Civil Rights

Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché Cafe at UCSD

June 20, 2014 by Source

che cafe logoBy Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther.

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Ché Café Served 30-Day Eviction Notice, UCSD Cites Code Violations

June 19, 2014 by Source

Statement and press release from the Ché Café Collective

che-cafe[1]By Davide Carpano, student at UCSD and member of the Ché Café Cooperative

The Ché Café, a 34-year-old student-run cooperative at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been under attack by the administration for the past two months and was served with a 30-day notice of eviction on June 13, 2014.

The notice was given to the students and their lawyer during a meeting initiated by the University to discuss on the future of the Ché. The student members of the Ché were under the impression that this meeting was part of the informal mediation and dispute resolution process they had requested several weeks ago.

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Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

June 18, 2014 by Source
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The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn /

We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War Movement in May 2014. He said that in 1965, the Joint Chiefs assured President Lyndon B. Johnson that the war could be won, but it would take at least 500,000 to one million troops.

The Joint Chiefs recommended hitting targets up to the Chinese border. Ellsberg suspects their real aim was to provoke China into responding. If the Chinese came in, the Joint Chiefs took for granted we would cross into China and use nuclear weapons to demolish the communists.

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Councilman Harris’ Office Abruptly Cancels Meeting With OB Planners Supposedly “On Advice” of City Attorney’s Office – Which City Attorney Denies Giving

June 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Councilman Ed Harris’ office abruptly cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled with OB planners to discuss the OB Community Plan. The meeting had been set for Thursday, June 19th.

While the Plan goes before the full City Council on June 30th, OB planners had expected to be able to have a sit-down with the Councilman of OB before the hearing in order to explain in detail why the Community Plan is a good deal.

Harris had earlier met with the leader of the opposition to the Plan, property investor and owner, David Stebbins.

The two members of the committee responsible for the Plan Update and who have been working with City staff and who were expecting to meet with Harris, Gioivanni Ingolia and Peter Ruscitti, both were notified by Harris’ staff …

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Homeless Guy Beaten and Stabbed in OB Alley

June 18, 2014 by Staff

Local TV stations reported that two men beat and stabbed a homeless man while he was sleeping in an alley Ocean Beach. This happened just around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17th.

The unidentified victim reportedly told San Diego Police that he was awakened while sleeping in an alley off the 4800 block of Santa Monica Avenue near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard by two men attacking him.

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Campaign to Support the OB Community Plan Gears Up

June 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Petition Drive Spreads

At last night’s meeting of the organizers who are spearheading the campaign to rally the village in support the OB Community Plan, it was clear that organizers and volunteers were moving into high gear.

The goal is to show up at the June 30th City Council hearing on the Community Plan with thousands of signatures on petitions and to have hundreds of OBceans in the audience. All in support of the Plan and against the drastic recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Gio Ingolia, co-chair of the Sub-committee that has been working on the Community Plan Update, gaveled the gathering together, nearly twenty people meeting in the open room at the Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire.

Mindy Pellissier – the other co-chair – said: “It has to do with the character of OB and our desire to keep its small scale,” she said.

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Tony Gwynn Passes – the San Diego Baseball Legend

June 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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by Larry Rotolo / SD Entertainer Magazine News / June 16, 2014

The greatest San Diego sports figure ever, one of the last hall-of-famers to play his entire career with one team, a Powegian for 30+ years, the well-respected coach of the Aztecs’ revived program, Tony Gwynn has died.

Only 54 when cancer took him early this morning at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, in the company of his family, Gwynn was renowned not just for the 3,141 hits of his 20-year career, or the 18th best career batting average of .338 with its accompanying 8 National League batting titles; but for being a humble, approachable, likable local hero. He was our hall of famer, our San Diego Padre.

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What’s Wrong with the Recent Court Decision for Teachers

June 16, 2014 by Jim Miller

BlueRobot / Foter / Creative Commons AttributionBy Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew

Last week’s decision in the Vergara v. the State of California lawsuit that undermined tenure and seniority rights was a profound slap in the face to teachers who have committed their careers to improving the lives of our children. It was yet another significant victory for those who are seeking to impose corporate education reforms by pitting teachers against children in a cynical, destructive, and utterly counterproductive fashion.

As tenured professors in the community college system, union members, and parents of a child in California’s public school system, we have a unique perspective on this matter. …

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Both Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on Voltaire Street in OB Closed Down

June 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There was a day not too long ago, that the 4800 block of Voltaire Street in OB had two medical marijuana dispensaries on it. Now there is none.

Both the med pot shops at 4827 A Voltaire and at 4852 Voltaire are totally gone, dude.

The first one to open was the storefront at 4852. Bill Tsiamis, the property owner, told me he did not know what was going on in the storefront that he owns.

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What Does “Clean Elections” Really Mean?

June 11, 2014 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Supporters at San Diego's Earth Fair. Taken from sdcleanelections.orgA local organization, Neighborhoods for Clean Elections, is leading a grass roots coalition with plans to put a clean elections initiative on the 2016 ballot.

The initiative — which is supported by Common Cause, as well as a host of other good government groups and a large number of town councils, local community councils and community associations — will provide public funding for candidates for mayor and City Council who agree to a Clean Elections Pledge.

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It’s Time to Stand Up for Increasing the Minimum Wage, San Diego!

June 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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San Diegans Are Urged to Attend Council Committee Hearing Today – June 11th

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to exist in this country.”~ President Franklin D Roosevelt

By Doug Porter

It’s been the season of (talking about) minimum wage increases. Now it’s time to take action.

On Wednesday the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee will be discussing a proposal supported by Council President Todd Gloria. If the committee approves it will go to the full City Council. Then Council members will then decide whether to approve the wage hike or send it to the ballot for a public vote.

Local supporters of Gloria’s measure, led by Raise Up San Diego are calling for people to attend the committee hearing, slated for the 12th floor at city hall, Wednesday, June 11th from 9am til Noon.

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How OBGO brought back the OB Rag and the “California Energy Crisis”

June 10, 2014 by Marc Snelling

SDG&E customer burning bill - OB Rag July 1975

OB Group Brought Activism Back to the Streets of Ocean Beach

The original OB Rag published from 1970-1975. Twenty five years after the last OB Rag newspapers were circulated on the streets of Ocean Beach, OBGO launched an effort to bring the stories back into the digital realm.

The Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization (OBGO) was a group formed by local activists existing from 2000-2005. Through the group’s website the first story republished was in August of 2000. ‘SDG&E Wants 20% More’ was the title of the article republished from the Volume 5 Number 6 issue of the Rag of July 1975.

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Who’s Really the Traitor Here? Thoughts about Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

June 10, 2014 by Ernie McCray

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

By Ernie McCray

My goodness, a man, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, gets released from a 5 year imprisonment in Afghanistan, and there are those who want to condemn him, as a traitor, allegations that are no more than speculations based on shaky observations.

“He walked away from his duty! And people died looking for him!” people say as though in war it’s out of the ordinary for someone to freak out and want to flee and maybe say to his foe “I don’t want to shoot another one of y’all anymore! I can’t stand to see another child run in fear when I walk near them. I can no longer stand to see them shake in their pants, ever again” – aka “consorting” with the enemy. We’re human beings. We’re supposed to care. It’s in our nature somewhere.

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Clarifications on Security Camera to Be Installed On Top of Ocean Beach Pier Trailer

June 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve received some clarifications on the security camera to be installed on top of the police trailer in the OB Pier parking lot.

The camera, in fact, will not be monitored, according to Chet Barfield, District 2 community representative. If there is an incident, he explained, then presumably the police could look at the video tapes. The camera is supposed to be installed any day now, and will run 24/7.

Barfield also explained that the camera – worth about $5,000 they estimate – was donated by the owner of a private security company, Leonard Pool of SITUS Surveillance and Security Systems. The DVDs were also donated. SITUS is located up in Kearny Mesa.

“There’ll be no live surveillance,” Barfield told the OB Rag, …

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Surveillance Camera to Be Installed on OB Police Trailer

June 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Councilman Ed Harris announced at the “Respect OB” BBQ held Saturday for first responders that there will be a surveillance camera installed on top of the parking lot Police Trailer to combat crime at the foot of Newport Avenue.

Harris said the security camera will be installed within a couple weeks. It has been donated to the the community of OB by unknown sources and will be operated by a private security company that will also help with patrols. Harris said:

“It’s just a thank you from the public.”

The foot of Newport and the OB Wall are considered by police to be “high-crime areas”.

“It’s not illegal to be homeless,” Harris said, “but you have to respect OB.”

Ever since the early and late Sixties, the foot of Newport Avenue has been a hotspot for reported nuisance crimes and drug dealing.

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June Gloom: Inequality for All, Really

June 9, 2014 by Jim Miller

plutomoney-470x219By Jim Miller

“When you skip voting it’s not rebellion, it’s surrender.”

That was the apt Facebook meme doing the rounds last week after a brutal primary election where a pathetically low turnout led to a very good night for Republicans and the corporate interests they represent. Of course this was not at all unexpected as June primaries have always been lethargic affairs, but this one was even more embarrassing.

Indeed, with labor significantly depleted after losing a big mayoral special election and fractured local Democrats still reeling, the right saw an opportunity to go for the kill and they did, outspending the Democrats in nearly every race and burying the community of Barrio Logan under a mountain of corporate-funded bullshit.

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OB Planning Board Gears Up to Oppose San Diego Planning Commission

June 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At last night’s meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the Board approved a Petition to be circulated throughout OB that supports the OB Community Plan- as a show-down with the San Diego Planning Commission approaches.

One week ago, OB’s Community Plan Update was before the Commission for its review before it headed to the full City Council later this month. Even though they voted to approve the Plan, the Commissioners did so after they made two modifications – one of which took the teeth out of the OB Plan, so OB planners feel.

At last night’s meeting, after a presentation by Plan Update sub-committee Co-Chair Gio Ingolia, the Board voted unanimously to support a petition to preserve the language in the Plan that keeps the teeth – or the tool of floor-area ration restrictions.

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2014 San Diego Primary: It’s #Ididnotvote By a Landslide

June 4, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Yesterday San Diego non-voters elected a district attorney personally embroiled in a criminal case, a county clerk supported by anti-gay bigots and a supervisor known for using taxpayer dollars to support religious causes. Call it a resounding victory for apathy and a defeat for advocates of the two tier/jungle primary voting system as a near-record low number (I’m guessing 22%) of voters cast ballots.

Approximately 12% of the city’s registered voters agreed with a corporate campaign almost completely based on lies to overturn a five-year-long community planning process. Incumbents were triumphant everywhere.

The low turnout favored Republicans. For complete local results go here; for statewide results go here. There remain 98,000 votes to be counted as I’m writing this, but past experience tells me little will change.

There will be runoff elections in November for San Diego City Council District 6 between Carol Kim and Chris Cate, the 52nd Congressional District between Carl DeMaio and Scott Peters, along with Mary Salas versus Jerry Rindone vying for the Mayor in Chula Vista. A stealth campaign by teahadist Donna Woodrum for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board failed to unseat Maria Nieto Senour.

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Inside the U.S. House’s Historic Vote on Medical Marijuana

June 2, 2014 by Source

mmjcongressAn amendment that would prohibit the Fed from interfering in state medical pot laws is still up in the air.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

The GOP-controlled House surprised just about everyone when it voted 218 to 189 for a pro-medical marijuana amendment on Friday. The amendment, tacked onto the much larger criminal justice funding bill (H.R. 4660), would prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal taxpayer funds to interfere with medical marijuana laws in 22 states that have passed them.

The House vote was historic. It was the first time since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that the majority of a chamber of Congress voted in favor of something that would alter national marijuana policy.

Unanswered questions linger about the amendment, however …

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Five Reasons to Vote on June 3rd

June 2, 2014 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

What if they had an election and nobody came?

That’s the feel that this June’s primary has to it and, after a nasty and seemingly unrelenting political year from the Filner scandal on, it’s understandable that folks are burned out and/or disgusted enough to stay home.

Nevertheless, while most San Diegans are meeting tomorrow’s election with a collective shrug, there are a number of things at stake that will affect our lives and the future of our local and statewide democracy in important ways.

Here are a few key areas that should motivate progressives to get to the polls: jpallan via flickr

1) The balance of power in the city is at stake.

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“Yes” on Props B & C is the Way to Support the Barrio Logan Community

May 31, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Here we go.

Same old same old politics in San Diego. The “Big Boys” have to get their way. They want us to vote “No” in opposition to a plan that was created to make a community healthy and safe.

And mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who has billed himself as an “independent” leader, has, as such, been going around talking about how when Propositions B & C are voted down, “it will be our opportunity to pass a plan that works to protect our families, to protect our economy.”

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Ernest Dronenburg is a Terrible Choice for County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder

May 30, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Functionaries like County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg are important assets for the big money types that typically dominate local governments. Their behind the scenes efforts mean that policies get interpreted and enforced (or not) in a manner ensuring that “business as usual” remains Business As Usual.

That’s the reason why Dronenburg was among the earliest (along with Bonnie Dumanis) to get an editorial blessing from UT-San Diego. And they had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth to find a reason to support him. Or, as one astute commenter noted, perhaps they just penned the editorial based on a campaign press release.

Let’s face reality here; the position of “County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder” is usually not likely to be of concern to most voters.

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Planning Commission Approves OB Plan Update But With New Language that Guts its Teeth on Variances

May 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It was embarrassing to observe how the Planning Commission coddled one single property owner while gutting key language regarding variances

By Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, May 29, for nearly two hours, the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update was before the San Diego Planning Commission sitting in the City Council chambers. After having a staff presentation, listening to public comments pro and con, and their own questions and issues, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Update. However, they approved the Plan with two modifications whose ramifications are not clear.

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Many Thanks, Maya

May 29, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

I miss you, Maya,
but you will forever reside
in the breezes of
the breaths of fresh air
you gifted us with
when you were here,
ever so lovely and dear,
so wise beyond any years,
captivating us with your smile
and your wit
and your humor, all the while,
teaching us the ways of “We,”
you, him, her, them, me -
all of humanity.

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New Report Exposes Government Spy Network Employed Against Occupy Movement

May 27, 2014 by Source
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by Michael Steinberg / blackrainpress –

A report released just recently detailed a government spy network that was employed to monitor the Occupy movement “hour-to-hour” during 2011.

The Washington DC- based Partnership for Justice Fund just released an investigative report, “The Hidden Role of Fusion Centers in the Nationwide Spying Operations against the Occupy Movement and Peaceful Protest in America.” It took two years to carry out this investigation. Its principal authors are PFJF members Maria Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo.

Fusion Centers, funded by hundred of millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security, sprung up across the nation after the 911 attacks. Their mission was ostensibly to fight terrorism. But ten years later they made fighting the Occupy Movement their Number 1 priority.

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Death to the Death Penalty

May 27, 2014 by Source

death to the death penalty cohn

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed

The recent torturous execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma has propelled the death penalty into the national discourse. The secret three-drug cocktail that prison authorities administered to Lockett – the first to render him unconscious, the second to paralyze him, and the third to stop his heart and kill him – didn’t work as planned. After writhing in pain for 43 minutes, he finally died of a heart attack. Madeline Cohen, a lawyer who witnessed the botched execution, said Lockett had been “tortured to death.” Seasoned reporters, also witnesses, called it “horrific.” President Obama found it “deeply disturbing” and promised a review of how the death penalty is administered.

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Memorial Day: Remembering 70 U.S. Wars, Big and Small

May 26, 2014 by Source

memorial day picBy Clancy Sigal / Alternet

Except for mourning family members and Boy Scouts loyally placing tiny flags on veterans’ gravestones, hardly anyone knows anything about Memorial Day except that it’s a day off. It’s the saddest of the military holidays, invented after the Civil War, supposed to help us honor, or at least pause to remember, all the American dead from all our wars. That’s a lot of men and some women to remember going back, well, how far?

Big and small, we’ve “done” about 70 wars starting with the mid-18th century so-called French and Indian wars where George Washington was bloodied and when we got our first taste of industrially massacring Native Americans, mainly Ojibwas and Algonquins who sided with the French against our British masters.

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The Whole World – Including San Diego – Is Marching Against Monsanto

May 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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March Against Monsanto

The whole world is marching against Monsanto this weekend. Including San Diego.

Local activists have three days of protests planned for the coming weekend, starting

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A Reminder of “Who” We Are – A Call to Action in Support of the Zapatistas

May 23, 2014 by Ernie McCray

galeano_medium_withtextBy Ernie McCray

I hear all kinds of arguments about what’s wrong with schools and the sentiments tend to avoid the keys to what’s essential in the creation of a learning environment: an understanding of “who” the person is who’s being educated. And nothing gets at “who” a child, a student, is more than an educator who respects and appreciates that person’s culture and gives him or her an education that’s rich in the arts.

With that being said, on May 2, 2014, a hero of mine, a teacher extraordinaire, Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), was assassinated at the Zapatista’s “Little School” (La Escuelita), in Chiapas, Mexico. The school was built to celebrate “who” children are and “who” they can become.

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My Maria and SDSU’s Multicultural and Social Justice Program

May 21, 2014 by Ernie McCray


By Ernie McCray

She’s really something, my Maria. Maria Nieto-Senour. College professor by way of the Mexican barrios of San Antonio and Austin and the inner-cities of Detroit. Mo-Town.

At any moment she’ll be retired which means she gets to hang out with me more. I can’t wait because she’s fun to be around and she’s about as loving a human being as one could be.  

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