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In the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of Trump that concluded with an acquittal on February 5, Republicans senators refused to let people with direct knowledge of Trump's behavior testify. Trump's defense attorneys asserted that a President could do whatever benefited him personally if he thought it was in the public interest. The same day Trump was acquitted, protesters in the Bay Area and across the country hit the streets and called out the trial out as a “hoax," “sham,” and “fake," using some of Trump's favorite words to describe events that don‘t accord with his notions.
Tue Jan 14 2020 (Updated 01/18/20)
Protesters Hijack Facebook's Giant "Like" Sign
Critics say that Facebook is leading its 2.7 billion users down a dark road into an information environment filled with dishonest propaganda. On January 9, activists demonstrated both outside and on the property of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The words "Fake News Real Hate" and other slogans were projected on to Facebook's giant thumbs up "like" sign to call out the platform's political ad policy, which allows for paid advertisers to deceive the public.
In September of 2019, the Mountain View City Council passed a sweeping ban that would close off most streets in the city to "oversized vehicles." Two days before Christmas, many RV dwellers got news that brought hope that they might be able to keep their mobile homes in the city, where most of the adults are employed. A referendum petition successfully collected enough signatures to overturn the Mountain View ban on RV’s. If the council wishes to try again to enact a ban, they must go to the voters. The earliest date for such an election would be November 2020. Meanwhile, there is no ban on RV's parked curbside in the city.
Sun Dec 29 2019 (Updated 01/01/20)
Mothers Fight to Keep Their West Oakland Home
On November 18, unsheltered mothers claimed possession of a vacant investor-owned property in West Oakland. After receiving an eviction notice, Moms for Housing declared that they intended to remain in their new home and petitioned the courts to allow them to stay. Wedgewood refuses to negotiate with the moms on a sale backed by the Oakland Community Land Trust. At the latest court hearing on December 30, the judge did not issue a ruling, but might any day. Separately, Moms for Housing pushed back against a public relations ploy by Wedgewood — using affiliated Los Angeles nonprofit Shelter 37 to soften the company's image as it attempts to evict the moms.
Sun Dec 29 2019 (Updated 01/31/20)
Oakland Jails 22 Housing Justice Protesters
On November 24, what was to be known as the Housing Justice Village began to take shape in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. Housed and unhoused activists set up a number of tents on the grassy lawn to protest the city's never ending war against the homeless: demolitions, evictions, and tows of residential vehicles. In a political show of force, the city of Oakland directed a small army of police to mass arrest and jail 22 of the demonstrators on what would otherwise be a citable infraction. On December 2, arrestees held a press conference to address the city's attack and why they protested in the first place.
Wed Dec 18 2019 (Updated 12/23/19)
“Impeach And Remove” Actions Held Nationwide
On the evening of December 17, the day before the US House of Congress was set to vote on Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump, the nation erupted into hundreds of demonstrations urging a vote to impeach. The San Francisco Bay area was no exception. Organized by Indivisible, MoveOn and others, there were demonstrations locally in over forty cities and towns. The following day, December 18, the House voted to impeach Trump on two counts related to his scheme to get Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.
After attorneys for the family of Isiah Murrietta-Golding released video of the 16-year-old being shot in the back of the head while fleeing officers, over 100 people protested in Fresno on October 28. The demonstration was held at the Federal Building in downtown Fresno. Some called it murder and protest signs demanded justice. Speakers spoke passionately about ending the constant shooting of young people in Fresno by the police. Police chief Jerry Dyer is running to be the mayor of Fresno, but Reverend Floyd Harris, who spoke at the demonstration, said he has taken out papers to run against Dyer.
On November 1, Nancy Pelosi said she is "not a big fan of Medicare for All." Likewise, U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, who chairs the Subcommittee on Health, has been criticized for being "in the pocket of Big Pharma." At rallies in front of both Congresswomen's offices this fall, protesters asked why neither of them represent what their constituents want. Both Congresswomen will face opposition from candidates who support Medicare-for-All. The primary election in California is set for March 3, 2020.
The Kincade Fire has created a calamitous path through Northern California’s wine country, forcing nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. Many of them are reliving the disastrous fire that raged through the same area in 2017. On October 25, PG&E admitted its electrical equipment may have ignited the inferno, despite electrical blackouts imposed across Northern California to prevent blazes. In the San Francisco Bay Area, activists say we need to replace private control of utilities. Two new campaigns, Let's Own PG&E and Utility Justice Campaign, are calling for a publicly-accountable takeover of the monopoly. Protests have been held in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and other cities.
Mon Oct 21 2019 (Updated 10/29/19)
The Evolution of Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants
Leon Kunstenaar writes: While the concentration camps and violence at the border are in the news, the less visible, massive number of deportations from areas away from the border explodes.... At D.H.S., after much personnel turnover and turmoil, Trump no longer needs to cope with pushback from various officials resisting his policies. He is now surrounded by extreme ideologues in the mold of Stephen Miller. Rather than large headline generating raids and impressive but useless walls, he will use quiet but continual attacks on individuals enabled by “big data”.
Hundreds of Direct Action Everywhere activists occupied a Whole Foods store and an Amazon office in San Francisco on September 30, with dozens chaining and/or locking themselves in place until thirty-seven were arrested. Simultaneously, several activists chained themselves together inside an Amazon office in San Francisco. The following afternoon, activists urged the SF Board of Supervisors to support of “Rose’s Law: An Animal Bill of Rights.” In response to the protests in San Francisco, Whole Foods’ parent-company Amazon filed for a temporary restraining order against Direct Action Everywhere covering all California locations.
Trump tried and failed to keep his September 17 Silicon Valley fundraiser location secret, putting out misleading information to get protestors to go to the wrong place or simply give up. Then, he misused secret service and local police to try to block protestors from the only road with access to the Palo Alto Republican fundraiser. Despite his efforts, protesters managed to discover the true location as a home owned by Sun MicroSystems co-founder Scott McNealy and created a spectacle that the presidential motorcade and shuttle buses with rich donors would see.
On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution designating the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) a domestic terrorist organization. Supervisor Catherine Stefani said she drafted the resolution in response to the July 28 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which killed 3 people and wounded 15 others. The NRA retaliated by filing a lawsuit against city and county of San Francisco and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Separately, Bay Area groups for stricter gun laws held rallies in response to the week of mass shootings in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
In response to reports that CEO of SoulCycle and Equinox Stephen Ross will be holding a fundraiser for the Donald Trump reelection campaign, members of the LGBT community launched a boycott of these businesses with a protest in front of Soul Cycle's Harvey Milk Plaza location on August 7 in San Francisco. Demonstrators said they are angry that the owner of the fitness center chains, who also owns the Miami Dolphins, is supporting a racist, homophobic, and sexist president. They are calling on current members to cancel their memberships and decline to renew them.
Mon May 6 2019 (Updated 05/09/19)
Support Grows for the California Act to Save Lives
Hundreds of police accountability activists and family members who have lost loved ones to police violence traveled to the Capitol Building in Sacramento on April 9 to show their support for AB392. In a huge milestone for limiting the ability of police to kill at will, the California Act to Save Lives (AB 392) passed in the State Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 5-2 vote. The bill heads to the Rules Committee and then a full Assembly vote. On May 7, the Oakland City Council approved a resolution in support of AB 392.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Schubert announced that she will not pursue criminal charges against the murderers of Stephon Clark on March 2. Outraged by the decision to not hold accountable Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal, the community protested and police mass arrested 84 people. But Stephon Clark is the name you know. There are at least ten other black and brown men that have been murdered by deputies and police under District Attorney Schubert's watch.
Oakland’s Police Commission unanimously passed a new policy which requires that police officers have an actual reason to search a person on probation or parole for a non-violent offense. The Police Commission will consider comments from OPD until May 9 before submitting the new policy to the Public Safety Committee and then to the full City Council. Unless the council votes to reject it, the policy will go into effect. John Jones III says, “This policy will make a real difference for people on probation and parole trying to rebuild their lives."
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)
Governor Newsom Suspends Death Penalty in California
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order on March 13 putting a moratorium on California's death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, which they narrowly rejected at the ballot in 2016. Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state's execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.
A coalition of local and community groups hosted a town hall in the East Bay town of Rodeo on March 7, drawing over 150 people to discuss the risks of a proposal by Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands. The tar sands expansion proposal would impact local health and the climate by increasing refinery emissions and worsening air quality for nearby communities while also increasing tanker traffic and the risk of a devastating oil spill in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thu Mar 14 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)
San Francisco Bay Area Says Hands Off Venezuela
Venezuela has been in the crosshairs of the U.S. since 1999 when Hugo Chávez began implementing socialist reforms. Upon Chávez's death in 2013, Nicolás Maduro was elected President. Maduro's second inauguration was on January 10, 2019. On January 22, U.S. Vice President Pence offered Juan Guaidó the presidency of Venezuela and Guaidó then appointed himself "Interim President." Trump recognized the self-appointment, in effect instigating a coup against the Bolivarian government. Several protests and marches have been held in the Bay Area to demand the U.S. take its "Hands Off Venezuela." On March 16, thousands marched in D.C.
UPDATE 2/26: County Leaders Dump “Urban Shield” Name, Adopt Vast Majority of Committee Recommendations

An Alameda County task force recommended Urban Shield be transformed from a highly militarized SWAT competition and weapons expo into a community-focused safety exercise. The Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies are expected to push back hard when the recommendations come to a vote on Tuesday, February 26. Urban Shield opponents say a large "Stop Urban Shield" presence at the meeting is important, but that you can also reach out to Supervisors and tell them not to buckle to the pressure.
Wed Feb 20 2019 (Updated 03/10/19)
Oakland Teachers Shut It Down
UPDATE 3/3: Oakland Education Association members vote to ratify new contract with OUSD, return to work on 3/4.

Oakland teachers are the lowest paid teachers in Alameda County. Students are under-resourced with only one academic counselor per 600 students and 21 nurses for all 37,000 students. Oakland teachers are demanding smaller class sizes, more student support, a moratorium on charters, no more school closures, and a living wage. To fight for those goals, teachers went on strike city-wide on Thursday, February 21. There are morning and afternoon picket lines every weekday. Teachers and allies request folks to join them on the line and show solidarity at mid-day rallies.
Mon Feb 18 2019 (Updated 03/11/19)
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 05/04/19)
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.

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