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The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California and the West, but it should be. WSPA is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in California. It represents a who's who of oil companies including Aera Energy, Chevron, California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and many others. Yet most people — even many environmental activists — have never heard of the organization and the enormous influence it wields over politicians and regulators in the western states.
Santa Cruz police initiated a raid at City Hall on November 23 at 3:30 am, shortly after it stopped raining that evening, to clear from the area approximately two dozen individuals who had been sleeping and sheltering themselves from the weather under the eaves of the buildings in the complex. Officers issued citations to individuals, and made one arrest. Many of those sleeping at City Hall were participating in the weekly Freedom Sleepers sleep protest, while others were simply sheltering themselves from the wet weather temporarily with the group.
Within hours of the announcement that Trump would be the next president of the United States, protests erupted in Oakland and cities across the country. The first wave of demonstrations in Oakland occurred daily for nearly a week. During that time, Oakland police reverted to historical bad practices in their attempts to quell the protests. The San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) held a press conference on November 21 to publicly address the dangerous actions and physical injuries caused by OPD during the demonstrations.
Sun Nov 27 2016 (Updated 12/01/16)
Standing Rock Solidarity in Northern California
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation called for indigenous nations and others to stand in solidarity as they fight to prevent continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in their ancestral lands, especially near the Missouri River. Since federal agencies blocked construction under the Missouri River in early September, police have greatly increased the violence unleashed against the Water Protectors. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and injured by police weaponry. Now, federal authorities are threatening to close the NoDAPL camp by December 5, but protesters promise continued resistance.
Tenants in the cities of Oakland, Richmond, and Mountain View are celebrating rent control victories. Tens of thousands of renters will have new protections from greedy landlords, realtors and speculators around the Bay Area. The renter protection ballot measure in Oakland, known as Measure JJ, was voted into law with 74% of the vote. In Richmond, after a long hard struggle, 64% of voters passed rent control and just cause eviction protections into law with the passage of Measure L. In a victory for Mountain View over corporate interests, the grassroots renter protection measure known as Measure V was passed with 53% of the vote.
On November 15, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation prohibiting new fossil fuel leases on city-owned property in an effort to combat climate change. The legislation by Supervisor John Avalos originated with 350 Bay Area analyst Jed Holtzman, who discovered the city was leasing to Chevron an 800-acre property that it inherited in Kern County. City finance officials say converting the property to a solar array could generate more revenue than current oil operations, which net the city about $320,000 annually.
Mon Nov 14 2016 (Updated 11/29/16)
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now
The first anti-Trump protests began almost immediately, shortly after election results were announced. By the evening of November 9, protesters poured into the streets across the country. The Northern California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Hollister, Santa Rosa, and Fresno have stood up against Trump, the rallying cries being "Not My President" and "Fuck Trump!" Demonstrations continue on a daily or near-daily basis all over. There is no end in sight. Calls have gone out to disrupt inaugural events on January 20 and for a Women's March on Washington on January 21.
According to the Mountain View High School Oracle newspaper, MVHS principal David Grissom and other school administrators made the decision to put history teacher Frank Navarro on administrative leave. The leave was prompted by Navarro's alleged comments in class that made connections between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler. "Whether or not he said this, it is dangerous and disgusting that the administration has decided to punish him for drawing parallels between two similarly dangerous moments in history," wrote MVHS alumnus Annie Ashmore in a petition to the principal.
Voters in Monterey County, California's fourth-largest oil-producing county, passed Measure Z to ban fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. The measure won with more than fifty-five percent of the vote, despite supporters being outspent thirty to one by oil companies, including Chevron and Aera Energy. Measure Z also phases out toxic wastewater injection and prohibits new oil wells in the county. "David beat Goliath in Monterey County's stunning victory against oil industry pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity.
UPDATE: ...And a new four-year nightmare is about to begin. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. For coverage of the first anti-Trump protests across Northern California, see We've Got a Bigger Problem Now.

Considering the campaign for president currently lasts nearly two years, made worse by the two major political parties selecting nominees with the highest unfavorable ratings ever for presidential candidates, most of the country is ready for the election to be over already. While Indybay has not received reports on everything and everyone up for a vote in every Northern California district on Tuesday, November 8, those who've chosen to publish their reports and recommendations have covered a variety of the issues at stake. See what they have to say.
At 5:00am on November 4, the Berkeley Police Department violently raided an encampment of people living in tents at the corner of Fairview and Adeline Streets. The encampment served as a safe, clean and drug-free place for those seeking shelter from the rain and cold. Four people were arrested, including District 2 City Council candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple. In response, a "Housing Not Handcuffs Sunrise Vigil" is scheduled for 6-10am on November 7 at Berkeley City Hall. In Oakland, from 8am-4pm the same day, a call has gone out to pack the Wiley Manuel courtroom in solidarity with arrestees.
On October 29, World Can't Wait San Francisco and friends took a stand against "Torture Professor" John Yoo and his handlers at UC Berkeley Law School. "Today we represent the views and the hearts of many more tens of millions of people who know that torture is a war crime, and a crime against humanity. International and UN law both prohibit torture, under any and all circumstances, without exception," read the protest flier. "Indict, Prosecute, Disbar... No More Torture in Our Name," chanted about 20 witnesses to university apologists.
Oakland police sergeant James "Mike" Gantt has come forward with allegations of the Oakland police department and city leaders retaliating against him for his investigation as to whether fellow officer Brendan O'Brien murdered his wife, Irma Huerta-Lopez, on June 16, 2014. With a long record as a homicide inspector for OPD, Gantt unequivocally states that he believes O'Brien did indeed murder his wife and OPD covered it up, retaliating against him for attempting to do an honest examination of the evidence.
Sun Oct 30 2016 (Updated 11/05/16)
D is for Dilemma in Santa Cruz County
Big money is being spent to influence the outcome of Measure D on the November Santa Cruz County ballot. Unlike political offices, campaigns for ballot measures have no limit to the amount of money that can be contributed. There is no restriction on the source of contributions, so special interests from outside the County can buy influence in our local ballot measures. This week, The No on D group, Widening Won't Work, has organized two public demonstrations in front of two of the major corporate donors to Measure D, Granite Rock Construction Company and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
7PM Wednesday Dec 14 Sarah Jaffe
Body Cameras for Santa Cruz Police on City Council Agenda Santa Cruz Police News (2 comments) Friday Dec 9th 9:55 PM
Marin-Based Wildlife Group Slams EPA Pick joanna Friday Dec 9th 2:51 PM
America Was Never Great Demonstration and March Mission District Mission District Solidarity Tuesday Dec 6th 3:46 PM
Trump nominates a moron to be the next HUD Secretary Lynda Carson (4 comments) Monday Dec 5th 4:24 PM
Frivolous Spending at Sonoma State University Natalee Lewis (2 comments) Monday Dec 5th 3:31 PM
Oakland officials are responsible for Ghost Ship warehouse fire Lynda Carson (20 comments) Sunday Dec 4th 1:42 AM
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Congress Passes Anti-Corruption Act Greg Friday Dec 9th 10:23 AM
US Election as a Turn of an Era Bernd Drucke (1 comment) Friday Dec 9th 5:08 AM
Taking the battle to President-elect Donald Trump and the electors Lynda Carson (2 comments) Thursday Dec 8th 1:45 AM
Water Protectors Occupy the Iowa Utilities Board via Mississippi Stand Wednesday Dec 7th 10:25 AM
Report highlights 17 bad actors waging aggressive anti-solar campaigns via Environment California Tuesday Dec 6th 2:08 PM
Victory for Standing Rock: DAPL Easement Not Granted via Earthjustice Monday Dec 5th 6:04 PM
Nurses Donate $50,000 to Aid Veterans Stand with Standing Rock via National Nurses United Monday Dec 5th 5:23 PM
Stop Sen. Sesssions From Making U.S. into a Sadistic State as D.A.! Green Liberty Party Monday Dec 5th 5:11 AM
EPA Petitioned to Acknowledge Extensive Fluoride/Brain Risk Evidence Fluoride Action Network Sunday Dec 4th 11:36 AM
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Chernobyl as a means of blackmail Max Vodnik Wednesday Dec 7th 5:26 AM
Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı: in Germany it is on home ground ZetterbergJohan Wednesday Nov 23rd 4:24 AM
The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda Robert Reich Monday Nov 21st 6:30 PM
Beyond the Hollow Ones Paul Street Friday Nov 18th 7:11 AM
TRUMP'S WORLD: Power Thru the Eyes of a Psychopath RG Cunningham Monday Nov 14th 8:34 AM
Western Ukraine: EU and NATO membership subscription VaalenImbis Tuesday Nov 8th 5:25 AM
Vote Socialist & YES on Prop 61 Steven Argue Monday Nov 7th 5:46 AM
Revolutionary Tendency Voter Recommendations on CA Propositions Steven Argue (1 comment) Friday Nov 4th 5:39 PM
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