In nearly every city President Obama has appeared over the past few weeks, he has been met by immigration activists who have used civil disobedience to make their message heard. It happened last week in Chicago
. (Also, a similar action targeted Wisconsin's racist senator Ron Johnson the next day in Milwaukee
.) So Los Angeles, a key battleground in the struggle for the rights of the undocumented, a presidential cameo at a Democratic Party fundraiser at a private mansion could not be ignored.
On Friday June 7, hundreds gathered and 11 were arrested--many of them risking deportation--in an act of civil disobedience calling on Obama to usher in the planned legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants by halting all deportations. Protesters gathered to decry other issues as well, including the imposition of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The day's events were marred, however, by a shooting spree that occurred just blocks from the protests that took the lives of five and injured several more.
Report and photos: Civil disobedience outside of Obama fundraiser calls for "Not One More" deportation by Rockero | | More photos: Photos from Protest Against Obama IP THIEF
A year ago, developer Ralph Horowitz sold the land at 41st and Alameda. The new owner has been working with PIMA, a partnership of garment companies (i.e., Miss Me, Poetry, Active, and Impact USA), which would build four industrial facilities there. This would bring in at least 2,000 additional Diesel trucks per day. PIMA has emphasized that perhaps as many 400 jobs (maybe as much as 650) would be created.
On June 5, a hearing was held at City Hall, on very short notice, over the required subdivision. Nevertheless, the room was packed with South Central Farm supporters (organizer Leslie Radford estimated 75, and indeed, with all 52 seats filled, a sizable crowd was standing in the back of the room). Many strong and cogent statements were made both by South Central residents and supporters of the South Central Farm.
Zoning Administrator Fernando Tovar said that he would take the matter under advisement. Public comments may be submitted until June 26 at the end of the business day. He noted that the various environmental concerns need to be substantiated. (Tezozomoc of the South Central Farm said he was already in the process of resubmitting the documents.) Tovar also underscored the limitations of his authority pertaining to land use and employment by the proposed facility.
Organizers for the South Central Farm indicated that a new battle is beginning.
Full report: The South Central Farm: A New Battle Begins... by RP
Saturday May 25 saw a spirited protest march occur in downtown Los Angeles. The protesters went from Pershing Square to City Hall. Well over a thousand people participated. This was part of a Worldwide Day of Protest against The Monsanto Corporation and those companies like Syngen, Dow, Bayer and others who are coming to dominate the world food supply. The worldwide protest numbers were reported to be over two million.
One of the reasons for the American marches was a rider that was attached to the 2013 Spending Bill that was signed by President Barack Obama. The rider was drafted by Republican Roy Blount who represents Missouri which is the home state of the Monsanto Corporation. The GOP representative states that he worked closely with Monsanto on the drafting. Senator Barbara Mikulski's Appropriations Committee was where the rider was injected.
The provision is being called "The Monsanto Protection Act." It's actual name is the Farm Assurance Provision.
The day progressed well and the ethnically and income varied crowd mingled. Some folks had access to Whole Foods and some folks shopped at Pay For Less. Some folks were homeless with a can of beans and the and some lived in houses with full fridges on the West side. But people spoke together and laughed and shouted and testified. Sacred Aztec maize dances were performed. There were citations of Monsanto's lurid chemical history, the GMO insider appointments the FDA and the USDA made, the unfair monopolistic competition that Monsanto practices against small farmers worldwide and the insanity of absolutely no real public safety tests for genetically modified foods. It was brought up that "RoundUp" resistant organisms are now becoming an issue and pesticide stocks are rising. Signs demanding the labeling of GMO's was a constant theme as well as the testimonials of those those that had had possible negative encounters with processed foods, GMO's and the like.
Full story and photos: Testing, Testing Can You Hear Us? by Robert Stuart Lowden | Photos Set 2 | Photos Set 3
The California Coastal Commission denied Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs) two years in a row and what has changed since are all the new Coastal Commissioners and the real reason behind the Venice OPDs has been virtually eliminated. We hope the new Commissioners will study the OPD denials from both June 2009 and again in June 2010 and maybe even listen to our story to see why so many of us have fought all this time to keep Venice Beach Free and keep our Coastal Zone open to All.
. . . The main reason for OPDs is to remove homeless people living in vehicles from Venice and to help make Venice a more exclusive community. The OPD law is a Los Angeles Municipal Code (an ordinance) brought to life by Councilman Bill Rosendahl after he was first elected and seated in 2005. The intent of this parking permit system is and has always been to make it illegal for homeless people (or other alternative people) to park a vehicle between 2-6am in Venice, because the rules make it so they cannot get a permit.
. . . Even though the Coastal Commission Staff and Attorneys along with the City of LA and Mark Ryavec all reached a tentative settlement agreement to put in the Venice OPDs prior to the June 2010 Coastal Commission meeting, the Commission denied the OPDs for the second year in a row.
Full story: VENICE OPDs ARE BACK! BUT WHY? by Peggy Lee Kennedy
. . . One saw family after nuclear family marching for the peace of mind that a world without ice raids would bring.
Brown men and women in suits went by waving old glory......mechanics, in their dirty work clothes, jumped into the march, sign in hand while old farmers and field folks marched in the hot sun. ..... again.
Grandmothers, toddlers, Korean families, middle aged managers, old artisans, women wearing their hajibs and of course those good capitalist's earning money off the selling of flags and their co-products all strode down Broadway displaying strong arguments for fair treatment, human empathy and neighborliness.
Themes such as citizenship and inclusion, the sanctity of the nuclear family, and the inhumane effect of deportation on a family permeated the rally as well as a call to stop the needless deaths that can occur at difficult or long border crossings.
Report and photos: Los Angeles May Day 2013 by Robert Stuart Lowden | Photos Set 2 | Photos Set 3 | Photos Set 4 | Photos Set 5
Saturday, March 9, 2013: The daylong event began with a rally at the Downtown Jail, close to where several inmate families were waiting for visitation. "We were able to speak with some of them, and they were happy to see us out there rallying for justice, for themselves, their loved ones and for all women around the world," reports Wanda Miller. "Lots of people signed our sign-in sheets [and] wanted to join us in future events. Passersby were honking horns and waving in support.
"Even though we were across the street from the jail, some of those inside could [likely] see us through the tiny windows and were perhaps encouraged that we were outside protesting, that we were in solidarity with them."
The rally was followed by a "lively" March for Survival, with the message Invest in Life and Welfare, Not War and Prisons. At about 1:30, there was a teach-in at The Last Bookstore, about a mile away. Panels included Women Surviving Globally, which featured "video presentations from or about Haiti, Tanzania, Guyana, and IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network). The last clip was of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela talking about how important women were to what he was trying to do in Venezuela. . . ." The next panel was Women Surviving Locally with speakers Diana Zuniga of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Tanisha Denard Youth Justice Coalition; Rachel West, US Prostitutes Collective; Alexa Rishton, Military Families Speak Out; Rosamaria Segura CHIRLA Household Workers Campaign; Lydia Ponce, an Indigenous from Idle No More/LA; and Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children.
Full report and photos: 14TH ANNUAL INT'L WOMEN'S DAY EVENT Women Surviving Globally, Surviving in SoCal by Wanda Miller, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children
The Indigenous movement, Idle No More, now several months old, has been ignored by the mainstream media. On Friday March 15, over 50 people stood in front of CNN, drawing attention to this. The event lasted four hours and coincided with rush hour. With traffic often at a standstill, we literally had a captive audience who had time to read our signs and take flyers. Initially, CNN said they would come out, take pictures, and interview some of us about our concerns, but we were ignored (except when they didn't want us too close to the entrance).
One of the several speakers said the media doesn't want to cover the movement "because we are waking up. We're waking up, and this is just the beginning of Idle No More."
Article and photos: CNN, Do You See Us Now? by Ross Plesset | | Video: CNN's Media Blackout! by Naui Ocelotl Huitzilopochtli
Update: Idle No More Returns to CNN by Ross Plesset
Animal Defenders International (ADI) has launched the first nationwide initiative in the United States about the use of elephants giving rides or making appearances at public events. At the heart of the campaign is a new DVD narrated by Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker entitled ‘No Fun For Elephants,’ featuring harrowing undercover footage from inside elephant training facilities in California, as well as abuse of an elephant on tour by a Texas-owned company.
The video includes ADI undercover footage showing elephants supplied for rides, appearances and other events by Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA and Trunks & Humps of Conroe, TX, being beaten and electric shocked during training and handling, behind the scenes. The same trainers are then shown with the elephants, giving rides and appearing at parades.
The move comes as Los Angeles City Council is considering a motion to prohibit performing elephants with traveling circuses in the city – the new video will be sent to all City Council members.
Full story: Bob Barker Spearheads New Campaign on Elephant Rides as LA City Considers Ban by Animal Defenders International
Los Angeles, CA - Activists from Alliance of California for Community Empowerment, homeowners and Occupy Fights Foreclosures gathered on the intersection of 7th Street and Figueroa Street for a Day of Action Against Wells Fargo bank, at 10:30am in Downtown Los Angeles on February 27. The plan for the Day of Action was to shut down four Wells Fargo bank branches around Los Angeles. This Day of Action was organized by ACCE and supported by Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists. Carlos Marroquin, a core member of Occupy Fights Foreclosures said: "We organized this day of action against Wells Fargo bank because Wells Fargo refuses to work with the families. Wells Fargo continues to mislead homeowners while many other banks are already working with the families."
Full story and photos: A Day of Action Against Wells Fargo Bank by Natasha Petrosova
Los Angeles, CA- Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists and homeowners gathered in front of Bank of America branch on North Vermont Street at 12:00pm on Wendesday, February 20. The activists and homeowners held their signs and marched in a circle chanting "B.O.A how many homes did you steal today…. Bank of America, Bad for America." The demonstration lasted for about two hours.
Josephina Perez, a recent victim of fraudulent foreclosure, came to participate with her 3-year-old grandson, Jesus and her husband, Jose Perez. Mrs. Perez said that she was trying to modify her loan with Bank of America, but Bank of America repeatedly claimed that they never received her paperwork. Eventually, BOA foreclosed on her house, and Mrs. Perez and her family, including two small children, Jesus, 3 and Nalanie, 5 were forced to live on the streets.
Sherry Hernandez, another victim of a bank's fraudulent practices (in her case the bank is Countriwide), also came to participate. She is still fighting to keep her home.
Full story and pictures: Occupy Fights Foreclosures Protests in front of Bank of America on Wednesday, February 20 by Natasha Petrosova
Demonstrations have occurred in 46 cities around the world. The message to the International Olympic Committee: don't award the 2020 Olympics to Japan. The cruel dolphin drives in Taiji serve Japan's meat industry and provide slave entertainment to marine parks worldwide.
The Japanese people are not the target. This problem was kept secret from them for a long time (the Oscar-winning documentary the Cove got very little exposure in Japan)--but now, many of them are protesting, too.
Yesterday in Los Angeles, a protest and awareness-building campaign was held outside the Japanese Consulate on Grand Avenue in downtown. Fancy flyers were distributed, petitions circulated (four pages of them got signed), and there was plenty of chanting.
Article and photos: Drawing Attention to Dolphin Slaughter, Japan, and the 2020 Olympics | Dolphin Slaughter, Japan, and the 2020 Olympics (part 2) by Ross Plesset
On Sunday, a crowd of around one thousand progressive environmental demonstrators met at Paseo de la Plaza on Olvera Street and marched to Los Angeles's city hall. The protest was in solid opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline whose fate will be decided by Barack Obama in the near future. The keystone XL is an extension pipeline that will go from the Athabasca oil sands in Canada to the Texan Gulf of Mexico. It's purpose is to provide oil to the Southwestern United States from the oil sands and bringing the U.S. a greater level of "oil Independence."
The environmental impacts are somewhat myriad yet each and every one of those scenarios could prove to be extreme in its destruction of aquifers and wetlands, along with animal, plant and human populations. The Ogallala Aquifer, which lies beneath the great plains of the U.S. and supplies 30 percent of U.S. irrigation water, would be devastated if a pipeline broke and contaminated the shallow water supply with benzine. Benzine is a component of the dilute bitumen, which is flowing through the pipeline. The Keystone XL will carry 830,000 barrels per day.
During the rally portion of Sunday's event, a show of hands revealed that a large majority of participants got there via public transportation, bicycling/walking, or electric/hybrid vehicles.
Grandmother Gloria Arellanes of the Tongva people gave an opening prayer; Ed Begley, Jr. hosted; and there were a lot of good speakers and entertainers.
Article & photos: Shut It Down, Mr. President part 1 | Shut It Down, Mr. President part 2 by Robert Stuart Lowden
More coverage: L.A. Participates in Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline (part 1) | L.A. Participates in Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline (part 2) by Ross Plesset
Indymedia on Air: discussion on KPFK (available for 90 days)
LOS ANGELES, January 24, 2013--One more person might end up on Skid Row, adding to the 85,000 homeless in Los Angeles, because of an eviction yesterday. At noon, sheriff's deputies drove into the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South Central and changed the locks on the door of 72-year-old Cathelene Hughes' home of nine years.
. . . Mrs. Hughes is another victim of bank fraud. Her income was inflated on her loan application, and her mortgage nearly doubled after just two years. She explained, “I was denied a modification ten times because my loan was adjusting. I had no idea it was an adjustable. A guy from Countrywide called and told me that it was adjusting a couple weeks before they did it. Then he explained the situation to me.” Mrs. Hughes has paid thousands of dollars to people promising to negotiate modifications. . . .
Full story: An Eviction in South Central by Ramona
January 12 marked the three-year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti. Yet, despite the huge influx of donations from generous individuals in the U.S. and around the world to NGOs (Non-Government Organizations), particularly the Red Cross (the largest recipient, which received at least $479 million), life for Haitians has changed little. While over 300,000 displaced Haitians remain in tent cities, part of the Red Cross's money is being used to construct a luxury hotel and conference center. NGOs are also spending large amounts on staff salaries. For example, the CEO of the U.S. Red Cross is paid at least $600,000 a year. Meanwhile, It has been estimated that it could take 10 years for Haiti to start seeing any significant recovery.
Last weekend, protests occurred in front of Red Cross offices including London, England; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California on January 11th; and Los Angeles, California on January 14th. Fifteen people turned out in the late morning at 11355 Ohio Avenue in West LA.
. . . For those interested in supporting the people of Haiti, by means other than the Red Cross and other NGOs, the organizers of this event recommend pledging regular donations to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF). HERF is led by Haitians, and every bit goes to those it is intended for, particularly women's self-help survival initiatives and food co-operatives -- there are no overheads. (Coverage of a local fundraiser for HERF circa 2011.)
Full story and pictures: "Red Cross, Where is Haiti's Money?" by Ross Plesset
While negotiations between regulators and 14 banks center around dollar figures and conditions, the millions who have lost homes due to financial crime continue to suffer. The ten billion dollar settlement will be effective for keeping the banks out of court, but will not go far among the homeowners foreclosed abusively. The settlement, likewise, does nothing towards restoring the economy, which crashed as a result of such schemes.
Occupy Fights Foreclosures was one of the groups to denounce the proposed settlement.
From the newswire: Occupy Fights Foreclosure Protests $10 billion Settlement
by Natasha Petrosova
Occupy Fights Foreclosure (OFF), a subgroup of Occupy LA continues to fight against illegal foreclosures that are currently widespread in the state of California. OFF started the year 2013 by marching and chanting at the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. The group of activists and victims of illegal foreclosures met at Singer park on January 1st at 6am Tuesday morning to prepare for the parade. They adjusted a 15-foot-high float with "Giant Mr. Monopoly Man" on a wagon and marched the 5 mile route following the Parade. Carlos Marroquin said that the reason for marching at the Rose Parade is not only to protest illegal foreclosure practices of the major banks but also to create public awareness and spread the word about banks' fraudulent actions.
Full story and photos: Rose Parade Completed by Occupy Fights Foreclosure Float by Natasha Petrosova
In Canada, a budget bill (C-45) supported by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other conservative lawmakers, would unilaterally alter treaties with First Nations people, drastically affect lands and waterways on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, and reduce jobs for all Canadians. This alarming development has caused unrest across the country. Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat is in her 18th day of a hunger strike (as of Friday December 28), which she says will last until she can speak with Prime Minister Harper and Canada's Governor General (who represents the English Crown) about the aforementioned treaty violations. She is prepared to die if her demands are not met.
Meanwhile, Indigenous teach-ins and demonstrations--including flash mobs in shopping malls and blocking of highways--have been occurring throughout the nation. Solidarity events and awareness-building have been occurring in the U.S. and in countries further to the south. Australian Aborigines have also expressed solidarity.
In Los Angeles, a weekly rally has been underway outside the Canadian consulate at 550 South Hope Street in downtown. On December 28, approximately 50 people turned out in the middle of a weekday. Natives from several areas were present (or represented), including the Owens Valley, Morongo, and Yangna (Los Angeles). A common sentiment expressed by speakers was, "if we won't do it, who will?"
Full story and photos: Idle No More -- Los Angeles by Ross Plesset
VAN NUYS December 27, 2012--The Hernandez family, who became local heroes
in their determination to keep their Van Nuys home from foreclosure, were evicted by the Los Angeles sheriffs and police at 4:30 this morning.
In what is fast becoming a symbol of the fight against fraudulent foreclosures, the Hernandez family built a barricade across the front of the property announcing "Government By, Of and For the People." They decorated their roof in Christmas lights proclaiming "Evict Banks" with members of Occupy San Fernando Valley, Occupy the Hood, and the Los Angeles Anti-Eviction Campaign. For 123 days, they staved off the Bank of New York-Mellon with the support of grassroots groups across Los Angeles. What is the nation's second-longest occupation ended this morning when the family and their friends were awakened by the sound of the slamming doors of dozens of law enforcement vehicles surrounding the 1400 block of Leadwell Street in Van Nuys.
Javier Hernandez purchased the property for his mother seven years ago. At the recommendation of the bank, he stopped making payments in order to receive a loan modification but was met with repeated rejections. His story is typical of those people, predominantly Black and Brown, who were sold subprime mortgages at the height of the housing boom. Like so many others, Javier's father was deported, Javier lost his job, and the value of the house plummeted. Javier has since found employment, so, just days before the bank ordered the eviction, he came to a settlement with the mortgage trustees and was waiting for court approval. He elaborated, "We presented sufficient income to make the payments, and yet they still came in and evicted us right before New Year's Eve." . . .
Full story and photos: Hernandez Family Foreclosure Sparks Anti-Eviction Outrage by Leslie Radford
Soledad Corona is a single mother who was illegally evicted from her home by Bank of America on December 21st. She was relaxing in her home when she heard some strange noise at 9 o'clock in the morning. She looked outside the window and saw the sheriffs breaking her locks and entering her house. There were also 7 police cars outside. Corona had paper work from her lender, Bank of America, that promised her a loan modification. She tried to show them the paper work, but they did not want to look at it.
Corona said that she got very concerned about her 20 year old daughter, Victoria, who had a final in school that day. Corona said that she was treated as a criminal by the sheriff department and that they forced her out of the house at the gun point. She added, "I am a single mother and I am homeless for the Holidays."
Members of the Occupy Fights Foreclosure group as well as friends, neighbors and activists gathered in Soledad Corona's foreclosed house. . . .
Full article and photos: Occupy Fights Foreclosure Group Re-Occupies the Foreclosed House by Natasha Petrosova
Family and community members demonstrated near Manuel Diaz’s memorial last Sunday as they continue to build momentum in their fight for justice for Manuel and all victims of the recent Anaheim shootings. Diaz was shot and killed by Anaheim police on July 21st this year. On the day of the incident, Diaz had been shot on the back of the leg following a pursuit, where he was brought to his knees, and then shot again in the head, execution style. Manuel Diaz was not armed. Videos circulated the internet that day showed Diaz on the floor just moments after being shot. People could be heard shouting at officers, asking why they had shot him and stating that Diaz was still alive. The video also shows officers more concerned with moving people away form the scene, than getting immediate medical attention for Diaz who passed away at a hospital a few hours later.
Full article: A Coalition of Mothers, Family and Community Members Fed Up With the Injustices by Anaheim by Oceloyotl X via The Rebel Press
Previous IndyMedia Coverage here
On December 6 a year ago, the groups of activists around the country participated in a day of action for housing justice launching the Occupy Our Homes movement. Since a year ago, activists, homeless advocates, students, homeowners and other occupy groups have come together to fight against illegal foreclosures and evictions.
Today, the Los Angeles based group, Occupy Fights Foreclosure, celebrates a year anniversary and protests together with activists, homeowners and members of other occupy groups inside Wells Fargo branch on 1600 Vine Street in Hollywood. The protesters demand justice, stop of illegal foreclosures, reduction of the principal of underwater mortgages and full compliance with the national Attorney General settlement. After an hour, Walls Fargo bank officials shut down the branch and forced the protesters to leave the building.
Story and photos: Occupy Fights Foreclosure protests at Wells Fargo Bank in Hollywood by Natasha Petrosova
On Friday, November 23, Occupy Long Beach protested in front of the Walmart store located in Downtown Long Beach in support of Walmart employees. The protesters demanded higher wages, health care benefits, and better hours for Walmart employees. None of the Walmart employees joined the strike, and a couple workers reported that they were threatened to be fired on the spot if they joined the strike or engaged in a conversation with any members of the Occupy group.
The demonstration was peaceful until the police saw nineteen year old Honor O'Kane drawing on the cement. O'Kane was taken aside while the members of Occupy group were trying to persuade the police that drawing on the ground with chalk was not illegal and cannot be confused with a graffiti created by spray paint. As a result, Vivian Price, a professor of labor studies at CSUDH was arrested on a charge resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. Price was handcuffed and taken to the Long Beach Police Department.
Report and photos: Occupy Long Beach Strikes at Walmart on Black Friday, November 23, 2012 by Natasha Petrosova
In her first solo exhibit, photographer (and contributor to LA IndyMedia) Isabel Avila explores the dual identities of Native American and Mexican American cultures, emphasizing people active in their communities. Avila's photographs, taken over the last few years, are complimented by video discussions with the photo subjects and other people, including Gloria Arellanes, one of the early Brown Berets and member of the Tongva community. (Excerpts of these talks are included in the article below.) The free exhibit is currently at the Vincent Price Museum through December 8. It will then then relocate to Rancho Cucamonga's Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art and run from January 22 to March 16, 2013. (Location details within the article.)
"Through video dialogue and portraiture, the museum goers are not just given facts to go away with but are also left to make their own connections with this subject matter in their own lives," Avila explained.
Article: Isabel Avila's "Parallel Worlds" at the Vincent Price Art Museum by Ross Plesset, photos by Isabel Avila
GARDEN GROVE - Niko Black, a Native woman (Apache) with terminal cancer, has been evicted from her Garden Grove home by Wells Fargo, with co-operation of the Orange County Sheriff's Department and complicity of the local police. This, despite Niko posting a Federal Court Order forbidding such action on her front door and filing it with local police agencies.
On the morning of October 10, Niko Black was in bed when her front door was kicked open by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Black, who has terminal cancer, crawled to her wheelchair as four-to-six deputies entered and proceeded to hold a gun to her face. She was then taken outside sans any of her medication. When she called the Garden Grove Police, they did nothing. Since all of her medication and other means of treatment were in her home, Black got sick very quickly and had to be taken to the hospital.
From the newswire: Wells Fargo Evicts Terminally-Ill Woman Despite Federal Court Order by Rick Panna, photos and video by Naui Huitzilopochtli | | Coverage on American Indian Airwaves (online for 90 days)
Video: Demonstration at Wells Fargo (11-3-12) by Naui Huitzilopochtli
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
ONTARIO, California - Members of the immigrant community in Ontario protested the lack of police compliance with a state law designed to reduce the number of cars impounded at checkpoints, where drivers are detained without any probable cause. About 60 people marched through the city, and then presented their demands to the city council.
In October 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB 353 (Cedillo and Allen), changing the way police impound vehicles at checkpoints in the state. In the last few years, checkpoints, and the sheer quantity of vehicles impounded at them and held for 30 days, have spurred intense organizing campaigns throughout the state, where immigrants led the way in exposing the unjust impounds and their impacts on families and the economy.
Under the new law, which took effect in January 2012 and only applies to checkpoints, motorists whose only violation of the law is driving while unlicensed (VC 12500) are permitted until the end of the checkpoint to call a licensed driver to retrieve the car and thus avoid impound. When the vehicle is driven by someone other than the registered owner, authorities are required to make a "reasonable effort" to locate the owner of the vehicle. Furthermore, those vehicles impounded at checkpoints are now held for one, rather than 30 days.
However, proper implementation of the law has been spotty. In cities with organized efforts, such as Pomona, where checkpoint start times were moved to 9:00 PM due to community pressure, and Riverside, where organized faith groups secured the pledge of the police department to not hold checkpoints in front of houses of worship, authorities have been eager to show their compliance with the new law. But in cities where communities have been slower to respond to their oppression, or where divisions have prevented such a response, police have been much more reluctant to relinquish the revenue that impounds at checkpoints generate.
Full story: Immigrant Community Stand Up Against Checkpoints by Rockero, photos by Melissa Ayala
Monday, October 15, 2012
POMONA - The community organization United Voices of Pomona continued its protest against the approved waste transfer station, and added to its demands the mayor's resignation.
The Los Angeles district attorney filed charges filed against one of Mayor Rothman's donors, alleging that Alfredo Solis, the owner of Western Recycling, had laundered $15,000 in contributions to Rothman's 2008 mayoral campaign through acquaintances. This latest scandal propelled the United Voices to demand Rothman's resignation, declaring, "we don't want trash money running our city."
Full story: United Voices of Pomona Demands Mayor's Resignation by Rockero, photos by Tony Hoang
In the spirit of furthering understanding and communication within and between our many communities LA IndyMedia brings Film-Night back with the film "Precious Knowledge." Sunday October 14, 7pm at Gateway Portal in West LA. One of the filmmakers will be present for a discussion.
"Precious Knowledge" is an important documentary that exposes the blatant racism that the State Superintendent of Education in Arizona recently displayed in cutting out the successful ethnic-studies program at Tucson High School.
The film follows the lives of four students and several teachers as they fight to save their classes and the program that became an educational lifeline for them.
The disenfranchised high school seniors became academic warriors and community leaders in the face of losing a successful program that has become a national model of success. In a climate where the national average of Mexican-American drop-outs is 45 percent, 100 percent of the students enrolled in the Tucson High ethnic studies classes graduated from high school and 85 percent of them went on to college.
The filmmakers spent an entire year in the classroom filming this innovative social-justice curriculum, documenting the transformative impact on students who become engaged, informed, and active in their communities.
This story is important to all of us; as Americans and as Angelinos. In our city Ron Gochez, a high school social studies teacher and important activist, currently running for city council, was recently fired for teaching ethnic-studies courses in his South LA classroom.
Come join LA IndyMedia, in conjunction with the Gateway-Portal in West LA for our screening of the film followed by a discussion.
Calendar announcement | | Trailer
Thursday, September 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES - While other immigrant rights organizations were getting bogged down in DACA paperwork1--many of them charging for the service--the DREAMers, never content to rest on their laurels despite their enormous accomplishment, realized the necessity of advancing the movement. Over ten years of organizing has made them masters of political strategy, timing being their forte. And last Thursday was no exception.
While the nation's attention was on the farcical Democratic National Convention, with the party of the donkey pandering to Latinx voters by taking credit for the deferred action policy for DREAM-eligible youth, the deportations continue. One of the main ways the undocumented are deported is out of county jails, where they are held when accused of minor offenses, and deported even prior to having been convicted. And while Joe Arpaio may be today's answer to Bull Connor and a perpetual thorn in the side of justice movements for his outspoken racism, Los Angeles County's Sheriff Lee Baca has deported many more people than Maricopa's, (about half of the 80,000 deported from California this year) and has done so much more quietly.
Full story: DREAMers confront Sheriff Baca on Deportations, 6 arrested by Rockero
RELATED: Letter to Governor Jerry Brown from immigrant youth led groups across California by repost
Throughout the US and Canada, chapters of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation held simultaneous runs to raise funds for the needs of political prisoners and prisoners of war, as well as to continue to chip away at the system that massively incarcerates impoverished people and colonized people worldwide. Runs were also held at four prisons.
In Los Angeles, the event drew about thirty runners to MacArthur Park. There they joined members of Revolutionary Autonomous Communities who were present for the weekly food program, danzantes from Danza Cuauhtémoc, in attendance to bless the run, and supporters from the radical community throughout Southern California.
The over $1000 raised was split between ABC to replenish the warchest and RAC to support its ongoing mutual aid and organizing efforts.
Full story: Running Down the Walls 2012 by Rockero, photos by Lane Farnham