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In front of Oakland City Hall on July 11, Leigh Davenport of the Anti Police-Terror Project announced community activists' intention to recall Mayor Libby Schaaf. Primary among the concerns cited as cause for Schaaf's removal from office are her failures: 1) to address the massive displacement of long-time Oakland residents; 2) to support local youth and job centers; and 3) to hold Oakland police accountable for corruption, sexual exploitation, and those they've killed. “The level of discontent is high in the City of Oakland," notes Cat Brooks.
On July 6, activists in Sacramento held a vigil memorializing the 47 people killed in Canada in the Lac-Mégantic Disaster three years ago. The Sacramento Oil Trains Coalition, including 350 Sacramento, ANSWER, Sac Activist School, and STAND, organized the event. The Central Valley rally and vigil was one of over 40 actions the same week across the U.S. demanding a halt to plans to run these explosive “bomb trains,” carrying fracked Bakken crude oil from South Dakota, through cities across the nation.
A report released on July 8 by the Xerces Society shows a sharp two-decade decline in the number of monarchs which overwinter along the California coast. A comparison of the average number of butterflies overwintering in California during the periods 1997–2001 and 2010–2014 shows a decline of 74 percent, a figure that is comparable to declines documented at monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. Listed sites span the monarch’s overwintering range along the Pacific coast and the East Bay of San Francisco
A November 2016 ballot measure for a new Oakland Police Commission was expected to be finalized and approved by the Oakland City Council at their meeting on July 19. Instead, it will be July 26. The measure, originally proposed by the Coalition for Police Accountability and since taken up by the City Council, continues to be watered down and faces new threats from the City Attorney and the Oakland Police Officers' Association (OPOA). Community groups are calling for Oakland residents to turn out in large numbers at City Hall to stand up and demand strong police accountability.
Tue Jul 12 2016 (Updated 07/18/16)
New Wave of Black Lives Matter Protests Nationwide
The back to back caught-on-video police murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5 and Philando Castile in St. Paul on July 6 kicked off a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country. The people of Baton Rouge and St. Paul have been protesting daily since the killings. Solidarity actions have been held in cities across the country and internationally. Communities have staged rallies, marches, and vigils across Northern California as well. Multiple demonstrations have been held in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Watsonville.
Mon Jul 11 2016 (Updated 07/21/16)
Justice for Teo: Rally and March in Newark
Justice for Teo writes: Please, join us [on July 14] in a peaceful-family friendly vigil/rally and march for our Brother Teodoro Valencia Jr.. Teo was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend. On March 11, 2016 Teo was wrongfully killed by the Newark Police Department. He was shot intentionally in the back with an AR-15 assault rifle. Our family's goals are to bring justice for Teo, as well as truth and light to the darkness that the police have been using to mislead and oppress our community.
The Anti Police-Terror Project has issued a call-out for all police officers ready to speak up about illegal, unethical or biased conduct by members of the Oakland Police Department or other City staff or officials to take a stand now. Their legal team at the Siegel & Yee law firm has created a hotline to call to report such conduct and can provide legal advice for those who may face retaliation, protecting whistleblower anonymity.
In a first-of-its-kind decision and a victory for police accountability and transparency, an Alameda County judge has ruled that a public agency can't charge excessive fees for police body worn camera footage. The public interest served by the disclosure outweighs the financial burden of the city to produce the footage, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evilio Grillo ruled. The court ordered the city of Hayward to refund to the NLGSF the entire $3247 cost, except a $1 charge for a DVD.
In April, the BART Board passed a law making it illegal to occupy two seats during rush hour on a BART train. The law was not to take effect until the BART police presented their implementation strategy. At the most recent BART Board meeting on June 23, BART police presented how they intend to enforce the new law. Fines of up to $500 will ensure that those least able to afford it become debtors, potentially subjecting violators to criminal warrants and further harrassment. Longtime BART director Joel Keller admitted he wants police to target the homeless.
On May 30, members of the animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) rushed the stage of a Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland, decrying Sanders’ support for animal agriculture and demanding an end to violence against animals. Activists climbed over metal barricades at the rally in front of Oakland City Hall to display banners reading “Animal Liberation Now” and “Animal Rights is Social Justice.” The activists halted Sanders’ speech before being removed from the rally by Secret Service agents.
Mon Jun 6 2016 (Updated 06/08/16)
California Almost Mattered This Time, Sort Of
California is the most populous state in the nation, yet the state votes last in the presidental primary process. Major party nominees are usually declared before voters in the state get their say. This year promised to be different, with Bernie Sanders barnstorming across the state, bringing a more competitive race than is typical. On the eve of the California primary, though, corporate media outlets called the Democratic race for Hillary Clinton. Still there are a number of statewide and local candidates and issues to be decided on June 7.
On June 2, the Fair and Affordable Richmond coalition submitted more than 5,000 signatures to qualify the coalition’s Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ordinance for the November ballot. Members of the coalition and Richmond tenants spoke about the ordinance in front of Richmond City Hall, and how it will protect Richmond renters and the community. The Richmond City Clerk and Contra Costa County have thirty days to determine if the Coalition has collected the 4,198 valid signatures required.
Identity Europa, formerly known as the National Youth Front, is the youth wing of the Neo-Nazi American Freedom Party. The group, along with members of the National Policy Institute, held a rally on May 6 at the UC Berkeley campus with the full protection and cooperation of campus police. It was the largest open white power gathering in the Bay Area in some time and shows the degree in which the far-right is growing in the wake of Trump's campaign.
On two consecutive Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, farmworkers called for an international day of action to bring attention to the ongoing struggles in the berry fields in Washington State and San Quintin, Mexico. May 7 was initiated by Familias Unidas por la Justicia in Washington state, while Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democratico De Jornaleros Agricolas (SINDJA) farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico called for a global day of action on May 14. Demonstrations took place in many locations, including Mexico City; Burlington, WA; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and Eureka, Rohnert Park, Fairfield, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and San Diego, California.
Thu May 5 2016 (Updated 05/06/16)
May Day in Northern California, 2016
International Workers' Day was first declared in the late 1800's to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and as a celebration of laborers and the working classes. Around the world on May 1, workers continue to unite to press demands in the streets through marches, rallies, and direct actions. In the United States, May Day is also a day to push for immigrant rights, especially since the massive "Gran Paro Americano" general strike and marches of 2006.
On April 28, 2016, the BART Board of Directors stopped, at least temporarily, a BART Police plan to install Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at MacArthur BART in Oakland – a pilot program to surveil all those entering and exiting the parking facilities. Alert members of the Oakland Privacy Working Group noticed the item buried on the BART Board’s agenda, and three OPWG members testified against the ALPR proposal going forward.
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
At 5am on April 12, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for a 17-month occupation. Two groups of activists – First They Came for the Homeless and Berkeley Post Office Defenders – had occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office continuously since late November, 2014.
Tue Apr 12 2016 (Updated 05/08/16)
Housing State of Emergency Declared in Oakland
Oakland renters have been facing nearly 1,000 evictions per month. Rents have skyrocketed and the median rent is currently $3,000 per month. Housing activists have been pushing for a temporary freeze on evictions and rent hikes to protect tenants from the massive upheaval. On April 6, the Oakland City Council responded by voting unanimously to support a 90-day moratorium on rent increases, but failed to pass a temporary freeze on evictions.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
6PM Thursday Jul 28 HerStory Empowers Awards
This Week in Palestine, July 22nd, 2016 IMEMC Friday Jul 22nd 6:16 PM
OSHA Chief Michaels and DOL Secretary Perez In Corruption Scandal At DOL/OSHA Pacifica WorkWeek Radio KPFA Pacifica Thursday Mar 31st 5:37 AM
Mary Kay Henry - Members Demand Say Aside The Rigged Election Results In SEIU 1021! Labor Video Project (1 comment) Sunday Mar 27th 11:34 PM
This Week in Palestine, March 4th, 2015 IMEMC Friday Mar 4th 9:27 PM
WW2-2-16 UAL IBT Contract Fight And Flint Water, Labor And The UAW KPFA WorkWeek Radio Wednesday Feb 3rd 11:30 PM
Corrupting influence of big money in politics and presidential campaign Lynda Carson (1 comment) Tuesday Jan 19th 4:19 AM
CalSTRS, Spiking, Teacher Pensions, Charters, Cover-ups & Whistleblowing With Thompson Labor Video Project (1 comment) Monday Jan 11th 9:58 AM
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