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Guerrilla Gardening, Germination and Green Governing.

Jill Stein, candidate for the Green Party nomination for President of the United States, participated in a guerrilla gardening exercise through the fence of the Community Garden after she spoke at the invite of Berkeley Post Office Defenders (BPOD) and the local Green Party on June 3rd, 2016 on the steps of the downtown Berkeley Post Office. In late April Postal officials had installed a metal fence, blocking access to the BPOD and First They Came for the Homeless initiated Community Garden at the Post Office. Two weeks earlier they … Continued


How Oakland Pushed Back and Won: Oakland Privacy Working Group Visits Left Forum in New York City

By Oakland Privacy Working Group With its origins in 1981, the New York City-based Left Forum recently completed its three day run from May 20-22, 2016, cementing its claim to be  the nation’s premier progressive conference with some 5000 attendees. Assembled were a cross-section of activists, intellectuals, public interest organizations, and academics. A panel from the Oakland Privacy Working Group (“OPWG”) was invited to share their nationally recognized success at curtailing the advancing surveillance state.  Their sustained advocacy led to the dramatic scale-back of a planned surveillance hub with the … Continued


Save the Vegetables! An Open Letter to the U.S. Attorney General.

It seems unduly harsh to let the vegetables die uneaten in the course of suppressing free speech and preventing access to federal land. The Honorable Loretta Lynch Attorney General of the United States Dear Madam Attorney General: As I hope you know, protesters whose goal was to protect and defend Federal property from private encroachment set up a 24-hour information center on a corner of the land surrounding the Berkeley Main Post Office in Berkeley, California. That direct action presence was in place for over seventeen months. A free box … Continued


Help Comrades Tell the World How We Stopped the DAC!

Please help local activists and former Occupiers with the expenses involved in attending this year’s Left Forum in NYC (5/20/16 – 5/22/16) where they will share their story with others in an effort to empower others to fight big surveillance in their own cities and towns across America. The Domain Awareness Center (DAC) was a planned surveillance hub which aimed to integrate public and private cameras and sensors all over the City of Oakland into one $11,000,000 mass surveillance system. After mounting opposition to the DAC in 2013 and 2014, … Continued


“Couldn’t Not Stand with the #Frisco5.”

Supporters of the #Frisco5 Hunger Strikers called a vigil for 3:00 PM on Friday, 5/6 at the UN Plaza, a block away from City Hall. But it was a diversion – a larger group entered San Francisco City Hall and took up a presence outside the Mayor’s office about 4:00 PM. As the evening wore on more supporters, now being referred to as the #Frisco500, came and occupied the lobby of the building. As of 8:00 PM when City Hall officially closed the protesters – along with a large presence … Continued


Open Letter from the #Frisco5 to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Monday, May 2 Dear Ed Lee, We are the Frisco Five and we have offered our lives for the city we love. We know you are hoping that we are just a passing fancy who will grow tired and wither away. That is what you have experienced in the past. We aren’t going anywhere. This time is different. We are rejecting the little crumbs that you have offered in the form of COPS reviews and empty reforms propped up by your token community. We would rather go without than taste … Continued


Oakland Privacy Working Group Wins Round One vs BART Spying.

On Thursday, April 28th, 2016, The BART Board of Directors stopped, at least temporarily, the BART Police plan to install Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at MacArthur BART – a pilot program to surveil all those entering and exiting the parking group. Alert members of the Oakland Privacy Working Group (OPWG) noticed the buried item on the BART Board’s agenda, and three OPWG members attended the 9:00 AM meeting to testify against this proposal going forward. 5B. Automated License Plate Reader Technology.     i. Test Deployment Report.     … Continued


EVICTED! First They Came for the Homeless Forcefully Removed from Berkeley Post Office.

Berkeley Post Office Occupation Raided This Morning, Dismantled, Hauled Away     At 5:00AM this morning, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office, 2000 Alston Way, and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for our 17-month occupation. While trespassing was given by Postal Police as reason for the raid, no protesters were cited for any infraction. Two groups of activists – First They Came for … Continued


Public Land for Public Good: Still a Good Idea!

Originally posted on Facebook, drafted by Amy Vanderwarker, E. 12th Coalition. On March 15th, literally behind a closed door in the Mayor’s conference room, Oakland City Council voted 6-1 to approve moving forward with the luxury tower proposal from UrbanCore/EBALDC for the E 12th parcel, over the community-driven proposal from Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), or “A People’s Proposal.” The City had a clear choice between prioritizing more affordable housing for families in crisis and standing with the constituents of Oakland. Unfortunately, they chose more luxury housing and private development … Continued


A Eulogy for Matt Day, SF Occupier.

By Mike Zint of First They Came for the Homeless Today, I got confirmation that Matt Day, A.K.A. Mad Matt, died alone on the streets. His body was found at Fisherman’s Wharf in November. It took so long to find out because when homeless people die on the streets, it’s not news. Usually there is no mention. A life lost while homeless is not equal to a life lost when housed. I first saw Matt at the Occupy encampment at JHP. (Justin Herman Plaza) Matt was running around yelling at no … Continued