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Mon Oct 21 2019 (Updated 10/29/19)
The Evolution of Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants
Leon Kunstenaar writes: While the concentration camps and violence at the border are in the news, the less visible, massive number of deportations from areas away from the border explodes.... At D.H.S., after much personnel turnover and turmoil, Trump no longer needs to cope with pushback from various officials resisting his policies. He is now surrounded by extreme ideologues in the mold of Stephen Miller. Rather than large headline generating raids and impressive but useless walls, he will use quiet but continual attacks on individuals enabled by “big data”.
Hundreds of Direct Action Everywhere activists occupied a Whole Foods store and an Amazon office in San Francisco on September 30, with dozens chaining and/or locking themselves in place until thirty-seven were arrested. Simultaneously, several activists chained themselves together inside an Amazon office in San Francisco. The following afternoon, activists urged the SF Board of Supervisors to support of “Rose’s Law: An Animal Bill of Rights.” In response to the protests in San Francisco, Whole Foods’ parent-company Amazon filed for a temporary restraining order against Direct Action Everywhere covering all California locations.
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."
Plans for a mass roundup of migrant families that have received deportation orders, announced on June 21, set off protests throughout the nation as Americans reacted in horror. Outraged particularly by eye witness reports of mistreatment and deaths of migrant children held in barbarous conditions, everyday citizens joined long-time activists to say "never again" to incarceration based on race or citizenship. People throughout the Bay Area and across the nation demonstrated June 22 through July 5. Indybay has coverage from many of these demos. Another round of protests will start with an international day of action on July 12.
On June 3, over 600 activists with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) occupied Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, a massive duck slaughterhouse. More than 75 were arrested, including the group’s co-founder, Wayne Hsiung, who has now accumulated 17 felony charges in Sonoma county and around the country in an effort to defend the legal right to rescue animals in court. Many of the arrestees locked their necks to the slaughterhouse shackles, gate, and other machinery. Activists also removed 32 ducklings and rushed them to emergency veterinary treatment. The rescued ducks were transported to farm animal sanctuaries for lifelong care.
Mon May 6 2019 (Updated 05/09/19)
Support Grows for the California Act to Save Lives
Hundreds of police accountability activists and family members who have lost loved ones to police violence traveled to the Capitol Building in Sacramento on April 9 to show their support for AB392. In a huge milestone for limiting the ability of police to kill at will, the California Act to Save Lives (AB 392) passed in the State Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 5-2 vote. The bill heads to the Rules Committee and then a full Assembly vote. On May 7, the Oakland City Council approved a resolution in support of AB 392.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Schubert announced that she will not pursue criminal charges against the murderers of Stephon Clark on March 2. Outraged by the decision to not hold accountable Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal, the community protested and police mass arrested 84 people. But Stephon Clark is the name you know. There are at least ten other black and brown men that have been murdered by deputies and police under District Attorney Schubert's watch.
Oakland’s Police Commission unanimously passed a new policy which requires that police officers have an actual reason to search a person on probation or parole for a non-violent offense. The Police Commission will consider comments from OPD until May 9 before submitting the new policy to the Public Safety Committee and then to the full City Council. Unless the council votes to reject it, the policy will go into effect. John Jones III says, “This policy will make a real difference for people on probation and parole trying to rebuild their lives."
Fri Apr 12 2019 (Updated 04/27/19)
People’s Park 50th Anniversary
People’s Park has been the site of continual struggle for decades. Students and demonstrators took over the park from UC Berkeley in 1969 as a staging ground for activism and protests. In the following decades, the university has tried again on numerous occasions to develop the park, but People’s Park continues to be a rallying point for community activists. In honor of the People’s resistance, two weeks of events with music, tree planting, spoken word, and activist speakers will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of People's Park. A free concert kicks off the celebration on April 13 and events run through April 28. On May 1, a "Hold the Land" demonstration kicks off.
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)
Governor Newsom Suspends Death Penalty in California
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order on March 13 putting a moratorium on California's death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, which they narrowly rejected at the ballot in 2016. Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state's execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.
The Santa Cruz Police Department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of Officer Chris Galli, who in January referred to a man he had previously arrested as a "dindunuffin" on social media. Galli, posting as "Chris Meriekuh", made the comment about the individual, who is African American and homeless. A screen capture of the comment was posted in an Indybay article, helping to raise awareness concerning the racist nature of the term, which originated among law enforcement officers to mock activists participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement during its initial rise in 2014 and 2015.

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