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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development : Resistance & Tactics

"Put People First!" S.C. Protest Against California Budget Cuts

On March 27, 2004 about 500 Santa Cruzans came together to protest next year’s proposed budget. Projected county budget cuts attempt to compensate for a loss of 7.5 million state dollars by cutting 118 jobs, 80 of which are from the human and health services departments. This lopsided allocation of funds will directly affect programs like Medical, Foods Stamps, In Home Services, and Public Health Nurses. Organizers called for more equitable distribution of available funds.

Santa Cruz County budget hearings will be held June 15 – 25 at 9AM on the fifth floor of the county building and are open to the public.

Audio: Workers Independent News Service (WINS) coverage

In Home Services Slated for Cuts

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News :: Police State : Resistance & Tactics

CopWatch Explosion in the U.S.

CopWatch groups have become a phenomenon in America, out of dire necessity. I interview the creators of the new Portland's Worst Cops Card Deck, and take a look at police accountability tactics and organizations in this well as review how to start a CopWatch group/action yourself...

It is now a phenomenon. CopWatch organizations are being set up all over America, by ordinary citizens, driven to police the police, in grassroots community efforts. Portland (Portland Copwatch and Rose City Copwatch), Austin, NYC, Santa Cruz, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Berkeley, Tucson, Denver, and more, have CopWatch organizations in their cities. And CopWatch groups are networking and training each other. Berkeley CopWatch came down to Santa Cruz to help start Santa Cruz Copwatch.

Texas Copwatch describes Copwatch as "a group of ordinary people who observe and record police activity on the streets. We do this because we believe that police brutality is widespread in our communities and that the only way to stop it is to challenge it directly."

Berkeley’s CopWatch describes itself as a community based volunteer organization that “monitors police activity in the Southside neighborhood, and elsewhere, in an effort to defend the rights of all citizens, especially those who live on the street, who are people of color, or are otherwise disenfranchised. Everyone has a right to fair treatment under the law. Copwatch also carries out campaigns and distributes educational material geared at ending institutionalized injustice and police misconduct in our communities.?

Copwatch 101 booklet

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Announcement :: Labor & Economics

UC Workers Hold Statewide Marches

united.jpgThousands of UC hospital and campus employees concerned about quality at UC launched a series of statewide marches on Thursday, May 20 to demand meetings with top UC officials.

Workers at each campus and their supporters confronted UC executives, demanding immediate action to protect quality and service at America’s premier public university system and its academic medical centers from budget cuts and managements’ misplaced priorities.

Staffing shortages and high turnover rates in radiology and other hospital departments and the increasing use of temporary personnel in the medical centers threaten the quality of patient care at UC medical centers at UCSF, UCLA, UCSD, UCI and UC Davis. On the campuses, inadequate staffing leads to decreased services for students and at times, to costly overtime pay.

UC Santa Cruz
Quarry Plaza in front of Baytree Bookstore

Photos: [ 1 - 2 - 3 ]
Audio: Workers Independent News Service (WINS) coverage

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News :: Alternative Media : Alternative Media : Arts & Culture : Resistance & Tactics

FCC Visits Free Radio Santa Cruz

At 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, agents from the Federal Communications Commision attempted to gain entry into the studio of Free Radio Santa Cruz. Skidmark Bob approached the pair to ask if they had received complaints of interference. Both agents said the only problem was the station isn't licensed. As they left, Agent Hartshorn threatened to return with a warrant if FRSC did not shut down.

The all volunteer, collectively-run, community based radio station began broadcasting in the spring of 1995, providing Santa Cruz radio listeners with a diverse array of music, talk, and experimental programming unparalleled by anything on the local dial.

The FCC visit comes just five days after the 35 watt station relocated to a new home and new spot on the dial. After nine years of broadcasting at 96.3 FM, a previously unused frequency, FRSC operators moved to 101.1 FM. The switch comes as a good faith effort to avoid interference with Air 1. Last summer, the Christian rock station was granted a license for a ten watt repeater on 96.3 FM in Salinas, CA.

Thursday's visit to Free Radio Santa Cruz is yet another attempt at silencing the tiny station, despite strong community support. On September 3, 2003, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 7-0 in support of an emergency resolution calling on the FCC to leave the station alone.

[ Audio: FCC Visit at the New Location I FRSC vs FCC Skidmix I Coverage from ]

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Announcement :: Alternative Media

Free Radio Santa Cruz Moves to a New Location

lilpirateship.jpgOn Saturday, May 8, hard working volunteers of Free Radio Santa Cruz moved their studio to a new location and moved to a new spot on the radio dial. FRSC can now be heard on 101.1fm and streaming on the internet at Collective members met in the morning and worked together for five hours to move the studio to the new location. Besides hauling furniture, equipment, and FRSC's audio library, collective members also set up an antenna for the new studio and took down the antenna which was broadcasting on 96.3fm.

FRSC requests that you leave a message on their voice-mail, 831-427-4523, with reports about reception. The collective is still working to finalize the move and has spent a lot of money to make the move happen. Donations are encouraged.

Please send checks or money orders made out to "Free Radio Santa Cruz" to:

PO Box 7507
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

or, donate online using a credit card.

Free Radio Santa Cruz is an unlicensed, commercial free, community based pirate radio station that has been operating for over 9 years without a license! FRSC broadcasts alternative news and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in defiance of Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations.

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Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

Occupied Territory: Anarchist Gathering in Fresno June 18 - 21

Occupied Territory is no longer just a conference. The organizing collective has decided to take the final step, and make the gathering the most interactive and self-managed gathering we could think of. Early this year calls were put out on, local Indymedias, and other sites across the state and got a huge response. But instead of creating another conference that would revolve around trying to get the usual band of well known speakers that are usually seen at conferences, we have decided to make you the participant decide what the direction of the gathering will be.

Friday June 18th, we will meet you in Fresno, and that night we will decide what the gathering will grow to be. This gathering, like the future, is up to us.

[ Occupied Territory: Anarchist Gathering 2004 I FAQs I Tarps, Forks, and Community I Occupied Territory Anarchist Gathering Gets Underway ]

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Poverty & Urban Development

Catastrophic Anarchy

The closest thing to a Utopian society I have been in is the aftermath of major earthquakes. For a brief moment, people are humbled, and there is a thankfulness for life, itself. Possessions are seen as transitory in this light. The homeless are not arrested, police seem to disappear...Santa Cruz and Northridge Earthquakes taught me a lot...

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Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War : Police State : Police State : Poverty & Urban Development : Poverty & Urban Development : Resistance & Tactics

Concerned Citizens form Santa Cruz Copwatch

Copwatch, a group to observe and monitor police activities, is being formed by Santa Cruz citizens concerned about police misconduct and abuse of power in the Santa Cruz community. Following examples set by other Copwatch groups across the nation, members of Santa Cruz Copwatch concerned with the lack of police accountability will launch observation patrols and “Know-Your-Rights? trainings in order to increase the community’s oversight of police activities.

Copwatch chapters exist in at least 6 other cities, including the 10 year old Berkeley Copwatch, and the newly formed Copwatch in East Palo Alto. Copwatch patrollers take down badge numbers, provide written testimony, and in some cases videotape the interactions between police and citizens. The objective of Copwatch is to train the public in non-confrontational techniques with which they can increase their ability to observe police actions, and thus reduce police brutality and other civil rights violations. Santa Cruz Copwatch will be networking with other community groups and work towards amassing incident reports which will be presented to City Council encouraging increased regulation of the Police Department.

Citizen's Police Review Board Gets Dismantled from January, 2003

Santa Cruz Copwatch currently meets on Tuesdays, 7:00 PM, at the Infoshop (509A Broadway).

[ Santa Cruz Copwatch I Know Your Rights card in Spanish and English ]

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Commentary :: Poverty & Urban Development

Open Letter to SEIU Local 415

despot.gifAn open letter to SEIU Local 415 regarding their spokesperson's recent statements of support for the location of a Home Depot store in Santa Cruz's industrial Westside.

I am utterly baffled and incensed by the statements made by Leslie Scanagatta (identified by the Sentinel as SEIU Local 415's "chief spokesperson") regarding the City Council's stance toward Home Depot. In that paper, she was quoted chiding the Council for its perceived inaction in allowing Home Depot to build on the old Lipton site in Santa Cruz's industrial Westside. Generally, I am inclined to give people quoted by the Sentinel the benefit of the doubt considering the bias of its publishers and some of its reporters. However, in this case, Ms. Scanagatta's specific mention of Home Depot and numerous other quotes printed in the Sentinel's May 5th article lead me to believe that her comments were not simply twisted out of context.

It completely escapes my comprehension that someone who "works hard to maintain the rights of union workers and fight [sic] for justice for all workers" (quoted from the SEIU Local 415 website, which Ms. Scanagatta herself apparently coordinates) should consider it positive to locate Home Depot, one of the most vehemently anti-union and anti-worker retailers on the face of the planet, in her own community. This is particularly incomprehensible coming from someone who works on the staff of one of the country's more progressive union locals and acts as its Communications Coordinator. It gives the impression that this is the official stance of the SEIU.

If the latter is the case, it leads me to ask, "What are you thinking?!?" Has it completely escaped the attention of Local 415 that Home Depot is one of the worst employers of its size ever to disgrace the retail industry?

[ Hometowns, Not Home Depot I Retail Worker: Labor News - by, for, and about Retail Employees ]

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News :: Resistance & Tactics

Group Aims to "Think Globally, Act Locally," on Sweatshops

Santa Cruz Burma label.jpgThe popular shirts with the "Santa Cruz" logo are imported by a local company, NHS Inc., from factories in Asia and Mexico. On April 9, a group of young people associated with the documentary film, Planet USA, returned hooded sweatshirts made in Burma to Pacific Wave and requested the store stop carrying shirts made in a brutal dictatorship, The group wants to meet with the president of NHS Inc. to discuss their current factory conditions but he is refusing.

Shoppers in Santa Cruz may recall an unusual sight downtown in front of The Gap at Christmas time. While a group of carolers sang satirical anti-corporate Christmas carols, large video images were projected high on the wall of the store, depicting sweatshop workers in Thailand and Cambodia. The ones sewing behind bars were refugees from Burma (now called Myanmar), making about 12 cents per hour. They have fled from even worse conditions in Burma, a country where 50 million people are suffering under a brutal military dictatorship.

Here in Santa Cruz, we have a company, NHS Inc., which has imported clothing from Burma, among other places, and distributes all over the U.S. The popular items among surfers and skaters here are the T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with the familiar red and yellow “Santa Cruz? logo. You can walk into any of a number of hip shops in town and read these labels – “Made in Myanmar/Burma.?

PLANET USA: an upcoming documentary film

[ NBA Caught (Again) Selling Slave Labor Goods I child labour in Burma (Myanmar) I Behind the Label I Co-op America's Guide to Ending Sweatshops and Promoting Fair Trade I Sweatshop Watch I Global Exchange's Sweatshops Campaigns ]



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