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The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California and the West, but it should be. WSPA is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in California. It represents a who's who of oil companies including Aera Energy, Chevron, California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and many others. Yet most people — even many environmental activists — have never heard of the organization and the enormous influence it wields over politicians and regulators in the western states.
Calls to boycott Altai Brands began after a disturbing photo was circulated on social media showing a nearly nude woman laying on a table covered in slices of salami and other meats. The event, hosted by Altai Brands, was a private after-party on November 17 for the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo which took place from November 15-18 in Las Vegas. Aliza Sherman writes, "Altai Brands apparently went culturally tone deaf when they covered a woman in deli meats and served her up on the appetizer table. Comments ranged from shock to outrage in social media with calls to boycott the male-led company."
UPDATE: Hasta Muerte has exceeded their fundraising goal.

Hasta Muerte Coffee is the collective vision of a few Latinx comrades to open a coffee shop where community, good coffee, and social justice work come together in the Fruitvale neighborhood. Hasta Muerte intends to create an environment for stable and equitable jobs, where profits are shared between worker-owners. Fundraising efforts have gone well so far, but Hasta Muerte still needs help to reach its goal of $35,000 this week. The collective asks for those who support their goal to donate and spread the word.
Sun Nov 27 2016 (Updated 12/01/16)
Standing Rock Solidarity in Northern California
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation called for indigenous nations and others to stand in solidarity as they fight to prevent continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in their ancestral lands, especially near the Missouri River. Since federal agencies blocked construction under the Missouri River in early September, police have greatly increased the violence unleashed against the Water Protectors. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and injured by police weaponry. Now, federal authorities are threatening to close the NoDAPL camp by December 5, but protesters promise continued resistance.
Santa Cruz police initiated a raid at City Hall on November 23 at 3:30 am, shortly after it stopped raining that evening, to clear from the area approximately two dozen individuals who had been sleeping and sheltering themselves from the weather under the eaves of the buildings in the complex. Officers issued citations to individuals, and made one arrest. Many of those sleeping at City Hall were participating in the weekly Freedom Sleepers sleep protest, while others were simply sheltering themselves from the wet weather temporarily with the group.
Within hours of the announcement that Trump would be the next president of the United States, protests erupted in Oakland and cities across the country. The first wave of demonstrations in Oakland occurred daily for nearly a week. During that time, Oakland police reverted to historical bad practices in their attempts to quell the protests. The San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) held a press conference on November 21 to publicly address the dangerous actions and physical injuries caused by OPD during the demonstrations.
Luke Smith, a 15-year-old Aptos High School sophomore, was shot and killed by deputies with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office on November 19. Students identified Luke as the victim at a gathering that took place outside of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office on the afternoon of the killing. The report quotes a friend of Luke, who stated at the gathering, "He was active. He was a skate aficionado. He was brilliant. Just tragic." Many of the friends and loved ones who have donated to Luke's fund included personal messages online.
A timeline mapping Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police violence and militarization was collectively generated as part of a larger ongoing convivial research effort to expose low intensity war across the Bay Area and state. The timeline was produced through a collaboration between the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy (CCRA) and Carville Annex Press as part of the struggle for Justice for James "Nate" Greer. The timeline is a tool that remembers, counts, mourns and honors our dead. It is a collaborative effort of documentation over time that makes visible the many resistances that have refused erasure.
Tenants in the cities of Oakland, Richmond, and Mountain View are celebrating rent control victories. Tens of thousands of renters will have new protections from greedy landlords, realtors and speculators around the Bay Area. The renter protection ballot measure in Oakland, known as Measure JJ, was voted into law with 74% of the vote. In Richmond, after a long hard struggle, 64% of voters passed rent control and just cause eviction protections into law with the passage of Measure L. In a victory for Mountain View over corporate interests, the grassroots renter protection measure known as Measure V was passed with 53% of the vote.
On November 15, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation prohibiting new fossil fuel leases on city-owned property in an effort to combat climate change. The legislation by Supervisor John Avalos originated with 350 Bay Area analyst Jed Holtzman, who discovered the city was leasing to Chevron an 800-acre property that it inherited in Kern County. City finance officials say converting the property to a solar array could generate more revenue than current oil operations, which net the city about $320,000 annually.
Mon Nov 14 2016 (Updated 11/29/16)
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now
The first anti-Trump protests began almost immediately, shortly after election results were announced. By the evening of November 9, protesters poured into the streets across the country. The Northern California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Hollister, Santa Rosa, and Fresno have stood up against Trump, the rallying cries being "Not My President" and "Fuck Trump!" Demonstrations continue on a daily or near-daily basis all over. There is no end in sight. Calls have gone out to disrupt inaugural events on January 20 and for a Women's March on Washington on January 21.
Voters in Monterey County, California's fourth-largest oil-producing county, passed Measure Z to ban fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. The measure won with more than fifty-five percent of the vote, despite supporters being outspent thirty to one by oil companies, including Chevron and Aera Energy. Measure Z also phases out toxic wastewater injection and prohibits new oil wells in the county. "David beat Goliath in Monterey County's stunning victory against oil industry pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity.
On November 11, the transmitter for Free Radio Santa Cruz went silent following the eviction of their host. The radio collective is actively looking for a new site for their transmitter and antenna. Meanwhile they continue streaming through their website. Free Radio Santa Cruz is the only local, independent community radio station remaining in Santa Cruz.
According to the Mountain View High School Oracle newspaper, MVHS principal David Grissom and other school administrators made the decision to put history teacher Frank Navarro on administrative leave. The leave was prompted by Navarro's alleged comments in class that made connections between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler. "Whether or not he said this, it is dangerous and disgusting that the administration has decided to punish him for drawing parallels between two similarly dangerous moments in history," wrote MVHS alumnus Annie Ashmore in a petition to the principal.
UPDATE: ...And a new four-year nightmare is about to begin. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. For coverage of the first anti-Trump protests across Northern California, see We've Got a Bigger Problem Now.

Considering the campaign for president currently lasts nearly two years, made worse by the two major political parties selecting nominees with the highest unfavorable ratings ever for presidential candidates, most of the country is ready for the election to be over already. While Indybay has not received reports on everything and everyone up for a vote in every Northern California district on Tuesday, November 8, those who've chosen to publish their reports and recommendations have covered a variety of the issues at stake. See what they have to say.
At 5:00am on November 4, the Berkeley Police Department violently raided an encampment of people living in tents at the corner of Fairview and Adeline Streets. The encampment served as a safe, clean and drug-free place for those seeking shelter from the rain and cold. Four people were arrested, including District 2 City Council candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple. In response, a "Housing Not Handcuffs Sunrise Vigil" is scheduled for 6-10am on November 7 at Berkeley City Hall. In Oakland, from 8am-4pm the same day, a call has gone out to pack the Wiley Manuel courtroom in solidarity with arrestees.
Oakland police sergeant James "Mike" Gantt has come forward with allegations of the Oakland police department and city leaders retaliating against him for his investigation as to whether fellow officer Brendan O'Brien murdered his wife, Irma Huerta-Lopez, on June 16, 2014. With a long record as a homicide inspector for OPD, Gantt unequivocally states that he believes O'Brien did indeed murder his wife and OPD covered it up, retaliating against him for attempting to do an honest examination of the evidence.
Many long-time Bay Area residents have been displaced over the last several years. The median rent in Oakland is now $3,000 a month and heartless landlords are taking extreme measures to boost their profit at the expense of tenants. In one recent case, an East Palo Alto property owner and his son were arrested for a plot to push tenants out of rent-controlled units by destroying their property. Tenant advocates across the Bay Area urge voters to support the strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Mountain View.
On October 29, World Can't Wait San Francisco and friends took a stand against "Torture Professor" John Yoo and his handlers at UC Berkeley Law School. "Today we represent the views and the hearts of many more tens of millions of people who know that torture is a war crime, and a crime against humanity. International and UN law both prohibit torture, under any and all circumstances, without exception," read the protest flier. "Indict, Prosecute, Disbar... No More Torture in Our Name," chanted about 20 witnesses to university apologists.
Yvette Falarca of BAMN helped prevent the neo-Nazi rally on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento this summer — and was one of several people who were stabbed by the fascists. Following the action, threats were made against the school at which she teaches if she was not fired. The Berkeley Unified School District caved and suspended her. On November 1, Yvette announced victory in that she has been reinstated as a teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School, although there are still outstanding issues, including the district's refusal to restore back pay.
Thu Nov 3 2016 (Updated 11/10/16)
Community Responds to SCPD Killing of Sean Smith-Arlt
Following the killing of Sean Smith-Arlt by officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department on October 16, residents are organizing in the community with the intention of preventing another killing like his. On October 22, a candle light vigil for Sean was organized at the Town Clock, which coincided with the 21st annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. On October 25 a large group of community members attended the City Council meeting to voice their concerns during oral communications, and on November 1 a community forum hosted by the newly formed Social Justice Alliance was held.
A protest was held at the corporate headquarters of Well Fargo bank in San Francisco on October 26 calling for jailing the executives and managers who oversaw the illegal opening of two million accounts in customers' names without their knowledge as well as setting up credit card accounts. The Obama administration refuses to press criminal charges. Speakers at the protest called for the jailing of Wells Fargo bankers for criminal fraud and for the expropriation of the bank and for it's transformation into a public bank for the people.
On October 15, about 40 people, including students from UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, and Watsonville High School, as well as community members from Santa Cruz and Watsonville, came out to the Driscoll's Distribution Center and Berry Store in Aromas, California, to relay the message that the boycott of Driscoll's continues until Driscoll's negotiates a union contract with the farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico who harvest the lucrative berries. Currently, farmworkers receive as little as $6 a day for 12-15 hours of work, with no benefits or job security.
Sun Oct 30 2016 (Updated 10/31/16)
Geofeedia Exposed for Police Monitoring of Social Media
The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that markets to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters. After the ACLU reported their findings to the companies, some steps were taken to rein in Geofeedia. Further steps are required if these companies are to protect users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse.
12/07/16 Community Memorial for Richard Perkins Jr. on the 1-Year Anniversary of His Murder by OPD police | race | eastbay12/03/16 Western States Petroleum Association: The Biggest Lobby Group You've Never Heard Of frontpage | environment | centralvalley | california | us | government | santacruz12/01/16 Woman Used As Salami Tray at Altai Brands Event in Las Vegas frontpage | drugwar | womyn | california | us | santacruz11/28/16 Collective Seeks to Open Social Justice Coffee Co-Op in Oakland's Fruitvale District frontpage | globaljustice | eastbay11/27/16 Attendance at Freedom Sleepers City Hall Sleepouts Remains High After 16 Months frontpage | police | healthhousing | government | santacruz11/27/16 National Lawyers Guild Confronts Oakland Police Brutality During Early Anti-Trump Protests frontpage | police | eastbay | government11/27/16 Nationwide Solidarity as Police Escalate Violence Against Water Protectors frontpage | police | environment | race | globaljustice | centralvalley | sf | eastbay | peninsula | us | government | santacruz11/21/16 Memorial Fund Established for Luke Smith After Sheriff's Deputies Kill Him frontpage | police | santacruz11/20/16 Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy Documents BART Police Violence frontpage | police | race | sf | eastbay | california11/19/16 Renters Win in Three Cities, But Measures in Burlingame, San Mateo and Alameda Do Not Pass frontpage | healthhousing | southbay | eastbay | peninsula | california | government11/19/16 SCPD Officer and Wife Fuel Take Back Santa Cruz Witch-Hunt on Social Media police | media | santacruz
America Was Never Great Demonstration and March Mission District Mission District Solidarity Tuesday Dec 6th 3:46 PM
Mumia Rally at Oscar Grant Plaza (12-9-16) DJ Mouse Tuesday Dec 6th 2:26 PM
Forest Service Agrees to Halt Oil, Gas Leasing in Los Padres National Forest Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Tuesday Dec 6th 1:32 PM
Nurses: Tragic Fire Highlights Need for Real Action in Oakland on Affordable Housing Crisis via National Nurses United (2 comments) Monday Dec 5th 5:30 PM
Trump nominates a moron to be the next HUD Secretary Lynda Carson (4 comments) Monday Dec 5th 4:24 PM
Frivolous Spending at Sonoma State University Natalee Lewis (2 comments) Monday Dec 5th 3:31 PM
The Rising Housing Prices In Sonoma County Caroline Griffin Monday Dec 5th 2:14 PM
Oakland officials are responsible for Ghost Ship warehouse fire Lynda Carson (20 comments) Sunday Dec 4th 1:42 AM
Vigil Honoring Sean Arlt and Luke Smith Dec. 3, 2016 AutumnSun Saturday Dec 3rd 11:38 PM
Santa Cruz Holiday Parade December 3, 2016 AutumnSun Saturday Dec 3rd 10:26 PM
Support Fund for Sean Arlt's Son Established Santa Cruz News Friday Dec 2nd 5:18 PM
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Report highlights 17 bad actors waging aggressive anti-solar campaigns via Environment California Tuesday Dec 6th 2:08 PM
New Study: Mounting Evidence Supports Eating Less Meat for Health of People, Planet Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Dec 6th 1:59 PM
Victory for Standing Rock: DAPL Easement Not Granted via Earthjustice Monday Dec 5th 6:04 PM
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Stop Sen. Sesssions From Making U.S. into a Sadistic State as D.A.! Green Liberty Party Monday Dec 5th 5:11 AM
EPA Petitioned to Acknowledge Extensive Fluoride/Brain Risk Evidence Fluoride Action Network Sunday Dec 4th 11:36 AM
Barrier-Reef-trashing monster coal mine to get a billion dollar tax handout Diet Simon, sourcing from WGAR News (2 comments) Sunday Dec 4th 12:47 AM
This Week in Palestine, December 3rd, 2016 IMEMC Friday Dec 2nd 11:06 PM
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Fukushima quake rock's Japan's and the globe's psyche. Michael Steinberg Thursday Dec 1st 4:46 PM
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Preparations for the Golden Anniversary of Kwanzaa ~ Stockton, California Khubaka, Michael Harris Wednesday Dec 7th 4:08 PM
Chernobyl as a means of blackmail Max Vodnik Wednesday Dec 7th 5:26 AM
Germany repays London for Brexit Graham Nott Wednesday Dec 7th 1:42 AM
EU-Turkey: divorce is imminent Will Am Wednesday Dec 7th 12:38 AM
Uncle Joe Takes us to the circus vincent scotti eirene Tuesday Dec 6th 9:41 AM
Ukrainian Cossack dance to the Turkish piping RedDickson (1 comment) Monday Dec 5th 7:34 AM
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