activism, Climate Justice, Culture

Extinction Rebellion – SF Die-Ins

Several hundreds people gathered at San Francisco’s Civic Center on October 16, 2019 for a solemn procession punctuated by die-ins, as part of a day of Climate Justice protests.
The action, organized by Bay Area Extinction Rebellion as part of international protests during October 2019, included people from Red Rebels, Decolonization, Playful Animal Parade, Mindful Direct Action, the Climate Anxiety Tent, DAWG, and WICCA (Witches Invoking Creative Climate Action – our Bay Area Pagan Cluster!).
The actions focused attention on California government and Governor Newsom, and demanded that the state:
–  Declare a climate emergency
–  Commit to fossil-free California by 2025
–  Empower communities through citizen’s assemblies
–  Work for a just transition
Future Actions and Events: extinctionrebellionsfbay.org
WICCA/Pagan Cluster – contact and join our googlegroup
Photo by Luke Hauser.
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activism, Culture, Photos

Climate Justice – Photos from SF

Several thousand Bay Area activists shut down the central financial district of San Francisco, known as Wall Street West.

Click here for photos by Luke Hauser

The September 25, 2019 actions were part of international climate justice events, including the global student strike on September 20.

Reclaiming’s Bay Area Pagan Cluster – Witches Invoking Creative Climate Action, or WICCA – organized a ritual for mid-afternoon. The cluster processed down California Street singing We Are the Rising Sun, then did a short Equinox ritual in the middle of the “mural district” of Montgomery Street, ending with a spiral dance to Our Hands Will Work for Peace and Justice (Harvest Chant).

Click here for photos by Luke Hauser

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activism, Culture, Video

Stonewall – 50 Years of Inspiration

June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal event in the history of GLBQT rights.

Here’s links to documentaries on youtube. Sadly, PBS – “public” broadcasting – is so busy monetizing its properties that it allows us to see only the first 7 minutes of its hour-long video.

Maybe it’s time for another uprising?

Stonewall Documentaries on Youtube

Photo: Kay Tobin, The NY Public Library Collections.

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activism, Culture, Satires

Curbing Rampant Pedestrianism

Lately I’ve noticed an ugly phenomenon in our fair bayside communities – careless and inconsiderate pedestrians have been taking over the sidewalks, forcing legally-sanctioned scooter riders to dodge, swerve, and ultimately to dismount and walk their electrified vehicles!

This has got to stop! Unfortunately, no one acts more entitled than a pedestrian on a sidewalk. You’d practically think they paid for them!

We need to get pedestrians under control before someone gets hurt. When I see scooters constantly having to dodge people on foot, I know it’s just a matter of time until a careless pedestrian is going to accidentally hit and kill a scooter rider. I’m surprised it hasn’t accidentally happened already. Those kind of accidents are to be expected when pedestrians get out of control.

Pedestrian Lanes & Laws

I propose that all sidewalks be marked with clear lanes, and pedestrians be required to stay in their lane unless they signal a turn at least 50 feet in advance.

Anyone intending to walk around SF or Oakland must obtain a license; provide proof of insurance (in case they accidentally hurt a scooter or a scooter-rider); and at all times wear a helmet, kneepads, and turn signals.

A Long-Term Vision

Ultimately, our urban vision must eliminate pedestrians entirely from the city. If enough scooters are strewn around on sidewalks and streets and dumpsters and lakes, there will no longer be any excuse for walking.

Join our campaign to eliminate pedestrianism! Email bartcourier@gmail.com

Image: San Francisco activists pile yuppie scooters in front of techie megabus.

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*****

Culture

History of California – Kevin Starr

This pleasant but superficial overview looks at California history from today’s perspective – it’s not a recounting of everything that happened, but of those things that “had to happen in order that California become what it is today.”

Audible Audiobook | Amazon

While useful as an organizing tool, this vantage point tends to give the book a triumphalist tone, where whatever negative events happened were necessary in order for California to fulfill it’s (American capitalist) destiny.

The book is strongest on issues like the development of the water infrastructure, where it recounts in detail how the North and South halves of the state grappled with this thorny issue. Chapters on the growth of San Francisco and Los Angeles, including a quick history of automobile traffic, are solid and entertaining.

Starr offers good coverage of early politics, including land-grabs and railroad scams. But he scants the role of the original Peoples of the regions – presumably because they were not strictly necessary to the destiny of the state.

Likewise, he gives a good, quick survey of architecture – but scarcely mentions that the raw materials were obtained virtually for free by decimating the redwood forests, with unforeseeable environmental impacts on today’s California.

Perhaps most offensive is his celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge as a masterpiece comparable to the Parthenon. Given that over 1000 people have committed suicide from the bridge, we’re left wondering what exactly constitutes a Californian masterpiece?

Three stars for Kevin Starr – with hopes that a more thorough and balanced history of the state is recorded soon.

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