ILWU Rally and Shut Down All Bay Area Ports Demanding “Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops!”

On October 23, 2010, the ILWU Local 10 longshore workers closed all bay area ports (Richmond, Benicia, Redwood City, Oakland and San Francisco) and rallied in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza to protest the murder of Oscar Grant with the demand “Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops!” ILWU union port workers joined the rally which brought together many organizations, including labor unions, high school and college students, the faith-based community and the general public in a call for justice.

The rally was initiated by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 after Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson of the Oscar Grant Family spoke to union members about the similarity between the murder of his nephew and a mural on the union hall depicting the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike. On “Bloody Thursday,” July 5th, 1934, a striking seaman and a strike sympathizer, Nicolas Bordoise and Howard Sperry, were killed by a police officer who fired a shotgun into a crowd.

Johanes Mehserle, the ex-BART cop who shot Oscar Grant in the back on January 1, 2009 while Grant was being held face down by multiple officers, faces sentencing in Los Angeles on November 5th.

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Four SCPD Officers Issue Groundless Citation to Woman for Spitting on Pacific Avenue

War against poor people trying to survive on the streets.

On the night of October 20, 2010, four Santa Cruz Police Department officers flexed their arbitrary rule in the ongoing war against poor people trying to survive on the streets when they ticketed a woman on Pacific Avenue for spitting. These boys in blue did not find it prudent to give this guest to our city a warning about spitting on the sacred sidewalks of Santa Cruz. She was issued a ticket for nothing more than spitting.

Santa Cruz Municipal Code section 9.50.020, governing conduct on public property, monuments, and lawns, indicates that the ticket is unjustifiable and therefore should not have been issued. 9.50.02 (d) forbids the intentional discharge of a liquid substance. However, the municipal code states that a person is violating 9.50.02 “after having been notified by a police officer, public officer or downtown host that he or she is in violation of the prohibition.”

The woman who was cited for spitting told the SCPD officers that she is a military veteran who helped people as part of a special K9 unit. She also demonstrated a chant and march from her military training before giving Officer Winston an “autograph.” After the police left, she showed me and another observer where she got shot in the knee while in the military. She told me that she had been in Santa Cruz for two days.

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Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition: Vote No on Prop 23

On October 10, 2010, a day of global action to work on the climate crisis, Santa Cruz residents rallied next to a Valero gas station on Highway 1 / Mission Street urging people to vote no on California’s proposition 23. If it passes on November 2nd, it will suspend California’s Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. AB 32 requires that by 2020 the state’s greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels, a roughly 25% reduction under business as usual estimates.

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