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A new study released by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Paying More for Being Poor: Bias and Disparity in California’s Traffic Court System, shows that Californians pay some of the highest fines and fees in the country — more than three times the national average for running a red light. And new Bay Area data reveals that African-Americans are four to sixteen times more likely to be booked into county jail on a charge related to inability to pay a citation. Two bills before the California Legislature (SB 185 and AB 412) seek to address many of the disparities
Mon May 15 2017 (Updated 05/20/17)
Standing Rock Copwatchers in the Bay Area
Standing Rock Copwatchers write: In 2016, we left our families, our homes, our lives to go defend the water at Standing Rock, North Dakota. We stood in struggle with hundreds of tribes from across the country and continent. Our fight was for mother earth, and it was for our people, our history, and for our future. We have been traveling from city to city connecting with other people, sharing our stories, speaking about the fight for our earth, and conducting know your rights trainings. Many of us are currently in Oakland. We are fundraising to get the clutch on our bus fixed and for a NoDAPL / Copwatch food truck.
Fri May 5 2017 (Updated 05/16/17)
Reclaim Our Democracy from the Oil Industry
California is often portrayed as the nation's “green leader,” but the reality is much different. Over the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, the oil industry spent a historic $36.1 million to lobby California lawmakers. During the last six years, the industry has spent $122 million in Sacramento, more than any other interest group. “This spending spree has paid huge dividends for these companies, allowing them to dismantle and crush any meaningful legislation that might significantly curb their power to drill and pollute in California,” said David Braun of Rootskeeper. Braun urged people to join a diverse array of activists on Saturday, May 20 for a march and rally in Sacramento.
Wed Apr 26 2017 (Updated 05/01/17)
Shut It Down May 1st: Respect Our Humanity
Oakland Sin Fronteras writes: International Workers' Day has been a time to uplift the struggles, honor the sacrifices, and celebrate the triumphs of working people across the world. As we stand on Ohlone Indigenous land this May 1st, we march in celebration and in resistance, and in solidarity with working people across all borders, to continue the historic struggle against economic and social inequity. With a Trump administration in power, a rising fascist tendency, and growing economic and political oppression of people everywhere, this May Day we march in the spirit of organizing and defending our communities from state violence and capitalist exploitation, and toward liberation and self-determination.
Sun Apr 23 2017 (Updated 04/24/17)
Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand: April 15 in Berkeley
Since April 15, the Alt-Right has been declaring a victory over antifascists in Berkeley, where a mix of Trump supporters, militia members, far-Right bikers, and neo-Nazis gave fascist salutes, held anti-Semitic signs, carried Alt-Right flags, and listened to white nationalist speakers. But the leader of the rally, Richard Black, a part of the Alt-Right himself, paints a much different picture. Black claims that without the coordinated help of the Berkeley Police Department, who worked with Alt-Right organizers, antifascists would have overrun and shut down the rally before it even began.
Sat Apr 22 2017 (Updated 04/23/17)
Calling Out the CHP for Hit and Run Murder
Sat Apr 22 2017 (Updated 04/23/17)
Demanding Justice for the Police Murder of Diallo Neal
On October 10, 2005, Diallo Neal was murdered in Oakland when a California Highway Patrol (CHP) motorcycle officer struck the rear end of Diallo's motorcycle, launching Diallo into a bus stop, pole, and concrete bench. CHP fled the scene. After his mother, Gilda Baker discovered that the accounts of eyewitnesses and investigation documents did not match the official police report, she set out to uncover the real circumstances surrounding her son's death. On April 22, Ms. Baker and supportive community members rallied at Oakland City Hall calling for an investigation to take place and demanding justice for Diallo.
Wed Apr 19 2017 (Updated 04/20/17)
The End of Money Bail in California?
California warehouses thousands of people in jails while they await their court dates — simply because they can’t afford to post bail. Meanwhile, wealthy people can easily buy their freedom. Research shows that Black people are assigned higher bail amounts than white people accused of similar offenses. People who can’t post bail are at a higher risk of being convicted, pleading guilty (even if they’re innocent), and receiving harsher sentences. The California Money Bail Reform Act, however, will create a system that prioritizes pretrial services and prevents people from being held in jail simply because they can't make bail.
California: 1