Civil Rights

Judge Denies Request to Disqualify San Diego County DA from Unbalanced Protest Prosecution

November 20, 2023 by Source

City News Service – KPBS / November 17, 2023

On Friday, a judge denied a request from defense attorneys to remove the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office from the prosecution of a group of anti-fascists charged in connection with a 2021 Pacific Beach protest that broke out into brawls.

[Go here for background.]

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In Truth With His ‘Vermin’ Speech, Trump Threatens a New Civil War If Elected

November 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By now many perhaps have heard about candidate Trump’s infamous “vermin” speech from last weekend. It was one of those clarifying moments that every American citizen needs to know about, one of those moments that explicitly defines the situation the country faces and finds itself in.

The Republican Party’s front-runner for president spoke at a Veterans Day speech in New Hampshire and in front of the microphone intentionally declared that if he became president he would “root out” his opponents – the left – calling them “vermin”, that they’re destroying America and represent the most dangerous and grave threat facing the country. It was not a spontaneous expression or off-the-cuff; it was deliberate and was repeated on his social media.

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Attorney Calls Out DA Stephan’s Political Bias Against ‘Antifascists’, Asks for Her Disqualification From Case Involving Pro-Trump March

November 15, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

If you were disturbed by candidate Trump’s recent “vermin” speech and have been concerned about the country ever since the coup attempt on January 6th, 2021. this story should interest you deeply.

This Friday morning in San Diego Superior Court there will be a hearing on a motion by a defense attorney accusing San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and her office of being politically biased against anti-fascists and should be disqualified from a case where he’s defending a young man. The defendant – along with 10 others – are self-described anti-fascists accused by Stephan of participating in a violent altercation at a pro-Trump march 2 1/2 years ago in Pacific Beach. One of the charges is conspiracy on the basis of being alleged “antifa supporters.”

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As San Diego Readies to Approve New Street Light Surveillance System on Tues., Nov.14, — Here Are the Questions

November 13, 2023 by Source

Is this the right technology for San Diego, with the right partner companies, at the right cost, with the right protections?

by Seth Hall /Op-Ed Voice of San Diego/ November 10, 2023

San Diego’s streetlight surveillance drama is about to come full circle.

Over the years, the community coalition I am part of has attempted to work with members of the police department, the mayor’s office, the Privacy Advisory Board, and all members of two different City Councils to create sufficient protections for streetlight-mounted surveillance cameras to be used transparently and responsibly, if they must be used at all. I

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October 2023 Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

October 9, 2023 by Source

Every Saturday 10:30 am. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meetings  October 28th.

October 27th Friday 8 am – 6 pm 2023 San Diego Green Building Conference & Expo BUILDING POSITIVE: CULTIVATING A REGENERATIVE FUTURE UC San Diego Park & Market 1100 Market St San Diego 92101 This is San Diego’s premier event for green building professionals from all fields of expertise to come together to share ideas, inspiration and connection. This year we are partnering with the World Woman Foundation’s Sustainability Forum taking place on Thursday, October 26th at UC San Diego Park & Market. Join both days of this exciting collaboration to hear from visionary leaders, activists, entrepreneurs, academics, artists, and policymakers. $135 to $275 More info:

October 28th Saturday 10 am – 2 pm Fall at the Farm Event by Wild Willow Farm We are excited to invite you to a day of fun and celebration At Wild Willow Farm, we are passionate about regenerative agriculture, education, and connecting with our local community. This event is our way of sharing the joys of farm life with you! This event is free and suited for all ages. More info:

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Why Wasn’t Racist Hate Crime Nature of Biker ‘Brawl’ in Ocean Beach Disclosed by San Diego Law Enforcement?

September 28, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Now that the racist, hate-fueled attack against 3 African-American young men by a mob of local Hells Angels in OB back in early June has made national news (MSN, The Hill), several questions continue to linger.

Mainly, why weren’t the racist and hate crime elements of this vicious incident disclosed by law enforcement, the police or the press?

During the Monday, Sept 25 news conference splash announcing the indictments against 17 Hells Angels members and supporters, District Attorney Summer Stephan made this statement:

“In San Diego County, we cannot and will not tolerate violence and racism of any nature, “

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17 Hells Angels Indicted for Violent Racist Attack on 3 Black Men in Ocean Beach Last June

September 26, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

The big news coming out of OB this morning was the announcement Monday by District Attorney Summer Stephan of grand jury indictments against 17 alleged members and supporters of the Hells Angels biker group in connection with a violent racial attack against three Black men in Ocean Beach on June 6.

The attack occurred outside a bar on Newport Avenue near Bacon Street; one of the men was stabbed in the chest, his sternum cracked in the attack, another victim was knocked unconscious – and the third ran and was not injured. The victims — ages 19, 20 and 21 — were repeatedly called a racial epithet during the incident.

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Church of the Nazarene Votes to Remove Head Pastor’s Credentials for ‘False Teachings’ on Human Sexuality

September 22, 2023 by Source

By Elaine Alfaro / / Sept. 20, 2023

Senior pastor Dee Kelley at First Church of the Nazarene, located on Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus, stood trial within the Church of the Nazarene on Aug. 11, accused of spreading false teaching regarding human sexuality. The Regional Board of Discipline in the Church of the Nazarene determined him guilty and ultimately voted to remove his credentials.

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City Wants to Fix Law That Brought Oversight to San Diego’s Surveillance Technologies, Advocates Want More Input

September 19, 2023 by Source

By Lyndsay Winkley / San Diego U-T / Sept. 17, 2023

A hard-won ordinance that brought oversight to San Diego’s many surveillance technologies needs critical fixes, officials say, or day-to-day operations the city relies on could come to a standstill. The new law, unanimously approved by City Council last September, stemmed from public outcry over the city’s mishandling of a network of thousands of smart streetlights.

Community members learned years after the high-tech lights were installed that police could access video and other data they captured. Over the past year, putting the ordinance into practice has been hampered by delays and legal quandaries.

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Greenpeace Ship in Town to Shine Light on Human Rights Abuses in Seafood Industry – Especially By Bumble Bee

September 7, 2023 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / Sept. 6, 2023

Ten years after Greenpeace saw one of its ships seized by Russia, the same 166-foot icebreaker is docked at San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

The mission of the Arctic Sunrise is less dangerous this time.

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September 2023 Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

September 1, 2023 by Source

All events are online and free unless stated otherwise

* Sept 7th, 14th and 21st Thursdays, 4 pm – 6 pm  demonstrations against the September Air Show

* Sept 7th Thursday 5:30 pm Webinar Seeding Connections by California Native Plant Society

* Sept 9th Saturday 5 pm -8 pm Fall Preview by San Diego Audubon Society Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

* September 9th Saturday 11 am – 3:30 pm The Black in Front Summit
* September 9th Saturday 3 pm Amnesty International Group 137 San Diego.

* September 9th Saturday 7 pm Doors of Change Concert of Hope

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PLNU Pastor ‘Convicted’ by Church Jury of Support for Same-Sex Marriage – Controversy Offers View of Ugly Underside of Nazarene Views

August 28, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Reporter Neal Putnam at the Beacon– affiliated media network has outlined the ugly underside of Point Loma Nazarene College in a recent article about how a Nazarene pastor — Rev. Selden Kelly — lost “his credential to preach after a church jury convicted him of supporting same-sex marriage, which is contrary to the Church of the Nazarene manual about human sexuality.”

“Kelley, who is in his 60s, has been senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene for 17 years at Point Loma Nazarene University and is popular on campus.”

A 7-man and 2-woman church jury voted unanimously “to convict” Rev. Selden Dee Kelley III (above), of being “out of harmony with the Church of the Nazarene’s doctrine, teaching, beliefs, and practices.”

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OB Tenants Who Sued Michael Mills – the Short-Term Rental King – Can Remain in Their Homes

August 22, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

In a subscriber-only article in yesterday’s U-T, reporters Roxana Popescu, Lori Weisberg wrote that two OB tenants of vacation rental king, Michael Mills, who had sued him for unlawful eviction and rent raises, will be able to remain in their homes.

Tenants Damin Dixon and Alison Bradford are no longer facing eviction. “Both tenants are still living in their same units,” their lawyer, Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, stated. The Rag covered the suit.

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San Diegan Strives For Equity in Local Cannabis Industry

August 11, 2023 by Source

By Katie Hyson / KPBS / August 8, 2023

Megain McCall tried hard to forget the day her life changed forever. It was around 2009, she said, when she was 28 years old. She was driving from San Diego with her aunt and mother to see her dying brother in Texas. At a Texas checkpoint, a patrol dog signaled the car. “I remember being super confident because I know I didn’t have anything,” McCall said.

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History Must Record Trump’s Plan for a Nationwide ‘Kent State’ Massacre

August 10, 2023 by Source

By Thom Hartman / Daily Kos and Economy for All/ August 4, 2023

Although it’s generally only mentioned in passing in the mainstream media, there are two particularly chilling passages in Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump.

Both, to my mind, invoke Kent State, but on a much larger scale.

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Slavery Was a Sin Against Humanity

August 8, 2023 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

There’s an unsound
idea going around
that slavery
benefited those held in bondage
by giving them the opportunity
to learn trades
like blacksmithing
and carpentry
and whatnot.
And in some places
there are intentions to teach this sham
about slavery being a “Job Skills Program”

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Finally! Trump Indicted for His Coup Attempt – This Is the ‘Most Important Criminal Prosecution in American History’

August 2, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Finally, the Department of Justice has indicted Trump for his coup attempts, which included of course the armed insurrection and attack on the US Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021. The indictments also cover his and his cronies’ other efforts to overturn the election in various states.

No where in the indictment is the word “coup,” but we know what he did — we witnessed it on live television.

It was a federal grand jury that indicted Trump on Tuesday, August 1, for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Six unnamed co-conspirators were also indicted. Trump is charged with four counts:

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The Twists and Turns of Mayor Gloria Over Smart Streetlights and Homelessness

August 2, 2023 by Source

By Michael Smolens / San Diego Union-Tribune /July 30, 2023

A political heat dome is hovering over Mayor Todd Gloria on a couple of fronts. The mayor is supporting smart streetlights, with cameras and license plate reading technology, but has faced the ire of some privacy advocates, who point to his earlier comments about reining in use of surveillance tools.

Similarly, Gloria has been hounded about his approach to homelessness since almost the beginning of his administration two and a half years ago.

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Majority of City Council Approves Police Surveillance Tools — Smart Streetlights and License Plate Readers Getting Ready to Be Installed

August 2, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

In two separate votes, the San Diego City Council approved the Police Department’s smart streetlights and automated license plate readers proposals on Tuesday, August 1.

Seven council members voted in favor of the cameras, with Monica Montgomery Steppe and Sean Elo-Rivera voting no, and six council members voted for the license plate readers with Montgomery Steppe, Elo-Rivera and Vivian Moreno voting no.

These votes now authorize SDPD to obtain contracts with Ubiquia, a telecommunications company, for the cameras, and Flock Safety, for the license plate readers. Once the contracts are approved, police can install the network of 500 cameras –all equipped with automated license plate reader technology.

There are a few points worth emphasizing:

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Goliath, Meet David

August 1, 2023 by Source

Roll up for Cannabis Social Equity

By Terrie Best

Big cannabis and social justice are having a showdown and it’s not pretty. Nor is it helpful to the most vulnerable citizens in our city – the sick and dying patients who use cannabis to improve their quality of life and those under-served and over-policed communities so wounded they require a whole renaissance of repair.

Rooting out inequity in public policy is part of San Diego’s Strategic Plan. Under the “Foster Regional Prosperity” portion it states:

Increase access to opportunities for ownership of and employment in small, locally owned businesses, as well as key industries.

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Will San Diego City Council Rubber Stamp Police Surveillance Technology?

July 31, 2023 by Source

By Seth Hall / Op-Ed Voice of San Diego / July 28, 2023

Two important recent events hint at whether San Diego is ready to responsibly handle the use of mass surveillance technology in our city.

The first was a recent agreement between community groups and the San Diego City Council.  Under the leadership of Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, we reached a solution to extend an important deadline for the city of San Diego to review and approve the use of all its existing technology.

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Battle Brewing Between San Diego Privacy Advocates vs Supporters of Police Smart Streetlights and License Plate Readers

July 21, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a battle brewing right now in San Diego between privacy advocates and those who support the SDPD’s installation of “Smart Streetlights” and license plate readers.

Just this past Tuesday, the City Council extended the deadline for the Privacy Advisory Board to review the city’s surveillance and other technologies by 3 years. The initial deadline was one year, but by time that point was reached, the volunteer board had not reviewed one technology.

But then on Wednesday the city’s Public Safety Committee voted to support SDPD’s smart streetlight proposal.

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Deadline to Evaluate San Diego’s Surveillance Technologies Extended by 3 Years

July 19, 2023 by Source

By Lyndsay Winkley / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 18, 2023

San Diego on Tuesday gave itself another three years to review its many surveillance technologies, an extension that should prevent the city’s tools — some of which serve vital, day-to-day functions, city officials say — from being put on pause.

At least for now.

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Pride Parade Photos

July 17, 2023 by Source

Check out these Pride Parade Photos from Saturday, July 15, by Bryon Morton.

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Unwarranted Arrest of Black Activist Who Watches Police Leaves Him With Fractured Shoulder

July 12, 2023 by Source

By Katie Hyson / KPBS / July 11, 2023

A dozen community members gathered in front of San Diego Police Headquarters on Tuesday, holding signs that read “We know what you did” and “Accountability is not the enemy.” They are demanding the release of the body camera footage of the arrest of Muslah Abdul-Hafeez.

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San Diego’s Privacy Advisory Board Needs a Re-Set

July 11, 2023 by Source

By Brian Hofer / The Voice of San Diego / July 6, 2023

I’ve sat through a lot of chaotic city meetings, and the San Diego Privacy Advisory Board, or PAB, meeting on June 22 was no exception.

Public commenters accused law enforcement of acting in bad faith for not sharing more information about a new proposed street camera and automatic license plate reader project. Board members were visibly frustrated by the San Diego Police Department’s refusal to answer questions about the project.

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San Diego’s Privacy Board Recommends City Reject SDPD Purchase of Smart Streetlights with Automatic License Plate Readers

June 23, 2023 by Staff

On Thursday, June 22, San Diego’s Privacy Advisory Board recommended that the City Council reject a police proposal to buy a new streetlight camera system and pair the technology with automatic license plate readers.

As Voice of San Diego reported:

The board members who were present at the meeting voted unanimously to pass along a 15-page analysis of SDPD’s proposal that challenges the department’s claim that the cameras don’t constitute an invasion of Fourth Amendment rights.

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For First Time Ever, San Diego Recognizes Juneteenth as Paid Holiday for City Workers – City Offices, Libraries, Rec Centers to Be Closed

June 19, 2023 by Source

For the first time ever, Juneteenth — Monday, June 19th — is being recognized by the city of San Diego as a paid holiday for city employees. Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and freedom for African Americans, and is now a federal holiday.

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Daniel Ellsberg — American Hero — 1931 – 2023

June 16, 2023 by Source

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Native American Cross Country Prayer Run Arrives in San Diego Wed., June 14

June 13, 2023 by Source

Local Native Americans are about to complete the longest indigenous prayer run in U.S. history. “Run with the Sun” is the brainchild of Lakeside resident Bobby Wallace, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, in hopes of protecting waters across America.

The effort is supported by the Barona, Sycuan and Viejas tribes in San Diego’s East County as well as participants from other tribes across the United States. The run began June 12, 2022, in Maine, with runners collecting water vials from tribal members nationwide. … On June 14, they arrived in San Diego …

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