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Feature Archives

President Trump signed executive orders on January 24 to push ahead with the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Both projects sparked widespread opposition and protests, especially because of their risks to water, wildlife, climate and people. On January 27, attorneys representing the first ten water protectors arrested in actions against the Dakota Access Pipeline in early August 2016 renewed their motion for a change of venue, on grounds that the state did not adequately respond to their motion and is not taking basic steps to assess bias among jurors.
A warrant from police in Arkansas seeking audio records of a man’s Amazon Echo has sparked an overdue conversation about the privacy implications of “always-on” recording devices. The story serves as a wakeup call about the potential surveillance devices that many people are starting to allow into their own homes. The Amazon echo is not the only such device; others include personal assistants like Google Home, Google Now, Apple’s Siri, Windows Cortana, as well as other devices. Digital assistants and other IoT devices create a triple threat to privacy: from government, corporations, and hackers.
On the morning of Saturday, January 21, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, a public plot of land at 36th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, moving in small homes, a hot shower, a healing clinic, and other services — declaring it a people’s encampment for those who need housing and basic needs and services. The group which includes folks living on Oakland streets, activists from Feed the People and Asians for Black Lives said that the move-in demonstrates their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.
Mon Jan 16 2017 (Updated 01/22/17)
Reclaiming King's Legacy in the Age of Trump
For the third year in a row, actions will be held across the Bay Area to “Reclaim King’s Radical Legacy." In previous years, protests and rallies culminated with a large march in Oakland on Martin Luther King Day. This year, with Trump set to be inaugurated as the President of the United States on the Friday after MLK Day, protests will be held over five days, from MLK Day on January 16 through to the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20. A diverse coalition will engage in 120 hours of direct action, coalition building, and campaign launching against white supremacy.
A recent US Supreme Court decision, “Williams vs. Pennsylvania,” could open the door for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom. The decision ruled that a prosecutor cannot later sit as judge over the same defendant’s appeal. This is exactly what happened in Mumia’s case. On December 8, marking the 35th anniversary of imprisonment for American political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and to protest the refusal by prison authorities to provide necessary medication, a coalition of supporters in Philadelphia, Toronto, Wellington, and Oakland demonstrated.
A lawsuit filed on December 13 by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. Plaintiffs have lost cherished and necessary items, including family heirlooms, photographs of loved ones, tents, sleeping bags, warm weather clothing, tools, food, camp stoves, bicycles, and personal documents. “Caltrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together," said plaintiff James Leone. "Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”
Chanti Ollin, a well-known autonomous cultural center in the gentrified financial district of Mexico City, was violently evicted on November 22. Eight hundred riot police, two helicopters, and an armored car executed the operation, illegally breaking into the building and detaining 26 individuals without so much as a judicial order. This eviction takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City's new constitution, which seeks to privatize land and resources, and suppress any political or cultural activity that disrupts this profit-making program.