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Mon Feb 18 2019 (Updated 02/20/19)
Irish Bill Banning Israeli Settlement Goods Passes
The lower house of the Irish parliament passed a bill preventing the importation or sale of goods from Israeli settlements on January 24. The law would "make it an offence for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances." Conversely, the U.S. Senate passed a bill on February 5 which included the "Combating BDS Act of 2019" that would allow state and local governments to sanction those who support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.
Mon Feb 18 2019 (Updated 02/20/19)
Civil Rights Violations Never End with Vallejo Police
Since 2003, Vallejo has paid out at least $10.1 million related to police misconduct. And the civil rights violations keep piling up. On January 22, Adrian Burrell was assaulted by Vallejo police while video recording a traffic stop. On February 9, six Vallejo police officers shot Willie McCoy to death after they found him asleep in a Taco Bell drive-through. Family members and allies touched by the death of Willie McCoy gathered outside the Taco Bell where he was killed to remember him and protest the police on February 16 and 17.
Mon Jan 14 2019 (Updated 02/17/19)
Trump Shutdown Increasingly Harms Low-Income Renters
UPDATE Jan 25: Hours after staffing shortages forced LaGuardia Airport to cancel all incoming flights, Trump agreed to end the shutdown for 3 weeks.

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.
Sun Jan 13 2019 (Updated 01/16/19)
Delta Smelt on the Brink of Extinction
For the first time ever, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta Smelt throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in the last four months of 2018. The Delta Smelt, listed under both federal and state Endangered Species Acts, is regarded as an indicator species, a fish that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem.
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.
The "Green New Deal" is a proposed program for moving America quickly away from a climate catastrophe and into an ecologically sustainable future, simultaneously creating millions of new jobs and addressing economic inequality. On December 11, the Sunrise Movement of young people demonstrated at Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco office. The day before, over 100 protesters were arrested at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
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 polling place at the Unitarian Universalist church was eliminated in November because of a “Black Lives Matter” sign. It was moved to the Cross City evangelical Christian mega church with three huge crosses out front. The 25,000 students of CSU-Fresno do not have a polling place on campus. Two thirds of the 3,000 inmates at the Fresno County Jail have not been convicted of a crime, yet are not provided a polling booth either.
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to cease issuing permits for offshore fracking and acidizing in federal waters — waters over 3 miles from shore — off of the coast of Southern California. On November 9, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act when it allowed hydraulic fracturing and acidizing in offshore oil and gas wells in all leased federal waters off Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
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.
Sun Oct 28 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Campground Crisis as Winter Approaches
The River Street campground in Santa Cruz is slated for dispersal at the end of November, breaking promises from city staff that it would last through the winter until April. The only option the city is offering in its place is a small night-time only shelter. Massive new fences were raised around San Lorenzo Park, Grant Street Park, and the downtown post office. In anticipation of the River Street campground closure, homeless activists are organizing to establish a community survival campground on Thursday, November 15.
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.
UPDATE 9/18: Governor Brown signs AB-2178 into law.

The California Assembly and Senate have passed AB-2178, which would impose new restrictions on individuals and community groups like Food Not Bombs that share free meals. Volunteer groups feeding the poor and homeless pose little food safety risk. These grassroots groups have operated for decades and follow strong private food safety practices. They fill a critical gap that the state itself struggles to address.
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