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Police State & Prisons News

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At a meeting between representatives of the Santa Cruz chapter of ACLU of Northern California; Sanctuary Santa Cruz; Peace United Church of Christ and the Public Defender’s Office on April 19, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart was presented evidence of the ongoing arrangement whereby the Sheriff’s Office notifies ICE of release dates of arrested but non-convicted undocumented locals. When confronted with this evidence Hart confirmed the jail policy of cooperation and agreed to consider the information presented to him about other jurisdictions who refused to cooperate with ICE. At a meeting on May 10, however, Hart said that he would not change Santa Cruz County's jail policy.
A new study released by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Paying More for Being Poor: Bias and Disparity in California’s Traffic Court System, shows that Californians pay some of the highest fines and fees in the country — more than three times the national average for running a red light. And new Bay Area data reveals that African-Americans are four to sixteen times more likely to be booked into county jail on a charge related to inability to pay a citation. Two bills before the California Legislature (SB 185 and AB 412) seek to address many of the disparities
Defund OPD writes: The process of allocating Oakland’s 2.6 billion dollar budget for 2017-2019 has begun. We believe that the scandal-ridden and dysfunctional Oakland Police Department consumes far too many of our city's resources. It’s time to audit police spending and performance, and redirect wasted funds to community-building, constructive strategies for making Oakland a safer and better place to live. The people of Oakland know that policing is the wrong framework for bringing true security to our communities. Oakland’s budget needs to reflect our values and our priorities.
Mon May 15 2017 (Updated 05/20/17)
Standing Rock Copwatchers in the Bay Area
Standing Rock Copwatchers write: In 2016, we left our families, our homes, our lives to go defend the water at Standing Rock, North Dakota. We stood in struggle with hundreds of tribes from across the country and continent. Our fight was for mother earth, and it was for our people, our history, and for our future. We have been traveling from city to city connecting with other people, sharing our stories, speaking about the fight for our earth, and conducting know your rights trainings. Many of us are currently in Oakland. We are fundraising to get the clutch on our bus fixed and for a NoDAPL / Copwatch food truck.
The City of Santa Cruz is considering a number of new policies that would impact local homeless people. There is an effort by a handful of property owners and their allies at City Hall to end the Food Not Bombs meals outside the downtown Post Office. Officials may implement a number of new restrictions and architectural changes to make the lives of those without housing more painful. One unhoused person, Greg Mercado, died of complications from an old surgery twelve hours after the police kicked him out from the City Hall grounds and gave him a ticket for being in a park after hours.
Ongoing clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank on April 28 in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who entered the 12th day of a hunger strike. Palestinians are calling it the Day of Rage. Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire, during the clashes, which broke out following Friday prayers in cities, villages and refugee camps in various districts of the West Bank. Numerous Palestinians were injured. Detainees started their hunger strike on April 17th, which also marks the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, demanding basic, internationally-guaranteed rights.
Sun Apr 23 2017 (Updated 04/24/17)
Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand: April 15 in Berkeley
Since April 15, the Alt-Right has been declaring a victory over antifascists in Berkeley, where a mix of Trump supporters, militia members, far-Right bikers, and neo-Nazis gave fascist salutes, held anti-Semitic signs, carried Alt-Right flags, and listened to white nationalist speakers. But the leader of the rally, Richard Black, a part of the Alt-Right himself, paints a much different picture. Black claims that without the coordinated help of the Berkeley Police Department, who worked with Alt-Right organizers, antifascists would have overrun and shut down the rally before it even began.
Sat Apr 22 2017 (Updated 04/23/17)
Calling Out the CHP for Hit and Run Murder
Sat Apr 22 2017 (Updated 04/23/17)
Demanding Justice for the Police Murder of Diallo Neal
On October 10, 2005, Diallo Neal was murdered in Oakland when a California Highway Patrol (CHP) motorcycle officer struck the rear end of Diallo's motorcycle, launching Diallo into a bus stop, pole, and concrete bench. CHP fled the scene. After his mother, Gilda Baker discovered that the accounts of eyewitnesses and investigation documents did not match the official police report, she set out to uncover the real circumstances surrounding her son's death. On April 22, Ms. Baker and supportive community members rallied at Oakland City Hall calling for an investigation to take place and demanding justice for Diallo.
Thu Apr 20 2017 (Updated 04/24/17)
Cops Boot Santa Cruz Homeless Folks to the Curb
Keith McHenry reports: On April 17, the police came and kicked people out from under the Santa Cruz City Hall awning into the pouring rain during a very severe storm. On April 18, following a community meeting at the public library on solutions to homelessness, library staff shared that city manager Martin Bernal was making several changes, including the removal of the benches outside the library and the stationing of two police officers. After the meeting, members of the Freedom Sleepers gathered at City Hall to plan a march on Tuesday, May 9 with the message “Housing For All — No Penalty For Poverty.”
Wed Apr 19 2017 (Updated 04/20/17)
The End of Money Bail in California?
California warehouses thousands of people in jails while they await their court dates — simply because they can’t afford to post bail. Meanwhile, wealthy people can easily buy their freedom. Research shows that Black people are assigned higher bail amounts than white people accused of similar offenses. People who can’t post bail are at a higher risk of being convicted, pleading guilty (even if they’re innocent), and receiving harsher sentences. The California Money Bail Reform Act, however, will create a system that prioritizes pretrial services and prevents people from being held in jail simply because they can't make bail.
Across California, and nationally, trans people are funneled into state prisons, detention centers and county jails. While incarceration is violent and unsafe for everyone, trans people face extreme conditions while locked up, including unsafe housing, physical/emotional/sexual assault, lack of access to basic transition health care and a refusal to be recognized by chosen names and genders. SB 310 would make it possible for trans people in custody to file for a legal name and/or gender marker change on their identification documents and would ensure that they are recognized as such while incarcerated.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Chelsea Manning is Free Power to the People (1 comment) Wednesday May 17th 7:37 AM
This Week in Palestine, May 5, 2017 IMEMC Sunday May 7th 9:17 PM
Detained Immigrants on Hunger Strike in Northwest Detention Center NWDC Resistance / Resistencia al NWDC Wednesday May 3rd 2:44 PM
Palestinian Detainees Continue Hunger Strike For The Twelfth Day IMEMC (1 comment) Saturday Apr 29th 12:01 AM
This Week in Palestine, April 21, 2017 IMEMC Sunday Apr 23rd 12:11 AM
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Please Say No To Serially Executing Neil Gorsuch Universal Abolition Thursday Feb 9th 4:35 PM
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