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On November 16, Forest Defenders in Humboldt County took to the trees on forestland owned by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), California's most massive clear cutter and largest landowner. They are defending old growth and mature trees on a timber plan very close to where they have been defending forests on Humboldt Redwood Company land. Activists are calling attention to corporate logging of large, fire-resistant trees, damage to water quality, and other destructive environmental impacts.
Sun Nov 18 2018 (Updated 11/19/18)
Dead Man Pulled from Culvert in Santa Cruz
Robert Norse writes: "On Saturday morning, I saw several police officers and a deputy examine what appeared to be a dead body behind a yellow "crime scene" tape at the edge of a culvert adjoining Highway 17 near the Plymouth/Highway 17 stoplight. I notice there was no mention of this in the Sentinel. It's quite possible the man died from hypothermia. The closure of the River St. campground as well as all the parks aggravates the situation for those outside."
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 11/19/18)
Fire Season of 2018 Brings Historic Devastation
California is anxiously awaiting the first winter rains, seeking a reprieve from the notoriously destructive "fire season" of 2018. In the Northern California Camp Fire, 76 people are reported dead and hundreds remain missing. The fire destroyed virtually the entire town of Paradise. Firefighter radio transmissions suggest that the PG&E could be to blame. In Southern California, the massive Woolsey Fire started on the grounds of Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of a partial nuclear meltdown, and area residents are concerned about the spread of contaminates. The Camp Fire, Woolsey, and other fires continue to burn, creating hazardous air quality throughout the state.
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Ringing a Bell for Peace
Veterans for Peace chapters across the nation gathered on street corners in major cities to commemorate the original Armistice Day by ringing bells 11 times at 11am on the eleventh day of November. In San José, Chapter 101 held a ceremony in front of City Hall. WWI ended on November 11th in 1918 and one year later the world came together in realization that war is so horrible it must end forever. That was the first Armistice Day; Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.
Sun Nov 4 2018 (Updated 11/08/18)
The Rent Is Too Damn High
UPDATE 11/8: While millions of ballots remain uncounted in California, it appears Prop 10 was defeated.

Grassroots activists have been campaigning hard for the Affordable Housing Act, a ballot initiative to repeal California’s Costa Hawkins state law and return control of rental housing law to local jurisdictions. Several localities have promised to act rapidly should Proposition 10 pass. But real estate interests have spent over $70 million to defeat Prop 10. Should it not pass on November 6, housing rights activists remain committed to pushing for rent control and other tenant protections locally and statewide in the future. Nationwide, a new movement has been inspired by California's efforts.
On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.
Over 200 activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), many wearing glowing paper animal masks, stopped traffic for more than 15 minutes at the busy intersection of Geary and Powell Streets in downtown San Francisco on October 27, chanting their message to raise awareness of the 150 million animals killed and used for food each year in San Francisco alone. DxE says the action was meant to bring the animals’ voices back to life, amplifying their cries for all of San Francisco to hear.
Despite a court-imposed restraining order, a week of protests animal rights activists dubbed "Occupy Whole Foods" proceeded as planned on September 23-29. On the final day, a mass vigil and sit-in was held inside an industrial shed at McCoy’s Poultry factory farm in Petaluma which supplies chicken to Amazon Fresh. Activists set up an emergency medical care tent and gave aid to the sick and starving animals they liberated. Fifty-eight people were arrested. On November 2, four of them were arraigned on a total of seven felony charges each.
Sun Oct 28 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Campground Crisis as Winter Approaches
The River Street campground in Santa Cruz is slated for dispersal at the end of November, breaking promises from city staff that it would last through the winter until April. The only option the city is offering in its place is a small night-time only shelter. Massive new fences were raised around San Lorenzo Park, Grant Street Park, and the downtown post office. In anticipation of the River Street campground closure, homeless activists are organizing to establish a community survival campground on Thursday, November 15.
Strikers on the picket lines at Marriott hotels in San Francisco, San José and Oakland are determined to fight poverty level wages and increased medical costs as they struggle to live in one of the most expensive areas in America. Bay Area laborers who have walked are joined by workers in Boston, Detroit, and the Hawaiian islands who are striking against the world’s most profitable hotel chain. On October 20, over 3,000 workers and supporters marched in San Francisco. Of 300 who protested in San José that day, a contingent stayed to drum and chant through the night, keeping awake the few hotel guests who crossed picket lines.
The opposition to Measure M has now raised over three quarters of a million dollars, which is being used to spread fear and misinformation about rent control. While most of this money comes from out of the area, real estate interests like the National Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association, local landlords in Santa Cruz are also part of the problem. In response, community members in support of tenants rights continue to demonstrate at the properties of slumlords, including a rally on October 11 at a building owned by Harry Dong.
Tue Oct 2 2018 (Updated 10/09/18)
Bay Area Cries Out: "We Believe Christine!'
The country was transfixed when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh on September 27. On the same day in Palo Alto, neighbors, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Ford rallied to her support. Actions in Berkeley, San Francisco, Mountain View, and San Mateo demonstrated the Bay Area's commitment to supporting victims of sexual assault and protested what they called Republican rape culture. A major demonstration in the nation's capital will be held with a sister rally in San Mateo on October 6.
Co-founders of Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) Analicia and Dexter Cube opened up for a candid, "on the fly" interview on September 12. Dexter answered questions about his past and his multiple brushes with the law, including being fined tens of thousands of dollars by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and losing his licence for defrauding financial clients. Analicia Cube, the self-described President of TBSC, questioned the "mental balance" of Measure M rent control supporters in Santa Cruz, and was defiant that TBSC was not involved with the Santa Mierda hate blog.
11/18/18 Camp Fire Smoke: A Constant Reminder Lives Are On the Line frontpage | environment | north-coast | california11/18/18 How Many More Homeless People Will Die This Winter? frontpage | police | health-housing | media | santa-cruz11/14/18 Celebrating Veterans Day in the Style of Original Armistice Day frontpage | antiwar | south-bay | international11/14/18 Investigators Looking into Role Played by PG&E and Southern California Edison in Fires frontpage | environment | health-housing | central-valley | california | santa-cruz11/04/18 California's Prop 10 Marks New Rebellion Against Greedy Landlords, Realtors and Developers frontpage | health-housing | sf | south-bay | east-bay | california | government | santa-cruz11/03/18 Denying Water, Sanitation, and Health Services Is Cruel and Inhuman Treatment frontpage | police | health-housing | sf | east-bay | california | international | government11/03/18 Four Activists Arraigned on Seven Felony Charges Each After Mass Arrest at Chicken Farm frontpage | north-bay | animalliberation11/03/18 San Francisco Demonstration Dramatized Animals Killed for Food “Haunting” the City frontpage | sf | animalliberation10/28/18 Community Survival Camp Forming in Santa Cruz frontpage | police | health-housing | government | santa-cruz10/23/18 In Bay Area, Marriott Employees in Oakland, SF and San José On Strike and Off the Job frontpage | labor | sf | south-bay | east-bay | us10/07/18 Tenants Rights Demonstrations Continue at Properties of Slumlords frontpage | health-housing | santa-cruz
Dead Man Pulled From Culvert at Plymouth and Highway 17 Robert Norse (5 comments) Sun Nov 18th 9:06am
19th Annual Emeryville Shellmound Prayer Gathering Save the West Berkeley Shellmound Sat Nov 17th 8:17pm
Rallies to End Yemen War at Rep Nancy Pelosi's Office Yemeni Alliance Committee, Action Corps Sat Nov 17th 7:13pm
Defend the Rent Freeze YES on M: SC for Rent Control Fri Nov 16th 11:21pm
The Movement is Only Getting Started YES on M: SC for Rent Control (1 comment) Fri Nov 16th 2:41pm
Community Survival Camp Established at Santa Cruz Post Office Alex Darocy (2 comments) Fri Nov 16th 2:23am
City of Santa Cruz Announces Park Closures Alex Darocy (3 comments) Thu Nov 15th 10:12pm
UCSC Students Initiate Petition to Close Campus Due to Poor Air Quality Santa Cruz News (2 comments) Thu Nov 15th 1:51pm
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California Fire Near Nuclear Accident Site John Mecklin, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientis Wed Nov 14th 9:55pm
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