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Thu Apr 6 2017 (Updated 04/24/17)
Shut Down the Alt-Right Rally on April 15
Bay Area Committee Against Fascism asks: On April 15th, where will the Left be? A repulsive spring medley of Trump supporters, white supremacists, fascists and racists are planning yet another rally in downtown Berkeley. The threat of far-Right and Alt-Right violence isn't fun and it isn't pretty. It isn't happening "somewhere else" and it isn't found inside empty buildings that we march outside of and chant slogans at. It's real, it's in our face, and it's power is growing all around us. We need mass action to defeat them as a community. What we do, or do not do, on Saturday, April 15 will have ramifications across the country.
White nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on the first day of Black history month in a building named after Martin Luther King, Jr. The event on February 1 was cancelled after a large protest erupted outside the Student Union where he was set to speak. Within weeks, a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos spoke favorably of men having sex with boys and against the concept of consent. Now, Yiannopoulos is facing widespread backlash, leading to the cancellation of upcoming speaking gigs and the publication of his book. Yiannopoulos also resigned his position as an editor at Breitbart News.
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.
Thu Feb 9 2017 (Updated 02/24/17)
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.
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.
East Bay: 1