Civil Rights

Let’s say “No More” Violence Against Women

December 18, 2014 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Stop Violence Against Women

It’s sad that there’s such a notion as “violence against women,” but it’s heartening that, seemingly, we, as a society, are now looking into such an unsavory practice as though we want to do something about it.

A catalyst for a big part of our interest in the subject has been the National Football League (who would have ever dreamed that?) with their “No” to violence against women television PSA’s, featuring present day and ex-pro football players, motivated by that horrible tape we saw of star running back, Ray Rice, punching his wife out in an elevator, one of the nastiest sights anyone could ever see.

“No more boys will be boys,” one of the athletes says.

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The Gun Death Capital of the World – United States of America

December 17, 2014 by John Lawrence

Lethal Weapons ChartBy John Lawrence

The US leads the world in deaths from firearms. Countries like Great Britain and Japan, which outlaw guns, have hardly any gun related deaths.

These countries don’t have the “freedom” to own a gun. We Americans are free to own a gun and free to go bankrupt from medical debts. In countries like Britain and Japan they are not free to go bankrupt from medical debt because they have national health care systems which prevent that from happening.

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San Diego Joins National Protests Against Police Violence

December 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Photo Gallery of Event Inside

Last Saturday, December 13th, San Diego joined the national day of protests held nation-wide against police violence. The largest demonstrations were in New York City and Washington DC.

Three hundred people gathered at the large fountain in Balboa Park during the late morning for a rally, die-in and march. A couple dozen curious tourists were nearby, snapping photos. It was a very mixed crowd, and as Doug Porter reports (below) some of the speakers were exceptionally passionate and persuasive.

The various speakers did decry police shootings of Black men – including in San Diego, and other themes such as the lack of justice, the systematic racism of the system, white privilege, the need to come together, to love one another, to meet at the Malcolm X Library as part of a coalition, how reforms are not good, to not just come to a rally but take the struggle home, and more.

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On Torture: Deeper into the American Heart of Darkness

December 15, 2014 by Jim Miller

torture bedBy Jim Miller

A couple of weeks ago I evoked Joseph Conrad’s classic critique of colonialism when discussing the disposability of black and brown lives in the wake of Ferguson and our collective ability to dehumanize or “thingify” black and brown people at home and abroad.

As I observed then, “in Conrad’s classic novel Heart of Darkness we are taken on a journey into the core of the European colonial enterprise. And while the naïve reader may expect an adventure in the ‘savage’ world of Africa, what one quickly discovers is that it is the ‘hollow men’ of Europe bent on the ruthless exploitation of the land and the people who are the real savages, whose moral emptiness and desire to ‘exterminate the brutes’ is the actual horror.”

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Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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A community representative of newly-sworn in Councilwoman Lori Zapf called protesters at Zapf’s inaugural “fucking idiots” and then said “I wanted to shoot them!”

Shirley Owen, an aide to Zapf, called the protesters “fucking idiots with their hands up” and said “I wanted to shoot them.” The protesters were there to protest police violence and brutality, and had rallied outside the Golden Hall inauguration in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 10th. They were chanting “hands up, don’t shoot!”, and then went inside and had a silent protest and a “die-in”.

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San Diego March Against Police Violence – Sat., Dec. 13th

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Coinciding with a national march against police violence in Washington, DC, organizers have planned a march here in San Diego on the same day.

The national march is being organized by the National Action Network in response to the recent shootings by police of unarmed Black men and the failure of grand juries to indict the cops involved. Protest have erupted across the country on a daily basis since the most recent failure to indict last week by a New York grand jury.

The solidarity action in San Diego is on Saturday, December 13th, and begins at the Balboa Park Big Fountain at 10:30 am. Speakers are planned, as well as a “Die-In” and a march.

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SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

December 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Students at San Diego State University participated in a march and sit-in on Tuesday, demanding the school take action in response to sexual assaults and harassment. The protest was triggered by reports of people associated with fraternity houses yelling obscenities, waving dildos and throwing eggs at a Nov. 21st anti-rape march called Take Back the Night.

Their demands included an open forum with SDSU President Elliot Hirshman during the spring semester, along with the resignations of fraternity members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi from various posts on the campus.

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Will there or will there not be a skate protest down Newport Ave on Sat, Dec. 13?

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s fliers out here and there around OB of late that call for a “skate protest” on Saturday, Dec. 13. We’ve seen two variations – one calls for “Reclaim the Street”, and “Stop Skateboard Discrimination” and “End youth and homeless discrimination”.

The other says: “Support OB Culture”, and calls for “youth and homeless discrimination awareness”. Both call for a Skate down Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue at 12 noon on Saturday. One asked “Please wear green for peace and solidarity”. Both fliers had been apparently printed off a xerox, and were gray with hand-written text and symbols.

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Torture Tuesday: A Study in Manufacturing Consent

December 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

If you are unfortunate enough to be aware of the news today, you’ll be a witness to our country’s greatest exercise in what Walter Lippmann and subsequently Noam Chomsky called ‘manufactured consent.”

I’m referring to the release of the heavily redacted summary of the the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture. By the end of the day, via the conclusions of the chattering class, the American public will know three things:

  • US policy following the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks included broadly worded permissions to engage in torture.
  • There is controversy over whether torture was effective.
  • Oversight of the intelligence apparatus in the government is a danger to our national security.
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Dystopia Now: “Anticipatory Grief” or “Real Grounds for Hope”?

December 8, 2014 by Jim Miller

apocalypseBy Jim Miller

Just when you think you are living in a dystopian science fiction novel, the world keeps upping the ante. It’s not just scenes of burning cars and storefronts in Ferguson on TV evoking the mood either. There are some even darker clouds on the horizon that many of us just don’t want to acknowledge, no less come to terms with in a thoroughgoing and serious fashion.

Last week, as the country went through yet another round of dismay, rage, and painful racial self-examination in the wake of a New York Grand Jury’s failure to bring any charges against a policeman for the death by chokehold of Eric Garner, a pair of other unsettling stories emerged on the margins of the American media.

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Show Solidarity With Grand Marshall of OB Holiday Parade – Walk With the Community Plan Contingent

December 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Have you never walked or participated in the annual OB Holiday Parade? Well, tonight is the time for you.

OB planners are calling on all OBceans to join the Grand Marshall contingent of the Parade – it’s the OB Community Plan entry at the very beginning of the Parade down Newport Ave today, Sat., Dec 6th. The parade begins sharply at 5:05 pm – OB Time.

It is such an honor to be titled the Grand Marshall of the Parade – and the Town Council this year decided to bestow the title on the OB Community Plan. This is the first time in the Parade’s history, that an entity and non-human has been named the Grand Marshall.

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From Ferguson to Yemen: What If We Aren’t So Different After All?

December 5, 2014 by Jack Hamlin

Bridging the liberal- conservative dichotomy

By Jack Hamlin

imgresWhile saddened by the news out of Ferguson, Missouri this past week, I am not surprised. Once again an unarmed black teen was shot dead by an “other than” black man, and the legal industry was used to exonerate the killer. I say legal industry, because it is no longer a system of due process and equal protection, and no longer seeking justice. It is merely an industry which allows experts and insiders to use the law to further their own agenda.

I am certain, had Michael Brown shot and killed Darren Wilson in the same manner Wilson shot and killed Brown, the outcome would have been very different. …

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Midway Planners: 2 Large Projects Could Bring Major Changes to Area

December 5, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

Midway residents and business owners have long wondered what the future holds for two of the juiciest pieces of available property in the neighborhood: the bare two-acre lot adjacent to the West City Continuing Education Campus of the San Diego Community College; and the long-vacant former Cabrillo Hospital building.

The community college district property has been empty for five years. It was left over and declared surplus after the 2009 construction of a new campus at 3249 Fordham St.That same year, Sharp Cabrillo Skilled Nursing Center departed the four-decade-old, 10-story building at 3455 Kenyon St., a stone’s throw from the West City campus.

The community learned about two projects that could bring about big changes in population and demographics at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group Nov. 19.

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I’m in San Diego and I Can’t Breathe

December 5, 2014 by Doug Porter

Eric Garner's last words

By Doug Porter

The national chattering class finally found a dead black man they can get behind on Dec. 3rd as a grand jury in Staten Island refused to indict the policeman who was videotaped choking Eric Garner.

Since videos exist showing both the arrest and the subsequent four minute delay before officers attempted CPR, it’s not possible to easily weasel out of the conclusion this was -at a minimum- a case of criminally negligent homicide, as concluded by Fox legal expert Judge Andrew Napolitano. Eric Garner’s last words

The “best” lame excuses coming out of the flat-earther set were that Garner died because he was obese or that the “nanny state” laws taxing tobacco were to blame. Nobody’s called him a “thug”–yet.

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Point Lomans Invited to Navy Public Meeting on Miramar Fuel Pipe – Wed., Dec. 3

December 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Residents of Point Loma are invited to a public meeting hosted by the US Navy on their plans for the Miramar fuel pipeline that runs through the Peninsula. It’s on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd. It will be from 5 to 8 pm, at the Portuguese Hall, at 2828 Avenida De Portugal in Point Loma.

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Ferguson: America’s Heart of Darkness

December 1, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

PR- tile detailAlong with so many people last week, I watched the events in Ferguson, Missouri unfold with profound dismay and anger while fighting a sense of despair over the intractable nature of American racism. We all knew it was coming, but that didn’t soften the blow.

On the social media, one might also have predicted the outpouring of callousness and hate toward Michael Brown and those protesting the Grand Jury verdict, but it made it no less loathsome. Even the subsequent torching of Michael Brown’s family church was not a shock, just eerily resonant.

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In Solidarity With Ferguson, San Diego Protesters Shut Down 2 Freeways

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Over the course of about 12 hours, protesters in San Diego blocked two freeways in solidarity with people in Ferguson, Missouri, upset with the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Last night, Tuesday, demonstrators in City Heights of San Diego moved down from University Avenue and blocked I-15 for a few minutes. Some arrests were made by police.

Then this morning, Wednesday, about 50 protesters from UCSD shut down I-5 northbound for about a half hour. No arrests were made in this action.

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Ferguson: The System Is Indicted

November 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Too upset over what was announced last night in the failure of the Grand Jury to indict officer Darrin Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown to post today.

There are planned protests, vigils and demonstrations in 120 American cities today, Tuesday, Nov. 25th, including several in San Diego.

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Models of Aborted Fetuses on the OB Pier

November 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Much to their surprise, walkers on the Ocean Beach Pier on Saturday, Nov. 22nd, were confronted much to their disgust with ceramic models of aborted fetuses. The grotesque models were on a table along with pamphlets and books being handed out to anyone interested by an anti-abortionist group.

The table had a canopy and had been set up close to the stairs leading to the beach. It was staffed by about 5 people – one of whom held a toddler – and had been set up by a group named the Saint Paul Street Evangelization -with an address of 525 B Street Suite 2200, in downtown San Diego.

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Wall Street Criminals Walk Free After Inflicting Enormous Damage on American Citizens

November 24, 2014 by John Lawrence

Wall Street Fraud on a Massive Basis

jail the bank robbersBy John Lawrence

In an article in Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi lays out the case involving massive fraud on the part of JP Morgan Chase, one of Wall Street’s biggest and un-finest banks, considered too big to fail and, evidently, too big to prosecute for the massive criminality it is guilty of. It has been well documented what they and other Wall Street banks did that caused the financial crisis of 2008.

First, their counterparts lured everyone with a beating heart into their offices and gave them a mortgage regardless of their credit score, regardless of whether or not they were working, regardless of whether they could even afford to make a mortgage payment. Countrywide is the prime example of the predatory recruitment of low income people in order to turn them into homeowners despite their inability to pay.

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National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a soul-searching national scrutiny going on right now about fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.

In a LA Times article, published Nov. 16th, the issue of police killings of civilians is raised and it describes how the ranks of families are expanding “who demand answers about why lethal force was used, and who decides what is reasonable use of force.”

The key and central question is : What’s reasonable force?

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University of California Campuses Explode As Students Protest Proposed Tuition Hike

November 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: According to the LA Times:

A key UC regents committee moved Wednesday to hike tuition by as much as 28% over the next five years despite strong opposition from the governor, legislative leaders and students.

The regents committee on long-range planning approved the hike in a 7-2 vote after an unusual debate that pitted the state’s most powerful political leaders against administrators of the 10-campus UC system. The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed increase,

University of California campuses up and down the state exploded yesterday, Nov. 18th, as students protested a devastating tuition hike proposed by the UC administration.

Protests included a sit-in in front of the main library at UC San Diego – plus demonstrations at UC Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, LA.

DETAILS INSIDE, PLUS SUMMARY OF UC PROTESTS

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Mounting Protests Over 43 Kidnapped and Massacred Mexican Students Hit San Diego

November 19, 2014 by Doug Porter

Missing-students-AyotzinapaBy Doug Porter

Unrest in Mexico, triggered by the disappearance and probable execution 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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Ferguson Organizers say State of Emergency Violates Laws, Thwarts Civil Liberties

November 19, 2014 by Source

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

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Ferguson October

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.

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Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

November 17, 2014 by Source

As so often happens, Native Americans are leading the fight to save the world.

Moccasins on the Ground workshop where participants are trained in the skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action.By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

While half of the world’s species are disappearing, while the remaining 48 hunter/gatherer societies are literally fighting for their survival, while 32 million acres of rainforest are cut down a year, and while three hundred tons of topsoil are lost a minute, we are again at war with those who would destroy the planet.

There have been many wars fought on behalf of our life-giving land in North America. The overwhelming majority of those killed in defense of the land have come from peoples like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Sauk, and the Apache. Native Americans have long stood in the way of this destructive culture.

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The United Taxi Workers Victory and the Struggle for a New Labor Movement

November 17, 2014 by Jim Miller

IMG_0767By Jim Miller

Last Monday’s victory for the United Taxi Workers of San Diego provided a much-needed boost for local labor.

After a year that has included some tough losses at the polls and the effort to save the minimum wage ordinance, it was inspiring to see the taxi drivers (largely East African immigrant workers) burst into celebration and pour out of Golden Hall chanting “USA!” as they embraced each other, mounted the planter boxes, and cheered for joy.

It was the kind of genuine expression of collective exuberance that comes when workers feel, perhaps for the first time, that they have taken ownership of their lives and destinies.

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Round-About Being Considered for West Pt Loma and Bacon in Ocean Beach

November 13, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Planning Board and City are considering the installation of a round-about or traffic circle at the busy intersection of West Pt Loma Blvd and Bacon Street in northwest Ocean Beach.

City engineers have determined that a traffic circle would work at the intersection geometrically. So, the City is okay with the concept. There is a growing positive trend towards placing round abouts in urban areas impacted by traffic. … The intersection in question gets quite busy during rush hours and when major sports events …

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OB Town Council: Ocean Beach Community Plan Is the Grand Marshall for the Holiday Parade

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Organizers Set to Mobilize Plan Supporters for an OB Community Plan “Float”

The Ocean Beach Town Council has announced that its selection of the “Grand Marshall” for the OB Holiday Parade is the Ocean Beach Community Plan. Every year, someone or something is awarded the exalted title. Usually it goes to a deserving community member or celebrity. …
Meanwhile, organizers and supporters of the OB Community Plan are moving on plans to create a “float” in the OB Holiday Parade

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OB Time – the Old Hippie Writes

November 7, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first post of a regular column that the OB Rag hopes to publish weekly, “OB Time – the Old Hippie Writes”. Let us know how you feel or what you think about it.

Hey, kids – that’s right – I am an old hippie and here we are – in “OB Time”.

Do you know what OB Time is? If you have to ask, I guess you don’t live here. It’s why the annual Holiday Parade starts at 5:05 p.m. and not 5 sharp. It’s reflective of how laid back OB is. We don’t care about time. We’ve dropped out of the ol’ rat race. That corporate rush-rush-rush life style is a downer, man. OB Time is also why …

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California’s Proposition 47 Passed. Now What?

November 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

ca_prison21By Doug Porter

One of the big electoral victories for what I’d call sane people this week was the passage of Proposition 47. Simple drug possession and property crimes valued under $950 are now misdemeanors, effective immediately, punishable by up to a year in a county jail. … Law and order–or should I call them “lock ‘em and leave ‘em”– types are taking to the airwaves to fan the kind of (mostly irrational) fears responsible for California’s decades long dance with draconian detention policies.

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