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What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
Wed Feb 15 2017 (Updated 02/16/17)
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One-third
The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released on February 9 confirms Monarch numbers fell by nearly one-third from last year’s count, indicating an ongoing risk of extinction for America’s most well-known butterfly. Scientists report that this year’s population is down by 27 percent from last year’s count, and down by more than 80 percent from the mid-1990s. A survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in California shows that the Western population has not rebounded. On the West Coast of California, key sites such as Pismo Beach and Natural Bridges saw lower populations this year than in the prior year.
On January 26, Fordham University reaffirmed its ban on Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In a letter to civil rights groups, Fordham stated its decision to ban SJP was made because the group had a “singular focus of which is the political agenda of one nation,” “is more akin to a lobbying organization,” and that SJPs on other campuses were “disruptive.” Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) wrote Fordham, stating the university “misconstrues the facts, misunderstands the law, and ignores Fordham’s contractual obligations to respect students’ freedom of expression.”
The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers in California's Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approval of these "aquifer exemption" applications by the Environmental Protection Agency gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies. California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.
Mon Feb 13 2017 (Updated 02/14/17)
Marchers in Palo Alto Demand Banks Defund DAPL
Hundreds of demonstrators took their Rolling March and Rally through downtown Palo Alto on February 11. They hit up eight banks that are responsible for helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. Things got started in front of City Hall with a rally featuring indigenous speakers Dr. Maria Michael, Hartman Deetz, and Delphine Red Shirt amongst others. Marchers then made their way to Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Comerica, Bank of America, Union Bank, HSBC, Wells Fargo, and Chase banks. To the end demonstrators cried out "Mni Wiconi - Water is Life!"
Water from Lake Oroville flowed over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time in the reservoir's 48-year history after the water level exceeded 901 feet in elevation on February 11. The water slowly began to flow over the concrete weir of the auxiliary spillway, down a hillside and into the Feather River. After saying the situation was stable and public safety was not threatened, state officials reversed course and issued evacuation orders late in the afternoon of February 12. On February 13, state officials would give no timeline on when the 188,000 evacuees can return to their homes.
Together, Linda Martín Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser, Barbara Ransby, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, and Angela Davis write: In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights. Let us use the occasion of this international day of action to build a feminism for the 99%, a grassroots, anti-capitalist feminism – a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families and their allies throughout the world. Let us join together on 8 March to strike, walk out, march and demonstrate.
Thu Feb 9 2017 (Updated 02/10/17)
A Public Bank for Oakland
Emily Wheeler of the Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland writes: A thriving local economy is something we all want to see—no controversy there. But we’ve been too quick to accept the prevailing notion that there is a trade-off between that and providing ourselves with adequate housing, health care, or education programs. It’s time to align our fiscal practices with our social ideals. It’s time for the Public Bank of Oakland. On February 9, the City of Oakland hosted a public forum on the potential of the Public Bank of Oakland.
At 8:30am on the morning of February 2, at least 80 Oakland Police raided the village. Structures were then bulldozed by the Department of Public Works (DPW). The inhumane action went against the wishes of hundreds of Oakland residents who contributed to building up the sanctuary for two weeks. Sixteen residents, half of them elderly, were displaced. An additional four guests who were seeking sanctuary for the night were also rudely awakened. Two of the evening guests who slept in The Promised Land open air living room, sought refuge because Caltrans had destroyed their encampments down the street.
Protesters and journalists have reached a tentative settlement with the City of Berkeley in a National Lawyers Guild federal civil rights lawsuit over police brutality at a December 6, 2014, racial justice protest. The plaintiffs alleged that they were clubbed and tear gassed for no reason and forcibly herded more than a mile down Telegraph Avenue, from the south campus area into Oakland. The settlement, which is expected to be approved at the February 14, 2017, Berkeley City Council meeting, includes policy changes intended to prevent a recurrence of the police misconduct, and $125,000 for seven plaintiffs.
Tue Feb 7 2017 (Updated 02/10/17)
Trump's Muslim Ban Protested Nationwide
On Friday, January 27, Donald Trump issued an executive order banning refugees and other visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The following day, thousands of people began to gather at airports across the United States to protest. At San Francisco International Airport, over four thousand protesters showed up in support of migrants and against the Muslim ban, virtually shutting down the airport. On Monday, courts across the nation began to weigh in, halting parts of the ban in differing regions. On February 3, a US District Court judge in Seattle ordered a nationwide stay on Trump's entire executive order.
A diverse array of Sacramento community groups participated in ChangeFest, a climate mobilization rally at the state capitol on January 21 as part of a week of anti-Trump street protests in Sacramento centered around the Presidential Inauguration. Speakers and musicians covered issues ranging from violence against women, to the Driscoll’s boycott in support of indigenous farmworkers in Mexico, to successful campaigns to ban fracking in San Benito and Monterey Counties, to the No DAPL struggle at Standing Rock. ChangeFest took place concurrently with the 20,000-strong Women's March in the Capitol.
President Trump signed executive orders on January 24 to push ahead with the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Both projects sparked widespread opposition and protests, especially because of their risks to water, wildlife, climate and people. On January 27, attorneys representing the first ten water protectors arrested in actions against the Dakota Access Pipeline in early August 2016 renewed their motion for a change of venue, on grounds that the state did not adequately respond to their motion and is not taking basic steps to assess bias among jurors.
On January 21, religious extremists once again held their annual anti-abortion Walk For Life march in San Francisco. They believe holding these events in liberal San Francisco packs a bigger punch because San Franciscans by and large believe that no laws or religion should govern decisions about their bodies, health, and welfare. Every year they are confronted by pro-choice protesters, even though this year there were dueling events in San Francisco. A larger anti-choice event was held in Washington D.C. on January 27.
A warrant from police in Arkansas seeking audio records of a man’s Amazon Echo has sparked an overdue conversation about the privacy implications of “always-on” recording devices. The story serves as a wakeup call about the potential surveillance devices that many people are starting to allow into their own homes. The Amazon echo is not the only such device; others include personal assistants like Google Home, Google Now, Apple’s Siri, Windows Cortana, as well as other devices. Digital assistants and other IoT devices create a triple threat to privacy: from government, corporations, and hackers.
On the morning of Saturday, January 21, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, a public plot of land at 36th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, moving in small homes, a hot shower, a healing clinic, and other services — declaring it a people’s encampment for those who need housing and basic needs and services. The group which includes folks living on Oakland streets, activists from Feed the People and Asians for Black Lives said that the move-in demonstrates their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.
On January 21, one day after Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, women and allies in cities across the U.S. and countries throughout the world marched in protest in record numbers. In Washington, D.C., where the original Women's March was called, around 500,000 attended, far more than had come for the Trump inauguration itself. In Los Angeles, some estimates set the number present at nearly 750,000. Some of the largest marches in Northern California were in Oakland, San José, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 01/29/17)
Mobilization Against the Coronation of Trump
A large coalition, including CrimethInc. Workers’ Collective, is calling for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump. In addition to Washington D.C., protests will also be held in Oakland, San Francisco, San José, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and communities throughout the so-called United States. A widely circulated call to action states, "On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies."
Mon Jan 16 2017 (Updated 01/22/17)
Reclaiming King's Legacy in the Age of Trump
For the third year in a row, actions will be held across the Bay Area to “Reclaim King’s Radical Legacy." In previous years, protests and rallies culminated with a large march in Oakland on Martin Luther King Day. This year, with Trump set to be inaugurated as the President of the United States on the Friday after MLK Day, protests will be held over five days, from MLK Day on January 16 through to the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20. A diverse coalition will engage in 120 hours of direct action, coalition building, and campaign launching against white supremacy.
Toxic lead levels are dangerously high in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, which has the highest level of contamination in California and are worse than in Flint, Michigan, according to a national report. Unlike Flint’s contaminated water crisis, which caught national attention in 2015, Oakland’s lead is not in the water system but is coming from old buildings and chipping paint that is getting into the dirt and being tossed up in the wind. The result is that 7.57 percent of children under the age of seven who were tested have high levels of lead in their blood.
Just months after Monterey County voters approved a ban on underground injection of oil waste, California regulators have announced a plan to turn an underground water supply in the county over to the oil industry for injection of contaminated waste fluid. The proposal — announced by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources — seeks to exempt an aquifer that runs under the town of San Ardo from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. A similar aquifer exemption is currently under consideration in Livermore.
A recent US Supreme Court decision, “Williams vs. Pennsylvania,” could open the door for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom. The decision ruled that a prosecutor cannot later sit as judge over the same defendant’s appeal. This is exactly what happened in Mumia’s case. On December 8, marking the 35th anniversary of imprisonment for American political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and to protest the refusal by prison authorities to provide necessary medication, a coalition of supporters in Philadelphia, Toronto, Wellington, and Oakland demonstrated.
On December 23, Israeli forces suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation. A number of demonstrators participated in a march near Israeli checkpoint 300 which separates Bethlehem residents from Jerusalem. The march, which included participants dressed up as Santa Claus, close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and Occupation are Two Sides of the Same Coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.
02/24/17 Activists Protest HP Enterprise for Profiteering from Racism in Israel-Palestine and U.S. antiwar | sf | us | international | palestine02/24/17 Protest After Fresno Mayor Lee Brand Says City Will Not Provide Sanctuary for Immigrants police | race | centralvalley | government | immigrant02/23/17 Shortly After Shutdowns of College Speaking Events, Milo Shunned by His Own People race | globaljustice | education | centralvalley | eastbay | us | immigrant02/17/17 Santa Cruz DA Won't File Charges Against Police Officer Who Killed Man Holding Garden Rake frontpage | police | healthhousing | santacruz02/16/17 Nationwide Ramp-Up of Highly Militarized ICE Raids Includes California's Central Coast frontpage | police | california | us | immigrant | santacruz02/15/17 Number of Monarchs Overwintering in California Remains Low frontpage | environment | california | us | international | americas | santacruz02/15/17 Civil Rights Groups Condemn New York City's Fordham University Ban on SJP frontpage | education | us | palestine02/14/17 Safe Drinking Water Exemptions Allow Oil Companies to Dump Waste Fluid Into Aquifers frontpage | environment | centralvalley | eastbay | california | government | santacruz02/13/17 Eight Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline Protested frontpage | environment | race | peninsula | us02/13/17 Dam Maintenance Neglected as Governor Brown Promotes Delta Tunnels frontpage | environment | centralvalley | california | government02/09/17 International Women's General Strike on March 8: Walk Out, March and Demonstrate frontpage | healthhousing | labor | globaljustice | lgbtqi | womyn | us | international
Native Nations March - San Francisco Idle No More SF Bay Saturday Feb 25th 7:03 PM
Support AB 1506 to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Lynda Carson (3 comments) Friday Feb 24th 6:06 AM
Anaheim Erupts After Off-Duty Cop Shoots at Students itsgoingdown (2 comments) Thursday Feb 23rd 11:54 PM
Santa Cruz Police Cooperate with ICE on Militarized Immigration Raids KPFA (2 comments) Thursday Feb 23rd 8:22 PM
Video Shows SCPD Blocking Media from Sean Arlt Killing Press Conference Wes White and Robert Norse (3 comments) Thursday Feb 23rd 2:36 PM
New Western Monarch and Milkweed Website Launched via The Xerces Society Wednesday Feb 22nd 4:39 PM
NoDAPL Divestment Crawl Rise Up for Justice (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 21st 11:42 PM
Rain at Midnight? Freedom SleepOut #85 Faces Wettest Winter Keith McHenry (story by Norse) Monday Feb 20th 11:19 PM
Pack the Courthouse for Yuvette Henderson APTP Sunday Feb 19th 2:44 PM
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This Week in Palestine, February 24, 2017 IMEMC Friday Feb 24th 10:47 PM
Fordham Student Forced into Closed-door Hearing, Leaves in Protest via Palestine Legal Wednesday Feb 22nd 4:54 PM
Milo Yiannopoulos's Book and Speaking Invitation Canceled Democracy Now! (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 21st 12:26 PM
This Week in Palestine, February 17, 2017 IMEMC Saturday Feb 18th 7:32 PM
Fordham Retaliates Against Student for Protesting SJP Ban via Palestine Legal Friday Feb 17th 8:00 PM
Cook Inlet Gas Pipeline Leak Shows Risks of Offshore Drilling Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Feb 15th 5:44 PM
107 More Groups Publicly Oppose Serial Executioner Neil Gorsuch For Court Civilrights Dot Org Wednesday Feb 15th 4:52 PM
Trump Voids Dodd-Frank 1504 Transparency Rule Greg Williams Tuesday Feb 14th 1:42 PM
Impeach Trump Movement Has Started Stop Fascism (1 comment) Saturday Feb 11th 3:40 AM
This Week in Palestine, February 10, 2017 IMEMC Friday Feb 10th 9:18 PM
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Philippines: Unity Statement by February 25 Coalition February 25 Coalition Saturday Feb 25th 7:14 PM
The Shortwave Report 02/24/17 Listen Globally! Dan Roberts Thursday Feb 23rd 5:33 PM
Cower or Continue? Bob Lamonica (1 comment) Wednesday Feb 22nd 9:07 PM
The Long History of Human Incapacitation by Politics and the Press Wolfgang Jungmann (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 21st 6:14 AM
Kucinich Warns of Deep State's Plans for War Post-Trump Impeachment Caitlin Johnstone (1 comment) Monday Feb 20th 5:29 AM
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Attempt the Impossible! Theses for a New Left Majority Institute of the Solidarity Modern (1 comment) Wednesday Feb 15th 5:01 AM
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The Lie of the Civilized Western World Sascha Pommrenke Sunday Feb 12th 5:53 PM
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