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In response to Israel's bombing of Gaza in early May, the Arab Resource & Organizing Center mobilized to prevent the docking of Israeli ships, in solidarity with the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement. Action at the Port of Oakland was one of many protests throughout the Bay Area against Israel's recent attacks against Palestinians. When the Israeli container ship Volans attempted to unload in Oakland on June 4, hundreds of protesters picketed until it left the port.
On May 25, Bay Area activists held a range of actions to mark the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death and the subsequent global uprisings against racial injustice and police brutality. In Oakland, the Anti Police-Terror Project and the Defund Police Coalition held a press conference calling on City Council members to follow through on their agreement to defund the Oakland Police Department and reinvest in community services. In Mill Valley, demonstrators laid tributes of flowers and candles in the downtown plaza.
Fri Apr 30 2021 (Updated 05/06/21)
May Day Marches Return to the Bay Area
Actions marking May Day across Northern California demanded worker rights, housing for all, and racial justice, expressing solidarity with the Chilean general strike. Marches and rallies were held in San Francisco, Oakland, San José, Fresno, Mountain View, and other cities. In Oakland, a vacant house was reclaimed and a nighttime march called for abolishing the police. In Alameda, protesters rallied outside the homes of those who called police on Mario Gonzalez.
Before dawn on March 5, the houses of six University of California, Berkeley, officials were struck with graffiti and vandalism. On April 16, another action "repainted" houses believed to be owned by members of the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board. On May 2, nine Sullivan Management Company properties were similarly targeted, following a May Day direct action that reclaimed a long-vacant SMC property. On May 7, Oakland police vehicles were damaged.
On March 20, there was a demonstration in San Francisco next to the Recology plant. The protest was specifically in opposition to Amazon's plan to build another giant warehouse on the site, and generally to support the Alabama Amazon workers trying to form a union. That afternoon, Oakland saw a large car caravan and rally. These were some of the many expressions of support throughout California and the nation for the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon workers who are fighting to form a recognized labor union.
Wed Jan 27 2021 (Updated 01/31/21)
People's Park in Berkeley Faces Greatest Danger Yet
For 50 years, UC administrators have schemed to take People's Park from those who turned a dirt lot into a public sanctuary. Now, UC Berkeley is on the verge of permanently destroying the park. It installed fencing around the park on January 19. On January 27, police and public works crews evicted several unhoused residents. But people are resisting the coming construction of a 16-story housing complex. At a rally to save the park on January 29, protesters tore down fencing and carried it to Sproul Hall on UCB campus.
After nearly a year of struggle, Moms for Housing announced on October 9 that their house on Magnolia Street in West Oakland had been purchased. Moms4Housing co-founder Dominique Walker declared, "This is officially Moms' House." In November, Dominique Walker and her allies running as the "Right to Housing" slate were elected to the Berkeley rent board. ACCE Director and Moms4Housing co-founder Carroll Fife claimed victory as Oakland's D3 councilmember-elect.
Worried about the possibility of an electoral emergency, many organizations are mobilizing people across the U.S. to be ready to protect the election results and ensure that all votes are counted. Over 500 events are scheduled for November 4, their activation to be decided by 9am PST that day. In the San Francisco Bay Area, activists have already held demonstrations saying waiting wasn't necessary. On October 29 in Oakland, artists painted a giant street mural with the words "Choose Democracy, Stop a Coup.".
Thu Oct 1 2020 (Updated 10/02/20)
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Passes
At vigils recalling Ruth Bader Ginsburg's groundbreaking life, speakers said that many civil rights, particularly abortion rights, could be rolled back. Raising candles, many demonstrators observed silence in her honor, while others voiced serious concern about what her death would mean to the composition of the US Supreme Court and ultimately what it could mean for justice and equality for women and all historically oppressed people.
On September 4, five young activists from the city of Antioch and a former resident of the Mission District of San Francisco began a hunger strike with demands for local authorities to end racial injustice and police brutality. Despite ongoing protests, a petition signed by thousands, hundreds of public comments at City Council meetings, protests and an occupation of City Hall by several dozen activists, the Mayor, the Chief of Antioch Police, and council members have neither acknowledged nor taken action on protesters’ demands.
Citing a pattern of consistent stonewalling, investigative journalists have taken the Oakland Police Department to court to force it to comply with state public records laws. Two petitions brought in Alameda County Superior Court claim the department routinely ignores public records requests, professing a commitment to transparency even as thousands of open Public Records Act requests languish in their system. One petition claims the department offers only an automatic response to thousands of requests — if it replies at all.
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