Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Sacramento Bee wins legal battle, UC Davis pepper spraying cops must be named

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Nearly three years after UC Davis campus police pepper sprayed a line of peaceful, seated student protesters from the Occupy movement, The Sacramento Bee has won a legal battle to release the names of officers involved, the newspaper reported today.Read more »

Researcher explores police and protester violence in the Occupy movement

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As the nation's eyes watch police officers in Ferguson firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of protesters, one UC Berkeley sociologist is exploring how and why such violent conflicts erupt in the first place.

Nicholas Adams and his team call themselves Deciding Force. Its goal? To prevent violence between police and protesters at peaceful demonstrations through deep data analysis of the Occupy movement.Read more »

More time, same crime

Decades after crack cocaine "epidemic," bill aims for parity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing

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joe@sfbg.com

Roll up a dollar bill, snort a line of coke, sit back and smile: If your cocaine use leads to a conviction, your drug of choice will be spared from the harsher penalties associated with inhaling the substance through a glass pipe. When it comes to busts for cocaine possession and dealing, those caught with a rock instead of the powdered stuff are kept behind bars longer. But that could soon change.Read more »

Live shots: Pro-Palestine activists block ship at the Port of Oakland

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Pro-Palestine activists marched on Saturday to block an Israeli ship scheduled to dock at the Port of Oakland, protesting Gaza violence.

Well over 1,000 protesters marched from the West Oakland BART station to the port to block the Zim Piraeus, operated by Zim Integrated Services, Ltd., from docking and unloading its goods. As of last night the ILWU respected the Block the Boat picket line. A police line met the protesters when they arrived.Read more »

Was Oakland's moment of silence for Ferguson buzzed by a police helicopter?

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As many of us watched in horror as Ferguson, Missouri police lobbed tear gas grenades and fired rubber bullets into crowds of their own citizens, demonstrations in Oakland and San Francisco yesterday made a show of solidarity with a national movement memorializing victims of police violence.

Michael Brown's death at the hands of Ferguson police is an all too familiar scenario for Bay Area residents. Oakland and San Francisco lost two of their own, Oscar Grant and Alex Nieto, at the hands of local police.

But as hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza took part in the National Moment of Silence in honor of Brown, that quiet was disrupted by the loud chop-chop-chop of a helicopter hovering directly overhead. Read more »

San Francisco rent explosion: Median rent for two-bedroom apartment tops $4K

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Hold onto your butts, a new study on San Francisco's rental market (yes another one) reveals the city's newest most expensive neighborhoods. 

Priceonomics went pretty darn viral last year upon release of its first study of San Francisco's rental explosion, and round two is certain to blast through SF social media as well. And deservedly so, as the new high rental numbers are staggering.Read more »

SF school board votes to aid Central American child refugees, hopes to spark national movement

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Waves of Central American child refugees are landing in San Francisco, fleeing violence in their home countries. A growing number of supporters are lending aid, and now the San Francisco Unified School District is the newest group to join the cause. 

Last night [Tues/12], the SFUSD Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to bolster services in city public schools for child refugees fleeing Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.Read more »

Real estate speculators physically push out Ellis Act eviciton protesters

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Native San Franciscan Benito Santiago, 64, joined a protest Aug. 12 in an attempt to remind his evictors that he's a human being – not a roadblock to profit.

Santiago is facing an Ellis Act eviction from his 47-year Duboce Triangle home, where his monthly rent is just below $600.Read more »

Wanted: more huddled masses

CAREERS + ED Tech companies lobby for more immigrant work visas, bypassing US residents and creating a labor force bound by golden handcuffs

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joe@sfbg.com

Schools of suit-clad professionals stream up city sidewalks in San Francisco's Financial District during the typical morning migration to the office. Near the intersection of Sutter and Montgomery streets, one line of immigrant workers stands still as they wait to submit paperwork in hopes of permanently joining the commuting throngs.Read more »

Messed up: Did this man vandalize Alejandro Nieto's memorial?

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Alejandro Nieto was killed after a hotly debated, horrifying confrontation with the SFPD nearly five months ago. Since his death, his family and loved ones often gather at a memorial on Bernal Hill to remember Nieto. Now however, that memorial is allegedly being desecrated.

Just a week ago, a bystander caught the alleged vandal on video, following him after watching him throw pieces of the memorial down a hill.Read more »