a company announcement, Facebook admitted that most of its 2 billion users have had their personal data scraped by "malicious actors."
05/26/18 California DPR Fails to Protect Vulnerable Communities from Pesticide Exposure frontpage | environment | health-housing | california | santa-cruz05/24/18 Northern California Solidarity with Massive Palestinian Protests on 70th Nakba Anniversary frontpage | antiwar | sf | international | palestine05/16/18 Memorial Service to Honor San Francisco Activist and Journalist Kiilu Nyasha frontpage | police | race | health-housing | womyn | media | arts | sf05/15/18 Rent Control & Eviction Protection Electoral Campaigns in Ten Cities, California Statewide frontpage | health-housing | central-valley | north-bay | california | government | santa-cruz05/07/18 Justice Teams Network to Focus on Rapid Response Work and Police Accountability Laws frontpage | police | race | health-housing | california | government05/07/18 Legislature Moves to Reign in Police Use of Force and Increase Transparency frontpage | police | race | california | government05/05/18 San José Activists Rally to Call Attention to Unsafe Work Conditions for Samsung Employees frontpage | health-housing | labor | global-justice | south-bay | international | immigrant05/03/18 Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin Backs UCB's Plan for Development on People's Park frontpage | environment | education | east-bay | california04/30/18 San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast Are Most Impacted by Agricultural Pesticides frontpage | environment | health-housing | labor | central-valley | california | santa-cruz04/25/18 Years of Community Pressure Lead to Victory Over Urban Shield Military Cop Convention frontpage | police | race | east-bay | california | us | government | immigrant04/21/18 750 Public Interest Groups Urge Halt to New Oil and Gas Projects in California frontpage | environment | health-housing | california