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Feature Archives

On April 22, the Frisco Five set up camp in front of the Mission District police station and stopped eating solid foods to raise awareness of San Francisco police violence and racism. The sacrifice of the Frisco Five provided inspiration for numerous community actions since to press the single demand that Suhr be fired. All five are now hospitalized due to deteriorating health and the hunger strike has been officially suspended. A General Strike has been called in honor of the Frisco Five for Monday, May 9.
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
On Sunday, May 1, Joff Jones and Alex Skelton were arrested for defiantly displaying art "outside of a blue box" on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. This is their third arrest for displaying art in a public space but outside of small boxes since August of 2015. Jones and Skelton created a video with footage showing numerous Santa Cruz Police officers ticketing and arresting them for simply being "outside of a blue box" while displaying their art.
On April 28, 2016, the BART Board of Directors stopped, at least temporarily, a BART Police plan to install Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at MacArthur BART in Oakland – a pilot program to surveil all those entering and exiting the parking facilities. Alert members of the Oakland Privacy Working Group noticed the item buried on the BART Board’s agenda, and three OPWG members testified against the ALPR proposal going forward.
Protests against Donald Trump are heating up in California as the June 7 presidential primary approaches. On April 29, it was the Bay Area's turn. Trump was scheduled to speak on the opening day of the California Republican Convention in Burlingame. Protesters blocked streets and pushed through police barricades. Trump's motorcade was unable to reach the site and was forced to walk from Highway 101 through concrete barriers to reach the convention via a back entrance.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.
Sun Apr 10 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
San Francisco Police Execute Homeless Man
On April 7, a homeless man, Jose Luis Gongora, allegedly brandishing a knife, was executed by SFPD. Surveillance camera video shows police cars rolling up, cops getting out and approaching Jose Luis off-camera. Police claimed they attempted to deescalate the situation, but the video shows two cops approaching Jose Luis with a shotgun pointed at him and shouting at him. The cop with the shotgun can be heard firing four "less lethal" bean-bag rounds at Jose Luis before at least one of the cops shoots and kills him. On April 9, SFPD raided a nearby tent encampment on Shotwell Street, knocking over objects with sticks, including several memorial candles that lined the front of Jose Luis' tent which is still at the scene.