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Thank you for sharing this update.
Thank you for your persistence and resistance to targeted bureaucratic obfuscation. I hope the free and independent media survive and flourish - without them, democracy, the sovereignty of the people, is doomed.
I lived next door to a violent man for years, in the Dimond District, and called the police on him numerous times, but they never arrested him. When he turned the hose on me while I was gardening in my front yard, I called the police. He yelled obscenities at them when they arrived. They turned to me and said, "Yes, Ma'am, we see what you're saying." But then they turned and left and didn't arrest him. Later, he would sit on his front porch and yell at people and play music so loud that it could be heard a block away. The police would come and tell him to turn down the music. He would yell at them; they didn't do anything. They never arrested him. Several of the neighbors had restraining orders against him but when he violated those restraining orders, the police did nothing. Finally, his home was foreclosed on, but the sheriff had to get him out; he didn't leave voluntarily. I was inside the house after he was evicted, and from the smoky walls, covered windows, etc., it seemed pretty clear to me that there had been a meth lab inside. The whole neighborhood was just lucky he didn't start a fire.
Unless someone is killed by gunfire, Oakland cops can have very casual attitudes about all the firearm shooting that goes on every day in this town.
Where I live in Oakland cops have been called after gunshots have been reported, and if the cops actually show up, they can show little interest and have, for example, ignored cartridge cases all over the street.
There are many freeway ramps near us. Road signs are full of bullet holes. When we call in that we hear multiple gunshots (drive by shooters like to practice shooting on freeway on ramps because they are miles away in a few minutes), cops don't respond. In reality there's probably nothing they can do because the city of Oakland's electeds have closed minds about dealing with the realities of gunfire.
When we have contacted other city departments about the shooting on the on ramps, they say that they can do nothing. There's no money for CCTV. Don't you think that if we can ID drive by shooters when they are practicing that we might be able to prevent more actual drive by killings? This doesn't occur to city hall.
Mayors of nearby cities have petitioned CalTrans and Gov. Brown for help with freeway shootings. Some nearby cities have paid for the installation of CCTV cameras to help deal with the problem. In Oakland this amounts to thinking too far outside the box.
I wonder what they would do to someone who is a permanent resident, or someone on a visa. These people are very good at intimidation and they have all power, scary.
Thanks for your professionalism and dedication. There are many of us who value the work of committed journalists, which is more important now than ever. I hope a silver lining is a renewal of the free, independent, fact-based press.
As a lawyer for immigrants, and a teacher of future immigration lawyers, I thank you and hope that you will persevere in this absolutely critical effort. But watch yourself: there have been very strange campaigns against whistle-blowers such as Professor Jacqueline Stevens, barred from her own Northwestern campus based on what many think is a bogus complaint in retaliation for her uncovering misconduct by Immigration Judges and ICE officers. See http://buffett.northwestern.edu/programs/deportationresearch/ .
As for the comment above, "where are all the other journalists" I think the answer is, serious journalists are an endangered species, because you don't make money for the increasingly corporatized owners of media and now, more and more, even if you did make money you would be suppressed for not producing lies tailored to support the ultra-right-wing (actually, fascist, but we are intimidated from using that term) extremists who have taken over not only media but most of our federal government. If you think things are bad now, wait until Sessions is done appointing a full roster of Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals, and Trump (actually Bannon and Miller) are done filling every vacancy they can find -- or create -- in the federal judiciary. When the judiciary is all theirs, we will genuinely know what fascism is.
Great reporting. Keep pushing.
I was born in Oakland more than 70 years ago. I lived there until the late 60's. Though I am a proud Canadian now, a big part of my heart will always be in Oakland. I would have loved to join you. Your March was marvellous.
This is not just lack of transparency. It is discrimination, pure and simple. Great work under arduous circumstances. You are a credit to the profession. Keep up the great work.
Keep up the great work and don't be discouraged!
We should all be attending these as often as possible. I'm still annoyed that I was asked to provide ID to be allowed into a BART meeting.
Defendants CAN ask that a hearing be closed. The prosecution cannot. This prevents the courts from becoming start chambers. Criminal record are public records as FAR too many find out when job hunting.
Maybe they heard you guys are the new "enemy". Thanks for observing and informing!
The saddest commentary on what happened to you is that no other journalist attends these hearings. Where is the free press that seems limited to opinion pieces on the freedom of the press but does not test it in real life?
When I was going to grade school our teachers constantly told us the difference between the USA and the USSR was the latter's citizens had plenty of rights on paper but none of them in reality. That way they could claims their people were the freest in the world while they systematically enforced fascism.
That sound I hear now is all my teachers, who tried to install patriotism in me and make me a good American, spinning in their graves. After all this "indoctrination," it's the reality of America that changes how we perceive it.
Stay strong -- we are with you! And so appreciative of your work!
Keep up the great work.
Wow. And it will probably only get worse.
If people have a right to a closed hearing, then it seems like the judge should ask them before the proceedings begin, and take appropriate action. Other than that, the public should have the right to observe.
Thanks. I went to one in Arizona and they heard the cases with 30-50 people
"defendants" at a time. It was insane. They had no translation, and would enter their pleas en masse as "guilty." It was astonishing. That said, this was under Obama. I would hate to see what it's going to be like under Trump.
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