San Francisco protests evictions, gentrification & block Apple, Google buses in Bay Area
December 21, 2013

Protesters blocked buses said to be operated by Google and Apple in San Francisco and Oakland on Friday, the latest sign of a growing backlash against the booming tech industry’s impact on access to affordable housing in the region.

About 40 protesters surrounded a corporate bus in the Mission district as it was picking up employees for the morning commute, preventing it from leaving for about 30 minutes.

The company for which the bus was headed was not immediately clear. A small sign in the front window said only “Main Campus, Ridgeview.” Apple does have offices on Ridgeview Court, not far from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, 40 miles south of San Francisco.

Two Google buses in Oakland were also targeted by protesters on Friday morning, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"We want the ruling class, which is becoming the tech class, to listen to our voices and listen to the voices of folks that are being displaced," said a protester in San Francisco who addressed the crowd by loudspeaker from the back of a pickup truck parked in front of the bus.

Protesters unfurled a banner that read “Eviction Free San Francisco,” which is the name of local advocacy organization, and distributed flyers titled “San Francisco: A tale of two cities.”

Google told Reuters in a statement that the company does not want to cause any inconvenience to Bay Area residents. 

"We and others in our industry are working with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to agree on a policy on shuttles in the city."

Apple, meanwhile, did not comment. 

The buses have become among the most visible symbols of what some complain is the technology-driven gentrification of San Francisco, with young, well-paid tech workers forcing out less affluent residents, and city policies that some critics have said are too generous to the tech industry.

Twitter, which won an exemption on the city’s 1.5 percent payroll tax after it threatened to leave San Francisco in 2011, has been a frequent target of critics.

Bus advocates have said they ease traffic on already clogged highways as workers give up driving their cars to ride the buses, which usually have plush seats and Wi-Fi.

Opponents have said the buses crowd municipal bus stops and remove potential customers from cash-strapped public transportation systems, including regional rail services.

Earlier this month, protesters in San Francisco blocked a Google bus in the same neighborhood.

While Friday’s protest in San Francisco seemed aimed at the tech industry in general, the protests in Oakland seemed to be more specifically targeted at Google. A photo posted on Twitter by a Google employee inside the bus showed two people outside holding a banner that read “F*** Off Google.”

Another photo he posted showed what appeared to be a smashed window on the Google bus.

Full article

Seven homeless people freeze to death in wealthiest area of the country

December 19, 2013

A 50-year-old California man  described by relatives as a “loving father and a doting grandfather,” White had been living on the streets of Hayward for years. He wanted to work and was able to find odd jobs here and there, but it was never much or consistent enough to afford a place to live. Hayward has no emergency shelter with beds for single men, so White slept outside.

But things were looking up. Last Saturday, White was  second on a long list to get permanent supportive housing in Hayward. He had been waiting in line for months and it seemed as though he might finally catch a break.

White died on Sunday.

Temperatures in the Bay Area plummeted to near-freezing on December 10, an uncommon occurrence in a region generally known for its lack of inclement weather. White’s body was found in the old Hayward City Hall courtyard. He’d been beaten up and robbed by multiple men, who took the new winter coat White’s sister had  given him on Friday. He was wearing just a hoodie and shorts. His cause of death is still being determined, but police  speculated that his death was weather-related.

White is now the seventh homeless person in the Bay Area to die in the cold since November 28. The others were Daniel Brillhart, 52; Enrique Rubio, 56; Andrew Greenleaf, 48; Daniel Moore, 53; and two men in the East Bay and Peninsula whose names have not been released.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 700 homeless people die from hypothermia every year. Those deaths tend to occur in the East Coast and Midwest, not California. But temperatures in the Bay have repeatedly dipped below freezing in the past few weeks, leaving thousands of homeless people in danger.

The Bay Area has one of the highest homeless populations in part because of the explosion of recent wealth that has led to increasing inequality and a lack of affordable housing for those without high-paying tech jobs. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the country, even outpacing New York-Connecticut and Washington DC-Maryland-Northern Virginia. This influx of money has  brought higher housing prices and more evictions in the past few years.

And for those viscerally impacted by rising inequality, life is especially difficult when the temperatures drop. Many communities in the Bay Area lack emergency shelters, in part because freezes aren’t very common. But what happens to many of the thousands of people living without shelter in the Bay Area, waiting for their name to be called for the few affordable housing units that exist? “What happens is they die on the street,” Betty DeForest, director emeritus of South Hayward Parish,  wrote in an email to the City Council last week following White’s death.

In other words, we live in a society that leaves many people too poor to survive but are surprised to see them die.

Source

Idle No More rises up in the Bay Area to lead protest against Chevron & fossil fuel industry
August 13, 2013

On Saturday, August 3rd almost 3000 people marched from Richmond BART to the Chevron refinery on the first anniversary of the terrible refinery explosion last year. Toxicity spread across the city and sent thousands to local hospitals. At the protest 210 people were arrested for trespassing when they would not leave the gated entrance of the refinery.

All of this a non-violent yet direct action to call for:

• NO more toxic hazards.
• NO Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
• NO refining tar sands or fracked crude.
• YES to a just transition from dirty fossil fuels to union jobs in clean energy!

The event was called Summer Heat Richmond. Many groups, including 350.org, were involved in organizing. A new indigenous group Idle No More SF Bay Area, led the march. I was invited to walk with them. The Idle No More movement began last November in Canada when the First Nations there began to organize protests of the legislative abuses of indigenous treaty rights by the Canadian government. The Idle No More movement has spread internationally with many affinity groups forming. Why? Because violation of indigenous rights is happening all over the world.

The rally started at 9:30 AM outside the Richmond BART station where members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and Idle No More SF Bay offered prayers and sage.

Source

Come out to Gezi Gardens!
June 9, 2013

Formerly Hayes Valley Farm, now ‘Gezi Gardens’ in San Francisco (map here) is now an occupied space that needs your support.

Hayes Valley Farm was started as a permaculture project. It flourished beautifully, and became a tool for those in the community who wanted to learn about permaculture and sustainable gardening (pictures here). Among the projects the group was able to build in the space: a bee-farm, a seed library, tours for school students explaining how to engage in permaculture, etc. But when it was recently sold to developers to build luxury condos (and maybe later some low-income housing too, the developers claim), the permaculture group who had been building the permaculture space for years was forced to leave. They’ve gone on to continue their permaculture sharing vision through 49farms

Meanwhile community activists, squatters, occupiers, neighborhood supporters & the like have begun emerging at the old permaculture space. They appropriately named the space ‘Gezi Gardens’ in solidarity with environmental activists in Turkey whose movement started under a similar context. The group has done amazing work in terms of replanting, and rebuilding the space. There are about half-a-dozen tree houses with tree sitters as well, and that number is growing everyday. Many people from bay area occupations are in the space. Among other objectives, the group hopes to build structures (and has begun that process) that can delay construction and provide housing for the homeless in the area. 

They’ve been served eviction notices three days in a row now and are now at risk for police invasion/eviction any day. They need people who can sleep in the space, to hold it down for as long as possible…ideally forever, even.

The post-eviction plan that was collectively decided yesterday (through consensus) was that autonomous defensive actions will take place immediately after eviction and activists are to gather at 5PM the day after eviction at Patricia’s Green & the space WILL be retaken. 

We’ll be sleeping out there for a few nights at least, so let us know if you’re coming out that way and we can meet up! Needs include the usual flashlights, cameras, generators etc. Come support the right to community space, direct action, and environmental sustainability. Crops, not condos!

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know we’ve been traveling on and off over the last year, trying to document social movements in the U.S. & the swelling of the left, etc.
In June, we’ll be on the West Coast. We rely entirely on the generosity of people’s couches for sleeping circumstances. If you’re on the West Coast, want to hang, and think you can put us up for a few days, we’d sure appreciate it.
I’ve divided our time into slots cos I don’t want to over-burden any one couch-host-person. Although we’d really, really love to stay with cool people from Tumblr who have a little bit of time to do political/citizen-journalism stuff with us, we understand that that isn’t within everyone’s capacity, interest or comfort zone - so really, we just need a place to rest our heads at night - a couch is great but a floor works. Let us know if you can help us with one or more of the following dates please:
In Los Angeles June 1-7:
UPDATE: Housing is taken care of but if you’re still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.
In Oakland:
The nights of June 8, 9 & 10
The nights of June 11 & 12
The nights of June 13 & 14
If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.
In San Fransisco:
The nights of June 15, 16
The nights of June 17 & 18 & 19
If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.
In Portland:
The nights of June 20 & 21
The nights of 22 & 23, & 24
If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.
In Seattle:
The nights of 25, 26 & 27
The nights of June 28, 29
The night of June 30 and maybe July 1
If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.
Best way to reach us about this: thepeoplesrec@gmail.com.
Please also send us recommended events, talks, people & organizations for interviews that would fall in-line with or would be close to (we can definitely re-work our schedule slightly) these dates.
If it’s no real bother to you, please reblog this to increase our chances of finding housing!
-The People’s Record
In response to questions asking for clarification, housing would be for two people, no pets.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know we’ve been traveling on and off over the last year, trying to document social movements in the U.S. & the swelling of the left, etc.

In June, we’ll be on the West Coast. We rely entirely on the generosity of people’s couches for sleeping circumstances. If you’re on the West Coast, want to hang, and think you can put us up for a few days, we’d sure appreciate it.

I’ve divided our time into slots cos I don’t want to over-burden any one couch-host-person. Although we’d really, really love to stay with cool people from Tumblr who have a little bit of time to do political/citizen-journalism stuff with us, we understand that that isn’t within everyone’s capacity, interest or comfort zone - so really, we just need a place to rest our heads at night - a couch is great but a floor works. Let us know if you can help us with one or more of the following dates please:

In Los Angeles June 1-7:

  • UPDATE: Housing is taken care of but if you’re still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.

In Oakland:

  • The nights of June 8, 9 & 10
  • The nights of June 11 & 12
  • The nights of June 13 & 14
  • If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.

In San Fransisco:

  • The nights of June 15, 16
  • The nights of June 17 & 18 & 19
  • If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.

In Portland:

  • The nights of June 20 & 21
  • The nights of 22 & 23, & 24
  • If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.

In Seattle:

  • The nights of 25, 26 & 27
  • The nights of June 28, 29
  • The night of June 30 and maybe July 1
  • If you can’t host but are still available to come along for interviews or show us around the city or just accompany us in case we get lost or whatever, that would be helpful & welcome too.

Best way to reach us about this: thepeoplesrec@gmail.com.

Please also send us recommended events, talks, people & organizations for interviews that would fall in-line with or would be close to (we can definitely re-work our schedule slightly) these dates.

If it’s no real bother to you, please reblog this to increase our chances of finding housing!

-The People’s Record

In response to questions asking for clarification, housing would be for two people, no pets.

active-rva

active-rva:

Safe2Pee.org, a compiling site for safe, genderfree, and accessible bathrooms, appears to be down. You can still access the site and browse existing bathrooms, but you can’t search by location or add new sites; you receive a long “Fatal Error” message. This appears to have been ongoing since at least early last month, and it doesn’t appear that the San Francisco collective which runs the site has responded. 

Does anybody know if the SF-based Genderqueer Hackers / Bathroom Liberation Front is still active? If they are not, do you know how they can be contacted?

robert-cunningham
The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication 
Veteran Scott Olsen: “We’re going forward.” 
Former Marine and Iraq War Veteran Scott Olsen has dealt with innumerable aftershocks once he came home from overseas. His became an outspoken opponent of the war when he joined Veterans for Peace and became a part of Occupy Oakland in 2011. 
Still dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, Olsen was hit by a beanbag projectile during a confrontation with the Oakland Police at an Occupy Oakland action in October 2011. He suffered from a serious skull fracture and could not speak for two weeks.
Last weekend at the NATO Summit demonstrations, Olsen and dozens of other veterans threw their medals of honor in opposition to all wars. He wore a helmet as he marched with other protesters in the streets of Chicago and still struggles with his speech daily.
“I’m going to make every effort I can to show them that we’re doing the right thing, we’re in the right, and no matter what they do to any of us, we’ve got each other’s backs, and we’re going forward.” 
Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications. 
— — — — —
From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication 

Veteran Scott Olsen: “We’re going forward.” 

Former Marine and Iraq War Veteran Scott Olsen has dealt with innumerable aftershocks once he came home from overseas. His became an outspoken opponent of the war when he joined Veterans for Peace and became a part of Occupy Oakland in 2011. 

Still dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, Olsen was hit by a beanbag projectile during a confrontation with the Oakland Police at an Occupy Oakland action in October 2011. He suffered from a serious skull fracture and could not speak for two weeks.

Last weekend at the NATO Summit demonstrations, Olsen and dozens of other veterans threw their medals of honor in opposition to all wars. He wore a helmet as he marched with other protesters in the streets of Chicago and still struggles with his speech daily.

“I’m going to make every effort I can to show them that we’re doing the right thing, we’re in the right, and no matter what they do to any of us, we’ve got each other’s backs, and we’re going forward.” 

Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications.

— — — — —

From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

Richmond residents heckle Chevron execs at meeting to discuss refinery fire
August 8, 2012

Residents who attended a Richmond town hall meeting one day after a refinery fire cast a black plume of smoke over their city expressed one emotion toward Chevron: rage.

In a rowdy expression of frustration and anger, more than 500 residents crowded into Richmond Memorial Auditorium, where people shouted down Chevron and Contra Costa County public health officials on hand to answer questions about the accident.

The question asked most often was, “What are we breathing?” Residents were repeatedly unsatisfied each time a public health official said inspectors didn’t know because they were still analyzing the data.

For some, the venting and verbal stoning of Chevron was a much-needed outlet for people who had waited all day for answers - and in the end were provided few.

General Haymon, 60, a pastor who lives in Richmond, said the public display was necessary to blow off the steam of years of accumulated anger toward one of the city’s largest employers.

"The more people who show up and the rowdier they are help get the message across this cannot happen again," Haymon said. "I don’t care how rowdy people get, these guys have got to get the message."

At times, people jumped on stage to shout their opinions; a few people were escorted out by police.

Often when Chevron refinery General Manager Nigel Hearne spoke, he was met with extended boos and catcalls of “liar!” Residents held signs that read, “How many more ‘accidents’?” and “Chevron out of Richmond.”

Source

Not only did California gas prices inflate to more than 35 cents a gallon, hundreds have flocked to doctors’ offices with respiratory issues, eye irritation & vomiting.

The fire released sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrogen oxide, sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide into the air.

A health advisory is still in effect for Bay Area residents. 

While The People’s Record was away protests against mass school closures in Oakland were organized and held.
July 03, 2012
People demonstrating against the closure of several Oakland schools returned to the Lakeview Elementary campus on July 3 for a rally. Lakeview was occupied by parents, teachers, supporters and several children since June 15. Police cleared out the protesters earlier in the day.
Source

While The People’s Record was away protests against mass school closures in Oakland were organized and held.

July 03, 2012

People demonstrating against the closure of several Oakland schools returned to the Lakeview Elementary campus on July 3 for a rally. Lakeview was occupied by parents, teachers, supporters and several children since June 15. Police cleared out the protesters earlier in the day.

Source

A march and rally was held to protest the closure of the Lakeview Elementary public school at the Oakland Unified School District on June 23, 2012. The Oakland Unified School District administration plans to close five schools while new charters are being opened in the district. The Oakland Education Association stated it’s support of the sit-in and a peoples school has been established.