Civil Rights

Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

June 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

Babita Souza, a Point Loma resident who lives near the 40-foot tall project at 3144 Emerson Street, is planning a protest rally at the site this Saturday, June 25th – at 10 a.m.

Souza was widely quoted in a recent San Diego Reader article by Julie Stalmer about the history of hers and her husband’s concerns as they watched the project rise from dirt level to what it is today.

They are being joined by members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board who have been publicly against the project. Those upset with the project believe the City has wrongly approved the project, which violates the 30-foot height limit – which applies to the neighborhood where the project is being constructed.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson Project gp 05

City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

June 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

The suspect in a murder that occurred in Point Loma at Catalina and Voltaire has been arrested in downtown San Diego.

Thomas Burke was busted by police near F Street and 16th Avenue – which is very close to SDPD headquarters. This came down near 8 am Thursday morning.

The incident began around 11 pm Wednesday night when the murder victim – unidentified at this point – walked up to one of the apartments in the newly constructed Famousa complex at the corner of Voltaire and Catalina and was allegedly shot by Burke, who was reportedly inside the apartment.

First responders administered CPR to the victim but were unsuccessful.

A SWAT action ensued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with police not certain whether Burke was holed up or not in the apartment, but believed he might be barricaded inside. Neighbors were evacuated as a precaution.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News and Notices

June 21, 2016 by Staff

OB OB Pier 50th Art Image
* OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th
* Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off set for June 25
* Point Loma Neighbors See Violation of 30 Foot Height Rule in New Construction
* Recent Research Showing Cabrillo as Spanish Ignites Local Controversy
* It’s Back! Artwork Cleaned-Up and Returned to Newport Ave.
* Is Amazon Taking Over the Old Midway Post Office?
* Pipeline Repair and Rehab Project Public Meeting – June 22nd
* Woman Rescued After Falling From Sunset Cliffs …
* Bicyclist Injured by SUV in Fleetridge Area of Point Loma
* PB Residents Argue Whether Crime Rates Gauged to Lack of Local Control Over Alcohol Licenses
* Imperial Beach Is Worried About Sea-Level Rise – Shouldn’t OB Be?
* Fiesta Island’s full-on dog party over soon?
* Americana group Dewey Paul Band will perform their Garcia Van Dylan tribute at Winston’s
* Thousands of Books Collected for Kids Summer-

COME INSIDE FOR ALL THE REST ….

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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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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

imarijuana.com

Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Honoring the Victims of the Orlando Attack

June 17, 2016 by Source

flags half mast rainbow

Flags throughout San Diego and the rest of country have been half-staff this week to honor the victims of the attack in Orlando, Florida.

The Ocean Beach Recreation Center has had flags at half-staff this week. And the OB Elementary also had flags half-staff all week.

Flags were half-staff until sunset Thurs. June 16. Per President Obama’s proclamation. Flags were half-staff until sunset Thursday, June 16, per President Obama’s proclamation.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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The Sordid History of the OB Rag – the First Issue – September 1970

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag cover vol 1 no 1Editor:

Most of the following is a repost of an article published on September 8, 2015, in celebration of the OB Rag’s 45th anniversary.

It was September 1970 when the very first issue of the OB People’s Rag hit the streets of Ocean Beach.
With the banner date of September 17 1970, Volume 1 No. 1 was published on a mimeograph machine, it included 4 pages, back and front, stapled together.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

SD U-T stvr 3

By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

The City of San Diego has sent out notice that the construction of a three-story dwelling unit is being planned for 4768 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach. A process 2 Coastal Development Permit has been applied for by Justin Salbato for the project.

The permit calls for the demolition of a “non-habitable accessory structure”. The site contains an existing single family residence at the front of the lot, which is 0.16 acres. The new dwelling unit design includes a garage, with the unit having 2,226 square feet.

Plus – following a new trend – the new building design incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system with solar panels “sufficient to generate at least 50-percent of the project’s projected energy consumption”, in conforming to the City’s new, so-called Affordable / In-fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.

There appears to be several trees on the property, including a large pine tree (possibly Torrey Pine) in the back portion of the lot. It’s assumed that if the project is given the go-ahead, this tree will also be demolished.

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City of San Diego Ballot Proposals Promote Police Transparency, Human Services

June 13, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Women Occupy San Diego address Citizens Review Board
on Policy Practices inadequacies (again);

Democratic Woman’s Club advocacy for City of San Diego
Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

Women Occupy San Diego

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Keep an eye on some of the new ballot proposals that have been filed recently with the San Diego City Clerk.

These proposals reflect focused citizen participation that offer correctives to the city’s Citizen Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and the county’s meager health and human services. These small “d” democratic efforts also happen to be spearheaded by women.

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The Empire of an Ocean Beach Land Lord

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

Mills owns a lot of property in Ocean Beach – many rental units. And he has a long history buying up properties, raising rents, and maintaining sub-standard living conditions.

Rumors have swirled for years about how many rental units Mills actually owns, so we set out the other day to find just a few of his properties. And what we found initially were four sets of units that Mills either currently owns or has owned in the past – four properties that had a total of 51 units.

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Sore Loser!

June 10, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

chess game chanceSore losers! you sneer,
because they question the way the game was played.
Cheaters! they cry,
because it just doesn’t make sense
the way it went down,
compared to what they saw with their very own eyes.
Just politics.
That makes it all OK,
As if this was just a game of chess,
With nothing lost but the round,
unless you waged a bet.

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Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

June 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

Neighbors of the controversial project coming in at 2257 Froude Street and the Peninsula Community Planning Board recently lost an appeal of the project at the San Diego Planning Commission.

Here, then, are some thoughts on the various options that those neighbors have.

  1. Appeal the decision of the Planning Commission; §112.0508 of the San Diego Municipal Code allows for appeals of Process Four decisions of the Planning Commission to the City Council. This is the most likely option to be pursed by the Peninsula planners. Yet we don’t know when or even if an appeal has been made.
  2. Change the zoning in that area of the Peninsula Plan to match or reflect the floor-area-ratio of the adjoining neighborhoods of Ocean Beach, which are 0.70. This could occur through a concerted effort by the neighbors working through the Peninsula Community Plan update process to make those changes.
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San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Responds to Trump’s Attacks on Judge Curiel and on an Independent Judiciary

June 9, 2016 by Source

By Luis O. Osuna, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association President

San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association logoIn recent days our organization and Judge Curiel have become the targets of Donald Trump’s attacks. The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature.

Given the amount of attention that Trump’s remarks have produced, this statement seeks to clarify who we are as an association, our purpose and the abject impropriety of Trump’s criticism of Judge Curiel and his attacks on the independence of the judiciary.

A part of the general public has made assumptions about our organization based on our association’s name. It is important to note that while the term “La Raza” literally translates into “the race”, its literal translation does not reflect its cultural meaning. In that context La Raza refers to the concept of the power of the people working together in the name of justice in the face of adversity. It is in this sense in which our association’s name invokes “La Raza.”

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“La Cucaracha” Cartoon Takes on The Donald

June 7, 2016 by Staff

La Cucaracha trump
Donald Trump is having a hard time everywhere he goes, it seems these days.

Even on the comic page.

On Monday, June 6th – D-Day, the cartoon “La Cucaracha” let him have it. It displays a Hitleresque blond figure raising his arm in a Nazi-type salute – with a large “D” on his hat.

The cartoon drawn by Lalo Alcaraz, has often brought out the ire of conservative readers, usually complaining of the “over-politicization of the comic pages” or of the “Latino-bias” of the artist.

This time Lalo – we think – has hit it on the head.

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Renters’ Rights Activists Hold Rally in OB

June 7, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Renters’ Rights Activists Hold Rally in OB

Last Saturday, June 4th, a rally was held on the grassy area near Veterans’ Plaza in Ocean Beach by renters’ rights activists, who are circulating a rent-control petition for San Diego. They also have targeted one of OB’s landlords, Michael Mills.

Here is some of a report by Dave Rice at the San Diego Reader:

A group of activists seeking a rent-control ordinance and other tenant-protection measures gathered in Ocean Beach on Saturday, circulating a petition they hope will convince the city council to open a dialogue concerning their grievances.

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Honoring “The Greatest!”

June 7, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about my man, Muhammad Ali, off and on, feeling sad that he’s gone. But as a contemporary of mine (he was four years younger than me) he’ll never be forgotten by me because he has meant the world to me.

When I first heard about him he had just fought his way to a gold medal as the Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Rome.

I had just graduated from Arizona with a degree in P.E. and all kinds of basketball scoring records. So he and I were two young black men, athletes, standing tall and all. Who knew, though, that he would take being a sports figure to levels that were, up to then, unseen.

He was Cassius Clay in those days, but not a household name yet, …

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DA Bonnie Dumanis Loses Another Marijuana Case

June 7, 2016 by Source

Medical Marijuana Raid

Medical Marijuana Patient Dad Found Not Guilty of Child Endangerment

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Almost a year ago this week San Diego police officers stormed past medical cannabis patient Micah Wojnowski’s organic vegetable farm in Golden Hill and into the home he shared with his teenage son and a couple of roommates.

The police entered the urban home with guns drawn on a tip from a confidential informant. They did not find what they were looking for but decided not to accept defeat. Instead, they searched Micah’s house and garage and set a stage to paint Micah as a child abuser because he is a medical cannabis patient, an industry expert and a parent.

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Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

June 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

Ed Harris Criticizes Police Management for Ordering “Storm-troopers” to March into Barrio Logan

The race for San Diego’s mayor just became a little more relevant and interesting over the weekend – mere days before the California Primary.

In a debate Friday night on NBC San Diego, mayoral candidate Ed Harris made comments critical of the way San Diego Police were utilized after the anti-Trump protests on May 27th at the Convention Center. Police with riot gear were ordered into Barrio Logan and made over 30 arrests in a massive display of militarization. Many have criticized this action by police and Chief Zimmerman – including this writer.

During the debate, Harris said:

“It’s not responsible, it’s not respectful marching into Barrio Logan when people come out of their house because they hear the storm troopers coming down the street.”

By Sunday, the San Diego Police Officers Association was fuming and called on Harris for an apology in referring to their members as “storm troopers”.

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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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More on Controversial Froude Project: Statement by Jarvis Ross at Planning Commission

June 3, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for More on Controversial Froude Project: Statement by Jarvis Ross at Planning Commission

Editor: The following are prepared remarks made by Jarvis Ross before the San Diego Planning Commission on May 26 on the issue of the controversial Froude Street project. Ross is, a member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board for 15 years. The project is slated for 2257 Froude.

Statement by Jarvis Ross

Planning Commission Chairman Haase and Commissioners I am Jarvis Ross and had been a member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board excepting term limits from the year 2000 until March of this year.

While I was on the board the Froude Street project was opposed by the Peninsula Planning Board, nearby residents and Ocean Beach Property owners backing up to the South side of Froude Street.

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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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OB Green Activist Calendar for June 2016

June 2, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Green Activist Calendar for June 2016

June 9th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “The True Cost” at OB Green Center

June 11th Saturday 9:00 am – 11:00 am Dog Beach Clean Up

June 11th Saturday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm OB First Responders Appreciation BBQ

June 14th Tuesday 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm OB Woman’s Club monthly meeting

June 16th Thursday 7:00 p.m. OB Historical Society Meeting – History of the OB Rag

P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, 92107. Learn the history of the OB Rag by current OB Rag Editor Frank Gormlie.

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS AND MUCH MORE ….

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