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On June 19, Bay Area community groups CodePink, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Occupy SF Action Council, Anti Police-Terror Project, Jewitch Camp, the Green Party, and World Can’t Wait gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco to protest the presence of police chiefs from around the country during San Francisco’s Conference for Mayors. Many events were planned during the 4-day conference and protests were held at all of them.
The six UCSC students charged in association with the March 3 blockade of Highway 17, where it meets Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, will be back in court on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30. On June 29 at 10:00am, there will be a hearing in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to finalize their sentence, and on June 30 at 1:30pm there will be a restitution hearing. The students are calling for court support.
Environmental groups petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect the Humboldt marten under the California Endangered Species Act. The Humboldt marten is a cat-sized carnivore related to minks and otters that lives in old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon. Most of the marten’s forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, and the remaining martens in California likely number fewer than 100 individuals.
The Homeless Services Center announced in June that due to the withdrawal of State administered federal emergency funds, they were laying off workers and a large portion of the services they offer would most likely be eliminated if alternative funding was not found. Shortly after the announcement, the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released a new report titled: Recipe for Failure: Shrinking Budgets and Increasing Needs for Emergency Homeless Shelters.
On June 18, Jose Velasco filed a legal claim for damages against the City of Salinas and the Salinas Police Department for the injuries he suffered after officers with the SPD violently arrested him on June 5. The claim alleges, "assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring," on the part of the city and the police department.
The farm worker movement mourns the passing on June 7, 2015, of Rev. Deacon Sal Alvarez, who played a key role with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the farm worker movement and on behalf of many other worthy causes over seven decades. Sal was motivated by deep faith in a movement grounded in the Catholic Church’s social justice teachings and dedication to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Local residents rallied in Santa Cruz on June 14 to oppose the Catholic Church's plans to canonize Junipero Serra this September, which was approved by Pope Francis. Serra presided over the brutal California mission system during its founding in the 18th century. The purpose of the rally was to educate the public about the Native American lives that were lost at the missions and the torturous conditions that were imposed there, as well as to encourage community members to contact Priests and other religious and spiritual leaders, including the Pope.
Demouria Hogg, a 30-year-old father of three, was killed by Oakland police on June 6 at the intersection of Lakeshore and Lake Park avenues in Oakland. Mr. Hogg was asleep, or unconscious, in his car at the intersections when paramedics were called, but when they arrived and saw a gun on the passenger seat, they called the police instead of helping. OPD tried to wake Mr. Hogg up for about 1.5 hours, and ultimately shot and killed him within 1 minute of "making contact" with him.
Community members in Santa Cruz gathered at the Town Clock on June 14 to rally and share information about climate change in order to encourage individuals to take the Climate Mobilization pledge, which demands a "WWII scale" effort by society to create a 100% clean energy economy by 2025.
A video was posted online that shows a group of five officers with the Salinas Police Department violently hitting a man they have pinned to the ground during an arrest on North Main Street on June 5. Even though the man is on the ground and not moving, officers can still be seen hitting him with clubs. A YouTube user by the name of Richard Boxing uploaded the video with the title, "Salinas Police Wrong."
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence took the lead in organizing a protest held in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California on June 1. Sister Roma said that it's time Mark Zuckerberg realized that identity is fluid. She and about 100 others traveled from San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area to Silicon Valley to demand that the social media company remove the fake-name reporting option and stop asking users for government IDs.
On June 1 the Lecturer's labor contract at UC Santa Cruz expired, and union members with American Federation of Teachers Local 2199 and their supporters marked the day by picketing — and picnicking — at the base of campus. Messages in support of adjunct-faculty members and a more democratized University of California system were displayed as individuals held several large, colorful puppets. Food was served, and the day-long event was dubbed "St. Precaria's Picnic."
The outrage over the bottling of California water by Nestlé, Walmart and other big corporations during a record drought has grown over the past couple of months. On May 20, people from across the state converged on two Nestlé bottling plants — one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles — demanding that the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation halt its bottling operations. The protest was the third in Sacramento over the past year.
The animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) held their May Day of action in downtown San Francisco on May 23. The activists traveled from cities in the U.S., Canada, and even Denmark, to once again bring their “It’s Not Food It’s Violence” campaign to the streets of San Francisco. Approximately 100 activists took the message to a Whole Foods Store in downtown SF, to a food court inside the Westfield shopping center, and to Union Square.
On May 24, the 35th anniversary of Food Not Bombs was marked with a six hour party in Santa Cruz. Those needing nourishment were greeted with live music and an especially celebratory atmosphere, in addition to free food, a free market, and a variety of other free services. By combining social and environmental justice activism, nonviolent direct action, and a philosophy that emphasizes sharing over charity, Food Not Bombs has differentiated itself from other global organizations that distribute food to the hungry.
After seven years of stagnant wages, city workers who have been economically shut out of Santa Cruz marched from the Town Clock to City Hall on May 26 to hand-deliver a letter from the community to the City Council, demanding a response to the need for a living wage, affordable housing and community investment for all. Seven demonstrators were arrested after they stood before the podium and locked arms, and then refused to leave Council Chambers.
On May 23, families and loved ones of people in solitary confinement, and advocates from community organizations, held the third Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California. In Santa Cruz, about 25 people rallied at the entrance to the Municipal Wharf, where locals and tourists found two large banners, storyboards exposing the realities of solitary confinement, signs, and educational literature about solitary confinement in Santa Cruz and California.
A local citizen first reported an oil spill coming from a leak in the pipeline at Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara at around noon on May 19. Coast Guard crews stopped the oil leak by 3 p.m., but as much as 105,000 gallons were released, with tens of thousands of gallons going into the ocean. The company that owns the pipeline involved in the spill has had 175 incidents (mostly oil spills) nationwide since 2006, including 11 in California, according to a Center for Biological Diversity analysis of federal documents.
The first successful Santa Cruz County referendum in 13 years has suspended an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation. The ban was adopted on April 14, and was to go into effect on May 15. Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz circulated the referendum and after only 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county. 7,248 valid signatures are required to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer announced just two months ago that glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto's pesticide RoundUp, is probably carcinogenic to humans. The time was ripe to demand a ban on the herbicide with protests internationally on May 23. In San Francisco, many demonstrators dressed as bees and butterflies, while others portrayed mutated evil Monsanto managers.
Community members in East Salinas held a vigil on May 9 to mark the day 26-year-old Osmar Hernandez was killed by Salinas Police in 2014. Osmar's family members were in attendance; Maria Guardado-Hernandez spoke, and Asuncion Guardado stood by solemnly while holding a lit votive candle. Also in attendance were the family members of two other men killed by Salinas Police in 2014, Frank Alvarado and Angel Ruiz.
On May 8, approximately 300 people took over San Francisco City Hall to deliver their messages about the untenable evictions that are now occurring in the City. There has been a 54.7% increase in evictions this year, with over 2,000 units evicted thus far in 2015. The protest included an ethnic ritual, chants, testimonials by victims of the evictions, and a walk around San Francisco City Hall’s political chambers to deliver their messages personally to the Supervisors and Mayor.
On May 5, Black.Seed, Asians4BlackLives, and allies shut down the Oakland City Council and held a People's City Council against a proposed development on East 12th Street. The development, up for a vote at that evening's city council meeting, includes no affordable housing and links to the larger wave of displacement being felt throughout Oakland and the Bay Area. The activists stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, linking gentrification to increased policing, and criminalization of Black and Brown people.
On May 2, Native American community members and Interfaith supporters, including clergy leaders, demonstrated outside of Mission Dolores in San Francisco to oppose the impending canonization of Junipero Serra by the Catholic church. Pope Francis has reaffirmed his decision to name Junipero Serra a saint, despite strong opposition from Native Americans who say the man is responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people when he helped to establish and then presided over the California mission system in the 1700s.
Students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Stevenson Coffee House for a short period of time on April 27 to expose a person they say is a known rapist who is presently employed at the business. The small cafe, which is privately owned and operated under a lease with the university, is located within Stevenson College on the east side of the UCSC campus.
All around the world May Day has been a day for labor solidarity, immigrant rights, direct action, reclaiming the streets, and speaking out against injustice. May Day 2015 in the Northern California was a busy day for actions from San Francisco and Oakland to San Jose and Mountain View to Santa Cruz and Fresno. Call-outs went out for rallies, marches, flying pickets, the shutdown of the Port of Oakland, a tech commute blockade, and an anti-capitalist/Baltimore solidarity march.
On April 12, the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), in conjunction with Yuvette Henderson’s family, held a vigil and caravan in the name of Yuvette, killed with an AR-15 by Emeryville police. Numerous other demonstrations have been held to demand justice for Yuvette as well. On April 21st, the Oakland police department conceded to community pressure and allowed the brother and sister of Yuvette to view the videos leading up to her murder, which is rare after a police killing, but her family was told that the two most critical events of the day were not available for review.
A group of about 100 homeless people and their supporters attended the Tulare City Council meeting on April 21 calling for specific changes in public policy. The group, which delivered a petition signed by over 1,000 residents, called for improvements in the way homeless people are treated by the police, a safe place to sleep and equal rights. The Union of Hope in Tulare filled the City Council chambers with an overflow crowd.

06/24/15 UC Santa Cruz Students Who Blocked Highway Call for Court Support     education | santacruz
06/24/15 Multiple Demonstrations at US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco     government
06/22/15 Family Seeks Justice After Beating by Salinas Police is Captured on Video     police | santacruz
06/22/15 Santa Cruz Grand Jury Report Details Increasing Need for Emergency Homeless Shelters     poverty | santacruz
06/22/15 Alvarez Organized Latino Social Workers, Fought for Immigration Reform     labor | california
06/22/15 Marten’s Decline Attributed to Destruction of Old-Growth Forest Habitat by Logging     environment | northcoast
06/18/15 Vigil Blocks Intersection for Two Hours to Signify Length of OPD Siege that Led to Killing     police
06/18/15 Santa Cruz Takes the Pledge to Mobilize at the Climate Mobilization Rally     environment | santacruz
06/18/15 Demonstrators Say Serra used Kidnapping, Slavery to Forward "Radical Evangelical Movement"     race | santacruz
06/07/15 Police Officers Violently Arrest Man in the Middle of North Main Street in Salinas     police | santacruz
06/04/15 Contingent Faculty Members Teach Over Half of the UC's Undergraduate Credit Hours     education | santacruz
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