Nothing’s better for sustaining persistent resistance like persistent music
Why: To create a physical boundary of bodies and voices blocking the transfer of ownership of our public post office
The fate of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office has reached a crisis point.� The transfer of that building to private ownership may be only days away. For this reason, the Berkeley Post Office Defenders call for mobilization of all those who appreciate the danger of privatization. It is time to establish and support a physical presence at the Downtown Berkeley Post Office so that, with arms locked, we can block any poacher of our public property from taking possession. By taking direct action to defend our public goods, we will affirm our reasons for living in community by sharing our energy and resources for the benefit of all.
The Board of Governors of the USPS has done a skillful job of narrowing the focus of the objections to the sale of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office to the issue of two New Deal works of art contained therein. At this time, the position of the USPS is that they’ve done everything they can to satisfy the concerns of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (an agency formed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966) and concerns of the City of Berkeley for the preservation of these artworks, even to the point of promising that the USPS will provide that protection themselves in perpetuity after the building is sold.
The Berkeley Post Office Defenders re-emphasize two objections that have been largely ignored in the struggle to save our post office:
- The sale that the USPS intends to process is one manifestation of the neo-liberal strategy of privatization, deregulation, union-busting, and the cutting of government services, pursued via the World Bank and the WTO, which in the last half-century have proved to to be so detrimental to the welfare of people living in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, the nations of the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and many others. Locally, the privately-owned Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) is trying to bankrupt the publicly controlled City College of San Francisco. The capital property of the USPS is a possession of the people of the United States as a public holding, meaning it is a component of national wealth and infrastructure, and the defense of that wealth is necessary for maintaining the viability of the national enterprise. The Berkeley Post Office Defenders oppose the privatization of publicly owned property everywhere it is threatened, and we have mobilized our opposition locally to shield the erosion of the material foundation of community, of which the Downtown Berkeley Post Office is an element.
- With regard to the public ownership of the New Deal artworks, the promise of the USPS to preserve them given its strategy of privatizatioon is a deception. By selling more than 300 of its properties since 2006, the Board of Governors of the USPS has undermined the capital foundation of the enterprise it is publicly charged with protecting. This insidious strategy follows the steps to complete privatization of postal services pursued by other countries the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands. Given that the Board of Governors is selling the USPS out of business, it is their intention that, very soon, they will no longer be in a position to preserve the public ownership of anything.
The Downtown Berkeley Post Office is not only a monument to public organization, it is an organ of our common body; without it we grow weaker. The agents of privatization are chiseling away at the investment our ancestors made to the survival of democracy. Our post office was built by the sweat equity of our great-grandparents, and financed by their tax dollars. As such, the Postal Service has NO RIGHT to sell it. Berkeley Post Office Defenders DEMAND that this sale be halted and that the building continue to serve our – and our great-grandchildren’s – common good.
For more on the current status of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office: https://occupyoakland.org/2014/10/berkeley-post-office-contract-sold/
Berkeley Post Office Defenders: http://berkeleypostofficedefenders.wordpress.com/
First They Came for the Homeless: https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-they-came-for-the-homeless/253882908111999?ref=br_tf
BPOD is affiliated with Strike Debt Bay Area: http://strike-debt-bay-area.tumblr.com/
For more on the Staples boycott:
The Seeds of Protest Bloom. Staples Boycott Goes National.
For background on the fight to Save Berkeley’s Post Office:
For more on the privatization of the USPS:
Saving the United States Postal Service as a Public Enterprise: http://tinyurl.com/ltqq7ng
In respond to the Global Day of Action in solidarity with Kobanê
Strike Debt In Action with Student Debtors
We invite you to join us at the Department of Education Public Hearing to support current and former Corinthian (Everest, Heald, and Wyotech) students who will be speak directly to DOE officials to tell their stories and demand debt cancellation.
Join online at: Corinthian.debt.is The Debt Collective tech team created this page so that those of us who can’t be in Anaheim in person can be there virtually. This website will go live an hour before the hearing with a livestream, chat, social media links, DoE twitter bomb and other virtual actions. Everyone who wants to support Corinthian students as they demand debt cancellation, meet here on Nov 4th: http://corinthian.debt.is
What’s the Background?
On September 17th, Strike Debt launched The Debt Collective, where we are developing a new platform for organization, advocacy, and resistance. We aim to build power to bargain with creditors or even to threaten a debt strike. As we build membership, debtors can join together based on region, type of debt, or lender.
Alone our debts are a burden; together they make us powerful.
People already get it. Denny in South Dakota emailed us to ask, “Is it possible there are others who have some of my issues in common? Is there an opportunity to collectivize this issue?”
Phil in California asked a similar question, “Do you have a collective group of Bank of America Mortgage debtors?” Denny and Phil’s questions show that people already understand what the debt collective can do.
People are ready to organize and begin demanding fair terms: fair interest rates, fair principal amounts, even the abolition of unjust debts.
Why Start With a For-Profit College?
The Debt Collective’s pilot project is with current and former students from for-profit Everest college. Everest, like other for-profit schools, targets students from low-income households, disproportionately from minority backgrounds. As Everest’s parent company, Corinthian, falls apart and its predatory activities are revealed, students are still expected to pay back their loans.
If Everest students join together, we believe they can win a full debt discharge. Their victory will help us demonstrate debtors’ collective power and other groups can be formed to follow their example.
What Will Happen at the Hearing?
On November 4th, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate the power of debtors acting collectively at the Department of Education public hearing.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, we invite you to join us at the event.
If you don’t live in southern California but still want to support students, go here, starting at 12p PST, to help share students’ messages, see video clips, and watch the livestream of the hearing.
For more info go to https://
Bring your cell phone, flashlight, or candle!
Please join Flying Over Walls, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity, CURB and many others in fighting the latest round of CDCr’s attempts to censor communications across the walls! CDCr publicizes at its website that the purpose of these censorship rules is to forbid “publications that indicate an association with groups that are oppositional to authority and society.”
These proposed regulations seem to be a retaliation to try to prevent future hunger strikes or meaningful organizing of any kind. These new revisions do almost nothing to address the widespread concern and opposition voiced just a few months ago when the original version of the regulations were proposed. We need policies that open the lines of communication with our incarcerated family, friends, loved ones and political allies, not shut them down. Deadline is November 10 for public comments to the latest revisions put out. Please send in comments and make calls to let them know we are watching!
Now that CDCr has passed new STG (Security Threat Group, aka gang) regulations, if any STG-associated incarcerated person’s name or letters are published in a newsletter (aka TGIJP’s Stiletto, Black & Pink’s monthly newsletter, Critical Resistance’s The Abolitionist, SF Bay View’s newspaper, etc.), then the whole newsletter can be banned, so as to ensure that “inmates shall also not possess or have under their control written material or photographs that indicate an association with a validated member or associate of a Security Threat Group. ”
And, if not banned, if they publish an article or picture of a “validated” member of a STG (whether or not it’s true, because the STG regulations are so absurd), another prisoner’s possession of it may be used to indicate that he or she is “associated” with the prisoners whose work is published in it, which could lead to them being “validated” as part of a STG and end up in SHU (solitary).
CDCr also continues to deem as contraband any number of items that a person in the SHU may innocently possess.
Please invite others, notify local media and help us raise awareness so that the CDCr does not try to slip this regulation through. Comments supposedly will only be “heard” to the extent that they address the revisions, rather than the originally proposed text, so please mention the revisions in your letters, even if it is just to say that these revisions do not address our original concerns.
*********************FAX-IN, EMAIL-IN, WRITE-IN!!!*************************
Please submit written comments to:
Timothy M. Lockwood, Chief,
Regulation and Policy Management Branch,
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
P.O. Box 942883,
Sacramento, CA, 94283-0001;
by fax to (916) 324-6075;
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (We additionally recommend that those responding by e-mail cc email@example.com)
Comments must be received or postmarked no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 10, 2014.
Sample letters and other resources will be posted in the comments section. Please post letters that you’ve sent and information that you want to share in order to support others in crafting their letters, emails, calls and faxes!!
In order to raise the pressure, once you have submitted your written comments, please also call Lockwood’s office to voice concern: (916) 445-2269. If you cannot get through, you can also call Christopher Abshire: (916) 327-5305.
“Hi, my name is _________. I’d like to speak to Chief Timothy M. Lockwood or his staff person who handles public comments.
[You will almost definitely be told no one is available to speak with you. You can then tell the receptionist or whoever you are speaking with:]
“I am calling to express my concern / anger about the CDCR’s newly revised obscene materials regulations issued October 20. I’m upset that the Department has failed to meaningfully take into consideration concerns previously expressed by hundreds of community members regarding the originally proposed text, despite the Department’s promise that it would go back to the drawing board and its claim that the public had misunderstood its intent.
As a resident of [your city & state], I am very concerned that the description of what constitutes material from a Security Threat Group consists of materials that are highly subjective to individual interpretation on the part of prison staff and includes everyday items that may be innocently possessed. The CDCR needs to ensure that (1) no publication will be banned—permanently or temporarily— merely because because it has political or sexual content and correspondence typically protected by First Amendment constitutional rights, or because a person in custody with STG affiliation has chosen to publish his name and/or location in an editorial, news article or penpal request; and (2) no person in custody will be penalized simply for possessing publications that reference or include “affiliated” members of an STG.
[If you don’t get to have a real conversation with someone, make sure you leave your name and number and ask them to have a staff person call you back.]
JOIN US TO CONTINUE TO EXPRESS OUR SOLIDARITY WITH RASMEA.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 12th @ 7:30, with the program starting at 8am.
WHAT: Rally, speak out, and flyering
Without a full and fair trial, Rasmea found guilty!
In a travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh was found guilty of one count of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. For over a year, Rasmea, her supporters, and her legal team have been battling this unjust government prosecution, saying from the start that the immigration charge was nothing but a pretext to attack this icon of the Palestine liberation movement. And although there is real anger and disappointment in the jury’s verdict, it was known as early as October 27th that she would not get a full and fair trial.
On Wednesday, November 12th, Fossil Free Cal is going to be leading a nighttime march around the South Side of the UC Berkeley campus. The March will start at 9:00 PM from the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft at the edge of campus.
The march aims to send a clear message to the UC Regents that a movement against their continued investment in fossil fuel companies is coming. Climate change is taking its toll on the planet and having a disproportionate impact on those least able to protect themselves. That being said, the Regents have shown no desire to stop investing in the big oil, coal, and natural gas producing and extracting companies.
Fossil Free Cal wants students and the community to bring their whistles, pots, drums, megaphones, and signs, so that the Regents can actually HEAR our complaints instead of continuing to ignore us.
Bring your friends, family members, and significant others. Join the movement and help us change the world!
On Friday Nov 14th, SEAL delegates will be meeting with Chancellor Dirks to present our proposal for a Food Initiative at the Gill Tract Farm.
We have years of visions and designs, years of petitions and public comments, years of community processes pointing towards a student and community desire for an alternative use of the land that does not exploit people and does not pollute the planet. We need the world-renown University of California to have a powerful Food Initiative amplifying the voices from the grassroots and producing community-driven research to find solutions to the pressing environmental problems we face today.
Nov 14th is the day. Let’s show our Chancellor the student and community power behind halting the development and engaging in a community-design process for all 20 acres of the Gill Tract Farm.
Facebook event & RSVP. (Check for location details)
How can you help?? So glad you asked!
> Get inspired at the Occupy the Farm Film! It is having its theatrical premiere right here in Berkeley! Nov 7th-Nov 14th.
> If you have not done so already, please sign our petition:
> Like us on Facebook and share our posts!
> You can use this form letter to email and message your friends and family:
> We love our campaign co-sponsors! Are you part of a food justice, urban garden, environmental justice, local economies, or other related organization and would be interested in signing on as a co-sponsor? email us!
With the imminent threat of a sale, First They Came for the Homeless has moved from Staples to the downtown Post Office, with support from Berkeley Post Office Defenders. Come hang out with them and show solidarity as we all take a stand against the privatization of our commons. Music and other activities are in the offing.
On November 18, the third anniversary of Pepper Spray, ASUCD and a coalition of student organizations and labor unions are staging a CAMPUS-WIDE action to fight the impending 5% tuition increases every year for the next 5 years. We believe these tuition increases are a callous threat to the promise of public higher education, and we, as students, are ready to fight back.
This action will also be a platform to recognize the intersectional dimensions of the privatization and decreasing affordability of higher education, as well as an opportunity for coalition allies to advance their causes such as stopping sexual violence, demanding fair and affordable housing, and converting contracted out employees to full-time career UC staff.
We will gather at the quad at noon, and then through participatory democracy and discussion we will decide the course of this action, including workshops, marches, sit-ins, teach-ins, and building occupations.
It doesn’t matter if you’re “non-political,” or not an “activist.” If you pay tuition, or if your friends pay tuition, this matters, and we need you here.
SHARE WIDELY. Talk to your friends, student organizations, workplaces, peers, professors, TAs, etc. Share articles about the tuition increases and discuss them. Engage in this conversation.
Student action stopped the Regents from increasing tuition 81% in 2011. There would be no greater celebration of that success than doing it again.
This is what democracy looks like.
A Northern California grassroots campaign to end the use of the racial slur as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. will be re-launched November 23rd at 10:00 AM. The campaign calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to end the use of the racial epithet and its hurtful reminder of Indigenous peoples ongoing mistreatment. We also aim to develop institutionalized Indigenous oversight with the NFL to promote healing and restorative justice caused by our exploitation.
The American Indian Movement-West, Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, and others are organizing its largest grassroots demonstration in the San Francisco Bay Area. Diversity is welcomed, so join our efforts and become a part of history! Endorsements, organizations, volunteers, carpools, & event attendees are needed.
Walmart has a massive ecological footprint. Walmart’s endless rows of plastic products and electronics demand ever intensifying oil and mineral extraction. Their stores are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. And Walmart’s globalized supply chain model makes it the largest importer of containerized ocean cargo in the U.S., one of the leading sources of pollution.
Walmart destroys local, living economies. Walmart actively drives out of business smaller, public transit-friendly, and environmentally-sustainable neighborhood retail districts, public
markets, and “mom and pop” stores to make way for its
highly-polluting, land-intensive, auto-oriented stores. Its
impoverishment of workers and communities then guarantees customers too poor to shop anywhere else.
Walmart undermines our democracy. Walmart’s PAC funnels millions of dollars to climate deniers and other lawmakers on the wrong side of climate policy – backing the Keystone XL pipeline, supporting subsidies for big oil, blocking the EPA’s ability to regulate CO2 emissions, and protecting the fracking industry from regulation.
Bangladesh.Walmart vs. the World: Putting the planet’s largest climate criminal on trial!
Friday, November 28th, 2014 at 9:30AM
Walmart, 1400 Hilltop Mall Rd, Richmond CA