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Feature Archives

Wed Jan 13 2016 (Updated 01/25/16)
Martin Luther King Jr's Radical Legacy Lives On
Hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings responded to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s (APTP) call to come together for 96 hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 15-18, in San Francisco and Oakland. Mayors and police chiefs were targeted for protest. The weekend’s events culminated in a Reclaiming King’s Radical Legacy March and a surprise shutdown of the Bay Bridge on January 18.
Steve Schnaar writes: Santa Cruz City Council member Cynthia Chase, elected with a lot of progressive support based on her years of excellent work supporting women transitioning out of prison, has voted for some of the worst anti-homeless decisions to come out of the council recently. However when asked about the contradiction between her past progressive positions and these votes, she refuses to engage or explain herself.
The Freedom Sleepers held a protest in front of the Palomar Inn in downtown Santa Cruz on December 8, where the city council was eating a celebratory dinner in honor of the appointment of the new mayor, Cynthia Matthews. A small group of protesters also entered the Inn's banquet room during the council’s meal with a sign reading “A Ban on Sleep is a Ban on Life.”
In an example of collaboration with privacy advocates, on November 17, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors passed a comprehensive privacy policy regulating the county's use of cell phone interceptor equipment (often referred to in the press by “Stingray” or “Hailstorm”) before approving the purchase of an equipment upgrade. The policy requires a warrant before any deployment of the device and periodic audits of use.
On November 14, residents of the Midtown Park Apartments in San Francisco's Western Addition and their supporters gathered for a fundraiser and BBQ. In 2013, the City terminated the lease with the tenants and awarded it to Mercy Housing. Tenants are now facing enormous rent increases and Mercy Housing has put forth plans to eventually demolish the buildings. In response, Midtown tenants went on Rent Strike five months ago and are calling out for public support.
In the city of Alameda, rent increases and evictions remain unregulated. Landlords are pushing rents up sky high and/or evicting people out of homes they've been able to afford for decades. On November 4, an estimated 200 Alamedan renters went to their city council to demand an end to unfair rent hikes and displacement. City Official Bob Haun shoved a 68-year-old Alameda Rental Coalition leader and police tackled another protester to the ground where he lay bleeding while police restrained him. After a hearing that lasted past 1am, the council voted for a temporary 65-day limit of 8% on rent increases and ban on no cause evictions.
Governor Jerry Brown this October signed two bills that will require more frequent oil pipeline inspections and improve oil spill response, but the questionable "marine protected areas" created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative still fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, oil drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and Tribal gathering.