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Health, Housing, & Public Services News

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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.
On January 24, Voices of VV held a mutual aid event in Vacaville. Afterward, one person was pulled over by team of police officers. Nine people arrived soon after to record and cop watch. More police arrived in riot gear and heavily armed with wooden batons in hand and others with guns. The officers declared six observers standing and recording to be an “unlawful assembly.” The founder of Voices of VV, a Black woman, was specifically targeted for arrest. Vacaville Police confiscated phones and has yet to return them.
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.
After nearly a year of struggle, Moms for Housing announced on October 9 that their house on Magnolia Street in West Oakland had been purchased. Moms4Housing co-founder Dominique Walker declared, "This is officially Moms' House." In November, Dominique Walker and her allies running as the "Right to Housing" slate were elected to the Berkeley rent board. ACCE Director and Moms4Housing co-founder Carroll Fife claimed victory as Oakland's D3 councilmember-elect.
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 Sep 24 2020 (Updated 09/25/20)
Facebook Blocks Wet’suwet’en Defenders
Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts days before a September 21 online event targeting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The pipeline is set to cut through sovereign Wet’suwet’en land, defiantly ignoring hereditary chiefs of their rights, title, and consent for the project. The project would lock in decades of increased fracked gas and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous camps built along the route.
Mon Sep 14 2020 (Updated 09/22/20)
"These Are Climate Fires"
President Trump has said little about the wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington for weeks, other than to suggest poor forest management was primarily to blame. “These are climate fires,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, an Oregon-based wildland fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. “Though some scientists hesitate to attribute a single event to climate change, these are exactly the conditions predicted by climatologists.”
On August 28, tribal members and local residents protested outside the Mendocino Forest Products (MFP) wood pellet plant in Calpella, near Ukiah, calling for suspension of the plant’s operations during the Covid pandemic, now compounded by recent fires and extremely poor air quality. Organizers say the protest is needed to bring attention to demands for public transparency on air pollution and fire safety issues presented by the plant’s operations to date and especially under present conditions.
Sat Aug 29 2020 (Updated 09/02/20)
The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale
Despite limited concessions by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy following public outcry against mail delaying tactics, community members and postal workers rallied to demand that Congress save the US Postal Service in protests across the US. Naturally the San Francisco Bay Area was no exception. Many here have long been concerned about privatization schemes. A national day of action on August 22 drew protests throughout the Bay Area.
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