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Indybay Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism Features
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    Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world's largest berry distributor, Driscoll's Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll's and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll's headquarters in Watsonville.

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    The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour "reforms" has spiraled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares. The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight "Nuit Debout" occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.

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    On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.

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    As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll's were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could.

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    On two consecutive Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, farmworkers called for an international day of action to bring attention to the ongoing struggles in the berry fields in Washington State and San Quintin, Mexico. May 7 was initiated by Familias Unidas por la Justicia in Washington state, while Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democratico De Jornaleros Agricolas (SINDJA) farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico called for a global day of action on May 14. Demonstrations took place in many locations, including Mexico City; Burlington, WA; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and Eureka, Rohnert Park, Fairfield, San Leandro, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and San Diego, California.

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    The California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard is one of the largest outdoor annual events in California that celebrates the success of the multi-billion dollar global agricultural industry. However, this success has come at the great economic, social and overall health expense to those who pick the berries. On May 22, a protest outside the Strawberry Festival challenged the industry and governmental efforts to overlook the social and environmental costs of strawberry production, and questioned the logic of charity festivals.

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    The National Coordinating Body of Education Workers (CNTE) began an indefinite strike on May 15, primarily against plans by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to implement neoliberal reforms to the country's education system. Peña Nieto has attempted to privatize and standardize the Mexican education system, along with instituting policies to disempower Latin America's largest union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), and its dissident and more radical faction, the CNTE.

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    Why won't the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) support the Driscoll's Boycott? That's one of the questions UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas would not answer after he spoke at Hillary Clinton's rally in Salinas on May 25. The UFW will not reveal when their friendship with Driscoll's began. However, a photograph from May 2013 reveals their relationship with Reiter Affiliated Companies, an Oxnard-based subsidiary of Driscoll's.

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    On June 9, hundreds of New Yorkers demonstrated outside Governor Andrew Cuomo's offices, outraged by his executive order requiring the state to create a blacklist of corporations and institutions that support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. On the west coast, the California Assembly voted unanimously on June 3 to pass AB 2844, yet another in a string of state-sponsored anti-BDS efforts currently moving forward across the country.

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    On May 31, students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA voted overwhelmingly to endorse resolutions expressing support for freedom and equality for Palestinians and labor justice for migrant workers at Sakuma Bros farm in northern Washington. The three resolutions asked students to condemn the presence of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus, to de-shelve Sabra hummus, and prohibit the use of Sakuma Bros berries from campus dining services.

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  • 06/20/16--01:12: "Welcome to Oaxaca" 2016
  • The looming federal police attack on the people and striking teachers of Oaxaca, Mexico has begun. There are reports of between six and eight demonstrators killed on the morning of Sunday, June 19 at the highway blockade in Nochixtlán, northwest of the city of Oaxaca. They were shot and killed when police opened fire with live ammunition on the blockade. At least 45 others have been hospitalized with injuries, the majority gunshot wounds, and 22 have been disappeared.

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    On June 26, hundreds of anti-fascists gathered on the grounds of the state Capitol, ready to deny access to white supremacists who had announced plans to hold a rally that afternoon. Members of the Traditionalist Workers Party had secured a permit from the California Highway Patrol to rally on the steps of the Capitol building along with other anti-immigrant and racist groups. Antifa forces made certain the rally never happened, despite suffering serious casualties while repelling the Nazis.

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    Los Insumisxs writes: A teachers strike that began on May 15 has grown into a widespread rebellion in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. 14 compañeros have been killed by the state, including 12 in a massacre on June 19. Join us on Friday, July 15 at 7pm at the 24th St. BART Plaza in San Francisco to mark two months since the strike began as we march in defiance of state repression and in solidarity with our compañerxs on the barricades in Oaxaca.

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    Prisoners across the United States, including in Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia, and elsewhere, are calling for a strike on September 9. Their call to action states: On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State's most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.

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    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion on September 4 for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe's sacred sites by the Dakota Access Pipeline. On the previous day, Water protectors clashed with security to successfully stop pipeline construction and some were viciously attacked by guard dogs. Protest camps have issued a global call for solidarity actions to be held September 3-17. In the Bay Area, solidarity actions will take place in Sacramento on September 7 and San Francisco on September 8.

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    On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.

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  • 09/15/16--23:36: Strike to End Prison Slavery
  • On September 10, over 300 people took part in a march, rally, and demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing Prison Strike happening across US prisons, jails, and detention facilities. People gathered at Latham Square in downtown Oakland where several speakers addressed the crowd. Grabbing banners, flags, and signs, people then took to the streets and marched to several corporations that profit from prison labor. AT&T, UPS, and Bank of America were called out for their use of prison labor.

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    The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that markets to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters. After the ACLU reported their findings to the companies, some steps were taken to rein in Geofeedia. Further steps are required if these companies are to protect users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse.

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    A protest was held at the corporate headquarters of Well Fargo bank in San Francisco on October 26 calling for jailing the executives and managers who oversaw the illegal opening of two million accounts in customers' names without their knowledge as well as setting up credit card accounts. The Obama administration refuses to press criminal charges. Speakers at the protest called for the jailing of Wells Fargo bankers for criminal fraud and for the expropriation of the bank and for it's transformation into a public bank for the people.

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    Dozens of local supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe gathered at the Town Clock on the evening of November 15 for a loud, raucous and joyous celebration of the NoDAPL Day of Action. Allegra David, an organizer of the demonstration, led the group on short walk to full throated chants of "Water is Life" and "You Can't Drink Oil." The group's spirits were uplifted by the report that the Army Corps of Engineers dealt a blow to the progress of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying in a letter that more analysis and discussion with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is needed before construction can take place under the Missouri River.

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    The Standing Rock Sioux Nation called for indigenous nations and others to stand in solidarity as they fight to prevent continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in their ancestral lands, especially near the Missouri River. Since federal agencies blocked construction under the Missouri River in early September, police have greatly increased the violence unleashed against the Water Protectors. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and injured by police weaponry. Now, federal authorities are threatening to close the NoDAPL camp by December 5, but protesters promise continued resistance.

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    UPDATE: Hasta Muerte has exceeded their fundraising goal. Hasta Muerte Coffee is the collective vision of a few Latinx comrades to open a coffee shop where community, good coffee, and social justice work come together in the Fruitvale neighborhood. Hasta Muerte intends to create an environment for stable and equitable jobs, where profits are shared between worker-owners. Fundraising efforts have gone well so far, but Hasta Muerte still needs help to reach its goal of $35,000 this week. The collective asks for those who support their goal to donate and spread the word.

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    Chanti Ollin, a well-known autonomous cultural center in the gentrified financial district of Mexico City, was violently evicted on November 22. Eight hundred riot police, two helicopters, and an armored car executed the operation, illegally breaking into the building and detaining 26 individuals without so much as a judicial order. This eviction takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City's new constitution, which seeks to privatize land and resources, and suppress any political or cultural activity that disrupts this profit-making program.

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    A large coalition, including CrimethInc. Workers' Collective, is calling for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump. In addition to Washington D.C., protests will also be held in Oakland, San Francisco, San José, and communities throughout the so-called United States. A widely circulated call to action states, "On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies."

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  • 02/09/17--11:20: A Public Bank for Oakland
  • Emily Wheeler of the Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland writes: A thriving local economy is something we all want to see-no controversy there. But we've been too quick to accept the prevailing notion that there is a trade-off between that and providing ourselves with adequate housing, health care, or education programs. It's time to align our fiscal practices with our social ideals. It's time for the Public Bank of Oakland. On February 9, the City of Oakland hosted a public forum on the potential of the Public Bank of Oakland.

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    Together, Linda Martín Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser, Barbara Ransby, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, and Angela Davis write: In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights. Let us use the occasion of this international day of action to build a feminism for the 99%, a grassroots, anti-capitalist feminism - a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families and their allies throughout the world. Let us join together on 8 March to strike, walk out, march and demonstrate.

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    White nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on the first day of Black history month in a building named after Martin Luther King, Jr. The event on February 1 was cancelled after a large protest erupted outside the Student Union where he was set to speak. Within weeks, a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos spoke favorably of men having sex with boys and against the concept of consent. Now, Yiannopoulos is facing widespread backlash, leading to the cancellation of upcoming speaking gigs and the publication of his book. Yiannopoulos also resigned his position as an editor at Breitbart News.

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    Keith McHenry writes: The most common government response to the suffering of those being forced into homelessness is the passage of laws against being homeless. Laws against sleeping, sitting, asking for money, living outside, or what officials call "quality of life crimes" make this bad situation even worse, and make the lives of homeless men, women, and children even more miserable.

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    ROAR, aka the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference, is a free two-day event, organized by Northern California Anti-Racist Action, that will be held on Ohlone Territory March 11 at OMNI Commons in Oakland and March 12th at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Organizers write: During these times more and more attention is being paid to those of us who use direct action and hold liberatory and revolutionary politics. We can use this moment not only to inspire others through our actions, but to also inspire with our ideas.

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    On March 8, striking community members marched through downtown Santa Cruz in solidarity with Women's Strikes organized around the world on International Women's Day as a follow up to the massive Women's Marches held on January 21, 2017, the day after the Inauguration of Trump. One group participating in the March 8 demonstration was the UCSC March Collective, who invited people of all genders to join the action, stating, "We strike because we can't afford not to care."