Queer Notes: January-February 2017

February 3, 2017

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity; a Transgender boy is thrown out of a Cub Scout pack in New Jersey; and a vigil held by friends and family of people at the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California.

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Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

In-person report of demonstration of several hundred in Oakland that was part of a National Day of Action to Free Mumia Now and Free Hep-C Meds for All Prisoners.

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The Ghost Ship fire

A view of the fire at the Ghost Ship that takes into account the capitalist nature of rents, evictions, land use, and how youth, by the way the live their lives, are fighting back.

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No! to ‘Urban Shield’

December 1, 2016

First hand report of demonstration at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton to protest the growing militarization of police departments and their attacks on minority communities.

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Uber scams drivers

November 30, 2016

A woman ex-Uber driver details how they exploit their drivers with late fees, turning off your car, and their desire to get rid of their drivers altogether.

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‘China on Strike’

May 18, 2016

Chinese worker-activists reveal the recent history of laborers in action for their rights and seek an exchange of ideas with U.S. labor activists.

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Workshop Talks: Reclaim our labor

March 7, 2015

Working in healthcare has been transformed in a very alienating way. The workplace is drowning in fancy hi-tech machines. Cadres of bureaucrats spend their working hours promoting the product of healthcare with marketing campaigns. The rank and file hear daily admonitions to smile more and are told, “Just be glad you have a job.” Bureaucrats preach “customers come first,” while cutting service and staffing. Hospital and HMO executives are in a race to eliminate labor as much as possible in their “product.”

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Prison hunger strike commemorated

November 24, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On Sept. 6 about 100 people in Mosswood Park commemorated one year since the suspension of the historic 60-day hunger strike, the third of its kind, by California prisoners opposing the torture of solitary confinement. The Security Housing Units (SHU) prisoners’ unprecedented cross-race [=>]

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Nurses strike for care

November 22, 2014

Oakland, Calif.–On Nov. 11 and 12 thousands of California nurses struck Kaiser hospitals over systemic cutbacks in patient care. Speaking at a noon rally in Oakland, a nurse described how she was prevented from giving care by Kaiser policies and quoted the saying, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” adding, “we are all revolutionaries.”

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We march in Oakland for #NMOS14

August 29, 2014

From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—Several hundred came out on Aug. 14 to a vigil in Oscar Grant Plaza, as part of a national day of protest over the police murder of Michael Brown. We read out the names of a growing number of unarmed young Black men executed [=>]

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Stop the spies and lies

May 19, 2014

200 youths of all races gathered at the Norwalk Fusion Center on the First National Day of Protest. Protests were also held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, San Francisco and Oakland.

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BART workers forced to strike

December 2, 2013

Oakland, Cal.—“One day longer, one day stronger!” shouted a transit worker to kick off a noon rally on Oct. 18 at Oakland’s Lake Merritt BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. SEIU (Service Employees Int’l Union) Local 1021 and ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union) Local 1555 had shut down the trains shortly after midnight.

Photo by David [=>]

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Some cuts don’t heal

March 20, 2013

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

As Congress’s latest self-imposed sequestration crisis makes clear, not all cuts are the same. A campaign slogan of California Nurses’ Association (CNA) goes: “Some Cuts Don’t Heal.”

The looming full launch date of Obamacare in 2014 has the HMO industry imposing cuts, patient care be damned, in a race to the bottom to [=>]

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Oscar Grant remembered

February 23, 2013

On New Year’s Day 2013 Oscar Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, spoke to about eighty people gathered for a vigil at Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, Calif., site of his murder by a BART cop on the same day in 2009. While disappointed by the low turnout, Johnson told us that the race does not go [=>]

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Solidarity with South Africa’s miners

October 2, 2012

Photo by David M’Oto for News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On Aug. 24, 100 activists converged on Oscar Grant Plaza to express solidarity with the South African miners’ struggle in Marikana and outrage over the police slaughter of 34 striking workers at Lonmin Platinum Mine there. Signs read: “This Was Not An Aberration” and “Capitalism Requires [=>]

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A voice from Occupy

July 31, 2012

Oakland, Calif.—I am an anarchist and believe in acting according to my principles, most recently in Stockton on May 31 in a general strike protesting the murders of three Black men—James Rivera, Jr., Luther “Champ” Brown, Jr., and James Cooke—killed by police. The demonstration showed the community, masked up, willing to defend themselves from the [=>]

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Sutter nurses strike!

July 28, 2012

Photo by David M’Oto

Oakland, Calif.—Sutter Health nurses throughout Northern California walked off the job for one day on June 13. Hundreds of nurses and some doctors marched and rallied in front of Oakland’s Summit Medical Center and Berkeley’s Alta Bates Hospital.

Summit will not even renew the previous contract because they insist on a number [=>]

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Immigrant workers ‘March for Dignity’

April 11, 2012

Berkeley, Calif.—On Feb. 17 over 500 people joined a “March for Dignity,” endorsed by Occupy Oakland, in support of the over 200 mostly Latino workers fired the previous month, despite Berkeley being a “sanctuary” city (meaning the city pledged to not cooperate with discrimination based on legal status). An I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form, for [=>]

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Dockers, Occupy close Western ports

February 4, 2012

Oakland, Calif.–Following a shutdown of the Oakland Port on Nov. 2, whose success took the port and city authorities by surprise, Occupy Oakland called another shutdown for Dec. 12.

This time, Occupy Oakland linked the shutdown to demands for which port workers have been fighting: in support of the Los Angeles non-unionized truck drivers who were [=>]

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Remember Oscar Grant

December 22, 2011

Remember Oscar Grant

Oakland, Calif.—The Oscar Grant Committee held its first public forum on Sept. 13 at the main hall of Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library to a packed audience of activists and family members-turned-activists. The fol­lowing is a summary of statements made there.

Organizers Gerald and Lesley said: Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he was [=>]

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Sutter nurses strike

December 14, 2011

Sutter nurses strike; photo and article for News & Letters by David M'Oto

Oakland, Calif.—Sutter Healthcare nurses were joined by sympathizing Kaiser nurses for a rally outside Summit Medical Center on Sept. 22. Sut­ter nurses called the one-day strike because of proposed cuts in patient staffing, sick pay and other benefits. The Summit administration argued [=>]

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Occupy everywhere, the whole world is watching!

November 9, 2011

Occupy Oakland

Oakland, Calif.–As part of the autonomous but connected “Occupy Wall Street” movement, we organized here on Oct. 10, a rainy Monday evening. About 500 people, the great majority under 30 years old and a very diverse group (race, gender, age, etc.), met in a general assembly and collectively decided to occupy and camp out [=>]

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Justice for Oscar Grant!

August 31, 2011

Oakland, Calif.–On June 12 over 150 demonstrators marched to downtown Oakland from Fruitvale BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station, dubbed “Oscar Grant Station” by community activists. We were protesting the mild charge and minimal sentence handed down to Grant’s killer, former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle was released from a Los Angeles County jail the [=>]

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In Memoriam: John Alan/Allen Willis

March 19, 2011

Allen Willis/John Alan–who would have been 95 on June 10 this year–died quietly on Feb. 23 in Oakland, California. The near-century of his life was filled with thoughts and experiences of Black life in America. One of his earliest recollections was as a three-year-old witnessing the 1919 race riots, seeing Black men being attacked and [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Who lost to SEIU?

November 23, 2010

From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:

Workshop Talks: Who lost to SEIU?
by Htun Lin

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the results of the recent union election at Kaiser Permanente in California. The media declared that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) had won a “decisive victory” to continue to represent some 45,000 [=>]

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