Government & Elections News
Sun Jul 3 2022 (Updated 07/12/22)City of Santa Cruz Vehicles Torched
Multiple city vehicles were set on fire and destroyed at a maintenance yard at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz on June 2. Graffiti left at the scene read, "Leave Homeless Alone!!" and "Stop Sweeping!" City officials have estimated the damage to be approximately $300,000. The vehicles were destroyed in advance of the impending mass eviction at the San Lorenzo Park Benchlands homeless encampment, which the City of Santa Cruz had announced would begin in July.
Sun Jun 5 2022 (Updated 07/02/22)Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade!
Protesters spilled into the streets on June 24 soon after the much anticipated Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was announced. In San Francisco, protesters gathered en masse in front of the Phillip Burton Federal Building for a rally that morphed into a march with a sit in at Market and 8th streets. An estimated 3,000 people converged on the intersection while thousands others protested in other parts of the city.
Wed May 4 2022 (Updated 06/07/22)The Supreme Court Intends to Overturn Roe v. Wade
In a rare breach of US Supreme Court secrecy, a draft majority opinion written by justice Samuel Alito has been leaked. The would-be ruling makes a case for completely overturning Roe v. Wade, allowing states to outlaw all abortions without exceptions for rape and incest. Women in half of the states will lose access to safe and legal reproductive services. Protests immediately broke out across the country and are ongoing. Read more for updates.
Wed Jan 19 2022 (Updated 03/05/22)Counter-Protesters Rise Up at Anti-Abortion "Walk for Life"
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. Advocates for reproductive justice showed up on the forty-ninth anniversary of the decision to reignite the movement to control their bodies. Activists provided a counter-presence to the annual anti-abortion “Walk for Life” in San Francisco. Reproductive justice supporters rallied at the Federal Building/U.S. Courthouse, then marched to where Walk for Life was holding their opening event.
Sat Jan 8 2022 (Updated 01/14/22)January 6 Anniversary Marked with Protests and Rallies
On January 6, cities and towns throughout the Bay Area and across the country held remembrance vigils and protest rallies on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol building. Demonstrators identified former President Trump and the Republican Party as responsible for assaulting democracy in an attempt to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election. Many observers view the country as never having been so divided since the civil war and fear a recurrence.
Wed Dec 15 2021 (Updated 12/16/21)Demonstrators Target Corporations that Support Abortion Opponents
As the US Supreme Court stood poised on December 1 to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, demonstrators across the US took to the streets. A new organization on the reproductive justice movement scene, Strike for Choice, said the date, which coincided with World AIDS Day, "is fitting because we owe so much to the Act Up movement that moved the needle on the government’s attitude towards powerless AIDS patients."
Mon Dec 13 2021 (Updated 01/08/22)Standing Up for Justice on International Human Rights Day
International Human Rights Day was marked on December 10 by a diverse protest at San Francisco's Federal Building, calling out worldwide crimes against humanity. Countries and policies targeted were the US-supported Saudi war in Yemen, fascists in Myanmar, Israeli colonization of Palestine, attacks against the free press, police brutality, and the US Supreme Court's attack on women. Protesters later marched to a second rally at Powell and Market Streets.
Wed Nov 3 2021 (Updated 11/05/21)Day of the Dead Protest at Nancy Pelosi's House
On October 30, a Day of the Dead rally was held in front of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's house in San Francisco. It was at the end of a funeral procession from Alta Plaza Park. A mock coffin with "68000" painted on it was carried to remember the number of people who died this year because of a lack of medical care. The Speaker's house has been a frequent target of demonstration. She has been viewed as a captive of corporate lobbying, unwilling to enact real healthcare reform.
Mon Sep 27 2021 (Updated 10/19/21)Bay Area Rejects Texas Anti-Abortion Law
On September 1, Texas’ anti-abortion law banning the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy went into effect, despite the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which established a constitutional right to this form of healthcare. Reproductive justice advocates in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country held major protests on October 2 and October 3, with the fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion on the line. Indybay has coverage from a dozen cities.
Tue Aug 17 2021 (Updated 08/18/21)Protest for Better Treatment of the Homeless Held at Fresno City Hall
On July 20, homeless activist Dez Martinez set up a tent on the lawn in front of Fresno City Hall and invited other activists to come through. She then put out a general call for more people to come by and set up tents on July 23. On the second day only a couple of tents went up, but around fifty supporters came. They demanded better alternatives to being on the streets. One of the activists at City Hall was Gordie Ochinero-Bermudez, who recently did a 450-mile bike ride to raise money for porta-potties for Fresno’s homeless population.
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.
Fri Jan 8 2021 (Updated 01/09/21)Fascist Coup Attempt Fails to Overthrow Presidential Election Results
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.
Tue Nov 3 2020 (Updated 11/30/20)Rallies Readied for Possible Post-Election Electoral Emergency
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 09/28/21)Bay Area 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.
Thu Oct 15 2020 (Updated 10/24/20)Library/Parking Garage Is Litmus Test for the Future of Santa Cruz
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.
Sun Sep 6 2020 (Updated 09/07/20)Journalists Sue Oakland Police Over California Public Records Act
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.
Sat Aug 8 2020 (Updated 08/09/20)Protests Grow As Coronavirus Spreads Among Prisoners at San Quentin
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.