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Thu Feb 20 2020 (Updated 02/21/20)
Causa Justa :: Just Cause Marks 20 Years of Struggle
It was 20 years ago that the Coalition for Just Cause in Oakland was formed, holding their first meeting on January 29, 2000, in the basement of the downtown Oakland Public Library. An original flyer from that meeting urged people to join the “Just Cause Coalition” in putting just cause eviction protections on the November 2000 ballot. The meeting offered a lot of hope to the coalition of members and tenants that united to protect Oakland renters from greedy landlords and the notorious “eviction for profit” system that was rampant with no-cause evictions.
Sat Jan 18 2020 (Updated 01/22/20)
Martin Luther King's Radical Legacy Marches Onward
The Anti Police-Terror Project again joined with multiple organizations to lift up the radical legacy of Martin Luther King all weekend long, culminating in the 6th Annual Rally and March on Monday, January 20. The Oakland MLK march demands were: Housing as a Human Right, Close the Camps, No School Closures, End Police Repression, Climate Justice, No More War. Cities that held Martin Luther King Jr weekend events around the Bay Area included San Francisco, San José, Santa Rosa, El Cerrito, and Hayward.
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.
Thu Nov 21 2019 (Updated 11/22/19)
Solidarity with Chile's Rebellion in San Francisco
Chilean high school students began to protest a fare hike on the subway system of Santiago by jumping turnstiles en masse on October 6. Protests against economic inequality quickly spread across Chile and escalated to huge public demonstrations and work strikes. In response, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera directed police and military to use violence against protesters. Thousands have been arrested and injured, including hundreds who have lost sight because the Chilean military is targeting protesters' eyes. Actions in solidarity with the people of Chile have been held around the world, including several in San Francisco.
Tue Nov 19 2019 (Updated 12/16/19)
Unhoused Mothers Make Vacant House a Home
Two homeless mothers reclaimed possession of a vacant investor-owned property in West Oakland on November 18. The mothers, Dominique Walker and Sameerah Karim, are the founding members of Moms for Housing, created to address the extreme challenges working mothers face in finding safe and affordable housing for themselves and their children. The Moms for Housing have announced their intention to remain in the home until it is returned to the Oakland community. Their supporters are surrounding the home, and will remain in place until the transfer of the home to community control has been negotiated.
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.
Fri Oct 11 2019 (Updated 10/12/19)
Union Members Strike at Janus of Santa Cruz
National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) members at Janus of Santa Cruz held their first-ever strike on September 26, after management imposed a first contract that did not remedy poverty wages that have forced many workers to find new jobs. In the nearly two years since Janus workers joined NUHW, more than 60 percent of them have left for other jobs. With its workforce in constant flux, state records show that Janus is serving fewer clients and forcing more of them to wait for services that were once immediately accessible, worsening Santa Cruz’s addiction crisis.
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.
Demonstrators staged sit-ins on September 3 in the men's and women's restrooms at Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz, effectively keeping the facilities open to the public for an extended period of time. Once open to all, the Louden Nelson restrooms have been closed to the public since 2018, which staff claims is due to complaints of vandalism and drug use. Those at the demonstration were particularly concerned about the effects the restroom closures have had on homeless residents in the area, who often congregate in the park adjacent to the Louden Nelson Center where there are no other services.
In the wake of an alleged assault on a middle school student in the San Lorenzo Valley, Captain Daniel Bonfante, formerly of the Felton Fire Protection District, has called for vigilante justice against homeless people, who he blames for the majority of crime in the area. On August 21 on Instagram, Bonfante called for community members to "get the posse together" and "let the rift raft know that we are vigilant". "99% of all crime is homeless in Felton right now," Bonfante said. "They are getting aggressive and don't care anymore."
Joe Netro, who authors the Santa Cruz, CA: Keepin' It Real hate blog anonymously as 'Big Joe 77', has admitted to creating a fake news story over the course of multiple blog posts about California State Assembly Bill 516 (AB 516). Netro apologized to his followers on August 22 for the "confusion", calling the multiple false posts he made a "mistake". "If you have lost the trust and would like to track this Bill for yourself, here's the link," Netro wrote.

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