Friday, January 29, 2010

Olympics resistance, Spoken word, and Self-Defense

On Thursday, January 21st, four guys from Canada- Testament, Illogik, and the Outspoken Wordsmiths, presented to a group of about a dozen young folks in Petaluma. They were on a tour through the west coast to spread the word about the resistance to the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which will take place on unceded Native territory. Many groups, from indigenous tribes, to environmental activists, from homeless advocates to anti-police abuse groups, will be organizing protests for the two weeks that the games will take place this February.

Testament broke down the concerns behind the Olympics, which range from the fact that the games are taking place on stolen Native land, to the massive displacement of low-income and homeless people from Vancouver. He also discussed the massive spending ($6 billion dollars!) to host the Olympics, money that is simultaneously being denied to people in need of social programs, education, health care, etc. Furthermore, although this Olympics is being billed as the "greenest games ever," over 100,000 trees have been cut down in preparation for the games, and much land has been paved over to build roads. Lastly, draconian laws have been passed to prevent any protest, and hundreds of high-tech cameras have been installed all around the city to monitor any "suspicious" activity. The Canadian military is sending thousands of soldiers, calling this their "biggest operation in history." We can only guess what this means- suppression of free speech.

After talking about the Olympics, Testament joined Illogik and the Outspoken Wordsmiths for a half hour spoken word and hip hop performance, with poignant pieces about police brutality and protest. Following that, Illogik led a brief self-defense introduction and taught the participants how to break free from several different holds.

We thank our Canadian comrades for stopping by to share their stories, music, and knowledge with us. We wish them luck as they take to the streets next month in protest. "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!"

visit for more information about the resistance

Monday, January 25, 2010

Transgendered woman abused by Sonoma County Sheriff's

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a woman who claimed to have been seriously harassed and abused by the Sonoma County Sheriff's when she attempted to report being stalked. On top of some typical violations of civil rights including illegal search and seizure of her property, she was sexually harassed because of her gender (she is a transgendered female). She wanted to make her case known in the hopes that it would prevent this sort of abuse in the future. She has been forced to move from Sonoma County, where she grew up, and out of California, due to what she feels is a complete lack of justice from law enforcement and local officials. Below is part of her story. Please check out her website for more information and please spread the word about this story.

-Carl, IMPACT!

On Sept. 22 , 2009 , I was between several towns which include Guerneville, Forestville, and Fulton. I was being stalked in this area. I wrote down the license number of the vehicle , contacted Windsor police dept. , which is run by the Sonoma county sheriff's dept.. I was advised to go to the sheriff's dept in Santa Rosa. Even if the officer was correct on that particular license plate number, that it was incorrect, license plates can be tampered with in many different ways.
I went over to the sheriff's dept to make a report regarding the stalking and instead I found myself having to be victimized again.
I arrived at Sonoma county sheriff's office at approximately 11:25 pm , on the 22 Sept. , pushed the button for the sheriff office and the woman stated she would summon an officer to arrive there on Ventura avenue, to take the report.

I waited at the front door of the sheriff's dept , I had advised the officer at the speaker at the front door that I wanted to get a letter from the car I was in that would prove I was a victim of continual gender violence , and the officer said ok .
Approximately 5 minutes later, a Sgt. Mark Fuston of the Sheriffs' dept comes charging at me in a very threatening manner, demanding I put out my cigarette. I told him I was an adult, and I can smoke legally.

Then Sgt Fuston decided to sexually harrass me over my gender, or what he perceived my gender to be. I corrected him. However, this officer I could tell in the first few minutes this was a military type of an officer. He used military type tactics.
This officer then asked some questions, acting like he was going to take a report.
The next thing I know he was accusing me of being on meth......which was not true....
as I have never even taken meth. Then the officer stated I was on alcohol even though there was no alcohol on my breath. The way this had occurred is a violation of several laws including the following:
civil code 51 section b , known as the unruh act, the fourth amendment, and the fifth amendment.

First off, I was awake for approximately 36.5 hrs , had coffee to drink , and caffeine pills to keep me awake , and a couple of tylenol cold capsules due to a cold . There was no alcohol or drugs other then prescription medication, which was in the trunk, as I will not take pain medication while driving. I do have pictures showing the coffee containers. This officer was not listening to reason. I originally went to the car to look for paperwork that would verify I was a victim, not imagined , but real.

Sgt Fuston stated “I know where you will be safe, in protective custody.”

the next thing I know, the sgt mark Fuston placed handcuffs on me stating he knew of a
safe place for me to be ....meaning jail. The car I was driving was searched to find the
pain medications, then he accused me of being under the influence, which I was not, as
again i had the pain medications in the trunk and i did not want to use them while
operating a vehicle.
When i told the officer he was violating my civil liberties and rights,
the officer said “you have no rights.”
I asked for an attorney, which he refused to assist me in, although I have a right to an attorney.
This is very upsetting to me. I have never been arrested at any time for any reason. I have left the county of Sonoma and the state of California and I will never return for any reason at all. This is coming from a person who grew up in Sonoma County.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Laura Coulter on the anti-immigration protest!

On the Saturday before Christmas 2009 I was with my daughter enjoying the downtown Petaluma holiday cheer and doing some shopping for gifts. About eight White Supremacists were blocking Water Street with a large banner that read "Stop Immigration". I immediately stood in front of the banner and called the Petaluma police from my cell phone to notify them that there was a group of protesters blocking foot and car traffic on Water Street. The owner of the Water Street Bistro was also standing near the neo-Natzi men who were holding the banner and she was voicing her displeasure with the protester and their presence out side of her cafe. I told the White Supremacists they could not block the street and walked though their banner several times to demonstrate the fact that they were in my way. This prompted one of the White Supremacists to shove me and repeatedly call me a "bitch". I did not get into any discussion with these racists on the topic of immigration or their stance on white supremacy, but I did observe the reaction of several people who seemed shocked at being lectured in passing about how white men need to take control of America. I also noted that the Petaluma police arrived an hour after my call and asked the neo-Natzis to move to out of the way of foot and car traffic.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We Want Community, Not Strip Malls!

Dear everybody,

Tomorrow night at 7pm the Petaluma City Council will be voting on a proposed project to build a massive strip mall shopping center at the former Kenilworth junior high site (where the swim center, skate park, race track, and fairgrounds now are). What does this mean for Petaluma?
-hundreds of non-union, low-wage jobs for mainly young people and immigrant workers, further driving down the standard of living for working people locally.
-air-pollution from increased traffic at an area of town where traffic is already bad (surrounding neighborhoods are almost all working class and immigrant neighborhoods- which will suffer the most from air-pollution)
-putting dozens of local people out of business and replacing them with chain stores like Target, Border's and more.
-Increased privatization of public space. Instead of parks, open fields, music venues, and other such spaces where community is built, this project will turn our town into a boring, isolated, consumerist hell.


We want good jobs, clean air, and community- NOT exploitation, pollution, and strip malls!