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California

A Judge Paused The University Of California Strike

Thousands of graduate and postdoctoral student workers at six University of California campuses were back on the job this week after a judge ordered a temporary stop to their weekslong strike. They’re represented by the United Auto Workers union and initiated the rolling strike to protest the university’s handling of pro-Palestine protests. They also called for related charges and disciplinary actions against their members to be dropped. This temporary order allows for classes to wrap up but leaves some big questions unresolved. The University has charged that the strike was illegal because it violated the union’s current contract, according to Melissa Matella, associate vice president for labor relations at the UC.

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Unleashes Police Mayhem Against Students

Before midnight on May 30, 2024, police officers from across California descended on the Gaza Solidarity encampment at UC Santa Cruz. Numbering in the few hundreds, police from the UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco, UC Davis, UC Riverside, as well as San Jose, San Bruno, San Mateo, Daly City, Pacifica, South San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Watsonville police departments, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol responded to a request, authorized by UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive, for “mutual aid.” What ensued was a brutal multi-agency assault by CHP and other police against unarmed protesters that lasted for nine hours and resulted in significant injuries.

Appeal In Biden Gaza Genocide Case Heard Today

June 10, 2024, San Francisco, CA – Today before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Palestinians from Gaza and Palestinian-Americans with family in Gaza argued that the courts have a constitutional obligation to hear their claims that President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin violated their legal duty to prevent – and are complicit in – Israel’s genocide in Gaza. The lower court had found a plausible case of genocide and urged the Biden administration to reexamine its “unflagging support” for Israel’s siege of Gaza, but dismissed the lawsuit in January, finding it was not the court’s place to rule on what it determined was a “political question.”

Professor Says She Was Suspended Over Her Palestine Activism

Last month Sang Hea Kil, a justice studies professor at the San Jose State University, was placed on a temporary suspension. The school claims that Kil violated Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement between the school and the faculty union, but she believes she was suspended over her Palestine activism. Kil stepped down as co-chair of the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim Caucus of the California Faculty after the school placed her under an investigation for allegedly disruptive activities. “i am resigning now as co-chair and from all committees in pam. it was an honor to fight side by side with you all against the tragic and painful silence around the genocide we experienced at our campuses,” said Kil.

UAW Local 4811’s Stand-Up Strike Grows By 12,000

Twelve thousand academic workers at UCLA and UC Davis are poised to walk off the job Tuesday morning as part of an historic strike in solidarity with Palestine. The workers — 6,400 at the University of California, Los Angeles and 5,700 at the University of California, Davis — are members of United Auto Workers Local 4811, which represents 48,000 academic workers across the University of California (UC) system. “We’re taking this … unprecedented action because of the university’s serious, unfair labor practices (ULP), which really go to the heart of our rights for freedom of speech and protest, and the ability to take collective action,” Local 4811 President Rafael Jaime told In These Times ahead of Tuesday’s walkout.

What’s The Difference Between Indigenous Nations Co-Managing Or Co-Stewarding Their Land?

For a decade, wind farm companies had been eyeing Molok Luyuk — a mountain ridge of religious importance to tribes in northern California, whose people have worked for years to protect it. It’s also widely biodiverse with elk, mountain lions, and black bears, as well as 40 rare plants such as the pink adobe lily. Mia Durham is the secretary for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe that has been in a relationship with Molok Luyuk for thousands of years. In response to petitions filed by wind energy companies that wanted to develop the area, the tribe and its allies asked President Biden to protect it in 2019.

Pro-Palestinian Protesters Block Chevron Headquarters During Meeting

Around 50 Bay Area protesters blocked the entrance to Chevron’s headquarters in San Ramon ahead of the company’s annual meeting Wednesday morning to draw attention to the company’s links to Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. As shareholders and company officials gathered to discuss financial results for the oil and gas giant, chants from the crowd rang out: “Chevron, Chevron, you can’t hide! Blood for oil is a crime!” Wassim Haj, a member of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, said the aim of the protest was to “demand an end to Chevron’s complicity in the ongoing war in Gaza.” Haj said the protesters demanded that Chevron completely withdraw from their holdings in and around Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and encouraged consumers to boycott Chevron until a full divestment was reached.

University Of California Workers On Strike For Right To Protest For Gaza

On May 28, 12,000 student workers organized under United Auto Workers Local 4811, working at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and UC Davis joined 2,000 union members already on strike at UC Santa Cruz. Workers representing United Auto Workers Local 4811 received a standing ovation at the People’s Conference for Palestine this past weekend, in honor of the union local taking the bold step in leading the first ever strike in US history in relation to Palestine solidarity. At the panel entitled “The Role of Labor Unions in the Palestinian Struggle,” workers received a standing ovation and chants of “UC, UC hear our call! 4811 will strike you all!”

University Of California Student Workers Begin Historic Political Strike

On May 20, University of California (UC) student and postdoc workers at the Santa Cruz campus began a historic strike against the repression of the student movement. UAW 4811, which represents over 48,000 workers, voted last week to authorize a strike in response to intense repression unleashed against students and faculty protesting for Palestine. Administrators at several University of California campuses invited in the police, who violently arrested and injured students, faculty, and staff. Many workers and students across the UC system also face disciplinary action from their universities, including suspension.

How UC Researchers Began Saying No To Military Work

Our union of 48,000 academic workers has just authorized a strike over the University of California’s unfair labor practices in repressing peaceful protest, retaliating against members for protesting, and prohibiting pro-Palestine speech at the worksite. United Auto Workers Local 4811 announced the results yesterday: with nearly 20,000 members voting, 79 percent voted yes. Part of the groundwork behind this vote and informing the potential strike is the organizing we have done over the past several months in our science departments—as researchers who are no longer willing to support genocide with our labor.

University Of California, Irvine Suspends Pro-Palestine Students

Irvine, CA – “We demand amnesty for student protesters!” said a Palestinian student organizer at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Gaza solidarity encampment. “We’ve made it clear that we are not leaving until all of our demands are met. If anything, the student suspensions have only made us more determined to stay and hold our ground, because this fight is bigger than us. It’s a fight against genocide and our tuition money going towards the weapons that are murdering Palestinians by the Israeli government!” She was one of many voices rallying the community to defend the encampment from campus administration, who suspended numerous students, including three members of the encampment’s negotiating team on Wednesday, May 8.

University Workers Could Strike To Reject Repression Of Student Protests

From May 13 to May 15, members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4811 will be holding a strike authorization vote for a potential strike, in response to the University of California’s crackdown on peaceful pro-Palestine student protesters. On May 3, the union local filed Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) charges against the University of California (UC) system, in response to various UC campuses sending police officers to brutalize student protesters staging Gaza Solidarity Encampments. Last week, administration at the University of Los Angeles- California sent in the Los Angeles Police Department to clear out the Gaza Solidarity encampment staged by student protesters, peacefully demanding that their university divest from Israel.

USC President And Provost Censured After Faculty Senate Vote

After a three hour meeting of the University of Southern California (USC) academic senate with President Carol Folt and Provost Andrew Guzman, the faculty decisively passed a resolution with 21-7 majority, censuring both Folt and Guzman. USC has garnered local and national attention recently sparked by the cancellation of valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s commencement address. The attention has intensified after the university’s brutal crackdown on student divestment protests, which included the arrest of 93 protestors by LAPD, and overall cancellation of this year’s commencement ceremony.

Tackling California’s Budget Crisis: Taxes, Cuts, Or Form A Public Bank?

In 2022, the state of California celebrated a record budget surplus of $97.5 billion. Two years later, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, this surplus has plummeted to a record budget deficit of $73 billion. Balancing the budget will be challenging. Unlike the federal government, the state cannot just drive up debt and roll it over year after year. The California Balanced Budget Act, passed in 2004, requires the state legislature to pass a balanced budget every year. The usual solutions are to cut programs or raise taxes, but both approaches are facing an uphill battle. Raising taxes would require a two-thirds vote of the legislature, which would be very challenging, and worthy public programs are in danger of getting axed, including homelessness prevention and funding for low-income housing.

Masked Israel Supporters Attack UCLA’s Palestine Solidarity Encampment

Los Angeles, CA — Over more than five hours on Tuesday night, pro-Israel Zionist agitators violently beat, pepper sprayed and threw fireworks at hundreds of college students and protesters in a “unilateral, surprise attack“ as they held UCLA’s Palestine solidarity encampment while security and police stood by idly. Though police didn’t intervene until the fifth hour of the attack, the encampment stayed intact with the students repelling the continuous onslaught as they defiantly chanted “we’re not leaving” and “Free Palestine.”
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