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Wed Sep 21 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
East Bay Cops Charged with Sex Crimes and Corruption
Recent reporting exposed widespread crimes, corruption, and coverups in the Oakland police department. As more and more came to light about Oakland police sexually abusing and trafficking a teenage girl since she was a minor, community activists issued demands, protests turned up on OPD's doorstep, and calls for accountability came from all quarters. In this environment, it became untenable for Alameda County District Attorney O'Malley to do nothing. O'Malley has now charged five cops for the sexual exploitation of a teenager and related corruption. Two more are yet to be charged.
Plaintiffs Anne Weills, Mollie Costello, Allyssa Eisenberg, and Tova Fry were taken to Santa Rita Jail after being arrested for civil disobedience in 2014. The Four were held with other women in filthy jail cells. Toilets were overflowing. There were no menstrual pads for women who needed them, no garbage containers so used menstrual pads sat on top of left over food. All the women in those cells are “presumed innocent”. The Four and their attorney Yolanda Huang filed a civil rights complaint in order to be a voice for other women and demand they be treated with respect and human dignity.
On June 26, hundreds of anti-fascists gathered on the grounds of the state Capitol, ready to deny access to white supremacists who had announced plans to hold a rally that afternoon. Members of the Traditionalist Workers Party had secured a permit from the California Highway Patrol to rally on the steps of the Capitol building along with other anti-immigrant and racist groups. Antifa forces made certain the rally never happened, despite suffering serious casualties while repelling the Nazis.
Tue May 24 2016 (Updated 05/26/16)
SFPD Kills Again, Chief Suhr Forced to Resign Same Day
On the morning of May 19, Jessica Williams — a twenty-nine-year-old Black woman who might have been pregnant — was shot and killed by San Francisco police in the Bayview District. She was unarmed. Within a few hours of the killing, Mayor Ed Lee, announced that he was firing Suhr. Community pressure had been building to fire Suhr in response to his record as Chief. Later in the day, protesters rallied at City Hall before a large vigil was held at the site of her murder. On Friday, May 27, a rally and march will be held for Jessica Williams.
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 Saturday, January 23, hundreds of local activists met the anti-choice Walk for Life at Market and Powell Streets, shouting down their repressive message with loud, spirited, no-holds-barred pro-choice chants. The religious-based walk busses in thousands of anti-choice activists annually on the anniversary of Roe v Wade in an attempt to drown out locals in the pro-choice city of San Francisco.
Wed Dec 30 2015 (Updated 01/01/16)
Victory for the Black Friday 14
On Black Friday 2014, following the grand jury announcement it would not recommend indicting police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, fourteen Black activists chained themselves together on a BART transit platform “to prevent trains from moving at the West Oakland station, in response to the seemingly unending war against Black communities.” District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and BART pursued criminal charges and originally $70,000 in restitution. Now, after a year-long campaign by the Black Friday 14 and a broad coalition of allies, the DA has dropped all the charges.
The ACLU of Northern California and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office have reached a settlement agreement that will ensure that women are able to choose whether they receive pregnancy testing in the county’s jails. The agreement is the result of a lawsuit, Harman v. Ahern, which argued the policy was a violation of the California Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and state statutory law.
In a show of solidarity, labor unions and Black Lives Matter activists staged a protest on November 10 which targeted Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. Some two hundred protesters gathered outside D.A. O'Malley's offices demanding that she “Drop the charges against the Black Friday 14!” They declared that the struggles for economic justice and racial justice were two sides of the same struggle. Inside the courthouse, a delegation of labor leaders occupied O'Malley's office. No arrests were made.
Over 2000 protesters from many different Indian American communities joined together outside the SAP Center in San Jose on September 27 to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "Digital India" and Hindutva. They raised many issues with Modi's leadership, ranging from forced conversions to Hinduism, Internet surveillance, arrest of political bloggers, harassment of human rights activists, blind eye to rapes, dispossession of small farmers, rewriting of Indian history, and the 2002 Gujarat massacre.
Students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Stevenson Coffee House for a short period of time on April 27 to expose a person they say is a known rapist who is presently employed at the business. The small cafe, which is privately owned and operated under a lease with the university, is located within Stevenson College on the east side of the UCSC campus.
On April 12, the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), in conjunction with Yuvette Henderson’s family, held a vigil and caravan in the name of Yuvette, killed with an AR-15 by Emeryville police. Numerous other demonstrations have been held to demand justice for Yuvette as well. On April 21st, the Oakland police department conceded to community pressure and allowed the brother and sister of Yuvette to view the videos leading up to her murder, which is rare after a police killing, but her family was told that the two most critical events of the day were not available for review.
Sat Apr 18 2015 (Updated 04/19/15)
Walk to Stop the Silence Draws Hundreds in Watsonville
The annual Walk to Stop the Silence was launched nine years ago in order to break through the silence surrounding the issue of sexual abuse and provide a healing space for survivors. The event is always well-attended, but this year, on April 11, the crowd was noticeably packed with families and young people whose energy led the walk with chants such as, "Walk to Stop the Silence!" and "Sí se puede!"
On April 13, a group gathered at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse in support of Alix Tichelman, the woman charged with killing a Google executive named Forrest Hayes in 2013. Dozens of pamphlets were handed out in front of the courthouse detailing the case against Alix. Her parents personally thanked the group for their presence. Free Alix! writes: She is being unfairly railroaded into jail for an accident that was not her fault.
Tue Feb 24 2015 (Updated 02/25/15)
Emeryville Home Depot Shut Down for Yuvette Henderson
Yuvette Henderson was gunned down by Emeryville police officers Michelle Shepard and Warren Williams on February 3 within minutes of an incident at the Emeryville Home Depot about a block away. Concerned that Yuvette was killed because she was a Black woman, and that police agencies are involved in a massive cover-up, the Anti Police-Terror Project held a rally at Emeryville PD headquarters on February 21 before marching to the Home Depot, where activists used chains and lockboxes to shut the store down for most of the day.
Five transgender women of color have been violently killed within the first two months of 2015 in the United States. One murder locally has rattled the nerves of the local transgender community. On February 1, Taja Gabrielle de Jesus was stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant while walking down a street in the Bayview district in San Francisco. In response, approximately 200 people rallied on the steps of city hall for Transgender Tuesday on February 10.
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