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Feature Archives

At 5am on April 12, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for a 17-month occupation. Two groups of activists – First They Came for the Homeless and Berkeley Post Office Defenders – had occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office continuously since late November, 2014.
On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
The California Apartment Association (CAA) has placed medical marijuana users in its crosshairs, including recreational marijuana users if voters approve marijuana for legalization in November. The CAA is sponsoring a bill (AB 2300) that allows landlords to prohibit renters from smoking medical marijuana in their apartments, and on April 26 the bill advanced to the Assembly floor. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) is the author of AB 2300.
Fri Apr 29 2016 (Updated 04/30/16)
New Fees to Be Charged to Subsidize Delta Tunnels
Attendees at the April 14 public meeting of the Santa Clara County Water Commission's Board of Directors in Gilroy were surprised to learn that a new fee will soon be added to their groundwater bills to support the Cal WaterFix, also known as the Delta Tunnels. Several users of small private residential water systems complained bitterly about the cost of the current groundwater charges on top of the cost of pumping and maintenance of their own wells.
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.
Tue Apr 12 2016 (Updated 05/08/16)
Housing State of Emergency Declared in Oakland
Oakland renters have been facing nearly 1,000 evictions per month. Rents have skyrocketed and the median rent is currently $3,000 per month. Housing activists have been pushing for a temporary freeze on evictions and rent hikes to protect tenants from the massive upheaval. On April 6, the Oakland City Council responded by voting unanimously to support a 90-day moratorium on rent increases, but failed to pass a temporary freeze on evictions.
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.