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Mon Aug 17 2015 (Updated 08/18/15)As the Drought Rages On, So Do the Fires
Mon Aug 17 2015 (Updated 08/18/15)First-Hand Report from the Massive Rocky Fire East of Clear Lake
Wildfires are a natural and regular occurrence during the dry season in California. After four years of drought, the situation this year is especially dire with huge numbers of large fires breaking out all over the state. The Rocky Fire was only contained within the last several days after burning for more than a month, consuming 70,000 acres in total. D. Boyer shared a thorough report from the scene of the Rocky Fire.
On June 16, 2014, during a protest against police brutality and recent police shootings in Fresno, Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial, writing phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” He was arrested. On July 17, 2015, Brian was found guilty of vandalism and later sentenced to one year of informal probation, 50 hours of community service, and $250 in court fees and restitution. Brian says he plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Tue Jul 7 2015 (Updated 07/08/15)Winnemen Wintu and Allies Protest Governor’s California Water Summit
Tue Jul 7 2015 (Updated 07/08/15)Brown Excludes California Tribes, Environmentalists, Fishermen from Water Discussions
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other tribal representatives and their allies rallied, chanted, sang and waved signs on the sidewalk in front of Westin Hotel on June 29 and 30 outside the Second California Water Summit in Sacramento. They were there to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California Tribes, environmentalists, fishermen and other key stakeholders in the public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects proposed under Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond.
The farm worker movement mourns the passing on June 7, 2015, of Rev. Deacon Sal Alvarez, who played a key role with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the farm worker movement and on behalf of many other worthy causes over seven decades. Sal was motivated by deep faith in a movement grounded in the Catholic Church’s social justice teachings and dedication to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The outrage over the bottling of California water by Nestlé, Walmart and other big corporations during a record drought has grown over the past couple of months. On May 20, people from across the state converged on two Nestlé bottling plants — one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles — demanding that the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation halt its bottling operations. The protest was the third in Sacramento over the past year.
Thu Apr 23 2015Homeless and Allies in Tulare Organize for Change
A group of about 100 homeless people and their supporters attended the Tulare City Council meeting on April 21 calling for specific changes in public policy. The group, which delivered a petition signed by over 1,000 residents, called for improvements in the way homeless people are treated by the police, a safe place to sleep and equal rights. The Union of Hope in Tulare filled the City Council chambers with an overflow crowd.
A coalition of environmentalists on April 20 blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent. At this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms, Resnick revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond, and walnut acreage during a record drought.