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Despite widespread objections, Junipero Serra was canonized on September 23 at the National Shrine in Washington DC by Pope Francis during his US visit. On September 27, as a parish celebration of the sainthood of Junipero Serra was scheduled to take place at the Carmel Mission Basilica, a statue of Serra was toppled over and paint was smeared on two grave sites, as well as on signs with the name of Serra, and on the doors of the mission. One mission artifact was inscribed with the statement, "Saint of Genocide".
A third complaint was filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT) on August 7 for a violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA's ongoing case against SCBT, one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, was heard by an administrative law judge from August 18-21.
A U.S. District Court has struck down Idaho’s “ag-gag” law as an unconstitutional attempt by the agriculture industry to silence journalists, animal advocates, and whistleblowers who expose cruel farming practices. The ruling — the first of its kind — spells trouble for the agriculture industry’s attempts in other states to outlaw photography and video recordings of animal welfare, workers’ rights, and environmental violations. The lawsuit was brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA, with support from a wide-range of organizations.
On July 29, Greenpeace and Rising Tide protesters used ropes with linked lines to hang below Portland's St. John's bridge for more than twenty-eight hours. Their goal was to block passage of an ice-breaker headed to bring parts for Arctic oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea. The activists dangled from the bridge successfully delaying the Finnish ship hired by Shell Oil before police cut the tag lines between protestors.
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson of Los Angeles recently pled guilty and currently await sentencing for a related charge of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). On July 24, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA for 2013 actions. At a court hearing on July 28, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring.
The United States Social Forum 2015 was held June 24-28 in San José. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change. Food Sovereignty, Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley, Taking our Health Back, Crisis of the California Water Commons, No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization, Cooperative Economics, and Movements Making Media were just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed.
Same-sex weddings took place across the country after the Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that all 50 states must now permit LGBTQ couples "the fundamental right to marry." After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, many LGBT organizers are now redirecting their attention to obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in areas of employment, housing and commerce. Locally, activists want to shift the focus to issues that LGBT immigrants and prisoners face in detention centers across the U.S.
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