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On September 4, five young activists from the city of Antioch and a former resident of the Mission District of San Francisco began a hunger strike with demands for local authorities to end racial injustice and police brutality. Despite ongoing protests, a petition signed by thousands, hundreds of public comments at City Council meetings, protests and an occupation of City Hall by several dozen activists, the Mayor, the Chief of Antioch Police, and council members have neither acknowledged nor taken action on protesters’ demands.
Citing a pattern of consistent stonewalling, investigative journalists have taken the Oakland Police Department to court to force it to comply with state public records laws. Two petitions brought in Alameda County Superior Court claim the department routinely ignores public records requests, professing a commitment to transparency even as thousands of open Public Records Act requests languish in their system. One petition claims the department offers only an automatic response to thousands of requests — if it replies at all.
On September 3, several hundred students gathered in front of the entrance to Mission High School for a "Defund the San Francisco Police" action. They showed up to demand that resources currently allocated to police be distributed back to the community for better schools and better mental health care services. Speakers honored survivors of police violence by calling for a recitation of names and said that that the Board of Supervisors needs to make more drastic cuts to the police budget than the relatively small measures currently proposed.
Sun Sep 6 2020 (Updated 09/14/20)
Resistance to Racist Cops in Tiburon
On August 21, Tiburon cops questioned the owners of Yema, a store on Main St. The officers insisted the merchant, who is Black, show proof that he really did belong inside the store he owns. One week later, 500 protesters marched to the police station in solidarity with the store owner and called for an end to racial profiling. Yema Khalif said he was working late when officers came to the door of his athletic store and assumed he, his co-owner, and a friend who are also Black, did not belong in the store.
Fri Sep 4 2020 (Updated 09/05/20)
Defunding Towards a New Vision of Health and Safety
The police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and too many more, have mobilized unprecedented numbers of people to take to the streets and declare that Black Lives Matter. Black people are 300% more likely to be killed at the hands of police than white people. Black people have been 28% of those killed by police since 2013 despite being only 13% of the population. A central feature of the current uprisings is the call to defund police departments, a demand also taking root in Santa Cruz.
Tue Sep 1 2020
Undam the Klamath River
Four dams on the Klamath River have had devastating consequences for the environment, imperiled salmon, river communities and tribal people who have subsisted from salmon since time immemorial. For over 20 years stakeholders have worked together in an agreement that would remove the dams and restore the Klamath River in what would be the largest river restoration project in history. Most experts view dam removal as the lynchpin for solving the water crisis that plagues the drought-prone Klamath Basin.
On August 28, tribal members and local residents protested outside the Mendocino Forest Products (MFP) wood pellet plant in Calpella, near Ukiah, calling for suspension of the plant’s operations during the Covid pandemic, now compounded by recent fires and extremely poor air quality. Organizers say the protest is needed to bring attention to demands for public transparency on air pollution and fire safety issues presented by the plant’s operations to date and especially under present conditions.
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