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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

Santa Cruz Sends Relief to Louisiana

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Audio and photos from the report back with Curtis Reliford held on September 29 at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall. Curtis reported on the caravan that travelled from Santa Cruz to Louisiana (to Shreveport, Bogalusa, and New Orleans), to deliver four truckloads of goods donated by the people of Santa Cruz in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

Curtis told the story of the trip and answerd questions. This was followed by a welcoming to Santa Cruz of some 30 families who were displaced by the hurricane and have relocated to Santa Cruz.

Audio (mp3): Curtis Reliford a native of Shreveport, LA who now resides in Aptos, organized a caravan of 4 trucks and numerous volunteers from Santa Cruz. || Jimmy Pardo is one volunteer from Santa cruz who went on the caravan. || Michael Lindley is a second year student at the Health Sciences Center of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. || David Jackson from Shreeveport, LA is relocating to Santa Cruz County with assistance from Curtis Reliford.

see also: Santa Cruz Community Yard Sale Benefits Katrina Survivors || "Thank You Santa Cruz!" from Shreveport, Bogalousa and New Orleans, Louisiana
 

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News :: Alternative Media : Civil & Human Rights : Resistance & Tactics

Audio, Photos and Written Reports from Houston and New Orleans

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On September 9th, Vinny and I arrived in Houston, Texas along with Blank from Portland, Oregon to provide aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The three of us headed to Houston to help with with independent media, including a low power fm radio station which was being organized for the Astrodome. Upon our arrival in Houston, we learned that the Astrodome emergency radio station was again being blocked from broadcasting information to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

We went to the Astrodome and spoke with people who were willing to speak with us. We listened to their experiences in the past and at the Astrodome. Please visit the following links for audio, photos and written reports published by Vinny, Blank and I.

Audio: Criticism of Red Cross Relief Efforts at Astrodome || Katrina Survivor Recounts Experiences || Another Katrina Survivor Recounts Experiences || "One Day at a Time" || Katrina Survivors Organize for Better Conditions || Interview from 'Dome City' with Joseph Bijou of New Orleans || Activists Organize to Free Frances Newton

Photos: The Surreal Scene of Dome City || More Scenes from 'Dome City'

Words: The Houston Astrodome: Do You Know What Is Really Happening?

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While in Houston, we were asked if we could go down to the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana to help set up an emergency low power fm radio station. We were welcomed into the Algiers community by Malik Rahim and Common Ground, a community-run organization offering temporary assistance and mutual aid to the citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

Words: Algiers New Orleans: Where Common Ground Is Found

Photos: Creativity, Solidarity and Mutual Aid in Algiers, New Orleans || Community Support in Algiers, New Orleans || Common Ground Wellness Center in Algiers, New Orleans || Finding Common Ground in New Orleans

Audio: Interview with Noah, a volunteer medic || Algiers residents starting to return || Leenie Halbert interview || FSRN: Grassroots Groups Offer Assistance in Algiers

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We returned to Houston on September 16th. Blank traveled back to Portland and Vinny and I stayed in Houston. We continued trying to find out what was happening with the people at the shelters; human souls that we are referring to as "Katrina survivors."

Audio: Struggles for Katrina Survivors at George R. Brown Convention Center || Interview from 'Dome City' with Josh from New Orleans || Houston Ends Katrina Shelter Operations || Struggling for a Home After Hurricane Katrina

Photos: No Compassion at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston || Scenes from the Reliant Arena || Exit Only at the George R. Brown in Houston || Struggling for a Home After Hurricane Katrina

more resources: Houston Indymedia || Common Ground Relief || New Orleans Indymedia || Real Reports of Katrina Relief || Katrina Indymedia || Portland Indymedia's katrina aftermath page || Indybay's poverty page || Infoshops's Hurricane Katrina Mutual Aid Relief || Food Not Bombs || Grassroots/Low-income/People of Color-led Hurricane Katrina Relief || Common Ground: How You Can Help

Live radio from Algiers, New Orleans!: Listen to MP3 stream (or try m3u link). In New Orleans, tune in at 88.7FM or call in at 303-572-4390
 

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News :: Labor & Economics

All Quiet on the Southern Front

A Report from the Santa Cruz Minute Maids

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On Saturday, September 17, Friends of the Border Patrol (FBP)'s plans to begin border activities were preemptively shut down as activists from across the state banded together for a mass disruption. Caravans swept through border regions surrounding Calexico and Jacumba in search of vigilantes, focusing on areas of high border activity and previous Minuteman sightings, but found all to be quiet on the southern front.

At 8:00 am, protesters met prospective trainees for the self-appointed civilian border policing group, Friends of the Border Patrol, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in San Diego. They banged pots and pans, held banners, obstructed entrances, and called for an end to racist violence. Aspiring border patrollers attempted two citizen’s arrests against protesters. One arrestee, a white male, was released immediately. The second, a Latino, was held inside a cop car for about an hour before being released with a citation for battery. Although this protest had seemed to be merely a prelude to the main event, it turned out to be crucial: Friends of the Border Patrol’s failure to mobilize significant numbers for their planned launch that weekend was blamed in part on intimidation by the morning’s resistance.

Audio: Jen Discusses Resistance to Border Vigilantes

San Diego IMC coverage: Breaking Border Paradigms
 

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Announcement :: Arts & Culture : Globalization & Capitalism : Peace & War

San Francisco Mime Troupe comes to Santa Cruz on Oct 1st and 2nd

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The San Francisco Mime Troupe is wrapping up thier season with 2 FREE performances of thier production Doing Good in Santa Cruz Oct 1st and 2nd at San Lorenzo Park. Music at 2:30pm and Show at 3:00.

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for another wild yet thought-provoking ride with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, which will open its new season with a brand new play, Doing Good, inspired by John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Loaded with history and a global perspective, Doing Good has a backdrop of US foreign policy since WWII. It is an epic work, in step with the Mime Troupe’s raison d’etre, laced with laughter, tragedy, snappy dialogue and live music.

see also: : Political Theatre: San Francisco Mime Troupe in SC Oct 1 & 2 Volunteers needed!
 

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News :: Labor & Economics

Santa Cruz Bus Drivers on Strike

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UTU Local 23, the bus operators for the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, are going on strike beginning Tuesday, September 27th.

A State mediated agreement had been reached with the Transit District and was signed by Les White, the District's general Manager, and our Union. Our Union agreed not to go out on strike while we tried to resolve some of the other issues we had with the Transit District. However, on Friday, September 23rd, the Transit Board reneged on this agreement - they voted it down. Instead they chose to once again impose their last, best and final offer.

By vetoing this agreement, the Transit Board has shown no concern for the public or our passengers. The drivers have tried to preserve the public transit system in this county but the Board is making this impossible.


see also: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

Photos: Where are all the People? Where are the Buses?

Audio: WIN: Metro Drivers Strike!

previous coverage: Santa Cruz Bus Drivers Threaten Strike
 

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Announcement :: Education & Youth

UC Santa Barbara Disorientation Guide

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A sister publication to UCSC's DisoGuide is now out! The SBDisoGuide can also be found on the web at sbdisorientation.org

Welcome to college, what will you do? This is a world of war and injustice, pain, hope, and struggle. The richest one percent of humanity controls as much wealth as the bottom 60 percent. There are more than two billion peasants living today. There are countless more whose lives are equally difficult, and they all live in the first world’s long shadow. A global ecological crisis is upon us. Centuries of exploitation have left large swaths of the earth barren and poisoned. A crisis of meaning has overtaken us. We are continually bombarded with messages promoting consumption, wealth, and individual gain as the highest achievements we can aspire toward.

So welcome to college. How did you get here? Ever wonder how many people dream of attending the university but can’t afford it? What will you do with your time and education here? Do you believe that money, appearance, entertainment, and shopping are the be-all-end-all? Or is there more to life? Is there a different meaning? Collectively, most of us came here not entirely of our own choosing. If the future were our own, what would we make of it? Can we change things for the better?

The (Dis)Orientation Guide suggests some possibilities. The future is written partly in the rubble of yesterday’s burned banks. It’s etched in the blazing passions of past hunger strikes, sit-ins and organized uprisings. Part introduction, invitation, and inspiration, this booklet is a resource to connect you with others in your search for meaning and understanding. The goal of the Guide is to challenge all assumptions and to catalyze radical thought about the university, society at large, and our individual lives.

[ UC Santa Barbara Disorientation Guide ]
 

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News :: Animal Rights

Monterey's Weaponized Dolphins

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Power Structure activists who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes at the Defense Intelligence Institute of Monterey, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Pacific bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence program claim it is vital they are caught quickly.
 

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News :: Peace & War : Police State

Dancing is Not a Crime... Free Andrea Kopp Now!

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On Sept. 24, UCSC student Andrea Kopp was pulled out of a group of peaceful anti-war marchers and immediately arrested by S.F. Police. Kopp, who at the time of his arrest was merely dancing with friends near the rally at Jefferson Park, has been sitting in jail since Saturday afternoon. While guilty of no crime, his bail has been set at $5,000.

Kopp’s arrest came early-on in a day when S.F. Police encircled, detained, and arrested a young group of anti-war marchers as they crossed a street. Due to the color of their clothes (black) the group had been closely followed the entire day. Hundreds of police in riot gear blocked off the street for a long period of time as they pleased themselves in the arrest of the handful of kids, many of which weren’t even old enough to drive. As they walked back to their buses, the cops high-fived each other and said, “we got ‘em.? Most members of the group were released that night with charges such as jaywalking.

While Kopp's case is completely separate from the above incident, he was arrested for a similar reason: standing out in a crowd. Tonight he sits in jail - lonely after being placed in a separate cell. He's been charged on bogus claims and his bail has been set at $5,000. He will be arraigned Monday morning at 9am - Department 17 - 850 Bryant St, San Francisco. If you can make it, we're sure he'd love more supporters. Either way, call and tell the D.A's office to free Kopp so he can go back to school.

a commenter writes: Thank you to everyone who called the San Francisco District Attorney's office this morning urging them to drop the bogus charges against UCSC student Andrea Kopp. At around 9am today, the D.A. dropped all charges against Kopp! He will be back in school tomorrow. A conversation with Kopp's legal council suggested there was a complete void of any sort of incriminating evidence.
 

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News :: Health & Drugs : Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Anti-War Demonstration Held in Santa Cruz on September 24

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On September 24, about 100 people who are "sickened by the killing, torture, and spiraling human and financial costs of the illegal and immoral war in Iraq" held an anti-war demonstration in Santa Cruz. People rallied at the County Court House and marched to the Town Clock.

I got to the rally in time to hear some folk music, take some photos of the Raging Grannies, listen to a guy describe how voting machines don't work, listen to another guy descibe how 911 was an inside job, see Robert passing out flyers about a taser related death inside the Santa Cruz Jail, etc....

Meanwhile, some Santa Cruz activists chose to protest in San Francisco.

A march and related events are taking place in Washington D.C.

see also: Real Reports of Katrina Relief Special: One Hundred Thousand
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

Stop Lethal Tasering in Santa Cruz

What are sheriff’s deputies doing tasering an unarmed man in jail?

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According to Sentinel reports, on September 18th, Santa Cruz Sheriff Robbins’ Deputies tasered* David Anthony Cross inside the Santa Cruz County Jail, alleged to “control? him after he began banging his head on the cell door and “acting irrationally.? The five second “stun? charge of 50,000 volts was applied directly to his shoulder “once or twice? rather than at a distance, according to Lt. Phil Wowak.

In April, Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin refused to direct the police department to open its records regarding taser use. On September 24th, a Public Records Act request was filed with the City, seeking to determine how widespread police use of tasers is.
 

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