May Day Event Report Back

Oakland –  Hundreds of people are taking part in a regional march in celebration of this year’s International Workers’ Day, themed Our Vote is in the Streets. Communities traveled from cities across the Bay Area to join people in Oakland for a lively march through East Oakland, beginning in the Fruitvale neighborhood. The regional May Day event this year emphasized the growing movements for workers’ and migrants’ rights, an end to the police and state violence, and international solidarity with all people resisting U.S. imperialism.

A rally began at 12PM that featured inspiring speakers from many different organizations, and exciting performances from the region’s artists and cultural workers, with the march beginning at 1PM.

“As the country is focused on the ridiculous presidential elections, we are here to say that our vote and power is in the streets. Whether Democrat or Republican, this system was not made for us, as Obama’s administration has deported over two and a half million immigrants – more than any other president in history,” said Sagnicthe Salazar of Xicana Moratorium Coalition, one of the lead organizers of the march. “We’re coming together this May Day to amplify the resistance of migrants, workers, and communities of color.”

Speakers during the march made connections between the powerful upsurge of immigrant peoples’ ongoing struggles for civil and human rights across the country, the increased outrage of Black and Brown communities against policing and state violence, and the struggles against U.S. imperialism internationally.

“May Day is a celebration of international solidarity, and the Bay Area is continuing that legacy by marching against state violence, whether that is the policing of Black and Brown communities here, or U.S. imperialism abroad,” says Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. “We demand an end to collaborations between oppressive regimes, such as between the U.S. and Israel, and march in solidarity with oppressed people fighting for self-determination all over the world.”

“The US continues its attack on immigrants and people of color, particularly Black communities, but our struggle and organizing have intensified,” says Devonte Jackson of Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “In cities everywhere, the routine violence of the police is being challenged more than ever, and we are here to uplift that resistance, and demand our dignity.”

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Media Round-up:

  1. CBS Local 5: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/category/news-local-news/3394048-may-day-marchers-protest-across-the-bay-area/
  2. San Jose Mercury: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_29839019/oakland-roughly-1200-people-demand-social-justice-at
  3. NBC Bay Area : http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Scattered-May-Day-Protests-Shine-Light-on-Social-Injustice-Wage-Discrepancies–377754961.html
  4. SF Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-May-Day-march-fuels-economic-political-7386797.php#photo-9927907
  5. San Jose Mercury: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_29837659/bay-area-may-day-hundreds-march-support-workers
  6. The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/02/may-day-protesters-immigration-donald-trump-seattle-los-angeles
  7. CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/may-day-marches-held-across-the-us-seattle-los-angeles-san-francisco-portland/
  8. Real News Network: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=16248

Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy: 2016

On January 18th, 2016, at Oscar Grant Plaza, more than 2,500 people attended the opening rally to reclaim MLK’s radical legacy to stand against capitalism, imperialism, racism, and policing. The march started at Oscar Grant Plaza and ended at the Emeryville Shopping Center, where Yuvette Henderson was murdered last year by EPD.

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AROC’s Statement:
AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center joins forces with Third World Resistance to support Black power and resistance and to stand against the war on Black people everywhere in honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy. We echo the demands for dignity, liberation and self-determination from Oakland, to Haiti, to the Philippines, to our homelands, and all those fighting imperialism and state violence.

Today Arab people are facing the destruction of Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt at the hands of Israel, the United States, and Arab regimes. Our people are being locked up for taking to the streets in outrage at the complicity of their governments’ partnerships with Zionism and US imperialism. They are caged in by the Apartheid wall as Israel continues to confiscate more land, kill more families, demolish more neighborhoods, and displace entire communities. Yet the attempts by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to destabilize the Arab World continues to be met with unwavering resistance.

All the while, the US wages a global war on Black people and all those fighting for self-determination. We are witnessing state sanctioned executions of Black and Brown people by police using tools, trainings and weapons from apartheid Israel. More and more young, poor, Black and Brown people are being funneled into cages as our leaders and political prisoners remain behind bars aided by Israeli surveillance technology. The indigenous people of this land continue to be wiped away one day at a time, as Israel continues its policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people.

We ask ourselves, why is it that Israel trains local police? Why is it the largest producer of surveillance technology? Why do billions of dollars go through the hands of apartheid Israel and the most brutal regimes in the world? Why is it that it has become nearly criminal to criticize Israel in the US?

Israel is in fact instrumental to US imperialism and global repression. Its existence is necessary for the economic and political devastation of Arabs, and has helped crush movements worldwide – from Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Israel is a reminder of the sheer commitment of the US and its allies in maintaining power and profit, from the streets of Ferguson to Jerusalem.

Yet, people all across the world are building power and looking to one another for strength and inspiration. People fighting back have shown us that it is a responsibility for all of us to deepen our commitment to one another, to fight economic exploitation, and to fight for land and liberation.

We know that the liberation of Arab people from here to our homelands is inextricably linked to Black liberation. We know that anti-Blackness is manifested in Zionism, imperialism and colonialism. And we know that we have the duty to continue to build across our struggles. For this, we honor the spirit of Martin Luther King. We honor his uncompromising commitment to internationalism. We honor all those who continue to fight to win.

‪#‎ReclaimMLK‬ ‪#‎96Hours‬ ‪#‎TWR‬ ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

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Media Round-up:

http://www.balitangamerica.tv/fil-ams-join-mlk-day-march-vs-police-brutality-and-racism/

http://abc7news.com/politics/hundreds-march-in-east-bay-as-part-of-reclaim-mlk-event/1164645/

San Francisco Arabs, Muslims, and allies speak out against racism and Islamophobia

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‪#‎resistracism‬ ‪#‎standwithmuslims‬

San Francisco, December 18, 2015 – over 150 people from the Arab and Muslim community and allies participated in a press conference to demand an end to the systemic racism and Islamophobia taking place in streets and in the media. They called on public officials to take a stand and speak out against racism. Arab Resource & Organizing Center organized the press conference and it was attended by John Avalos. They called on everyone to challenge the scapegoating of Arabs and Muslims.

Anti-Arab racism and anti-Muslim bigotry has increased after Donald Trump proposed the “banning of Muslims” from entering into the United States, and after the event in Paris, which vilified the Syrian refugees. Community members living in the Bay Area have been experiencing physical and verbal abuse in their daily lives. Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource & Organizing Center said “It is a responsibility on all our parts to build on the history of solidarity in the Bay Area, to organize our communities to protect one another and stand for each other’s dignity at a time when we are being told by media and government policies and practices that we are not worthy of such a thing.” Supervisor John Avalos stated a solidarity statement “It was an honor to be part of this rally. It is so important for the Arab and Muslims community to express how they feel about the hate they are expressing at this moment. Specially how many experience random acts of verbal abuse from people who don’t understand anything about them.”

According to human rights organizations and civil rights organizations, it has been the deadliest year for Muslims in the United States. So far, there have been 63 recorded attacks on mosques nationwide; 17 of those attacks occurred in November of this year. After the San Bernardino shootings, the top Google search in California with the word “Muslims” in it was “kill Muslims.” This trend of racism and Islamophobia is nothing new. This is a result of historical vilification of Arabs and Muslims in the United States. This vilification intensifies as politicians and media outlets exploit tragedies like 9/11 and San Bernardino. We are witnessing this vilification and political exploitation further militarizes law enforcement and increase surveillance on the community and their site of worship on the bias basis of “national security.”

Community based organizations throughout the Bay Area are joining forces to develop tools to respond to hate crimes and racism in order to protect families and loved ones.

The event in front of City Hall was organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and endorsed by Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Bay Area, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Bay Area Women in Black, Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), Council on American Islamic Relations, Gray Panthers of SF, International Socialist Organization, Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area, Queers Undermining Israeli Terror, San Francisco Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party, Workers World Party, World Can’t Wait, and Yaseen Foundation.

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Media Round up:

http://kron4.com/2015/12/18/raw-video-arab-american-community-calls-for-end-to-bay-area-islamophobia/

http://pacificaeveningnews.blogspot.com/2015/12/muslim-americans-protest-rising-racism.html?m=1

http://www.ryansin.com/p489741681/h683872F4#h65872223

Call on Obama to Halt All Deportations and End Detention Quotas

March 19, 2014

For Immediate Release

Bay Area Immigrant Rights Organizations Reject White House Token Action:  

Call on Obama to Halt All Deportations and End Detention Quotas

On March 13, the Obama Administration called a closed door meeting with immigrant rights advocates to describe what it called a review of current deportation policies so that enforcement can be done “more humanely within the confines of the law.”

The latest move is a response to overwhelming demand to halt deportations from immigrant rights advocates and key Democratic Party leaders, including Janet Murguia, Executive Director of National Council of La Raza, who recently labeled President Obama the “Deporter in Chief.”

The coalition, SF Bay for Immigrant Justice, made up of 24 organizations listed below, is skeptical of this latest White House initiative until a concrete plan is in place to halt all deportations. To date, the administration’s announced immigration “initiatives” have fallen far short, and failed to ease the tragic separation of families that devastate communities on a daily basis.

President Obama has presided over nearly 2,000,000 deportations, a rate far greater than his predecessor George Bush—and immigrants continue to be detained, deported, and separated from their families at record pace.

Enough is enough.  As organizations that see the devastation of deportations in our community, we cannot be silent, nor participate in programs that merely make cosmetic changes.

We demand concrete, systemic, and immediate actions such as: extending DACA to all immigrants; issuing an executive order to halt all deportations; ending “Secure Communities” and other police/ICE collaboration programs; ending workplace enforcement programs such as “E-Verify” and I-9 Audits; supporting the “Bring Them Home” Campaign; and granting humanitarian parole to deported parents who have been separated from their children.

The tide is turning.  We call on our friends and allies across the country to keep the pressure on. Now is the time to heighten calls for President Obama to halt all deportations.

For information on upcoming actions and events please contact:

4/4 – National Day of Action to Stop Deportations – San Francisco (hosted nationwide by NDLON): Donaji Lona, POWER, donaji@peopleorganized.org  ph. 415-864-8372 ext 301

4/3-4/4 – Women’s Fast For Families – San Francisco (hosted by We Belong Together): Claudia Reyes, Mujeres Unidas y Activas claudia@mujeresunidas.net

4/5 – Vigil to End Deportations part of National Day of Action – Richmond, West County Detention Center: Rev. Deborah Lee CLUE dlee@clueca.org510-893-7106 x 319

5/1 – May 1st Regional March: Ariana Gil Nafarrate, Mujeres Unidas y Activas//Oakland Sin Fronterasariana@mujeresunidas.net

Bay Area Coalition for Immigrant Justice and its member organizations signing on to this statement:

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
  • ACUDIR – Alameda County United in Defense of Immigrant Rights
  • African Advocacy Network
  • AROC -Arab Resource & Organizing Center
  • ASPIRE
  • CARECEN of Northern California
  • Causa Justa Just Cause
  • Chinese for Affirmative Action
  • Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice –CA
  • Dolores Street Community Services
  • East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition
  • Good Samaritan Family Resource Center
  • Jobs with Justice
  • Local 87
  • Mujeres Unidas y Activas
  • Our Family Coalition
  • Pangea Legal Services
  • Peninsula Interfaith Coalition on Immigration
  • POWER – People Organized to Win Employment Rights
  • SF Day Labor Program & Women’s Collective
  • San Francisco Interfaith Coalition on Immigration
  • San Francisco Organizing Project –Peninsula Interfaith in Action
  • San Francisco Labor Council
  • Transgender Law Center
  • Young Workers United

Occupy/Decolonize: Police Accountability, Knowing Your Rights, Legal, and Trauma Support

Oak CPRB forum 2 9 12Upcoming ways you can plug in, learn, and support!

Help Occupy Oakland Legal Committee and the NLG

The NLG is going to need some help doing data entry for all the arrests — probably this weekend. If you’re interested in helping out, contact Daniela Urban  daniela.urban@gmail.com

Forum on Police Response to Occupy Oakland

Thursday, Feb. 9th @ 6:15 p.m

A symposium sponsored by the Oakland Citizens’ Police Review Board

The forum will focus on issues of planning and strategy, OPD’s response to issues of misconduct, OPD’s policies on mutual aid, and changes in department practice going forward.

Oakland City Hall, City Council Chambers, 1 Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza

*The Oscar Grant Committee meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at the Niebyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph (near Alcatraz) in Oakland at 7:00 p.m.  Call us at 510-239-3570 and visit us at www.oscargrantcommittee.weebly.com. * Continue reading

MEDIA ADVISORY: Oakland Museum Shuts Down Palestinian Children’s Exhibit

Repost from MECA website

For immediate Release: Sept 9, 2011

Berkeley, CA— The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland (MOCHA) has decided to cancel an exhibit of art by Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip. The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), which was partnering with MOCHA to present the exhibit, was informed of the decision by the Museum’s board president on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Continue reading

Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists Denounce FBI Infiltration

By Committee to Stop FBI Repression

The anti-war and international solidarity activists who are being called before a grand jury in Chicago have learned that beginning a few months before the protests against the Republican National Convention in the 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota, a law enforcement officer infiltrated the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee (AWC). Continue reading