Civil Rights

Angry White Men on My Mind

March 23, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Head shot photo of an angry young white man

By Ernie McCray

I keep hearing that Donald Trump is appealing to angry white men and I say, of course he is. He’s an angry white man. Who else is he going to appeal to?

Truth is, though, a lot of those angry white men should be angry with themselves for supporting and voting for people who mean them absolutely no good, politicians who do nothing to better their lives. People who, in actuality, do all they can to see that the president doesn’t help them either.

But, anyway, those aren’t the angry white men this writing is about. It’s those out-and-out racist angry white men I see on TV at Trump’s rallies who’ve captured my attention. I’ve spent a month short of 78 years dealing with angry white men like them and they make me jumpy, to say the least.

They are angry, like so many of their ancestors, at the very thought of people who are darker than them being equal to them.

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San Diego Activists Move Closer to Getting Needed Police Reforms on Ballot

March 22, 2016 by Source

City Council Committee to Hear Ballot Proposal, Recommendation to Charter Review Committee Urged

police badgeBy Women Occupy San Diego

On Wednesday, March 23rd Women Occupy San Diego will present its community-backed Ballot Proposal to make the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) more independent and transparent to the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety & Liveable Neighborhoods (PSLN) Committee.

We will do so on behalf of 25 civic organizations who have endorsed a Charter Amendment for the November 2016 ballot.

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America, Got Fascism?

March 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump supporters n text js

Okay, America – are we ready for fascism?

Is this a legit question these days? It happens that a lot of political commenters, pundits and journalists are asking the question: ‘is the good ol’ US of A ready for an American brand of fascism, in the form of the Donald Trump for president movement?’

As the presidential campaign season degenerated into racist and xenophobic diatribes by the Republican front runner, with those images of Trump supporters pledging their loyalty to him in Hitleresque salutes, after that scene in Chicago when the Trump rally was cancelled, triggering skirmishes between Trump supporters and demonstrators, it seems everybody is forming an opinion of whether Donald Trump is a fascist, comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini, and other dictators.

Those denouncing Trump as a fascist include who you’d expect – progressive and liberal journalists and commentators, like Bob Dreyfus on TomDispatch, who called Trump a “proto-fascist”, or like Robert Reich who called Trump out as a fascist. Also, moderate columnist Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post sees Trump as flirting with fascism.

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San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

March 18, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access / March 17, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met yesterday [March 16] and the patient community barely escaped a ban on medical cannabis.

The ban would have affected unincorporated areas of the county, such as Julian, Ramona and many other rural parcels where it would otherwise be safe and advantageous to cultivate cannabis.

The advantage would be a regulated and local supply of product to the growing number of licensed medical cannabis co-ops in the city of San Diego. The city is the only municipality in the county with a retail distribution ordinance on its books. But, the city’s law does not address the cultivation of cannabis at all. Many cannabis patients saw the need for cultivating a local supply of medicine and began to eye the dysfunctional county ordinance.

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With Women’s Rights On the Line, Groups Demand Supreme Court #StoptheSham

March 18, 2016 by Source

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is widely believed to be the most consequential abortion rights case since Roe v. Wade

Women protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday against "sham" abortion laws that have threatened their health and autonomy. (Photo: NARAL Pro-choice NC/Twitter)

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

The U.S. Supreme Court, with one vacant seat, heard oral arguments on Wednesday in what is widely believed to be the most consequential reproductive rights case since Roe v. Wade, one which observers warn could dramatically alter abortion access for women across the country.

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News From Around Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid March 2016

March 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Some Police Cameras Installed
* March 19th – Friends of OB Library Book and Yard Sale – Donations Needed
* Wife of Drowning Victim in OB Asks “What Was He Thinking?”
* Hess Brewery Dinged by Lack of Parking Citation
* Point Loma High Players and Fans Left in the Dark
* OB Elementary Principal to Kiss a Pig
* No Good Leads in Parrots Killings – Issue to Be Addressed at OB Town Council Meet
* New Construction Fence Around Former Doctors’ Offices – the Future “OB Plaza”
* OB Chili Cook-Off Contestants Needed
* Chapter One Tattoo Parlor Opens
* Hookah Parlor Closes
* Dog Lost at Sea Returned to San Diego Owner 5 Weeks Later
* Two Local Women Beaten Up by Female Traveler
* OB Picked as “Best” Neighborhood of a Large City

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It’s Time for Some Changes at the San Diego Police Department

March 16, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for It’s Time for Some Changes at the San Diego Police Department

By Doug Porter

Will the City Council expand oversight of the San Diego Police Department? That’s the question being considered on Wednesday, March 23rd as a city council committee considers an amendment to the charter making the Community Review Board on Police Practices more transparent and accountable.

Evidence that there may be a problem with oversight keeps piling up. The ACLU and 26 other groups have called upon the Department of Justice for an investigation into the SDPD’s use of force when encountering people living with mental illness.

A preliminary report from an independent study following up on concerns of racial profiling by the SDPD was delayed for eight months so the information wouldn’t come out “piecemeal.”

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Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

March 16, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

The following article originally appeared in 1988 in Justice Speaks, a publication of Black Workers For Justice, in North Carolina.

Almost 30 years later, Ireland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter uprising of 1916, which eventually freed most of the country from British rule.

But the nation is still one of many around the globe that has yet to complete its “Unfinished Revolution,” because that phase of the struggle ended with its northeastern region partitioned in the 1920s into a new entity, “Northern Ireland,” so that places like Strabane still remain under British domination and occupation to this day.

by Michael Steinberg

On November 29th [1988] the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a British law allowing Britain to detain suspects for up to 7 days without charging them is a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. The court’s decision is a blow to Britain’s attempts to crush the 800-year old Irish national movement. While the British government incorrectly portrays this as a religious conflict, in reality it is a political struggle for liberation and independence from British rule.

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San Diego Police and FBI Drove Local Black Panthers Underground

March 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Union-Tribune Finally “Finds” San Diego’s Black Panthers

In a very decent February 28 article about San Diego’s Black Panthers penned by Peter Rowe of the San Diego U-T, some of the city’s turbulent civil rights and Black power movement history from the Sixties and Seventies was uncovered.

First, it’s amazing to some San Diegans, including Rowe, that San Diego even had a Black Panther chapter back in the day. And that’s a credit that the San Diego Union and Tribune themselves can claim, for the coverage of local Panthers and the civil rights movement in general was skewed due to the right-wing – and yes, racist – policies and bias of its owners and editors. Think the Copley family, who ran the city’s only pair of dailies for decades.

But now thanks to Rowe, some of this history has been dusted off and bared for all to read. Much of the article recounts the experiences of one Henry Lee Wallace, now 64 and still in San Diego, but back then, a member of the local Panthers.

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Why Climate Change Action Cannot Succeed Without Social Equity

March 15, 2016 by Source

Social-Equity-graphicBy Murtaza H. Baxamusa / San Diego UrbDeZine

Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies.

The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and interdependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said inLaudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Sustainability is framed as a three-legged stool consisting of the three ‘E’s: environment, economy and equity. However, the third leg, social and economic equity, is often the weakest.

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Police Body Camera Footage Must Be Made Public

March 15, 2016 by Source

By Rob Tindula

police body camera photoA few weeks ago, the City Attorney’s Office released an 11-page memo outlining the public disclosure of police records, including body camera footage.

The report stated that the Mayor has exclusive rights when it comes to releasing the department’s body camera footage to the public and listed a number broad of exemptions to go along with it.

This is unfortunate for all San Diego residents. Police body cameras have the ability to increase the accountability of officers while performing their daily duties because video evidence can provide an unbiased account of what happened at the scene.

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City of San Diego’s Program for Outdoor Cafes

March 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for City of San Diego’s Program for Outdoor Cafes

The City of San Diego has had a program for a decade now, that allows merchants and restaurants to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses.

It’s called the Public Right of Way (PROW) Program and was passed unanimously by the San Diego Planning Commission in March of 2006.

The program – according to the City’s new info website – allows:

“… merchants with ground-level storefronts in the twelve Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will now be able to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses to place A-frame signs, limited displays of merchandise, and outdoor cafes without railings. ” (Our emphasis.)

The main Ocean Beach commercial district has such a BID – the OB Mainstreet Association.

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Notes on Candidates for Peninsula Community Planning Board

March 11, 2016 by Source
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Annual Election on Thursday, March 17, 2015 from 4-8pm at the Point Loma Library.

Editor: The following post on notes on some of the candidates for the upcoming Peninsula planners’ election was sent to us by Korla Eaquinta, a neighborhood activist from the Roseville area of Point Loma. Any opinions or observations made by Korla are her own.

By Korla Eaquinta

The Peninsula Community Planing Board (PCPB) Candidate’s Forum was held on Thursday, March 3, 2015 from 6-7:30 at the Point Loma Library.

Fourteen candidates have applied for five board positions. Applications received include:

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Gonzalez Bill Opens the Door for Rights of Gig Economy Workers

March 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

uber graphicBy Doug Porter

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has (re-)introduced legislation (AB 1727) ensuring that independent contractors working in the gig economy are allowed workplace rights currently enjoyed by conventional employees.

Thus begins what will likely be a multi-year struggle to redefine the role of labor in the 21st century.

The rights under consideration include negotiating as a group, communicating with customers and the public, boycotting or critiquing a hosting platform’s business practices, and reporting publicly or to law enforcement any practices in violation of local, state, or federal laws.

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Encroachments Into Public Space in Ocean Beach – A Photo Essay

March 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Take a walk with us through the streets and sidewalks of Ocean Beach as we visit all the encroachments into public space by restaurants and bars across the community.

Many of the encroachments are welcomed as part of the new trend of cafe-style eateries and any intrusions into that common space are incidental and minimal. Others are where there is plenty of sidewalk or there isn’t much pedestrian traffic.

Some encroachments, however, are actually dangerous and unnecessary. Especially those encroachments that are permanent.

Whether an encroachment is dangerous or not often depends on its particular factors and circumstances.

So, take a walk with us – let us know whether you agree or not.

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International Women’s Day: A Google Doodle, 79 Cents on the Dollar and a Dollop of Socialist History

March 8, 2016 by Doug Porter

women's day protest By Doug Porter

We should all be thankful that retailing moguls haven’t been able to figure out a way to make International Women’s Day a sales event.

In San Diego, a mid-day downtown (7th & B) demonstration heralded the struggles of Immigrant Women around the world, calling out poverty, abuse and exploitation in the janitorial workforce.

Today we’ll take a look around the media world to see what is happening with regard to women on March 8, 2016.

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March 8th – Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2016 by Source

Rag cover Int Womens Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day.
OB Rag cover – Early March, 1975 – commemorating International Woman’s Day. The cover shows a crowd of women activists from Ocean Beach on the OB Pier. The cover was later formatted as a poster for a display at the OB Library of OB Rags during the 1990s by Bob Edwards, a former OB Ragster of the seventies.

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When Does the Violation of Women’s Bodies Become a ‘Red Line’?

March 8, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for When Does the Violation of Women’s Bodies Become a ‘Red Line’?

“If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been “normalized.”

By Lauren Wolfe / Common Dreams

Two years ago I was on vacation in Maine when I started getting really, really mad. I’d been working to track sexualized violence in the Syrian war for a long time and had gotten very little response from policy makers despite many meetings with those in our government and the UK’s and at the UN.

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Homeless Evicted By San Diego Police Just as Major El Niño Storm Approaches

March 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

clean up 1

You have to wonder what they were thinking in city hall. On Monday morning the police department conducted a sweep of sidewalk homeless encampments as a major winter storm bore down on San Diego.

A severe thunderstorm warning for the entire San Diego County coastline was issued as the second in a series of El Niño storms swept through the region. The promise of below-normal temperatures combined with driving rain and gusty winds meant being outside was going to be a miserable experience.

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A New American Majority in San Diego?

March 7, 2016 by Jim Miller

Brown is the New WhiteBy Jim Miller

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a talk at Alliance San Diego by Steve Phillips, author of Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.

The central point that Phillips makes is that, at present, we already have a new American majority of 51% of the electorate comprised of progressive people of color and like-minded whites.

The problem we face, Phillips argues, is that we are failing to mobilize that majority because many in the consultant class and the upper reaches of the Democratic Party don’t believe the numbers and/or are stuck in an old pattern of chasing after the elusive “swing voter” typically identified as white who could be persuaded to vote for a Republican or a Democrat.

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OB Mainstreet Association Looking for Pier Reviews

March 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Iconic OB Pier Turns 50 This Summer

The famous Ocean Beach Pier turns 50 this July, and the OB Mainstreet Association is planning big celebrations to honor the 2nd longest pier on the West Coast, and completed in 1966.

One of the neat things the merchants’ group is doing is collecting stories and photos about and of the pier.

OBMA is asking people to share their stories and pics – and send them to the merchants’ group staff who plan on publishing a PierBook at some point with the stories and photos.

Here is the link to the page where you can share them.

Isabel Clark is the Program Director with the OBMA leading the efforts surrounding the Pier’s celebration. She encourages people to send the memories, photos and pier memorabilia directly to her ( ) or bring materials by the OBMA office.

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Check to See Which Ocean Beach Planning District You’re In – OB Planning Board Election Today – Wed., March 2nd

March 2, 2016 by Staff

OB Plan Area Map good

Hey – Make sure you vote in the annual election to the Ocean Beach Planning Board today Wednesday, March 2nd.

Today – Wednesday, March 2nd – is the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s annual election. It will be held from 4 pm to 7pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. (For details, see OB Planning Board’s website.)

Seven of the 14 seats on the Board will be up for election.

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OB Planning Board Agenda – Wed., March 2nd – Newly Elected Members to Take Seats

March 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


The March 2nd monthly meeting of the OB Planning Board will be one hour later than usual so members can count the ballots of the annual election to be held that day.

The meeting will begin at 7pm, at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The election is from 4pm to 7pm at the OB Rec Center, in the main meeting room. Eligible residents, property owners and business owners are urged to participate in the annual election of Board members. Usually there is one seat from each of the 7 planning districts open for election. The meeting will be held in the same room as the balloting, after ballots are counted.

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Feeling a Need to Stand with Planned Parenthood After Watching “The View”

March 1, 2016 by Ernie McCray

7177394096_d7145706b7By Ernie McCray

I was watching the women on The View the other day talk about a video of John Kasich saying, in reference to a campaign he had won in Ohio years ago, that he had been victorious because “many women left their kitchens” to go door to door for him.

A woman didn’t take well to his remark and let him know that she would, never-the-less, come out to support him but wouldn’t do so from her “kitchen.”

“I gotcha,” Kasich replied, a bit embarrassed by his “a woman’s place is in the home” kind of faux pas.

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The Hub of Ocean Beach: Planning District 4

February 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Plan Bd Dist 4 mapEditor: As we continue in our series looking at the different districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area, today we settle in District 4 – the Hub of OB. See their website for details.

District 4 – The Center of the Village – the Hub of OB

It’s easy to see why District 4 is indeed the center and hub of the community of Ocean Beach. Just look at a map and you’ll see that the business district and the main beach are both in this district.

Downtown OB – the 3 commercial blocks of Newport Avenue and the adjacent side streets – is certainly the center of the community, no matter how you measure it. Traffic, pedestrians, events, happenings, music, food – and of course drink – it all – or most of it anyhow – happens right there.

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SeaWorld Admits to Spying on Activists – Meanwhile, It’s Stock Is Down Nearly 10%

February 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

PETA says this photo of 2014 Rose Parade arrest shows Paul McComb of SeaWorld, who went by Thomas Jones. (Via Times of San Diego)

SeaWorld has now admitted for the very first time, that some of its employees spied on animal rights groups while they posed as activists. This admission is 7 months after PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – accused SeaWorld of having one of its San Diego HR employees pose as an activist, attend protests and then make outrageous comments on social media.

Meanwhile, could it be that the big story is actually that SeaWorld’s stocks have fallen nearly 10%? It’s 4th-quarter earnings report, released Thursday, February 25th, stated that its stocks were down 9.2%. The company’s admission here was that attendance for the first quarter this year was down.

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OB Planning Area – District 1 : the Frontline vs. Gentrification

February 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 1 Map off'l

The annual election to the Ocean Beach Planning Board is coming up on Wednesday, March 2nd. This 14-member board reviews, approves and monitors development in OB as it adheres to the newly updated and approved OB Community Plan as the blueprint for the community.

District 1 – Northwest OB

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks.

It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors.

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I Don’t Mourn Scalia’s Passing

February 24, 2016 by John Lawrence

Photo by Cknight70

By John Lawrence

The man who gave us Citizens United and Bush vs Gore is gone from the face of the earth. I for one do not mourn his passing.

His decisions have not only contributed to the destruction of the US, but major portions of the world as well, and he was set to destroy the world consensus on climate change which would have destroyed the entire planet.

It was Scalia who said that unlimited corporate campaign spending is something “we should celebrate rather than condemn,” (Citizens United), that vote-counting should be halted for causing “irreparable harm” to the candidate who might lose as a result (Bush v. Gore), that protecting the right to vote is an odious example of “racial entitlements” (comments related to Shelby County v. Holder), and that allowing local anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians amounts to “special treatment”

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Ocean Beach Growing Wary Over Private Encroachments into Public Space

February 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Growing Wary Over Private Encroachments into Public Space

From Restaurants to the Beach, Private Interests Are Taking More Public Grounds

The recent uproar among OBceans over the intrusions into public sidewalks by two Ocean Beach restaurants illustrates a broader and growing wariness by the public of the larger issue of encroachment by private interests into public space.

Just several weeks ago, the 2 OB restaurants, The Joint and the yet-to-open OB Brewery – both on Newport Avenue – have installed permanent fixtures outside their establishments that seriously curtail pedestrian traffic and block the public accesss to the public sidewalk immediately in front of the restaurants.

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February 22, 1974 – the Day Ocean Beach Became an Armed Police State

February 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OCEAN BEACH, CA. Exactly 42 years ago today, on February 22, 1974 – all hell broke loose in Ocean Beach – and for many of the seventies generation, this day will always live on in their memory as a day of infamy – the day the world came crashing down on our little seaside community.

It was the day that Pete Mahone, a politicized ex-convict and member of OB’s anti-Vietnam war community, tried to commit suicide by cop. It was also the breaking point in police-community relations, relations that had been simmering for years.

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