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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.
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, celebrated from December 26 to January 1, that reclaims what was lost during the African holocaust, the sense of an African connection. In California's Central Valley, Kwanzaa takes on special significance in the long standing African American farming community's journey to reestablish agriculture as the foundation of culture in the farm to fork capital of America.
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.
The polling place at the Unitarian Universalist church was eliminated in November because of a “Black Lives Matter” sign. It was moved to the Cross City evangelical Christian mega church with three huge crosses out front. The 25,000 students of CSU-Fresno do not have a polling place on campus. Two thirds of the 3,000 inmates at the Fresno County Jail have not been convicted of a crime, yet are not provided a polling booth either.
Fri Nov 30 2018 (Updated 12/02/18)
Protect Juristac: No Quarry on Sacred Grounds
The Amah Mutsun tribe is waging an all-out campaign to stop a proposed sand and gravel quarry that would desecrate one of their most important sacred places. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band know it as Juristac. The public knows it as Sargent Ranch, 6,500 acres of nearly pristine open space at the tail end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the foothills slope down towards the broad agricultural fields south of Gilroy. To the Debt Acquisition Company of America (DACA), the property’s owner, it is a potential sand and gravel quarry.
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.
Tue Sep 18 2018 (Updated 09/19/18)
30,000 March in Largest West Coast Climate Action Ever
On September 8, more than 30,000 people marched in San Francisco as part of a major international climate mobilization. The “Rise for Climate Jobs, and Justice” march filled the city’s streets just days before the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). Protesters took to the streets again on September 13th after the summit had commenced, this time shutting down the intersections and substantially disrupting the entrance into the GCAS venue.