San Francisco, USA, 1934 bloodbath commemorated

This 5 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

The ILWU, other unions, community activists and supporters commemorated the “Bloody Thursday” when 2 strike supporters were murdered by the San Francisco police in 1934. It led to the San Francisco general strike.

The commemoration also discussed the recent racist attacks on longshore workers at the SSA terminal in Oakland where this commemoration took place.

Speakers including Trent Willis, president of ILWU Local 10 also talked about the need to fight privatization of the Port of Oakland by billionaire John Fisher who owns the GAP and the A’s. He is pushing to privatize the Howard Terminal to build a stadium, 3,000 one-million-dollar condos and a hotel.

This would destroy thousands of maritime jobs according to the ILWU. Trent Willis also supported the formation of a labor party that would represent working people. The Democratic Party officials have voted to support Fisher’s stadium development including Ron Banta, Nancy Skinner, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland City council which voted to open up negotiations to sell off the Coliseum to Fisher for his development plans.

Writing on your home while black, criminal?

This 13 June 2020 video about California in the USA:

Lisa Alexander Calls Police on Man of Color

Calling United States police on a person of colour may very possibly result in police murdering that person.

for Writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ on His Own Home

Yesterday, a video went viral on Twitter of Laface skincare owner Lisa Alexander and her husband Robert accusing a man of defacing private property by chalk stencilling the words Black Lives Matter on the front of his property in San Francisco

They simply assumed that he wasn’t the owner, likely because he was a man of color, and they wouldn’t even consider that possibility. While not as serious, this story reminds me of the recent Amy Cooper incident, where she called the police on [birdwatcher] Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park [for warning Ms Cooper that her dog was not on a leash, in an area where that is mandatory because of birdlife], saying he was an African American putting her in danger.

In the aftermath of this, big companies like Birchbox have cut ties with Lisa Alexander.

Here is the tweet from the man in the original video (Jaimetoons): “A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen”

“Karen” is a nickname for racist wealthy white American women, usually Donald Trump supporters (or, in the case of “Karen” Amy Cooper, apparently a corporate Democrat Hillary Clinton supporter).

lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter

#BlackLivesMatter trade union march, San Francisco, USA

This 6 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Black Lives Matter! Labor & Community March & Rally At Gilman Park In SF

Hundreds of Northern California trade unionists from the SEIU and other unions rallied and marched in San Francisco’s Hunters Point Bay View district protesting the murder of George Floyd and many other Blacks.

Many called for the defunding of the police and also for the police unions to be thrown out of the labor movement.

There were speakers about the systemic discrimination against Black workers in San Francisco, including illegal retaliation of [trade union] stewards and also the failure of CCSF to provide proper PPE for frontline workers many of whom are Black and Latino.

Community members also spoke out about the treatment of the community by the San Francisco police department.

The City & Country of San Francisco is also cutting public workers and there is 90% unemployment in the hotel industry among Unite-HERE Local 2 members and 100% unemployment among IATSE members.

San Francisco, USA extreme right rally flops

This video from the USA says about itself:

‘Minefield’ For Nazis Planned By Dog Owners

25 August 2017

Dog owners in San Francisco want to prepare a smelly surprise for a right wing rally in their city. Brett Erlich, Grace Baldridge, and Amberia Allen, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you how they’re planning on fighting back.

“When a group of far-right activists come to San Francisco to hold a rally this Saturday, they will be met by peace activists offering them flowers to wear in their hair.

Also, dog shit. Lots and lots of dog shit.

Hundreds of San Franciscans plan to prepare Crissy Field, the picturesque beach in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge where rightwing protest group Patriot Prayer will gather, with a generous carpeting of excrement.

“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffy Tuffington said of the epiphany he had while walking Bob and Chuck, his two Patterdale terriers, and trying to think of the best way to respond to rightwing extremists in the wake of Charlottesville. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”

Tuffington, a 45-year-old artist and designer, created a Facebook event page based on the concept, and the dog owners of San Francisco responded in droves. Many have declared their intention to stockpile their shitpiles for days in advance, then deliver them in bags for the site. (The group is also planning to reconvene on Sunday to “clean up the mess and hug each other”.)”

Read more here.

By Andy Campbell in the USA:

08/26/2017 05:59 pm ET Updated 11 hours ago

San Francisco Dances That Far-Right Rally Out Of Town

It was a day for MC Hammer, not white supremacists.

A controversial “Freedom Rally” planned near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was canceled and replaced by a procession of dancing and merriment on Saturday.

The city had prepared for a street battle between the so-called “alt-right” and counterprotesters, but instead it got MC Hammer leading the public in song outside City Hall.

Much like the “Free Speech” rally held in Boston last weekend, where the cries of a few attendees were muffled by tens of thousands of protesters, this far-right rally had a much smaller voice than the city it occupied.

Hundreds of people were seen marching through the streets of San Francisco, decrying the white supremacists and other extremists that too many of these rallies have attracted this year.

The organizers of the aborted Freedom Rally ― who ended up giving a press conference via Facebook from inside a home with the blinds drawn ― sought to distance themselves from the event in Charlottesville, Virginia, two weeks prior that attracted neo-Nazis, members of the Ku Klux Klan and a bevy of white supremacists. …

But there’s a reason why the city and its mayor, Ed Lee, attempted to block permits for the rally; why House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it a “white supremacist rally at Crissy Field”; and why counterprotests were planned in opposition throughout the city: These rallies just keep attracting white supremacists, weapons and violence.

The Freedom Rally’s main organizer, Joey Gibson, is no stranger to how this works. The far-right icon has acknowledged that his rallies ― including one held in Portland, Oregon, in June ― attract white nationalists and other far-right extremists, many of whom bring along makeshift weaponry and spew forth hate speech. …

And though Gibson claimed this rally was set up to “spread a message of love,” you needed only to look at the planned keynote speakers to see an entirely different picture. One of them, Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, is an unquestionably violent far-right “celebrity” who has spent nearly a decade behind bars on three felony convictions. He earned his “Stickman” moniker after beating a protester with a stick at a violent pro-Trump rally in Berkeley. …

In the afternoon, crowds gathered at Ocean Beach in the shape of a heart and sang even more: crowd dressed in red and pink singing This Land Is Your Land and Imagine at Ocean Beach.

United States workers strike against Trump

This video from the USA says about itself:

20 January 2017

The day before the inauguration of President Trump, ILWU Local 10 members and leaders in San Francisco talk about what the election of Trump means for working people, what needs to be done to defend labor and the growing repression. They also discuss the need for a democratic labor party that will represent all working people.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 27 January 2017

Oakland longshoremen march against Trump

ON the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, many Americans wrung their hands. Some took to social media to express their discontent while others protested. But, perhaps, the most dramatic and important action was taken by dockworkers in Oakland, California: They stopped working. Their strike demonstrated the potential power ordinary people have on the job, when organised.

Longshore workers, who load and unload cargo ships, chose not to report to their hiring hall. As a result, ‘Oakland International Container Terminal, the largest container facility at the Northern California port, was shut down Friday,’ according to the Journal of Commerce. It also reported that all other Oakland container terminals were essentially shut down, too.

Crucially, these workers did not first come together to protest Trump. They belong to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), one of the strongest and most militant unions left in the United States.

The ILWU, founded in the 1930s, represents logistics workers up and down the West Coast of the United States, in Alaska, Hawaii, British Columbia and Panama. For some 80 years, the union has fought for equal rights, democracy, economic equality and a vast array of other social justice causes. ILWU Local 10, which represents workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, often has been at the forefront of those fights.

ILWU members refused to load scrap metal intended for Japan because it had invaded China in the 1930s. The ILWU condemned the racist apartheid regime in South Africa and Local 10 members periodically refused to unload South African cargo, including in the face of federal injunctions and employer pressure. They also refused, in 1978, to load US military aid for Augusto Pinochet, a Chilean military general who led a coup against a democratically-elected, socialist president, Salvador Allende. On May Day 2008, the ILWU shut down Pacific Coast ports to protest the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One key element of ILWU power is its job dispatch system. In the aftermath of its legendary Big Strike of 1934, which briefly became the San Francisco general strike, the union basically won control over job dispatch. Quickly, workers implemented a ‘low man out’ system, which enshrined the idea that the person with the fewest number of hours worked be the first one dispatched. Such socialism in action should not be surprising from a union whose founding members included socialists, communists and Wobblies, the name for members of perhaps America’s most radical union, the Industrial Workers of the World. The ILWU also inherited the Wobbly motto, ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.’

Today, though some workers are assigned to specific companies on a long-term basis, many still are dispatched via hiring halls. This system gives workers incredible power because they decide when to report for work, creating the possibility for workers to coordinate not showing up. The result, as seen on Friday, was to shut down the port of Oakland. Obviously, many workers, nationwide, do not operate under a dispatch system. But they can still organise something similar without technically calling a strike.

At the end of 2014, New York City police officers coordinated a ‘virtual work stoppage,’ nicknamed the ‘Blue Flu.’ And last year, Detroit public school teachers, enraged by the awful conditions students and teachers suffer from because of a lack of state funding, organised an effective ‘sickout.’ In other words, workers need not officially ‘strike,’ or even belong to a labour union, to engineer a shutdown.

Importantly, Friday’s action was not organised or endorsed by the ILWU leadership. Since its inception, the ILWU has stood on the left tip of the US labour movement, but even this union has become more conservative during the past few decades. Nowadays, rank-and-file activists in Local 10 often take the lead.

Like most unions and working people, the ILWU opposes much of Trump’s anti-labour agenda, which promotes ‘right-to-work’ (more accurately right-to-work-for-less) legislation, condemns public sector unions, seeks to privatise public schools and reverse the Obama administration’s actions on paying more workers overtime, reducing wage theft and ensuring worker safety. Trump’s proposed labour secretary, for one, has made his anti-worker positions clear. (That said, Trump’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership is welcome.)

Nor have Bay Area longshore workers forgotten Trump’s insult of Oakland. The president once said, ‘There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world. You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously.’

To resist Trump’s agenda, Oakland longshore workers shut down their workplace and reminded us of the potential of organised labour. As the old song, written by Joe Hill and sung by Utah Phillips, declares, ‘There is power, there is power in a band of working folks, when we stand hand-in-hand. That’s a power, that’s a power that must rule in every land.’

Against police racism in San Francisco, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Ñ Don’t Stop: The #Frisco5 Fight Back as Chief Suhr [of San Fransisco police] Resigns

25 May 2016

For this segment of #ÑDontStop we go back to The Bay in San Francisco, we first spoke with teacher Nancy Pili who told us how the community has fought back against the troubled SFPD. The Frisco 5 and their hunger strike brought attention to the corruption and racism within the SFPD and demanded that Chief Suhr be fired. After a racist text message scandal, a growing number of police murder victims including Alex Nieto and Mario Woods, the community decided that Chief Suhr had to go. Could Mayor Ed Lee be next? Ñ Don’t Stop sat down with 2 of the Frisco 5 as they reflected on their struggle.

A black woman physician says she tried to help on a Delta plane, but a flight attendant didn’t believe she could be a doctor.

TIDYING UP WHILE BLACK Police in Boulder, Colorado, are investigating a video that shows several officers confronting a black man who was picking up trash at his own house. [AP]

San Francisco, USA police kill unarmed woman

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 May 2016

About 200 protesters gathered at City Hall on May 9 for a peaceful demonstration to call for Mayor Ed Lee to fire SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, and for a boycott of San Francisco corporate restaurants until Suhr is gone. Video by Alejandro Galicia Diaz

By David Brown in the USA:

San Francisco police chief resigns after cops kill unarmed woman

21 May 2016

On Thursday morning, San Francisco police officers shot and killed an unarmed woman who had been driving a car that police suspected was stolen. Within hours of announcing the death, Police Chief Greg Suhr announced his resignation at the request of Mayor Ed Lee. This purely cosmetic gesture will do nothing to address the class roots of police violence in San Francisco.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, was sitting in a parked car in the Bayview neighborhood of the city and allegedly drove off when police approached her, immediately crashing into a truck and becoming stuck. Two unidentified officers claimed that she was not responding to commands and one of them shot her once in the chest as she tried [to] separate the two vehicles. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she died.

No weapon was found on the woman and the officers have not claimed that she presented a danger to anyone. This was the third fatal shooting of a suspect in San Francisco in the past six months and comes shortly after new revelations of widespread racism and criminality in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Protesters have been demanding Suhr’s resignation for several months, including a 17-day hunger strike that ended earlier this month.

Suhr, who was appointed chief by Lee in 2011, had always refused to resign, claiming he was carrying out important reforms to the department.

In a press conference at City Hall Thursday afternoon, Mayor Lee told reporters: “I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform, but following this morning’s officer-involved shooting…I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward.” Later, Suhr announced his resignation, saying of the shooting, “This is exactly the kind of thing, with ongoing reforms, that we are trying to avoid.”

These ostensible reforms included $17.5 million proposed by Lee to train officers in de-escalation techniques after police shot and killed 45-year-old Luis Gongora in April. Police claimed that Gongora, a homeless man, had lunged at them with a knife, but surveillance footage near the shooting showed police rapidly approaching Gongora with guns drawn and firing within 30 seconds of getting out of their cars.

That killing followed the slaying of 26-year-old Mario Woods in December 2015. Woods had been suspected of assaulting a man earlier in the day, and had a knife when he was surrounded by police. Again police claimed Woods presented an immediate threat, but video taken by bystanders showed Woods completely surrounded and walking slowly when police shot him 20 times.

These are just the most recent cases of police killings in San Francisco in recent years which include Amilcar Perez-Lopez, who was shot in the back by plainclothes officers who claimed he was lunging at them with a knife; and Alex Nieto, a City College student who was killed when police mistook a Taser he had for a gun. No officers have been prosecuted in these cases.

In addition to these killings, nearly 20 officers have been directly implicated in two different exposures of racist and homophobic text messages. In April this year, text messages of Officer Jason Lai to at least four other officers were released showing regular use of racial slurs and disparaging remarks against African-Americans, Indians, Hispanics, and Asians. Lai is himself of Chinese descent. One of the more extreme texts referred to black people protesting the Baltimore police killing of Freddie Gray as “a pack [of] wild animals.”

Far from being an aberration, a similar set of texts with Sgt. Ian Furminger at their center, were revealed in February 2014, implicating at least 14 officers. These texts talked about burning crosses and encouraged the killing of “half-breeds.” Captain Jason Fox was the highest-ranking officer identified in this scandal.

In both cases, the racist texts were only brought to light in the process of unrelated investigations into the officers’ criminal activity. Lai was under investigation for sexual assault. Although prosecutors declined to press charges on that accusation, he was eventually convicted of illegally accessing Department of Motor Vehicle records for personal reasons. Furminger’s texts were discovered in an investigation of his theft of drugs and money from residents in the city’s impoverished Tenderloin district. Furminger was convicted on four felony counts in February 2015.

More broadly in law enforcement, three San Francisco County sheriffs were charged in March of this year with forcing prisoners in the county jail to fight and betting on the results.

The racist views of individual cops are the manifestation of a more fundamental antipathy of the police force towards the working class as a whole. In the more impoverished parts of San Francisco, law enforcement exists as a particularly well-armed and financed gang that kills and robs with impunity.

According The Guardian there have been a total of 390 people killed by police so far this year, nearly three a day.

The California Sunday Magazine published a beautiful piece this week about Gwen Woods, whose son Mario was shot and killed by San Francisco police in December 2015.

California hunger strikers’ victory

This video says about itself:

United States: California Hunger Strikers Win Big Victory

12 May 2016

After 10 days of hunger strikes by students in San Francisco State University, university officials have accepted their demand to stop budget cuts.

San Francisco, USA anti-police brutality hunger strike update

This video says about itself:

USA: Protesters raid City Hall after ‘Frisco 5‘ hospitalised during hunger strike

6 May 2016

Hundreds of people gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall, Friday, after five hunger strikers protesting police brutality against minorities had to be hospitalised. The ‘Frisco five’ are now receiving medical treatment after 16 days of hunger strike.

Artist Honors The Black Mothers Who’ve Lost Their Sons To Police Brutality: here.

Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, USA

This video from San Francisco in the USA says about itself:

4 May 2016

Hundreds joined the hunger strikers “Frisco Five” in a march to City Hall, where they were hoping to speak with the mayor.

This video from the USA says about itself:

#BLM [Black Lives Matter] Take Protest to San Francisco City Hall

4 May 2016

The ‘Frisco Five’ hunger strikers and their supporters overran San Francisco’s City Hall, to demand the resignation of the city’s Chief of Police Gregory P. Suhr.