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Mon Oct 10 2022 (Updated 10/11/22)
Remembering "Real One" Tony Coleman
Born and raised in San Francisco, Tony Coleman led campaigns to get a killer SFPD cop fired and to resist Prop 21. Tony later made his mark in West Oakland supporting arts and community. Tony was a key organizer in the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement and founded One Fam and Bikes 4 Life. Tony passed away on September 23 after battling cancer. Hear him in his own words in video and audio in a collection of posts on Indybay.
On August 27, anti-LGBTQ+ bigots, Proud Boys, and other white nationalists held a Straight Pride rally in the Central Valley town of Modesto, California. After announcing their rally location weeks ahead of time, only thirty alt-righters showed up at the Planned Parenthood location. There they faced about two hundred reproductive justice and LGBTQ-rights supporters who shouted down the small group of right-wing extremists.
In February, the OUSD board voted to close ten schools. On May 25, families decided to do something about it. After graduation ceremonies, they occupied Parker Elementary. They created the Parker Community School on the premises, offering a variety of classes for local students throughout the summer. On August 4, OUSD sent a team of private security guards into the school. Several community members were assaulted. Despite the attack, the occupation has continued.
An abortion rights protester was removed from a Golden State Warriors championship game for attempting to display a banner that read, "Overturn Roe? Hell No." Kareim McKnight was strapped to a gurney and handcuffed, then injected with a drug called Versed by an EMT with the SFFD. In response, she has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco for violating her Fourth Amendment right to control her own body.
On July 29, UC Berkeley's plan to tear down People's Park and construct a 12-story building in its place was approved by the courts. After midnight on August 3, police moved in to push folks out of the park, making way for bulldozers and other equipment. As a growing crowd of protesters fought to save the park, police withdrew and new fencing was torn down. Protesters then began to rebuild, using logs and barriers left behind as baracades to prevent further construction.
Sun Jul 3 2022 (Updated 07/12/22)
City of Santa Cruz Vehicles Torched
Multiple city vehicles were set on fire and destroyed at a maintenance yard at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz on June 2. Graffiti left at the scene read, "Leave Homeless Alone!!" and "Stop Sweeping!" City officials have estimated the damage to be approximately $300,000. The vehicles were destroyed in advance of the impending mass eviction at the San Lorenzo Park Benchlands homeless encampment, which the City of Santa Cruz had announced would begin in July.
Tue May 31 2022 (Updated 06/02/22)
America: Civilian Gun Massacre Capital of the World
Outrage swelled after two of the latest mass casualty shootings, one at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, and another at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Ten were killed in Buffalo, mostly African American elders, and twenty-one in Uvalde, nineteen small children and two teachers. Both shooters were only 18 years old when they bought the assault-style weapons used in the attacks. On June 11, Bay Area cities will protest on a national day of action against gun violence.
International Human Rights Day was marked on December 10 by a diverse protest at San Francisco's Federal Building, calling out worldwide crimes against humanity. Countries and policies targeted were the US-supported Saudi war in Yemen, fascists in Myanmar, Israeli colonization of Palestine, attacks against the free press, police brutality, and the US Supreme Court's attack on women. Protesters later marched to a second rally at Powell and Market Streets.
Indigenous-led organizations and communities across California are monitoring very closely the killing of Gerardo Chavez Martinez in Salinas by the Salinas Police Department. Gerardo was an Indigenous Zapotec youth who did not speak English and had limited understanding of Spanish. When police were called to Gerardo’s home on July 16, he did not understand the commands to come out and to raise his arms. Gerardo was shot three times and murdered by police officer Mario Reyes of the Salinas Police Department.
Unhoused residents and liveaboard mariners of the Bay Area and the state of California converged on Caltrans headquarters on June 22 to demand District 4 director Dina El-Tawansy cease and desist from displacing people living on Caltrans land, as well as people living anchored out on Richardson Bay in Marin. Speakers and musicians elevated the voices of the unhoused at the press conference. A reenactment depicted evictions happening to thousands of unhoused and anchor-out folks throughout California.
Tue Jul 27 2021 (Updated 07/31/21)
Resistance at Sausalito Camp Eviction
On June 29, the city of Sausalito cracked down with force on an encampment near Dunphy Park. Occupants joined by housing activists formed a line of resistance and shouted their demand to see a warrant. It was a tense stand-off that followed months of contention and a legal battle. Resistors fought bravely but were told their new home would have to be an area that is muddy and close to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ debris yard, where boats are taken from the water for destruction.
On May 25, Bay Area activists held a range of actions to mark the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death and the subsequent global uprisings against racial injustice and police brutality. In Oakland, the Anti Police-Terror Project and the Defund Police Coalition held a press conference calling on City Council members to follow through on their agreement to defund the Oakland Police Department and reinvest in community services. In Mill Valley, demonstrators laid tributes of flowers and candles in the downtown plaza.
Before dawn on March 5, the houses of six University of California, Berkeley, officials were struck with graffiti and vandalism. On April 16, another action "repainted" houses believed to be owned by members of the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board. On May 2, nine Sullivan Management Company properties were similarly targeted, following a May Day direct action that reclaimed a long-vacant SMC property. On May 7, Oakland police vehicles were damaged.
Wed Mar 24 2021 (Updated 03/31/21)
After Health Scare, Call Remains to Free Abu-Jamal
As Mumia Abu-Jamal has aged behind bars, inadequate medical care has led to several scares when his health deteriorated rapidly. In February, Mumia believed he was infected with COVID-19 and suffering skin lesions. After public pressure, authorities transferred Mumia to a hospital for emergency treatment. He was diagnosed with coronavirus. While Mumia's health remains a concern, he is stable now and has been returned to general population. Reopened legal appeals are currently being litigated.
There were at least 527 evictions in the Bay Area from the start of the statewide coronavirus lockdown on March 19 through the end of December. On January 27, over 100 tenants and advocates blocked eviction hearings at the Santa Clara County Superior Court, protesting the displacement of renters during the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters blocking the courthouse entrance shut down the court before being violently removed by Sheriff’s Deputies. Nine protesters were arrested on the charge of disrupting court operations.
On January 24, Voices of VV held a mutual aid event in Vacaville. Afterward, one person was pulled over by team of police officers. Nine people arrived soon after to record and cop watch. More police arrived in riot gear and heavily armed with wooden batons in hand and others with guns. The officers declared six observers standing and recording to be an “unlawful assembly.” The founder of Voices of VV, a Black woman, was specifically targeted for arrest. Vacaville Police confiscated phones and has yet to return them.
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