At the Home of the Free Speech Movement the UCPD appears to have suppressed Free Speech Again! Please join us in questioning this behavior and challenge the UCPD to respect the Free Speech Rights of Occupy Cal. -more-
Police have broken through a line of protesters on the University of California at Berkeley campus this afternoon and are taking down a half-dozen tents set up by the demonstrators. -more-
Students and University of California at Berkeley employees are setting up an encampment on the campus today to protest tuition and fee increases for university students and funding cuts to all levels of public education. -more-
It was a beautiful late October day, ideal weather for enjoying the sweeping panorama from atop the hills north of the Berkeley Marina. It was a lovely day for soaking up the sun and inhaling great gasps of fresh Bay breeze. And it was also a perfect day for grabbing pick-axes, shovels and a hundred small boulders to gussy up the perimeter surrounding the César Chávez Memorial Solar Calendar. -more-
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 25th, police raided the encampment of Occupy Oakland. We'd gotten word that it was likely to occur this night, and, as I headed out to join my companions at the Plaza, I was thinking of an incident from local history--the police attack in the Port of Oakland on the morning of April 7, 2003. -more-
Back from marching with Occupy Oakland's successful march to close the Port of Oakland Wednesday—where it flew an Occupy Berkeley flag made the night before—Occupy Berkeley returns to a troubled encampment. Wednesday's planning meeting ("general assembly") in MLK Civic Center Park was cancelled so that Occupy Berkeley could join its big brother in Oakland. -more-
On October 22, a determined group of activists began a two-week interfaith peace walk from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo to the Bay Area. "With the tragedy of Fukushima in our hearts," they explained, "we will walk 15-18 miles a day looking into the safety of land and people along our route, the still-present danger of nuclear weapons, the poisonous nuclear fuel cycle and how to end the nuclear nightmare in California and worldwide."
With uncanny timing, the marchers reached Oakland on November 3, just in time to join the Occupy Oakland General Strike.
Louise Dunlap, one of the walk organizers, explained the genesis of the Sacred Sites Peacewalk for a Nuclear Free Future: "The Diablo Canyon plant defiled a site sacred to the Chumash people, and native lands still bear the brunt of toxic mining and waste disposal that mark the nuclear industry." Fittingly, she noted, the march was designed to conclude at another Sacred Site, Vallejo's Sogorea Te/Glen Cove, "an Indigenous sacred site of true power" that was recently the focus of a 109-day vigil to protect it from development. -more-
Supporters of the Occupy Oakland movement and some of its detractors packed an emotional Oakland City Council meeting to discuss the city's response to the protests. -more-
Chief Howard Jordan blamed what he described as "anarchists and provocateurs" for causing a confrontation with police at a vacant building early today that resulted in more than 80 people getting arrested. -more-
Berkeley Woman Who Prompts Chinese Government to Care for Female Orphans is 2011 Purpose Prize Winner
In 1996, Berkeley resident Jenny Bowen was stunned by a New York Times photo of a starving child in a Chinese welfare institution. Within eighteen months, she had adopted a girl child from Guangzhou, once known to the Western world as Canton. After a year of loving care, the twenty-month old girl was healthy. Later, she adopted another girl. Bowen’s daughters attend Berkeley High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
Flash forward two years. These experiences have led Bowen to launch an organization to transform radically the way China cares for its 800,000 orphans (a government statistic that is probably neither valid nor reliable.) The Half the Sky Foundation is among the first United States-based NGOs [Nongovernmental Organizations] to partner with the Chinese government. A pilot program was set up in two provinces: Jaingsu (Jiang Zhu) and An Hu (Anhui). Now, she is advising Beijing on investing $300 million to build three hundred model orphanages, and in the next five years Berkeley-based (715 Hearst Avenue) the Foundation will help to train all of China’s orphanage workers.
Her efforts will be recognized on December 1 when she will be one of five winners of San Francisco's Civic Ventures' Purpose Prizes.
Five $100,000 Purpose Prizes are being awarded to Americans who are making an extraordinary impact in their Encore Careers. Five social entrepreneurs over sixty years of age will each receive $100,000 for using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on some of society’s biggest challenges. Now in its sixth year, the $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life. This year, for the first time, one of the five prizes – The Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, which Bowen will receive -- will be sponsored by AARP. The $100,000 will be used, she says, for “challenge” fund-raising with the Chinese government. -more-