The big news last week was the relatively restrained reaction to an L.A. jury’s verdict that Johannes Mehserle was guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant. Be sure not to miss the many fine pieces which appear as "Extras" in last week’s Planet, which covered it in depth, on the theory that the Berkeley Bubble is not an island unto itself. We hope to cover, as well as we’re able, significant stories like this one which affect the whole urban East Bay, both Berkeley and beyond. -more-
Pelosi Backs Two Ferries for Berkeley;Post-Verdict Riots;Anarchism?The Post-Reagan Era;Arizona Cracks Down Again; The Walls Came Tumbling Down;Planning to Plan Downtown; Coal Kills; Mayor's proposed Downtown Area Plan Ballot Measure; Kenneth Thiesen’s 2008 Opinion; Feminists for Life-more-
A major and pernicious element of the Mayor’s new, proposed, “Downtown Plan” involves sweeping away the existing, established, process governing the designation of historic structures and creating a special, abbreviated, procedure for reviewing potential historic resources in Downtown Berkeley only.
The Mayor and a majority of the City Council have essentially argued that this is necessary because developers and property owners are quaking in their boots, unwilling and/or unable to develop Downtown because they fear that historic regulation and all-powerful preservationists may stop them.
There’s a key Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday July 14th to decide the future of protected industrial spaces and the location and definitions of research and development. The Planning Commission is set to have their last discussion (before a final Commission Public Hearing in September) on opening up now-protected industrial space, on Wednesday, July 14th, 7pm, at the North Berkeley Senior Center - MLK at Hearst • As at the May 19th meeting, the Commission will likely take a "sense" vote on the issue.* -more-
The Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI), a Human Rights and international law think-tank, is calling for the use of United Nations treaties and treaty law in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant trial verdict. -more-
Now that the Mehserle verdict is in, the entire panorama of the case looks rotten to the core. It’s another crystal clear example of how institutionalized racism is perpetuated. It’s also a crystal clear example of the hidden (not so hidden) rule of government that the police mustn’t be held accountable for the grossest violations of human rights. The trial was tailored to fit this rule. -more-
To those who talk about “inoculating” people against the so-called “violence” of the masses. Who preach against protest. Who say “be cool.” Who say they want to preserve a “peaceful and thriving Oakland” when the reality is that every day the police run rampant, brutalizing and killing our youth. Who cynically invoke the names of Malcolm X and Huey Newton in attempts to pre-emotively quell the outrage of the people. Who speak of “love” while they denigrate those who have taken a stand, calling them “outside agitators” and “extreme fringe groups” We say: -more-