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Racial Justice News

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University of California Berkeley (Cal) reinstated a student-led course on Palestine on September 19, following an outcry over its arbitrary suspension the previous week. The suspension, taken in apparent response to pressure from Israel advocacy groups, was widely condemned -- by students, professors, and observers -- as a violation of academic freedom, shocking, and unjustifiable. The organization Palestine Legal had sent a letter to Cal Chancellor Dirks on September 16 warning that the suspension infringed on First Amendment rights and principles of academic freedom.
Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Driscoll’s Boycott in Full Force
Labor groups have issued a statement clarifying the Driscoll's berries boycott is still in full effect and farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico continue to work for the recognition of their union in order to negotiate the signing of a collective bargaining agreement. In Washington State, the results of an election on September 12 confirmed the independent union Familias Unidas por la Justicia as the formal representatives of farm workers at Sakuma Brothers Farm, a supplier to Driscoll’s. A rally and protest will be held at the Driscoll's distribution center in Aromas on October 15.
On September 10, over 300 people took part in a march, rally, and demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing Prison Strike happening across US prisons, jails, and detention facilities. People gathered at Latham Square in downtown Oakland where several speakers addressed the crowd. Grabbing banners, flags, and signs, people then took to the streets and marched to several corporations that profit from prison labor. AT&T, UPS, and Bank of America were called out for their use of prison labor.
On September 9, activists chained themselves to the entrances of the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton to protest Urban Shield, the SWAT training and weapons expo hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Hundreds of community members from cities across California, including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, marched and rallied. Twenty-three activists were arrested, cited, and released.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 09/11/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion on September 4 for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by the Dakota Access Pipeline. On the previous day, Water protectors clashed with security to successfully stop pipeline construction and some were viciously attacked by guard dogs. Protest camps have issued a global call for solidarity actions to be held September 3-17. In the Bay Area, solidarity actions will take place in Sacramento on September 7 and San Francisco on September 8.
When San Francisco Hillel sponsored the Mayor on a visit to San Francisco State University (SFSU) on April 6, a group of 20 student protesters stood on the sidelines inside the venue and chanted in protest of the Mayor’s controversial policies towards Palestinians. Student protesters were accused of threatening Jewish students with violent and anti-Semitic messages. On September 1, SFSU released a report that concluded that the protest focused on the Mayor for the policies he promotes.
On August 28, a number of organizations in Santa Cruz partnered to throw a party with the goal of bringing together the police with the social justice community. The party was called the "NAACP Peace Party" and among the officers that showed up was Santa Cruz Police Lieutenant Christian LeMoss, who broke the arm of a 60-year-old disabled woman when he arrested her on May 9, 2008.
On August 22, Maria Magdalena Rodriguez and Teodoro Valencia, the parents of Teo Valencia, 23, gathered at the Federal Courthouse in Oakland to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Newark and the Newark police officer, Conrad Rogers, who shot Teo Valencia to death on March 11, 2016. Teo was shot in the back with an AR-15. Family attorney Dan Siegel said, “The only word for what the police officer did to Teodoro is murder.”
Sat Aug 20 2016 (Updated 09/05/16)
No Dakota Access Pipeline
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation is calling out to all indigenous nations of the world to stand in solidarity with them as they fight yet another pipeline on tribal lands. Some 250 supporters are camped along the reservation border, tribal youth have completed a run to Washington with petitions against the pipeline, and the battle against Bakken Oil has drawn the attention of environmental groups, tribal people and individuals from across the country. In California, the Winnemem Wintu, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes issued letters of support for the Standing Rock Protectors, and a demonstration of solidarity took place in San Francisco on August 24.
Davey D writes: I was alerted to an inflammatory story from Bay Area ABC news reporter Dan Noyes that basically sought to disparage the Black August celebrations. The story noted that "police sources" had leaked a memo to him stating that prison guards and police were gonna be attacked by members of the Black Guerilla Family in celebration of Black August. Many found the allegations to be outlandish.
The Santa Cruz Chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) announced a fundraiser for "law enforcement agencies, and organizations committed to racial justice." The fundraiser is being called a "NAACP Peace Party" and will be hosted at the end of August in Santa Cruz at Garfield Park Community Church. After publication of an article on Indybay critical of raising funds for the cops, event organizers changed the announcement and now state, "No money is being raised at this event for local law enforcement, but local officers are in support of this event and will be present."
A call went out for Freedom Now protests on July 21 targeting the support infrastructure for police oppression, especially police "unions" for their defense of cops accused of brutality. Lockdowns and demonstrations were held in cities across the country. In Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer's Association were shut down and an entrance to Oakland police headquarters was locked down. A Black Lives Matter educational event for children was held in Oscar Grant plaza, followed by a march down Broadway.
It has become a tradition to celebrate the life of Frank Alvarado with flowers. On July 10, Frank's family was joined by a large group of supporters near the location of his death to mark the second year since his killing by Salinas police. His father, Frank Sr., handed out roses to many of the women gathered, saying the gesture was in memory of "lover boy" as he lightheartedly referred to Frank. His family fondly remembers how dearly Frank loved to give women gifts, and especially the gift of flowers.
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.
UPDATE: The City Council voted to put the Police Commission on the ballot (now known as Measure LL), but went with the weakest language for any elements of the proposal that faced opposition from police, labor unions, or the mayor.

A November 2016 ballot measure for a new Oakland Police Commission was expected to be finalized and approved by the Oakland City Council at their meeting on July 19. Instead, it will be July 26. The measure, originally proposed by the Coalition for Police Accountability and since taken up by the City Council, continues to be watered down and faces new threats from the City Attorney and the Oakland Police Officers' Association (OPOA). Community groups are calling for Oakland residents to turn out in large numbers at City Hall to stand up and demand strong police accountability.
Tue Jul 12 2016 (Updated 07/18/16)
New Wave of Black Lives Matter Protests Nationwide
The back to back caught-on-video police murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5 and Philando Castile in St. Paul on July 6 kicked off a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country. The people of Baton Rouge and St. Paul have been protesting daily since the killings. Solidarity actions have been held in cities across the country and internationally. Communities have staged rallies, marches, and vigils across Northern California as well. Multiple demonstrations have been held in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Watsonville.
Mon Jul 11 2016 (Updated 07/21/16)
Justice for Teo: Rally and March in Newark
Justice for Teo writes: Please, join us [on July 14] in a peaceful-family friendly vigil/rally and march for our Brother Teodoro Valencia Jr.. Teo was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend. On March 11, 2016 Teo was wrongfully killed by the Newark Police Department. He was shot intentionally in the back with an AR-15 assault rifle. Our family's goals are to bring justice for Teo, as well as truth and light to the darkness that the police have been using to mislead and oppress our community.
The Anti Police-Terror Project has issued a call-out for all police officers ready to speak up about illegal, unethical or biased conduct by members of the Oakland Police Department or other City staff or officials to take a stand now. Their legal team at the Siegel & Yee law firm has created a hotline to call to report such conduct and can provide legal advice for those who may face retaliation, protecting whistleblower anonymity.
In a first-of-its-kind decision and a victory for police accountability and transparency, an Alameda County judge has ruled that a public agency can't charge excessive fees for police body worn camera footage. The public interest served by the disclosure outweighs the financial burden of the city to produce the footage, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evilio Grillo ruled. The court ordered the city of Hayward to refund to the NLGSF the entire $3247 cost, except a $1 charge for a DVD.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
5PM Sunday Oct 2 Douglas Kearney
11AM Sunday Oct 16 Million Mom March - BayArea
What was behind the suspension of a UC Berkeley Course on Palestine? via Palestine Legal Monday Sep 26th 4:35 PM
Rally and Protest at Driscoll's Berry Store and Distribution Center Boycott Driscoll's San Quintín Sindja Saturday Sep 24th 10:25 PM
Oakland Approves Petition to Recall Mayor Schaaf Sydney Johnson, Oakland Post (1 comment) Saturday Sep 24th 6:11 PM
Health Watchdog Sues Dow for Pesticide Air Pollution via Californians for Pesticide Reform Saturday Sep 24th 12:07 PM
Solidarity with the Charlotte Rebellion! Solidarity with Charlotte Saturday Sep 24th 12:01 PM
ACLU Stands with Standing Rock ACLU of Northern California Friday Sep 23rd 11:39 PM
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Water Protectors Across Midwest Continue to Stop Active Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline via Indigenous Environmental Network Tuesday Sep 27th 5:11 PM
Burnt out Anarchist report from Charlotte this weekend Chris Irwin Tuesday Sep 27th 6:34 AM
United Nations Expert Validates Standing Rock Sioux Opposition To Dakota Access Pipeline via Indigenous Environmental Network Saturday Sep 24th 12:39 PM
Archaeologists & Museums Denounce Destruction of Standing Rock Sioux Burial Grounds via The Natural History Museum Thursday Sep 22nd 5:08 PM
Leonard Peltier on Solidarity with Standing Rock Leonard Peltier Thursday Sep 22nd 4:59 PM
Federal Judge Dissolves DAPL's Injunction Against Water Protectors via National Lawyers Guild (1 comment) Friday Sep 16th 11:53 PM
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