Civil Disobedience

Victory at Standing Rock! Department of Army Says No to Dakota Access Pipeline

December 5, 2016 by Source

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Poll Results: What Are You Going to Do Now that Trump is President-Elect?

December 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

clipboard-w-pencilOne in 5 Say They’re Joining the Underground Resistance

The OB Rag ran a poll for over a week recently, querying readers with What Are You Going to Do Now that Trump is President-Elect? The poll was similar to one we ran before the election in mid-September asking the same basic question. In this poll, one hundred eleven readers responded. As we all are aware by now that our country and city are divided on Mr. Trump, the poll results reflected those divisions.

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Police Use Water Cannons in Freezing Weather on Protesters at Standing Rock

November 21, 2016 by Source

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr Standing Rock

By Alexandra Rosemann / Alternet

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck.

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500 San Diego Students Stage Anti-Trump Marches on Downtown San Diego – As Part of 8 Days of Nation-Wide Protests

November 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 500 San Diego Students Stage Anti-Trump Marches on Downtown San Diego – As Part of 8 Days of Nation-Wide Protests

Students From 3 Campuses Converge at Federal Building

On Wednesday, Nov. 16th, upwards of 500 San Diego high school and college students staged walk-outs at their campuses in protests against the election of Donald Trump. They marched and blocked intersections, and then converged from their different schools in downtown San Diego.

Around 10 am, the first demonstration began near San Diego City College, and by 11:15 the crowd – mostly from San Diego High School and the College had swelled to 300 to 500 people, according to police and participant estimates ….

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Anti-Trump Protests Have Exploded for 7 Straight Days Across America

November 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

It’s a reality that Donald Trump and all his transition team platoons cannot fathom, a reality that the mass corporate media disdains and a reality that drives Trump supporters crazy, but – there have been mass demonstrations and protests across the country every day and night since the election on Tuesday, November 8th, for 7 straight days.

Americans – mainly young people – have been in streets in all the major cities – including San Diego – and especially Los Angeles – Chicago, Oakland, New York City, Atlanta, Portland – and on college and high school campuses, in parks in small cities and towns.

Thousands. Tens of thousands. Across the country – on both coasts – in the heartland, in Trump territory – in all the urban metropolis. And it’s teenagers doing this, high school students, even middle-school students – many too young to have voted.

And they happened again today – Tuesday, November 15th. Take for example, this:

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Frank Gormlie: “We Need a Culture of Resistance” to Get Us Through the Time of Trump

November 14, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Frank Gormlie: “We Need a Culture of Resistance” to Get Us Through the Time of Trump

OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie spoke at Sunday’s San Diego Free Press contributors’ meeting Sunday, Nov. 13th, on developing a “culture of resistance” and the renewed importance of a free and progressive press, now that Trump is president-elect.

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Protests Against Trump Presidency Continue for 3rd Night

November 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

trump-protest-portand

Protests, vigils and rallies against the Trump presidency continued across the nation into the third night since his election Tuesday – up into the early hours Friday morning.

Nearly 230 Americans were arrested just last night, Thursday – with at least 185 in Los Angeles and 29 in Portland after police declared the demonstration there a “riot” using tear gas, pepper spray and rubber baton rounds to disperse the crowd – that had been estimated at 4,000 during an earlier march.

Thousands of protesters have surrounded Trump’s buildings in New York and Chicago, there have been freeway blockades, street take-overs, high-school walk-outs – …. Protests and marches occurred in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, Minneapolis, Madison, Wisconsin’s capital, and Milwaukee, Columbus, Ohio, Baltimore, Dallas, Oakland, California, Richmond, along red states cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Omaha and Kansas City, Mo.

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“Not My President!” Chants Heard Across the Nation

November 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Spontaneous Nation-wide Protests Break Out in Response to Trump’s Election – Including San Diego<

“Not my president,” was a chant that has been heard across the nation, as spontaneous protests broke out across the country in response to the election of Donald Trump. Many thousands protested in all the major cities – including a couple protests in San Diego. At least 25 cities overnight experienced protests . Demonstrations have been targeting Trump’s properties across the country. Protests have also been outside city halls and on college and high school campuses. CNN

But all the big cities witnessed thousands in the streets, chanting and marching: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Oakland, LA, Portland, Seattle. Nearly hundred arrests were made nation-wide. ThinkProgress

In San Diego

In San Diego, 18 people were arrested by police at the end of a demonstration in and around Horton Plaza …

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The Dakota Access Pipe Line: The Latest Last Ditch Stand

November 3, 2016 by John Lawrence

Oil Corporation Tramps on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

By John Lawrence

Dakota Access Pipe LineFinally, there is an alliance of a major group — U.S. Indians — and environmentalists who are taking a stand to prevent the furtherance of fossil fuel interests.

Bill McKibben of 350.org says we must stop now insofar as building more fossil fuel infrastructure, which is what a pipeline represents, if we are to have a hope and a prayer of saving the planet from the effects of global warming.

The Native Americans have those interests and more — they rely on clean water from the Missouri River for their lives and livelihoods. This pipeline would probably result in the pollution of the water they rely on because pipelines aren’t foolproof. They break and spew their pollution. In addition, the pipeline construction is desecrating Indian burial sites.

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Tom Hayden, Courageous Warrior for Peace

October 31, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Tom Hayden, Courageous Warrior for Peace

By Marjorie Cohn /Consortium News – truthout

When Tom Hayden died on Oct. 23, we lost a courageous warrior for peace and equality. Hayden was on the front lines of nearly every major progressive struggle for more than 50 years. Vilified by the Right and at times criticized from the Left, Hayden remained steadfast in his commitment to social, economic and racial justice.

An activist, political theorist, organizer, writer, speaker and teacher, Hayden was a Freedom Rider in the South during the 1960s; a founder of Students for a Democratic Society; a leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement; a community organizer; a negotiator of a gang truce in Venice, California; the author of more than 19 books; and an elected official in California for nearly two decades.

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Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

October 13, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will be voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana this fall.

Some people, including many pro-legalization advocates, think this is about easing another legal intoxicant into society. It’s not. It’s about undoing a prohibition based on ‘scientific racism.’ It’s about a ‘war on drugs’ that served as a gateway towards militarization of law enforcement and eroded the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Legalizing pot won’t undo those things. In case you haven’t noticed, government and society rarely move backward. But legalization does provide a path moving forward that makes a lot more sense than the failed policies proceeding it.

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Activist-Photographer Fred Lonidier’s Photos of 1972 Anti-War Protest Part of Museum of Contemporary Arts Exhibit

October 10, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Activist-Photographer Fred Lonidier’s Photos of 1972 Anti-War Protest Part of Museum of Contemporary Arts Exhibit

Way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were very active social movements stirring in San Diego – and across the country. Here in San Diego, there was always this one guy -the “movement photographer” on the scene – Fred Lonidier, with his long-lens camera dangling from his neck, always there to record it all.

There was one particular and historic event in May of 1972 where 88 students and supporters were arrested for peacefully sitting down in front of the local Naval District HQ in protest of the Vietnam war. Fred Lonidier was also there – but he only had 29 shots remaining in his camera. So, he took 29 photos of those being arrested that day.

And now those 29 photos are part of a larger exhibit, called The Uses of Photography, currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

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UPDATED: 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party – Celebration Oct. 15 – SDSU

October 10, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for UPDATED: 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party – Celebration Oct. 15 – SDSU

UPDATED – see inside

The 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party is being celebrated this week on the campus of San Diego State University. There’s a showing of the current film of the Panthers, a roundtable discussion of their contributions, and the semi-formal celebration itself.

It’s been over 40 years since San Diego Black Panthers roamed the campus of San Diego State University. The local chapter had its origins right there. It all started with Black Student Union members, Kenneth Denmon and Shirley George-Meadors. Today, the African Students Union is the off spring of the Black Student Union.

Here it the the itinerary for October:

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Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

October 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

On October 7th, 2011 – a long 5 years ago – the Occupy Wallstreet movement burst upon the San Diego scene.

Upwards of 4,000 demonstrators marched through downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District, rallied at Civic Center Plaza at City Hall – renamed “Freedom Square” for awhile -, and then returned to Children’s Park – all the while protesting the inequalities of the American economy. A tent encampment was set up – which moved the very next day to the plaza at City Hall.

It was on that October 7th that San Diego had very visibly and demonstrably joined the nation-wide movement – then a world-wide movement – against the disparities of the financial system. Local activists had been meeting for a couple of weeks and had planned the large protest.

The numbers of San Diegans who turned out was stunning – on October 7th, 2011, I was there, see my full account : :

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ACLU Seeks Answers in Arrests at El Cajon Vigil for Alfred Olango

October 6, 2016 by Source

San Diego ACLU troubled by “community reports of aggressive police response” and “potentially unlawful arrests” at peaceful vigil

Ferchil Ramos / San Diego ACLU

Alfred Olango KillingIn response to a video post by a community member at what appears to be a peaceful vigil at the site of the killing of Alfred Olango, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter requesting information from the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) concerning the arrests of individuals at the vigil on the evening of Saturday, October 1.

While no video necessarily tells the complete story, the available information raises serious questions that the arrests were unlawful. One of the factors in declaring an unlawful assembly is whether there is a clear and present danger of imminent violence.

The available information does not show the vigil itself presented a clear and present danger of imminent violence.

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“What Would You Do If Trump Is Elected?” – Results From Our Survey

October 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

trump-as-roman-emperor

Back a few weeks ago, during a particularly “bad week” campaign-wise for Hillary Clinton, it looked like Trump could actually be elected President. It was during that period that the OB Rag asked a number of activists and progressives what they would do if Trump was indeed elected.

Today, still, Trump winning is not a far-fetched concept, for as recently as last night – Monday, October 3rd, Rachel Maddow of msnbc made the plausible case that there could be an electoral college vote tie between Clinton and Trump and it all may end up in a divided US Supreme Court.

(The OB Rag also ran a readers’ poll on the very same question with some startling results.)

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Angst Over Police Shootings Rocks California Cities

October 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

rip-olango-via-aaron-belfer-facebook police shootings Via Facebook

By Doug Porter

Community unrest over the deaths of black people at the hands of police in California continued unabated throughout the weekend. And it wasn’t just in El Cajon/San Diego.

Alfred Olango died in El Cajon on Tuesday. A composite video taken from a security camera and a bystander’s cellphone was released on Friday. Carnell Snell Jr. died in Los Angeles on Saturday, the second police-involved death in two days. And a particularly grotesque video of the July 11th death of Joseph Mann in Sacramento surfaced showing police officers trying to run him down before chasing him down and firing 14 shots into him.

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Fear and Loathing in El Cajon – 1,000 People in the Streets for Alfred Olango

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

el-cajon-wed-sitin
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, September 28th, in protest of the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango by police Tuesday afternoon. And on several occasions, the non-violent demonstrators faced off with helmeted police, as night fell and tensions mounted. This is my accounting of the protest that swept through the suburb of San Diego over a 7 hour period.

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Press Excluded from El Cajon Mayor’s Press Conference

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

EL CAJON, CA. A number of local and regional press and media reporters were excluded from Wednesday’s press conference held by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells about Alfred Olango – the African-American man killed by police on Tuesday.

At a conference held in mid-afternoon at the El Cajon City Hall, nearly a half dozen reporters were barred from entering the room, including reporters from the San Diego Union-Tribune and Univision, the Mexican television station.

San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Lynsdsay Winkley -who has been covering the Alfred Olango shooting and protests – told this reporter that she and a number of other media people were blocked from entering the press conference. She then rapidly ticked off at least four news outlets. Then was confirmed by Sarah Parvini, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, who was able to attend it.

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Results of OB Rag Poll on What to Do If Trump Is Elected

September 23, 2016 by Staff

The OB Rag ran a readers’ poll for one week asking the question: “What would you do if Trump was elected?” and it had 145 respondents.

The answers ranged from nearly a third saying they would be celebrating Trump’s election (31%), contrasted with nearly 10% who said they would be joining the “underground resistance”, and where 23% claimed “nothing will change.”

About 38% of those who answered chose options in the poll that expressed some level of negative impact with Trump’s election. Nearly 8% said they would move out of the country (2% to Mexico and 5.5% to Canada).

Another 14% would be mobilized politically against Trump – with an astounding 9.7% of the overall respondents agreeing to the option, “Joint the underground resistance.”

Almost 5% said they would “take to the streets”, meaning demonstrating and protesting.

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President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

September 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

By Anthony Romero / ACLU

Thanks to Edward Snowden’s act of conscience, we’ve made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity. That’s why with the release of the Oliver Stone movie “Snowden,” we’re unveiling a major effort calling on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower.

Cases like Edward Snowden’s are precisely the reason the president’s constitutional pardon power exists.

Historically, outgoing presidents have often invoked this power in the last days of their terms — at times on behalf of people who’ve committed reprehensible acts — under the premise that mitigating circumstances outweigh the rationale for punishment. President Obama now has the opportunity to use this power proudly, in recognition of one of the most important acts of whistleblowing in modern history.

Since Snowden first disclosed documents in 2013 detailing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, we’ve seen an unprecedented global debate about the proper limits of government spying.

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We Can Display Our Patriotism In Many Ways

September 9, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Photo credit: Flickr.com / PacificKlaus PatriotismI keep thinking about Colin Kaepernick and how so many people have badmouthed him for sitting during the National Anthem rather than addressing his concerns in a “more appropriate way.”

And considering that (as I brought out in a prior piece about Kaepernick) his concern is about the oppression of black people and other people of color, those of us who are so designated really want to know how we can pursue our dream of “liberty and justice for all” in a way that suits the country’s fancy.

Because we’ve been trying like hell. For centuries.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters With Dogs and Mace

September 5, 2016 by Source

dapl_protest_dogs protester
Security guards confront Indigenous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Video and photos of a private security team pushing dogs to bite Native American protesters from Democracy Now!

By Nadi Prupis / Common Dreams

The ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests were hit with violence on Saturday, as private security forces reportedly hired by the pipeline builders descended on the Native American activists with pepper spray and dogs that bit and threatened the protesters.

Democracy Now!, which was on the ground at the time, posted several photographs and video of the attack:

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Will Governor Brown Do the Right Thing for Farmworkers?

September 2, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via WineWaterWatch.org

By Doug Porter

After two years and more than five thousand proposed laws, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, the current version of the California Legislature wrapped up its session in frenzied fashion.

Wednesday, August 31st saw more than one hundred bills up for consideration. Now it’s up to the Governor to say yea or nay on legislation affecting all aspects of life in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), who successfully shepherded 19 of 20 bills through the legislature this year, is leaving nothing up to chance with her hard-fought victory on AB 1066, gradually phasing in standards for farmerworker overtime.

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An NFL Quarterback Was Just Added to My List of Social Heroes

August 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

This is so deja vu, this state of affairs with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49’ers quarterback who sat when one is “supposed to stand” in honor of The Star Spangled Banner that heralds a time when non-white people in our county were not seen as human beings.

I fully understand and appreciate this man’s stance although I stand whenever the anthem is played out of respect for those who get goose pimples in such moments. However, I bow out at singing about “bombs bursting in air” and “flags still being there” and the empty promises inherent in the braggadocio “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!” at the end of the song.

That aside, I can’t help but think back to the 68 Olympics, when the quest for “liberty and justice for all,” in a spirit of today’s “Black Lives Matter” movement was pursued like never before. My soul still fills with pride remembering the image of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the ceremony for handing out the gold and the silver and the bronze medals for the men’s 200, standing on their podiums with their heads bowed and their hands raised in the “Black Power!” salute.

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Crystal Rose Speros Is the Ocean Beach Hero for the Week – Saves Torrey Pine Temporarily

August 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest 80416 in tree good
A young, local woman, by the name of Crystal Rose Speros, climbed up into the Torrey Pine the City wanted to chop down this morning – dramatically bringing any work on the tree to a half – at least for the rest of this week.

A small crowd of residents and OBceans had gathered around the Torrey by 9 am on the 4600 block of Saratoga, some willing to stay until threatened with arrest or more.

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Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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Did San Diego Police “Overreact” During Anti-Trump Protests or Did They Simply Follow “The Zimmerman Plan”

June 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump SD protest FG cops diners 3-ed 2

Is it true that San Diego Police overreacted during the anti-Trump protests in downtown last Friday, May 27th, or did they simply follow Chief Zimmerman’s plan to corral demonstrators and push them into Barrio Logan where they could make arrests – arrests made out of the lens of the national media?

I attended the protests and was downtown for about 6 hours that day a week ago. The following observations and opinions are my own. What I did see and experience has led me to believe that the police manipulated the anti-Trump protesters in order to declare an illegal assembly – which then gave them the authority to make mass arrests – arrests police made largely out of sight – and in the ethnic Chicano- Mexican-American community of Barrio Logan.

Knowing that the police had earlier announced that they were setting up two separate “free speech zones” – one for the Trump supporters and one for the anti-Trump protesters – …

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San Diego ACLU Seeks Public Records Related to SDPD’s Militaristic Tactics at Trump Rally

June 3, 2016 by Source

Trump SD protest cops why

Many San Diegans dismayed at the City of San Diego’s unprecedented response to public protest

By ACLU – San Diego / June 2, 2016

In response to the community’s objections about San Diego Police Department’s unprecedented show of force at last Friday’s Trump Rally, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter early today requesting public records from the City of San Diego concerning SDPD’s operations.

Along with Alliance San Diego, the American Friends Service Committee, National Lawyers Guild, and Union Del Barrio, the San Diego ACLU has been responding to community members’ questions and complaints in the aftermath of what community leaders believe was an unacceptable show of excessive force by SDPD against peaceful protestors.

Citing the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the ACLU is requesting the following information:

  • How many officers? The number of and specific law enforcement agencies and special units, including plainclothes officers, who were dispatched or who in some capacity participated in responding to the protests;
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Free Speech and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign at SDSU

June 2, 2016 by Source

Open Letter From SDSU Staff and Faculty Regarding Naming and Targeting of Students

sdsuThe following is an open letter sent to President Hirshman from the undersigned staff and faculty at San Diego State University regarding flyers posted on the university campus in April. The flyers listed the names of seven students from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA), accusing them of “Jew-hatred” and of being linked to “terrorists.”

They were singled out because of their support of the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement (BDS), which is used as a means of holding Israel accountable for human right violations against Palestinians. The letter touches on the broader implications of the flyer incident, whereby the naming and targeting of students represents a marked escalation of wide-ranging efforts to suppress the growing momentum of BDS campaigns across American campuses.

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