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SF Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) Features



 



FCC Chair's Meeting with Tech Execs Greeted with Protest

2017-09-21T06:42:11Z

Despite the fact that he froze services to low-income internet users soon after taking office, Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai came to San Francisco to talk to tech executives about bridging the digital divide for underserved communities. Pai was named by President Trump as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in January. When he visited San Francisco on September 12, protesters demonstrated at the site of the meeting in the city's financial district, saying net neutrality is a racial justice issue.



WTF, A New Generation of Cell Towers in California

2017-09-14T06:51:17Z

California's SB 649 is called Wireless Telecommunications Facilities, or, for short, WTF. SB 649 provides for a new generation of cell towers, ultra-powerful small cells, that use a different wireless spectrum. This spectrum does not travel long distances, so these cell towers have to be placed close together, on every available space, utility poles, street lamps, and other government-owned structures, or possibly in your front yard. The bill gives the telecom industry carte blanche to install 50,000 of these cell towers throughout residential areas in California. Although called "small cells," they can weigh up to 300 lbs. The aesthetics could be pretty ugly, since in addition to the quasi small cells, they would allow equipment as large as a refrigerator to keep them powered at all times.



Thousands Hit the Streets to Defend DACA

2017-09-10T00:04:55Z

Trump's decision to quickly phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order protecting young adults who were brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrant parents as children, propelled thousands of protesters to the streets of San Francisco, San José, Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the Bay Area. The University of California sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in federal court to stop the Trump administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the California State College and Community College systems have vowed to continue supporting DACA recipients.



Marching and Standing Together at Pajaro Valley Pride

2017-09-09T06:16:41Z

A bright and warm sun, upbeat jams, and an electric atmosphere set the tone for the 2nd Annual Pajaro Valley Pride on August 20. The day brought out a large crowd of about a hundred to the Plaza in Watsonville to stand in solidarity with and celebrate LGBTQ+ folks. The lively event featured a blessing ceremony and parade, as well as performances from drag queens, burlesque dancers, and musicians. Pajaro Valley Pride Vice President Emilio Barajas asserts, "Pride culture is an important part of our beautiful and diverse community." Barajas also affirms, "we will not be coerced back into the closet and living in fear."



We Are All Antifa

2017-09-08T08:09:29Z

The National Lawyers Guild has supported free speech and assembly for all progressive and radical movements for 80 years. Recently, NLG volunteer attorneys, legal workers and clients received death threats and had their personal information publicized in retaliation for defending antifa activists. One attorney was stalked in a courthouse by a man with a swastika tattoo and a shaved head, wearing quasi-military-type attire. He then left, and shortly thereafter she received threatening messages and had to seek protection at a safe house. A group of men wearing military-like attire, and one with a swastika tattoo, was seen waiting outside Santa Rita Jail for arrestees to be released.



An Appeal to Support MHCAN

2017-09-07T02:58:35Z

Mental Health Clients Action Network (MHCAN) is the only peer-owned, peer-staffed and peer-operated provider of mental and behavioral health services and support in Santa Cruz County. The mission of MHCAN is to provide mutual support and networking, give clients a voice in all matters which affect them, create programs controlled by peers, advocate for the right of clients to choose their own life paths, educate the public from client perspectives, work to eradicate treatment disparities and confront discrimination.



Is OPD Still Cooperating with Deportations?

2017-09-05T05:20:21Z

It remains unclear whether the Oakland Police Department provided material assistance on August 16 in the detention and potential deportation of an undocumented Oakland resident who may or may not have been named in a warrant and may not have committed any criminal wrongdoing. In an open letter to Oakland's elected officials, Oakland Privacy writes: It is an issue of grave concern that information provided to the residents of Oakland about HSI activity in the City via mass media was not accurate, and it raises the question as to whether Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick performed any inquiry into the matter, before committing City resources to such an investigation.



22nd Annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair

2017-09-05T02:56:20Z

The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair is an annual event that brings together people interested in radical work to connect, learn, and discuss through books and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films, and more. The free event will take place on Saturday, September 16 in Oakland. Workshops include Surveillance Self Defense, Rad Families, Palestine to Chowchilla, Women's DIY Health, and Knowing the Enemy. Organizers state, "We seek to create an inclusive space to introduce new folks to anarchism, foster a productive dialogue between various political traditions as well as anarchists from different milieus, and create an opportunity to dissect our movements' strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and tactics."



Solidarity with Linksunten Indymedia

2017-09-04T08:17:34Z

Linksunten.indymedia.org, the main independent media website in Germany, was banned by the German government's Ministry of Interior on August 25. Maintaining the website and using its logo are now considered criminal offenses in the country. Linksunten volunteers are also being prosecuted as a "club," which means that administrators are considered responsible for everything that has been published. Administrators are also being accused of being members of a terrorist association. This represents a new step in the repression in Europe. The last time something of this significance occurred was in 1995, when the German central power banned the newspaper "Radikal", which sparked demonstrations all over the country.



The Job of the Media is To Divorce Movements From Their Base

2017-09-04T05:22:15Z

Tens of thousands of people hit the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley against a series of far-right rallies. Antifascist groups, labor, faith-based organizations, and a multitude of sectors mobilized to confront the far-right, showing that the autonomous power and energy that was unleashed after Charlottesville is still very much alive and is growing among the broader population. But, in the face of growing mass popular opposition not controlled or contained by the Democratic Party, through building a coalition that includes anarchists and antifascists, both the Right, Center, and liberal Left began to launch a series of attacks in the media against "antifa."



Putting Racists Out of Business

2017-08-30T22:46:57Z

Lynda Carson wrote a piece shining light on David Duke's political donors in Northern California, publishing a second report on supporters in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland, and beyond. One of those named was Roger F. Grigsby, owner and founding chef of O'mei restaurant in Santa Cruz. Within a week of the Indybay article, the restaurant shut its doors. Grigsby has responded by claiming he is a victim of a "war on whites." In Minneapolis, Clubhouse Jäger owner Julius De Roma was also called out. Employees have quit, a DJ pulled out, and the Huge Improv Theater, a tenant of De Roma's, issued a statement: "we would like to formally tell Nazis and the KKK that they can fuck straight off." Clubhouse Jägerwas closed for business as of September 1 after the entire staff quit.



Racism and White Supremacy Must Never Be Pardoned

2017-08-30T01:48:32Z

After thousands rallied in Phoenix, AZ to support immigrants and loudly denounce Trump's attempts to pardon White supremacy, President Trump did it anyway. On August 25, he pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted for criminal contempt for disobeying a federal court judge's order to stop the unconstitutional practice of detaining individuals based solely on suspicion about their immigration status. The President of the National Bar Association responded by writing, "Donald Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, one of the most blatant bigots of this era, marks a dark day in the history of our nation."



Linksunten Indymedia Declares "We Will Be Back Soon"

2017-08-27T03:26:57Z

On August 25, the German government raided and shut down Linksunten Indymedia, an integral part of the global Independent Media Center network, and the most widely used German-language platform for radical politics and organizing. In Freiburg, riot police seized computers and harassed those they accuse of maintaining the site, justifying their actions on the grounds that the alleged administrators constitute an illegal organization intent on destroying the German Constitution. This represents a massive escalation in state repression against what the authorities call "left-wing extremism," disingenuously suggesting an equivalence between those who seek to build communities beyond the reach of state violence and Neo-Nazis organizing to carry out attacks and murders.



ICE Raids Home in West Oakland with OPD Assist

2017-08-26T02:55:05Z

On the morning of August 16, a convoy of unmarked federal vehicles rolled up in West Oakland and a dozen or more agents jumped out, demanding entry into a Latina home. The agents only identified themselves as a "special unit" and said that they were investigating a family-owned cleaning business. After handcuffing and detaining the family for over four hours, the agents quickly left, but two residents were removed, one over immigration-related issues. Oakland police issued a press statement slandering the family, falsely claiming the raid was related to child sex trafficking. One man remains in ICE custody.



No Hate in the Bay: A Victorious Weekend of Resistance to Fascism

2017-08-25T08:12:04Z

White-supremacist and other fascist groups have repeatedly targeted the Bay Area in recent months, most recently announcing a weekend of provocations for August 26 in San Francisco and August 27 in Berkeley. As in Boston regarding a planned fascist rally on August 20, anti-racist organizers in the Bay Area responded with a call for massive counter-demonstrations in the streets. The planned weekend of anti-fascist resistance included Charlottesville benefit events in SF and Oakland. In the end, white nationalist organizers cancelled their own events at the last minute and the smattering of racists who did show up in both cities were promptly run off by anti-fascists.



Protests in DC and San José Demand Abolition of Slavery

2017-08-25T04:05:16Z

Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to remove the prison slavery clause from the 13th Amendment, thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities on August 19 to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. At the main march in Washington, D.C., a speaker from Leonard Pelitier's support committee read Leonard's statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. In San José, about 200 people marched to the county jail for a rally with speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd. Every year for decades Black radical prisoners and liberationists have identified August as a month for organized resistance and commemoration.



DOJ Demands User Data from Anti-Trump Website

2017-08-24T09:02:19Z

Federal prosecutors say DisruptJ20.org was used to plan a violent anti-Trump riot on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. Initially, the Department of Justice (DoJ) demanded that the site's web host, DreamHost, turn over extensive data including 1.3 million IP addresses. After DreamHost and activist organizations complained that the warrant was an abuse of government authority, the DoJ narrowed the scope of the warrant on August 21, dropping IP addresses but still seeking information on private groups that organized via the website. On August 24, the court ruled that DreamHost still needs to disclose some information about the operators of disruptj20.org.



Women Demonstrate Against Right-Wing Support for Sexist Google Engineer

2017-08-24T02:33:03Z

Right-wing protest organizer Jack Posobiec cited "credible alt-left terrorist threats" as the reason for postponing an extreme right march at Google headquarters in Mountain View scheduled for August 19. Cause célèbre for the extreme right, former Google software engineer James Damore inspired the protest when he was fired for penning an internal memo in which he argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences. Despite the postponement of the alt-right demo, demonstrators carried on with a counter protest on August 19.



Santa Cruz Restaurateur Gives $500 to KKK Fascist David Duke

2017-08-23T16:42:11Z

Some have suggested that the best way to fight back against all the hate being spread around by the Trump regime, the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, is by exposing the supporters of hate and violence, in the good old U.S.A. One place to start exposing the supporters of hate, would be to expose some of the local supporters of David Duke who reside in the Bay Area. David Duke ran for the U.S. Senate during 2016, from Mandeville, Louisiana, and lost. However, Duke had a number of campaign contributors in local cities including Walnut Creek, Martinez, Hayward, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz.



Court Rules Monterey County's Federal Animal-killing Contract Violates Law

2017-08-20T04:40:53Z

The California Superior Court has ruled that Monterey County's contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program to kill predators and other native wildlife violates state law. The decision responds to a lawsuit filed by animal protection and conservation organizations. The court concluded that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by failing to analyze the environmental impacts before renewing the controversial program, which has shot, trapped and snared thousands of animals in the county in recent years.



Air Testing Shows Unsafe Levels of Brain-Harming Pesticide in Kern County

2017-08-18T07:29:18Z

Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists. A ban can't come soon enough for residents of California's farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children.



Alameda Sheriff Retweets and Follows Nazi Accounts

2017-08-18T04:54:28Z

On the night of August 14, the official Twitter account of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office retweeted a video of a press conference organized by Richard Spencer, the icon of the white supremacist "alt-right" movement. The retweet dubbed the press conference with a "Unite the Right" hashtag — the same slogan that white supremacist groups used to mobilize people to Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the tragic murder of an anti-racist demonstrator by a white supremacist. A protest was held at the Sheriff's Office in Oakland on August 16. Community members condemned not just the retweet, but the ongoing racism and violence of the Sheriff's Office.



Military Exercises in Korea Considered Act of War

2017-08-17T07:20:51Z

As tensions ramp up between the U.S. and North Korea, speakers at a rally in San Francisco on August 15 called for the halting of US/South Korea military exercises along the Korean Peninsula. The annual war games are scheduled to be held starting August 21 and coincide with North Korea's threat to Guam. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) views the joint exercises as continued acts of war, as there was never a signed peace treaty at the end of the Korean War in 1953. On August 28, in response to the United States and South Korean war games, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has launched an unarmed missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.



Onward: A Statement from Eric Clanton

2017-08-17T05:09:07Z

Eric Clanton writes: I'm currently facing years of prison time as the result of accusations made in the most shockingly hateful parts of the internet. On April 19, I began being targeted by a dedicated swarm of internet trolls known for spewing racism, xenophobia, and misogyny onto the web. Suddenly a hit piece by Milo Yiannopolis caused the targeting to go viral. Several old social media photos were posted, online accounts hacked, addresses published, hundred of calls to my employers, and countless threats of physical violence made against me, my coworkers, friends and many others. This harassment campaign is where the accusations against me originated.



Last Call at Caffé Pergolesi

2017-08-17T02:15:34Z

On August 9, news spread quickly that Santa Cruz's oldest, best known, and most loved coffeehouse will shut their doors forever on August 26, 2017. Caffé Pergolesi, an institution of downtown Santa Cruz, holds a very special place in the hearts of so many people. Besides offering coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider, and snacks, the cafe is an important space for friends and groups to meet. Its walls serve as a gallery for local artists, and The Perg, as it's known, is a one of a kind venue, particularly for punk and hardcore musicians. The funky alternative counterculture community known as Santa Cruz, loved by so many people near and far, continues getting its capitalist corporate makeover from the university, technology, and tourism industries.



Call Goes Out to Boot Neo-Nazi from CSU

2017-08-16T08:52:48Z

On August 11, over 500 neo-Nazis attacked a group of young students and community members at the University of Virginia. The neo-Nazis had gathered for a nighttime march before the now infamous "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured close to 20 people. CSU Stanislaus student Nathan Damigo, the neo-Nazi leader of Identity Evropa was not only there, he was a key organizer of the rally. Back in April, Damigo first came into the public spotlight for punching a female protester at a demonstration. CSU Stanislaus did nothing then and the problem only continued to grow. Now someone is dead.



Protest in Monterey in Solidarity with Charlottesville

2017-08-16T02:27:00Z

On August 14, the Direct Action Monterey Network joined together with other community members to stand against fascism and white supremacy, and to show solidarity with the people of Charlottesville. The demonstration included reading a solidarity statement, displaying banners over the Lighthouse Avenue tunnel, and a march in the streets. Direct Action Monterey Network states: We are gathering today to show our opposition to white supremacy in all its forms, and to stand in solidarity with all those in Charlottesville who are fighting against fascism. We stand against the recent violence from white supremacists and the "alt-right" in Charlottesville as well as similar acts of violence in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Sacramento.



Charlottesville, We Got Your Back

2017-08-16T01:31:05Z

After a fascist mob attacked a small group of UVA student counter-protesters the night before, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly on August 12 when nazi enthusiast James Alex Fields of Ohio deliberately sped his car into a crowd of antifa, killing thirty-two year old anti-racism activist and Charlottesville native Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured in the attack, some critically. Within hours, solidarity demonstrations and vigils sprang up across the country. In Northern California, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Monterery, and other cities gathered to show support for the anti-fascist resistance in Charlottesville.



Class War on the Waterfront

2017-08-06T22:58:18Z

Retired ILWU Local 10 member and chair of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Jack Heyman writes: The ink wasn't even dry on the West Coast longshore contract when the head of the employers' group, the Pacific Maritime Association, proposed to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union a three-year extension, making it an eight-year contract. Under the current contract, employers have eliminated hundreds of longshore jobs through automation on marine terminals such as the fully automated Long Beach Container Terminal and the semi-automated TraPac freight-forwarding facility in the Port of Los Angeles.



Demonstrations Against "Workhouse" Jail Rock St. Louis

2017-08-02T05:35:55Z

The Workhouse medium security prison in north St Louis City is notorious for it's filth, cockroach and rodent infestations, black mold, antagonism by the guards, and deep ineptitude of those who operate it. To highlight the inexcusable conditions, a noise demo was called for the evening of July 21. Around 300 people gathered outside the Workhouse to demand immediate relief for those suffering inside. The front line of the demo turned it's energy on the fence itself, shaking the outer fence and eventually removing some of the clasps that adhere the fence to the fence poles. Protests continued through the following day. People were pepper sprayed by police and arrested.