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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Globalization & Capitalism : Poverty & Urban Development

UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

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January 19. 2006 - At approximately 12PM, hundreds of custodians (and their student supporters) at UC Santa Cruz skipped lunch to demand just wages.

The workers, part of the union AFSCME, recently found out that custodians at nearby colleges receive 14-30% more than they do, for the same (or less) work. Far from being a living wage, many UCSC custodians are working two/three jobs to make ends meet. This is at the same time that the UC system has raised student fees almost 80% over the past few years, and have given almost a billion dollars of executive perks for top UC employees, approximately the same amount of money as the student fee increases. Recently, Denice Denton, UCSC's Chancellor, claimed that Robert Dynes, the UC President, should be given an even higher salary. Dynes already makes more than $400,000 a year.

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Meanwhile, the UC claims they have no money for the lowest-paid workers, academic programs, student initiated outreach and retention, and scores of other programs. It appears that there is not a lack of money, but a lack of decent priorities - not a budget crisis but a moral crisis.

The spirited rally, organized by AFSCME, with the support of the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ), is the continuation of a hard-fought struggle for the dignity of UCSC's lowest paid workers.
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Government & Elections : Peace & War : Police State

"Just Us" Action Against SCPD Spying

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01/10/06 - Around 100 Santa Cruzans showed up at the City Council today to demand a denouncement and investigation into the Santa Cruz Police Department's infiltration of a local group's organizing meetings.

Far from being limited to the individuals that were spied on, protesters included former mayors, the ACLU, artists, peaceniks, high school students, UCSC Students Against War members that were recently spied on by the Pentagon, and a local man who fled fascist Czechoslovakia.

Audio: Mayor Cynthia Matthews on SCPD Spying || FSRN: Irate Citizens Denounce SCPD Surveillance of Last Night Meetings

From the "Just Us" Campaign and Rally announcement:

"The Santa Cruz Police Department was discovered infiltrating and conducting undercover surveillance of two of the meetings of the organizers of the Last Night DIY Parade, which was a totally peaceful, positive, and creative event in downtown Santa Cruz on New Years Eve!!..."

"This event was organized by 'just us' - 'just us' the people who live here, work here, and try to create positive and peaceful change - if this group can be spied on, so can any of the rest of our groups."
 

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

Clarence Ray Allen: Due to be Executed Jan 17, 2006

California is speeding up executions. Clarence Ray Allen is next.

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Clarence Allen is currently 75 years old and will turn 76 one day before his scheduled execution. He is very infirm, has suffered from a heart attack and diabetes and uses a wheelchair. He will be forced to walk the final few feet to the death chamber at San Quentin.

The prosecution's case rests primarily on the testimony of some of the accomplices involved in the second crime. They have all since stated at one time or another that they lied at Mr. Allen's 2nd trial. That, plus the fact that Mr. Allen is an American Indian has some very concerned that his execution is unjust. Others simply say that while there is no excuse for how the victims died, the death penalty is wrong and Mr. Allen should be given Clemency. Governor Schwarzenegger has refused to hold any kind of Clemency hearing for Mr. Allen. [ Who is Clarence Ray Allen? (.pdf) ]

There is a rally planned in San Francisco for Thursday, January 12. There is also going to be a rally at San Quentin on Monday, January 16, night of the execution. [ Fyler (.pdf) ] It is also quite likely that there will be a Death Penalty Focus vigil at the town clock in downtown Santa Cruz on the night of the execution.

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: CA Revs Up Death Chamber as Support for Capital Punishment Declines || FSRN: California Considering Death Penalty Moratorium

Indybay Coverage: Governor Says No Clemency Hearing for Clarence Ray Allen
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Police State

Law School As Activist Revenge

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We need to go to law school. Seriously. As activists, we are absolutely dependent on an industry of law that we know very little about and have very little influence in. Prison is serious stuff and to have so little available help within our own ranks is not acceptable or safe. Our friends and lovers are shuffled around in a system that leaves them wondering what they were actually charged with and/or convicted of and what exactly the evidence against them was. Our family are left in utter darkness about procedures and are reduced to begging for legal information from attorneys paid $200 an hour. I seriously believe we need more activist attorneys. NOW. [read more]

see also: The Environmentalist Witch Hunt 2005 || Support for Political Prisoners

No one is free when others are oppressed...

A movement that doesn't support it's political internees is a movement destined to fail.
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism

Happy Holidays... to Everyone

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While families get together to celebrate the holidays this season, and corporations smile at their record profits, many Santa Cruzans won't be seeing any gifts, food, or even a warm place to sleep.

In this 'season of giving' (so are all other seasons, times for 'not giving'?), iPods, XBoxes, jewelry and golf clubs, find their way under trees (dead or petrolium-based plastic) or next to the latkes or candle stick holders. Yet, although everything made in overseas sweatshops are brought into the home, our own homeless population remain mostly-forgotten on the street.

The whole year is a 'season of giving' for capitalism.

Happy Holidays.
 

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Articles

LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

HUFF meeting moving ahead an hour

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is moving ahead it's meeting time from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM at the County Building
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights

Mumia Abu-Jamal - Legal Update (Please Distribute)

Dear Friends:

Attached is the latest Legal Update regarding developments in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Please feel free to distribute and use this as you see fit.
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

the long road home

the journey home
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights

FRSC: World Social Forum interview from Caracas, Venezuela

Audio of phone interview with Kim Dowling ofg Santa Cruz Ca. at the World Social Forum in
Caracas, Venezuela on 01-26-06
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Police State

Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization

Fight the Patriot Act NOW! This article criticizing it comes from a former Reagan official!
 

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