Tags >> protest
Nov 23
2009

Blue Whale Death

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , technology , research , protest , policy , ocean , news , legislation , government , fish , environment , employment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A month after a blue whale was killed by the propellers of a survey ship off the coast near Fort Bragg, some big questions remain, among them, how did this happen, and could it have been prevented?

The crew of the Pacific Star only became aware of their ship’s deadly encounter with the blue whale when its propeller stopped, reports Shelia Semans, the sea floor mapping project manager for the Ocean Protection Council and the Coastal Conservancy. But that moment was quickly fatal for the whale, a conclusion that was confirmed by examinations of its beached body.

 

Steve Sullivan, an outspoken critic of the mapping project, contends the participating ships have failed to comply with applicable regulations governing sonar surveying, because their sponsoring organizations have disregarded those rules.

Sheila Semans counters that the type of sonar used by the navy and other large vessels in commercial shipping lanes is markedly different than the sonar technology used in sea floor mapping in shallow coastal waters.

This video shows the size of the whale carcass, soon after it washed ashore Oct. 20, a little south of Fort Bragg. The rectangular section of skin and blubber that is missing above the tail was removed by scientists studying the dead animal. The fatal wounds are on the underside, not visible to the camera.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU5IpIL-M0s 300x300]

Nov 13
2009

Peace and Justice

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , justice , history , government , families , environment , community , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center is celebrating 25 years of activism this weekend, while also preparing to carry on their efforts as long as they are needed.

While much of the energy of the peace center activists was directed toward national concerns, founding member Shirley McGovern recalls that they were also able to respond to local situations in their immediate community, which she found especially gratifying.

As the Peace And Justice Center moves into its next quarter century, Susan Lamont is looking forward to the convergence of activism between environmentalists and social justice advocates.

The Peace and Justice Center will celebrate its first 25 years on Saturday, November 14th at the. Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building, 282 High Street in Sebastopol. The event begins at 4:30 with wine, appetizers and music during a silent auction featuring art, services, jewelry, food, wine and more. Dinner will take place around 6:15.

The evening will include featured speaker, Medea Benjamin founder of Global Exchange and CodePink The cost with reservations is $35 ; $40 at the door, if room is available.

It is our time as a community to celebrate all the work we have engaged in for 25 years: the journey we have walked with the poor, the wars we have opposed, the solidarity with the marginalized, and the support for the immigrants. It is an opportunity for our peace and justice community to come together to celebrate all our years of growing together and making a difference in our county, our nation and our world.

 

 

 

Nov 03
2009

Contagious Love Experiment

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , veterans , speaker , Sonoma County , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , government , events , California , bicycle , activism

Bruce Robinson

Two Iraq war veterans turned peace activists are winding down their cross-country bicycle tour with a visit in Santa Rosa today, one of the last stops in what they’ve dubbed their “Contagious Love Experiment.”

As a soldier, Conner Curran came to believe that the use of force could be justified if it was used to accomplish something good. But he says being a soldier taught him that belief was not really true.

It’s a bold undertaking, setting out to ride across the country, not knowing people in most of the places you’ll wind up in. But Josh and Conner have made good use of some online resources to help smooth their way.

On their Contagious Love Experience blog, Josh and Conner take turns reflecting on their various day-to-day encounters and experiences. They also detail their personal histories and reasons for what they are doing. This is an except from Josh Siebert's account:

"When I got back from my 14 month deployment to Iraq in April of 08, I planned on taking the money I had been given to kill and destroy my nation’s “enemies” and walking to the military pay headquarters and giving that money back, telling them it wasn’t something I’d participate in anymore and if I had to serve the rest of my enlistment in jail, then that’s where I needed to be.

"Then I learned of conscientious objection, a militarily recognized status that someone’s beliefs has changed so that they are no longer compatible with war. I debated with myself over which option to take. Finally, I figured that as many problems as I had with the system, at least they showed some degree of respect for people’s beliefs, so I would give it a fair shot.

"As I waited until April of 09 for final approval, my plan of spite, of throwing the money back in the government’s face evolved into the walk I’m on now. If I am saying no to war, I want to find out what to say yes to. I want to take a negative and invest it into a positive. In a country where war is preached from the churches, I want to do a little to remember the man who those churches are built for, the man who visited the orphans, served the poor, clothed the naked, fed the hungry… and loved. So that’s what I’ve set out to do and I hope that that love is contagious."

Josh Steiber and Conner Curran with bring their Contagious Love Experiment to the Sonoma County  Peace and Justice Center, 467 Sebastopol Avenue (near Julliard Park)  in Santa Rosa, on Tuesday Nov. 3 at 7 pm

To see where Josh and Conner have been, and where they are headed, view their itinerary here and scroll down to get to the current  month. You can also watch this video about their trip.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxdFNbyrW6Y 400x400]

Oct 27
2009

Auto Impounds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , public safety , protest , poverty , policy , law enforcement , justice , jail , immigration , government , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers is a discretionary call for police officers, one that can be an expensive hardship for immigrant workers in Sonoma County.

Once a vehicle has been impounded, the law dictates that it will be held for the full 30 days, but the owner can request a hearing to get it released soon. Sgt. Dough Schlies of the Santa Rosa Police Department, explains how that process works.

Here's the full explanation of the Santa Rosa Police Department policy governing the release of impounded vehicles.

While acknowledging that the law grants police officers individual discretion to decide whether or not to call in a tow truck when they find an unlicensed driver, Davin Cardenas, an activst and organizer with the Committee on Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County is concerned that those decisions often vary widely. And he suspects that in at least some cases, ethnic profiling is involved.

"Vehicle impoundment" is governed by Section 14602.6  of the California Vehicle Code. This is the California Highway Patrol's explanation of that law.

From the announcement of the Halloween Day march in Santa Rosa:

"On October 31st, the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County will sponsor a march and symbolic Trick or Treat at City Hall to bring awareness about the impounding of immigrants automobiles. We want to let people know what we are asking for, as well as what our responsibilites are in order to bring change about. Bring the kids! Bring a costume! We will also be promoting the usage of safer forms of transportation, such as carpooling, bicycles (bring your bikes!), and walking. There will be face painting prior to the march, as well as a whole lot of candy. Where: Begin at 665 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, Ca (Dollar Tree parking lot)
            End at Santa Rosa City Hall
When: Saturday October 31st
           3pm - 6pm (rally and face paint begin at 3pm, march at 4pm)
For more information, contact the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County at
(707) 571- 7559.

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