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Thu Jan 4 2018 (Updated 01/18/18)
SCPD and Santa Cruz NAACP to Cosponsor MLK March
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Santa Cruz branch of the NAACP and the Santa Cruz Police Department are co-sponsoring an event titled "March for the Dream: Honoring the Past - Impacting the Future" on January 15. In an open letter to police chief Andy Mills, former city council candidate Steve Schnaar questions if SCPD's dream for a better society is really in line with the dream of King.
Thu Jan 4 2018 (Updated 02/07/18)
KPFA Radio at Risk
On January 8, Berkeley's KPFA radio may have its money and property seized by the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) because of a 1.8 million dollar debt accumulated by sister station WBAI in New York. At that point, KPFA's building and bank account may no longer be under their own control, potentially taking not only WBAI off the air, but the entire Pacifica Network which includes KPFA in Berkeley, KPFK in Los Angeles, KPFT in Houston, and WPFW in Washington D.C. The Pacifica National Board has yet to take decisive action to protect the assets of the foundation, leaving the future of the network uncertain. How aggressive ESRT will be regarding Pacifica's assets remains unknown.
On November 29, over a dozen climate justice activists protested Governor Jerry Brown’s speaking appearance at the Metreon in San Francisco as part of the New York Times ClimateTECH summit. They called out the hypocrisy of Brown claiming to be a “climate leader” while he promotes fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in the state. One of the organizers of the San Francisco protest was twenty-nine-year-old Daniel Gustavo Ilario of Castro Valley, who was in Bonn, Germany as a part of an indigenous delegation and was one of the protestors who interrupted Brown's speech. Ilario is a member of Idle No More San Francisco Bay, an indigenous-women-led climate justice organization.
Wed Dec 13 2017 (Updated 01/02/18)
National Day of Action in Defense of Net Neutrality
UPDATE: In sweeping act of deregulation, the FCC has voted to repeal Net Neutrality
Protests to save net neutrality burst upon the San Francisco Bay Area scene on December 7. The proposal at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to roll back Obama era rules would fundamentally change the internet by favoring carriers over internet content providers. In Palo Alto, a "March on Verizon" started in Lytton Plaza, where "Digital DNA", a sculpture inviting the viewer to question how technology can enslave us, is slated for removal because of its political message. Demonstrations on the national day of action targeted Verizon because FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verizon lawyer.
According to a report by the Urban Displacement Project of UC Berkeley, between 2013 and 2015 the pace of gentrification and displacement in Northern California accelerated most quickly in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods. Skyrocketing rents reveal the need for strong rent control and just cause eviction protections in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area. According to the New York Times, Oakland’s median rent during 2016 was among the highest in the nation, just short of the median rent in Manhattan. During August of 2017, the average market rate rent for a one bedroom unit was $2,400 per month in Oakland, but since then according to Zillow the current median rent in Oakland is up to $3,000 per month.
The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and other publications have touted Governor Jerry Brown and other state officials as the “resistance” to Donald Trump’s pro-oil industry policies in recent articles, but the reality on the ground is much different. In fact, the oil industry is the single largest corporate lobby in Sacramento — and dominates spending on lobbying every legislative session. Every bill opposed by the oil industry with the exception of one has failed to pass out of the Legislature over the past three years, due to the gusher of Big Oil lobbying money. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million.
On November 11, the Korea Peace Walk traveled 20 blocks along Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, pausing to rally at historic sites of the labor movement and Black Panther Party activism. The celebrated date activists chose originated as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. About 70 people marched for over two hours from from 23rd to 44th Street. At the final rally at Koryo Place, the center of a district of small Korean family owned businesses, pungmul (풍물) drummers pounded furiously. Pungmul drumming and dancing is rooted in Korea’s collective farming culture and has long been actively used in political protest there.
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