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Demonstrations continue around the Bay Area in the name of George Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, with tens of thousands taking to the streets. Protests in every corner of the Bay Area have been met with police force. Demonstrators say they won’t be stopping despite the risks posed by police attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the full feature with coverage from across Northern California.
Demonstrations continue around the Bay Area in the name of George Floyd, with tens of thousands taking to the streets. At protests in the East and South Bay, they have been met almost immediately by police force. Demonstrators say they won’t be stopping despite the risks posed by police attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic because racism, which has long posed a dire health threat, must be countered.
Sun May 31 2020 (Updated 06/02/20)
Memorial Day Caravans in San Francisco and San Jose
On a warm Memorial Day with California slightly relaxing its lockdown, a Code Pink caravan of decorated cars delivered an anti-war plea to the steps of Senator Diane Feinstein's Pacific Heights $10 million mansion. Later the same afternoon in San Jose, another peace caravan focused on the demand for human rights to health, housing, education, a living wage and all the components of a dignified life. Those participants delivered money to volunteers at a local homeless encampment. Organizers of both demonstrations said their goal was to counter the usual militaristic Memorial Day rhetoric.
Stanford Hospital healthcare workers are facing a choice that is not really a choice. Employees were shocked to learn that Stanford Health Care recently demanded frontline workers “share the sacrifice” in this time of pandemic, that they choose between being furloughed, taking paid time off early, or accepting a 20% pay cut over a 10-week period. On May 21, dozens of hospital workers and concerned members of the public protested in Palo Alto.
Sat May 2 2020 (Updated 05/06/20)
Dueling May Day Protests at SF City Hall
A coalition of activists marked May Day with demands to cancel rent, mortgage and utility payments for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic with a car caravan at San Francisco city hall, and also counter-protested against a simultaneous Republican-sponsored demonstration to "open" up the economy. Republicans want to resume economic activity as soon as possible in an attempt to salvage the reelection of Trump, wrapping their intentions in American flags and slogans of "freedom" and "liberty."
Taking inspiration from Oakland's Moms4Housing, ReclaimSF organized to directly meet the real needs of unhoused neighbors and to demand bolder initiatives from elected officials. On May Day 2020, two homeless women occupied a vacant building in San Francisco's Castro District. A few hours later, about twenty-five SFPD officers wearing "Blue Lives Matter" face masks forcibly evicted the building occupiers.
California has neglected its catastrophic housing affordability and homelessness crisis for years. Meanwhile, civic leaders prioritize large scale hotel developments, offering billions in incentives to developers. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms sit empty while the government continues to deny thousands of unhoused Californians the right to shelter in place. In Los Angeles, there are now almost 100,000 vacant hotel rooms. In Oakland, at least 1,500 hotel rooms are sitting empty.
Sat Apr 25 2020 (Updated 05/11/20)
SF May Day Car Caravan
A coalition of organizations is organizing a SF May Day Car Caravan on Friday, May 1 to demand the cancellation of rent, mortgage, and utility payments as well as homes for all and a debt free future for tenants, homeless residents, workers and families. The COVID-19 pandemic has further unveiled the deep inequality in our economic and housing systems. In California, renters make up almost half of the population. 55% of renters are considered cost-burdened, with low-income people and people of color suffering the worst instability.
Thousands of families in the US rely on the income from sex work to survive and have been thrown into a crisis by the coronavirus. Most sex workers are mothers, primarily single mothers. This crisis came on top of a crisis in poverty and homelessness. Much sex work inevitably involves close personal contact so the self-isolation rules and the shelter-in-place order mean that sex workers, like many other workers, can’t work safely. Yet there is still rent to pay and families to feed.
Community members in Santa Cruz organized a "physical distancing" protest on April 20 to demand the City and County of Santa Cruz provide hotel vouchers for the homeless during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Homeless people and their supporters organized the demonstration following California Governor Gavin Newsom's press conference statement on April 18 that cities and municipalities that are blocking the State's effort to provide hotels for the homeless will be "judged" by history.
Hubster writes: The Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Living is a constellation of community-based projects that has been building and celebrating community and offering crucial resources since 1994. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, many of the Hub’s projects are currently or will soon be struggling to pay the bills, particularly those projects which rely upon small cash donations from public-engaging programs. We are fundraising to account for rent / expenses at this unpredictable time.
On April 3, KPFA’s Terra Verde radio program interviewed community activists from Mendocino County. Host Gary Hughes spoke with Polly Girvin and Maria Gilardin about the threats posed by a wood pellet processing facility in Calpella, six miles north of Ukiah. Polly and Maria are members of Social, Environmental and Indigenous Justice (SEIJ), an affinity group waging a campaign to protect rural and indigenous communities from pollution emitted by Mendocino Forest Products and their wood pellet fuel plant.
Wed Apr 22 2020 (Updated 04/23/20)
Justice for Steven Taylor, Killed By Police
Anti Police-Terror Project reports: The global pandemic is ravaging the mental health of Black communities as they experience sickness and death at an alarming rate. This situation is the dystopian backdrop to the killing of 33-year-old beloved community member Steven Taylor by police in a San Leandro Walmart on April 18. This officer who killed Mr. Taylor, the only person close to him at the time, had a number of choices in the moments leading to Taylor’s death.
On April 19, San Francisco's Refuse Fascism joined nationwide demonstrations that dumped body bags at Federal locations and Trump properties. People arrived in cars at the Federal building at one o'clock and then laid out "body bags" on the sidewalk. Activists read out their demands. "We recognize the Trump/Pence regime, with its opposition to science and its fascist program now poses an even greater danger to humanity due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
On April 16, the city of San Francisco barricaded the 16th Street/Mission and 24th Street/Mission BART plazas except for walkways into the stations. The walkway at the 24th Street plaza is exactly six feet wide, making it physically impossible for people passing each other to maintain proper physical distance. Neighborhood media reports that the Mission Station Police Captain demanded the closures, leading to a greater police presence and increased harassment of people in the areas adjacent to the shuttered plazas.
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The chances of the Corona crisis Ingar Solty Mon Jun 29th 1:17pm
Private Profit Kaiser v Protests Support HR 1384 Medicare for All Sat Jun 20th 9:11am
Save Social Security! Raging Grannies (1 comment) Wed Jun 17th 4:39am
Growing anger among US workers as COVID-19 rips through workplaces Tom Hall and Jerry White (WSWS Repost) Thu Jun 11th 9:45am
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