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Tue May 24 2016 (Updated 05/26/16)
SFPD Kills Again, Chief Suhr Forced to Resign Same Day
On the morning of May 19, Jessica Williams — a twenty-nine-year-old Black woman who might have been pregnant — was shot and killed by San Francisco police in the Bayview District. She was unarmed. Within a few hours of the killing, Mayor Ed Lee, announced that he was firing Suhr. Community pressure had been building to fire Suhr in response to his record as Chief. Later in the day, protesters rallied at City Hall before a large vigil was held at the site of her murder. On Friday, May 27, a rally and march will be held for Jessica Williams.
On Sunday, June 26 members of the Traditionalist Workers Party, Golden State Skinheads, Blood & Honor, National Socialist Movement and Ku Klux Klan are holding a rally at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Although it is shaping up to be the largest white power rally on the west coast in some time, antifascists are determined to shut them down.
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.
On two consecutive Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, farmworkers called for an international day of action to bring attention to the ongoing struggles in the berry fields in Washington State and San Quintin, Mexico. May 7 was initiated by Familias Unidas por la Justicia in Washington state, while Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democratico De Jornaleros Agricolas (SINDJA) farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico called for a global day of action on May 14. Demonstrations took place in many locations, including Mexico City; Burlington, WA; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and Eureka, Rohnert Park, Fairfield, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and San Diego, California.
Mon May 9 2016 (Updated 05/16/16)
Newcastle Coal Port Shut Down on Mother's Day
As part of the Global BreakFree mobilization, Australians blockaded Newcastle coal port on Mother's Day, May 8. The protest drew more than 2000 people to Horseshoe Beach, one of the largest climate protests against coal in the NSW regional city of Newcastle. Activists set sail in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes, sail boats, catamarans, and even surfboards to make a line across the harbour. More than 60 people were arrested.
Identity Europa, formerly known as the National Youth Front, is the youth wing of the Neo-Nazi American Freedom Party. The group, along with members of the National Policy Institute, held a rally on May 6 at the UC Berkeley campus with the full protection and cooperation of campus police. It was the largest open white power gathering in the Bay Area in some time and shows the degree in which the far-right is growing in the wake of Trump's campaign.
At 5am on April 12, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for a 17-month occupation. Two groups of activists – First They Came for the Homeless and Berkeley Post Office Defenders – had occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office continuously since late November, 2014.
On April 22, the Frisco Five set up camp in front of the Mission District police station and stopped eating solid foods to raise awareness of San Francisco police violence and racism. The sacrifice of the Frisco Five provided inspiration for numerous community actions since to press the single demand that Suhr be fired. All five are now hospitalized due to deteriorating health and the hunger strike has been officially suspended. A General Strike has been called in honor of the Frisco Five for Monday, May 9.
On Sunday, May 1, Joff Jones and Alex Skelton were arrested for defiantly displaying art "outside of a blue box" on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. This is their third arrest for displaying art in a public space but outside of small boxes since August of 2015. Jones and Skelton created a video with footage showing numerous Santa Cruz Police officers ticketing and arresting them for simply being "outside of a blue box" while displaying their art.
Thu May 5 2016 (Updated 05/06/16)
May Day in Northern California, 2016
International Workers' Day was first declared in the late 1800's to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and as a celebration of laborers and the working classes. Around the world on May 1, workers continue to unite to press demands in the streets through marches, rallies, and direct actions. In the United States, May Day is also a day to push for immigrant rights, especially since the massive "Gran Paro Americano" general strike and marches of 2006.
The California Apartment Association (CAA) has placed medical marijuana users in its crosshairs, including recreational marijuana users if voters approve marijuana for legalization in November. The CAA is sponsoring a bill (AB 2300) that allows landlords to prohibit renters from smoking medical marijuana in their apartments, and on April 26 the bill advanced to the Assembly floor. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) is the author of AB 2300.
On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
On April 28, 2016, the BART Board of Directors stopped, at least temporarily, a BART Police plan to install Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at MacArthur BART in Oakland – a pilot program to surveil all those entering and exiting the parking facilities. Alert members of the Oakland Privacy Working Group noticed the item buried on the BART Board’s agenda, and three OPWG members testified against the ALPR proposal going forward.
Protests against Donald Trump are heating up in California as the June 7 presidential primary approaches. On April 29, it was the Bay Area's turn. Trump was scheduled to speak on the opening day of the California Republican Convention in Burlingame. Protesters blocked streets and pushed through police barricades. Trump's motorcade was unable to reach the site and was forced to walk from Highway 101 through concrete barriers to reach the convention via a back entrance.
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
Tue May 3 2016 (Updated 05/04/16)
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day
As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll’s were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could.
Fri Apr 29 2016 (Updated 04/30/16)
New Fees to Be Charged to Subsidize Delta Tunnels
Attendees at the April 14 public meeting of the Santa Clara County Water Commission's Board of Directors in Gilroy were surprised to learn that a new fee will soon be added to their groundwater bills to support the Cal WaterFix, also known as the Delta Tunnels. Several users of small private residential water systems complained bitterly about the cost of the current groundwater charges on top of the cost of pumping and maintenance of their own wells.
On April 3, members of Watsonville Brown Berets (WBB) traveled to Salinas to attend the annual Cesar Chavez March and Rally presented by United Farm Workers (UFW). WBB were joined by members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent farmworker union in Burlington, Washington fighting for a union contract, and initiators of the boycott against Driscoll's. Although advocating for farmworkers' rights seems like it would be warmly welcomed by UFW, that was not the experience for WBB and FUJ members.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.
Tue Apr 12 2016 (Updated 05/08/16)
Housing State of Emergency Declared in Oakland
Oakland renters have been facing nearly 1,000 evictions per month. Rents have skyrocketed and the median rent is currently $3,000 per month. Housing activists have been pushing for a temporary freeze on evictions and rent hikes to protect tenants from the massive upheaval. On April 6, the Oakland City Council responded by voting unanimously to support a 90-day moratorium on rent increases, but failed to pass a temporary freeze on evictions.
Sun Apr 10 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
San Francisco Police Execute Homeless Man
On April 7, a homeless man, Jose Luis Gongora, allegedly brandishing a knife, was executed by SFPD. Surveillance camera video shows police cars rolling up, cops getting out and approaching Jose Luis off-camera. Police claimed they attempted to deescalate the situation, but the video shows two cops approaching Jose Luis with a shotgun pointed at him and shouting at him. The cop with the shotgun can be heard firing four "less lethal" bean-bag rounds at Jose Luis before at least one of the cops shoots and kills him. On April 9, SFPD raided a nearby tent encampment on Shotwell Street, knocking over objects with sticks, including several memorial candles that lined the front of Jose Luis' tent which is still at the scene.
Fri Apr 8 2016 (Updated 04/20/16)
26 Arrested at Drone War Base in Nevada
On April 1, at Creech AFB in Indian Springs, Nevada, morning traffic was diverted by dozens of peace and justice activists attempting to shut down the armed drone attack program through nonviolent civil resistance. Twelve peaceful resisters were arrested at the two main gates of Creech. Another six were arrested at the main East Gate while blocking the entrance with "crime scene" tape, referring to the criminal activity of weaponized drone terrorism conducted at Creech, killing thousands of non-combatants and civilians over the past decade.
The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiraled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares. The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.
Community activists working independently on separate ballot measures have come together under the umbrella of the Oakland Justice Coalition. Together, the three measures they propose would radically transform police accountability, renters' protections, and the minimum wage in Oakland. On March 24, Oakland Justice Coalition members made a formal announcement of their intentions in front of Oakland City Hall. The canvassing kickoff will be held on April 2.
A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Community Garden early Thursday morning, March 24, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Despite the loss of land, fruit trees, and nopales, the Beach Flats Gardeners are committed to making the best of the 2016 planting season.
The California Apartment Association (CAA) has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California in an effort to stop any and all renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists, and their supporters. The same day that Oakland tenant activists filed a ballot initiative to strengthen renter protections called the Renters Upgrade, the CAA announced that they were keeping an eye on things, and are coming up with their own plan to counter the tenants' movement efforts.
On March 23, the family of Freddy Centeno filed a lawsuit against the Fresno Police department alleging that officers Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero acted beyond the limits of their authority when they shot Freddy seven times on September 3, 2015. Freddy was unarmed, carrying a spray nozzle to a garden hose. The officers opened fire less than six seconds after they exited their cruiser. The shooting left Freddy in a coma for twenty-three days before he passed away.
After SFPD Chief's Resignation, It's Time for SF to Reaffirm that Black Lives Matter via ACLU of Northern California Thursday May 26th 8:09 PM
50 Anniversary of blockade of Napalm bombs shipped from Alviso, Ca. Gil Villagran, MSW Thursday May 26th 4:53 PM
Honoring the Life of Jessica Williams APTP (1 comment) Thursday May 26th 3:25 PM
Salinas Protest of Hillary Clinton AutumnSun Thursday May 26th 11:12 AM
Cabrillo College Foundation bankrolling Yes on Q campaign Bruce Holloway (1 comment) Thursday May 26th 9:57 AM
Oakland landlords offer ghetto location rentals for Rolls-Royce prices Lynda Carson (1 comment) Thursday May 26th 4:13 AM
Union officials suppress member support for BDS via Palestine Legal Wednesday May 25th 3:37 PM
California proposes government copyrights Indyradio/EFF Wednesday May 25th 2:35 PM
Shell Pipeline in Northern California Has History of Oil Spills, Documents Show Center for Biological Diversity (2 comments) Wednesday May 25th 11:44 AM
A Tribute to Our Friend, Photographer and Organizer Bob Fitch Josh Sonnenfeld, and Paul Ortiz (1 comment) Wednesday May 25th 8:03 AM
Deal Protects Santa Cruz Coastal Habitat, Accommodates Solar-powered Home Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday May 24th 1:06 PM
Mathews Council Crushes Handicraft Vendors; Freedom SleepOut #46 Soldiers On Robert Norse (4 comments) Tuesday May 24th 12:58 PM
Memorial Day Celebrations ~ Block 27 Stockton Rural Cemetery Khubaka, Michael Harris Tuesday May 24th 10:55 AM
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President Obama Asked to Stop U.S. Military Project That Threatens Endangered Dugong Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 26th 7:29 PM
Puerto Rico Debt Bill Heads for Full House Vote Greg Wednesday May 25th 10:55 AM
Who Owns the Sky? The Climate in the Globalization Trap C. Methmann, A. Haack and J. Eisgruber Tuesday May 24th 4:07 AM
US policy in Honduras must change IndyRadio (1 comment) Monday May 23rd 1:59 PM
The Nakba Files Adalah / CPS Saturday May 21st 2:37 PM
This Week in Palestine, May 20th, 2015 IMEMC Friday May 20th 11:57 PM
New UK Report Supports Strong Action on Antibiotics in Ag via Center for Food Safety Friday May 20th 3:37 PM
Africa Day 2016 ~ Expanding California-Pan African Trade and Commerce Khubaka, Michael Harris Friday May 20th 10:37 AM
wtul news talks with Steve Merlan of Books2 Prisoners wtul news Friday May 20th 7:31 AM
The Language of Neoliberalism Sebastian Friedrich (1 comment) Friday May 20th 5:58 AM
Africa Day 2016 at the California State Capitol featuring Roots Sunday khubaka, michael harris Friday May 20th 4:37 AM
House Passes Most Environmentally Destructive Defense Authorization Act in History Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 19th 5:20 PM
House Releases New Puerto Rico Debt Legislation Greg Thursday May 19th 1:52 PM
Class War 03/2016: IRAQ 1991 – Class war and bourgeois containment CLASS WAR (1 comment) Tuesday May 17th 8:49 AM
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Back to Trotskyism! Revolutionary regroupment with the League for the Fourth International League for the Fourth International Thursday May 26th 6:53 PM
The expenses of the poor Ted Rudow III, MA Thursday May 26th 4:23 PM
A Case Against Hillary Clinton, Candidate Of Endless War Populist180 Wednesday May 25th 11:02 AM
And Here’s Another Thing the Clinton’s Fucked Up. Lloyd Hart Wednesday May 25th 9:57 AM
Traditional whistleblower Ted Rudow III. MA Tuesday May 24th 3:36 PM
US drone killer-in-chief in Vietnam DLi Tuesday May 24th 4:16 AM
Made refugees Ted Rudow III, MA Sunday May 22nd 3:04 PM
Propaganda Countdown to WWIII: Armenians in the Crosshairs Joachim Hagopian Saturday May 21st 6:16 AM
US Encirclement of Russia Accelerates; 5/23/16 Voter Reg Deadline for 6/7/16 Election Register Peace & Freedom or Green Wednesday May 18th 9:10 PM
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