Archive of syndicated local features

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Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals at Santa Cruz Biotechnology

Santa Cruz, CA, 02.05.2013 19:57

The first-ever lawsuit against an animal research lab under California's cruelty and unfair competition laws was filed in early January in a complaint with the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., for violating state animal cruelty and unfair competition laws by failing to properly care for their animals according to numerous Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspections.

UC Santa Cruz Students and Workers Rally for Health Care Justice

Santa Cruz, CA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Students and workers gathered outside the Cowell Student Health Center on the UC Santa Cruz campus on February 13th in response to recent news that the UC system is planning to "exploit an Obamacare loophole" and cap student insurance coverage. The proposed plan would also increase the Student Health Insurance Plan fees by 25%. Rally organizers called the changes "financial mismanagement" on the part of UC administrators.

Banks negotiate $10B settlement for foreclosure crimes

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

While negotiations between regulators and 14 banks center around dollar figures and conditions, the millions who have lost homes due to financial crime continue to suffer. The ten billion dollar settlement will be effective for keeping the banks out of court, but will not go far among the homeowners foreclosed abusively. The settlement, likewise, does nothing towards restoring the economy, which crashed as a result of such schemes.

Occupy Fights Foreclosures was one of the groups to denounce the proposed settlement.

From the newswire: Occupy Fights Foreclosure Protests $10 billion Settlement by Natasha Petrosova

&quot;Red Cross, Where is Haiti's Money?&quot;

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

January 12 marked the three-year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti. Yet, despite the huge influx of donations from generous individuals in the U.S. and around the world to NGOs (Non-Government Organizations), particularly the Red Cross (the largest recipient, which received at least $479 million), life for Haitians has changed little. While over 300,000 displaced Haitians remain in tent cities, part of the Red Cross's money is being used to construct a luxury hotel and conference center. NGOs are also spending large amounts on staff salaries. For example, the CEO of the U.S. Red Cross is paid at least $600,000 a year. Meanwhile, It has been estimated that it could take 10 years for Haiti to start seeing any significant recovery.

Last weekend, protests occurred in front of Red Cross offices including London, England; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California on January 11th; and Los Angeles, California on January 14th. Fifteen people turned out in the late morning at 11355 Ohio Avenue in West LA.

. . . For those interested in supporting the people of Haiti, by means other than the Red Cross and other NGOs, the organizers of this event recommend pledging regular donations to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF). HERF is led by Haitians, and every bit goes to those it is intended for, particularly women's self-help survival initiatives and food co-operatives -- there are no overheads. (Coverage of a local fundraiser for HERF circa 2011.)

Full story and pictures: "Red Cross, Where is Haiti's Money?" by Ross Plesset

An Eviction in South Central

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

LOS ANGELES, January 24, 2013--One more person might end up on Skid Row, adding to the 85,000 homeless in Los Angeles, because of an eviction yesterday. At noon, sheriff's deputies drove into the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South Central and changed the locks on the door of 72-year-old Cathelene Hughes' home of nine years.

. . . Mrs. Hughes is another victim of bank fraud. Her income was inflated on her loan application, and her mortgage nearly doubled after just two years. She explained, “I was denied a modification ten times because my loan was adjusting. I had no idea it was an adjustable. A guy from Countrywide called and told me that it was adjusting a couple weeks before they did it. Then he explained the situation to me.†Mrs. Hughes has paid thousands of dollars to people promising to negotiate modifications. . . .

Full story: An Eviction in South Central by Ramona

Shut It Down, Mr. President

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

On Sunday, a crowd of around one thousand progressive environmental demonstrators met at Paseo de la Plaza on Olvera Street and marched to Los Angeles's city hall. The protest was in solid opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline whose fate will be decided by Barack Obama in the near future. The keystone XL is an extension pipeline that will go from the Athabasca oil sands in Canada to the Texan Gulf of Mexico. It's purpose is to provide oil to the Southwestern United States from the oil sands and bringing the U.S. a greater level of "oil Independence."

The environmental impacts are somewhat myriad yet each and every one of those scenarios could prove to be extreme in its destruction of aquifers and wetlands, along with animal, plant and human populations. The Ogallala Aquifer, which lies beneath the great plains of the U.S. and supplies 30 percent of U.S. irrigation water, would be devastated if a pipeline broke and contaminated the shallow water supply with benzine. Benzine is a component of the dilute bitumen, which is flowing through the pipeline. The Keystone XL will carry 830,000 barrels per day.

During the rally portion of Sunday's event, a show of hands revealed that a large majority of participants got there via public transportation, bicycling/walking, or electric/hybrid vehicles.

Grandmother Gloria Arellanes of the Tongva people gave an opening prayer; Ed Begley, Jr. hosted; and there were a lot of good speakers and entertainers.

Article & photos: Shut It Down, Mr. President part 1 | Shut It Down, Mr. President part 2 by Robert Stuart Lowden

More coverage: L.A. Participates in Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline (part 1) | L.A. Participates in Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline (part 2) by Ross Plesset

Indymedia on Air: discussion on KPFK (available for 90 days)

Dolphin Slaughter, Japan, and the 2020 Olympics

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Demonstrations have occurred in 46 cities around the world. The message to the International Olympic Committee: don't award the 2020 Olympics to Japan. The cruel dolphin drives in Taiji serve Japan's meat industry and provide slave entertainment to marine parks worldwide.

The Japanese people are not the target. This problem was kept secret from them for a long time (the Oscar-winning documentary the Cove got very little exposure in Japan)--but now, many of them are protesting, too.

Yesterday in Los Angeles, a protest and awareness-building campaign was held outside the Japanese Consulate on Grand Avenue in downtown. Fancy flyers were distributed, petitions circulated (four pages of them got signed), and there was plenty of chanting.

Article and photos: Drawing Attention to Dolphin Slaughter, Japan, and the 2020 Olympics | Dolphin Slaughter, Japan, and the 2020 Olympics (part 2) by Ross Plesset

Occupy Fights Foreclosures Protests in front of Bank of America on Wednesday, February 20

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Los Angeles, CA- Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists and homeowners gathered in front of Bank of America branch on North Vermont Street at 12:00pm on Wendesday, February 20. The activists and homeowners held their signs and marched in a circle chanting "B.O.A how many homes did you steal today…. Bank of America, Bad for America." The demonstration lasted for about two hours.

Josephina Perez, a recent victim of fraudulent foreclosure, came to participate with her 3-year-old grandson, Jesus and her husband, Jose Perez. Mrs. Perez said that she was trying to modify her loan with Bank of America, but Bank of America repeatedly claimed that they never received her paperwork. Eventually, BOA foreclosed on her house, and Mrs. Perez and her family, including two small children, Jesus, 3 and Nalanie, 5 were forced to live on the streets.

Sherry Hernandez, another victim of a bank's fraudulent practices (in her case the bank is Countriwide), also came to participate. She is still fighting to keep her home.

Full story and pictures: Occupy Fights Foreclosures Protests in front of Bank of America on Wednesday, February 20 by Natasha Petrosova

A Day of Action Against Wells Fargo Bank

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Los Angeles, CA - Activists from Alliance of California for Community Empowerment, homeowners and Occupy Fights Foreclosures gathered on the intersection of 7th Street and Figueroa Street for a Day of Action Against Wells Fargo bank, at 10:30am in Downtown Los Angeles on February 27. The plan for the Day of Action was to shut down four Wells Fargo bank branches around Los Angeles. This Day of Action was organized by ACCE and supported by Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists. Carlos Marroquin, a core member of Occupy Fights Foreclosures said: "We organized this day of action against Wells Fargo bank because Wells Fargo refuses to work with the families. Wells Fargo continues to mislead homeowners while many other banks are already working with the families."

Full story and photos: A Day of Action Against Wells Fargo Bank by Natasha Petrosova

New Campaign on Elephant Rides as LA City Considers Ban

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Animal Defenders International (ADI) has launched the first nationwide initiative in the United States about the use of elephants giving rides or making appearances at public events. At the heart of the campaign is a new DVD narrated by Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker entitled ‘No Fun For Elephants,’ featuring harrowing undercover footage from inside elephant training facilities in California, as well as abuse of an elephant on tour by a Texas-owned company.

The video includes ADI undercover footage showing elephants supplied for rides, appearances and other events by Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA and Trunks & Humps of Conroe, TX, being beaten and electric shocked during training and handling, behind the scenes. The same trainers are then shown with the elephants, giving rides and appearing at parades.

The move comes as Los Angeles City Council is considering a motion to prohibit performing elephants with traveling circuses in the city – the new video will be sent to all City Council members.

Full story: Bob Barker Spearheads New Campaign on Elephant Rides as LA City Considers Ban by Animal Defenders International

CNN, Do You See Us Now?

LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

The Indigenous movement, Idle No More, now several months old, has been ignored by the mainstream media. On Friday March 15, over 50 people stood in front of CNN, drawing attention to this. The event lasted four hours and coincided with rush hour. With traffic often at a standstill, we literally had a captive audience who had time to read our signs and take flyers. Initially, CNN said they would come out, take pictures, and interview some of us about our concerns, but we were ignored (except when they didn't want us too close to the entrance).

One of the several speakers said the media doesn't want to cover the movement "because we are waking up. We're waking up, and this is just the beginning of Idle No More."

Article and photos: CNN, Do You See Us Now? by Ross Plesset | | Video: CNN's Media Blackout! by Naui Ocelotl Huitzilopochtli

Update: Idle No More Returns to CNN by Ross Plesset


LA, 02.05.2013 19:57

Saturday, March 9, 2013: The daylong event began with a rally at the Downtown Jail, close to where several inmate families were waiting for visitation. "We were able to speak with some of them, and they were happy to see us out there rallying for justice, for themselves, their loved ones and for all women around the world," reports Wanda Miller. "Lots of people signed our sign-in sheets [and] wanted to join us in future events. Passersby were honking horns and waving in support.

"Even though we were across the street from the jail, some of those inside could [likely] see us through the tiny windows and were perhaps encouraged that we were outside protesting, that we were in solidarity with them."

The rally was followed by a "lively" March for Survival, with the message Invest in Life and Welfare, Not War and Prisons. At about 1:30, there was a teach-in at The Last Bookstore, about a mile away. Panels included Women Surviving Globally, which featured "video presentations from or about Haiti, Tanzania, Guyana, and IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network). The last clip was of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela talking about how important women were to what he was trying to do in Venezuela. . . ." The next panel was Women Surviving Locally with speakers Diana Zuniga of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Tanisha Denard Youth Justice Coalition; Rachel West, US Prostitutes Collective; Alexa Rishton, Military Families Speak Out; Rosamaria Segura CHIRLA Household Workers Campaign; Lydia Ponce, an Indigenous from Idle No More/LA; and Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children.

Full report and photos: 14TH ANNUAL INT'L WOMEN'S DAY EVENT Women Surviving Globally, Surviving in SoCal by Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children

2012 - The Year that was

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

As the year draws to a close, we highlight s ...

A History of Iniquity, II: How Irish Governments behaved unconstitutionally, serving the EU agenda

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

Irish Referendum Practice from McKenna (1995) to ...

A History of Iniquity, I: The EU &amp; Eurozone Assault on National Democracy

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

Where we are on the 40th anniversary of joining t ...

Eyewitness reports of Garda violence at South Dublin County Council

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

Brutal force used on peaceful anti-property tax pr ...

Right to Abortion -- can the movement match the opposition?

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

The anti-abortion movement is well funded and mili ...

Hugo Chávez kept his promise to the people of Venezuela

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

The late Venezuelan president's Bolívarian revolut ...

Runaway Global Warming May Have Started. Has Arctic Methane 'Bomb' Just Gone Off?

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

2012 Measurements show dramatic rise in methane em ...

The EU approach in Ireland vs it's approach in Cyprus

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

The EU bailout in Cyprus seems, on the surfac ...

Submission on changes to Code of Protection on Mortgage Arrears

Ireland, 02.05.2013 19:57

The central bank is planning changes to the Code o ...

Biggest Climate Change Rally in American History Brings Out Thousands in DC, San Francisco

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 17th, while and the Sierra Club led the largest climate rally in history in Washington, DC, their Bay Area chapters held a West Coast solidarity rally. In San Francisco 5,000 surrounded the US Department of State building at 1 Market street, then marched to a rally at Bradley Manning Plaza.

Reminders of California Colonialism Frame Idle No More Flash Mob in Monterey

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 17, individuals gathered in Monterey for an Idle No More flash mob held in solidarity with First Nations and Chief Theresa Spence. Organizers described the flash mob as an opportunity for "dance and prayer" and to educate the public. Groups represented at the gathering included the Ohlone and the Chumash, as well as a number of others.

Rally and Candlelight Vigil Against Gun Violence Held in Palo Alto

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 22, rally participants in Palo Alto's Lytton Plaza gathered to demand that measures proposed in Congress to ban semi-automatic and military-style firearms be debated and votes taken. They said that unfortunately supporters of the National Rifle Association's position will oppose reasonable legislation.

CCSF Students, Faculty, and Supporters Demand a Voice

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 21st, over 100 CCSF students, faculty, and supporters marched, rallied, and occupied to demand an end to the cutbacks and the privatization of the college. The administration building was occupied overnight by about three dozen students. When the Chancellor agreed to meet with students on February 25th and explore their demands including regular open town hall meetings, protesters dispersed of their own accord without incident or arrest.

Pit River Tribe Unanimously Resolves to Protect Medicine Lake Highlands

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 15, the Pit River Tribe unanimously affirmed a resolution opposing geothermal and other industrial developments in the sacred Medicine Lake Highlands. The resolution affirms that geothermal development would threaten the underlying aquifer and would result in the injection of toxins into the atmosphere and waters.

Soldier Praised as Hero and Whistleblower at Solidarity Demonstration

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Coinciding with demonstrations planned worldwide for February 23, Bradley Manning's 1000th day in prison, community members in Santa Cruz gathered at the Town Clock on February 24 to demand justice and humane treatment for the U.S. "whistleblower" soldier. The overwhelming sentiment of the Santa Cruz group was that Manning is a whistleblower and that the role he played exposing the military's crimes was crucial to the functioning of U.S. democracy, as well as a legally permissible activity.

Peace Groups Join Women in Black to Protest U.S. Drones Program

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On Friday, March 1, Women In Black of Santa Cruz, along with other peace groups, demonstrated at the corner of Cooper and Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz to call for an end to the U.S. drone program and to tell the government and President of the United States, "Ground the drones! Stop killing children and other innocent people!"

Joint Powers Board Votes to Ban Sleep in Santa Cruz County Library Branches

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 4, Santa Cruz County's Library Joint Powers Authority Board voted unanimously to ban sleeping in all branches of the library located in the City and County of Santa Cruz. On the recommendation of staff, the language "Refrain from sleeping in the Library" has been added to the Library rules of conduct.

Ghetto Prophet Arrested Hours After Speaking Out at Justice For Alan Blueford Event

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 5, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet (GP), co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. Police claimed he was in violation of his parole, but GP has been off of parole since August 2012. Supporters believe this is a political attack because earlier that same day, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally. As of March 16, Ghetto Prophet is still being held at Santa Rita jail and supporters are asking for donations to help support his family.

March for Kayla Moore, Killed by Berkeley Police

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered. On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.

Four Individuals to Stand Trial for 75 River Street Bank Occupation

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Motions to dismiss trespass and felony vandalism charges against four individuals charged in association with the 75 River Street bank occupation in Santa Cruz were denied by Judge Timothy Volkmann on March 11. Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Franklin Alcantara, Brent Adams, and Cameron Laurendau have a trial date set for May, but that date will most likely be changed due to a case conflict with one of the defense attorneys.

Global Resistance Day in Oscar Grant Plaza

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Four years ago, Tristan Anderson, an Oakland-based human rights activist, was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli military police. On March 13th, on the anniversary of Tristan's injury, dozens gathered in Oscar Grant Plaza to celebrate Global Resistance Day. Global Resistance Day honors Tristan and all who have transcended borders and risked their lives to resist tyranny. Friends and family of Tristan Anderson announced that they will soon go to Israel to press charges against the Israeli police on Tristan's behalf.

Community Rally in Watsonville for Peace and Remembrance

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 15, community members gathered at the plaza in Watsonville to remember people whose lives have been lost to violence. Speakers at the rally included youth, community leaders, and family members of lost loved ones. Artists, including poets, rappers, and painters, shared their skills with those in attendance. As the sun went down, the event ended with a candlelight vigil and universal prayer.

The Day San Francisco Exploded with Civil Disobedience

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Ten years ago on March 19, the U.S. bombing, invasion, and long-term occupation of Iraq began by order of George W Bush with the consent of the over 70% of Americans. Ten years ago on March 20, those opposed to U.S. military action rose up to protest en masse by shutting down downtown San Francisco in perhaps one of the largest collective acts of civil disobedience ever seen in the area. On the first day alone, nearly 1,500 people were arrested by SFPD.

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley's Trumped-Up Prosecution of Activist Prince Bason

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Last year on May Day, a boisterous but mostly peaceful demonstration promoted by Occupy Oakland and other groups, was attacked by an OPD assault force. In the ensuing confusion, Oakland police targeted several individuals. Like so many arrested during actions of civil disobedience and protest, the district attorney has stacked charges on top of the initial ones, and failed to notify the accused of his arraignments. On March 19th, the Oakland Police Department sent ten officers to Prince's home to make good on their warrant. Prince was being held at Santa Rita jail on $25,000 bail, but all charges were dropped except for one on March 21 and supporters were able to pay the bond for his release.

Charged with Photography as a Crime

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Bradley Allen went to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse steps with his camera on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, to cover a demonstration for Santa Cruz Indymedia, part of Indybay, at a time the Occupy movement was at its height. He assumed it would be similar to others he had recently been to, where people had rallied, marched, and picketed banks.

Islamophobic Hate Ads Remade on SF Buses

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Interrupting the normalization of anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions, Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred continue to alter the latest anti-Islamic ads posted by Pamela Geller's "American Freedom Defense Initiative" on San Francisco MUNI buses. In these remakes, Geller acknowledges that her struggle (jihad) is overcoming her virulent Islamophobia and racism. Geller's original ad was modified to read: "I'm Pamela Geller and I spread Islamophobia. I don't know why, but it's a struggle for me not to."

Sin Barras Speakout and March on April 6 in Solidarity with Prisoners

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Since August 2012, at least four people have died inside the Santa Cruz County Jail from lack of medical care: Christy Sanders, Rick Prichard, Brant Monnet, and Bradley Gordon Dreher. Sin Barras, a community-based group that works to build coalitions to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, has organized a rally and march on Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. at the clocktower in downtown Santa Cruz. Sin Barras demands that, "Santa Cruz County officials provide real healthcare within the county jail, eliminate pretrial detention, and reallocate jail funding to create drug treatment centers and welfare programs outside of Santa Cruz County Jail."

Santa Cruz County's &quot;Revised&quot; Needle Exchange

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Steve Pleich writes: The "revised" needle exchange will be operated by the County of Santa Cruz which can only provide services to county residents. As a practical matter, anyone requesting these services would be required to provide their name, address and some form of identification verifying this information. That's at least three (3) items of personal information which will then be in the hands of a governmental agency. While this information will likely be "confidential", it will not be "anonymous".

Idle No More Supporters Round Dance at Azteca Mexica New Year Celebration in San Jose

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Supporters of the Idle No More movement participated in a round dance during the final day of the Azteca Mexica New Year Ceremony and Celebration on March 17 at Emma Prusch Park in San Jose. "We have been using these round dances to call attention to our Earth, and to call for fighting the corporations, fighting our government, and to protect this Earth as Indigenous people," Lakota Harden said to the group before the round dance began.

San Jose Black Berets Walk for Peace Through the Barrios

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 23, the San Jose Black Berets por la Justicia organized a walk through the city of San Jose, in unity and prayer for the love of the community. The walk began at Lincoln High School, site of the first Barrios Unidos conference, with a sunrise ceremony.

Bay Area Activists Prepare for Direct Action to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 23, activists from across the Bay Area who want to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline converged on the Federal Building in San Francisco to hold group civil disobedience training exercises. The day began with an Idle No More Round Dance. Later individuals prepared for close contact with the police and practiced interlocking arms as a method of holding physical ground.

Action Camp to Defend Little Lake Valley Established

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On March 30, defenders of Little Lake Valley in Mendocino County announced the establishment of an action camp to oppose the construction of a four-lane superhighway by CalTrans through Little Lake Valley in the town of Willits. Resistance to the project has taken the form of tree sits, and on March 28, the tree-sitter known as "Warbler" embarked on a hunger strike. On April 2, the tree-sitters were forcibly removed by the California Highway Patrol, but Warbler has become an icon in the fast-growing campaign in opposition to the Caltrans Bypass project, and her hunger strike continues.

Ritzy Obama Fundraisers Bring Protests Against XL Pipeline in San Francisco, Atherton

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

Protesters mobilized to greet President Barack Obama who was in town for a series of fundraisers in San Francisco and Atherton on April 3 and 4. Approximately 1,000 demonstrators opposing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would extend from Canada to Texas, gathered outside the mansion of Ann and Gordon Getty in San Francisco the evening of April 3. The next day about 100 environmentalists lay in wait along the President's route after a fundraiser in Atherton.

Opponents of Fracking in California Win Court Victory

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. "This important decision recognizes that fracking poses new, unique risks to California's air, water and wildlife that government agencies can't ignore," said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. "This is a watershed moment - the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the monumental dangers of fracking."

Guantanamo Bay Detainee Solidarity Protest Blocks Market Street

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

A vigil was held in San Francisco on April 7 in solidarity with the 130 detainees out of 166 in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility that are on hunger strike, who have been refusing food as a protest against their brutal detention conditions. Demonstrators, many from the Muslim community, were joined by passersby as a small contingent of activists dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods decided to occupy the middle of Market Street in an act of civil disobedience. Solidarity protests have been spreading. Demonstrations have been held in Kuwait, Yemen, New York and Washington DC, and more were organized across the U.S. for a day of action on April 11, including in San Francisco and Oakland.

Sin Barras Rally at SC County Jail Held in Response to Recent Deaths at Facility

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

On April 6 the organization Sin Barras, which means "without prison bars" in Spanish, held a rally and march to the Santa Cruz County Jail in response to the four recent deaths of individuals while in custody at the facility. Organizers announced they had gotten word that inmates were aware of the demonstration and were excited to hear it from inside. This was confirmed as marchers neared the women's wing of the facility, and individuals inside banged on the walls and flashed lights through the opaque windows.

Family Asks for Answers at Vigil for Amos Smith, 26-Year-Old Killed by Union City Police

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

The family, friends, co-workers, and congregation of Amos G. Smith gathered in Union City on April 13 for a candlelight vigil to honor the 26-year-old man who was shot and killed on March 2 by officers with the Union City Police Department. Yolanda Smith, Amos' mother, stood with a sign that read "Union City Police Dept. Murders." She said that officers with the Union City Police Department told her very little about what had occurred that night, only that her son pointed a gun at them and that the two officers involved wound up shooting him eight times in the back of the head.

ACT UP/San Francisco Protests Evictions: Housing=Healthcare And Eviction=Death

San Francisco Bay Area, 02.05.2013 19:57

The newly revived ACT UP/San Francisco celebrated their one year anniversary with a demonstration for affordable housing on April 20. The event was aimed at drawing attention to the impact of increasing evictions and rental price increases in San Francisco on people living with HIV/AIDS. Featured speakers called on San Francisco's elected officials to move towards a moratorium on evictions where just cause is not proven, while looking towards curtailing market rate housing development in order to even out the market.

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