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Featured news by and for the local community


News :: Civil & Human Rights : Health & Drugs

May 2 - Rally For Roger Mentch at County Courthouse

Roger Mentch, a local medical marijuana provider and caregiver, currently faces up to seven years imprisonment for possessing 1 1/2 oz. of marijuana. Come out to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse steps on Monday, May 2 at 8:00am and stand in solidarity with Roger as he faces sentencing. Please demonstrate through your presence that you support honest medical marijuana providers and reject the current politically-movtived oppression of medical marijuana providers in California and the rest of the United States.

Besides Roger Mentch being prosecuted, Santa Cruz's Pacific Cannabis Collective was shutdown in the last month. Since the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana was raided in September 2002, the two most recent actions have effectively cut off the medical marijuana supply in Santa Cruz County. The only option for many medical marijuana patients is to travel an hour and a half or more to the San Francisco Bay Area to a medical marijuana dispensary. For many, this is not an option because of immobility and lack of financial resources. It is also problematic because many Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries are coming under law enforcement scrutiny and several have recently been shut down. [see Indybay's Drug War page]

See also: Letter to Judge Samuel Stevens Concerning Roger Mentch

Audio: Interview of Roger Mentch on Bathrobespierre's Broadsides (interview is halfway through file) Download the mp3

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News :: Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics : Resistance & Tactics

May Day 2005 in Santa Cruz and a Look Back to 1886

May 1 is Mayday, the anarchist day of remembrance and rage in spirit of the activists who were framed and murdered by the government of Chicago on May 1, 1886. It is the tragedy of the Haymarket Martyrs that reminds us all of the very real threat of police and government violence towards outspoken individuals. Working people who demand their rights have always felt the fear of retribution: many activists for human rights ironically live with the knowledge that they could be imprisoned or killed for standing up and speaking out. Refusal to bow down to these pressures is the driving force behind Mayday actions, strikes, and rallies all over the world. [see]

In Santa Cruz, May Day 2005 will include an International Workers Day Parade organized with the support of the Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival, Art & Revolution and the newly formed Santa Cruz General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World. The IWW will gather at the Tom Scribner statue at 11:30am and then march to the Town Clock. At 12:00pm, labor organizer Fred Hirsh will speak at the Town Clock rally about struggles faced by local workers. People will then march to the Poet & Patriot (320 Cedar St) for a 1:00pm screening of "The Wobblies." Following the film, there will be a discussion about the future of the labor movement.

At 6:00pm at the Portuguese Hall (216 Evergreen St), the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council is sponsoring a film screening, International Workers Day Dinner and a discussion with California State Treasurer Phil Angelides and Deborah Burger, President of the California Nurses Association. "Wal-Mart's War On The Workers" is a short film made by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and details the anti-union tactics of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, which has proposed to open a store in Pajaro.

See also: IWW 100th Anniversary May Day Celebration and Santa Cruz Branch Formation || Industrial Workers of the World || May Day and the Haymarket Martyrs || Lumberjack - By Tom Scribner || About Tom Scribner

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Government & Elections

Felton Residents To Vote on Water Buyout

For two and a half years, residents in Felton, CA have been battling with German energy giant, RWE, the world's third largest private water utility, over that companies buyout, of the local system. On Wedneday, April 27, Santa Cruz County Supervisors unanimously agreed to hold a special election, and let Felton voters decide on an 11 million dollar bond to purchase the system from Cal Am/RWE. A special mail-in ballot deadline has been set for July 26.

The California Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a public hearing for May 13 at the Felton Community Hall to take testimony on Cal-Am/RWE's proposal to consolidate the Felton and Monterey water districts.

Audio: Felton Residents Fight Water Privatization

[ Felton Flow || Felton Water News ]


Announcement :: Education & Youth

DA drops charges of 19 arrested at Tent University

On the afternoon of April 29, the DA announced that the charges brought against those arrested at Tent University the night of April 18th have been dropped. We greatly appreciate the faculty, community members and students who voiced their support for those arrested. Although this is a celebrated victory, we are still anticipating a date to be set with Chancellor Denice Denton as well as the academic senate to begin their investigation into the events of the week of April 18th.

For previous coverage, see: Letter to Chancellor Denton and EVC Kliger from UCSC Faculty and Staff

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News :: Resistance & Tactics

An evening with Bobby Seale, cofounder of the Black Panthers

Santa Cruz, CA. - On April 28, e-squared and the Ethnic Student Organization Council (ESOC) presented the 4th Annual Speaker Blowout: An evening with Bobby Seale, cofounder of the Black Panthers. Seale sported a yellow ribbon and an M8-tank hat, as he spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at UCSC.

(1 hour and 55 minutes / 39.4 MB -- this includes 10 minutes of introduction and 25 minutes of Q&A)

Audio: Listen to the Stream or Download the mp3

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News :: Education & Youth : Police State : Poverty & Urban Development

Crafting Solutions to Gang Violence in Santa Cruz

The US Justice Department estimates more than three-quarters of a million people in the US are gang members. For decades, various street gangs have operated in large US cities, but in recent years, many small towns and rural areas have become fertile ground for gang activity. As the U.S. Conference of Mayors convenes today in DC for a National Summit on Gang Violence, FSRN's Vinny Lombardo examines how one California community is confronting these issues and crafting solutions.

Audio: Listen to the Stream or Download the mp3

[ Free Speech Radio News || Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos ]

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News :: Education & Youth : Police State

Letter to Chancellor Denton and EVC Kliger from UCSC Faculty and Staff

Dear Chancellor Denton and EVC Kliger:

We know that this has been an extremely difficult week for you and for the university.

We also know that each of you as well as others in the administration, including Associate Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott, have worked very hard in an attempt to negotiate a satisfactory resolution to the confrontation with the students who organized Tent University at the base of campus. We acknowledge these efforts.

However, we express our deepest distress at the decision to call in the police to arrest students on Monday evening. Based on observations by those of us present at various times during the evening, and reports from others, we believe the use of police was unwarranted and seriously endangered the safety of the students at Tent University and threatened to escalate into a wider conflagration. It was also very disturbing to us that police were brought from the Berkeley campus in riot gear to handle what was fundamentally a peaceful gathering because of concerns about ‚Äúcamping,‚Ä? a matter which could have been easily handled with simple citations or other non-confrontational police presence, as well as continued negotiations. We are also distressed at the police violence and the numbers of students injured, some of whom are in our classes. Tent Universities have been established at a number of campuses nation-wide and no such police action was initiated.
Read the full letter and view the list of signers

See also: Tent U Police Brutality Update: Pat True on Hunger Strike

Previous TUSC features: Tent University Santa Cruz, April 18-22: Claiming UCSC As Our Own || An Open Letter to the Campus Community from Lit Grads || TUSC Direct Democracy Forum Votes To Stay Put || Suddenly, the Cops Ran Away and the People Rejoiced! || UCSC's Vice-Chancellor of Communications lies about police brutality at TUSC || Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform || Fuck the Corporate Media; Guerilla Screening at Tent U. Santa Cruz

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News :: Alternative Media : Labor & Economics

The Fourth Annual May Day Labor Film Festival

The 4th annual May Day Labor Film Festival, titled "Reel Work" runs through May 1st in Santa Cruz County. Reel Work features films, speakers and discussions highlighting past victories and ongoing struggles of labor movements across the globe. This year's festival includes premier screenings of an important new film on the infamous Centralia Massacre of 1919, discussions with Argentinean activists on the occupied factory movement, and noted author Paul Buhle reading from his new book, Wobblies: A Graphic History. The festival opened on April 24th with a screening of the Yes Men, a hilarious critique of corporate America.

The special theme of this year's Reel Work is the 100th anniversary of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical union of immigrants, the unskilled and unemployed formed to challenge the worst ravages of capitalism. The festival concludes with a May Day march and a discussion on the future of the labor movement. A schedule is available from which will list the times, dates, locations, movies, speakers and a small synopsis of each film.

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News :: Education & Youth : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics : Technology

UCSC's weekly "Weapons Inpsections" Tour a success

On Friday April 22, Students Against War kicked off a weekly "Weapons Inspections" tour to raise awareness about the presence of the military-industrial complex at UCSC. Every Friday, a "Weapons Inspections" tour will leave the Bay Tree Bookstore at 12:30 - everyone is welcome to join.

The Weapons Inspections tour seeks to educate students about the 35 military-funded research projects being conducted by UCSC staff on campus and the UC's ongoing management of the nuclear labs at Los Alamos, NM and Livermore, CA. About 30 students marched up to science hill and held a loud and horrible die-in in the plaza at Baskin Engineering, where most of this research is being done. The Weapons Inspections team then searched the science library for weapons of mass destruction in a silent, single-file procession and passed out information to students there.

[ Fiat Pax || The UC is a prominent site of military research (DOWNLOAD the .pdf) || UCSC, Weapons Research, Universities in the Service of the Warfare State ]

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Announcement :: Education & Youth : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Police and Watsonville High Administrators Fail to Silence Community Voices

Watsonville Brown Berets and UCSC Students Against War (SAW) Rally to Kick Recruiters Out of WHS

On Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19th and 20th, recruiters from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy were at the Watsonville High Senior Day, organized by Watsonville Cabrillo College and Watsonville High.

More than a dozen tax-funded police with motorcycles and squad cars watched over counter-recruiters at a demonstration organized by the Watsonville Brown Berets.

Watsonville High administrators told protestors to quiet down, threatening two students with arrest - one for telling her peers not to join the military, and the other because he was playing a small drum.

Police, carring bags full of riot-gear, consistently told protestors they were not allowed in the building or even on the steps. A student, driving by, honked her horn in support of the protests. A throng of police immediately pulled her over and cited her.

Audio: 4/19 FRSC: Watsonville Anti Military Recruitment Report

Photos: 4/20 Watsonville Counter-Recruitment Action

See also: UCSC Students Kick Military Recruiters Off Campus (4/5/05)

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