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Sat Jun 27 2020 (Updated 07/07/20)
Juneteenth Becomes Huge Event Nationwide
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when the Union army pronounced in Texas that all enslaved peoples in the United States were finally free. Among the many Bay Area protests this year was a thousand-strong march in San Francisco. In Oakland, the ILWU shut down the port before thousands marched through downtown. Santa Cruz marched in large numbers as well. In Palo Alto and Fresno, protesters painted "BLM" and "Black Lives Matter" in huge letters in the street.
Mon Jun 15 2020 (Updated 06/16/20)
Oakland Youths Protest to Rid Schools of Police
On June 10, a large contingent of Oakland's young people marched on Mayor Libby Schaaf's house to demand that police be removed from the city's schools. Shouting marchers, followed by a car caravan, worked their way up Fruitvale Avenue towards the home demonstration. Speakers at the vigil in front of the mayor's house denounced the millions of dollars spent on police, the school to prison pipeline, and demanded that the money go instead to real human needs.
Demonstrations continue around the Bay Area in the name of George Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, with tens of thousands taking to the streets. Protests in every corner of the Bay Area have been met with police force. Demonstrators say they won’t be stopping despite the risks posed by police attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the full feature with coverage from across Northern California.
California has neglected its catastrophic housing affordability and homelessness crisis for years. Meanwhile, civic leaders prioritize large scale hotel developments, offering billions in incentives to developers. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms sit empty while the government continues to deny thousands of unhoused Californians the right to shelter in place. In Los Angeles, there are now almost 100,000 vacant hotel rooms. In Oakland, at least 1,500 hotel rooms are sitting empty.
Wed Apr 22 2020 (Updated 04/23/20)
Justice for Steven Taylor, Killed By Police
Anti Police-Terror Project reports: The global pandemic is ravaging the mental health of Black communities as they experience sickness and death at an alarming rate. This situation is the dystopian backdrop to the killing of 33-year-old beloved community member Steven Taylor by police in a San Leandro Walmart on April 18. This officer who killed Mr. Taylor, the only person close to him at the time, had a number of choices in the moments leading to Taylor’s death.
On April 11, Oakland Black Housing Union mobilized a caravan of 100 cars for a mobile march demanding housing for unsheltered individuals during the COVID-19 emergency, protesting the lack of urgency from local governments to protect those who cannot shelter indoors. The action also highlighted the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases in Black communities. Moms4Housing and ACCE joined to lead the car rally.
On April 9, McDonald’s employees demonstrated by driving their cars in a manner to disrupt the fast food company’s business at three San Francisco Bay Area locations. They are demanding that the fast food chain give workers masks, gloves and a $3 an hour pay increase. Employees say that while the company is calling their jobs essential during the pandemic, it does not recognize that their lives are also essential.
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