Solidarity in San José with Millions for Prisoners March in DC

Created to honor the deaths of George and Jonathan Jackson—freedom fighters who were killed by authorities in the early 70s—Black August holds a long tradition and legacy of resistance.

[ Prisoner solidarity activists, including Troy, Nube, Raymond, Cole, Watani, Dorsey, and Julia, at the Millions for Prisoners march and rally in San José on August 19, 2017. ]

Text used for this article was originally written by The Fire Inside collective. Photos and the first two paragraphs are by Bradley Allen, reporting on the march and rally in San José, California on August 19, 2017 in solidarity with the Millions for Prisoners March in Washington DC. The iamWe Prison Advocacy Network organized the mobilization in DC, and reports there were over a dozen solidarity demonstrations on August 19. All photos and text are published in solidarity with prisoners, however they do not necessarily represent the views of the rally organizers and its wide range of participants.

Activists from throughout the Bay Area gathered at Raymond Bernal Jr. Memorial Park at 7th and Mission Streets in San José. At the park, an audio statement was broadcast from political prisoner Joka Heshima Jinsai, founder of “Amend The 13th: Abolish ‘Legal’ Slavery in Amerika Movement.” From there, over one hundred people marched on the sidewalks through Northern California’s largest city, and past a long row of bail bonds storefronts. The demonstration featured a rally at James P. McEntee Plaza, next to Santa Clara County’s notorious Main Jail, with passionate speakers from San José and surrounding communities, including Watani Stiner, Dorsey Nunn, Laurie Valdez, Troy Williams, Raymond Aguilar, Sean Ramsey, Cole Dorsey, and more.

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Heather’s Patisserie Turns Off the Oven

After more than thirteen years of providing the finest in Parisian style pastries and cakes, baked fresh on site daily, Heather’s Patisserie is closing up shop.

[ Fresh baked breads are displayed, along with croissants, scones, turnovers, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, and other desserts, at Heather’s Patisserie in Aptos. August 13, 2017. ]

Heather Liner created her last lemon olallieberry scone for Heather’s Patisserie in Aptos, California on August 13, 2017. After more than thirteen years of providing the finest in Parisian style pastries and cakes, baked fresh on site daily, Heather’s Patisserie is closing up shop. Since January 2003, Heather’s served up a wide variety of baked goods including breads, muffins, danishes, croissants, cookies, chocolates, confections, cakes and wedding cakes.

From 2001-2015, Heather was also the owner and operator of The Kind Grind, a cafe located on the South-East side of the small craft harbor that featured a fantastic view of the beach, a wide selection of pastries, sandwiches, smoothies, and coffee drinks.

Heather’s Patisserie featured a deli for hot breakfast and lunch, including fresh soups made daily. The patisserie was a great spot to stop for a flaky handmade croissant with a fresh cup of organic coffee or an espresso drink, and then stay longer to enjoy a panini sandwich prepared on their fresh bread.

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Last Call at Caffé Pergolesi

“Don’t ask what is happening here — you already know. You can no longer afford to live here. You’ve been priced out and so have all your favorite places.”

[ Caffé Pergolesi, situated in a Victorian-era home at 418 Cedar Street in Santa Cruz, blurs the line between the downtown district and the historic district. August 10, 2017. ]

On August 9, news spread quickly that Santa Cruz’s oldest, best known, and most loved coffeehouse will shut their doors forever in two weeks, on August 26, 2017. Caffé Pergolesi, an institution of downtown Santa Cruz, holds a very special place in the hearts of so many people. Besides offering coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider, and snacks, the cafe is an important space for friends and groups to meet. Its walls serve as a gallery for local artists, and The Perg, as it’s known, is a one of a kind venue, particularly for punk and hardcore musicians.

Caffé Pergolesi is situated in a Victorian-era home at 418 Cedar Street, and blurs the line between the downtown district and the historic district, seeing as that it fits both bills. The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture explains that 418 Cedar Street is a one-story, raised-basement, 1886 cottage emblazoned with the legend “Dr. Miller.” Originally, this sign read “Dr. Miller, Dentist.” The Perg is comprised of several rooms, including a lobby, blue room, green room and orange room. The furniture is eclectic and comprises plush antique couches and church pews. A back porch is utilized by employees, while a wooden deck along Cedar Street is popular for outside seating.

People keep asking for reasons. Why is Caffé Pergolesi closing? Are they going to relocate? No, they are not going to open elsewhere. The short answer for why they are closing is that their lease was not renewed. Word on the street, mixed with speculation, is that the property owner wanted more money for rent than Karl Heiman, the owner for the past 15 years, was willing to pay.

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May Day 2017 March in Santa Cruz

A family that lives in the Beach Flats led the march with a child’s sign proclaiming, “Fuera Trump! Viva La Raza! Viva Los Trabajadores!”

On May 1, 2017, May Day demonstrators marched from the Post Office in downtown Santa Cruz to the Beach Flats neighborhood. The march visited the Beach Flats Community Garden before continuing on to Beach Flats Park.

Watsonville Brown Berets carried a colorful banner stating, “Santa Cruz Stands in Solidarity with International Workers.” More beautiful people carried awesome banners, handsewn at The Fábrica, declaring, “All Are Welcome”, “Capitalism Is Killing Us”, and “The Future”.

A family that lives in the Beach Flats led the march with a child’s sign proclaiming, “Fuera Trump! Viva La Raza! Viva Los Trabajadores!” They used a megaphone to keep demonstrators energized while calling for justice, including migrant rights. Meanwhile, Brown Berets from Salinas and Watsonville helped maintain the good vibes with a megaphone at the back of the march.

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Hundreds Rally in Santa Cruz to Support Planned Parenthood

Demonstration outside Planned Parenthood Santa Cruz in support of fundamental rights to affordable healthcare and non-judgmental family planning.

[ Protect Your Sisters, Not Just Your Cis-Ters. We Love Planned Parenthood. ]

On February 11, over 800 people rallied at the intersection of Soquel and Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, and across the country, in response to nationwide “Defund Planned Parenthood” rallies. Animated speakers shared personal stories of receiving vital healthcare services from Planned Parenthood, often unaccessible anywhere else.

Demonstrators lined Pacific holding colorful homemade signs in support of fundamental rights to affordable healthcare and non-judgmental family planning, while also illustrating many of the horrendous atrocities which result from defunding Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, a dozen people congregated on Cedar Street, a block away from Pacific Avenue, in protest of Planned Parenthood. Organizers of the counter-protest requested for people to join them on Pacific Avenue and not engage with the Planned Parenthood protestors. However a group roughly the same size as the protestors said they were not engaging, but were determined to hold their ground and maintain a close presence. They said the rally on Pacific Avenue was too festive, and they did not show up for a celebration.

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Huge Turnout for Women’s March Santa Cruz County

Tens of thousands overfilled the streets of Santa Cruz for the historic Women’s March Santa Cruz County, held in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.

[ Vera and Liz in Watsonville Plaza on January 21, 2017. La Mujer Es La Fuerza. Solidarity with Standing Rock. Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Defend the Land. Protect the Water. ]

Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life overfilled the streets of downtown Santa Cruz on January 21 for the historic Women’s March Santa Cruz County, held in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington and hundreds of other Women’s Marches.

Prior to the march, over a hundred people rallied at the Watsonville Plaza before boarding a bus to Santa Cruz, which was provided by the organizers.

The crowd in Santa Cruz was huge, with official estimates ranging from 8,000 – 16,000 people, though it seemed like much more than that. Many estimate there were well over 25,000 people marching. Ralph Abraham, the famous mathematician and chaos theorist and professor at UC Santa Cruz since 1968, determined there were over 27,000 people participating in the event. A thick stream of marchers flowed down Pacific Avenue for over an hour and a half.

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Woman Used As Salami Tray at Altai Brands Event in Las Vegas

Altai Brands of Salinas, California, purveyors of gourmet cannabis edibles, objectifies woman as salami tray at Marijuana Business Conference after-party in Las Vegas.

[ A woman was treated like a piece of meat at the Altai Brands after-party in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 17, 2016. Photo by Adam Mintz via social media. ]

Calls to boycott Altai Brands began after a disturbing photo was circulated on social media showing a nearly nude woman laying on a table covered in slices of salami and other meats. In addition to being surrounded by slices of cheese, the photo also shows people holding drinks while standing near the woman. The event, hosted by Altai Brands, was a private after-party on November 17 for the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo which took place from Novemmber 15-18, 2016 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

In a post titled “WTF?! And Just When You Thought Women Were Welcome Here” on the website for Her Canna Life, a community of women interested in the cannabis industry, Aliza Sherman writes, “An uproar took place online following #MJBizCon in Vegas this past week. At an after party, Altai Brands apparently went culturally tone deaf when they covered a woman in deli meats and served her up on the appetizer table. Comments ranged from shock to outrage in social media with calls to boycott the male-led company.”

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