Peace Police and Counterinsurgency in Salinas

Community organizers are collaborating with the Salinas Police Department to silence and distort anti-police sentiments within the community of Salinas.

“Rules of Conduct” for Marching Against Police Brutality

On Thursday, May 22, a “Massive March Against Salinas Police Brutality!!” was announced for Sunday, May 25 in response to the Salinas Police Department killing three people within the last three months. Some of the march organizers, in collaboration with nonprofit agencies, politicians, and the Salinas Police Department, worked to change the messaging of the protest, and the ‘March Against Salinas Police Brutality‘ became the pacified ‘March for Respect, Dignity and Justice.’

On March 20, SPD killed 42-year-old Angel Francisco Ruiz outside of a Wingstop restaurant, and on May 9, SPD killed 26-year-old Osman Hernandez outside of a Mi Pueblo market. On Tuesday, May 20, police killed 44-year-old Carlos Mejia outside of Delícía’s Bakery at the corner of Del Monte and North Sanborn. Although videos show the police ruthlessly killing Mr. Mejia, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin has been working to cover-up the truth of what really happened, and stated that Mr. Mejia was the aggressor and that he attacked the police.

Spanish translation: La policía de paz y contrainsurgencia en Salinas

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Anti-Police Signs Not Allowed at Salinas March Against Police Brutality

Tensions are high in Salinas, an overwhelmingly Latino community on the central coast of California with a large number of farmworkers.

Tensions are high in Salinas, an overwhelmingly Latino community on the central coast of California with a large number of farmworkers, where a demonstration was held on Sunday, May 25. Organizers reframed the ‘March Against Salinas Police Brutality‘ into a ‘March for Respect, Dignity and Justice,’ and worked extremely hard trying to control the entire messaging. For example, a woman living in Prunedale arrived at the pre-march rally in Closter Park in Alisal (East Salinas) with a small cardboard sign reading, “#FTP.” She was quickly approached by yellow-vested organizers and told she was not allowed to display her modest sign because it was not inline with the message and guidelines desired by the organizers.

The May 25 demonstration was called in response to the Salinas Police Department killing three people within the last three months. On Tuesday, May 20, officers shot and killed 44-year-old Carlos Mejia outside of a bakery at the corner of Del Monte and North Sanborn. They said he posed a threat because he was carrying garden shears and lunged at police, however videos taken from multiple perspectives do not show Mejia lunging, rather he was moving away from the officers. The killing of Mejia was preceded by the SPD killing of Osman Hernandez at Mi Pueblo market on May 9, and Angel Ruiz on March 20. Ruiz was shot by three Salinas Police Officers simultaneously in a Wing Stop parking lot. A video of the Carlos Mejia killing went viral, and on Wednesday, May 21 hundreds of people took to the streets of Salinas.

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March Against Monsanto in Santa Cruz

Millions of people around the world united to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Kelly L. Derricks started March Against Monsanto’s Agent Orange awareness program to educate people on Agent Orange, the deadly chemical weapon that Monsanto was the largest manufacturer of during the Vietnam War era. Derricks states, “If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle.”

On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.

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City Allows Hyatt to Cut Down 110-Year-Old Heritage Tree

The healthy 110-year-old tree near the sidewalk at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz is a Red Horse Chestnut, and slated to be cut down for a Hyatt Place Hotel.

Updated on May 13, 2015: “Heritage Tree” removed from City of Santa Cruz website

The healthy 110-year-old tree close to the sidewalk at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz is a Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus carnea). Wayne Ferrebee, an artist and writer who currently lives in Brooklyn, explains that “the red horse chestnut tree is not a chestnut tree at all; it’s a cultivar between Aesculus hippocastanum, the common horse chestnut tree of Europe, and Aesculus pavia, the red buckeye of the American south.”

It is a designated Heritage Tree in the city of Santa Cruz, and featured on the city’s heritage tree brochure which was distributed by Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation on April 19, 2014 to commemorate Earth Day in San Lorenzo Park. Gillian Greensite of Save Our Big Trees states that it is the oldest of only three red horse chestnut trees in the city.

The Planning Commission and Santa Cruz City Council have given the Hyatt Corporation a green light to cut the tree down and build a four-story Hyatt Place Hotel.

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