Bekah Hinojosa was still in her pajamas Wednesday morning when she heard a knock on the door. Probably just FedEx, she thought, though the knock did seem a bit loud. When she peeked through her peephole, she saw a swarm of men. “Who is it?” she inquired. They were Brownsville police officers, she soon realized, there to initiate what would become a traumatic 24 hours for Hinojosa that would end in her border city’s mayor posting her mugshot and employment status on social media—all for the alleged crime of a little protest graffiti. Hinojosa, a local environmental activist with the Sierra Club and Another Gulf Is Possible, says she cracked the door open and “they just pushed themselves into my apartment … grabbed me and handcuffed me.”
In an effort to resist the Bethlehem Municipality’s efforts to beautify a section of the Apartheid Wall where Pope Francis was scheduled to pass, Local activists from Aida Refugee Camp gathered to paint slogans both against Israeli occupation and welcoming His Holiness, on the eve of his arrival, on May 24th 2014. “Why do we have to make it beautiful? It’s not,” said 23-year-old Mohammed Abu Srour, one of activists involved. The group successfully maneuvered past a few PA security personnel to reach the wall and defame a newly painted military gate, a sliver of the wall and the paint-bombed sniper tower near Rachel’s Tomb. Israeli soldiers opened the gate after several minutes and activists backed off before soldiers retreated and closed the gate. One activist started again tagging, “Welcome Pope,” but was chased down the street by several Israeli soldiers who emerged from a re-opened gate. Palestinian Authority officials then addressed the Israeli soldiers at the gate, proceeding to talk for several minutes. When asked why they were present, they responded by saying they were only there to secure the visit of an Orthodox leader that day, who would eventually pass in a six car caravan through the gate around 1:10 PM.
Has Atherton -- named the "most expensive ZIP code in America" by Forbes last year -- become the latest battleground in class warfare? On Feb. 16, vandals spray-painted the message "F... the 1%" on perimeter walls, fences, garage doors, a gate and a car on at least nine properties in the town's Lindenwood neighborhood, according to Atherton police Lt. Joe Wade. And on a street in front of one house was scrawled in black paint the words, "Kill People." As part of its investigation, the Atherton Police Department contacted other local law enforcement agencies as well as the FBI, Wade said. "We send out notifications to anybody we think might have information," Wade said. "They're (vandals) talking about the 1 percent, that's happening beyond our local reach. Sometimes the FBI will monitor protest groups and things of that nature."