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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. Driscoll's packed everything up and left before three o'clock even though more than an hour remained of the four hour promotional event.
Protests against Donald Trump are heating up in California as the June 7 presidential primary approaches. On April 29, it was the Bay Area's turn. Trump was scheduled to speak on the opening day of the California Republican Convention in Burlingame. Protesters blocked streets and pushed through police barricades. Trump's motorcade was unable to reach the site and was forced to walk from Highway 101 through concrete barriers to reach the convention via a back entrance.
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.
Fri Apr 8 2016 (Updated 04/20/16)
26 Arrested at Drone War Base in Nevada
On April 1, at Creech AFB in Indian Springs, Nevada, morning traffic was diverted by dozens of peace and justice activists attempting to shut down the armed drone attack program through nonviolent civil resistance. Twelve peaceful resisters were arrested at the two main gates of Creech. Another six were arrested at the main East Gate while blocking the entrance with "crime scene" tape, referring to the criminal activity of weaponized drone terrorism conducted at Creech, killing thousands of non-combatants and civilians over the past decade.
A recently released United States Department of Agriculture inspection report from January 2016 discloses that Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT), one of the world’s largest producers of animal-derived research antibodies, has eliminated its entire inventory of goats and rabbits. An inspection conducted by the USDA just six months prior revealed an inventory of 3,202 goats and 2,471 rabbits. The disappearance raises questions about the facility's future.
Sat Feb 27 2016 (Updated 03/01/16)
Protesters Face Off with FBI in Digital Privacy Battle
On February 16, a US District Court in California, responding to an FBI request, ordered Apple to write an entirely new operating system for its iPhone, one that would give Federal authorities full access to encrypted private information on those phones. Protesters in the Bay Area cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto organized demonstrations saying the FBI demand would set a dangerous precedent and threaten the safety and security of millions of iPhone users worldwide.
Sun Feb 21 2016 (Updated 05/03/16)
Anti-BDS Bills Introduced in California Legislature
Israel’s defenders in the U.S. have intensified their efforts to stifle criticism of Israeli government policies with new bills and laws seeking to censor or punish advocacy in support of Palestinian rights. In California, two anti-BDS bills were introduced by Assembly member Travis Allen. AB 1551, the “California Israel Commerce Protection Act”, would prohibit the state from investing in businesses and institutions that comply with boycotts against Israel or Israeli-controlled territories. AB 1552 would prohibit the state from contracting with entities that engage in what he calls “boycotts due to discrimination and bigotry.”
Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo (Miwok), a long-time resident of Vallejo, will be taking part in the Longest Walk 5 beginning February 13 at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Wounded Knee is the Founding Executive Director of the Vallejo based organization Sacred Sites Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes. (SSPRIT). He is the only person who will have participated in all five Longest Walks.
On January 2, a couple dozen people kicked off 2016 with a protest in Watsonville, where Driscoll's, the world's largest distributor of fresh berries, is both headquartered and first began producing strawberries in 1904. The demonstrators are amplifying a campaign initiated by farmworkers in Washington State and Baja California to boycott Driscoll's strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
On January 5, two environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its failure to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety first petitioned for the monarch’s protection in August 2014, following a more than 80 percent decline in the butterfly’s population over the past two decades.
In September 2003, Lakota Sioux Richard Iron Cloud and Armando Black Bear, novice swimmers from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near the Badlands of South Dakota, swam from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore in the first PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim. That tradition continued on Oct. 19, 2015, when Native Americans made the crossing from the “Rock” to San Francisco to conclude this year’s annual PATHSTAR Alcatraz Swim Week.
On November 2, red paint was splashed across the front door of Mission Santa Cruz. Following the Catholic church's canonization of Junipero Serra, a series of acts of vandalism has occurred on the Central Coast, including the beheading of a Serra statue in Monterey in October, and the splashing of paint on Mission Carmel and the toppling of a statue of Serra in September.
On November 12 students at UC Santa Cruz joined students at college campuses across the country for a "Million Student March," a day of local actions organized nationally around three principle demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Million Student March actions were organized at over 100 schools.
Sun Nov 1 2015 (Updated 11/02/15)
California Moves to Keep Whales Out of Crab Gear
A state-convened working group is recommending a series of initial steps toward reducing whale entanglements in crab gear in California, including more monitoring and retrieval of lost fishing gear. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group was convened in September after the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups found that whale entanglements in 2014 and 2015 had reached historic highs.
Thu Oct 22 2015 (Updated 10/24/15)
Kettle Falls Patients Get Federal Prison Sentences
Federal prison sentences were handed down October 2 for the three remaining defendants in the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington State. They were charged with multiple federal felonies after a 2012 raid on the family’s personal cannabis garden. The case has received national attention as an example of federal interference with state-qualified medical cannabis patients. Lobbying by Larry Harvey, a defendant in the case who died last month from cancer, was instrumental in getting Congress to restrict Department of Justice enforcement in states with medical cannabis laws.
Receiving scant attention from marijuana legalization advocates and just about zero attention in the national media, voters in Ohio will be deciding on a controversial marijuana legalization initiative this November that “Grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana." It is a cautionary tale to which the backers of California’s multiple marijuana legalization initiatives might want to pay close attention.
Despite widespread objections, Junipero Serra was canonized on September 23 at the National Shrine in Washington DC by Pope Francis during his US visit. On September 27, as a parish celebration of the sainthood of Junipero Serra was scheduled to take place at the Carmel Mission Basilica, a statue of Serra was toppled over and paint was smeared on two grave sites, as well as on signs with the name of Serra, and on the doors of the mission. One mission artifact was inscribed with the statement, "Saint of Genocide".
A third complaint was filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT) on August 7 for a violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA's ongoing case against SCBT, one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, was heard by an administrative law judge from August 18-21.
A U.S. District Court has struck down Idaho’s “ag-gag” law as an unconstitutional attempt by the agriculture industry to silence journalists, animal advocates, and whistleblowers who expose cruel farming practices. The ruling — the first of its kind — spells trouble for the agriculture industry’s attempts in other states to outlaw photography and video recordings of animal welfare, workers’ rights, and environmental violations. The lawsuit was brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA, with support from a wide-range of organizations.
On July 29, Greenpeace and Rising Tide protesters used ropes with linked lines to hang below Portland's St. John's bridge for more than twenty-eight hours. Their goal was to block passage of an ice-breaker headed to bring parts for Arctic oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea. The activists dangled from the bridge successfully delaying the Finnish ship hired by Shell Oil before police cut the tag lines between protestors.
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson of Los Angeles recently pled guilty and currently await sentencing for a related charge of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). On July 24, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA for 2013 actions. At a court hearing on July 28, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring.
The United States Social Forum 2015 was held June 24-28 in San José. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change. Food Sovereignty, Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley, Taking our Health Back, Crisis of the California Water Commons, No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization, Cooperative Economics, and Movements Making Media were just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed.
Same-sex weddings took place across the country after the Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that all 50 states must now permit LGBTQ couples "the fundamental right to marry." After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, many LGBT organizers are now redirecting their attention to obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in areas of employment, housing and commerce. Locally, activists want to shift the focus to issues that LGBT immigrants and prisoners face in detention centers across the U.S.
Wed Jun 24 2015 (Updated 06/25/15)
Listen Up Mayors: Humanity First Demonstrations
On June 19, Bay Area community groups CodePink, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Occupy SF Action Council, Anti Police-Terror Project, Jewitch Camp, the Green Party, and World Can’t Wait gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco to protest the presence of police chiefs from around the country during San Francisco’s Conference for Mayors. Many events were planned during the 4-day conference and protests were held at all of them.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence took the lead in organizing a protest held in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California on June 1. Sister Roma said that it's time Mark Zuckerberg realized that identity is fluid. She and about 100 others traveled from San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area to Silicon Valley to demand that the social media company remove the fake-name reporting option and stop asking users for government IDs.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
EPA Uses Industry-funded Studies to Determine Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday May 3rd 3:08 PM
May Day March for Beach Flats Garden and Boycott Driscoll's Bradley Allen Tuesday May 3rd 12:45 PM
$40 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Ted Rudow III, MA Monday May 2nd 2:43 PM
Scar Story: Documentary of Paulette Leaphart's 1,000 Mile Walk to DC WTUL News and Views Friday Apr 29th 8:34 AM
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day Bradley Allen (1 comment) Monday Apr 25th 7:46 PM
Planned Crises or Alan Greenspan's "Tsunami" Joachim Hirsch Monday Apr 25th 4:57 AM
Humpback whale successfully disentangled by California Whale Rescue network via California Whale Rescue Friday Apr 22nd 11:36 PM
NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism SNS (1 comment) Tuesday Apr 19th 4:12 PM
SPLC survey: Presidential campaign leading to widespread fear, bullying in schools via Southern Poverty Law Center Sunday Apr 17th 3:00 AM
Education Opportunities for Incarcerated Persons - Bridging the Gap WTUL News and Views Saturday Apr 16th 1:38 PM
West Coast Fisher Denied Endangered Species Act Protection in Bow to Timber Industry Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Apr 14th 3:32 PM
Obama Administration's Weak New Offshore-drilling Rules Fail to Protect Oceans, Climate Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Apr 14th 3:29 PM
West Coast Water Quality Standards Not Strong Enough to Fight Ocean Acidification Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Apr 13th 3:02 PM
The Financial Market Crisis in the Light of the Social Market Economy Jorge Althammer (3 comments) Wednesday Apr 13th 5:16 AM
Angola 3 Newsletter: Broadening the Platform to Correct Past Injustices International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 (1 comment) Tuesday Apr 12th 8:18 PM
National Hmong American Farmers: 7th Annual National Farm Conference Khubaka, Michael Harris (1 comment) Tuesday Apr 12th 10:07 AM
Monarchs Are Not on the Road to Recovery via Center for Food Safety Monday Apr 11th 3:27 PM
Tax Havens: Threat for Public Budgets Sven Giegold Monday Apr 11th 2:34 AM
USDA Proposes Organic Animal Welfare Regulations via Center for Food Safety Friday Apr 8th 6:08 PM
First Responders group forms in St. Louis WeCopwatch Friday Apr 8th 9:20 AM
AWI Statement on Proposed Animal Welfare Regulations for the Certified Organic Label via Animal Welfare Institute (1 comment) Thursday Apr 7th 4:40 PM
EPA Analysis: 97 Percent of Endangered Species Threatened by Two Common Pesticides Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Apr 7th 4:23 PM
Puerto Rico Congressional Negotiations Intensify Greg Wednesday Apr 6th 3:17 PM
Green Sea Turtles Recovering on U.S. Coasts Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Apr 6th 2:39 PM
UFW Tries to Silence Boycott Driscoll’s Activists at Cesar Chavez March Bradley Allen (3 comments) Tuesday Apr 5th 11:58 AM
26 Arrested at Drone War Base in Nevada Marcus Pegasus (1 comment) Saturday Apr 2nd 11:41 PM
Call for Prisoner Strike on Attica Anniversary Support Prisoner Resistance Saturday Apr 2nd 7:36 AM
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