WHY THE PUBLIC BANKING MOVEMENT IS UP AGAINST THE ROPES IN 2019

TUE, 1/8/2019 – BY MATT STANNARD (Occupy.com)

Let’s start with the obvious: 2018 was a mixed year for public banking. While American Samoa got a bank, that event was unconnected to the current mobilization efforts in the states. The defeat of the Los Angeles referendum, the silence on public banks by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy after he’d made it part of his campaign platform, and most recently the strong rebuke of a public banking option for cannabis cash made 2018 a frustrating year for the movement.

The defeat of LA’s Measure B could still be seen as a victory for public banking advocates because in spite of knowing little about the measure – and Public Bank L.A. had miniscule campaign resources – the measure still received 42 percent support. There is no positive spin, however, on the feasibility report commissioned by California Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group.

The report was produced by Level 4 Ventures, a business analytics firm; Jade Compliance Solutions, specialists in private financial firms’ regulatory compliance; and RLR Management Consulting, which works for private financial firms. The report predicts – correctly, I think – that existing private financial institutions will incrementally offer services to the cannabis industry as prohibitions continue to dissolve.

It is also correct in predicting that a public bank dedicated to cannabis probably won’t be able to get a master account number from the Federal Reserve until cannabis is federally legal (the Fed could do it anyway but has no reason to, and is anyway risk-averse). At this point private banks will likely jump on the hundreds of billions of dollars cannabis business will be making.

The report also correctly points out that current laws create barriers to public banks, and echoes other comparable feasibility findings: that the start-up costs of a public bank are considerable, a lot of time will pass before benefits will accrue, and that public banks are subject to corruption. For good measure, it recommends rejection of “all state-backed financial institution options” as too risky; apparently even ones that nobody’s thought of yet.

Although many small cannabis product proprietors and entrepreneurs worked with the public banking movement in 2017 to discuss cannabis banking options, the group never reached critical mass. “We interviewed dozens of cannabis business stakeholders to see how we could support the industries’ banking needs,” the report quotes Molly Cohen of the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector. “We found very limited interest in public banking from the industry.”

On top of a defeat in a referendum that may not even have been necessary – Marc Armstrong explains why in my interview with him here, the movement must contend with a never-ending wave of feasibility studies and policy reports that deploy capitalist logic and bourgeois economics against the case for public banks. There are now at least three California reports, a Boston Federal Reserve study, a report from Santa Fe, and others. They mostly say public banks are too risky, too expensive to start up, and unnecessary to solve the problems of financial scarcity.

The groups that prepare these reports are typically dominated by researchers deeply reliant on the private financial sector that their findings always vindicate. Public banking advocates have disputed, correctly in my opinion, many of the assumptions and conclusions of these studies. None of these reports have demonstrated that the worst-case scenarios of public banks would ever compare to the harm the private financial industry has caused, and will continue to cause, to people and the planet. But political economy is a material struggle between classes, not a debate tournament.

While the disputability of their findings vary, in one way the critics are foundationally, if inadvertently, correct: the public policy rationale for public banks is incompatible with the immediacy-driven demands of dominant financial logic. Democratic and community control of finance is the grand prize. Thus, the best hope for the public banking movement is the continued success of political candidates affiliated with Democratic Socialists of America or other socialist groups, and organizations affiliated with eco-divestment. Virtually all of those groups have put public banking into their platforms.

The policy trajectory on the democratization of finance will not stop at public banking. “Banking” may become quite a different thing in a post-capitalist economy, or it may not be a thing at all. In the meantime, the public banking movement needs to stop trying to be a bridge between those who would save and those who would bypass capitalism. The interests of capital and the interests of everything-not-capital are incompatible. We can accept that, or we can watch more highly paid contractors write negative feasibility studies until the cows come home.

Matt Stannard is director of Solidarity House Cooperative and writes, researches and teaches about cooperative law and economics. He served as policy director for Commonomics USA and communications director for the Public Banking Institute.

5 Articles & Postponement of SF Planning Com. tomorrow until Feb. (from Adrienne Fong)

A. Family remembers SFPD shooting victim with a memorial and hot chocolate for the homeless  – January 9, 2019

 The family is grateful for all that came out Monday and for all the support from all.

B. Trump walked out of shutdown meeting with Democratic lawmakers –Schumer – January 9, 2019

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-walked-out-of-shutdown-meeting-with-democratic-lawmakers-schumer/ar-BBS2bGP?ocid=spartandhp

C. Fact-checking President Trump’s Oval Office address on immigration – January 9, 2019

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/09/fact-checking-president-trumps-oval-office-address-immigration/?fbclid=IwAR319i7s7f6_V6XmLy8WGpDLG-oVAf_x7S2w7iDp4GecfmvwDHqNS5RiHkM&utm_term=.1d169b7b386f

D. Voted Down on Tuesday Night, McConnell Raises Alarm by Forcing Second Vote on ‘Unconstitutional’ Anti-Boycott Bill

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/09/voted-down-tuesday-night-mcconnell-raises-alarm-forcing-second-vote-unconstitutional?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork&fbclid=IwAR110AxrsL6u5N-_c3KXFW4Za2HN75XFNkR_K6tIMd76zOfmIQp7Lg6AtVU

Second vote could happen tonight – Wednesday

E. Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery – January 9, 2019

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-fema-aid-california-wildfires_us_5c360ff5e4b0dbd06602784d?fbclid=IwAR0FZg-efnvR04mPDDbFrudfcGnvmbB7B2wfn-OKAZb9q_ViI3SYY-DfgWM

UPDATE:

CHANGED to February 14th, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/484880375354099/

Thursday, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, STOP the Luxury Takeover of the Mission! (POSTPONED)

SF Planning Commission

SF City Hall, Room 400

1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl

SF

*3140 16th St large auto body garage across from the Roxie that wants to convert into a 3-story entertainment space including a rooftop bar is still on and must be stopped!

This area is already overcrowded with a imbalance of food and drink spaces (55%) and we need to keep our blue-collar spaces. A Subaru dealer, in fact, wants to run a repair shop at this space and is happy to work with us to get our Mission folks into these good-paying jobs.

*344 14th St is a luxury housing project that is currently offering only the bare minimum of affordable housing plus high-tech manufacturing space 90% of which will be at market-rate prices. This project will add to the displacement and gentrification of this blue-collar area of the Mission!

Sponsors: United to Save the Mission, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Cultural Action Network, Our Mission NO Eviction

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/484880375354099/

It’s Time to Bring Back the Corporate Death Penalty

January 08, 2019byCommon Dreams

When big companies engage in criminal harm to the public, they deserve serious punishment

byThom Hartmann (commondreams.org)

Demonstrators speaking out against Wells Fargo bank in this file. (Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

“The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen, and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence to be borne with resignation.

“Throughout the greater part of our history, a different view prevailed.

“Although the value of this instrumentality in commerce and industry was fully recognized, incorporation for business was commonly denied long after it had been freely granted for religious, educational, and charitable purposes.

“It was denied because of fear. Fear of encroachment upon the liberties and opportunities of the individual. Fear of the subjection of labor to capital. Fear of monopoly. Fear that the absorption of capital by corporations, and their perpetual life, might bring evils similar to those which attended mortmain [immortality]. There was a sense of some insidious menace inherent in large aggregations of capital, particularly when held by corporations.”

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933 dissent in Liggett v. Lee

The good citizens of California have been wondering out loud who killed 86 of their citizens in the Camp Fire, along with dozens of other Californians over the years in other fires. Now both federal and state prosecutors are focusing on a likely suspect: Pacific Gas and Electric.

California’s largest private, for-profit corporate utility appears to have killed a number of people over the years, in many cases because of negligence apparently prompted by a desire to jack up corporate profits.

As a corporation, they play by different rules than you or I.

“While the human death penalty has largely disappeared in the world and is fading in the U.S. (a good thing), the corporatedeath penalty needs a revival.”

Imagine you got a holiday package delivery gig, and decided to make more money by increasing the number of packages you can deliver in a day. The easiest way to accomplish this is by ignoring state and local regulations (speed limits) and drive like a maniac.

But what happens if, in your haste, you hit and kill a bunch of schoolkids in a crosswalk?

Particularly if you’d already been busted multiple times for felony reckless driving and had already killed other entire families driving badly on public streets…several different times in several different cities. And, on top of that, if you had lied to the police and the courts, saying that you’d been driving very, very carefully—all while you tried to hide or destroy the evidence.

You’d spend many years in prison for those deaths and the cover-ups; in some states you may even face the death penalty.

Now consider what happens when a corporation behaves like that.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has already been nailed for “speeding”—ignoring laws that require them to operate in a way that’s safe—and people have already died, on multiple occasions.

  • PG&E was found guilty for the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that injured more than 50 people and killed eight. They were fined $1.6 billion and are on probation now.
  • Two years ago, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California noted in a public statement that the company had continued to break that same law. “The jury found PG&E guilty of six felony counts—five willful violations of the Pipeline Safety Act and one count of corruptly obstructing the federal investigation…” As an additional penalty, they were ordered to perform 10,000 hours of community service, pay a $3 million fine, and another five years was added to their “probation.”
  • In 2017 alone, PG&E’s failure to properly maintain and operate their equipment and rights-of-way caused 17 fires in California; while investigators referred 11 of those cases to prosecutors for code violations, so far there have been no new indictments.
  • In December of 2018, PG&E was again busted by the California Public Utilities Commission for not only refusing to mark and warn people of the locations of their gas pipelines in a timely fashion, but, as CNN noted, they “[P]ressured workers to falsify data…”

And the crimes of PG&E pale in comparison to those of the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry, and companies like ExxonMobil that promoted lies about global warming while continuing to profitably and massively pollute.

The Corporate Death Penalty Is Not New

While the human death penalty has largely disappeared in the world and is fading in the U.S. (a good thing), the corporate death penalty needs a revival.

The corporate death penalty, widespread in the 19th century, is a political and economic Darwinian process that weeds bad actors out of the business ecosystem to make room for good players.

The process of revoking corporate charters goes back to the very first years of the United States. After all, the only reasons states allow (“charter”) corporations (normal business corporations can only be chartered by a state, not the federal government) is to serve the public interest.

As the Wyoming Constitution of 1889 laid out:

All powers and franchises of corporations are derived from the people and are granted by their agent, the government, for the public good and general welfare, and the right and duty of the state to control and regulate them for these purposes is hereby declared. The power, rights and privileges of any and all corporations may be forfeited by willful neglect or abuse thereof. The police power of the state is supreme over all corporations as well as individuals.”

When a corporation does business ethically and legally, it serves its local community, its employees, its customers, and its shareholders. For over a century, American corporations were held to this very reasonable standard.

Beginning in 1784, Pennsylvania demanded that corporations include a revocation clause in corporate charters that automatically dissolved them after a few decades so they couldn’t grow so large or so rich as to become a public menace. It also authorized the state to dissolve any corporation that harmed the state or its citizens, including customers and employees.

It was pretty explicit:

“Nor shall any charter for the purposes aforesaid be granted for a longer time than twenty years; and every such charter shall contain a clause reserving to the legislature the power to alter, revoke, or annul the same, whenever in their opinion it may be injurious to the citizens of the commonwealth…” (Article I, Section 25)

As the United States grew, the federal government passed laws requiring corporate-death-penalty revocation clauses in the state corporate charters of insurance companies, in 1809, and banks in 1814. By the late 1880s, every state required them for all business corporations.

From the founding of America to today, governments routinely revoked corporate charters, forcing liquidation and sale of assets, although it’s been over a century since such efforts have focused on corporations large enough to have amassed financial and, thus, political power.

In the 19th century, banks were shut down for behaving in a “financially unsound” way in Ohio, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. And when corporations that ran turnpikes in New York and Massachusetts didn’t keep their roads in repair, those states gave the corporations the death sentence.

In 1825, Pennsylvania passed laws making it even easier for that state to “revoke, alter, or annul” corporate charters “whenever in their opinion [the operation of the corporation] may be injurious to citizens of the community,” and by the 1870s, 19 states had gone through the long and tedious process of amending their state constitutions expressly to give legislators the power to terminate the existence of corporations that originated in those states.

Presidents have even run for public office and won on platforms including the revocation of corporate charters. One of the largest issues of the election of 1832 was Andrew Jackson’s demand that the corporate charter of the Second Bank of the United States not be renewed.

Following that lead, states all over the nation began examining their banks and other corporations, and in just the year 1832, the state of Pennsylvania pulled the corporate charters of 10 corporations, sentencing them to corporate death “for operating contrary to the public interest.”

Oil corporations, match manufacturers, whiskey trusts, and sugar corporations all received the corporate death penalty in the late 1800s in Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and New York, among others.

President Grover Cleveland invoked the mood of the times in his 1888 State of the Union address, when he said:

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.

The Oligarchs Rise Up

When, in the 1880s, the State of Ohio began threatening Standard Oil Trust of Ohio with the corporate death penalty, John D. Rockefeller and his oligarchic buddies publicly called for states to change their corporate governance laws to get around all of the restrictions that Ohio and most other states had placed on them.

New Jersey heard the call, and thus became the first state to engage in what was then called “charter-mongering”—changing its corporate charter rules to satisfy the desires of the nation’s largest businesses. In 1875, its legislature abolished maximum capitalization (size) limits.

In 1888, the New Jersey legislature took another huge and dramatic step to help out Rockefeller by authorizing—for the first time in the history of the United States—New Jersey-chartered companies to hold stock in other companies. The Standard Oil Trust was legally still in business (Ohio outlawed trusts in 1892, but by then Rockefeller had moved his corporate governance to New Jersey), renamed “Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.” (It’s now ExxonMobil, the company that has funded lies about climate change for decades.)

As New Jersey and then Delaware threw out old restrictions on corporate behavior, allowing corporations to have interlocking boards, to live forever, to define themselves for “any legal purpose,” to own stock in other corporations, and so on, corporations began to move both their corporate charters and, in some cases, their headquarters to the charter-mongering states.

By 1900, trusts for everything from ribbons to bread to cement to alcohol had moved to Delaware or New Jersey, leaving 26 corporate trusts controlling, from those states, more than 80 percent of production in their markets.

There was pushback in New York, though. In 1894 the Central Labor Union of New York City campaigned for the New York State Supreme Court to revoke the charter of Standard Oil Trust of New York for “a pattern of abuses,” and the court agreed and dissolved the company.

In 1912, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson was alarmed by the behavior of corporations in his state, and “pressed through changes [that took effect in 1913] intended to make New Jersey’s corporations less favorable to concentrated financial power.”

But as New Jersey began to pull back from charter-mongering, Delaware stepped into the fray, passing in 1915 laws similar to but even easier on corporations than New Jersey’s.

Delaware, over the next few decades, continued to strip away their corporate accountability rules so that, as the state’s website said in 2002, “More than 308,000 companies are incorporated in Delaware including 60 percent of the Fortune 500 and 50 percent of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.” (The site today merely has “corporate-friendly” gibberish.)

Progressives Fight Back

In reaction to public disgust with the predatory and monopolistic behavior of these corporate giants, the “Progressive Era” of Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-1909) saw numerous laws passed designed to restrain bad corporate behavior. The most well-known was the 1907 Tillman Act, which made it a felony for a corporation to give money to federal politicians’ campaigns.

The Tillman Act was based, in part, on numerous state laws, like this one that Wisconsin passed in 1905 (and was taken off the books in 1954):

Political contributions by corporations. No corporation doing business in this state shall pay or contribute, or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office. [Wis. Laws, Section 4479a (Sec. I, ch. 492, 1905)]” (emphasis added)

The penalty for an individual (even a lawyer or lobbyist representing a corporation) breaking this law on behalf of a corporation was not just a large fine but a two-year prison term, and if the corporation itself was found to be violating the law, it faced the corporate death penalty: “dissolution of the corporation and sale of its assets.”

But 1921 saw the end of all that, when Republican Warren G. Harding successfully ran for president on a platform of tax cuts, deregulation and privatization. His twin slogans were, “More business in government [privatize], less government in business [deregulate],” and “Return to normalcy” (take taxes back down to where they were before World War I).

When elected, he lowered the top tax rate from 91 percent to 25 percent, producing a huge “sugar high” for the economy. It kicked off the Roaring ’20s and led straight to the Great Crash of 1929, which was made much worse by Harding’s successful deregulation of the banks and brokerage houses.

Between the 1920s and the 1980s all U.S. states amended their constitutions or changed their laws to make it easier for large corporations to do business without having to answer to the citizens of the state, without size limits, and with infinite lifespans.

Today, every state still has laws that allow it to impose the corporate death penalty; it’s just been decades since they’ve been used against a large corporation. (Small companies are routinely shut down by Secretaries of State, sometimes for malfeasance but mostly just because they’ve become inactive or failed to pay their taxes.)

Corporations have successfully argued before the Supreme Court that they should have First Amendment rights of free speech, Fourth Amendment rights of privacy, Fifth Amendment protections against takings, and Fourteenth Amendment rights as “persons” to “equal protection [with you and me] under the law,” among other “rights of personhood.”

It’s long past the time that these “persons,” when they become egregious and recidivist criminals (and particularly when they repeatedly kill people), be treated the same as human criminals: remove them from society permanently.

New, smaller, more innovative companies can fill the spaces now occupied by bloated corporate criminals. The result will be (as it was after AT&T was broken up in the 1970s for violating anti-monopoly laws) an explosion of innovation, competition, and opportunity.

If enough corporate criminals are targeted, the American business renaissance could spread across industries including media, pharmaceuticals, airlines, tech, banking, insurance, food, chemicals, oil and beyond.

It would be a real stimulus, meaningful and long-lasting, as opposed to Trump’s tax-cut heroin.

It’s time for our states to start enforcing the corporate death penalty.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

People’s Park

First they came for the homeless January 6 at 3:17 PM · 

Who wants to go to the park?

People’s Park has a few tents in it. There are several people holding it down. The police have been by.

There are requests for needed supplies. Tents, tarps, sleeping bags, socks, hand warmers, duct tape, food, coffee, and more people.

The story of the park is long. The current situation is just the next step in destroying what people fought and died for. Destroying the image was easy. Let the problems get so bad the community will want it gone.

Now, those who support the park have an uphill battle. They need to overcome the negative image that the park has.

This will be very hard to do.

They need people who are there to protest. This is not a party. Please leave the drugs, alcohol, and negativity at home.

January 7, 2018

The occupiers are still in people’s park. The police have again been by. They are threatening the “structures” the occupiers have to stay out if the weather. Typical torture tactics.

The occupiers are requesting coffee and food. Occupations are powered by coffee. Especially this time of year.

Michelle Lot is the contact person for drop offs. The needs list changes daily as the dynamic changes.

People are still needed. The university wants to remove the history of the park. The people’s fight will not be remembered.

–Mike Zint

Articles ~ Updates and New Announcements – Tues., 1/8 – Fri., 1/11 (from Adrienne Fong)

Please encourage groups you are involved in to post events on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

Thank you to those who are posting there!

  Check Indybay for events not listed here that might interest you.

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

KID FRIENDLY / CHILDCARE Please indicate for events. This is a JUSTICE ISSUE!

ARTICLES:

A. Because of the shutdown, more than 1,000 affordable housing contracts have expired – January 8, 2019

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/because-shutdown-more-1-000-affordable-housing-contracts-have-expired-n955971?fbclid=IwAR1mj0h-LZ2hrzltPX7ieLUw-42DZOzUdqBDZaGLKqxZmYPezSS73kHg4Bs

B. Trump to address nation about ‘crisis’ at wall – January 7, 2019

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/trump-to-address-nation-about-crisis-at-wall?fbclid=IwAR1iryl2aPuRhFBsGjJd0FS19ShRd6tJbpX2lboUQPkqij5scI3lFY93_cs

  See item # 4

C. Top Israel supporter launches bigoted attacks on Rashida Tlaib – January 7, 2019

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-f-brown/top-israel-supporter-launches-bigoted-attacks-rashida-tlaib?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=125e0157c2-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-125e0157c2-299173401

D. Arrests at Gidumt’en Checkpoint, RCMP Raid Anticipated at Unist’ot’en Camp

   See item # 3

E. SEE NO EVIL: PENTAGON ISSUES BLANKET DENIAL THAT IT KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT DETAINEE ABUSE IN YEMEN – 1/07/19

https://theintercept.com/2019/01/07/yemen-prison-torture-uae-dod/

UPDATES / NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday, 1/8 – Friday, 1/11

1. Tuesday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Stop Chase, Bank of Doom!

The Westin St. Francis (Union Square)

335 Powell St.

SF

Tell JPMorgan Chase to stop funding climate destruction!

Chase Bank is the biggest Wall Street funder of fossil fuels. 
Chase continues to profit while Indigenous rights get trampled, and the climate sacrificed. 

This is a defining moment for the climate.

Will they continue to finance the Keystone XL pipeline? Will they continue to fund toxic tar sands oil? Will they continue to fund Indigenous rights abuses? Will they continue to profit off climate chaos?

January 8th, we take to the streets to demand: Stop financing expansion of fossil fuels, starting with tar sands

Host: Rainforest Action Network

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/363929024165432/

2. Tuesday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Pack the Court to Free Aida – Hearing

630 Sansom St., Suite 650

SF

Vigil – Rain or Shine!

Thank you all so much for your support including, attending Aida’s community vigil, gifting items to her children, and donating to her GoFundMe campaign to help her 3-month-old baby and 4-year-old daughter with medical and transportation expenses.
https://www.gofundme.com/freeaida-her-children-need-community-support

Aida’s second master calendar hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2019

– After a month of continuously requesting documents regarding Aida’s detention, DHS attorneys finally disclosed the documents ICE used as a basis to detain Aida.

Without this information, Aida’s attorney could not accurately respond to DHS allegations, or prepare Aida’s bond hearing. DHS’s delay in giving this information further prolonged Aida’s separation from her children and loved ones;


– DHS submitted the actual red notice from Interpol, and a 2018 arrest warrant from El Salvador charging Aida and 30+ individuals with crimes. At the hearing, DHS claimed that Aida is a member of MS 13;


– As we know, Interpol red notices should hold little weight, as Interpol does not have investigative capacity, and only maintains a database of information that other countries upload without quality control from Interpol;


– The arrest warrant, issued 6 yeas after Aida fled from El Salvador, is vague and only lists the crimes that Aida is being charged with (robbery and theft); and
– Aida disclaims any membership in these gangs, and did not commit these crimes. Aida has not been in El Salvador since 2012, after she fled severe domestic violence.

Host: Pangea Legal Services

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1144339989048599/

3. Tuesday,, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Solidarity with Unist’ot’en, Wet’suwet’en- Canadian Consulate SF (TIME CHANGED)

Canadian Consulate

580 California St., Suite 1400

SF

Demonstration at the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco, Ohlone Territory, to oppose their violent RCMP attack on Wet’suwet’en sovereignty. The Wet’suwet’en people are peacefully protecting their home and the rest of the Salish Sea against the TransCanada pipeline project.

This is part of an international series of solidarity actions. For the main list, visit:https://www.facebook.com/events/2225649537692362/

Goal is to bring much-needed international media attention to the Unist’ot’en Camp and their work and challenge the perception that Canada is keeping their promises on climate change and Indigenous rights.

Action Protocols as laid out by the Gitimt’en:

-Take action against the provincial government in B.C, federal government of Canada, and Canadian consulate internationally.
-Demand that the provincial and federal government uphold their responsibilities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law).
-The Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory are conducting peaceful actions as sovereign peoples on their territories, and ask that all actions taken in solidarity are conducted peacefully and according to the traditional laws of other Indigenous Nations.

What to Bring: 
Signs or banners– “No Pipelines” “Support Unist’ot’en” “Support Wet’suwet’en” Messaging must be in alignment with the protocls listed above

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/279989672642100/

4. Tuesday5:45pm – 7:15Pm, Hell NO! to Border Atrocities (NEW)

SF Federal Building

90 7th Street

SF

5:45 PM – 6:00 PM: Opening remarks 
6:00 PM – 6:20 PM: Broadcast of Trump’s speech 
6:20 PM: Group Response; Open mic/megaphone

Trump will be making a major speech on the US/Mexican border and the shutting down of portions of the US government. Every major TV station will carry his foul words starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, PST. 

Refuse Fascism has joined with a call from Christina DiEdoardo and is calling for everyone to come out to protest.

There is widespread speculation that this will be an announcement of a national emergency. Whether Trump announces an emergency or not, he will vilify and attack migrants, use this to further rally and consolidate his fascist social base, and drive forward the regime’s overall fascist agenda. 

This speaks to the extreme times we are in and the challenge this puts to us all. We must take to the streets to build for the time when we can rally millions to drive out the regime. We are canceling the regularly scheduled Refuse Fascism meeting, and urge everyone to join us in the streets.

revcom.us commented on the wall, Trump, and the Democrats (https://revcom.us/a/577/trumps-wall-and-border-security-of-the-democrats-en.html): 

“This fascist wall must not be built, period. If this wall gets funded, in whatever form and with whatever concessions, it will represent a major escalation in the attack on immigrants. Even if it is seen as “symbolic”—and that will be what the Democrats tell you when and if they cut a deal with Trump—what it will symbolize will be that the tens and hundreds of millions of people seeking refuge from conditions created by this imperialist system are subhumans who must and will be kept out of the “gated community” of the very countries at fault for the disasters. Symbols are symbols because they mean something. After all, forcing Jews in Nazi Germany to wear “yellow stars” could be seen as “symbolic”—but what did they symbolize? A program of genocide.”

Sponsors: Christina DiEdoardo and Refuse Fascism

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/07/18820165.php

Wednesday, January 9

5. Wednesday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Mass mobilization to tell the school board no cuts no closures

1050 2nd Avenue

Oakland

5:00 Rally/Press Conference 
5:30 School Board meeting begins
6:30 The scheduled time for public comments

Public education in Black and Brown communities is under attack. We must not just defend and keep our schools open, we must demand sustainable community schools and create the schools we deserve.

There will be at least two big items on the school board agenda:

1. Cutting $30 million from the 2019-20 budget, including $8.6 million directly from schools.
2. The closure of ROOTS Academy and the end of this school year and closing over 20 other schools over the next 5 years.

We need everyone to come to the school board meeting on January 9th. We need parents, students, teachers, alumni, and community members. We need every school represented. We need the organizations that say they care about equity and opportunity to show up. We need to pack the meeting and as a united community to tell the school board

Sponsor: Oakland Public Education Network (OPEN)

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/281353305857839/

6. Wednesday, 6:00pm – 7:15pm, First Mission Nightwalk of 2019

Meet at:

Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist

Julian Ave. & 15th Street

SF

As we look back on 2018 with both gratitude and sadness we also look to 2019 with hope and determination. Our message remains simple, clear, and very much needed: “We care,” and “Stop the violence.”

Host: Mission Nightwalks

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/365682310649481/

7. Wednesday, 6:30pm, Community BOYCOTT of Manny’s! Stop the Woke-Washing of the Mission!Weekly protest

3092 16th St. (nr. Valencia)

SF

We call for a community boycott of “Manny’s” at 3092 16th St in the Mission District of San Francisco. “Manny’s” as a gentrifying wine-bar, cafe and fake “social justice” space in the Mission District, will only accelerate the raising of rents and the displacement of Black, Latinx, disabled and trans/queer people in the Mission. Additionally, the proprietor of Manny’s, Emmanuel Yekutiel, has unequivocally espoused racist, Zionist, pro-Israel ideals that we will not tolerate or accept in our community.

Further, “Manny’s: 

· Claims to be a “community” space, yet no one in the Mission, long a poor and working-class, Latinx and black community, asked him to open this gentrifier wine bar. In fact, Emmanuel Yekutiel previously attempted to open Manny’s in the Bayview and the Tenderloin but was told to leave by community members and organizations. 

· Even with no community support and no connection to the Mission, Manny’s was given a “reduced rate rent” by Sam Moss, executive director of Mission Housing, the landlord of the space. 

· Claims to be a “cultural space” specifically for the local community of San Francisco and the Mission District. However, so far, the space has almost exclusively hosted Washington DC politicos TED-talks catering to the ruling-class Tech-elite. As longstanding Mission District cultural spaces like Galería de la Raza are forced out of their spaces due to the eviction crisis, the owner of Manny’s, a well-connected, Washington DC corporate and political consultant for companies like Facebook and the Hilary Clinton campaign are helping turn the Mission into a rich-only zone fueled by tech-gentrification.

We will not tolerate gentrifiers and Zionists attempts at invading and destroying our community through “woke-washing”!! The Lucy Parsons Project from this moment forth is calling for a boycott of Manny’s, at 3092 16th St., until the space is shut down!!

2 Articles:

Manny’s builds a real-life space for civic discourse in SF – Jan. 1st written by Emmanuel Yekutiel (owner of Manny’s)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Manny-s-builds-a-real-life-space-for-civic-13500957.php?fbclid=IwAR1guwrufi3hnKryMjyYpBGgUxxGqGO1FlIkGOcmIEuGng2uYA7YAnK0K_0

Mission District civic engagement space met with protests, calls for boycott – January 4, 2019

www.sfexaminer.com/mission-district-civic-engagement-space-met-with-protests-calls-for-boycott/?fbclid=IwAR3Rv3i0sb3U2LJyyAYipQ_4fVHPIqZ09dwbmNhsJaL31xXODKRwxoyQ9QM

I will NOT be posting programs that groups/ people are holding inside Manny’s to honor the Boycott and to support the  Palestinian People,  and against the continued Gentrification of the Mission!

Please DO NOT attend programs that are scheduled there and tell Manny why!! Let groups / people that U know who have scheduled events there to also CANCEL.

Silence is Complicity!

Thursday, January 10

8. Thursday, 9:30am – 11:00am, Tell CPUC: No PG&E Bailout! (Round 2) (NEW)

CPUC

505 Van Ness Ave.

SF

Public Meeting

Last November, we showed up to demand justice for the 100+ people killed and the 1000s displaced by back-to-back, avoidable wildfires caused by PG&E’s criminal negligence. Now, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is officially considering public control as one option for our utilities. That alone is a victory, but a taxpayer-funded bailout for PG&E is still on the table.

Join us in telling CPUC loud and clear that a bailout for PG&E is completely unacceptable. PG&E has failed to keep the residents of Northern California safe — from the San Bruno gas explosion to last year’s North Bay fire to the ongoing Camp Fire — all because they prioritize shareholders’ profits over public safety. They have failed to maintain their equipment, resulting in hundreds of lives lost and homes destroyed. A bailout doesn’t belong in any rational discussion of the future of our energy.

The executives and investors who have reaped unearned bonuses and disgusting profits while our neighbors in Paradise and Chico lose their homes and their lives must be held accountable for their murderous management. We refuse to pay for their ongoing destruction of our environment and lives.

We demand, clean, safe, public utilities NOW! This is an open call for everyone concerned about all those impacted by the fires and smoke.

Sponsor: Democratic Socialist of America – SF

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/380942959321809/

9. Thursday, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, STOP the Luxury Takeover of the Mission!

SF Planning Commission

SF City Hall, Room 400

1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl

SF

*3140 16th St large auto body garage across from the Roxie that wants to convert into a 3-story entertainment space including a rooftop bar is still on and must be stopped!

This area is already overcrowded with a imbalance of food and drink spaces (55%) and we need to keep our blue-collar spaces. A Subaru dealer, in fact, wants to run a repair shop at this space and is happy to work with us to get our Mission folks into these good-paying jobs.

*344 14th St is a luxury housing project that is currently offering only the bare minimum of affordable housing plus high-tech manufacturing space 90% of which will be at market-rate prices. This project will add to the displacement and gentrification of this blue-collar area of the Mission!

Sponsors: United to Save the Mission, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Cultural Action Network, Our Mission NO Eviction

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/484880375354099/

10. Thursday, 6:00pm, SF Food Not Bombs Food Share

16th & Mission BART Plaza

SF

For information or to volunteer:  send email to sffnbvolunteers@riseup.net.

Cookhouse:  Station 40, 3030B 16th Street (between Mission and Julian).

Food Pickups: Help Needed!

Cooking:  3030B 16th Street–3:00 pm to 6:00 pm–Ring doorbell for entry–Help Needed!

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

Webpage: https://sffnb.org/serving-schedule/

11. Thursday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, The People vs. Wall Street: SF Public Bank Coalition Launch

Women’s Building

3543 18th St.

SF

1st Floor – wheelchair accessible

– LEARN how a city-owned public bank can bring San Francisco’s $11 billion budget “From Wall Street to Our Streets!”
– EAT good food surrounded by good people from a wide range of divestment, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice movements across San Francisco!
– DANCE to old and new jams!
– STRATEGIZE with working groups on student debt, affordable housing, green energy, or something else!

Sponsors: SF Public Bank & 14 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/190975971823539/

12. Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Our struggles are connected: Update from the US-Mexico Border

Asian Resource Gallery

317 9th St.

Oakland

* Live from the Border: Pedro Ríos from the American Friends Service Committee Border Program, San Diego, will speak via Skype on the current struggle for rights of the Migrant Caravan at the Tijuana-San Ysidro border wall.

* Catherine Tactaquin, from the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR) on the current struggles for the rights of migrants and refugees.

* Art and poetry to help us further connect the struggles of our communities across borders.

Come see the art on display at the Asian Resource Center Gallery:
“GRAFFIKA URBANA” | Prints by Noel Rodriguez from Mexico City
“PRESENTE! Defend Puerto Rico” | Puerto Rican Photographers

Sponsored by East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation East Side Arts Alliance
Chiapas Support Committee
Class Conscious Photographers
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/773688856336596/

Friday, January 11

13. Friday, 11:30am – 12:30pm, Compassion Has No Walls, Monthly Interfaith Vigil (NEW)

ICE

630 Sansome St

SF

Join us for our first Interfaith Vigil of 2019, #CompassionHasNoWalls, My Soul Cries Out For Justice. 

This month our collective souls cry out for justice, as we grieve and protest the deaths of children and other migrants and caravan members, so come out and join us as we honor their memory and ultimate sacrifice, giving up their lives for the human right to migrate, to not be separated from family, to find a place to call home and live with dignity.

During the month of December, we were horrified by the news of the deaths of four minors who were either in the custody of ICE, or living in the caravan settlement in Tijuana, waiting for their chance to request asylum at the U.S. border. Their four names add to the list of previous deaths at the hands of ICE officials, in their inhumane detention centers, or during their ruthless, brutal operations.

At the January Interfaith Vigil we will call out their names: 7 year-old Jakelin Caal ♥, and 8 year-old Felipe Gomez Alonso ♥from Guatemala; 16 year-old Jorge Alexander Ruiz Duban ♥ and 17 year-old Jasson R. Acuña Polanco ♥ from Honduras. Earlier in the year, in the late spring also 20 year-old Claudia P. Gomez Gonzalez ♥ from Guatemala and the 33 year-old trans woman from Honduras Roxana Hernandez ♥, are only some of the names of people who have paid the ultimate price, and become victims of inhumane government policies and inaction on immigration.

Come out and stand with us as we provide a space for regular public witness to our interfaith community, as we pray in remembrance of the victims of senseless violence and oppression by those in power. Come be with us as we stand outside the ICE Headquarters, seeking to connect with and offer support to families affected by ICE detentions, as well as to educate folks about the most current immigration situation about the wall and ICE enforcement issues surrounding it. Come and stand with us as we stand in front of the ICE building, to show that we will not condone their heartless, abusive, inhumane policies and tactics

Sponsor: Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2165979273730366/

14. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Mothers on the March Against Police Murders – Week 118

Hall of Injustice

850 Bryant St.

SF

All are invited to join us  to demand that District Attorney George Gascon charge police officers with murder. Stand with ALL families who have lost loved ones to police murders. Since Gascon has been the DA in San Francisco, he has not charged any police officers

15. Friday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Speak Out at Japan Consulate Against Restarting of Japan NUKES and Defend the Children (NEW)

SF Japanese Consualte

275 Battery St. (nr. California)

SF

The Japanese Abe government continues to restart nuclear plants throughout the country. At the same time they have accumulated over 1 million tons of radioactive water at the Fukushima plant which they want to release into the Pacifica ocean. It contains tritium which the government is saying is safe in “small amounts”.

The government has also covered up the statistics of thyroid cancer in children in order to continue the cover-up of the dangers of Fukushima. 3.11 Fund for Children With Thyroid Cancer has said that children who have cancer are not being counted by Fukushima Medical University which is controlled by TEPCO and other supporters of nuclear power.

The danger of another major earthquake that threatens another Fukushima and also would release millions of tons of radioactive water into the ocean. 
At the same time the government is pushing ahead to build a new military base in Henoko that will have US nuclear weapons despite mass opposition from the people of Okinawa. The same Abe government is pushing ahead to remove Article 9 that forbids expansion of Japan’s military role around the world. 
Stopping another Fukushima and more militarization are part and parcel of the same struggle.

For more event information: http://nonukesaction.wordpress.com

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/07/18820166.php

16. Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, SF Forum: Trump & the Fight Within the Ruling Elite (NEW)

PSL

2969 Mission St.

SF

$3 – $10 Donation – no one turned away

Wheelchair accessible

The recent resignation of Defense Secretary Mattis, the proposed troop withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, the government shutdown, and the open fight between Trump and the Federal Reserve Chairman signal a sharpening divide within the ruling elite. How does this rift affect the working class and the people’s movement? How do the latest developments in the so-called “Russiagate” affairs impact alternative media and independent political organizing?

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/02/18820065.php

17. Friday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, I Am Not Your Negro – film & discussion

Revolution Books – Berkeley

2444 Durant Ave.

Berkeley

Toward the end of his life, James Baldwin, novelist, essayist and poet, wrote notes for a book he had wanted to write about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. Raoul Peck’s film uses these notes to jump through time, in a blazing examination of the history of race in America.

“I Am Not Your Negro, an Oscar-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck, is a must see. If you think you know the reality of the brutal depth and horror of white supremacy in America, if you think you’ve seen it all and even if you have, you’ve not seen it delivered like this.”
Andy Zee, New York Revolution Books

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1888701984589242/

Articles ~ Action items ~ Announcements, Monday, Jan. 7 – Friday, Jan. 11 (from Adrienne Fong)

Periodic Announcements

Please encourage groups you are involved in to post events on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

Thank you to those who are posting there!

  Check Indybay for events not listed here that might interest you.

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

KID FRIENDLY / CHILDCARE Please indicate for events. This is a JUSTICE ISSUE!

ARTICLES

A. U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government From Boycotts – January 5, 2019

https://theintercept.com/2019/01/05/u-s-senates-first-bill-in-midst-of-shutdown-is-a-bipartisan-defense-of-the-israeli-government-from-boycotts/

B. Judge Temporarily Halts Surprise Arrests of Up to 2,000 Cambodian Refugees – January 4, 2010

C. US halts cooperation with UN on potential human rights violations – January 4, 2019

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/04/trump-administration-un-human-rights-violations?fbclid=IwAR3m2LiKXUdUc36pGwoDC1vKikizU2hDFrUKYNytJKOMGJBAJ_EpeBSq1WA

D. NYC: Activists Arrested for Peaceful Protest Against War on Yemen – January 3, 2018

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/3/headlines/nyc_activists_arrested_for_peaceful_protest_against_war_on_yemen?fbclid=IwAR3vouVlvwKhQy1HkKVL-oFtnwRMPV1RYI9YnQN0DpzEM_GIkIMLbjBz9Z8

E. Why Indian women formed a beautiful 620km long human wall (Action involved over 5 million women)

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/why-indian-women-formed-a-beautiful-620km-long-human-wall/news-story/7a526548b7b64e56566ac064364232dc

F. As President Bolsonaro Takes Power, Brazil’s Indigenous Movement Prepares to Resist – January 1, 2019

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2019/0101-as-president-bolsonaro-takes-power-brazils-indigenous-movement-prepares-to-resist?utm_source=Amazon+Watch+Newsletter+and+Updates&utm_campaign=2d44f0762e-2019-01-04-br-bolsonaro&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e6f929728b-2d44f0762e-339828874&mc_cid=2d44f0762e&mc_eid=ded1714210

   See Action # 5

5 – ACTIONS:

1. Send message to EPA: Stop Trump from poisoning our communities with mercury!

  SIGN: https://action.foe.org/page/8625/action/1?ea.tracking.id=Email&ea.url.id=179387

2. Don’t Stand in the Way of Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal! Don’t Appeal Judge Tucker’s Decision!

  SIGN: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/krasner-do-right-by-mumia?source=direct_link&

3. Tell Huntington Bank to Stop racially profiling Black customers

  SIGN: https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/bankingwhileblack-not-crime/?source=email_link3&t=5&akid=22753%2E797581%2EuOCtvF

4. Tell Mitch McConnell: End the government shutdown now.

  SIGN: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/mcconnell_shutdown_2019?t=2&akid=31087%2E21110%2EDhVtHB

5. Oppose Brasils new President Jair Bolsonaro’s decimation of Indigenous Rights and The Amazon

  SIGN: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/117/264/149/?fbclid=IwAR1Z0bT4ma78xQXup9QiuwuB0F8RQuJs8l4v6z5dceMeKm9xMMBemx5jYnA

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Monday, Jan. 7 – Friday, Jan. 11

Monday, January 7

1. Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, 2Y+9M: Life of Luis Celebration with his Wife and Children!

Luis’s Altar

SF

Please join us on Monday Jan. 7th at 6PM at Luis’s Altar on Shotwell and 19th Street to Celebrate the Life of Luis Góngora Pat WITH his widow Doña Carmen May Can and his children Luis chico, Angel and Rosana Góngora May.

The family will be at the site for the first time and rebuild Luis’s altar. It will also be the first day of depositions with the (evil) City Attorney and the family would be very happy to see friendly faces after a hard day. The family ALSO wishes to carry out an act of generosity to remember Luis’s spirit of generosity. So we will go out on a hot chocolate run to offer a warm drink to the homeless encampments nearest to us. People are more than welcome to join us on the walk and bring Rosca de Reyes or other offer! We have little bandwidth to organize more than hot chocolate for tomorrow, so if anyone else wants to offer other useful items for people living on the street, you are welcome to offer them again. THANKS!

Save the date: January 10th – for possible ‘Meet & Greet – Fundraiser’

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2172049776382852/

Tuesday, January 8

2. Tuesday, 8:00am – MOCK DRONE TRIAL to “Prosecute” US Drone War Criminals (Sacramento)

Sacramento Federal Court

501 “I” Street (& 5th St.)

Sacramento

8:00-8:30 am:  Anti-Drone Rally in front of U.S. Federal Court Bldg.

(Arrive by 7:45 if you can), Press conference included.

8:30 am:  Ad Lib Public Mock Drone Trial

“GIVE US OUR TRIAL….JUSTICE FOR DRONE VICTIMS!”

Background:   During 8 years of ongoing monthly protests at Beale Air Force Base,  we have had dozens of civil resistance actions, many dozens of arrests and multiple letters written to Beale base commander, and yet no trials  for over 5 years!    The Jan. 8th arraignment for 4 defendants who were arrested last October, was just cancelled and charges dismissed by the Sacramento DA.  Except for a  couple of trials in the early years, this is the umpteenth time, the Sacramento DA is dismissing all charges against drone activists.  We demand our right to have a trial and put the drone program in the public eye.  Anti-drone activists will hold their own “mock trial” in front of the court house on the same day they were supposed to be arraigned.  “Bring the crimes of the U.S. Government and Military before the public and on court records!”  

Needed are Trial Supporters & Players

Note:   After Trial:  Occupy Beale Anti-war drone vigil/resistance

3-5:00pm, Tues., Jan. 8 at Beale AFB,  Wheatland Gate  (South Beale Rd. & Ostrom Rd.)

If Rain likely:   Trial will be postponed, and Beale Vigil will be moved to 6-8am Tues. Jan. 8th.

Update on weather and final plans will be sent on Mon. morning.

(A small group will also protest at a Beale gate on Mon. afternoon).

FMI and Carpooling:

Toby Blomé, ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net, 510-215-5974

Shirley Osgood, (941) 320-0291

3. Tuesday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Stop Chase, Bank of Doom!

The Westin St. Francis (Union Square)

335 Powell St.

SF

Tell JPMorgan Chase to stop funding climate destruction!

Chase Bank is the biggest Wall Street funder of fossil fuels. 
Chase continues to profit while Indigenous rights get trampled, and the climate sacrificed. 

This is a defining moment for the climate.

Will they continue to finance the Keystone XL pipeline? Will they continue to fund toxic tar sands oil? Will they continue to fund Indigenous rights abuses? Will they continue to profit off climate chaos?

January 8th, we take to the streets to demand: Stop financing expansion of fossil fuels, starting with tar sands

Host: Rainforest Action Network

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/363929024165432/

4. Tuesday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Pack the Court to Free Aida – Hearing

630 Sansom St., Suite 650

SF

Thank you all so much for your support including, attending Aida’s community vigil, gifting items to her children, and donating to her GoFundMe campaign to help her 3-month-old baby and 4-year-old daughter with medical and transportation expenses.
https://www.gofundme.com/freeaida-her-children-need-community-support

Aida’s second master calendar hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2019

– After a month of continuously requesting documents regarding Aida’s detention, DHS attorneys finally disclosed the documents ICE used as a basis to detain Aida.

Without this information, Aida’s attorney could not accurately respond to DHS allegations, or prepare Aida’s bond hearing. DHS’s delay in giving this information further prolonged Aida’s separation from her children and loved ones;


– DHS submitted the actual red notice from Interpol, and a 2018 arrest warrant from El Salvador charging Aida and 30+ individuals with crimes. At the hearing, DHS claimed that Aida is a member of MS 13;


– As we know, Interpol red notices should hold little weight, as Interpol does not have investigative capacity, and only maintains a database of information that other countries upload without quality control from Interpol;


– The arrest warrant, issued 6 yeas after Aida fled from El Salvador, is vague and only lists the crimes that Aida is being charged with (robbery and theft); and
– Aida disclaims any membership in these gangs, and did not commit these crimes. Aida has not been in El Salvador since 2012, after she fled severe domestic violence.

Host: Pangea Legal Services

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1144339989048599/

5. Tuesday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Solidarity with Unist’ot’en, Wet’suwet’en- Canadian Consulate SF

Canadian Consulate

580 California St., Suite 1400

SF

Demonstration at the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco, Ohlone Territory, to oppose their violent RCMP attack on Wet’suwet’en sovereignty. The Wet’suwet’en people are peacefully protecting their home and the rest of the Salish Sea against the TransCanada pipeline project.

This is part of an international series of solidarity actions. For the main list, visit:https://www.facebook.com/events/2225649537692362/

Goal is to bring much-needed international media attention to the Unist’ot’en Camp and their work and challenge the perception that Canada is keeping their promises on climate change and Indigenous rights.

Action Protocols as laid out by the Gitimt’en:

-Take action against the provincial government in B.C, federal government of Canada, and Canadian consulate internationally.
-Demand that the provincial and federal government uphold their responsibilities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law).
-The Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory are conducting peaceful actions as sovereign peoples on their territories, and ask that all actions taken in solidarity are conducted peacefully and according to the traditional laws of other Indigenous Nations.

What to Bring: 
Signs or banners– “No Pipelines” “Support Unist’ot’en” “Support Wet’suwet’en” Messaging must be in alignment with the protocls listed above

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/279989672642100/

Wednesday, January 9

6. Wednesday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Mass mobilization to tell the school board no cuts no closures

1050 2nd Avenue

Oakland

5:00 Rally/Press Conference 
5:30 School Board meeting begins
6:30 The scheduled time for public comments

Public education in Black and Brown communities is under attack. We must not just defend and keep our schools open, we must demand sustainable community schools and create the schools we deserve.

There will be at least two big items on the school board agenda:

1. Cutting $30 million from the 2019-20 budget, including $8.6 million directly from schools.
2. The closure of ROOTS Academy and the end of this school year and closing over 20 other schools over the next 5 years.

We need everyone to come to the school board meeting on January 9th. We need parents, students, teachers, alumni, and community members. We need every school represented. We need the organizations that say they care about equity and opportunity to show up. We need to pack the meeting and as a united community to tell the school board

Sponsor: Oakland Public Education Network (OPEN)

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/281353305857839/

7. Wednesday, 6:00pm – 7:15pm, First Mission Nightwalk of 2019

Meet at:

Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist

Julian Ave. & 15th Street

SF

As we look back on 2018 with both gratitude and sadness we also look to 2019 with hope and determination. Our message remains simple, clear, and very much needed: “We care,” and “Stop the violence.”

Host: Mission Nightwalks

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/365682310649481/

8. Wednesday, 6:30pm, Community BOYCOTT of Manny’s! Stop the Woke-Washing of the Mission!Weekly protest

3092 16th St. (nr. Valencia)

SF

We call for a community boycott of “Manny’s” at 3092 16th St in the Mission District of San Francisco. “Manny’s” as a gentrifying wine-bar, cafe and fake “social justice” space in the Mission District, will only accelerate the raising of rents and the displacement of Black, Latinx, disabled and trans/queer people in the Mission. Additionally, the proprietor of Manny’s, Emmanuel Yekutiel, has unequivocally espoused racist, Zionist, pro-Israel ideals that we will not tolerate or accept in our community.

Further, “Manny’s: 

· Claims to be a “community” space, yet no one in the Mission, long a poor and working-class, Latinx and black community, asked him to open this gentrifier wine bar. In fact, Emmanuel Yekutiel previously attempted to open Manny’s in the Bayview and the Tenderloin but was told to leave by community members and organizations. 

· Even with no community support and no connection to the Mission, Manny’s was given a “reduced rate rent” by Sam Moss, executive director of Mission Housing, the landlord of the space. 

· Claims to be a “cultural space” specifically for the local community of San Francisco and the Mission District. However, so far, the space has almost exclusively hosted Washington DC politicos TED-talks catering to the ruling-class Tech-elite. As longstanding Mission District cultural spaces like Galería de la Raza are forced out of their spaces due to the eviction crisis, the owner of Manny’s, a well-connected, Washington DC corporate and political consultant for companies like Facebook and the Hilary Clinton campaign are helping turn the Mission into a rich-only zone fueled by tech-gentrification.

We will not tolerate gentrifiers and Zionists attempts at invading and destroying our community through “woke-washing”!! The Lucy Parsons Project from this moment forth is calling for a boycott of Manny’s, at 3092 16th St., until the space is shut down!!

2 Articles:

Manny’s builds a real-life space for civic discourse in SF – Jan. 1st written by Emmanuel Yekutiel (owner of Manny’s)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Manny-s-builds-a-real-life-space-for-civic-13500957.php?fbclid=IwAR1guwrufi3hnKryMjyYpBGgUxxGqGO1FlIkGOcmIEuGng2uYA7YAnK0K_0

Mission District civic engagement space met with protests, calls for boycott – January 4, 2019

www.sfexaminer.com/mission-district-civic-engagement-space-met-with-protests-calls-for-boycott/?fbclid=IwAR3Rv3i0sb3U2LJyyAYipQ_4fVHPIqZ09dwbmNhsJaL31xXODKRwxoyQ9QM

Thursday, January 10

9. Thursday, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, STOP the Luxury Takeover of the Mission!

SF Planning Commission

SF City Hall, Room 400

1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl

SF

*3140 16th St large auto body garage across from the Roxie that wants to convert into a 3-story entertainment space including a rooftop bar is still on and must be stopped!

This area is already overcrowded with a imbalance of food and drink spaces (55%) and we need to keep our blue-collar spaces. A Subaru dealer, in fact, wants to run a repair shop at this space and is happy to work with us to get our Mission folks into these good-paying jobs.

*344 14th St is a luxury housing project that is currently offering only the bare minimum of affordable housing plus high-tech manufacturing space 90% of which will be at market-rate prices. This project will add to the displacement and gentrification of this blue-collar area of the Mission!

Sponsors: United to Save the Mission, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Cultural Action Network, Our Mission NO Eviction

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/484880375354099/

10. Thursday, 6:00pm, SF Food Not Bombs Food Share

16th & Mission BART Plaza

SF

Note: Servings may cancel in event of rain.

For information or to volunteer:  send email to sffnbvolunteers@riseup.net.

Cookhouse:  Station 40, 3030B 16th Street (between Mission and Julian).

Food Pickups: Help Needed!

Cooking:  3030B 16th Street–3:00 pm to 6:00 pm–Ring doorbell for entry–Help Needed!

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

Webpage: https://sffnb.org/serving-schedule/

11. Thursday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, The People vs. Wall Street: SF Public Bank Coalition Launch

Women’s Building

3543 18th St.

SF

1st Floor – wheelchair accessible

– LEARN how a city-owned public bank can bring San Francisco’s $11 billion budget “From Wall Street to Our Streets!”
– EAT good food surrounded by good people from a wide range of divestment, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice movements across San Francisco!
– DANCE to old and new jams!
– STRATEGIZE with working groups on student debt, affordable housing, green energy, or something else!

Sponsors: SF Public Bank & 14 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/190975971823539/

12. Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Our struggles are connected: Update from the US-Mexico Border

Asian Resource Gallery

317 9th St.

Oakland

* Live from the Border: Pedro Ríos from the American Friends Service Committee Border Program, San Diego, will speak via Skype on the current struggle for rights of the Migrant Caravan at the Tijuana-San Ysidro border wall.

* Catherine Tactaquin, from the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR) on the current struggles for the rights of migrants and refugees.

* Art and poetry to help us further connect the struggles of our communities across borders.

Come see the art on display at the Asian Resource Center Gallery:
“GRAFFIKA URBANA” | Prints by Noel Rodriguez from Mexico City
“PRESENTE! Defend Puerto Rico” | Puerto Rican Photographers

Sponsored by East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation East Side Arts Alliance
Chiapas Support Committee
Class Conscious Photographers
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/773688856336596/

Friday, January 11

13. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Mothers on the March Against Police Murders – Week 118

Hall of Injustice

850 Bryant St.

SF

All are invited to join us  to demand that District Attorney George Gascon charge police officers with murder. Stand with ALL families who have lost loved ones to police murders. Since Gascon has been the DA in San Francisco, he has not charged any police officers

14. Friday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, I Am Not Your Negro – film & discussion

Revolution Books – Berkeley

2444 Durant Ave.

Berkeley

Toward the end of his life, James Baldwin, novelist, essayist and poet, wrote notes for a book he had wanted to write about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. Raoul Peck’s film uses these notes to jump through time, in a blazing examination of the history of race in America.

“I Am Not Your Negro, an Oscar-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck, is a must see. If you think you know the reality of the brutal depth and horror of white supremacy in America, if you think you’ve seen it all and even if you have, you’ve not seen it delivered like this.”
Andy Zee, New York Revolution Books

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1888701984589242/

Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture of Corporate Media in Scathing Resignation Letter

January 03, 2019by Common Dreams

“That a network insider has blown the whistle on how all this works, and how MSNBC and NBC have become Ground Zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies, while not surprising, is nonetheless momentous.”by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Then-NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin, who resigned from the network this week, breaks down declassified videos from drone strikes in a segment published in 2016. (Photo: NBC News/screenshot)

Then-NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin, who resigned from the network this week, breaks down declassified videos from drone strikes in a segment published in 2016. (Photo: NBC News/screenshot)

In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one country in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.”

“I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.”
—William Arkin, former NBC News commentator

Reflecting on his past couple of decades working with the networkin addition to writing books and columns for major newspapers and serving as as military adviser to human rights and environmental groups—Arkin laments: “My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of [sync] with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.”

Noting in his 2,228-word memo that “the world and the state of journalism [are] in tandem crisis,” Arkin delivers a scathing critique of how NBC has responded to the foreign policy of President Donald Trump—whom he calls “an ignorant and incompetent impostor”—asserting that “in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself—busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.”

However, Arkin also delivers a broader condemnation of the network’s coverage of the so-called War on Terror in the nearly 18 years since 9/11, and how it has helped produce a scenario in which “perpetual war has become accepted as a given in our lives.” He writes:

Seeking refuge in its political horse race roots, NBC (and others) meanwhile report the story of war as one of Rumsfeld vs. the Generals, as Wolfowitz vs. Shinseki, as the CIA vs. Cheney, as the bad torturers vs. the more refined, about numbers of troops and number of deaths, and even then Obama vs. the Congress, poor Obama who couldn’t close Guantanamo or reduce nuclear weapons or stand up to Putin because it was just so difficult. We have contributed to turning the world national security into this sort of political story. I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.

Characterizing himself as a “difficult guy” who spent much of his time at NBCchallenging conventional narratives about war and nuclear weapons and arguing against hawkish U.S. foreign policy both on and off air, Arkin suggests the state of television news has worsened in the Trump era. He writes, “In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think—like everyone else does—that we miss so much.”

Summarizing his disagreements with the pro-war positions commonly bolstered by the network under the Trump administration, Arkin continues:

For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump’s various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?

Despite noting that “my time at NBC has been gratifying,” and thanking a few former colleagues by name, Arkin concludes, “I’m ever so happy to return to writing and thinking without the officiousness of editorial tyrants or corporate standards.” According to the memo, he is currently working on a novel about 9/11 and “a non-fiction book, an extended essay about national security and why we never seem to end our now perpetual state of war.”

The letter was welcomed by many critics of corporate media and American militarism—including The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald, who praised Arkin’s “scathing and unflinching” passages describing NBC and MSNBC “as pro-war propaganda outlets who exist to do little more than amplify and serve the security state agencies that are most devoted to opposing Trump, including their mindless opposition to Trump’s attempts (with whatever motives) to roll back some of the excesses of imperialism, aggression, and U.S. involvement in Endless War, as well as to sacrifice all journalistic standards and skepticism about generals and the U.S. war machine if doing so interferes in their monomaniacal mission of denouncing Trump.”

While pointing out that the pro-war posture of American corporate media network “has long been obvious, and deeply disturbing,” Greenwald notes, “Still, that a network insider has blown the whistle on how all this works, and how MSNBC and NBC have become Ground Zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies, while not surprising, is nonetheless momentous given how detailed and emphatic he is in his condemnations.”

Here is the full text of Arkin’s resignation letter, as reported by CNN and confirmed by NBC:

January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good. This isn’t the first time I’ve left NBC, but this time the parting is more bittersweet, the world and the state of journalism in tandem crisis. My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of [sync] with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.

I first started my association with NBC 30 years ago, feeding Cold War stories to Bob Windrem and Fred Francis at the Pentagon. I became an on-air analyst during the 1999 Kosovo War, continuing to work thereafter with Nightly News, delighting and oftentimes annoying in my peculiar position of being a mere civilian amongst THE GENERALS and former government officials. A scholar at heart, I also found myself an often lone voice that was anti-nuclear and even anti-military, anti-military for me meaning opinionated but also highly knowledgeable, somewhat akin to a movie critic, loving my subject but also not shy about making judgements regarding the flops and the losers.

When the attacks of 9/11 came, I was called back to NBC. I spent weeks on and off the air talking about al Qaeda and the various wars we were rushing into, arguing that airpower and drones would be the centerpiece not troops. In the new martial environment where only one war cry was sanctioned I was out of sync then as well. I retreated somewhat to writing a column for the Los Angeles Times, but even there I had to fight editors who couldn’t believe that there would be a war in Iraq. And I spoke up about the absence of any sort of strategy for actually defeating terrorism, annoying the increasing gaggles of those who seemed to accept that a state of perpetual war was a necessity.

I thought then that there was great danger in the embrace of process and officialdom over values and public longing, and I wrote about the increasing power of the national security community. Long before Trump and “deep state” became an expression, I produced one ginormous investigation — Top Secret America — for the Washington Post and I wrote a nasty book — American Coup — about the creeping fascism of homeland security.

Looking back now they were both harbingers for what President Obama (and then Trump) faced in terms of largely failing to make enduring change.

Somewhere in all of that, and particularly as the social media wave began, it was clear that NBC (like the rest of the news media) could no longer keep up with the world. Added to that was the intellectual challenge of how to report our new kind of wars when there were no real fronts and no actual measures of success. To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested. Despite being at “war,” no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus’ and Wes Clarks’, or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we’ve had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as “analysts”. We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one country in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.

As perpetual war has become accepted as a given in our lives, I’m proud to say that I’ve never deviated in my argument at NBC (or at my newspaper gigs) that terrorists will never be defeated until we better understand why they are driven to fighting. And I have maintained my central view that airpower (in its broadest sense including space and cyber) is not just the future but the enabler and the tool of war today.

Seeking refuge in its political horse race roots, NBC (and others) meanwhile report the story of war as one of Rumsfeld vs. the Generals, as Wolfowitz vs. Shinseki, as the CIA vs. Cheney, as the bad torturers vs. the more refined, about numbers of troops and number of deaths, and even then Obama vs. the Congress, poor Obama who couldn’t close Guantanamo or reduce nuclear weapons or stand up to Putin because it was just so difficult. We have contributed to turning the world national security into this sort of political story. I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.

I’m a difficult guy, not prone to either protocol or procedure and I give NBC credit that it tolerated me through my various incarnations. I hope people will say in the early days that I made Brokaw and company smarter about nuclear weapons, about airpower, and even about al Qaeda. And I’m proud to say that I also was one of the few to report that there weren’t any WMD in Iraq and remember fondly presenting that conclusion to an incredulous NBC editorial board. I argued endlessly with MSNBC about all things national security for years, doing the daily blah, blah, blah in Secaucus, but also poking at the conventional wisdom of everyone from Matthews to Hockenberry. And yet I feel like I’ve failed to convey this larger truth about the hopelessness of our way of doing things, especially disheartened to watch NBC and much of the rest of the news media somehow become a defender of Washington and the system.Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself — busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.

I’d argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I’d also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars.

I know it is characteristic of our overexcited moment to blast away at former employers and mainstream institutions, but all I can say is that despite many frustrations, my time at NBC has been gratifying. Working with Cynthia McFadden has been the experience of a lifetime. I’ve learned a ton about television from her and Kevin Monahan, the secret insider tricks of the trade and the very big picture of what makes for original stories (and how powerful they can be). The young reporters at NBC are also universally excellent. Thanks to Noah Oppenheim for his support of my contrarian and disruptive presence. And to Janelle Rodriguez, who supported deep expertise. The Nightly crew has also been a constant fan of my too long stories and a great team. I continue to marvel as Phil Griffin carries out his diabolical plan for the cable network to take over the world.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done with my team and know that there’s more to do. But for now it’s time to take a break. I’m ever so happy to return to writing and thinking without the officiousness of editorial tyrants or corporate standards. And of course I yearn to go back to my first love, which is writing boring reports about secret programs, grateful that the American government so graciously obliges in its constant supply. And I particularly feel like the world is moving so quickly that even in just the little national security world I inhabit, I need more time to sit back and think. And to replenish.

In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think — like everyone else does — that we miss so much. People who don’t understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it’s corporate control or even worse, that it’s partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.

For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump’s various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?

Even without Trump, our biggest challenge as we move forward is that we have become exhausted parents of our infant (and infantile) social media children. And because of the “cycle,” we at NBC (and all others in the field of journalism) suffer from a really bad case of not being able to ever take a breath. We are a long way from resolving the rules of the road in this age, whether it be with regard to our personal conduct or anything related to hard news. I also don’t think that we are on a straight line towards digital nirvana, that is, that all of this information will democratize and improve society. I sense that there is already smartphone and social media fatigue creeping across the land, and my guess is that nothing we currently see — nothing that is snappy or chatty — will solve our horrific challenges of information overload or the role (and nature) of journalism. And I am sure that once Trump leaves center stage, society will have a gigantic media hangover. Thus for NBC — and for everyone else — there is challenge and opportunity ahead. I’d particularly like to think and write more about that.

There’s a saying about consultants, that organizations hire them to hear exactly what they want to hear. I’m proud to say that NBC didn’t do that when it came to me. Similarly I can say that I’m proud that I’m not guilty of giving my employers what they wanted. Still, the things this and most organizations fear most — variability, disturbance, difference — those things that are also the primary drivers of creativity — are not really the things that I see valued in the reporting ranks.

I’m happy to go back to writing and commentary. This winter, I’m proud to say that I’ve put the finishing touches on a 9/11 conspiracy novel that I’ve been toiling on for over a decade. It’s a novel, but it meditates on the question of how to understand terrorists in a different way. And I’m undertaking two new book-writing projects, one fiction about a lone reporter and his magical source that hopes to delve into secrecy and the nature of television. And, if you read this far, I am writing a non-fiction book, an extended essay about national security and why we never seem to end our now perpetual state of war. There is lots of media critique out there, tons of analysis of leadership and the Presidency. But on the state of our national security? Not so much. Hopefully I will find myself thinking beyond the current fire and fury and actually suggest a viable alternative. Wish me luck.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Bernie Sanders Reminds Liz Cheney of Iraq War Lies After Daughter of Bush VP Attacks So-Called ‘Fraud of Socialism’

January 04, 2019 by Common Dreams

“Really? I wasn’t aware that it was ‘socialism’ that lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

liz & dick

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was sworn in as a member of Congress in 2017 with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, at her side. (Photo: Rep. Liz Cheney/Facebook)

After Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)—daughter of the notorious warmonger former Vice President Dick Cheney—attacked the so-called “fraud of socialism” in a “Trumpism-inflected” speech on the U.S. House floor on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) clapped back with a reference to what has been called her father’s “biggest lie.”

“Really? I wasn’t aware that it was ‘socialism’ that lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and got us into a horrific war that we should never have started,” Sanders tweeted Friday, a clear reference to Dick Cheney’s hand in misleading the American public ahead of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that launched a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people—including, by some estimates, more than than 200,000 civilians.

Liz Cheney’s speech on the first day of the 116th Congress, in which she endorsed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker, was a largely symbolic move, as Democrats regained a majority of seats in the November midterm elections. The younger Cheney has her own leadership position in the GOP—as the Republican conference chair in the House, she holds the party’s third-ranked spot in the lower chamber and is responsible for communications strategy.

Since Sanders, who identifies as a democratic socialist, ran for president in 2016 and several progressives—including some candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), such as newly sworn-in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—have sought elected offices at various levels of government in the years that have followed, many Republicans have ramped up attacks and helped solidify “socialism” as a buzzword of the current political moment.

Prior to Sanders’ response to Cheney, People for Bernie, the grassroots movement that grew out of the independent senator’s last presidential run, issued its own rebuttal, charging that “the real fraud is capitalism.”

While Liz Cheney on Friday responded to Sanders by falling back on the favored Republican invocation of Venezuela and dismissing the senator’s reference to her father’s history of lying to promote war, critics such as independent journalist Thor Benson were quick to shut her down on both fronts, asserting in a pair of tweets that she does not “even vaguely understand what happened in Venezuela,” and that her “father is a war criminal.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

UC Berkeley removes trees in People’s Park in light of park maintenance

JANUARY 2, 2019

People's Park, 1/22/11

MICHAEL GETHERS/FILE

BY THAO NGUYEN | (dailycal.org)D

Update 01/03/19: This article has been updated with additional information from campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof. 

UC Berkeley removed 38 of the planned 41 trees in People’s Park early Friday morning, generating criticism from some community members.

The landscaping department is addressing deferred tree maintenance across campus, with the People’s Park project one of a list of 15 tree maintenance projects. A work crew began the People’s Park project by removing and pruning about a dozen trees Friday. The campus plans to remove about 16 medium to large trees and 25 small trees to grade level from the park.

“Performing tree work during curtailment allows us to be efficient and minimize interruptions,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email.

Other sites near campus set for tree maintenance include the old art museum, the Women’s Faculty Club, Boalt Parking Lot, Hearst Gymnasium for Women, Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, Carleton Street, Piedmont Avenue, West Crescent, Sproul Plaza, Sather Gate, Wurster Hall and the tennis court on Bancroft Way.

There has been recent controversy surrounding People’s Park since the campus released its plans to develop housing on the site in May 2018.

The tree removal project is unrelated to campus housing plans, however, according to the statement, and is part of a “campus-wide effort to address deferred maintenance issues related to trees on university property.” Campus housing construction in the park is not expected to start until summer 2020.

Mogulof said in an email that there are three reasons for the pruning and removal of the trees in People’s Park: lighting interference due to the large size of the trees, the close proximity of more than a dozen trees to power lines that need to be trimmed to prevent a dangerous situation and the presence of three dead trees and seven other trees with hazardous branches that need to be cut down.

According to ABC7 News, a small group of protesters tried to stop the work crew from cutting down the trees Friday, and many of the protesters said the campus should have better informed the public about the tree maintenance.

Community members of People’s Park said the project was disturbing. At least three people said they would be willing to face arrest to prevent the cutting of three trees on the south side of the park, according to Berkeleyside. UCPD predicted that no arrests would be made, however, and the three trees were not cut down.

Members of the People’s Park Committee created a petition to save the park in response to the tree maintenance project.

Mogulof said in an email that the community was “fully informed” of the tree maintenance with informational flyers distributed on the site that day and media outlets provided with more specific information regarding the removal of the trees.

“Anyone who has been around Berkeley since 2008 knows full well that arboreal activity of any sort in this town has the potential to ignite profound passions to the point of actual conflict,” Mogulof said in an email. “In that context, the campus was determined to take the steps necessary to minimize the potential for unfortunate confrontations.”

Thao Nguyen covers student life. Contact her at tnguyen@dailycal.org and follow her on Twitter at @tnguyen_dc.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that UC Berkeley began the tree maintenance at night. In fact, it began the maintenance in the morning.

Note from Mike Zint:

Nothing like watching history. The story began almost 50 years ago. The fight is heating up. History versus profit. The people of Berkeley need to realize the parks condition is intentional. Use what it has become as the excuse. Most parks I’ve been to are the same way. Will they all be razed?

Nope. Just the one the people fought and died for.

–Mike Zint, First They Came for the Homeless

Tags

Boalt Parking LotDan MogulofDarin BauerFirst They Came for the HomelessHard Grove LibraryHearst GymnasiumMike ZintPeople’s ParkPeoples’ Park CommitteePiedmont AvenueSather GateSproul PlazaUC Berkeleywest crescentWomen’s Faculty ClubWurster Hall

‘Stop This Fiscal Madness’: Dems Urged to Vote Down ‘Brainless Republican Idea’ as Pelosi Plows Ahead With Pay-Go

January 02, 2019 by Common Dreams 

“This is a terrible move from Pelosi and Democratic Party leadership and a slap in the face for movements demanding justice and prosperity for all—not just a privileged few.”

by Jake Johnson, staff writer

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly news conference December 6, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly news conference December 6, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After the incoming House Democratic majority’s newly released rules package made clear that presumptive Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is moving to ram through a fiscally conservative “pay-go” measure despite widespread grassroots opposition, progressives condemned the proposed rule as a harmful “roadblock” to a bold agenda and urged their representatives to vote it down.

“Pay-go isn’t only bad economics; it’s also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare and other legislation.” 
—Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

“In order for pay-go to go into effect, it needs to pass the House,” Warren Gunnels, policy director for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), pointed out on Twitter. “If some 18 Democrats vote no, it fails. The vote will take place on Thursday. Will enough progressives have the courage to vote no on the first roadblock to Medicare for All, Green New Deal, and college for all? Let’s see.”

In a petition pressuring House Democrats to vote against any rules package containing pay-go, Social Security Works declared that the proposed provision “would leave Democrats fighting for working families with one arm tied behind their backs.”

“Reject the pay-go rules that perpetuate deficit scaremongering and bolster claims that we need to cut Social Security and Medicare,” reads the group’s petition, which currently has over 23,800 signatures.

If implemented, pay-go would require all new spending to be offset by budget cuts or tax hikes. Such a restriction, progressive lawmakers and economists argue, would unnecessarily hamstring the House Democratic majority’s ability to pursue the bold agenda that voters demanded in the November midterms.

“Let’s stop this fiscal madness in its tracks. We need a flexible budget to rebalance our economy.” 
—Stephanie Kelton, Stony Brook University

“This is a terrible move from Pelosi and Democratic Party leadership and a slap in the face for movements demanding justice and prosperity for all—not just a privileged few,” argued Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid.

“There’s enormous appetite in the Democratic Party and among all Americans for major public investment to tackle our nation’s major crises: deepening inequality and structural racism and climate disaster,” Shahid added in a statement. “Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership’s support of pay-go makes actually solving these crises all but impossible. The Democratic Party leadership is unilaterally disarming and shooting themselves in the foot.”

Just hours after the House Democrats’ proposed rules package was made public, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—who will be sworn in on Thursday—and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) became the first lawmakers to vow to vote no if pay-go is included.

In a tweet, Khanna declared: “I will be voting no on the rules package with pay-go. It is terrible economics. The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression. At some point, politicians need to learn from mistakes and read economic history.”

Echoing Khanna’s opposition, Ocasio-Cortez announced that she will also oppose the rules package, arguing that pay-go is “a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare and other legislation.”

“We shouldn’t hinder ourselves from the start,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded.

As Common Dreams reported at the time, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in December successfully killed a deeply regressive, Pelosi-backed tax rule that would have made progressive policy priorities like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal impossible to fund.

With a vote on the rules package slated for Thursday, advocacy groups and policy experts argued that the pay-go fight is another chance for the growing and emboldened CPC to flex its muscle and signal that it is prepared to fight for an ambitious agenda.

“We urge them to recognize that this era calls for bold leadership,” declared Social Security Works. “That means improved Medicare for All, expanded Social Security, and taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices. Our government’s priority should be delivering results for the people, not appeasing the Wall Street Journaleditorial page.”

“Let’s stop this fiscal madness in its tracks,” concluded Stony Brook University economics professor Stephanie Kelton, who has urged Democrats to ditch their deficit obsession and unleash “the power of the public purse” on behalf of progressive policies. “We need a flexible budget to rebalance our economy.”This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License