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On November 1, Nancy Pelosi said she is "not a big fan of Medicare for All." Likewise, U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, who chairs the Subcommittee on Health, has been criticized for being "in the pocket of Big Pharma." At rallies in front of both Congresswomen's offices this fall, protesters asked why neither of them represent what their constituents want. Both Congresswomen will face opposition from candidates who support Medicare-for-All. The primary election in California is set for March 3, 2020.
The Kincade Fire has created a calamitous path through Northern California’s wine country, forcing nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. Many of them are reliving the disastrous fire that raged through the same area in 2017. On October 25, PG&E admitted its electrical equipment may have ignited the inferno, despite electrical blackouts imposed across Northern California to prevent blazes. In the San Francisco Bay Area, activists say we need to replace private control of utilities. Two new campaigns, Let's Own PG&E and Utility Justice Campaign, are calling for a publicly-accountable takeover of the monopoly. Protests have been held in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and other cities.
Hundreds of Direct Action Everywhere activists occupied a Whole Foods store and an Amazon office in San Francisco on September 30, with dozens chaining and/or locking themselves in place until thirty-seven were arrested. Simultaneously, several activists chained themselves together inside an Amazon office in San Francisco. The following afternoon, activists urged the SF Board of Supervisors to support of “Rose’s Law: An Animal Bill of Rights.” In response to the protests in San Francisco, Whole Foods’ parent-company Amazon filed for a temporary restraining order against Direct Action Everywhere covering all California locations.
Businesses are closed and rail service suspended, as China's Special Administrative Region Hong Kong is in chaos this weekend. A ban on wearing masks, set to take effect October 4, apparently backfired as street violence increased; at least one train was set on fire. The Hong Kong protests have now spread to several large cities in the United States, with hundreds gathering in San Francisco ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Critics say that despite claims in the press about the protesters being advocates of democracy and freedom, demonstrators carrying U.S. flags are asking the ironically tyrannical President Trump to come to their aid.
On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution designating the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) a domestic terrorist organization. Supervisor Catherine Stefani said she drafted the resolution in response to the July 28 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which killed 3 people and wounded 15 others. The NRA retaliated by filing a lawsuit against city and county of San Francisco and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Separately, Bay Area groups for stricter gun laws held rallies in response to the week of mass shootings in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Thu Sep 5 2019 (Updated 09/30/19)
Global Climate Strike Week of Action
Climate Strikes began on September 20, three days out from the United Nation's climate emergency summit in New York, and continued to September 27. As young climate strikers have shown, there is huge power in sustained action week after week to match the scale of the climate emergency. Millions walked out from home, work, school or university to declare a climate emergency and to show politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means.
Thu Sep 5 2019 (Updated 09/08/19)
Montgomery Street Repurposed to Save Amazon Forest
The Amazon is burning at an unprecedented speed. Ranchers and cattle farmers are burning territory, clearing it, and creating pastures for cattle and big agriculture to take over and buy their property. On August 30, San Francisco's Montgomery Street, normally the home of plundering corporations, became the venue of Amazon peoples' worship and demands to save their world, and ours. Montgomery Street was quickly sealed off with a street-wide banner at the 300 building, site of the Brazilian consulate.
Thu Aug 29 2019 (Updated 09/01/19)
Protesters Demand End to U.S. Involvement in Yemeni War
As separatists and government-backed forces battle for control of the Yemeni capital, innocent civilians continue to suffer. On August 16, Yemeni-Americans and allies gathered in front of San Francisco's Federal Building where they called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead the House in progressive foreign policies as regards the war in Yemen. They want the House-Senate conference on the National Defense Authorization Act to include the Smith-Khanna amendment to end all U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the Malinowski amendment to stop bomb sales to Saudi Arabia.
In response to reports that CEO of SoulCycle and Equinox Stephen Ross will be holding a fundraiser for the Donald Trump reelection campaign, members of the LGBT community launched a boycott of these businesses with a protest in front of Soul Cycle's Harvey Milk Plaza location on August 7 in San Francisco. Demonstrators said they are angry that the owner of the fitness center chains, who also owns the Miami Dolphins, is supporting a racist, homophobic, and sexist president. They are calling on current members to cancel their memberships and decline to renew them.
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.
On June 17, at demonstrations that drew up to two million people, protesters in Hong Kong continued demands that the government withdraw an extradition bill they fear would allow people to be sent to the mainland for actions disapproved of by Beijing. Protesters insisted that police be held accountable for brutal tactics at demonstrations held earlier in June as well. In the Bay Area cities of Palo Alto and San Francisco, hundreds demonstrated in solidarity with activists in Hong Kong.
A "Wear Orange" walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on June 8 recognized the gun violence epidemic and . honored its victims. Orange was the color Hadiya Pendleton, murdered at the age of fifteen in Chicago, wore and has become the symbol of the movement for gun safety laws. It was one of hundreds of events across the country organized by chapters of Mom Demands Action for Gun Sense in America and other organizations that promote non-violence. At the Marin overlook, protesters holding photos of lost loved ones gathered around the statue, The Lonely Sailor.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Fish Conservancy sued the Trump administration in April for mismanaging West Coast salmon fisheries and harming critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. That orca population has dropped to just 75 individuals, mostly because declining salmon runs have left them without enough to eat. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded by committing to expanded designation of critical habitat off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sent cease and desist notices to California restaurants and retailers that appear to continue selling foie gras despite a state ban on the sale of this cruelly-produced “gourmet” delicacy made from the liver of a duck or goose. Over the past two months, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has received dozens of tips and reports from concerned citizens identifying California restaurants and retailers that appear to be flouting the foie gras law.
Sun Apr 28 2019 (Updated 05/04/19)
Earth Day in California Site of Creative Protests
A week before Earth Day was not too early for San Francisco activists with Extinction Rebellion who staged direct action designed to draw attention to the planet's peril. On April 15, they led a march and rally, shutting down 7th Street for close to two hours. Elsewhere in California there were Earth Day die-ins, dance demonstrations, and invitations to rethink waste and save trees. In Los Angeles protesters scaled the iconic globe outside Universal Studios; four people were charged with felonies.

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