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Community members protesting local laws that criminalize homelessness held their third group campout at Santa Cruz City Hall on July 26. Several dozen people slept in the City Hall courtyard from sunset until the following morning, when they were greeted with a large buffet-style breakfast served by a fresh-faced group. Organizers have more sleep-ins planned for the future, with the next confirmed for Sunday, August 2, again at Santa Cruz City Hall.
Humanist Hall Threatened by Complaints from New Condos Next Door The Humanist Hall, home to the Fellowship of Humanity on 27th Street in Oakland, is being attacked by newcomers who live in condos built right next door only about ten years ago. The Humanist Hall has opened its doors for countless radical and under-served organizations over the past 75 years, from the Black Panthers to Mexican baptisms, from transgender weddings to Oscar Grant movement events. It's an Oakland social justice and cultural resource run by a group of generous people. The Fellowship's creed is simple: "The world is my country, to do good is my religion."

Yet now it is being labelled a public nuisance by the City of Oakland because newcomers to the neighborhood have repeatedly complained. An online petition calls on Mayor Libby Schaaf to “encourage condo owners and renters to respect the social norms of the neighborhood – our neighborhood – that they have moved into.”

photoCity of Oakland Declares Humanist Hall a Neighborhood Nuisance, Issues Huge Fines | photoOakland's Humanist Hall Declared a Nuisance by City | Petition
On July 4, community members in Santa Cruz held a public campout at Santa Cruz City Hall, but it was quickly cut short by police at about 1am. The campout was organized in response to the recent reduction of services at the Homeless Services Center that occurred due to a funding deficit, as well as to protest local laws that criminalize sleeping outdoors. At least eight individuals were issued infraction citations for refusing to leave City Hall.
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other tribal representatives and their allies rallied, chanted, sang and waved signs on the sidewalk in front of Westin Hotel on June 29 and 30 outside the Second California Water Summit in Sacramento. They were there to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California Tribes, environmentalists, fishermen and other key stakeholders in the public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects proposed under Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond.
Listen Up Mayors: Humanity First Demonstrations On June 19, Bay Area community groups CodePink, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Occupy SF Action Council, Anti Police-Terror Project, Jewitch Camp, the Green Party, and World Can’t Wait gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco to protest the presence of police chiefs from around the country during San Francisco’s Conference for Mayors. Many events were planned during the 4-day conference and protests were held at all of them.

The first few events included creative actions by CodePink, with a banner drop, a Hug-in, and a Die-in on the street in front of the SF Hilton, where President Obama later spoke to the mayors and police chief’s inside.

The protests were organized because many American citizens feel their voices are not being heard. Local activist organizations also cite the fact that the mayor's conference was to be attended by many corporate CEO's and executives, and not by ordinary citizens. The rallies demanded that the mayors of the United States rebuild infrastructure, protect and educate children, end police brutality, recognize that black and brown lives matter, house the homeless, feed the hungry, take control of corporate influence in politics, and fix the judicial system.

imc_photo.gifvideo Read More with Photos and Video: 1 | 2 | calendarList of Actions for : Listen Up Mayors! ~ Humanity First ~ June 19 - June 22 | calendarKiller Cops Not Welcome! Shut Down the Police Chiefs at U.S. Conference of Mayors | calendarCODEPINK Hug-in & Creative Action at US Conference of Mayors! | calendar"Counter GALA" to Mayor Ed Lee's Welcoming Gala for the U.S. Mayors | calendarGreet the Mayors on Golden Gate Bridge | calendarRally & March on the US Conference of Mayors! | calendarDisrupt U.S. Conference of Mayors Party Plan
The outrage over the bottling of California water by Nestlé, Walmart and other big corporations during a record drought has become viral on social media and national and international media websites over the past couple of months. On May 20, people from across the state converged on two Nestlé bottling plants — one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles — demanding that the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation halt its bottling operations during the state’s record drought.

At the protests, activists delivered 515,000 signatures from people in California and around the nation who signed onto a series of petitions to Nestlé executives, Governor Brown, the California State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Forest Service urging an immediate shutdown of Nestlé’s bottling operations across the state.

Led by the California-based Courage Campaign, the protest was the third in Sacramento over the past year. The first two protests were "shut downs" this March and last October organized by the Crunch Nestlé Alliance.

photoRead More | photoPhoto essay of protest against Nestlé in Sacramento

Previous Related Indybay Feature: Activists 'Shut Down' Nestlé Water Bottling Plant
After seven years of stagnant wages, city workers who have been economically shut out of Santa Cruz marched from the Town Clock to City Hall on May 26 to hand-deliver a letter from the community to the City Council, demanding a response to the need for a living wage, affordable housing and community investment for all. Seven demonstrators were arrested after they stood before the podium and locked arms, and then refused to leave Council Chambers.
A local citizen first reported an oil spill coming from a leak in the pipeline at Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara at around noon on May 19. Coast Guard crews stopped the oil leak by 3 p.m., but as much as 105,000 gallons were released, with tens of thousands of gallons going into the ocean. The company that owns the pipeline involved in the spill has had 175 incidents (mostly oil spills) nationwide since 2006, including 11 in California, according to a Center for Biological Diversity analysis of federal documents.
The first successful Santa Cruz County referendum in 13 years has suspended an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation. The ban was adopted on April 14, and was to go into effect on May 15. Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz circulated the referendum and after only 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county. 7,248 valid signatures are required to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
On May 8, approximately 300 people took over San Francisco City Hall to deliver their messages about the untenable evictions that are now occurring in the City. There has been a 54.7% increase in evictions this year, with over 2,000 units evicted thus far in 2015. The protest included an ethnic ritual, chants, testimonials by victims of the evictions, and a walk around San Francisco City Hall’s political chambers to deliver their messages personally to the Supervisors and Mayor.
On May 5, Black.Seed, Asians4BlackLives, and allies shut down the Oakland City Council and held a People's City Council against a proposed development on East 12th Street. The development, up for a vote at that evening's city council meeting, includes no affordable housing and links to the larger wave of displacement being felt throughout Oakland and the Bay Area. The activists stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, linking gentrification to increased policing, and criminalization of Black and Brown people.
Homeless and Allies in Tulare Organize for Change A group of about 100 homeless people and their supporters attended the Tulare City Council meeting on April 21 calling for specific changes in public policy. The group, which delivered a petition signed by over 1,000 residents, called for improvements in the way homeless people are treated by the police, a safe place to sleep and equal rights. The Union of Hope in Tulare filled the City Council chambers with an overflow crowd. There was standing room only. This was the statement they delivered to the mayor and council members:

We thank you for this opportunity to address this issue that we want to bring to your attention. The issue is the poor treatment of houseless people here and the lack of a long term solution to the problem in this beautiful city. According to the Homeless Central California Area Social Services Consortium 2015 there are 595 houseless persons in our County, and in our city of Tulare there are 100. We find it deplorable that three houseless persons have died already this year, and Raul Galegos encountered a houseless mother with her 8-month-old child who were both as cold as ice. The houseless have reported being assaulted, having bones broken, and their belongings taken. These people are residents of Tulare and as such deserve to have access to shelter and provisions in their time of need. They deserve to be protected and not assaulted. They are human beings and they need to have access to emergency shelter in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. It is time to stop kicking this particular can down the road. The houseless need solutions, not a cold shoulder.

photoRead More
Stewart Resnick Expands Almond Acreage as Cities Forced to Slash Water Use A coalition of environmentalists on April 20 blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent.

“While farmers make their own decisions on what to plant, the public is paying the price for poor decisions made by greedy mega-growers, who plant permanent crops where there is no water,” Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, told reporters in a news conference about the “tunnels only” version of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that Governor Jerry Brown is now pushing. “That is not sustainable and the tunnels would subsidize unsustainable agriculture.”

Barrigan-Parrilla said Resnick, the owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, uses as much water for his almonds as the amount of water 38 million Californians are now required to conserve. At this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms, Resnick revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond, and walnut acreage during a record drought.

Read More: photoStewart Resnick expands almond acreage as cities forced to slash water use | photoGovernor Brown's drought order lets agribusiness, oil companies off the hook | photoDrought legislation must target agribusiness and Big Oil | photoDrought Shows Folly of Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels | photoWill drought relief money be used to support overpumping Delta water? | photoHouse Passes Salmon-Killing Drought Relief Bill | photoFeinstein delays controversial drought legislation until next year | photoFeinstein's fish-killing drought bill being negotiated in secrecy | photoMeet the Resnicks, the Koch Brothers of California Water | photoBrown fails to discuss wholesale draining of reservoirs in drought statement | photoBrown declares drought state of emergency as protesters urge halt to fracking

Previous Related Indybay Features: Activists 'Shut Down' Nestlé Water Bottling Plant | Steelhead Suffer From Emptying of Northern California Reservoirs | "Sucked Dry: Drought and Privatization" Art Show Shut Down by GMO Dean at UC Berkeley | 3 Billion Gallons of Oil Industry Wastewater Illegally Dumped into Central Valley Aquifers | Reducing Beef Intake by One Pound Saves More Water Than Not Showering for Six Months
On March 24, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 before an overflowing room to ban the cultivation of cannabis in all unincorporated territories of the county, with limited exceptions. Personal grows of 10×10 square feet are still permitted, with restrictions. Outdoor cultivation is entirely banned in the 2nd District, represented by Zach Friend, and includes the communities of Aptos, Corralitos, Freedom, and portions of Watsonville.
On February 7, thousands of people from across the state took to the streets of Oakland to call on Governor Jerry Brown to protect Californians from dangerous oil activities that harm the state's water, health and communities. The day before, on February 6, about seventy activists blockaded the entrances to the California State office building in San Francisco in support of a state-wide ban on fracking.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
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Sacramento activists sing "No Fracking No Way" at protest Dan Bacher
Saturday Aug 1st 5:50 PM
Community Sleep-ins Continue at Santa Cruz City Hall Alex Darocy (2 comments)
Friday Jul 31st 4:37 PM
Protesters sing, wave signs and blast Delta tunnels at "open house' Dan Bacher (2 comments)
Thursday Jul 30th 2:36 PM
City of Oakland Declares Humanist Hall a Neighborhood Nuisance, Issues Huge Fines Tulio Ospina, Oakland Post (3 comments)
Sunday Jul 26th 3:43 PM
The Importance of Building a Labor/Community Alliance Mike Rhodes
Sunday Jul 26th 9:01 AM
Santa Clara County workers vote to ratify contract via SEIU 521
Thursday Jul 23rd 3:55 PM
Pathways Report: Policy Options for Regulating Marijuana in California Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy
Thursday Jul 23rd 3:13 PM
More Local News...
Greece demonstrates International Communist Party
Tuesday Jul 28th 8:55 AM
DARK Act Remains Catastrophic for Farmers and Consumers Despite Proposed Changes via Center for Food Safety
Tuesday Jul 21st 4:35 PM
Fracking-Harmed Pa. Residents Demand Action from Gov. Wolf via Food & Water Watch
Tuesday Jul 21st 4:27 PM
US still demands that Burundi's Nkurunziza stand down KPFA Weekend News/Ann Garrison (1 comment)
Monday Jul 20th 2:35 PM
Deep-sea Mining Regulations Need Stronger Environmental Protections Center for Biological Diversity
Thursday Jul 16th 3:16 PM
DARK Act To Be Voted On In The House Next Week!! Say No to GMO! via Pamm Larry, LabelGMOs (1 comment)
Thursday Jul 16th 1:25 PM
The Question of a US form of fascism Steve Martinot (2 comments)
Sunday Jun 28th 9:14 AM
More Global News...
Sealclubbing PM Harper of Canada Has Only 28% Support New Winds
Monday Aug 3rd 12:52 PM
What do you do if your Senator is a crook? Renzo
Monday Aug 3rd 11:52 AM
Joe Biden to Challenge Hillary? Stephen Lendman
Sunday Aug 2nd 7:26 AM
Plan or Be Planned – that is the neighborhood question Steve Martinot
Monday Jul 27th 12:38 PM
Oakland's Humanist Hall Declared a Nuisance by City Gillian Edevane, East Bay Express
Sunday Jul 26th 3:54 PM
Republican Internecine Warfare Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Jul 21st 5:44 AM
Nazi Ukraine & Israel: Litmus Test on Demo-Republicans Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Thursday Jul 9th 9:23 PM
Sunday's Referendum in Greece Stephen Lendman
Thursday Jul 2nd 11:39 AM
Senator Gary Hart on how we got in this mess. TIME MAGAZINE Antoine Leem
Saturday Jun 27th 1:13 PM
Donald Trump: Billionaire Con Man, Presidential Aspirant Stephen Lendman
Friday Jun 19th 10:58 AM
Jeb Bush Makes His Presidential Candidacy Official Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Jun 16th 12:17 PM
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