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On Thirteenth Street in front of the Sacramento Convention Center where the Democratic Convention was being held on May 20, a group of activists held a mock “tug of war" between the people of California and the oil industry for the loyalty of Governor Jerry Brown. The skit depicted the contradiction between Jerry Brown the “climate leader,” who appeals to his Democratic base by preaching against climate change and for green energy, and the other guy, “Big Oil Brown,” who supports the expansion of fracking in California and the construction of the Delta Tunnels — and has received millions in contributions from the oil and energy industries.
Thu May 25 2017 (Updated 06/22/17)
Hunger Strike Begins at Folsom State Prison
The men at Old Folsom State Prison in the ASU and Ad-Seg will begin a hunger strike on May 25 due to ongoing issues with the conditions of confinement that violate the Eighth Amendment. All the prisoners held in Folsom’s ASU and Ad-Seg are without food bowls, therefore having to eat out of ziplock bags. They have no cups, needing to drink water from an old milk carton. They have no TVs, no property at all. The mail is sometimes withheld for no reason — up to a month for some prisoners, for others even longer. All they’re asking for is to be given day-to-day necessities. So, in order to have their voices heard, they feel they have no choice but to hunger strike.
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.
California: 1