Tag Archives: California

Nestle CEO Says He Would Profit More from CA’s Drought if He Could

Serious droughts don’t seem to matter

By Christina Sarich
July 12, 2015
Natural Society

 

water-bottle-drought-735-350According to Credo, Nestle CEO Tim Brown was asked in a radio interview recently if the company would consider halting their water extraction from a national forest in drought-stricken California. The answer may not be what you’d expect.

Did Brown apologize for the corporation’s contribution to California’s water crisis? Nope. He doubled down and said, “Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.”

Many of the 200,000 activists who signed a petition asking Nestle to stop extracting water from the national forest reserve found out about Nestle’s actions through Natural Society. In all, the sheer amount of protest drummed up quite a bit of negative press for Nestle. The company has still refused to change its ways.

Water privatization, as they’ve made clear, is their goal. Nestle’s former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe also has a long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment to take part in the profit of an astounding $35 billion in annual profit from water bottle sales alone. It is clear that this corporation doesn’t think clean drinking water is a human right.

Nestle recently updated their website to address the question – Have you been sourcing water illegally in the San Bernadino National Forest without a proper permit?

“No. We understand that our permit is one of hundreds awaiting renewal by the US Forest Service (USFS). The USFS has repeatedly informed Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) that we can lawfully continue our operations pending the reissuance of our permit and that the provisions of our existing permit are still in force until the effective date of a new permit. NWNA has continued to receive and pay invoices from the USFS for the annual permit fee, as we have since it was first issued. We also continue to report our water use from the spring to the State Water Resources Control Board.”

Never mind that California is going through the worst drought in history, and that other companies have been responsible enough to halt the bottling of water in order to honor the environmental devastation that the state faces.

Also, never mind that Nestle’s permit to extract water expired 27 years ago!

It’s time to halt Nestle’s water privatization plans, especially while utilizing an expired license in a state that is having serious water issues. Nestle is taking water and then selling it back to a drought-stricken population. It has to stop.

Drug Companies Donated Millions to California Lawmakers Prior to Forced Vaccination Bill

Should we not have the right to choose?

By Christina Sarich
June 21, 2015
Natural Society

 

vaccine_vial_need_scale_w_735_350One in 50 children are now autistic. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Despite the fact that a CDC whistleblower recently came forward admitting that the government agency obfuscated evidence linking vaccines to autistic behavior, California lawmakers passed a mandatory vaccine bill (SB277) which removes parental exemptions – making it so parents couldn’t refuse or delay vaccines. Even more damning evidence has surfaced proving that Big Pharma had their hands in the creation of the bill.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that State lawmakers behind bill SB277 have ties to the makers of vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies and their trade groups gave current members of the Legislature more than $2 million. Nine of the top 20 recipients of these funds are either members of the Senate health committee, or leaders who could influence the outcome of the bill, as well as push it through to law.

One senator, in particular, is also a doctor, Richard Pan, who received more than $95,000 in campaign cash. He also just happens to be the man who wrote the bill.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Big Pharma also donated more than $500,000 to outside campaign spending groups that helped some of these top nine individuals be elected to their current legislative positions.

Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies contributed nearly $3 million in additional cash to the 2013-2014 legislative session lobbying, among these representatives, the state pharmacists’ board, and other agencies – who could also sway the outcome of SB277 – for mandatory vaccines.

Dr. or Senator Pan, whichever title you choose, is an ‘industry insider’ with far-reaching influence. He has been a teaching faculty member at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, and served many organizations which determine medical funding.

While he has flip-flopped on the vaccine issue in the past, previously introducing a bill which would have required parents to get their doctor’s approval to refuse a vaccine for their child, he recently said that the Disney measles episode, argued by some to be a false flag, was reason enough to promote forced vaccinations ‘for public health.’

Read: California Lawmakers Voice Resounding ‘NO’ to Forced Vaccines

Thousands of people are now calling for the resignation of Dr. Pan for obvious conflict of interest, and a recall of the bill which caused massive protests in California before legislators voted it into law.

A petition has also been started with the same intent:

“We call on California State Senator, Dr. Richard Pan to resign from his position due to his vested interests in profiting from Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and literally dozens of pharmaceutical companies, and the conflict of interest this causes.” (Change.org)

Massive Protests in California Against SB277

The petition was already delivered on June 9th, and had gained 9000 signatures in just days of its posting. A Voice for Choice stated:

“To the Honorable Governor and Legislature of the State of California,

We, the undersigned people of California, are writing in regards to the unquestionably unconstitutional Senate Bills 277 and 792, and Assembly Bill 1117. It shocks the conscience to consider that there are Senators and Assembly Members who deem it within their province to utterly annihilate fundamental rights that all of the members of the California Legislature swore to uphold.

A vote in contravention of the knowledge that SB 277, SB 792, and AB 1117 are clearly incomprehensible under both the United States and California constitutional laws, and in cognizance of the fact that despite the fact that vaccines cause demonstrable injuries, and yet under California laws, doctors and manufacturers remain completely immune from liability, is an attestation to the fact that you are mandating a medical procedure for all children, as well as for adults working as preschool and child care workers, without even a glimmer of choice. If you feel comfortable making that decision, knowing full well the potential ramifications of such a vote, then we see no reason why you would not agree to be held personally responsible, both morally and financially, should any subsequent vaccine injuries or deaths occur. We are strongly opposed to SB 277, SB 792, and AB 1117 and demand that you vote against these bills.

America is a Constitutional Republic and the Supreme Law of this Republic guarantees under Article IV, Section 4, a republican form of government for every state.

In the best interests of the People, businesses and industries of California, and to protect them from economic devastation and bodily harm, the government of California will vote “No” on SB277, SB792, and AB1117. These bills violate the U.S. Constitution, in particular, the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments; and the California Constitution, in particular, Article 9; as well as the California Education Code, by which all children are to be afforded a free public education. There is no compelling state interest to deny children in California the right to a public education. And according to the California Department of Public Health, “[v]accination coverage in California is at or near all-time high levels.”

The document continues to outline how California legislators are going against Constitutional law. You can read it in its entirety here: AVoiceforChoice.org/petition/

Related: $15,000 Tax Penalty Enforced for Not Vaccinating

A press conference in Berkeley, California will also be held on Monday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m. to address “the unconstitutional aspects of SB 277 as well as informing about the Consumer Protection Amendment in English, Spanish, and Russian.” Details here.

Additional Sources:

CDPH.ca.gov

Los Angeles Police Commission cites minor protocol breaches in killing of Ezell Ford

By Dan Conway and John Andrews
June 14, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

After stalling for ten months, the Los Angeles Police Commission issued a report Tuesday in the police killing of 25-year-old Ezell Ford.

In the presence of dozens of protesters, the Commission announced that one of the officers involved in the shooting, 13-year LAPD veteran Sharlton Wampler, used inappropriate tactics when approaching Ford. The other officer, Antonio Villegas, was completely exonerated of any wrongdoing despite the fact that he shot Ford as well. Neither officer yet faces criminal charges.

The Commission report for the first time lays out the officers’ version of the shooting. Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on August 11, 2014, Wampler and Villegas saw Ford walking alone on the sidewalk. They notified the dispatcher that they were getting out of their car. The officers claim they intended to initiate a “consensual encounter,” but when Ford did not stop to talk with them, Wampler reached out and grabbed the 24-year-old, mentally challenged man, who was engaged in no criminal conduct whatsoever.

According to the officers, a brief scuffle ensued, during which both officers shot Ford. They then notified dispatch—only 13 seconds after the first broadcast.

The officers justified the killing with the tired excuse that after grabbing Ford they thought he was reaching for Wampler’s pistol, which was secured in a special retention holster. The Commission report does not challenge the glaring illogic of the officers’ story—why would Ford try to grab an officer’s gun when he was not doing anything illegal—nor the officers’ decision to kill Ford instead of simply standing up and moving the gun out of his reach, where it never should have been in the first place.

As a result of the ruling, Wampler is to face unspecified disciplinary action by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Wampler was the subject of a 2011 Civil Rights Complaint alleging that he held a man’s head underwater in a front yard “kiddy pool,” nearly drowning him in front of his parents and children.

The disciplinary actions will likely result in a slap on the wrist at best, as Beck has vigorously defended the Newton Division officers’ actions since the incident and has also promised that the decision will do nothing to change overall department policy.

Shortly after the Police Commission’s decision was revealed, Beck filmed a 76-second video that was distributed to the entire police force. In the video, Beck directly addresses his officers from a balcony at the LAPD downtown headquarters, declaring that the Police Commission decision “was a tough decision for them to make, and I know it’s a difficult thing for you to think about as you go out and risk your lives every day protecting the city of Los Angeles.”

Beck added, “you have my support, you have the support of the mayor, you have the support of the vast majority of the people of Los Angeles.”

The ruling takes the claim that Ford reached for the LAPD officer’s gun as an indisputable fact. The LAPD had previously cited DNA evidence on the officer’s weapon holster as well as associated abrasions on the hands of both Ford and the officer. This evidence proves nothing, as the officers admit starting the fight by grabbing Ford as he was exercising his constitutional right to walk away from them. Given that he was hit by three bullets at extremely close quarters, one would not be surprised to find DNA on the holster. Regardless, none of this evidence has been publicly released and multiple witnesses testify that Ford was prone during the shooting and that there was no struggle for an officer’s weapon.

Leroy Hill, a neighbor of Ford who witnessed the struggle, claims that the young man’s shooting was preceded by a vicious beating by the officers. “I was sitting across the street when it happened. So as he was walking down the street, the police approached him, whatever was said I couldn’t hear it, but the cops jumped out of the car and rushed him over here into this corner. They had him in the corner and were beating him, busted him up, for what reason I don’t know, he didn’t do nothing. The next I know I hear a ‘pow!’ while he’s on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I hear another ‘pow!’ No hesitation. And then I hear another ‘pow!’ Three times.”

While the LAPD confiscated the sole video footage of the encounter, the witness accounts taken together corroborate that the shooting was a murder of an unarmed, mentally ill young man.

For this reason, the services of the five member Los Angeles Police Commission, touted as an example of civilian oversight over the third largest police department in the country, is being used as a mechanism to disregard any evidence supporting the guilt of the officers and whitewash the investigation.

California police caught on video beating man after chase

By Zaida Green
April 11, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Police officers in Apple Valley, California were captured on video beating a man Thursday for more than two minutes following a chase. The beating was recorded from a news helicopter and broadcasted live by local news station KNBC-TV.

The video shows 30-year-old Francis Pusok surrendering after falling off his stolen horse, lying facedown on the ground with his limbs spread apart. Showing no attempt to resist arrest, he is then shocked with a Taser by an officer. Pusok places his hands behind his back to reaffirm his submission. Another officer jumps out of a police helicopter, runs up to Pusok, and kicks him in the face, initiating the rain of blows.

Within two minutes, Pusok is swarmed by eleven officers. Unarmed and posing no threat to anyone, Pusok is shocked with a Taser twice, punched 37 times, kicked 17 times, and struck with a baton 4 times. 13 of those blows were to his head.

After the beating, Pusok lay motionless on the desert sand for over 45 minutes. None of the eleven officers who stood around him attempted to administer medical treatment during that time. Ten of the officers have been put on paid administrative leave.

Jim Terrell, Pusok’s family attorney, condemned attempts to paint the savage two-minute beating as justifiable. “What I saw on the television was thugs beating up my client… And these questions about what was [Pusok] doing? What did they do? This is far worse than [the 1991 police beating of] Rodney King.”

“These are bad cops whether it’s Ferguson, Missouri, or right here in Apple Valley,” recalling the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. “This stuff’s got to stop.”

Pusok was later taken to a hospital to be treated for undisclosed injuries. Pusok’s family and friends were informed of neither Pusok’s condition, nor which hospital he was being treated at. Three officers were treated at the same hospital, one for a kick by the horse, and two for dehydration.

Pusok was picked up from jail by his attorneys yesterday. Speaking to KNBC-TV, they reported that he was still in pain, with a badly swollen eye and marks all over his face and body. Pusok told his attorneys that after the beating, an officer whispered into his ear, “This isn’t over.”

“And what’s why he’s scared to death for himself and his family right now,” Terrell said.

According to the local police department, Pusok was the prime suspect in an identity theft investigation. He fled by car from police serving a search warrant at his home. After a three-hour pursuit through the cities of Apple Valley and Hesperia, he abandoned his car and stole a horse, fleeing into the surrounding shrubland.

Jolene Binder, Pusok’s girlfriend of more than thirteen years and mother of his three children, said that the allegation of identity theft “is not true… I feel like they’re trying to paint a picture of him as a bad guy and deserving of [the beating].” She described him as a devoted father despite having a criminal record.

Pusok’s mother, Anne Clemenson, likened the beating to “a joyride for the cops” and demanded that all the officers involved be fired. “He didn’t deserve something like that. To tase him, the beatings that I see them doing to him—it’s uncalled for. You see him laying [sic] down, and they continue to kick him, hitting him and punching him. Why?”

The Sheriff’s Office claimed that the Taser “was ineffective due to [Pusok’s] loose clothing”, thus “a use of force” occurred. In other words, kicks to the face and groin, punches, and strikes with the Taser device itself were necessary to subdue an unarmed man lying facedown in the sand.

“They beat the crap out of him, and now they’re trying to do everything that they can do to avoid them being in any trouble,” Binder retorted.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon announced an internal police investigation into the circumstances of Pusok’s arrest. He attempted to allay public distrust of the investigation, saying that the audio recorders worn by all the officers would be analyzed.

Though admitting that the video was “disturbing,” McMahon was careful not to in any way denounce the violence against Pusok or draw connections to the wider campaign of state repression in the United States. “If our deputy sheriffs did something wrong, they’ll be put off work and they’ll be dealt with appropriately, all in accordance with the law as well as our department policy,” McMahon declared.

Beating Pusok in broad daylight while a news helicopter hovered overhead, all eleven police officers were confident that they, along with the hundreds of other police officers who have killed thousands of people over the last twelve months, would not be held accountable for their actions. On the contrary, expressions of opposition to police violence have been met with censorship, surveillance, and the deployment of the National Guard.

Pusok’s beating is just the latest instance in the long reign of police violence in the United States. The website killedbypolice.net counts at least 28 people killed by the police in the US since the start of April, and 320 people since the start of this year, at a rate of more than three killings a day.

Tear gas, rubber bullets used against protests over police brutality in Berkeley, California

By World Socialist Web Site
December 8, 2014

 

In Berkeley, California, police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets at hundreds of demonstrators and bystanders Saturday night at a protest against police violence.

Police attack protesters in Berkeley, California

Two people had already been arrested the night before at a protest over a New York grand jury’s decision not to charge Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island. Students have also been protesting the recent 27 percent tuition hike at the University of California system during the past two weeks.

After an initial series of protests and rallies in the downtown area, involving as many as a thousand people, a column of at least 60 police officers clad in riot gear confronted a group of overwhelmingly young and peaceful protesters outside UC Berkeley on Telegraph Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares of the city. The police charged the group of students using tear gas, batons, riot shields, smoke grenades and rubber bullets.

Hundreds of people could be heard screaming and fleeing the scene, trying to escape the tear gas, which hung like a toxic cloud over the whole area. The gas was strong enough that it poured into the nearby residential streets where large groups of bystanders were watching the confrontation. Groups of residents, primarily students, came out of their homes to treat the afflicted.

Police amassed in Berkeley, California

According to the Daily Californian, the student-run newspaper, two Berkeley students required serious medical attention due to the police response. One woman, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, had a seizure and was then stepped on by a line of advancing cops. Another man broke his leg during the protests.

Marcel Davis, a 22-year-old man, also had a seizure. He told the Daily Californian that he was hit by the police with a baton. A police spokesman said that at least five people over the age of 18 and one under 18 were arrested.

A group of older concert-goers was also caught in the police charge. Elaine Dunlap, age 74, and her husband were tear gassed by the police. She told the Associated Press, “I’m not sure that’s necessary. … I think people have a right to protest, certainly for an issue as big as this.”

Officer Jennifer Coats, the Berkeley Police Department spokesperson, justified the police violence against the peaceful protest by pointing to activities earlier in the night when the protest was concentrated in the downtown area. Three storefront windows had been broken and rocks had been thrown at police and police vehicles. According to Coats, a police officer required hospitalization.

The overwhelming majority of the protest was peaceful, however. At one point a crowd of students restrained an individual from breaking a window. In Oakland, on the previous day, police were accused of planting undercover cops at an Eric Garner protest by users on Twitter who shared photos of alleged undercover cops in and out of uniform.

The protest in Berkeley was one of a number of ongoing demonstrations throughout the country over the weekend. In Seattle, Washington, police clashed with protesters on Saturday, arresting at least seven.

In Pittsburgh, about 300 people attended a rally against police brutality at the University of Pittsburgh Friday evening despite a cold rain.

Approximately 300 students participated in a march on Friday at SUNY Geneseo, a public liberal arts school of 5,300 students. The protesters chanted “I can’t breathe, we can’t breathe, Geneseo can’t breathe;” “no justice, no peace,” and other chants.

Alex, a political science major, said, “I’m here mainly because I see police brutality being accepted and supported by the bureaucracy.”

Serrana said, “I don’t agree with police brutality. I feel like everyone’s lives matter, and that we have an opportunity to voice our opinions.”

 

Video showing man’s standoff with US police goes viral

By Press TV
December 1, 2014

 

A dramatic video showing an innocent Californian man refusing to lie in front of US police officers has gone viral on the Internet.

The video, which was submitted to the Free Thought Project recently, shows a standoff between the man and police officers from La Quinta, California.

The video dates back to late October but has recently grabbed attention of online users garnering about 490,000 views on YouTube.

Alejandro Natividad, a resident of the Californian city of Indio, has himself filmed his incredible non-violent resistance as a police officer was pointing a gun at him.

When police shout at him to lie down on the concrete while pointing gun at him, Natividad refused to lie down because he knew he was innocent.

“There is a man behind that badge, be like a man,” Natividad tells the police officer in a loud but trembling voice. He also asked the officer to put the gun down and treat him like a human being.

“This is America. This is not a police state,” he said. “This is one man talking to another. There is a man behind that badge, be like a man. That is a coward pointing a gun at me.”

The police did not take his action very well. A backup officer shows up, draws his pistol as well, and points it at Natividad, who is at this point very nervous and scared for his life, but continues to film and hold his ground.

The Free Thought Project later interviewed Natividad. He said the reason behind the interaction with in the first place was that he was a passenger in a vehicle whose driver started acting weird, and police stopped them.

The timing of the video is particularly important for Americans since they are witnessing more and more police brutality against non-violent citizens on a daily basis. Many of these cases lead to the death or injury of the victims.

AN/GJH