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Liberty City Redux.

In late November and early December of 2015, homeless residents of Berkeley and supporters, organized by First They Came for the Homeless, created Liberty City, an occupation of Berkeley’s Old City Hall Grounds in protest of Berkeley’s soon-to-be enacted anti-homeless ordinances and in support of equal rights and homes for the homeless. After eighteen days the City had had enough, the ordinances had passed, and they were evicted, homeless still. Seven months came and went and the City, despite its declaration of an emergency shelter crisis in December 2015, has … Continued


BART Creates a New Way to Become a Criminal. The Vicious Crime of Seat Hogging.

You put your purse on the seat next to you. Now you pay.  In April, the BART Board passed a law making it illegal to occupy two seats during rush hour on a BART train. The law was not to take effect until the BART police presented their implementation strategy. At the most recent BART Board meeting the BART police presented how they intend to enforce the new law. You can read about it here Debate Stirs Up Controversy Over ‘Seat Hog’ Arrest Policy Some BART directors might have buyers remorse … Continued


There Will A Vote Be For No Coal In Oakland !

The No Coal in Oakland Campaign didn’t know until this past Friday what the City Council would be voting on—a complete ban, some phony mitigation plan, or a choice between competing ordinances.  It is a relief that the only option on the agenda is to ban coal completely – the ban we want.  But we are not sure we have the votes we need.  The council has been quite intimidated at the prospect of a lawsuit from the developers.  They need to see the massive support for a ban. On … Continued


And Then There Were None…

OPD Haiku. ‘Scandal!’ Screams Out the Headlines. And Then There Were None. OPD Chiefless. Libby says Sabrina rules. The streets awaken. ‘Tis said Whent is gone. Figueroa cannot cope. Whence the shaft for Schaaf? Where have you gone, Judge? The dead are forgotten here. No justice. No peace. A fraternity. A toxic, macho domain. And eternity. Demouria Hogg. Executed in his sleep. Sex it is that brings down Chiefs. On the streets at 12. The bane now of OPD. Child into woman. 61160


Reggina Jefferies

Daily Mail summary:   Reggina Jefferies,16, died at Highland Hospital in Oakland a short time after being shot along with three other people  Jefferies was attending a vigil for two teen boys who died last month  Witnesses say there was an altercation in the street before two men fired into the crowd, hitting Jefferies and three other people The shooting happened a block away from where the vigil was being held for 15-year-old best friends Josiah Pratt Rose and Jamari Wilson at Venue    #oakmtg#SayHerName Reggina Jefferies. — Victor … Continued


An Open Letter to SF Police Officer Association President, Martin Halloran: “The Intimidation and Hate Will Stop Today.”

This open letter by Edwin Lindo, SF Hunger Striker for Justice and Candidate, District 9 Board of Supervisors, is in response to Mr. Halloran’s most recent newsletter to his rank and file officers. Dear Martin Halloran, You and your mob-like leadership of the San Francisco Police Officer Association have proven to be a rotten influence in our beautiful city, preventing us from being the progressive champion we should be. The POA is a para-military organization that fails its creed of being a true union — proving its failure by threatening its members, the public, and elected … Continued


Watching Them Watching Us.

Watching Them Watching Us. A Victory in the Political Battle Against Surveillance in Silicon Valley. After Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, the Oakland Privacy Working Group (OPWG) catalyzed the effort that led to Oakland’s proposed Domain Awareness Center being reduced to the size of a bathtub. And in that two year process the concept that the use of surveillance technology should be subject to the people’s input BEFORE being installed and the people’s oversight AFTERWARD was established in principle. Now, Santa Clara County has become the first jurisdiction in the … Continued


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