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On January 5, two environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its failure to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety first petitioned for the monarch’s protection in August 2014, following a more than 80 percent decline in the butterfly’s population over the past two decades.
Tue Jan 5 2016 (Updated 01/06/16)
Black Xmas Action Blocks Highway 101 at SFO
Black Lives Matter Bay Area held a local demonstration in solidarity with Black Xmas actions across the country on December 23. Nine activists blocked the San Francisco International Airport exit at Highway 101 until they were arrested by the California Highway Patrol. All of those arrested were released from jail later that evening. Black Lives Matter writes, "Whether cisgendered, trans, or queer; women or men, elders or children – our Black families refuse to live trapped between poverty and police state violence."
On October 22, Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Adriene Ludd. Now, over two months later, the Sheriff refuses to release the incident report and the dash-cam footage and the community is demanding answers. Micaela Davis of the ACLU of Northern California writes, "Friends, family, and neighbors of Mr. Ludd deserve the full story on this tragedy."
Tue Jan 5 2016 (Updated 01/06/16)
Seventh Anniversary Vigil Remembers Oscar Grant
On January 1, family and friends marked the seventh anniversary of the police murder of Oscar Grant at the Oakland BART station where his death sparked a justice movement that has caught fire nationally in recent years. About 125 people attended the afternoon vigil at Fruitvale BART Station to hear words from family, faith leaders and activists, and poetry and song in memory of Grant and Black youth lost to violence.
Mon Jan 4 2016 (Updated 01/05/16)
Freedom SleepOut #26 Seeks Shelter
Since July 4, community members in Santa Cruz have been sleeping one night a week at Santa Cruz City Hall to protest laws that criminalize sleeping in public places. Facing temperatures below the freezing mark, a small group of activists stayed the night for their twenty-fifth community sleepout at Santa Cruz City Hall on December 29. The next sleepout was planned for Tuesday, January 5.
Steve Schnaar writes: Santa Cruz City Council member Cynthia Chase, elected with a lot of progressive support based on her years of excellent work supporting women transitioning out of prison, has voted for some of the worst anti-homeless decisions to come out of the council recently. However when asked about the contradiction between her past progressive positions and these votes, she refuses to engage or explain herself.
Wed Dec 30 2015 (Updated 01/01/16)
Victory for the Black Friday 14
On Black Friday 2014, following the grand jury announcement it would not recommend indicting police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, fourteen Black activists chained themselves together on a BART transit platform “to prevent trains from moving at the West Oakland station, in response to the seemingly unending war against Black communities.” District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and BART pursued criminal charges and originally $70,000 in restitution. Now, after a year-long campaign by the Black Friday 14 and a broad coalition of allies, the DA has dropped all the charges.
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