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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.
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.
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.
At 5am on April 12, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for a 17-month occupation. Two groups of activists – First They Came for the Homeless and Berkeley Post Office Defenders – had occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office continuously since late November, 2014.
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.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Anti-Hillary Clinton Action in Salinas Watsonville Brown Berets (3 comments) Monday May 23rd 5:29 PM
US policy in Honduras must change IndyRadio (1 comment) Monday May 23rd 1:59 PM
USDA Imposes $3.5 Million Penalty on Santa Cruz Biotechnology for Animal Welfare Violation via the Humane Society (1 comment) Friday May 20th 5:56 PM
New UK Report Supports Strong Action on Antibiotics in Ag via Center for Food Safety Friday May 20th 3:37 PM
Santa Cruz Biotechnology Agrees to $3.5M Fine, License Revocation via Animal Welfare Institute Friday May 20th 3:23 PM
wtul news talks with Steve Merlan of Books2 Prisoners wtul news Friday May 20th 7:31 AM
The Language of Neoliberalism Sebastian Friedrich (1 comment) Friday May 20th 5:58 AM
House Passes Most Environmentally Destructive Defense Authorization Act in History Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 19th 5:20 PM
New Report Highlights 10 Wild Places Saved by Endangered Species Protections via Center for Biological Diversity Thursday May 19th 5:15 PM
House Releases New Puerto Rico Debt Legislation Greg Thursday May 19th 1:52 PM
Day of Action in Support of Familias Unidas and San Quintin, MX Farmworkers via Boycott Sakuma Berries Monday May 16th 11:20 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
New Reports: Latino children bear greatest burden of pesticide risk in California via Californians for Pesticide Reform Monday May 16th 2:14 PM
Study: Biodiversity Essential to Protect Ocean Fishes From Climate Change Center for Biological Diversity Monday May 16th 1:53 PM
Big Nazi on Campus: How Racists Rallied at UC Berkeley with Police Protection reposted from itsgoingdown.org (5 comments) Sunday May 15th 1:02 PM
Save the Multinational Species Conservation Fund Tomas DiFiore Saturday May 14th 5:06 PM
AT&T Shareholders meet Communications Workers of America Stan Santos Friday May 13th 3:53 PM
Groups Ask FDA to Protect Consumers from Misleading Labels on “Natural” Foods via Animal Legal Defense Fund Thursday May 12th 4:26 PM
UFW improving farm worker lives through proactive union work via United Farm Workers (3 comments) Thursday May 12th 4:14 PM
SOA Watch Activists vs. U.S. Department of Defense School of the Americas Watch San Francisco Thursday May 12th 4:06 PM
Sacred Psychology & Plant Medicine: Dr. Kat Coder WTUL News and Views Wednesday May 11th 12:27 PM
An Anarchist Take on the Trump Campaign Armchair Anarchist (3 comments) Tuesday May 10th 5:26 PM
Adopt a Redwood Tree as a Green Gift for Graduates Joanna Nasar Tuesday May 10th 9:36 AM
Driscoll's Berries Boycott 5-7-2016 AutumnSun Saturday May 7th 8:11 PM
Vote Your Hopes, Not Your Fears: Building the Green Party Ann Garrison (1 comment) Thursday May 5th 12:57 PM
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
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