Because of past incidents regarding wordpress temporarily blocking our access to our own page, see our article ‘BAABC gets a cease and desist order from some corporate assholes via wordpress’ http://bayareaabc.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/baabc-gets-a-cease-and-desist-order-from-some-corporate-assholes-via-wordpress/
and the possibility that wordpress, as said at the War on Society blog, is blocking TOR users
“We are unable to connect to any wordpress.com sites and some indymedia.orgsites (for example, colorado works, but portland and atlanta do not). This is not a temporary issue. It has been consistent even through changes in tech, and we believe it is because these sites refuse traffic from Tor exit nodes. Unless something changes, we will continue to be unable to access and repost information from those sites. We recommend using other platforms for communication. ” http://waronsociety.noblogs.org/?page_id=2886
We are soon going to move to Noblogs, we will put up a permanent link when we are finished with the Noblogs page, thank you
For video of both SF and Oakland: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7118474
|This morning around 6:30am at least two houses were raided by NYPD detectives. In both cases, the cops used the pretext of spurious arrest warrants to gain access to apartments of local anarchists. The warrants were for individuals unconnected to those homes, but allowed cops access to one and apparently justified them forcibly breaking into another.After entering the apartments the police searched them, intimidated the residents, and ran their identification. In one of the instances, an anarchist organizer was taken into a separate room and interrogated by detectives about past actions and upcoming plans for May Day.It awaits to be seen if more houses were subject to raids this morning. Regardless, this ‘preemptive strike’ by the NYPD was clearly a coordinated effort to intimidate local organizers and fish for information.
This news comes on top of reports that over the past weeks hundreds of cops have been drilling on Randall’s Island in anticipation of May Day. Those in the NYC area should be aware of these pig tactics and take any necessary precautions in the hours leading up to tomorrow’s activities.
If there was any doubt how seriously the pigs are taking our efforts then those doubts can be put to bed. But if they think that intimidation and harassment can stop us, they have another thing coming.
Tomorrow they won’t be raiding innocent individuals in their beds, they will be up against tens of thousands of angry New Yorkers who have had enough of their bullshit.
May Day means no work. May Day means no shopping or housework. And May Day means revenge.
-Some Brooklyn Anarchists
Source: Anarchist news dot org
Since this story was posted Gawker reported that at least three homes were raided, which the New York chapter of the National Lawyers Guild says was a clear act of intimidation against dissent.
Hello Friends and Comrades,
Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for May. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own.
This year, for Alvaro Hernandez’s birthday, he is requesting that people write letters to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and urge them to look into his case. You can find the information on how to do that here.
Jeremy Hammond is accused of the Lulz Sec hack of stratfor as well as hacks of well-known neo-nazi websites. The website FREEHAMMOND.com is legit, and he can be written to at:
Jeremy Hammond 18729-424
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007
We have received word that one of the Strong 8, eight prisoners sentenced to I Con after going on strike in the kitchens at Central Prison in Raleigh NC, has asked for his address and name to be made public so as to receive letters of support, etc. Please write to him and let him know that word is spreading about their situation. His address is:
Chris McBride 0644099
1300 Western Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27606
More information about the strong 8 go here.
Lastly, here is a link to the Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of good updates on many political prisoners.
Until Every Cage Is Empty,
The Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective
Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross ads an additional note:
Click here to download PDF for complete May Birthdays Of course this can never be entirely complete as all prisoners are political prisoners.
In The Werks Anti-Authoritarian Events Collective. 3265 17th St. buzz In The Works from downstairs and we will let you up!
he Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross is holding it’s 2nd official and 5th unofficial meeting to write letters and birthday cards to our brothers, sisters, and comrades trapped behind bars by this rotten system. Come show your solidarity, learn prison letter writing protocol, and talk politics with other compassionate activists!
The pepper spraying of UC Davis students shocked the nation, but the persecution that the Davis Dozen protesters face is far worse.
April 27, 2012 |
The pepper-spraying of University of California Davis protesters on November 18, 2011 promised to be a galvanizing moment for the student movement after University Police Lieutenant John Pike used military grade pepper spray at point blank range on seated protesters who had peacefully assembled to demonstrate against tuition hikes at UC Davis. The world took notice. Not only did the Lieutenant Pike pepper-spray “meme” spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter, major news outlets gave the event coverage, to varying degrees of depth and understanding.
But it seems that the University administration has successfully evaded scrutiny of the role it played in a series of events that began in January at UC Davis when 12 protesters, some of whom had been pepper-sprayed in November, staged another peaceful sit-in at the campus branch of US Bank. The sit-in was an important political action in defense of public funding of the University and against the replacement of that funding by private contracts with corporations. The protestors won an enormous victory when US Bank closed it University branch on February 28, possibly breaking its agreement with UC Davis.
Banks have no place on University campuses for many reasons. Part of the function of the contract UC Davis had with US Bank allowed the administration’s continued shift of funding of the University from public to private sources. This is particularly problematic when the private source of funding is a corporate bank, because banks make money from rising tuition costs, in the form of interest from student loans. In other words: university contracts with banks encourage tuition hikes, because banks stand to profit directly from rising tuition, while the administration comes to rely on funding from bank contracts.
This is a part of a vicious cycle that is destroying the public character of the UC system — and costing thousands of dollars to students in increased tuition and long-term debt every year. Just six years ago, tuition at the University of California was $5,357. Tuition is currently $12,192. According to current proposals, it will be $22,068 by 2015-2016, amounting to a 312% increase in just 10 years. These tuition hikes increasingly force more and more students out of higher education altogether and put untenable financial burdens on those who must take out crippling loans and work extra jobs for an education that is now public in name only.
The protestors’ success in this fight against the privatization agenda of the University should be cause for celebration; however, on March 29, nearly a month after the bank pulled out of UC Davis, the 11 students and 1 professor involved in the sit-in received orders to appear at Yolo County Superior Court. At the request of the UC Davis administration, District Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging the so-called Davis Dozen with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy. If convicted, the protesters could each face up to 11 years each in prison, and $1 million in damages. The UC Davis administration is sending a clear message to protesters: dissent will not be tolerated. And those who do protest will face a violence much more pernicious than pepper-spraying at the hands of Lieutenant Pike.
Unfortunately, this time around there is no graphic youtube video that could potentially go viral and capture the psychological and financial stress the protesters are under as they face the possibility of having to leave school and, even worse, say goodbye to friends, family, partners and children as they go off to serve time in the California penal system. There is no video to elicit gasps of horror at the threat of a lifetime of financial ruin that the protesters face. There is no video to show the unremitting repression of their democratic right to freedom of assembly and political protest.
There is no video to capture the machinations of the UC Davis administration, under the direction of Chancellor Linda Katehi, who appears to be seeking retribution for the pending ACLU lawsuit against the university for the pepper spray incident. Whereas no charges were filed against the protestors after the pepper spray incident, the District Attorney is now quite willing to prosecute the 12 demonstrators charged with “obstructing movement in a public place”.
Obstructing movement in a public place? That sounds a whole lot like an ad hoc law designed to silence dissent. And what better time for the UC Davis Administration to subject protesters to an absurd version of the law than when nobody is watching? If the world were watching, surely we would ask why these peaceful protesters could be sentenced to 11 years in prison, which, for the sake of comparison, is the maximum penalty for voluntary manslaughter in the state of California. It bears repeating: students and faculty who put their educations, careers, families as well as their own bodies on the line to defend the accessibility of public education for all, now stand to serve the same sentence as a felon who has killed another human being.
The pepper spraying of UC Davis students shocked the nation, but the persecution that the Davis Dozen protesters face is far worse. It is life-altering for them.
We cannot allow the story of the Davis Dozen to fall through the cracks, even though it might not strike a chord as immediately visceral as the now infamous video of Lieutenant Pike attacking students with a chemical agent. Let us reflect on the tragic irony that the state funding that should be allocated to aiding the intellectual growth and development of the 11 students involved in the sit-in might be funneled towards their incarceration. The modest salary that is paid to a professor, committed enough to advocate for public education might be replaced by state money to keep this highly gifted professional locked up.
And indeed, if we look at where the state money paid by the people of California for services to foster the common good, we can plainly see that this scenario is a sinister microcosm. In 2011, the UC and CSU systems account for $5.6 billion of state funding, while the prisons are receiving $9.6 billion dollars from the state. The state spends about $50,000 per inmate each year. We cannot look the other way and allow the boot of the penal system to fall on these protesters, while corrupt University administrators secure the way to enrich the 1% on California’s dime with impunity and at the expense of public education. We must immediately demand that all charges be dropped against the Davis Dozen.
Their petition: http://davisdozen.org/petition.php
How to Help on Davis Dozen website: http://davisdozen.org/help.html
DESOUZA, ERIC X-4779436 48N4411
Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center
12500 Bruceville Road
Elk Grove, CA 95757
OAKLAND (Bay City News) The trial of an Occupy Oakland protester concluded today with a jury convicting him of a felony count of deterring an officer during the performance of his duties but deadlocking on another charge and finding him guilty of a misdemeanor on a third count.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 47-year-old Cameron Rose for allegedly striking Oakland police Officer Patrick Gerrans with a folding chair at a protest at Frank Ogawa Plaza on Dec. 30 and for allegedly resisting arrest on Jan. 22 when authorities tried to arrest him on a warrant for the Dec. 30 incident.
The most serious charge against Rose, who’s been in jail in lieu of $130,000 bail since he was arrested on Jan. 22, was a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer with force likely to produce great bodily injury.
But jurors today only convicted him of the lesser included offense of simple misdemeanor assault. Jurors also deadlocked on the misdemeanor resisting arrest charge for the Jan. 22 incident.
Jurors announced their guilty verdict on the deterring an officer felony count on Tuesday. They deliberated for a total of four days.
In his closing argument in Rose’s trial last week, prosecutor Tim Wagstaffe said Rose struck Oakland police Officer Patrick Gerrans with a metal chair on Dec. 30 while Gerrans was “defenseless” because his head was turned in the opposite direction as he was helping other officers detain another protester, Carly Bate, who had refused an order to remove her property from the plaza.
Wagstaffe said Gerrans “is lucky he was wearing a protective vest” but still felt a sharp pain in his back and neck.
But Rose’s lawyer, Alameda County Associate Public Defender Kathleen Guneratne, told jurors that Rose should be found not guilty of all the charges against him because the prosecution failed to prove its case against him beyond a reasonable doubt.
Guneratne said Gerrans was not acting lawfully during the Dec. 30 protest because he should have known that his fellow officers didn’t have probable cause to arrest Bate.
She said, “Police have to follow the rules” and alleged that Oakland officers had no authority to arrest Bate because she and other Occupy Oakland protesters had a permit to be at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Wagstaffe said today that he is “pleased” that Rose was convicted of deterring an officer because it means that the jury believes police were acting lawfully during the protest on Dec. 30.
He said, “The jury did the right thing because I think Mr. Rose is a rogue individual who was acting outside the goals of the occupy movement.”
Guneratne said she is “grateful” that jurors didn’t convict Rose of a felony count of assault on a peace officer.
Wagstaffe said Rose could face up to three years in prison when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon sentences him on May 24 but he also could be placed on probation.
San Francisco April 27
Bay Area supporters of Pussy Riot are planning two solidarity protest actions this Friday, April 27th, 2012.
The principal event will be held in front of the Russian Consulate. Then we’ll move to downtown San Francisco, for the final performance/street action.
We are planning a fun, colorful flashmob-style event, with opportunities to dance, sing and express.
Who: “Pussy Riot” supporters, activists, musicians, performers, clowns, women, queers, pussies, and other legitimate and illegitimate citizens.
Where: *Russian Consulate – Meet at 1:30 pm at Lyon & Broadway St., at the entrance to Park Presidio, to gather for the action at the Russian Consulate. Action starts at 2pm outside of the Consulate building.
*Downtown SF – Meet at 3:30 pm at the main steps of the downtown SF Public Library, Civic Center, corner of Larkin St. & Grove St.
Contact Info: 415-568-0004 Katya Chizhayeva, or email us at selfcarebotanicals [at] gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at KazooShearWoman
The hearing is in Dept. 27.
BAYVIEW-HUNTERS Point resistance leader, emcee and City College of San Francisco student Debray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter was convicted February 22 on misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, obstructing a police officer and assault on a police officer. He was acquitted on a felony charge of resisting arrest, and the jury failed to reach a verdict on a felony charge of obstructing police with the use of threats or violence.
Dozens of supporters mobilized to sit in court with Benzo during his trial. “While the outcome could have been much worse, we wanted better” said Benzo’s lawyer, Severa Keith.
The charges stem from Benzo’s arrest on October 18 of last year during a confrontation between a group of Bayview-Hunters Point residents and San Francisco police officers Joshua Fry and John Norment. Bayview-Hunters Point is the last largely Black neighborhood in San Francisco and one of the poorest communities in the Bay Area.
The confrontation began when Fry pulled the plug on a community boom box in Mendell Plaza, a neighborhood gathering place. Benzo was using his phone to video Fry and Norment when he was arrested.
Police pulled the plug on the sound while Benzo was performing at a neighborhood demonstration against police violence the day before as well. But according to Keith, “The judge refused to allow any evidence related to [Benzo's] prior interactions with these officers, which included incidents of racist acts, threatening acts, taunting and evidence that their superiors had told them to video record him.”
Keith said she was “shocked” that such evidence was excluded. She said she is planning an appeal of the verdict. “It is clear from watching the video of [Benzo's] arrest that the incident did not start on that day,” said Keith. “There was a history there, and the jury did not hear it.”
As Benzo said: “The court system cannot be trusted. There were no Black people on the jury. I was judged by my race and the way I wear my hair. Slavery and racism are alive and well.”
Benzo is known for speaking out about the July 16, 2011, death of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding, who was shot at ten times by the SFPD as he ran away from officers through Mendell Plaza. Bullets pierced Harding’s leg and neck, and entered his brain, killing him. Police now claim that Harding died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The cops were chasing Harding from a Muni transit station for not paying the $2 fare. At the time, Benzo told a local television station, “Regardless of if they found a gun or not, it’s the fact they chased him from the T-train over a [$2] transfer.”
Twenty-four hours after publicly criticizing the SFPD again, this time on public-access television, Benzo was approached by police and arrested July 23, 2011, near the intersection of Oakdale Avenue and Lane Street. Benzo was released from jail almost four days later with no charges filed.
Despite the hardship of $95,000 bail and time in court, Benzo is working to progress at City College. “I’m working on a paper about African heritage for my English class,” he said. “I’m not doing so well, but the teacher said its amazing I’ve been able to do what I have.”
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 27. Possible outcomes range from probation to one year in county jail for each misdemeanor.
Support Fly Benzo – We got a report that Benzo’s sentencing hearing last Friday was packed, there were 20+ people inside and about 12 people outside the courtroom and we belive this is why the judge continued the sentencing hearing until this Friday, April 27th. 850 Bryant, Dept. 27 or Department 29, 9:00 a.m.
Please attend and show your support– COPWATCHING IS NOT A CRIME!!!!
The high-tech system cost more than $120m to develop and was deployed in Afghanistan two years ago. It was recalled, however, due to concerns about the public perception that the military would be “microwaving” Afghans.
<object width=”680″ height=”420″ ><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/UL99K_EE3uA” ></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param> </object>
Ok so we got an e mail from word press about why we got temporarily shut down for content that said
We received the attached complaint regarding material published on your WordPress.com site and are passing it along for your review and consideration.
With an attachment that said…
AND ELECTRONIC MAIL
Re: CUse of Trademarks and Misrepresentation of Relationship
with Green Dot Corporation
Green Dot Corporation (“Green Dot”) markets and services prepaid debit card
products. Green Dot is the registered owner of the federally registered trademarks Green
Dot® and MoneyPak®. You have set up a website which incorporates Green Dot® and
MoneyPak® without prior authorization. Furthermore, you are falsely representing a
relationship with Green Dot. Your use of the Green Dot® mark on the webpage and
misrepresentation regarding Green Dot’s involvement with your enterprise is misleading
in that it is likely to cause the public to believe that Green Dot has approved, sponsored,
licensed, or authorized the use of the trademark and the sale of Green Dot products when
it in fact has not done so.
In sum, your unauthorized use of Green Dot’s trademark constitutes trademark
infringement, false designation of origin, and dilution under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.
1114 et seq. Your unauthorized sale of products represented to be Green Dot products
constitutes unfair competition under California state law and common law. Additionally,
you have engaged in counterfeiting of Green Dot products which is a violation of federal
law. The remedies available to Green Dot for such unlawful acts include its actual
damages, statutory damages, profits, punitive damages, a nationwide injunction, and
attorney’s fees incurred in bringing an action against you. Please note that the above is
not intended to be a complete listing of Green Dot’s rights, and Green Dot reserves the
right to assert other claims not state herein. Additionally, Green Dot will contact federal
and state law enforcement authorities to report your actions.
We demand that you immediately remove all references to Green Dot® and its
products from your website and cease and desist all further use of Green Dot’s
trademarks and the misrepresentation regarding your relationship with Green Dot.
Green Dot Corporation 605 Huntington Dr., Ste. 205, Monrovia, CA 91016
To indicate your agreement to these terms, you may respond to this letter by email
to Lgok@greendot.com or by mail to Green Dot Corporation, Attn: Lisa A. Gok,
Assistant General Counsel, 605 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 205, Monrovia, CA 91016. If
Green Dot does not receive a response within 7 days, we will seek all remedies available
for your unlawful acts. We look forward to your prompt response. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact me at (626) 739- xxxx.
Lisa A. Gok
Assistant General Counsel
We ask word press and this company Green Dot (which has very cheap, fake looking notices and logos) when and where exactly did we use anything to do with this company except in a reposted articel titled
“Support Antifascists Arrested Protesting Neo-Nazis in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania” http://bayareaabc.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/support-antifascists-arrested-protesting-neo-nazis-in-harrisburg-pennsylvania/, where it directs folks to actually use their corporation to donate bail? We expect a prompt response but these corporate swine or we will assume we are being fucked with, and we feel it is only proper to reming the how little respect we have for corporations and how much respect we have for “unlawful acts“.
- In solidarity against all corporations,
Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross
New prison measures vindictively applied against eco-anarchist comrades Sadie & Exile, unrepentant members of the Earth Liberation Front. Letters of solidarity are appreciated by the two wild ones… nothing forgotten, nothing forgiven…
Text by Leslie James Pickering
Earth Liberation prisoners Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher and Nathan “Exile” Block, who are a married couple, have been disallowed correspondence by their captors with the excuse that Sadie is “unrepentant” of her crimes. Sadie and Exile are nearing the end of their seven-year-and-eight-month federal prison sentences for two million-dollar arsons prosecuted under the FBI’s Operation Backfire investigation into the Earth Liberation Front. Specifically, the couple has been convicted of the the $959,000 arson of the Romania Chevrolet dealership on March 30, 2001 and the $994,412 arson of Jefferson Poplar on May 21, 2001.
For the past 4 years, the couple has been allowed correspondence between the Federal Correctional Facilities in Dublin, California (where Sadie is locked up) and in Lompoc, California (where Exile is imprisoned). However, shortly after Sadie released a public statement on her case, their correspondence ‘privileges’ were revoked. When Sadie’s lawyer wrote the sentencing Judge on the matter, the US Attorney’s Office in Portland, Oregon sent a rebuttal directing the Judge to an online video of the release of Sadie’s statement being read by former Earth Liberation Front Press Office spokesperson, Leslie James Pickering, at Burning Books [click for videos] in Buffalo, New York.
In the statement in question, Sadie wrote, “There have been some dark days in here, when the rage of being imprisoned boils over into tears of frustration – but never regret, not ever. Even knowing this would be the price to pay – seven years of my life here, I still would not change my actions in any way.”
This “unrepentant” tone is anything but new. Shortly after their sentencing, the two released a joint statement, which righteously criticized those of their codefendants who opted to cooperate with the state in their own prosecution. The statement made clear their “opposition to cooperation with, or apology to, the state” and read, in part, “Those who now work in collaboration (under the innocuous term ‘cooperation’) with the same powers which they once felt compelled to raise themselves in opposition to, have in their wicked apostasy, desecrated the sacred covenant that exists between nature and those who align themselves with the very Element of Fire and the very Essence of Destruction in the defense of the Wild… for in the hour when the struggle returned for them, when the predator had once again become the prey, they failed in spirit and resolve, cowardly breaking long held oaths and begging for mercy from their captors, hoping to gain leniency by offering as a sacrifice to the altar of a perverted ‘justice’ their former friends, trusted colleagues and any dignity they once held.”
It appears that what the government is really after is a 1984-style public apology, but when that isn’t forthcoming something less than repentance will suffice, so long as it is silent. However, when strong examples of outspoken resistance are set by prisoners they are punished for their thoughts and words. Daniel McGowan, the most vocal of the Operation Backfire targets, and who was the focus of the Oscar-nominated 2011 documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, has been housed in a new, ultra-restrictive Communications Management Unit in response to his being continuously outspoken.
You can currently write Sadie and Exile at:
Joyanna Zacher #36360-086, FCI Dublin, 5701 8th St., Camp Parks, Unit F, Dublin, CA 94568, USA
Nathan Block #36359-086, FCI Lompoc, 3600 Guard Road, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA
Sadie and Exile are due to be reunited at a halfway house this spring. The struggle continues…
[This article is a much shorter version of an original piece that connected Kerie Campbell’s situation to larger systemic issues, with analysis about how patriarchy and heteronormativity get enforced in this society, through the court system and in so many other ways. However, because of Kerie’s legal situation, her lawyer warned us that this kind of publicity might anger the court system and prevent what we all want to happen more than anything: for Kerie to gain custody of her children. We will continue to make important systemic analysis in other actions and articles. In the meantime, we are finding ways to support Kerie and hope you join us to help Kerie in her struggle to get her children back.]
The authorities apparently stop at nothing to intimidate and scare people from participating in a movement that they fear. Stayaway orders, bogus arrests, heavy charges for minor offenses, sham “lynching” laws, and, most recently, deploying the Child Protective Services to attack a single mother for participating in Occupy Oakland.
Kerie Campbell is an all-star activist at Occupy Oakland. There from the very 1st planning meeting in Mosswood Park, there the night the camp struck back in October, Kerie is also an admin on the OO (Occupy Oakland) website and co founder of the Occupy Oakland Children’s Village. The Children’s Village is an area for kids and parents/legal guardians to hangout and feels safe, and is designed to create a space for children to have their voices respected and heard in ways not common for them. It allows people come to OO events knowing they will have a safe, friendly place to spend time with their kids. Most recently, at the OO Barbecue/Speakout series, kids in the Children’s Village made puppets, got their faces painted, and otherwise hung out together with their parents or guardians. Considering that Kerie is also a single mother with two young children, the fact that she is so heavily involved is impressive.
Around Occupy Oakland Kerie and her children are welcome, familiar faces that everyone loves. Like many other children who spend time around OO, Kerie’s kids became part of the larger OO family. But recently something tragic happened in her life that is angering her and the larger community of OO. This activist who has such a standing in the welfare of children had her own children forcefully taken away from her by an Ex-Husband under ridiculous charges that are clearly politically motivated.
Throughout Kerie’s marriage to Anthony Sprenger and during the 6-year custody battle of their 2 children, Kerie and her ex-Husband had a tumultuous relationship to say in the least. However their legal situation was finally worked out and she had two years of relative calm, which made this most recent attempt to bar Kerie from seeing her children come seemingly from out of the blue.
On Friday afternoon Kerie arrived at her children’s school like any other Friday, the day she her Ex-Husband normally switched custody. The Friday custody switch-up, until this point, went “like clock work.” Thursday night Kerie’s daughter called her, crying about a classroom conflict. “I told her that I would see her the next day.” Kerie recounts with tears in her eyes. But when she got to school, her children were nowhere to be found. She panicked, until a friend told her that her ex husband had come to pick the kids up before she got there. Frantically, Kerie went to different school administration officials to find out how exactly her Ex Husband had done this without any warning to Kerie. The search for more information from the administration, with which she had a good relationship up until this point, was to no avail. “They had their heads and eyes down and said that they couldn’t do or say anything.” Finally, she was forced to call the police (which she did not want to do) who eventually, after a lot of back and forth, produced the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) her ex used to take the children. The Restraining Order was supposed to be served her before taking her children. It had no supplementary declaration or evidentiary documents.
The TRO stated that Kerie’s children were at risk because she had taken them to the Mosswood Encampment, which was an Occupy Oakland re-occupation that occurred on March 22nd, thus endangering them. That day the encampment was granted permission to be at Mosswood by OPD once the occupiers had taken their tents down. The “recklessly endangering” activities that Kerie and her children were taking partin? They ate pizza, wrote letters to imprisoned comrades, played Frisbee and tag,and read books in an environment largely resembling a park picnic. Clearly, this event was not dangerous. The TRO mentioned quite a few other charges that cite Kerie as an unfit mother because of her involvement in OO, which is absurd given her activities in Occupy Oakland.
This attack has disturbing implications for how repression could affect single parents involved in OO and is something the larger OO community must be on the watch for. Kerie believes this was a targeted attack against her involvement in Occupy Oakland. “[My ex-husband] had gone after everything else before, this was all he had left to go after.”
As occupiers and feminists, we must support Kerie against this attack, and we must continue to provide spaces like Children’s Village that support people with children who want to participate in this movement.
To donate to Kerie’s legal fund send checks to her friend Don Macleay:
“KC”. C/O Don Macleay, P.O. Box 20299, Oakland CA, 94620
PHOTO: Alyssa Eisenberg
UPDATE: Marches from Civic Center BART to 888 Turk will occur at 1oam, 12pm and 5pm.
UPDATE #2: Unfortunately, the building was raided on Monday morning by SFPD. Nonetheless, this appears to be the first successful building occupation after failed attempts on November 2 and January 28.
On April 1, Occupy SF held a mass march to take over an unused building and transform it into a social center and a new home for the movement. Succeeding in this action not only provided an important step forward for the “mostly moribund movement,” as the SF Chronicle alliterated, but it also disproved the notion that these sort of these are only meant to provoke a police confrontation, as many concluded after the failure to take the Kaiser Center in Oakland on January 28.
While the action and the goals were largely the same as the J28 action, including some of the wording of the declaration, there were a few significant tactical differences that may have been crucial to the success of the SF action.
First, everybody likely expected that the march would take the Cathedral Hill building–again. Choosing an unexpected target instead of the expected one may have thrown the police off guard. In fact, holding the action on April Fool’s Day may have confused them even further, raising the question of whether the entire thing was just a joke. Second, the building taken is far more modest that the Kaiser Center and owned by a landlord–the Catholic Church–who would be embarrassed to have the blood of assaulted protesters on their hands. The hesitation of the church to call in the police has been critical to the survival of the SF Commune so far.
Finally, however, is the similarity between J28 and A1, which is that vacant, unused buildings were sought out for occupation and transformation into social centers to serve the community. That these buildings sit empty while homeless people sleep on the streets is a crime that indicts our entire society, far more so than any trespassing charges against Occupiers.
Below are a few photos from the day of action:
PHOTO: Alyssa Eisenberg
PHOTO: Alyssa Eisenberg
PHOTO: Alyssa Eisenberg
“Empty Buildings Are the Crime”: Occupy SF Commune Evicted After One Day
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 14:03By Susie Cagle, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
It lasted less than 24 hours, but the Occupy SF Commune at 888 Turk may have pushed the movement forward harder than many other of the movement’s Bay Area actions of late. And despite Monday’s raid, many occupiers saw the building operation as a success.
The 888 Turk building is not only the story of this brief building occupation, but also its place in the context of Bay Area activism, Occupy and beyond, on the eve of the planned May 1 General Strike. On January 28, many of these same people attempted a building occupation in Oakland, which turned into the tear gas, less-lethal melee that spawned another Occupy backlash there.
The 888 Turk occupation was, in Occupy terms, an escalation so profound and unexpected that many dismissed it as an April Fool’s joke – even at the expense of Occupy Oakland and its brutal J28 crushing, which resulted in more than 400 arrests.
But the SF Commune was not a joke; the Spring Awakening took the city by storm, if only for a day. Within a half hour of the building’s occupation, several large place-making banners were dropped from the roof, including many with Christian slogans and quotes, including, “Forgive us our trespasses” in white letters on black cloth.
It was clear how much the building meant to the movement that has largely been overshadowed by its wild East Bay neighbors. At least 22 school chairs were used to reinforce a barricade holding police out of the lot behind 888 Turk. Nearby, scrawled on a door: “When the cities burn down, we’ll all be warm.”
The activist group Homes Not Jails, that was involved in the 888 Turk action, has been occupying buildings in San Francisco for about 20 years. They opened several hundred buildings from the mid to late ’90s, creating symbolic short-lived occupations in some spaces and holding off police for days on end in others. While many occupiers were excited by 888 Turk, some seasoned activists were nonplussed.
“This is an old tactic,” said Lydia Blumberg, who has worked with Homes Not Jails in the past and had brought her four-year-old daughter to the building’s “Sacred Space” the prior evening. “We’ve been doing this for years.”
A year ago next week, Homes Not Jails occupied a San Francisco apartment building owned by Kaiser Permanente. A banner hung from the roof read “Hella Occupy” – more than six months before Occupy Wall Street was born and that phrase came to typify the Bay Area iteration of the movement.
Homes Not Jails, first took the 600-unit Cathedral Hill Hotel on October 10. Occupiers took the building once again on January 20 following the “Occupy Wall Street West” day of action, which shut down the downtown San Francisco financial district.
“It makes me optimistic that we have all these kids carrying the torch,” said Blumberg.
It may not be a bank, but occupiers were quick to point out how the Catholic Church is the 1 percent, especially in the Bay Area, where they own many vacant properties on which they do not pay property taxes.
The 9,950 square foot, two-story building at 888 Turk became Occupy SF’s Commune used to house Westside Community Crisis and Outpatient mental health services. The 888 Turk building had received numerous complaints for failure to register in the city’s vacant building registry. It is set to respond to those complaints on April 19 in a hearing. According to online real estate listings, it is currently listed for lease at $11,000 monthly.
“I was completely blown away. Cathedral Hill was cool and all, but this was just beautiful,” said occupier Jesse Smith of 888 Turk. “We learned from Cathedral Hill,” said Smith, “barricades, contingency plans.”
“The camps made a statement and were great to be visible but for the longterm mission of occupy, we need buildings,” said Jesse Smith. The clear strategic advantage doesn’t hurt, either. “It’s a hell of a lot harder to kick us out of a building than it is to kick us out of a park.”
Occupiers first took the building around 5:45 PM on Sunday, April 1, following a march of several hundred from downtown. It was clear that activists had held the building for some time before opening it – assignment of rooms and a skeletal organizational structure were already in place, as were signage and literature. The police said they were “monitoring” the situation, but couldn’t do anything unless the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco filed a formal complaint of citizen’s arrest, asking for the occupiers’ removal – and they hadn’t.
The most tense moment that first night came when the police briefly held up the occupiers’ pizza delivery.
By the next morning, things had changed. The San Francisco police had declared the area a “crime scene” and were for the most part limiting access to the building for both people and supplies. One particularly tough battle involved the delivery of morning coffee; occupiers were ultimately successful.
San Francisco occupier Alex Kerfoot told me “it was like siege warfare.” And that was before police moved in.
Shortly before 2 PM, San Francisco police and county sheriffs began the raid on 888 Turk, following over a dozen hours of monitoring the situation and noting that because people were bringing in supplies, “those trespassing inside intended to remain inside and were not going to leave.” At some point on Monday, police say, an Archdiocese representative also requested the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) remove the protesters, and signed a citizens arrest for trespassing giving the agency the authority to do so. According to Kerfoot, occupiers inside the building were on the phone, planning to meet with the Archdiocese at 3 PM about the future of the building.
Occupiers said the building had been vacant for five years, but a spokesperson for the Archdiocese said it had only been vacant for 18 months, and was previously housing Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High classes. The Archdiocese declined to meet with a delegation of occupiers who marched to the cathedral uphill from 888 Turk late Monday afternoon following the raid.
Police moved in suddenly and without warning. Journalist Steve Rhodes, having heard police were on their way, attempted to leave, but was unable.
“Some people were trying to close the door and some people were trying to open the door to get out. And then the riot police arrived,” he told me. “I was right at the entrance and I saw these riot police coming out – and my first thought was, take some photos.” Rhodes didn’t have a chance, though, because “there were non-lethal [shotguns] directed at my face when I was ordered to put my hands on my head.” He was cited with misdemeanor trespassing and released around 7 PM on Monday.
“They will often warn people so they don’t have to arrest as many,” Rhodes said of the SFPD’s approach to building occupations in the city. “But in this case it seemed they wanted to contain and intimidate.”
Occupiers were arrested room by room. According to police, “trespassers retreated into rooms, many of which were barricaded from the inside, while others closed doors to an interior stair well and retreated to the second floor.” One person jumped off the roof and was arrested.
Police feared a fight that never came. Protesters defended the commune vigorously with barricades, but nothing was thrown at police before, during or after the raid of 888 Turk Street, but the SFPD forwarded photos of piles of bricks to the press following the raid. “There was concern that these items were going to be used as weapons against police officers,” the SFPD said in a statement. The building was also marked by graffiti inside and out, ranging from hearts and messages of peace, including “Gun Free Zone” on the front facade, to “Kill Cops” and endless bacon jokes in upstairs corridors.
In all, 75 people were arrested and cited for misdemeanor trespassing, and three dogs were detained by city animal control.
The raid, though relatively peaceful, was not without shows of brutality. One protester, Nick Shaw, was put into a control hold by officers several times during the course of his arrest for alleged non-cooperation when asking for medical assistance to treat his injured hand. At one point, Shaw lost consciousness on the bus headed for the jail and arrestees attempted to gain the attention of media and onlookers to obtain care. SFPD would not allow on-scene EMTs to care for Shaw, choosing instead to cite and release him earlier than other protesters.
Many of the arrestees were not in a sense residents of Occupy San Francisco; many were from Oakland, UC Berkeley, and other Bay Area protest sites. This sort of regional cross-pollination and convergence has been happening more and more across the Northern California iterations of the movement. While this can at times cause problems with splitting the crowd, this fluidity across the region also stands to unite the area headed into the May 1 General Strike, the painfully ironic court date many of the 888 Turk arrestees received for their trespass.
“Because it’s Occupy and not Homes Not Jails they think that this would keep people from joining another occupation,” said Rhodes of the 888 Turk crackdown. “Whereas all it may do is inspire more people to get involved.”
“It makes me optimistic that this going to be a more widespread movement,” said Blumberg. “It makes me optimistic because this used to be a totally radical fringe thing, and now you’ve got the whole Occupy movement surrounding it and taking it up as their cause.”
“People who otherwise wouldn’t have participated in Mayday are able to look at this sort of stuff, see what it is we’re able to do and that we’re not trying to hurt anybody,” said Smith of the SF Commune action. “SFPD’s biggest mistake was letting us do this,” said Jesse Smith. “It just proves to us and every other occupy in the country that this can be done.”
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Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross Birthday Letters to Political Prisoners Night
View other events for the week of 4/ 5/2012
||Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross Birthday Letters to Political Prisoners Night
||Thursday April 05
||8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
|In The Werks Anti-Authoritarian Events Collective. 3265 17th St. buzz suite 204 from downstairs and we will let you up!
|The Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross is holding it’s 2nd official and 5th unofficial meeting to write letters and birthday cards to our brothers, sisters, and comrades trapped behind bars by this rotten system. Come show your solidarity, learn prison letter writing protocol, and talk politics with other compassionate activists!
I AM TRYING TO RAISE MONEY TO COVER THE BAIL MONEY PAID BY OUR DEAR FRIEND LAURA AFTER SHE WAS SWEPT UP IN THE MASS ARRESTS 1/28/2012. Please read below for details and donate generously!
On January 28th our friend Laura was swept up in the mass arrest of an Occupy Oakland march. Laura was one of the 30-40 out of 400 arrests that night to get charged with a felony charge of Burglary, because she was caught inside the YMCA desperately attempting to escape the outright brutality displayed by OPD that night. Not only did she get bogus felony charges, she was cruelly denied her medication by Santa Rita for over two days.
I was with Laura that night, and was arrested inside the YMCA as well. I witnessed the suffering Laura experienced. She was first told that she would be able to take her medication if she brought it with her to Santa Rita but once she got there it became clear that she would be without medication for at least a week, that is, if she’d get access to it at all. For someone who suffers from anxiety and clinical depression, having her medication withheld from her added layers of emotional suffering and distress to Laura’s stay in jail.
A few days into our arrest, Laura and I were both transferred to general population. Laura found the psychological stress extremely difficult to deal with. She was forced to either face serious withdrawal and panic attacks in jail without her medication, and no real promise that she’d ever get it, or she could put up bond and get out as soon as possible.
Because Laura was charged with a felony, her bail was posted at 50,000 dollars, which meant that Laura had to pay $4,000 dollars of her own money to get out of jail. She decided to practice self care and post bond for herself, which means she will never see that money ever again.
So all in all- Laura was forced to pay $4,000 dollars for bogus charges that would have been dropped had she been able to stay in jail. She was not able to stay in jail because she had special needs for her medication, which she was cruelly denied.
Laura is a tireless organizer and has been for many years. She has spent hours and days and weeks organizing on the Oakland Anti-Repression committee. She has spent so much of her time caring for others who have faced state repression. She has organized support outside of jail, she has helped write letters, figure out people’s bail situation, communicate with the NLG, throw fundraisers, etc. Laura is a feminist who has been an invaluable source of support for me and countless other women. She is the kind of person who is always there for other people, who is a consistent foundation of support in many radical communities.
We cannot let the OPD and the “justice” system get away with this kind of abuse to our sister, comrade and friend Laura. As activists who understand the ways in which this system enacts special punishment by not meeting the needs of people who are differently abled, we have to take a principled stand and not allow Laura to suffer and pay this money back by herself. We should stand in an act of solidarity and distribute this burden equally among ourselves and make sure Laura is not punished by the state for having special emotional and psychological needs.
Laura needs to pay rent, to be able to continue to live and organize under this system, this means we need to raise this money with urgency and purpose. We can’t let the state damage our movement by isolating people to face undue burden. DONATE NOW!
Send this to everyone you know! Donate $5, $10, $15, $20 dollars. Anything you can! Please. This is not right!