Author’s new book urges rights for “illegal people”

Journalist David Bacon remembers the first time he saw farmworkers chased and dragged away by immigration officials in the mid-1970s. He talks about his new book, “Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants.” By Puck Lo/Oakland North

Migrants invited to church pulpits for Labor Day

Romana was seven months pregnant, she told the congregation at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, when she walked for six hours from Mexico to the United States -– mostly without water, sometimes without shoes. She crossed through brush where sticks ripped at her skin, she said. Her brother and grandmother dragged her when she felt too tired to walk.  When Romana and her family arrived at a tunnel where they thought they could rest, she said, US immigration workers…

Halal markets and a mosque draw Oakland’s immigrant Muslim community

At the River Nile Market in Oakland, which is slightly bigger than a city bus, the shelves are crammed with little bits of Yemen, Sudan, Egypt and Lebanon. Cans of fruit, meat and juice carry Arabic script as well as English lettering.  Glass buckets hold spices – cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and za’atar, a mixture of herbs and spices popular in the Middle East.  Burlap bags of basmati rice spill into the aisles.  Three water pipes, or hookahs, perch on the…

City Hall OKs Oakland City ID program. Well, sort of.

The City Council voted 6 to 1 in favor of the ordinance allowing Oakland to have a City ID program – as long as council members Ignacio De La Fuente and Jean Quan can do their math homework. De La Fuente and Quan received strong support from a packed hall but council members Desley Brooks and Larry Reid were vocal about looking at the economics of the program-especially given Oakland’s $83 million budget deficit. “You are forcing it down our…

Oakland’s May Day, from a youth perspective

  Youth Perspective of May Day from Betty Bastidas on Vimeo. 17-year old Lupe from Oakland, whose parents were recently deported, gives us her perspective on the meaning of May Day for young people in this part of the world and shares her reasons for becoming involved. 

Workers, immigrants rally in Oakland on May Day

The incessant rain didn’t stop over a thousand immigrant workers, youth and families, and their supporters, from taking to the Oakland streets Friday afternoon in commemoration of May 1st, International Workers’ Day. Skipping over puddles, completely drenched, the marchers made their way from Fruitvale Plaza to City Hall in a little under two hours.

Oakland to Cuba: Obama lifts travel restrictions for family visits

By Melanie Mason/Oakland North

Delvis Fernández, like any other grandfather, wants his grandchild to know his roots, to appreciate his culture and to connect with family members. So last week, he decided to bring his 12-year-old grandson on a trip to Fernandez’s hometown of Santa Clara, Cuba, located smack dab in the center of the island.

Organic roots: From the rancho to the market

By Diana Montaño/Oakland North The tropical crops of Maria Inés Catalán’s youth don’t grow in Hollister. Instead of winding through the papaya and mango trees of her native Guerrero, Mexico, here, wearing black loafers caked in mud from the past week’s rain, she steps carefully over the kale, broccoli and artichoke plants that thrive in the Northern California winter.