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Police State & Prisons News

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While California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered residents to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 virus, local Bay Area law enforcement agencies are continuing to expand their powers and resources. On March 24, the Vallejo City Council voted unanimously to purchase a cell site simulator for the Vallejo Police Department. On Tuesday, March 31, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to vote on a surprise $85 million additional budget allocation for Sheriff Department staff at Santa Rita Jail.
Sat Mar 21 2020 (Updated 03/26/20)
California on Coronavirus Lockdown
California residents have been ordered to "stay at home" to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Stringent mitigation measures mean millions are without an income. Students face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities and incarcerated persons are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and isolation of the pandemic take a toll on mental health. Not waiting for government action, people are stepping up with mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need.
On March 20, Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills and a dozen or more cops and park rangers evicted an encampment of unhoused people along Water Street near the post office. Mills gave people the choice of moving into fenced areas in the city or facing arrest and property confiscation. Robert Norse states, "This 'out of sight / out of town' policy, while claiming a public health rationale, rings false given the lack of protected indoor shelter being offered."
Mon Mar 16 2020 (Updated 03/17/20)
Chelsea Manning Is Free, Again
After spending seven years in prison under draconian conditions for exposing US war crimes, Chelsea Manning was re-imprisoned one year ago in an attempt to coerce her to testify in a grand jury related to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. When Chelsea continued to refuse to testify on a principled stand of opposition to the unjust and corrupt practice of secret grand juries, she was also slammed with fines of $1,000 per day in an attempt by judge Anthony Trenga to pressure her into testifying.
Thu Feb 27 2020 (Updated 02/29/20)
Corruption in the Fresno Police Department Runs Deep
Mike Rhodes reports: My first history lesson about Fresno’s corrupt underbelly was in the late 1990s when I read Mark Arax’s book "In My Father’s Name." It is a great book about Arax’s search for the killer of his father, which dives deep into Fresno’s interesting but corrupt past. Arax, writing for the Los Angeles Times, quoted Larry Miller, a retired federal agent who busted numerous Fresno bookies with connections to the Fresno Police Department in the 1960s. “It was a rotten town with a rotten police force and the citizens didn’t mind. Their indifference was practically suffocating.”
Mon Feb 24 2020 (Updated 02/25/20)
Unhoused Man Pummeled by Fresno Cops
On February 24, a report emerged about officers from Fresno Police Department's Homeless Task Force assaulting a homeless man who they were attempting to evict from an encampment. The brutalization happened in Fresno on February 21 at a homeless encampment near West Avenue and Freeway 180. As David — the homeless person in the photo — was attempting to say "my advocate is on her way," he was thrown to the ground. After the Sargent slammed him to the ground, David was punched and all he could remember was getting hit multiple times and kicked in the head by all four officers.
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.
Sun Dec 29 2019 (Updated 01/01/20)
Mothers Fight to Keep Their West Oakland Home
On November 18, unsheltered mothers claimed possession of a vacant investor-owned property in West Oakland. After receiving an eviction notice, Moms for Housing declared that they intended to remain in their new home and petitioned the courts to allow them to stay. Wedgewood refuses to negotiate with the moms on a sale backed by the Oakland Community Land Trust. At the latest court hearing on December 30, the judge did not issue a ruling, but might any day. Separately, Moms for Housing pushed back against a public relations ploy by Wedgewood — using affiliated Los Angeles nonprofit Shelter 37 to soften the company's image as it attempts to evict the moms.
Sun Dec 29 2019 (Updated 01/31/20)
Oakland Jails 22 Housing Justice Protesters
On November 24, what was to be known as the Housing Justice Village began to take shape in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. Housed and unhoused activists set up a number of tents on the grassy lawn to protest the city's never ending war against the homeless: demolitions, evictions, and tows of residential vehicles. In a political show of force, the city of Oakland directed a small army of police to mass arrest and jail 22 of the demonstrators on what would otherwise be a citable infraction. On December 2, arrestees held a press conference to address the city's attack and why they protested in the first place.
After attorneys for the family of Isiah Murrietta-Golding released video of the 16-year-old being shot in the back of the head while fleeing officers, over 100 people protested in Fresno on October 28. The demonstration was held at the Federal Building in downtown Fresno. Some called it murder and protest signs demanded justice. Speakers spoke passionately about ending the constant shooting of young people in Fresno by the police. Police chief Jerry Dyer is running to be the mayor of Fresno, but Reverend Floyd Harris, who spoke at the demonstration, said he has taken out papers to run against Dyer.
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