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Fri Aug 25 2017 (Updated 10/03/17)
ICE Raids Home in West Oakland with OPD Assist
On the morning of August 16, a convoy of unmarked federal vehicles rolled up in West Oakland and a dozen or more agents jumped out, demanding entry into a Latina home. The agents only identified themselves as a "special unit" and said that they were investigating a family-owned cleaning business. After handcuffing and detaining the family for over four hours, the agents quickly left, but two residents were removed, one over immigration-related issues. Oakland police issued a press statement slandering the family, falsely claiming the raid was related to child sex trafficking. One man remains in ICE custody.
Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to remove the prison slavery clause from the 13th Amendment, thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities on August 19 to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. At the main march in Washington, D.C., a speaker from Leonard Pelitier's support committee read Leonard's statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. In San José, about 200 people marched to the county jail for a rally with speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd. Every year for decades Black radical prisoners and liberationists have identified August as a month for organized resistance and commemoration.
Right-wing protest organizer Jack Posobiec cited “credible alt-left terrorist threats” as the reason for postponing an extreme right march at Google headquarters in Mountain View scheduled for August 19. Cause célèbre for the extreme right, former Google software engineer James Damore inspired the protest when he was fired for penning an internal memo in which he argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences. Despite the postponement of the alt-right demo, demonstrators carried on with a counter protest on August 19.
The California Superior Court has ruled that Monterey County’s contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to kill predators and other native wildlife violates state law. The decision responds to a lawsuit filed by animal protection and conservation organizations. The court concluded that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by failing to analyze the environmental impacts before renewing the controversial program, which has shot, trapped and snared thousands of animals in the county in recent years.
Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists. A ban can’t come soon enough for residents of California’s farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children.
Thu Aug 17 2017 (Updated 08/18/17)
Alameda Sheriff Retweets and Follows Nazi Accounts
On the night of August 14, the official Twitter account of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office retweeted a video of a press conference organized by Richard Spencer, the icon of the white supremacist “alt-right” movement. The retweet dubbed the press conference with a “Unite the Right” hashtag — the same slogan that white supremacist groups used to mobilize people to Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the tragic murder of an anti-racist demonstrator by a white supremacist. A protest was held at the Sheriff’s Office in Oakland on August 16. Community members condemned not just the retweet, but the ongoing racism and violence of the Sheriff’s Office.
Eric Clanton writes: I’m currently facing years of prison time as the result of accusations made in the most shockingly hateful parts of the internet. On April 19, I began being targeted by a dedicated swarm of internet trolls known for spewing racism, xenophobia, and misogyny onto the web. Suddenly a hit piece by Milo Yiannopolis caused the targeting to go viral. Several old social media photos were posted, online accounts hacked, addresses published, hundred of calls to my employers, and countless threats of physical violence made against me, my coworkers, friends and many others. This harassment campaign is where the accusations against me originated.
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