Colin Kaepernick Condemns the Criminal Justice System While Accepting Amnesty International’s Highest Honor

Photo of Luke Darby

ACLU SoCal Hosts Annual Bill Of Rights Dinner - Red Carpet

Kaepernick is the latest recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience Award, joining Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

Since being named GQ‘s Citizen of the Year, Colin Kaepernick has received Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammed Ali Legacy Award and theEason More Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU. Now, Amnesty International has awarded Kaepernick with highest distinction the organization has, the Ambassador of Conscience Award.

In the announcement naming Kaepernick this year’s winner, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, wrote, “Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”

Kaepernick accepted the award—which has gone previously to Belafonte, artist and activist Ai Weiwei, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela—on Saturday, where he delivered remarks condemning the brutality committed against minorities by the U.S. criminal justice system. Per the Washington Post:

“How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, ‘freedom and justice for all,’ that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?” Kaepernick, 30, said at Saturday’s ceremony. “Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex.”

Just as Shetty wrote, this weekend the Fox & Friends B-team weighed in on Kaepernick’s award and speech, condemning him for going overseas to insult the U.S. to a bunch of “globalists who don’t love America anyway” (presumably referring to Amnesty International) and suggesting that if Kaepernick is troubled by the indiscriminate and routinely unpunished murder of black people by police, then he should move to another country. It’s safe to expect equally thoughtful commentary from the show’s regular couch-warmers this week.

Meanwhile, Kaepernick has completed his promised $1 million in donations despite being blackballed by the NFL.

UPDATES ~ ANNOUNCEMENTS for Wednesday, Ap. 25 – Sunday, Ap. 29 (from Adrienne Fong)

Please consider posting your events on Indybay:

Please include Accessibility Information on events!


A. Supervisors reject condo conversion of evicted centenarian Iris Canada’s home (April 24, 2018)

B. Federal judge orders Trump administration to continue DACA program and accept new applicants(April 24, 2018)

C. Carla Ortiz Shocking Video From Syria Contradicts Corp. News Coverage (April 21, 2018)


Wednesday, April 25 – Sunday, April 29

Wednesday, April 25

Updates & New Announcements for Wednesday

Check list of events that went out on 4/23 for other Wed. events 

1. Wednesday, 7:00am, Probable Tent Sweeps by DPW and SFPD

On Division St. near Best Buy

Kelley will be there at 6:00am

On Tuesday, SFPD and DPW did sweeps on the 300 block of Ellis St. and 400 block of Stevenson St.

“SFPD is bragging about violating people basic human rights! Shameful! They must feel like that’s acceptable since the mayor is doing the same thing.” Kelly C.

2. Wednesday, 8:30am – 9:30am, Final Countdown Day 1 Gascón: Charge Killer Cops or Resign! See items # 4, 5 & 6 

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

Today is the final day of the count-down! He has until 5pm today to meet his own deadline.

At 5pm on WED. April 25th, at the end of Gascón’s last day to meet his deadline, AND on what would have been Luis Góngora Pat’s 48th birthday, his family will close the 15-day countdown with a press conference accompanied by community members. A vigil will follow.

Sponsor: Mayan War Room in honor of Luis Góngora Pat


3. Wednesday, 9:30am – 6:00pm, Impasse Resolution Proceedings  between  City and County of S.F.  and  S.F. Police Officers’ Association 

Department of Human Resources
1 South Van Ness
4th Floor, Bayview Conference Room

As of this writing this will be a closed mediation day.

Your presence and support during the open hearings shows that the community is concerned about these negotiations. The negotiators and do notice the community presence!

 Schedule of Meetings / Agenda +More info: 

4. Wednesday, 5:00pm, Family of Luis Góngora Pat, Press Conference to end their 15-Day Countdown on Gascón’s Deadline 

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

The family of Luis will have a press conference to end their 15-day countdown to keep Gascón to his self-imposed deadline for a charging decision, and you are very welcome to attend! Tomorrow would have been Luis Góngora Pat’s 48th birthday.


5. Wednesday 6:00pm – Thursday, April 26, 6:00pm, A 24 Hour Vigil for 24 People Killed by SFPD With No Charges During D.A. Gascón’s Time in Office

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

The “24 Hour Vigil for 24 People Killed by SFPD With No Charges During D.A. Gascón’s Time in Office” (or #24HoursFor24Lives) will start at 6pm on Wed. April 25th and end Thu. April 26th. The vigil is intended to draw out the legacy of police brutality in San Francisco coupled with police impunity that is perpetuated by the lack of any significant consequences for the killing of people by SFPD officers.

Of those 24 killed since 2011, whose race we know, 63% were people of color. The killings happened in the context of SFPD’s scandals of corruption; racist, homophobic, misogynist and bigoted texts; and violence against the extremely poor and black and brown of the City, in the past recent years.

The 24 killings have involved at least 58 officers firing over 300 rounds of ammunition, resulting in 0 charges against cops who kill. Despite protest, despite ousting the Chief of Police Greg Suhr, the killings continue because of the lack of consequences. D.A. Gascón has not once moved to charge a killer cop. We are calling him out on his record.


THIS IS A DRY EVENT. THIS IS A VIGIL at which we will commemorate and celebrate the lives of those lost to police violence, as well as rejuvenate our capacity to love and respect each other as we resist injustice.

Altar items are welcomed – flowers, photos, poems etc.

All are welcomed.

If you want to help or talk to the person designated as logistics coordinator at the vigil.


6. Wednesday, 11:00pm – Thursday, 4/26, 1:00am, Midnight prayer for an end to police violence

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

we’re invited by the Justice for Luis Gongora Pat Coalition to offer prayers for justice and an end to police violence. We’ll gather around a candle-lit shrine, read scriptures, share silence, and offer our prayers, reflections, poems, and rituals. We’ll lift up not only Luis, the homeless Mayan immigrant killed by police two years ago, but all the other victims of SFPD violence as well.

Our prayers will be of lamentation, and for healing from all the trauma. We’ll pray for repentance and reform of our police department, and for justice for these victims and their families.

This prayer will be part of a larger, 24-hour vigil as the family of Luis awaits DA Gascón’s decisión of whether to bring the officers who killed Luis to trial.

Please join us for all or part of this two-hour vigil, and bring whatever prayers, rituals, or symbols from your own tradition may be appropriate. (So far, we have Episcopalians and indigenous traditions represented. We’d love to have more!)

If you’d like to lead a portion of this prayerful time, please let Richard Smith know and we’ll work you into the program.

Sponsor: Mission Night Walk


Thursday, April 26 

7. Thursday, 10:00am – 12Noon, SF Reentry Council – Show Support to End Gang Injunctions

St. Anthony Foundation
150 Golden Gate Ave.

Join us at the next San Francisco Reentry Council meeting as they discuss the gang injunctions.

The council may vote on whether to send a letter to the City Attorney’s Office calling to end the injunctions and we need you there for public comment.
Come show your support to end the injunctions.

More information will be added here:

Sponsors: Coalition to End the San Francisco Gang Injunctions


8. Thursday, 10:00am – 12Noon, Board of Supervisors Meeting 

SF City Hall, Room 250
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl.

Come to a meeting to show elected officials that people are demanding the Amendments to the Minimum Compensation Ordinance be passed

help to raise wages to at least $16.86 per hour in 2018 for
• airline catering workers
• airport food and beverage, and retail workers
• airport passenger service workers: wheelchair attendants, sky caps, ticket agents, cabin cleaners, ramp and fleet service workers
• nursing home workers
• laundry workers
• homecare workers
• non-profit workers
• CalWORKs parents
• janitors

Contact Your Supervisor

District 1 – Sandra Fewer, 554-7410, 554-7415 (fax), Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.or g
District 2 – Catherine Stefani, 554-7752, 554-7843 (fax), 
District 3 – Aaron Peskin, 554-7450, 554-7454 (fax), 
District 4 – Katy Tang, 554-7460, 554-7432 (fax), 
District 5 – London Breed, 554-7630, 554-7634 (fax), 
co-sponsor – District 6 – Jane Kim, 554-7970, 554-7974 (fax), 
District 7 – Norman Yee, 554-6516, 554-6546 (fax), 
sponsor – District 8 – Jeff Sheehy, 554-6968, 554-6909 (fax), 
co-sponsor – District 9 – Hillary Ronen, 554-5144, 554-6255 (fax), 
District 10 – Malia Cohen, 554-7670, 554-7674 (fax), 
District 11 – Ahsha Safai, 554-6975, 554-6979 (fax), 

Sponsor: SF Living Wage Coalition & many endorsers


9. Thursday 3:00pm – 6:00pmOakland MAY DAY ART Build 

Gather at:

El Centro Legal de la Raza, by churro stand
Fruitvale Station
3401 E. 12th Street

In preparation for this year’s May day, we will host an art build were youth, adults, elders, and allies come together to paint banners, create posters, spray paint images onto shirts/bags, and screen print! Please come ready to paint so wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

We will provide stencils, paint brushes, banners, acrylics, spray paint, poster papers, etc!

You bring energy, snacks to share, stencils you want to contribute, banners with messages of your choosing, shirts/bags to spray paint images on and any other art you’ll like to contribute for May Day.

The youth of 67 Sueños and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice will be leading this art build! All are welcome!


10. Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Berkeley Meeting on Homeless Regulations 

1500 Derby St.

Berkeley city council is holding a special session to discuss codifying restrictions on homeless people in the city. Topics of discussion include sidewalk access, placement of items on sidewalks, limits on encampments, etc.

City council is of course not prioritizing the creation of new public restrooms, mobile shower facilities, increased mental health care access, or other support programs.


11. Thursday, 6:30pm, Pack the Police Commission: Demand Accountability 

Oakland City Hall

From its inception, the Oakland Police Commission has been incredibly problematic. One of the most egregious elements is that it allows the Mayor to directly appoint three people to the commission with no vetting.

NOW – the Commission is dragging its feet to comply with community demands that the Chair of the commission, Thomas Lloyd Smith, who was directly appointed by Libby Schaaf, undergo an investigative process related to inappropriate actions he has taken as the Chair

Join APTP to demand an investigative process for Mr. Smith to be accountable for his actions.


12. Thursday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Prospects for Peaceful Co-existence on the Korean Peninsula 

SF Unitarian Universalist Center
1187 Franklin St.

Can we block a march toward war? For the first time in more than half a century, North and South Korea are approaching a cautious rapprochement.

Although President Trump plans to meet with North Korean Premier Kim Jong-Un in May, he has not appointed an ambassador to South Korea, but has appointed notorious wahawks as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, and continues to issue dire threats of further sanctions and military action.


Conn M.Hallinan, Columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, independent journalist, former director of the journalism program at UC Santa Cruz

Eun-Joung Lee, Independent innovation and organizational change consultant, speaker on wartime experiences of her Korean parents and others of their generatiion

Sharat G. Lin, Research fellow ad past president of theSan Jose Peach and Justce Center, rter andlectrer on global political economy, labor migration, social movements, ad public health

Sponsors:  San Francisco Progressive Democrats of America and Gray Panthers of San Francisco


Friday, April 27 

13. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Mothers on the March Against Police Murders

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

Please join us to demand that DA George Gascon charge police officers with murder! 

14. Friday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Melt ICE with UNITE HERE Local 2! 

630 Sansome St.

Local 2 will be in front of ICE today. All are welcomed to stand with them against deportations! 

15. Friday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Socialist Analysis and Discussion “Immigrant Rights Are Human Rights!” 

2969 Mission St.

Wheelchair accessible

$3-10 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds.

Stop the Raids and Deportations!

Throughout the country, immigrants who have lived, worked and raised their families in the U.S. are under attack as Trump threatens to roll back Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and the Dream Act (DACA). In the sanctuary state of California, Gov. Brown claims to protect the rights of immigrants, while committing 500 National Guard troops to be deployed along the Mexico border at the request of the Trump administration, as ICE continues to terrorize immigrant workers through raids across the state. Hear analysis on the current crisis from the La Riva for Governor campaign, which calls for full rights for all immigrants, and join us at the Int’l Workers’ Day action to demand an end to the racist anti-immigrant attacks.


16. Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Film: “District Nine” 

Revolution Books – Berkeley
2444 Durant Ave.

Film Screening of District Nine: In this sci-fi movie, a powerful country demonizes immigrants (from another planet) who look different than the general population and puts them in concentration camps. Sound familiar?


Saturday, April 28

17. Saturday, 10:00am – 12Noon, SB 827 and Beyond 

SF Main Library, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin St.

RSVP requested:

The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods will sponsor a forum on the Scott Wiener legislation that is shaking up the state of California. This will be a great opportunity to learn the real facts behind SB 827 and other controversial attempts to change the way California cities are developed.

Find out why people want to protect the local planning process now controlled by our local communities. Speakers: Art Agnos, Former SF Mayor; Zelda Bronstein, Former Berkeley Planning Commissioner; Calvin Welsh, Affordable Housing Advocate; Sophie Maxwell, Former SF Supervisor.

Co-sponsors include: West of Twin Peaks Council, Stand Up for San Francisco, Noe Valley Neighborhood Council, SF Neighborhood Network, Van Ness Corridor Neighborhoods, Livable California.


18. Saturday, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Show your Love with Life-Saving Skills: Narcan Training 

Oakland Public Library
125 14th St.

Wheelchair access

Please arrive fragrance free

Sliding Scale $10-$30, no one turned away

There is a rise in overdoses due to fentanyl (fueled by the War on Drugs). Narcan (naloxone) administration is one successful method to reverse overdose. Walgreens and CVS have recently been authorized to sell Narcan over the counter, and we would like to share this life-saving information. This training will teach you how to administer naloxone to someone who has overdosed. Please join us in building tangible skills for preparedness and increasing mutual care in our communities.
Questions? Please email

Sponsor: Lightening Bolt Network


19. Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, SF Bay Area Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare

Pacific School of Religion Chapel
1798 Scenic Ave.

Registration is free, but a free-will offering will be taken. Lunch will be provided.


A film produced by the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare for use in congregations will be screened along with a half-hour version of National Bird.

Presenters include:
Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The former president of the National Lawyers Guild and criminal defense attorney is a legal scholar, political analyst and social critic who is editor and contributor to Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

Lisa Ling, a former technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. She is featured in the heralded documentary National Bird, which, according to The Washington Post, is “artful, profoundly unsettling.” In an article for The Guardian, Ling noted how little the public knew about the U.S. drone program and its consequences.

Maryann Cusimano Love
, a Professor of International Relations at Catholic University, is on the Core Group for the Dept. of State’s working group on Religion and Foreign Policy. She is the author of several books about peace and faith, and she serves on the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee and the Advisory Board of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network.

Rep. Barbara Lee
, the congressperson from the 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Berkeley and Oakland. She has been in Congress for 20 years. She has been invited and hopes to attend.

Sponsors: Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare and Pacific School of Religion


20. Saturday, 11:00am – 4:00pm, Family, Fitness, Freedom! Putting the Power of African Health in African Hands!

Akwaaba Hall
7911 MacArthur Blvd.

4th Annual Uhuru Health Festival in East Oakland

Family-friendly festival is free to all and will offer free health screenings, interactive fitness workshops, live music, free healthy lunches, garden workshops, free children’s face painting and activities, vendors, info on alternative health options and more. Contact 510-763-3342 ext.5 or email oakland [at]


21. Saturday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Rally & March to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal & Stop Police Terror

Meet at:

Oscar Grant Plaza
14th & Broadway Sts. (nr. 12th Street BART)

Mumia Abu-Jamal will have a major court hearing on the following Monday, April 30, in Philadelphia. We are part of an international offensive to build support for Mumia in this hearing, where the district attorney has been directed to produce all documents relevant to a motion to restore appeal rights in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s conviction.

Sponsor: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition Bay Area


22. Saturday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Sos Nicaragua! La Area De La Bahia Con Nicaragua

24th and Mission Sts.

We invite our SF Bay Area friends and family to join us in arms as we make our VOICES BE HEARD! Please be aware of what is happening in the country of Nicaragua. Innocent people are in danger, blood has shed, medical-aid and supplies are being confiscated by authorities, deaths are rising, local news are being censored, while terms are not aligning


23. Saturday, 2:30pm – 4:00pm, Why did the U.S. target Syria? (Study Group)

2969 Mission St.

Wheelchair accessible

Socialists and War: Two Opposing Trends

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, why did the United States target the governments in Libya and Syria for destruction? Why did some in the progressive movement support these so-called revolutions that were backed by the Pentagon and NATO? Can the Pentagon ever play a progressive role? The book makes a unique contribution to the debate in Socialists and War. This piece answers important questions from a truly socialist perspective. Join us in a discussion of the book with co-author Mazda Majidi!


Sunday, April 29 

24. Sunday, 11:00am – 1:00pm, Wealth & Income Inequality: A Two-Part Workshop

Omni Commons
Disco Room – 2nd Floor
4799 Shattuck Ave.

Everywhere we look, everything from the headlines to our paychecks to the tents under the freeway remind us that rich people are getting richer and poor people are getting poorer. But it can be hard to understand exactly how and why that is happening. If we can’t understand it, we can’t change it. And change it we must!

Part 1: How Corporations Move Money from the Many to the Few

Do you wonder what role racism plays in wealth inequality? Do you wish you understood exactly how Wall Street exploits Main Street? The answers are not terribly complicated, but they are shocking. We’ll learn about stock manipulation, financialization, strip-mining, redlining and more.

Part 2 Will be on May 6. How We Can Build a More Just Economy for All Sunday,

Sponsor: Strike Debt Bay Area


25. Sunday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Oakland Sin Fronteras Political Education & Art Build

Greenpeace Warehouse
955 7th St.

Join Oakland Sin Fronteras for a Political Education and Art Build
As we celebrate another International Workers Day, we know how important it is for our organizations’ members and our communities to understand why we march on this day and why it’s as important as ever to link working people’s struggles with global migration

Feel Free to Bring Food to Share
You are welcome to Bring Shirts or Fabric to screen print on.

Political Education Will be from 1-2:30pm
Confirmed Panelist Include:
Reem Asil (AROC)
Maria Villarta (CARECEN)
Pierre LaBosierre (Haiti Action Network)
Art Build 2:30pm-4pm
–We will also be hosting a chant training during this time

Sponsor: Oakland Sin Fronteras


26. Sunday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Homelessness and Human Rights

War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave, Room 210



Join us to honor the City of San Francisco and dozens of organizations representing thousands of women and men who are sustaining the homeless of San Francisco during their transition to permanent housing. Supporting the homeless is in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal #11, which applies to the prevention of homelessness.

Sponsor: United Nations Association San Francisco & St. Anthony Foundation


27. Sunday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Town Kids/ Justice Rally

Frank Ogawa Plz
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plz.


Oakland California stand up it’s time to represent your child if you lost your to
IT’S time to get JUSTICE and Represent our KIDS


28. Sunday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm, San Francisco: Global Discontents with David Barsamian

Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia St.

DONATION: $5-10 donations for Diablo Rising Tide, sliding scale, no one turned away

Join Diablo Rising Tide we host one of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian.

David will join us in San Francisco to discuss “Global Discontents” and will include insights on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.

David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 32th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His forthcoming book with Noam Chomsky is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.


29. Sunday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Workers Memorial Day ILWU Local 34 “Remember the dead – Fight for the living”

ILWU Local 34
800 – 2nd St. (next to AT&T Stadium)

Workers Memorial Day commemorates the workers who have been injured and killed on the job and also brings together today’s fight to protect health and safety on the job. There is an epidemic of workplace bullying, racist and sexual harassment and regular retaliation against workers on the job. Workers health and safety is under threat in every area including workers in the bay area and there is a massive increase in workplace bullying particularly against whistleblowers. It is critical that all workers speak out for our health and safety and the protection of our lives on the job

There is also an epidemic of hanging noose incidents in the workplace to terrorize and intimidate African American workers from the docks of Oakland to Oakland City Maintenance yards and Recology Sanitation Company in San Francisco


Yesenia Guitron, Wells Fargo OSHA Whistleblower
Dr. Larry Rose, Former Cal-OSHA Medical Director
Brenda Barros, SEIU 1021 SF General Chapter Chair and SF COPE Co-Chair
Daniel Berman, Author of Death on the Job
Kristyn Jones, UTR Teacher and 2018 Delegate To NEA Convention
Cheryl Thornton, SEIU 1021 Health Care Worker Potrero Hill Health Center

Sponsored by Injured Workers National Network


Sunday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, Liberated Lens presents: Dispaches From Resistant Mexico

Omni Commons
4799 Shattuck Ave.

Doors open at 7pm – Film at 7:30pm

Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is series of shorts by Caitlin Manning depicting the multi-faceted struggle being waged on indigenous lands against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra”. The films celebrates the men, and especially the women, who strive toward autonomy and self-governance in the face the devastating spread of capitalist economics and values.

Q&A with filmmaker will follow the screening.


“Toxic soil went from SF’s Hunters Point to state landfills, ex-workers say”

By J.K. Dineen, April 22, 2018 (

The scandal involving cheating in the $1 billion cleanup at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has until now focused on allegations of what was left behind at the site: radioactive dirt dumped into trenches to save the time and expense of testing and disposing of it properly.But former shipyard employees and environmentalists say that toxic waste removed from the site is of just as great a concern. Soil with potentially dangerous levels of radioactive waste, they contend, was trucked to conventional landfills across California — the sort of dumps that typically fill up with tree branches, construction debris and old dishwashers, not radiological waste from a former nuclear test lab that handled uranium and plutonium.

The shipyard, home to the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory from 1946 to 1969, is now the site of the San Francisco Shipyard development project, regarded as perhaps the most important development site in the city. It is to contain more than 10,500 housing units, 300 acres of open space, millions of square feet of retail, schools, a hotel and artists studios.

Before developer FivePoint starting building condominiums in 2013, former shipyard employees say that Tetra Tech, the company that was paid between $350 million and $450 million to lead the cleanup of the site, relaxed the standards for what was allowed to leave the property starting in 2011. The portal monitors — radiation detection scanners used to prevent trucks containing dangerous materials from exiting — were reset to be less sensitive. An area with scaffolding that allowed inspectors to get on top of the trucks to inspect shipments was taken down.


• The Hunters Point Shipyard, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif.
SF city panel OKs redesign of giant Hunters Point Shipyard
• A worker crosses soil at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in San Francisco. The EPA says the U.S. Navy has drastically understated the severity of the failed cleanup at the shipyard, which is the biggest redevelopment site in San Francisco.
Editorial: SF deserves answers about falsified cleanup at Hunters
• Greenaction's Brian Butler speaks with members of the news media outside the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure at Galvez Avenue, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. Greenaction is an advocacy group for health and environmental justice.
SF shipyard activists frustrated by naval officials on alleged

And whereas previously trucks that set off an alert from the portal monitor more than twice would be made to dump their soil loads back on a tarp to be retested and cleaned of dangerous materials, the new policy just required an employee to walk around the truck with a handheld monitor. Those monitors rarely detected anything because the truck bed made it tough to get readings, according to workers.

Former shipyard employee Susan Andrews, who operated portal monitors in 2010 and 2011, said Tetra Tech management went to extreme lengths to ensure trucks were allowed to exit, no matter how many times they set off the radiation detector.

“Before 2011 that dirt was never to leave until the radiation detected was found, contained and put in a secure lockup box,” she said. “In 2011, they changed the way they did business.”

Andrews said she saw trucks leaving the yard at night after the portal where they exited was supposed to be closed for the day — something she witnessed in January and February of 2012 from her condominium on Cleo Rand Lane, right above the shipyard entrance. She was one of nine former Tetra Tech employees to raise concerns with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She said she was laid off a short time later.

“I would be out with my dog about an hour after everyone had gone home, and I’d see these trucks full of dirt — 10 or 15 of them — going right by my condo,” she said. “It was crazy. Where on the site the dirt was coming from or where it was going I don’t know. But nothing should have been leaving after the portal monitor was shut down” for the night.

A recent review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies found that as much as 97 percent of Tetra Tech’s cleanup data for two parcels at the shipyard was found to be suspect and should be retested, according to John Chesnutt, manager of the EPA’s local Superfund Division. A spokesman for Tetra Tech did not return a call seeking comment.

While the Navy has acknowledged the problems with the Tetra Tech work, it continues to insist that the materials were removed from the site properly and safely.

Derek Robinson, who is leading the cleanup for the Navy, said soil is stockpiled on-site and sampled to “to select the appropriate landfill for disposal.” Soil that meets both radiological and chemical cleanup requirements is put back into trenches on the site, places where structures may later be built.

Soil that doesn’t meet those standards is separated and either sent to a landfill that accepts specific types of contamination in the soil or to a low-level radioactive waste site.

Some batches of dirt hauled off Hunters Point were tested and deemed too “hot” for conventional dumps, meaning they contained unacceptably high levels of radionuclides like cesium 137 and strontium 90 — both can cause cancer. That dirt, at least 4,300 cubic yards, was transported in watertight steel bins to Clive, Utah, one of four disposal sites in the United States licensed to accept low-level radioactive waste.

The rest of the waste, the vast majority, about 7,800 truckloads carrying 156,000 cubic yards, was marked “nonhazardous” and went to conventional dumps.

It was hauled to Kirby Canyon in Morgan Hill, near San Jose. It was transported to Keller Canyon in Pittsburg. It went to a dump in Buttonwillow, near Bakersfield, and to facilities in Vacaville and Brisbane owned by Recology, which collects San Francisco’s household trash. Most landfills also have portal monitors, although environmental experts say they are used sporadically and do not test for radiation. If soil contaminated with radioactive material left the shipyard site without being properly vetted, it is possible it landed in one of these landfills.

The timing of the changes Andrews observed at the portal is consistent with testimony from other whistle-blowers, who say the entire culture of the cleanup changed in early 2011 when Tetra Tech’s contract was restructured from “time and material” to a “firm fixed-price model.” Suddenly, the contractor had a financial incentive to complete the cleanup as quickly as possible because it was working for a specific dollar amount.

Shortly after that contract change, worker and whistle-blower Bert Bowers, who was in charge of monitoring compliance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, said he started to see violations of industry standards — equipment left where it shouldn’t be and employees working without proper oversight. He complained and was later fired.

“The incentive was there to cut corners and get bonuses, and I started to see the effect,” he said. “The standards started to become compromised.”

Anthony Smith, who worked as laborer and technician at the shipyard during that time, said he and his colleagues spent months taking soil from areas known to be clean — like the foundation of an old movie theater — and passing it off as coming from sections of the site known to be highly toxic.

“It came down from the higher-ups — ‘We’re gonna make this clean today. Go get a sample from the normal place, go get a clean sample,’” Smith said.

Lindsey Dillon, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Cruz who is writing a book about the cleanup and redevelopment of the shipyard, said it’s ironic that the champions of the redevelopment project cast it as “the heroic story of cleaning up a toxic military base” while the waste taken off the property is “creating a new geography of toxic exposure.”

Conventional landfills tend to be located in communities lacking economic or politic clout.

“It’s a systemic issue, because these landfill sites are located in particularly vulnerable areas,” said Dillon.

Don Wadsworth, a health physicist who specializes in radiation safety and radioactive waste management services, said the classified nature of Hunters Point’s history makes it hard to know what is buried on the property. But the federal government allocated plenty of money to do the job correctly.

“The problem you have is that Tetra Tech was on a program of deceiving the client and the regulators about the conditions on the site and the conditions of the materials leaving the site,” said Wadsworth. “In this case, the safety guard rails were not only ignored, they were ripped up and thrown away.”

Daniel Hirsch, retired director of the Environmental and Nuclear Policy Program at UC Santa Cruz, said the “release criteria” governing waste materials the Navy set at the shipyard were far lower than they should have been. And it is problematic that those standards may have been violated.

Hirsch said he has spent two years trying to find out what happened to the materials removed from the shipyard.

“The Navy have resisted and resisted and resisted,” he said. “My impression is that they knew this was a potential problem and didn’t want it exposed.”

Landfills sell material as well as accept it so it’s tough to say where all material from the shipyard wound up. Hunters Point soil could have ended up in rural roads, parks or building sites, Hirsch said. It could have been used as “cover” at landfills and ended up blown into nearby neighborhoods. It could contaminate water tables and irrigation used for crops.

In addition, waste and unwanted furnishings and metals such as pipes salvaged from razed buildings on the site could be recycled. Contaminated office furniture, fencing, metals and concrete from buildings all could have ended up in places where they could do harm to an unsuspecting public.

“I predict those communities will be up in arms, and they should be,” Hirsch said. “They have converted one Superfund site into perhaps many.”

Several of the waste removal and recycling companies that received soil and debris from the shipyard did not return calls.

Recology, which owns facilities in Vacaville and Brisbane, said it would review all shipments from Hunters Point. Spokesman Eric Potashner said his facilities require customers to sign a guarantee that the soil doesn’t contain contaminants that are not accepted, which would include anything radioactive.

“We have a robust sampling and acceptance criteria for all waste that comes into the site,” he said.

Andrews, who is from West Virigina, said Tetra Tech should be responsible for conducting tests at the landfills where the shipyard soil ended up. She said that her co-workers went along with the program because the Hunters Point jobs were the most lucrative in the country for workers in the hazardous waste remediation field. They paid $42 an hour plus $1,500 a week in expenses. Most of the workers were from Southern states where that kind of money goes a long way.

“I was told to shut my mouth, that I didn’t live there, had hit the lottery, that I should shut up and save my money. The more they said that, the madder I got,” she said. “I did care, and I decided that the people of San Francisco were worth more than my salary.”

J.K. Dineen is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @sfjkdineen

(Submitted by Ruthie Sakheilm.)

UPDATES ~ ANNOUNCEMENTS for Monday, 4/23 – Wednesday, 4/25

Please include ACCESSIBILITY info on events

Check Indybay for other events:


A. Accepting rights award, Kaepernick decries ‘lawful lynching’ (April 21, 2018)

 B. HSBC to stop financing most new coal plants, oil sands, arctic drilling (April 20, 2018)

C. Snipers ordered to shoot children, Israeli general confirms (April 22, 2018)

D. Leahy Law would cut aid to Israel, but no one wants to enforce it (April 19, 2018)

E. Peru: 89-Year-Old ‘Wise Woman’ Indigenous Leader Murdered (April 20, 2018)


Monday, April 23 – Wednesday, April 25

Monday, April 23 

1. Monday, 8:30am – 9:30am, Final 3 Days! Gascón: Charge Killer Cops or Resign!

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

The family of Luis Góngora Pat (killed by SFPD over two years ago) and supporters will hold the final 3-day countdown to D.A Gascón’s self-imposed deadline to make a charging decision in his case. From Monday to Wednesday, April 23-25, from 8:30-9:30am.

Luis’s family and community impacted by police impunity across San Francisco demand “Gascón: Charge Killer Cops or Resign!”

At 5pm on WED. April 25th, at the end of Gascón’s last day to meet his deadline, AND on what would have been Luis Góngora Pat’s 48th birthday, his family will close the 15-day countdown with a press conference accompanied by community members.

A vigil will follow. (MORE SOON)

Sponsor: Mayan War Room in honor of Luis Góngora Pat


2.  Monday, 9:30am – 6:00pm, Impasse Resolution Proceedings  between  City and County of S.F.  and  S.F. Police Officers’ Association 

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St., Room 551 (5th Floor)

There are 5 more days of arbitration, unless the parties reach agreement or the arbitrator comes to a decision prior to the final day. It would be great to have at least 1-2 folks in the room at all times. Anand with the No Justice No Deal Campaign has put together a sign up list. Click here to sign up: a sign-up sheet Even if you can only stay for part of a shift please come.

An update: tomorrow is likely to be a full day of hearings, potentially followed by mediation on Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday). Apparently, the arbitration board chair sets the schedule each morning.

Your presence and support during the hearings shows that the community is concerned about these negotiations.

Schedule days for hearings this week: Mon. April 23, Tue. April 24, Wed. April 25

 Schedule of Meetings / Agenda +More info:

3. Monday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, STOP TORTURE  at SFO  (#Justice4Jerome) 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
780 McDonnell Road

On April 17th, 2018, Jerome Succor Aba, 25-year old peace advocate from Mindanao, was illegally detained for 28 hours, interrogated, and tortured by US Customs and Border Protection. At SFO before deporting him back to the Philippines, his home country.

Join us as we rally and denounce the Customs and Boarder Protection and the Department of Homeland Security ’s treatment of Aba. We must hold the U.S. government’s accountability for its Guantanamo-style repression of detainees.

VIDEO of Jerome’s experience at SFO:

Sponsors: Migrante Northern California & 7 Other groups


4. Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Rising Tides, Rising Voices: A Panel on Climate Justice 

Anna Head Alumnae Hall
2537 Haste St.

ADA Accessible

RSVP here:
Refreshments will be provided!


Jessica Tovar from Local Clean Energy Alliance,

Alvaro Sanchez from The Greenlining Institute,

Rachel Morello-Frosch from the College of Natural Resources – UC Berkeley,

 Esther Goolsby from Communities For A Better Environment.

Both environmental degradation and environmental benefits are unevenly distributed along racial and economic lines. This intersection of environmental and social justice is something that we must put at the forefront of our environmental movement. Join us in a panel discussing these intersections, their impacts, and what we must do to ensure that the environmental movement is fighting for those most marginalized.


Tuesday, April 24 

5. Tuesday, 8:30am – 9:30am, Final 2 Days! Gascón: Charge Killer Cops or Resign!

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

See item #1 for detail

6. Tuesday, 9:30am – 6:00pm, Impasse Resolution Proceedings  between  City and County of S.F.  and  S.F. Police Officers’ Association 

Department of Human Resources
1 South Van Ness
4th Floor, Bayview Conference Room

This might be a potential closed mediation day – check schedule of agenda for info.

Your presence and support during the hearings shows that the community is concerned about these negotiations.

Schedule days for hearings this week: Mon. April 23, Tue. April 24, Wed. April 25

 Schedule of Meetings / Agenda +More info: 

7. Tuesday, 3:00pm, Say NO to the Condo Conversion for the Building Where 100-year-old IRIS CANADA was EVICTED 

SF City Hall, Room 250
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place

The appeal on the rejection of the condo conversion application for 668-678 Page, which is where 100-year-old Iris Canada was evicted a year ago, will be heard at the Board of Supervisors meeting. We are asking board members to vote NO on the appeal. NO to the condo conversion of Iris Canada’s building. Don’t reward the people who evicted her.

Department of Public Works and the Planning Commission both have said NO to the application for condo conversion because city law says a building can’t convert if a senior has been evicted. The board should do likewise.

Info: Senior and Disability Action

8. Tuesday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm, Community and Teacher March for a Fair Contract 

Meet at:

Lake Merritt Amphitheater

Unite for Oakland Kids!!!

We are negotiating to prioritize STUDENT LEARNING over wasteful bloat in OUSD.

Oakland Teachers need a FAIR CONTRACT NOW. We are demanding SMALLER CLASS SIZE and FAIR COMPENSATION and the District has disrespected us over and over by offering us almost nothing.

On April 24th, we will show the District that Students, Families and Teachers are UNITED behind PUTTING STUDENTS AT THE CENTER!

Sponsor: Oakland Education Association


9. Tuesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Sanctuary Rising 

SF Public Library
100 Larkin St., Koret Auditorium

a film screening and panel discussion addressing the history of the Sanctuary movement in San Francisco

Doors Open: 5:30 p.m.
Event Starts at 6:00 p.m.

In 2017, the SFAC Galleries launched Sanctuary City, a multiyear series of exhibitions and public programs featuring artists exploring San Francisco’s status as a Sanctuary City. Join us for our first of many programs planned for 2018!

Organized in partnership with the SF Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs, Sanctuary Rising features a film screening by documentary film Director Theo Rigby followed by an expert panel addressing the history of the faith-based Sanctuary movement in San Francisco. The film and panelists will speak to the dramatic story of how San Francisco became a Sanctuary City in the 1980’s and how faith-based Sanctuary work is being enacted today in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

Rigby will screen an in-progress selection of work from Sanctuary Rising, a feature documentary that follows the dramatic fates of three undocumented individuals in sanctuary today and interweaves the story of the National Sanctuary movement in the 1980s. Following the screening, a panel of faith-leaders, refugees, organizers, and public officials will speak to the intricacies of the Faith-based Sanctuary movement throughout the last three decades. Each panelist will give a short presentation.

There will be a Q+A with all panelists and the filmmaker.

Panelists include:

Art Agnos, former Mayor of San Francisco
Jose Artiga, Executive Director, SHARE El Salvador/Fundación SHARE
Deborah Lee, Executive Director, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
Michael G. Pappas (moderator), Executive Director, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Eileen Purcell, Labor organizer and SF sanctuary movement co-founder. 

Watch a video about Sanctuary in SF.


10. Tuesday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Support Opposition to SB827 at Berkeley Council Meeting 

Berkeley City Council Chambers, 2nd Fl.
2134 MLK Jr. Way

Speak in opposition to Scott Weiner’s SB827, a giveaway land-grab for big tech and luxury development. Tell Berkeley city government to sign a letter against SB827. This bill won’t just transform the Bay Area; show solidarity with Los Angeles progressive groups that are fighting against the gentrification that SB827 will bring.

The council agenda item is currently listed as being on the consent calendar, however it will likely be moved to action where people can give public statements.

Sponsor: Bay Resistance


11. Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Tibet Since 2008: A New Era of Resistance 

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

The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw unprecedented demonstrations around the world in support of Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom and Independence. A number of Bay Area residents, through Students for a Free Tibet, were involved in this campaign, including being a part of direct actions on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Great Wall of China, the Olympic Torch Relay through San Francisco and on the ground in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. The 2008 uprising was a critical moment in Tibet’s history of resistance, reawakening a new generation of activists both inside and outside Tibet.

Join us to share stories from the 2008 uprising as experienced in Tibet, China, and around the world.

Special Guest: 

Dhondup Wangchen is a self-taught Tibetan documentary filmmaker who conceived and shot the film “Leaving Fear Behind” to portray life in Tibet in advance of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Shortly after his footage was smuggled overseas, Wangchen disappeared into Chinese detention…

Dhondup faced six years of harsh imprisonment in the Chinese prison. On 25 December 2017, Dhondup arrives in safety in USA after an arduous and risky escape from Tibet

Laurel Sutherlin is a dedicated Tibetan freedom fighter and was a key actions team member during the 2008 Olympics Campaign,

Ginger Cassady is a former Board Member of Students for a Free Tibet International. She played a pivotal role as a roving spokesperson on the ground in Beijing for a cascading series of direct actions during the 2008 Olympics

Dorjee is the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet International. Dorjee was born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India.

Moderator: Antonia Juhasz – Antonia is a leading energy analyst, author, and investigative journalist specializing in oil.

Sponsor: Students for a Free Tibet


Wednesday, April 25 

12. Wednesday, 8:30am – 9:30am, Final  Day! Gascón: Charge Killer Cops or Resign!

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

See item #1 and item #17

13. Wednesday, 9:30am – 6:00pm, Impasse Resolution Proceedings  between  City and County of S.F.  and  S.F. Police Officers’ Association 

Department of Human Resources
1 South Van Ness
4th Floor, Bayview Conference Room

This might be a potential closed mediation day – check schedule of agenda for info.

Your presence and support during the hearings shows that the community is concerned about these negotiations.

Schedule days for hearings this week: Mon. April 23, Tue. April 24, Wed. April 25

 Schedule of Meetings / Agenda +More info:

14. Wednesday, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, Becoming Human: Lessons From The Ohlone Way, by Malcolm Margolin 

North Berkeley Senior Center
1901 Hearst Ave.

Malcolm Margolin, author, publisher, and cultural bridge- builder will share on his four decades of deepening involvement with the Native communities of California and how that has reshaped his view of the world, getting older, and the meaning of community, art, and laughter in making change

Sponsor: Berkeley East Bay Gray Panthers


15. Wednesday, 4:00pm – 6:00pmDivest San Francisco – Rally & March to City Hall 

Meet at:

Bank of America
1525 Market St.

Join us as we rally in front of Bank of America and march to San Francisco City Hall to demand the SF Board of Supervisors, SF Mayor, and SF Treasurer divest its $10+ billion dollar cash flow from Wall Street banks and create a People’s Bank!

April 25th is the day of Bank of America’s shareholder meeting and it is also one of the main banks that manages San Francisco taxpayer money. Bank of America, and most of Wall Street invests in things that do not align with SF values such as:

-the Dakota Access Pipeline
-fossil fuels
-gun manufacturers
-prison-industrial complex
-military-industrial complex
-predatory mortgage loans

We also demand that the San Francisco Employee Retirement System divest its $400+ million of investments in fossil fuels. SFERS has failed to divest from an industry that is not only destroying our planet, but costing retirees millions.

Sponsors include: SF Bernicrats + 14 Other groups


16. Wednesday, 4:45pm, Call out racism at SF Board of Appeals 

SF City Hall, Rm. 416
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl.

let the Board of Appeals know that upholding White Supremacy and ignoring the will of the people will not be tolerated. Demand they rehear the injunction to stop the removal of the Early Days statue and to decide in favor of the will of the people. Take down the monument that glorifies genocide!


17. Wednesday, 5:00pm, Closing Press Conference and Vigil 

Hall of Justice
850 Bryant St.

At 5pm on WED. April 25th, at the end of Gascón’s last day to meet his deadline, AND on what would have been Luis Góngora Pat’s 48th birthday, his family will close the 15-day countdown with a press conference accompanied by community members.

A vigil will follow. (MORE SOON)

Sponsor: Sponsor: Mayan War Room in honor of Luis Góngora Pat


18. Wednesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Tech Profiling, Policing And Disruption of ‘Sanctuary Cities’ 

Academic Innovation Studio
117 Dwinelle Hall
UC Berkeley

A Conversation and Strategy Session with:

Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource Organizing Center
Christina Sinha, National Security and Civil Rights Program Co-Leader, Asian Law Caucus,
Cat Brooks, Executive Director, Justice Teams Network & Co-Founder Anti-Police Terror Project
Stephanie Lacambra, Attorney and Legal Analyst with Electronic Frontier Foundation
Juan Prieto, Immigrant Rights Organizer / Statewide Communications Strategist, CIYJA
-facilitated by Leslie Dreyer, organizer with Housing Rights Committee and Artist in Residence with the UC ACES Program 

Technologies coming out of the Bay Area are being used to surveil, profile, police and even deport vulnerable residents in our so-called Sanctuary Cities. Platforms claiming to promote democracy have corrupted it and recentralized power, while silencing dissent of targeted communities. Social media, license plate readers, facial recognition and AI are aiding local police, ICE, the Pentagon and beyond, and the most terrifying and distopian applications yet to be approved for use by our government get shipped abroad impacting the privacy and lives of international communities.

Combining analysis by legal experts and on-the-ground organizers, we’ll explore the following questions: What cross-movement strategies can we employ to keep undocumented folks and targeted communities safe? How can we pressure politicians who advance policies that threaten vulnerable residents, including immigrants of color, to work toward those that bring about real sanctuary? And how can we leverage our proximity to Bay Area-based tech surveillance behemoths to demand justice for those most impacted locally and abroad? 

Cosponsored by UC Berkeley’s American Cultures Engaged Scholarship Program, Housing Rights Committee of SF,
Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and the Arts and Design Initiative


19. Wednesday, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Earth Day Free Screening: JANE 

SF Main Library, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin St.

SF Green Film Festival is pleased to present this special Earth Day screening of JANE – a film about Jane Goodall and her early years in Gombe.

Using a trove of footage unearthed from the National Geographic archives, JANE tells the true story of Jane Goodall as a young woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.


The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Growing

Plastic waste lies among other debris washed ashore on a beach in Sri Lanka.
Plastic waste lies among other debris washed ashore on a beach in Sri Lanka. Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP


Berkeley Occupation Update from Mike Zint

The previous post was a warm up for this one. Too poor to matter. I read authorized areas. Holy shit!

Draft 4-17-18
1) Purposes:
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that everyone has access to, free
passage through, and use and enjoyment of Sidewalks and Parklets in Berkeley.
2) Protection of Constitutional Rights:
These Regulations shall be applied in such a manner that does not deprive any
person of rights protected by the California or Federal Constitutions, including
freedom of expression.
3) Definitions:
a) BART Access Corridor is a Sidewalk, including a wide plaza area, on the same
side of the street as a BART Station entrance, within 120 feet of such entrance.
b) Sidewalk is defined as provided in BMC Section 9.49.020 (I).
[“Sidewalk” is that area of improved real property between any curb face and the
property line of adjoining real property.]
c) Parklet is an improved area within the dedicated public right-of-way with seating,
tables, landscaping and other amenities, being used temporarily for the
enjoyment and use of all citizens.
d) Objects include any item or thing, attended or unattended, but does not include
animals or persons.
e) Objects in Transit are Objects placed temporarily on a Sidewalk, for up to an
hour, in the actual course of receipt, removal or delivery, and include, but are not
limited to, goods, wares, merchandise, containers, and suitcases.
f) Authorized Objects are Objects the Berkeley Municipal Code specifically
permits on Sidewalks or in other public locations. [These include newspaper
racks, parking meters, bike racks, bus benches and shelters, mail boxes, etc.]
g) Path of Travel is an area that must be kept unobstructed for free passage, as
i) For Sidewalks which measure 14 feet or less in width, the Path of Travel is 6-
feet wide;
ii) For Sidewalks which measure greater than 14 feet in width, the Path of Travel
is 10-feet wide.

Draft 4-17-18
h) Commercial Districts are Districts designated on the City of Berkeley’s official
Zoning Map with a “C” prefix.
i) Residential Districts are Districts designated on the City of Berkeley’s official
Zoning Map with an “R” prefix.
j) Manufacturing Districts are Districts designated on the City of Berkeley’s
official Zoning Map with an “M” prefix.
4) Storage Facilities:
The City shall provide one or more public storage facilities to securely store personal
belongings in an area or areas with concentrations of unhoused individuals.
5) Information:
The City shall ensure that fliers, posters or other materials are available for
dissemination in Commercial Zones, informing the public of rules and regulations for
Sidewalks and Parklets. These materials may be produced by the City or by
community partners, and shall be periodically updated. The City may also post fixed
signage informing the public of these regulations.
6) Objects – Residential Districts:
a) Except for Authorized Objects and Objects in Transit, Objects are prohibited on
Sidewalks in Residential Districts.
7) Objects – Commercial and Manufacturing Districts:
a) Objects, other than Authorized Objects:
i) May not be placed in Parklets
ii) May not be placed in the Path of Travel
b) Other than Objects in Transit or Authorized Objects, Objects on Sidewalks shall
not expand beyond a 9-square foot footprint (measured as 3 x 3, 4 x 2.25, 9×1,
c) Objects on Sidewalks cannot obstruct traffic, pedestrian or other signs authorized
by law.
d) Other than Authorized Objects or Objects in Transit, no Objects shall be placed
on any Sidewalk directly in front of a building entrance, from the entrance face to
the edge of the Sidewalk, except between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.
e) Other than Authorized Objects or Objects in Transit, no objects shall be placed
on any Sidewalk area three feet to either side of a building entrance, from the
building wall to the edge of the Sidewalk, except between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.

Draft 4-17-18
f) Objects must not interfere with normal access to or use of Authorized Objects or
with wheelchair ramps, driveways, or crosswalks.
8) Sitting:
Sitting is allowed on all Sidewalks and in Parklets at all times, except in the Path of
9) Lying: Sleep is a fundamental human right and necessity, and Berkeley must provide space
for individuals to lie down at all times. Lying is permitted in all City of Berkeley Parks
during open hours, which are posted at each park.
Except in the case of a medical emergency, lying is prohibited:
i) In BART Access Corridors. The City shall post signage announcing
restrictions on lying in BART Access Corridors.
ii) On Sidewalks in all Residential and Mixed Use Residential (MUR) Districts;
iii)On Sidewalks in all Commercial Districts and in the Manufacturing (M), Mixed
Manufacturing (MM) and Mixed-Use Light Industrial Zones (MULI) between
the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.
and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. (Lying is permitted in these locations
from 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 6:00 p.m.
Sunday to 7:00 a.m. Monday.)
iv)Within the Path of Travel.
10)Cushioning Material: a) Cushioning Material for sitting or lying in compliance with this ordinance is limited
to pads, folded blankets, mats or other material providing insulation or cushioning
while an individual is seated or lying.
b) Cushioning Material shall not expand beyond what is reasonably needed while
seated or lying, and shall be removed when not in use.
c) When being used for sitting or lying in compliance with this ordinance,
Cushioning Material may exceed or be non-contiguous with the allowed 9 square
foot footprint for Objects, but must maintain the Path of Travel.
No more than two stationary dogs shall be permitted in any 10-foot area on
Commercial Sidewalks or in Parklets, except for guide dogs, signal dogs or service
dogs, as provided by state law. [Same as current]

Draft 4-17-18
Ensuring broad public access to and use of Sidewalks and Parklets is the purpose of
these regulations. Enforcement must support this purpose while minimizing the
potential for criminalization.
a) Objects and Cushioning Materials:
i) If, based on complaints, direct observation or referrals, City staff become
aware that Objects or Cushioning Materials are placed in a location or
manner in violation of these or other regulations, notice shall be provided
stating the City’s regulations and the corrective action requested. If Objects or
Cushioning Materials are unattended notice shall be posted on or directly
adjacent to such Objects or Cushioning Materials.
ii) Depending on the impacts of the violation, notice shall state whether
corrective action must be taken immediately, or may specify any time period,
up to 1 hour, for Objects or Cushioning Material to be moved and brought into
compliance with these regulations.
iii) Failure to comply with actions requested in the notice within the time period
specified will result in Objects or Cushioning Material being moved by the City
to either:
(1) Conform with the City’s regulations (moved out of the Path of Travel, for
example); or
(2) For later retrieval, according to the protocols for Storage of Unattended
Property specified in the City of Berkeley’s Administrative Regulation 10.1.
iv) If Objects have been in the same location for more than 3 days and other
applicable criteria, if any, are met, Berkeley’s Encampment Response Policy
may apply. [Encampment Response Policy will be concurrently adopted]
b) Sitting and Lying Down:
i) If, based on complaints, direct observation, or referrals, City staff become
aware that an individual is sitting in the Path of Travel or lying at a location or
time that is not permitted by these or other regulations, notice shall be
provided to such individual, stating the City’s regulations and the corrective
action requested.
ii) If the individual does not come into compliance after being provided with
notice and a reasonable opportunity to comply, a Citation may be issued.
iii) Violations shall be charged as infractions, and not as misdemeanors.
iv) Fines for an infraction charged under this Section shall not exceed $100.

Draft 4-17-18
v) [Concept in development] The City may waive fines for an infraction charged
under this Section if the individual fined elects to access and receive specified
homeless services or to perform specified community service [program to be
determined]. For fines to be waived and the infraction to be cleared, written
verification of performance is required.
vi) If an individual has been inhabiting a specific Sidewalk location for more than
3 days and other applicable criteria, if any, are met, Berkeley’s Encampment
Response Policy may apply.
c) Dogs:
i) If more than two stationary dogs are within a ten-foot area on a Sidewalk in a
Commercial District or in a Parklet, notice shall be provided to the individual
or individuals in control of such dogs, stating the City’s regulations and the
corrective action requested.
ii) If an individual does not comply, after being provided with notice and a
reasonable opportunity, a Citation may be issued.
iii) Violations shall be charged as infractions, and not as misdemeanors.
iv) Fines for an infraction charged under this Section shall not exceed $100.

After nearly 60 years, Castro dynasty ends in Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel steps up

The Cult of Violence Always Kills the Left

And who has all the power, in terms of violence? Our means of violence is very little. The government’s means, the right wing’s means, are very great. So, we’ve got to adopt nonviolence.

"How can we as white people stand by while the nonwhite people of the world are suffering under imperialism?"(Photo: Amy Osborne, AFP)

“How can we as white people stand by while the nonwhite people of the world are suffering under imperialism?”(Photo: Amy Osborne, AFP)


The Weather Underground, a clandestine revolutionary organization that advocated violence, was seen by my father and other clergy members who were involved in Vietnam anti-war protests as one of the most self-destructive forces on the left. These members of the clergy, many of whom, including my father, were World War II veterans, had often became ministers because of their experiences in the war. They understood the poison of violence. One of the most prominent leaders of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam (CALCAV), to which my father belonged, was the Catholic priest Philip Berrigan, who as an Army second lieutenant fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

The young radicals of the Vietnam era, including Mark Rudd—who in 1968 as a leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) led the occupation of five buildings at Columbia University and later helped form the Weather Underground—did not turn to those on the religious left whose personal experiences with violence might have saved SDS, the Weather Underground and the student anti-war movement from self-immolation. Blinded by hubris and infected with moral purity, the members of the Weather Underground saw themselves as the only real revolutionaries. And they embarked, as have those in today’s black bloc and antifa, on a campaign that was counterproductive to the social justice goals they said they advocated.

Rudd, 50 years later, plays the role once played by the priests Phil and Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. His book “Underground: My Life With SDS and the Weathermen” is a brutally honest deconstruction of the dangerous myths that captivated him as a young man. I suspect that many of those in the black bloc and antifa will no more listen to his wisdom than did the young radicals five decades ago who dismissed the warnings from those on the religious left for whom violence was not an abstraction. Rudd sees his old self in the masked faces of the black bloc and antifa, groups that advocate violence and property destruction in the name of anti-fascism. These faces, he said, ignite his deep embers of “shame and guilt.”

“It’s word for word the same thing,” Rudd said of antifa and the black bloc when we spoke for several hours recently in Albuquerque. “You look on a YouTube channel like Acting Out. It’s identical. How can we as white people stand by while the nonwhite people of the world are suffering under imperialism? I think the shame of being white in this society is so great [that] people want to show that they’re aware of how terrible the disparities are, and how privilege and oppression distort everything. The urge to talk about violence and commit violence in response is a way of cleansing yourself of that privilege, of the guilt of privilege. It taps into this strain that I’ve identified as self-expression rather than strategy. That, to me, is the biggest problem.”

“The anarchist Andy Cornell makes a distinction between activism and organizing,” he said. “Activism is about self-expression. It often is a substitute for strategy. Strategic organizing is about results. These acts of self-expression, which is what antifa does and what we did in the Weather Underground, are exactly what the cops want.”

“The slogan ‘diversity of tactics’ used by the black bloc and antifa is ridiculous,” he said. “Even the term ‘tactic’ is ridiculous. What we need is a strategy. And let’s be clear, even when you adopt a nonviolent strategy it will be portrayed by the state as violent. This is what the Israelis are doing at the Gaza fence. I often tell the antifa kids here—there are about four antifa kids in Albuquerque and they hate my guts—this story. There was a spontaneous anti-war demonstration in 2003 by a thousand people in Albuquerque the night the [Iraq] war began. The cops, who support the military, were angry. They attacked the crowd with tear gas and clubs. There were a lot of arrests. The victims brought a civil suit against the police. It did not come to trial until 2011. The police and the city of Albuquerque were the defendants. They were charged with violating the rights of the protesters. It was a jury trial. The jury found for the cops. Why? It turned out the police attorneys brought in a photograph. There were about 200 or 300 people in the photograph. In the front were two people wearing bandannas [as masks]. Just wearing bandannas. They zoomed in on the people wearing the bandannas. They told the jury, ‘See these people wearing these bandannas? They’re wearing bandannas because they’re terrorists. And we knew they were about to attack us. So, we had to attack them.’ The jury went for it. We had not yet convinced our fellow citizens of the value of the right to protest. My conclusion: Don’t wear bandannas! Every time I see a kid wearing a bandanna, I say, ‘You’re so beautiful, why cover your face?’ They say, ‘Well, I have to, I’m a Zapatista.’ I say that’s nice but this is what happened in 2003 and 2011. It would probably be better for you to not wear the bandanna so they won’t think we’re violent. And they say, ‘You’re a stupid piece of shit’ or they walk away.”

Rudd said that the occupation of Columbia University in April 1968, an occupation that caused him to be expelled from the university, was an example of the kind of strategy that the left has to adopt. This strategy had its roots in the organizing techniques of the labor and civil rights movement.

“The means of transmission were red diaper babies,’ he said, referring to the sons and daughters of members of the United States Communist Party. “The red diaper babies at Columbia SDS kept saying, ‘Build the base. Build the base. Build the base.’ It became a mantra for years. It was all we could think about. This meant education, confrontation and talking, talking, talking. It meant building relationships and alliances. It meant don’t get too far out in front. In the spring of 1968 it all came to a head. It was the perfect storm. A few of us knew, now is the time to strike.”

“Columbia was a success,” he said. “The deed attracted attention. And because of the alliance with the black students, which has never gotten enough media attention in the story of Columbia, we closed down the university. We accomplished our strategic aim, which was to politicize more people and to build the movement. Our goal was not to end the university’s involvement with military research. That was a symbolic goal. The real goal was to build the movement. I got into a lot of trouble for saying the issue is not the issue.”

But Rudd and other radicals in the SDS soon became, he said, “enamored with the propaganda of the deed.” Self-expression replaced strategy. The organizing, which had made the occupation of the university successful, was replaced by revolutionary posturing. The radicals believed that more radical tactics, including violence, would accelerate political and social change. It did the opposite.

“After Columbia, it was failure after failure after failure in SDS for the next year and a half,” he said. “Then we doubled down on the failures.”

The SDS radicals came under the spell of revolutionary theories propagated by those supporting armed liberation movements in the developing world. They wanted to transplant Frantz Fanon’s call for revolutionary violence, Lin Biao’s idea of “people’s war” and Ernesto “Che” Guevara foco, or insurrectionary center, to the struggle in the United States. The radicals would go underground and carry out acts of violence that would ignite a national war of liberation. This call to arms was seductive and exhilarating, but it was based on a distorted and highly selective account of revolutionary struggle, especially in Cuba.

“Che put forward a phony analysis of how the Cuban revolution was won,” Rudd said. “According to him it was won solely by Fidel and Che going into the Sierra Maestra [mountain range]. Armed struggle was the only thing that was important to the Cuban revolution. All other aspects of the revolution, including 20,000 people who were murdered by [dictator Fulgencio] Batista in the cities, the national strikes by the unions, the street protests by women, university students and the Cuban Communist Party were wiped out of history. There was only one thing to do, pick up the gun.”

The cult of the gun was disastrous. It distorted reality. It elevated violence as the only real tool for revolution. Vijay Prashad in his book “The Darker Nations” spells out the incalculable damage caused by this cult, including the doomed attempt in 1967 by Che Guevara to form a foco in Bolivia, an effort that would cost him his life. The cult of the gun saw most third-world liberation movements, such as the National Liberation Front (FLN) in Algeria, devolve into squalid military dictatorships when they took power.

“My little segment of the left worshipped Che,” Rudd said. “We believed in the propaganda of the deed. We were so sure of our strategy, of leading the armed struggle, that we decided to destroy SDS and build the Weather Underground, a revolutionary fighting force. We decided on a tactic, which was to bring thousands of people to Chicago in 1969 for the conspiracy trial [of radicals such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden, charged with instigating riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention]. Very few people showed up. We got creamed with beatings, arrests, and even shootings by the cops.”

“After that we went from bad organizing to no organizing,” Rudd said. “It was purely about self-expression. That self-expression would take the form of bombs. The first thing we did was kill three of our own people.”

The premature explosion of a bomb in a New York City townhouse on March 6, 1970, that killed three of Rudd’s comrades sobered the radical group. The bomb was to have been placed at an officers’ dance at Fort Dix, in New Jersey. It surely would have killed and wounded dozens of people had it exploded at the Army base. The Weather Underground decided to bomb buildings that symbolized centers of power, including the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, the California attorney general’s office and a New York City police station, but to call in warnings beforehand so the buildings could be evacuated. The group was responsible for 25 bombings and in 1970 organized the prison escape of Timothy Leary, the famous advocate of psychedelic drugs, for which the group was paid $25,000 by the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a collection of drug dealers.

“A lot of Americans can accept their government’s violence, but they can’t conceive of political violence as anything other than criminal and mentally ill,” Rudd said. “And who has all the power, in terms of violence? Our means of violence is very little. The government’s means, the right wing’s means, are very great. So, we’ve got to adopt nonviolence. The research of Erica Chenoweth and others has shown that nonviolence is much more efficacious than violence. Gene Sharp approaches nonviolence from a practical rather than a moral point of view. It is the difference between moral pacifism and practical pacifism. The antifa kids are not moral pacifists. They believe in a cleansing moral violence. At its base is a desire to absolve themselves of white guilt.”

Rudd cautioned against the danger of intellectualizing the struggle against oppressive forces. He said all resistance had to remain rooted in practical realities and the hard, often anonymous and time-consuming work of organizing.

“As intellectuals, we can talk ourselves into anything,” Rudd said. “If we think it’s necessary we can probably figure out how to do it. David Gilbert is one of the gentlest people I have ever met. Yet he somehow talked himself into driving a getaway van with a bunch of black guys armed with automatic weapons. Gilbert left his kid at a daycare center, thinking he was going back at the end of the day to pick the kid up. Nobody picked up the kid. This is ludicrous. And that’s the point; you can talk yourself into anything. I have a bumper sticker on the back of my car that says don’t believe everything that you think.”

Rudd is acutely aware of the failure by most liberals to fight for the values they purport to defend. However, the repeated betrayal of the oppressed by the liberal class as it mouths the language of justice should not push radicals to acts of violence. Rather, radicals must make strategic alliances with liberals while being fully aware of their propensity to flee from struggle when it becomes difficult.

“The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] was a sister organization of SDS,” Rudd said. “They decided to go to the absolute worst place in the United States, Mississippi, to organize for voting rights. And they did. They lost a lot of people. A lot of people got arrested and beaten. A lot of stuff happened over a three-year period. But they won the right to vote. They organized a non-segregationist democratic delegation called the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The real Democratic Party delegation was all-white. The Democratic Party worked out a deal with their allies in the North including the United Auto Workers and other liberals. They would seat the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the Democratic Party Convention. They would exclude the segregationists. Busloads of mostly black people went to Atlantic City [site of the convention]. Lyndon Johnson had a change of heart. He feared if he seated the black delegates he would lose re-election. They didn’t get seated. That was an ultimate betrayal. Out of this betrayal came the impetus for black power. Black power was supposedly a strategy. But it was no more a strategy than the Weather Underground. It was another form of self-expression.”

“I was 18,” Rudd said. “I saw heroic SNCC people advocating for black power. The liberals betrayed them. Which side would you be on? Black power rejected the nonviolence of Martin Luther King. It rejected integration. Malcolm X used the slogan ‘By any means necessary.’ This was seized upon to justify revolutionary violence. It was the same fantasy of revolution. Black power was no more embraced by the black masses than the violence and rhetoric of the Weather Underground were embraced by the white masses. In the end, the white left became the base of the Black Panther Party. The Panther 21 was set up on charges of a bombing in April 1969. SDS in New York, which I was a part of, protested to defend them. Our demonstrations became more and more white. The black base was not behind them. I thought the reason was our presence. I was so steeped in black power ideology I thought the mere presence of white people would keep black people away. That wasn’t it. Black power made no sense to most black people. It was suicidal. Huey P. Newton’s autobiography, “Revolutionary Suicide,” captured it. What kind of a strategy is that? The black power movement was a cultural uprising. But it was not strategic. We fell for this bullshit.”

“White radicals felt personally challenged by black power,” he said. “Would we be liberals or would we be radicals? Would we go to the base, to the origin of the problem, which is capitalism and imperialism? Would we embrace ‘by any means necessary’? Would we overthrow the system? Or would we be liberal reformists? When you’re 18 or 20 that’s not much of a question. This is why David Gilbert is in prison for the rest of his life.”

“What we did was a historical crime,” he said of the destruction of the SDS. “At the height of the war in 1969 we decided to close down the national and regional offices and the newspaper of the largest student radical organization in the country. SDS had chapters in 400 campuses. We probably had 100,000 active members. It was crazy. Three of our people died immediately. We inspired copycat actions. One of them happened in the University of Wisconsin in the summer of 1970. An anti-war graduate student died. Eventually, it led to the Brink’s robbery in 1981. The worst thing of all, of all the things we did, was we split the anti-war movement over the bogus issue of armed struggle, our right to an armed struggle. This is the same thing as the call by antifa for diversity of tactics, which is a code word for violence.”

“The thing about nonviolence is that it works,” he said. “But it only works if it’s total. The cops put the burden of violence on protesters. Our job is to do the opposite. Our job is to make it crystal clear it’s the government and the system that engages violence. We muddy the water when we use violence.”

“The left has not hit on a strategy analogous to the far-right strategy, which is to unite ideological conservatives with a base, especially the Christian fundamentalist base,” he said. “A base means people show up. They vote. They go where they’re told. That was the old union model for the Democratic Party. But with unions depleted we have no institutional or structural base. This is a huge problem. We have to rebuild structures. It’s going to take a long time, maybe 20 or 40 years. I’ll be 110.”

“Antifa claims to be anarchist,” he said. “But is not the same anarchism as, say, the Wobblies. Antifa’s version of anarchism is you can’t tell me what to do. It’s self-expression. I fell into the trap of self-expression. Self-expression is narcissistic. It’s saying my feelings are so important that I can do anything I want. It’s saying once other people see how important my feelings are they will join me. It never works. There’s only two kinds of people who advocate for violence—very stupid people, of which I was one, and cops. Which are you? Are you very stupid or are you a cop?”

“I can’t communicate with antifa because my own PTSD forbids me to say you are so morally right, so courageous and so morally pure,” Rudd said. “You understand how violent the system is. You understand what it’s like to be nonwhite. I understand your motives. I applaud you for it. This is the only thing they hear, words that feed their self-adulation.”

“I’m a veteran of all of this shit,” he lamented. “But that doesn’t count for anything. It’s all expired.”