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Featured news by and for the local community


Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

Know Your Rights Training

Copwatch will be giving a free Know Your Rights Training on Saturday, May 8 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM in San Lorenzo Park, 137 Dakota St. in Santa Cruz.

Some of the topics covered will be:

  • Your rights when you are stopped by the police
  • What to look for when you see someone else being stopped
  • Staying safe while observing police
  • What can be done if the police have violated your rights
  • How to document incidents
  • Plus an introduction to video taping and using a police scanner

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


Interview :: Peace & War

Oasis Of Peace / Israel

George Cadman of Free Radio Santa Cruz speaks with Adi Frish and Laila Najar about their life in the village of Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam (Oasis Of Peace) in Israel. Laila, 20, and Adi, 21, are visiting communities across the U.S. this month to speak about their lives together. Adi, who is Jewish, and Laila, a Palestinian Arab, are addressing groups and congregations in eight cities through May 3. Lifelong friends, Adi Frish, 21, and Laila Najjar, 20, were among the first children born in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. Their parents decided in 1978 to live with the other side. Adi, who is Jewish, and Laila, a Palestinian Arab, grew up as neighbors and attended the village’s integrated, bilingual Primary School together.

Adi studied at the Rubin Music and Dance Academy in Jerusalem and, after working for a cellular phone company, is now a manager for a national chain of fitness and health clubs.

Laila studied Sociology and Social Sciences at Greek Orthodox High School in Ramla. She has worked as a Counselor at the NSWAS Summer Camp and is currently studying jewelry design at Jerusalem’s Academy for Art and Design.

Located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is a community of 50 families, half Palestinian and half Jewish, all with Israeli citizenship. Democratically governed by an elected mayor & city council, the village's mission is to demonstrate that Jews and Palestinians can live together as equals. During even the most difficult times in Israel, the residents of the village are committed to this ideal. Through their various departments and educational projects, they reach out to the surrounding communities, involving all those who want to participate in lectures, workshops, and classes that further the work of peace among Palestinians and Jews. They reach beyond their borders with the message that "Peace is Possible."

Download the Audio Interview about Oasis of Peace ( 19 megabytes / 27 minutes )

[ American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam I Free Radio Santa Cruz I More Peace Talks from George of FRSC ]

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News :: Education & Youth

Students, Community, Resist Military Recruitment at UCSC

On April 13, 2004, the United States military, invited by the administration at the University of California, Santa Cruz descended upon the Last Chance Job and Internship Fair. The Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force joined the Border Patrol and the CA Dept. of Corrections to try and seduce college students looking for money for college and job training. This accounts a student organizer's perspective, detailing the annual recruiter visit and subsequent annual student actions.

At the entrance to the building we had half a dozen large posters with statistics talking about discrimination (75% of blacks and 67% of Latinos report racially offensive behavior), rape (1/3 of women in the military get raped), money for college (less than half get any), and of course the 'No War for Empire' and 'Hell No, We Won't Go' to satisfy the radical nature of some of the coalition members.

Administration pressure, you ask? It started with when we were setting up our posters and were told that we couldn't give speeches outside because it was not a "free speech zone". We were also told that we couldn't put our flyers up on the stucco building because we didn't have a permit. We were asked twice by two different officials from that area of the university to not put our posters on the stucco, but we mostly ignored them.

Audio from portland imc: No Recruitment in Public Schools

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Announcement :: Environment & Food : Globalization & Capitalism

Reclaim the Commons

octopi.jpgThousands of activists and organizers around the Western US will converge on San Francisco from June 3 - 9 to shut down the corporate takeover of basic life needs. While Savannah, Georgia will be the focus of G8 protests on East Coast, the West Coast G8 demonstrations will target the biotech industry's largest meeting of lobbyists and executives happening concurrently in San Francisco. However, this mobilization is much bigger than biotech.

Organizers have put out a call to not only target the meetings, but to reclaim the city of San Francisco from the corporate oligarchs and return it to the people. They plan actions that will create free local food sources and community gathering spaces, as well as actions that will bring together groups working for global, environmental and racial justice.

One focal point of the "Reclaim the Commons" mobilization will be the shut down of the biotech industry meeting. The most widely discussed aspects of biotechnology relate to its incorporation into foods that humans consume and biological weapons. We live in a world where tomatoes can be manipulated to contain anti-freeze genes and every cell of a corn plant can be engineered to contain toxic pesticides. We live in a world where ‘terminator technologies’ can create plants incapable of producing fertile seeds, and where those plants are being shoved down the throats of Developing Nations in order to make them more dependent on buying seeds.

June 8, the opening day of the G8 meetings in Georgia, will be a day of mass action against the corporate empire. Pick your coast, but mobilize!!

[ Reclaim the Commons I RTC Spokescouncil May 2 I West Coast G8 Regional Mobilization I Direct Action to Stop the War ]


News :: Civil & Human Rights : Police State : Resistance & Tactics

The Unexpected Ending of the Case Against the Oakland 25

oakland_docks.jpgThe DA had been prosecuting 25 victims of the police assault which took place on April 7, 2003 in the Port of Oakland. A year later, the ordeal of these people finally ended in a strange twist.

A year ago on April 7th, police assaulted protesters, legal observers, longshoremen and newspeople with "less-lethal" munitions, injuring several dozen people, some permanently. The attack was the most violent police assault on the antiwar movement during the spring of 2003, and it was later mentioned in a report by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. So our city of Oakland is now on the same list as Indonesia, Guatemala and other human rights abusers.

The plan for our port protest on April 7, 2003 had been to peacefully picket the Oakland shipping terminals of two war profiteers, APL and SSA Marine. The goal was to shut them down for a shift by asking dockworkers not to cross our community picket line.

Traditionally, picketing a business is considered a socially acceptable and legal exercise of First Amendment rights. That's because the labor and civil rights movements have spent over a century winning and defending those rights. Now those rights are being called into question once more; had the case been successfully prosecuted, it would have set a precedent that might be used against unionized workers during strikes. After all, striking workers do "disrupt" businesses, and from the viewpoint of corporations, picket lines are a "nuisance."

Indybay coverage: [ Oakland 4/7/03 Compiled Stories I 5/12/03 Return to the Docks Protest I 4/26/03 Rally Against Police Brutality I 4/7/04 Remember the Shots! Return to the Docks! ]


Announcement :: Education & Youth : Police State

Candlelight Vigils For Incarcerated Youth

Wednesday, April 28, will be the 100th day since the tragic deaths of Durrell Feaster, 18, and Deon Whitfield, 17. On January 19, authorities found Durrell and Deon hanged in the cell they shared in the California Youth Authority's Stockton facility.

To commemorate this solemn day, Books Not Bars is organizing "Stop the Tragedies, Stop the Abuse," a statewide candlelight vigil in honor of Durrell, Deon and every young person whose life has been stolen or broken by CYA.

Join in downtown Santa Cruz or Watsonville to remember all of our youth lost in a scary system. Let's pray and work for change.

Wednesday April 28
7:00 - 8:00 PM

In SANTA CRUZ: Clock Tower @ Pacific and Front Street

In WATSONVILLE: Main Plaza @ Main Street

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Books Not Bars
Audio: Abolish the CYA Mix

Indybay's coverage of Human Rights Violations In California's Youth Prisons

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Announcement :: Alternative Media : Labor & Economics

3rd Annual Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival

rosiereel.jpgThe 3rd Annual May Day Labor Film Festival, titled "Reel Work", will be from April 25th to May 1st in celebration of International Workers' Day. The purpose of the festival is to increase community awareness of the history and culture of the U.S. and international labor movement. Filmmakers, producers, labor historians and union organizers featured in the films will be present to introduce films and lead discussion.

Topics include the recent FTAA protests in Miami, the multiracial grassroots movement of the L.A. Bus Riders Union, the organizing efforts of garment workers in sweatshops in Thailand and Bangladesh, and flower nursery workers in Colombia. Films range from classics such as Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times and At the River I Stand, to local premieres about the recent Safeway strike and the Oakland docks anti-war protest of last April.

Reel Work: May Day Labor Film Festival

[ Sunday, A25 at 12pm I Sunday, A25 at 7pm I Monday, A26 at 7pm I Tuesday, A27 at 7pm I Wednesday, A28 at 7pm I Thursday, A29 at 7pm I Friday, April 30 at 7pm I Saturday, May 1 at 1pm ]

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News :: Alternative Media : Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Santa Cruz Activists Face Off with US Military outside Najaf, Iraq

The Najaf Emergency Peace Team, "Peace Between Peoples", includes two members of the Santa Cruz activist community. Meg Lumsdaine and Peter Lumsdaine are among the handful of determined volunteers who have placed themselves "nonviolently, symbolically and physically" between the U.S. armed forces massed nearby and the civilian population of the ancient holy city, Najaf.

As numerous people from nonprofit organizations working in Iraq evacuated the country during the past week, an independent emergency delegation of U.S. civilians was preparing to enter the conflict-torn nation, traveling to the tense stand-off around Najaf, where the U.S. military recently deployed almost 3,000 troops for a looming assault to crush Shiite rebels there.

[ Peace Between Peoples Update: Najaf 4-28-04 I Peter Lumsdaine on Democracy Now (4/27/04) I AP article (4/30/04) ]

[ Indybay's Iraq page I Al-MuaJaha I Occupation Watch I Electronic Iraq ]

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News :: Poverty & Urban Development

Clear View Court: City Council sells out residents

The 60 residents of Clear View Court mobile home park lost their rent control protections last September when the City Council caved in to Manufactured Home Communities (MHC), an out of state corporation, and abandoned rent control for mobile home parks in Santa Cruz. In an attempt to do damage control, the council offered to negotiate long-term leases for tenants at fair market value. But what is fair?

In an unusual Thursday City Council meeting -- held in the afternoon maximizing the inability of residents to attend the meeting, the City unveiled its deal of 34 year leases for the current residents of Clear View Court. These leases will replace the "irrevocable" leases "in perpetuity" that the City signed with residents guaranteeing rent control and then abandoned when the rapacious MHC sued the City for unfair practices.

In December, residents of Clear View Court were shocked to get notices of rent increases that doubled or tripled their existing rents with no increase in services. They were simply renting the same patch of bare ground the owners had operated at a profit for years. The City stepped in hoping to help negotiate a fair deal for both park owners and coach owners, and owners offered to forego the rent increases until May 1st if the residents agreed not to sue the City or the Park owners before April 26th, 2004.

The Council discussion continued on into the evening with a lengthy recess. In the course of that discussion, Mayor Kennedy advised the public that nothing he had heard from the tenants dissuaded him from supporting the staff-proposed plan opposed by Clear View Court residents. Emily Reilly gushed that she was on the edge of tears over the tenant's situation, but raised no objections to the proposed "settlement".

The final Council decision was postponed until Tuesday April 27th at 5:00 PM. There will be no public comment allowed, but a large showing may empower residents to sue City Council, begin gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn the Council's aggressively pro-landlord decision, or take some kind of larger direct action.

[ emergency city council meeting was odd and sad I Clear View Court Sell-Out is Tuesday (4/27) at 5:00 PM ]


News :: Health & Drugs : Police State

WAMM Members Protected From Federal DEA Raids

cannabis.jpgEighteen months after a brutal DEA raid on the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) collective in Santa Cruz County, the seriously ill collective members finally got the protection from future raids and harassment they have sought since filing suit against the federal government one year ago. After reconsidering his earlier decision in the high profile case County of Santa Cruz et al. v. Ashcroft, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California has granted Plaintiffs a preliminary injunction and denied the government's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint. Wednesday's (4/21/04) ruling will protect WAMM while the lawsuit is pending, and allow the collective to resume cultivation.

"The federal government can no longer ignore the will of the people of the State of California and the City and County of Santa Cruz to protect the health and welfare of terminally and chronically ill individuals," stated Neha Shah Nissen, an attorney with Bingham McCutchen.

"We applaud the Court's decision and we are profoundly pleased as we prepare to replant our garden," said Valerie Corral, co-founder of WAMM. "But we also steady ourselves for a tug of war with the present administration's unwillingness to honor the democratic process."

previous coverage: [ DEA Raids Santa Cruz Dispensary! (9/5/02) I WAMM's Medicinal Cannabis Distribution at City Hall I Audio from the WAMM Pot Giveaway (9/17/02) ]

[ Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana I Drug Policy Alliance I Americans for Safe Access ]

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