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Thu May 26 2016 (Updated 05/27/16)
Salmon is Theme at San Francisco's Anti-GMO Action
Demonstrators spotlighted salmon at this year’s March Against Monsanto. In their protest in San Francisco on May 21, protesters called out Aquabounty for creating a GMO salmon that will be farm-raised, fast growing, and has recently been approved by the FDA despite insufficient safety testing. If these GMO salmon escape, they could forever change the genes of ocean salmon. Salmon are especially important spiritually to the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Shasta County. In Santa Cruz, protesters demonstrated wearing medical masks to bring awareness to the destruction that is caused by Monsanto and GMO's.
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.
On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
Tue May 3 2016 (Updated 05/04/16)
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day
As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll’s were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could.
On April 3, members of Watsonville Brown Berets (WBB) traveled to Salinas to attend the annual Cesar Chavez March and Rally presented by United Farm Workers (UFW). WBB were joined by members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent farmworker union in Burlington, Washington fighting for a union contract, and initiators of the boycott against Driscoll's. Although advocating for farmworkers' rights seems like it would be warmly welcomed by UFW, that was not the experience for WBB and FUJ members.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll’s and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll’s headquarters in Watsonville.
A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Community Garden early Thursday morning, March 24, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Despite the loss of land, fruit trees, and nopales, the Beach Flats Gardeners are committed to making the best of the 2016 planting season.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation released the results of annual pesticide use reporting – the only reporting like it in the country – offering a glimpse into what potentially hazardous pesticides are being used in the state. Despite fewer plantings and crop loss due to the drought across the state, hazardous pesticide use increased in some counties. From 2013 to 2014, in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, such pesticide use increased 10.0% and 9.4%, respectively.
Wed Mar 23 2016 (Updated 04/21/16)
Chemicals Used in Acidization Threaten Water Supplies
Oil companies use dozens of extremely hazardous chemicals to acidize wells in California, raising water contamination and public-safety concerns, according to a new study in the Journal of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. The University of California-Los Angeles study, which has national significance because it seems to be the first ever to examine the toxicity of acidization chemicals, finds that almost 200 different chemicals have been used in the process.
Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
On March 8, the Santa Cruz city council voted 5-2 to oppose an amendment to municipal code 6.36.010, also known as the camping ban. The proposed amendment would have removed references to sleeping and covering up with a blanket from the text of the law, as well as removing references to sleeping in cars. Effectively, these changes would have made it legal for people sleeping outdoors to do so without fear of citation by police.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Robert (Bob) Fitch Memorial Gathering May 27, 2016 AutumnSun Friday May 27th 11:53 PM
Obama Administration OKs Offshore Fracking in California Center for Biological Diversity Friday May 27th 2:34 PM
Salinas Protest of Hillary Clinton AutumnSun Thursday May 26th 11:12 AM
Cabrillo College Foundation bankrolling Yes on Q campaign Bruce Holloway (1 comment) Thursday May 26th 9:57 AM
A Tribute to Our Friend, Photographer and Organizer Bob Fitch Josh Sonnenfeld, and Paul Ortiz (1 comment) Wednesday May 25th 8:03 AM
Deal Protects Santa Cruz Coastal Habitat, Accommodates Solar-powered Home Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday May 24th 1:06 PM
Mathews Council Crushes Handicraft Vendors; Freedom SleepOut #46 Soldiers On Robert Norse (5 comments) Tuesday May 24th 12:58 PM
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President Obama Asked to Stop U.S. Military Project That Threatens Endangered Dugong Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 26th 7:29 PM
New UK Report Supports Strong Action on Antibiotics in Ag via Center for Food Safety Friday May 20th 3:37 PM
House Passes Most Environmentally Destructive Defense Authorization Act in History Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 19th 5:20 PM
New Community Resource: It's a Trap! via NLG SF Bay Area Chapter Monday May 16th 3:01 PM
National Research Council GMO Study Compromised by Industry Ties
 via Food & Water Watch Monday May 16th 2:51 PM
Study: Biodiversity Essential to Protect Ocean Fishes From Climate Change Center for Biological Diversity Monday May 16th 1:53 PM
Vaquita Population Plummets to Just 60 Individuals Center for Biological Diversity Saturday May 14th 1:59 PM
Groups Ask FDA to Protect Consumers from Misleading Labels on “Natural” Foods via Animal Legal Defense Fund Thursday May 12th 4:26 PM
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Oil Industry Continues Efforts to “Buy” California’s Electoral System via Sierra Club California Wednesday May 4th 3:01 PM
Scientists Recommend Immediate Action to Combat Changes To West Coast Seawater Chemistry via California Ocean Protection Council Friday Apr 8th 5:33 PM
Against Deporting Refugees To Genocidal Turkey Steven Argue Sunday Mar 20th 11:08 AM
March 8 challenge to Santa Cruz sleeping ban media archive IndyRadio/Roknich Thursday Mar 17th 4:09 PM
City of Santa Cruz debates criminalization of sleeping IndyRadio (1 comment) Thursday Mar 17th 8:29 AM
Mideast Migraines - LOWDOWN on passenger rail Ren Tawil Wednesday Mar 16th 11:28 PM
Californians Against Fracking Responds to EPA’s Methane Regulation Announcement Californians Against Fracking Friday Mar 11th 7:49 PM
Warming Center Program - Plans & Protocols Warming Center Program (1 comment) Thursday Feb 18th 4:50 PM
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