Fri Jan 4 2019 (Updated 01/13/19)A Celebration of the Justice for Oscar Grant Protesters
January 1, 2019, marked ten years since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. A number of news pieces have been produced to commemorate the anniversary, but it's rare to see significant tribute paid to the fact that were it not for efforts of protesters and activists, Oscar Grant would have received little to no justice. Thousands of people raised their voices for justice for Oscar Grant.
Sat Dec 29 2018 (Updated 01/13/19)People's Park Is Under Assault
A video captured on December 21 shows UCPD officer Sean Aranas violently assaulting someone hanging out in People's Park. Aranas pulls him up and throws him to the ground. UC Berkeley has long wanted to develop the park and deny public use. The university has been whittling away at the foliage and, on the morning of December 28, forty-one trees were destroyed. The unannounced predawn timing was apparently calculated to avoid protests. A vigil was held on December 29 in response.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office had drones on the scene for many high-profile protests in Berkeley and on the University of California Berkeley campus throughout 2017, at the request of the Berkeley and UC police departments. The Contra Costa County Sheriff deployed drones over immigrant rights rallies outside the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, which houses detainees for ICE.
Fri Nov 23 2018 (Updated 11/24/18)Alameda Sheriff Targets Muslims, Ignores White Supremacists
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office applied for and received a grant targeting incarcerated Black Muslims. The Homeland Security CVE, or Countering Violent Extremism program, has been criticized for not addressing the rising threat of white supremacists. The Sheriff's Office said that their "Operation E Pluribus Unum" is necessary to expand local reentry services for all people, including Muslims, but civil rights advocates say the project only targets one group of people: Muslims.
Sun Nov 18 2018 (Updated 11/19/18)Dead Man Pulled from Culvert in Santa Cruz
Robert Norse writes: "On Saturday morning, I saw several police officers and a deputy examine what appeared to be a dead body behind a yellow "crime scene" tape at the edge of a culvert adjoining Highway 17 near the Plymouth/Highway 17 stoplight. I notice there was no mention of this in the Sentinel. It's quite possible the man died from hypothermia. The closure of the River St. campground as well as all the parks aggravates the situation for those outside."
Sat Nov 3 2018 (Updated 11/05/18)UN Report: Oakland and San Francisco Are Human Rights Violators
On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.
Sun Oct 28 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)Campground Crisis as Winter Approaches
The River Street campground in Santa Cruz is slated for dispersal at the end of November, breaking promises from city staff that it would last through the winter until April. The only option the city is offering in its place is a small night-time only shelter. Massive new fences were raised around San Lorenzo Park, Grant Street Park, and the downtown post office. In anticipation of the River Street campground closure, homeless activists are organizing to establish a community survival campground on Thursday, November 15.