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Indigenous-led organizations and communities across California are monitoring very closely the killing of Gerardo Chavez Martinez in Salinas by the Salinas Police Department. Gerardo was an Indigenous Zapotec youth who did not speak English and had limited understanding of Spanish. When police were called to Gerardo’s home on July 16, he did not understand the commands to come out and to raise his arms. Gerardo was shot three times and murdered by police officer Mario Reyes of the Salinas Police Department.
Unhoused residents and liveaboard mariners of the Bay Area and the state of California converged on Caltrans headquarters on June 22 to demand District 4 director Dina El-Tawansy cease and desist from displacing people living on Caltrans land, as well as people living anchored out on Richardson Bay in Marin. Speakers and musicians elevated the voices of the unhoused at the press conference. A reenactment depicted evictions happening to thousands of unhoused and anchor-out folks throughout California.
Tue Jul 27 2021 (Updated 07/31/21)
Resistance at Sausalito Camp Eviction
On June 29, the city of Sausalito cracked down with force on an encampment near Dunphy Park. Occupants joined by housing activists formed a line of resistance and shouted their demand to see a warrant. It was a tense stand-off that followed months of contention and a legal battle. Resistors fought bravely but were told their new home would have to be an area that is muddy and close to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ debris yard, where boats are taken from the water for destruction.
On May 25, Bay Area activists held a range of actions to mark the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death and the subsequent global uprisings against racial injustice and police brutality. In Oakland, the Anti Police-Terror Project and the Defund Police Coalition held a press conference calling on City Council members to follow through on their agreement to defund the Oakland Police Department and reinvest in community services. In Mill Valley, demonstrators laid tributes of flowers and candles in the downtown plaza.
Before dawn on March 5, the houses of six University of California, Berkeley, officials were struck with graffiti and vandalism. On April 16, another action "repainted" houses believed to be owned by members of the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board. On May 2, nine Sullivan Management Company properties were similarly targeted, following a May Day direct action that reclaimed a long-vacant SMC property. On May 7, Oakland police vehicles were damaged.
Wed Mar 24 2021 (Updated 03/31/21)
After Health Scare, Call Remains to Free Abu-Jamal
As Mumia Abu-Jamal has aged behind bars, inadequate medical care has led to several scares when his health deteriorated rapidly. In February, Mumia believed he was infected with COVID-19 and suffering skin lesions. After public pressure, authorities transferred Mumia to a hospital for emergency treatment. He was diagnosed with coronavirus. While Mumia's health remains a concern, he is stable now and has been returned to general population. Reopened legal appeals are currently being litigated.
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.
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