Civil Rights

Frederick Douglass Opens Twitter Account and Trolls Trump

February 8, 2017 by Annie Lane

By Annie Lane / San Diego Free Press

While Mike Pence decided to recognize Black History Month by honoring a white man, Donald Trump was busy vaguely listing the few black people he’s heard of throughout his 70-plus years of ignorant life in a zero-hearted attempt to care about anyone other than himself.

One such man was Frederick Douglass, the ex-slave turned abolitionist, author, suffragist, editor and diplomat. Here’s what Trump said:

“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”

The one thing Trump didn’t notice? Douglass died in 1895.

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Resist and Persist: Trump Can’t Stand It

February 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The third weekend of the Trump administration saw protests and organizing events in cities large and small around the country.

Two Republican Congressman ignored the advice of their colleagues to stay away from in-person town halls and ended up having catching hell. Republican Reps. Tom McClintock in Roseville Ca., and Mike Coffman in Aurora, Co. tried and failed to limit attendance at their events; both ended up calling for a police escort to escape constituents angry over attempts to repeal Obamacare.

In San Diego, an organizing meeting for the downtown chapter of nascent Indivisible network drew nearly 200 people on Saturday. The Indivisible national registry indicates more than 50 such groups have sprung up in San Diego County since the Women’s March.

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San Diego Anti-Trump Groups Unite to Form “Tea Party of the Left” – Targets Politicos Feb. 7th

February 6, 2017 by Source

“Indivisible” Leaders Plan Comprehensive Campaign to Sway Congress

February 7 “Resist Trump Tuesday” Targets Feinstein, Harris, Issa, Hunter

POINT LOMA, CA – More than 60 San Diegans united in Point Loma on Saturday, Jan. 4th to defeat President Trump’s agenda through direct advocacy to members of Congress, and other elected officials.

Representing many of the five dozen “Indivisible” groups that have formed in the San Diego region since the election, the leaders met to network and strategize to maximize their impact through collective action.

The overflow crowd had to move to a larger room at a Point Loma community center to accommodate the attendees, who hailed from Alpine, Ramona, La Mesa, Carlsbad, Capitol Heights, La Jolla, Point Loma, Fallbrook, Tierrasanta and many other communities.

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Top 10 Companies to Boycott Because of Trump Products or Money

February 6, 2017 by Staff
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There is a nation-wide group that is organizing a boycott of companies that carry Trump products, or are owned by Trump or have other relationships with him. It’s call #GrabYourWallet and they believe economic push-back by American citizens and others is a very valid form of protest.

Their campaign has already been going on for nearly 4 months now and it has achieved some successes. Here is how they describe themselves and their history:

The #GrabYourWallet movement tracks & boycotts retailers that sell Trump family products as well as corporate leaders who enabled the political rise of the Trump family through fundraising and/or endorsements.

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March Elections for Ocean Beach Planning Board Approacheth

February 6, 2017 by Staff
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Tenants Are Encouraged to Run as Candidates for Board

Every year community planning boards and committees around the city hold their annual elections – most of them – in March.

And the Ocean Beach Planning Board is no different. The annual election to the panel of OB volunteers who make recommendations about projects that come before it to the city is being held Wednesday, March 15th. The balloting takes place inside the OB Recreation Center.

Any tenant, resident, property owner or business owner in Ocean Beach can take part in the election.

Importantly, everyone from these categories can also be a candidate for one of the seats on the 14-member Board.

So, if interested, check the district map for the district of your residence or business or property. At least one seat in each of the 7 districts is up for election each year.

CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS INSIDE

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How Not to Be the Resistance: Local San Diego Democratic Party and Union Leaders Fail Early Test

February 6, 2017 by Jim Miller

Head of Democratic Party Bashes Unions … While American Federation of Teachers Joins Calls for Kasparian to Take Leave of Absence

By Jim Miller

Last week I dedicated my column to outlining how, despite the emergence of inspiring protests in the streets and amongst the progressive base, many key Democratic figures in Congress and in the national leadership of the building trades unions still didn’t seem to understand what time it was. Sadly, it only took a few more days to see a couple of stunning examples of how not to be the resistance right here in San Diego.

On January 26th, Jessica Hayes, the newly elected chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, took advantage of her presence at a forum hosted by the Democrats for Equality entitled “#The Resistance: Women Lead the Way” to attack not the dangerous plutocrats running the country, but a key element of the Democratic base: unions.

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Thank You UC Berkeley Students and Community for Confronting Racist

February 3, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

This Is Not an Issue of “Free Speech” for a White Nationalist with Connections to the White House

Risking becoming the lone voice in today’s wilderness, we say today that somebody has to say “thank you” to the UC Berkeley students and community members who demonstrated against the white nationalist Breitbart News senior editor back on Wednesday, February 1st, and helped cause the campus to cancel the talk by Milo Yiannopoulo.

So, thank you.

The whole incident has now blown up, with claims the protesters violated free speech, with Trump threatening to cut off funds to UC Berkeley – which he cannot do unilaterally – and the subsequent push-back against him from school and California officials.

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Prominent Democrats and Community Activists Call on Labor Leader Kasparian to Stand Down

February 3, 2017 by Doug Porter

Three people holding signs protesting Mickey Kasparian

Gretchen Newsom and Lori Saldana Have Joined Calls for Kasparian to Be Placed on Admin Leave

By Doug Porter* / San Diego Free Press

Four years after the Bob Filner scandal, little has changed with the leadership culture in the centers of power on the left in San Diego–namely labor and the Democratic party.

The enablers and apologists for workplace sexual improprieties, gender discrimination, and retaliation continue to use the political clout and cash flow of their organizations as a shield, preventing them from answering for their behavior or learning from their mistakes.

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OB Town Council – Parade Winners, Zapf’s Budget Priorities and the Usual Suspects

February 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

At its monthly public meeting on Wed., January 25, the Ocean Beach Town Council celebrated the New Year and its first public event of 2017 by handing out awards to the winning floats that were in the December OB Holiday Parade.

As is true for many of the OBTC meetings, there was not one over-riding issue that dominated the meeting last week. Usually the audience is peppered with reports from the people who work for our politicians, from community groups, and from the reports of Board members – and this meeting was no exception.

Over 50 people sat in the audience, while half a dozen uniformed men stood off to the side, representing police, fire and lifeguard services. They all had their turn to address the meeting, as did reps from the City Attorney’s office and from Councilwoman Zapf’s office, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins’ office and Congressman Scott Peters’ office. Noticeably absent was anyone representing the Mayor’s office.

Winning Floats of OB Holiday Parade

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Neil Gorsuch’s Family Has a Checkered History When It Comes to Environmental Protection

February 2, 2017 by Source
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Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could enact revenge against the EPA

By David Helvarg / Sierra Feb 1 2017

Neil Gorsuch, who won the rose from Donald Trump as one of two finalists for a Supreme Court nomination, is a deeply conservative choice in the mold of the late Antonio Scalia.

He is also the poisoned fruit of a partisan refusal to hold confirmation hearings on Judge Merrick Garland, who was President Obama’s nominee for Scalia’s vacant seat. That constitutional hostage drama played out very well for the hostage takers.

If Gorsuch is confirmed (something that the Sierra Club and groups across the progressive movement have vowed to prevent), his ascendance to the nation’s highest court might also play out as a family revenge-drama against U.S. environmental laws.

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Trump’s Long Shadow Falls on San Diego Immigrants, Refugees, Muslims

February 2, 2017 by Anna Daniels

From City Heights Town Hall to Airport Protest

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

“Tell me what democracy looks like!”

“This is what democracy looks like!”

The chant ran up and down the whole length of Terminal 2 of San Diego’s Lindbergh Airport, up and down the opposite side of the terminal and could be heard on the second floor walkway. Three lines of cars ran between the two and those cars honked their horns while passengers waved flags and held signs outside of the windows.

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Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and Anti-Semitic Acts Impact San Diego

February 1, 2017 by Doug Porter

immigrant

By Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a statement on Tuesday indicating his disapproval of the executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries where President Donald Trump’s companies do not have investments.

Though milder in tone than statements by mayors in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle (some of whom have actually joined protests), Faulconer’s statement does recognize that individuals affected by the order are essential parts of the community.

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Reader’s Rant: Peninsula Planning Board Chair Prevented Community from Important Questioning of City Development Director

February 1, 2017 by Source
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Lost Opportunity to “Grill” Director Vacchi Over 30-Foot Height Enforcement

By Geoff Page

I want to relate some observations and opinions about the 30-foot height discussion and the sorry appearance of Robert Vacchi, Director of the Development Services Department (DSD), at the January 19 monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). I wrote a report of the meeting that appeared in the OB Rag last week but that report was an attempt at an objective account of the meeting; my opinions, and I have a few, were held in check.

Let me start my piece with a little background. Recently, the editor of the OB Rag drafted me into his informal and diverse staff to provide regular reporting on the Midway and Peninsula monthly planning board meetings. To his credit, the editor is making a real effort to provide as much news as he can about the community around us, if he can manage to cajole enough folks to help. The main focus is OB, of course, and Point Loma, but also beyond.

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San Diego Is First California City to Approve Adult-Use Cannabis Sales at Medical Dispensaries

February 1, 2017 by Source

By TG Branfalt / Ganjapreneur

San Diego California’s city council unanimously voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales at the cities current 15 medical dispensaries once the voter-backed program is fully implemented, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officials also indicated they would consider regulations later this year that would permit commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, and distribution.

A “sunset clause” is included in the measure, which requires the council to vote whether or not to allow cultivation within nine months.

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Defending the Earth from Donald Trump

January 31, 2017 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Progressive

As a coastal developer, Donald Trump has bulldozed ancient sand dunes and opposed offshore wind turbines (because they “ruined the view”) in Scotland, sought to build seawalls and fill in (smother) seagrass meadows and coral reefs in Florida, and built golf club luxury homes on a geologically unstable bluff in California where the eighteenth hole had earlier fallen into the sea.

Myron Ebell, the man Trump tapped to oversee the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency, is a well-known climate-change denier from the libertarian (and partly fossil fuel funded) Competitive Enterprise Institute. In the past he’s worked as the D.C. lobbyist for Chuck “Rent-a-Riot” Cushman, one of the more extreme leaders of the Wise Use movement of the 1990s. Ebell also promoted “safer cigarettes” (the “clean coal” of our lungs) with funding from Philip Morris.

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OB Planning Board Responds to Proposed City Restrictions on Recreational Marijuana

January 31, 2017 by Staff
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Today, January 31st, the San Diego City Council will vote on a proposal involving recreational marijuana, that allows recreational marijuana sales, but would ban commercial and restrict personal cultivation and testing for safety and potency.

In response to the proposed ban, the Ocean Beach Planning Board wrote the City Council members to express their positions and concerns.

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OB Planning Board Meets – Wed., Feb. 1st

January 31, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its monthly meeting this Wednesday, February 1st. The meeting begins at 6pm and is held in the community meeting room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

COME INSIDE FOR THE OFFICIAL AGENDA

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I Do Not Remember Ever Being this Depressed Over the Results of an Election as this One.

January 31, 2017 by Judi Curry
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I Do Not Remember …

In all of the years I have voted – and I have voted in 31 scheduled elections plus special elections – ever being as depressed over the results of an election as I am of this one. I do not ever remember the feelings of despair every time the candidate of my choosing lost. I do not remember the tremendous depression that I feel now; the feeling of helplessness; the feeling of doom.

Every single time I pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio or television I am greeted with another horrifying statement by Donald Trump. It is all I can do to even type the words “President” and his name on the same line.

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One Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words – San Diego Airport Protest of Muslim Ban

January 30, 2017 by Staff

This proves that indeed one picture is worth a 1000 words. San Diego airport protest – where thousands of San Diegans gathered over the weekend to demonstrate against Trump’s Muslim ban.

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Steve Bannon, White Nationalists and the Spread of Hate

January 30, 2017 by Doug Porter

Trump’s Scariest Move Yet
(It Wasn’t the Immigration Order)

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

While the national media was focused on the effects of and responses to the executive order on immigration, President Donald Trump was making an even scarier move.

From Common Dreams:

President Donald Trump signed memorandums on Saturday that kicked the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers off the National Security Council’s (NSC) Principals Committee and elevated his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in their place.

The memorandum gives Bannon, former executive chair of the right-wing website Breitbart News, a regular seat at some of the most sensitive meetings at the highest levels of government, along with other NSC meetings.

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San Diegans Responding to Trump Muslim Ban With Airport Protests

January 30, 2017 by Doug Porter

Muslim Ban

By Doug Porter /San Diego Free Press

As of Noon Sunday – Jan. 29th -, two thousand people have responded to a call on Facebook for a protest scheduled for Terminal 2 (International Arrivals) at Lindbergh Field starting at 5pm.

According to social media posts, the theme for the demonstration is #NoBan #NoWall.

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Donna Frye and Irene McCormack Show Solidarity with Kasparian’s Accusers

January 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Kasparian's accusers

“Doing nothing is not an option for people of good conscience.”

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

On a cold Wednesday evening in Kearny Mesa prominent San Diegans Donna Frye and Irene McCormack joined community members to show their solidarity with Sandy Naranjo, Isabel Vasquez and Anabel Arauz and call for the resignation of the President of UFCW Local 135 and San Diego and Imperial Labor Council, Mickey Kasparian.

Naranjo, Vasquez, and Arauz filed separate lawsuits against Kasparian accusing him of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and other misdeeds. Also named in all three complaints are the union itself and in Arauz’s filing, Richard Barerra, executive assistant of the local.

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Eye-Witness to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

January 27, 2017 by Source

Editor: Barbara Zaragoza, one of the editors of the San Diego Free Press – media partners of the OB Rag, traveled to Washington, DC for the inauguration protests held last weekend. Her main goal was to participate in the Women’s March held on the day after the inauguration, January 21. She’s been filing photos and reports since. And here is her eye-witness report from that historic Saturday.
By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

The Women’s March in Washington D.C. did not encompass a single issue. As the California Senator Kamala Harris explained during her speaker presentation:

‘You want to talk about women’s issues? Let’s talk about national security. You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about health care. Let’s talk about education. Let’s talk about criminal justice reform. Let’s talk about climate change.

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Repeal and (Don’t) Replace

January 26, 2017 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Woman holding sign: "We [heart] Obamacare"

“Repeal and Replace” Just a Slogan

Republicans were fine with the way it was for the health care system before Obamacare went into effect. So why not just go back to the good old days when a pre-existing condition was enough to let an insurance company reject you from coverage?

The good old days when price gouging by insurance companies was the order of the day. The good old days when pharmaceutical corporations could charge whatever they want for life saving drugs. Oh, that part is still true under Obamacare.

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ACLU Announces First Legal Action On Trump Conflicts Of Interest

January 26, 2017 by Source

By ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

The American Civil Liberties Union has taken legal action seeking documents on conflicts of interest and violations of the Constitution and federal law posed by President Trump’s and his family’s business interests.

The organization also released a Seven-Point Plan laying out how it intends to challenge other Trump policies and protect the Constitution.

The efforts are made possible by the organization’s new Constitution Defense Fund, which was established following the election.

The first legal action is a Freedom of Information Act request

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Campaign Against Labor Leader for Sexual Harassment Charges Heats Up – Protest to Call for Mickey Kasparian’s Resignation – Wed., Jan. 25th

January 25, 2017 by Staff

The campaign against San Diego labor leader Mickey Kasparian is heating up, as a protest calling for his resignation as head of the local labor council is being held today, Wednesday, Jan. 25th at 6pm outside a labor delegates meeting.

Three women have filed gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits against Kasparian, the president of UFCW Local 135, who also sits as the President of the Labor Council.

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An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Trump

January 23, 2017 by Source
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An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Trump – and the Modern Republican Party

By Scott Stephen

Since the Civil War, there has been no greater political divide than in America today. Keeping a friendship alive with someone in the opposing party is quite challenging. I count many Republicans among my good friends, relatives and business associates. Some of these folks have been extremely loyal to me over the years.

If you’re my friend, I truly love you whether you’re a Democrat, Green, Republican or Libertarian. And I generally avoid political discussion with friends who have opposing views unless I sense those opinions are not deep rooted. Despite my efforts, I have lost a few friends along the way mostly due to Facebook posts which offended some individuals. Many of these same lost friends had themselves posted political articles that often bothered me but it has been my policy not to comment on a friends post unless I agree with it or in cases where the information is false and/or has been debunked.

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With Betsy DeVos the Final Assault on Public Education Is On

January 23, 2017 by Jim Miller

public education

By Jim Miller

During the halcyon days of the Trump transition period, the Education Committee confirmation hearing of Betsy DeVos stood out as perhaps the most jarring example of the craven cynicism that defines the new regime.

The headlines said it all, with nearly every major media outlet noting DeVos’s scant qualifications and terrible performance with extreme skepticism. The New York Times expressed “Big Worries About Betsy DeVoswhile the New Yorker outlined “Betsy DeVos and the Plan to Break Public Schools.”

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Women’s March San Diego: Somewhere Near Sanity

January 23, 2017 by Source

Near Sanity

By Bob Dorn

At 9:30 am on Sunday, January 21st, the No. 7 bus driver stopped for us even though he’d lighted the “Out of Service” banner. He told us with a smile “room for two more.” Passengers were butt to butt and belly to belly. A woman said she loved my hat: I’d cut out the letter N and O, for NO, and taped them to the red baseball cap I hadn’t been wearing lately out of fear I’d be considered a TrumpLump.

By the time we’d arrived at Broadway at the 12th Ave. Transit Center crowds on foot were already heading toward the Civic Center. Cars and buses could only inch along beleaguered Broadway. So we jumped off the bus at 4th Ave. and headed north to B St.

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40,000 San Diegans March Against Trump and for Women’s Rights – Photo Gallery

January 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

January 21, 2017 was an historic day in San Diego – and around the nation and world – with the Women’s March. According to San Diego Police, the crowd in downtown San Diego at the rallies and the march down Broadway was 40,000 women, men and children of all ages and all hues.

It was definitely one of the largest demonstrations in San Diego’s history – matched probably by the huge immigration march of nearly a decade ago.

Here are photos from yesterday’s march – taken by a number of friends who sent them to us.

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