San Diego Indymedia's Ten Notable Local Stories of 2011


2011 was an exciting year in the San Diego region, with the Occupy Movement and the West Coast Port Blockade, local support for the rebellions in North Africa and Southwest Asia, and continuing struggles for queer and workers' rights, for legalization, and against the drug war. After overcoming many technical hurdles, San Diego Indymedia's new web site went live in October. The widespread recognition that the excesses of the elites cannot continue and the adoption of horizontal and anti-authoritarian organizing in Occupy and elsewhere suggests that 2012 is going to be spectacular! Here are ten amongst many notable local stories, in no particular order. --Read More--

The Occupy Movement Inspired by the rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt, Occupy Wall Street tapped into growing resentment against elites by workers and the middle class to become a rapidly growing horizontally organized movement that spread across the US and elsewhere, including San Diego. Repression by pigs has reduced the opportunities for permanent occupations but creative shifts in tactics suggest that Occupy will remain a strong force for change into 2012. Voices from the Occupation Also: Reportback from Ocupemos el Barrio Open Mic | Three Views of Occupy San Diego the Day After the Cop Riot | 50 Arrested at Occupy SD | Occupy San Diego Draws Thousands Downtown | Cops Attack Occupy San Diego's Freedom Square | Occupy San Diego Occupies Civic Center Plaza | We are the 99%! Occupy San Diego Begins

San Diego Rallies in Support of Rebellions in Egypt and Tunisia A rebellion in Tunisia forced dictator Ben Ali to flee the country in January. Protesters in Egypt are close to forcing dictator Mubarek out of power. In Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Palestine and elsewhere, protesters are putting pressure on repressive, US-supported regimes. On Saturday, San Diego Indymedia Radio: Live from the City Heights Farmers Market discussed the widening regional rebellion and talk to folks in San Diego with direct connections to protesters in Egypt. The program included summaries of recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, an interview with Moataz Hamza about the current and historical situation in Egypt, and a discusion of the role of media in uprisings. Rebellion - A San Diego Perspective Also: Photos from Rally in Support of Egypt, Tunisia and the Regional Rebellion

Struggle Against the Drug War in Mexico "As part of a national movement; protestors, both young and old, are calling for “peace” between the government and the cartels. Over 30 Mexican cities in the last week have seen protests. Close to five hundred people gathered May 7 in Tijuana’s Zona Rio to call on President Felipe Calderon to end Mexico’s “failed” war on drugs. Families of victims and concerned older citizens held signs and gave speeches which simply called on the government to “alto a la Guerra.” About half of Tijuana’s demonstrators were young people who were taking a new tact in their movement by not only calling for the legalization of all drugs in Mexico but calling Calderon “a puppet of the United States” and equating its drug war as an “arm of the imperialist north." "No More Blood" Tijuanese Demand! Also: Protest against the Mexican Drug War

West Coast Port Blockade In response to the West Coast Port Blockade call-out by , San Diego Port Shutdown staged an action on Monday at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal that resulted in the two entrances being blocked for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, many workers going home, and the north entrance blocked throughout the day. Over one hundred cops - sdpd, harbor police and dhs agents - were attempting to shut down the action. Four protesters were arrested at the south entrance. West Coast Port Blockade

Marriage Equality Movement The Marriage Equality Movement, despite the indifference of much of the queer community, has employed a range of headline grabbing tactics, from initiatives to civil disobedience.“The Equality Nine engaged in a peaceful sit-in when the County Clerk would not issue marriage licenses to two same-sex couples that day [August 19, 2010], as they were willing to do for any opposite-sex couple that stepped into the office,” the online petition explains. “The Nine were arrested by dozens of Sheriff’s Deputies in full riot gear and military-style formation. They were shackled and marched out to buses, then were brought to jail where they were processed and spent several hours." Their legal struggle continued into 2011… Over 50 Turn Out to Civic Center to Support Equality 9 Also: Equality Nine Have Latest Day in Court | Solidarity Demonstration for Equality 9

San Diego Slut Walk Over 500 people turned out at the San Diego Community Concourse Saturday, June 11 for San Diego Slut Walk. Called in response to a January 24 statement by a police representative in Toronto, Canada that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized,” the Slut Walks encourage people to attend in stereotypically “slutty” attire — skin-tight tops, short skirts, sheer dresses, tight pants and the like — to make the point that simply because a woman dresses in a way that highlights her sexuality, that does not give men the right to rape or assault her. Over 500 Turn Out for San Diego Slut Walk

San Diego Indymedia's New Web Site After four years of relying on Indybay for posting, San Diego Indymedia shook the very foundation of the crumbling establishment of the aging city by putting a new bilingual, multi-dimensional web site online on Saturday. The site includes twenty-first century versions of the usual Indymedia news functions, open publishing, event posting, and features, as well as parallel versions of the web site that highlight community and music groups working on projects supporting or complimenting SDIMC's mission San Diego Indymedia Rocks Border Region by Going Online

Struggles Against Border Violence and Deportations Numerous groups in the area continued their struggles against the militarization and violence associated with the border and ICE, and to call for legalization and basic human rights and dignity.
Mobilization for Legalization - struggles against border violence and derpotations. The Coalition for Legalization, which held a rally at Chicano Park on February 6, includes Border Angels, Si Se Puede Immigrants' Rights Coalition and the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality. Mobilization for Legalization Also: Teen Producers' Project Makes Pro-Immigrant Videos

Medical Marijuana/Struggle for Legalization The struggle for legalization and the use of pot for medical purposes continued into 2011. Locally, San Diego's hostility to implementing Prop 215 via a crackdown on dispensaries was led by DA Dumanis, who activists have been targeting in her run for mayor. San Diego Hammers Down on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Despite Public Support Also: Obama Administration Declares War on Medical Cannabis | Bonnie Dumanis Unable To Muster Any Power Sneeks Out The Back

Workers Organizing "On March 4, over 250 activists and union leaders gathered at the city’s first Labor Notes Troublemakers School to discuss “Labor and Community in Times of Crisis. The nine hour conference held at San Diego City College attracted many students as well leaders of the city’s social justice organizations. Under the auspices of the nation’s foremost radical labor publication, Labor Notes, participants came for many reasons. Some, out of solidarity with public employees under the gun in Wisconsin, others to participate in the various break-out sessions on particular aspects of activism." San Diego Union Troublemakers Go to School Also: San Diego Hosts Three May Day Rallies | Tijuana's Latin American Labor Conference to Focus on Worker Emancipation