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Sat Nov 16 2019Vigil for Kashmir in Fresno
Around forty people, mostly Muslim, met at Nees and Blackstone after sunset for a vigil for Kashmir on October 27. The vigil was organized by Saadat Farooqi. To the best of his knowledge, Farooqi and his family of six are the only people from Kashmir in Fresno. Farooqi explained that India made an incursion into Muslim-majority Kashmir on August 5. There are now 800,000 Indian soldiers in Kashmir guarding 8 million people. Kashmir is under curfew, he said, and there are many arrests, especially of young people, who are being tortured by Indian forces.
Sat Oct 5 2019Hong Kong in Near Shutdown, Mask Ban Backfires
Businesses are closed and rail service suspended, as China's Special Administrative Region Hong Kong is in chaos this weekend. A ban on wearing masks, set to take effect October 4, apparently backfired as street violence increased; at least one train was set on fire. The Hong Kong protests have now spread to several large cities in the United States, with hundreds gathering in San Francisco ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Critics say that despite claims in the press about the protesters being advocates of democracy and freedom, demonstrators carrying U.S. flags are asking the ironically tyrannical President Trump to come to their aid.
Thu Sep 5 2019 (Updated 09/30/19)Global Climate Strike Week of Action
Climate Strikes began on September 20, three days out from the United Nation's climate emergency summit in New York, and continued to September 27. As young climate strikers have shown, there is huge power in sustained action week after week to match the scale of the climate emergency. Millions walked out from home, work, school or university to declare a climate emergency and to show politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means.
Thu Aug 29 2019 (Updated 09/01/19)Protesters Demand End to U.S. Involvement in Yemeni War
As separatists and government-backed forces battle for control of the Yemeni capital, innocent civilians continue to suffer. On August 16, Yemeni-Americans and allies gathered in front of San Francisco's Federal Building where they called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead the House in progressive foreign policies as regards the war in Yemen. They want the House-Senate conference on the National Defense Authorization Act to include the Smith-Khanna amendment to end all U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the Malinowski amendment to stop bomb sales to Saudi Arabia.
Thu Jun 20 2019 (Updated 06/22/19)Millions in Hong Kong Demand Withdrawal of Extradition Bill
On June 17, at demonstrations that drew up to two million people, protesters in Hong Kong continued demands that the government withdraw an extradition bill they fear would allow people to be sent to the mainland for actions disapproved of by Beijing. Protesters insisted that police be held accountable for brutal tactics at demonstrations held earlier in June as well. In the Bay Area cities of Palo Alto and San Francisco, hundreds demonstrated in solidarity with activists in Hong Kong.
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/05/19)What the Boycott of Manny’s in San Francisco's Mission Is All About
Margot Goldstein and Rachel Lederman write: Our community institutions should create venues for genuine discussions about how to confront oppression. Manny’s does not accomplish the goal of “civic discourse” on social justice because it contributes to racist gentrification and supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The boycott of Manny’s is the community standing up to Yekutiel’s opportunistic attempt to exploit social justice for profit while perpetuating and supporting the destructive politics of gentrification and Zionism.
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.
Fri Dec 28 2018 (Updated 12/30/18)Kwanzaa Takes on Special Meaning in California's Central Valley
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, celebrated from December 26 to January 1, that reclaims what was lost during the African holocaust, the sense of an African connection. In California's Central Valley, Kwanzaa takes on special significance in the long standing African American farming community's journey to reestablish agriculture as the foundation of culture in the farm to fork capital of America.
Tue Dec 25 2018 (Updated 12/30/18)Christmas in Bethlehem
On December 20, Israeli settlers began creating a road through Palestinian-owned lands in the West Bank district of Bethlehem. Villagers attempted to prevent the settlers from razing their lands, but were stopped by the Israeli military. On Christmas eve, settlers stormed the area and erected a “caravan” as a prelude to a new illegal settlement outpost. Meanwhile, Christians in Gaza are regularly denied “holiday permits” to travel and celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem or elsewhere.
Wed Nov 28 2018 (Updated 12/11/18)Protesters Call for U.S. to Grant Asylum to Caravan Refugees
US border authorities fired tear gas into a group of Central American asylum seekers on November 25. Shortly before the attack, over 200 people attended a rally in San Ysidro to support the caravan migrants. The violence of the attack is being condemned worldwide. In Northern California, protests were held on November 25 in San Francisco; November 26 in Palo Alto; December 1 in Oakland, El Cerrito, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz; and December 2 in San José.
Sun Nov 25 2018 (Updated 11/26/18)14 Million Yemenis Face Famine and Disease
The war on Yemen has created the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today. On November 20, while the President and Congress members prepared for Thanksgiving feasts, San Francisco activists and members of the Yemeni community gathered in front of the city’s Federal Building to protest US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Their protest followed a similar action in San Francisco's Union Plaza earlier this month. It was only after activists organized protests that Nancy Pelosi agreed to be a co-sponsor of the bill.
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)Ringing a Bell for Peace
Veterans for Peace chapters across the nation gathered on street corners in major cities to commemorate the original Armistice Day by ringing bells 11 times at 11am on the eleventh day of November. In San José, Chapter 101 held a ceremony in front of City Hall. WWI ended on November 11th in 1918 and one year later the world came together in realization that war is so horrible it must end forever. That was the first Armistice Day; Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.
Sat Nov 3 2018 (Updated 11/05/18)UN Report: Oakland and San Francisco Are Human Rights Violators
On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.