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Post image for Video of Nov. 25 City Heights Rally to Demand Justice for Michael Brown

By Anna Prouty

On Tuesday, hundreds of activists in San Diego rallied in City Heights to demand justice for Michael Brown and all victims of police brutality and institutionalized racism. The rally started at the City Heights Performance Annex and continued in a march down University Avenue.

Protesters marched down the south-bound I-15 ramp where they were blocked by police before turning back and taking the freeway from the north-bound entrance. Hundreds stood on the freeway and blocked traffic for over twenty minutes.

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Post image for Feeling Grateful and Giving Thanks

By Ernie McCray

Last Saturday was a very pretty day and to celebrate the beauty of it all I took off on a walk at a nice steady pace. As I moved along I gave thanks to the very universe for my being able to take in such a sparkling day up and about on my old size 14 feet.

I thought of so many things I’m grateful for: a great childhood, athletic glory, a marriage that thrilled my soul until my soul-mate passed away and then another fine woman came my way; children, grand children, great-grand-children, leading positive lives; college degrees; having traveled to exotic places overseas.

After a while, with each step I took, I reflected on all the impressive people I’ve broken bread with on this journey, people who’ve made me grateful to have simply been around them while they breathed air …

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Post image for The Ferguson Missouri Public Library: A Clean Well-Lighted Place within the Chaos

“We will do everything within our power to serve our community.  Stay strong and love each other.”

By Anna Daniels

The news and images out of Ferguson Missouri have been grim.  Whether the perception is accurate or not, there is a sense that Ferguson is boarded up, parts are burned down, schools are closed and even the safe havens have not been safe from the encroachment of tear gas.

And then there is the Ferguson Missouri Public Library, which has stayed open and will stay open as long as library staff feel that their patrons are safe there.  This is a remarkable act of commitment to the democratic foundation of our public libraries– citizen access to information and resources in safe spaces that welcome and serve everyone.

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What would justice for Michael Brown look like?

By Will Falk

Let’s be clear: The decision not to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown Jr. was inevitable.

I do not write this to undermine, in any way, the justifiable rage being expressed around the country. I write this in the hopes that we can accurately diagnose the cancer characterized by the symptoms we have seen – symptoms like the death of another young black man at the hands of a white policeman, the failure of a grand jury to indict that policeman, and a mainstream media determined to paint acts taken in retaliation as somehow too extreme. Once we have accurately diagnosed the cancer, I want us to locate the tumors and remove them.

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By Anna Daniels

It came as no surprise when St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown this past August.

Ferguson’s African American residents expected the announcement, the local and state government was preparing for it and arrangements were made well in advance for the local, national and international media to cover it.

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Post image for Two Cheers for President Obama. Bronx Cheers for Congressional Republicans

By John Lawrence

Finally, President Obama has found the balls to stand up to Congress.

He signed an historic agreement regarding climate change with the Chinese. He has taken executive action on immigration that will put 5 million people’s minds at ease, and he would have but didn’t need to veto the Keystone pipeline. He has also taken a stand in favor of internet neutrality.

All of this despite howls of protest from Republicans in Congress. He’s realized the futility of “cooperating” with Congress because they have done nothing but try to intimidate, bully, humiliate and badger him from Day 1 of his administration. He finally realizes that hoping to cooperate with them to “get something done” is a fool’s errand and a wild goose chase.

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Thumbnail image for Feinstein Delays Controversial Drought Legislation Until Next Year

Feinstein Delays Controversial Drought Legislation Until Next Year

by At Large 11.25.2014 Environment

By Dan Bacher

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced on November 20 that she has abandoned the secret negotiations to craft a controversial drought relief bill this year, but said she will try to pass the legislation next year.

The delay is a victory by a coalition of fishing groups, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and family farmers who organized an action alert campaign over the past week to defeat the bill. They said the bill would amount to a water bailout for corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that would devastate salmon and other fisheries and family farms.

“Over the past several weeks I have been working closely with members of the California delegation who expressed interest in reaching a bipartisan agreement on legislation to address California’s drought crisis without violating the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act or biological opinions,” said Feinstein in a statement. “Although we have made progress, it has become clear that we will be unable to present an agreed-upon proposal before Congress adjourns this year.”

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Thumbnail image for Time to Learn the Lessons of Failed U.S. Wars

Time to Learn the Lessons of Failed U.S. Wars

by Source 11.25.2014 Activism

By Gerry Condon, Vice President, Veterans For Peace / Veterans for Peace

As a Vietnam era veteran, I paid close attention to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s Veterans Day speech, delivered at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Secretary Hagel, a Vietnam combat veteran, declared that we must learn the lessons of past wars, and not commit U.S. troops to unpopular, unwinnable conflicts. He purportedly referred to the Vietnam War, but he could just as easily have been describing the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. government and military apparently have misled themselves as they were misleading the American people, claiming that these occupations were necessary, had clear objectives and were winnable. As in Vietnam, they lied about their progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was light at the end of the tunnel, we were told, if only we allowed one more “surge.”

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Thumbnail image for Whose Park?  City Heights Struggles to Define “Our” Park

Whose Park? City Heights Struggles to Define “Our” Park

by Anna Daniels 11.24.2014 Activism

Engagement and resistance at City Height’s Park De La Cruz

By Anna Daniels

This month’s City Heights Park and Recreation Council meeting took a surprise turn when over fifty attendees, mostly young people wearing blue Mid-City CAN tee shirts, arrived to speak during the non-agenda comment section of the meeting.

These skate park advocates and their supporters had hoped to address the neighborhood concerns and opposition that had recently sprung up about the planned skate park element at Park De La Cruz. They hoped that in doing so the rec council would proceed with the scheduled design meeting on December 4 as planned.

District 9 Council Member Marti Emerald announced in July that the allocation of $4.5 million in state Department of Housing and Community Development monies was sufficient to design and construct skate parks in City Heights and Linda Vista.

The second design phase meeting for Park de la Cruz skate park modifications was scheduled for December, but the Park and Recreation Council decided to postpone that meeting and hold a community hearing on the skate park issue instead. Was this an attempt to shift the conversation from how to proceed to whether to proceed?

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Thumbnail image for Thanks for Nothing (and Everything): On Walmart, Black Friday, and Thich Nhat Hanh

Thanks for Nothing (and Everything): On Walmart, Black Friday, and Thich Nhat Hanh

by Jim Miller 11.24.2014 Business

By Jim Miller

It’s Thanksgiving week and Walmart is getting ready to ruin the party by asking nearly one million of its workers to come in on the holiday to get a jump-start on the Black Friday consumer frenzy. Given its size and influence, Walmart’s move, if successful, is likely to set a trend in the industry and wreck Thanksgiving for millions more underpaid service sector workers in the future.

Fortunately, OUR Walmart is responding in kind by promising the biggest Black Friday Strike ever with allies in labor and the community promising to join hands with them in their protest. As Think Progress recently reported:

Workers have gone on strike and protested for the past two Black Fridays. This time, they will also be joined by “tens of thousands” of community members, according to Stephanie Ly, AFT New Mexico president and a teacher, the “largest mobilizing of working families we’ve seen in recent history.” Teachers, elected officials, members of the clergy, and others will participate in protests at stores, flash mobs, marches, and prayer vigils.

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Thumbnail image for UCSD Administration Plans Ché Café Eviction Over Thanksgiving?

UCSD Administration Plans Ché Café Eviction Over Thanksgiving?

by Source 11.24.2014 Activism

Ché Café Media Advisory

On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the Ché Café Cooperative and any students from the café space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years. Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council (AS) asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the Ché Café, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the Ché Café continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.

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Thumbnail image for ‘Outrageous': Ferguson Organizers say State of Emergency Violates Laws, Thwarts Civil Liberties

‘Outrageous': Ferguson Organizers say State of Emergency Violates Laws, Thwarts Civil Liberties

by Source 11.24.2014 Activism

Governor’s declaration ‘only threatens to stir up tensions and denigrate the peaceful efforts of countless non-violent activists’

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

In the wake of Governor Jay Nixon’s Monday afternoon declaration of a state of emergency in Missouri, activists and civil rights groups are speaking out against a move they say threatens the civil rights of protesters on the ground in Ferguson.

Nixon’s announcement, which came ahead of the grand jury’s decision in the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, is “both premature in its application and presumptuous in [its] intention to the hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who have embraced their Constitutional right to protest,” said NAACP president William Brooks.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 16-22

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 16-22

by Brent E. Beltrán 11.23.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week is smaller that usual since we had Massive Technical Difficulties on Thursday and Friday but it still features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on the looming Shut-Peachment, protests over missing students in Mexico, the taxi union victory, effort needed in Climate Action Plan, water conservation, Wall Street criminals, Horacio Jones’ Peruvian video series begins, more craft beer in North Park and lots of OB happenings.

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Thumbnail image for Temporary Legal Protection for Some Immigrants A Good Beginning But Not At the Expense of Border Communities 

Temporary Legal Protection for Some Immigrants A Good Beginning But Not At the Expense of Border Communities 

by Source 11.23.2014 Government

Obama’s immigration action protects some, yet promotes deeply flawed policies

By American Friends Service Committee

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is gratified by the parts of President Obama’s executive order announced today which offer welcome relief to immigrants who have suffered too long under cruel immigration enforcement practices. Yet AFSC is dismayed that the action does not account for millions of others needing relief, and keeps an emphasis on increasing border security – thus ensuring more violations of civil and human rights.

“We are deeply disappointed that President Obama’s executive action will boost so-called ‘border security.’ Granting deferred action for many parents of U.S.-born children will shield those families from the fear of inhumane detention and deportation. But millions of undocumented immigrants were left out. They will continue living in fear of being detained and deported,” said Pedro Rios of the AFSC’s US-Mexico Border Program in San Diego, CA.

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Thumbnail image for Senator Ted Cruz Channels His Inner Cicero

Senator Ted Cruz Channels His Inner Cicero

by Junco Canché 11.23.2014 Cartoons

 

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Thumbnail image for National Bicycle Tourism Conference Kicked Off in San Diego

National Bicycle Tourism Conference Kicked Off in San Diego

by At Large 11.23.2014 Activism

By Dave Rice

The four-day-long National Bicycle Tourism Conference kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, November 5, with conference organizers hoping to highlight the region as an increasingly bike-friendly locale for residents and visitors alike. This is the first in the conference’s 25 years of operation that San Diego was selected to host.

Prior to the start of the conference, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition staged a five-mile tour encompassing portions of downtown and Coronado, meant to highlight the nearly-complete Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile loop around the bay that’s been under development since 1976, as well as various other improvements that resulted in Coronado being named in 2013 to a nationwide list of certified “bike friendly” city.

The tour kicked off in front of the county administration building, where Supervisor Greg Cox greeted a handful of cycling activists, local media, and national cycling press, offering encouragement for completion of the Bikeway and adoption of more cyclist-friendly policies countywide.

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Thumbnail image for See No 43. Hear No 43. Speak No 43.

See No 43. Hear No 43. Speak No 43.

by Eric J. Garcia 11.23.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

by At Large 11.22.2014 Activism

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

-About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.

-To create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.

Even with these mind-blowing statistics you probably still need to see it to believe it. That is where I come in.

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Thumbnail image for Fall Brewing Company Joins North Park Beer Scene

Fall Brewing Company Joins North Park Beer Scene

by John P. Anderson 11.22.2014 Culture

The more the merrier or enough already?

By John P. Anderson

Joining the large beer and brewing scene in North Park, Fall Brewing Company opened for customers this week. The brewery is located at 4542 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104 and is currently in ‘soft opening’ mode. The doors are open, but they’re not yet promoting the brewery to the public while kinks are ironed out – setting up the sales software, building up the stable of beers on tap, arranging staffing, etc.

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Thumbnail image for The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

by At Large 11.22.2014 Activism

By Horacio Jones

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

“An ancient prophecy, says when the Eagle of North America and the Condor of South America unite and fly together, the spirit of peace will awaken on Earth. After waiting for millennia, many native peoples believe the time is now.”

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Thumbnail image for Massive Technical Difficulties

Massive Technical Difficulties

by Doug Porter 11.21.2014 Columns

A server migration, an automated backup and a platform update walk into a bar….

We don’t know exactly what happened, but San Diego Free Press is having some big-time technical issues. As I’m writing this we’ve done a “restore” of everything from 11/19 backwards. The site is slow. Very slow.

That’s about as technical as I can get. I am assured that all the right people are working hard to fix this.

We’ll be back in business as soon as the techies let us.

PS–Yes, we know all the comments have disappeared. Chances are good that if you try to leave a comment today it will go down a rabbit hole. If you need to get in touch, our email is contact@sandiegofreepress.org or you can visit our Facebook page.

PPS–I’m headed out of town for a week. (Great timing, huh?) The Starting Line column will return December 1st.

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Thumbnail image for Mounting Protests Over 43 Kidnapped Mexican Students Resonate in San Diego

Mounting Protests Over 43 Kidnapped Mexican Students Resonate in San Diego

by Doug Porter 11.18.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán appeared at inside the glass-walled Shiley Special Events Suite at the Central Library for ceremony this morning to announce plans for greater collaboration between their cities.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the first agreement of its sort since 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented. Local governments are pledging collaboration in the areas of economic development, border infrastructure, environmental stewardship and public safety.

Their commitment to collaboration on public safety may be tested sooner than they think. Unrest in Mexico, triggered by the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero is reaching a fevered pitch. Nationwide demonstrations in Mexico on November 20th are prompting activists north of the border to hold protests that day. Here in San Diego, a protest is scheduled for Thursday at the Mexican Consulate (1549 India St) in Little Italy.

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Thumbnail image for Working Tech for Good Causes and Loving It Every Day

Working Tech for Good Causes and Loving It Every Day

by At Large 11.18.2014 Activism

By Oliver James

I threw away a $100k+ a year career for my community. I live in City Heights, San Diego, California and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. And this is why I did it.

Let’s rewind a bit back to 2010. I was working for a marketing company providing design and marketing services to the financial industry. I was making around $65k a year and life was good (or so it seemed).

Don’t get me wrong $65,000 a year was great. But I wasn’t really, truly happy.

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Thumbnail image for Tears for Justice, Peace and Compassion

Tears for Justice, Peace and Compassion

by Ernie McCray 11.18.2014 Courts, Justice

By Ernie McCray

I found myself, a day or so ago, kind of tearing up, thinking about a passage I had read in “Just Mercy,” a story of justice and redemption, or better yet, the lack thereof.

Bryan Stephenson, the author of this incredibly revealing narrative about the inequities in our justice system, says, concerning a man who was less than a day away from being executed unbelievably wrongfully, “Why do we want to kill all the broken people? What is wrong with us, that we think a thing like that?”

I’d say that we can entertain such thinking because we have no real values of any substance to guide us as a society.

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