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Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Socialist Party California Locals on the Far-Right Terrorist Attacks in Charlottesville

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 02:40

Socialist Party Los Angeles Local

“Terrorism. The media and our elected officials will work very hard to maintain the ‘lone wolf’ narrative. We will reject that narrative. This was terrorism. The history of the United States is a history of white supremacy, and while today’s terrorist attack was a tragedy and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, we are as unsurprised as we are disgusted. Until systems of oppression are addressed, systems that transcend partisan politics, we will continue to suffer the effects of white supremacist terrorism.

The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, with those affected by today’s terrorist attack, and with the people as they fight the systems of oppression that are the keystones of capitalism.”

Socialist Party Bay Area Local

“The Bay Area Local of the Socialist Party USA unequivocally stands against the white nationalist terrorist attack today in Charlottesville, Virginia. While we wait for details on the total number of dead and injured, we express our solidarity and heartfelt condolences to those victims of the attack as well as their families, friends, and loved ones. Rather than intimidating us, this terrorist attack reaffirms our commitment to the fight against white supremacy, in all its forms.

History shows us that when we let fear from these attacks silence us, it only emboldens and encourages and reinforces their power. The time has come to fight back against fascist forces that are gathering to harm people. The capitalist state, and its protectors such as the police, will not defend us as long as it serves the interests of the rich and powerful; namely dividing the working class and attacking community leaders, organizers, and activists. The task falls to us confront white nationalism in our own towns and cities, as we know this is not an isolated incident, but is part of a long history of racist violence which our fellow community members face in every corner of this nation. We must fight for a socialist and democratic future free from racist terror.

We know that if allowed to continue unchecked, the many groups on the far-right responsible for this terrorist act will grow and continue to murder leftists, women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, the disabled, Muslims, Jews, trade unionists and others. In short, we are all targets. The fact that white nationalists have chosen to take on such a large majority of Americans should give us hope, for we far outnumber them, and our collective strength is greater than anything they could imagine. We know when all is done and the dust has settled, we will win.

Today we grieve, and tomorrow we fight. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.”


Socialist Party Orange County Local

“The tragic events that occurred today in Charlottesville, Virginia echo similar outbursts of far-right terrorism seen in cities like Portland and Berkeley. Just like Portland and Berkeley, those in power will continue to ignore and redirect the heart of the issue — the bedrock of white supremacy that the United States is built upon. The same white supremacy,that for decades, was bubbling beneath the surface of our society has now boiled over with the election of Donald Trump. These events will not stop until the institutions that uphold this violence and oppression are torn down.

The Socialist Party Orange County Local stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, the victims of today’s terrorist attacks, and with all oppressed and marginalized peoples. We will continue to fight against systems of injustice that are the keystones of capitalism.”

Categories: Political Parties

ABC and L.A. Times Coverage of Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Call to Action: Stop LAPD Drones

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 12:49

ABC (with video) – http://abc7.com/protesters-shut-down-la-police-commission-meeting/2287083/

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Police Commission meeting was twice interrupted on Tuesday by people protesting drones and continued funding being approved for the cadet program.”Three hundred and eighty thousands dollars to do more of the same,” one man said during the meeting.

The commissioners had to leave the room due to the protesters, and one of the men threw his notebook at the commissioners. Others stood up and began chanting, “Fire Chief Beck.” The meeting resumed at about 10:45 a.m.

The LAPD cadet program has been plagued with problems, including a scandal involving a veteran officer and an underage girl. But Chief Charlie Beck has said that the program is “here to stay.”

The original reason for the protest was a presentation and discussion of a proposal for a pilot program using drones. About two dozen protesters held signs before the meeting outside police headquarters to say that LAPD should not be using drones as a tactical tool.

“None of the communities of color were surveyed to see if they were OK with this drone situation,” said Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, a special education teacher.

Beck said today was only the beginning of the discussion as to where and how drones would be used. Since the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department began using them in January, deputies have used them for search and rescues.”

Los Angeles Times – http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-drones-20170808-story.html

“For more than three years, a pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department were locked away, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

Seattle police saw a similar backlash when they wanted to use the devices, grounding their drone program before it even took off. And recently, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s use of a drone has been criticized by activists as well as civilian oversight commissioners who want the agency to stop.

On Tuesday, the LAPD again waded into the heated debate, as department brass proposed testing an “unmanned aerial system” during a one-year pilot program.

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala told the Police Commission that the idea was to use a small drone to help officers during certain types of incidents, such as and reports of potential bombs or active shooters. The devices, she said, could help gather crucial information as such situations unfold, without putting officers at risk.

The LAPD would draw up clear guidelines before flying the drone and each use would require the approval of a high-ranking department official, she said.

Before the meeting, roughly three dozen activists from various groups — including the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Black Lives Matter and Los Angeles Community Action Network — stood outside the LAPD’s downtown headquarters, denouncing the use of drones by police.

The Police Commission should “completely reject LAPD’s latest attempt to revive its drone program,” said Hamid Khan, founder of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, an anti-surveillance group that frequently criticizes the LAPD.

”L.A. does not need further militarization by the LAPD,” said Paula Minor, an activist with Black Lives Matter.

Drones have been hailed by law enforcement across the country as a crucial technology that can help find missing hikers or monitor armed suspects without jeopardizing the safety of officers. But efforts to adopt the unmanned aircraft have frequently drawn fierce criticism from privacy advocates for whom the devices stir Orwellian visions of inappropriate — or illegal — surveillance or fears of military-grade, weaponized drones patrolling the skies.

“People are concerned because they associate the drones that police might be using with the drones that are being used by the military,” said Dan Gettinger, codirector of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. “The word ‘drone’ just has that implication.”

Almost 350 public safety departments in the U.S. have acquired drones, nearly half of them last year, according to a study Gettinger’s center published earlier this year. Many of those drones are no more advanced than those used by hobbyists, he said.

Some agencies have adopted the technology without much public reaction. Still, Gettinger said, skeptics have expressed apprehension not just about how police use drones today, but how they might use the technology in the future.

“We’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “The systems are going to evolve, and that’s going to bring with them questions about how they’re going to be used.”

In an attempt to strike a balance between privacy and public safety, more than a dozen states have adopted rules requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants before using drones to conduct surveillance or searches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A similar proposal by the California Legislature was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014.

The LAPD’s dance with drones began in 2014, when the department received two Draganflyer X6 drones from police in Seattle — drones the Washington agency unloaded after heavy criticism from the public.

Although the LAPD said it would deploy the drones for “narrow and prescribed uses,” civil liberties advocates questioned their use in even a limited fashion.

Less than a week after getting the drones, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he would not fly the unmanned aircraft until the department had sought public feedback as well as approval from the Police Commission.

“I will not sacrifice public support for a piece of police equipment,” Beck said at the time.

The drones were then locked away in the office of the LAPD’s inspector general. Department officials said the move was a response to public perception and federal laws limiting use of the unmanned aircraft.

Earlier this year, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced his agency’s plans to use a $10,000 drone to help deputies responding to arson scenes, suspected bombs and hostage situations. McDonnell said the drone would not be used in surveillance but could provide critical information from previously inaccessible vantage points.

Civil liberties advocates expressed concern over privacy as well as what they described as a lack of public input in the sheriff’s abrupt announcement. The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition staged a protest blasting the department’s use of drones.

On July 27, the majority of the Civilian Oversight Commission also expressed their desire for McDonnell to stop flying the drone, citing concerns over surveillance and safety.

The Sheriff’s Department still plans to use its drone, a spokeswoman said Monday. Deputies flew the device last week, she said, during an East L.A. standoff with a gunman who shot two people and refused to surrender.”

Categories: Political Parties

Protesters Demand Long Beach Become a Sanctuary City

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 22:13

By Barry Saks

About 20 people, mostly young and of color, stood on the corner of Willow Street and Santa Fe Avenue on Friday, Aug. 4, and chanted pro-immigrant slogans and demands for the Long Beach to become a sanctuary city.

The Filipino Migrant Center, which is part of Sanctuary LB (Long Beach), organized the protest.

The chants were in English, Spanish and Tagalog, also known as Filipino.  While most of the chants were in English, many were in Spanish and a small number in Tagalog.  Interspersed among the chants, the honking horns in solidarity could be heard, and at least once a hostile voice was heard out of a car.

One chant was “No Ban, no wall, sanctuary for all.”  Another chant was “What do we want?  Sanctuary.  When do we want it? Now.”  A third chant was “Move ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), get out the way ICE, get out the way.”  Another chant was “Education, not deportation.”  A fifth chant was “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”  A sixth chant was “When immigrant rights are under attack, what do we do?  Stand up, fight back.”  A seventh chant was “ICE out of Long Beach.”  And still another chant was “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations.” A ninth chant was “Tell me what you want, what you really want?  Justice.  Tell me what you need, really need?  Sanctuary.  How are we going to get it?  People power.”

Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, during a phone interview, after the protest, said, “I don’t oppose a local (sanctuary city) ordinance.  I don’t know what a local ordinance honestly would do….We can do one, which would be symbolic, but it’s not going to…really have an impact….We have so many individuals that are not only living in Long Beach, they may be undocumented but working outside the city.  So what good is it for us just to have a local Long Beach ordinance per se than a statewide one, where everyone is covered?”

Neither the Mayor, nor any of other eight City Councilmembers of Long Beach were available for comment.

Alex Montances, of the FMC, in an email before the event, said, “Long Beach should be a place where all its residents are cared for and protected, not a place where immigrant mothers, fathers, and children are afraid to walk to school, work, or even outside their house because they fear ICE and deportation raids. Mayor Robert Garcia and City Council need to pass a local Sanctuary City policy here in Long Beach to protect our immigrant community.  We need to make sure that our City is not participating, funding, or assisting Federal immigration enforcement.”

Leanna Noble was at the protest.  Noble said, “We need a local sanctuary city ordinance that’s got teeth, that will make sure that all of the residents…have their rights protected and that they can live here in peace and safety.”

Tamara Romero was also at the protest.  Romero said she was there in solidarity with the immigrant community and wanted Long Beach to have its own sanctuary ordinance because many immigrants live here in fear.

According to the Facebook event page of Sanctuary Long Beach, events are planned for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 5:30 p.m., at Del Amo Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, and Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., at Pine Avenue and Broadway.

Meanwhile, according to a Los Angeles Times story in early August, that Federal immigration agents have shown up twice at California labor dispute proceedings to apprehend undocumented workers and that California officials sent a memo in July instructing staff members to refuse entry to ICE agents who visit its offices to apprehend illegal immigrants.

The California Assembly Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday, July 5, passed California Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act, and the California Senate, on Monday, April 3, passed it.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday, June 13, passed SB 31, known as the California Religious Freedom Act, and the California Senate on Monday, April 3, passed it.

The about page of the Sanctuary Long Beach reads, “(T)he Long Beach City Council passed a resolution in support of SB 54…which limits information sharing with state and local law enforcement and immigration enforcement agencies. While…this is a step in the right direction, we know from previous statewide legislation that addresses law enforcement, local policies are more effective for accountability, efficiency, and building trust with local leaders and (the) community.”

The Long Beach City Council, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, voted seven to zero with two absent to support SB 31, known as the California Religious Freedom Act, and to support as amended SB 54.

Those in favor were 1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, 2nd District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, 3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price, 4thDistrict Councilman Daryl Supernaw, 7th District Councilman Roberto Uranga, 8th District Councilman Al Austin and 9th District Councilman and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.  Absent were 5th District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and 6thDistrict Councilman Dee Andrews.

SB 54 would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest people for immigration enforcement.  However, SB 54 provides two allowed exceptions.  First, it allows efforts to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of a violent or serious felony and second it allows the transferring of an individual to federal immigration authorities who has been previously convicted of a violent felony.

SB54 would also require by April, 2018, the California Attorney General to publish policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible for use by public schools, public libraries, health facilities operated by the state or a subdivision of the state, and courthouses and would require them to implement those policies.  It would also encourage other organizations providing services related to physical or mental health and wellness, education, or access to justice, including the University of California to adopt the policy.  SB 54 would require every six months, that a law enforcement agency participating in a joint task force with Federal immigration enforcement to submit a report to the Department of Justice and would require the California Attorney General by March 1, 2019, and twice a year after to report the types and frequency of those task forces, and to post those reports on the California Attorney General’s website.  SB 54 would require the Board of Parole Hearing or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to notify ICE of the scheduled release of all people confined to state prison serving for a conviction of a violent or serious felony or who has a prior conviction for a violent or serious felony.

SB 31 would prohibit a state or local agency or a public employee from providing the federal government information regarding a person’s religious beliefs, practices, or affiliation when the information is for compiling a database.  It would also prohibit a state agency from using its resources to assist in compiling such a database.  However, one exception is for targeted investigations of individual based on reasonable suspicion that the individual has engaged or have been the victim of criminal activity and there is a clear connection between the criminal activity and the information collected.  A second exception is to provide religious accommodations.



Categories: Political Parties

8/5 – Socialist Party Los Angeles Local Monthly Meeting

Sat, 08/05/2017 - 01:24

This is our monthly meeting, held every first Saturday of the month. We talk about current campaigns, actions and events on a both local and national levels. Some political discussion. This is a good meeting to come to if you’re interested in socialism and/or are interested in getting involved in grassroots efforts to effect change from the bottom up.

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

2617 Hauser Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90016

Open to the public, except racists, fascists, sexists, Islamaphobes, neo-Nazis, the alt-right, provocateurs, moles and other assholes.

Categories: Political Parties