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Government & Elections News

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There were at least 527 evictions in the Bay Area from the start of the statewide coronavirus lockdown on March 19 through the end of December. On January 27, over 100 tenants and advocates blocked eviction hearings at the Santa Clara County Superior Court, protesting the displacement of renters during the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters blocking the courthouse entrance shut down the court before being violently removed by Sheriff’s Deputies. Nine protesters were arrested on the charge of disrupting court operations.
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.
Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. Hundreds of Trump’s supporters encountered little resistance as they broke into the Capitol in Washington D.C., encouraged by the Trump's continuous false claims that the election was stolen from him and his calls for "wild" demonstrations. Five people were killed during the incursion. Reaction was swift in San Francisco with the first counter-protest happening by 3:30pm PST.
Sun Nov 8 2020 (Updated 11/30/20)
Our Long National Nightmare Is Over
Protests to demand that every vote be counted spontaneously became celebrations of Trump losing after the presidential election was called by the major corporate news networks on November 7. Rally speakers reminded their audiences that though they celebrate, they must continue to agitate for change. The damage done by Trump is extensive, including stirring up a new generation of racist hate groups, and pre-Trump struggles for justice and equality, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against climate change, will carry on.
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.".
Tue Oct 20 2020 (Updated 10/21/20)
San Francisco Marches to Protect Women's Rights
Over a thousand women took to the streets of San Francisco on October 17 in solidarity with actions nationwide responding to the anticipated loss of women's rights with Amy Coney Barrett replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, as well as to protest the crimes of Donald Trump more generally. After right-wingers were chased away from City Hall and police given the runaround, marchers, protected by a wall of shields, headed south on Market Street.
Erica Aitken of Reimagine Santa Cruz writes: The next City Council elections will decide the future of Santa Cruz. Do we open our doors to Silicon Valley with luxury rentals and our very own Santana Row? Or do we take control and build beautiful affordable housing for those who work and would like to live here? If we ask ourselves this question, it is because we have recently been the victims of a particularly galling breach of trust from our current City Councilmembers.
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.
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.
As San Quentin faces California's deadliest coronavirus prison outbreak, protesters are marching to demand that Governor Newsom grant mass releases. COVID-19 infections spread quickly amongst the incarcerated because of inhumane prison infrastructure, say demonstrators who have shown up hundreds at a time outside the prison gates. By continuing to detain men at the Marin County facility, activists insist, the Governor is giving them death sentences.
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