Since sunrise on Friday, Jan. 16, hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings responded to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s call to come together for 96 hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 16 – 19, 2015. The Bay Area joined thousands across the country responding to a call from Ferguson Action to reclaim Dr. King’s legacy of militant direct action in opposition to economic violence as well as police violence and discrimination.
The annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March took place on Saturday, November 1, 2014. This year, for the first time since the initial event in 1994, the Watsonville Police Department was given a large role in determining the route of the march.
The march was founded in 1994 by the Watsonville Brown Berets, and the group remained primary organizers of the event from the beginning through 2011.
In 2012, the Watsonville Brown Berets were still key organizers of the event, however they also established The Watsonville Peace and Unity Coalition.
The press conference was coordinated by Margaret Serna Bonetti, a civil and human rights activist in Salinas advocating on behalf of the families of Carlos Mejia and Frank Alvarado. Bonetti, who stated she is not being paid for her advocacy, serves as a link between the families and Oakland-based attorney John Burris. On behalf of the Mejia and Alvarado families, Burris asked the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in July to investigate incidents and patterns of police brutality by SPD.
The demonstration began around noon at the base of The César E. Chávez Monument: Arch of Dignity, Equality and Justice designed by Judith F. Baca in the bustling quad outside the student union building.
Students spoke loud and clear about the murder of Mike Brown, the history of racist policing in Ferguson, institutional racism within San José State University, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
In addition to organizing demonstrations, students created and distributed a zine on the Fight for Ferguson at San José State University. Text from the zine is published below.