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Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
The Santa Cruz Police Department released photos of the BearCat armored attack vehicle they purchased in 2015 despite large protests by the public against its purchase. The attack truck, manufactured by Lenco, cost $251,000 and was bought with grants from the Department of Homeland Security.
On August 2, community members in Santa Cruz came together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Let us recommit ourselves to a world without nuclear weapons and without war," an announcement for the gathering read. The evening began with musicians playing in front of the Collateral Damage statue, which was installed next to the Town Clock on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings as a memorial to all civilian casualties of war.
On the 4th of July, community members in Santa Cruz brought messages of peace, justice, and equality to Ocean Street as they greeted visitors entering town for the busy holiday. Every year a variety of groups working on peace and justice issues rally along Ocean Street as thousands of people make their way to the beach and the Boardwalk. Although some very serious statements were communicated by those holding signs at the rally, the atmosphere was generally fun and festive.
On the grassy lawn in front of Hewlett Packard headquarters, demonstrators held a "virtual" meeting dubbed "The People's Shareholders Meeting" on March 18. Board members in silk-screened HP insignia ties joined a Meg Whitman character in blonde wig. CEO Whitman fielded questions about the company's complicity in Israel's oppression of Palestine from a group on lawn chairs portraying shareholders. Testifiers, including two Israeli citizens, spoke to the shareholders from a mock podium.
February 10 marked the fourth consecutive Santa Cruz City Council meeting where residents have protested the police purchase of a $250,000 BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) funded by two Department of Homeland Security grants. As with the previous protests, community members again rallied in the City Hall courtyard and entered the council meeting as a group to speak out against the purchase of the armored attack-style vehicle during the open communications period.
On January 27, about 100 citizens attended the Santa Cruz City Council meeting to demand the Council rescind its rushed approval of the Police Department's purchase of a fully armored vehicle, a BearCat. Activists claim Santa Cruz Police relied on questionable information about their need for an armored vehicle when they pushed the Council to approve this purchase, claiming it would take 3-4 hours for the nearest armored vehicle to arrive here from Santa Clara if needed. In fact, both the Sheriff's Department and the Scotts Valley Police Department have armored vehicles that can be quickly deployed.
Anti-War: 1