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Police arrest protesters at Oakland school board meeting

For the last three Oakland school board meetings, protesters from the newly-formed Oakland Is Not for Sale Coalition have tried to prevent the meetings from taking place, chanting, raising banners and attempting to take over the stage where board members are seated in order to hold what they call a “people’s board meeting.” The group is protesting the “The Blueprint for Quality Schools,” a district-run plan that supports the closure and merger of under-enrolled and underperforming schools. The protests coalesced…

Arrest of former Oakland councilmember sparks outrage at committee meeting

Tuesday night’s Oakland Public Safety Committee meeting’s main agenda item—reviewing a report about holding a special election to amend the regulations that govern the Oakland Police Commission—was initially upstaged by jarring testimony from former Councilmember Wilson Riles Jr. about his arrest last week.  Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan introduced the issue for the committee to address. “Our colleague, former Councilmember Wilson Riles, was arrested—” Kaplan began, but was interrupted by members of the crowd yelling, “brutalized!” “And brutalized, and improperly treated,…

Oakland naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans

Over 1,100 people from 86 different countries took the oath to become United States citizens at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Wednesday.   In a warm and thunderous atmosphere, with friends and family whistling and singing, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), the keynote speaker, said, “I am so grateful to welcome all of you, my fellow Americans. I am one of you. Look at me, I made it. To those of you who say you can’t, I say you can.” …

Oaklanders root for Warren and Harris at Democratic debate watch party

On Tuesday night, about 40 people gathered at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle in downtown Oakland to watch the Democratic presidential debate. The debate started at 5 pm, so most people came in business attire, which underscored the formality of the white tablecloths and stately white columns in the room. Attendees sat in rows facing a large projection screen, balancing on laps and tables their glasses of wine and paper plates limp from generous portions of fish, chicken, mac and cheese, beans…

Bond Street homeless camp residents face impending eviction

In Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, tension has been brewing as neighbors push city officials to evict people from a homeless encampment, which they say endangers children walking to school and creates health hazards. The camp on Bond Street, where around 12 people live, sits between 42nd and High Streets. The camp consists of a mix of canopies and camping tents shielded from the street by a row of old cars. It abuts the fenced yards of people’s homes and is across…

Documentary screening and gallery exhibition highlight border towns, draw somber crowd

Amidst chilly Friday night winds, people gathered at Lake Merritt Tower to watch Undeterred, a film highlighting the effect that the increased militarization of border towns has on surrounding communities. The event included a screening of the film and a gallery exhibition titled “Recognition: Labor Meets Art in Explorations of Social Justice and Identity,” which was open for its last night of public viewing. The event was organized by National Nurses United union and featured talks by members of the…

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