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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.
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.”
City of Oakland Declares Humanist Hall a Neighborhood Nuisance, Issues Huge Fines |
Oakland's Humanist Hall Declared a Nuisance by City |
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.
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.
Read More with Photos and Video:
List of Actions for : Listen Up Mayors! ~ Humanity First ~ June 19 - June 22 |
Killer Cops Not Welcome! Shut Down the Police Chiefs at U.S. Conference of Mayors |
CODEPINK Hug-in & Creative Action at US Conference of Mayors! |
"Counter GALA" to Mayor Ed Lee's Welcoming Gala for the U.S. Mayors |
Greet the Mayors on Golden Gate Bridge |
Rally & March on the US Conference of Mayors! |
Disrupt 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.
Read More |
Photo 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.
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.
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.
Stewart Resnick expands almond acreage as cities forced to slash water use
Governor Brown's drought order lets agribusiness, oil companies off the hook
Drought legislation must target agribusiness and Big Oil
Drought Shows Folly of Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels
Will drought relief money be used to support overpumping Delta water?
House Passes Salmon-Killing Drought Relief Bill
Feinstein delays controversial drought legislation until next year
Feinstein's fish-killing drought bill being negotiated in secrecy
Meet the Resnicks, the Koch Brothers of California Water
Brown fails to discuss wholesale draining of reservoirs in drought statement
Brown 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.