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As news continues to pour in that the Trump administration’s attacks against immigrants and refugees has reached new lows, Bay Area residents are feeling a renewed sense of urgency. On the heels of protests throughout the region on July 2 and further official announcements about coming ICE raids, July 12 saw a new round of demonstrations, including protests at the city of San Francisco's Sansome Street ICE facility. In Santa Clara County, the Rapid Response Network (RRN) reported an increase in calls of observed ICE activity, as people are on high alert. Volunteers who document ICE interactions with immigrants have seen their ranks increase quickly.
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.
ILWU longshore workers, truckers, and companies at the Port of Oakland held a press conference in front of City Hall on April 18 to oppose Oakland A's billionaire owner John Fisher's plan to build a new baseball stadium and 4,000 condos costing more than $1 million each on the Howard Terminal. Speakers talked about the displacement of African Americans in East Oakland when the Oakland coliseum was built and the gentrification now in West Oakland where an African American community has lived for decades. ILWU Local 10 business agent Aaron Wright called it an "insane" idea since there is no infrastructure for the new stadium and it would disrupt the longshore and trucking jobs along with the community.
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."
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.
Mon Mar 11 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)
New Hate Blog in Santa Cruz is Gaining Followers
The new hate blog "Santa Cruz, CA: Keepin' It Real" has gradually been gaining followers since its founding in 2017. It is written under the pen name "Big Joe 77" by Joe Netro, a self-described "cop" who is retired from working 26 years as a correctional officer at Soledad state prison. He also volunteers with the Santa Cruz Police Department, and he served as a member of the 2016-17 Santa Cruz County Grand Jury which issued a controversial, and some say biased, report critical of the county's Syringe Services Program. Recently, Netro has joined Take Back Santa Cruz member Steve Schlicht's "Santa Mierda Podcast Network," appearing on multiple podcasts.
The District Attorney of San Mateo County announced on March 1 that he found four deputy sheriffs and a sheriff’s sergeant did not violate the California penal code when they killed Chinedu Okobi with tasers on October 13, 2018. This is despite the fact that the coroner classified the death as a homicide. Civil-rights attorney John Burris, who represents the Okobi family, said that law enforcement actions needlessly escalated after their loved one committed only a minor infraction.
On February 17, members of the greater San José Japanese American community commemorated the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. At the same time they protested the National Emergency Trump announced two days earlier in order to build his wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. Allies from the South Bay peace activist community joined with those gathered in the local Japantown, one of only three left in the United States.
UPDATE 2/26: County Leaders Dump “Urban Shield” Name, Adopt Vast Majority of Committee Recommendations

An Alameda County task force recommended Urban Shield be transformed from a highly militarized SWAT competition and weapons expo into a community-focused safety exercise. The Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies are expected to push back hard when the recommendations come to a vote on Tuesday, February 26. Urban Shield opponents say a large "Stop Urban Shield" presence at the meeting is important, but that you can also reach out to Supervisors and tell them not to buckle to the pressure.
Mon Feb 18 2019 (Updated 05/04/19)
Civil Rights Violations Never End with Vallejo Police
Since 2003, Vallejo has paid out at least $10.1 million related to police misconduct. And the civil rights violations keep piling up. On January 22, Adrian Burrell was assaulted by Vallejo police while video recording a traffic stop. On February 9, six Vallejo police officers shot Willie McCoy to death after they found him asleep in a Taco Bell drive-through. Family members and allies touched by the death of Willie McCoy gathered outside the Taco Bell where he was killed to remember him and protest the police on February 16 and 17.
Thu Feb 14 2019 (Updated 02/16/19)
Taser Opponents Jeer Axon's Racist Slide Presentation
Three men of color were murdered by law enforcement using tasers in San Mateo County in 2018. On February 11, taser manufacturer Axon headlined a study session convened by the Board of Supervisors in San Mateo County. Nearly 200 opponents of tasers rallied in front of the Hall of Justice before attending the hearing. Jeers rang out during Axon's presentation, especially when the company showed photos of a black man grimacing as he was tased.
Sun Feb 17 2019 (Updated 02/19/19)
Remembering Sahleem Tindle
BART police officer Joseph Mateu shot Sahleem Tindle three times in the back, killing him on January 3, 2018. Ten months later, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley released a report declaring that she would not bring any charges against Mateu. To mark the one-year anniversary of the slaying, Sahleem's family and activists with the Anti Police-Terror Project gathered at the West Oakland BART station. After two hours in front of the station, protesters stormed inside, leading BART to close it. The family is still pursuing a civil case against BART and Mateu.
Mon Jan 28 2019 (Updated 02/06/19)
Protesters Demand Justice for Chinedu Okobi
Chinedu Okobi was the third man to die after being tased by law enforcement in San Mateo County in 2018. He was unarmed and walking with shopping bags in Millbrae in October when five sheriff's deputies attacked him. More than two dozen people protested his murder in the District Attorney's office on January 23, then went to the county Sheriff’s office and the county Board of Supervisors to demand answers of the President of the Board and County Manager.

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