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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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