Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Hammer Attack Prompts New Call for Protest Weapons Ban; State Puts Striking Prisoners in Deep Isolation

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An attack on a waiter by a hammer-wielding vandal earlier this week has prompted a renewed call for a ban on makeshift weapons at protests in Oakland, the Trib reports. Councilman Noel Gallo said he plans to bring back a proposal that would have banned weapons like clubs, wrenches, and large shields that the council decided to not implement last year after loud opposition from Occupy Oakland protesters. Drew Cribley, the waiter from Flora who was struck in the face by a hammer while trying to protect the downtown restaurant, said he supports the proposed weapons ban.

Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Pelican Bay State Prison
2. State prison officials have put fourteen inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison into deep isolation as punishment for their roles in leading the statewide hunger strike, the LA Times$ reports. Prisoners throughout California have been striking over the state’s practice of putting inmates in long-term isolation — sometimes for ten years or more.

3. A proposal in Oakland to create a surveillance center with sweeping powers to collect substantial amounts of information on citizens is sparking opposition from civil libertarians, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. The surveillance center would be able to collect information from surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, and other devices. However, city officials have yet to develop protocols to ensure that the system is not abused.

4. The UC Regents voted unanimously to appoint the first-ever Muslim student to the board of trustees despite objections from some Jewish groups, the Chron$ reports. Sadia Saifuddin of UC Berkeley has drawn both praise and criticism for her calls to divest from Israel and her advocacy against Islamophobia.

5. And state regulators have been inundated with more than 20,000 letters and emails concerning fracking, the LA Times$ reports. State officials are grappling over whether to demand that oil and natural gas companies publicly disclose the chemicals they use to extract fossil fuels in California.

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