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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Speak Out on the Ferguson Uprising at San José State University

Students at SJSU held a speak out on the recent uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri following the murder of Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.

On September 18, students at San José State University in California held a speak out and report back on the recent uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri following the murder of Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.

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.

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Oral Arguments Presented on Motion to Overturn the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

The AETA is being used for the first time since its passage by Congress in 2006 to do exactly what civil rights advocates feared it would do – criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S.

On July 13th, defense attorneys for Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo (the AETA 4) presented oral arguments on their motion to strike down the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The AETA 4 are being represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), and other well-respected civil rights attorneys, including Tony Serra. The defense demanded that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) be struck down as unconstitutional before Judge Ronald Whyte of the United States District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose.

The AETA is being used for the first time since its passage by Congress in 2006 to do exactly what civil rights advocates feared it would do – criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The oral arguments presented on July 13th were not about the allegations as directly applied to the AETA 4, but rather that the whole case should be dismissed now because AETA itself is unconstitutional.

Photo of the AETA 4 courtesy of the AETA 4 Support Committee. From left to right: Nathan Pope, Adriana Stumpo, Maryam Khajavi and Joseph Buddenberg.

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Cinco de Mayo Anti-Immigrant Rallies in Santa Clara

According to Illegal Immigrant Protest dot com, May 5th and 6th were a “National Illegal Immigrant Protest Rally Days.” Destroy the Border Coalition called for people to go out and counter the racist message of the rallies, saying, “The people who do the work in a community are entitled to live with dignity and without fear of violence and deportation. Undocumented workers are economic refugees from the countries that the U.S. has been exploiting for hundreds of years.”

On May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) several dozen flag waving americans lined a short stretch of Kiely Blvd in front of Central Park in Santa Clara. The american flag wavers were holding an, “anti-illegal immigrant protest calling for secure borders, decreased migration to the US and no amnesty for illegal immigrants.” In response to the nationwide call for “anti-illegal immigrant protests” the Destroy the Border Coalition called for people to counter-demonstrate against the racist message of the rallies in Santa Clara and says, “the people who do the work in a community are entitled to live with dignity and without fear.”

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March for Education – San Jose to Berkeley to SF

On Wednesday September 15th, a group of students from the University of California at Santa Cruz embarked upon a March for Education to dramatize their concern for the future of education in California, including the effects of budget cuts and tuition hikes. The march began at San Jose State University and will end on September 22nd at San Francisco State University. Before reaching San Francisco State University, the marchers will rally in front of the UC Regents meeting taking place at UC San Francisco.

I met up with the marchers on Wednesday afternoon while they were en-route from San Jose State University to Santa Clara University. Stephanie Smith, one of the organizers of the March for Education spoke with me about the effects of funding cuts and tuition hikes at all levels of education, as well as marching as a tactic for social change.

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