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The NRA is being supported by these companies

Come for the discounts, stay for the opposition to common sense gun laws.

National Rifle Association members visit exhibitor booths at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 29, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. With more than 800 exhibitors, the convention is the largest annual gathering for the NRA's more than 5 million members. CREDIT: Scott Olson/Getty Images
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION MEMBERS VISIT EXHIBITOR BOOTHS AT THE 146TH NRA ANNUAL MEETINGS & EXHIBITS ON APRIL 29, 2017 IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA. WITH MORE THAN 800 EXHIBITORS, THE CONVENTION IS THE LARGEST ANNUAL GATHERING FOR THE NRA’S MORE THAN 5 MILLION MEMBERS. CREDIT: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

As the National Rifle Association grows increasingly out of touch with most American gun owners, the organization still claims “more than five million members.” A number of corporations are making membership to the group, which opposes nearly all gun safety legislation, more enticing by partnering with the NRA.

After paying the gun lobby’s $40 annual fee, members are offered access to a range of discounts and “five-star savings.”

Much like AARP or AAA, the organization promotes its discounts for members as a selling point for why people should join. The “valuable 5-star benefits” promised include not just a subscription to an NRA magazine and a gun-owner liability protection policy but also savings on insurance, identity theft protection, hearing aids, car rentals, moving vans, shipping, and even wine. While some of these perks are provided by in-house subsidiaries, many are offered through corporate partners — including some household names.

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the NRA has been the focus of renewed national attention, as the group continues to successfully block any legislation to curb gun violence on the national level. Dallas’ mayor pro tem told the NRAMonday that the group will be “met with opposition” if it holds its scheduled May conference in his city. And over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the group’s Virginia headquarters to hold a vigil and protest.

ThinkProgress asked 22 corporations that the NRA says offer incentives to NRA members whether they plan to continue their relationships with the gun lobby.

[You can sign up to get updates via email about these companies and their relationship with the NRA here.]

CREDIT: Diana Ofosu
CREDIT: DIANA OFOSU

Hertz 

The rental car company offers NRA members “up to 25% off everyday base rates at participating locations worldwide” as well as “additional program benefits.” According to the company’s website, those benefits include “everyday savings,” “bonus savings,” and “premier travel perks.” A representative for Hertz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Avis and Budget

The two car rental companies operated by the Avis Budget Group offer NRA members up to 25 percent off base rates. A representative for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Enterprise 

The rental car company offers members an unspecified discount. “NRA members save when you rent from Enterprise Rent-A-Car,” its website says. A representative for Enterprise did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Alamo

On a special NRA member discount website, the rental car company says that “NRA members save on everyday low prices.” A representative for Enterprise Holdings, which operates the company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

National

The rental car company offers NRA members “up to 20% off at participating National Car Rental locations.” A representative for Enterprise Holdings, which operates the company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

TrueCar

The car buying service advertises on a special NRA member website that “members save an average of $3,383 off MSRP!” A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

LifeLine Screening

The preventative health company based in Austin, Texas says on a NRA-specific website that members can “take advantage of affordable discounts.” A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Symantec

Norton anti-malware software, developed and distributed by Symantec Corporation, offers NRA members discounts on various subscription rates. Members can get $37 off a standard membership, $52 off a deluxe membership, and $62 off a premium membership. A representative for Symantec did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Allied Van Lines

The moving company offers unspecified discounts to NRA members through a special website. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

NorthAmerican Van Lines

The moving company, owned by the same parent company as Allied Van Lines, also offers discounts to NRA members. “It’s a great program,” a customer service representative told ThinkProgress. “We’ve been doing this for many many years for NRA members.”

First National Bank of Omaha

 The Nebraska-based bank issues the “official credit card of the NRA.” One version of the Visa card offers five percent back on gas and sporting goods store purchases, while another offers a low intro APR. Both cards offer a $40 bonus, “enough to reimburse your one-year NRA membership!” The site also boasts that the card ensures “legislative action in support of your Second Amendment Rights,” “public education and awareness about the facts of gun ownership,” and “training and safety programs for individuals, families, and the military.”

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after ThinkProgress first reported the bank’s connection to the NRA, the website advertising the card disappeared. A representative for the bank did not respond to requests for comment.

SimpliSafe

NRA members receive two months free of SimpliSafe’s monitoring with the purchase of any new home security system. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Starkey Hearing Technologies

The NRA partners with this prominent hearing aid technology company to offer discounted hearing aids and “free consultations” for its members. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

ManageUrID

Members are encouraged to protect their “privacy and financial security” through a subscription to this privacy protection service, though no discount is specified. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Life Insurance Central

The NRA-endorsed term life company is listed as providing “higher coverage amounts” for members on life insurance policies. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Medical Concierge Network

Unspecified “specialized exclusive benefits” are offered for members who want to join this “personal health advisory service.” The company’s founder, Greg Nassief, told ThinkProgress that he has no comment on the company’s relationship with the NRA, noting that it is not political and that his company has similar relationships “with several entities across all sorts of categories.”

eHealth

Members are invited to purchase health insurance plans through eHealth’s exchange, though no specific discount is specified. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Teladoc 

NRA members are offered a $14.95 “discounted monthly rate” for this telemedicine service. In an email, the company’s communications director Courtney McLeod told ThinkProgress that “Teladoc is not an NRA partner” and that “they offer our services (access to healthcare), just as they could offer access to any number of consumer products or services.” When ThinkProgress pointed out that the NRA site claims “a specially-discounted group rate for NRA members,” McLeod said the company “does not have a direct relationship with the NRA” and that any group rate was negotiated with a third party.

National Rifle Association members visit exhibitor booths at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 29, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. CREDIT: Scott Olson/Getty Images
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION MEMBERS VISIT EXHIBITOR BOOTHS AT THE 146TH NRA ANNUAL MEETINGS & EXHIBITS ON APRIL 29, 2017 IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA. CREDIT: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

Members of the NRA’s Business Alliance, a separate program for businesses, receive additional benefits and discounts. These include:

FedEx

The shipping giant provides up to a 26 percent discount for NRA Business Alliance members via its FedEx Advantage program. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

LifeLock

Access to LifeLock Business Solutions, the identity-theft prevention company’s business arm, is listed as a benefit, though no specific discount is specified. A representative for its parent company, Symantec, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Wild Apricot 

NRA Business Alliance members are offered a 30-day free trial of the member management company’s website and membership software. A representative told ThinkProgress that the company offers anyone a 30-day free trial and “has absolutely no affiliation or partnership with the NRA,” but did not explain why the NRA is advertising the trial to members. In 2013, Wild Apricot told ThinkProgress that the company permits any lawful group to receive a commission if they sign up as affiliate partners and they “do not pay any fee to the NRA, and their affiliates do not receive any discount on our software.”


The NRA also manages a directory of smaller companies that offer discounts and incentives, allowing members to search by state.

In early 2013, weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting, ThinkProgress published a similar list. Since that time, several companies have discontinued their relationships with the pro-gun group.  Following a grassroots pressure campaignled by the global advocacy group Avaaz.org, both Best Western and Wyndham hotels stopped offering an NRA discount.

“We did end our discount with the NRA at the end of last year,” Maire Griffin, Wyndham’s vice president of global communications, told ThinkProgress. “We no longer will offer this discount, period.”

A similar pressure campaign by a coalition of LGBTQ rights groups and gun violence prevention organizations began pressuring FedEx to do the same in 2016, but has not yet had success.

This post will be updated as the companies respond to ThinkProgress. You can sign up to get updates via email about these companies and their relationship with the NRA here.

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Welcome to San Francisco. Would You Like to Make a Deposit?

A groundswell of interest in public banking has advocates pondering how city-owned banks could transform the way municipalities collect and spend their money.

STORY BY Oscar Perry Abello

PUBLISHED ON Feb 19, 2018 (nextcity.org)

It’s no surprise that Malia Cohen worries about what local public dollars are doing. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the municipal legislative body, it’s her job to know how, where and why the city’s money is coming in and going out. But recently, Cohen has joined a growing number of public officials around the country who are wondering what happens in between — what happens when the money in the city coffers goes to sleep at night.

In fiscal year 2017, the city of San Francisco took in an average of $508 million a month in revenues and put out $467 million a month in expenses. But in between, the banks that handle all that cash sometimes used public dollars in ways that, in the opinions of Cohen and others, contradict the reasons why that money is coming and going in the first place.

“The existing banking and financial structures we’re operating in don’t always mirror our city’s values,” Cohen says. “For example, we had many people opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Many of the banks we bank with support the funding of this pipeline.”

For some cities, like Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle and elsewhere, the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal was the last straw. The bank’s subsequent downgrade on its federal community reinvestment rating even forced New York, the nation’s largest city, to initiate the process of moving its deposits and banking servicesaway from Wells Fargo.

But where else could all those dollars be kept other than in a large, private financial institution? State and local governments hold around $458 billion in deposits, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, while state and local pensions hold $3.7 trillion in investments. That’s a lot of money and a lot of daily transactions, which would overwhelm most community banks in most cities. For a solution, Cohen and others have turned to what seems like an unlikely place for big city legislators: the windswept plains of North Dakota. The state is home to the the Bank of North Dakota, the nation’s only public bank, a government-owned deposit-taking institution.

As Cohen and others see it, modeling a city-owned bank after the Bank of North Dakota would go beyond protecting public dollars from being used in ways that contradict public values and priorities — it could also help utilize those dollars as a powerful tool to advance those values and priorities. There are huge risks that need to be addressed and big questions to resolve along the way, but the urgency and energy around the public bank idea have never been stronger or more widespread, with public bank proposals at various stages in San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

Several states, most notably New Jersey and Michigan, are also moving public bank proposals forward. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, new to office and himself a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, campaigned on creating a public bank.

“We would have more autonomy and more say in how our city resources are invested. San Francisco is one of the hottest real estate markets in the world but we’ve got an affordability crisis. Why are we not investing our dollars to solve that?” asks Cohen, who first heard about public banks during her 2010 campaign for office, when an opponent brought it up first. “What I’m also envisioning is how a municipal bank could better support small businesses, financing small businesses run by minorities, women, veterans — those who don’t have access to the same level of capital.”

A BANKER’S BANK

Predominantly rural North Dakota may seem an unlikely place for cities to look for a solution, but there are some clear parallels between the Bank of North Dakota’s origins and the circumstances facing cities today. When the bank was founded in 1919, North Dakota farmers had been frustrated with the lending terms given to them by banks based in Minneapolis and Chicago, which they felt were too onerous and even predatory.

In today’s San Francisco, Cohen sees affordable housing developers struggling to access loans at affordable interest rates that would allow them to build or preserve more affordable housing, and at deeper levels of affordability. She also sees small businesses — both startups and well-established enterprises — struggling to get access to non-predatory credit that would enable them to grow and hire more employees.

At the California Reinvestment Coalition, the state’s leading financial watchdog group, executive director Paulina Gonzalez spends her days battling big banks, but she has similar hopes for a public bank.

“There’s an opportunity for cities,” Gonzalez says. “Maybe a public bank can provide support to local small businesses at lower interest rates, or provide support for affordable housing in a way that responds to community needs.”

With a budget appropriation for startup capital of $2 million, the equivalent of $28 million in today’s dollars adjusted for inflation, the North Dakota state legislature created the Bank of North Dakota, which opened its doors on July 28, 1919. How to raise startup capital is one of the big questions facing public bank advocates today. Banking startups can choose whether to be state-chartered (like the Bank of North Dakota) or federally-chartered; either way, regulators want to see a certain amount of startup capital based on the projected startup size of the bank.

“If the bank takes on deposits, we must be certain we can adequately fund the reserves necessary so that we can show we’re a responsible lender, modeling good behavior,” says Cohen, who also happens to be a trustee of one of the city’s pension funds.

Regulators will also want to see a business plan.

From its very beginning, the Bank of North Dakota’s business plan was not to compete directly with private banks and credit unions, but rather to complement them. Its primary source of deposits is not individuals or businesses, but the state’s tax payments, fees and pension funds, as well as deposits from city and county government entities in North Dakota. Today’s public bank advocates have to consider whether a new public bank, starting a hundred years after North Dakota’s, can feasibly take over all revenue streams at once or whether it should carve out public revenues and deposits one slice at a time to gradually grow the public bank.

As part of its non-compete model, the Bank of North Dakota doesn’t have branch offices and doesn’t offer ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards or online bill pay. If individuals or businesses want to open an account, or make a deposit or withdrawal, they have to come to the bank’s headquarters in Bismarck. Only North Dakota residents and businesses may open a checking or savings account, or purchase a certificate of deposit at the Bank of North Dakota.

Despite what seems like a limited business model, the Bank of North Dakota currently has around $4.9 billion in deposits and $7.3 billion in assets — including $4.8 billion in loans. The bank earned a record $136 million in net income in 2016, and hasn’t posted a net income loss going back to at least 1971, according to the bank’s 2016 annual report. Over the past few decades, the bank typically paid between $30 to $50 million a year back into the state’s general budget — something that could be a huge boost to chronically underfunded city governments.

Based on population size — approximately 758,000 in North Dakota and 865,000 in San Francisco — a San Francisco public bank could eventually be as large and financially profitable as North Dakota’s, if not more so, given the city’s overall wealthier population and higher property values.

In its lending strategy, the Bank of North Dakota also seeks ways to complement private banks instead of competing with them. It does so mainly by serving as a sort of banker’s bank in a couple of different ways.

Business loans make up around 40 percent of the Bank of North Dakota’s lending portfolio and about half of those loans are so-called participation loans. Much of the bank’s farm loans are also participation loans. In a participation loan, a client comes to a private bank asking for a loan that turns out to be bigger than what the bank is able to provide at the time of the request. Banking regulators don’t like to see banks be “overexposed” to any one client — that’s putting too many loan eggs into one client’s basket. In North Dakota, when faced with this situation, the private bank can approve a loan to cover part of the client’s request, then it can ask to the Bank of North Dakota to make a loan covering the rest.

With the participation loan model, the business or farmer is less likely to seek capital and services from a larger, perhaps national bank. Thanks to the Bank of North Dakota, local North Dakota banks are better positioned to keep relationships with clients as their businesses grow, which most likely keeps those businesses’ deposits local while still providing them access to all the capital they need.

The Bank of North Dakota also makes direct investments into local banks—it currently holds around $249 million in local bank stock shares, helping to meet a crucial need for smaller banks, which often have a tougher time raising the level of capital required by federal regulators to remain in operation.

It’s largely because of the Bank of North Dakota’s participation loans and local bank investments that North Dakota has more banks and credit unions per capital than any other state, says Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the think tank Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

“It’s fascinating to me because it’s a public solution that creates a much more robust cadre of capitalist enterprises,” Mitchell says. “In terms of the functionality, I don’t see a particular reason this model wouldn’t adapt to an urban environment.”

There are some parts of the Bank of North Dakota model that Mitchell doesn’t think would transfer to a more politically tumultuous, big-city environment. For example, while the Bank of North Dakota is staffed with professional bankers with backgrounds and experience in running private banks and underwriting loans, its board consists of only three people, one of whom is the Governor of North Dakota. The other two are the state’s Attorney General and the head of the Department of Agriculture, who the governor appoints.

“It’s a very small board, and it has worked in favor of North Dakota, which has a fairly high level of integrity in its government,” Mitchell says. “It’s a small place and it seems to have worked out fine, but I look at the structure and it doesn’t seem robust enough.”

For San Francisco and other places, governance is a huge question. In a place like New Jersey, it’s concerning to an almost comic degree, with “Bridgegate” being just the latest highly visible example of what lengths politicians are willing to go to spite each other.

“You have to very carefully circumscribe what the bank is allowed to do and who is on the board,” says Ellen Hodgson Brown, founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute, a nonprofit supporting public banking advocates around the country. “You don’t want politicians deciding who gets the loans.”

The banker’s bank model can help insulate a public bank from getting too involved with politics, according to Hodgson Brown. “Let the local banks deal directly with the customers,” she says.

“ENHANCE WHAT WE’RE ALREADY DOING”

Cities don’t have to go to North Dakota to see if it’s possible for a public sector entity to make loans while keeping politicians at arms’ length.

Local and state housing finance agencies everywhere already issue tax-exempt bonds to finance affordable housing projects, carefully underwriting the projects and developers who must eventually pay back those funds to investors. Housing finance agencies can’t play around with politics because they need to be able to keep up their low risk ratings or else lose the interest of the Wall Street types that invest in their bonds on behalf of future retirees, pensioners and others.

Depending on the city, the local community development agency may also be underwriting loans on a regular basis. The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development technically has a $1.4 billion affordable housing loan portfolio, for which it evaluates the finances of developers and the projects they propose, scrutinizing construction cost estimates and other project documents for possible fraud and other concerns. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but they underwrite loans on a regular basis without politicians getting involved in the day-to-day transactions.

Getting away with poor cost estimates in affordable housing finance in San Francisco would be hard, says Rebecca Foster, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund, because the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) has a lot of layers of review built into their systems and loan documents. The Fund works closely with MOHCD’s underwriting, construction oversight and loan administration teams, and for rehab and new construction loans, the city’s construction manager as well as the developer’s construction manager both must review and sign off on a construction contract. In its loan agreements, the city limits administrative and overhead costs and requires that these costs are clearly line-itemed.

“If governments like the city or even the state could figure out more effectively how to link the investments of some of their deposits, even a very small portion … to local activities they support, that could be incredibly powerful,” Foster says.

On a smaller scale, San Francisco also offers down payment assistance loans to first-time, low-to-moderate income homebuyers. It currently has around 1,200 such loans outstanding in its portfolio, worth around $82 million. It also has a revolving loan fund for small business loans, currently administered by a nonprofit.

“The public bank would be able to enhance what we’re already doing,” Cohen says. “For example, our down payment assistance program has some limitations, and this could help it become more robust.”

In New Jersey, public banking advocacy efforts have been coordinated by environmentalists Walt McRee and Joan Bartl, both also working under the banner of the Public Banking Institute. They met future gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy at a picnic of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization before he announced his run. “Because it’s what we talk about, we asked if he had heard about it,” McRee says.

San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, seen here in a 2016 photo, is one of a growing number of city officials examining how public banks can benefit local governments. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Not only had Murphy already heard about the Bank of North Dakota, but as a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, he had learned about that country’s network of local public banks, which have been around for hundreds of years.

Since then, McRee and Bartl have been touring the state, talking with anyone who is interested in speaking with them, from various labor groups to professional networks to mayors and local council members. They’ve been hoping to prime allies in anticipation of huge push back from the banking lobby if Murphy moves forward with his campaign promises around public banking. “The status quo has a momentum,” McRee adds.

Their efforts are already paying off. Last month, Murphy’s allies in the New Jersey legislature introduced a bill defining the scope of a public bank and establishing a process to establish a board of directors for a public bank.

KEEPING THE BIGGER PICTURE IN MIND

Last year, Cohen and her colleague Sandra Fewer requested an analysis on “community responsive banking” with a focus on creating a municipal bank from the city’s Budget & Legislative Analyst’s Office. A key step in moving the public banking process forward, the analysis includes a re-assessment by city attorneys that the city does have the legal authority to charter a banking entity, which contradicts earlier city attorney findings from 2011.

“The key thing I took away from the report was this is doable,” Cohen says. “There’s a lot of moving parts in our financial banking and payroll system, but San Francisco has a lot of talent, and the legal framework already exists.”

It would also be cheaper than what the city is already doing. The community responsive banking analysis notes that the city pays $864,000 a year in fees just for short-term cash management accounts. The city has nearly 200 short-term cash management accounts, one each at Union Bank and U.S. Bank, and the rest with Bank of America, with an average account balance of around $223 million. Meanwhile, Citibank manages the city’s $8.3 billion in longer-term investments for an annual fee of $186,000, in addition to any broker and dealer fees for trading in stocks, bonds and other investments.

Thanks to the interest that the Bank of North Dakota earns on its lending and other assets, the state of North Dakota pays nothing for the same services — in fact, the bank more often pays the state in those chunks of $30 to $50 million a year, if it’s needed.

The Office of San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros just launched the next phase of the public bank formation process, announcing the members of a Municipal Bank Feasibility Task Force.

“It’s my goal to have a thoughtful directive from the task force by the summertime, so we can move forward in the fall to introduce legislation to get this incorporated by the end of this year,” Cohen says.

The 15 members include representatives from community banking, a credit union, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the California State Treasurer’s Office, the head of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and Gonzalez.

“Our history is in the reinvestment work, looking at banks across the country,” says Gonzalez. “In this case, it’s about tax dollars. There’s a real interest in cities and states to think about what can they do to ensure that there’s a banking model in place that is as able to reinvest tax dollars back into communities.”

At the same time, Gonzalez’s work battling the big banks is a reminder that, no matter how much of a difference a public bank might make, there’s a much bigger picture: the nearly $12 trillion in deposits held at all commercial banks. A sudden smattering of new public banks across the country isn’t going to suddenly stop big banks from using those deposits to finance and profit from projects that don’t live up to the values of all the millions of people to whom those deposits belong.

“We have to get the banking system and all the individual actors in it to hew to our standards as depositors, municipalities, companies and nonprofits because it will be very hard to overwhelm what that massive-scale system is doing with anything else,” says Kat Taylor, co-founder of Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank and fellow task force member.

That said, Taylor, whose husband and fellow co-founder is Trump impeachment campaigner Tom Steyer, has a lot of appreciation for the sentiment and energy behind public bank initiatives around the country. In her view, because of the privileges the public bestows on the banking system, such as federal deposit insurance, banks are essentially quasi-public institutions and should operate as such. But for many reasons, most of us forget that or never even get to understand why that is.

This sudden wave of public bank legislation and activity is a sign to Taylor that many are starting to remember.

“I think this is the sign of the sleeping giant, the American populace, taking back their agency and accountability for the banking system,” Taylor says. “It belongs to all of us.

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Berkeley occupation updates

February 21, 2018

This showed up in my email. Thank you, whomever transcribed it.

Transcription of Brian Edward-Tiekert on KPFA, 2/12/18, 7:27 am

…. a move by the City of Berkeley to dislodge homeless encampments from the grounds around Old City Hall. Possibly of much larger significance because Berkeley is currently the target of a federal lawsuit over its repeated evictions of homeless encampments, how the judge will feel about a short notice eviction – this was done on 24 hours – we may find out in the near future.

I was super-curious because I went out there to watch the eviction and there were a lot of city staff and a lot of police there. You know, what’s the price tag on evicting homeless camps, cleaning up after them, and then doing it again, wherever the people have moved to. And in fact, people were kind of moved on by police, people who’d been camping at city hall, people from two other locations they moved to that day.

I followed some people to basically a gravel lot where there used to be a rail right of way close to Berkeley Bowl West, and they had already been threatened with arrest by a Berkeley police officer who came by mid-afternoon. They were picking up their things and moving again in the dark, kind of panicked, they didn’t have flashlights, although some good Samaritans were bringing cars by to help them pack up and move out to the marina.

Friday [I] went to talk to some people who had moved their things next to the new city hall, the Berkeley Civic Center, and started to set up a couple tents and a banner. They slept there one night and police came by and gave them a written formal notice that they’d have to clear out. It was basically copied word for word except the address from the one that had been given the people at Old City Hall. They weren’t sure where they were gong to go, but they were also packing up in a rush as dark was closing in.

So Karin Smith, who was covering this for our news department and I, we put in a couple repeated requests to the City Manager’s office, the city spokesperson Mattai Chakko, you know, asking how much this costs. He said we don’t know, “we won’t be able to calculate the cost of evicting the homeless camps, at least until timecard data is in,” which I thought was interesting because given the number of people I saw out there you would think someone would have at least penciled out a number, you know, what’s this going to cost?

How does it compare to setting up extra shelter beds for everybody? Giving everybody a hotel room for a couple nights? But apparently the city doesn’t calculate things that way. We said, well can you tell us how many people were involved, give us a head count, so we can get a sense? Eventually at the end of the day, this is what he [Mattai] came back with, and he’s including the efforts that were done the day before the camp was evicted to reach out to the people in the encampment, to inform them they were risking arrest if they stayed and to put them in contact with city services. 20 civilian staff, 30 sworn officers, I was trying to figure out, what does this cost. I called Andrea Prichett, who’s on the Berkeley Police Commission and knows a lot of the police on sight, how many high ranking officers were there. She said, “well I counted three lieutenants” and she named them, so I believe her. The spokesperson I talked to, a sergeant, that’s right below a lieutenant, and I saw at least one other sergeant on site. A lieutenant of middling seniority, I looked up the figures, they’re public, cost the city in pay and benefits, nearly $190 an hour, a sergeant costs nearly $160 an hour, and a regular officer costs nearly $130,000 [sic] an hour.

So to plug in the numbers, on average people were putting 4 hours, and nobody was making overtime, which is highly unlikely, at 5:00 am you had that many cops involved and nobody was ringing up time and a half, I get a figure in the vicinity of $15,000 to $20,000 dollars that the city’s laying out. And I think the big question that our cities haven’t grappled with the explosion of homeless encampments, not what’s the cost of housing people, but what’s the cost of policing people, like what are we spending dealing with homelessness as a police issue?

–Mike Zint

And another note from Mike Zint dated February 21, 2018:

I just got this. When it comes to cool things, this one is up there in ranking.

Mike: Several weeks ago–actually perhaps even a month ago–HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) passed the following Resolution. Perhaps you could pass it on to the FTCFTH folks? Hope all going well. Can you confirm you’ve gotten this e-mail? –Robert

HUFF supports the struggles of the Berkeley intentional community–which has various called itself First They Came for the Homeless, Here…There, Snub the Hub, and the Poverty Tour. They have repeatedly overcome government deportation and property seizure. They have reestablished themselves as a viable campground and provided emergency shelter to its participants over the last 15 months. They have effectively formed alliances and used legal tools to challenge those who would sweep them away without a trace. Their example and their presence has pressured unwilling “progressives” to drawback their attacks on other Berkeley encampments. We commend their struggle for the right to be free from property seizure and harassment, to create their own shelter and community, and by their existence to educate the broader California community regarding the false promises of authorities and the real power of those outside to form independent bonds with the community if free from criminalization.

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AMERICAN INDIAN FILM INSTITUTE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT MICHAEL SMITH PASSES AWAY AT 66

 

SAN FRANCISCO – (aifisf.comMichael Smith, the Relocation-era Sioux man who founded the American Indian Film Institute and the American Indian Film Festival, passed away on Wed., Feb. 14, 2018 in San Francisco. He was 66.
Growing up watching non-Natives play Natives, perpetuating stereotypes and disseminating inaccurate, often offensive portrayals of American Indians onscreen, a 20-something Smith started the American Indian Film Institute in 1975, in Seattle. It took zero persuasion on Smith’s part to recruit two of his heroes – Mvskokee actor Will Sampson (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), and Canada’s Coast Salish actor and tribal leader, Chief Dan George (“The Outlaw Josey Wales;) “Little Big Man”) – to become founding board members of AIFI. A couple of years later, Smith helmed the first-ever American Indian Film Festival; and, in November 2017, AIFF marked its 42nd year of creating countless filmmakers, screening hundreds of films by, for and about Native peoples, and shattering stereotypes around the globe.
In marking its milestone 40 years, the American Indian Film Festival naturally reflects on the themes, forces and faces who inspired new generations, broke through barriers and set the bar for cinematic achievement, against the dramatic backdrop of civil and American Indian rights, a cultural revolution, and cutting-edge films. Will Sampson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Buffalo Bill) , and Coastal Salish actor Chief Dan George (The Outlaw Josey Wales; Little Big Man) broke into mainstream feature films, forging their future as icons, and inspiring a young Sioux visionary to establish a forum and showcase from an indigenous perspective. From relocated urban Indians to rural reservations storytellers, new filmmakers from all corners of Indian country stepped up and spoke up, made movies, and shared them with the American Indian Film Festival.
“Both Chief Dan George and Will Sampson were my heroes, and ultimately became founding board members of the American Indian Film Institute,” Smith said in 2015, as AIFF marked its 40th anniversary. “Seeing these formidable, funny Indian actors onscreen illuminated the void of authentic portrayals, complex characters, and three-dimensional Native life, in the movies. They were unforgettable presences in my life, and at the festival. The American Indian Film Festival gave us a voice, 40 years has flown by, and we’re looking forward to the next 40.”
As tributes pour in for Michael Smith – the visionary Sioux man who changed audiences’ POV of America’s indigenous people and their culture – his family vows to continue his work and honor his legacy.
“The impact of my father’s work, and the American Indian Film Institute’s history will remain immeasurable,” noted Smith’s daughter, Mytia Zavala – who grew up with a second, extended family in the tight-knit community of Native cinema, and has continued in her father’s footsteps. “My Dad would want us to carry on the institute’s vision and mission, and in his honor, we will.”

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The Smith/Spencer family is trying to raise funds to help with medical costs, funeral arrangements, and funds to bring his family and remains back to Poplar, MT. where he will be laid to rest. All funds go to his daughter Mytia Zavala who is in charge of the arrangements.

Friends and family are welcome to attend the funeral services for Michael which will be held in Poplar, Montana or join us in celebrating his life in a Memorial Celebration which will be held in San Francisco Bay Area.
The family is currently in the process of arranging the details and will return with an update with dates, locations and time.
Any amount is greatly appreciated and know that any contribution makes a huge difference.
Thank you for your continuous prayers and support.
GoFund Me Campagin
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The Crisis At KPFA & The Pacifica Network:  “Making Sausage” Democracy & A National  Alternative Multi-Media Network


laborvideo
Published on Feb 19, 2018

The crisis at KPFA and Pacific including the possibility of bankruptcy was the focus of a forum on 32/18/18 in Berkeley. The forum also looked at the history of efforts to make Pacifica and the stations into an NPR type operation.Also presentations looked at the development of a multi-media platform using streaming video and the digitalization of the analogue channels at KPFA that could bring 2 additional stations for the use of KPFA and possible lease as a way of raising funding.

Finally the program reported on the effort at KPFA to manipulate an election to prevent any representation from the station on the PNB of representatives who would be opposed to the bankruptcy proposal being pushed by the CFO, Save KPFA and United For Community Radio UCR factions.

Speakers at the forum included:
Maria Gilardin, TUC Radio, Former KPFA LSB Member Who Was Banned From The Station
Frank Sterling, KPFA Apprentice Program & Full Circle
Jeff Blankfort, Founder of “Save KPFA” and Host of Host KZYX&Z Takes on The World 90.7, 91.5
Janet Kobren, KPFA LSB and former Pacific National Board Member
Steve Zeltzer, KPFA WorkWeek Radio and KPFA LSB Staff Representative
Pedro Reyes, KPFA Host of Settin The Standard and Late Night Hype
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio…
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/201…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Y-i…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcGuu…
https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb171…
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar…
http://www.unitedforcommunityradio.or…
https://www.facebook.com/jeff.blankfo…
The forum was sponsored by BFUU and WorkWeek Radio.

Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

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ANNOUNCEMENTS for Tuesday, 2/20 – Saturday, 2/24 (from Adrienne Fong)

Listed are a few items – I’m NOT really back doing announcements.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on Events! This is a JUSTICE ISSUE!

Check Indybay for other events: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12 

UPDATES:

A. Nunes: FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial (February 19)

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/19/nunes-fbi-and-doj-perps-could-be-put-on-trial/

B. N.Y. Teamsters form ‘sanctuary union’ to fight ICE agents (February 10)

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/n-y-teamsters-form-sanctuary-union-fight-ice-agents-article-1.3813201

ACTION: 

Add Your Name to an Open Letter to the Country
  Opposing the Muslim Ban and Supporting the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017

  https://us2.campaign-archive.com/?e&u=4ce19b7915c55395522767474&id=960822dec2

Monday, February 19, is the annual Day of Remembrance, marking the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, setting into motion the exclusion, eviction, and incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, both American citizens and immigrants.

Remembering one of our country’s worst civil rights failures is not enough, and never has been. Now, more than ever, we must actively RESIST in order to pressure our government leaders and courts to #StopRepeatingHistory.

We must collectively stand up!! 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Saturday, Feb. 24 

Tuesday, February 20

1. Tuesday, 1:00pm – 1:45pm, Rally to Lift Up Charges in Bail Law, Call to End Money Bail

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.
SF

Community organizations fighting for bail reform in nine California counties will hold coordinated rallies in front of their county courthouses in partnership with public defenders to call for an end to the money bail system in California, and highlight the recent Humphrey decision, which cemented a historic change in bail law, requiring judges to consider a defendant’s ability to pay when deciding bail.

BACKGROUND: The First District Court of Appeal on Jan. 25 delivered a decision that abolishes the practice of using high money bail to detain poor people without giving them detention hearings, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The case, brought by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and Civil Rights Corps, revolved around the detention of 64-year-old Kenneth Humphrey, held on $350,000 bail (initially set at $600,000) for allegedly stealing $5 and a bottle of cologne. Humphrey “is entitled to a new bail hearing at which the court inquires into and determines his ability to pay, considers non-monetary alternatives to money bail, and, if it determines [he] is unable to afford the amount of bail the court finds necessary, follows the procedures and makes the findings necessary for a valid order of detention,” the appellate court stated.

Over 60 percent of those detained in California jails are there pretrial — incarcerated due to their inability to afford the high bail amount. “The Humphrey decision is a game changer for Californians and a major crack in the foundation for the exploitive cash bail industry.

The 11 lead organizations are part of the Participatory Defense Network, and all work with families whose loved ones are facing the court system. In San Francisco, the following organizations are participating: SF Public Defender’s Office; Young Women’s Freedom Center; BMAGIC; Mo’Magic; All of Us or None, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; CURYJ; ReUniting Families

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/786672911523081/

2. Tuesday, 6:30pm – 9:00pm, Alameda County Rapid Response (Must register to attend) 

Kehilla Community Synagogue
1300 Grand Ave.
Piedmont

YOU MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND THIS TRAINING!
You can register at www.tinyurl.com/acilep . You may direct any questions to acilepgroup@gmail.com.

ICE out of Alameda County!!

The Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership (ACILEP) invites you to join our team of volunteer responders to resist the raids and deportations.

Learn how to verify ICE activity and be a legal observer to protect our communities from ICE!
Rehearse critical & creative tactics for effective action!

There will be pizza and snacks provided but we may not be able to meet all dietary needs.

Hosted by Kehilla Synagogue, Plymouth Church of Jazz and Justice, Bend the Arc, Temple Sinai, and Jewish Community Center of the East Bay

Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) is a partnership of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Causa Justa Just Cause, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Oakland Community Organizations, Street Level Health, the Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay, Centro Legal de la Raza, and the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office. Theater of the Oppressed Assistance from Starr King School for the Ministry. 

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/164395024187482/ 

Wednesday, February 21

3. Wednesday, 8:00am – 9:00am, Court Support Breakfast Rally for Aunti Frances

Hayward Hall of Justice
24405 Amador St.
Hayward

1.2 miles from Hayward Bart. We have a ride coordinator! Email dicewald@gmail.com 

ACCESS INFO
Rally will take place outside the Hayward Court steps on an ADA accessible path. There are bathrooms including ADA accessible bathrooms in the court house however you must go through security to enter the building.

Aunti Frances’ landlords have still not dropped the eviction. On FEBRUARY 21ST AT 8AM Aunti Frances goes to her first settlement negotiation with the Morphys, and we’re going too! We need to show that our communities support Aunti Frances in fighting her eviction.

Show up to the court steps, share breakfast and join us to #DefendAuntiFrances. On this morning, as we share food together in the tradition of the Self-Help Hunger Program, we will also invite the Morphys to break bread with our community and to come to the negotiation table in good faith.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1855267437879610/

4. Wednesday, 12:30pm – 2:30pm, Take Down the Pioneer Statue NOW! 

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl, Room 400
SF

Wheelchair accessible

This is the Second step in the process of taking down the Pioneer Statue and an important step.

Come out in person and doing public comment at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting, AND emailing or calling the HPC commissioners. Thats 2 steps.
The Historic Preservation Commission will decide whether or not they support the removal of the pioneer statue. Since the statue is a old statue it must be heard by the historic preservation commission.

Please contact the following commissioners today and tell them the statue has to go!

The contact info is:
Andrew Wolfram: andrew@tefarch.com
Aaron Jon Hyland: aaron.hyland.hpc@gmail.com
Ellen Johnch: ellen.hpc@ellenjohnckconsulting.com
Richard S E Johns: RSEJohns@yahoo.com

Diane Matsuda: dianematsuda@hotmail.com
Jonathan Pearlman: jonathan.pearlman.hpc@gmail.com
Tim Frye: tim.frye@sfgov.org

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/167172820588520/ 

5. Wednesday, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Protest Corrupt Racist Abe Administration & His Wife Akie – Rally / Press Conference 

St. Regis Hotel
125 3rd Street
SF

Protest Corrupt Racist Abe Administration And His Wife Akie-Stop The Nukes, Stop US/JPN Militarization/Secrecy Laws/Conpiracy Laws/Stop Education Of Privatization, Union Busting And War Mongering

Exposing Education Privatization Corruption And Racist Rightwing Nationalism In Japan-Protest Against Akia Abe 

Akie Abe and her husband Shinzo have also been pushing militarization in public education and privatization of schools in Japan and personally supporting rightwing nationalist schools with illegal public subsidies. The Abe government has harassed and bullied teachers who are against militarization in the schools and also against the “denialists” in the government who say that there were no ‘comfort women’ or sexual slaves of the Japanese Imperial Army during the 2nd WW.

The Abe government is also spending $500 million around the world to stop the building of memorials for the ‘comfort women’ and heavily lobbied the SF Board of Supervisors to oppose the building of a memorial here is San Francisco. Their supporters publicly attacked one of the mothers eighty-nine-year old Lee Yong-soo, a “prostitutes” and “liar” at the SF Board Of Supervisors. Akie talks about honoring women and is being “honored in SF for honoring women” but she and her husband do the opposite in San Francisco.

Abe and his wife are also presently involved in a corruption scandal with Akie being the “honorary” principle of a privately run racist school in Japan being built by the owner of Tsukamoto, which has been accused of receiving illicit financial favors from the government. This school has incited racist attack on Korean, Korean Japanese and Chinese. The school according to the NYT was praised by Ms. Abe for “nurturing children with strong backbones, who have pride as Japanese, on a basis of superior moral education.” Apparently corruption and stealing funds from the Japanese government is part and parcel of her “moral education”.

The Abe government has also moved ahead with supporting the building of US bases in Okinawa despite the opposition of the people and environmentalists. The US used Okinawa as a base for US military intervention in Asia and during the Vietnam war, B52 bombers were used every day to kill and destroy the people of Vietnam. The US people must demand that we get our bases out of Okinawa and leave the Okinawan people in peace. They face regular rapes by US military personnel and dangerous accidents harming the people of Okinawa. It is also used as a testing ground for the Osprey helicopters and other deadly US weapons.

Akie Abe will be honored at the Lotus Leadership Awards at the Regis Hotel. All are welcomed to join the protest of Akie and the Shinzo Abe government to endorse and support or want more information please contact  info [at] upwa.info  (415)282-1908

Hosts: United Public Workers For Action. http://www.upwa.info  and No Nukes Action Committee

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/02/12/18806678.php

6. Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, PEACE VIGIL (See item #11) 

One Post Street in San Francisco.
(on the steps facing Market Street, below Feinstein’s office,
directly above the Montgomery BART/Muni station).
SF

This week’s theme will focus on event with Ann Wright on Thursday, Feb. 22nd re: GAZA , Freedom Flotilla & BDS

Signage & fliers provided

All are welcomed.

7. Wednesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Homelessness in Bayview Hunter’s Point: A Community Discussion 

SF Public Library – Bayview/Linda Brooks Branch
5075 3rd St.
SF

Wheelchair accessible

HOMELESSNESS in Bayview Hunter’s Point –
A Community Discussion on RACISM, POVERTY & the INEQUITY of Services

At this very moment, there are 7,500 unhoused residents reported in San Francisco, of which 1,200 live in Bayview alone. 34% of surveyed respondents identified as African-American: an alarming disparity since the entire African-American population in SF is only 6% (*An undercount, given the questionable methodology by the SF Homeless Point in Time Count Reports).
In Bayview, the African-American population has gone from 15% to 2% in the last 50 years and is still decreasing.

Bayview has 40% of the cities’ unhoused population, yet only receives 7% of services!

We will be discussing how racism and classicism is manifested through the inequity of services for the African American community, and through a housing crisis that disproportionately affects low-income communities of color. We’ll address how to respond to this homelessness crisis, including alternatives to calling the police, a desperate need for beds and shelters, and how to to keep our local government accountable.

Speakers:
GWENDOLYN WESTBROOK of Mother Brown’s Dining Room (The United Council of Human Services), SAM LEW of Coalition on Homelessness, local community activist and resident of D10, TONY KELLY, and BRIAN BUTLER of Greenaction.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/191179184950584/

8. Wednesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, APTP General Mting/Resurrecting the Legacy of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) 

East Side Arts Alliance
2277 International Blvd
Oakland

Repurposing the APTP meeting this month for the following Black Solidarity Week Event:
We will gather to remember and celebrate the legacy of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz),who was assassinated on this day in 1965. Due to consistent attacks, misrepresentation and erasure of his work and his critical impact, it is essential to resurrect, protect, and maintain his legacy. This vigil will begin the countdown to our Honoring the Legacy Event to be held on May 19, 2018. This is a Black Solidarity Week Traditions & Ways Event. Sponsored by Black Solidarity Week and the Community Ready Corps.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/305615336626291/

9. Wednesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, The Ongoing Crisis in Syria 

The Women’s Building
3543 18th St.
SF

On January 20, Turkey began its assault on Afrin, one of three Kurdish-majority cantons that make up a semi-autonomous region where Kurds predominate, commonly known as Rojava. The consequence of this intervention? Escalated tensions across the region, and more suffering for victims on all sides. Turkey’s invasion is a new front in the seven-year-old civil war in Syria, and a further complication in a twisted situation in which different forces of counterrevolution are both collaborating with each other and competing to project their interests, with ordinary people on all sides in Syria paying the deadly price. Join us for a conversation about recent events in Syria, and what it means for the Syrian people.

Host: International Socialist Organization

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1824154590936610/

Thursday, February 22 

10. Thursday, 8:00am – 12Noon, Free Floricel – Pact the Court // Liberen A Floricel

ICE
630 Sansome St.
SF

Rally: 8AM
Hearing: 9AM

Must have ID to enter building.

After 8 months of being in detention, Floricel’s bond was denied on 12/5/2017. Her immigration attorney escalated Floricel’s case to the District Federal court and filed a habeas petition to denounce the unlawful detention of Floricel. Floricel’s petition was granted.

Today will be a new bond hearing, she is so close to getting reunited with her children after 10 months of being in detention!! Please join family, friends and community as well as faith leaders as we rally and pack the court to #FreeFloricel!

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/153729218763191/

11. Thursday, 9:00am – 12Noon, Pack the BART Board Meeting: Justice 4 Sahleem 

344 20th Street (nr. 19th Street BART)
Oakland

Sahleem Tindle was murdered by BART Police Officer Joseph Mateu on January 3, 2018. Shot in the back three times. The family has since learned that Mateu is back on the job. Let’s pack the BART Board meeting on Thursday 2/22 at 9 AM.

The Family Demands:
– Release the body cam footage to the community so they can see what really happened

– Fire, Arrest and Convict Joseph Mateu

Host: APTP

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/192508268178763/ 

 12. Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, GAZA / Ann Wright on the 2018 Freedom Flotilla & BDS 

Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave., Rm. 210
SF

6:00pm – social

7:00pm – presentation

Francis Collins, opening song.

Arla Ertz speaks about her visits to Palestine.

Ash Malloy performs an excerpt from her work: “My Name Is Rachel Corrie”.

Ann Wright talks on the 2016 Women’s Boat to Gaza.

And a fundraising update on the plans for the 2018 Gaza Flotilla.

A Q&A session will follow Ann’s talk.

An update on the deteriorating conditions in Gaza and the challenges to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Ann Wright is a retired US Army Colonel & former US diplomat. She resigned from the US government in 2003 over the war on Iraq. She has been on 3 flotillas.

Hosts: Veterans for Peace Chapter 69 and SF Codepink

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/01/23/18806172.php

13. Thursday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, The FBI Black Identity Extremist Designation & Black Liberation 

Laney College
900 Fallon St., Rm. D200
Oakland

Sliding Scale Donation: $5-$20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

TARGETING THE MOVEMENT:
The FBI’s Black Identity Extremist Designation and Black Liberation

Featuring:
Thomas Mariadason, member, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Liz Derias-TyehimbaThe Center for Political Education
Kiilu Nyasha, former Black Panther and host of Freedom is a Constant Struggle
Tur-ha AkCommunity READY Corps
Woods ErvinTGI Justice Project (TGIJP)
Zoé Samudzi, writer and activist 

Last summer, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division issued a memo about what it designated as “black identity extremists” (BIE), warning of an increase in “premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement” at their hands. This designation fits within a long line of federal law enforcement efforts to suppress Black liberation movements in the US and to threaten and intimidate Black organizers, activists and their allies. What are the implications of this latest designation, what does it tell us about law enforcement strategy, and what can we do to resist it?

Host: Center for Political Education & National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1684861564885270/ 

Friday, February 23 

14. Friday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, Tell Citibank to Stop Funding the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (Also see items #16 & 18)

Citibank
260 California St.
SF

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline is the final stage of a scheme to bring fracked-oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota to export facilities in Louisiana. Construction on the pipeline is under way, but frontline communities are resisting. This resistance is being led by the L’eau Est La Vie Camp.

Banking giant Citibank is a large shareholder in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the company now building the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Not only did Citibank lead on the DAPL loan, it also has $398 million invested in ETP and are the 9th largest shareholder in ETP’s parent company, Energy Transfer Equity with $370 million in holdings. Furthermore, Citi has also loaned money to ETP, ETE and its subsidiaries. 

Our friends at L’eau Est La Vie Camp have called for a week of action against ETP and the corporate entities which prop it up.

Locally, in the Bay Area, we’ll be holding a protest and picket at the Citibank

You can see more at https://www.nobayoubridge.global/

Host: Diablo Rising Tide

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062263647339922/

15. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Court Hearing on Solitary Confinement 

Phillip Burton Federal Building
450 Golden Gate Ave
SF

12 Noon Rally

12:40pm Conclusion of rally & enter building

Bring ID if you are planning to attend the hearing

join LSPC, CCR, and partners in court for oral argument in Ashker v. Governor of California, a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison and throughout the state.

Ashker settled in 2015, and in the years since settlement, the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel have been monitoring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as it ends longterm indeterminate solitary confinement. In the course of that monitoring, CCR developed evidence that many class members have been released to “general population” units where have been forced to spend as much or more time locked in their cells as when they were in solitary, with little to no rehabilitative or educational programming.

On February 23, CCR cooperating counsel Jules Lobel will be arguing a motion challenging these SHU-like general population units as a violation of the settlement agreement.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2011774719037446/

16. Friday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, SEIU Picket in Front of ICE – every Friday 

ICE
630 Sansome St.
SF

No info could be found on Facebook nor under SEIU site at this writing. 

17. Friday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm,  Water Protectors Panel: Divest Fossil Fuels&Protect the Sacred 

1089 Mission St.
SF

Join Idle No More SF Bay and the youth program at the San Francisco Native American Health Center as we warm heartedly welcome Cheyenne River Water Protectors Joye BraunMadonna Thunder HawkMabel AnnKaren Little Wounded and Joseph White Eyes to the Bay Area! We will have a beautiful line up of questions and a report back about previous actions that they have organized or been part of around divestment from banks like US Bank and Wells Fargo. There will be time at the end for Q & A. Bios can be read just below logistics!

there is limited space of ~35 to see the panel upfront. Priority seats will be offered to elders, handicap and those who directly messaged Isabella Zizi to reserve a seat.

Those who come later will be directed to go downstairs to view the livestream footage on a projector where there is ~60 seats!

There will be light refreshments and all are welcome to bring a finger food dish.

This is also an opportunity to learn about the mural painting outside of the Wells Fargo Headquarters the following morning from 10am – 12pm

Host: Idle No More Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1553741988014482/

18. Friday, 7:00pm, A SPECIAL EVENING WITH SCILLA ELWORTHY 

Berkeley Friends Church
1600 Sacramento St (nr. North Berkeley BART)
Berkeley

Come hear Scilla Elworthy, a worldrenowned, peace practitioner from Great Britain. Dr Elworthy describes 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build peace and security. She documents how we could build the structures and systems for building real peace and security for everyone on the planet at a very small fraction of what the world spends on wars and preparations for wars every year 

1. WHY WAR CONTINUES

War makes a few people extremely rich, and makes billions of people extremely poor. Every year, the world spends about $2 trillion on wars.Those who thrive in war are not only arms manufacturers but also people traffickers, arms smugglers, money launderers, drug dealers.

2. HOW PEACE CAN BE BUILT

This book describes and references at least 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build safety at local, national and international levels.

3. WHAT IT WILL COST

Armed conflict causes massive economic losses every year, yet peace-building and peace-keeping are grossly under-funded. For less than $2 billion a year, we could be more secure than spending $2 trillion a year on wars and preparations for war.

4. WHO CAN DO IT

The book outlines what you can do to prevent violence and armed conflict: 10 actions to take in your community, 14 actions to take nationally and 7 actions to take internationally.

Host: Peace Dirct

Info:  davidhartsough@gmail.com 

Saturday, February 24 

18. Saturday, 10:00am – 12Noon, Protect the Sacred: Divest Wells Fargo

420 Montgomery St.
SF

Protect Indigenous Sovereignty! Protect Clean Water! Climate Justice!

Wells Fargo finances corporations that violate Indigenous Sovereignty

Wells Fargo finances pipelines which harm our water, air and soil.

Wells Fargo finances climate chaos & disruption

Join Idle No More SF Bay and Indigenous Environmental Network as we paint a giant image (details coming) while we sing and pray and demand that Wells Fargo divest from fossil fuels, fossil fuel infrastructure, and projects that threaten the sacred system of life and violate the rights of Indigenous Peoples to free, prior and informed consent.

We will also send a message that their grant announcement to give $50 million to Native American communities shows their hypocrisy and attempt to green wash their record as they recently agreed to extend $1.5 billion in credit to the Canadian oil corporation, TransCanada, to build the Keystone XL pipeline. 

We are honored to have Joseph White Eyes, Joye Braun, Karen Little Wounded, Mabel Ann Eagle Hunter and Madonna Thunder Hawk be our special guests of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe join us for this action along

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/773784619493453/

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Modern Monetary Systems: Understanding the Mechanics of Money & Value

Modern Monetary Theory: The Evolution of Money and How Modern Money Works

Modern money is a strange thing. To most of us, money appears as something continuously given to landlords and businesses to secure a place to live, food to eat, and all the little parts to make that thing called “a living.” Since a living is made of money-giving, it must be regularly collected — or, to put it another way, money is gathered by people who need to “un-gather” it. For the working majority whose only access to money is to labor under an employer for wages, money is a full-time job and whole lives are revised, re-written, or canceled just to make ends meet, leaving us too little time to ask how a monetary system works — or even what money is.

The Evolution of Money & Currency:
A Brief History of Value, Exchange, Gold, Paper

Somewhere in the mist of prehistory, humans lived with no permanent settlements, agriculture, or industry and each person had identical job-titles as hunter-gatherers. Since everyone produced the same thing, exchange was unnecessary. As farming techniques developed, groups settled to protect and improve the most productive soil. Division of labor occurred gradually as individuals specialized in crafts like pottery and weaving that became recognized as valid professions. As goods increased in diversity, patterns of exchange arose to distribute them more usefully.

Value, Exchange, & Currency

History of Money and Coins, Modern Monetary TheoryTo manage complex arrays of goods, people had to compare quantities, record past exchanges, and invent measures of value to inform group-decisions like whether to raise more sheep or grow more barley. Trade-relations formed and new questions, such as ‘is a bushel of grain as good as a log of salt?’or ‘is a jar of oil equal to two sacks of wool?’ led to establishing ratios of equal value for quantities of differing goods. Over time, goods that gained broad acceptance became used as a medium of exchange or currency. (from the Latin currens, meaning ‘flow or circulation’)

Metal Coinage & the Definition of Money

Cast or engraved to identify weight and purity, metal weights, bars, and rings began to circulate as currencies in the Bronze Age. While grain and livestock were useful, metals held value in relatively small sizes with a basically infinite shelf-life, which made it particularly handy for trading over long-distances. True coins appeared by about 650 B.C., often bearing images of animals, rulers, mythic heroes, or religious symbols.

Roman Coin, History of Coinage and Metal MoneyGrain, cattle, cigarettes, bitcoin — anything can be currency but money must be a unit of account and store of value. Since coins represent equal values, they act as a unit of account — a 10¢ coin is equal to two 5¢ coins because ‘cents’ are identical units. Both scarce and hard to fake, the intrinsic value of coins tend to be fairly stable and thus a store of value. Issued by the mints of states and empires, coinage — from electrum, bronze, or copper to silver and gold — was one of the dominant forms of money for the past few thousand years…

Reserves, Paper, & Fiat Money

Paper money evolved from promissory notes issued by banks for money-deposits that enabled merchants to do business without lugging chests of gold around. Banknotes originally functioned on the same principle as coinage — instead of minting coins for circulation, notes were issued to represent the intrinsic value of metals held in reserves. By the modern era, monetary institutions in most industrialized nations were organized as reserve systems with a central bank authorized by the state to issue the national currency.

Though reserve systems and banknotes had practical advantages over coinage, both of them — paper representing metals and metal money itself — are designed to function on the same basic principle. Modern money, however, is different. Most currencies ditched the gold standard after the US jumped ship in 1971 but these worthless bits of paper, aka ‘fiat money,’ are still pretty good at being money.

But how can this value-less money work?

The State Theory of Money

After observing banknotes’ relation to reserves, Georg Friedrich Knapp proposed that money’s value did not result from any intrinsic value in metals but from the state’s ability to impose taxes. While the idea that money’s value comes from intrinsic value in its material seems to be common sense, it simply never added up to the observable reality and the state theory of money is able to explain why. Metal has intrinsic value on its own, of course — but this value isn’t worth a lot if your taxes must be paid in a different currency and that means the state has the last word about value inside its borders. If the state only accepts taxes in Roman coinage, having tons of gold or Swiss Francs is irrelevant because the options are (A) buy the state’s money, (B) move away, or (C) spark a protracted people’s war to topple the regime so you can change its legal tender.

The power to issue money has pretty much always been an exclusive privilege of the state and coins were frequently produced to fund the armies needed to expand a state’s borders — ‘money is power,’ as they say. Imperialist states routinely banned coins minted in conquered territories and imposed taxes that could only be paid in imperial coin. To Rome, for example, imposing taxes in its territories meant more coin to pay more armies to conquer more people to loot treasuries to mint more coins and gain more territories to tax and so on ad infinitum.

Modern Monetary Systems & MMT

Under today’s capitalist systems, money plays a larger role in human societies than ever but this greater intimacy with money’s form is contradicted by broad uncertainty about its substance and how it works overall. On a daily basis, nearly everyone handles fiat money and, despite knowing it literally has no intrinsic value, it is accepted as if it were gold itself, which it clearly is not. The root of the confusion, however, is not that fiat is treated like gold but that we expect it to behave like gold — but modern money isn’t gold.

And modern monetary systems do not function in the same way that metal trinkets and reserve-backed currencies do.

How Modern Money Works

The first thing to understand is monetary sovereignty — a nation is monetarily sovereign if it has exclusive and unlimited authority to issue its currency. Since fiat money issued by a monetarily sovereign state isn’t fixed to the value of anything else, its government cannot run out of money because it creates money from nothing by spending it into circulation. Full stop. This does not mean the government should spend infinite amounts of its money — but it technically can.

#LearnMMT, Taxes Don't Fund Spending, MMT Modern MoneyJust as modern money is created from nothing by spending it into circulation, money is destroyed through taxation. The ‘taxpayer dollar’ funds nothing — it is deleted from the money supply, nothing more. Taxes do not fund spending because it is impossible for a monetarily sovereign government to need its citizens’ fiat paper to alter numbers in a spreadsheet. Taxation’s most important function is to generate a base-level of demand for the currency by ensuring those who benefit from participating in the nation’s economic production or commerce must also use some of its currency. Since taxation removes currency from circulation, taxation is also a lever to fine-tune inflation.

Why Balancing the Budget Is a Silly Idea

Modern Monetary System Simplified, Spending + Taxation
Note: the + end also includes positive trade balance and private debt, while the – end also includes gov’t debt securities

Spending creates money and taxation destroys it, then spending creates it again. Modern money is like a circuit — money is spent into circulation and taxed back out. A balanced budget means that the amounts entering and exiting are equal. Deficit spending — more money being spent than being taxed — means the non-government, aka the people at large, must gain wealth. A surplus — more money being taxed than spent — means the people at large must lose wealth. If the goal is to create jobs, increase the production of economic value, or develop resources, then a budget surplus is clearly the worst strategy possible and even a balanced budget is unhelpful at best.

Spending deficits are equal to the people’s surplus.

Spending Deficits & Surpluses, MMT Modern Money

MODERN MONEY VS. DEBASEMENT & DEVALUATION

If a government issues commodity-money, such as gold coins or notes backed by gold, then an increase in quantity by mint or by print will result debasement or devaluation unless more gold is added. In that case, the government has to either produce or borrow gold or impose new taxes to siphon some money back to its treasury before it can spend without devaluing or debasing it. But modern money — currency issued at a flexible exchange-rate by a monetarily sovereign government — is not the same thing as commodity money. Devaluation happens if a currency’s fixed exchange-rate (its relation to gold or whatever) is lowered by issuing too much of it — but modern money isn’t fixed to gold or anything else.

Spending Modern Money & Inflation

Inflation happens to prices, not money, and it is caused by markets, not by money. Whether the money is gold or paper, if the total that people are spending is more than the total goods and services available to buy, the result is inflation and it happens because demand is greater than what is available. Whatever the currency, spending more money than production can handle will inflate market-prices.

SPENDING IS ULTIMATELY RESTRAINED ONLY
BY THE IDLE LABOR & RESOURCES AVAILABLE

If a government continuously spent money into the system without doing anything else, it would result in inflation because the total economic value in the system is unchanged but with a higher total buying power. One of the cool things about money, however, is that it can convince people to do and make things and it is also able to buy materials and tools that people do and make things with. That means, if idle labor and resources are available, money can be spent without much inflation so long as spending activates that idle labor and resources to add economic value to the society.

In other words, there is no reason to fear deficit spending if that spending employs people who were jobless or provides capital to workers to employ themselves with develop its value because, when money and value are added simultaneously, inflation does not result. Public infrastructure projects, universal healthcare, a workers’ self-managed jobs guarantee, and tuition free public universities — programs like these could be tomorrow’s reality.

Knowledge, Not Money, Is Power

Ancient Model of the CosmosAncient thinkers developed a cosmological model called the Ptolemaic Model — it envisioned earth as the center of a series of nested, interlocking spheres that rotated the sun, stars, and planets across the sky and [spoiler alert] it turned out to be incorrect. Despite being wrong, the model is still a solid way to calculate seasons, motion, speed, and position of planets, and when constellations appear — but new models emerged that did all that and more. Those models took humanity to the moon, not because it was impossible before, but because the old model could not account for its possibility.

The way that we are taught to understand money is rooted in an outdated model that developed when virtually all money was metal and this model cannot account for the reality of money today. Money is not gold. The truth is — and always was — that money is a way to distribute access to the actual value of real goods and services and the material forces and resources used to produce them. The fact that the state accepts taxes in fiat paper and enforces its status as legal tender is enough to establish it as the society’s medium of exchange, despite its intrinsic valuelessness. In fact, this worthlessness is what makes modern money more useful than gold ever was — money can be as abundant as the people need it to be but gold cannot reflect that.

Most of the time, it has been true that ‘money is power’ but no inanimate object has power until people give it power and forget they did. And knowing that takes its power away and returns it to its original treasury, which is where real power is.

In solidarity,
John Laurits

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UPDATES ~ ANNOUNCEMENTS – Sunday 2/11 – Saturday 2/24 (from Adrienne Fong)

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on Events! This is a JUSTICE ISSUE!

Check Indybay for other events: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12 

A. Montana Man Quits Government Job Rather Than Help ICE ‘Hunt Down And Deport’ Undocumented Immigrants –February 9

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/montana-man-quits-over-ice_us_5a7d2b14e4b08dfc9302751c?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

B. Reformers urge SF to let elected mayor negotiate police union contract – February 9

http://www.sfexaminer.com/reformers-urge-sf-let-elected-mayor-negotiate-police-union-contract/ 

C. Special Report: Why ‘higher risk’ human targets get shocked with Tasers – February 7 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taser-vulnerable-specialreport/special-report-why-higher-risk-human-targets-get-shocked-with-tasers-idUSKBN1FR1PZ

D. Black Lives Matter leader shot dead – February 7, 2018

https://nypost.com/2018/02/07/black-lives-matter-leader-shot-dead/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sunday, February 11 – Thursday, February 15

+

“Future Events”

Sunday, February 11 

1. Sunday, 9:30am – 11:00am, UU Forum: Dauras Cyprian: “The Criminalization of Poverty”

Unitarian Universalist Church – SF
1187 Franklin St,, MLK Room
SF

Arguing that justice should be the main concern of the criminal justice system, Senior Organizer Daurus Cyprian for AOUON (All of Us or None) is on a quest to foster awareness of mass incarceration and bring it to an end. He explains how laws should protect society and not penalize poverty, mental illness, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. 

Senior AOUON Organizer Cyprian is also affiliated with Legal Services for Prisoners Children (LSPC).  After 26 years inside the system he is now in his senior year of a bachelor degree in social science at San Francisco State.  He previously worked for Restorative Justice at the American Friends Service Committee.  Behind the wall he trained as Alcohol and Drug Use Disorder Counselor, Peer Counselor and Literacy Tutor. He also co-authored “Gang Awareness Recovery” for Turning Point.

2. Sunday, 10:00am – 2:00pm, Prisoner Mail Volunteer Day 

1904 Franklin St., Suite 504
Oakland

Wheelchair accessible

a prisoner mail party at the CR office to get caught up on prisoner mail.

Host: Critical Resistance Oakland

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/932727463570232/

3. Sunday, 10:15am – 1:00pm, Bystander Intervention Training (AM) also offered at 1:15p – 4:00pm – See item # 5 

Suigetsukan
103 International Blvd.
Oakland

Wheelchair accessible – but bathroom is old and not accessible to wheelchairs

We’ve all been there. Someone in a public place says or does something to another person that makes us feel uncomfortable or even scared for that other person. Learn how to intervene in those situations, including tactics from de-escalation strategies to some basic self-defense.

We’ll meet in a dojo, where you’ll have an opportunity to talk about and practice different intervention tactics, including practicing different strategies in different scenarios.
This training is also being offered in the afternoon.

Host SURG – Bay Area

Info https://www.facebook.com/events/169230107027714/ 

4. Sunday, 1:00pm – 3:30pm, Socialism and the Black Liberation Struggle 

Workers World Party
1305 Franklin St., #411
Oakland

Wheelchair accessible

COMMEMORATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
Hear our panel discuss “Socialism and the Black Liberation Struggle”

Featuring:
– Monica Moorehead, 2016 Workers World Party Presidential Candidate, Managing Editor http://www.workers.org newspaper, editor “Marxism, Reparations and the Black Freedom Struggle”

– Pierre LaBossiere, Haiti Action Committee

– Jeremy Miller, Idriss Stelley Foundation, Last 3%

Hear about the fight for socialism and the struggle against white supremacy in the context of capitalism and imperialism. What about the contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois, the Black Panthers, Walter Rodney, Kwame Nkrumah among others?

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/02/04/18806498.php

5. Sunday, 1:15pm – 4:00pm, Bystander Intervention Training (PM) also offered in the morning

Suigetsukan
103 International Blvd.
Oakland

See item #3  for description 

Host SURJ Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/182865628970750/

6. Sunday, 1:30pm – 4:00pm, Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay 

Alameda Free Library
1550 Oak St.
Alameda

Bay Area documentary photographer Najib Joe Hakim’s beautiful and compelling multimedia storytelling project “Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay” opens at the Alameda Free Library on February 11. The exhibit combines black-and-white portraits of 26 members of the Bay Area Palestinian community—the second-largest in the United States—with recorded interviews with them about home, identity, and the complexities of living with hopes for Palestine in a country often hostile to those aspirations.

An opening reception with the artist will be held in the library’s Stafford room from 1:30 to 4pm on Feb. 11. The exhibit will be displayed throughout the first and second floors until March 11.

Cosponsored by Friends of Wadi Foquin and the Arab Cultural and Community Center, San Francisco.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/168713423906074/

7. Sunday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Community forum: Stop the attacks on immigrants 

Women’s Building
3543 18th St.
SF

Free

First they came for the Muslims,
Then they came for the immigrants…
NOT THIS TIME! Stand Up Now with the Immigrants!

a panel and community discussion with:

-Refuse Fascism
Alex U Inn, Grand Marshal San Francisco LGBT Pride
Lulu, immigrant activist

-Stand Up SF

-Others TBA

Is it “too extreme” to call the Trump/Pence assault on immigrants the beginning of genocidal ethnic cleansing of Black and Brown people?
What are we going to do about it? 

ETHNIC CLEANSING is the systematic forced removal of ethnic or religious groups from a given territory by a more powerful ethnic group, often with the intent of making it ethnically homogeneous. The forces applied may be various forms of forced migration (deportation, population transfer), intimidation, as well as mass murder and genocidal rape.

GENOCIDE is intentional action to destroy a people (usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group) in whole or in part.

Host: Refuse Fascism Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1955959004731670/

8. Sunday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Defend the Families of Fukushima and Stop Restarting Japanese NUKE Plants 

San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St., (nr. California St.)
SF

The failure of the Abe government to remove the radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear plants nearly 7 years after the meltdown is another example of the dangers of nuclear power for the world. Despite this continuing environmental and health hazard for the people of Fukushima, Japan and the world the Abe government continues to push for restarting other nuclear plants.
Families are being forced to go back to Fukushima since the government says it has been “decontaminated” and that the people can “overcome” radiation. This propaganda is far from the reality. Even the Olympics in Japan are threatened with the continued leakage of contamination from Fukushima but PM Abe said that it was no longer a problem in order to get the Olympics approved for Japan.

Join No Nukes Action at our monthly rally and speak out at the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco to speak out for the mothers and families of Fukushima and the people of Japan and the world who are demanding the closure of these dangerous nuclear plants.

Host: No Nukes Action Committee

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/02/05/18806567.php

9. Sunday, 4:30pm – 6:30pm, Where Do We Go From Here: Dr. Barber & The Poor Peoples Campaign 

City of Refuge – United Church of Christ
8400 Enterprise Way
Oakland

join us for a community conversation on local struggles for racial and economic justice!

All are welcome to this FREE event.

The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy
is honored to co-present this event with
City of Refuge UCC.
RSVP: david@workingeastbay.org

Host: City of Refuge – United Church of Christ & Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1402755349836249/ 

Monday, February 12 

10. Monday, 12 Noon, Fight for $15 and Union Rights

McDonalds
9725 E. 14th Street
Oakland

RSVP

https://fightfor15.org/s-petition/2-1-18-feb-12-turnout-oakland/?utm_campaign=LowPay&utm_medium=email&utm_source=EM-02-08-18-LF

marking the 50th anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike by kicking off a historic wave of rallies and protests across the country – including one in Oakland.

On February 12, 1968, black sanitation workers went on a strike to demand higher pay and a strong union – now, exactly 50 years later, workers like me are walking off the job to demand $15/hr and union rights.

Host SF Living Wage Coalition

11. Monday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Bay Area Anti-War Planning Meeting for Mobilizing “Spring Actions 2018”

Niebyl-Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland

To: Social Justice and Anti-War Activist.

All are invited to a Bay Area planning meeting.

The sole objective of the meeting is to constitute a new Bay Area coalition for the purpose of organizing a Bay Area April 14 or April 15 regional antiwar mobilization, as part of coordinated national actions on those days.

Please make every effort to attend and join in on the ground floor as we mobilize against the U.S. wars at home and abroad.  

On February 3, representatives of sixty-six antiwar and social justice organizations from across the U.S. voted unanimously via a national conference call to initiate major regional demonstrations against the U.S. wars at home and abroad on the weekend of April 14-15. Initial coordinated mobilizations are being planned for New York, SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis. The February 3 meeting was initiated by the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Bases and the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC).

End the Wars at Home and Abroad!
The time is now to return to the street to make our voices heard. Join us on April 14-15 for united,  nationally coordinated regional mobilizations to challenge the war makers and defend humanity. The future is in our hands.

– End U.S. overt and covert wars, drone wars, sanction/embargo wars, and death squad assassination wars.

—  Close of all U.S. bases on foreign soil.  Dismantle all nuclear weapons.

—  Bring all U.S. troops home now. Self-determination not military intervention. U.S. hands off the Middle East, Africa, Asia and

      Latin America. End military aid to apartheid Israel. Self-determination for Palestine. The U.S. cannot be the cop of the world.

– $Trillions for human needs… for jobs and social services, quality debt-free education and single payer health care. No to anti-

    union legislation.  For $15 and a Union Now.

– Defend the environment against life-threatening fossil fuel-induced global warming.  For a just transition to a 100 percent

    clean, sustainable energy system at union wages for all displaced workers.

— No to white supremacy, police brutality/murder. End racist mass incarceration. Black Lives Matter

— No human being is illegal. No to mass deportations. Yes to DACA and TPS (Temporary Protective Status)

The U.S. government and its leading Pentagon generals openly and repeatedly threatened nuclear war or massive military intervention against sovereign nations. Such is the case today with North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.  Simultaneously, U.S. military forces are at war in several nations including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen,  and Somalia. Hundreds of U.S. military bases circle the globe in more than 170 foreign countries at the cost of $trillions while these same $trillions are subtracted from critical social programs at home. $Trillions in tax cuts and corporate bailouts are granted to the super rich while the war at home takes on virulent racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and homophobic forms.  Join us! 

Meeting info: http://www.springaction2018.org/list-of-actions.html

Site to Endorse: http://www.springaction2018.org/endorse-the-spring-actions.html

General website: http://www.springaction2018.org/home.html

Tuesday, February 13

12. Tuesday, 10:30amProtest the killing of unarmed SAHLEEM TINDLE killed by BART PD on 1-3-18

West Oakland BART Station
Oakland

The body cam has been viewed by the family showing that Sahleem Tindle, 28 years old,  was shot in the back by officer Joseph Mateu. Sahleem’s hands were up. There was no gun in his hand as was reported by the news media.

Come stand with Sahleem’s family and demand JUSTICE!

New FB site: Justice 4 Sahleem Tindle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/794128510798194/ 

13. Tuesday, 12Noon, Lobby Day for a Living Wage

Meet:

SF City Hall (outside steps on Polk St. Side)
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett
SF

Call your Board of Supervisors TODAY and tell them to support raising the Minimum Compensation Ordinance: (415) 554-5184.

We – SF Homecare workers, Non-profit workers, and Airport workers– are urging the SF Board of Supervisors to adopt a new Minimum Compensation Ordinance that will help raise wages for hundreds of low wage workers providing public services to seniors, children, people with disabilities and the homeless.

Come express your views and ask SF Supervisors where they stand on supporting raising wages for low-income families. Supervisors could be voting on a Minimum Compensation Ordinance measure that will raise wages to $ 1.86 above the minimum wage.

Info: sflivingwage@riseup.net

14. Tuesday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, No to luxury housing and yes to affordable! Save Mission St.! 

SF City Hall, 2nd Floor (BoS Chambers)
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl.
SF

Help protect Mission St., Calle 24 Latino Cultural District and the Mission as a whole. The Mission District is over the amount of market rate housing that was calculated in the 2008 Eastern Neighborhoods Plan in order to maintain a healthy housing mix. We are in dire need of affordable housing. This project uses the state density bonus program that allows developers two extra floors in exchange for lower affordable units maximizing their profits. In one of the most vulnerable and weakened neighborhoods this development will continue the pressures of displacement and advanced gentrification, pushing us to exclusion. This project provides 75 Luxury units, only 8 affordable and is 8 stories high. This project also impacts the SFUSD public school next door. This will be heard at the Board of Supervisors Chamber 2nd Floor. Please attend and make your voices heard! Si se Puede!

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/765027610373272/ 

15. Tuesday, 6:00pm – 7:10pm, Trump + Putin, A Treacherous Valentines

San Francisco Federal Building
90 7th Street
SF

The night before Valentines’ join us at the Federal Building for projection of the treasonous love affair between an USA President and fascist dictator who would love nothing more than to see the USA in ruins. This will be the second year we have done this event.

Host: Resistance SF

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1495233553932175/

16. Tuesday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, No Ban No Wall: Confronting the Militarization of Our Borders 

UC Berkeley
221 Kroeber Hall, Gifford Room
Berkeley

Wheelchair accessible

Free / Open to public

a panel discussion entitled No Ban, No Wall: Confronting the Militarization of Our Borders and Communities

The Trump presidency has increased attacks on immigrant and marginalized communities through targeting sanctuary cities, instituting the Muslim ban, and revoking temporary protected status for thousands. But, these actions are based on a long-standing foundation of xenophobia and criminalization. Such repression manifests not only at borders, but also in our backyards in the form of militarized policing, state surveillance, and collusion between local and federal law enforcement.

join us for a panel discussion to analyze these intersections with some of the individuals working to defend the health and rights of immigrant communities. 

• Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas, Assistant Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis

• Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)

• Pierre Labossiere, Co-Founder of the Haiti Action Committee

• Abraham Vela M.D., Clinica Martin-Baro volunteer

This event is part of the “Social Medicine for Our Times” event series organized by BCSM and CNA/NNU.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/211776506037570/ 

17. Tuesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Human Trafficking in the Media: Screening & Discussion 

UC Berkeley
100 Blum Hall
Berkeley

Join the Anti-Trafficking Coalition at Berkeley as we take a closer look at the way that fundraising campaigns communicate, represent, and engage with the issue of human trafficking around the world. We will screen, discuss, and compare a series of charity videos put out by anti-trafficking organizations domestically and abroad and examine how the videos may perpetuate or defy common themes of stigmatization, survivor representation, stereotypes, hero/savior complexes, “trauma porn,” and more.

Presentation and discussion will be lead by Amanda Cavazos of the Boalt Anti-Trafficking Project (BATPro), a group from UC Berkeley’s renowned Boalt School of Law 

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/148689319263670/ 

18. Tuesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Climate Action in the City, part 2: Pushing the Envelope 

Mission District Police Station
Community Room
630 Valencia St.
SF

Climate change is an urgent and ever-increasing threat, especially to the most vulnerable populations. As the current administration continues its lies, distractions and vicious policies, what can we in San Francisco do? “Electrify Everything” is one idea we will explore. Come hear about that and more! Whether you join a group or act individually, action is the antidote to despair. Panel participants:

Hunter Cutting, Sierra Club SF Group
Elena Engel, 350 Bay Area & 350 SF
Debbie Raphael, Director, SF Department of the Environment
Moderator: Jennifer Clary, President, SF Tomorrow

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/214070262494535/

19. Tuesday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, 2 Opposed Explanations of Trump: Barack Obama vs Bob Avakian 

Revolution Books – Berkeley
2444 Durant Ave.
Berkeley

Watch Bob Avakian’s filmed speech from last Fall THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible, as well as Barack Obama’s filmed responses to Trump’s election immediately afterward and then this past November. Then settle in for a discussion comparing and contrasting the two approaches, two worldviews, and two solutions.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/180019989396214/?notif_t=plan_user_invited¬if_id=1518216075870162

Wednesday, February 14 

20. Wednesday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, Free Fernando: Valentine’s Day Action

ICE
630 Sansome St.
SF

On Valentine’s Day, the Carrillo family calls for Fernando’s immediate release from detention, and to bring Fernando, husband and father of 3 daughters, home.

Fernando was arrested and detained after dropping off his four-year-old daughter at a San Jose daycare on October 11, 2017. Fernando’s Bond was denied by David Jennings, the Field Director of the the ICE office in San Francisco. Even though Fernando’s Detention Officer and the Officer’s supervisor recommended that Fernando be released, based on the reference letters and other documentation that was requested, Mr. Jennings denied the request and now the Carillo family is left to bear the emotional and financial burden of this decision. Fernando’s court hearing will be the at the end of the month 2/26 and there will be an invitation to attend. 

the Carrillo family also sends a clear message that all those who are detained and deported are loved. Love in action means uplifting the humanity of immigrant families, and demanding ICE to a higher moral accountability.

Host: Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/178159746130798/ 

21. Wednesday, 4:30pm – 6:30pm, IF You Love 

Oscar Grant Plaza (Frank Ogawa Plz.) nr. 12th Street BART
14th Street & Broadway
Oakland

ACCESSIBILITY: The plaza amphitheater and city hall are wheelchair accessible, and accessible restrooms are available inside city hall for all to use.

Oakland city elected officials say they love Oakland. They say it all the time. But do they have the heart to do the things that love requires? #PublicLand4PublicGood #HousingisaHumanRight #Homes4All #DevelopmentWithoutDisplacement #IfYouLove#Homes4EveryBody #ReclaimLove

More than 2700 Oakland residents are living on the streets, and more are being displaced every day. This is a do-or-die moment, and those of us who love Oakland, who love Oakland’s people, who love this land and view it as sacred….we cannot rest. We have to act. #ReclaimLove

On Valentine’s Day, we will deliver a “People’s Proposal for Public Land” to Oakland City Council members and ask them to adopt it, and not the pro-development, pro-corporation proposal being advanced by city staff. 

The People’s Proposal is the culmination of more than a year of conversation, deep listening to the people, and discussion among Oakland’s community-based orgaizations and city staff about how the land we own together should be stewarded. It calls for public land to be used for affordable housing, living-wage jobs for existing Oakland residents, and a healthy environment. #ReclaimLove

Hosts: Second Acts, Communities for a Better Environment, & First Congregational Church of Oakland

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1841840315826869/?notif_t=plan_user_invited¬if_id=1518203228113933 

22. Wednesday, 7:00pm, Solitary Man benefits for the SF Bay View Newspaper 

Eric Quezada Center
518 Valencia St. (nr. 16th Street BART)
SF

$10-20, no one turned away 

Solitary Man:
A Visit to Pelican Bay State Prison

Performed by Charlie Hinton and Fred Johnson
Written by Charlie Hinton
Music by Fred Johnson
Directed by Mark Kenward

The Bayview Newspaper goes to 3,000 prisoners every month! And people to people in the Bay View Community

Following the performance: More music by Fred
An update on Pelican Bay and the Agreement to End Hostilities
Discussion: Why the Bay View Matters

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/216908022204763/

Thursday, February 15

23. Thursday, 3:00pm, (for cooking) San Francisco Food Not Bombs

For information or to volunteer: call Micah at 415-738-9249.

Cookhouse:  Near 24th/Mission BART.  Call Micah at 415-738-9249 for information.

Food Pickups: Help Needed!

Cooking:  3:00pm Near 24th/Mission BART.  Call Micah at 415-738-9249 for information–Help Needed!

Sharing: 6:00pm – 16th and Mission BART Plaza–Help Needed!

Cleaning Up:  Near 24th/Mission BART.  Call Micah at 415-738-9249 for information–after Cooking–6:00 pm – 8:00 pm–Help Needed! 

24. Thursday, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Alex Nieto Memorial Fund Dinner

Mission Center – City College of San Francisco
1125 Valencia St.
SF

Join us in community for a night of delicious food, engaging performances, a live auction and raffles in support of the Alex Nieto Memorial. We are hoping to break ground in March 2018 in commemoration of Alex’s birthday.

a family event! Come early to be a part of the beautiful opening blessing by local Danzantes! Arrive hungry and eat yummy food from a local chef!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO PURCHASE TICKETS:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alex-nieto-memorial-fundraiser-tickets-42102527794

Ticket Prices:
Adults-$20

Youth (13-18) $10 (*each additional youth $5 each)
Seniors/Disabled $10
Children: $5
Donations: $5, $10, $15…

All tickets include food and entertainment!

Needed are Volunteers for the evening and Auction items –Contact: alexnietomemorialfund@gmail.com

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/168838207072393/?active_tab=about 

25. Thursday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Everything About Soils: interactive Presentation by Rob Bennaton 

Eric Quezada Center
518 Valencia St., (nr. 16th Street BART
SF

Soil Not Oil Coalition presents: Rob Bennaton, the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Bay Area Urban Ag Advisor and Alameda/Contra Costa UCCE County Director. His urban ag applied research and education program focuses on providing technical support for urban food growers around urban soils management, food safety towards the development of food safety and soils safety plans, and horticultural education. His urban ag policy programming focuses on policy development and technical advising related to land use and community based urban farm and community garden site governance and management.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/130467131104904/

26. Thursday, 7:30pm – 9:00pm, Building a Movement: A Black Lives Matter Memoir 

The Forum
701 Mission St.
SF

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/patrisse-khan-cullors-asha-bandele-when-they-call-you-a-terrorist-tickets-41468815343?aff=efbeventtix

  $25

For most of us, the Black Lives Matter movement caught our attention in 2015, after the death of Michael Brown Jr. at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer. But for Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the movement’s origins go back much further and are much more complicated than a single protest.

In her new book, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, Khan-Cullors joined co-author asha bandele, an activist and journalist, to provide a powerful portrait of a community rooted in love, despite the fact that the movement’s leaders have been maligned as terrorists and threats to America. At a time when hate and violence seem all too prevalent, Khan-Cullors and bandele share an empowering story of survival, strength, and resilience.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/929498857200190/

Future Events:

Saturday, February 17

27. Saturday, 11:00am – 2:00pm, Minister Huey P. Newton Solidarity March & Rally

Meet at:

107th Avenue
Oakland

The call is for 1000 Black people moving through the streets of East Oakland in BLACK Solidarity & Harmony (1000 STRONG). We will begin our march at 107th Ave. and end at 73rd Ave. This is a Black Solidarity Week Family Event. Bring your cause bring your voice.

Host: Black Solidarity Week and Community READY Corps

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/337186106779330/

28. Saturday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Surviving Smash & Grab #BlackSolidarityWeek 

First Congregational Church of Oakland
2501 Harrison St.
Oakland

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/surviving-smash-grab-tickets-42890667140

  $5 – $20 Ticket sales will benefit Black-led organizations. (No one will be turned away)

In honor of #BlackSolidarityWeek, and in light of the recent released FBI report on so-called “Black Identity Extremists,” CRC will host a political education panel on the repression of Black dissidents.

Join leaders from the Anti Police-Terror Project and special guests Mama Akua Njeri and Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. for an evening of radical truth telling, solidarity building, and self defense.

On March 4, 1968 (exactly one month before King was assassinated), FBI Director Edgar Hoover issued this directive:

“Prevent the Coalition of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength, a truism that is no less valid for all its triteness. An effective coalition…might be the first step toward a real “Mau Mau” in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.

Prevent the rise of a “messiah” who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement.”

The assassination of 21 year old Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton Sr. just 18 months later was a very clearly documented case of the U.S. government killing an African-American leader on American soil. The historic significance of this brutal act of repression cannot be overstated, and at this event, we will have opportunity to hear the testimony of survivors of the attack. 

Hosts: Black Solidarity Week and Community READY Corps

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/351987508616376/ 

Sunday, February 18

29. Sunday, 1:30pn – 4:00pm, Colonization and Resistance Panel and Discussion

Oakstop
1721 Broadway
Oakland

ACCESSIBILITY INFO
Sliding scale donation of $0-$15 suggested.
Childcare available (please RSVP to childcare@collectiveliberation.org by Tuesday the 13th)
This event is wheelchair accessible. 

email us at accessibility@collectiveliberation.org by Tuesday, Feb 13th, to request ASL interpretation, language translation, or with other access needs.

first Open Session of the 2018 Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program!*

Colonization and Resistance

Puerto Rico. Palestine. Oakland and Berkeley. Three visionary community leaders will speak with us about the ongoing colonization of these places, and the politics and strategies of indigenous resistance. Come learn about how we can stand with these powerful liberation movements.

Alicia Rodríguez, a former political prisoner who has been part of the Puerto Rican independence movement for the last 40 years. She will join local movement leaders Corrina Gould, currently leading the fight to save the West Berkeley Shellmound and return sacred land to native stewardship, and Lara Kiswani, Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. 

We will be livestreaming this event! Check into this facebook event page day of to follow it! 

Host: Catalyst Project

Info / Bios of Speakers: https://www.facebook.com/events/1759685054051727/

Wednesday, February 21 

 30. Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, PEACE VIGIL 

One Post Street in San Francisco.
(on the steps facing Market Street, below Feinstein’s office,
directly above the Montgomery BART/Muni station).
SF

This week’s theme will focus on event with Ann Wright on Thursday, Feb. 22nd re: GAZA , Freedom Flotilla & BDS

All are welcomed.

Fliers / Signage are provided.

31. Wednesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Homelessness in Bayview Hunter’s Point: A Community Discussion 

SF Public Library – Bayview/Linda Brooks Branch
5075 3rd St.
SF

Wheelchair accessible

HOMELESSNESS in Bayview Hunter’s Point –
A Community Discussion on RACISM, POVERTY & the INEQUITY of Services

At this very moment, there are 7,500 unhoused residents reported in San Francisco, of which 1,200 live in Bayview alone. 34% of surveyed respondents identified as African-American: an alarming disparity since the entire African-American population in SF is only 6% (*An undercount, given the questionable methodology by the SF Homeless Point in Time Count Reports).

In Bayview, the African-American population has gone from 15% to 2% in the last 50 years and is still decreasing.

Bayview has 40% of the cities’ unhoused population, yet only receives 7% of services!

We will be discussing how racism and classicism is manifested through the inequity of services for the African American community, and through a housing crisis that disproportionately affects low-income communities of color. We’ll address how to respond to this homelessness crisis, including alternatives to calling the police, a desperate need for beds and shelters, and how to to keep our local government accountable.

speakers:
GWENDOLYN WESTBROOK of Mother Brown’s Dining Room (The United Council of Human Services), SAM LEW of Coalition on Homelessness, local community activist and resident of D10, TONY KELLY, and BRIAN BUTLER of Greenaction.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/191179184950584/

Thursday, February 22 

32. Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, GAZA / Ann Wright on the 2018 Freedom Flotilla & BDS

Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave., Rm. 210
SF

6:00pm – social

7:00pm – presentation

An update on the deteriorating conditions in Gaza and the challenges to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Fundraiser for 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Turn your outrage into contributions and challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

Ann Wright is a retired US Army Colonel & former US diplomat. She resigned from the US government in 2003 over the war on Iraq. She has been on 3 flotillas.

Hosts: Veterans for Peace Chapter 69 and SF Codepink

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/01/23/18806172.php

Friday, February 23 

33. Friday, 7:00pm, A SPECIAL EVENING WITH SCILLA ELWORTHY 

Berkeley Friends Church
1600 Sacramento St (nr. North Berkeley BART)
Berkeley

Come hear Scilla Elworthy, a worldrenowned, peace practitioner from Great Britain. Dr Elworthy describes 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build peace and security. She documents how we could build the structures and systems for building real peace and security for everyone on the planet at a very small fraction of what the world spends on wars and preparations for wars every year 

1. WHY WAR CONTINUES

War makes a few people extremely rich, and makes billions of people extremely poor. Every year, the world spends about $2 trillion on wars.Those who thrive in war are not only arms manufacturers but also people traffickers, arms smugglers, money launderers, drug dealers.

2. HOW PEACE CAN BE BUILT

This book describes and references at least 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build safety at local, national and international levels.

3. WHAT IT WILL COST

Armed conflict causes massive economic losses every year, yet peace-building and peace-keeping are grossly under-funded. For less than $2 billion a year, we could be more secure than spending $2 trillion a year on wars and preparations for war.

4. WHO CAN DO IT

The book outlines what you can do to prevent violence and armed conflict: 10 actions to take in your community, 14 actions to take nationally and 7 actions to take internationally.

Host: Peace Dirct

Info:  davidhartsough@gmail.com

Saturday, February 24

34. Saturday, Freedom in Action Conference 2018 “The Politics of Human Trafficking”

The Blum Center for Developing Economics
100 Blum Hall
UC Berkeley

Ticket info: http://events.eventzilla.net/e/freedom-in-action-conference-2018-2138945643

  Students: $5
Community Members: $9
Survivors: Free
*Fee waiver available

The Freedom in Action Conference is a biennial event organized by the Anti-Trafficking Coalition at Berkeley that aims to bring together students, professionals, and community members to discuss the issue of human trafficking at home and abroad

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Politics of Human Trafficking,” which we hope to use to foster a dialogue about how anti-trafficking efforts are pursued in government, the language we use to discuss the issue, and how trafficking plays a role in the national and international economy throughout various industries.

This conference will encourage discussion between people with different conceptions and experiences of human trafficking and aims to present best-practices for engaging in anti-trafficking work, and to connect with local organizations leading the anti-trafficking movement in the Bay Area.

Host: Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Coalition

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/401097210337339/

35. Saturday, 1:00pm, ACLU People Power Ingleside/Glen Park Meeting 

62 Nordhoff St.
SF

Defend Dreamers Action • Freedom Cities Action • Health Care Action • Organizing Meeting • Voting Rights Action

This meeting will focus on what and how we move forward as a group and to identify and support those who wish to focus on ACLU NorCA’s 2018 priorities: Bail Reform, Implementation of Laws (Sex education mandate), CA Sanctuary Bill, Voter Registration (CA=2nd lowest rate of turn out in USA)/same day registration.

Info / RSVP: https://go.peoplepower.org/event/action/12340/signup/?source=ppem_44349&t=4&akid=44349%2E91606%2EQVQE72</p

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