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Mon Jan 16 2017 (Updated 01/18/17)
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.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 01/18/17)
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."
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.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released a report last week detailing the 2014 results of their Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. The report, documenting all reported pesticide-related illnesses from all California counties, shows 20.1% of agricultural pesticide-related illnesses occurred in Tulare County, making it the county with the most agricultural pesticide illnesses in the state. Santa Cruz County came in second with 17.2%. Of the 53 counties with documented pesticide-related illnesses in 2014, Tulare County accounted for over 1 in every 5 cases of poisonings from agricultural pesticides.
A lawsuit filed on December 13 by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. Plaintiffs have lost cherished and necessary items, including family heirlooms, photographs of loved ones, tents, sleeping bags, warm weather clothing, tools, food, camp stoves, bicycles, and personal documents. “Caltrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together," said plaintiff James Leone. "Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”
In a slap in the face to fishermen, Tribes, environmental justice advocates, conservationists and family farmers, President Obama on December 16 signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law with an environmentally destructive rider sponsored by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Congressman McCarthy (R-CA). The controversial rider, requested by corporate agribusiness interests, allows San Joaquin Valley growers and Southern California water agencies to pump more water out of the Delta, driving numerous fish species closer and closer to extinction, according to Delta advocates.
An oil company with a long history of hazardous spills in California wants state and federal permission to dispose of contaminated waste fluid into an underground water supply in Livermore. The proposal, announced by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, seeks to exempt an aquifer in eastern Alameda County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act on behalf of E&B Natural Resources, the oil company seeking the exemption. State officials are now taking public comments and will hold a January 11 hearing on the proposal.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 12/20/16)
Low-Wage Workers Rise Up at SFO
Hundreds of workers marched and rallied at SFO on November 27 to demand $15 an hour and a union. The San Francisco International Airport — which makes hundreds of millions of dollars — has workers who make far less than living wages. Young workers have no future and families cannot survive on the low wages they are paid. The demonstration was part of a national day of action supported primarily by the SEIU International. Burger King employees, UBER drivers, and home care workers marched to the International Terminal and discussed their struggle for survival in the Bay Area.
Chanti Ollin, a well-known autonomous cultural center in the gentrified financial district of Mexico City, was violently evicted on November 22. Eight hundred riot police, two helicopters, and an armored car executed the operation, illegally breaking into the building and detaining 26 individuals without so much as a judicial order. This eviction takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City's new constitution, which seeks to privatize land and resources, and suppress any political or cultural activity that disrupts this profit-making program.
On December 6, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved Tejon Ranch Company’s disastrous Grapevine project, despite the harm the project will do to wildlife and nearby communities. The 8,000-acre development will straddle the San Joaquin Valley and Tehachapi Mountains and create a new city of up to 12,000 dwelling units and up to 5.1 million square feet of commercial real estate. The project will destroy habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and threatened San Joaquin antelope squirrel, along with up to 36 other rare and imperiled species.
Just over a year ago, Oakland police shot and killed Richard Perkins Jr. at the 24-7 Gas and Food on Bancroft and 90th Avenues. Richard was thirty-nine years old, the father of two children. His only crime appears to be having crossed paths with Oakland police when they were agitated over a large East Oakland sideshow earlier in the day on November 15, 2015, near which an OPD patrol vehicle was smashed by a crowd. On Saturday, November 12, family members and community gathered to memorialize Richard Perkins Jr. at Carter Park, blocks from where he was gunned down by Oakland police.
On November 22, hundreds of Japanese Americans, Japanese, and supporters of human rights rallied to call for unification against racism, xenophobia and attacks on immigrants, LGBT and other disenfranchised communities. The rally was held at the Peace Plaza in San Francisco's Japan Town. Participants reflected on the effect on themselves and their families of the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, Peruvian Japanese, and Japanese in concentration camps during the Second World War.
The California Secretary of State’s Office announced that voters narrowly defeated Proposition 53, an initiative requiring voter approval of revenue bonds over $2 billion. Governor Jerry Brown is celebrating the victory because it would have required a vote on his controversial “legacy” projects, the Delta Tunnels and High Speed Rail. Dan Bacher writes: The results of the Proposition 53 vote are disappointing for those who care about salmon, the Delta and the public trust. However, there is no doubt that if an initiative solely requiring a public vote on the Delta Tunnels had been on the ballot, it would have been decisively approved.
Korean Port Truck workers have struck against deregulation and union busting by South Korea President Park Geun-hye. They were attacked, beaten, and the leaders were jailed by the government. Many union leaders including the president of the KCTU have been jailed by the government. Supporters of the Korean general strike against the government spoke out at the San Francisco South Korean consulate on November 30.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California and the West, but it should be. WSPA is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in California. It represents a who's who of oil companies including Aera Energy, Chevron, California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and many others. Yet most people — even many environmental activists — have never heard of the organization and the enormous influence it wields over politicians and regulators in the western states.
Calls to boycott Altai Brands began after a disturbing photo was circulated on social media showing a nearly nude woman laying on a table covered in slices of salami and other meats. The event, hosted by Altai Brands, was a private after-party on November 17 for the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo which took place from November 15-18 in Las Vegas. Aliza Sherman writes, "Altai Brands apparently went culturally tone deaf when they covered a woman in deli meats and served her up on the appetizer table. Comments ranged from shock to outrage in social media with calls to boycott the male-led company."
UPDATE: Hasta Muerte has exceeded their fundraising goal.

Hasta Muerte Coffee is the collective vision of a few Latinx comrades to open a coffee shop where community, good coffee, and social justice work come together in the Fruitvale neighborhood. Hasta Muerte intends to create an environment for stable and equitable jobs, where profits are shared between worker-owners. Fundraising efforts have gone well so far, but Hasta Muerte still needs help to reach its goal of $35,000 this week. The collective asks for those who support their goal to donate and spread the word.
Sun Nov 27 2016 (Updated 12/01/16)
Standing Rock Solidarity in Northern California
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation called for indigenous nations and others to stand in solidarity as they fight to prevent continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in their ancestral lands, especially near the Missouri River. Since federal agencies blocked construction under the Missouri River in early September, police have greatly increased the violence unleashed against the Water Protectors. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and injured by police weaponry. Now, federal authorities are threatening to close the NoDAPL camp by December 5, but protesters promise continued resistance.
Santa Cruz police initiated a raid at City Hall on November 23 at 3:30 am, shortly after it stopped raining that evening, to clear from the area approximately two dozen individuals who had been sleeping and sheltering themselves from the weather under the eaves of the buildings in the complex. Officers issued citations to individuals, and made one arrest. Many of those sleeping at City Hall were participating in the weekly Freedom Sleepers sleep protest, while others were simply sheltering themselves from the wet weather temporarily with the group.
Within hours of the announcement that Trump would be the next president of the United States, protests erupted in Oakland and cities across the country. The first wave of demonstrations in Oakland occurred daily for nearly a week. During that time, Oakland police reverted to historical bad practices in their attempts to quell the protests. The San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) held a press conference on November 21 to publicly address the dangerous actions and physical injuries caused by OPD during the demonstrations.
Luke Smith, a 15-year-old Aptos High School sophomore, was shot and killed by deputies with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office on November 19. Students identified Luke as the victim at a gathering that took place outside of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office on the afternoon of the killing. The report quotes a friend of Luke, who stated at the gathering, "He was active. He was a skate aficionado. He was brilliant. Just tragic." Many of the friends and loved ones who have donated to Luke's fund included personal messages online.
01/16/17 120 Hours of Direct Action Across the Bay Area to Reclaim King's Legacy & Reject Trump frontpage | police | race | labor | sf | eastbay | government | immigrant01/14/17 State's Proposal Shrugs Off Voters' Approval of Ban on Oil Waste Injection frontpage | environment | california | government | santacruz01/14/17 Fruitvale Community Further Marginalized in Politicization of Ghost Ship Fire race | healthhousing | arts | eastbay01/14/17 Lead Poisoning in Oakland's Fruitvale District Is Worse Than Flint frontpage | environment | race | healthhousing | eastbay01/02/17 National Day of Action to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal After New U.S. Supreme Court Ruling frontpage | police | race | eastbay | us | international12/25/16 Christmastime Protest Attempts to Cross Checkpoint Between Bethlehem and Jerusalem frontpage | international | palestine12/20/16 Santa Cruz County Ranked Second for Agricultural Pesticide Illnesses in 2014 frontpage | environment | healthhousing | centralvalley | california | government | santacruz12/19/16 Civil Rights Groups Sue Caltrans to Stop Illegal Raids Against California’s Homeless frontpage | police | healthhousing | sf | eastbay | california | government12/18/16 Hundreds March, Rally, Demand $15 and a Union at the San Francisco Airport frontpage | labor | sf | us12/18/16 Senator Boxer Calls Corporate Agribusiness Rider to Water Bill a "Devastating Maneuver" frontpage | environment | centralvalley | california | us | government12/18/16 #DisruptJ20: Nationwide and Bay Area Call-outs for General Strike Against Trump frontpage | labor | globaljustice | education | womyn | centralvalley | sf | southbay | eastbay | peninsula | california | us | government | santacruz
J20 Inauguration Day WALK OUT at UCSC Santa Cruz General Strike Organizing Committe Wednesday Jan 18th 5:24 PM
#J20 at UC Berkeley (events) N/A Wednesday Jan 18th 1:06 PM
Redefining The National Strike Steve Pleich (3 comments) Monday Jan 16th 11:24 AM
24 Hour Vigil for the Homeless Who Have died on our Streets First They Came for the Homeless Sunday Jan 15th 10:08 PM
Pause the Calls: Black Lives Matter Ending Mass Incarceration Saturday Jan 14th 2:51 PM
Speakeasies and Artists Warehouses: A Tale of Two Oaklands Hyphenated-Republic Friday Jan 13th 7:04 PM
Demand Resignation of DA Mark Peterson Gene Ruyle (1 comment) Friday Jan 13th 5:20 PM
California Agency Proposes Turning Monterey Aquifer Into Oil Waste Dump Center for Biological Diversity Friday Jan 13th 12:01 PM
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EPA Analysis: 97 Percent of Endangered Species Threatened by Two Common Pesticides Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Jan 18th 9:11 PM
Fordham Bans Students for Justice in Palestine via Palestine Legal Wednesday Jan 18th 5:36 PM
USDA Grants Final Approval for Invasive GE Grass Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jan 17th 4:50 PM
Against Trump or Against Capitalism? ICP Tuesday Jan 17th 10:07 AM
Should someone 5150 Trump for being a threat to himself and everyone else? Lynda Carson (1 comment) Saturday Jan 14th 8:19 PM
Free Korean Lee Jin-Young of Labor Books Now!!! International Campaign to Free LJY 2017 Saturday Jan 14th 5:27 PM
This Week in Palestine, January 13th, 2016 IMEMC Friday Jan 13th 10:14 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News January 2017 Michael Steinberg Thursday Jan 12th 3:29 PM
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MLK day horrors...1-18-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse Tuesday Jan 17th 3:25 PM
Art of War: Washington DC Protest Kevin Larmee Tuesday Jan 17th 10:47 AM
Reviewing Keith Ellison's animal welfare record Jon Hochschartner Tuesday Jan 17th 1:48 AM
Germany is in danger of becoming isolated JustinOconnell Tuesday Jan 17th 12:06 AM
Value Human Life Bill K. Harley Monday Jan 16th 10:15 PM
Trump and the Consequences: Democracy at a Crossroads Albrecht von Luecke Sunday Jan 15th 9:12 AM
Support AMAR by #EscapingDarkness Hussein Al-alak Friday Jan 13th 11:36 PM
5-4-3-2-1-Revolution Fhyre Phoenix (1 comment) Friday Jan 13th 1:03 AM
The Shortwave Report 01/13/17 Listen Globally! Dan Roberts Thursday Jan 12th 5:25 PM
The Civilization Crisis: Post-Factual Criticism of Politics Rudolf Hickel Thursday Jan 12th 6:50 AM
Obama's Platitudes can't whitewash his despicable legacy DLi (1 comment) Thursday Jan 12th 4:27 AM
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