Oakland activists demand justice for immigrants on May Day

Over 1,000 people marched down International Boulevard on Monday in 81 degree heat as a crowd cheered. It was May Day, or International Workers’ Day, which commemorates the massive May 1, 1888, strike lead by the American Federation of Labor for an eight-hour workday. They passed the Native American Health Center near 31st Avenue and the cool breeze carried the scent of indigenous dancers’ burning sage across the crowd. The huge flatbed truck carrying a PA system and a dozen…

San Pablo Avenue fire victims struggle to get help

The residential building at 2551 San Pablo Avenue caught fire in the early-morning hours of March 27, killing four people and displacing more than 100. That day Strauss started a crowdfunding page to collect donations for displaced residents. It wasn’t the first time he’d done this—as a founding member of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition, Jonah Strauss had collected donations for survivors of the Ghost Ship fire and their next of kin.

Thousands turn out for Women’s March Oakland to support women, human rights

Despite the gloomy weather, tens of thousands gathered at Madison Park near downtown Oakland on Saturday to participate in one of the three branches of Women’s March Bay Area, a demonstration to support women and human rights. The three Bay Area marches—in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose—are among the more than 600 locally-organized “sister marches” of the Women’s March on Washington, which is now expected to draw as many as half a million participants. The marches are nonpartisan and…

As Donald Trump takes office, inauguration protesters gather in Oakland

Demonstrators began gathering in Oakland early Friday morning to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. Protests are planned throughout the nation and the Bay Area Friday and Saturday; in the East Bay, walkouts are planned at several schools, a march is planned for downtown Oakland on Friday night, and Women’s March Bay Area has organized events in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose for Saturday, in coordination with a larger march planned…

Bay Area not immune from post-election attacks on immigrants, Muslims

A truck driver in Millbrae chased a Hispanic woman down the street screaming slurs. A university researcher living in Albany, California, was confronted with swastikas on her way to work at UC Berkeley. A mosque in San José received a letter threatening to “cleanse” Muslims from the country. All of these incidents took place after the election—and in each case, the perpetrators explicitly linked their racial hatred to the election of Donald Trump. Following Trump’s November win, the nation has…

Formerly incarcerated people rebound into job market

For Carmen Garcia, the end of a prison sentence was the beginning of a new set of problems.

“The biggest obstacle for me was continuing to stay in school, because the halfway house wanted me to get a job right away, a full-time job,” she said. “And I remember a case manager said to me, ‘You need to take this job, whatever job they offer you, because now you have a criminal record and you’re not going to be able to get another job. Don’t worry about education, because that’s not going to help you.’”

Thinking about death at Mountain View Cemetery

The sun shines over Mountain View Cemetery. Rays beam down through the trees, split by the branches which rustle and dance in the light breeze on this beautiful morning, and you wonder how many dead people fit in this cemetery. We have strange ways of counting the dead in this country. Cigarettes kill 480,000 people a year in the United States, certainly some of whom are in this cemetery, but we don’t keep a running tally on the news like…

The Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Program, 50 years later

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded on October 15, 1966 in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The party was a political organization that agitated for greater rights for Black people in the United States. Seale and Newton captured the attention of the country (and of law enforcement) through their tactic of openly carrying rifles and shotguns while observing police officers in their community.