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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.
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.
Demonstrations continue around the Bay Area in the name of George Floyd, with tens of thousands taking to the streets. At protests in the East and South Bay, they have been met almost immediately by police force. Demonstrators say they won’t be stopping despite the risks posed by police attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic because racism, which has long posed a dire health threat, must be countered.
On April 3, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and after a nine-month moratorium on new fracking operations, California's Department of Conservation approved 24 new fracking permits in Kern County, the center of the oil industry in California. Fracking opponents strongly condemned the approval of new fracking permits at a time that the state is virtually shut down, and people are dying everyday from the COVID-19 virus.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the nation, activists are demonstrating urgently against the continuing detention of immigrants by ICE. The agency's detention centers are hotbeds for the spread of deadly disease to prisoners and personnel, potentially killing thousands. On March 31, protestors in California did their best to follow shelter-in-place rules by protesting in caravans, and covering their cars with banners and messages for Governor Gavin Newsom.
On February 28, the Westlands Water District signed a permanent water repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation to provide Central Valley Water Project water in perpetuity to the growers in the powerful, politically-connected water district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, stated, “At a time of unprecedented climate changes and droughts we should not be circumventing the law and promising by federal contract far more water than actually exists to one large irrigation group at the expense of others.”
Thu Feb 27 2020 (Updated 02/29/20)
Corruption in the Fresno Police Department Runs Deep
Mike Rhodes reports: My first history lesson about Fresno’s corrupt underbelly was in the late 1990s when I read Mark Arax’s book "In My Father’s Name." It is a great book about Arax’s search for the killer of his father, which dives deep into Fresno’s interesting but corrupt past. Arax, writing for the Los Angeles Times, quoted Larry Miller, a retired federal agent who busted numerous Fresno bookies with connections to the Fresno Police Department in the 1960s. “It was a rotten town with a rotten police force and the citizens didn’t mind. Their indifference was practically suffocating.”
Mon Feb 24 2020 (Updated 02/25/20)
Unhoused Man Pummeled by Fresno Cops
On February 24, a report emerged about officers from Fresno Police Department's Homeless Task Force assaulting a homeless man who they were attempting to evict from an encampment. The brutalization happened in Fresno on February 21 at a homeless encampment near West Avenue and Freeway 180. As David — the homeless person in the photo — was attempting to say "my advocate is on her way," he was thrown to the ground. After the Sargent slammed him to the ground, David was punched and all he could remember was getting hit multiple times and kicked in the head by all four officers.
On January 4, thousands of people rallied and marched in Northern California, proclaiming "US Out Of Iraq" and "No War With Iran." Various groups, including ANSWER Coalition and Code Pink, called for a rally and march in San Francisco before the U.S. assassinated Iranian general Qassem Suleimani near the Baghdad airport on January 3. That extrajudicial killing swelled the turnout in San Francisco while anti-war activists quickly announced similar actions at other Northern California locations then and throughout the month. A Global Day of Protest occurred on Saturday, January 25.
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