Rally Against New Project by Lawbreaking Employer
Feb 11 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Chinatown Community & Workers Hold Lunar New Year Rally Against New Project by Lawbreaking Employer


Balaji Enterprises, owner/operator of the Holiday Inn Express Oakland Airport, violated the Oakland minimum wage ordinance, manipulated time-card records, and withheld evidence from City investigators, according to a new report from the City of Oakland.

Meanwhile, the City is poised to give Balaji Enterprises a permit to build a new Hampton Inn on a valuable downtown Oakland parcel – with no public process or community input. On Thursday, Chinatown high school students and hotel workers will hold a Lunar New Year rally at the site of the proposed hotel, calling on the City to deny the permit and ensure transparency and community involvement in planning for the site.

“The City of Oakland is on the verge of making a back-room deal with a hotel company that breaks the law and exploits workers – according to the City’s own report. We should have a voice in deciding what gets built in our community, so we can make sure this project benefits our families and our future.” said Joshua Fisher Lee, Executive Director of AYPAL, a Chinatown-based community organization comprised of students from Asian Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee families living in Oakland.

The City’s report details several violations of Oakland’s minimum wage ordinance affecting 37 workers. Investigators found that Balaji rounded off time-clock records to avoid paying workers for all hours worked; imposed unreasonable rules to prevent workers from using sick leave; reduced workers’ hours, blaming the passage of the minimum wage ordinance; and withheld a notebook tracking employee work hours from investigators.

Chinatown worker and community groups expressed dismay the report’s findings – and at the possibility of the same employer opening a new hotel in their neighborhood.

At Thursday’s rally, youth groups will adorn the fenced-off lot with Lunar New Year decorations and play interactive games to celebrate the Chinatown community and create a positive vision for a project on the site that would benefit youth and low-wage workers.

Participants will include youth leaders from AYPAL; Marriott and Marriott Courtyard Hotel workers and members of UNITE HERE Local 2850; and community allies from East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Asians 4 Black Lives.

“I’ve watched classmates and even members of my family get pushed out of Oakland – because of rising rents and cost of living, my cousins who also grew up here had to move out of state. Youth in our community are dealing with a lot of problems, like gang violence. This land is empty – we have the chance to create something that would create safe spaces for youth to learn and have access to more opportunities, instead of a hotel that treats its workers poorly,” said Jason Le, a junior at Oakland High School and AYPAL youth leader.

BACKGROUND: For several months, the Oakland Planning Department has been considering approving Balaji Enterprises new Hampton Inn in downtown Oakland with no public hearing process. The decision on whether or not to approve the hotel is delegated solely to Planning Director Rachel Flynn, who came under criticism last fall for asserting that there is no affordable housing crisis in Oakland. Balaji already operates two local hotels, the Hampton Inn Alameda and Holiday Inn Express, where workers have reported low pay, no health benefits, shorting of workers’ pay, and humiliation from managers. The site of the new hotel is only blocks away from the Marriott Courtyard and Marriott Hotels, where union workers worry that the opening of a poverty-wage hotel nearby will make it difficult to maintain the standards and benefits they have fought to win and maintain over the years. Community activists believe the project will exacerbate the East Bay’s crises of inequality and displacement, and that workers at the new hotel will not be able to afford to live in Oakland. Last November, hundreds of hotel workers and community members marched from the lot of the proposed hotel into City Hall, where former workers of the Hampton Inn owners have testified to City Council about not being allowed lunch breaks, earning poverty wages with no benefits, and being fired for getting hurt on the job. The community protest of the proposed Hampton Inn comes on the heels of broad community opposition to the proposed development of market-rate housing at the nearby East 12th Street parcel.

Justice for Mario Woods Coalition Meeting
Feb 11 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The demand for justice is happening and needs you!

Screening of: Saving the Bay: The Story of San Francisco Bay, Episodes 3 & 4 @ Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists’ Hall
Feb 11 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

A film by Ron Blatman and KQED Public Television. We will also be honoring Sylvia McLaughlin who died recently at 99 years of age. She was always a most gracious friend of our BFUU and her daughter and granddaughter were treasured and active members for some years in the 90’s. So we are honoring her showing these two episodes which show how she was literally one of the miracle workers who in the 1960’s who saved this beautiful and magical bay that every human inhabitant (the Miwoks and Ohlone) of the Bay has depended on. From the earliest inhabitants 5,000 years ago through the Gold Rush, the Mexican period, the Gold Rush, the Earthquake and Fire of 1906, to Silicon Valley, we all have needed this bay which drains a third of California. Now the Bay is one of the world’s leading economic, academic, recreational and cultural regions. Narrated by Robert Redford, don’t miss two of the four episodes of “Saving the Bay” which highlights an unforgettable journey around the waters of the Bay.

Sponsored by the BFUU Social Justice Ctee as part of our Conscientious Projector series.

Free to the public.
Wheelchair accessible.


For occasional email notices of peace/eco/social justice alerts and related events at BFUU, send any email to:
bfuusjev-subscribe [at]

Community Forum on OPD @ First AME Church
Feb 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sponsored by the Coalition for Police Accountability.

We were asked by the Federal Monitor team to convene a community event in which folks who had had encounters with OP

D in the last two or three years would give testimony about their experiences. The Monitor are interested in hearing directly from those who had negative experiences. They want to know what happened — when, where – and whether or not a complaint was filed, and, if so, what was the outcome, so they can do follow up.

We promised to convene such a meeting. This is an opportunity we should not miss to counter the Schaaf cheerleading about how much progress OPD has made, despite the fact that there were 7 killings of African-American males in the last year! The City is anxious to get out from under Federal oversight and the Monitor wants an ‘on the ground’ assessment of whether OPD behaves differently than they did in the ‘Riders’ era, or whether things are basically still the same.

Please share this widely — especially with those who are likely to have been impacted directly, or even indirectly, as observers, and we hope youth will be encouraged to attend, along with their parents.

No City officials (including police) have been invited to attend — only the Federal Monitor team.

There will be no panel discussion — the whole evening will be devoted to hearing testimony from the community!!!


800_community_forum_-_coalition_for_police_accountability_oakland.jpg original image ( 1024x768)


How the Other Half Banks (A Plea for Postal Banking) – by Professor Mehrsa Baradaran @ Green Arcade Bookstore
Feb 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

In conjunction with Strike Debt Bay Area
Mehrsa Baradaran talks about her new book
How the Other Half Banks:
Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy

How the Other Half BanksHow the Other Half Banks is a history of banking for the masses in the United States, the story of how it has failed in the last thirty years – to be replaced by predatory payday lenders and their ilk – and the case for Postal Banking (find out about this!)  as the way to once again provide banking services at reasonable rates for the tens of millions of unbanked and underbanked.

Mehrsa Baradaran is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law

See Mehrsa Baradaran on YouTube

Friday: At the Green Arcade Bookstore in SF.

Also in Oakland on Saturday at 6:00 PM a the Laurel Bookstore at Oscar Grant Plaza.

Event flyers:

strike debt – baradaran flyer color

strike debt – baradaran flyer color 4up

strike debt – baradaran flyer bw

strike debt – baradaran flyer bw 4up


COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act @ Troupe Studio
Feb 12 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

SF Mime Troupe presents:  “COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act”, by L.M. Bogad on February 12 & 13 in SF

Follow Special Agent Christian White on a cheerfully creepy tour of declassified government surveillance documents. White probes the redacted (blacked-out) texts of the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Programs, searching for the words erased in the name of the Freedom of Information Act.

Learn fun techniques for the infiltration of activist groups, how to earn benefits and a pension as an agent provocateur, and how to, in the words of J. Edgar Hoover, “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” your neighbors!  Read on!

Tickets: FREE but you must reserve a seat!

Late Night Mass Berkeley Copwatching @ See below.
Feb 12 @ 10:00 pm – Feb 13 @ 1:00 am


· February 12, 10 PM – 1 AM
· February 27, 8 PM – 11 PM

Since October 2015, Berkeley Copwatch has been holding “mass copwatch” events that invite folks to join us for a shift. It’s been fun and very empowering to have up to five cars full of copwatchers patrolling our city and on the scene when police stop people.

This month we have two shifts scheduled. Please join us; we will train you in the essentials of copwatching, how to document and how to stay safe!

Contact us at (510) 548-0425 or to learn where we will be meeting.

Omni Commons Love Party and Fundraiser @ Omni Commons
Feb 13 @ 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Food Not Bombs will be hosting a fundraiser for Oakland’s Omni Commons, and YOU’RE invited! This event will last pretty much ALL DAY– from 2pm until late in the evening (10 or 11pm).

Come prepared for:

*A DANCE PARTY! (or several)
*Readings and book signings!
*Open mic!
*A DELECTABLE vegan meal!
*Meeting the best friends you’ll EVER have!
…and MORE!!!!

FEATURING: (And this list has only just begun…)

Carol Denney:
Bicicletas por la Paz:
Maracatu Pacifico:!/bio

Interested in performing? Decorating? Cooking? Promoting? Reach out to Saryta at and Arthur at

Presale tickets coming soon!

PRESALE suggested donation: $10 to party, plus $10 to guarantee your seat at the FEAST! Nom nom nom nom nom.

DOOR suggested donation: $15 to party, $10 to eat, $25 for the Full On Experience.


The Omni Commons is comprised of several Bay Area collectives with a shared political vision—one that privileges a more equitable commoning of resources and meeting of human needs over private interests or corporate profit.

We invite you to join us in establishing a safe, productive place to pool resources for the collective use and stewardship of the greater community. A space that fosters an ethic of radical collaboration across disciplines and between individual collectives, creating a living model for future radical spaces.


The Mario Woods Case & the Struggle Against Police Terror
Feb 13 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

ANSWER Coalition Forum
The Mario Woods Case & the Struggle Against Police Terror

On Dec. 2, 2015, the life of 26-year-old Bayview resident Mario Woods tragically ended by police firing squad. The SFPD, led by notorious Chief Suhr, claimed Woods attacked the officers, but video exposed that lie. Since the shooting, the Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition (J4MWC) has come together and shut down police commission meetings, disrupted Mayor Lee’s inauguration and “Super Bowl City.” As a result, the federal government has been forced to open an investigation of the racist corrupt SFPD.

Join us to learn more about the case, what’s next, and how you can join the growing struggle against racism and police brutality!

Featured Speakers:
Phelicia Jones, union organizer & coordinator of J4MWC
Eugene Puryear, Stop Police Terror Project—DC and Justice First
Frank Lara, ANSWER Coalition


How the Other Half Banks @ Laurel Books
Feb 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sponsored by Strike Debt Bay Area

Writer and lawyer Mehrsa Baradaran will be at Laurel Bookstore to read from her new book How the Other Half Banks and talk about credit inequality in modern American banking.

The United States has two separate banking systems today—one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. How the Other Half Banks contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Mehrsa Baradaran examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities—all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later.

Corporate megabanks with trillions of dollars in assets believe, with some evidence, that they can run the government and control how money works in the lives of people and the budgets of local governments. Baradaran explains how banks and governments have always been in complex relationships with each other; governments need banks to provide money services to people, and banks need governments for protection against economic fluctuations and to provide credit on favorable terms. But in the 21st century, American banks in particular have shed their social contract with the American people and the U.S. government, demanding to be treated as a private industry while enjoying all the benefits of a public service industry.

Baradaran proposes a solution: reenlisting the U.S. Post Office in its historic function of providing bank services. The post office played an important but largely forgotten role in the creation of American democracy, and it could be deployed again to level the field of financial opportunity.

Mehrsa Baradaran is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Also Friday 2/12 At the Green Arcade Bookstore in SF.

strike debt - baradaran flyer color

Event flyers:

strike debt – baradaran flyer color

strike debt – baradaran flyer color 4up

strike debt – baradaran flyer bw

strike debt – baradaran flyer bw 4up






COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act @ Troupe Studio
Feb 13 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

SF Mime Troupe presents:  “COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act”, by L.M. Bogad on February 12 & 13 in SF

Follow Special Agent Christian White on a cheerfully creepy tour of declassified government surveillance documents. White probes the redacted (blacked-out) texts of the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Programs, searching for the words erased in the name of the Freedom of Information Act.

Learn fun techniques for the infiltration of activist groups, how to earn benefits and a pension as an agent provocateur, and how to, in the words of J. Edgar Hoover, “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” your neighbors!  Read on!

Tickets: FREE but you must reserve a seat!

34th Monthly Interfaith Prayers for Victims and Survivors of Violence @ Bahai Center
Feb 14 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Monthly interfaith prayer meeting, held on second Sundays, dedicated to survivors and victims of violence and police terror in Oakland.

The Baha’i community of Oakland is organizing this gathering for the community to connect, share prayers, writings and poems from all spiritual traditions, reflect and recharge and build coalitions interested in healing.

In April, it was two years since we started holding these prayer meetings at the Baha’i Center. Come share prayers, quotes, poems, and favorite passages from your scriptures with us. We will serve a simple breakfast.

Occupy Oakland General Assembly @ Oscar Grant Plaza or basement of Omni basement if raining
Feb 14 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Occupy Oakland General Assembly meets every Sunday at 2 PM at Oscar Grant Plaza amphitheater at 14th Street & Broadway near the steps of City Hall. If it is raining (as in RAINING, not just misting) at 2:00 PM we meet in the basement of the Omni Collective, 4799 Shattuck Ave., Oakland. We have decided not to meet at the Omni on alternate weeks for the time being. We may switch back to meeting at 4 PM when the days get longer and warmer next year.  On every last Sunday we meet a little earlier at 1 PM to have a potluck.

ooGAOO General Assembly has met on a continuous basis for four years! Our General Assembly is a participatory gathering of Oakland community members and beyond, where everyone who shows up is treated equally . Our Assembly and the process we have collectively cultivated strives to reach agreement while building community.

At the GA committees, caucuses, and loosely associated groups whose representatives come voluntarily report on past and future actions, with discussion. We encourage everyone participating in the Occupy Oakland GA to be part of at least one associated group, but it is by no means a requirement. If you like, just come and hear all the organizing being done! Occupy Oakland encourages political activity that is decentralized and welcomes diverse voices and actions into the movement.

General Assembly Standard Agenda

  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Reports from Committees, Caucuses, & Independent Organizations
  3. Announcements
  4. (Optional) Discussion Topic

Occupy Oakland activities and contact info for some Bay Area Groups with past or present Occupy Oakland members.

Occupy Oakland Web Committee: (
Strike Debt Bay Area :
Berkeley Post Office Defenders:
Alan Blueford Center 4 Justice:
Oakland Privacy Working Group:
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity:
Bay Area AntiRepression:
Biblioteca Popular:
Interfaith Tent:
Port Truckers Solidarity:
Bay Area Intifada:
Transport Workers Solidarity:
Fresh Juice Party (aka Chalkupy)
Sudo Room:
Omni Collective:
First They Came for the Homeless:
Sunflower Alliance:
Bay Area Public School:

San Francisco based groups:
Occupy Bay Area United:
Occupy Forum: (see OBAU above)
San Francisco Projection Department:


Open Circle: Addressing Police Terrorism & Systemic Oppression @ Omni Commons
Feb 14 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Open Circle: Addressing Police Terrorism & Systemic Oppression @ Omni Commons | Oakland | California | United States
Come inspire with us!
Potluck at 3:00
Meeting at 3:30
Open Circle ~ Addressing Police Terrorism & Systemic Oppression, first and foremost, is an opportunity to build community with one another. Secondly, it is a space to reflect and collaborate with the families on strategies and actions to bring about justice for their loved ones murdered by the police.Open Circle meets every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

Open Circle, first and foremost, is an opportunity to build community with one another. Secondly, it is a space to reflect and collaborate on strategies and actions to bring an end to these egregious crimes.

Please join us for the Potluck at 3:00 pm followed by the Open Circle at 3:30 pm. Please bring a dish or snacks to share!

~ Open circle will begin at 3:30 with a speaker. Then checkins and updates with the families affected by police violence

~ Reflection and dialogue on how we can help support them in their fight for justice.

~ Brief announcements for upcoming events.

~ Working groups: tbd

Solidarity is afoot so bring your ideas!

Notes from last meeting:

No Coal In Oakland! City Council Meeting. @ Oakland City Hall
Feb 16 @ 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

1-coal-train-dust.pngThe Oakland City Council has the power to halt a reckless proposal to bring in coal by rail and ship it overseas from its port. It can do that on the basis of the proposal’s significant health and safety impacts. At its Feb 16 meeting the council will discuss the issue and there may be a vote on options. We need to make sure the council votes for the option to ban coal outright.

Three Ways to Help Ensure the Council Bans Coal
These are not mutually exclusive. But you need to act now.

1. Help the No Coal in Oakland campaign campaign do outreach and build pressure on the Oakland City Council. To find out more about joining the Sunflower Alliance team, contact Margaret Rossoff,

2. Sign up ASAP to be a speaker at the Feb. 16 city council meeting. You don’t need to speak but we ask you to cede time to No Coal in Oakland activists and supporters so they can speak. You do have to be present to cede time. Sign up here. For Item, enter “coal” You don’t need to say if you are for or against. You can also sign up for open forum instead or on a second card.

3. If you live in Oakland, write a letter to your city council member and to Rebecca Kaplan, the at-large council member (districts, names, contact information). Urge him or her to vote to ban coal outright. If you live in another Bay Area city, write Mayor Libby Schaff (contact information).

For meeting updates, flyers, media coverage and more, please visit our No Coal in Oakland campaign page. And for more background on this hazardous proposal, see A Coaltastrophe Threatens Oakland.

Alameda City Council: Rent Control Ordinance @ Alameda City Hall
Feb 16 @ 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm

The Alameda City Council will once again consider various proposals for tenant protection, including rent control, just cause eviction and moving-out compensation.  Come support the Alameda Renters Coalition in its battle against the powers-that-be in Alameda.

Coalition for Police Accountability
Feb 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

We will feature on the agenda our brothers and sisters from SEIU 1021 who have experience in signature collection campaigns for successful ballot measures. They will engage with us on lessons learned and we will discuss ways in which we might collaborate in our efforts to get our respective measures on the November ballot.

Webinar: How San Francisco Stopped a New Jail @ Internet
Feb 18 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join CURB on Thursday, February 18, from 12pm-1pm (PT) for a webinar about how the No New SF Jail Coalition stopped San Francisco’s proposed new jail, and learn valuable lessons on how to stop a jail in your town!

Since early 2013, CURB members and allies have fought tirelessly to stop plans for a new jail in SF, building an incredible network of allies and encountering obstacles of all shapes and sizes. Almost three years of organizing came to fruition in December when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected funding for the new jail.

While this was a historic victory, the fight is not over. SF won’t be building a new jail any time soon, but more than 40 other counties are still trying to build new jails, and the governor is looking to allocate another $250 million for jail construction in the upcoming state budget.

During this webinar, community leaders who have been at the center of SF’s jail fight will share their strategies, stories, victories, failures, and advice on what ultimately made their fight successful.

Mohamed Shehk
, Critical Resistance
Lisa Marie Alatorre, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness
Roma Guy, San Francisco Taxpayers for Public Safety

Click here to register for the webinar.

Justice for Mario Woods Coalition Meeting
Feb 18 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The demand for justice is happening and needs you!

Gigi’s Birthday Party! @ Gigi's House.
Feb 20 @ 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Come celebrate Gigi’s birthday!

Friends, music and good cheer!

BBQ provided.  Pot luck BYO drinks and side dishes.