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Saturday Aug 13
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After celebrating their one-year anniversary on July 5, the Freedom Sleepers have returned to Santa Cruz City Hall for three more sleepouts. The most recent was their 55th community sleepout on July 26. Since July 4 of 2015, a coalition of unhoused and housed community members in Santa Cruz have converged to sleep at city hall one night a week to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness.
In front of Oakland City Hall on July 11, Leigh Davenport of the Anti Police-Terror Project announced community activists' intention to recall Mayor Libby Schaaf. Primary among the concerns cited as cause for Schaaf's removal from office are her failures: 1) to address the massive displacement of long-time Oakland residents; 2) to support local youth and job centers; and 3) to hold Oakland police accountable for corruption, sexual exploitation, and those they've killed. “The level of discontent is high in the City of Oakland," notes Cat Brooks.
A member of the Bus Rider's Association writes: The Santa Cruz Bus Rider's Association brought some successful defense work to protect bus riders from the "harsh cuts" that initially threatened us riders and our bus system. These cuts started out looking like they would be a kind of conflagration that would burn down much of our bus system, taking a lot of jobs and bus line with it. We were alarmed, naturally.
In April, the BART Board passed a law making it illegal to occupy two seats during rush hour on a BART train. The law was not to take effect until the BART police presented their implementation strategy. At the most recent BART Board meeting on June 23, BART police presented how they intend to enforce the new law. Fines of up to $500 will ensure that those least able to afford it become debtors, potentially subjecting violators to criminal warrants and further harrassment. Longtime BART director Joel Keller admitted he wants police to target the homeless.
Thu Jun 16 2016 (Updated 06/17/16)
Historic Court Ruling for Net Neutrality
It’s being called one of the most important moments in the history of the internet and a First Amendment for the internet. A federal appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled this week that internet service providers must offer essentially the same protections to users that are required of phone companies. Digital activists are gleefully celebrating one of the most significant parts of the ruling: the FCC can apply its net neutrality rules to cellphone data as well as home broadband.
On June 15, law enforcement officers raided Care By Design and CBD Guild, a medical cannabis grower and manufacturer that tens of thousands of patients depend on across the state. The enforcement comes just days after the company hosted local and state public officials and regulators for a walk-through of their new facilities and to discuss regulations for the emerging industry resulting from the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed by the California legislature last fall.
Take Back Santa Cruz, "a non-profit community organization focused on creating awareness and working together to build a better, safer and cleaner Santa Cruz," tried to go silent about one of their most high-profile members facing felony charges for firearms and drug manufacturing. Sixty-year-old James Burtnett of Boulder Creek faces multiple felony counts ranging from illegally synthesizing a Schedule 1 narcotic, to being illegally armed with a firearm. According to court documents, Burtnett was involved in a narcotic processing operation. The illegal lab exploded on September 29, 2013, in Santa Cruz.
Wed Jun 15 2016 (Updated 06/16/16)
Love and Solidarity from Watsonville to Orlando
SOMOS LGBT, a community organization raising awareness on equality and acceptance for all, began in Watsonville nine years ago. On the evening of June 13, SOMOS LGBT held a vigil at Watsonville Plaza to "remember one of the most horrific tragedies committed against the LGBT community." The day before, a mass shooting occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, resulting in 53 wounded and 50 dead, including the gunman. SOMOS LGBT will hold a vigil in the Plaza every day until Sunday from 6:30 to 7:30.
On May 31, students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA voted overwhelmingly to endorse resolutions expressing support for freedom and equality for Palestinians and labor justice for migrant workers at Sakuma Bros farm in northern Washington. The three resolutions asked students to condemn the presence of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus, to de-shelve Sabra hummus, and prohibit the use of Sakuma Bros berries from campus dining services.
Why won't the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) support the Driscoll's Boycott? That's one of the questions UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas would not answer after he spoke at Hillary Clinton's rally in Salinas on May 25. The UFW will not reveal when their friendship with Driscoll's began. However, a photograph from May 2013 reveals their relationship with Reiter Affiliated Companies, an Oxnard-based subsidiary of Driscoll's.
On June 2, the Fair and Affordable Richmond coalition submitted more than 5,000 signatures to qualify the coalition’s Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ordinance for the November ballot. Members of the coalition and Richmond tenants spoke about the ordinance in front of Richmond City Hall, and how it will protect Richmond renters and the community. The Richmond City Clerk and Contra Costa County have thirty days to determine if the Coalition has collected the 4,198 valid signatures required.
Wed Jun 1 2016 (Updated 06/02/16)
Bus Riders in Wheelchairs: Don't Leave Us Stranded
A group of bus riders and drivers staged a rally at the Santa Cruz downtown METRO station on May 21 in protest of planned cuts to the county bus system. METRO plans to reduce service across the county and cut more than 40 driver positions. According to documents provided at a METRO public comment meeting on May 3, “METRO needs to reduce its annual operating budget by $6.5 million for the next fiscal year.”
The California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard is one of the largest outdoor annual events in California that celebrates the success of the multi-billion dollar global agricultural industry. However, this success has come at the great economic, social and overall health expense to those who pick the berries. On May 22, a protest outside the Strawberry Festival challenged the industry and governmental efforts to overlook the social and environmental costs of strawberry production, and questioned the logic of charity festivals.
New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
On two consecutive Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, farmworkers called for an international day of action to bring attention to the ongoing struggles in the berry fields in Washington State and San Quintin, Mexico. May 7 was initiated by Familias Unidas por la Justicia in Washington state, while Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democratico De Jornaleros Agricolas (SINDJA) farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico called for a global day of action on May 14. Demonstrations took place in many locations, including Mexico City; Burlington, WA; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and Eureka, Rohnert Park, Fairfield, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and San Diego, California.
On Sunday, May 1, Joff Jones and Alex Skelton were arrested for defiantly displaying art "outside of a blue box" on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. This is their third arrest for displaying art in a public space but outside of small boxes since August of 2015. Jones and Skelton created a video with footage showing numerous Santa Cruz Police officers ticketing and arresting them for simply being "outside of a blue box" while displaying their art.
Thu May 5 2016 (Updated 05/06/16)
May Day in Northern California, 2016
International Workers' Day was first declared in the late 1800's to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and as a celebration of laborers and the working classes. Around the world on May 1, workers continue to unite to press demands in the streets through marches, rallies, and direct actions. In the United States, May Day is also a day to push for immigrant rights, especially since the massive "Gran Paro Americano" general strike and marches of 2006.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
6PM Saturday Aug 13 Food Not Bombs Benefit
8PM Saturday Aug 13 7th Annual GLIDE Legacy Gala
11AM Sunday Aug 21 Student Sale Open House
Living Near Agricultural Pesticides During Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ for Salinas Valley Kids via Californians for Pesticide Reform Wednesday Jul 27th 4:59 PM
Freedom SleepOut #55 To Follow Pacific Avenue Protests Keith McHenry (posted by Norse) (1 comment) Monday Jul 25th 11:39 PM
Tuesday is Still the Night to Sleep at Santa Cruz City Hall Alex Darocy (1 comment) Monday Jul 25th 6:43 PM
Environmental racism in the “leftmost city” Santa Cruz Ecological Justice Sunday Jul 24th 10:21 AM
Farming Community Rallies in Sacramento to Demand Protections from Agricultural Pesticides via Californians for Pesticide Reform Tuesday Jul 12th 3:36 PM
Going Into Year 2 with the Freedom Sleepers Keith McHenry Tuesday Jul 12th 10:36 AM
City directed police shutdown of artists and PUBLIC ALERT on Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz, CA The Jones/Skelton Report (5 comments) Sunday Jul 10th 12:47 AM
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EPA Approved Pesticide Products Without Accounting for Dangers of Chemical Mixture Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Jul 20th 2:46 PM
TESC Students for Justice in Palestine Respond to Evergreen Administration TESC Students for Justice in Palestine Thursday Jul 14th 1:19 PM
San Quintín: Migrant Farmworkers in Mexico Griselda San Martin Friday Jul 1st 12:08 AM
Non-Profits versus Profit Maximization Heidrun Bluhm and Andrej Holm Tuesday Jun 21st 5:51 AM
Major State Repression in Oaxaca: Several Killed, Dozens Wounded and Detained El Enemigo Común (2 comments) Monday Jun 20th 12:38 AM
Se extiende resistencia en todo Oaxaca contra Reforma Educativa El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Sunday Jun 19th 7:00 PM
Resistance Extends Throughout Oaxaca Against Education Reform El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Sunday Jun 19th 6:44 PM
Oaxaca, 10 Years Since 2006 El Enemigo Común Sunday Jun 19th 3:13 PM
Oaxaca, a 10 años del 2006 El Enemigo Común Sunday Jun 19th 2:45 PM
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The Social State Benefits All of Us R Brait, A Buxbaum and M Schnetzer (1 comment) Thursday Jul 21st 4:20 AM
Democracy Dissolves Wolfgang J. Koschnick Monday Jun 13th 4:29 AM
Justin Vineyards criticized for clear-cutting oaks Skye Ravy, Paso Robles Daily News (2 comments) Saturday Jun 11th 4:06 PM
The unabashed apostasy at San Francisco's Civic Center David Giesen (1 comment) Thursday Jun 9th 12:56 AM
FDR's First 100 Days Horst Dippel Tuesday May 31st 6:10 AM
Urban Agriculture poised to create 100,000+ new Ag jobs and careers Khubaka, Michael Harris Monday May 9th 10:48 AM
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