Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

No Justice for Trayvon Martin

15 July 2013
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Banner Reads: Vengeance By Dawn for Trayvon

CALIFORNIA — In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict demonstrations quickly followed throughout the US. Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-yr-old Trayvon Martin was charged with 2nd-degree Murder, but was set free Saturday evening by a jury of six women, five White and one Asian juror. Hundreds flowed out into the streets that evening in San Francisco,  Oakland, and Los Angeles among cities throughout the US—the largest in NYC. Although some windows were broken and flags set alight in Oakland, the media-hyped riots failed to materialize. Further demonstrations occurred Sunday evening throughout California and in other major cities in the US. In Los Angeles, hundreds blocked freeway 10 for some 30 minutes Sunday afternoon. Police fired non-lethal rounds into the crowd of demonstrators in LA.

In Oakland, perhaps at its zenith, as many as a thousand marched through downtown. The Oakland march culminated in blocking the intersection of 14th and Broadway for several hours.

More demonstrations are planned.

Update:

Monday, demonstrations continued throughout the state. In Oakland, hundreds if not closer to a thousand demonstrators briefly took over a freeway near downtown, rechristening it the Travyon Martin Freeway. Oakland demonstrators continued to march, returning to Oscar Grant Plaza, then headed toward the Fruitvale BART Station. Poignantly, the recent Sundance award winning film, “Fruitvale Station” premiered in Oakland over the weekend coinciding with the verdict of George Zimmerman. The film centers around the last 48 hours of Oscar Grant, a black youth killed while cuffed and laying on the ground by BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle. Subsequently, demonstrators swept around Lake Merritt, forced to find new routes due to a heavier police presence than the past two days of marches. Demonstrators circled around Lake Merritt, then moved towards the highway 580 on-ramp. Police blocked demonstrators from entering 580, so demonstrators turned around and continued towards the Fruitvale BART Station with locked arms. However, demonstrators later turned back, paused in front of the county courthouse for a few moments, then returned to Oscar Grant Plaza around 10:30pm. The march promptly resumed leaving a trail of smashed windows, including a Comerica bank and a Men’s Warehouse. Police (with mutual aid) confronted demonstrators following the property destruction, leading to a tense stand off. Police shot tear gas at demonstrators, receiving a response of firecrackers. Police then delivered a dispersal order. Demonstrators left the police line and marched North and reportedly continued smashing corporate businesses. One live streamer was confronted and assaulted by an individual, purportedly for filming the property destruction; the streamer’s footage doesn’t appear to have captured anything illicit. Several arrests occurred throughout the night, but the march continued past 11pm, although it was largely dispersed by 11:25pm.

Watch Monday’s live stream of Oakland here, and here.

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In Los Angeles, a rally began Monday evening at Leimert Park, then descended into Crenshaw Blvd. Reportedly, demonstrators marching through Crenshaw participated in property destruction, including vandalizing shops, cars, and police cruisers. Shortly before 10pm, police kettled and dispersed the crowd at the corner of Leimert and MLK. Some time after the 10pm dispersal, LAPD arrested a small crowd of demonstrators.

See More:
List of Demonstrations for July 15

Vigil in San Jose, CA on July 14

HyphyRepublic – Racist and Deracinated: Towards a More Inclusive White Supremacy

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Statement of Solidarity of Gezi Gardens

10 June 2013

from HumanBeIn:

Today, Sunday, June 9th Liberate the Land marched from Gezi Gardens to Civic Center Plaza to join the people of San Francisco standing in solidarity with the people of Istanbul and Turkey at a rally there. Over a hundred people rallied to express support for people in Turkey facing police repression. Chants sang out over the livestream between SF and Istanbul as rallies happened simultaneously all over the world. The below statement of solidarity was read at the rally before everyone marched back to Gezi Gardens together changing, “from Turkey to the Bay, green space is here to stay!”

Statement of Solidarity of Gezi Gardens, San Francisco, CA

We at Gezi Gardens in San Francisco, CA stand in solidarity with all people world wide liberating land from private control and corporate interests and for the common good of all people. We liberated the piece of land on Laguna Street between Oak and Fell Streets in San Francisco on June 1st, 2013, and renamed it Gezi Gardens to express our solidarity with all those in Istanbul and throughout Turkey standing up to the privatization and development of Gezi Park. We recognize that the struggle in Turkey goes far beyond the fight to retain an open green space. However, we find common ground in this, as well as our wider aspirations for a more free and just world.

Like Gezi Park, the space we are in is a rare green space in a city being gentrified and developed without the consensus, input, and participation of the people in decision making processes that affect all. Rather than a luxury apartment complex, we wish to see this space continue to grow food, host wildlife habitat, be a home to trees and natural ecology, and be a place where people can interact with, learn from, and live in greater balance with the earth and our environment. In Istanbul, a tree falls and a nation rises. Here we wish to rise before the first tree has to fall.

Similarly, we stand in solidarity with the indigenous people of Brazil resisting the construction of the Belo Monte River Dam, a hydroelectric project that would dam the last free flowing tributary of the Amazon River, cutting off a lifeline and displacing thousands of indigenous people from the land they have lived on for generations. We stand in solidarity with the people of La ZAD in Nantes, France who have banded together to stop the construction of an airport planned to clearcut vast forests and displace local farmers from their land historically used for growing food. We stand in solidarity with the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico, who pushed the Mexican state out of their territory in 1994 and reclaimed land from first world corporations in order to grow food, open clinics, build schools, and foster community in their newly declared centers of autonomous governance. We stand in solidarity and alongside all indigenous people around the world struggling to maintain common access to their ancestral lands.

In liberating land around the world, for the commons, with love and strength,

Gezi Gardens, San Francisco

Rally Against Police Beating at SFSU

19 May 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Thursday evening, a number of organizers from the recently evicted squat, SF Commune, were beaten and arrested by city police at San Francisco State University. The organizers were visiting friends living in the dormitories at the university when they were later arrested and charged with a number of offenses including, trespassing, battery, lynching, and conspiracy. Following the arrests, the arrestees required medical treatment at a hospital. Although local news reported that an officer was injured during the incident, friends of the arrestees stated, “[from] the information we [sic] gathered after speaking to the police, the officer suffered from heart palpitations and didn’t receive any direct physical injuries from the individuals involved.” Reportedly, the police officers involved in arresting the organizers also participated in the eviction of the squat earlier that week.

A rally is being organized to respond to the police beating: it’s scheduled for Tuesday at 2pm in the Malcolm X Plaza on the SFSU campus. For more information about the event, visit indybay.

More:

SF Commune Activists Attacked

17 May 2013

from indybay:

Students at SF State are holding a march and demonstration against SF State police brutality, today at 2pm at Malcolm X plaza in response to violent actions by campus police there, Thursday evening.

Seven San Francisco activists were brutally attacked by police and arrested Thursday evening after being invited into the SF State University dorms by students there. Several police officers were harassing a few of the individuals outside of the dorms when they chose to practice their constitutional rights by walking away. The officers followed them into the building and continued to harass them until an altercation occurred when an officer tried to grab and push one of the people involved. The police used unnecessary force in restraining the individuals and several of those involved were sent to the hospital after having sustained injuries. One individual was tazed and another was reportedly shoved into a paddy wagon where police continued to viciously beat him. There is video of the incident circulating on the internet, but much of the brutality wasn’t captured on tape.

The mainstream media is spreading misinformation about the incident. They are claiming that the individuals were “unauthorized” in the dorms, even though they were invited to [sic] there by students and SFSU housing guidelines clearly permit guests. The media also highlights the fact that an officer was injured. From the information we gathered after speaking to the police, the officer suffered from heart palpitations and didn’t receive any direct physical injuries from the individuals involved.

The activists were residents of the SF Commune, an abandoned building that protesters occupied and transformed into a social center and housing for the neighborhood since April of last year. The activists, who cleaned the dilapidated building, made it habitable for the first time in years and planted a blooming garden in the backyard, were welcomed by much of the community for their efforts. The building, on 200 Broad St in the Ocean View neighborhood, was raided by dozens of riot-clad SFPD Wednesday morning, about 36 hours before the incident at SF State; 28 residents were forcibly removed and briefly detained, while three were arrested.

Students and activists are holding the demonstration to call for an end to campus police brutality and harassment of students and visitors. Meet on SF State campus at Malcolm X plaza at 2pm today, Friday May 17.

Read more:

UPDATE: Demonstrators gathered for a rally on Friday afternoon, transitioning into a march to an administrative building. The demonstrators spoke with the Vice-President and the Dean of Students.

Support the ACAC19

19 December 2012

On Saturday, October 6th, some 150 demonstrators converged on the Financial District of San Francisco against Columbus Day. The demonstration was announced as an anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism convergence. A short rally discussing decolonization preceded a march through Market street. However, within 15 minutes of the beginning of the march, riot police responded to a smattering of property destruction targeting banks and corporate chains by rushing the crowd of marchers. The resulting scuffle ended in 19 arrests. In an effort to ostracize the arrestees, police released photos of arrestees to local newspapers to distribute. Since the arrests, the police have subpoenaed the twitter accounts of two arrestees. The Anti-Colonialism, Anti-Capitalism Nineteen or ACAC19 are requesting that supporters contact the district attorney and demand all charges be dropped.

from SupportTheACAC19:

Recently San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Y.S. Cheng denied demurrers for all but one defendant of the ACAC 19 signaling that the case will most likely go to trial in the coming months. This week we are asking all supporters to fax and call San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón, starting Monday, December 17th to demand that all charges be dropped against the ACAC 19. (more…)

Pack the Courts for Anti-Columbus Day Arrestees

8 October 2012

On Saturday, a march in San Francisco against Colonialism and Capitalism resulted in 20 arrests. Police had a significant presence early on, and forced a confrontation, in turn demonstrators threw a few paint filled balloons at officers and at an ATM machine. A police officer then rammed his bicycle into a crowd member, launching a wave of riot police at demonstrators. Police wielding batons, indiscriminately pushed & struck anyone in the area. All of the demonstrators who were arrested are facing 5 or 6 charges, including inciting a riot, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstructing a peace officer, failure to disperse, and what appears to be some variant of jay walking.

UPDATE:

Some charges have been dropped and others reduced; most arrestees face 3 misdemeanors each. Trial has been set for November 9th.

Related:

SF Anti-Colonial/Anti-Capitalist March

6 October 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Demonstrators gathered in San Francisco on Saturday against Colonialism and Capitalism in anticipation of Columbus Day—a day in the US that typically celebrates the European colonization of the Americas. Further action is planned for the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan (Sunday) in Oakland titled Hoodies and Hijabs.

The march set to begin at 3pm met early police confrontation with multiple arrests—effectively dissolving the march. The march began at Bradley Manning Plaza and within 15 minutes, some demonstrators threw paint filled balloons at the police. Police reportedly identified one of the individuals with paint and tackled the individual and surrounding marchers at Battery and California. Reportedly, [20] were arrested. Watch the recorded video stream of the arrests here (skip to 4:00).

More videos:

Read more:

Related:

  • Donate to the Occupy Oakland Bail Fund

Oct 6 Anti-Colonial, Anti-Captalist March

23 September 2012

from Indybay:

Columbus Day 2012 marks the 520 year anniversary of the genocidal and ecocidal project of Empire building and colonial expansion that began with the conquistador invasion of this continent and continues to this day through the daily violence and exploitation of global capitalism.

It also marks the 20 year anniversary of the first American Black Bloc which disrupted the 1992 Columbus Day Parade in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. (more…)

SF Shooting Triggers Anti-Police March

22 September 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Thursday night, an undercover police officer shot a man in the Mission District—reportedly firing three shots in the man’s back. The shooting victim is not in a life-threatening condition. The police officer alleges that the man was about to fire a Tec-9 pistol and claims the shooting was in self-defense. However, skepticism around this police account immediately surfaced in parts of the community due to a history of fabrications police often contrive after shooting incidents, such as the recent case of Alan Blueford.

On Friday night, demonstrators marched through parts of the Mission District smashing bank windows, upturning tables at local “yuppie” restaurants, and throwing paint at a police station. No arrests were made.

May Day 2012

1 May 2012

OAKLAND, California – Demonstrations for International Worker’s Day began in Oakland with scheduled actions focusing on anti-gentrification, anti-capitalism, and anti-patriarchy. Demonstrations began around 8:30am at different locations through out the city. By early morning, banners hung from several overpasses along 980 and other freeways.

A number of arrests occurred in the morning, particularly at the anti-capitalism march. Around 11:30am, the anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchy marches converged on 14th & Broadway (adjacent to Oscar Grant Plaza), where dozens of marchers embraced each other, cheers rang out, and people danced in the streets.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd was informed that banks in downtown were still open despite targeted shutdowns by the anti-capitalist march earlier. A crowd of some 400 on 14th and Broadway responded by heading north up Broadway to shut the bank branches down. The march successfully entered a few banks, but were stopped by police in riot gear along much of the march. The marchers were prevented from turning down several roads, until eventually pouring out onto Lakeside Dr. As the march passed the Bank of America branch, more police spilled in front of the wide glass exterior. After some tagging and vandalism, the march continued back to Oscar Grant Plaza. During the return to the Plaza, the police brazenly entered the crowd near 15th and Broadway, partly splitting the crowd in two without apparent purpose.

As the crowd reached 14th and Broadway, police attempted to evict the demonstrators from the intersection reportedly using flash-bang grenades, tazers, batons, and other “non-lethal” weapons. [Several people were arrested during the altercation with police, including some who were injured and taken to the hospital].

By around 1pm, the crowd swelled to about 1500 demonstrators at Oscar Grant Plaza for a rally. Police continued apparent intimidation tactics by forming police lines at various walkways into the Plaza, making their presence felt within the former perimeter of last Fall’s tent city. Around 2pm, police evicted demonstrators from Oscar Grant Plaza; some left to join the march leaving from East Oakland, while others seemed to disappear into other parts of downtown. During this confrontation, Alameda County Sheriffs deployed an armored vehicle equipped with what appeared to be LRAD sound cannons.

Around 3:30pm, a march left from Fruitvale BART station to head toward Oscar Grant Plaza. By 4pm, the march had reportedly swelled to thousands strong, while as many as a [few thousand] wait at San Antonio Park to join the Fruitvale marchers.

Update:

5:10pm – The Fruitvale marchers have arrived at San Antonio Park. As many as 5000 demonstrators now rallying, waiting to continue the march to the Plaza.

Marchers from Fruitvale arrived around an hour later, ending with thousands in the intersection of 14th and Broadway for a rally. As the sun set, numbers dwindled. Notably, police held a heavy presence all afternoon, keeping several dozen officers on the north end of the plaza, as well as on neighboring streets and alleyways.

When darkness fell, the approximately thousand person crowd muddled about on 14th and within the plaza. The heavy police presence and the lack of clear objectives for the evening created a sense of uneasiness in the crowd.

Eventually the tension was cut by a police instigated maneuver, apparently targeting people holding shields constructed of wood and corrugated metal. As the 500-600 strong police force squeezed into 14th and Broadway from three sides, some demonstrators were trampled and arrested. Police reformed lines multiple times, gave multiple dispersal orders and eventually pushed the crowd north on Broadway towards 15th. In the final standoff, the police charged the crowd, viciously tackling and beating protestors to the ground. The remnant several hundred traveled further north along Broadway or scattered.

For the next several hours hundreds of police roved through streets on foot, on motorcycle, in squad cars, and in rented white vans. The police targeted previously arrested and well known Occupy Oakland demonstrators, while playing a cat and mouse game with the larger groups vandalizing property.

As the night wore on, a few hundred demonstrators returned to 14th and Broadway. However, police were eventually able to separate and push demonstrators away from the intersection. Notably, a few dozen police on motorcycles aligned themselves next to the demonstrators and began loudly revving their engines and blasting their sirens.

LOS ANGELES, California – Some 1200 United Service Workers West Union members have shut down normal operation of some terminals at LAX. Traffic has remained tenuous through out the day with dozens of marches.  There have been small altercations with police throughout the day with a few possible arrests, but police are allowing protesters to gather at Pershing Square in Downtown LA for the evening events.

Read more:

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Despite the high anticipations for the Golden Gate Bridge shutdown, plans to occupy the bridge were called off only days before May 1st. However, Ferry service in SF was shut down due to striking workers. In the early afternoon, the 888 Turk building was reoccupied.

Update:

  • #888Turk was raided before dawn on May 2nd. Read more.

Related:

The Strike Started Early

30 April 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Monday night, in anticipation of May Day, demonstrators gathered in Dolores Park to “counter gentrification, capitalism, and the policing of our communities.” The gathering began around 8pm. Following dusk, the black clad group of 150 or so descended from the park to Dolores st.

As the group turned down streets and passed several city blocks, the sounds of smashing windows and hissing flares filled the air. Expensive cars, a police department, yuppie storefronts were all hit. When police cars drove into the crowd on two occasions, their windows and doors were hit with volleys of rocks and paint filled balloons.

Many passers-by and observers when informed of the crowd’s intentions seemed enthusiastic. One random observer even commented, “an unruly mob? It’s about time.”

The trail of broken glass and paint ended 40 minutes later on South Van Ness when a few dozen police in riot gear finally arrived. At least one person behind police lines documenting the police was arrested.

Related:

M1: Golden Gate Shutdown Called Off

28 April 2012

from OccupyTheBridge:

Throughout the planning of Occupy the Bridge we have taken leadership and guidance from the workers directly involved in this struggle.  It has recently come to our attention that the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition would like to redirect all efforts towards supporting May Day strike actions and picket lines.  Our goal has always been to support and empower the workers on the bridge and we are happy to continue our efforts in whatever direction they see fit.  This Mayday we look forward to seeing strong, powerful picket lines, unlike anything the Golden Gate Bridge bosses have seen before.

There will still be a 7am labor rally at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza.  Buses will depart from 19th and Telegraph in Oakland and San Francisco City Hall at 6am on May Day to deliver supporters to picket locations.  Picket line locations will be publicized at 10pm on Monday, April 30.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 27, 2012

Contacts:

Alex Tonisson, Organizer, Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, (415) 449-0442

Golden Gate Bridge, Bus, and Ferry Workers Call for Support at

May Day Picket Lines and Ask Supporters to Keep Bridge Open

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition issued the following statement today calling for support in their ongoing fight to protect quality affordable healthcare for workers, families, and retirees:

“We appreciate the tremendous support we’ve received from the public, our brothers and sisters in labor, San Francisco commuters, and allies like Jobs with Justice, Pride at Work, and Occupy San Francisco,” said Alex Tonisson, Organizer and Co-Chair of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition.

“Bridge, bus, and ferry workers have done everything we can at the bargaining table to reach a fair contract.  As we prepare to take the next step in the fight for quality affordable healthcare for workers, families, and retirees, we ask supporters to stand with us at strike picket lines on May Day, and to keep the bridge open.”

Workers have been in negotiations with Golden Gate Bridge District management since April 2011.  The current contract expired in July 2011 and there have been over 45 bargaining sessions to date.

The Labor Coalition has offered concessions worth an estimated $2 million each year.  Although Golden Gate Bridge District management has acknowledged that the financial needs of the district have been met, they are still seeking to push rising healthcare costs onto workers and their families.

Buses will still depart from 19th and Telegraph in Oakland and San Francisco City Hall at 6am on May Day to the picket sites.  Picket line locations will be publicized at 10pm on Monday, April 30.

###

The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition is made up of over 380 bridge, bus, and ferry workers who help San Francisco commuters get to work safely each day.  Bridge, bus, and ferry workers belong to 14 unions including the Inlandboatmen’s Union, MEBA  D-1, Operating Engineers, Teamsters #665, Machinists, Ironworkers, Laborers, Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, Cement Masons, IFPTE Local21, Transport Workers, Teamsters #856.

Related:

The SF Commune Lives – Open Occupation on May Day

10 April 2012

from indybay:

The SF Commune arose on Easter Sunday at an undisclosed Church owned property. Less than one week after the Archdiocese commanded SFPD to violently evict and arrest 75 folks from 888 Turk St., a new Collective Housing Community Center has been established. The SF Commune will not tolerate the systems that force 7,000-10,000 San Franciscan’s to remain homeless while over 30,000 housing units are wasting away vacant.

On May Day, the SFC will open it’s doors and conduct another Open Occupation in solidarity with the May 1st General Strike. For the next three weeks, the new site will continue to thrive covertly, engaging in mutual aid and direct democracy, in preparation for May Day. The SFC has been initiated to provide a perpetual, autonomous headquarters for the OccupySF movement.

Vacant SF Building Occupied

1 April 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – A building that has been vacant for the past five years in San Francisco was occupied during the late afternoon on Sunday by organizers associated with OccupySF. After a rally and march beginning at Union Square, demonstrators eventually arrived at the building with opened doors. The building located at 888 Turk St., reportedly a former mental health center, has been expropriated from the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and dubbed the SF Commune. A flyer released by organizers reads that,

We understand The Archdiocese of San Francisco and it’s subsidiary, Real Property Support Corporation have kept this space at 888 Turk St. vacant for 5 years, while those of us seeking shelter are forced to sleep outside. We will not tolerate the systems that force 7,000 San Franciscan’s to remain homeless while over 30,000 housing units sit vacant.

According to mainstream news, the Archdiocese has requested that police not take immediate action until they review the situation the next morning. Occupiers are planning to turn the empty building into a social center. A post from OccupySF reads that,

This Turk St. building is owned by the Church and the owners, therefore, pay no property tax for it.  It has been vacant and unused for over five years and no services have been provided here. Further, the owners have failed to register the building as vacant, avoiding their duty to pay vacancy fees to the public coffers. The building is now occupied by a group of people willing to offer services such as food, housing, education, and community-building skills for free.

Updates:

Monday, April 2

9am: Police have cordoned off the area, blocking anyone from reaching the doors of 888 Turk st.

~1:45pm: Police are raiding the occupation.

2:25pm: Growing crowd outside police line chanting, “Long live the SF Commune!”

~6:30pm: Around 50-100 people marched down to the jail to wait for arrestees to be released. Most arrestees were charged with misdemeanor trespassing. [Some arraignments are scheduled for April 10th, some are scheduled for as late as May 1st.]

More:

Occupy Wall Street West Action

20 January 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Demonstrators from OccupySF organized a day of action for Friday against banks, which began early in the morning. Actions were scattered through out the city, particularly in the financial district re-dubbed “Wall Street West”. Despite inclement weather and brutal police, demonstrators blocked traffic to a number of bank branches and a handful of other corporations, including Bechtel. Around 5pm, they gathered at Bradley Manning Plaza and began a march that traveled to a Bank of America branch where demonstrators had locked arms using pipes and performing a sit-in at the entrance of the branch. Around 7pm, riot police intervened the march and attacked demonstrators using batons and pepper spray. Shortly afterwards, a luxury car dealership’s windows were smashed.

As things settled back down, word came to marchers that the empty Cathedral Hotel, located on Franklin and Geary, was occupied (by Homes Not Jails). Marchers proceeded to go and support the occupation.

A complete timeline of the day’s events is available here.