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On January 12, several thousand teachers, students, staff and supporters marched and rallied in Oakland to defend public education and call for increased funding. The Oakland Education Association contract has expired and teachers are discussing striking in February. In Los Angeles on January 14, tens of thousands of teachers went on strike. Oakland teachers are promising a wildcat strike on Friday, January 18.
Tue Jan 15 2019 (Updated 01/16/19)
Qilombo Community Social Center Evicted
Qilombo members have been locked out of the community center they've maintained for over four years. Landlords attempted to push Qilombo out almost as long as they've been there, with the current corporate landlord refusing to renew their lease since 2016. Qilombo resisted displacement until Alameda County Sheriff's deputies showed up without warning and padlocked the building on January 9.
Mon Jan 14 2019 (Updated 01/16/19)
Trump Shutdown Takes Increasing Toll
As a result of Trump's government shutdown 70,000 to 85,000 low-income households already face possible higher rents or eviction. By the end of January, the shutdown will affect another 30,000 to 40,000 low-income households. If the shutdown continues past February millions of public housing and Section 8 renters will be placed at risk of higher rents or eviction because HUD does not have any funding to cover those programs in March.
Tue Jan 8 2019 (Updated 01/09/19)
Oscar Grant Honored at Fruitvale BART Station
On January 1, 2009, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot in the back by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle while he lay face down. In response to angry street rebellions and years of protest, Mehserle was charged with murder and ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter. On the first day of January ten years after his murder, Oscar's mother, friends, and supporters gathered for a vigil at Fruitvale BART station where he died.
January 1, 2019, marked ten years since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. A number of news pieces have been produced to commemorate the anniversary, but it's rare to see significant tribute paid to the fact that were it not for efforts of protesters and activists, Oscar Grant would have received little to no justice. Thousands of people raised their voices for justice for Oscar Grant.
Sat Dec 29 2018 (Updated 01/13/19)
People's Park Is Under Assault
A video captured on December 21 shows UCPD officer Sean Aranas violently assaulting someone hanging out in People's Park. Aranas pulls him up and throws him to the ground. UC Berkeley has long wanted to develop the park and deny public use. The university has been whittling away at the foliage and, on the morning of December 28, forty-one trees were destroyed. The unannounced predawn timing was apparently calculated to avoid protests. A vigil was held on December 29 in response.
Wed Dec 19 2018 (Updated 12/30/18)
Kaiser Mental Health Care Workers' One Week Strike
Headquartered in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente is the state’s largest health care provider. For five days, over 100 Kaiser clinics and hospitals were affected by strike activities as mental health care employees called for the provider to step up levels of staffing. Approximately 4,000 psychologists, therapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses and addiction medicine specialists went on strike at Kaiser facilities throughout California.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office had drones on the scene for many high-profile protests in Berkeley and on the University of California Berkeley campus throughout 2017, at the request of the Berkeley and UC police departments. The Contra Costa County Sheriff deployed drones over immigrant rights rallies outside the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, which houses detainees for ICE.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office applied for and received a grant targeting incarcerated Black Muslims. The Homeland Security CVE, or Countering Violent Extremism program, has been criticized for not addressing the rising threat of white supremacists. The Sheriff's Office said that their "Operation E Pluribus Unum" is necessary to expand local reentry services for all people, including Muslims, but civil rights advocates say the project only targets one group of people: Muslims.
Sun Nov 4 2018 (Updated 11/08/18)
The Rent Is Too Damn High
UPDATE 11/8: While millions of ballots remain uncounted in California, it appears Prop 10 was defeated.

Grassroots activists have been campaigning hard for the Affordable Housing Act, a ballot initiative to repeal California’s Costa Hawkins state law and return control of rental housing law to local jurisdictions. Several localities have promised to act rapidly should Proposition 10 pass. But real estate interests have spent over $70 million to defeat Prop 10. Should it not pass on November 6, housing rights activists remain committed to pushing for rent control and other tenant protections locally and statewide in the future. Nationwide, a new movement has been inspired by California's efforts.
On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.
Strikers on the picket lines at Marriott hotels in San Francisco, San José and Oakland are determined to fight poverty level wages and increased medical costs as they struggle to live in one of the most expensive areas in America. Bay Area laborers who have walked are joined by workers in Boston, Detroit, and the Hawaiian islands who are striking against the world’s most profitable hotel chain. On October 20, over 3,000 workers and supporters marched in San Francisco. Of 300 who protested in San José that day, a contingent stayed to drum and chant through the night, keeping awake the few hotel guests who crossed picket lines.
Tue Oct 2 2018 (Updated 10/09/18)
Bay Area Cries Out: "We Believe Christine!'
The country was transfixed when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh on September 27. On the same day in Palo Alto, neighbors, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Ford rallied to her support. Actions in Berkeley, San Francisco, Mountain View, and San Mateo demonstrated the Bay Area's commitment to supporting victims of sexual assault and protested what they called Republican rape culture. A major demonstration in the nation's capital will be held with a sister rally in San Mateo on October 6.
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