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Margot Goldstein and Rachel Lederman write: Our community institutions should create venues for genuine discussions about how to confront oppression. Manny’s does not accomplish the goal of “civic discourse” on social justice because it contributes to racist gentrification and supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The boycott of Manny’s is the community standing up to Yekutiel’s opportunistic attempt to exploit social justice for profit while perpetuating and supporting the destructive politics of gentrification and Zionism.
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)
Governor Newsom Suspends Death Penalty in California
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order on March 13 putting a moratorium on California's death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, which they narrowly rejected at the ballot in 2016. Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state's execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.
U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning was imprisoned from 2010 to 2017 for the leak. President Obama commuted her sentence before he left office.
A coalition of local and community groups hosted a town hall in the East Bay town of Rodeo on March 7, drawing over 150 people to discuss the risks of a proposal by Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands. The tar sands expansion proposal would impact local health and the climate by increasing refinery emissions and worsening air quality for nearby communities while also increasing tanker traffic and the risk of a devastating oil spill in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thu Mar 14 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)
San Francisco Bay Area Says Hands Off Venezuela
Venezuela has been in the crosshairs of the U.S. since 1999 when Hugo Chávez began implementing socialist reforms. Upon Chávez's death in 2013, Nicolás Maduro was elected President. Maduro's second inauguration was on January 10, 2019. On January 22, U.S. Vice President Pence offered Juan Guaidó the presidency of Venezuela and Guaidó then appointed himself "Interim President." Trump recognized the self-appointment, in effect instigating a coup against the Bolivarian government. Several protests and marches have been held in the Bay Area to demand the U.S. take its "Hands Off Venezuela." On March 16, thousands marched in D.C.
On March 18, climate activists targeted the nation's fourth largest bank for protest, just in time to crash its annual founding day celebration. They seized the entire block of California Street between Montgomery and Sansome for three hours, shutting down a major entrance at Wells Fargo headquarters during that time. The action was the culmination of the March for Fossil Fuel Freedom that started in Palo Alto days earlier, a trek of hundreds forming a human billboard to demand Wells Fargo stop funding the fossil-fuel industry.
On Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm, the Santa Cruz City Council will decide how to proceed on the establishment of transitional homeless encampments and safe parking locations within the city. Despite the giant presence of anti-homeless community members at the previous meeting on February 26, council members voted to remove the closure date of the Heroes Camp, a large homeless encampment between Highway 1 and Gateway Plaza, until more shelter options are made available to its residents.
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