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Instacart Strikers Demand Proper Safety Precautions

Indybay RSS - March 30, 2020 - 5:56pm
On March 30, Instacart workers, known as "Shoppers," disconnected from their app-based gig economy jobs and vowed not to return to work until Instacart meets their demands. The list of demands include safety precautions at no cost to workers, hazard pay, and an extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19. The striking workers state, "They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal."

Bay Area Rent Strike

Indybay RSS - March 29, 2020 - 3:17pm
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Tenant and Neighborhood Councils, and other Bay Area folks are producing and sharing information on how to organize a rent strike. They write: We can work together to prevent eviction and foreclosure. We can keep each other housed and fed. We must demand an immediate suspension of rent and mortgage payments for everyone. And if this demand is not met, we must refuse to pay our rents and our mortgages, together.

Lessons from Depression-era Mutual Aid

Indybay RSS - March 29, 2020 - 1:53pm
anonymous writes: As coronavirus spreads and the death toll begins to climb, our most immediate concern is (and should remain) staying healthy and supporting our communities through the immediate crisis. As radicals, however, we must also begin to strategize how we will respond to the economic collapse that will continue to affect our lives long after a vaccine or herd immunity render the virus itself a past issue. Looking back to our local history, we can learn a great deal from Great Depression era worker self-organizing and mutual aid.

Know Your Rights During COVID-19 Shelter In Place Orders

Indybay RSS - March 29, 2020 - 9:33am
While the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates public health measures to reduce the impact of the virus on our communities and health care systems, the National Lawyers Guild urges vigilance and resistance to authoritarian and violent tendencies. Emergency powers often criminalize movement, freedom of expression, protest, and oppressed communities. Even though the state has severely restricted the right to assemble, people still find creative ways to protest.

Police State Expansion Continues Even During COVID-19 Pandemic

Indybay RSS - March 28, 2020 - 11:34am
While California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered residents to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 virus, local Bay Area law enforcement agencies are continuing to expand their powers and resources. On March 24, the Vallejo City Council voted unanimously to purchase a cell site simulator for the Vallejo Police Department. On Tuesday, March 31, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to vote on a surprise $85 million additional budget allocation for Sheriff Department staff at Santa Rita Jail.

Homeless Families Take Action in Time of Housing and Health Crisis

Indybay RSS - March 24, 2020 - 2:38pm
Demanding action for homeless families at higher risk from coronavirus, homeless and housing insecure families successfully moved into six vacant, state-owned properties in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 14, with scores of community supporters coming out in support. In the next few days, similar families reclaimed more houses, with thirteen providing shelter now. CalTrans owns the houses, and activists estimate that nearly 200 sit vacant.

California on Coronavirus Lockdown

Indybay RSS - March 21, 2020 - 2:01am
California residents have been ordered to "stay at home" to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Stringent mitigation measures mean millions are without an income. Students face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities and incarcerated persons are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and isolation of the pandemic take a toll on mental health. Not waiting for government action, people are stepping up with mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need.

Santa Cruz Police Evict Unhoused Community, Despite Pandemic

Indybay RSS - March 20, 2020 - 9:34pm
On March 20, Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills and a dozen or more cops and park rangers evicted an encampment of unhoused people along Water Street near the post office. Mills gave people the choice of moving into fenced areas in the city or facing arrest and property confiscation. Robert Norse states, "This 'out of sight / out of town' policy, while claiming a public health rationale, rings false given the lack of protected indoor shelter being offered."

Station 40 on Rent Strike

Indybay RSS - March 20, 2020 - 5:36pm
In the Mission District of San Francisco, Station 40 has served the Bay Area community as an anti-authoritarian collective living and organizing space for nearly two decades. Five years ago, their landlord attempted to evict them, only to be forced to back down by a powerful coordinated solidarity campaign. Now, Station 40 has taken the initiative to respond to the crisis currently playing out across the world, unilaterally declaring a rent strike in response to the economic precarity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chelsea Manning Is Free, Again

Indybay RSS - March 16, 2020 - 11:39am
After spending seven years in prison under draconian conditions for exposing US war crimes, Chelsea Manning was re-imprisoned one year ago in an attempt to coerce her to testify in a grand jury related to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. When Chelsea continued to refuse to testify on a principled stand of opposition to the unjust and corrupt practice of secret grand juries, she was also slammed with fines of $1,000 per day in an attempt by judge Anthony Trenga to pressure her into testifying.

COVID-19 Pandemic Threatens Most Vulnerable Populations

Indybay RSS - March 12, 2020 - 3:57pm
The World Health Organization officially named COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. As of that date, over 128,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and 4,717 people have died. Among the most vulnerable are the elderly, the immunocompromised, the prison population, people who are experiencing homelessness, and hospital workers who have a high likelihood of exposure to the contagious virus as they care for the public health.

Celebrating the Life of Mike Zint

Indybay RSS - March 10, 2020 - 11:13am
Mike Zint, a well-known homeless rights activist, died on February 14 after a lengthy battle with emphysema. Zint was one of the founders of First They Came for the Homeless, a drug and alcohol free homeless camp. He was well-known for his words and campaigns that sought to increase awareness about the issues that homeless individuals face. Zint was instrumental in organizing the Poor Tour, a series of encampments throughout the city of Berkeley. Friends and supporters will gather at Omni Commons in Oakland on March 13 to celebrate Zint's life, share memories and food, and watch footage of this beloved member of our community.

Allies Call for Supporting Drew Glover

Indybay RSS - March 9, 2020 - 11:07pm
Santa Cruz City Councilmember Drew Glover faces attack after attack by City Staff and other City Councilmembers. Several members of the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women (CPVAW) have continued their attacks on Glover by filing a complaint on behalf of former CPVAW Commissioner Kevin Grossman, regarding a Facebook post by Glover. Also, Councilmembers Donna Meyers and Martine Watkins are continuing to seek Drew's censure, even after a video has circulated clearly showing Councilmember Meyers screaming at Councilmember Glover and pounding her fist loudly on the council dais.

Massive Turnout at UC Berkeley Day of Action

Indybay RSS - March 6, 2020 - 2:22pm
On March 5, UC Berkeley graduate student workers, undergraduate students and faculty joined together for a full day of work stoppage. The strike was organized by CAL COLA, an autonomous group of graduate workers and undergraduate students that began to organize in December 2019 in solidarity with the striking graduate workers at UC Santa Cruz. The Day of Action was part of the UC-wide Blackout Day in solidarity with Santa Cruz strikers who were fired last week, and organized independently of UAW Local 2865. CAL COLA states, "If teaching is truly at the core of the UC's mission, it is high time that they start paying graduate students - who do the vast majority of teaching within the UC system - a living wage."

Interview with Negativland's Mark Hosler

Indybay RSS - March 5, 2020 - 10:24pm
John Malkin speaks with Mark Hosler, founding member of Negativland, the art, music, film, activist, culture jamming collective established in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1970's. Mixing original materials and original music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture and the world around them, Negativland surreally re-arrange these found bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In 2004 Negativland worked with Creative Commons to write the Creative Commons Sampling License, an alternative to existing copyrights that is now widely used by many artists, writers, musicians, film makers, and websites.

UC Santa Cruz Shutdown in UC Wide Blackout

Indybay RSS - March 5, 2020 - 4:40pm
On March 5, graduate student workers at UC Santa Cruz and their undergraduate allies participated in a UC system wide day of action in solidarity with their fellow workers whom university administration fired. Large demonstrations took place simultaneously at other UC campus, including UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside. At UCSC, classes were cancelled as students shut down both entrances to campus starting at 5:30am. At UC San Diego, graduate students decided to initiate a grading strike on March 9. Striking graduate students explain, "The strike began because there was a crisis that demanded to be acknowledged, that had been swept under the rug for too long."

Westlands Water District Signs "Permanent" Water Contract with Bureau of Reclamation

Indybay RSS - March 5, 2020 - 2:46pm
On February 28, the Westlands Water District signed a permanent water repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation to provide Central Valley Water Project water in perpetuity to the growers in the powerful, politically-connected water district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, stated, “At a time of unprecedented climate changes and droughts we should not be circumventing the law and promising by federal contract far more water than actually exists to one large irrigation group at the expense of others.”

Extinction Rebellion Action Closes Chase Bank

Indybay RSS - February 29, 2020 - 7:08pm
Approximately 300 protesters descended on the Chase branch in Santa Cruz on February 28 to demand an end to the bank's financing of the fossil fuel industry. Five people stood in front of the teller windows to stop all banking transactions. Protesters successfully shut down the bank for the remainder of the day. Meanwhile, outside the bank, demonstrators sang and danced while offering water, cookies, chair massages, blankets and throw pillows. As rush hour traffic drove by, motorists honked their horns in support while creative participants chalked the walkways outside the bank with many messages.

For Wildcat Strikers at UCSC, There's No Turning Back

Indybay RSS - February 29, 2020 - 1:44pm
At least 82 graduate students at UC Santa Cruz withheld Fall grades and, as of February 28, are out of a job next quarter. 54 who had already received Spring appointments were dismissed, and the rest simply won't get hired. But the movement has declared that the fight isn't over, and "Together, we win!". More teaching assistants will withhold Winter grades, and over 542 graduate students have pledged to refuse teaching assistant positions vacated by dismissed graduates. In response to this administrative escalation, graduate students are calling for the cancellation of classes on Monday, March 2, and for everyone to join them on the picket for a press conference in the morning.

Protesters Tell Wells Fargo "Quit the Dirty Energy Business"

Indybay RSS - February 28, 2020 - 1:12am
In a two-day action, demonstrators called on Big Oil’s largest lender, Wells Fargo, to halt its financing of fossil fuels and invest instead in clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. They took their protests to bank branches in San Jose and Mountain View. On February 20 in San Jose, about twenty demonstrators marched into the Wells Fargo branch. They quickly deployed banners and signs throughout the bank’s customer area, then sang and chanted the message that Wells Fargo’s $172 billion a year financial support of the fossil fuel industry is destroying our environment. The following day, protesters targeted a Mountain View branch.

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