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Sun Nov 19 2017 (Updated 11/28/17)
Police Action in East Palo Alto Displaces RV Dwellers
Seventy-five protesters blocked a street in East Palo Alto to protect families at a police action at 8 a.m. on November 15. A tow truck pulled up to haul away a dozen RV's occupied mostly by working people, some with children. The RV residents received less than 24 hours notice of an emergency eviction ordinance put in place by the city. That same evening many of the protesters and about 200 residents showed up to a Public Works and Transportation Commission meeting to face off with city staff and commissioners. On the agenda: a potential long term or permanent ordinance on RV parking on Weeks Street and a ban on all oversized vehicles on city streets.
Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to remove the prison slavery clause from the 13th Amendment, thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities on August 19 to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. At the main march in Washington, D.C., a speaker from Leonard Pelitier's support committee read Leonard's statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. In San José, about 200 people marched to the county jail for a rally with speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd. Every year for decades Black radical prisoners and liberationists have identified August as a month for organized resistance and commemoration.
Eric Clanton writes: I’m currently facing years of prison time as the result of accusations made in the most shockingly hateful parts of the internet. On April 19, I began being targeted by a dedicated swarm of internet trolls known for spewing racism, xenophobia, and misogyny onto the web. Suddenly a hit piece by Milo Yiannopolis caused the targeting to go viral. Several old social media photos were posted, online accounts hacked, addresses published, hundred of calls to my employers, and countless threats of physical violence made against me, my coworkers, friends and many others. This harassment campaign is where the accusations against me originated.
On August 9, news spread quickly that Santa Cruz's oldest, best known, and most loved coffeehouse will shut their doors forever on August 26, 2017. Caffé Pergolesi, an institution of downtown Santa Cruz, holds a very special place in the hearts of so many people. Besides offering coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider, and snacks, the cafe is an important space for friends and groups to meet. Its walls serve as a gallery for local artists, and The Perg, as it's known, is a one of a kind venue, particularly for punk and hardcore musicians. The funky alternative counterculture community known as Santa Cruz, loved by so many people near and far, continues getting its capitalist corporate makeover from the university, technology, and tourism industries.
Retired ILWU Local 10 member and chair of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Jack Heyman writes: The ink wasn’t even dry on the West Coast longshore contract when the head of the employers’ group, the Pacific Maritime Association, proposed to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union a three-year extension, making it an eight-year contract. Under the current contract, employers have eliminated hundreds of longshore jobs through automation on marine terminals such as the fully automated Long Beach Container Terminal and the semi-automated TraPac freight-forwarding facility in the Port of Los Angeles.
Tue Aug 1 2017 (Updated 08/03/17)
Demonstrations Against "Workhouse" Jail Rock St. Louis
The Workhouse medium security prison in north St Louis City is notorious for it’s filth, cockroach and rodent infestations, black mold, antagonism by the guards, and deep ineptitude of those who operate it. To highlight the inexcusable conditions, a noise demo was called for the evening of July 21. Around 300 people gathered outside the Workhouse to demand immediate relief for those suffering inside. The front line of the demo turned it’s energy on the fence itself, shaking the outer fence and eventually removing some of the clasps that adhere the fence to the fence poles. Protests continued through the following day. People were pepper sprayed by police and arrested.
Wed May 17 2017 (Updated 05/19/17)
The Poverty, Politics and Profit of Section 8 Housing
More than 2 million families now use Section 8 vouchers to keep from becoming homeless. It's the government's largest program to help low-income families pay their rent. However Section 8 housing proposals face stiff opposition in cities across the US, including the McKinney and Frisco suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Nicole Humphrey, an opponent, proclaimed, "In this neighborhood, most of us are stay-at-home moms with young kids. The lifestyle that goes with Section 8 is usually working, single moms or people who are struggling to keep their heads above water. It's just not people who are the same class as us."
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