Here’s A LONG List Of Bernie Sanders’ Accomplishments (WITH CITATIONS)

Bernie!

By Antiphon Freeman on February 19, 2016 (addictinginfo.com)

We’ve already discussed Barack Obama’s many accomplishments. And, we also did a piece recently discussing Hillary’s long list of accolades, as well. It’s only fair that we did one for Bernie, too, given the current nature of the Democratic presidential race.

So, without further delay, here’s an extensive list of Bernie Sanders’ accomplishments, and it’s A LOT despite some of the rhetoric circulating around the internet stating he’s too much of a far-left progressive to get anything passed.Related: Huckabee Sanders: Democrats In Congress Are Too Stupid To Understand Trump’s Taxes Anyway

Early days

Won a championship on the basketball team at his primary school in Brooklyn.

Was Captain of his cross-country team, winning a lot of races. In fact, he was so successful he was repeatedly talked about in the school’s yearbook the very next year despite having already graduated.

Early activism

Forced the class president at his James Madison High School to raise scholarship money for kids in Korea, after they had been orphaned due to the war there in the 1950’s.

Organized a sit-in against segregation when he was still a student in college. This was the first civil rights sit-in in Chicago history. This led to the University of Chicago investigating the discrimination just a week afterward.

 Mayor of Burlington

Defeated the 5-term mayor of Burlington, winning by just ten votes in his bid against Democratic mayor Gorden Paquette. Hey, a win is a win. The odds were stacked against him. (Guma, The People’s Republic, pg. 42.)

He won re-election three times, defeating Democratic and Republican contenders.

Caused voter turnout to double during his tenure.

Burlington became the first city in the country to fund community-trust housing under Sanders’ leadership.

He not only balanced the city budget, but undertook ambitious downtown revitalization projects. He even helped bring in a minor-league baseball team to the town, the Vermont Reds.

He sued the town’s local cable franchise and won reduced rates for customers.

Kept a developer from turning important waterfront property into condominiums, hotels, and offices to be used only by the wealthy and affluent. Instead, it was made into housing, parks, and public space. Even today, the area still has many parks and miles of public beach and bike baths, including a science center.

Provided new firms with seed funding, and helped businesses create trade associations. He funded training programs to give women access to nontraditional jobs and even gave special attention to women wanting to become entrepreneurs.

Voted as one of America’s best mayors by U.S. News & World Report in 1987.

Teaching days

Taught political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Hamilton College.

U.S. House of Representatives

His 1990 victory was described by The Washington Post as being the “First Socialist Elected” to the United States House of Representatives in more than 40 years.

Served in the House from 1991 until the time he became a Senator in 2007. Over a span of 16 years, he continuously won re-election by large margins, with the only exception being 1994.

In his very first year in the House, he co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He led this group for its first eight years. Its primary devotion is to advance liberal causes and is currently the largest organization within the Democratic congressional caucus.

He sided with the minority in voting against the use of force against Iraq in 1991 and 2002. He also opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Voted against the Patriot Act despite the majority of Congress voting for it (357 to 66). He also sponsored several amendments trying to limit its effects, even getting a proposal passed through the House preventing the government from obtaining a record of the books people buy.

Was an open critic of Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan and took him head on insisting he only represented “large and wealthy corporations.” Greenspan later admitted to Congress that his economic ideology regarding risky mortgage loans was flawed.

He passed more amendments than any other member during his time in the House. It earned him the nickname “The Amendment King.” He did this despite being a “socialist” and Congress being controlled by Republicans from 1994 to 2006, in one of the most partisan right-wing Houses ever.

Passed an amendment to “require offenders who are convicted of fraud and other white collar crime to give appropriate notice to victims and other persons in cases where there are multiple victims eligible to receive restitution.”

Passed an amendment that improved Postsecondary Education. It administered a competitive grant program to institutions of higher education seeking to reduce costs through the purchase of goods and services. This saved colleges and taxpayers both money.

He amended the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2003, stopping the IRS from being able to use funds that “violate current pension age discrimination laws.”

He expanded free health care and won a $100 million increase in funding by using his amendment powers. This added community health centers that gave out a variety of free health care services.

Prevented child labor by passing an amendment to a general appropriations bill. This stated that the U.S. will not appropriate funds for the importation of goods made by the hands of minors.

Won a $22 million increase for low-income home energy assistance and a related weatherization assistance program. This helped heat homes for the poor.

Passed an amendment that formed a bipartisan coalition effectively prohibiting the Export-Import Bank from handing out loans for nuclear projects in China.

U.S. Senate

Defeated a wealthy businessman, Rich Tarrant, to win his U.S. Senate seat in 2006, in one of the most expensive campaigns in Vermont’s history.

Received the distinction of being named the third-most popular senator in the country, according to Public Policy Polling in August 2011.

Given a score of 100 percent by the NAACP and NHLA (National Hispanic Leadership Agenda) based on his record during his time in the Senate.

Named one of the top 5 American Jews of the Forward 50 in 2015.

Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2013-2014.

Became ranking minority member of the Senate Budget Committee in January 2015.

Became ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.

Passed an amendment making sure that solar water heaters provide at least 30 percent of hot water for new federal buildings. This is forcing us to use green energy.

Made sure to it that bailout funds weren’t used to replace laid-off U.S. workers with exploited and poorly-paid foreign workers.

Helped ensure that child care was being offered to parents in the Armed Forces by requiring the Comptroller General to provide accurate reporting on what was being done.

Required a public database be made available showing the names of senior Department officials seeking employment with defense contractors. This helped crack down on corruption.

Required that the TRICARE program provide treatment to veterans affected by certain types of autism. It wasn’t previously being done.

Won a battle requiring the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the part that doesn’t interfere with monetary policy). This revealed the names of the recipients of over 2,000,000,000,000 in taxpayer assistance.

Was praised by John McCain(R-AZ) and Sen. Jack Reed(D-RI) for overhauling the Veterans Administration. Was said to have done such an excellent job of bringing all parties to a deal, that it wouldn’t have gotten done without Sanders’ work.

But, most of all, what Bernie has done is inspire Americans. That’s what he’s doing in this election. His list of accomplishments doesn’t include all the times he’s stood on the Senate floor giving a passionate speech on why the “big banks need to be broken up.” No, you can’t quite quantify things like that.

No, Warren and Sanders Are Not the Same

October 18, 2019 by Truthdig

Do progressives want the candidate who may be feeling pressured to move to the left or the person whose candidacy is setting the progressive standard?

by Sonali Kolhatkar 

Sanders has been calling himself a socialist for decades, and he most recently distinguished himself from Warren’s self-proclaimed capitalist label in an interview. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanders has been calling himself a socialist for decades, and he most recently distinguished himself from Warren’s self-proclaimed capitalist label in an interview. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

When Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had two heart stents inserted into his arteries in early October, media pundits were quick to foresee the end of his pioneering, movement-based candidacy. Some questioned why it took three days for his family and campaign to confirm the details of his medical condition and others wondered whether age and health would be important factors in his candidacy. Given the documented media bias against Sanders, it is certainly not surprising to see Sanders’ health scare exploited to undermine his candidacy. (Sanders, on the other hand, in his typical fashion, exploited his situation to demand that health care ought to be “a human right.”)

Los Angeles Times opinion writer Rich Benjamin pushed the bias further by saying, “any perception of fatigue and frailty can undercut his effectiveness in competing for the nomination and in the dogfight against Trump if he does beat the rest of the Democratic field.” Benjamin demanded that it was time for “Bernie and his bros”—using a sexist, racist and discredited smear that assumes Sanders’ supporters are mostly pig-headed white men—“to get behind Elizabeth Warren.” In fact, men and women are roughly evenly split among Sanders’ supporters, and people of color are more likely than whites to back him.

Benjamin is echoing a sentiment that has been gaining traction: that Warren is a good enough emulation of Sanders and has adopted enough of his progressive policy proposals for Sanders’ supporters to unreservedly support her. But while a Warren nomination would certainly be a strong sign of progress, particularly in the era of Donald Trump, there are serious distinctions between Sanders and Warren that should not be dismissed.

For example, on health care, although they both back the idea of a “Medicare for All” plan, Warren and Sanders do not take identical positions. Health care is the most important issue for the American electorate. During Tuesday’s Democratic presidential candidate debate, Warren repeatedly avoided admitting that backing a Medicare for All plan would mean that taxes would go up across the board. She sidestepped questions twice, saying, “I will not sign a bill into law that raises their costs, because costs are what people care about.”

But in fact, people care about getting the health care they need more than anything. According to a new poll released on the same day as the debate, “Fifty-six percent of Americans think providing access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans is the responsibility of the federal government, and two-thirds favor the creation of a national, government-administered health insurance plan similar to Medicare that would be available to all Americans.” Vox.com writer Tara Golshan explained that although Warren has endorsed Sanders’ health care plan, “she speaks about Medicare-for-all more in terms of expanding public options for health care, rather than eliminating private insurance altogether.”

Sanders, on the other hand, was far more candid about the cost of his plan during the debate, saying, “I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up. They’re going to go up significantly for the wealthy. And for virtually everybody, the tax increase they pay will be substantially less — substantially less than what they were paying for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.” By acknowledging that taxes will go up while premiums, co-payments, deductibles and “all out-of-pocket expenses are gone,” Sanders was far more honest about what his bill to expand Medicare to every American would entail while also demolishing the right-wing argument about high costs. Later in the debate, he went further and slammed the Democratic Party, challenging it to have “the guts to stand up to the health care industry, which made $100 billion in profit.”

There are differences in other policies too. For example, Sanders’ plan to tax the wealthiest Americans goes much further than Warren’s. His tax rate for billionaires is more than twice that of Warren’s, leading one commentator to declare that Sanders’ plan to tax extreme wealth “makes Warren’s wealth tax look moderate.” Sanders has even said he doesn’t think billionaires should exist.

It has become more and more apparent that Sanders is the only Democratic candidate to have a lengthy track record on progressive politics, compared to those who have discovered their progressive backbones more recently, because they know it plays well to the party’s left-leaning base. Seven years ago, Warren did not back Medicare for All, and 23 years ago she was a registered Republican. In fact, she maintains she is an avowed capitalist. Meanwhile, Sanders has been backing the idea of a Medicare plan expanded to all Americans for at least 10 years. He has been calling himself a socialist for decades, and he most recently distinguished himself from Warren’s self-proclaimed capitalist label in an interview.

When Sanders ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, media outlets ignored him until he began winning primaries, and even then, experts routinely underestimated his pull and popularity. Progressives were thrilled to finally see a bona fide leftist candidate on a national stage echoing the issues that we longed to hear about, analyzed in ways that targeted corporate profiteers.

After the election ended, the movement that was borne from his candidacy flourished and proliferated into multiple organizations determined to challenge establishment politics from inside and outside the electoral system. Among the successes of that movement was the 2018 election of the outspoken and staunchly progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

While recent polls show Sanders’ popularity as a candidate dipping a few percentage points behind Warren, his performance this week during the Democratic debate (including his characteristic dismissal of concern over the state of his health, saying only that he was “healthy” and “feeling great”), may bump his numbers up in the next poll. Perhaps even more important is the announcement that Ocasio-Cortez will be endorsing his candidacy. Both Warren and Sanders had sought the endorsement of the young and very popular progressive Democrat, and now that Sanders has clinched it, it may well boost his standing.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who are considered part of the four-member “squad” of prominent progressive congresswomen of color, have also decided to throw their weight behind the Vermont senator. Sanders and Omar just co-sponsored a bill to feed all schoolchildren three free meals a day regardless of income. Clearly Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib see a distinction between Warren and Sanders.

There is one thing Warren has going for her over Sanders: She’s far more charismatic than he is. At a recent LGBTQ event in Los Angeles, Warren won over the crowd when she was asked how she might respond to a supporter who claimed that marriage should be between one man and one woman. She replied, “I’m going to assume it is a guy who said that. And I’m going to say, ‘Well, then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that.’” With the perfect timing of an improv artist, she waited for applause and added, “Assuming you can find one”—which of course resulted in even more applause.

Yes, Warren’s candidacy would be huge step in the right direction for the United States in the Trump era—especially if she were the most progressive front-runner in the race. But she’s not. In fact, she is arguably being pulled to the left by Sanders’ candidacy. CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggested that if Sanders dropped out of the race, “she doesn’t have to be worried about that [far-left] flank anymore.” So, do progressives want the candidate who may be feeling pressured to move to the left or the person whose candidacy is setting the progressive standard?

Sonali Kolhatkar

Sonali Kolhatkar is a columnist for Truthdig. She also is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV (Dish Network, DirecTV, Roku) and Pacifica stations KPFK, KPFA, and affiliates. She is the former founder, host and producer of KPFK Pacifica’s popular morning drive-time program “Uprising.” She is also the co-director of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S.-based non-profit solidarity organization that funds the social, political, and humanitarian projects of RAWA. She is the author, with James Ingalls, of “Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence” (2006).

© 2019 TruthDig

Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Is Alive and Well

October 16, 2019 by NY Mag

Sanders was better, crisper, and funnier than ever before.

by Eric Levitz

Bernie 2020 has more than a pulse. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bernie 2020 has more than a pulse. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Two weeks ago, Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign looked seriously unwell — and then, so did Bernie Sanders. As of October 1, the Vermont senator’s support in national polls had been stagnating for months, while his standing in surveys of early states had been declining. For a newcomer to presidential politics, boasting a lock on third place four months before Iowa would be auspicious. But for a candidate who already enjoyed near 100 percent name recognition among the party faithful, it seemed the opposite; especially as Elizabeth Warren moved steadily further ahead of her fellow left-wing New Englander in the polls.

And then the 78-year-old socialist had a heart attack. And in one of his first interviews after the health scare, an understandably fatigued-looking Bernie suggested he would have to “change the nature of the campaign.” A thousand obituaries for “the political revolution” were prewritten.

But Sanders’s showing Tuesday night will keep them unpublished. At the Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio — his first major campaign event since taking ill — Bernie wasn’t just his old, bizarrely sharp and energetic-for-a-septuagenarian self. He was better, crisper, and funnier than before. The hoarse voice that plagued Sanders on the last episode of this (wretched) TV show was gone. A new perspective on the fragility of this life — and the preciousness of every opportunity to mitigate the suffering of other human beings — had, presumably, taken its place. Or maybe Bernie just got a good night’s sleep Monday. Either way, he turned in his finest debate performance of the cycle thus far.

In the (apparently, legally mandatory) early back-and-forth on the horrors of replacing private-insurance premiums with payroll taxes, Sanders benefited from the greater clarity of his position relative to Warren’s (he is comfortable copping to the necessity of tax hikes, she prefers to avoid the T-word), and his rivals’ greater interest in damaging the race’s new front-runner.

Later, he delivered a rousing defense of his desire to expropriate Tom Steyer’s wealth; interrupted Joe Biden to crack a joke amusing enough to earn him an impromptu embrace from the former vice-president; and still managed to stick a shiv between Uncle Joe’s ribs when the time was ripe:

Finally, Sanders closed out the night by demonstrating that he isn’t actually incapable of indulging the press’ bottomless appetite for pleasing pablum about bipartisan cooperation, and the evils of divisiveness. Asked to describe a friendship that transcended partisan lines, the senator reminded America of a fact some of his loudest online supporters often elide — Bernie is capable of playing nice with Republican colleagues, and pursuing incremental progress over ideological purity, as he did when partnering with John McCain on reforms to veterans’ health care.

Meanwhile, in the face of heavy incoming fire, Warren’s answers often came off as less crisp and self-assured versions of Sanders’s (which had not, in my infinitely objective view, been the case at previous debates). The Massachusetts senator put up a solid performance. But the combination of Sanders’s vitality, and Warren’s incessant obligation to play defense, made Bernie look like the more effective messenger for the party’s left flank (at least, for this evening).

And then, minutes after the debate was done, the Sanders campaign won the endorsement of the most charismatic congresswoman in the United States: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she will be lending Bernie 2020 her considerable star power at a rally in Queens on Saturday. AOC’s fellow “squad” members, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, will also reportedly be joining the political revolution.

Whether any of this will actually matter is unknowable. There isn’t much evidence that any of the previous Democratic debates made a durable impact on the polls. To the extent that Sanders needs to improve his standing with older voters, and Democrats who subscribe to conventional notions about “electability,” AOC’s rubber stamp isn’t going to help. But the senator’s mission Tuesday night was to keep the political obituarists at bay. There’s no question he accomplished that much.

© 2019 NY Mag

Eric Levitz is a New York-based journalist and contributor for the New York Magazine.

Revolution at the Federal Reserve: Nomi Prins and Thomas Hanna

The Laura Flanders Show This week, as Jim Yong Kim resigns from the World Bank, we talk about the way central banks steer world development and for whom. Former Goldman Sachs managing director Nomi Prins, author of “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” and public ownership researcher Thomas Hanna believe that banking, and development, could be very different.

Articles ~ Actions~ Events, Fri. 10/18 – Tues. 10/22 ~ 2 Remaining DA Debates ~ Save the Date (from Adrienne Fong)

Please let afong@jps.net know if you would like to be removed from this list. Indicate your email and Group #1

Am not back posting on a regular basis

– Please post your events on Indybayhttps://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

    Thank you to all who are – See Indybay for other events.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on events! 

KiDS Friendly / Childcare: Include info

ARTICLES:

A. Kurds accuse Turkey of using napalm and white phosphorus – October 17, 2019

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/kurds-accuse-turkey-of-using-napalm-and-white-phosphorus/ar-AAIVDDa

B. More than 16,000 Kids in Chicago Public Schools Are Homeless. Teachers Just Went on Strike to Help Them – October 17, 2019

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne8k7q/more-than-16000-kids-in-chicago-public-schools-are-homeless-teachers-just-went-on-strike-to-help-them?utm_source=vicenewstwitter&fbclid=IwAR1wgnXyl0n3_YidhNYVJlifysrW-y-DgiuT1eXwlvqIxXToVfVjMNJZytU

C. Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Lethal Police Violence – October 16, 2019

D. Zion, 8, saw his Aunt Atatiana Jefferson get shot. Family is trying to help him cope. – October 16, 2019

https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/fort-worth/article236321608.html?fbclid=IwAR3tQa43cQ5q8rBGgCGTQvW5efxhWKQG5-PI5HuQ6ORo7M_VrkXtQZhyS5s

E. Gov. Newsom vetoes bill banning private arrests of imprisoned immigrants  – October 16, 2019

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/SF-Gov-Newsom-vetoes-law-banning-private-arrests-14539531.php

F. Americans of colour find common cause with Palestinians – October 5, 2019

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/americans-of-colour-find-common-cause-with-palestinians-1.919564?fbclid=IwAR1hX00uKEGdWBsOajCp92rW2Xbzrb87vm1H9oKrcqvQS7rm9a8jReFyqfA

3 ACTIONS:

1. No Mercenary Force for MBS

https://act.winwithoutwar.org/act/no-mercenary-force-for-MBS?source=em20191017&t=5&referring_akid=4396.294094.vlsByQ

  Trump is deciding to accelerate the path to war by hiring out our troops as mercenaries for Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), exactly when the situation with Iran needs de-escalating

From Veterans For Peace:

2. Help Us Stop the Deportation of Veteran Jose Segovia Benitez!

https://veteransforpeace.salsalabs.org/takeactionforjose/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=59720e67-7979-4dcc-8d10-cc3ef7914796

3. Tell Congress: Shut down unlawful surveillance

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-congress-shut-down-unlawful-surveillance-and-repeal-section-215/?source=group-2019Section215swapFFTF&referrer=group-fight-for-the-future&link_id=1&can_id=4d8abb95a7895a1648b41bfa1ad2bb3b&email_referrer=email_642974&email_subject=persecuted-without-a-warrant

EVENTS

Friday, October 17 – Tuesday, October 22

 Friday, October 18

1. Friday, 9:30am – 12:30am, Close 850 Bryant Now: Hearing at Board of Supervisors!

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl.
SF

Join the effort to Close 850 Bryant and Build a Better San Francisco! Come to the hearing on Friday October 18th at 10:30am to hold our government accountable.

— Coffee and Comradery: Join us at 9:30am directly across from City Hall (Polk Side) in the Civic Center plaza to share in coffee, tea, and breakfast. Learn about the campaign and connect with other members of the coalition.


— Supervisors’ Hearing: Enter City Hall at 10:30am to make our presence seen and heard at the hearing. Please plan to share public comment. We will have talking points available.

Hosts: No New SF Jail, & 5 Other groups.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/439793699975169/

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

Hall of Injustice
850 Bryant St.
SF

Today is Gascon’s last day as SF District Attorney!!

DEMAND POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

Even though Gascon is resigning (last day is Oct. 18th) we still need to be present. Mayor Breed’s appointment of Suzy Loftus is NOT the solution!

All are invited to join us (Even if it’s for a few minutes) to demand that District Attorney George Gascon charge police officers with murder. Stand with ALL families who have lost loved ones to police murders. This is a movement towards police accountability. If we keep accepting the way things are, we’ll, never make any true progress that benefits the people. Since Gascon has been the DA in San Francisco, he has not charged any police officers.

Calling for Justice for:

Joshua Smith, Kenneth Harding Jr., Peter Yin Woo, Steven Michael Young, Dennis Hughes , Pralith Prolouring, Dale Stuart Wilkerson, Alex Nieto, Giovany Contreras Sandoval, O’Shaine Evans, Matthew Hoffman, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Alice Brown, Herbert Omar Benitez, Javier Lopez Garcia, Mario Woods, Luis Gόngora Pat, Jessica Nelson, Nicolas McWherter, Nicholas Flusche, Damian Murray, Keita O’Neil, Jesus Adolfo Delgado, Jehad Eid, and Derrick Gaines (killed by a police officer hired by SFPD)

The above named  all were killed by SFPD during DA Gascon’s reign – NOT ONE police officer has been charged! 

Host: Mother’s on the March Against Police Murders!

3. Friday, 2:00pm – 3:30pm, San Francisco Mental Health Consumers Working Group Meeting

Senior and Disability Action
1360 Mission St.
SF

Wheelchair accessible

We are a group of San Francisco mental health consumers/peers who are joining together to discuss, advocate and organize around mental health services and other issues that affect us.

RSVP:  raia@sdaction.org

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/10/01/18826951.php

4. Friday, 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Vigil / Music: Save Chelsea Manning & Julian Assange –Weekly protest

MacArthur & Fruitvale
Oakland

Updates: https://bayaction2freeassange.org/

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/10/17/18827354.php

5. Friday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, SF Forum: Eyewitness Iran – Uncovering Media Lies

PSL
2969 Mission St.
SF

Wheelchair Accessible

$3 – $10 donation – no one turned away

While the U.S. continues to aggressively target Iran through sanctions and threats of invasion, the country has managed to continue building economic and political ties to Europe, Asia and its neighbors. Join us for an eyewitness report from Frank Lara, PSL member, ANSWER activist and public school teacher, who recently traveled to Iran and experienced something completely different than what U.S. propaganda claims.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/517234955512022/

Sunday, October 20

6. Sunday, 10:30am – 12:30pm, Marxism and the National Question – the Case of Kashmir

Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
6501 Telegraph
Oakland

On August 5, 2019, the government of India, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Hindu Nationalist BJP put Kashmir in a security lockdown and then moved in the Lok Sabha (“Peoples Assembly” – i.e. the Parliament, to revoke Articles 370 and 35A, which granted political autonomy to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and barred outsiders to purchase property in the state respectively. The upper house, known as Rajya Sabha (“States Assembly” – where representatives are elected from each state of India) ratified the new law.

Kashmir has been a dispute between India and Pakistan ever since British colony of India was split into two sovereign politically independent countries on August 15-16, 1947. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, all three initiated by Pakistan, the first one of which in 1947-48 ended in a truce brokered by the UN, and which divided Kashmir ‘temporarily” between the two countries . The latest move of India has angered Pakistan, while India considers it as an internal matter.

Raj Sahai will present a historical outline and his analysis based on ‘Marxism and the National and Colonial Question’ developed by Joseph Stalin that helped successfully integrate the oppressed nationalities under the Tsarist rule in the socialist state of the USSR as partners and which success helped develop the backward nations and in turn also the USSR very rapidly and which helped vanquish the German invaders in 1945.

Raj Sahai has been associated with ICSS for the past 13 years and is a student of Marx’s ‘Capital’ as well as anti-war activist starting with the Vietnam War in 1968 to more recent wars imposed on small countries by developed Capitalist countries.

7. Sunday, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Alternatives to Policing 6: Self- and Community Defense

First Congregational Church Oakland (UCC)
2501 Harrison St.
Oakland

wheelchair accessible (use the graded sidewalk to access the blue door off the parking lot), and there are ADA restrooms, both binary and single-stall all gender. There is designated accessible parking; however, the accessible entrance is difficult to access if you are not coming by car

Part of our ongoing series of workshops designed to reduce our reliance on an increasingly militarized police force, this offering from Community Ready Corps (CRC) will cover basic principles and practices to help us keep ourselves and our communities safe.

What would you do if you found yourself in the middle of a violent situation? How can you safely get yourself and others out of that situation?

We will be asking for a voluntary donation to support the vital work of Community Ready Corps. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

CRC is a liberation organization that combats white supremacy and actively builds & supports self determination in disenfranchised communities. Their work focuses on nine areas:

Politics, Economics. Family. Health, Education, Art, Media
Traditions & Ways, Self Defense

Sponsors: UCC + 3 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/463822971140288/

8. Sunday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Free Our Prisoners! From Palestine to the US

518 Valencia St.
SF

5,150 Palestinians political prisoners are waging multiple hunger strikes to protest torture, administrative detention and abusive conditions of confinement in Israeli prisons. Imprisonment and globalized weaponry trade between the U.S. and Israel are closely linked, fueling repression against Black, brown and immigrant communities in the U.S. and globally.

Join us for an afternoon of discussion and an in depth look at imprisonment from Palestine to the U.S. and how we can build solidarity between our freedom struggles. Lana, from ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in the West Bank, will explain the current political situation in Palestine and will be joined in conversation with people doing work against mass incarceration and detention in the U.S

Lana Ramadan was born in Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem in the West Bank. After being actively involved in community activities, Lana studied Human Rights and International Law in the joint Al Quds University and Bard College program. After graduating, Lana went directly into a master’s program at the London School of Economics. She graduated with a Master in Human Rights in 2016. Lana worked with Badil Refugee Resource Centre. She worked as a researcher, specifically focusing on forced displacement and the creation of coercive environments by Israeli policies.

With local community organizers:
Annie Paradise (CCWP)
Nathaniel Moore (Freedom Archives)
Lubna Morrar(PYM Facilitator)

List of sponsors: https://www.facebook.com/events/531464994349905/

Monday, October 21

9. Monday, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Stand with Refugio and Elvira Nieto – Monthly gathering at Alex Nieto’s altar

Bernal Hill
SF

Public transportation # 67 MUNI. Catch it on 24th St. at Mission across from McDonalds

On the monthly anniversary of Alex’s murder, gather with the Nieto’s at Alex’s altar site on Bernal Hill.

All are welcomed

On March 21, 2014, Alejandro “Alex” Nieto, 28 years old, was killed when he was struck by 14 to 15 bullets (of a total of 59 shots) fired by four San Francisco Police Department officers, on Bernal Hill Park, without justification. The officers who killed Alex Nieto are: Sgt. Jason Sawyer (then lieutenant. He is also the killer of John Smart in 1998!), Officer Roger Morse, Officer Richard Schiff, and Officer Nathan Chew.

10. Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Do No Harm Coalition – Debate with candidates for DA

Byers Auditorium, Genentech Hall
250 Campus Way (Mission Bay)
San Francisco, CA 94158

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-francisco-district-attorney-debate-tickets-72348019875?aff=DNHC

   RSVP – dinner included  – Open to public

Questions will be community/audience-submitted!

Submit your question HERE.   

Tuesday, October 22

11. Tuesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm, Hearing on Status of SFPD Reform Implementation

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

Join the SF Board of Supervisors at 3pm on October 22nd to hear presentations from SFPD Chief William Scott and the California Department of Justice on the implementation status for the 272 recommendations for the SF Police Department, in the areas of use of force, bias, community policing, accountability, and recruitment, hiring, and personnel practices. It has been over 2 years since there was an update at the Board of Supervisors on the status of these critical reforms, and it’s long past due that the community hears from the department. This hearing, called by Supervisors Sandra Fewer and Shamann Walton, will begin at 3pm; after presentations, public comment will heard.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/589505618470533/

12. Tuesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Reclaiming Hong Kong

Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics
518 Valencia St.
SF

ADA Accessible; will attempt to provide low scent environment.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s people rose in mass resistance to the proposed China Extradition Bill. Protests continue to escalate despite increasingly brutal crackdowns by the government. While the city edges toward martial law, the protests have gained attention and support around the world. Join CPE, CPA, and Bauhinia Project for a discussion featuring organizers involved in the uprisings and Bay Area-based organizers. The speakers will discuss what caused and continues to fuel the uprisings, as well as what the future of this organizing may be from Hong Kong to the Bay.

Featuring: Kai Yui Samuel Chan, Wawa, Jose Ng, Adrian Leong

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/767377847022233/

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 2 Upcoming DA Forums:

Friday, October 25th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, San Francisco District Attorney Youth-Led Forum

Bayview Opera House
4705 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-francisco-district-attorney-youth-led-forum-registration-72170835913?fbclid=IwAR0CqYT2Nyxrako0opVEclUVOAdQZVA7fEl7GVDHx8P6Zrry3VTtnUjEOnc

  RSVP – dinner included

Submit any questions you would like to be asked, here!

I don’t see Suzy’s photo in the advertisement, but I’m not sure if that means she’s definitely not coming?

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Wednesday, October 30th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, San Francisco District Attorney Candidates Q&A

Impact Hub San Francisco
1885 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-francisco-district-attorney-candidates-qa-tickets-75773613919?ref=eios

Bay Area Black Journalist Association

The San Francisco District Attorney Candidates will be participating in a one on one Q&A forum moderated by Davey “D” Cook. Confirmed candidates to attend are Suzy Loftus, Chesa Boudin and Nancy Tung.

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SAVE the DATE

Time to go Puerto Rico: Trump/Pence OUT NOW!

Saturday, October 26th

1:00pm – 3:30pm

Meet at:

24th & Mission
BART Plaza
San Francisco

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/707282656404580/

Schedule:

1:00 PM

Speakers & Music, 24th & Mission

2:00 PM

March to Dolores Park

3:30 PM

Closing Rally, Castro & Marke

Bay Area Protests Start October 26, Continue Every Saturday Until the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime is Driven OUT

We must seize on the impeachment crisis now erupting, taking history into our own hands and turning dread for the future into a force for hope!

This is a moment when we – people of many different views and experience – must act together in mass, sustained, non-violent nationwide protests that continue until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power. We begin with protests in NYC and LA on October 19 that announce four more consecutive Saturdays of protests in cities and towns across the country that gather more people and momentum so that in the weeks and months that follow, the movement grows.

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America. Join Us

Sponsors: Refuse Fascism Bay Area and Vigil for Democracy

Bay Area residents receive notice of canceled medical debts

MONDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2019 (dailycal.org)

FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

BY JACOB SOUZA | STAFF

Hundreds of Bay Area residents received unexpected emails earlier in October informing them that they are no longer responsible for paying back certain outstanding medical debts.

The local organization, Strike Debt Bay Area, or SDBA, partnered with the New York-based organization RIP Medical Debt as well as clinical psychologist Harvey Bilik. Together, they purchased and canceled about $1.6 million in defaulted medical bills for 753 Bay Area locals.

“We are pleased to inform you that you no longer owe the balance on the debt referenced above to the above provider” read the email sent by RIP Medical Debt to recipients. “Our forgiveness of the amount you owe is a no-strings-attached gift. You no longer have any obligation to pay this debt to anyone, at any future time.”

Most of the donations, which averaged $98, came from within activist circles related to SDBA. Other donations came from social media campaigns and forms of online traffic. The debt forgiveness campaign raised a total of around $15,000, which RIP Medical Debt then used to purchase the outstanding balances for pennies on the dollar in local debt markets.

The $700 raised within Berkeley City Council purchased about $90,000 in debts, according to Berkeley District 4 City Councilmember Kate Harrison, who sponsored a resolution in support of the campaign. She added that the average amount of debt abolished for Alameda County residents was about $3,000.

“For that person living on the edge, that is everything … the amount of pain and anguish caused by that is incalculable,” Harrison said. “We will not get out of this box as long as we have privately funded healthcare this way.”

Similar legislation has already passed in San Francisco and is currently making its way through the legislative process in Berkeley, according to JP Massar, an SDBA activist.

RIP Medical debt has partnered with different organizations and individuals across the country for similar acts of medical debt forgiveness. According to an SDBA press release, the recent Bay Area campaign follows on the heels of campaigns in Florida, New York and Michigan which erased debts upwards of $5 million.

Bilik decided to start fundraising for RIP Medical Debt after reading about them in the news. He and SDBA joined their efforts after becoming aware that they were both fundraising in the Bay Area.

“I do not think that you need to be a medical professional in order to be aware of and disgusted by the stunning inequities around who can and who cannot obtain adequate health care,” Bilick said in an email. “There are powerful stakeholders in the current system whose income derive from the status quo, and who work to prevent meaning ful change …”

Contact Jacob Souza at jsouza@dailycal.org and follow him on Twitter at @jsouza_dailycal.

(Contributed by JP Massar.)

Extinction Rebellion

Spreading XR’s message across India

12-13 OCT | India (rebellion.earth)

On Saturday, 50 rebels took to the streets of Odisha’s capital city, Bhubaneswar. A die-in was followed by a moment of silence to pay tribute to all fellow activists who have been arrested. Attendees signed a letter to the Chief Minister of the State of Odisha calling for immediate action to address the climate and ecological emergency.

At the weekend, XR Guwahati was at the ‘The Big Burp’ – the city’s first food and music festival. Their stall provided information on the ecological crisis and invited visitors to sign up for future actions. On the second day, group members took to the stage to address the crowd, accompanied by an XR video on the big screen. This fantastic opportunity was in part due to the XR group including members of local band Rain In Sahara.

San Francisco Bay Guardian endorsements for November 5, 2019

Preston for supervisor, Boudin for DA, No, no, no on Prop. C, the tobacco industry scam …. Complete endorsements for the Nov. 5 election.

By Tim Redmond -October 7, 2019

Dean Preston for D5 Supervisor and Chesa Boudin for District Attorney

It’s an old political saw, but it’s worth discussing: Are you better off today in San Francisco that you were five years ago? If you’re a tenant, or a person making a middle-class income or less, or if you ride Muni, or if you care about homelessness and displacement, the answer is almost certainly worse.

The agenda that the late Mayor Ed Lee started with the tech boom, and his successor Mayor London Breed has largely continued, has been devastating to this city. Income inequality is soaring. Homelessness gets worse every year. Thousands of residents lose their homes to evictions and displacement. The streets are so clogged with Uber and Lyft vehicles that Muni can’t get through – and the cost of living in this town is so high that the bus system can’t hire enough drivers to keep the fleet moving.

The mayor has no credible opposition, and will win a four-year term. But in other ways, this election is a referendum on her policies. In D5, her appointed candidate faces a strong progressive challenge. A reformer who wants to change the way we address criminal justice is running against the mayor’s candidate.

More than politics is at stake – it’s the future of the city. Our endorsements follow.

Mayor
No endorsement
The real race for mayor of San Francisco was in May, 2018, when London Breed narrowly defeated Mark Leno, with Jane Kim in a close third. Breed, as widely expected, is now running with no serious opposition.

Breed ran in 2018 as the candidate of the status quo, someone who would not disrupt the tech boom or try to make any dramatic steps toward addressing income inequality. Her administration has been much as we expected. She opposed Prop. C, the measure to tax tech wealth to address homelessness. She’s continued the homeless sweeps. Her office is leading the opposition to a measure that would increase the impact fees developers pay for affordable housing.

Breed is pushing for a $600 million affordable housing bond, and supports the tax on Uber and Lyft to pay for Muni. We’re glad she’s supporting a buyout of PG&E. But she’s not a mayor who will lead the city in a direction of greater equity; she’s not offering anything close to the profound and dramatic changes San Francisco needs. She will be re-elected easily, but we can’t support her for another term.

Board of Supervisors
District Five
Dean Preston
You can see the importance of the D5 race – and the key differences between the two leading candidates – reflected in an issue that’s about to come before the Board. Sup. Matt Haney wants to raise the fees that developers pay the city for affordable housing. The fee hasn’t been raised in more than 20 years, and the city’s own studies show that new office development creates a big demand for affordable housing – enough that developers ought to be paying $193 a square foot just so the city’s breaks even.Sponsored link

Haney wants to raise the rate to $69. That’s extremely modest. And yet the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development is opposing it, the Planning Department tried to reduce the proposal to $24, and since the mayor oversees those two agencies, it appears at this point she doesn’t want Haney’s measure to go through.

It’s the developers against affordable housing. Seven supervisors have signed on with Haney – one short of what’s needed to override a mayoral veto.

Challenger Dean Preston strongly supports the proposal. So far, incumbent Sup. Vallie Brown does not.

The stakes are high for this lone supervisorial race, made possible because the City Charter requires appointed incumbents like Brown to face the voters at the next possible election. Preston is running as a Democratic Socialist, and he has a strong agenda for reform. He supports a Green New Deal for San Francisco. He supports the establishment of a public bank. He argues that developers and big tech companies can and should pay higher taxes and fees to fund community needs. A career tenant lawyer and organizer, he would be one of the strongest voices on the board for renter rights.

You can see the difference equally clearly with the Chronicle’s recent endorsement of Brown. The paper backed her because she specifically said that commercial, market-rate development is a key part of the city’s affordable housing future. That’s never worked before.
Brown has been largely a vote for Breed’s agenda. She refused, for example, to support a measure to create a commission to oversee homelessness, something progressives supported and the mayor opposed. D5 is one of the most progressive districts in the city – and at a time when San Francisco desperately needs major political change, Brown is not the candidate. We strongly support Dean Preston for D5 supervisor.

City Attorney
Dennis Herrera
Herrera has no opposition – and for good reason. He’s been an excellent city attorney, willing to stand up to everyone from Donald Trump to the tobacco industry. He did the early legal work to win same-sex marriage rights. He’s been a strong consumer advocate and used the power of his office to take on powerful interests both locally and nationally. He’s gone after corrupt landlords. Now he’s helping lead the fight to bring public power to San Francisco through a PG&E buyout. He clearly deserves another term.

District Attorney
Chesa Boudin

It’s been a century since the voters had a chance to weigh in on the District Attorney’s Office with no incumbent on the ballot. George Gascon is retiring because he has no way to run a credible re-election effort: Conservatives are mad that he has supported criminal justice reform, moderates are mad that he hasn’t stopped the rash of car break-ins (though that’s not his fault) – and progressives won’t support him because he’s refused to prosecute a single one of the long list of police officers who killed people of color without good reason.

Four candidates are in the race to take over the prosecutor’s job – and only one of them offers the chance for a profound change in the way the city handles criminal justice. We’re endorsing Chesa Boudin.

Boudin’s a public defender, not a prosecutor; he’s spent his career trying to keep people out of jail, not lock them away. He grew up the child of incarcerated parents – both his mother and father were Sixties radicals who were caught in an armored car robbery that went bad, and he grew up visiting them behind bars.

That gives him a unique perspective on what’s wrong with the system – and he wants to change it. Boudin told us that he wants all of his prosecutors to consider what happens after people are convicted – to look for ways to avoid recidivism, and to seek rehabilitation, not punishment. He is keenly aware, as a PD, of the racial disparities in the justice system. He notes that two-thirds of the cases that go to trial in San Francisco are misdemeanors that could be better addressed outside of the criminal justice system – giving prosecutors more time and resources to handle serious felonies. He wants to end cash bail.

He also told us that he is willing to prosecute police misconduct and political corruption – which no DA since Terence Hallinan has taken seriously.

Boudin is backed by Sups. Hillary Ronen, Gordon Mar, Aaron Peskin, and Sandra Lee Fewer, as well as Democratic Party Chair David Campos.

Suzy Loftus, who was a prosecutor in the office of Kamala Harris, has the support of Mayor London Breed, state Sen. Scott Wiener, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and the rest of the moderate power structure. She would not be a bad district attorney. But she wouldn’t be a transformative district attorney.

Leif Dautch, who is a deputy attorney general, offered us some interesting ideas, including prosecuting landlords for fraudulent evictions. But he has the support of the Police Officers Association, a terrible, regressive organization, and that pretty much disqualifies him for our endorsement.

Nancy Tung, a career prosecutor, shows no indication of being a serious reformer.
Pretty much everyone with any sense now agrees that the era of mass incarceration (particularly of African Americans) has been a failure, that this country needs to take a dramatically different approach to criminal justice. Electing Chesa Boudin as SF’s district attorney would be a major statement to the nation, and give this city a chance to prove that the office of a chief prosecutor can also be a force for reform. Vote for Boudin.

Public Defender
Manohar Raju
After the untimely death of longtime PD Jeff Adachi, Mayor Breed made a smart decision: She appointed a veteran of Adachi’s office to replace him. Adachi built one of the best PD’s offices in the nation, staffed with top-notch lawyers. He also promoted, actively, an alternative vision for criminal justice. Raju, who has the support and respect of the team that Adachi built, is a worthy successor, and we are happy to support him.

Sheriff
No endorsement
There was a time when San Francisco had a tradition of progressive sheriffs. So it’s too bad that the only person running for the job this time is Paul Miyamoto, a career deputy sheriff who, we fear, will reverse a lot of the gains and turn the office into a more traditional law-and-order place.

The city is poised to shut down an ancient, unsafe, and inhumane jail at the Hall of Justice, to change the way it handles juvenile justice, to end cash bail, and to move the criminal justice reform movement forward. We wish there were a candidate for sheriff who would be an active part of that. There isn’t.

Treasurer
Jose Cisneros
The Treasurer’s Office isn’t a high-profile political job, but Cisneros has shown a lot of courage and leadership. He stood up to the mayor and demanded that Airbnb pay its hotel taxes. He’s created the Financial Justice Project, that seeks to ensure consumers aren’t cheated by banking and lending institutions. As the city moves toward creating a municipal bank, he could play a key role, and we hope he does.

Board of Education
No endorsement
When Matt Haney was elected to the Board of Supervisors, Mayor London Breed appointed Jenny Lam to replace him. Lam has solid credentials for the job; she’s a parent and longtime community activist with ties to the school district.
But there’s a problem: She’s also Breed’s paid, full-time education advisor. She works for the mayor.

When Gavin Newsom was mayor, we had a similar situation: His full-time education staffer, Hydra Mendoza, was also on the School Board. Nobody knew when Mendoza was voting as an advocate for public education and when she was voting as a paid mayoral staffer promoting his agenda.

This is a bad idea. School Board members should be independent of the Mayor’s Office – which among other things has some control over city money that goes to the public schools. On that principle, we’re not endorsing Lam.

Bobby Coleman, a longtime tenant advocate, announced his campaign for the board largely because of the decision to paint over (then later, to cover up) the Life of Washington mural at Washington High. We have tremendous respect for Coleman’s years of tenant advocacy, but we don’t the board’s decision on the mural is such a crucial issue that it ought to define this race.

Community College Board
Ivy Lee
Lee, as a staffer to former Sup. Jane Kim, was one of the architects of the Free City College program. She’s on the new Budget and Audit Committee, and pushed recently to delay huge raises for administrators, calling the administration on a politically boneheaded move. She also has a potential conflict, as a staffer for Board President Norman Yee, but the supervisors have no direct control over City College, and while we are not entirely comfortable with the situation, we are supporting Lee.

Propositions

Proposition A
Affordable Housing Bond
YES
The only problems with Prop. A are that it’s too limited – and tenants will have to pay for some of it.

There’s no question that the city needs to build more affordable housing. There’s no question that raising bond money is a good way to go. This $600 million affordable housing bond would make a big dent in the city’s desperate need, and we are happy to support it.
That said: The Mayor’s Office carefully constructed this measure to make sure that it doesn’t raise anyone’s taxes. The cap on the bonds is based on how many existing bonds are getting paid off, since new debt can be reflected in property taxes.

In the vast majority of cases, homeowners, landlords, and commercial property interests can well afford higher taxes for affordable housing. The city needs to raise and spend billions, not just $600 million, on non-market housing.

Unfortunately, under state law bond acts need a two-thirds vote. And anything that raised taxes would spur opposition from commercial real-estate interests. A truly progressive and committed mayor might take those interests on directly, but that’s not Mayor Breed’s style.
Under local law, landlords can pass through half of the bond costs to their tenants. That’s a problem, and the city ought to change it (again, risking landlord opposition to bond acts).
But for now, it’s critical to vote Yes on A.

Proposition B
Department of Disability and Aging Services
YES
This is a technical charter amendment by Sup. Norman Yee that changes the name and scope of this department and sets standards for commission members. Vote Yes.

Proposition C
Vaping
NO, NO, NO
Prop. C is a scam. There’s no other way to describe it.
The San Francisco supervisors voted to ban the sale of vaping products in the city – and for very good reason. Juul, which controls the largest share of this market, has aggressively marketed its products to kids. Just as the country was finally winning the war against youth smoking – a lot fewer high schoolers take up cigarettes these days – along comes Juul, backed by Big Tobacco money, with flavors like mango and cotton candy, to hook the next generation on nicotine.

Prop. C would overturn the city’s ban. It would allow a company that can only be described as evil to continue tricking young people into a life of addiction in the name of helping adults quite smoking.

The facts are clear:
For every adult who uses vaping to quit cigarette smoking, 80 young people will take up the deadly habit after starting with products like Juul’s devices.

Juul’s misleading ads suggest that vaping can help adults quit smoking, and that vaping is safer. The evidence on that is scanty. What’s clear is that Prop. C is a tobacco-industry attempt to prevent one of the most progressive cities in the country from protecting its kids. Vote no.

Proposition D
YES
Traffic mitigation tax
Prop. D would impose a tax of 3.25 percent on all passenger fares from so-called transportation network companies – that is, Uber and Lyft. Half of the money would go directly to Muni, which desperately needs cash to hire more drivers and improve the system. The other half would go to the County Transportation Authority for planning, design studies, and potential implementation of pedestrian and bicycle safety and traffic calming measures.

The congestion on the streets of San Francisco has become far worse since the explosion in Uber and Lyft cars. The two companies started off as illegal taxis, operating in direct violation of city law while the administration of then-Mayor Ed Lee looked the other way. Now there are tens of thousands of these ride share cars clogging the already-crowded roadways. And they have a huge impact on the city’s transit system: Most of Muni’s lines are on surface streets, so TNC-driven traffic slows down the buses.

We agree that planning and studies are important, but the biggest need right now is more reliable funding for Muni, and we would have preferred a more Muni-centered allocation system since the tax is relatively modest.
Still, the concept that Uber and Lyft should pay for some of the damage they have done to San Francisco is solid. Vote yes on D.

Proposition E
Affordable housing and educator housing
YES
Prop. E would streamline rules and facilitate the construction of 100 percent affordable housing and housing for educators on public land. Mayor London Breed had wanted to use market-rate housing to subsidize teacher housing, but the unions representing teachers at SFUSD and City College rejected the idea, and the supervisors refused to go along. Instead, the board put this measure on the ballot, and the mayor agreed to support it.
The housing would be a mix of unit sizes and affordability levels, from low-income (affordable to teachers’ aides and child-care providers) up to 120 percent of area median income (which is what two teachers living together, both at about the salary max for the school district, would earn). SFUSD says about half of its teachers are paying more than a third of their income on rent, and many spend half their income just trying to live in the city. That makes it hard for the college and the school district to hire – and retain – educators.

Combined with Prop. A, this could have a real impact on the housing crisis. Vote Yes.

Proposition F
Campaign contributions and ads
YES
Prop. F is a crucial reform measure that would reduce the influence of dark money and big independent spending on San Francisco elections. It would require the secretive groups that pour huge sums of cash into so-called “independent expenditure” committees disclose the true source of their money – before election day. It would bar anyone with a financial interest in a land-use decision from contributing to any candidate until year after the final decision is made. Vote yes.

Extinction Rebellion (rebellion.earth)

We cried ‘We Are Peaceful’ as They Beat us to the Ground

12 OCT | Brussels, Belgium

Police confronting Olivier de Schutter, UCL professor and former UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Credit: Francois Dvorak

Scenes of violence shook the European capital as over 400 peaceful protesters were brutally arrested. Using water cannonspepper-spraybatons and shields, police tore through a crowd of approximately 1000 people, wounding and traumatizing with an air of mockery and spite.

This is without doubt the most striking display of aggression that we’ve seen thus far, as well as being the biggest mass arrest in XR’s short history.

The protest, part of #RoyalRebellion, took place on Koningsplein near the royal palace. (One of the family, at least, is already convinced:Princess Esmeralda was arrested with us in London earlier this week). At around 2pm, rebels occupied the square in true XR style. They brought flags, musical instruments and good intentions. They even brought a boat.

At around 5pm the police began to move in, and by 6.30pm it was all over. In the space of an hour and a half, hundreds of people were pepper-sprayed in the face, including a 2-year-old girl. The police used the water cannon three times, pummelling the seated protesters with ice-cold water. They wrestled non-violent rebels to the ground, pressing their heads into the cobbles, and they laughed as they did it.

Many of the rebels suffered panic and anxiety attacks as they lay shivering on the ground waiting to be led to the vans.

Of the 435 arrests, 118 were released from the police station after an ID check, the other 317 were held until 3am and dropped off at random locations around the city, distressed and unable to get home as there was no public transport available.

It’s difficult to articulate how shocking these reports are. Our hearts go out to all of those directly or indirectly affected; and our compassion must also extend to those on the other side of this violence: captives themselves of a system bigger than any individual.

No words can say it better than those of the Belgium rebels who, even while they were being dragged to the ground and beaten, were still chanting: ‘We love you. We are peaceful. We do this for your children.’

Here is a video of the arrests, and a full 45 minute livestream from a brave rebel. Warning: the content of these videos is violent and likely upsetting.

Prague Rebels Stick to the Plan

12 OCT | Prague, Czech Republic

130 rebels were detained by Czech police on Saturday when they lay down on a pedestrian crossing in the centre of Prague and blocked afternoon traffic.

Police reacted quickly, and some rebels who were glued-on suffered minor injuries – their hands torn off the tarmac by officers with no experience of this kind of protest.

The blockade fell on the same day as the funeral of Karel Gott, a singer so popular in the country that it was declared a day of national mourning. Asked why they did not call off the protest, rebels said: “Karel Gott lived a long and rich life and died peacefully in his sleep. This is something that we and our children may not get”.

Amster-damn!

12-13 OCT | Amsterdam

Rebels in Amsterdam were active across three different sites this weekend, with at least 160 rebels arrested.

Police were unable to prevent 300 rebels from dragging a yellow boat to the center of Blauwbrug bridge, which was blocked for several hours, disrupting tram, road and water traffic. Rebels stood side by side, holding their ground to remind us of our collective power in the face of an existential threat.

When rebels were finally dispersed, after several hours, many were taken away by bus to the outskirts of the city.

This did not, however, prevent Dutch rebels from rounding things off with an eye-grabbing projection in the city centre!

Grief March sees 20,000+ swamp Oxford Street

12 – 13 OCT | London, UK

London hosted an array of brilliant actions over the weekend, but by far the largest and most eye-catching was the Extinction March: a sombre and highly imaginative funeral procession that allowed rebels to grieve for the ongoing ecocide. The march drew a crowd of more than 20,000 people, despite near continuous rain, and brought Oxford Street to a standstill for several hours.

The procession included the work of more than 80 different XR arts & culture groups, with highlights including an aquarium’s worth of skeleton sea life, a giant human skull, a jazz funeral band, and a dodo sign saying ‘Wake up before we dodo’.

In another major action of the weekend, hundreds gathered outside New Scotland Yard to protest the reprehensible police tactic of confiscating wheelchairs and other vital equipment needed by disabled rebels to stay safe.

Elsewhere, theDoctors of XR laid 110 pairs of shoes on the steps of Trafalgar Square to represent the number of lives taken every day in the UK because of uncontrolled air pollutionScientists declared support for Non-Violent Direct Action against the UK Government for its inaction over the climate crisis. And Greta’s speech was projected rather impressively onto the Houses of Parliament, alongside indigenous activists.

In Trafalgar Square, there was a solidarity action with the Ecuadorian people, who are currently being shot and run over by their own police as they protest against their government’s brutal austerity measures. Across the Square, XR children gave a moving performance of their song ‘SOS from the Kids’.

London rebels, check out our Rebellion Needs page, stay up to date on the Rebellion broadcast channel, and tune into the Rebel Radio (+44 7367 900650).

French rebels show what real democracy looks like

OCT 12 | Assemblée Nationale, Paris, France

After having set up camp for five days in the heart of Paris, cycled to the Arc de Triomphe and co-occupied the Italie 2 shopping centre with the Yellow Vests, it was time for French rebels to directly speak to those in power by demonstrating outside the French National Assembly.

When rebels sat down directly in front of the assembly, which is forbidden to any demonstration, police pushed them to the neighboring bridge, and trapped them there for 7 hours with a police cordon. Rebels held a giant People’s Assembly to show the French government what real democracy looks like.

Some rebels walked along the bridge’s narrow walls to leave, and some even threatened to jump into the Seine – prompting the arrival of two police boats. Rebels still danced and played games, even making the line of police officers smile.

Meanwhile, XR and Youth For Climate France held a sit-in in front of the radio headquarters of Europe 1, until finally the station took a recording of the message they had to share.

Australian rebels get naked and put their heads in the sand

12 – 13 OCT | Australia

In Melbourne, shoppers saw more than they bargained for as the Nudie Parade took to the streets, demonstrating perfectly how to get vulnerable about the crisis. Later in the day, hundreds took part in a ‘mass drown-in’ to draw attention to rising sea levels, which was accompanied by a march, songs and inspiring words from local rebels.

AsCivil Disco-bedience videos enjoy popularity online, Australia’s creative rebellion continues. In Sydney, a group of rebels buried their heads in the sand (brilliant video here) as a demonstration of their government’s denial of the climate and ecological crisis.

A swarming team in Adelaide warm up.

Hundreds of rebels blocked the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane for 2 hours, resulting in almost 50 arrests. In Tasmania, 9 rebels were arrested at a roadblock, and XR in Adelaide made some noise at their block party with two rebels arrested.

Sunshine and foreboding as Berlin simmers

12 – 13 OCT | Berlin, Germany

After three nights, the 400-rebel blockade was finally cleared from outside the Environment Ministry. The site was of course left spotless.

The camp hosted a discussion for 6 -13 year-olds on ‘How adults should act’. Elsewhere, the Berlin XR Choir took advantage of the extra weekend shoppers to pipe up in the vast Berlin Mall.

Outside art gallery Haus der Kulturen der Welt, a giant wooden whale makes an appearance.

While police were laid back when clearing the camp, the 30 rebels who swarmed a motorway slip road a few hours later received far harsher treatment. Officers issued reprimands and took down rebels’ details. Not far away in Tiergarten Park, rebels held a large afternoon assembly to decide how their actions would develop.

The weekend was a freakishly hot one for Berlin in October, and while the city’s nomadic rebels enjoyed the sunshine, there was also a sense of foreboding. One only had to look up to see the trails of jet planes criss-crossing the clear blue sky.

Five Get Arrested in Dublin

10 – 11 OCT | Dublin, Ireland

In the small hours of Friday, five rebels locked themselves to the Dail parliament building in protest at their government’s approval of the Shannon LNG deal – a deal that will make the country dependent on imported liquified natural gas for up to 50 years!

Rebels formed a blockade around the five lock-ons and it took more than 40 Gardai police and two fire squads to remove them for arrest. Despite the rain, the demonstration was a cheerful and vibrant party that drew in passersby.

Thursday morning saw rebels gluing themselves to the Dublin office of the PR firm Red Flag, whose toxic clients include Monsanto. This was followed by a visit to the Minister of Agriculture with the gift of a native tree to oppose the Sitka tree plantations turning Ireland into an ecological dead zone.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Minister refused to meet the rebels.

XR Youth Slovakia Raise an Empty Glass

7-10 OCT | Bratislava, Slovakia

On Monday, Slovakian rebels toasted the beginning of the Rebellion at their foodless feast. Rebels explained: ‘We wanted to show that, due to the climate and ecological crisis, we might not have any food left by 2050. So cheers to rebelling – it’s our only hope!

Rebels blocked the entrance to the Ministry of the Economy, using a swarming technique to protest the Ministry’s refusal to respect the Paris Agreement targets.

On Thursday, rebels came together for a spontaneous collective bike lift to celebrate sustainable ways of getting around the city.