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Sat Feb 29 2020For Wildcat Strikers at UCSC, There's No Turning Back
At least eighty-two graduate student teaching assistants at UC Santa Cruz withheld Fall grades in protest of low pay. As of February 28, they are out of a job next quarter. Fifty-four who had already received Spring appointments were dismissed by the university in retaliation for the strike, and the rest simply won't get hired. But the movement has declared that the fight isn't over, and "Together, we win!" More teaching assistants will withhold Winter grades, and over 542 graduate students have pledged to refuse teaching assistant positions vacated by dismissed graduates. Graduate students are calling for the cancellation of classes on Monday, March 2, and for everyone to join them on the picket line for a press conference.
Fri Feb 28 2020Protesters Tell Wells Fargo "Quit the Dirty Energy Business"
In a two-day action, demonstrators called on Big Oil’s largest lender, Wells Fargo, to halt its financing of fossil fuels and invest instead in clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. They took their protests to bank branches in San Jose and Mountain View. On February 20 in San Jose, about twenty demonstrators marched into the Wells Fargo branch. They quickly deployed banners and signs throughout the bank’s customer area, then sang and chanted the message that Wells Fargo’s $172 billion a year financial support of the fossil fuel industry is destroying our environment. The following day, protesters targeted a Mountain View branch.
Thu Feb 27 2020 (Updated 02/29/20)Corruption in the Fresno Police Department Runs Deep
Mike Rhodes reports: My first history lesson about Fresno’s corrupt underbelly was in the late 1990s when I read Mark Arax’s book "In My Father’s Name." It is a great book about Arax’s search for the killer of his father, which dives deep into Fresno’s interesting but corrupt past. Arax, writing for the Los Angeles Times, quoted Larry Miller, a retired federal agent who busted numerous Fresno bookies with connections to the Fresno Police Department in the 1960s. “It was a rotten town with a rotten police force and the citizens didn’t mind. Their indifference was practically suffocating.”
Thu Feb 27 2020 (Updated 02/29/20)Saranap Development Will Destroy Old-Growth Oak Trees
On February 25, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors doomed an old-growth grove of oak trees, and an easement trail, by deciding in favor of real estate moguls Tambri Heyden and David Montalbo. Despite opposition, the developers have been given the green light to proceed in the unincorporated community of Saranap, located between Lafayette and Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County. In their way stands a grove of old-growth oak trees. Also, at issue is the possibility of Indigenous remains and cultural artifacts on the site. However, it is not too late to stop the construction if people act up and speak out.
Mon Feb 24 2020 (Updated 02/25/20)Campaign to Protect Juristac Gains Support of Santa Cruz City Council
On February 11, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the efforts of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to preserve Juristac as open space in perpetuity and to regain access to their cultural and spiritual sites at Juristac. The Council action was in response to the proposal by the Debt Acquisition Company of America to develop on the sacred territories of the Amah Mutsun community. The proposed Sargent Quarry Project seeks to impact 320 acres of this land by developing a 14-acre processing plant, 200-foot open pit quarry site, a 1.6 mile long conveyor belt, and a 30 foot wide access road.
Mon Feb 24 2020 (Updated 02/25/20)Unhoused Man Pummeled by Fresno Cops
On February 24, a report emerged about officers from Fresno Police Department's Homeless Task Force assaulting a homeless man who they were attempting to evict from an encampment. The brutalization happened in Fresno on February 21 at a homeless encampment near West Avenue and Freeway 180. As David — the homeless person in the photo — was attempting to say "my advocate is on her way," he was thrown to the ground. After the Sargent slammed him to the ground, David was punched and all he could remember was getting hit multiple times and kicked in the head by all four officers.
Thu Feb 20 2020 (Updated 02/21/20)Causa Justa :: Just Cause Marks 20 Years of Struggle
It was 20 years ago that the Coalition for Just Cause in Oakland was formed, holding their first meeting on January 29, 2000, in the basement of the downtown Oakland Public Library. An original flyer from that meeting urged people to join the “Just Cause Coalition” in putting just cause eviction protections on the November 2000 ballot. The meeting offered a lot of hope to the coalition of members and tenants that united to protect Oakland renters from greedy landlords and the notorious “eviction for profit” system that was rampant with no-cause evictions.
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